Major Billy T. Branch USMC (ret.) began his Marine Corps career at Parris Island in 1953. Upon completion of bootcamp, he was assigned to the 1st MARDIV in Korea.
He returned to Camp Pendleton in Jan 1955, was promoted to Sgt. and became a squad leader. In 1956, he was assigned to Embassy duty for 28 months.
In 1960, Major Branch joined 1st Force Recon as a scout swimmer. He qualified as an underwater swimmer and free-fall parachutist, then became a team leader. Major Branch was the honor man at US Army Airborne School and honor man at US Army Ranger School. In 1965, Major Branch was promoted to SSgt while serving 1RecBn.
In 1966, Major Branch was serving with combat and Recon operations in Rug Sat special zone in the Mekong Delta. He was wounded and medevac’d to the USS Repose. Upon returning from the hospital he was commissioned as a 2ndLt and assigned to B Company 1st Bn. 5th Marines.
Branch was stationed in Quantico, VA as a weapons platoon commander and assistant operations officer for Task Force Labor Break that quelled the Martin Luther King riots in 1968.
In 1969, Branch was promoted to 1st Lt., completed EOD school, and returned to R.V.N. In January 1970, Branch returned to the states, assigned to Parris Island, and promoted to Captain.
1972, he completed AWS, then I&I duty for 3 years, promoted to Major and sent back to the 1st Marine Div where he was the director of the Div. Schools and special staff officers for training to the CG. 1st Marine Div.
Since retiring in 1978 after 25 years of service, Major Branch has been involved in many activities including ranching, hunting, guiding, and horsemanship instructor for special needs children.
In 2002, he retired as foreman of the Diamond A cattle ranch Lipan, Texas. He resides in Comanche, Texas, and still rides horseback, and enjoys long-range shooting.
Major Branch is authorized to wear parachute wings, scuba badge, EOD badge along with Bronze Star with a Combat V, Purple Heart, and Combat Action Ribbon."