Inside the legacy of the oldest living sergeant major of the Marine Corps
By Gidget Fuentes, Special to Military Times
November 15, 2015
As Marines gather to celebrate the Corps' 240th birthday, chants of "oorah!" are likely to be heard around the world.
That iconic battle cry is just one mark of the long-lasting legacy left by the oldest living sergeant major of the Marine Corps.
When retired Sgt. Maj. John Massaro left his hometown of Cleveland to enlist in the Marines in 1948, he didn't think it would turn into a career.
About 29 years later — after combat tours in Korea and Vietnam and high-profile assignments in Washington — the career infantryman was named the eighth sergeant major of the Marine Corps before retiring in 1979.
As another Marine Corps birthday week comes to a close, Massaro, now 85, spent it the same way many Marines do: reminiscing and reconnecting with old friends and battle buddies.
“I was blessed,” he said, speaking by phone from Utah. “I try to sit back and look. The hand of Providence guided me where I went.”
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