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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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History of the Marines' Hymn


Following the war with the Barbary Pirates in 1805, when Lieutenant P.N. O'Bannon and his small force of Marines participated in the capture of Derne and hoisted the American flag for the first time over a fortress of the Old World, the Colors of the Corps was inscribed with the words: "To the Shores of Tripoli." After the Marines had participated in the capture and occupation of Mexico City and the Castle of Chapultepec, otherwise known as the "Halls of Montezuma," the words on the Colors were changed to read: "From the Shores of Tripoli to the Halls of Montezuma."

Following the close of the Mexican War came the first verse of the Marines' Hymn, written, according to tradition, by a Marine on duty in Mexico. For the sake of euphony, the unknown author transposed the phrases in the motto on the Colors so that the first two lines of the Hymn would read: "From the Halls of Montezuma, To the Shores of Tripoli."

A serious attempt to trace the tune of the Marines' Hymn to its source is revealed in correspondence between Colonel A.S. McLemore, USMC, and Walter F. Smith, second leader of the Marine Band. Colonel McLemore wrote:
"Major Richard Wallach, USMC, says that in 1878, when he was in Paris, France, the aria to which the Marines' Hymn is now sung was a very popular one." The name of the opera and a part of the chorus was secured from Major Wallach and forwarded to Mr. Smith, who replied: "Major Wallach is to be congratulated upon a wonderfully accurate musical memory, for the aria of the Marine Hymn is certainly to be found in the opera, 'Genevieve de Brabant'...The melody is not in the exact form of the Marine Hymn, but is undoubtedly the aria from which it was taken. I am informed, however, by one of the members of the band, who has a Spanish wife, that the aria was one familiar to her childhood and it may, therefore, be a Spanish folk song."

In a letter to Major Harold F. Wingman, USMC, dated 18 July [1919], John Philip Sousa wrote: "The melody of the 'Halls of Montezuma' is taken from Offenbach's comic opera, 'Genevieve de Brabant' and is sung by two gendarmes." Most people believe that the aria of the Marines' Hymn was, in fact, taken from "Genevieve de Brabant," an opera-bouffe (a farcical form of opera, generally termed musical comedy) composed by Jacques Offenbach (1819-1880), and presented at the Theatre de Bouffes Parisiens, Paris, on November 19, 1859.

Offenbach was born in Cologne, Germany, June 20, 1819 and died October 5, 1880. He studied music from an early age and in 1838 entered the Paris Conservatoire as a student. In 1834 he was admitted as a violoncellist to the Opera Comique and soon attained much popularity with Parisien audiences. He became conductor of the Theatre Francais in 1847 and subsequently leased the Theatre Comte, which he reopened as the Bouffes-Parisiens. Most of his operas are classed as comic (light and fanciful) and include numerous popular productions, many of which still hold a high place in European and American countries.

Genevieve de Brabant was the wife of Count Siegfried of Brabant. Brabant, a district in the central lowlands of Holland and Belgium, formerly constituted an independent duchy. The southern portions were inhabited by Walloons, a class of people now occupying the southeastern part of Belgium, especially the provinces of Liege, Arlon and Namur.

Every campaign the Marines have taken part in gives birth to an unofficial verse. For example, the following from Iceland:

"Again in nineteen forty-one
We sailed a north'ard course
And found beneath the midnight sun,
The Viking and the Norse.
The Iceland girls were slim and fair,
And fair the Iceland scenes,
And the Army found in landing there,
The United States Marines."

Copyright ownership of the Marines' Hymn was vested in the United States Marine Corps per certificate of registration dated August 19, 1991 but is now in the public domain. In 1929, the Commandant of the Marine Corps authorized the following verses of the Marines' Hymn as the official version:

"From the Halls of Montezuma
To the Shores of Tripoli;
We fight our country's battles
On the land as on the sea;
First to fight for right and freedom
And to keep our honor clean;
We are proud to claim the title
of United States Marine.

