BOARD / STAFF PROFILES

Carolina Museum Of The Marine
Al Gray Civic Institute

OUR LEADERSHIP

These are the simple principles as rules of life, beliefs that secure our order, our justice and our freedom.”

~ General Al Gray

General-Al-Gray

General Al Gray, USMC (Ret), 29th Commandant
At-Large Member, Executive Committee, Institute Founder  

General Al Gray enlisted in the United States Marine Corps in 1950. 

  • Advanced to brigadier general in March 1976, General Al Gray served as Commanding General, Landing Force Training Command, Atlantic, and the 4th Marine Amphibious Brigade.
  • Promoted to major general in February 1980, he assumed command of the 2nd Marine Division, FMF, Atlantic, Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, in June 1981.
  • Following his promotion to lieutenant general on August 29, 1984, General Al Gray was reassigned as Commanding General, FMF, Atlantic/Commanding General, II Marine Expeditionary Force, and Commanding General, FMF, Europe. 
  • General Al Gray was promoted to general and became Commandant of the Marine Corps on July 1, 1987. His appointment as Commandant of the Marine Corps was recommended by Jim Webb, then Secretary of the Navy.

General Al Gray presided over changes in training in the 1970s with an emphasis on large-scale maneuver in desert and cold-weather environments, and changed Marine doctrine to one of maneuver warfare in the 1980s. This transformation from the Vietnam War-era is sometimes called the second enlightenment of the Marine Corps (the first being under Major General John A. Lejeune), and included development of a robust maritime special operations capability, emphasis on the education of leaders, establishment of Marine Corps University, and development of a long-range desert operations capability. As a reminder that the primary role of every Marine is a rifleman, he had his official photograph taken in the Camouflage Utility Uniform, the only commandant to have done so. Al Gray Civic Institute is named for General Gray, whose vision for the institute is longstanding. See Commander’s Intent for the Institute’s statement of purpose.

McKissock

LtGen Gary S. McKissock, USMC (Ret)
Chair

Lt Gen McKissock is a veteran of service in both Vietnam and Desert Storm/Desert Shield.

At the time of his retirement from the Corps, LtGen McKissock was Deputy Commandant of the Marine Corps for Installations and Logistics. Notable commands include Commander of Marine Corps Service Support Schools at Camp Johnson, NC, Commanding General 1st Force Service Support Group Camp Pendleton, CA, Commander I MEF Forward Logistics Support Base Kanjar during Desert Storm and Commanding General Marine Corps Logistics Bases which included Maintenance Depots in Albany, GA, Barstow, CA, and Blount Island, FL, while concurrently commanding the Marine Corps Material Command.

Since retirement he has served on corporate boards, has provided consulting services to numerous defense related corporations, was a Senior Fellow at the Institute for Defense and Business at UNC Chapel Hill and served as a Marine Corps Senior Mentor. Additionally,  he joined the NC Military Affairs Commission as Chairman of the Economic Development Committee. As a Commissioner on the US Congress mandated Independent Commission on the Security Forces of Iraq, and the US State Department’s Special Envoy for Middle East Regional Security, he was tasked for an on the ground evaluation of the logistic capabilities of both the Iraqi armed forces and the logistic capabilities and requirements of the West Bank Arab Administration within Israel. Currently he is developing a family owned restaurant business in Denver, NC. 

Robert-Love

Col Bob Love, USMC (Ret)
Vice Chair

Mr. Bob Love has served as a member of the Senior Executive Service (SES) under three Administrations (Bush, Obama, Trump). He most recently served as the Chief of Staff (CoS) and Senior Executive to the 33rd Under Secretary of the Navy and CoS to two Secretary’s of the Navy (2018-2020) and is currently the Vice President, Defense Logistics and Naval Services at the Logistics Management Institute (LMI).  Mr. Love is a Council Member for the Town of Occoquan.

Mr. Love retired as a Colonel in the United States Marine Corps, August 2004. Colonel Love’s career included a variety of command & staff assignments to include command of a Marine Wing Support Squadron and a Combat Logistics Battalion. He led the Marine Corps Capstone Logistics Modernization Effort, a flagship enterprise regarded by military and industry organizations as a model for transformation. After the September 11, 2001 attacks, he served as the Officer in Charge of the Reconstitution Liaison Support Team (RLST) and deployed to Kuwait/Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF). Upon his return, he was assigned as the Senior Logistics Advisor, Marine Corps Combat Development Command. After retiring, Mr. Love served as the Deputy Director for the Assistant Deputy Under Secretary of Defense (Logistics Systems Management), supporting major logistics system modernization efforts.

He and his wife, Helaine, have three adult children, Dr. Andrew Love, Ms. Genna Love (CPA), and Lieutenant Commander William Love, USN.

S-Patrick-Alford

CAPT S. Patrick (Pat) Alford, USN (Ret)
Treasurer

Captain Alford enlisted in the Navy in 1969 as a Seaman Recruit and served continuously on active duty for over 37 years. His career encompassed service aboard multiple ships, Naval Hospitals and Clinics, the Bureau of Naval Personnel, the Bureau of Medicine and Surgery, the Joint Staff and culminated as Commanding Officer, Field Medical Service School East and Executive Director, Marine Corps Health Services Training and Education Center of Excellence. 

