After briefly attending North Idaho College, Chris Cox enlisted in the Marine Corps in 1990. Following basic training, Cox went to the Marine Wing Headquarters Squadron 1 in Okinawa, Japan. There, he served for a year as a print journalist, acting as a media liaison for the squadron. In 1992, he transferred to Marine Corps Air Station El Toro near Irvine, California, and promoted to sergeant. He covered Marine Corps humanitarian efforts during Operation Support Hope, which airlifted supplies to Rwandan refugees in Kenya.
In 1995, Cox transferred to Marine Corps Base Quantico in Virginia and became a combat correspondent. Combat correspondents gather information for civilian news and present official Marine Corps information to the public. Cox later served at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, with the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit and covered the joint North Atlantic Treaty Organization Operations Joint Task Force Noble Anvil and Allied Support in Kosovo. Cox also reported on humanitarian assistance in Macedonia.
After serving at the recruiting station in Sacramento, California, Cox began working with local and international media organizations. In 2005, he was stationed at Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center in Twentynine Palms, California, and served as public affairs chief during Operations Iraqi and Enduring Freedom. Cox also helped coordinate part of the joint information bureau for President Gerald Ford’s funeral ceremony in Palm Desert, California, in 2006.
In 2009, Cox became public affairs chief for the Third Marine Division at Camp Courtney in Okinawa. That same year, he also served as the senior enlisted public affairs Marine during Operation Khanjar, covering the 4,000-Marine push to secure Helmand Province in Afghanistan and the country’s border with Pakistan.
In October 2010, Cox transferred to the Marine Corps Reserve at Marine Forces Reserve Command Headquarters in New Orleans, Louisiana. During this time, Cox helped coordinate the Marine Corps’ public affairs efforts after Hurricane Sandy and the reorganization of public affairs in the Marine Corps.
Cox retired from the Marine Corps as a master sergeant in February 2014. During his service, Cox received a Joint Service Commendation Medal, multiple Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medals, and two NATO medals for his service in Kosovo and Afghanistan.
After leaving the military, Cox attended Tulane University and received a bachelor’s degree in public relations and advertising. He now works as a public affairs specialist for the Department of Veterans Affairs.
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Writer: Sarah Concepcion
Fact checker: Sierra Harbert