MCA 100th Anniversary Reception & Celebration
Founded in 1913 with the aim of fostering Marine professionalism, knowledge of military arts and sciences and to promote the traditions of the Marine Corps, MCA has served the Corps for one hundred years. Still committed to the purpose established by founding leader and legend of the Corps, LtCol John A. Lejeune, the Corps’ future 13th Commandant, MCA&F’s ongoing focus is on advancing leadership and recognizing excellence. At the conclusion of the first century of service MCA looks forward to expanding support for Marines as it begins it begins the second century of service.
Display of some of the MCA&F Heirloom Awards that Recognize Marine Excellence
A century of service is a remarkable milestone for any institution and the professional association for all Marines seized on the occasion to celebrate! Accordingly, on a beautiful, spring afternoon, Marine Corps Association & Foundation employees, Marines, association sponsors, supporters, distinguished guests and friends of the Corps gathered to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the founding of MCA. The historically rich, National Museum of the Marine Corps served as a majestic setting for the 25 April centennial celebration and the many guests on hand for the event gathered in the scenic rotunda for the reception and ceremony.
Marines are all about tradition and the Anniversary celebration reveled in ceremony that Marines expect. Kicking off with traditional Marine camaraderie, the event began with a social hour which included a wide selection of delicious appetizers and libations that helped produce a festive atmosphere. The booming, command voice of SgtMaj Kevin Bennett USMC (Ret), MCA&F’s National Capitol Area Representative delivered the Call to Order and the ceremony began.
The guests gather at the reception
The Marine Drum & Bugle Corps, decked out in striking scarlet tunics, paraded into the rotunda to the sound of a stirring march which echoed throughout the building. After motivating the guests with a selection of martial music fitting to the occasion, they supported the march on of the colors by the USMC Color Guard.
The Drum & Bugle Corps March On
The “Voice” of 8th & I, SSgt Miles Color Ceremony Narration
Presentation of the Colors
Following the retirement of the Color Guard and the Drum & Bugle Corps, MCA President and Chief Executive Officer, MajGen Ed Usher, USMC (Ret) took the stage, welcomed the guests, acknowledged the many distinguished guests and special friends of MCA&F in the audience. As no Marine ceremony is complete without an invocation, RADM Margaret Kibben, Chaplain of the Marine Corps, was on hand to invoke the blessing of the almighty.
MajGen Ed Usher
RADM Kibben provides invocation
MCA was fortunate to have all of the living past presidents on hand to help celebrate. They were asked to stand for recognition and thanked for their solid contributions to the organization and for supporting Marines. Recognition of distinguished guests in the audience included Virginia Commonwealth Senator Toddy Puller, daughter in law of legendary Marine, the late LtGen Lewis “Chesty” Puller. She brought and read a proclamation in praise of MCA’s service to Marines which she had read on the floor of the Virginia Senate.
Mrs Puller reads proclamation
MCA&F Board President, MajGen Harry Jenkins then took the lectern to make brief remarks about MCA’s role and future and then introduced the keynote speaker, General John M. Paxton, Assistant Commandant of the Marine Corps.
MajGen Harry Jenkins
General Paxton spoke with feeling about how important MCA has been over the years to the development of Marine professionalism and how proud he was of the contributions made by the professional association for all Marines.
General Paxton’s presentation
General Paxton was joined on stage by all the living past and present MCA presidents. Retired Generals, LtGen Anthony Lukeman, BGen George Bartlett, MajGen Les Palm and current MCA President MajGen Ed Usher took the stage and MajGen Usher cut the Centennial birthday cake with a Marine Mameluke sword for the guests.
MCA Presidents – (L-R) MajGen Usher, LtGen Anthony Lukeman, MCA Board President MajGen Harry Jenkins, MajGen Les Palm, BGen George Bartlett and Assistant Commandant, General John M. Paxton
Ceremonial Cake Cutting
The reception and additional camaraderie continued after the ceremony and many guests took the opportunity to tour the stirring exhibits featured at the best museum of its kind in the world.
Below are videos of the event to hear the speakers remarks in detail.
Here are some additional pictures of the event:
MCA&F donor Manuel Carazo (At right) with wife Claudia and friends
Artist Mark Byrd – Sculptor of many of the MCA&F heirloom awards
At the reception
MCA&F Employee Doug Duncan with Mrs Nihart, wife of the late Navy Cross recipient and Marine writer/historian Col Brooke Nihart
General Paxton with MCA&F West Coast Area Representative, SgtMaj Frank Pulley, USMC (Ret) and MajGen Usher
MCA&F employees Judy Callihan & Candi Martin
Col Jack Glassgow, former editor of Marine Corps Gazette with Gazette graphic artist Charlene Monroe