Following active duty he continued Federal Service for another 10 years at Naval Hospital, Camp Lejeune where he was involved with the design, coordination, and construction of new hospital wings, two new free-standing outpatient clinics and the development of staffing plans for expanded healthcare services. In addition to board membership of the Carolina Museum of the Marine | Al Gray Civic Institute, he has served as a Commissioner, Onslow County Hospital Authority since 2010 and currently serves as Chairman of the Board, Onslow Memorial Hospital.

Joseph-Atkins-Colonel

COL JOSEPH ATKINS, USAF (Ret)
Secretary

Col Atkins served in the United States Air Force from April 1991 until June 2015 when he retired as Chief, Operations Division, Headquarters Air Force Personnel Center, Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph, TX. His assignments in the USAF included, among others, Deputy Chief of Staff for Commander of Pacific Air Forces, HQ Pacific Air Forces, Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, HI; Deputy Chief, Corporate Branch and later Deputy Chief, Program Integration Division, Directorate of Programs; and Deputy Chief of Staff, Strategic Plans and Programs, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Washington, DC.

Col Atkins has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Criminal Justice from East Carolina University, a Master of Science degree in Human Resource Development from Troy State University, AL and a Masters Degree of Military Operation Art and Science, Air Command and Staff College, Maxwell Air Force Base, AL. Awards and decorations include the Legion of Merit with oak leaf cluster, Defense Meritorious Service Medal with four oak leaf clusters, and Joint Service Commendation Medal with Oak leaf cluster.

After retiring from the Air Force, Col Atkins remains committed to service, serving in the Onslow County School system as a tutor, teaching assistant and instructor.

Gen-Faulkner

LtGen Mark Faulkner, USMC (Ret)
At-Large Executive Committee

Lieutenant General William Mark Faulkner is the President of the Institute for Defense and Business (IDB) and serves as the Executive Director of IDB’s Center of Excellence in Logistics and Technology (LOGTECH). He was most recently the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Marine Corps Association. The Marine Corps Association is the professional association of the Marine Corps and is a Military Service Association 501 (c)(19) with a supporting Public Charity 501 (c)(3).

General Faulkner served at Headquarters Marine Corps in the Pentagon as the Deputy Commandant for Installations and Logistics prior to his retirement in 2015. He previously served as the Vice Director, J-4, Joint Staff. He commanded both 2d and 3d Marine Logistics Groups and served as the Chief of Staff, 2d Marine Logistics Group (Forward) in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom 06-08.

A graduate of East Carolina University, General Faulkner is also a distinguished graduate of the Marine Corps Amphibious Warfare School and Air Command and Staff College, the Industrial College of the Armed Forces, and has earned Master’s Degrees in Business from Chaminade University and in National Resources Strategy from the Industrial College of the Armed Forces.

His Joint assignments include duty with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in the former Yugoslavia where he participated in Operation Provide Promise; United States Central Command where he participated in Operations Southern Watch, Desert Fox, and Noble Response; and on the Joint Staff as a Logistics Operations Officer   in   the   National   Military   Command   Center. A distinguished graduate of the Marine Corps Amphibious Warfare School and Air Command and Staff College, General Faulkner also graduated from the Industrial College of the Armed Forces.

Col Grant Sparks, USMC (Ret)
At-Large Executive Committee

Mark-Cramer

Mr. Mark Cramer, JD
Immediate Past Chair

Founder of our organization’s Bylaws, Vice Chair Mark Cramer, has been serving as Acting Chair of the Board since former Chair Dick Vercauteren’s hospitalization in late April. Cramer has been a member of the Board since 2019 and Vice Chair since 2020. He also serves as Chair of the CEO Search Committee and has been instrumental in the start-up the activities of Al Gray Civic Institute.

Cramer is an attorney and for over 42 years has had a career encompassing legal representation and executive leadership of private, nonprofit and governmental organizations at the local, state and federal levels.

He was a co-founder and later served for seven years as President of the Institute for Defense and Business and the Center of Excellence in Logistics and Technology (LOGTECH) in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, during which time he also was an adjunct faculty member of the Kenan-Flagler Business School at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Cramer is currently a Senior Advisor for FTI Consulting’s Supply Chain Global Solutions Practice. He is a member of the Board of Advisors of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation and a former member of the Administrative Conference of the United States, the N.C. General Statutes Commission and the Electoral College. Admitted to the U.S. Supreme Court Bar, he is also a member of the Bar in North Carolina, the District of Columbia and Florida.

BGen-Kevin-Stewart

BGen Kevin Stewart, USMC (Ret)

Chief Executive Officer

Brigadier General Stewart retired from the United States Marine Corps in 2021 as the Director, Global Operations Center, U.S. Transportation Command. He most recently was Director of the supply chain operations center at Anglicotech, LLC a veteran owned small business. His billets immediately prior to U.S. Transportation Command included Commanding General of 2d Marine Logistics Group at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune and Chief of Staff for the Deputy Commandant for Installations and Logistics, HQ USMC. Stewart served in both Iraq and Afghanistan.   

Stewart’s roots in North Carolina go beyond the Marine Corps. He holds a degree in business administration from North Carolina State University and he attended the Advanced Program at the Center of Excellence in Logistics and Technology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Stewart also holds master’s degrees in Information Technology Management from the Naval Post Graduate School and in Supply Chain Management at Pennsylvania State University.