Dear Members,

My thanks to all our members, Marines, and industry partners who attended and supported our first West Coast Dinner held at the Carlsbad Sheraton Hotel on January 26th. I want to especially thank the Honorable Robert O. Work, Under Secretary of the Navy, for taking time from his busy schedule to be our guest speaker, providing an insightful assessment of Marine programs. With nearly 400 in attendance, the dinner was held in conjunction with the Marine West Exposition. Check out the event summary, pictures and video of the Under Secretary’s remarks HERE.

On February 3rd we hosted the 7th Annual MCA Ground Logistics Awards Dinner in Arlington, Virginia to recognize the professional accomplishments of the top performing Marine logisticians of 2010. General James F. Amos, Commandant of the Marine Corps, was the guest speaker and assisted with the award presentations.  The dinner was the inaugural presentation of the 1st Lt Travis Manion Award to the Logistics Officer of the Year. This namesake award honors the bravery and leadership of 1stLt Travis Manion, a logistics officer who was killed in action in Iraq in 2007. Raytheon Corporation and the Marine Corps Association Foundation jointly sponsored the Manion Award.  Visit our website HERE to see a summary of the event, pictures and a video of General Amos’s speech and the awards presentation.

Upcoming Activities:  On March 10th at Quantico, VA, we will host the Combat Development Command Dinner with LtGen Terry Robling, Deputy Commandant for Aviation, as guest speaker. On 23 March we will have our first ever MCA Charleston, South Carolina, luncheon with guest speaker Robert Coram, author of Brute, a best selling biography of LtGen Victor H. Krulak, as our speaker. We will follow that up by hosting a presentation to the cadets and midshipmen at the Citadel. Click HERE to view our complete event schedule.

I make a point of showcasing MCA’s major Marine Corps award dinners like the Ground Logistics, C4 and the Ground Awards dinners in the MCA Member Update but it is important to know that these are not the only awards we provide to Marines.  In 2010, using member dues and Marine Corps Association Foundation (MCAF) donations we were able to provide over 9,700 Marines with substantive awards, in the form of plaques, certificates, professional books, combat knives, Marine NCO and Officer swords, and trophies in recognition and support of professional excellence. Additionally, MCAF donations supported the establishment and enhancement of over 200 individual Marine unit professional libraries to foster excellence in military education and operations.

Recently, we energized our MCAF Commander’s Forum Program, which supports active duty Marine units by providing professional military education opportunities in the form of battle studies, and staff rides. The MCAF has provided guides and subject matter experts, read-ahead books, as well as some transportation and lodging costs.  In January, we supported the Infantry Training Battalion East in a battle study of the Revolutionary War battle of the Cowpens in South Carolina.  In April we will support the staff of The Basic School in a battle study of Gettysburg, and in June we support Marines from the Wounded Warrior Battalion East at Gettysburg as well.  Further in the future, MCAF will provide support to Communications Company, Combat Logistics Regiment 37 in a battle study and staff rides of the Battle of Okinawa.  We are also assisting the 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing’s NCO’s and SNCO’s of the Year with a battle study and staff ride of Belleau Wood in France. Commander’s requests for these important programs exceed our ability to meet them all, so please consider a tax-deductible donation to the Marine Corps Association Foundation. You can do so by contacting the Foundation at

Thanks you very much for your support.  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


You’re Invited! Renew your membership with your very own professional association – MCA!  And, if you are NOT eligible for MCA membership, then join the Marine Corps Association Foundation. Member benefits are very similar!  Call us toll free at 866-622-1775 or click HERE!


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.
  • Farewell to Major Gene Duncan, Leader of Marines. Major Gene Duncan, writer, humorist and keen observer and reporter of all things Marine passed away on Monday, 14 February in the early evening after a long battle with a variety of cancers. Author of a series of witty books on Marines including Green Side Out, Brown Side Out, Run in Circles, Scream and Shout, Dunk’s Almanac and others, “Dunc,” as he was known to his friends was revered for his ability to capture the unique spirit and character of Marines in highly memorable “Sea Stories.” He will be greatly missed. Plans for memorial services at Quantico follow:

    Monday, 28 March 2011:
    1300 hours - Funeral Mass
    St. Francis Of Assisi
    18825 Fuller Heights Road
    Triangle, VA 22172

    1400 hours - Graveside Service
    Quantico National Cemetery
    18424 Joplin Road (Route 619)
    Triangle, VA 22172

    1430 hours - Globe & Laurel Restaurant Reception
    3987 Jefferson Davis Highway
    Stafford, VA 22554
  • Other Sites of Interest to Marines. We have completely re-worked our “Other Sites” page, categorizing the links to make the site easier to use and adding some completely new links Marines might find useful to check out as well as providing brief descriptions of the included websites. The website can be accessed by going to our MCA website where it is located on the tool bar at the very bottom of the homepage. Click HERE to go there directly.

    We welcome reader input on other sites we should also include. Send us your recommendations to
  • Unit Nicknames, Mottoes and Plaques. Marines are colorful characters and often notorious wags and have long applied colorful monikers and mottoes to their units, often reinforced with amazing and frequently irreverent unit plaques. Names like “The Walking Dead” and the “Magnificent Bastards” come immediately to mind as two of the most famous and better-known unit names. BUT there are a host of others. Let the sharing begin! Tell us your unit’s official designation (official title) and also if it had a memorable nickname, or motto. If you have a picture of a particularly egregious and humorous unit plaque send that to us as well. Expeditionary Camp Signs count here too. We look forward to sharing with all of our readers. Again, send your candidate to

  • Spread the Word. Now you can share the articles and other features you see on the MCA, Leatherneck, Marine Corps Gazette and websites. When you open the article, these icons appear and all you have to do is click on the appropriate one to share the link on Facebook or Twitter or to email it. Give it a try. Send an article you like to a buddy today!

Of Interest to Marines

  • Personalized News Notifications from MCA Website NOW AVAILABLE.
    Don’t miss a thing! Keep your Corps connections STRONG!

    Don’t have the time to visit our sites daily? Sign 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.
  • Want to See the President’s Own? Visit the United States Marine Band’s website for their performance and tour schedule and much more including some free audio resources:
  • Probably NOT True BUT It OUGHT To Be…  Don’t Mess with Veteran Marine Teachers!
    A former Sergeant, having served his time with the Marine Corps, took a new job as a school teacher. Just before the school year started he injured his back and was required to wear a plaster cast around the upper part of his body as part of the medical treatment. Fortunately, the body cast fit under his shirt and wasn’t noticeable.

    On the first day of class, he found himself assigned to the toughest students in the school. The smart aleck punks, having already heard the new teacher was a veteran Marine, were leery of him and decided to see how tough he really was before trying any pranks.

    Walking confidently into the rowdy classroom, the new teacher opened the window wide and sat down at his desk.  When a strong breeze made his tie flap, he took a stapler and promptly stapled his tie to his chest.

    He had NO trouble with discipline that year…

    Many thanks to MCA Member Update reader Larry Quinn, for sending this in. TOO good NOT to use!

  • Peace Cords. The Peace Cord is a hand-woven bracelet made by Afghan women from Helmand Province, Afghanistan from military grade parachute cord with authentic U.S. military uniform buttons as a means of supporting our troops and also enabling the betterment of rural Afghan communities by providing opportunities for employment, education and more.  Check out their website ( and consider wearing a handsome Peace Cord to show your support for our servicemen.

  • Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation - Helping Marine Families with Education Costs
    A great organization, the Marine Corps Scholarship Fund provides educational scholarship support to the college age sons and daughters of Marines and Navy Corpsmen attached to Marine units whose income is under a maximum threshold. Visit their website at for information on eligibility, programs, application information, and also to learn how you can support their efforts to help Marine dependents.