"Our flag's unfurled to every breeze
From dawn to setting sun;
We have fought in ev'ry clime and place
Where we could take a gun;
In the snow of far-off Northern lands
And in sunny tropic scenes;
You will find us always on the job--
The United States Marines.

"Here's health to you and to our Corps
Which we are proud to serve
In many a strife we've fought for life
And never lost our nerve;

If the Army and the Navy
Ever look on Heaven's scenes;
They will find the streets are guarded
By United States Marines."

On November 21, 1942, the Commandant of the Marine Corps approved a change in the words of the fourth line, first verse, to read, "In air, on land, and sea."

Former-Gunnery Sergeant H.L. Tallman, veteran observer in Marine Corps Aviation who participated in many combat missions with Marine Corps Aviation over the Western Front in World War I, first proposed the change at a meeting of the First Marine Aviation Force Veterans Association in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Many interesting stories have been associated with the Marines' Hymn. One of the best was published in the Stars and Stripes, the official newspaper of the AEF, under date of August 16, 1918.

"A wounded officer from among the gallant French lancers had just been carried into a Yankee field hospital to have his dressing changed. He was full of compliments and curiosity about the dashing contingent that fought at his regiment's left.

"'A lot of them are mounted troops by this time,' he explained, 'for when our men would be shot from their horses, these youngsters would give one running jump and gallop ahead as cavalry. I believe they are soldiers from Montezuma. At least, when they advanced this morning, they were all singing "From the Halls of Montezuma to the Shores of Tripoli".'"

The Marines' Hymn has been sung and played in all of the four corners of the earth and today is recognized as one of the foremost service songs.




Posted by admin on Thursday 08 November 2007 - 16:10:18 | LAN_THEME_20
General Alexander Vandegrift


General Alexander Archer Vandegrift, World War II Medal of Honor recipient and 18th Commandant of the Marine Corps, was born on 13 March 1887 in Charlottesville, Virginia. He attended the University of Virginia and was commissioned in the Marine Corps as a second lieutenant on 22 January 1909.

Following instruction at the Marine Officers' School, Port Royal, South Carolina, and a tour of duty at the Marine Barracks, Portsmouth, New Hampshire, he went to foreign shore duty in the Caribbean area. He participated in the bombardment, assault, and capture of Coyotepe in Nicaragua. He further participated in the engagement and occupation of Vera Cruz, Mexico.

In December 1914, following his promotion to first lieutenant, he attended the Advance Base Course at the Marine Barracks, Philadelphia. Upon completion of schooling, he sailed for Haiti with the 1st Brigade and participated in action against hostile Cacos bandits at LeTrou and Fort Capois.

In August 1916, he was promoted to captain and became a member of the Haitian Constabulary at Port Au Prince, where he remained until detached to the United States in December 1918. He returned to Haiti again in July 1919 to serve with the Gendarmerie d'Haiti as an Inspector of Constabulary. He was promoted to major in June 1920.

Major Vandegrift returned to the U.S. in April 1923 and was assigned to the Marine Barracks, Quantico, Virginia. He completed the Field Officers' Course, Marine Corps Schools in May 1926. He then was transferred to the Marine Corps Base, San Diego, California, as Assistant Chief of Staff.

In February 1927, he sailed for China where he served as Operations and Training Officer of the 3d Marine Brigade with Headquarters at Tientsin. He was ordered to Washington, D.C., in September 1928 where he became Assistant Chief Coordinator, Bureau of the Budget.

Following duty in Washington, he joined the Marine Barracks, Quantico, where he became Assistant Chief of Staff, G-1 Section, Fleet Marine Force (FMF). During this assignment, he was promoted to lieutenant colonel in June 1934.

Ordered to China in June 1935, LtCol Vandegrift served successively as Executive Officer and Commanding Officer of the Marine Detachment at the American Embassy in Peiping. Promoted to colonel in September 1936, Col Vandegrift reported to Headquarters Marine Corps (HQMC), Washington, D.C. in June 1937, where he became Military Secretary to the Major General Commandant. In March 1940, he was appointed Assistant to the Major General Commandant, and the following month was promoted to brigadier general.

