2018 Fall Newsletter

Marines and Friends of Marines,

I am pleased to share this Marine Corps Association Foundation Newsletter with you. Established in 2009 to fill a void in programs that could not be supported by Marine Corps appropriated funds, the Marine Corps Association Foundation continues to make a difference in the professional development of today’s Marines. In 2017, our programs supported more than 50% of all active duty Marines as Marines across the globe benefited from our Commanders’ Forums, Commanders’ Unit Libraries, Marine Excellence Awards and Marine Writing Awards Programs. None of this support would have been possible without your generosity and loyal commitment to Marines and our nation’s security.

With most of this year already behind us, we are well on our way to another successful year in 2018. Although we are on track, we cannot remain there without your continued support. We realize there are many worthwhile choices for your precious charity dollars, but I encourage you to continue supporting the Marine Corps Association Foundation —today’s Marines are benefiting from your donations.

Your faithfulness and commitment to our mission is awe-inspiring, and I want to thank you for the support you have provided to date. Just like the Marine Corps, however, its professional association cannot afford to rest on our laurels. I hope we can continue to count on you.

Semper Fidelis,

William M. Faulkner
Lieutenant General, United States Marine Corps (Ret)
President & Chief Executive Officer
Marine Corps Association & Foundation

Leaders from 2nd Battalion, 8th Marines conducted a battlefield study of Tarawa on July 21-23, 2018, shown here standing on Red Beach 3 where 2/8 landed in 1943.

2018 has been a tremendous year thus far for the Marine Corps Association Foundation thanks to the contributions of donors and members like you who are helping us make a difference in the professional and leadership development of today’s Marines. Last year our programs impacted nearly 90,000 Marines and demand continues to grow this year.

As the Director of our Foundation, it’s my privilege along with the members of my team to hear the comments, and read the emails and letters we receive from the Marines as well as their commanders and senior enlisted leaders. We see how our programs enhance their careers. Now it’s your turn. Over the next several pages, you’re going to read about the professional education and development of Marines throughout the Corps and see how we capitalized on historical events like the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Belleau Wood to use our programs in new and creative ways. These inspiring stories and quotes show how much our programs mean to Marines — programs only possible because of faithful supporters like you! Once you finish this newsletter, I hope you will commit to continuing or increasing your contributions to the Marine Corps Association Foundation. You are the reason we can accomplish our mission!

Semper Fidelis

Timothy S. Mundy
Colonel, USMC (Ret)
Director, Marine Corps Association Foundation

Foundation Staff

Director, Professional Development

Kevin Bennet
Sergeant Major, USMC (Ret)

Program Administrator

Beth Murphy

Donor Development Officer

Danielle Graham

Administrative Support Specialist

Shelby Conley

MCAF’s Programs

Commanders’ Forums, including battlefield studies, guest speakers, and other venues that help Marines develop their professional tactical, operational, and strategic acumen and provide opportunities for Marines to learn firsthand the lessons of history and their application to the issues of today. This program provides the most latitude and creativity to commanders and their senior enlisted leaders and provides the most impact to their Marines.

The Marine Writing Program encourages open dialogue and critical discussion on topics important to Marines and the Marine Corps today through a variety of essay contests for all ranks. The program continues to evolve and this year, with the recent passing of LtGen Bernard “Mick” Trainor, a new writing award was established in his name. A “Marine’s Marine” with a remarkable career that spanned both military and journalistic endeavors, he was known as an exemplary leader and a man of strong moral character, and this award will inspire others to follow in his footsteps.

Another of our writing awards is specifically linked to Leatherneck — Magazine of the Marines, and supported by one of our donors. While our other awards are open to Marines of all ranks, the Leatherneck Writing Award is restricted to enlisted Marines in the hopes of encouraging our younger leathernecks to write for our publications. Twenty-seven entries were received for this year’s competition, and for the third year in a row, the winning essay was written by a lance corporal. Lance Corporal Kyle Daly wrote an outstanding essay on the legacy of LtGen Holland M. “Howlin’ Mad” Smith, which will be published in the October issue of Leatherneck. It is inspiring to see what our young Marines can accomplish when given the opportunity, and those opportunities are provided by your generous donations.

