November 7, 2003
The Lompoc Record
If he had his way, Chief Master Sgt. Norman A. Marous would log another decade at least, instead of ending a military career that spanned from the Cold War to Operation Iraqi Freedom.
"I thought 50 years would be a nice round number," Marous said Thursday.
However, the military thought otherwise. It required Marous, who has served for more than 41 years, to retire after he reached age 60. It's a move he will make graciously if not enthusiastically, he said.
More than 100 people gathered Thursday at Vandenberg Air Force Base for a ceremony celebrating the career of the man believed to be the current longest continuously serving noncommissioned officer in the Air Force.
Maj. Gen. Michael A. Hamel, 14th Air Force commander, presided over the 90-minute ceremony, but said he also was doing so reluctantly.
As Hamel and Marous stood for the reading of retirement orders, the two-star general asked, "Is this like a wedding where you ask if anybody has a reason ... ?"
A native of Pennsylvania, he graduated from Allegheny Senior High School in 1962. A friend influenced Marous' decision to enlist in the Air Force.
"When he returned home on leave ... he was so excited and proud of what he was doing, so proud to be in the Air Force" Marous said.
Marous spent 14 years in aircraft maintenance and held a variety of other enlisted jobs in the military, including participating in the Honor Guard.
His four-decade career included stints in active duty, Reserves and National Guard. He returned to active duty in 1989 and worked in counter-narcotics activities. Arriving on the Central Coast in 2001, he most recently served as noncommissioned officer-in-charge for the Western Regional Counterdrug Training Team at Camp San Luis Obispo.
He and his wife, Geraldine, lived at Vandenberg Air Force Base. They have three grown children, a son serving as a captain in the Army, a daughter serving as lieutenant in the Army and a daughter married to an Air Force technical sergeant.
Marous also has been active in various organizations including the Air Force Association, Air Force Sergeants Association and American Legion.
His plans remain undefined but undoubtedly will have something to do
with the Air Force, said Marous, who was recently diagnosed with multiple
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