Chief Marshal’s Banquet

Gerald Wheeler will be Chief Marshal for 2024 Parade

Jerry was born on August 21, 1939 to Jerry & Ann (Orchard) Wheeler of South Boston and grew up in South Boston’s Old Colony housing development on Carmody Ct with his siblings George, Diane, Kenny, Judy, Mary, Chuck & Carol. He attended St. Augustine’s Grammar School, The Patrick F. Gavin Middle School and graduated South Boston High School. He would further his education by attending The College of the Holy Cross where he received a BS in Education. He would later go on to attend the US Naval War College in Newport, RI and then earn a MS in International Affairs from George Washington University and a MS in Management from Troy State University.

Commander Wheeler (Ret) has served our nation and the United States Navy with honor and distinction for over 22 years on Active Duty and then an additional 22 years as Senior Instructor, Navy Junior ROTC unit (Warick HS, Newport News, VA). During his time on Active Duty, Cmd Wheeler served in many roles: Maintenance Officer-Norfolk VA with a deployment to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba during the Cuban Missile Crisis, Flight Instructor-Coronado, CA, Administrative Office-Bunh Thuy, Vietnam, Liaison Officer to Japanese Maritime Self Defense Forces-Yokosuka, Japan, Operations Officer—Cecil Field, FL, Commanding Office of Flag Administrative Unit assigned to Commander Pacific Fleet-Coronado, CA, Safety Officer USS Midway-Yoksuka, Japan & Air Operations Officer, US Naval Air Station-Rota, Spain.

Among Commander Wheeler’s accomplishments during a distinguished career are: 150+ aircraft carrier arrested landings, 200+ combat missions (Vietnam), 40+ military decorations including Meritorious Service Medal, 16 Air Medals (Vietnam) Combat Action Medal, 5 Navy Commendation Awards, 3 Vietnam Presidential Unit Citation Awards.

Wheeler joins an esteemed list of Chief Marshals for the South Boston St. Patrick’s Day / Evacuation Day Parade, dating back to Major George F. H. Murray in 1901. Click here to see the complete list of Chief Marshals throughout the years.