Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Poinr --
MARINE CORPS AIR STATION CHERRY POINT, N.C. - Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point Marines and civilian employees gathered at the Emergency Operations Center to honor a key member of the EOC development team Jan. 25.
During the ceremony, the EOC was dedicated in honor of retired Master Sgt. Joseph “Richard” Slappey, who passed away suddenly in Sept. 2010.
Slappey served honorably in the Marine Corps for 27 years. At Cherry Point, he served as the training staff noncommissioned officer-in-charge and as a staff officer on the operations staff. After retiring in 2003, Slappey continued to serve as a civilian Marine with the Mission Assurance Department, specializing in antiterrorism efforts at Cherry Point.
“He was responsible for writing the initial order on antiterrorism protection planning and the orders and operations after 9-11,” said James Riemer, director of operations with the EOC.
Slappey developed and implemented the EOC’s Mission Assurance Program at Cherry Point, said Riemer. Although he never got to see the new office space, he was instrumental in the design and building of the headquarters building EOC.
The dedication ceremony brought together Slappey’s family, friends and coworkers to honor his life and accomplishments.
“His legacy and foot prints are left on every part of what you see here today,” said Col. Chris Pappas III, commanding officer of Cherry Point. “We are ready today because of his mission and his legacy”
While working in the EOC, Slappey earned the 2006 Security and Emergency Services Civilian Marine of the Year Award for his Anti-Terrorism Force Protection Program, said Riemer. This was an extremely significant accomplishment in his life.
“He was like a brother to me,” said Riemer. “He was a superb Marine, staff NCO, and individual.”
During the ceremony, family and friends spoke of Slappey and his accomplishments.
“Professionally, Richard was a perfectionist and expected the best from himself and everyone around him,” said his wife, Connie Slappey. “Personally he was the most loyal and loving man that you could ever meet and he showed his kindness to everyone he met.”
After a fire destroyed the Cherry Point and 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing Headquarters building, Slappey worked tirelessly to help design a new, state of the art EOC in the new headquarters building.
As a fitting tribute in 2013, the Marine Corps recognized the Cherry Point EOC for containing all design prerequisites for emergency efforts, a hallmark of Slappey’s continued contribution.
A plaque will adorn the entrance to the EOC, a reminder of Slappey’s contributions to 2nd MAW and Cherry Point.
“While engraving his name up on the wall won’t bring him back, people who come here from decades on will know his name and will see his face and will honor his life and service and will be grateful for his time well spent here,” said Pappas. “Through this dedication Cherry Point Headquarters are exceptionally proud to forever connect those who have gone before to those who have yet to serve.”