ABOUT MASTER SERGEANT MCNEAL “TOP”
MASTER SERGEANT WILLIAM MCNEAL (CAREER RECRUITER) UNITED STATES MARINE CORP (RET.)
Msgt McNeal (Top) started his career at Marine Corps Recruit training Center, San Diego Ca. On November 12, 1980. After Recruit Training, his duty assignment was 1st Mar Div Camp Pendleton Ca. As a 0311 Infantryman. He then returned to Service Company Headquarters and Service Battalion, MCRD San Diego Ca., Headquarters and Service Company 3rd Medical battalion, Okinawa Japan. Shortly after he arrived on the Island, he was re-assigned to Combat service Support Detachment 31 at Camp Fuji, Mainland Japan. A few of the many exercises included Team Spirit, in S. Korea, and Tangent Flash in the Philippians. Upon returning stateside, he was assigned to Detachment Bravo MWSG 27 with Motor Transport, MCAS Beaufort SC, Headquarters and Service Battalion, MCRD Parris Island SC., and then Headquarters and Service Company, OCS, MCDEC Quantico Va. In 1988, he was reassigned to 3rdCombat Engineer battalion 3rd Marine Division Okinawa Japan. Afterwards, he returned back to Headquarters and Service Battalion Marine Corps Base MCCDC. In 1991, He was assigned to 1st Force Service Support Group Al-Jubal, in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for Dessert Shield/Dessert Storm. After returning, In 1992, he attended Recruiter School at Marine Corps Recruit Depot in San Diego, Ca. After completion of school, he was further assigned to 6th Marine Corps recruiting District for assignment as a canvassing recruiter in Florence SC., and further assigned as the Recruiter Instructor (ARI/RI) For Recruiting Station (RS) South Carolina before retiring in 2002. Msgt McNeal has been a Naval Science Instructor here at Southwest DeKalb High School since 2003.
ABOUT MASTER CHIEF FERGUSON
MASTER CHIEF PETTY OFFICER JAMES FERGUSON (SUBMARINE WARFARE) UNITED STATES NAVY (RET.)
A native of Buffalo NY and a graduate of Kensington HS, Master Chief Ferguson enlisted in the Navy on 17 October 1976. Upon graduation from Basic Training in Great Lakes Illinois he trained at Culinary Arts School, San Diego CA, and follow on training at Basic Submarine School Groton CT.
After completion of submarine school in July 1977 he reported to his first submarine, USS John Marshall SSBN 611(B) at Pearl Harbor Hawaii. Other submarine tours included the USS Barb SSN 596 (1979-1982) and the USS Portsmouth SSN 707 (1985-1989).
Shore assignments include Recruit Company Commander RTC San Diego CA (1982-1985), Food Service Officer Naval Station Charleston SC 1992-1994.
Staff billets include Commander Submarine Squadron Eleven onboard USS McKee AS 41(1989-1992). Master Chief retired in Oct 1997 as the Officer in Charge Navy Food Management Team Mayport FL.
Master Chief Ferguson’s public service career continued when he began as a Naval Science Instructor, Southwest Dekalb (SWD) High School in June 1998.
During his time at SWD the NJROTC Unit has been recognized as a Distinguished Unit in (2002, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2012, 2014) Unit Achievement Honors have come in (1998,2003,2011,2013,2015,2016). Southwest Dekalb historically has competed at the NJROTC Area 12 championship Drill competitions and Brain Brawl, and average over 5000 service hours annually to the community and the school.
Master Chief has mentored numerous SWD grads to see them graduate from the Naval Academy, Air Force Academy, Commission from ROTC Units nationwide, attend college, pursue careers in public service and the military, an become practicing Lawyers and Dr’s.
Master Chief is married to the former Debra Jakes of Buffalo NY. They have raised four boys, and are proud grandparents of 2 boys and 2 girls.
ABOUT COMMANDER WASHINGTON
Commander Leroy L. Washington grew up in Anderson, South Carolina as the son of secondary school teachers. He is an inaugural member of one of the nation’s oldest Navy JROTC units at T. L. Hanna High School. He was awarded a Navy ROTC scholarship and graduated from North Carolina Central University in 1975 earning a Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics.
After he was designated a Naval Aviator in March 1977 he served sea and shore duties as a helicopter anti-submarine warfare pilot in HSL-31 and HSL-33, both in San Diego, CA; then later HSL-30, Norfolk, VA. In addition to hunting submarines while flying from and deployed with various combatant ships – Fast Frigates (FFG), Destroyers (DD), and Guided Missile Cruisers (CG) – he served a sea tour aboard the aircraft carrier USS John F. Kennedy (CV-67) as Combat Information Center Watch Commander for Anti-submarine Warfare while at sea and Ships Force Overhaul Maintenance Coordinator while in the shipyard for repairs. His final sea duty assignment was with the Board of Inspection and Survey in Little Creek, VA as the Aviation Ships Facility Inspector.
He made deployments to the Arabian Gulf, Mediterranean, North Atlantic and Western Pacific Areas of Operation. He is a Gulf War veteran.
Ashore, he served as the Department Head for Officer Recruiting at Navy Recruiting District Memphis, TN; completed the Aviation Safety Officer and Mishap Investigator School at Naval Post Graduate School, Monterey, CA; at HSL-30 served as Instructor Pilot and Aircraft Maintenance Officer then Executive Officer, Norfolk, VA; Coordinated all military construction projects for naval air stations world-wide, Pentagon, Washington, DC.
He became a Navy JROTC Instructor upon Navy retirement in 1995. With Georgia on his mind he left Greenville, SC when he was selected for employment at Frederick Douglass High School, Atlanta, GA in January 2000. In 2011 he became the Senior Naval Science Instructor for Southwest DeKalb High School and remains there today.
His personal awards include the Meritorious Service Medal, the Navy-Marine Corps Achievement Medal and six other team/unit medals.