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Sergeant Major David R. Hatfield Sr., USMC (Retired) age 72, of Seymour passed away April 20, 2020. David graduated early from East High School in 1965, he enlisted in the Marine Corps' delayed entry program in October 1965 and reported for Recruit Training, Marine Corps Recruit Depot, San Diego, California on January 28, 1966. He spent 30 years of active duty service and additional 25 years supporting the Marine Corps.
After graduation from Marine Boot Camp he was selected to attend Tank Mechanic School at Camp Pendleton, California. Upon returning from Vietnam he was assigned as an Instructor with Track Vehicle Company, Marine Corps Base Quantico, VA. He taught courses on Tank and Self Propelled Artillery Tactics for newly commissioned 2nd Lieutenants. Having demonstrated the demanding leadership qualities and physical fitness required for the job he was assigned to Marine Drill Instructor Duty at Parris Island, South Carolina. Upon completion of that tour of duty he returned to the Track Vehicle Maintenance School. He was assigned to teach the "Marine Integrated Maintenance Management System" course to Track Vehicle Maintenance Officer's and Maintenance Chief's.
Some of his other duty assignments include: Ordnance Maintenance Chief for the 1st Marine Brigade, Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii; Command Sergeant Major (SgtMaj.) of the 3rd Battalion, 11th Marine Artillery Regiment; Active Duty SgtMaj. of the 4th Tank Battalion, Marine Reserve Forces; Command SgtMaj. of the 9th Communication Battalion, 1st Marine Expeditionary Force (During Desert Shield and Desert Storm in Iraq and Kuwait); and then the Group SgtMaj. of the Marine Aviation Group-15, 1st Marine Aircraft Wing, Iwakuni, Japan. In September 1995 as his distinguished 30 year career came to a close, he was presented with the Presidential Military Decoration "Meritorious Service Medal (MSM). This was his second award of the Presidential Decoration MSM for his many career accomplishments. And for his numerous off-duty community activities, he was presented with the "Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal."
Upon returning to East Tennessee in 1997, he was one of the founding adult leaders of the Knoxville Young Marine Program, located at the Naval and Marine Corps Reserve Center, Knoxville. This national youth program is sponsored by the Marine Corps League for boys and girls 8-18 years of age. He served as the unit Commanding Officer and later as the Battalion Commander for units in Crossville, Knoxville, Jacksboro and Chattanooga.
Since 2003 he has served on the Board of Trustees for the Department of Tennessee Marine Corps League and was the State Commandant for several years. He was currently serving on the Leagues Scholarship Committee which awarded over 100k in scholarships each year.
On January 17, 2004 he was elected to the Hall of Fame at Knoxville East High School by the Alumni Association.
In 2012 for his unparalleled commitment to his community and the Marine Corps League, he was elected as the Southeast Division "Marine of the Year." This Division of the Marine Corps League is made up of 9,000 members who reside within the seven southeastern United States.
He is preceded in death by parents, Charles Alfred Hatfield and Della Mae Raye Hatfield, brothers, Michael and Daniel Hatfield.
Survived by wife Lan Hatfield; sons, David Jr. and wife Beth and Donny and wife Lisa; grandchildren, Amanda (Jesse) DeFore, Michael Ussery, Bryce (Jonathan) Tibbetts, Sallie Hatfield; great-grandchildren, Raiden, Rowan, Ana and Ruby and many loving cousins, nieces and nephews.
In lieu of flowers memorials may be made to the Marine Corps League, Lt. Alexander Bonnyman Det. #924 , P.O. Box 53293, Knoxville, TN 37950-3293.
One of David’s passions was helping connect veterans with resources that can assist them with available benefits. He encouraged anyone to contact the Department of Veterans Affairs in their county or any other veteran service organization. There are people willing to help you.
Family and friends may call at their convenience Saturday, April 25, 2020 from 12- 5 pm. Funeral Services will be live streamed from Berry Funeral Home Chapel at 6 PM Saturday, April 25, 2020 on Berry Funeral Home Facebook page. Chaplain Ron Naugle officiating. Interment services 2 PM Monday, April 27, 2020 at the East Tennessee Veterans Cemetery. Marine Corp League will serve as pallbearers and render full military honors. Arrangement by Berry Funeral Home, 3704 Chapman Highway, Knoxville, TN 37920 www.berryfuneralhome.com.