Equipping Marines—One Book at a Time
By Roxanne Baker
2013 was a standout year for the Marine Corps Association Foundation’s (MCAF) unit library program designed to put professional books in the hands of Marines around the globe. The program outfitted 120,453 Marines during 2013 to prepare them for deployments and training—an increase of 27,296 Marines served since 2012. The total amount of funds granted for the 2013 libraries was $159,684, a $15,572 increase from 2012.
“Professional reading is as important to the Corps’ success in combat as going to the range or the gym,” said Marine Corps Gazette editor Col John Keenan, USMC (Ret)
MCAF funded 346 unit libraries in 2013 through its Commanders’ Unit Library Program. The foundation donated an additional 55 libraries in 2013, including nine e-libraries and four libraries to the Wounded Warrior Regiment.
To help support deploying Marines, MCAF donated 83 Kindles along with the e-libraries. Each Kindle was pre-loaded with 160 titles including the entire Commandant’s Reading List.
“The MCAF is committed to supporting the Commandant’s Reading Program and his call for Marines to have a strong mind as well as a strong body,” Keenan said. “Unit libraries allow Marines to advance their professional knowledge and to prepare themselves for combat.”
Libraries are also important for small-unit training and to build professional military education. Unit commanders contact the MCAF office and request a unit library. Each library contains all the books from the Commandant’s Reading List as well as any specific books and quantities the unit leader requests.
“By supplying books in sufficient quantity you have enabled small units to conduct PME (Professional Military Education) as a group, which is a far more effective way of introducing junior Marines to the study of our profession. The library has been very successful in supporting the professional development of our Marines and giving our NCOs a leadership opportunity,” said 1stLt Dominic A. Bea.
MCAF’s Commanders’ Unit Library Program is funded through volunteer donations and contributions from the Marine Corps Association. Donors can specifically earmark their gifts for the program. To donate or request a unit library visit www.mcafdn.org.
“We love to hear back from the recipients of our programs and hear first-hand how our members and donors are making a difference in the lives of active-duty Marines,” said Stacey Churchill, Director of the Marine Corps Association Foundation. “We may not be able to deploy with our Marines, but we can give them tools to be more effective leaders and decision-makers when they are deployed.”
The unit library has been very popular and has directly led to the swift promotion of many Marines. This would not have been possible without your generous support.
- LtCol Christopher W. Roe
Your continued commitment to provide each Marine with the tools to accomplish the lifelong mission of professional military education has significantly contributed to the continued development and advancement of the warrior mind and spirit.
- 1stLt J.A. Colon
Your donation will allow our Marines to continue to expand their knowledge and grow as military professionals. Learning is a lifelong endeavor that everyone should have the opportunity to take advantage of.
- SSgt Lupe Mendoza
The donation makes it possible for the Marines to fulfill an annual requirement, directed by the Commandant, without having to use personal funds and at the ease of an in-house checkout process.
- Sgt Rachael Moore
By supplying books in sufficient quantity you have enabled small units to conduct PME as a group, which is a far more effective way of introducing junior Marines to the study of our profession. The library has been very successful in supporting the professional development of our Marines and giving our NCOs a leadership opportunity.
- 1stLt Dominic A. Bea
We are integrating these books into our PME and reading programs, where I am confident they will serve to further our understanding of military doctoring and ideas, our warrior ethos, and our proud heritage.
- Col Brian Cavanaugh