MVHS Alums Serve

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MVHS Alums Serve

This is the 36th in a series about graduates from Mountain Valley High School who are serving our country in the military.
Like his older brother, SgtMaj Richard Stewart (featured last week), Cliff Stewart graduated from Mexico High School.
As a member of the Class of 1986, he followed his brother into the U.S. Marine Corps and eventually attained the rank of Staff Sergeant (SSgt). He was honorably discharged in 1995.
In the Marine Corps, SSgt Stewart learned values that structure his life today.
He explained, “Serving in the Marine Corps instilled within me the core values of Honor, Courage, and Commitment. Honor guides those to do the right thing when no one is looking. Courage is there when difficult decisions have to be made, and Commitment measures one’s desire, dedication, and faithfulness. These may sound a bit cliché to some, but I try to live my life by upholding these core values.”
Learning those values began in boot camp and continued until they were a way of life. After completing boot camp at Parris Island, SC, he attended advanced training (A-school) in Pensacola, FL. He became a Special Communications Signals Collection Operator (MOS 2621).
SSgt. Stewart said, “Specializing in Manual Morse Code, my duties included the intercept, analysis, and exploitation of electronic communication signals. I performed electronic signals search missions in which I recorded, measured, classified, and assessed the intelligence value of intercepted communication signals.”
Then it was off to his permanent duty station and deployment.
SSgt. Stewart explained, “Upon graduation I was assigned to the Second Radio Battalion, Camp Lejeune, NC. While stationed at Camp Lejeune, I deployed for six months to the Naval Security Group Activity, Homestead, FL.”
He added, “After returning to Camp LeJeune, I was immediately assigned to the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) and sailed to the Mediterranean Sea on board the USS Ponce (LPD-15). The deployment featured several stops in Spain, Italy, Sardinia, and Israel for both training exercises and ports of call.”
These were all steps to becoming a Signals Intelligence Analyst, a military intelligence occupation.
SSgt. Stewart continued, “Upon leaving Camp Lejeune, I spent three years as part of “Co. L” Marine Support Battalion at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. From there I attended school in San Angelo, TX, where I was trained as a Signals Intelligence Analyst.
He said, “After successful completion of training I was sent to Ft. Meade, MD. There I spent three years working at the National Security Agency and earned the “Defense Meritorious Service Medal” for providing outstanding Intelligence support to operational commanders and forward-deployed United States forces.”
SSgt. Stewart was motivated to take this journey in military intelligence for three reasons.
He explained, “First, a desire to serve my country. Second, a need to explore what was outside the boundaries of the River Valley area. Third, at the time, a lack of interest in continuing my education through the traditional college route.”
SSgt. Stewart’s time in the Marine Corp accomplished each of those goals.
After he had his fill of travel, he returned to Maine and used his skills to make a successful transition to civilian life.
SSgt. Stewart described, “I worked for DeLorme Mapping in Yarmouth as a database administrator. In 1999, Mead hired me as an information systems analyst and I remain employed by NewPage as a business intelligence analyst.”
He added, “I currently reside in Mexico with my wife, Melinda Stewart. I have two daughters. Felicia Stewart will graduate from Wheaton College in Norton, MA this spring and Monica Stewart will graduate from Saint Dominic Academy in Auburn also this spring.”
SSgt. Stewart is the son of Joyce and Clifford Stewart of Mexico. His brothers are U.S. Marine SgtMaj Richard Stewart, ret., who lives in Mexico, and U.S. Army LTC Terry Stewart who is on active duty in Hawaii. His sister is Wendy (Stewart) McDonald of Mexico.
If you know of a MVHS alumnus who is currently serving their country or has recently finished their enlistment, please contact Donna Peare at dpeare@rsu10.org.

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