Michael Joseph Godfrey
Colonel, United States Marine Corps
Michael Joseph Godfrey, Colonel, United States Marine Corps, age 50, of Nokesville, Virginia died November 12, 2003 in Seoul Korea of a heart failure.
Michael was a Marine Corps officer serving his country for 27 years. Duty assignments included Headquarters Marine Corps. His proudest assignment in Okinawa, Japan as G4, III MEF where he conceptualized, acquired and implemented the Department of Defense's first High Speed Vessel (HSV) program.
He was a Marine in the truest sense of the word; a great leader, with uncompromising integrity and principle; he was respected by all. He was a loving father and husband.
The funeral liturgy will be offered Tuesday,
December 23 at 8:45 a.m. at the Fort Meyer Old Post Chapel, Arlington,
with Father Yageshi officiating. Interment will follow at Arlington National
Cemetery, Arlington, with full military honors.
Godfrey, who died November 11, 2003,was in charge of Brigade Service Support Group 3 and was assigned as the 3rd Marine Expeditionary Brigade (Forward) Commander in Chinhae, Republic of Korea, at the time of his death.
The Colonel, whom many describe as a Marine's Marine, was born in 1954 in Washington, D.C., and was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in 1976 and graduated from the Basic School that September.
In July 1986 he was frocked to Major and assigned to Headquarters and Service Company, Marine Barracks, 8th and I, as company commander and was a White House Social Aide. During that time he was chosen to serve as Parade Commander for the 1988-89 Parade Season. This is where he picked up his distinguishing "8th and I walk" described by several of the Marines close to him.
His other various assignments included duty with 2nd Amphibious Assault Battalion; 10th Marine Regiment; 2nd Marine Division; I&L, Headquarters Marine Corps; 3rd Supply Battalion; 3rd FSSG; 1st Marine Division G-4; Commanding Officer MSSG-13; G-4, 1st Marine Aircraft Wing; G-4, III Marine Expeditionary Force; and finally, Commanding Officer of both 3rd TSB and BSSG-3.
The 3rd FSSG representative, Captain Kevin Collins, said that Colonel Godfrey will be missed throughout III MEF and the 3rd FSSG. "He was an innovative logistician, whose vision resulted in the acquisition of the High Speed Vessel for III MEF, transforming the way III MEF units deploy and train throughout the Western Pacific Region. As our commander, he taught us a great deal about the importance of maintaining a focus on readiness while balancing numerous other demands. As a leader, he was worthy of the respect and high regard he enjoyed from the Marines. Col. Godfrey had a leadership style that appealed to Marines at every level."
The Barracks Commanding Officer, Colonel Daniel P. O'Brien, echoed the thoughts of Collins, also a former Barracks officer who served here from 1990 to 1993. "Mike was energetic, creative and a lot of fun. He was a great student of history and sought to make the Marine Corps better. His work with the High Speed Vessel in the Western Pacific will have a definitive impact upon the Marines Corps and how we fight."
He is survived by his wife, Keiko, and daughter, Victoria.
His personal decorations included Legion of Merit, Meritorious Service Medal with two gold stars, Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal, and Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal.