Dear Members,

Happy New Year and Thank you!

Thanks for your membership, retail support, and generous contributions to the Marine Corps Association Foundation (MCAF) throughout 2010. Your support was instrumental in our ability to greatly expand our programs aimed at developing and recognizing the professional excellence of our Marines. I ask your continued support in 2011 so that we can keep pace with the requests for MCA support from Marine leaders and commanders throughout our Corps.

MCA’s events schedule is expanding this year with several new professional dinners throughout the country including one in conjunction with the Marine West Expo at Camp Pendleton next week, an event in Charleston, South Carolina in March and also a new dinner at Camp Lejeune in April. Additionally, MCA will be in attendance at this year’s Marine Week in St. Louis, Missouri in June and is currently planning several professional events there.  I want to expand our engagement with members and friends of the Corps throughout our country. Check out the events section on our MCA web site for the details.

On 3 February the MCA Ground Logistics Excellence Awards Dinner will take place in Arlington, Virginia to recognize the professional achievements of the Corps’s top performing logisticians from 2010.  General James F. Amos, Commandant of the Marine Corps, will be our guest speaker. This will be a very special evening, as the Travis Manion Award will be presented to the top logistics officer of the year. 1st Lt Travis Manion USMC, a logistics officer, was killed in action in Iraq in 2007. He was awarded the Silver Star and the Bronze Star with Combat V for his bravery and leadership under fire.

One of our biggest goals this year will be to grow our membership, and I hope you will help! You can help in several ways.  If your membership is about to be up, I ask that you renew on the first notice we send you and that you consider extending your membership for multi-year periods.  This reduces our expenses, limits your mailbox clutter, and gives you the best rate on membership. Encourage all your Marine friends to join the MCA if they are not already members!  Also if you have friends of the Corps who have not served in uniform but want to be part of the Marine family they can join the MCAF and get our magazines, gain access to our web sites, and enjoy many other member benefits. It’s easy to do, just give them our Toll Free membership number, email address or better yet… our membership page on the web HERE. The more members we have, the more resources we have to support our Marines! 

Thanks for your support and, as always, please let me hear from you. You can do that by emailing MCA at

Semper Fi,

Edward G. Usher, III
Major General, USMC (Ret)
President and Chief Executive Officer


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Member Section

  • Reader / Member Input.  Do YOU have something newsworthy to share?  Send it to us for consideration and possible posting in the MCA Member Update! Anniversaries, Reunions, unit news, major milestones?   Send to  and our Member Update Coordinator will consider including your item.
  • Correction to December’s Edition of the MCA Member Update. The December edition, in the Leatherneck segment included a picture of, then ACMC, General James F. Amos and others attending the Annual Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation Announcement Reception. The photo caption included a typo which inaccurately portrayed the worth of the 1,423 scholarships funded at .25 million dollars (250,000).  The real figure was 4.25 million. We chopped off the “Four” during the layout and did not catch it. Sorry about that. Many thanks to the Foundation and to those who support it with their donations. Again, Bravo Zulu.
  • Naval Aviators – Gotta Love Em!  After sending out the December Update right before Christmas we got several hundred “Out of Office” automatic responses. One in particular stood out. Many thanks to CDR Walter Dalitsch, USN for his “Out of Office AutoReply” which contained the following Post Script:

    “P.S. If this is Santa trying to contact me, please remember to make all your approaches back to base on a heading of due north, and we’ll take care of your cholesterol issues when I get back. Remember not to bank past 60 degrees, since you no longer fit into the restraint system installed in the sleigh. Still working on your waiver on that one…”

    Great message and we KNOW that Santa appreciated the assist!

Of Interest to Marines

  • Personalized News Notifications from MCA Website NOW AVAILABLE.                                    
    Don’t Miss a Thing! Keep Connected…

    Don’t have the time to visit our sites daily? Keep connected by signing up for personalized notification of news that matters most to you!  We’ll keep you connected by sending an email with the previous day’s content.  Visit for more information.
  • Fisher House – Helping Military Families. Fisher House has a mission to help hospitalized service members and their families.  Their “Hero Miles” program allows supporters to donate their extra “Frequent Flyer” airline miles to the program, which provides free airline tickets to military men and women who are undergoing treatment at a military or VA medical center who are in need and to their families as well. Check out their Website HERE for details and consider donating your extra miles.

