Remembering the Life and Memory of...
Capt Brian McNally, USMC, NJSP
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Hometown: Morristown, NJ.
Died: May 20, 2018
Unit: 3rd Battalion, 25th Marines
Brian John McNally N.J. State trooper and captain in the U.S. Marine Corps N.J. State Trooper and U.S. Marine Brian John McNally, 30, passed away suddenly on Sunday, May 20, 2018, from the result of a car accident.
Born in Livingston, N.J., Brian was a recent resident of Bedminster, N.J., though he lived most of his life in Morris Township and Morristown, N.J. Brian was a 2006 graduate of Morristown High School, where he played football and lacrosse and was a member of the swim team. As a member of Boy Scout Troop 34, he earned the achievement of Eagle Scout. Additionally, Brian was co-president of the Heritage Club, a volunteer with Morris Habitat for Humanity, and a Cromwell Hills lifeguard. At the age of 14, he became a certified EMT with the Morris Minute Men (local ambulance squad) and, at age 16, a volunteer member of the Morris Township Fire Department. He then attended The Citadel, where he participated with the Color Guard, attended Officer Candidate School (OCS) the summer of his junior year, and was the XO for Palmetto Battery Company his senior year. He graduated in May 2010 and was commissioned as a 2nd lieutenant in the U.S. Marine Corps. Brian attended and graduated from the Marines' Basic School at Quantico, Va., prior to being stationed at Twentynine Palms, Calif., as a member of the Wolfpack Infantry Unit.
Brian served as an active duty Marine for four years, attaining the rank of 1st lieutenant, including a tour in Afghanistan and most recently as a captain in the United States Marine Corps Reserve. In March of 2014, he attended the New Jersey State Police Academy and graduated in August that year.
Brian was the beloved son of Barbara and Kevin McNally; brother of Maureen McNally; cousin of Tara Sedgwick, Heather Gorman, Laura Lincoln, Kyle, Kasey and Kelly Dunbar, Stephen, Gregory and Timothy Breen, and also leaves many aunts, uncles and second cousins.
Brian was an avid Giants and Yankees fan and was larger than life, not only based on his size, but because everyone clearly knew when Brian was in the room between his height, booming voice and infectious laugh. He always had a smile, is described by friends as "True Blue" and when he committed to a task, not only was he focused, but he gave it his all each and every time. Even at a young age, Brian knew that he wanted to lead a life of service in uniform, always believing in Honor, Duty and Fidelity. We hope everyone knows how much Brian sought to dedicate his life to serving his country, state and hometown community.
The New Jersey State Trooper who died in an off-duty crash always knew he wanted to serve in the military and had dreamed of taking over his hometown police department as chief one day.
"He's very focused," Brian McNally's father, Kevin, said in a phone call with NJ Advance Media from his Morristown home Monday afternoon. "He always wanted to be in the military, always wanted to be in the Marines and always wanted to be the chief of police."
Trooper Brian McNally, 30, was killed in a crash in Pennsylvania Sunday. McNally, 30, of Bedminster, was driving east on I-78 in Berks County, Pa., around 6:30 p.m. Sunday, coming home from weekend duty with the U.S. Marine Corps Reserves. As traffic slowed, he moved to switch lanes and struck a tractor trailer, which caught fire along with his SUV, according to police.
McNally was a graduate of Morristown High School, where he played football. He received a scholarship to study at Citadel Military Academy in Charleston, South Carolina, his father said.
He served overseas for seven months in Afghanistan, Kevin McNally said.
After returning home, McNally attended the State Police Academy and graduated in 2014, and was assigned to the Washington barracks in Warren County.
"The men and women of the State Police are devastated by the tragic loss of Trooper McNally," Colonel Patrick Callahan, acting superintendent of the State Police, said in a statement. "Our heartfelt thoughts and prayers are with his family. Brian's life was a testament to his dedication to service of both state and country."
McNally's father said his son knew from an early age that he wanted to spend his life serving his country and community. At 14, he became EMT with the Morris Minute Men in Morris Township, and a volunteer firefighter at 16.
"Tammy and I are deeply saddened by the death of Trooper Brian McNally, who was killed in an off duty car crash yesterday evening while returning from weekend military service in Pennsylvania," Gov. Phil Murphy said in a statement Monday. "Our thoughts and prayers are with the McNally family and the New Jersey State Police at this difficult time."
Kevin McNally said services for his son will likely be scheduled for Tuesday and Wednesday of next week. In addition to his father, he leaves behind his mother and a sister.
Gov. Phil Murphy on Tuesday directed all state offices to lower flags on May 29 as the family of Trooper Brian McNally prepare funeral arrangements. The 30-year-old trooper was returning from weekend duty with the U.S. Marine Corps Reserves when his SUV collided with a tractor-trailer.
In a statement accompanying his directive, the governor said McNally was "a loving son and brother who not only served our state, but also our country," calling him "a brave and loyal hero."