8th & I Marines lay former Barracks officer to rest

23 Dec 2003 | Marine Barracks Public Affairs

Colonel Michael J. Godfrey, Commanding Officer of 3rd Transportation Support Battalion, 3rd Force Service Support Group returned home from Okinawa Tuesday to receive a full honors funeral and burial at Arlington National Cemetery.

Godfrey, who died Nov. 11, 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, Capt. Kevin Collins, said that Col. 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, Col. 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.