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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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Gunnery Sergeant Carlos Hathcock
Hathcock enlisted in the Marine Corps on May 20, 1959, at age 17 years. Before his deployment to Vietnam he won many shooting championships, including the prestigious Wimbledon Cup — long-range shooting's most prestigious prize — in 1965. A year later he was sent to Vietnam.

Widely recognized as the Marines' most proficient sniper, Hathcock had killed a confirmed 93 North Vietnamese and Viet Cong personnel. His actual total is believed to be well over 100, which the official count does not reflect. North Vietnam even put a bounty of $50,000 on his life, which was far more than other bounties put on U.S. snipers—typically only $50-$100 USD. The Viet Cong and NVA called Hathcock Long Tra'ng du'Kich, translated as "White Feather Sniper" in English, because of the white feather he kept in a band on his bush hat. He only removed the white feather from his bush hat once while deployed in Vietnam, and that was for his final mission on his first deployment, which called for prone crawling over a thousand meters of field to snipe a commanding NVA general.

Hathcock's work demanded steady nerves and was exhausting. During that pursuit of the NVA general, he had to cover more than 1,000 meters of open terrain during three days and nights of constant crawling an inch at a time. In Carlos's own words, one enemy soldier (or "hamburger" as Carlos called them), "shortly after sunset", almost stepped on him as he lay camouflaged with grass and vegetation in a meadow. [1]

Hathcock's career as a sniper came to a sudden end outside Khe Sanh in 1969, when the amphibious tractor he was riding on struck an anti-tank mine. Hathcock pulled seven Marines off the flame-engulfed vehicle before jumping to safety. As was his way, he rejected any commendation for his bravery. He came out of the attack with severe burns over ninety percent of his body, forty nine percent of which were third-degree burns. He was evacuated to Brooke Army Medical Center in Texas, where he underwent 13 skin graft operations. The nature of the injuries left him unable to perform effectively in combat with a rifle. He was told he would be recommended for the Silver Star, but he stated that he had only done what anyone there would have if they were awake. Later in life, he was awarded the Silver Star—the third-highest honor—for this incident that occurred nearly 30 years earlier.

Said Hathcock, in his book, of his career as a sniper: "I like shooting, and I love hunting. But I never did enjoy killing anybody. It's my job. If I don't get those bastards, then they're gonna kill a lot of these kids we got dressed up like Marines. Thats just the way I see it."

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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