DAVID J. BREEN HONORED WITH 2016 RODNEY WILLIAMS, JR. MEMORIAL AWARD
Lexington, Kentucky; April 9, 2016: Presented annually at the Officer Selection Officer (OSO) Colonel William “Rich” Higgins Memorial Mess Night/Dining-In to an individual selected by the Marine Corps Coordinating Council of Kentucky (MCCCK) Board of Directors, who has demonstrated exemplary community leadership and commitment, with a long history of dedicated service to Marine Corps related activities within the Commonwealth of Kentucky. Presenting the personalized engraved Marine Corps plaque on behalf of the MCCCK was Maj Allen D. Broussard, USMC (Ret) to Maj David J. Breen, USMC (Ret) of Louisville, Kentucky.
While a student at Eastern Kentucky University (EKU) from 1975 -1979, David J. Breen aspired to be a Marine Corps officer through the Platoon Leaders Class, at Quantico, Virginia. As an officer candidate, he founded the Semper Fidelis Society at EKU and organized a relay “Flag Run” with fellow candidates from Richmond, Kentucky to Frankfort, Kentucky, culminating in a ceremony at the grave of the legendary Lieutenant Presley N. O’Bannon, USMC. During his student years at EKU, he attended and actively participated in four (4) officer candidate Mess Nights, where his conversations with Marine Corps veterans were instrumental in solidifying his commitment to pursue a Reserve Officer commission. During his senior year, he was honored as the “Outstanding Senior Officer Candidate,” which today is recognized through the presentation of the “Terrence C. Graves Memorial Award.”
Following his commission upon graduation from EKU, he reported to The Basic School (June 1979 – November 1979) at Quantico, Virginia, through which he earned a Regular Officer commission and received specialized training at the Infantry Officers Course. He subsequently served with the 2nd Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division (Camp Lejeune, North Carolina), deploying as an infantry and weapons platoon commander aboard ship in the Mediterranean Sea, Indian Ocean, and Persian Gulf.
In 1982, he was assigned to Marine Corps Recruiting Station Louisville as the Officer Selection (OSO) Louisville, responsible for the recruitment of officer candidates from colleges and universities in Louisville, Western Kentucky and Southern Indiana. Shortly thereafter (1983), he reactivated the then dormant Terrence C. Graves Memorial Mess Night, with the assistance of Rodney Williams, Jr., an official of the University of Louisville and a close friend of then Lt. Col. William R. Higgins, USMC, under whose watch the mess night had been instituted. While serving as OSO (April 1982 – July 1985), he encouraged the formation of Semper Fidelis Societies at all colleges and universities within his area of responsibility. He also resurrected and expanded officer candidate “Flag Run” relays,” one of which commemorated the 40th Anniversary of the Battle of Iwo Jima and culminated at the grave of PFC Franklin R. Sousley (Iwo Jima Flag Raiser) in Elizaville, Kentucky, where a ceremony was conducted in the presence of Joseph Rosenthal, Associate Press, whose photograph of the Iwo Jima flag raising on Mt. Suribachi is an American icon.
Following various assignments within the 1st Marine Division, he returned to Recruiting Station Louisville, serving successively as Executive Officer (July 1989 – June 1990) and Commanding Officer (June 1990 – July 1993). During 1991, he was instrumental in the establishment of what is now known as the Marine Corps Coordinating Council of Kentucky, an organization for which he later served as president for five (5) terms, following his retirement as a major in September 1994, and under whose leadership a commitment was made to support the injured Marine Semper Fi Fund, to which Kentucky Marines have contributed over $770,000 since 2008.