U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Pacific


U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Pacific

In Any Clime and Place

Band Master

Master Gunnery Sergeant
Mark D. Gleason

Upon graduating from Westminster High School in Westminster, Colorado (a suburb of Denver), Master Gunnery Sergeant Gleason joined the Marine Corps in July of 1987 and attended Marine Corps Recruit Training at Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego, CA.

Upon completion of Marine Corps Basic Training, Private First Class Gleason reported to the Armed Forces School of Music in Norfolk, Virginia for training in the Basic Music Course. After graduation from this course, he was assigned to the Second Marine Aircraft Wing Band at Cherry Point, NC for duty as a saxophonist. Highlights of this tour include performances throughout the eastern United States and a performance for the Queen of Holland at the Breda Military Tattoo.

In 1991, Corporal Gleason was ordered back to Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego, CA to serve with the Marine Band San Diego. While assigned to this band, he had the pleasure to perform at many venues in Southern California to include the Tournament of Roses Parade and the Santa Rosa Highland Games where the band had the opportunity to perform with the legendary Scots Guard Pipes and Drums. After Corporal Gleason was promoted to Sergeant, he went “across the street” to serve as a Marine Corps Drill Instructor. From 1994-1996 Sergeant Gleason trained more than 400 recruits as both a Drill instructor and Senior Drill Instructor and was selected to the rank of Staff Sergeant.

After a successful tour on the drill field, Staff Sergeant Gleason returned to the Armed Forces School of Music in 1996 to attend the Ceremonial Conductor/Drum Major Course. After graduation, he was selected to remain on Staff at the School of Music. For the next two and a half years he served as the Drum Major Instructor, where he trained all Marine and Navy students the concepts of military musical drill. While serving as a Drum Major Instructor, he was selected to the rank of Gunnery Sergeant.

In 1999, Gunnery Sergeant made another cross country trip back to California to serve as the Drum Major for the Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Band in Twenty-nine Palms, CA. During this tour the band traveled to Nevada, Montana, Arizona, and most memorable was a tour of Canada that spanned from Calgary to British Columbia.

In 2002, Gunnery Sergeant Gleason was transferred overseas to Okinawa, Japan for a one year tour with the III Marine Expeditionary Force Band. During this tour, he had the honor of traveling throughout the South Pacific to include a trip to Australia. After this short one year tour, Gunnery Sergeant Gleason returned to the US in 2003 and was assigned to the Quantico Marine Corps Band to serve as the Band Master. He was subsequently promoted to the rank of Master Sergeant.

While at Quantico, the band performed at countless venues throughout the Northeastern US to include New York City for the 9/11 Memorial Concert at Carnegie Hall and also had the honor of performing at the famous WWI battle site, Belleau Wood, in France for Memorial Day.

In 2006, Master Sergeant Gleason was ordered to the Marine Forces Pacific Band in Hawaii. During this tour, he had the opportunity to serve as the acting Band Officer in the absence of a commissioned officer assigned to the band. During this tour, the band performed in Cambodia and had the opportunity to go afloat with the Navy as part of a Humanitarian/Medical Cruise to ports such as Vietnam and the Philippines. In 2008, Master Sergeant Gleason was selected to his present rank and selected to serve as the Occupational Field Sponsor at Headquarters Marine Corps.
While assigned to the Pentagon, Master Gunnery Sergeant Gleason served as the senior enlisted advisor for all orders and directives as well as personnel assignments for the entire Marine Corps Music Program. After three years serving in this billet, Master Gunnery Sergeant Gleason requested and was granted permission to return to the operating forces for duties again with the Marine Forces Pacific Band in Hawaii.

Master Gunnery Sergeant Gleason holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Thomas Edison State College. His personal decorations include the Meritorious Service Medal, the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal, and the Navy Achievement Medal with gold star in lieu of second award.

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