Brigadier General Vandegrift was detached to the 1st Marine Division in November 1941, shortly before the outbreak of World War II. He was promoted to major general in March 1942 and sailed for the South Pacific Area that May as commanding general of the first Marine division to ever leave the shores of the United States. On 7 August 1942, in the Solomon Islands, he led ashore the 1st Marine Division in the first large-scale offensive action against the Japanese. For outstanding service as Commanding General of the 1st Marine Division during the attack on Guadalcanal, Tulagi, and Gavutu in the Solomon Islands, he was awarded the Navy Cross and for the subsequent occupation and defense from 7 August to 9 December 1942, was awarded the Medal of Honor.

In July 1943, he assumed command of the I Marine Amphibious Corps and commanded this organization in the landing at Empress Augusta Bay, Bougainville, Northern Solomon Islands, on 1 November 1943. Upon establishing the initial beachhead, he relinquished command and returned to Washington, D.C. as Commandant-designate.

On 1 January 1944, as a lieutenant general, he was sworn in as the 18th Commandant of the Marine Corps. On 4 April 1945, he was appointed general, with date of rank from 21 March 1945, the first Marine officer on active duty to attain four-star rank.

For outstanding service as Commandant of the Marine Corps from 1 January 1944 to 30 June 1946, Gen Vandergrift was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal. He left active service on 31 December 1947 and was placed on the retired list 1 April 1949.

General Vandegrift died 8 May 1973 at the National Naval Medical Center, Bethesda, Maryland, after a long illness. He was 86. His interment was 10 May 1973 at Arlington National Cemetery.

General Vandegrift held an honorary degree of Doctor of Military Science from Pennsylvania Military College, and honorary degrees of Doctor of Law from Harvard, Colgate, Brown, Columbia, and Maryland Universities and John Marshall College.

In addition to the Medal of Honor, Navy Cross, and Distinguished Service Medal, his decorations and medals included: the Presidential Unit Citation with one bronze star; Navy Unit Commendation with one bronze star; Expeditionary Medal with three bronze stars; Nicaraguan Campaign Medal; Mexican Service Medal; Haitian Campaign Medal with one star; World War I Victory Medal with West Indies Clasp and one star; Yangtze Service Medal; American Defense Service Medal; Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal with four bronze stars; American Campaign Medal; and the World War II Victory Medal.

He received the following foreign decorations: Haitian Distinguished Service Medal; Medaille Militaire with one silver star; Honorary Knight Commander, Military Division of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire; Companion (Honorary) of the Military Division of the Most Honorable Order of the Bath; Cruz de Aviacion de Primera Clase, Peruvian Government; Abdon Calderon of the 1st Class; Knights Grand Cross in the Order of the Orange-Nassau with Swords; the Order of Pao-Tine (Precious Tripod) with Special Clasp; and the Legion of Honor (Grand Officer).




Posted by admin on Wednesday 07 November 2007 - 18:01:38 | LAN_THEME_20
New rules for recruits with criminal records?


WASHINGTON — Faced with higher recruiting goals, the Pentagon is quietly looking for ways to make it easier for people with minor criminal records to join the military, The Associated Press has learned.

The review, in its early stages, comes as the number of Army recruits needing waivers for bad behavior — such as trying drugs, stealing, carrying weapons on school grounds and fighting — rose from 15 percent in 2006 to 18 percent this year. And it reflects the services’ growing use of criminal, health and other waivers to build their ranks.

Overall, about three in every 10 recruits must get a waiver, according to Pentagon statistics obtained by AP, and about two-thirds of those approved in recent years have been for criminal behavior. Some recruits must get more than one waiver to cover things ranging from any criminal record, to health problems such as asthma or flat feet, to low aptitude scores — and even for some tattoos.

The goal of the review is to make cumbersome waiver requirements consistent across the services — the Army, Marine Corps, Navy and Air Force — and reduce the number of petty crimes that now trigger the process. Still, some Army officers worry that disciplinary problems will grow as more soldiers with records, past drug use and behavior problems are brought in.

