U.S. Marine Career Bio for Steve Gustin
Steven Howard Gustin began his exemplary military career by enlisting in the United States Marine Corps in August 1981. He distinguished himself early on, receiving meritorious promotions and excelling in Field Wireman Training. Throughout his career, Gustin assumed various roles, ranging from squad leader to Operations Chief, serving in locations from Beirut to Japan.
He played pivotal roles in Operation Sharp Edge in Liberia, Operation Desert Shield and Desert Storm, and in support of Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom. Gustin’s dedication to duty also took him to East Timor, where he assisted the U.N. mission, and to the Pentagon in support of key military operations. Promoted to Master Sergeant in 2000, Gustin’s commitment and contribution to the Marines spanned decades, earning him respect, recognition, and the affectionate nickname “Gunny Highway.” Off duty, Gustin cherishes time with his large family and indulges in hobbies like attending NASCAR races and golfing. His service has left an indelible mark, serving as a testament to honor, perseverance, and unwavering dedication.
Steven was born in Riverside, California, and enlisted in the United States Marine Corps in August 1981. He attended Recruit Training aboard San Diego, California, and graduated in November 1981 from Lima Company Platoon 3078. Private First Class Gustin was meritoriously promoted to Lance Corporal after being selected as the Company Honor Graduate. In January 1981, Lance Corporal Gustin graduated from Field Wireman Training aboard Camp Pendleton. He was assigned his first duty station at Marine Corp Air Station El Toro, California, MACG-38 Wire Platoon.
While assigned to the Wire Platoon, Lance Corporal Gustin’s duties included platoon supply and tool room non-commissioned officer, assistant squad leader, and substance abuse NCO (Non-Commissioned Officer). During his tour, his deployments included Mountain Warfare Training Package, Assault Climber’s Course in Bridgeport, California, and battalion training exercises at Fort A.P. Hill, Virginia. Meritoriously promoted to Corporal in January of 1982, he assumed the duties of a squad leader, where he deployed his squad in support of H&S Company, on numerous deployments and training exercises to include two Combined Arms Exercises and one Mediterranean float. Assigned to 1st Battalion 8th Marines, H&S Company, Beirut, Lebanon, the Marine Barracks was attacked the morning of October 23, 1983, at 6:22 a.m. Cpl Gustin aided in the rescue of his fellow Marines and Service Personnel.
While deployed with the 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit in 1984, Corporal Gustin participated in peacekeeping operations in Kosovo, Macedonia, and Croatia. Some of his missions while there included communication to outposts from the main Command and Control Operations Center, power for the entire camp, vehicle checkpoints, conducting search and seizures, building combat outposts, and improving force protection measures. He was meritoriously promoted to Sergeant while deployed Overseas to MACS Iwakuni, Japan. Returning Stateside in 1986, Sgt Gustin attended Wire Chief Course and graduated with honors.
Assigned to Marine Barracks 8th and I, Sgt Gustin’s post included Security Company, Camp David, White House Communications Agency (WHCA), and the White House Sentry Program (WHSP). Meritoriously Promoted to Staff Sergeant in 1989, he was assigned to 2nd Battalion 4th Marines (The Magnificent Bastards). Deployed off the Coast of Africa, SSgt Gustin participated in Operation Sharp Edge, a non-combatant evacuation operation carried out by the 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit (22nd MEU) and 26th MEU of the United States Marine Corps in Liberia. While Deployed with the 2nd Marine Division, the unit was called to action in Desert Shield and Desert Storm (Gulf War). In Late 1991, SSgt Gustin was assigned to Command and Control Systems Course (Communications Officers School) Quantico, Virginia. SSgt Gustin’s duties included Operations Chief, Antenna Theory Chief, (EKMS Chief) Electronic Key Management Systems Chief, and Communications Trainer at the (FBI) Federal Bureau of Investigation. SSgt Gustin was assigned to HMX-1.
Duties included providing Communications Support for all helicopter transportation for the President both overseas and within the continental United States and Comm Support for helicopter transportation for the Vice President, members of the President’s Cabinet, and foreign dignitaries as directed by the White House Military Office. Promoted to Gunnery Sergeant in 1993, GySgt Gustin was assigned to Special Operations Group 3rd Marine Expeditionary Force Okinawa to assist an Australian-led International Force East Timor (INTERFET) under Chapter 7 of the U.N. Charter. U.S. Forces, in support of OPERATION STABILISE (as the Australians called it), began deploying into Darwin. Australia, Brig. Gen. Castellaw, 3rd Marine Expeditionary Force on Okinawa, Commander of the U.S. Forces INTERFET (USFI) arrived Sept. 17, followed by the USCINCPAC MSQ-126 with GySgt Gustin and 18 personnel in September 1999-2000. GySgt Gustin’s Communications team under the U.S. Forces played a pivotal role in the success of the U.N. mission in East Timor.
The U.S. military’s mission was to provide communications and intelligence planners, as well as ships and helicopters to move troops and equipment. The tyranny of distance, that is a constant factor in planning in the Pacific theater, was a distinct disadvantage to finding a solution to restore peace and a stable independent government to East Timor. GySgt Gustin returned from the MEU in June of 2000 where he received orders to the Pentagon, Washington DC – assigned to Military Operations in support of Operation Enduring Freedom and subsequently deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.
GySgt Gustin served as Operation Chief throughout the Area of Operation. GySgt Gustin was given the nickname “Gunny Highway” for the training he provided to his Marine, and the saying “improvise, adapt, and overcome” is how he trained his Marines for all obstacles in all situations. His willingness and determination to fight and to keep fighting until victory is assured. GySgt Gustin was Promoted to MSgt in November of 2000 and received orders to 24th Marine Regiment in Belton, Missouri, as the Communications Chief.
MSgt Gustin has Five Step Children (All Girls), one Son, and Nine Grandchildren. Hobbies – Attending NASCAR Races, Welding, Camping, Golfing, and Spending time with Family. MSgt Gustin served with Honor and Devotion and we appreciate his service.
His personal and unit awards include:
- Purple Heart
- Meritorious Service Medal (MSM)
- Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal (NMCCM) – 4th Award
- Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal (NMCAM) – 4th Award
- Specialty Meritorious Medal – 2nd Award
- Presidential Unit Citation – 2nd Award
- Navy Unit Commendation – 3rd Award
- Marine Corp Good Conduct – 8th Award
- Marine Corps Expeditionary Medal – 2nd Award
- National Defense Service Medal – 3rd Award
- Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal
- SouthWest Asia Service Medal
- Humanitarian Service Medal
- Sea Service Deployment Ribbon
- Navy and Marine Corps Overseas Service Ribbon
- Kuwait Liberation Medal
- Fleet Marine Force Combat Operations Insignia
- Expert Rifle – 21st Award
- Expert Pistol – 18th Award
- Black Belt – Instructor Qualified
- Presidential Service Badge