The Unit Library Program provides books from the Commandant’s Professional Reading List to enable Marines to read and study military classics, current topical books, and other works of historical significance. The study of the profession of arms is critically important to Marines of all ranks, and each year we send additional copies to unit libraries around the Corps to ensure even more books are available to Marines. Our goal is to expand this program into downloadable audio books, but this is only possible with your support.
A great example of the impact of our Unit Library Program is in the Officer Candidates School quarterly professional military education and communications program. The Commanding Officer of OCS, Col Ahmed “Will” Williamson, and his sergeant major, Sergeant Major Lance Harrell, asked their junior officers and staff noncommissioned officers for input on recommended books and topics for discussion. Their recommendations were built into an annual plan in which the Marines of the OCS staff read and discuss selected books in monthly small groups, write essays and have quarterly discussions, culminating in a unit professional dinner. MCAF has provided significant support to their efforts by furnishing the books for this leadership development program, publishing some of the essays in Leatherneck or the Marine Corps Gazette, and sponsoring a guest speaker or author at these dinners. Your support makes this possible.

Marine Excellence Awards recognize the achievements of Marines throughout the Corps, whether they are Recruit Honor Graduates, outstanding Marines in specific military occupational specialties or Marines of the Year from each Marine division, among many others. Many of our annual awards are presented at Marine Corps Association & Foundation Professional Dinners, often by the Commandant of the Marine Corps, the Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps or other senior Marine Corps leaders. These awards are tangible examples of just how amazing the young men and women are in our Corps and are only possible because of your generosity.

Belleau Wood

2018 marked the 100th anniversary of Belleau Wood, one of the “touchstone battles” of our Corps, according to our 31st Commandant, General Charles C. Krulak. The Marine Corps Association Foundation had the privilege of helping several groups of Marines attend the anniversary ceremony in May, and the difference it made in their development as leaders is already evident.

Headquarters & Service Battalion, Marine Corps Base Quantico, Virginia, envisioned a contest in which teams comprised of a company grade officer, staff noncommissioned officer, noncommissioned officer, and junior Marines or sailors would write a 1500 word essay, design a tactical decision game, and give a formal presentation to a panel of judges. Teams used a variety of innovative means with their presentations including having a Marine in today’s combat uniform and gear travel back in time to have a discussion with a Marine in a WWI period uniform, with each comparing tactics, gear, and weapons. The confidence all the teams showed with junior Marines having to be part of each presentation given to a panel that included the Commanding General, Education Command, several colonels, and a civilian faculty member of the Marine Corps University staff, was truly inspiring. Teams were effusive in their praise of the contest and especially enjoyed working with their fellow Marines and learning more about the iconic battle.

The Belleau Wood contest was a perfect blending of all elements of the Foundation’s programs: reading, writing, tactical thinking, and a professional battle study, all of which culminated in a trip to Paris and Belleau Wood! The winning team from Headquarters Marine Corps’ Separations and Retirement Branch attended the 100th anniversary ceremony in France and then spent two days walking the ground of the battle they had studied.

As amazing as the competition was, the impact it had on the Marines who participated was remarkable, as you’ll read in their own words below. The programs you support truly do lead to professional development for today’s Marines.

“This experience has changed me. It caused me to become a critical thinker and made me realize that ignorance is not an excuse, we all need to learn. I highly recommend the opportunity to conduct a staff ride. Knowing what happened is one thing, being there is another thing. Visiting the very place that our predecessors fought really lets you see the reality of it. It was surreal, very moving.”- LCpl Denisha Milligan, MMSR-4

Of note, based on her increased maturity and professionalism resulting from her participation in this contest and trip to Belleau Wood, LCpl Milligan was selected as her unit’s Marine of the Quarter, and will serve as the noncommissioned officer in charge of her section upon her upcoming promotion to corporal.

