Albuquerque, New Mexico- LtCol Zachary Forester III, age 72, passed away, Monday, September 7, 2020 as a result of injuries sustained in a motorcycle collision after being hit by an oncoming vehicle.
Zack is survived by his loving wife of 20 years, Gloria Jean Forester. He was a loving father to children, Kristin Rogers, Sean Forester, Stephanie Forester, and step-daughter Andrea Somerville-Boyd. Beloved grandfather to Porter and Sheridan Rogers, Emily, Tyler, Pearson, and Elise Forester, and Sophia Ford. He is also survived by his brother, Robert Forester, of Georgetown, Texas. Preceded in death by his parents Z.T. Forester II and Letha Forester, siblings Jill Forester-Prince and Chuck Forester.
LtCol Forester was born in Laredo, TX on Tuesday, October 7, 1947. He was commissioned through the Platoon Leaders Course in 1969 upon graduating from the University of Texas, Austin. He held a MS in Management from the University of Arkansas, and a Master of Engineering Management from Northwestern University. His military education included the Basic School, Amphibious Warfare School, Marine Corps Command and Staff College, and the Army War College.
Following the Basic School and Reconnaissance Replacement Training, he served as Platoon Commander with Company D, First Battalion, Seventh Marines in the Republic of Viet Nam. His subsequent assignment was that of Executive Officer, Headquarters and Service Company and Scout Sniper Platoon Commander, 3rd Reconnaissance Battalion. Returning to CONUS from WESTPAC, he served as Series Officer, MCRD, San Diego. Prior to being transferred to Marine Barracks, London, England, where he served as Executive Officer for three years.
Subsequent thereto, he was assigned to the 2nd Marine Division where he served as Company Commander of Company B, First Battalion, Sixth Marines. His next Fleet assignment was as Operation’s Officer, Beach and Port Operations Company, 3rd FSSG in Okinawa. Following this tour, he served as the Marine Officer Instructor, NJROTC, Northwestern University. Upon completion, he was transferred to Headquarters, Marine Corps to serve as Head, Regular Officer Programs (MRRO-6). He was later assigned as the Commanding Officer, Marine Detachment and Marine Corps Representative, US Army Infantry Center-School. Ft. Benning, GA. After three years with the Army, it was time to get back with the Fleet.
Reporting to the 3rd Marine Division, he served as G-3 Operation Officer, then as Commanding Officer, 3rd Reconnaissance Battalion. Finally serving as Executive Officer, 9th Marine Regiment. Returning then to Quantico, he served as Congressional Liaison Officer within the Office of Legislative Affairs for the Commandant of the USMC.
The next assignment was the US Contingent to the UN Protective Forces in the former Republic of Yugoslavia. Serving first as the Deputy Commander and then as Commander of the Joint Task Force Provide Promise. With the signing of the Peace Treaty between the Croats and Serbs, and the withdrawal of the UN Protective Forces, he served as the COMSIXFLT Liaison Officer to the NAITO Implementing Forces. Final assignment upon leaving Croatia was as the III MEF Operations Officer in Okinawa where he served until returning to Quantico, VA for separation in 1997.
Since separating from the USMC, he served as instructor to the Marine Corps Junior Reserve Officers Training Unit and with the Navy JRROTC Unit.
In lieu of flowers, please make donations to the Wounded Warriors Foundation in honor of our beloved, Zachary Taylor Forester III.