Carolina Museum of the Marine | Al Gray Civic Institute Updates

UPDATE – 31 August 2022 – BGen Kevin Stewart, USMC (Ret) has signed on as our Chief Executive Officer. He joins the team officially on 6 September 2022. Welcome, General Stewart!

UPDATE – 21 July 2022 – CJMW Architects, creators of our award-winning architectural and engineering plans, is bringing those plans up-to-date.

UPDATE – 22 June 2022 – Leatherneck Magazine features Carolina Museum of the Marine | Al Gray Civic Institute in its July issue!

March 2022 rolls in like a Marine!

The signed contract with the State of North Carolina means that we are building Carolina Museum of the Marine | Al Gray Civic Institute in Onslow County, NC.

Welcome to Phase II: Building and launching

As we move into the construction phase, we continue developing the curriculum of the Institute, designed to inspire principled, committed citizens. With these courses comes a better understanding and appreciation of why our nation’s military are willing to risk their lives to protect our way of life.

Courses under development include:

  • The Founding Principles of the United States
  • Understanding the American Constitution
  • Critical Thinking for Civic Engagement
  • Leading Self, Leading Others
  • History of Political and Economic Thought
  • Ethics at Home, School, and Work
  • The Houle School – summer fitness, civics and leadership programs for middle and high school students

Marines and Sailors as Citizens

The Museum will feature the many firsts and innovations of Carolina Marines and Sailors whose service to the nation exemplifies civic commitment in action.

Expeditionary Warfare and Amphibious Operations, Carolina MAGTF (Marine Air Ground Task Force), Development of Maneuver Warfare Philosophy, Montford Point Marines, Women Marines, MV-22 Osprey, Military Working Dogs, Wounded Warrior Barracks…

Since WWII, Carolina Marines and Sailors have demonstrated the utmost commitment to protecting and defending our nation, our Constitution, our people, and our way of life.

next steps

  • Construction of Carolina Museum of the Marine | Al Gray Civic Institute
  • Design, construction and installation of immersive exhibits, theater, classrooms, simulators
  • Continued development of Institute courses, seminars, conferences, and symposia
  • Launch of Al Gray Civic Institute online via videos, podcasts, and livestream courses
  • Opening of a unique and immersive opportunity for visitors to experience the history, honor, courage and commitment of our founding fathers, our Carolina Marines and Sailors, and the communities who stand with them
  • Creation of jobs in Onslow County
  • Addition of an exciting new multipurpose venue for public and private events
  • Attraction of visitors to eastern North Carolina
  • Inspiration of principled, committed citizens

stand with us

Invest in this important and historic mission –

the launching of

Carolina Museum of the Marine | Al Gray Civic Institute.

Contributions may be made online or mailed to

907 Lejeune Blvd, Jacksonville, NC 28540.

Attention: Ashley Danielson. 

Summary of phase i:

Creation of Reflection and Celebration Park

and the Birth of

Al Gray Civic Institute

Thanks to our Phase I donors, Reflection and Celebration Park is completed and is an integral component of Lejeune Memorial Gardens.

Byrd Family Foundation Patriots Walkway and our famous Eagle, Globe and Anchor statue, lead to the planned site of the 40,000 square foot Museum | Institute. Tribute bricks and benches line the walkway. Reflection and Celebration Park, opened in May 2016, continues to be a preferred location for military promotion and retirement ceremonies, weddings, and social gatherings as well as a place for reflection and appreciation for our military.

The site for Phase II is cleared. The in-ground infrastructure is in place. The architectural and engineering plans are complete.

Other generous donors have joined in bringing Al Gray Civic Institute to reality. The Institute has debuted “Critical Thinking for Civic Engagement” at Swansboro High School and Marine Corps Base Camp Johnson.

Total cost of Phase I: $8.5M

Thank you to our generous Phase I Donors!

Phase I: Reflection and Celebration Park: Byrd Family Foundation, City of Jacksonville, State of North Carolina, County of Onslow, Byrd Family Foundation, Coastal Enterprises, Cannon Foundation, Elijah Morton Trucking, Jacksonville Fire Station I, Military Order of the Purple Heart Beirut Chapter 642, Modern Woodmen Fraternal Financial, Private Donors, Board of Directors and Staff Members.

Phase II: Launching of the Construction Phase and Debut of Al Gray Civic Institute: Byrd Family Foundation, Sack Family Foundation, Anonymous Trust, Wells Fargo

Invite your friends and family to join us as we preserve the legacy of the Carolina MAGTF and the principles of our founding fathers.

Naming opportunities available.

Watch this site for updates or sign up for our monthly newsletter by contacting us at

Thank you for investing in the the legacy!  

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