Moncie “GUNNY” Johns (formerly Prospect Hollywood), GySgt, U.S. Marine Corps (Retired). March 14, 1970 – June 17, 2014
Gunny graduated from High School in Hephzibah Georgia in 1988 and promptly joined the U.S. Marine Corps. Moncie served over 21 years in the Marine Corps and attained the ranks of Platoon Sergeant, Platoon Commander, and Company Gunnery Sergeant for Infantry Companies. Gunny retired from the Corps in April 2010. His personal decorations include, Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal with Combat “V” for superior performance in the execution of his duties while serving as a Platoon Sergeant for Weapons Platoon, Alpha Company, Battalion Landing Team 1/4, 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit (Special Operations Capable), from 05 to 27 August 2004 during combat operations in Najaf and Kufah, Iraq. From 05 to 07 August, he proved instrumental in the twelve hundred meter push through the vast Najaf Cemetery, located north of the famed Imam Ali Mosque. Additional service decorations and deployments include but are not limited to: Combat Action Ribbon (Persian Gulf and Iraq), Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary and Service Medals, National Defense Service Medal, Kuwait Liberation Medal (Kuwait and Saudi Arabia), Humanitarian Service Medal, Navy and Joint Meritorious Unit Award, Rifle Expert Badge and Pistol Expert Badge.
Following retirement from the Marine Corps, Gunny began work as a contractor with the Engility Corporation in 2010 as a trainer in Afghanistan and Kuwait for US and Coalitions Forces in weapons and CIED in combat zones. During this time, he moved to Burton/Flint Michigan to be with his fiancé Jennifer, and continued to work in Afghanistan. In 2013 Moncie returned to the Flint area for an interim corporate position as a Static Security officer for a pharmaceutical based corporation in Michigan. In February 2014, Gunny again took on a contractor position; with GLOBAL Integrated Security specializing in PSS/GSS, and was stationed in Basra, Iraq until his final duty station date of June 17, 2014.
Moncie was an active prospect (Hollywood) of the Walking Dead Chapter of the Leathernecks MC (LMCI) and was to obtain his member patch on June 23, 2014 upon his return from Iraq. Upon his report to final duty station on June 17, 2014, Moncie officially became Walking Dead LMCI member GUNNY. One of his favorite activities was riding his Harley Softail Slim “the Succubus”, and he was not afraid to take a cold 200 mile Michigan ride in January. Gunny is survived by his fiancé Jennifer Collette, his daughters Haley and Madison Johns, step-daughter Grace Collette (granddaughter Reina Collette-Cruz), his parents Bill & Brenda Johns, brother and best friend Mike Johns (Reba Johns), sister Felisha Ponsell, additional sisters, brothers and a large extended family in Georgia.
Gunny was proudly returned to American soil on 02July2014. It is said that during peace time, the Veteran serves and protects the flag, and in death it is our flag which reciprocates the action by honorably enriching, cradling, and saluting her protector – the Veteran. To validate that adage, and in a manner befitting a warrior, Moncie was enshrined in his temporary resting place with our national symbol appropriately draped over him, and forever protecting our returning Marine. There was a remarkable display of patriotic pride, emotional passion, and military precision when the 7-man Marine Corps “carry team” ceremoniously and respectfully escorted “Gunny” off the cargo aircraft and into the loving arms of his Marine family, brother, fiance’ and daughters. Gunny was attended to from Iraq to American soil by friend and USMC First Sgt John Merriman from GLOBAL Integrated Security. Additionally, Gunny’s dignified transfer was attended by Gunny’s Marines - Rich Zjawin, Anthony Soehngen, Robert Young and Hector Marcayda. He was then escorted by many LMCI brothers and sisters to Georgia. Gunny was laid to final rest with a full USMC military ceremony July 7, 2014 in The Georgia Veterans Memorial Cemetery – Glennville.
Gunny was a proud Odinist and has gone on to Valhalla to take his seat in the Hall of Warriors. Semper Fidelis, Brother, Hail and Farewell! Forever Our Brother, Forever a Leatherneck.
For those wishing to know of Gunny’s contributions during the 2004 Battle of Najaf, you will find the recommendation and description of his actions that resulted in his NAVY AND MC COMMENDATION W/ V here:
This is the SUMMARY OF ACTION for RECOMMENDATION of STAFF SERGEANT MONCIE L. JOHNS UNITED STATES MARINE CORPS for Navy Commendation Medal with Combat “V”.
SUMMARY OF ACTION
Staff Sergeant Moncie L. Johns
Staff Sergeant Johns is enthusiastically recommended for the Navy Commendation Medal with Combat “V” for superior performance in the execution of his duties while serving as a Platoon Sergeant for Weapons Platoon, Alpha Company , Battalion Landing Team 1/4, 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit (Special Operations Capable), from 05 to 27 August 2004.
