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This Month In USMC History
1 October 1997:
The first African-American female colonel in the Marine Corps was promoted to that rank during a ceremony at MCAS Cherry Point, North Carolina. Colonel Gilda A. Jackson, a native of Columbus, Ohio, made Marine Corps history when she achieved the rank of colonel. She was serving as Special Projects Officer, 2d Marine Aircraft Wing at the time of her promotion.

5 October 1775:
Meeting in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the 2d Continental Congress used the word "Marines" on one of the earliest known occasions, when it directed General George Washington to secure two vessels on "Continental risque and pay", and to give orders for the "proper encouragement to the Marines and seamen" to serve on the two armed ships.

6 October 1945:
Major General Keller E. Rockey, Commanding General, III Amphibious Corps, accepted the surrender of 50,000 Japanese troops in North China on behalf of the Chinese Nationalist government.

8 October 1889:
A force of 375 Marines under command of future Commandant George F. Elliott, attacked and captured the insurgent town of Novaleta, Luzon, Philippine Islands, and linked up with U.S. Army troops. There were 11 Marine casualties.

9 October 1917:
The 8th Marines was activated at Quantico, Virginia. Although the regiment would not see combat in Europe during World War I, the officers and enlisted men of the 8th Marines participated in operations against dissidents in Haiti for over five years during the 1920s. During World War II, the regiment was assigned to the 2d Marine Division and participated in combat operations on Guadalcanal, Tarawa, Saipan, Tinian, and Okinawa, and earned three Presidential Unit Citations.

11 October 1951:
A Marine battalion was flown by transport helicopters to a frontline combat position for the first time, when HMR-161 lifted the 3d Battalion, 7th Marines, and its equipment, during Operation Bumblebee, northeast of Yanggu, Korea.

19 October 1968:
Operation Maui Peak, a combined regimental-sized operation which began on 6 October, ended 11 miles northwest of An Hoa, Vietnam. More than 300 enemy were killed in the 13-day operation.

23 October 1983:
At 0622 an explosive-laden truck slammed into the BLT headquarters building in Beirut, Lebanon, where more than 300 men were billeted. The massive explosion collapsed the building in seconds, and took the lives of 241 Americans--including 220 Marines. This was the highest loss of life in a single day for Marines since D-Day on Iwo Jima in 1945.

28 October 1962:
An 11,000-man 5th Marine Expeditionary Brigade left Camp Pendleton by sea for the Caribbean during the Cuban Missile Crisis. One week earlier, the entire 189,000-man Marine Corps had been put on alert and elements of the 1st and 2d Marine Divisions were sent to Guantanamo Bay to reinforce the defenders of the U.S. Naval Base. Other 2d Division units and squadrons from five Marine Aircraft Groups were deployed at Key West, Florida, or in Caribbean waters during the Cuban crisis.

31 October 1919:
A patrol of Marines and gendarmes, led by Sergeant Herman H. Hanneken, disguised themselves as Cacos and entered the headquarters of the Haitian Caco Leader, Charlemagne Peralte, killing the bandit chief, and dispersing his followers. Sergeant Hanneken and Corporal William R. Button were each awarded the Medal of Honor.

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Private First Class Albert Schwab

Private First Class Albert Schwab was just five days short of having one year in the Marine Corps when he fearlessly walked into a blazing Japanese machine gun on Okinawa. He destroyed two guns that day and subsequently earned the highest military honor, the Medal of Honor.

Albert Earnest Schwab was born 17 July 1920 in Washington, D.C. The family moved to Tulsa, Oklahoma, early in his life. He attended the local schools, graduating from Tulsa High School in 1937. After one semester at Tulsa University, the young athlete went to work for an oil company.

Inducted into the Marine Corps on 12 May 1944, he was sent to boot camp in San Diego. His boot leave of ten days was the only time his family was to see him in the Marine uniform. After his furlough, the former oil worker went to the 2d Training Battalion at Camp Pendleton, California. In November, Pvt Schwab was transferred to the 13th Replacement Draft and on the 12th of that month departed for overseas duty aboard the USS Wharton. He joined the 1st Marine Division at Pavuvu Island, in the Russells, and was assigned to Headquarters Company, 1st Battalion, 5th Marines. On 24 December, Pvt Schwab was promoted to private first class and in February, he, along with the rest of the division, embarked for maneuvers which eventually led to an enemy landing on the shores of Okinawa on Easter Sunday, 1 April 1945.

Private First Class Schwab was a flame thrower operator with Headquarters Company. When that company was pinned down in a valley on 7 May by the withering fire of a machine gun coming from a ridge high to the company's front, he scaled the cliff in the face of the devastating fire and attacked the gun with his flame thrower. Quickly demolishing the position and its crew, his company was able to occupy the ridge. Suddenly, a second machine gun opened fire inflicting more casualties on the unit. Although he had not had time to replenish his supply of fuel, PFC Schwab unhesitatingly advanced on the second gun and succeeded in eliminating it before its final burst caught him in the left hip, inflicting fatal wounds.

