An official website of the United States government
Here's how you know
A .mil website belongs to an official U.S. Department of Defense organization in the United States.
A lock (lock ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .mil website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Home : News : Article Display
NEWS | June 9, 2023

Joining the Army in ’76 right before ‘Be All You Can Be’ – AFSBn-Germany deputy retires as legendary slogan returns

By Cameron Porter 405th Army Field Support Brigade

Soon after he joined in 1976 the Army’s official slogan became ‘Be All You Can Be.’ Over the years that slogan shifted to others like ‘Army of One’ and ‘Army Strong.’ But this year the Army brought it back just in time for Gary Marquez’ retirement.

The deputy to the commanding officer at Army Field Support Battalion-Germany, 405th Army Field Support Brigade, came into the Army at 19 years of age. Born and raised in Portland, Oregon, Marquez served for 12 years as an enlisted Soldier and Noncommissioned Officer, first as a field artillery fire direction control specialist and then as a supply NCO.

In 1988, as a sergeant first class, Marquez was appointed to warrant officer. He would continue his service as a warrant officer and supply systems technician for 18 more years before retiring with 30 years active-duty service. His rank at retirement was chief warrant officer 4, promotable.

Now, as the DCO at AFSBn-Germany with 46 years of service, it’s safe to say he’s seen and done it all. He served a total of 11 years as a U.S. Army Sustainment Command DCO, first in South Korea with Army Field Support Battalion-Northeast Asia, and then in Italy with Army Field Support Battalion-Africa.

Being an Adjunct Professor with the University of Maryland, as well – and Livorno, Italy, offering him no opportunities to teach – Marquez jumped at the chance to move to Vilseck and serve as the DCO for AFSBn-Germany, his current and final assignment – and one where he could also pursue his passion for education.

Forty-six years is quite a run, and a lot has happened in the Army during that time, he said.

“When I joined the Army in ‘76 we were coming out of the Vietnam era. Many Soldiers had been drafted, morale was low, there was a lot of drug use, and a lot of people were leaving the service,” said Marquez, who holds a master’s in business administration from the University of Maryland and a master’s in public administration from the University of Oklahoma. “During that time, they called it the hollow Army, and it wasn’t until the ‘80s when the Army started building back up again.”

“Look at what we did during Operation Desert Storm in 1991,” said Marquez, who also holds a bachelor’s degree and several certifications. “One of my favorite books is ‘Moving Mountains: Lessons in Leadership and Logistics from the Gulf War’ by retired Lieutenant General William Pagonis. Moving mountains is absolutely what we did. When you think about what we had to do to move that amount of people and equipment to the desert and get prepared for battle, it was monumental. We were very well led and well organized.”

“And then after Desert Storm, we became a zero tolerance Army where commanders had zero tolerance for any mistakes or defects,” Marquez said. “It was almost like a purge. That’s when you had Soldiers getting bonuses to get out of the Army, and young captains, for example, getting out by the hundreds.”

And then there was the rebuilding of the Army again in the 2000s, said Marquez.

“We went to a more modular force and did away with the old divisional concept. We scrapped eight of the 18 active divisions, and we went to a very light, very mobile, brigade-sized modular Army, which is where we’re at today,” Marquez said.

Married for 18 years to his wife, Bernadette, Marquez also has a 36-year-old daughter from a previous marriage, and he and Bernadette adopted a baby girl from the Philippines during COVID-19. 

“She’ll be 4 years old in August, and hopefully we’ll reunite with her later this year,” said Marquez, who plans on traveling around Europe with Bernadette for a couple of months starting in early July and then settling in Houston, Texas, where they’ll live with their adopted daughter.

Marquez, who also served in Kuwait for three years as a contractor with the 401st AFSB supporting the Army Prepositioned Stocks-5 mission there, said the 405th AFSB, AFSBn-Germany and APS-2 has really transformed over the last couple of years. And the transformation isn’t done yet.

“Battalion Germany will soon go from being a pure readiness battalion, where it was a couple of years ago, to having command and control over the largest fleet of Army Prepositioned Stocks in U.S. Army Sustainment Command,” Marquez said. “We’ll have an armored brigade in Mannheim and a fires brigade in Dülmen, plus all the add-ons. And we’ll also be the most geographically dispersed battalion.”

As the transformation has slowly unfolded, Marquez has been providing expert advice and counsel to his battalion commander and his staff as well as the 405th AFSB’s command team and headquarters staff, and simultaneously “I had to make sure we recruited the right people, too,” he said.

When asked why he’s served for 46 years in the Army, Marquez simply states “it’s an affair of the heart.”

“The Army has its own distinct culture and its own traditions, and we’re one of the most trusted organizations in the nation,” said Marquez. “We don’t always do everything right, but we’re always trying to do the right thing.”

As Marquez leaves the Army after more than four and a half decades of dedicated and faithful service, he’s confident the Army’s future is in the right hands.

“Our people are our greatest asset. When you combine the fighting spirit of our people with today’s technology, we are the greatest and most superior fighting force in the world,” he said.

Germany battalion will host a special retirement celebration event for Marquez scheduled for June 29 at 6 p.m. in Grafenwoehr, Germany. If interested in attending, please call DSN 314-599-6504 or civilian 09641-70-599-6504.

Germany battalion is one of four battalions assigned to the 405th AFSB. Headquartered at Rose Barracks in Vilseck, AFSBn-Germany is responsible for providing and coordinating tactical and operational sustainment to ensure theater readiness and enable commanders to conduct a full range of military operations in direct support of U.S. Army Europe and Africa.

Germany battalion provides logistics assistance to commanders confronted with challenges beyond their resources or capabilities through the employment of its team of logistics assistance representatives from U.S. Army Materiel Command’s Life Cycle Management Commands. The battalion also maintains mission command of APS-2 operations at the Dülmen worksite in Germany and will assume mission command of the APS-2 worksite in Mannheim, Germany, later this year as part of the 405th AFSB’s regional alignment initiative and transformation.

The 405th AFSB is assigned to ASC and under the operational control of the 21st Theater Sustainment Command, U.S. Army Europe and Africa. The brigade is headquartered in Kaiserslautern, Germany, and provides materiel enterprise support to U.S. Forces throughout Europe and Africa – providing theater sustainment logistics; synchronizing acquisition, logistics and technology; and leveraging AMC’s materiel enterprise to support joint forces. For more information on the 405th AFSB, visit the official website at and the official Facebook site at