Kent S. RalstonLtCol USMC (Ret)Kent Ralston was born on July 4, 1962 in Clearwater, Florida. He joined the Marine Corps in April 1981. After graduating from Boot Camp at Parris Island, South Carolina he was assigned to the LVT Platoon, Headquarters and Service Company, 4th Assault Amphibian Battalion, 4th Marine Division in Tampa, Florida. He was accepted into the Platoon Leaders Class in March 1986 after attaining the rank of Sergeant in the Marine Corps Reserve.He attended the University of South Florida, from which he received a Bachelors Degree in History in 1987. He was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in the Marine Corps in July 1987. Upon completion of The Basic School he attended the Amphibian Officer Course and was subsequently assigned as a platoon commander with the 2nd Assault Amphibian Battalion, 2d Marine Division.From December 1988 to December 1989 he was assigned to Battalion Landing Team 2/8, 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit as the AAV Platoon Commander.During July 1990 he reported to the Marine Detachment USS Wisconsin (BB-64) as the Executive Officer. In August 1990 the Wisconsin deployed to the Persian Gulf and took part in combat actions against Iraq during Operation Desert Storm. In July 1991, after the decommissioning of the Marine Detachment, he was reassigned to the Marine Corps Security Force Training Company, Marine Corps Security Force Battalion (LANT) as the OIC for the Physical Security /Tactics Section.He was promoted to Captain in November 1991. From June 1993 to December 1993 he attended the Armor Officer Advance Course, Fort Knox, Kentucky.In December 1993, he received orders to report to the 1st Marine Division where he served as the Company Commander of Company A, 3rd Assault Amphibian Battalion, 1st Marine Division. During May 1995 Company A deployed to Okinawa as part of the Unit Deployment Program (UDP) and was assigned to Combat Assault Battalion (CAB), 3rd Marine Division.Upon the Company’s return to the United States, in November 1995, he was reassigned to the Assault Amphibian School Battalion, Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, California as the Battalion Executive Officer. In July 1997 he was promoted to the rank of Major.From July 1998 to July 2002 he was assigned as the Inspector-Instructor, Company B (-), 4th Assault Amphibian Battalion, 4th Marine Division, Jacksonville, Florida. From July 2002-July 2004 he was assigned as the Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle Operational (EFV) Test Director, Marine Corps Operational Test and Evaluation Activity (MCOTEA). He was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel on January 1, 2003. During July of 2004 he was transferred to Marine Corps Logistics Command as the Current Operations Officer.His last Marine Corps assignment was as the Inspector-Instructor, 4th Assault Amphibian Battalion, 4th Marine Division, and began in Jul 2005. During this time he was also Commander Task Force AAVs, MARFOR Gulf Coast, JTF KATRINA during rescue and recovery operations in the wake of Hurricane KATRINA.He retired in 2009. He has been married to his wife Nancy for over 30 years and has three children- Jennifer, Ashley and Jeb. He resides in Ponte Vedra Beach Florida.
Battleship Marine-A Combat History of the USS Wisconsin in Desert Stormby Kent S Ralston
Battleship Marine recounts the decisive role the USS Wisconsin, a World War Two era battleship, played during Desert Shield and Desert Storm. There is very little historical information available on the Naval actions in the Persian Gulf during Desert Shield and Desert Storm. This first hand account by the Executive Officer of the Marine Detachment on the Wisconsin
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Battleship Marine recounts the decisive role the USS Wisconsin, a World War Two era battleship, played during Desert Shield and Desert Storm. There is very little historical information available on the Naval actions in the Persian Gulf during Desert Shield and Desert Storm. This first hand account by the Executive Officer of the Marine Detachment on the Wisconsin helps to fill a part of the historical record. It provides an eye witness account of the ships deployment from Norfolk, Virginia. Her entrance into the Persian Gulf as the first Navy capital ship on station to defend against a possible Iraqi advance into Saudi Arabia. The long arduous days training and preparing for war and finally the coalition assault on the Iraqi forces. The Wisconsin played a pivotal naval role by directing Tomahawk strikes against key targets and later by conducting shore bombardment with her 16 inch guns against Iraqi targets in Saudi Arabia and Kuwait. The presence of the Wisconsin along with Marine Expeditionary Brigades in the Gulf lead Hussein to heavily fortify the Kuwaiti Coast and orient many of his forces toward the Gulf. This diversion allowed the Coalition Forces on land to conduct a deep flanking movement against the Iraqi right flank that forced the Iraqis into a panicked retreat which led to a decisive victory of the US and her allies.
- Kent S Ralston
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Couldn't put it down! Great insight as to the way it was during Desert Storm etc. An awesome gift for all Veterans. Must see photos too!!
I am an avid reader of topics pertaining to war and politics. I found this book on Desert Storm to be interesting, informative, funny, and entertaining. This is the only book I have found to delve into the Gulf War from a naval perspective as told by a Marine who actually served on board the Wisconsin. I find it intriguing that a battleship from WWII closed out its service in a modern war still doing what it does best - dropping steel on America's enemies with its long guns.