I hope your summer is going well and you are finding some time to break away from your routine and enjoy the season. Many years back I served with then Col Peter Pace who passed on some sage advice at a staff meeting, he said… “Every six months or so, your mind takes leave so your body might as well go with it”.
On 28 June, the Marine Corps Association & Foundation, along with the Deputy Commandant, Plans, Policies and Operations held the 9th Annual MCA&F Ground Awards Dinner in Arlington, Virginia to an overflow capacity crowd to honor the achievements of the top performing Marines from the ground combat community.
During the dinner the Marines of the Year from each Marine Division, the MARSOC Critical Skills Operator of the Year and the recipients of the prestigious Chambers, Zembiec, Hulbert and Leftwich awards were recognized for outstanding leadership in 2011. LtGen Dennis J. Hejlik, Commander, United States Marine Corps Forces Command; Commanding General, Fleet Marine Force Atlantic; Commander, United States Marine Corps Bases Atlantic; Commander, United States Marine Corps Forces Europe, served as the guest speaker for the evening and made moving remarks about what has changed in the nature of ground combat and what remains the same in the era of technology. A distinguished leader and the 1985 recipient of the Leftwich trophy, LtGen Hejlik assisted in the award presentations.
We thank LtGen Hejlik for taking the time to participate in this special evening and we congratulate the award recipients for their outstanding achievements. LtGen Hejlik recently retired from active duty after over 30 years of distinguished service. We wish him all the very best. Click HERE to view our event page with a summary of the event, recipient biographies, pictures and a video of the presentation.
On 6 September, we are honored to have General Martin Dempsey, USA, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs as our guest speaker at the MCA&F Annual Professional Dinner. We anticipate considerable interest for this unique opportunity to hear the perspectives from our Nation’s senior military leader and encourage your early registration to ensure a reservation.
Later in the month we will hold the 2d Annual MCA&F Intelligence Awards Dinner on 21 September to honor the accomplishments of the top performing leaders in the Marine Intel community during 2011. Our guest speaker and awards presenter for the event will be General James F. Amos, Commandant of the Marine Corps.
Our professional events continue to set the gold standard for opportunities for professional development, getting “in the know” with Corps issues and camaraderie with Marines. I encourage you to attend if you are able. Click HERE to view our complete schedule and to register for the events of your choice. Bring a friend.
For our active duty members, summer is the season for permanent change of station moves. We don’t want to lose our connection with you during the process and we trust that you don’t want to miss receiving your copies of Leatherneck and/or Marine Corps Gazette on time due to address problems. Changing your member profile with your updated rank, address and more is really easy to do and ensures uninterrupted connectivity. Click HERE to update your profile Online.
I want to remind all of our members that MCA&F supports Marines like no other association. Our Marine Excellence Awards, Commanders’ Forum, Commanders’ Unit Library, Writing Awards programs provide recognition and professional development opportunities to many thousands of Marines throughout the Corps.
The Combined Federal Campaign runs from September to December and we can sure use your help sustaining and enhancing our programs. For those of you on active duty or in the Federal workplace, be sure to remember making the Marine Corps Association Foundation, CFC # 19821 one of your choices when you donate this year. Thanks for supporting the Marine Corps Association Foundation and helping us to support Marines!I always enjoy hearing from our members and supporters. If you have any stories you might want to share about how the professional association for ALL Marines has made a positive impact in your life or the life of a loved one or comrade I would love to hear about it. Write me at email@example.com.
All the Best & Semper Fidelis,
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Don’t forget to update your mailing address if you move. Log in at our website, HERE, OR, call us at 866-622-1775 to update your address record.If your membership is ending click HERE to renew or join. Consider a multi-year membership to save yourself from having to renew each year.
Unit Commanders' Reminder – Appropriated funds for subscriptions to both Leatherneck and Marine Corps Gazette for your Marines are approved for use. Order your Unit Subscriptions TODAY and get your Marines some first class professional reading! Click Here to order today.
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Marine Corps Gazette
How to Win. Send your answers to firstname.lastname@example.org 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 “Once a Marine – ALWAYS a Marine” Coin, we are now including a whiz bang MCA&F ball cap so you can strut your stuff in style!
Question: What the Deuce? Three items. What pieces of gear are they and what are they for?
