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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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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 - 17:56:52 | LAN_THEME_20
History of the Marine Corps Flag


Very little information is available regarding the flags carried by early American Marines, although indications are that the Grand Union flag was carried ashore by the battalion led by Captain Samuel Nicholas on New Providence Island, 3 March 1776. It is quite possible that the Rattlesnake flag was also carried on this expedition.

The standard carried by the Marines during the 1830s and 1840s consisted of a white field with gold fringe, and bore an elaborate design of an anchor and eagle in the center. Prior to the Mexican War, this flag bore the legend "To the Shores of Tripoli" across the top. Shortly after the war, the legend was revised to read: "From Tripoli to the Halls of the Montezumas."

During the Mexican and Civil Wars, Marines in the field apparently carried a flag similar to the national flag, comprised of red and white stripes and a union. The union, however, contained an eagle perched on a shield of the United States and a half-wreath beneath the shield, with 29 stars encircling the entire design. Beginning in 1876, Marines carried the national colors (the Stars and Stripes) with "U.S. Marine Corps" embroidered in yellow on the middle red stripe.

At the time of the Vera Cruz landing in 1914, a more distinctive standard was carried by Marines. The design consisted of a blue field with a laurel wreath encircling the Marine Corps emblem in the center. A scarlet ribbon above the emblem carried the words "U.S. Marine Corps," while another scarlet ribbon below the emblem carried the motto "Semper Fidelis."

Orders were issued on 2 April 1921 which directed all national colors be manufactured without the yellow fringe and without the words "U.S. Marine Corps" embroidered on the red stripe. This was followed by an order dated 14 March 1922, retiring from use all national colors still in use with yellow fringe or wording on the flag. Following World War I, the Army practice of attaching silver bands carrying inscriptions enumerating specific decorations and battles was adopted. This practice was discontinued on 23 January 1961.

Marine Corps Order No. 4 of 18 April 1925 designated gold and scarlet as the official colors of the U.S. Marine Corps. These colors, however, were not reflected in the official Marine Corps standard until 18 January 1939, when a new design incorporating the new colors was approved. The design was essentially that of today's Marine Corps standard.

For a brief time following World War I, the inscribing of battle honors directly on the colors of a unit was in practice, but realization that a multiplicity of honors and the limited space on the colors made the system impractical, and the procedure was discontinued. On 29 July 1936, a Marine Corps Board recommended that the Army system of attaching streamers to the staff of the organizational colors be adopted. Such a system was finally authorized by Marine Corps Order No. 157, dated 3 November 1939, and is currently in practice.

The MCO P10520.3B - Marine Corps Flag Manual may be obtained online at the following: Please note that the official source for authentic and current digital publications issued by Headquarters Marine Corps staff agencies, major commands, and other DOD and Federal agencies that issue publications used by the Marine Corps is "Publications" on the Marine Corps homepage (MarineLINK) at http://www.usmc.mil.




Posted by admin on Friday 02 November 2007 - 23:53:47 | LAN_THEME_20
A voice for the fallen


ARLINGTON, Va. -- Thousands of runners used their place in thie year’s Marine Crops Marathon as a platform from which to honor fallen comrades, family and friends.

The late Lance Cpl. Daniel M. McVicker was one such honoree. The 20-year-old victim of an improvised explosive device in Al Qaim, Iraq, left behind a loving family who refused to let him be forgotten.

That’s why they chose to take part in what has become an annual Freedom Walk in Sebring, Ohio. They wore shirts with emblazoned “USMC” on the front, and that attracted the attention of a Marine broadcaster, Staff Sgt. Reina Barnett, who was covering the Freedom Walk for the Pentagon Channel.

That first conversation, about the Marine Corps and “Danny,” sparked what would become a new friendship between two families. It has since been two years since that initial meeting, and Barnett and her husband, 1st Sgt. Bobby Barnett, have taken steps to help the McVicker family tell their son’s story.

The Barnetts took it upon themselves to run the Marine Corps Marathon in honor of Danny, and the McVickers drove from Ohio to Washington to cheer them on and share a few more stories.

“This is such a wonderful tribute … and a real honor,” said Irma McVicker, the lance corporal’s mother.

She said that over the past two years she tried to introduce the Barnetts to Danny by sending them DVDs and CDs of his favorite types of music and continuously telling stories about him.
“We just clicked and I learned about their son—it was empowering,” Reina Barnett said. “I feel as if I know him. I bet if I had met him we would have really gotten along.”

After she crossed the finish line she joined her husband and the McVickers. There were hugs and tears all around. She said she felt like Danny was with her throughout the run.
“It was like I was having a personal conversation with him,” she said.

She added that even though the marathon was physically exhausting, she was in a good mood and smiled throughout the entire 26.2 miles.

Although she was running for one fallen Marine she said, she was in awe of how many other runners were participating in memory of someone.

“I realized we have the best servicemen and women in the world,” she said. “To run for Danny was very humbling.”

The McVickers say that even though their son is gone, he is still with them and keeps giving to them. “He had a heart that was huge. This is a real blessing for us,” Irma McVicker said.

Mark McVicker, Danny’s father, said that because of the Barnetts running in honor of their son, his memory will live on.

“Our fear is that he’ll be forgotten,” he said. But thanks to the Barnetts and their compassion for their new friends, Danny will always be remembered.



Posted by admin on Thursday 01 November 2007 - 10:03:43 | 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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