  • Annual Marine “Mustang Muster.” Many thanks to MCA Member Update Reader and MCA Member Bob McEwen for advising us that the annual Muster this year will be held in Florida during the 28 September – 3 October 2011 time frame.  Contact Bob at for more details and be sure to visit the Marine Corps Mustang Association website HERE as well. It’s NOT too early to mark your calendar!

Q. I served over 30 years as a Marine and was awarded the Navy Cross in WW-I at Belleau Wood for heroic leadership, became one of the first Gunnery Sergeants in the Corps. A bit of a liberty risk, I was court-martialed at Quantico for drunkenness and then meritoriously promoted back to senior ranks to become a SgtMaj in WW-II where I was awarded a second Navy Cross for heroism during the invasion of an atoll later associated with atomic bomb detonations. Who am I?


How to Win.  Send your answers to and please include your name and address so we can send your prize.  We will hold a drawing of all CORRECT responses one week from the Member Update release date and then announce the winner in the next edition of the Update.

The Prize! In addition to our brand new Marine Corps Association, “Once a Marine – ALWAYS a Marine” Coin, we are now including a copy of one of Major Gene Duncan’s Books as a bonus.

Here’s our trivia question from last month:

Question:  Which combat operation, involving over 92,000 Marines, is the largest in Marine Corps history?

Answer: Operation Desert Storm – The operation, which liberated Iraqi occupied Kuwait.  HERE is a great website detailing the Marine contribution to the Coalition’s success in Operation Desert Storm along with a categorized list of the Marine ground combat, air combat elements and logistics units which served there.  Of particular interest at the site is the lengthy laundry list of “Logistics Firsts.”  Interesting stuff.         

Congratulations to Michael Leeper of Colonial Heights, VA for wining the December contest!

Our top wrong answer was the invasion of Iwo Jima, which, at about 70,000 Marine participants was a very sizeable operation indeed. The invasion of Okinawa was also a popular wrong answer. Okinawa had about 81,000 Marine combatants along with a sizable host of U.S. Army forces as well. 

Many thanks to James Angelo for advising that the Chowder and Marching Society was also the name for a group of 15 fractious Republican congressmen who joined together to oppose the passage of a bill enabling payment of monthly bonuses to war veterans.  Click HERE for a brief but interesting account of that group.

ONLINE access to BOTH Leatherneck and Marine Corps Gazette is a KEY Benefit that comes with EVERY Membership / Subscription at no extra charge! 

Click on the Links below to Visit Each magazine’s website TODAY.


February is one of the more significant months in the illustrious history of the Corps. In this Leatherneck, we've touched on just a few of those milestones with a tip of the hat to the women in the Corps during their birthday month and a tribute to those Montford Point Marines who proved that patriotism is color blind. We hope these articles, plus articles on Fleet Week in San Francisco, Northern California Marine Corps League efforts and current operations in Afghanistan hit the Bulls-eye.

Marine Corps Gazette
The February Gazette has the latest in the "Attritionist Letters."  In this one the authors ask the question of who is responsible for training subordinates, the commander or an assortment of training centers? In addition, there are article on Islamic culture and worldview, and several thoughtful articles on leadership. Included this month are two articles on strategy and military theory. This edition of the Gazette is designed to be both thought provoking yet contain information and thoughts to make Marines better leaders or tacticians.

Corps Daily News. Get the latest news about Marines at Corps Daily News featured prominently on BOTH the Marine Corps Gazette and Leatherneck websites as well as on the MCA Homepage.  Visiting daily is a tremendous way to stay connected and informed!

Correction. In the December edition of  Update we featured a posting in this section indicating the last elements of the 1st Marine Division departing Hungnam following their “RETREAT” from the Chosin Reservoir on 24 December.

Several of our readers rightly took umbrage with this unfortunate phrasing. We regret having used the word “Retreat” and totally concur with MajGen O.P. Smith’s assertion. “Retreat hell, We’re just attacking in another direction!”

Many thanks to MCA Member Update reader Colonel Frank Eller, Jr., USMC (Ret) for holding school circle and setting us straight. “Retreat” was ill considered and we regret any ire that term may have engendered in ANY of our readers and in particular any of our brave Korean War veterans.

