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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 Memorial Day

Memorial Day, originally called Decoration Day, is a day of remembrance for those who have died in our nation's service. There are many stories as to its actual beginnings, with over two dozen cities and towns laying claim to being the birthplace of Memorial Day. There is also evidence that organized women's groups in the South were decorating graves before the end of the Civil War: a hymn published in 1867, "Kneel Where Our Loves are Sleeping" by Nella L. Sweet carried the dedication "To The Ladies of the South who are Decorating the Graves of the Confederate Dead" (Source: Duke University's Historic American Sheet Music, 1850-1920). While Waterloo N.Y. was officially declared the birthplace of Memorial Day by President Lyndon Johnson in May 1966, it's difficult to prove conclusively the origins of the day.

It is more likely that it had many separate beginnings; each of those towns and every planned or spontaneous gathering of people to honor the war dead in the 1860's tapped into the general human need to honor our dead, each contributed honorably to the growing movement that culminated in Gen Logan giving his official proclamation in 1868. It is not important who was the very first, what is important is that Memorial Day was established. Memorial Day is not about division. It is about reconciliation; it is about coming together to honor those who gave their all.

Memorial Day was officially proclaimed on 5 May 1868 by General John Logan, national commander of the Grand Army of the Republic, in his General Order No. 11, and was first observed on 30 May 1868, when flowers were placed on the graves of Union and Confederate soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery. The first state to officially recognize the holiday was New York in 1873. By 1890 it was recognized by all of the northern states. The South refused to acknowledge the day, honoring their dead on separate days until after World War I (when the holiday changed from honoring just those who died fighting in the Civil War to honoring Americans who died fighting in any war). It is now celebrated in almost every State on the last Monday in May (passed by Congress with the National Holiday Act of 1971 (P.L. 90 - 363) to ensure a three day weekend for Federal holidays), though several southern states have an additional separate day for honoring the Confederate war dead: January 19 in Texas, April 26 in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, and Mississippi; May 10 in South Carolina; and June 3 (Jefferson Davis' birthday) in Louisiana and Tennessee.

In 1915, inspired by the poem "In Flanders Fields," Moina Michael replied with her own poem:

We cherish too, the Poppy red
That grows on fields where valor led,
It seems to signal to the skies
That blood of heroes never dies.

She then conceived of an idea to wear red poppies on Memorial day in honor of those who died serving the nation during war. She was the first to wear one, and sold poppies to her friends and co-workers with the money going to benefit servicemen in need. Later a Madam Guerin from France was visiting the United States and learned of this new custom started by Ms.Michael and when she returned to France, made artificial red poppies to raise money for war orphaned children and widowed women. This tradition spread to other countries. In 1921, the Franco-American Children's League sold poppies nationally to benefit war orphans of France and Belgium. The League disbanded a year later and Madam Guerin approached the VFW for help. Shortly before Memorial Day in 1922 the VFW became the first veterans' organization to nationally sell poppies. Two years later their "Buddy" Poppy program was selling artificial poppies made by disabled veterans. In 1948 the US Post Office honored Ms Michael for her role in founding the National Poppy movement by issuing a red 3 cent postage stamp with her likeness on it.

Traditional observance of Memorial day has diminished over the years. Many Americans nowadays have forgotten the meaning and traditions of Memorial Day. At many cemeteries, the graves of the fallen are increasingly ignored, neglected. Most people no longer remember the proper flag etiquette for the day. While there are towns and cities that still hold Memorial Day parades, many have not held a parade in decades. Some people think the day is for honoring any and all dead, and not just those fallen in service to our country.

There are a few notable exceptions. Since the late 50's on the Thursday before Memorial Day, the 1,200 soldiers of the 3d U.S. Infantry place small American flags at each of the more than 260,000 gravestones at Arlington National Cemetery. They then patrol 24 hours a day during the weekend to ensure that each flag remains standing. In 1951, the Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts of St. Louis began placing flags on the 150,000 graves at Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery as an annual Good Turn, a practice that continues to this day. More recently, beginning in 1998, on the Saturday before the observed day for Memorial Day, the Boys Scouts and Girl Scouts place a candle at each of approximately 15,300 grave sites of soldiers buried at Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park on Marye's Heights (the Luminaria Program). And in 2004, Washington D.C. held its first Memorial Day parade in over 60 years.

To help re-educate and remind Americans of the true meaning of Memorial Day, the "National Moment of Remembrance" resolution was passed on Dec 2000 which asks that at 3 p.m. local time, for all Americans "To voluntarily and informally observe in their own way a Moment of remembrance and respect, pausing from whatever they are doing for a moment of silence or listening to 'Taps."

The Moment of Remembrance is a step in the right direction to returning the meaning back to the day. What is needed is a full return to the original day of observance. Set aside one day out of the year for the nation to get together to remember, reflect and honor those who have given their all in service to their country.

But what may be needed to return the solemn, and even sacred, spirit back to Memorial Day is for a return to its traditional day of observance. Many feel that when Congress made the day into a three-day weekend in with the National Holiday Act of 1971, it made it all the easier for people to be distracted from the spirit and meaning of the day. As the VFW stated in its 2002 Memorial Day address: "Changing the date merely to create three-day weekends has undermined the very meaning of the day. No doubt, this has contributed greatly to the general public's nonchalant observance of Memorial Day."