During...three weeks of combat operations in Najaf and Kufah, Iraq, Staff Sergeant Johns accomplished his missions in an exemplary manner. From 05 to 07 August, he proved instrumental in the twelve hundred meter push through the vast Najaf Cemetery, located north of the famed Imam Ali Mosque. While taking sniper, Rocket Propelled Grenade (RPG), and mortar fire from the west of Route Miami, he quickly dismounted his platoon and consolidated the Marines on line in their attack positions ready for the Company’s main assault. Although the sniper fire attempted to pin down the platoon and slow the units’ movement, Staff Sergeant Johns kept his Marines advancing while clearing hundreds of tombs and catacombs. Assuming control of the Company’s right flank, Staff Sergeant Johns fearlessly ran up and down his platoon line pointing out enemy positions and ensuring Marines were firing on the snipers. Aggressively leading and coordinating the platoon movement, Staff Sergeant Johns continuously exposed himself to enemy fire. On one occasion, he located two enemy observers while receiving accurate fire from as close as seventy-five meters to the front. Positively identifying the Mahdi Militia personnel atop a tall minaret, he swiftly engaged his machine gun section onto the enemy observation point, which was ultimately destroyed. Staff Sergeant Johns exceptionally coordinated the sections’ bursts of fire, while the rest of the platoon continued to move forward. Additionally, while still under persistent fire, he ensured the proper re-supply of ammunition, food, and water to the various positions; this maintained the platoon’s combat effectiveness.
With a fighter-leader attitude, Staff Sergeant Johns, co-located with the mortar section, performed his duties in a superb manner during a Company raid on a former Iraqi Police Station in Kufah on the 21 August 2004. Immediately upon dismounting the Amphibious Assault Vehicles, the section came under heavy direct and indirect fire. As Third Platoon conducted its main effort “attack and clear” from the south, Staff Sergeant Johns quickly set up a hasty mortar position. While his section began to take an increased volume of effective fire, Staff Sergeant Johns remained calm and confident and displayed sound judgment and decisiveness. As Third Platoon pushed through the objective, Mahdi Militia located in a school and cemetery to the rear attacked with mortars, small arms, and RPG’s. From these locations, enemy reinforcements, as close as two hundred meters away, prepared to initiate a ground counterattack on the Company’s main effort. Though under a heavy barrage of projectiles and explosives himself, and acting on his own initiative, Staff Sergeant Johns laid his mortar tubes and machine guns onto the enemy positions. After spotting and directing the mortars and machine guns onto the target, he initiated his own violent attack by fire, launching thirteen 60mm mortar rounds and steady medium machine gun fire into the school and cemetery; the adversary was destroyed. Staff Sergeant Johns' bold decisiveness, technical proficiency, courage, and overall leadership thwarted the enemy attack and contributed to the mortar section not taking any casualties.
Staff Sergeant Johns was an integral factor in Company A's success during the Battalion’s main attack with Mahdi Militiamen in the Old City of Najaf from 25 to 27 August. Though again under constant direct and indirect fire, he led the platoon in securing Company Objective Bravo. From this strongpoint, a key building within five hundred meters from the Imam Ali Mosque, Staff Sergeant Johns repeatedly exposed himself to observe and locate enemy positions, which were eventually destroyed. As the fighting intensified, Staff Sergeant Johns successfully assisted in the logistical effort needed to medically evacuate two wounded Marines from his stronghold. While the engagement continued into the night of the 26th, Staff Sergeant Johns was the assistant gunner for a 240G machine gun, which killed nine enemy personnel. In addition, while accompanying a squad-sized patrol from First Platoon, Staff Sergeant Johns took a lead role in fighting off an enemy ambush. As the squad pushed across an alley, dozens of Mahdi Militiamen armed with medium machine guns initiated an attack. Without regard for his safety, Staff Sergeant Johns laid down suppressive fire so the Marines could engage with M203 grenade launchers and then maneuver out of the danger area. During this firefight, an enemy fragmentation grenade exploded meters away. Despite being blown back and suffering the effects of the concussion, he continued vigilantly to lay down fire until the militiamen were destroyed and the Marines could clear the kill zone.
Throughout combat operations in Najaf and Kufah, Staff Sergeant Johns performed above and beyond the call of duty. He led many mounted and dismounted patrols in Company A’s area of responsibility, consistently keeping his Marines alert and focused. He continually employed his sections in positions to where they could best support the Company. Staff Sergeant Johns led his Marines with the forethought of mission accomplishment above all else. Moreover, displaying a significant devotion to troop welfare, he diligently kept the Marines of Weapons Platoon prepared at all times. Staff Sergeant Johns was an indispensable element in the success of the Company. His heroic actions and exemplary performance as Platoon Sergeant set the example for Company A and demonstrated what a Staff Non-Commissioned Officer in the United States Marine Corps should be.
His stellar performance throughout this period is worthy of emulation. Staff Sergeant Johns’ consummate professionalism and unwavering dedication to duty reflected credit upon himself and were in keeping with the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service. He is extremely deserving of recognition and the Navy Commendation Medal with Combat “V”.
Reported to Final Duty Station: