After basic training at Parris Island, S.C., he became a shipboard Marine, assigned as a security guard on the USS Simon Lake, a tender based in Charleston, S.C., that supplied equipment, including weapons, to nuclear submarines. That duty lasted 2½ years.
Mosby then transferred to the 2nd Marine Division at Camp Lejeune, N.C., up the Atlantic coast from his initial posting.
An infantry unit — “the real Marines,” said Mosby — the division spent several months training abroad, preparing with European NATO allies for possible winter warfare against the Soviet Union, which in the early 1980s was still considered very much a threat to the West.
That training mission overseas — it included stops in Scotland and Norway — was Mosby’s last major assignment in the Marines. He returned to Camp Lejeune to complete his four-year hitch and resisted overtures in 1981 to re-enlist.
Suddenly, Mosby was again a civilian and was back in Richmond, working for a commercial printer. But the tug of the armed services endured.
In February 1982, Mosby joined the Virginia National Guard and was assigned to an administrative unit, the 183rd Personnel Services Detachment, posted to the now-shuttered armory on Richmond’s Dove Street.
It was, as National Guard duty is, a part-time gig in which so-called weekend warriors occasionally trained at Fort A.P. Hill, in the countryside north of Richmond, and at Fort Pickett, in the rural Southside.