“It is important that we learn about such keynote battles [and] our history, because such battles are what established our foundation and warfighting spirit.”- LCpl Shenoah White, MMSR-4.

Senior Marines have noticed a new confidence in the participants and say they are better Marines and leaders. In the words of the team OIC, “This competition served as the catalyst to enable them to come out of their shell and become leaders. Each Marine is setting a shining example on how such a competition can professionally and personally develop our Marines.” This is the true impact of Marine Corps Association Foundation programs which, thanks to donors like you, make a tangible difference in the lives of Marines.

“Once again, on behalf of the team, thank you and the Marine Corps Association Foundation for this opportunity. Not only were we able to dissect a battle that has really defined the Corps, but it was inspiring to see the development of the junior Marines. This project has caused me to reevaluate my training plans and I will incorporate many lessons learned from it. Also, thank you for the opportunity to walk the hallowed grounds of Belleau Wood. It was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that will forever leave an impression on the Marines and myself.”- Captain Brian Perez

Support to the Marine Corps University

The Marine Corps Association Foundation also supported a Marine Corps University-sponsored writing competition in conjunction with the Belleau Wood anniversary with essays written by four different groups: junior Marines, noncommissioned officers, staff noncommissioned officers, and officers. The competition was open to Marines across the Corps with 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winners selected from each group. The monetary awards presented were made possible thanks to your contributions. The overall winner, selected from the top finishers in each group, was also sent to France for the 100th Anniversary ceremony and battlefield tour. The winning essays from each group were published in the Marine Corps Gazette, and the authors were brought to Quantico for a Marine Corps University lecture series where they received their plaques and cash awards. The keynote speaker at the lecture series was General Charles C. Krulak, USMC (Retired), who obviously understands the impact of Belleau Wood on today’s Corps. Your support of the Marine Corps Association Foundation enabled this remarkable experience for these Marines.

The Basic School

And finally, as part of the Belleau Wood anniversary, the Commanding Officer of The Basic School requested support so a group of his staff consisting of officers and enlisted Marines could also participate in the commemoration. Aiding the development of these leaders, who will mentor and instruct our newest officers, was a great opportunity only possible because of your dedication and contribution to the Foundation.

Victor E. Johnson Uniform Award

A unique component of our Excellence Awards program, initiated through the generosity of Christopher Bird and his family, is the Victor E. Johnson Uniform Award. This award is presented at every Officer Candidates School graduation to the prior enlisted Marine with dependents who earned the highest overall leadership score. In order to offset the financial burden of purchasing new service and dress uniforms for these Marines and their families as they start their careers as officers, the VEJ Uniform Award provides a gift card for The Marine Shop, which covers the cost of the required uniforms. The award makes a significant difference for these Marines and they also benefit from the highest quality uniforms, expert tailoring, and unparalleled customer service of The Marine Shop. One of our previous award winners, Staff Sergeant Mark P. Grill, put it best:

“As I see it, the Victor E. Johnson Uniform Award is dedicated to creating opportunities and responsibilities. This award will undoubtedly allow my family and me to seize many opportunities we would have surely missed out on due to the cost of uniforms while serving as a commissioned officer in the Marine Corps … Most importantly though, this award will allow my family to begin the next chapter of our Marine Corps lives on sound financial footing and will allow me to lead and serve Marines with an amazing set of new professional uniforms. I will never be able to express my full gratitude for this amazing award and what it means to the Grill family and would like to take this opportunity to express my heartfelt gratitude to the Bird family, the Marine Corps Association Foundation and all the donors that make this incredible award possible.”

Levels of Giving

The Marine Corps Association Foundation recognizes our donors by giving societies. We are thankful for donors at any level, as even small amounts add up and make possible the tremendous programs highlighted in this newsletter. If you donate to the Foundation annually, at any cumulative amount reaching $100 or more, then you are a member of one of our giving societies, each with a name symbolic of our Corps. Thank you!