This Month in Marine Corps History


8 January 1815
Marines serving under the command of  “Old Hickory,” Andrew Jackson helped repulse the British invasion of New Orleans. Fought around 5 miles down river from and south of New Orleans at the Chalmette battlefield the battle was fought between a force of some 11,000 strong, invading British troops and a much smaller force of about 4,000 Americans. The British, under the overall command of Vice Admiral Alexander Cochrane, were intent upon seizing New Orleans and the territory acquired by the United States in the Louisiana Purchase. The British approached the American lines in a heavy fog, which lifted before they were able to assault the makeshift ramparts. Several of the British units neglected to bring the ladders and fascines needed to cross the intervening ditches and climb the ramparts. When the fog lifted, grapeshot from American cannon fire devastated British lines and killed much of the senior ground leadership on the field resulting in a lack of decision and hesitation which contributed to severely mounting casualties in the fire swept field. The British reserve commander eventually took charge and directed a withdrawal.

This was the last major battle of the war of 1812 and was actually fought AFTER the Treaty of Ghent ended the war.  Vice Admiral Cochrane was also famous for having led the British during the battle of Baltimore where the siege of Fort McHenry led to Francis Scott Key’s “Star Spangled Banner.”

15 January 1943

Joe Foss, who vies with Pappy Boyington as the “Top” Marine ace of World War II, did his gunfighting in the Zero infested skies over Guadalcanal. A 1943 Medal of Honor recipient, Foss served his country in the Marine Corps until 1946 at which point he joined the Air National Guard – rising in that service to Brigadier General. Foss was also the president of the National Rifle Association, the 20th Governor of South Dakota and a well respected television host of “The American Sportsman.”

22 January 1969
Operation Dewey Canyon begins in Vietnam.
The Corps’s last major offensive action of the Vietnam war, the operation was a 56 day sweep of the North Vietnamese Army dominated A Shau Valley involving the entire 9th Marine Regiment supported by elements of the 3rd Marines. A transient success, the operation severely curtailed NVA movement throughout the valley for the duration of the operation and resulted in the seizure of over 500 tons of munitions as well as inflicting over 1,600 fatalities on the over 5,000 strong NVA forces in the valley as well as an undetermined number of casualties.

Lt Wesley Fox, A, 1/9 Company Commander and William D. Morgan, squad leader with 2/9 were both awarded the Medal of Honor (Morgan posthumously) for gallantry in action during the operation. Robert H. Barrow, commanding officer of the 9th Marines during the operation later became 27th Commandant of the Marine Corps.

HERE is an interesting web site with a brief account of the operation and some character sketches.

Wes Fox’s, Marine Rifleman: Forty-Three Years in the Corps, includes a gripping account of the operation and of the author’s personal experiences throughout as a significant and very readable segment of the book.


MCA’s projected events are detailed for you below. You’re Invited. Bring a Friend!

  • 26 January
    MCA West Coast Dinner

    Guest Speaker – The Honorable Robert O. Work, Under Secretary of the Navy
    Sheraton Carlsbad
    Carlsbad, CA
  • 3 February
    MCAF Ground Logistics Awards Dinner

    Guest Speaker – General James F. Amos, Commandant of the Marine Corps
    Crystal Gateway Marriott
    Arlington, VA
  • 17 March
    Book Signing with Norman Fulkerson

    author of American Knight: The Life of Colonel JohnW. Ripley, USMC
    The MARINE Shop

    Quantico, VA
  • 23 March
    MCA Charleston Luncheon
    Guest Speaker – TBD
    Charleston, SC
  • 14 April
    MCA C4 Awards Dinner

    Guest Speaker – TBD                                                                                   
    Crystal Gateway Marriott
    Arlington, VA
  • 27 April
    MCA Marine South Dinner

    Guest Speaker TBD
    Marston Pavilion
    Camp Lejeune
  • 5 May
    MCA Ground Awards Dinner

    Guest Speaker – TBD
    Crystal Gateway Marriott
    Arlington, VA

Visit the MCAF website: for more information on our events and our programs.


NOW, Anyone can support Marines through Marine Corps Association Foundation membership and you DON’T even have to be a Marine to do it!  Join MCAF Today

The Foundation also welcomes corporate support for our professional programs. Interested sponsors are invited to contact LeeAnn Mitchell at for more information.

Click HERE to visit our sponsor page and see the complete list of companies supporting MCA and MCAF events programs that help OUR Marines!

Main Number: Call Us toll-free: 877-469-6223 (877-4MY-MCAF) or 703-640-0174 (

Logistics Awards.  Last month’s Update announced that the MCA Foundation is adding new “Namesake” awards to several of our professional awards dinners.  Still in development, here are some preliminary sculptures for the new Logistician of the Year and the 1stLt Travis Manion Logistics Officer of the Year Awards to be presented at the MCA Ground Logistics Awards Dinner.


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