Commanding Officer, 8th Engineer Support Battalion
Lieutenant Colonel Robert P. Gerbracht

Lieutenant Colonel Gerbracht was born and raised in Long Island, New York. He entered the Marine Corps in January 2002; following entry level training and designation as a Combat Engineer Officer, he completed Marine Corps Combat Engineer School where he was selected as the academic honor graduate. He then reported to the 1st Force Service Support Group and was assigned to 7th Engineer Support Battalion where he served as a Platoon Commander, Company Executive Officer, Current Operations Officer, Engineer Support Company Commander, and Headquarters and Service Company Commander. During his time with 7th ESB, Lieutenant Colonel Gerbracht served in support of multiple Combined Arms Exercises, Exercise MOJAVE VIPER, Exercise BEARING DUEL, and three deployments in support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM.  In early 2006 Lieutenant Colonel Gerbracht was selected for service at Marine Barracks Washington, D.C. In June, 2006, he assumed duties as a Project Officer and later Deputy Director of Distance Learning for the Marine Corps Institute. Fulfilling a variety of ceremonial billets at "8th and I," his final assignment was as the Executive Officer of Company "A." In June 2008, Lieutenant Colonel Gerbracht ended his tour at the Oldest Post upon notification of his selection as an Olmsted Scholar.  In July 2008, Lieutenant Colonel Gerbracht reported to the Defense Language Institute's Japanese language program. In July of 2009, he enrolled in the Graduate School of International Relations at Ritsumeikan University, Kyoto, Japan. Near the completion of his Master’s Degree at Ritsumeikan, Lieutenant Colonel Gerbracht volunteered for service as an engineer officer and interpreter with Task Force Fuji during Operation TOMODACHI, supporting tsunami relief and recovery operations in Northern Japan.

In August of 2011, Lieutenant Colonel Gerbracht arrived at 1st Combat Engineer Battalion where he was assigned as the Company Commander of Engineer Support Company and later as the Battalion Operations Officer. During this tour he planned and supported multiple exercises to include Exercise Enhanced MOJAVE VIPER, Exercise DESERT SCIMITAR, and multiple Mountain Exercises, to include Mountain Warfare Training Center’s first dedicated engineer battalion training package. He deployed twice in support of Operation ENDURING FREEDOM and at the close of his tour was selected for admission to the School of Advanced Warfighting (SAW).

Upon his graduation from SAW, Lieutenant Colonel Gerbracht was selected as a Clifton Cates Award recipient and received follow-on orders to United States Marine Corps Forces Central Command (MARCENT). During his tour at MARCENT he served as the G-3 MAGTF planner in support of Operations INHERENT RESOLVE and FREEDOM’S SENTINEL as well as a Strategy and Policy Officer in the MARCENT G-5. He was subsequently selected to assume command of 8th Engineer Support Battalion, 2nd Marine Logistics Group - his pending billet.

Lieutenant Colonel Gerbracht holds a Bachelor's Degree from Hofstra University as well as Master's Degrees from Columbia University (Anthropology), Ritsumeikan University (International Relations), and the School of Advanced Warfighting (Operational Studies). He is also a graduate of the Marine Corps University Expeditionary Warfare School, the Marine Corps College of Command and Staff, Tactical MAGTF Integration Course, Marine Corps Engineer School, The Basic School, Winter Survival and Evasion Course and is an alumnus of the Olmsted Scholar program.

Lieutenant Colonel Gerbracht's personal awards include the Meritorious Service Medal with one Gold Star, the Joint Service Commendation Medal, the Navy and Marine Commendation Medal with two Gold Stars and Combat "V," the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, and the Combat Action Ribbon.