  • The MARINE Shop. Even after several years of announcements, we continue to hear from people who are unaware that YOUR professional association purchased the most prestigious provider of Marine uniforms and accessories throughout the Corps! The basic reason we made this purchase in January 2007 is to provide enhanced comprehensive services and support for Marines and to expand the benefits the professional association for ALL Marines offers our members. We believe we have succeeded well in this regard.  Marines and our members get enhanced and more responsive uniform and retail support and we use the resulting revenue to directly fund programs that help Marines such as the MCA Marine Excellence Awards Program, the MCA Commander’s Professional Library  Program and more.

    We invite you to visit us in person at Quantico, Crossroads of the Corps and Online at to see what we have to offer.

Q. Composed of admixtures of benzene, polystyrene and gasoline I was first used by Navy pilots to prepare a Pacific island for a landing by U.S. Marines in WW-II. What am I, what is my purpose and which island invasion was the scene of my first use in the Pacific war?


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: 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?

Answer: John Nagazyna moved up and down the enlisted rank structure numerous times to ultimately retire as a SgtMaj following service in both WW-I and WW-II and interwar service as a drill instructor and expeditionary service in Tientsin, China and Iceland. He was awarded a second Navy Cross for gallantry in action on Eniwetok atoll in 1944 where he was knocked out of the war by a grenade fragment in the knee. He retired in 1947 to San Diego, California, buying a house across the street from the Recruit Depot there.

Visit the Leatherneck archives HERE to read retired Marine Maj Al Bevilaqua’s June 2005 article on SgtMaj Nagazyna’s exploits entitled: John J. Nagazyna: Hero or Liberty Risk?

This month’s answers were all over the page with many choosing Lou Diamond, Dan Daly or Smedley Butler as the most popular wrong answers.

Congratulations to MGySgt David Tice, USMC (Ret) of McAlester, Oklahoma for winning the January contest!

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.

Marine Corps Gazette
This month's Gazette features logistics and energy. Articles illuminate both strategic and tactical logistics. Also several articles speak to the steps the Corps is taking to conserve energy. It is an imperative for the Corps as every gallon of fuel delivered to forward operating bases costs the Corps $400 and travel over IED infested roads.  Cutting our energy use is a combat multiplier. Finally, there is an article on the use of dogs in combat. No technical solution is better at finding IEDs than the nose of canis familiaris. Also be sure to read the warming stories of dogs in combat and what they mean to the families of their fallen handlers.


In your March Leatherneck, read our exclusive interview with the Commandant, Gen James F. Amos; how Marine artillery is back on target in Afghanistan in multiple ways; how one Marine kept his spirit of Semper Fidelis while a prisoner of the Japanese and later the Communist Chinese; and the tale of a new Honorary Marine who, although an Australian Army officer, commanded a Marine company (E/2/3) in combat during the Vietnam War. These stories, plus more news from bases and stations around the Corps and our "Laffs" and "Gyngles" continue Leatherneck's tradition of telling the Marine Corps story.

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!

This Month in Marine Corps History


1 February 1944           
Marines land at Roi Namur, Kwajalein Atoll. This chain of very small islets in the Marshall Islands chain is the largest coral atoll on earth and served as a key part of Japan’s outer defense perimeter during WW-II, providing airfields and base support for submarines and surface ships. In Operation “Flintlock”, MajGen Howling Mad Smith’s amphibious V Corps attacked a wide range of the smallest islands there. These started on 31 Jan 1944 in order to establish fire support bases for the main attacks on Roi Namur in the north conducted by the 4th Marine Division and Kwajalein in the south of the atoll with the U.S. Army’s 7th Infantry Division. Using lessons learned at Tarawa, U.S. forces rapidly overcame the Japanese beach defenses and secured Roi Namur by 3 February and Kwajalein by 8 February with less than 2,000 total casualties.

Eric Hammel’s book, U.S. Marines in World War II: Tarawa and the Marshalls is an exciting pictorial tribute you can find HERE.

