Michael Joseph Godfrey Colonel, United States Marine Corps

From conemporary press reports

Michael Joseph Godfrey, Colonel, United States Marine Corps, age 50, of Nokesville, Virginia died November 12, 2003 in Seoul Korea of a heart failure.

Michael was a Marine Corps officer serving his country for 27 years. Duty assignments included Headquarters Marine Corps. His proudest assignment in Okinawa, Japan as G4, III MEF where he conceptualized, acquired and implemented the Department of Defense's first High Speed Vessel (HSV) program.

He was a Marine in the truest sense of the word; a great leader, with uncompromising integrity and principle; he was respected by all. He was a loving father and husband.

The funeral liturgy will be offered Tuesday, December 23 at 8:45 a.m. at the Fort Meyer Old Post Chapel, Arlington, with Father Yageshi officiating. Interment will follow at Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, with full military honors.

MARINE BARRACKS, Washington, D.C.(December 23, 2003) — Colonel Michael J. Godfrey, Commanding Officer of 3rd Transportation Support Battalion, 3rd Force Service Support Group returned home from Okinawa Tuesday to receive a full honors funeral and burial at Arlington National Cemetery.

Godfrey, who died November 11, 2003,was in charge of Brigade Service Support Group 3 and was assigned as the 3rd Marine Expeditionary Brigade (Forward) Commander in Chinhae, Republic of Korea, at the time of his death.

The Colonel, whom many describe as a Marine's Marine, was born in 1954 in Washington, D.C., and was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in 1976 and graduated from the Basic School that September.

In July 1986 he was frocked to Major and assigned to Headquarters and Service Company, Marine Barracks, 8th and I, as company commander and was a White House Social Aide. During that time he was chosen to serve as Parade Commander for the 1988-89 Parade Season. This is where he picked up his distinguishing “8th and I walk” described by several of the Marines close to him.

His other various assignments included duty with 2nd Amphibious Assault Battalion; 10th Marine Regiment; 2nd Marine Division; I&L, Headquarters Marine Corps; 3rd Supply Battalion; 3rd FSSG; 1st Marine Division G-4; Commanding Officer MSSG-13; G-4, 1st Marine Aircraft Wing; G-4, III Marine Expeditionary Force; and finally, Commanding Officer of both 3rd TSB and BSSG-3.

The 3rd FSSG representative, Captain Kevin Collins, said that Colonel Godfrey will be missed throughout III MEF and the 3rd FSSG. “He was an innovative logistician, whose vision resulted in the acquisition of the High Speed Vessel for III MEF, transforming the way III MEF units deploy and train throughout the Western Pacific Region. As our commander, he taught us a great deal about the importance of maintaining a focus on readiness while balancing numerous other demands. As a leader, he was worthy of the respect and high regard he enjoyed from the Marines. Col. Godfrey had a leadership style that appealed to Marines at every level.”

The Barracks Commanding Officer, Colonel Daniel P. O'Brien, echoed the thoughts of Collins, also a former Barracks officer who served here from 1990 to 1993. “Mike was energetic, creative and a lot of fun. He was a great student of history and sought to make the Marine Corps better. His work with the High Speed Vessel in the Western Pacific will have a definitive impact upon the Marines Corps and how we fight.”

He is survived by his wife, Keiko, and daughter, Victoria.

His personal decorations included Legion of Merit, Meritorious Service Medal with two gold stars, Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal, and Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal.


The procession for Colonel Michael J. Godfrey begins as the Body Bearers begin
the long walk to the burial site.


Being trailed by the Body Bearers, soldiers from the Army Honor Guard transport
the casket of Colonel Michael J. Godfrey at Arlington National Cemetery.


Colonel Daniel P. O'Brien, Commanding Officer of Marine Barracks, Washington, D.C., leads
the funeral procession for Colonel Michael J. Godfrey at Arlington National Cemetery.


Body Bearers remove the casket of Col. Michael J. Godfrey from a caisson at
Arlington National Cemetery.


The Body Bearers begin to fold the flag that was later presented
to Colonel Michael J. Godfrey's wife, Keiko.


  • VETERAN SERVICE DATES: 01/08/1976 – 11/11/2003
  • DATE OF BIRTH: 03/12/1953
  • DATE OF DEATH: 11/11/2003
  • DATE OF INTERMENT: 12/23/2003
    Arlington National Cemetery

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