Sergeant Major Leland D. Crawford, the 9th Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps passed away on 16 February 1993.
Sergeant Major Crawford was born in Sharon, West Virginia, on 16 February 1930. He attended East Bank (West Virginia) High School and later graduated from high school on Okinawa, Japan. He enlisted in the Marine Corps on 26 September 1951 and underwent recruit training at Parris Island, South Carolina.
Following recruit training, he was assigned to Infantry Training School, Camp Pendleton, California. Upon completion of his training, he was assigned to the 1st Marine Division in Korea, where he served as a rifleman and artillery man until July 1953. He then reported to the 2d Marine Division, Camp Lejeune, North Carolina.
In June 1956, Sergeant Major Crawford was assigned to his first tour of duty as a drill instructor at Parris Island where he remained until October 1958. He was then assigned to the 1st Marine Brigade in Hawaii, remaining there until October 1961. He returned to drill instructor duty, this time at Marine Corps Recruit Depot, San Diego, California, until February 1964. After this tour, he was transferred to Twentynine Palms, California, as a gunnery sergeant with 4th Battalion 11th Marines.
He joined the 3d Marine Division on Okinawa in February 1965, and the following month sailed for Vietnam. In March 1966, he returned to Twentynine Palms, where he was promoted to first sergeant. He served as First Sergeant for Headquarters Company, Force Troops until 1967. Returning to Vietnam, he served as a Company First Sergeant, 1st Battalion, 4th Marines. During this tour he earned the Bronze Star Medal with Combat “V” and gold star in lieu of second award; and later a Purple Heart for wounds received on 11 June 1968.
Sergeant Major Crawford was then transferred to Marine Barracks, Washington, D.C., as Company First Sergeant, Ceremonial Guard Company from October 1968 to December 1970. He again returned to Vietnam to serve as First Sergeant, Company D, 1st Battalion, 1st Marines.
In May 1971, he returned to Camp Pendleton where he was promoted to Sergeant Major. He was then assigned as Sergeant Major of 2d Battalion, 1st Marines until April 1974. He again returned to Marine Corps Recruit Depot, San Diego to serve as Sergeant Major of the 1st Recruit Training Battalion until January 1976. The following year he served as the Group Sergeant Major of Marine Air Control Group 18 on Okinawa. He reported back to the 1st Marine Division in February 1977 and became Sergeant Major of the 11th Marine Regiment.
In May 1979, Sergeant Major Crawford became the Sergeant Major of the 1st Marine Division and remained in that billet until his selection as the 9th Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps. He served in that post from 15 August 1979 until his retirement on 30 June 1983.
Sergeant Major Crawford’s personal decorations consist of the Bronze Star Medal with Combat “V” and Gold Star in lieu of second award; the Purple Heart Medal; and the Combat Action Ribbon. He was presented the Distinguished Service Medal for exceptionally meritorious service to the government of the United States in a duty of great responsibility as the 9th Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps.
We honor you, Leland Crawford.