News: ARFF Marine retires, hangs up boots, helmet
Story by Pfc. David Walters
IWAKUNI, Japan - After 24 years of honorable and faithful service, Master Sergeant Joseph P. Beall IV, Aircraft Rescue Fire Fighting Staff Non Commissioned Officer-in-Charge, held his retirement ceremony at ARFF building 5119 May 16, 2013.
Beall first reenlisted in February 1993 in the Marine Corps as a corporal and then made one of the most significant choices of his life, the choice that led him to where he is today.
“When I reenlisted for the first time I said, ‘If I do it once I’m going to go ahead and hang out for the long haul,’” said Beall. “Although I didn’t know it was going to be for 24 years. I thought it was going to be 20 years and one day but I loved my job so much I thought I still had something to give to my (Military Occupational Specialty).”
Beall deployed during Operation Desert Shield and Desert Storm aboard the USS Iwo Jima for seven months and 25 days and has also deployed to Iraq.
Of all his Marine Corps accomplishments he holds one moment above the rest.
“To have my kids pin my master sergeant chevrons on me January 1, 2007, was probably my biggest and most proud moment,” said Beall.
Beall spoke about not having any regrets throughout his career with confidence.
“No I don’t. You can ‘what if’ things to death, but I can honestly say that I had a successful career. I could not be more proud of my military service.”
Beall reflected back on his enlisted career and could think of one thing to tell himself as a young enlisted Marine if the opportunity to go back in time presented itself.
“To take more pictures,” said Beall with a chuckle.
Beall thinks the world of his family and Marines which he expressed throughout his retirement ceremony.
“I wouldn’t have been able to do this journey without my family standing strong behind me and members of the community,” said Beall. “I think the world of all the crash crew Marines. Without them I wouldn’t be anywhere near where I’m at today.”
Beall had some words to leave his junior Marines with.
“Pride. Keep the pride. They are the ones that make this the world’s greatest crash crew. I say it because I see it,” said Beall. “Stay true to who they are and keep the pride.”
Lieutenant Colonel F. Lance Lewis, Headquarters and Headquarters Squadron commanding officer, had nothing but good words to say about Beall.
“A fantastic leader, a model Marine for the Marines to emulate, both on duty and off duty, and somebody the Marine Corps is going to miss,” said Lewis. “I, as a commanding officer, am going to miss his leadership and his guidance.”
Master Sergeant Roy Lee Clayton Jr., Aircraft Rescue Fire Fighting staff noncommissioned officer-in-charge, is taking Beall’s former position.
Clayton came to ARFF at MCAS Iwakuni as a gunnery sergeant and worked under Beall for almost three years and summed up Beall with one phrase.
“Positive attitude. No matter what was going on he always made the best of it,” said Clayton. “All the times I went to him for guidance and mentorship he always made the best of it.”
Beall’s positive attitude spread throughout his Marines and Clayton described it as an “infectious positive attitude.”
Clayton expressed his appreciation for Beall’s leadership and everything he had done for the crash crew.
“He was a great mentor. I couldn’t have asked for anyone better to learn from over the past three years.”