CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. --
Marines and civilians gathered to celebrate a friend’s dedication and commitment to the Corps.
Retired Lt. Col. Thomas K. Farrell was awarded the Commendation for Superior Civilian Service Award in the commanding general’s conference room here Feb. 1 for his service as the G-1 assistant chief of staff for Marine Corps Installations-West from January 2002 to January 2013.
“This award is as much about all of you as it is about me, because we made the same kinds of decisions and we know nothing is ever a singular effort,” Farrell said to his friends and co-workers. “It’s always a team effort.”
According to the citation, “Under Farrell’s direction and supervision, the Manpower Operations Branch provided direct support to Operation Iraqi Freedom, Operation Enduring Freedom, Operational New Dawn, and 21 United States Pacific Command exercises. These initiatives resulted in substantial cost savings to the Marine Corps.”
Farrell was influential in the successful consolidation of all the personnel administration centers embedded in the base’s regiments into one central location.
He was also the driving force behind the configuration of numerous civilian manpower baseline initiatives, including the augmentation of 2,347 Non-Appropriated Fund billets to regional tables of organization and the regional in-sourcing initiatives, which involved the alteration of 103 contractor billets to civil service positions, according to the citation.
Farrell said his past 40 years of superior service here was inspired by his father.
“I was born on a hospital ship, the USS Repose, in Tsing Tao, China, in 1948,” said Farrell. “My dad was a Marine, and he served for 32 years. He was a fighter pilot and Navy Cross recipient in World War II.”
After earning a Bachelor’s in Social Science at Pepperdine University, 25-year-old Farrell started his journey in the Marine Corps.
Farrell was commissioned in 1973, and retired from active-duty in 2002. He said of his many experiences as a Marine, teaching was one of his favorites.
“I was a Marine officer instructor in the (University of California, Los Angeles) ROTC,” Farrell said. He said it was unusual for an administrative Marine to apply for and receive the position, but at that time, only a few Marines had the proper qualifications.
Farrell said he enjoyed teaching, and it might have been something that he could have continued doing had he not remained in the Marine Corps.
“Some (of the cadets) went into the Navy and some went to the Marine Corps, and I ran into a few from time to time, but they’ve all retired now,” Farrell said.
Farrell began working as the G-1 assistant chief of staff after retiring from the Marine Corps.
“I oversee the civilian population as well as the military staffing to make sure the (commanding general) is receiving his fair share of those folks on active duty,” Farrell said.
With a chuckle, Farrell described his job as “the spaces and the faces.”
“The real measurement of a Marine’s success is by their peers and supporters, and the feedback you receive when you near your retirement,” said Brig. Gen. Vincent A. Coglianese, base commanding general and regional authority for five military installations in the Southwestern United States, during the award presentation.
Wayne Roseberry, IPAC programs manager and deputy director, said Farrell was a well of knowledge for G-1 for a long time.
Farrell’s retirement from civilian service is scheduled March 1.
Contact Lance Cpl. Wolff-Diaz at email@example.com