The Medal of Honor was presented to PFC Schwab's three-year-old son at Boulder Park in Tulsa on Memorial Day 1946 by Rear Admiral J.J. Clark, USN, Commander of the Naval Air Basic Training Command, Naval Air Station, Corpus Christi, Texas.

Private First Class Schwab's body was returned to the United States and buried with full military honors at Memorial Park, Tulsa, 27 February 1949. On 3 October 1959, a Marine camp constructed on Okinawa was named Camp Schwab in honor of the heroic Marine.

Posted by admin on Friday 14 December 2007 - 10:29:55 | LAN_THEME_20
Lieutenant carries on Lejeune legacy


-- The legacy of Lt. Gen. John A. Lejeune, a man often referred to as the “Marine’s Marine” and “The greatest of all Leathernecks,” still continues more than 78 years after retiring from the Marine Corps.

The Lejeune namesake continues in the Corps with several enlisted Marines and one officer.

Second Lt. Learlin Lejeune III, platoon commander with Weapons Platoon, Company B, 1st Battalion, 9th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force, is the only officer in the Marine Corps with a direct relation to the 13th Commandant of the Marine Corps.

Learlin Lejeune, an Acadia Parish, Louisiana-native, is the great-great nephew of Lt. Gen. Lejeune, according to family genealogy records.

“Both he and I trace our ancestry back to Jean Baptiste Lejeune, who was one of the three Lejeune brothers that came from Nova Scotia, Canada,” Learlin Lejeune said. “Those three brothers moved out after the exile of the Acadians in Canada and moved to New Roads, Pointe Coupee Parish, Louisiana.”

Growing up, Learlin Lejeune didn’t learn about his highly-respected relative until his teenage years.

“I really didn’t know of him growing up as a young kid,” Learlin Lejeune said. “It wasn’t until about high school when I started considering the military as a career and later read his book ‘Reminiscence of a Marine’.”

According to Learlin Lejeune, Lt. Gen. Lejeune is the example of a stellar Marine and looks up to him as an example for his own career.

“When people see my nametapes, they ask me if I’m related to Lejeune,” Learlin Lejeune stated. “It makes me feel proud of the heritage that he established for our family. I can only hope I can live up to the namesake as well. That’s big shoes I have to fill. He was a phenomenal Marine and just a phenomenal man in general.”

Although Learlin Lejeune shares a revered last name in the Marine Corps, his nametapes did not give him any “wiggle room” at Officer Candidate School.

“When I was going through OCS they found out what my last name was, and of course, there was some extra ‘special treatment’,” Learlin Lejeune said jokingly. “During my class there was myself, another Marine whose last name was Marine and a Marine with the last name Sailors. So everyday after class we would get together and see who had the most interesting afternoon.”

Now, a platoon commander with the “Walking Dead”, Learlin Lejeune prepares to lead his Marines on an upcoming deployment in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom, like his great-great uncle did during the Spanish-American War as a lieutenant.

Posted by admin on Sunday 09 December 2007 - 16:01:17 | LAN_THEME_20
Marine Corps Birthday November 10th 1775

The First Usage of Marines in America
Indeed, American Marines have been involved in wars before the formation of our own country. During England's war with Spain (the War of Jenkins' Ear,1738-41), the British Government asked the American Colonists to form 4 regiments to fight with Admiral Vernon's fleet. These 3000 Marines under the command of the Virginia Governor William Gooch, (known as Gooch's Marines), fought against the French in the West Indies. Thinned by disease, only 10% of them survived.
At the outbreak of war against England in 1775, many colonies raised units of Marines. General Washington, who had formed a fleet of 4 warships in the Boston area, recruited a regiment of the Massachusetts militia, known as the Marblehead Regiment, comprised of New England Mariners, who provided crews for Washington's navy. A detachment from Connecticut (known as the Original Eight), helped Benedict Arnold to hold the Finger Lakes, making it able for Fort Ticonderoga to be taken.

Although not always divided between sailors and Marines, when they were differentiated, it was as they were as far back as the Phoenicians, Romans and Greeks: the Marines were aboard for the express purpose of fighting, as opposed to those who actually sail the ships, or navigate them. This difference was delineated when Pennsylvania formed a state navy to protect the Delaware.

Upon a request for assistance from Rhode Island, the Continental Congress came to realize the viability to form a national force. The Congress had technically already been in control of a Marine force. On June 10, 1775, the Continental Congress took control of all military forces on Lake Champlain, which included 17 Massachusetts Marines under Lieutenant Watson, part of the ship Enterprise. But at this point they were hoping to get by with just Washington's and Arnold's forces. Furthermore, they were intimidated by the massive British force, as well as their own financial limitations. However, the plan to invade Canada made it viable, if not necessary, to form a national force for the Nova Scotia expedition, but as long as the effort was being made, to form one with a permanence.

