The outstanding reputation held by Marine Corps tactical signals intelligence (SIGINT) units today can be directly traced to the pioneering efforts and accomplishments of General Alfred M. Gray over four decades of distinguished service.
In his early career, General Gray built on the Marine Corps SIGINT experience of World War II and the Korean War to restructure USMC cryptologic operations and develop doctrines for SIGINT support to combat units. His early work and establishment of two units, one assigned to Europe and the other to the Pacific, formed the nucleus of what is known today as the Marine Cryptologic Support Battalion.
Through the 1960s, General Gray emphasized training for Marine Corps SIGINT personnel and the development of high foreign language proficiency. At USMC headquarters, General Gray oversaw the creation of concepts for direct support activities, and in 1962 commanded the first Marine Corps ground SIGINT unit to deploy to South Vietnam. He implemented and refined doctrine and practice for direct support to combat units in the war in Southeast Asia. In subsequent tours, he helped establish an all-source intelligence center that significantly enhanced intelligence and operational support to combat forces.
As he advanced to higher levels in the USMC, he continued to foster development of SIGINT capabilities strongly focused on direct support to the deployed forces. General Gray served as the 29th Commandant of the Corps. Marines in the Intelligence Community, appropriately recall General Gray as the "Cryptologic Warrior."