Get To Know Our Bloggers!

Bianca Strzalkowski

Originally from New Jersey, I had little experience with what the military community is; I am the granddaughter to two Sailors and niece to a United States Marine & Airman, yet I didn’t know the pride in belonging to the community until I moved to my first duty station: Jacksonville, NC. I met my now husband in high school, he enlisted in the Marine Corps in 1998, and his primary job is being a helicopter crew chief. In addition, we have had the privilege of being stationed at MCAS New River, MCAS Yuma and now, Recruiting Station Raleigh. To date, we have experienced four combat deployments, numerous TAD trainings, and numerous PCS moves. I feel my military life is a gift because I am part of the largest extended family in the world.

Andrew Lubin

Andrew Lubin is a Bucks County, Pa. author and independent foreign correspondent who writes on current events and international relations. His work appears regularly in "Leatherneck" and "The Gazette," as well as "Jane’s Intelligence Review", and USA TODAY Magazine.

In two more weeks, Andrew will be back in Afghanistan for yet another embed with the Marines in Helmand, for which he'll be reporting back to us. It's his 6th trip to Afghanistan, and 13th overall, from where he brings back the stories of our 0311's, 0811's, LAR, CAG, and others who are getting it done.

Andrew's the author of the award-winning book "Charlie Battery; A Marine Artillery Battery in Iraq" and co-author of "American Valor" and "Uncle John Salutes the Armed Forces." His latest book, "Keep Moving or Die; Task Force Tarawa at An-Nasiriyah" will be finished soon.

Beth Crumley

I am currently a reference historian at History Division, Marine Corps, Quantico, VA. I serve as one of two unit historians within the USMC, responsible for researching and updating the lineage and honors of approximately 435 Marine Corps units. I interact daily with units throughout the Marine Corps, answering questions concerning their lineage and honors, as well as battle streamers.

Prior to the above I was a curator for the National Museum of the Marine Corps, and also worked as a contract historian and writer. Authored the book The Marine Corps: Three Centuries of Glory, a battle history of the Corps with emphasis on the 20th century. I also worked on the indexes for several other publications including: US Army: A Complete History, US Navy: A Complete History, US Air Force: A Complete History as well as chronologies of American forces in World War II and Vietnam. Additionally, I am under contract to complete an update of the USMC Chronology that is contained in The Marines, scheduled for reprint this summer.

Walter McTernan

LtCol. Walter McTernan, USMC (Ret.) served on active duty from May 1972 - Dec. 1994. He was an infantry officer for the first half of his career, and an intelligence officer for the latter half. He served seven FMF tours (03 with the 3d MarDiv, 02 with the 1st MarDiv, and one each with the 1st FSSG (now MLG) and the 3d MAW. Non-FMF, he was a series commander at MCRD PISC, a military advisor in Thailand, a staff officer at HQMC, and the Marine Corps' rep. to the CIA. Post-retirement he worked for the U.S. Government. During OIF-I he had the privilege to be a attached to I MEF, from Camp Commando, Kuwait - to - Babylon. In 2007 he served as a USG LnO to MNF-West (both I and II MEF's) at Fallujah. Since leaving government in 2009 he has continued to serve as a defense contractor, first in MNF-I/USF-I in J-2 Plans, and more recently as an advisor to the Iraqi Military Intelligence and Security School. Since January of 2003 he has served/worked for seventy-two months Iraq, 15 months in Afghanistan, and two in Kuwait. In his spare time while deployed, he likes to write down some of his fun or unusual experiences as a Marine.

Steven Pressfield

Steven Pressfield is an historian and bestselling author of the novels The Legend of Bagger Vance, Gates of Fire, Tides of War, Last of the Amazons, The Virtues of War, The Afghan Campaign, Killing Rommel and The Profession, and of the nonfiction titles The War of Art, Do the Work, and The Warrior Ethos. His web site (PLEASE LINK THE WORDS WEB SITE) features the series Writing Wednesdays, War Stories and What It Takes.Click here to purchase Steven Pressfield's book at The Marine Shop online!

LtCol Michael Grice, USMC (ret)

I am a career Marine who is transitioning back to the civilian world after over a great career of over 25 years of enlisted and commissioned service. So far so good, but it is a lot more challenging than I had anticipated.

I am also a writer of sorts, and have been published several dozen times in numerous professional journals, magazines, and other periodicals. In addition, I am also the author of a book titled On Gunnery. Oddly enough, it is about Field Artillery Cannon Gunnery, which is a subject that I find really interesting.

I am also finding the transition from active duty to the civilian world interesting as well, and hence this blog was created!

Rick Hawkins

Rick Hawkins served as an active duty Marine for 32 years, retiring as a Sergeant Major in 2010.  He is currently employed as a Staff Mentor/Instructor with the MAGTF Instructional Group at the Marine Corps University.

Jim McCallum

Gunnery Sergeant Jim McCallum “the ole gunny “ served on active duty from 1954 through early 1974 . During his active duty career he served in about 10 military occupational specialties, in various ports of call, bases and duty stations. He retired as a Recruiter and after active duty, his aviation skills resurfaced and he was hired as the 1st Aircraft Mechanic and later Supervisor for the Dept of Natural Resources in the State of Wash. He maintained that position for approx 6 years when his MARINE CORPS focus and attention to detail paid off. He accepted a position in the Quality Assurance Engineering Department at Boeing Aerospace in the Research and Development portion of the company. His hobby was building Custom Cars and he has 8 in his collection. He retired totally in 1992, and currently spends most of his of his time writing and relaxing with his wife in Arizona..