DALTON, Ga. — Brig. Gen. Marcus S. Evans said he really wasn’t planning a career in the military when he was a boy, but he says looking back, he can see how his childhood in Dalton prepared him for the Army.
“I enjoyed hiking in the mountains of north Georgia,” he said. “Playing sports, I learned about teamwork, perseverance and hard work. And all of that has proved useful to me.”
Evans, a 1988 graduate of Dalton High School, was recently promoted to general in a ceremony at Fort Stewart near Savannah. He is now deputy commanding general (support) for the 3rd Infantry Division at Fort Stewart, one of two deputy commanding generals for the division.
After graduating from Dalton High School, Marcus Evans attended Tennessee Technological University on a football scholarship and joined the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC).
“It was in college that I first really started thinking about joining the Army,” he said. “It came about after conversations with a friend there about the opportunities that had been afforded to members of his family through ROTC.”
After graduating, Evans was assigned to the 5th Battalion, 20th Infantry Regiment at Fort Lewis. After completing that assignment, he served with the 3rd Ranger Battalion at Fort Benning. That was followed by assignments to the 325th Airborne Infantry Regiment, 2nd Ranger Battalion, 1st Ranger Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment headquarters and 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment. He commanded the 3rd Ranger Battalion from July 2011 to June 2013 and was assigned to Joint Special Operations Command from July 2014 to February 2015. He was commander of the 75th Ranger Regiment from 2015 to 2017.
While at Dalton High School, Evans played football, wrestled and ran track.
“Coach Bill Chappell was such a positive influence on me and a ton of other young men,” he said. “My (football) teammates and I had the benefit of playing in rec league and middle school and then coming together under a group of coaches who reinforced teamwork, who reinforced a strong worth ethic and a belief that we should never quit.”
Chappell says he’s not surprised that Evans has risen in the ranks in the Army.
“He was always a hard-nosed, tough but fair player,” he said. “He was always a leader, and he didn’t lead with his mouth. He led with his actions. To me, that’s much more important.”
Matt Evans said watching his brother’s promotion ceremony was an emotional moment.
“There’s a lot of traditions involved when someone is promoted to general,” he said. “To watch that makes you feel patriotic, and when it’s someone you love and care about, it just adds to that. You are proud of him and proud of your country. He has served in just about every conflict we as a nation have been involved in since he was commissioned. He has spent a lot of time in the Middle East since 9/11. It has been a lot of sacrifice for him and his family. It’s a tremendous honor. But it also means more opportunities for him to serve his country and to lead soldiers, and I know how important that is to him.”
The brothers’ father, David, agreed.
“Seeing all of those men and women in uniform makes you really proud,” he said. “Very few officers reach this rank. We’ve always been proud of him, but watching that ceremony and knowing what it represents, we were very proud of him that day.”