The Ball is the cornerstone fundraising event for Forward March, Inc., an organization dedicated to aiding Veterans, their activities, organizations, and support groups in Northeast Florida.
Each year, the Forward March Board of Directors selects as its honoree, an outstanding individual from the Military with connections to the St. Augustine area. General Bailey is indeed such an individual who has distinguished himself as an inspiring leader over a 40- year military career. Previous honorees include Major General Emmett Titshaw, Jr., Major General K.C. Bullard, Air Force Lt. Colonel Bill Dudley, and Sgt Major Ray Quinn.
Ron Bailey graduated from St Augustine High School in 1973, where he was an outstanding multi-sports athlete earning a football scholarship to Austin Peay University.
During his senior year at SAHS, he was voted most school spirited by his classmates.
Bailey was elected in 2010 to the KHS/SAHS inaugural Hall of Fame Class.
General Bailey graduated from Austin Peay State in 1977 and was immediately commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant. Following basic training, he was sent to Okinawa to serve as an infantry officer in the Marine Corps. He later earned masters degrees from Webster University in business, and from the National War College in National Security Strategy. Subsequently, he served as Deputy, Joint Contact Team program and, plans officer, J-5, HQ US European Command in Stuttgart, Germany.
General Bailey commanded the 2nd Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion and the 3rd Marine Expeditionary Brigade of the 1st Marine Division. In 2011, he became the first African-American to serve as Commanding General of the 26,000 men and women of the 1st Marine Division, the Corps’ largest active-duty division.
Promoted to Lieutenant General in June 2013, he was assigned to HQ Marine Corps as Deputy Commandant for Plans Policies, and Operations.
Following his active military duty, General Bailey returned to Austin Peay to serve as Vice President for external affairs, overseeing the University’s offices of advancement, communication and strategic initiatives. In welcoming him to the University, its president commented that Bailey always achieved success because of his leadership abilities and his skills as a strategic planner and communicator.
According to General Bailey, “Leadership is about influence and relationships with the American people. Our nation’s citizens expect us to be America’s expeditionary force in readiness, committed to their protection at home and abroad.
For information or reservations for the Ball, call Dan Sullivan at 904-824-6060.