MARINE CORPS AIR STATION IWAKUNI, Japan -- Friends, family and distinguished guests gathered inside the Aircraft Rescue Firefighting firehouse, better known as the “ARFF barn,” aboard Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Japan, July 25, 2014, for Lt. Col. James Walker’s retirement ceremony.
Walker, the station airfield operations officer, enlisted in the Marine Corps 1987 and served 27 years with assignments to all three Marine Air Wings, and all four Marine Divisions.
In August of 1987 Pfc. Walker, a graduate from Marine Corps Recruit Depot. Parris Island began his Marine Corps career with an assignment to the supply company with 4th Force Service Support Group in Raleigh N.C. to serve as an 3051 warehouseman.
Walker earned his commission in December of 1990 via the Marine Corps Platoon Leaders Course.
Since his commission, Walker has severed multiple billets, from operations officer and executive officer to division air officer. As well as serving in multiple units including Marine All-Weather Fighter Attack Squadron 332, Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 212 and VMFA(AW)-533.
“When I think back on my career, all 20 plus years, I remember all the Marines I’ve met, Marines that embody our core values of honor, courage and commitment,” said Walker. “As I prepare to head out I am honored to have met those men and women who have influenced my career and my life.”
Walker added that he is grateful for the Marine Corps and the opportunities it has presented him.
During the ceremony Walker was awarded his second Meritorious Service Medal, a decoration presented to service members who distinguish themselves by outstanding meritorious achievement or service.
“Lt. Col. Walker has been a huge asset to the Station,” said Col. Robert Boucher, station commanding officer. “Airfield operations would not have gone as smoothly without him.”
Boucher said he wishes Walker the best of luck with his new endeavors, adding that the station will miss his presence and he leaves big shoes to fill.
“It’s been a long journey, not always easy, but it’s been one of the most rewarding things I have ever done,” said Walker. “If I could do it again, I would and I wouldn’t change a thing.”