Monday, January 16, 2017

Sgt Major Phil Malarski, Rest in Peace


Yesterday I received a call from Barbara Malarski informing me that Phil had gone into Northwestern Hospital for a minor corrective procedure but during or after had a heart attack which left him in hospice. Just now I received another call from her advising that the Sgt Major has gone to the battalion eternal. Semper Fi... to the end and beyond. Barbara has been a great wingman and supporting arm for Phil throughout his Parkinson's episode.

Those that saw him in Milwaukee last fall know of his spirit and camaraderie relating to 2/24, HQ Det-4, and the 4th Marine Division. His resume is attached. Phil left details for Barb to follow through with and provided that his brain was to be given for Parkinson's Research. He will be buried at Fort Sheridan and the rest of the details I will forward as they become available. Please forward to any not on this list that you can think of as interested.

Although Barb was sad and knew it was coming, she knew that Phil wanted to live but not to endure the frustration and decreasing capability he was aware of happening to him.
The rest of us will "carry on"   

Colonel George Braun, USMC (ret).... Sends, with appropriate sadness and respect.


George, deeply sorry to hear of the Sgt. Major's passing.  What a great Marine but, more importantly, a great individual.  He has touched so many lives in such a positive manner.  May he rest in peace.


Bob Raclaw

Sad news indeed; SgtMaj Malarski will be remembered by all of us for leadership, courage, moral compass, and as the backbone of every organization he was in; rest in peace brother.


Mac McLaughlin

Thanks for the notification, George. One of my fondest memories of the Sgt Major was him prefacing all his constructive and often harsh but always on target criticisms of us officers with the words, "with all due respect, sir..."
He'll be missed. 
Margaret and I will say a prayer.
Drew Davis 


It is a sad to receive this news, however, I am so thankful to have had the chance to share time in Milwaukee with the Sergeant Major and Barb last September.

We are all better Marines and better Men having had the opportunity to serve alongside Sergeant Major Phil Malarski. Phil was a living symbol of "Marine leadership" in every positive sense of the phrase.

Rest In Peace my friend,

Byron Hill

Marines, I join all of you in reflecting my feelings about the Sergeant Major. Great Marine, husband and father. A privilege to serve with him in 2/24. Always had the Battalion and his Marines first in his thoughts. Semper Fi, Phil.

Robert L. Hudon, Jr.

An Outstanding Marine. Rest in Peace, Sgt Major Malarski

Semper Fi

Craig Hullinger

Marines, I join all of you in reflecting my feelings about the Sergeant Major. Great Marine, husband and father. A privilege to serve with him in 2/24. Always had the Battalion and his Marines first in his thoughts. 

Semper Fi, Phil.

Robert L. Hudon, Jr.


Its difficult to express with words the sadness this news brings. I'm so grateful that we were allowed to spend some time with the SgtMajor and Barb in Milwaukee last fall.  

In 1978 Fox Company was blessed with several outstanding NCO's, not one over the rank of E-5. The 2/24 CO sent then 1st Sgt Malarski to provide leadership, energy, and knowledge to my group of young warriors. That was more successful than anyone could imagine. Several of those NCO's became E-8s and 9s. The scary part is, he and Mitch are together again. 

Rest in peace Sergeant Major.       

Semper Fidelis,        

Larry Anderson



We all learned much from Phil Malarski who started out most of his instructional leadership lessons with those four words. 
Take care of your Marines was his core belief and now he will be able take charge and care of many who have gone before. 

God Bless Phil and Carry On.

William Holahan


Found out yesterday that the SgtMaj has received his final orders.  Needless to say I am legitimately saddened.  I could not have asked for a better enlisted mentor when I was a "pup".

SgtMaj Allermann

Very saddened to hear of the Sgt Major's passing. A man of exceptional character who was always forthright, loyal and "aggressively tactful" - he was a Marine's Marine and inspired all with whom he came in touch. ALL listened to him - and we were all better Marines because of him. Requiescat in pacem! 

Larry Magilligan


Sergeant Major Philip Malarski, USMC Ret…

Joined the Marine Corps in 1954 attending boot camp at MCRD San Diego. Assigned to an Amtrak unit in Okinawa initially, and later spending 6 months at Camp Lejeune, NC before joining the USMCR at Chicago, 2nd Battalion, 24th Marines, 4th Marine Division, in 1958.

As a drilling reservist for 27 years and as the Sergeant Major of 2nd Battalion, 24th Marines in 1980-81, he was very influential in motivating key enlisted NCO’s in each company of 2/24… located in Illinois , Wisconsin and Iowa, to train to a readiness standard that resulted in 2/24 being the first reserve Battalion in 9 years to meet the Marine Corps Combat Readiness Standards (MCRES). For that leadership he was recommended for and awarded a Navy Commendation Medal.

In 1985, SgtMajor Malarski was selected to be the first Reserve Division Sergeant Major ever. He was the senior enlisted reserve advisor to the Chief of Staff of Reserve Affairs, a Major General, at that time.

As his legacy he and Barbara, his wife of 59 years here with us today epitomizing the Marine Corps family, had adopted three foster children along the way, Antonio Lebron Malarski, a First Sgt, USMC, now based at Iwakuni, Japan, Joseph Malarski, US Army, and Anna Malarski, Chicago Police Dept.

He is also entitled to the Vietnam Veteran Lapel Pin which is was authorized by Congress and signed by the President in 2012 to honor veterans who served during the Vietnam War at any time anywhere during November 1, 1955 to May 15, 1975

Please stand and applaud to honor his service as a US Marine, with us today!

Written by Colonel George Braun, USMC Ret., former C.O of 2/24 1980-81.