2 February 1968           
Operation Hue City, Tet Offensive begins.  The battle for the beautiful Vietnamese city of Hue started with the North Vietnamese Army and Viet Cong refusal to honor the traditional Lunar New Year truce on 30 Jan 1968 resulting in the attack on hundred’s of military an political targets throughout South Vietnam in the early hours of the next day.  The former imperial capitol, Hue was occupied by a force of over 10,000 NVA and VC guerillas, which cut off a main supply route to and from Da Nang.  With an ad hoc force of 3 battalions of Marines from the 5th and 1st Marine Regiments, ARVN and U.S. Army units, a month long, block by block battle to retake the city took place with the ultimate defeat of the NVA and VC forces who lost well over 5,000 within the city and another 3,000 more in the immediate surroundings.  While a tactical and operational success for the US and South Vietnamese forces, the operational surprise along with the heavy losses of both civilian and military forces resulted in a dramatic loss of support for the war on the American home front.

For more reading  and some really dynamic photographs of the battle, check out Eric Hammel’s book, Marines in Hue City HERE.

19 February 1945           
Marines invade Iwo Jima. “Among the Americans serving on Iwo island uncommon valor was a common virtue.” was how Admiral Chester Nimitz reverently summed up the fighting at the most iconic battle ever fought by the Marine Corps. For more reading on the subject, we recommend The Lions of Iwo Jima, written by MajGen Fred Haynes, USMC (Ret) who fought there as a young Captain. Click HERE to read a synopsis of the book.

23 February 1945           
Iconic flag raising photos on Mt Suribachi on Iwo Jima


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

  • 10 March
    Spring 2010 MCA Combat Development Dinner

    Guest Speaker – LtGen Terry Robling, Deputy Commandant for Aviation
    Clubs at Quantico
    Quantico, 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 – Robert Coram, author of Brute
    Vendue Inn
    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.


Marine Corps Association Foundation membership directly supports Marines and ANYONE can Join!
  Join MCAF Today and support our Corps!

MCAF welcomes corporate support for our professional programs. Interested sponsors should contact LeeAnn Mitchell at for more information.

Click HERE to see the complete list of companies supporting Marines through MCA and MCAF events!

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

New MCAF Ground Awards.  MCAF is pleased to announce the creation of a pair of new awards to be presented annually at the MCA Ground Awards Dinner with the inaugural awards to be presented at the 5 May dinner as scheduled above. The new awards were conceived to honor the top performing Marines in the Marine Special Operations Command (MARSOC) community and honor the MARSOC team leader of the year and MARSOC NCO of the year respectively. The team leader award is named after Marine Major Douglas Zembiec, called the “Lion of Fallujah” for gallantry in action there and who later died in action while leading a raid on his 4th combat tour in Iraq.

In development now, pictures of the awards will be posted in the Member Update when further refined.

MCAF Helps Iwo Jima Veteran. In 1944, with invasions of Iwo Jima and Okinawa looming, the Marine Corps anticipated numerous casualties and prepared for this eventuality in several ways including organizing a special Officer Candidate course to establish an officer replacement pool. A total of 400 officers were commissioned, trained and sent to the Pacific with about half of them sent to Iwo Jima in February 1945.

Lt Richard Burress, from Nebraska was one of the Iwo Jima group and, four days after the initial assault landing found himself assigned to Baker Company, 1st Bn, 23rd Marines a unit he would lead in combat until the island was secured.

In January 2011, the Marine Corps Association Foundation provided funding enabling Mr. Burress to travel to Camp Pendleton where his old unit was stationed. There he got to meet with the Marines currently assigned to his old unit and to provide them with valuable advice acquired from his Iwo Jima combat experience.  Here are some pictures of the visit:


When You Move – We Move!
Keep MCA informed of your address change to ensure delivery of your MCA magazines. Go ONLINE and update your record or call us at 866-622-1775.

***Remember to update your EMAIL Address too!***

Mailing List
We WANT new readers. Send us the names and email addresses of people who should receive MCA’s Member Update to:

COMMENTS? Talk to us! We WANT to hear your comments and ideas. Send them to:

“Marines” and the Eagle, Globe and Anchor are trademarks of the U.S. Marine Corps, used with permission.
Neither the U.S. Marine Corps nor any other component of the Department of Defense has approved, endorsed or authorized this newsletter.