Colonel Cheryl M. Blackstone
Colonel Cheryl Blackstone is currently serving on active duty as the Deputy Director, Force Preservation Directorate, and as the Department of the Navy Tasks, Records and Consolidated Knowledge Enterprise Repository Project Officer, Headquarters, U. S. Marine Corps (HQMC). When not in uniform, she is a Civil Servant (GS-14) serving as the Section Head for Readiness and War Reserve, Logistics Plans & Operations Branch, Logistics Plans, Policies, and Strategic Mobility Division, Installations and Logistics Department, Headquarters, US Marine Corps.
A 1990 graduate of Marquette University, she received a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration and was commissioned a Second Lieutenant through the Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps. Upon completion of The Basic School in March 1991, Lieutenant Blackstone attended the Basic Communication Officer’s Course and reported to 8th Communications Battalion, 2nd Surveillance, Reconnaissance and Intelligence Group (SRIG), Camp Lejeune, NC, where she served as a Platoon Commander and then as the Group S-6.
In August 1994, she joined the Marine Corps Reserve as a member of the reserve detachment at Marine Corps Recruit Depot, Parris Island, SC, working as a Special Projects Officer in the Depot Operations section. In June 2006, she began Active Duty Special Work Orders with the Depot Academics Section, writing lesson plans for “The Crucible” and spearheaded a complete revision of the Recruit Training Program of Instruction.
From May 1997 until October 2000, she was a member of Ammunition Company (-) Rein, 4th Supply Battalion, 4th Marine Logistics Group (Greenville, SC), serving as the Executive Officer and subsequently Commanding Officer and was promoted to Major. During this command tour, she was employed as a classroom teacher at Richland County School District 2, Columbia, SC. As a first year teacher, she was selected to pilot a ground breaking ‘Transition Program’ to assist at risk high school youth. She was awarded the inaugural “Distinguished Educator Award” for leadership and professionalism. Upon relinquishing command, she became the Peacetime Wartime Support Team (PWST) OIC for Company D, 8th Tank Battalion, 4th Marine Division, in Eastover, SC.
Relocating with her family to Hickory, NC, Maj Blackstone joined the staff of 4th Maintenance Battalion, 4th Marine Logistics Group, Charlotte, NC, March 2001 - July 2006. During this time, she served in various staff billets to include Maintenance Operations Section OIC, Operations Officer, Peacetime Wartime Support Team OIC, and lastly as Battalion Executive Officer. In her civilian career, she taught at a small private school serving as classroom teacher, Athletic Director, and Director of Development/Fundraising. She was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel in January 2006.
In October 2006, she was mobilized to HQMC for duty with Logistics Plans, Operations and Strategic Mobility Division, Deputy Commandant for Installations and Logistics. In January 2010, the Section Head position for Readiness and War Reserve was ‘civilianized’. Demobilizing early, she was hired as a Civil Servant to fill this position. In August 2010, she joined the reserve detachment of the Marine Air Ground Staff Training Program at Quantico, where she served as the Deputy Director for Joint Logistics Operations. Returning to active duty, she was a member of the Marine Corps’ 2014 Quadrennial Defense Review team as Manpower and Reserve Affairs Liaison. She was reassigned as the Marine Corps representative to the Military Compensation and Retirement Modernization Commission until May 2014.
Col Blackstone’s personal decorations include the Legion of Merit, Meritorious Service Medal, Joint Service Achievement Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal, and the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal.
She holds a Master of Science in National Resourcing Strategy from the Industrial College of the Armed Forces, National Defense University, (2012), and a Master of Arts (Teaching) from the University of South Carolina (1996).