Andy native retires from Marines, coming home

Published 12:00 am Friday, January 2, 2015

An Andalusia native who served his country for 30 years has retired and is ready to come home.


Master Gunnery Sgt. Robert Brian Foshee received the Legion of Merit Award at a retirement ceremony held on Dec. 16 at Camp Lejeune, N.C.

Foshee said he will retire 37 days short of 30 years in the Marine Corps.

“There’s no more time that I can serve, I’ve achieved the highest rank that I can as an enlisted Marine,” Foshee said. “It’s time for me to retire and move on to a second career.”

Foshee graduated from Andalusia High School in 1984, and began his career in the Marines in April 1985.

Foshee said he joined the Marines because of his relationship with Andalusia resident Francis McGowin.

“Whenever I was in the eighth grade, a retired Marine moved to Andalusia,” Foshee said. “He’s the entire reason I came into the Marine Corps. I knew what I wanted to be when I met him, and I knew I wanted to serve my maximum amount of time.”

Foshee has a long list of accolades and deployments. He started his career on a high note, ending his recruit training as the platoon honor man and high shooter.

He has served in Okinawa, Japan, and has held multiple positions as a drill instructor with the 3rd Recruit Training Battalion; as team leader and operations platoon sergeant on the Marine Wing Support Squadron 273; company guide, team leader, company rifle range coach, vehicle inspector, alert MAGTF increment leader and platoon sergeant of truck company, Third Marine Division; course challenger at drill instructor school; senior drill instructor, series gunnery sergeant and battalion drill master for the Third Recruit Training Battalion, MCRD Parris Island; gunnery sergeant, standing operating procedures instructor and drill master at drill instructors school; and series gunnery sergeant and company first sergeant at the 1st Recruit Training Battalion.

He served in Operation Iraqi Freedom, and was deployed to Afghanistan as part of the Marine air ground deployment distribution chief in 2011 and 2012.

He has been awarded the Bronze Star Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, Good Conduct Medal and Drill Instructor Ribbon.

He said he’s now ready for the transition into the civilian world, and his objective is to come home to Andalusia.

“Hopefully, I’ll be right around the corner from Andalusia,” Foshee said.

He has applied for the veteran services officer job in Covington County and will interview in January. If that doesn’t work out, he’ll find something else, he said, adding he hopes it will be close to home.

Foshee and his wife, Sonja, will say goodbye to their eldest son, Cayce, 20, as he leaves for Army boot camp this Saturday. Foshee said Cayce wanted to follow on in his dad’s footsteps, but not in the same military branch, which Foshee said he prefers.

“I’m excited,” he said. “I have reservations because I know what he’s getting into.

“If I had my choice, I think every young man or woman should serve for some time for their country in some capacity, whether in the military or a civilian capacity,” he said. “I think they would all have a better appreciation of life and freedom, if they actually served somebody else.”

Foshee and Sonja also have a 9-year-old son, Cohl.