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District Blog


Posted on: May 20, 2020


Master Gunnery Sergeant Heath is a native of Cleves, Ohio, and a graduate of Taylor High School. He is also the son of the late Martha Heath, a former teacher of Three Rivers.

Master Gunnery Sergeant Heath joined the Marine Corps on 9 July 1991 and attended Recruit Training at Parris Island, South Carolina.  Following Recruit Training Master Gunnery Sergeant Heath attended The School of Infantry, Camp Lejeune, and was assigned the MOS of 0311 (Infantry).  He was then assigned to 2d Battalion, 2d Marine Regiment as his first unit, where he held billets from rifleman to squad leader.  While serving with V2/2, Master Gunnery Sergeant Heath was involved in Operation Provide Freedom in the former Republic of Yugoslavia.  Following his assignment with 2/2, he was assigned temporarily to Special Purpose Marine Air Ground Task Force (MAGTF), United American States (UNITAS) – 34, for duty in South America for 9 months.  Upon return, Master Gunnery Sergeant Heath was re-assigned to V2/2, where he deployed to Okinawa, Japan.  Once he returned from Okinawa, he again deployed with V2/2, this time to Operations Support/Uphold Democracy in the Republic of Haiti. 

Following his tour with V2/2, Master Gunnery Sergeant Heath was transferred to Fleet Anti-Terrorism Security Team (FAST) Company, Norfolk, Virginia, for duty as a squad leader and Close Quarter Battle Instructor from 1995 through 1997.  During his tour with FAST Company, he attended the school for Close Quarters Battle Team Member and received the billet MOS of 8154.  While at FAST Company, MGySgt Heath deployed to The Republic of Haiti in support of Operation Fair Winds, and to Bahrain in support of the security mission as a response to the terrorist attack on the Khobar Towers in Saudi Arabia.

Master Gunnery Sergeant Heath then ended his active service at FAST Company in 1997 and joined Company “A,” 8th Tank Battalion, Fort Knox, KY as a Select Marine Corps Reservist; where he attended the Basic Armor Crewman Course and was assigned the MOS of 1812, Armor Crewman.  During this period he served as a Platoon Sergeant.  While serving as a reserve Marine he was selected to serve within the Active Reserve Program as the Inspector-Instructor (I-I), Assistant Training Chief in 1999.  He served in this billet from 1999-2001, and in 2001 he applied, and was accepted, for augmentation back to the active component of the Marine Corps. 

After his acceptance back to active duty, he was transferred to Company “D,” 1st Tank Battalion to serve as a Platoon Sergeant/Company Master Gunner.  While assigned to 1st Tank Battalion, Master Gunnery Sergeant Heath deployed in support of Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom in 2002/03.  Upon his return from OIF, he was assigned as a Tank Platoon Sergeant with the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU).  While deployed in 2004/5 with the 15th MEU, MGySgt Heath supported Operation United Assistance in response to the tsunami in South East Asia and also Operation Iraqi Freedom III.  Upon return from the 15th MEU, Master Gunnery Sergeant Heath was assigned to Headquarters and Service Company, 1st Tank Battalion, to serve as the Company Gunnery Sergeant.

In October of 2005, Master Gunnery Sergeant Heath was transferred to I-I Staff, Company "B," 4th Tank Battalion, 4th Marine Division to serve as the units Training Chief and 1st Platoon Commander.  During this period he prepared the company for deployment on two separate occasions.  Once in support of a large scale training exercise in Australia, and the second time in support of 2d Tank Battalion and OIF.

Following his tour at Yakima, Master Gunnery Sergeant Heath was transferred to 2d Tank Bn in 2008, where he served as the Assistant Battalion Operations Chief, Battalion Master Gunner, Tank Leader for Company “B” and the Battalion Logistics Chief.

Upon completion of duty at 2d Tank Battalion, Master Gunnery Sergeant Heath was transferred to the Marine Corps Detachment, Fort Benning, GA in 2011, for duty as the Platoon Commander, Marine Armor Crewman Course.  During this period, the Marine Corps Detachment was conducting the move from Fort Knox, KY to Fort Benning, GA in support of the Defense Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) Commission.  In 2014, he ended his tour as the Operations Chief for the Marine Corps Detachment, Fort Benning.

