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Marine Corps Connection: America's Expeditionary Force in Readiness
The International Franchise Association (IFA) has pledged to hire 75,000 veterans and 5,000 wounded warriors by 2014 as part of Veteran Franchise's (VetFran) Operation Enduring Opportunity initiative. The VetFran program offers financial incentives, training and mentoring to veterans interested in opening franchises. Beth Solomon, IFA Vice President of Strategic Initiatives and Industry Relations, said there is a connection between military experience and owning a franchise. "Success in franchising comes from following systems and procedures. It depends on operational excellence and team leadership," she said. "Those skills are very much in the training of service members." Veterans will be hired for entry level to management positions in 300 business categories, with the goal of working up to become franchise owners.
Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta met with Marines and Sailors of 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) during a visit aboard the USS Peleliu and reinforced his commitment to maintaining an expeditionary fighting force. "The [MEU/Amphibious Ready Group] is what we need for the future," said Panetta. "This is about agility, this is about being able to move quickly, this is about being flexible. It is about doing the things you do right here from this ship. This is the future and that is why I wanted to come here. It is important for me to tell you how important you are to our strategy," he said. The Marine Corps is returning to its amphibious roots with the drawdown in Afghanistan.
Marines of Fox Company, 2nd Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment from Kaneohe Marine Corps Base, Hawaii, said farewell to their loved ones April 2 and headed across the Pacific for a six month deployment to Darwin, Northern Territory, Australia. During the deployment, the Marines will train with the Australian Defence Force and participate in theater security cooperation in the region. "We're hoping this mission further bolsters the partnership between the U.S. and Australia," said Capt. Chris Richardella. The Marines are also prepared to conduct humanitarian efforts or disaster relief missions while overseas. They will return in October.
Marines at Camp Leatherneck, Afghanistan are busy training the Afghan Army with the skills necessary to provide safety for their citizens. During a nine-week Joint Officers Tactical Leaders course (JOTLC), Afghan Army officers learned land navigation, compass training, land mounted patrol, tactical vehicle driving, patrol offense, defense operations, and tactical mount. "I've acquired many new experiences that I never had before. The class has been very productive," said Afghan Army 2nd Lt. Adbul Ghani. "I am feeling more powerful, and I will be able to make better decisions in the future. I will be a better leader and will be able to help my own soldiers that will work for me." The course culminates in a field training exercise in a simulated village, which is designed as a teaching tool for offensive and defensive combat operation skills.
A recent security patrol through the Loya Darvishan region of southern Helmand province was no different than the hundreds of others conducted by Lance Cpl. Jarrett Hatley, his improvised explosive device detection dog Blue, and fellow Marines with 3rd Platoon, Lima Company, 3rd Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment. But Hatley noticed a darker patch of dirt that looked recently disturbed. Halting the patrol, he sent Blue to sniff for explosives. Moments later, the yellow Labrador retriever laid down next to the area, confirming the presence of an IED on the path a dozen men were about to travel. "My dog Blue is pretty much like another Marine, I guess," Hatley said. "He doesn't know he's doing it, but he's protecting all of us. If I have him on a patrol and there's an IED that could hurt us, I know he'll find it."
Marines and Sailors with Fox and Golf Companies, 2nd Battalion, 4th Marine Regiment were greeted by wives, husbands, newborns and family members March 27 as they returned from their seven-month deployment to Afghanistan. The homemade signs and American flags were a welcome sight for the Marines. "I've done homecomings and I've done combat homecomings," said Capt. Thaddeus Drake, commanding officer of Golf Company. "But I was just telling my wife that I have never seen anything like this." The Marines were deployed to northern Helmand province where they contributed to local governance and security in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.
Lt. Gen. Robert Milstead, deputy commandant of manpower and reserve affairs, was diagnosed with an aggressive form of prostate cancer in January. "The C-word can be intimidating," Milstead said. "The range of options goes from denial to acceptance, and I think I was able to jump pretty quickly up to, "OK, I've got cancer. How am I going to deal with this?'" The general described his diagnosis and recovery during an interview with Marine Corps Times, just weeks after undergoing surgery to remove his prostate, to raise awareness about the benefits of annual physicals and regular screening. "This is a huge fraternity," he said. "You've got a better chance as a man of getting prostate cancer than you do as a female of getting breast cancer. It's not a club I ever wanted to join, but I'm a card-carrying member now."
After joining the Marines in 1944, Peter MacDonald learned he and 29 others had been recruited specifically to develop a new code for the Corps. "We didn't join to become Code Talkers. None of us did. All of us joined to be Marines," he said. While visiting with Marines at Marine Corps Air Station Yuma March 27, MacDonald told of how it took the men three months to create the Navajo Code. Consisting of words spoken in Navajo that literally or symbolically corresponded to military terminology, it was understood by only the Navajo Code Talkers. The code was used to send messages in battles in the Pacific Theater during World War II and remains the only military code in modern military history that was never broken.
