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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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The History Of Marine Corps Boot Camp
The History Of Marine Corps BootcampFor most of the Marine Corps’ history, there was no highly structured program of instruction for Marine recruits, such as we know today. Only in the last 90 years have there been centralized recruit depots with the mission of transforming civilians into basically trained Marines prepared to perform on the battlefield.

Early Marine recruit training was conducted at various posts and stations by noncommissioned officers who trained recruits in the “principles of military movements” and the use of the rifle. Commandant Franklin Wharton, who led the Corps from 1804 until his death in 1818, was the first to recognize the need for organized training and created a school for Marine recruits at the Marine Barracks in Washington where young men learned the basics of discipline, drill, the manual of arms and marksmanship.

The sea-going nature of the Marine Corps, however, coupled with the recurring shortages of money and men, kept the Marine Corps system for training recruits quite primitive throughout the 19th century. In 1911, however, Major General William P. Biddle, 11th Commandant of the Marine Corps, instituted some sweeping changes that would have profound and long-lasting effects on the training of Marines.

On assuming command of the Corps, Biddle made two months of recruit training mandatory and set up four recruit training depots – at Philadelphia, Norfolk (later at Port Royal, South Carolina), Puget Sound, Washington, and Mare Island, California. Mare Island became the sole west coast depot during the following year, and east coast recruit training was shifted to Parris Island, South Carolina, in 1915. The training program Biddle outlined included drill, physical exercise, personal combat, and intensive marksmanship qualification with the recently-adopted M1903 Springfield rifle.

General Biddle’s innovation met its first real test during World War I when the Corps expanded from about 15,000 to nearly 70,000 Marines in less than 18 months. During that period, the recruit training load expanded from 835 to a peak of 13,286. Living conditions at both depots were Spartan and the training was intense. Upon completion of recruit training, Marines received additional pre-embarkation training at Quantico, Virginia, and still more training after arriving in France.

During the summer of 1923, the west coast recruit depot was moved from Mare Island to San Diego, California. Training programs at the two recruit depots included three weeks of basic indoctrination, an equal period of time on the rifle range, and the final two weeks was occupied in bayonet drill, guard duty, drill and ceremonies.

During September 1939, shortly after the German invasion of Poland, expansion of the Corps from 18,000 to 25,000 Marines was authorized. The recruit syllabus was halved to four weeks to meet this goal, but the result was a decline in training standards and rifle qualification rates plummeting to new lows. From this experience came the realization that seven to eight weeks is the minimum amount of time required for adequate recruit training. The World War II recruit training formula did not vary greatly from World War I except in the overwhelming number of Marines to be trained --- nearly half a million men over a four year period. It was during the war, though, that a third recruit training facility was established at Montford Point, North Carolina, to train some 20,000 black Marines. Recruit training was fully integrated and Montford Point put to other use in 1949.

The outbreak of war in Korea saw recruit training spring into high gear once again as fresh replacements, only weeks beyond recruit training, performed creditable combat service at the demanding battles of Inchon, Seoul, and the Chosin Reservoir. After the war, the recruit syllabus returned to 10 weeks from the war-shortened 8-week schedule.

The period of active American involvement in Vietnam, from 1965 through 1970, saw recruit training reduced to nine weeks. Graduates moved directly from their depots to either Camp Lejeune or Camp Pendleton for additional infantry training, much as their World War II counterparts had done.

The past forty years have witnessed the continuing close scrutiny of the Marine Corps recruit training program. Concerted efforts have been made to eliminate the excesses that had crept into the system over the years while at the same time retaining those elements of the recruit training experience that have produced a highly trained and motivated fighting force. Officer supervision and special training units, along with other innovations for enhancing the effectiveness of recruiting training, were implemented during these decades. The goal, as articulated by Commandant of the Marine Corps General Randolph McCall Pate in 1956, has been “to preserve, protect, and improve the actual system of recruit training which has served

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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