GySgt Kenny Goss enlisted in the United States Marine Corps from Orange, Texas and entered recruit training at MCRD San Diego on July 14, 1981. A young Kenny Goss became interested in military service at an early age, inspired by his father’s service in the US Army during the late 1950s. Following recruit training, PFC Goss attended the Construction Drafting School, Defense Mapping School, at Fort Belvoir, Virginia. While at HQ Battalion, 4th Marine Division, Kenny reconsidered his occupation decision and submitted a request to become an infantryman. His request was approved one year after his obligated time on station was complete. He transferred to G 2/8 in January of 1983 for duty as an infantry rifleman (0311).
From October of 1983 to May of 1984, 2/8 participated in a historic deployment. First seeing combat during the invasion of Grenada, then in Beirut, Lebanon. Gunny Goss was a sergeant squad leader at the time and Golf acted as the track company during Operation Urgent Fury for the battalion landing team. Once Golf landed, they were tasked with assisting in the extraction of Governor-General Paul Scoon, his family and staff, and the Navy SEALS out of the Governor-General’s mansion. They were next tasked with securing Fort Frederick, which they seized unopposed by the People’s Revolutionary Army (PRA). During site exploitation of the fort, Gunny Goss’ squad located a large cache of communist weapons and documents. After six days on the island, G 2/8 once again boarded the USS Manitowoc and landed, in conjunction with F 2/8, on the adjacent island of Carriacou. The Marines quickly secured the island, and captured several groups of PRA soldiers. Following the seizure of Carriacou, Gunny Goss and 2/8 once again boarded ship and set sail for Beirut, Lebanon.
During operations in Lebanon, Gunny Goss recalls experiencing intense fighting with Shiite militiamen. The M203 grenade launcher was employed with great affect to reduce enemy positions, as well as the use of Marine M60 Patton main battle tank, which were attached to the rifle platoon. In one instance, an M60 actually had to be resupplied with 105mm rounds during the engagement, firing a total of 33 rounds. During the course of the deployment, nine Marines from Golf 2/8 were killed and several were injured.
Following his initial tour with 2/8, Gunny Goss went on to serve in a variety of billets and units. Gunny Goss served as a drill instructor at Parris Island. He served in Charlie 1/1, deploying on two WESTPACs; first as a squad leader, then as a platoon sergeant. Gunny Goss then served on the Inspector-Instructor staff for Weapons Co. 1/23.
In 1993, Gunny Goss was assigned to Fox 2/2 where he again served overseas in two separate hostile environments. In 1994, Fox 2/2 participated in Operation Support/Uphold Democracy in Haiti. Gunny Goss recalls confusion during the planning phase; as to whether or not this was an offensive operation or a peace keeping and humanitarian operation. Early in the mission, local police instigated a fire fight with Marines, leading to numerous police officers being killed. In 1996, Fox 2/2 deployed to the Mediterranean aboard ship. During the course of the deployment, the US embassy in Liberia came under attack. Fox 2/2, with Gunny Goss as 2nd platoon sergeant, conducted a heloborne insert and established a defensive position around the embassy.
Following his years with 2/2, Gunnery Sergeant Goss went on to Inspector-Instructor duty in Louisiana, where he retired in 2001. He has since worked for the US Postal Service in Louisiana and North Carolina.