Answer: A) The 4.2 Inch (107mm) Mortar was commonly called the Four-Deuce. Originally introduced in 1928, the weapon was based on the design of the British 4” smooth bore mortar and was, in the aftermath of the WW-I chemical warfare experience, envisioned to fire predominantly chemical warfare rounds. The Four-Deuce was a rifled mortar which fired chemical rounds to a range of just a little over 2,100 meters. Early in WW-II a high explosive round was developed and the mortar was lengthened and the round designed to accommodate additional propellant to increase the range out to a little more than 4,000 meters. Used extensively by Army and Marine units in WW-II, the weapon even found its way on various Navy amphib ships for shore fire support. Primarily the weapon was deployed at the regimental level and saw considerable service in the Korean War and also in Vietnam. As a side trip, it is interesting the way calibers were selected years ago. There was a 105mm howitzer, a 106mm recoilless rifle and a 107mm mortar. Curious.
B) The Ma Deuce is the affectionate term for the venerable Browning .50 Caliber Machine Gun, which is still employed by many countries to this day. A heavy machine gun, it was designed near the end of WW-I by John Browning along lines similar to his lighter M1919 machine gun chambered for .30-06. A very flexible and effective weapon, it has commonly armed vehicles and, throughout WW-II, was the machine gun of choice for arming American aircraft. Used throughout WW-II, the weapon has seen extensive service by U.S. forces in every succeeding war, remains in service today as the primary heavy machine gun of NATO countries and has been in use longer than any other small arm in the United States except the M1911, .45 caliber pistol.
Congratulations to Dan Robbins of Luthersburg, PA for winning our last contest.
Thanks to LtCol C.A. McLean for providing clarification about our answer to the May edition’s Trivia Contest question about Hill 881S. Our answer alleged that Col Dabney’s unit, was called the “Purple Foxes.” LtCol McLean advises that Nom de Guerre actually refers to HMM-364 and adds that Col Dabney was an honorary member of that squadron. Further he states that 26th Marines were known as “The Professionals” and that L/3/26 were known as “The Filthy Few” and that M/3/26 were known as “MEDEVAC Mike.”Thanks for the input and for catching the error!
Born in 1867 in Louisiana, John Archer Lejeune initially attended a preparatory school at Louisiana State University before taking the entrance exam for the United States Naval Academy from which he graduated, second in his class in 1888. Following completion of his obligatory, 2-year sea going cruise as a midshipmen, he chose service as a Marine and was commissioned in 1890. His early career as a Marine saw multiple postings to sea duty, recruiting and barracks duty with a variety of commands along the way. Promoted to Major in 1903, he commanded various expeditionary battalions, serving in Panama several times and at Marine Barracks Washington, D.C. as well as command of the Marine Barracks at Cavite in the Philippines. Promoted to LtCol in 1909 he then attended Army War College, graduating in 1910.
Subsequent expeditionary duty involved an assignment with the 1st Provisional Marine Brigade in Cuba which included brief command of a district there followed by service in Panama for almost a year. Discussions within the leadership of the 1st Provisional Brigade led to the germination of the idea for a professional association for Marines and the collection of a substantial sum of money for the times from donations by the officers serving in the Brigade.
Returning briefly to the USA, LtCol Lejeune was again posted to expeditionary duty to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba and it was during this period of service that the Marine Corps Association was formally established with the aim of “disseminating knowledge of the military art and science among its members, and to provide for their professional advancement; to foster the spirit and preserve the traditions of the United States Marine Corps.”
Promoted to Colonel in February 1914 and then embarked for occupation service in Veracruz, Mexico with in command of the 2nd Advanced Base Regiment. Serving the better part of a year in Mexico, he returned to Washington, D.C. in December 1914 to become the assistant to the Major General Commandant of the Marine Corps and was himself promoted to Brigadier General in 1916.
Promoted to MajGen in 1918, he served in WW-I initially commanding a brigade of the 32nd Division and assumed command of the 4th Brigade of Marines which was then serving in the 2nd Division after the Battle of Soissons. He later assumed command of the 2nd Division in July 1918, leading it until the unit was deactivated in 1919 making him the second Marine to command an Army division. For his exemplary service in France during the war, he was awarded the Legion of Honor and the Croix de Guerre by the French government and also received the Army and, later the Navy Distinguished Service Medals.
