Dear Members,

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

All the Best & Semper Fidelis,

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


MCA&F Host Social Event for Delta Company, TBS

MCA&F Present Awards to Top Performing EWS Graduates

Sundt General Contracting Company Supports MCA&F

Marine Corps Association & Foundation 2011 Ground Awards Recipients

On-Time delivery of YOUR magazines depends on YOU!
All we need is your correct address.

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.


and Marine Corps Gazette

Visit each magazine’s website TODAY. Click the links below!

Marine Corps Gazette
The August Gazette has a focus on leadership and contains the winning entries in the Hogaboom Leadership Essay Contest. The winner, penned by LtCol Mike Grice, is entitled “Leading with PTSD.” It is informative and thought provoking. Three articles deal with tactics from snipers to interpreters. From physical fitness to strategy and so much more, there is an article in the August Gazette that will resonate with you.

By now, you have had the opportunity to read your August Leatherneck online and we hope you are enjoying the added content that our online edition allows us to present. Many of you also will have your August print edition in hand and are enjoying the varied feature articles including a 70th anniversary tribute to the coast watchers and scouts on Guadalcanal, the informational article on the emergence of the special Veterans Treatment Court system where more experienced judges hear veterans’ cases, the article on MCRD Parris Island’s focus on the families of recruits and certainly the update on Marine operations in Afghanistan. Our August article, “Marine Tigercats Over North Korea,” gives a tip of the hat to our Korean War veterans while also serving to educate and inform others.

Looking forward to September, the broad spectrum of the Leatherneck content will include more on the Korean War, updates on current operations and training and a special feature on a young Marine who lost both legs and one hand in Afghanistan, but won’t let that keep him grounded. We think you’re in for a special treat with September’s “Love is in the Air.”

  • Reader / Member Input. Got something newsworthy? Send to and our Member Update Coordinator will consider including your item.
  • MCA&F 2012 Birthday Ball Catalog NOW available! Click HEREfor the Digital Edition of our Marine Corps Birthday Ball catalog. We offer the widest selection of party supplies, mementoes and souvenirs that will enliven any Birthday Ball, retirement, promotion or other celebration. Easily accessible ONLINE and very responsive, we can ship your order anywhere you live or serve. Order early though to ensure on time delivery.
  • MCA&F - Out and About - In and Around.
    TBS Social for D. Company.  MCA&F was on hand on 27 June 2012 to host a welcome aboard, social event for Delta Company, The Basic School.  Following a brief about the MCA&F mission and programs that support Marines, the Lieutenants of the newly-formed company adjourned to the “Green Carpet Area” adjacent to the renowned “Hawkins Room” bar at TBS’s O’Bannon Hall for a course of heavy appetizers, ambrosial libations and camaraderie.   MCA&F hosts these social events for every TBS company to tell the MCA&F story and to recruit new members.  During the events your professional association raffles off some professional books to some lucky Lieutenants and has a significant staff presence to chat with the energetic, young leaders and sea stories abound.  Here are some pictures of the event:

  • Good Guys – Gary Sinise and the Lt. Dan Band.  Read an informative blog posting from American Thinker on the selfless activities of Gary Sinise and his band in efforts to support American servicemen around the world, but especially in combat zones:  and here is the Lt. Dan Band website which includes their concert schedule:  Bless them all!
  • Peace Corps and Marine Corps – A stinging invidious comparison courtesy of Dennis Prager
    “…Young people are far more likely to believe that world peace is achieved when nations lay down their arms and talk through their differences. But this has never been the case. Of course, good nations stay peaceful when they talk to other good nations. Bad nations — that is, nations ruled by evil men — are never dissuaded from making war by talk. They are dissuaded only by good nations having more arms than they do. That is why the Marine Corps has done so much more for world peace than the Peace Corps.” Wisdom.  Read it all HERE.

  • Websites of the Month
    • Click HERE to visit YOUR Professional Association on Together We Served today!

    • Visit The MARINE Shop online HERE. Did you know that you can sign up for email notifications of news of new products, specials, sales and more there?  Select the “Get Emails / Join” option on the left side of the homepage screen and we will add you to our address list.

    • Visit the Marine Corps Gazette’s Blog and get involved in the professional Marine discussions on the topics of the day.  Click HERE to check it out.

    • Marine  They are an organization that provides information on service in the Marine Corps and a variety of services of particular interest to people new to the Corps and their families.  Check out their website for details HERE.

    • Flat Daddies.  Interesting concept.  Flat Daddies and Flat Mommies are life-size photos of deployed service members. They are provided to help children better cope with the separation they experience when a parent is away from home for long periods of time.  Could be helpful for those deployed.  Check them out at
  • Word of the Month.  Got a witty word, acronym or term for us? Send it to us and we will credit your input! Try this one – “R.O.A.D.” Retired on Active Duty. An insulting term describing someone who is particularly useless and lazy.  Avoid these at all cost!

