Featured Marine – John C McKay

Name: John C. McKay
Dates in Vietnam: Summer 1967, Dec 1968 – Apr 1969
MOS: 0301 – Basic Infantryman Officer

Rank:  Colonel

Col. John C. McKay USMC (Ret.) is an adjunct professor, California State University, Sacramento, and Olmsted Scholar (Spain). He served two combat tours in Vietnam and was twice wounded. He saw duty during the summer of 1967 aboard a PCF, or “Swift Boat,” operating out of Vũng Táo, Vietnam.  John arrived in Hotel 2/5 in December 1968 as a Second Lieutenant and served there as a Basic Infantryman Platoon Officer until April 1969. He was placed into heavy combat and led his men each day in the I Corps war theatre fighting against the Viet Cong and the NVA. He served under Captain Ron Drez, Company Commander (CO) during this time.

John is our most decorated Hotel 2/5 Vietnam Veteran and also our highest ranking USMC officer attending our reunions. He is most respected and we are honored when John and his lovely wife Margo attend our reunions each year. John is what we call a “lifer” in the military. Although John is officially retired, he has served more years in the service of our country than he has been a civilian and continues to provide consulting to our U.S. National Security and Internal Affairs organizations.

He is a well-known diplomatic consultant and writer.  Colonel McKay offers a range of personally attended consulting and advisory services. With special and focused emphasis in areas of national security, international affairs, regional foreign policy, business opportunities, and leadership consulting services he is available to the Western Hemisphere and Spanish-speaking regions worldwide. He is bilingual.

John’s military decorations include:
 Defense Superior Service Medal (3 awards)
 Legion of Merit
 Bronze Star Medal with Combat “V”
 Purple Heart Medal (2 awards)
 Meritorious Service Medal
 Joint Service Commendation Medal
 Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal with Combat “V”
 Combat Action Ribbon
 Joint Meritorious Unit Award
 Navy Unit Commendation (2 awards)
 Meritorious Unit Commendation
 National Defense Service Medal (2 awards)
 Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal (2 awards)
 Vietnam Service Medal with 3 Stars
 Armed Forces Service Medal
 Humanitarian Service Medal
 Sea Service Deployment Ribbon (2 awards)
 Navy and Marine Corps Overseas Service Ribbon
 Republic of Vietnam Meritorious Unit Citation (Gallantry Cross Color with Palm)
 Republic of Vietnam Meritorious Unit Citation (Civil Actions First Class Color with Palm)
 Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal
 Inter-American Defense Board Medal with Silver Star
 El Salvador Military Medal of Gold
 Coast Guard Meritorious Unit

You can read more about him at his website at: http://coljohnmckay.com/ He provides effective, succinct written commentary on civil-military relations, social issues concerning U. S. military forces, leadership, history, travel, and other contemporary topical issues. Col McKay’s experience in higher education, as lecturer and institutional board member, reflects a lifelong interest in and participation in the preparation of the youths of the nation. You can contact him at his email: john@coljohnmckay.com .

Leave a comment