AL ASAD, Iraq -- Almost 21 years ago a college student, Steven L. Teague, enlisted into the Marines Corps after being paired with a former Marine as a roommate while attending Tennessee Temple University in Chattanooga, Tenn.
Now a 21 year veteran of the Marine Corps, Gunnery Sgt. Teague is the
administration chief with Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 142. A reserve Marine his
entire career, Teague is serving his second tour in Iraq in as many years. During his first
tour his detachment pushed Marines into Iraq from Kuwait from February to May last
“We moved Marines into Iraq by ground and air,” Teague said. “I inspected
convoys and made sure all the Marines got into country when they needed to be,” the
Covington, Ga., native said. “It was our job to make sure every Marine had what they
needed. We made sure all of the vehicles were properly ‘up armored’ and every Marine
had ammunition, food and water.”
After his return to the states Teague was given the opportunity to deploy with the
Gators of VMFA-142, continuing his support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Teague, who
had already been on active duty for two years, consulted with his family and decided to
deploy with the unit.
“I couldn’t let these guys deploy without me,” Teague said. “My family supported
me because they understood it was something I had to do.”
Teague, a self-employed general residential contractor, has sacrificed a lot
supporting the Global War on Terrorism. While deployed his family takes care of his
business so he can concentrate on his mission with the Gators.
“I am lose of money when I deploy,” Teague said. “But I don’t deploy for the
money. It is the family separation that is the hard part. That is all I worry about back
Teague has been married for 14 years and has two children. His family has been
his rock as he deploys around the world to help in the fight, promoting freedom.
“My family is 100 percent Marine,” Teague said. “They are very supportive of
my decision to remain in the Marine Corps as long as I have. They are just as dedicated
to the Marine Corps as I am.”
Teague and his family have moved before in support of his Marine Corps career
and will be move again when this first sergeant select returns stateside in August and
reports to Delta Co., 4th Combat Engineering Battalion in Knoxville, Tenn.
“Being promoted to first sergeant is an honor,” Teague said. “I will be able to take
care of the junior Marines. I want the younger Marines to remember our heritage. It isn’t
about the perks like the educational opportunities. It is about the history, camaraderie and
esprit de corps that comes with the uniform.”
Teague now does his best to take care of the Gators while they are deployed.
“I try to have a personal touch with all of our Marines,” Teague said. “I’ll go out
on the flightline and find the Marine who needs administrative assistance. If Marines are
worried about their service record book or their pay and entitlements they can’t fully
concentrate on their mission. My job is to put everyone’s mind at ease about their
administration problems. I take care of them so they can better contribute to the fight.”
Teague understands what his Marines go through daily. His time as an OV-10
Bronco mechanic with Marine Observation Squadron 4, provides a greater appreciation
for aviation ground support.
“That experience helped me realize what Marines in a flight squadron go
through,” Teague said. “They have a hectic job and can’t just come to admin whenever
they need to. That is why I make it a point to go see the Marines when they have a pay
issue or something.”
The Marines of VMFA-142 don’t take their administration chief for granted.
Knowing his unorthodox style of showing personal attention to each and every Marine in
the squadron helps them accomplish their mission.
“[Gunnery Sgt. Teague] is on top of his game,” said Lance Cpl. Ryan Whittaker a
maintenance administration clerk with the Gators. “If any of us ever need anything he’ll
jump in there and take care of our problems. It is one less thing to worry about that helps
us keep a clear mind while we work.”
With flight operations going 24 hours a day, Marines can’t always visit the
administration section whenever an issue surfaces. With Teague and his Marines keeping
constant tabs on all of the Gators they are able to fix problems at first sight. Keeping their
minds at ease allows the Gators to continue to push forward and put bombs on target.
*For more information about this story please contact Cpl. Herron at