Brigadier General Gail M. Reals was born September 1, 1935 in Syracuse, N.Y. She attended school in Manlius, N.Y., and Powelson Business Institute in Syracuse, N.Y.
Entering the Marine Corps on Sept. 30, 1954, she completed Recruit Training at Parris Island, S.C., and was assigned as a stenographer at Marine Corps Schools, Quantico. In November 1955, she transferred to Headquarters Marine Corps, Washington, D.C., and served three years as a secretary in the office of the Chief of Staff.
During January 1959, she transferred overseas for a two-year tour at Headquarters, U.S. European Command, Paris, France, for duty as chief clerk, J-3, Operations Section. Returning to the United States in January 1961, she served as private secretary to the Assistant Commandant of the Marine Corps. She was accepted for the Woman Officer Candidate Class in June 1961, and upon completion of training in September 1961, was commissioned a second lieutenant.
Following her commissioning, she was assigned as Executive Officer, Woman Marne Company at Quantico. She returned to Headquarters Marine Corps in December 1963, for duty as Commanding Officer of the Woman Marine Company and Adjutant, Woman Marine Detachment. From January 1964 until December 1966, General Reals was the Commanding Officer, Woman Marine Company, Headquarters Battalion, Henderson Hall.
She attended the WAC Officer Career Course, WAC Training Center, Fort McClellan, Alabama, from January to June 1967, and upon completion of school spent five months as an instructor at the Woman Officer School, Quantico. She was next assigned as the Base Adjutant, Marine Corps Base, Twentynine Palms, Calif., from November 1967 to October 1968.
Following this short tour she became the Personnel Officer, Company B, Marine Security Guard Battalion, Beirut, Lebanon until December 1970. Reporting back to Parris Island in January 1971, she served as Executive Officer and Commanding Officer, Woman Recruit Training Battalion, until June 1973.
General Reals completed the Marine Corps Command and Staff College at Quantico in June 1974, and returned to Headquarters Marine Corps, as the Head, Administrative Branch, Inspection Division. During July 1977, she returned to Parris Island to command the Woman Recruit Training Command.
In October 1979, she returned to Headquarters Marine Corps for duty as Head, Human Resources Branch, Manpower Department, serving in this assignment until August 1981, when she was selected to attend the Naval War College, Newport. R.I. Upon graduation, General Reals went overseas for duty as the Assistant Chief of Staff, G-I, 1st Marine Aircraft Wing, on Okinawa.
Transferred back to Quantico in August 1983, she served as the Assistant Chief of Staff, Personnel and Services, Education Center. She then served as the Assistant Chief of Staff, Manpower, Marine Corps Development and Education Command until December 1984. She assumed the position as Chief of Staff, Marine Corps Development and Education Command on Dec 10 1984. While serving in this assignment, she was selected in February 1985 for promotion to brigadier general. She was advanced to her present grade on May 15, 1985, and assigned duty as Director, Manpower Plans and Policy Division, Headquarters Marine Corps on June 21, 1985. General Reals served in this capacity until assuming her current assignment on July 7, 1988.