It was 1972 during the Vietnam War when Robert “Bob” Massie joined the United States Marine Corps. He was just 19 years old. For several years, he cut his teeth as a young Crash, Fire, and Rescue Marine before making his way into the Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear (CBRN) community and supporting a Marine Corps Special Operations Capable Forces unit called the Chemical Biological Incident Response Force (CBIRF).
Twenty-seven years later, he retired from the Marine Corps and spent his next 23 years as a contractor with the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD). Throughout his careers as a contractor, he provided support to the Marine Corps and Navy Emergency Management, CBRN Defense, and various Intelligence programs at numerous locations both in the Continental United States (CONUS) and Outside the Continental United States (OCONUS).
Having joined AMSG in October 2015, Bob quickly became a friend and trusted confidant, and an invaluable member to the company and our leadership team. During his tenure with AMSG, he led the DoD’s CBRN Defense Contract Team to many successes. He participated in AMSG’s Veteran Leadership Committee, and he had an uncanny ability to spot talent and then nurture it with absolute sincerity and love.
“I’m where I am today personally and professionally thanks to Bob. The time he spent ensuring I was in a position to succeed goes beyond anything anyone has invested in me in the past. Bob’s professionalism, mentorship, and friendship have taught me lessons I will carry with me for the rest of my career and life. As I mentioned last Friday at lunch, Bob left us with very large shoes to fill, and if I can fill those shoes just part of the way, I know I will be doing well,” says Christopher Reed, Bob’s former direct report.
Bob often joked that he really wasn’t a funny guy. But, during our New York City Leadership Retreat last September, Bob had our group laughing when he shared a story from his high school track and field days. During that time, he earned the nickname “Crash” from his performance when running 100-yard low hurdles’ races. He described how his trailing leg would always catch a hurdle and he would fall, but when he got back up, his speed would allow him to catch-up and eventually win the race. But regardless of the wins, that didn’t stop the coach from calling him “Crash.”
A far cry from his early years in NAM, top-secret and often dangerous Marine Corps missions, or leading high-level government contracts, Bob was a family man to his core. He often took time to visit with his family he dearly loved. As a pastime, he began building furniture for family members, particularly his grandchildren. One of the last pieces of furniture he built was a beautiful dresser for his grandchildren.
“Throughout life you run into people who you feel are really good people with good souls. That’s what I remember most about Bob. He was a no BS kind of man, but also very personable and sensitive. I saw a lot of my dad in him. He was that old school generation, part of the gritty work hard, put-your-head-down-and-do-the-work generation, but he also cared about the people around him. He was definitely a rare person and will be missed for sure.” – Jeff Gerner, AMSG Federal Account Manager
Jim O Farrell, AMSG’s CEO, shared these words at his memorial service: “Bob was a friend, a teacher, a mentor, a trusted advisor, and he was also a loving husband, a father, a son, and a brother. He was admired and respected for his knowledge and for his work ethic. He was an example for all of us. He never complained. He smiled often. He worked hard. He was a professional. He embraced challenges and he ALWAYS exceeded expectations.”
Born on October 21, 1953, Bob left us too soon on March 26, 2023.
On April 12th AMSG established the Master Sergeant Robert “Bob” Massie USMC (Ret.) Memorial Scholarship with the Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation. For more information, please email email@example.com.
By Jim O’Farrell, Juania Owens, and the AMSG Team