On January 19, 1999 Senator Inouye introduced bill S 189 to the Senate which proposes to restore the traditional day of observance of Memorial Day back to May 30th instead of "the last Monday in May". On April 19, 1999 Representative Gibbons introduced the bill to the House (H.R. 1474). The bills were referred the Committee on the Judiciary and the Committee on Government Reform.

Posted by admin on Monday 28 May 2007 - 13:13:58 | LAN_THEME_20
Call to Service from the Commandant of the Marine Corps

Our Nation is at war - our Corps is at war - fighting a determined enemy bent on terror and domination. Make no mistake, it is a war we must win! Success by the enemy will dramatically change the world as we know it, leaving a harsh environment for our children and grandchildren to endure.

I don't need to tell you that over five years of deployments to the fight have put a strain on our Corps. Acknowledging that, and the necessity to win this struggle, the President has recently authorized the Marine Corps to grow. In a larger Marine Corps, we will need the leadership, savvy, and determination that experienced Marines like you provide. Now, more than ever, your Marine Corps needs you.

Many of you have already sacrificed a great deal - and have already served your country in a courageous and honorable manner. However, in this hour of national crisis, I encourage every Marine who is considering closing the chapter on his or her Marine Corps service to reconsider. You are elite among the Nation's warriors. America and your Corps need you now, and I ask you to re-enlist - or to extend your commitment - to help us defeat this enemy and see us through the crisis. Think about the experience you have to offer and what it could mean to your fellow Marines still engaged in the fight. I know that any decision to stay in the Corps is both very important and very personal - one that has far reaching effects on both you and your family. In light of this, I have authorized new incentives for your extension / re-enlistment in recognition of your experience and honorable service.

Contact your Commanding Officer, First Sergeant or Career Retention Specialist for more information.

You are part of a new generation of Marines - carrying the battle-tested colors of our Corps. You have carried them with pride and with honor; I ask you to carry them with me for just a while longer.

Semper Fidelis,
James T. Conway
General, U.S. Marine Corps
Commandant of the Marine Corps

Posted by admin on Thursday 10 May 2007 - 22:36:56 | LAN_THEME_20
Little run, just for fun: Citadel Marines raise $83,000 for the Injured Marine Semper Fi Fund

MARINE CORPS AIR STATION BEAUFORT, S.C. (April 6, 2007) -- The ground trembled. The sound of nearly 80 thousand feet pounding the pavement echoed through the air like a booming storm cloud.

Their proud determination was almost palpable as nearly 40,000 people ran the 10-kilometer Cooper River Bridge Run in Charleston, March 31. The annual run is held to promote continuous physical activity and a healthy lifestyle.

However, for the 25 runners in “boots and utes” it was about something much more.

Twenty-five of the Marines and cadets from The Citadel’s Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps detachment ran this year’s Cooper River Bridge run in Charleston to raise awareness of the financial needs of Marines wounded while serving in Iraq.

"The whole idea is to set ourselves apart and raise more awareness in the local community about the needs of injured Marines and the Injured Marine Semper Fi Fund," said Capt. Matthew Kutilek, a Marine Officer Instructor at The Citadel.

As if running the six miles in heavy combat boots and green utility trousers wasn’t enough, the Marines who participated also decided to wear a 55-pound pack.

"Once you put on the Marine Corps uniform, it’s not about you anymore; it’s about the Marines you serve,” said Maj. Steve Pritchard, an MOI at The Citadel. “In our capacity we are looking to educate our students on selfless service to their local community and their nation.”

Money raised by The Citadel went to the Injured Marine Semper Fi Fund, which provides financial assistance to Marines injured in combat or while in training, to other service members injured while in direct support of Marine units and their families.

The fund also helps defray the expenses incurred during hospitalization, rehabilitation and recovery. The overall goal of the IMSFF is to alleviate the financial burden placed on the family so that their focus can be on their loved one’s recovery, according to the group’s Web site,

"Marines take care of Marines - our fellow brothers," said Kutilek. "This is the least we can do in Charleston, South Carolina to help out our wounded Marines."

Since their inception in May 2004 the IMSFF has provided more than $9 million in assistance to those in need.

"The goal (for the Semper Fi Run) is (to raise) at least 100 dollars per person times (25) people, times family members (and) times people we know," said cadet Ross Nufsbaum.

Even though their original goal was to raise $2,500, following Saturday's bridge run The Citadel Marines raised nearly $83,000 for injured Marines such as Lance Cpl. Juan Valdez and his family.

"The bullet went inside my arm, my chest and out my back," said Valdez. "It fractured my T9 in my back, fractured my rib (and) collapsed both lungs."

Valdez's mother couldn't afford the plane ticket to be with her son, nor could she afford to miss work. The Injured Marine Semper Fi Fund paid for it all.

To see future Marines run on his behalf is encouraging, Valdez said.

"We appreciate it a lot," Valdez said, who attended the race on March 31. "It's incredible the support this town has given to us."

Even so, Nufsbaum says with 55-pound pack and all, it doesn't compare to those sacrificing it all.

"Even if I was running with a 100-pound pack it still wouldn't be as tough as what these Marines have had to go through," said Nufsbaum.

To donate

If you would like to support The Citadel Marines’ efforts to raise money for the Injured Marine Semper Fi Fund, please make a check payable to the Injured Marine Semper Fi Fund. Checks should be mailed to:

825 College Blvd

Suite 102, PMB 609 Oceanside

CA 92057

You can also visit their website at and click on their “How You Can Help” link.

For questions, email Kutilek at or Staff Sgt. Mike Harris at


Posted by admin on Saturday 07 April 2007 - 15:31:38 | 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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