I’m from New Jersey, nine
kids in our family. In high
school, I wasn’t really sure what I
wanted to be, but decided I wanted
to be an FBI agent. One of the ways
of getting into the FBI back then was
being an accountant and the other
was a lawyer. I did not at the time
want to be either of those. I met an
FBI agent who was a former Marine
who said there was another way
because of the close relations … they
take some former Marines.
That is kind of how I started looking into becoming a Marine officer.
I went to Indiana University and
entered the Marine Corps through
the PLC [Platoon Leadership
Course] program, with the intent of
doing my three-plus years and then
going into the FBI. Did officer candidate training during the summer.
I went to the Basic School, graduated in the class of ’83. In the Basic
School, during MOS [military occupational specialty] selection, I didn’t
think I fared too well. I got motor
transport. So I was quite disappointed that I got that MOS.
My first duty assignment was
Okinawa, which to my mind was
another disappointment. In Basic
School, we were told the worst thing
you could go to was artillery. My
first assignment was 2nd Battalion,
12th Marines as motor transport. So
I thought I won the trifecta, I got
three things I didn’t want.
But Okinawa turned out to be
the best thing for me. We did a lot
of deployments. I got to go to the
Philippines, Japan, Korea.
From there, I went to [Marine
Corps Air Station] Beaufort, S.C.
As a typical Marine, we do whatever job they give us, not necessarily
in your MOS. I was an engineer
officer with the wing support
group. Then I was moved back to
motor transport after a year. All of
those things, I think, shaped me.
I think that was the point where
I decided to stay. I got married,
started to build a family.
I moved to Camp Lejeune, N.C.,
where I was with the 2nd Surveillance, Reconnaissance, Intelligence
Group (SRIG). It was established
by Gen [Al] Gray, where he brought
under one umbrella Force Reconnaissance, ANGLICO [Air Naval
Gunfire Liaison Companies], radio
battalion, communications battalion, all those kind of assets that
support the MEF [Marine Expeditionary Force].
Then Desert Storm happened. I
was a company commander, H&S
[headquarters and service] company, and I deployed to Desert Storm.
When I came back to Camp
Lejeune, I put in for what was called
a career-broadening tour. At the
time, logistics officers and motor
transport officers were two different
MOSs. I was working for logisti-
cians; why wouldn’t I want to be a
logistician? I went to the logistics
school and was reassigned to Camp
Lejeune. Probably the best battalion
I ever served with, the 2nd Light
Armored Infantry Battalion, LAI.
They’re called LAR now.
From there, I went to the
Merchant Marine Academy, as the
BGen Vincent A. Coglianese
1ST MARINE LOGISTICS GROUP
MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP PENDLETON, CALIF.
PROFILES IN SERVICE
WWW.SEAPOWERMAGAZINE.ORG 28 SEAPOWER / FEBRUARY 2014
BGen Vincent A. Coglianese, right,
commanding general, 1st Marine Log-
istics Group (MLG), speaks with Ma-
rines from Combat Logistics Battalion
5, Combat Logistics Regiment 1, 1st
MLG, during Mountain Exercise 6-13 at
Marine Corps Mountain Warfare Train-
ing Center in Bridgeport, Calif., Oct.
18. During the exercise, a small
detachment of Marines from 1st MLG
provided logistical support to 1st
Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, 1st