My name is Douglas Rattazzi and I am your Department Commandant. I would like to tell you a little about myself for those who do not know me already.
I served in the Marine Corps from 1959-1965 and experienced many different aspects of military life starting with 19 months at Marine Barracks NAS Port Lyautey Morocco. This was followed by duty at 8th & I Barracks Washington DC, assigned to the Office of the Commandant (Davis M. Shoup) at Navy Annex Henderson Hall. I was assigned to CG 2nd MAW Cherry Pont, and then TAD NAS Boca Chica, Key West Florida with VMF (AW) 531, with two deployments on the USS Okinawa.
As a civilian I was in sales for most of my career starting with Pitney Bowes in New York City. I owned my own office equipment company in Central Jersey and finally worked for a fund raising company, Entertainment Publications, as a Regional Sales Manager for Community and Corporate Fundraising for the New York /New Jersey Metro area, retiring in 2004.
I joined the John Basilone Detachment in 2003 not really knowing what I was getting involved with, other than my love of the Corps and all that it stands for. I was recruited to a very active Honor Guard, and took part in so many parades, funerals, ceremonies and events that I felt like I was back on active duty again. I assumed the responsibilities for their monthly newsletter and computerized it for a more professional look. My first job with the department was as Assistant Web Master. I was asked to teach the importance of a proper military funeral at our Leadership School in Sea Girt, and continued doing this for several years. I now instruct on the duties and responsibilities of the Judge Advocate.
In 2009 I was elected Commandant of the Basilone Detachment serving till 2011. I transferred to the Cape Atlantic Detachment in 2013 after moving to South Jersey. I was asked to run for a Department position in 2013 and was elected to the Judge Advocate position, and for two years I really learned about our Rules and Procedures. In 2015 I was elected Junior Vice and handled the organization and scheduling of the Department Convention for two years (2016-2017) along with a multitude of other duties assisting the Commandant. In 2017 our Senior Vice Don Mack announced that due to personal health issues he would not seek the Commandant position, which put me in as the next candidate for the position of Department Commandant.
After living in Somerset, New Jersey for 37 years, my wife Carol and I moved to Little Egg Harbor, New Jersey. We have two daughters and six grandchildren.
I look forward to two very active years as your Commandant, and am honored to represent the Department of New Jersey and the Marine Corps League at many public events. My goal, along with my team of officers and staff, is directing our growth as a League in New Jersey. I also look forward to visiting as many of the Detachments in New Jersey as time and travel permit.