The Marines Are Created
Towards that end, Congress decided on November 10, 1775 to raise two battalions at Congressional expense:

Resolved: That two Battalions of Marines be raised consisting of one Colonel, two Lieutenant Colonels, two Majors & other Officers as usual in other regiments, that they consist of an equal number of privates with other battalions; that particular care be taken that no person be appointed to office or inlisted into said Battalions, but such as are good seamen, or so acquainted with maritime affairs as to be able to serve to advantage by sea, when required. That they be inlisted and commissioned for and during the present war between Great Britain and the colonies, unless dismissed by order of Congress. That they be distinguished by the names of the first & second battalions of American Marines, and that they be considered a part of the number, which the continental Army before Boston is ordered to consist of.

Ironically, although this is the celebrated birthday of the Marine Corps, the two Battalions resolved to be formed never were. There is also no evidence to suggest that any Marine ever rose above a rank of major. However, Marine guard detachments were quite quickly recruited and assigned aboard ships. John Hancock, the President of the Continental Congress, appointed Captain Samuel Nicholas, the son of pacifist Quakers, the first commandant of the corps. Nichols set up headquarters at the Tun Tavern in Philadelphia, and began to recruit Marines with the help of the tavern's proprietor, who received a commission as a captain.

Marines in the Revolution
The Marines proved vital to the Revolutionary cause. On March 3, 1776, Marines headed up a raid on a British store at Nassau in the Bahamas. Although it was not much of a military challenge, it was the first amphibious landing made by American Marines. There were several other encounters during the Revolutionary War, including the participation by Marines from the Hancock in the Battles of Trenton and Princeton.
The Penobscot Expedition in July 1779 however, where the Marines stormed the beaches at Banks Island two days earlier, proved to be a military and financial disaster. In Charleston S.C. in 1780, British overrunning of the Charleston fort caused General Benjamin Lincoln to surrender 3400 men, including 200 Marines under the command of Abraham Whipple. This led to the rest of the war being one of short supplies and limited opportunity for the Navy and Marines. In 1785, the Continental Army and Marines were disbanded for economic reasons.

War in Europe in 1793 caused danger for American merchant ships. Seizure of American ships began to number in the hundreds, and allowed the Barbary pirates to make demands of extortion, protection money, and even ransoms for British seamen. As a result, the British Royal Navy began to impress men from American merchant vessels. Not powerful enough to stop the British or French in these matters (see The Constitution Vs. The Guerrière: The Birth of American Naval Power), they could put up a battle against the Barbary pirates, and in 1794, voted to build a protection fleet of 6 frigates, and ordered Marines aboard each vessel.

The Marines Established For Good
The United States, looking to stop the bullying of France on the seas (not ready for England yet), stepped up their production of warships to go along with the frigates. This fleet would be under the authority not of the Department of War, but under the newly-created Department of the Navy. There was great worry as to the possible high costs of maintaining Marines on these ships (not to mention various possible administrative problems). In response to this, Congress (presented by Congressmen Sewell's committee drafting naval legislation), passed "An Act for Establishing a Marine Corps", on July 11, 1798. It lengthened the enlistment to three years, and also provided for the internal governing of the Corps. When ashore, they would follow the Articles of War (like the Army), but when at sea would follow the Naval Regulations (as yet not written, and shaped by individual sea captains). This would cause problems for the Marines until modified in 1834.

Since Then
As mentioned above, the Marines have been involved in every United States hostility abroad (and the Civil War), and have made more than 300 landings on foreign soil (that we know of). Their exploits in each war, and Latin America fill many books, and perhaps will be discussed in more length in future columns. Their shining moments at Bellau Wood in World War I, Guadalcanal and Iwo Jima in World War II, have caused many movies made that are quite worthwhile to watch (Does John Wayne star in every one?), such as Guadalcanal Diary and The Sands of Iwo Jima.

Celebrating the Birth of the Marine Corps
Prior to 1921, The birthday celebrations were held on various days, including July 11th. Beginning in 1921, November 10th has been officially celebrated by the Marine Corps as their birthday. Although the various local units may have some celebratory variations, generally a passage form the Marine Corps Manual and a special message from the commandant are read aloud. When possible, a birthday cake is cut, and the oldest and youngest Marines present receive the first and second piece of the cake.
The United States Marine Corps War Memorial is located a few hundred yards north of Arlington National Cemetery, and commemorates the Battle of Iwo Jima. Dedicated on November 10, 1954, the bronze statue depicts the famous photograph by Joe Rosenthal of the raising of the American flag on Mt. Suribachi on Iwo Jima.

Posted by admin on Saturday 10 November 2007 - 00:55:00 | LAN_THEME_20
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Marine Of The Month

Lance Cpl. James M. Gluff

20, of Tunnel Hill, Ga.; assigned to the 1st Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Lejeune, N.C.; died Jan. 19 in Ramadi, Iraq, while conducting combat operations.


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