Donor Profile

Colonel Russell D. Doudt, USMCR (Ret)

Colonel Russell D. Doudt, USMCR (Ret) has been a donor to the Marine Corps Association Foundation since its inception in 2009. As a former commanding officer, he understands the need for professional development of all Marines and how the Foundation assists commanders in ensuring their Marines have the tools and resources needed to grow as leaders. “When I read about the Marine Corps Association Foundation, I saw substantial value in its programs to develop officers and enlisted Marines; I immediately bought into it. MCAF provides officers and enlisted Marines an opportunity to improve their professional military knowledge through reading, battlefield tours, and writing articles.”

A staunch believer in professional military education, Col Doudt also knows that individual Marines share responsibility in their personal and professional development. “I have found that if a person really wants to be proficient in their profession, they need to do more than just perform their daily assigned responsibilities. MCAF provides an opportunity to achieve this level of performance. Complementing this, MCAF rewards and recognizes those Marines who perform at an exceptional level through their Excellence Awards Program.”

Col Doudt continued extolling how MCAF assists today’s Marines. “It is the combination of providing opportunities for Marines to increase their military knowledge and then professionally recognizing those Marines who demonstrate exceptional performance, achievement, and accomplishments.” Supporting today’s Marines is especially personal for Col Doudt, whose daughter is on active duty. He has seen the benefits of our programs supporting professional military education up close. “My daughter is a captain currently stationed in Okinawa. She was recently stationed at Quantico and told me how interesting she found the battlefield tour of Gettysburg that she did during a Professional Military Education (PME) trip. I have personally toured the Gettysburg battlefield, so I understand what she is talking about. It is rewarding to me to have been able to help provide the financial support for Marines to visit significant battlefields during PMEs and observe firsthand, how terrain features influence command decisions.”

It’s because of people like Col Doudt and their generous donations that we ensure Marines throughout the Corps continue to visit battlefields, study their profession, and learn the lessons of our past — all of which make stronger individual Marines and a better Marine Corps.

Planned Giving

When reviewing our estate plan, my wife, Marlene, and I wanted to ensure that, in addition to our children and grandchildren, we left a final donation to several causes that we felt were remarkable in the good that they were providing. Among those causes is the Marine Corps Association Foundation (MCAF), which does so much for so many Marines.

Most people are familiar with our publications, the Marine Corps Gazette and Leatherneck­ — Magazine of the Marines, but these are only part of MCAF’s extensive educational and professional development efforts, which include unit libraries and staff rides to name a few. Moreover, MCAF recognizes outstanding performance by providing thousands of awards annually to deserving Marines for schools, training, and MOS accomplishments. No other organization does these things to develop leaders and recognize excellence.

Our bequest to MCAF is our way of providing a final “Thank You” for all that MCAF does. I wholeheartedly urge others to remember MCAF in their wills and estate plans at whatever level you are comfortable. It doesn’t need to be a huge amount to make a real difference to today’s Marines.

Major General Eugene Payne, USMCR (Ret)
Chairman, Marine Corps Association Foundation
Board of Directors

Thank You

A special thank you to LtCol Ron Eckert, USMC (Ret.)

for his support of this newsletter. Ron, a longtime member of the Marine Corps Association and also a member of our Board of Directors, along with his business partner Mr. Henry Friedman and the company they founded, Impact Resources Technologies, has generously supported MCAF and its programs for today’s Marines for many years. A retired Marine officer, Ron served two tours in Vietnam and was a key contributor to the Marine Corps football program as both a player and as the team’s last coach. He generously donated the painting below to the National Museum of the Marine Corps in commemoration of the Marines who represented the Corps so well on the gridiron.

A final thank you to our individual donors and corporate sponsors whose generous contributions have been instrumental to the support the Marine Corps Association Foundation provides to Marines around the globe. Whether corporations with a strong sense of civic responsibility, veterans who continue to serve our nation in new ways, proud family members of Marines, or simply friends of the Corps, you have truly made a difference in the professional development of today’s Marines. You should be proud of what you are doing for them.