CMDCM Russell Folley retires after 33 years of service in the U.S. Navy - Camp Lejeune Globe: News

190524-M-OV347-054

CMDCM Russell Folley retires after 33 years of service in the U.S. Navy

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Posted: Thursday, June 13, 2019 3:30 pm

Master Chief Russell Folley, II Marine Expeditionary Force command master chief, celebrated the end of his 33 years of service during his retirement ceremony at Marston Pavilion at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, May 24, 2019.

Folley, a St. Martinville, Louisiana native, began his Naval Service in December 1986. He later attended the Naval School of Health Sciences in San Diego, California, to become a corpsman after completing basic training at Recruit Training Command in San Diego.

“I’ve known him for so long that I don’t even remember when I met him,” said Master Chief Jody Fletcher, oncoming II MEF command master chief. “He embodies what it means to be a Navy chief, he’s got a tremendous amount of integrity, he cares deeply for every one of his Sailors and he would do anything for anyone. He just wants to see people succeed.”

Throughout Folley’s career he has served with both Navy and Marine units. He described one of his favorite things in his 33-year career was watching both Marines and Sailors succeed.

“What motivated me to stay this long is that you’re still having fun,” said Folley. “So every time I had to reenlist, I still had the drive in me to go out and do good things.”

Family and friends he had met throughout his long career traveled from around the country to attend the ceremony.

“I knew Russ the first time I was with Division, and it was during the wars and he was one of the chiefs,” said Master Chief Christopher Rebana, II Marine Logistics Group command master chief. “He’s a great human being and a great American. I consider it an honor that he’s my friend, always looking out for the Sailors and Marines. That was the one of the many things I respected about him, that he wasn’t afraid to speak on behalf of Sailors and Marines.”

Lt. Gen. Robert F. Hedelund, the II MEF commanding general, was also in attendance as part of the official party during the ceremony and spoke highly of Folley during his remarks.

“This man’s (Folley’s) biography could not even come close to portraying all his achievements and how great of a man he is,” said Hedelund.

The ceremony proceeded with Naval traditions, with the “13 Folds” in which the flag is folded 13 times, each fold bearing significance, followed by personal remarks and concluding with a reading of “The Watch,” which signifies the Sailor being relieved from the watch by the next generation.

“I just wanted to end this saying that the best Sailors in the Navy wear MARPAT, Hooyah!” said Folley.