United States Marine, active duty Marine
Military Occupational Specialty (MOS 0811)- Marine Corp field artillery
Master Gunnery Sergeant
Edward Arthur Briggs Sr., U.S. Marine
Married: Gloria (Perez), High School sweetheart, July 1986 at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Roman Catholic Church, Dunkirk.
Children: Natasha, Breanna, Kara, Edward Arthur II
Life Boy Scout Troop 8 and was named Boy Scout of the Year Troop 8
Edward Arthur Briggs Sr. was born on Oct. 9, 1966, in Brooks Memorial Hospital in Dunkirk. He is the son of Harry and Joan (Jungquist) Briggs.
The son of a local accountant, Briggs enjoyed his childhood growing up on Dunkirk's Lake Shore Drive. Briggs attended Dunkirk School 7, Dunkirk Middle School and graduated from Dunkirk High School.
In sports people could see him running the high school football track to keep in shape for the next track meet, with his close friends Rick Crandall, Joe Scach, Ray Deland, Ron Gorka and Mike Marczynski. The group constantly looked for fun things to do.
The fall months always had them playing pick-up football games with local boys from Dunkirk's First Ward and School 7 playground and, at times, trying to line up games with teams from all of Dunkirk's four wards. With the fun times also came time for Briggs to work. His first job was a newspaper carrier for the Evening OBSERVER. Later he found work at Kentucky Fried Chicken on Lake Shore Drive West in Dunkirk.
He enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps delayed enlistment program, which gave him a few months before his Marine Corp recruiter Sgt. Williams would be picking him up to send him to Marine Corp Boot Camp at Parris Island. He was starting a new chapter in his life as a United States Marine.
Dates of military awarded rank - October 1984 to July 1985, Private; July 1985 to March 1986, Private First Class; March 1986 to July 1988, Lance Corporal; July 1988 to September 1991, Corporal; September 1991 to July 1995, Sergeant; July 1995 to July 2001, Staff Sergeant; July 2001 to July 2005, Gunnery Sergeant; July 2005 to February 2008, Master Sergeant; February 2008 to today, Master Gunnery Sergeant.
Military Duty Stations - Oct. 16 to Jan. 11, 1985, Marine Corp Boot Camp, Parris Island, S. C.; January 1985 to January 1988, 1st BN 12th Marines, 105 mm artillery battery; January 88 to January 1991, Artillery demonstration unit, Quantico Va.; January 1991 to January 1992, 4th Battalion 12th Marines Okinawa, Japan; January 1992 to January 1995, Artillery demonstration unit, Quantico, Va.; January 1995 to August 1998, Recruiting duty, recruiting station, Portsmouth, N.H. ; August 1998 to January 200808 1st Battalion 10th Marines Camp, Lejune, N.C.
Major Deployments, August 1998 to January 2008
September 1999 to March 2000 - 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit USS Whidbey Island. Countries visited included: Rota Spain, Genoa Italy, Egypt, Jordan, Israel, Turkey, Sicily, Portugal.
January 2003 to January 2004 - Operation Iraqi Freedom. Participated in the battle of Nasariyah.
September 2005 to March 2006 - Personal Security Detachment, Ramadi and Fallujah area, convoy commander for the Assistant Division Commander.
September 2007 to Jan 2008 - Task Force Military Police for the Alanbar Province.
January 2008 to present - Staff non-commissioned officer in charge of Marine Corp Institute, Marine Corps Washington, D.C.
Dunkirk resident and Master Gunnery Sergeant Edward Briggs Sr., who will be celebrating his 45th birthday this October, has served 27 out of those 45 years while on active duty serving our country. On his 20th birthday, he was attached to the 12th Marines in Hawaii. For his 25th birthday he was in Okinawa, Japan. For his 30th birthday, he was recruiting new Marines in Portsmouth, N.H. His 35 and 40th birthday he was at Camp Lejune, N.C., training Marines of the 10th Marine regiment. As of now, it's uncertain where he will be when he celebrates his 45th birthday. It might be in Washington D.C., depending on the world situation when his birthday comes in October.
As a young Boy Scout, Briggs advanced to the rank of life scout. He also received the honor of being named the Scout of the Year. With this title came the role of being the best and being the one who everyone looked up to for leadership. He was a standout as a teenager.
As a Marine he started boot camp on the same level as the other 79 men in his platoon, all privates. This was the lowest rank a Marine could hold. In the Marine Corps, rank doesn't automatically come with the time one has served. Receiving the rank of corporal or sergeant in today's Marine Corps requires not only time in grade but also requires a Marine to be ready and qualified as a non-commissioned officer to lead Marines in battle when if needed or if called for duty.
Leaving the Marine Corps with the rank of corporal or sergeant would leave anyone proud, knowing the accomplishment he or she had reached serving our nation, but not for Edward Briggs. The rank of corporal was only halfway to the goal he had set. To reach the rank of Master Gunnery Sergeant in today's military means you are the best of the best. Holding this rank of Master Gunnery Sergeant means you're the best gunnery sergeant of all the gunnery sergeants in your regiment.
Briggs story doesn't end as being the best gunnery sergeant of a regiment with his new duty station. He now is the staff Non-Commissioned Officer in charge at the Marine Corps barracks in Washington, D.C. His duties now consist of overseeing all new Marine Corps manuals that will be used by all marines. These manuals will take these warriors into harm's way.
The Marine Corps barracks in Washington D.C. is where the Marine Corps sends the best of its best. For a Marine, it's a dream-come-true assignment.
Edward Briggs, master gunnery sergeant, husband, father is a man who holds many responsibilities. Remarkably, he still finds time to work with wood and loves to ride his motorcycle. He doesn't know for sure where he will be tomorrow protecting and serving our country. He is a local man who went to serve his country and worked his way to the top. His rank, a rank that goes no higher, warrants respect from every marine serving in the corps, His assignment is to the Marine Corps most elite duty station. Edward Briggs Sr. thank you for serving. You are our local Hero of the Week.