Gene Overstreet was born in December 1944 in Houston, Texas. He entered the United States Marine Corps in June 1966. He was selected as the 12th Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps in April 1991 and assumed the post on 28 June 1991. He retired from the Marine Corps in 1995.
SERGEANT MAJORHAROLD G. OVERSTREET, USMC (RETIRED)
Date of tour as the Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps
28 June 1991 through 29 June 1995
Sergeant Major Harold G. Overstreet assumed the post as 12th Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps on 28 June 1991.
Sergeant Major Overstreet was born December 1944 in Houston, Texas. He entered the Marine Corps in June 1966 and completed recruit training at Marine Corps Recruit Depot, San Diego, California, followed by Basic Infantry Training School at Camp Pendleton, California.
Upon completion of school, he reported to Staging Battalion at Camp Pendleton, for further assignment to the 1st Military Police Battalion, 3d Marine Division, Republic of Vietnam. Returning to the states, he was reassigned to the Infantry Training Regiment at Camp Pendleton.
Sergeant Major Overstreet subsequently completed successful tours on the Inspector-Instructor staff, Wichita, Kansas; recruiting duty in Des Moines, Iowa, and Detroit, Michigan; and returning to Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego, as a junior drill instructor, senior drill instructor, Series Gunnery Sergeant and Chief Instructor, Reassigned to Drill Instructor School, he was an Instructor, Drill Master, and Chief Instructor.
After completing First Sergeant School, he was assigned to Special Projects at Drill Instructor School, where he undertook the enormous task of completely transferring the Drill Manual onto video tape for a more optimal use during instructional periods. His promotion to first sergeant in February 1979 led to his second assignment on Okinawa as the First Sergeant, Headquarters and Service Co. 8th Engineer Battalion.
Upon his return from overseas, he was the First Sergeant of both Company B and C, 1st Battalion, 4th Marines at Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center, Twentynine Palms, California.
Promoted to his present rank in October 1983, Sergeant Major Overstreet became the Inspector Sergeant Major, MCAGCC, Twentynine Palms. Returning to Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego, he served as a Battalion and Regimental Sergeant Major in the Recruit Training Regiment. Transferring to Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, he served as the 6th Marines Sergeant Major. This assignment was followed by duty as Regimental Sergeant Major, 12th Marines, Okinawa.
On 6 April 1990, Sergeant Major Overstreet was posted as Depot Sergeant Major at San Diego. He was selected as the 12th Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps in April 1991, and assumed the post on 28 June 1991.
Sergeant Major Overstreet’s personal decorations include: the Meritorious Service Medal; Navy Commendation Medal; Navy Achievement Medal; and the Combat Action Ribbon.
In 1995 Gene went to work for the Non-Commissioned Officers Association (NCOA). Today he is the President of the NCOA and testifies annually before the U.S. Congress on veterans issues.
In February 2007, Overstreet co-founded Veterans Direct in Plano, TX. Gene also currently serves several boards including the Young Marines and Military Ministries.
In November 2012, Overstreet co-founded Veteran Forces.