Lt. Gen. John E. Wissler promoted the importance of leadership to students at Riverside Military Academy in Gainesville, Ga., March 28. Meeting with students from the academy's Character Development Program, Wissler delivered the message that leadership is a timeless characteristic all students should cultivate. "Leadership is not exclusive to the military. Leadership is the most sought-after skill set in America today," Wissler said. "The true test of a leader is not the leader's performance, but the performance of the people the leader leads." Wissler also emphasized the importance of the core values of the Marine Corps - honor, courage and commitment.
Marine veteran Matt Ellis recently received his second Purple Heart for injuries sustained in an improvised explosive device (IED) strike during his second combat deployment in 2009-2010, when he served in Marjah, Afghanistan. Driven to serve because of the September 11 terrorist attacks, Ellis graduated from high school a year early and enlisted in the Marine Corps in 2007. "I wanted to go to combat and the Marines were the first to fight," he said. He now serves as a deputy sheriff for Hoke County in North Carolina and says he views his military civil service not as a means to an end but as a gratifying experience in and of itself.
Volunteer mentors are needed to assist transitioning Marines at the Wounded Warrior Detachment at Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center, Twentynine Palms, Calif. Mentors will work on a one-on-one basis with Marines to help them transition to civilian life. The program was started by the Desert Cities Mitchell Page Medal of Honor Chapter, 1st Marine Division Association in Palm Desert. "Most joined the Marine Corps after high school graduation and were looking at the Marines as their career in life," said Jim Sullivan, a chapter member and one of the program organizers. "Due to wounds and injuries, they now have to enter civilian life and need some help in making decisions as to going on to college, trade schools, or finding a job." For more information or to volunteer, call (760) 901-5494.
I received my Dress Blues I ordered from The Marine
Shop in the mail today. And I just wanted to write and tell everyone there
that you all did a great job! Everyone from the tailors, to the customer
service reps. I am highly impressed with the quality and tailoring of your
uniforms. I will definitely keep coming back to The Marine Shop in the
future for uniforms!
Thank you for all your help over the phone today. Planning a Marine Corps Ball is a lot of time, energy and work.
Timothy C. Summers
Timothy C. Summers
I wanted to take a moment and thank everyone at the association for sponsoring the Ground Awards Dinner on 3 June at the Crystal City Marriott. My wife and I thoroughly enjoyed ourselves and were tremendously pleased with the hospitality shown to us and the great accommodations. As well, I wanted to thank the association for the DVD of the event that was mailed to me. It is something that I will keep and treasure for the rest of my days. Again, thanks for everything.
Capt Chris Conner
You have been the easiest person I have ever dealt with since I have started MWR out here. You were very quick to respond to my every question and very knowledgeable about your work for an order over a phone that was my greatest experience. If you were in the Marine Corps Skylar I would write you up for a meritorious promotion. I will surely write it in my books to pass the word to the next MWR rep to continue the membership with you guys.
Sgt Richard Colmenarez
My Name is Sergeant Major Juan. M. Hidalgo, Sergeant Major of the 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) out of Camp Pendleton, CA. Sergeant Major (Ret.) Frank Pulley is one of my mentors and is someone that I have a tremendous amount of respect for. The MCA and SgtMaj Pulley do a phenomenal job in helping us recognize our Marines and Sailors and they continually demonstrate that they are always more than ready to support; anytime...Anyplace! And on behalf of the entire 13th MEU, I thank you very much!
Sergeant Major Juan. M. Hidalgo
I received the shipment of plaques, books and certificates today for
mail call. It was more exciting to me than candy or magazines! Thank
you very much.
1stSgt Thomas M. Burkhard
I want to relay my many thanks to everyone at Marine Corps Association and Military Historical Tours for providing me the opportunity to experience such a wonderful trip to Russia. Had I not won this trip through MCA I may have never taken advantage of such fantastic travels. The group, the Russian Tour guide (Oleg Alexandrov) and Charlie Dunn were wonderful companions during the trip. It will be a memory I will cherish all of my remaing days on this earth.
Again, Many thanks and Semper Fidelis!
1stSgt Bradshaw, USMC (Ret.)
Thanks for the email; I purchased the two Marine Corps. Cups for my brother who served with the First Marine Div. in Vietnam . He was very pleased with the cups and I was very impressed with the purchase. The online catalog did not do the product the justice it deserved. Thanks again and I am sure you will hear from me in the future.
I'm so pleased to see all the great merchandise you are stocking and the awesome promotions. Your store was dissappointing a few years ago and I shopped only at Sgt Grit.
Now, I can find what I am looking for with you guys.
Just wanted to let you know that I got the sword yesterday with time to spare. It showed up unscathed due to the excellent packing job despite the rough postal process. And most importantly it looks great and the Bahraini’s couldn’t be happier! Thanks again for all of your assistance.
Major Wayne Phelps
3d LAAD Bn XO
Security Force, Camp Leatherneck, Afghanistan
Major Wayne Phelps
- 110 Young Marines Meet 24 World War II Navajo Code Talkers (Magazine Page)
- Marine Code Talkers Grandson Shares Navajo Roots (Photo Gallery)
- Weekend Update: Nov. 28 and 29, 2013 (Magazine Page)
- Weekend Extra - May 26, 2013 (Magazine Page)
- Behind Every Small Business Owner is a Story Worth Hearing (Magazine Page)