Following brief service as Commanding General, Marine Barracks, Quantico, he was appointed in July 1920 as the 13th Major General Commandant of the Marine Corps and served in that capacity until 1929, at which point he accepted the position of Superintendent of the Virginia Military Institute. He served at VMI for eight years until his retirement in 1937 at which point he was advanced on the Marine Corps retired list to LtGen. He died in 1942 and was interred in Arlington National Cemetery.In addition to being the driving force behind establishing and nurturing the Marine Corps Association and leading an Army Division in combat, Lejeune is also remembered as a consummate leader and is renowned for establishing the highest leadership ideals for the Marine Corps and also established one of the Corps’ most beloved traditions – that of celebrating the Marine Corps Birthday with an appropriate ceremony each year.
20 July 2011
On 8 September, 2009, Meyer was working with his unit near the Afghan village of Ganjgal in Kunar Province not far from the border with Pakistan. A sizable Taliban contingent sprung a successful ambush of a company of Afghan soldiers and their Marine advisors pinning them down killing several and wounding more. Corporal Meyer learned that a U.S. Navy Corpsman and three Marines were missing during the engagement and resolved to get into the fray and do something to locate and rescue them. The terrain was hilly and difficult with only one useable, fire swept road leading through the village. Taking the initiative, Meyer charged a considerable distance down the road, initially unsupported, five times through intense fire, killing upwards of a dozen Taliban, effecting the rescue of over a dozen Afghans and Americans trapped in the kill zone and provided cover fire for the escape of over 20 more Marines and soldiers. Wounded during the course of the action, Meyer also located and retrieved the 4 missing Marines and Corpsman with support from Capt Ademola Fabay and SSgt Juan Rodriguez-Chavez who were later awarded the Navy Cross for their actions supporting Meyer with machine gun fire and vehicular transport support in the retrieval of the missing men. The Afghan company was finally able to regroup and the Taliban fighting force eventually withdrew.
Cpl Meyer completed his enlistment in 2010 while his award nomination was under consideration and considerable scrutiny. During a visit to Camp Pendleton inn November 2010, General James F. Amos, Commandant of the Marine Corps told reporters that a living Marine had been nominated for the Medal of Honor and investigative journalists soon uncovered that Meyer was the Marine under consideration. Shortly after that, President Obama’s staff called Meyer to arrange a time for the President to officially advise him of his award. Meyer, a construction worker at the time, was on a job site and asked them to call him back when he had his lunch break. During subsequent coordination contacts, Meyer asked if he could sit down and chat with the President over a beer and also requested that appropriate commemorative ceremonies also be conducted for those slain during the engagement for which he was to be honored.
The Medal of Honor was presented to Sgt Meyer on 15 September 2011 by President Obama at a White House ceremony for his courage during the “Battle of Ganjgal” becoming the first living Marine in 39 years and the third living recipient since the Vietnam War to receive that honor.
Sgt Meyer is currently writing a much anticipated account of the action along with renowned writer and veteran Marine Bing West. The book is tentatively entitled Into the Fire: A Firsthand Account of the Most Extraordinary Battle in the Afghan War and is advertised for release in September 2012, though there are indications that the release might be delayed until sometime in 2013. The MARINE Shop will offer the book upon its release.
Read Sgt Meyer’s gripping Medal of Honor Citation HERE.
MCA&F hosts professional and awards dinners, professional lunches, book signings and more. Check out our professional events schedule at www.mcafdn.org. Click on the link for details and event registration. Here are a couple of events coming up in the near future:
If you miss the Livestream video then you can still view the event. Just go to our MCA&F website at www.mca-marines.org and click on the “Programs/Events” option on the top tool bar and select “Past Events.” Then select the event of your choice to see a summary, pictures and videos of the event.
Thank you for your support of our valuable programs for Marines which include:
Marine Excellence Awards Program
Commanders’ Forum Program
Eighty participants from the Basic School will conduct a two-day PME study of the Gettysburg battlefield in October with MCAF providing the support for lodging.
Visit our website at www.mcafdn.org
MCAF is a 501(c)(3) charitable foundation so your support may qualify for tax deductions.
Don’t Forget that MCAF is a Combined Federal Campaign Participant!
Get Ready for the New MCAF Auction!
Starting 1 August, MCAF is holding a new silent auction for a number of items including the Marine aviation painting and framed picture of the World Trade Center observed from a Marine plan. Additional auction prizes include a complete, 4 year, Online degree program provided by Grantham University and a tour by Military Historical Tours. Click HERE for details and bid submission instructions.
Corporate Support Welcome! MCA&F welcomes corporate support for our professional programs. Contact LeeAnn Mitchell at email@example.com for more information.
Call Us toll-free: 877-469-6223 (877-4MY-MCAF) or 703-640-0174 (firstname.lastname@example.org)
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