Lt. Gen. Michael Rochelle, the Army’s deputy chief of staff for personnel, said the review is necessary. Now, he said, many recruits who were arrested as juveniles for what can be considered youthful indiscretions — minor fights or theft — are forced to get waivers even if they were never convicted of the crime.

“I do believe it needs to be done,” Rochelle said of the waiver review. “There are really anomalies out there.”

The waivers require more time, paperwork and investigation, from detailed health screenings and doctor referrals to testimonials about past bad behavior. Depending on the seriousness, the final decision can be made by senior recruiting officers or higher-ranking commanders.

In addition, many waiver requirements differ from service to service, and some officials and recruiters say the policies should be more uniform.

The starkest difference involves Marines and drug use. The Marines require a waiver for one-time marijuana use, while the other services don’t, and 69 percent of conduct waivers for Marines who joined from October 2006 to June 2007 were for previous drug use. It was 12 percent for the Army.

The bulk of the Army’s conduct waivers during that time — 71 percent — were for serious misdemeanors, which can include thefts worth more than $500, any incident involving a dangerous weapon on school grounds, or minor assaults and fights. A waiver is required even if the recruit was a juvenile and the charge was dismissed after restitution, community service or other conditions were met.

According to the Pentagon data, the bulk of all conduct waivers are for recruits involved in either drug offenses or serious misdemeanors. Over the past five years, the overall percentage of recruits involved in serious misdemeanors has grown.

A bit more than 75 percent of the Marine waivers from October 1996 through June 2007 were for conduct, compared with about 73 percent the previous two years. In both years, the bulk of the remaining waivers were for medical issues.

Similarly, about 77 percent of the waivers for Air Force recruits in 2003 were for conduct, compared with 80.8 percent through June 2007. The Navy was the only service that saw a decline, with 56.7 of waivers in 2003 for conduct, compared with 40.3 percent through June 2007.

Relaxing some of the waiver requirements may make it easier for the Army to meet increased pressure for recruits in the next few years.

The Army is already strained by the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and needs to grow to meet those demands and be prepared to respond to crises in any other hot spot.

The Pentagon has recommended the Army be increased by about 65,000 soldiers to a total of 547,000, and the Marines be increased by 27,000 to 202,000. The services will either have to bring in more new people or convince more current soldiers and Marines to stay on.

Army recruiters attending a recent conference in Denver said they often encounter would-be soldiers whose records are tainted by minor offenses.

Several related the story of a 15-year-old who was trying to smoke out bees in a hive and accidentally set the hive on fire. The flames spread to a nearby house and caused damage. Police charged the youth with arson as a juvenile. At age 22, he tried to join the Army, and officials had to go through the waiver process to get him in.

In another instance, detailed by the Pentagon, two 14-year-olds had a fight at school, and police charged both with aggravated assault. One was charged with using a deadly weapon — a shoe. That person is now 18, and needs a waiver to join the service.

Not everyone, however, is enthusiastic about relaxing the regulations.

At Fort Sill, Okla., Army officers said they already spend a lot of time dealing with discipline problems. And in a meeting with Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, a number of officers vigorously nodded their heads when he asked if that was a concern.

One officer told Mullen that when he was in Iraq he would spend long hours into the night dealing with “problem children.” Mullen later said he is not convinced that increasing waivers leads to more disciplinary issues, noting that it is not unusual for officers to have problem troops. But he said the military will keep an eye on it.

Others suggest the need for more criminal behavior waivers may, in part, be a sign of the times.

The Pentagon’s top personnel official noted the Marines’ policy on one-time marijuana use and wryly wondered if even members of Congress could pass muster.

“That’s a pretty tough standard,” said David S.C. Chu, undersecretary of defense for personnel and readiness. “Not to be cheeky about this, but (if) we apply that standard to our legislative overseers, a significant fraction would need waivers to join the United States military.”


-----------------------------------------------------------

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Posted by admin on Wednesday 07 November 2007 - 17:57:41 | 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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