Charleston, WV --
Surrounded by friends, family members and fellow Marines from Recruiting Station Charleston, Master Gunnery Sgt. Dean L. Bowers, a career recruiter, retired during a ceremony held at the West Virginia State Capitol Complex in Charleston July 25.
Bowers began his Marine Corps journey after enlisting in October 1983. He had considered joining the military for some time but had never fully committed to enlisting until after a terrorist bombing claiming the lives of 241 American service members in 1983.
“I had bounced around the idea of the military for quite some time but never got serious about it until October 23, 1983 happened, which was the bombing of the Beirut barracks in Lebanon,” said Bowers, a Jackson, Michigan native. “The next day I went down and saw a Marine recruiter who told me that if I walked into his office, he would be sending me to Beirut.”
Bowers enlisted as an infantryman and participated in Operation El Dorado Canyon in Libya in 1986. In 1988 Bowers laterally moved into the intelligence field. He served with the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit and while with the unit, participated in Operation Sharp Edge in Liberia and Operation Desert Shield. He served with various units until 2000, when, at 16 years of service, he was selected to become a Marine Corps Recruiter at the rank of gunnery sergeant.
Bowers attended Recruiter’s School at Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego and was recognized as distinguished graduate and top salesman. Upon graduating, he was assigned to Recruiting Station Detroit. Bowers was recognized as the rookie recruiter of the year in 2001 and was shortly thereafter appointed as the staff noncommissioned officer in charge of Recruiting Sub-Station Livonia.
During his tour of leadership, Bowers was promoted to the rank of master sergeant and then laterally moved to the military occupational specialty of career recruiter in 2003. Bowers served in other keys billets at RS Detroit until he was transferred to 4th Marine Corps District Headquarters in 2006. He held several billets at the headquartes, to include contact team member, operations chief and officer recruiter instructor. Bowers was transferred to RS Charleston in 2011, where he served as the recruiter instructor until his retirement.
Bowers said he will miss the brotherhood of the Marine Corps and having an effect on the lives of new recruiters.
“Being able to take a Marine that doesn’t have the natural ability to communicate and working with him and helping him or her to become successful to be able to help someone figure out they do not have to be afraid of this (recruiting) and that it can be very fulfilling…that is very rewarding,” said Bowers.
Capt. Eric Albright, the RS Charleston Executive Officers, said Bowers will be missed.
“He is a good man and he served this command honorably for three years,” said Albright. “We are sad to see him go…he will be missed but I have no doubt that he will be successful at whatever he does next.”