In May of 2014, Master Gunnery Sergeant Heath transferred from Fort Benning to 1st Tank Battalion to serve as the Operations Chief. From 2014-2017 he was responsible for the overall training of the armor crewmen, the training of all required Marine Corps requirements, daily operations and certifications for deployment for units of the battalion.

Currently, Master Gunnery Sergeant Heath is the Senior Enlisted Advisor for the Marine Corps Detachment at Fort Benning, GA, where he is responsible for overall supervision of the staff, which is tasked with training multiple facets of military training to include armor crewmen, armor repair technicians, and providing instructors to advanced skills for armor and infantry occupational specialties.

On 17 July a retirement ceremony will be held, which will end his career of 29 years of serving as a Marine.

More notably, Master Gunnery Sergeant Heath is married to the former Anna Lisa Thomas of Torrance, CA.  They have three sons, Nathaniel Ray, Benjamin Brandt, and Evan Oliver.

Mr. Heath has requested the Three Rivers Local School District to fly his over Taylor High School to show honor to the school and community that gave him so much. This will occur on May 31, 2020, during the Class of 2020 Diploma distribution. Please visit the Three Rivers Facebook page on June 1st for pictures.




Private First Class

Lance Corporal



Staff Sergeant

Gunnery Sergeant

Master Sergeant

Master Gunnery Sergeant



Master Gunnery Sergeant Heath’s Military schools include: 

-Recruit Training

-Marine Combat Training

-School of Infantry (Rifleman): MOS 0311

-Infantry Squad Leaders Course

-Close Quarters Battle Team Member Course: MOS 8154

-Sergeant’s Course

-Helicopter Rappel Suspension Trainers Course

-Basic Tank Crewman Course: MOS 1812

-M1A1 Master Gunner

-Staff Non-Commissioned Officers Academy, Career Course

-Senior Instructor/Operator’s Course for the Unit Conduct of

     Fire Trainer

-Armor Advanced Non-Commissioned Officers Course

-Senior Instructor/Operator’s Course for the Advanced

     Gunnery Trainer System

-Staff Non-Commissioned Officers Academy, Advanced Course

-2d Echelon Maintenance for 120mm Aim Test Inbore device

-1stSgt/MSgt Seminar

-Infantry Operations Chiefs Course

-Equal Opportunity Senior Leaders Course

-Joint Senior Enlisted PME

-Tactical MAGTF Integration Course (Operations and Tactics

     Instr.): MOS 0577

-USMC Senior Enlisted PME

-Basic Airborne Course: MOS 8023

-N/MC Parachute Insignia

-Formal Schools Managers Course

-Senior Enlisted Legal Course

-Formal Schools Seminar Instructor’s Course


Master Gunnery Sergeant Heath’s off duty education includes:


Bachelor of Arts, Transportation and Logistics Management - Summa Cum Laude



-Navy and Marine Corps Meritorious Service Medal w/ (3) gold stars in lieu of fourth award.

-Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal w/ (2) gold stars in lieu of third award and combat distinguishing device.

-Army Commendation Medal

-Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal

-Combat Action Ribbon

-Presidential Unit Citation

-Navy Unit Commendation

-Navy Meritorious Unit Commendation

-Good Conduct Medal w/ (1) silver star and (2) bronze star in lieu of the eighth award.

-National Defense Service Medal w/ (1) bronze star in lieu of second award

-Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal

-Iraqi Campaign Medal w/ (1) bronze star

-Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal

-Global War on Terrorism Service Medal

-Armed Forces Service Medal

-Humanitarian Service Medal w/ (1) bronze star in lieu of second

-Sea Service Deployment Ribbon w/ (1) silver star and (1) bronze star in lieu of seventh award

-Navy and Marine Corps Parachutist Insignia

-Order of Saint George Bronze Medallion