Marine Colonel Retires with 30 Years of Faithful Service

By Law, Dawn | Tribune-Review/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, July 6, 2012 | Go to article overview

Marine Colonel Retires with 30 Years of Faithful Service


Law, Dawn, Tribune-Review/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review


Col. Orlando Michael Valore Jr. was honored with the Legion of Merit award during a retirement ceremony June 8 at U.S. Marine Corps Forces Command in Norfolk, Va.

The award is reserved for senior staff for meritorious conduct and outstanding service and achievement.

Some of his other awards are for Meritorious Service, Combat Action and Humanitarian Service, and he has a Marine Corps Expeditionary Medal.

"People are overcome with awe when I tell them I'm a U.S. Marine," Valore said. "It's a great institution with a lot of camaraderie.

"I love what it stands for."

Valore, 52, who is known as Mike, was born in Jeannette and grew up in Slickville.

He wrestled for The Kiski School near Saltsburg, and graduated in 1978.

Valore earned a bachelor's degree in computer science from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1982.

He served in Grenada and Beirut, and was working at the Navy's Information Resources Management Office at the Pentagon when he left regular service in 1991.

Valore had been in the reserves for 10 years when he was recalled to active duty in 2003.

As deployment director for Marine Forces Central Command in Tampa, Valore was responsible for deploying 608,000 Marines and 477,000 tons of equipment using 7,400 planes and 200 ships -- more than anyone in Marine Corps history.

Valore served time in Kuwait and Iraq on nine separate occasions during his tenure at Central Command.

His last assignments involved planning and directing amphibious operations, giving him an opportunity he said he'll miss - working with young Marines, doing what they do best.

"Forced entry, establishing beachheads, we need to do stuff like that again," he said. …

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