Houston-native earns the rank of master gunnery sergeant in the Marine Corps

1 Feb 2012 | Cpl. Jeremy Ware

A native of Houston was promoted to the rank of master gunnery sergeant in the United States Marine Corps Feb. 1.

Mastery Gunnery Sgt. Allen Whiteside, 39, enlisted in the Marine Corps June 17, 1991, and attended recruit training at Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego. Whiteside has been stationed with units throughout the Marine Corps including 3rd Marine Division in Okinawa, two tours with the 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit, where he made port in Australia, Hong Kong and Iraq, and his current assignment at the Corps’ oldest post, Marine Barracks Washington. He has served as the logistics chief at the Barracks since June 2008.

The rank of master gunnery sergeant is the highest enlisted rank achievable in the Marine Corps, along with the equivalent rank of sergeant major.

“Growing up in Houston, my dad always taught me the value of a hard day’s labor. Ever since I was 14, I would work on 18-wheelers, and it taught me values,” Whiteside said. “The transition to the Marine Corps was an easy one because of the upbringing I received.”

Whiteside is responsible for overseeing the day-to-day operations of the Barracks motor transport, supply, mess hall, medical and maintenance sections.

“Master gunnery sergeant has developed himself as a communicator, thinker, and planner with a skill set that exceeds the majority of officers and staff noncommissioned officers,” said Capt. Christopher I. Johnson, Marine Barracks Washington logistics officer. “I have benefitted greatly from his service.”

His personal awards include a Meritorious Service Medal, six Navy Marine Corps Achievement Medals, two Navy Marine Corps Commendation Medals and a Combat Action Ribbon.

Whiteside is scheduled to depart the Barracks for the Blount Island Command, home of the Marine Corps Maritime Prepositioning Program, in Jacksonville, Fla., where he will serve as the operations chief.

Barracks Marines support ceremonial and security missions in the nation’s capitol. Each year, the Marines support more than 30 parades and hundreds of ceremonies and functions to include funerals and other events across the country and globe.