Gary W. Crisp, was born on June 18, 1948, in Clay Lick, Kentucky to Arnold Lee Crisp and Bessie Ellen Isom-Crisp. He graduated from Rowan County Senior High School in 1966. Afterwards, he enrolled and took college classes at Morehead State University. He enlisted in the U.S. Army in Ashland, Kentucky on April 4, 1968 and attended Basic Training at Fort Knox, Kentucky; and Advanced Individual Training at Fort Eustis, Virginia.
Private First Class (PFC) Crisp, was assigned to the 14th ACR, in Fulda, West Germany as a Helicopter Utility Repairman. In July of 1969, Specialist (SPC) volunteered for duty in Vietnam. He was advanced to the rank of Specialist 6 (SPC-6), and was assigned to the 199th Aviation Company, where he served as a Technical Inspector. After completing his tour in Vietnam, he was assigned to Fort Rucker, Alabama, where he would serve as an Platform Instructor, for seven years. Then as Sergeant First Class (SFC) Crisp, he was assigned to the 193rd Infantry Brigade, in 1977 in Panama, for a three-year tour; while there he participated in the Jamestown Guyana Disaster Relief and witnessed the signing of the Panama Canal Treaty.
In July of 1980, then SFC Crisp was assigned to 227th Aviation Battalion, 1st Cavalry Division, and participated in number of deployments to Honduras and South America. He led his Soldiers as a Platoon Sergeant, then as First Sergeant during his five-year tour with the 1st Calvary Division.
The next assignment, for then First Sergeant Crisp was with the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment, in Fulda, Germany. There he would serve as the First Sergeant for S-Troop in the Blackhorse Regiment. In 1987, SFC Crisp was promoted to the rank of Sergeant Major. He did a PCS (Permanent Change of Station) to Fort Bliss, Texas to attend the Sergeants Major Academy in January of 1988. After he completed the Sergeants Major Course, Sergeants Major Crisp’s orders were received for an assignment, as a Staff Sergeant Major to 3rd Battalion, 101st Aviation Regiment, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), where he served the next two years.
In July of 1990, CSM Crisp was assigned to 2nd Infantry Division, 2nd Aviation Battalion at Camp Stanley, Korea as the Battalion Command Sergeants Major. There he led the unit on different field training exercises to include a Corps Emergency Readiness Deployment Exercise to Fort Bragg, North Carolina. He becomes the Command Sergeant Major, of 4th Battalion, 101st Aviation Regiment, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) at Fort Campbell, 31 August 1991- 26 May 1992.
He was moved from 4th Battalion to the Aviation Brigade on 26 May 1992, to work as a Brigade level Staff Sergeant Major until 1994.
He was reassigned as the Command Sergeant Major, of the 101ST Aviation Brigade, 1994 -1995.
CSM Crisp was married to Sharon Johnson. He was the father of two daughters: Sharon Kay and Carol.
CSM Crisp served in the US Army for 27 years, 1968 to 1995. In his honor, Fort Campbell Post 289 was renamed to American Legion CSM Gary W. Crisp Post 289 in 2017.