Q. A less than complimentary term used by those Marines (and others) who see the elephant daily, describing ostensibly useless, non-combat troops deployed well behind the FEBA, hiding and sliding and of dubious utility.

Newer term of similar meaning but starts with the acronym for certain forward deployed outposts used today in Afghanistan and ends with a reference to the diminutive creatures who were the central characters in a highly popular, epic trilogy read by millions and recently made into a three part movie. What is this term?


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 “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!

Here’s last month’s Trivia Contest question:

Question: What the Deuce? Three items.  What pieces of gear are they and what are they for?

A) Four of them with itself?  Bigger than one plus eighty, used indirectly, heavy and no longer in use.

B) It’s mother in a two letter, informal term of affection with itself? Still in use by us and many other countries after over 90 years of service.

C) Itself and a half? Rudimentary compared to what is in service today but better than pedestrian locomotion.

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.

C) The Deuce and a Half refers to the widely used, M35 family of medium lift trucks in the 2 ½ ton weight class. Rated to carry 5,000 pounds of cargo off road and 10,000 pounds on roads, the truck was overbuilt and typically carried more. Not built with creature comforts as a high priority, the vehicle tended to bang the passengers around but was viewed by many Marines as better than humping.

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!

This Month in Marine Corps History


1 July 1920
MajGen John A. Lejeune became the 13th Commandant of the Marine Corps.

Remembered as a “Marine’s Marine,” LtGen John A. Lejeune was a true “Legend of the Corps” whose influence and contributions stand out.

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.”
LtCol Lejeune was appointed as the senior member of a 3 man executive committee to guide the fledgling organization and 60 of the Brigade’s officers enrolled.

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.

Read the story of this pivotal Marine leader’s life and career HERE.

20 July 2011
The White House announced that Cpl Dakota Meyer will be recive the Medal of Honor for his actions in Afghanistan.

Born and raised in Greensburg, Kentucky, Dakota Meyer enlisted in the Marine Corps in 2006 and attended recruit training at Parris Island. Assigned to the 3d Bn, 3d Marines, Meyer was posted as a Scout Sniper and deployed to Iraq in 2007, serving in the area around Fallujah. He later deployed with the battalion to Afghanistan and on a second deployment there was assigned to Embedded Training Team 2-8 to help train the Afghan security forces.

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 Click on the link for details and event registration. Here are a couple of events coming up in the near future:

  • 6 September 2012         
    MCA&F Professional Dinner
    – Guest Speaker – General Martin Dempsey, USA, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff

  • 21 September 2012
    MCA&F Intelligence Dinner – Guest Speaker – General James F. Amos, Commandant of the Marine Corps
  • 25 September 2012    
    Book Signing with Richard Lowry, author of New Dawn: The Battles of Fallujah and also Marines in the Garden of Eden

Special Announcement!
MCA&F NOW broadcasts “Livestream” videos of our professional dinners for the viewing pleasure and convenience of our members and friends of the Corps! Can’t go to the dinner? No problem! View it at home on your computer. It is easy to do. Check out the MCA&F Facebook site or the MCA&F website for the announcement with the link to the Livestream and open it up at the designated time and watch the action.

If you miss the Livestream video then you can still view the event. Just go to our MCA&F website at 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:

Commanders’ Unit Library Program
To date in 2012, this program has established or enhanced the professional libraries for 94 Marine unit libraries to support commander’s professional development objectives. Additional requests are processing.

Marine Excellence Awards Program
This year, through the end of March, this program has provided recognition for the professional accomplishments of over 700 Marines with tangible awards in the form of K-Bars, watches, professional books, cash awards, plaques, Marine swords, trophies and complimentary memberships.

Commanders’ Forum Program
MCA&F will support Marine Forces Command’s professional development excursion to a variety of Civil War sites of interest including the Gaines’ Mill and Malvern Hill Battlefields in May with logistic support including a charter bus for transportation.

On 10 August, MCAF will support the Marine For Life Program with a tour guide and box lunches for 75 participants to study the Antietam National Battlefield in Maryland.

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
to learn more about how the programs work and what they have accomplished for Marines!

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!
We invite you to make MCA&F at least one of your donation recipients during this year’s CFC Campaign!


CFC Donor Code is 19821



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.

Click the hotlinked logos for more information on Grantham University’s 1st Rate academic programs and MHT’s schedule of 1st Class tours to battlefields that will excite every Marine!


Corporate Support Welcome! MCA&F welcomes corporate support for our professional programs. Contact LeeAnn Mitchell at for more information.

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



Your current mailing addresses is the KEY to getting your magazines ONTIME.
Update your member profile ONLINE when you change your address so we can keep connected! Or – You can call us at 866-622-1775 or email us at

*** Don’t forget to update your EMAIL Address too!***

Mailing List
Send the names and email addresses of people who should be getting the MCA&F’s Member Update to: and we will be thrilled to include them.

COMMENTS about the MCA&F Member Update? Send your input 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.