HARRISBURG, Pa., --
On June 27, 2014 at the National Civil War Museum, Master Sgt. Louis A. Montney retired after 20 years of honorable service in the United States Marine Corps.
Enlisting in the Marine Corps during the February of 1994 he shipped to recruit training at Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego during the following June.
Upon graduation from recruit training, he attended Motor Transport School in Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. Pfc. Montney was subsequently assigned to MWSS 172 in Okinawa, Japan for duty as a motor vehicle operator. While assigned to MWSS 172, he deployed to South Korea and mainland Japan earning a meritorious promotion to Lance Corporal during the June of 1995.
Early in 1996 Montney transferred to Marine Corps Service Support Schools, Motor Transport School, in Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. Once again he was meritoriously promoted to the rank of Cpl. in September of 1996. During this tour he served in a variety of billets to include; platform instructor, administrative chief, troop handler and class commander. Prior to departing and due to his hard work he was once again promoted earning the rank of Sgt. during the November of 1997.
Still, being a responsible noncommissioned officer wasn’t enough of a challenge for Montney. So he set his sights on becoming a drill instructor in support of recruit training.
“Quite honestly, I wanted to be the Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps someday,” said Montney. “I wanted to be competitive and I wanted to expand my horizons. Some of the Marines I worked with made me believe I could be a drill instructor. Even though I was scared to death to do it - you know, thinking back to boot camp - I had to say I did it. In my opinion, it’s one of the toughest jobs in the Marine Corps.”
Montney said Marines like retired Sgt. Maj. Joseph Bates, his former staff noncommissioned officer, filled him with the motivation he needed to do anything he set his mind to.
He even said that if it wasn’t for Bates, he would’ve never become a drill instructor.
During his tour as a drill instructor, he was assigned to Company L, 3rd Recruit Training Battalion. He trained more than 500 recruits, completed six cycles as a junior drill instructor and two cycles as a senior drill instructor. He also served as a receiving barracks drill instructor, and was promoted to staff sergeant in November of 2001.
“I would’ve never (become a drill instructor) if Sgt. Maj. Bates didn’t think I could do it,” said Montney. “I was getting ready to leave work one day, asking if I could go home. He said, ‘You can go, if you want. Are there things that need to be done?’ I said yes, saying it was (4:30 p.m.) and I could do the rest the next day. ‘You never become the man of the hour by watching the clock,’ he said. Once I figured that out; that there is no time to leave and that work is done when its done right, it stuck with me.”
After a successful tour on the drill field, Montney said his recruiter, retired Master Sgt. Mike Coley, ironically made him want to be a recruiter.
In July of 2005 Montney reported to Recruiter’s School at MCRD, San Diego. Upon completion of Recruiter’s School he was assigned to Recruiting Sub-Station Eastgate in Cincinnati, Ohio for duty as a canvassing recruiter. He was named Recruiting Station Charleston’s “Rookie Recruiter of the Year” in 2006 and was promoted to gunnery sergeant in October of the same year.
In May, 2007 Montney assumed duties as a SNCOIC for RS Charleston, West Virginia. During this time he was assigned to recruiting Sub-Stations Dayton, Ohio and Springfield, Ohio. He was named as Recruiting Station Charleston’s Staff Non-Commissioned Officer of the year for 2008 and 2009. He became a Career Recruiter, in October 2008 and was promoted to master sergeant in 2012.
In April, 2012 Montney transferred to Recruiting Station Harrisburg, Pennsylvania where he served as the assistant recruiter instructor.
Montney’ s personnel awards include the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal, the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal w/gold and silver stars in lieu of eighth award and Combat Action Ribbon.
Today, Montney is using what he’s learned from his mentors and his experiences, to continue the Marine Corps legacy.
“I’m an Naval Reserve Officers Training Corps instructor at Chambersburg High School now,” said Montney. “I still get to wear the uniform, and I still get to have an impact on people, they’re just a little younger now.”