CAMP HURRICANE POINT, AR RAMADI, Iraq -- Staff Sgt. Keith L. Halsey stood in front of his fellow Marines of 1st Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment as he raised his right hand and took his oath of reenlistment during a ceremony here.
Continuing to serve in the Corps was an easy choice to make for the logistics chief with Headquarters and Service Company. He’s proudly been wearing the Marine Corps’ Eagle, Globe and Anchor for the past 10 years and doesn’t plan to hang up his uniform just yet.
“I have two enlistments left,” said the 30-year-old from Syracuse, N.Y. “I fell in love with the Marine Corps and decided to make a career out of it early on.”
Halsey was 21-years-old and carrying mail for the United States Postal Service in his hometown when he decided to serve his country a different way. After visiting his local Marine recruiter in 1995, he attended Marine Corps Recruit Training at Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island, S.C. and became one of the Few and Proud.
“I wanted to be a part of something great,” he said. “I knew the Marines would give me an edge.”
This reenlistment had special meaning to the former infantryman.
“I get to stay with my infantry comrades longer,” he said. “Being in Ramadi with the battalion is the highlight of my career. As Marines, this is where serving our country really happens. We are doing what we’ve been trained to do.”
According to Sgt. Larry O. Aspen Jr., the infantry battalion’s police sergeant, Halsey is the type of staff noncommissioned officer Marines of lesser grades should strive to become.
“He’s an outstanding staff NCO,” explained the 26-year-old from Osseo, Wis. “He’s very knowledgeable and generally concerned about his Marines and accomplishing the mission. His reenlistment, in my opinion, is one of the best things that could’ve happened to the Marines. The Corps is better for him staying in.”
Other Marines with 1st Battalion, 5th Marines share Aspen’s opinion on Halsey.
“He’s in a real high profile job here, and I can trust him to work independently and accomplish any mission,” said Capt. Daniel H. Coleman, H&S Company’s logistics officer, who’s known Halsey since 2003 when the two served together at the start of Operation Iraqi Freedom. “I’m glad to have him stick around.”
Halsey ensures the Marines living here have the best quality of life possible while on their deployment in support of OIF. He’s responsible for keeping the camp supplied with food, water, electricity and other various mainstays.
Halsey is also a devoted father to his two sons, Trevor and Addison.
“I love spending time with them,” Halsey said referring to his boys who’re eight and five. “Doing the fatherly things like taking them camping and to ballgames is very important.”
Halsey plans to continue serving his country after completing his 20-year-career in the Corps.
“I love the United States and everything it stands for,” he said. “I still want to serve and plan to do so from the federal side when I retire. I’d like to work for U.S. customs or be an air marshal.”