W. Clyde Marsh


Rear Admiral Clyde Marsh, USN (Ret.), assumed the duties as State Commissioner and Director of the Alabama Department of Veterans Affairs (ADVA) on October 5, 2005. The State Board of Veterans Affairs appointed him by unanimous vote. He was re-nominated and approved for a third term by unanimous vote in October 2013. As Commissioner, he is responsible for all administrative and executive duties of the Alabama Department of Veterans Affairs.

He manages the agency’s operations, coordinates mission execution and oversees 112 state employees in 67 counties as well as over 900 contract health service providers. He also manages an agency budget of over $100 million. Under his leadership, the ADVA implemented a statewide veteran claims management database. He reorganized the agency’s leadership structure by reducing the management scope of 67 county veterans’ service offices from six to three districts covering north, central and south Alabama, which improved consistency and efficiency. Commissioner Marsh served on the Alabama Veterans Court Task Force that led to the development of a state veterans’ court program consisting of 14 Veterans Treatment Courts. He also coordinated the construction of a $50 million, new concept, 21st Century state veterans’ home. Commissioner Marsh also coordinated the planning and construction of the first state-operated veterans’ cemetery.

During his three decades of Navy active duty service, he served in the following command, headquarters and key staff assignments: Commander Amphibious Group Three, Commander Expeditionary Strike Group FIVE, Deputy Director Expeditionary Warfare Division the Pentagon, Special Assistant to the Chief of Naval Operations the Pentagon, Plans and Policy Officer for U.S. Pacific Command, Commander Amphibious Squadron Five as well as Commanding Officer USS Sumter (LST 1181) and USS Cleveland (LPD 7). He also served in leadership positions at sea aboard the following ships: USS Essex, USS Manley, USS Ozbourn, USS Parsons, USS Pensacola, USS Prairie and USS St. Louis. Admiral Marsh led Task Force 51 during the Iraq War where he commanded 31 United States and Coalition ships and 44,000 personnel. He directed combat amphibious operations at sea, Littoral Operations at Kuwait and Umm Quasar in Southern Iraq.

Marsh was born in Wedowee, Alabama and earned his BA Degree from Alabama A&M University in 1973. After graduation, he received a commission as an Ensign in the U. S. Navy and later earned his Master of Science degree from Troy University. He is a graduate of the Armed Forces Staff College. Admiral Marsh attended the National Defense University Flag and General Officer Course. He completed the Black Sea Regional Security Program at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government and the Executive Business Course at the University of North Carolina.

Admiral Marsh’s personal awards include the Legion of Merit (four awards), Bronze Star, Defense Meritorious Medal, Meritorious Service Medal (three awards), Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal, Joint Service Achievement Medal, Navy Achievement Medal, Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, Navy Expeditionary Medal, War on Terrorism Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal and various service medals and unit awards. He was the first Navy Admiral to receive the Department of the Navy Nathaniel Stinson Leadership and Equal Opportunity Award in 2003.

He is listed in the 2011-2012 Global Directory of Who’s Who in Government. He is the author of a book chapter titled “The Changing Landscape of Veterans Affairs”. Commissioner Marsh was the recipient of the 2010 National Association of Secretaries of State Medallion for the State of Alabama. Additionally, he served on the Veterans Rural Health Advisory Committee (VRHAC) from April 2012 to April 2014 which advises the Secretary of the US Department of Veterans Affairs on issues affecting rural veterans enrolled in the VA Health Care System. He was appointed to the Geriatrics and Gerontology Advisory Committee (GGAC) in November of 2012. The GGAC advises the VA Secretary on issues related to care of elderly veterans as well as research, development and training for geriatric facilities and treatment protocols. He is Co-Chair of the Alabama Veterans Executive Network (AlaVetNet). Commissioner Marsh is also the past President of the National Association of State Directors of Veterans Affairs.