John “GLAD” Castellaw, a native of Crockett County, grew up on a farm near Crockett Mills, Tennessee. He graduated from Hamlet-Robertson High School then attended the University of Tennessee at Martin. A Paul and Martha Meek Leadership Award winner, he graduated with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Agriculture and a commission in the United States Marine Corps.
He first served in Marine tank and amphibian tractor units before becoming a helicopter pilot. As a Marine Aviator, he flew more than two dozen different aircraft including the CH-46E SEAKNIGHT, the TAV-8B HARRIER and the MV-22A OSPREY. During his 36 year career, he held several commands including Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron 264, Marine Aviation Weapons and Tactics Squadron 1, the 3d Marine Expeditionary Brigade, U.S. FORCES EAST TIMOR, and the 2d Marine Aircraft Wing. As a staff officer, he served on several high level military staffs in Europe, the Asia-Pacific and the Middle East. His last assignments on active duty were in the Pentagon where he oversaw Marine Aviation and the Marine Corps budget creation and execution.
In 2008 he retired with the rank of Lieutenant General and returned home to the family farm. There he has resumed his first love, farming. He also serves on the board of directors for The Bank of Crockett and, in the community, he volunteers as a member of the Crockett County Industrial Board, the Board of Visitors for the Veteran’s Museum, and the Tennessee State Veterans’ Homes Board.
As a retired service member, Castellaw maintains a deep interest in National Security issues and in veterans’ affairs. He participates actively with various groups working to ensure this nation’s defense needs are met and serves on the Department of the Navy’s Naval Research Advisory Committee. As a veteran, he is a member of the Marine Corps League, The Marine Corps Association, and The Naval Institute and is beginning his first term as the National Commander of the Marine Corps Aviation Association.
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