Colonel Matthew W. Blackledge [USMC Ret.]
Colonel U.S. Marines
Colonel Blackledge attended Villanova University on an NROTC Scholarship and was commissioned a Second Lieutenant with a Bachelor of Arts in Computer Science in May 1973. He reported to The Basic School on 27 May 1973. After completing The Basic School, he was assigned to 3d Battalion, 4th Marines, 3d Marine Division where he held the billets of Rifle Platoon Commander and Company Executive Officer.
From 1975 to 1978, Colonel Blackledge was stationed at MCRD, Parris Island where his billets included Series Commander, Executive Officer of "I" Company, and S-3 Officer of 3d Recruit Training Battalion, Depot Ordnance Officer, and Depot Safety Officer. Upon completion of a three-year tour as an Officer Selection Officer in Philadelphia, PA in 1981, Colonel Blackledge attended Amphibious Warfare School.
Colonel Blackledge served with the 3d Force Service Support Group from 1982 to 1985 in several billets, which included: Commanding Officer, Headquarters and Service Company, 3d Landing Support Battalion; Executive Officer, Detachment "A". 3d FSSG; Commanding Officer, Detachment 2, Brigade Service Support Group 9; Commanding Officer, Combat Service Support Detachment 35, and OIC, 3d FSSG Liaison Team, 18th Army Support Command, Taegu, Korea.
Assigned to the 2d Force Service Support Group from 1985 to 1988, his key billets included Operations Officer, Training Section, G-3 and Executive Officer, MEU Service Support Group 22. He was transferred to the II Marine Expeditionary Force as the Logistics Officer, Wargame Center in July 1988.
In January 1989, Colonel Blackledge reported to Headquarters, U.S. Marine Corps and was assigned to the Logistics, Plans and Operations (LPO) Branch within the Installations and Logistics Department. His billets included Joint Plans Officer and Section Head, Logistics Plans and Operations Section. During Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm, he was the OIC of the Logistics Readiness Coordination Center, Headquarters, U.S. Marine Corps.
Colonel Blackledge reported to the II Marine Expeditionary Force in August 1992 and performed duties as the G-4 Plans Officer until December 1993, except for a six-month tour with Joint Task Force Provide Promise as the OIC of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in the former Yugoslavia. From December 1993 until June 1995, he was the Commanding Officer, Headquarters and Service Battalion, 2d Surveillance, Reconnaissance and Intelligence Group.
Upon graduation from National War College in June 1996 with a Masters Degree in National Security Strategy, he was transferred to the 3d Marine Aircraft Wing where he served as the Assistant Chief of Staff, G-1 until he assumed command of Marine Wing Support Group 37 in July 1997. In June 1999, he assumed duties OIC of the Marine Forces Central Command Coordination Element, Bahrain.
He assumed duties as the Assistant Chief of Staff G-4 in June 2000 until his retirement on 1 January 2004 completing over 30 years of active duty. He oversaw MEF-level support to I MEF forces participating in Operations Noble Eagle and Enduring Freedom and deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Colonel Blackledge's personal decorations include the Legion of Merit with Gold Star, Bronze Star Medal, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal with two Gold Stars, the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal with Gold Star, and the Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal. His other awards include the Defense Superior Management Award, the Admiral Ben Moreell Award for Logistics Competence from the U.S. Navy League and a Field Awards for Operational Logistics from the International Society of Logistics Engineers.