Dear Members,

The first Intelligence Awards Dinner is set for 15 September in Arlington VA. General Joseph Dunford, Assistant Commandant of the Marine Corps will be our featured speaker and will assist in the presentation of the six new awards recognizing the professional achievements of the top performing Marines in the Intel field during 2010. On 28 September, we will host our MCA Camp Lejeune Fall Luncheon with MajGen Paul Lefebvre, Commander, U.S. Marine Corps Forces Special Operations Command as the guest speaker.

MCA professional events are a great way to stay connected to the Corps and informed about the key issues affecting Marines.  All of our MCA, MCAF members and Member Update readers and supporters are invited to attend – And, we hope you will bring a friend! Click HERE to view MCA’s complete professional event schedule for more information and event registration.

As the summer recedes and the weather gets cooler, it is worth pointing out that the key social event in a Marine’s year – the Marine Corps Birthday, fast approaches. If you are organizing a celebratory birthday event, I invite you to view our Birthday Ball Catalog HERE for the supplies, decorations and mementos you will need to throw the most memorable birthday celebration ever. And, EVERY Marine who wants to look his or her professional best is encouraged to visit The MARINE Shop, in person or online for the sharpest Evening Dress or Dress Blue uniforms, expert tailoring, precision medal mounting services, and all the accessories your uniform needs.  Click on the logo to visit The MARINE Shop online.

MCA’s newly launched Blog (web log) portal continues to grow at a rapid rate. After just a few months the site enjoys over 5,000 views per month and is growing as we continue to add top notch writers. Click HERE to visit today and read postings by writers like best-selling author Steven Pressfield, and from Andrew Lubin, our embedded correspondent in Afghanistan, and many others with valuable insights and amusing anecdotes about Marines. 

I am pleased to report that requests for our professional development and awards programs continue to grow.  To date, our MCAF Commanders’ Professional Library Program now shows a total of 156 Marine units provided with first class professional libraries.  Likewise, the MCAF Marine Excellence Awards Program has provided over 5,826 various awards including Honor Graduate Plaques, Marines of the Quarter Certificates, Marine swords, watches, professional books and cash awards in recognition of individual Marine professional accomplishments and achievements.

The MCAF also provides free copies of Leatherneck and Marine Corps Gazette magazines to the Wounded Warrior Regiment’s MEDCELL.  So far over 600 copies of each magazine have been provided to wounded Marines in Military and Veterans hospitals along with free one-year MCA memberships and magazine subscriptions. As always, YOUR support, membership and donations make these and other programs that support Marines possible.

I’ll close with an important note. The Marine Corps Association Foundation (MCAF) is an approved charitable organization in this year’s Combined Federal Campaign - Our CFC Donor Code is 19821. This means our active duty supporters and Federal employees can designate the MCAF as a donation recipient.  The campaign starts in September so please support us so we can continue to support our great Marines!

Thank you very much.  As always, please let me hear from you. You can do that by emailing MCA at

All the Best & Semper Fidelis,

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


Stay Connected! Keep your magazines coming on time and to the right address! If you’ve moved – Remember to update your MCA mailing address by logging in to your account, OR, call us at 866-622-1775.

OR, you can also click HERE to renew or to join.

Unit Commanders – Use appropriated funds to get mission critical reading in to the hands of your Marines. Order your Unit Subscriptions to Leatherneck and Marine Corps Gazette for your Marines!  It’s a snap to do! Click Here to order today.


  • Reader / Member Input. Do YOU have something newsworthy to share? Send to  and our Member Update Coordinator will consider including your item.

  • MCA’s Renewed Partnership with Military Historical Tours. Read our press release about this great opportunity to travel to exotic destinations with an MCA member discount while immersed in military history HERE! MHT logo Somewhere    Picture of partnership Signing with MajGen Usher and Col Wiedhan

    Visit the Military Historical Tours website HERE to review their upcoming travel schedule.
  • MARINE Shop Book Signing. MCA was fortunate to host noted author, WW-II veteran and owner of the Quantico area landmark, The Globe and Laurel Restaurant, Major Rick Spooner at a book signing on 12 August at The MARINE Shop in Quantico.

  • MCA Area Rep Corner.

    MCA’s West Coast Area Rep, retired SgtMaj Frank Pulley poses with Cpl Timothy Moreland, LCpl Stephen Sulpy and SgtMaj Ramona Cook the NCO, Marine of the Quarter and SgtMaj for MCB Camp Pendleton after presenting them with MCA plaques in recognition of their achievements in August.

    SgtMaj Pulley congratulates LtCol Mike Grice after he was presented with the Marine Corps Gazette’s Chase Prize Essay Contest Boldness and Daring Award.  A prolific writer, LtCol Grice was twice Honorable Mention award recipient in the Marine Corps Gazette’s Hogaboom Leadership Writing Contest and a 2nd place winner once as well, was also a twice Honorable Mention Awardee in the Chase Prize essay contest as well as the 2001 recipient of the Leftwich Trophy for Outstanding Leadership.

    SgtMaj Kevin Bennett, USMC (Ret) (L) MCA’s Capitol Region Area Rep, presents MCA raffle winner SgtMaj Nate Singletary, USMC (Ret) with a copy of the popular history of the Marines, Semper Fi, at the Annual SgtMaj of the Marine Corps picnic at Lunga Reservoir at MCB Quantico on 6 August.

  • Bugs Marines Should Know. Click HERE for an overview of thoroughly retro entomology, courtesy of Leatherneck Magazine!  

  • Classic Book of the Month. What’s that old saw about learning something new – you read an old book? Here is an oldie but a goodie, AND MCA has it DEEPLY discounted just for you.  Read the detailed story of how the U.S. Marines developed into the world’s premier amphibious force. Learn about YOUR amphibious and expeditionary heritage TODAY!           

    And, while we are on the subject of Amphibious Warfare, click HERE to listen to the Commandant’s recent talk on “amphibiousity.”

  • Deep Thought! Light travels faster than sound. That’s why some people appear bright until you hear them speak.  Related thought1 – What is the speed of dark?
  • Marine Mustangs. The Marine Corps Mustang Association annual muster will be held 29 Sept-2 Oct 2011 at the Sheraton Sand Key Resort in Clearwater Beach, Florida. For further information visit their website at   
  • Word of the Month. Blogonym. Basically the “Nom de Plume” or pen name of an anonymous blog writer (ie-blogger).

Q. Exasperated with recent Marine combat exploits and senior Army staff disaffections, a feisty, plain speaking former haberdasher responded with asperity to a reporter’s question about the status of the Marine Corps Commandant, stating in part that Marines “…have a propaganda machine that is almost equal to XXXX’s.” Which tyrannical despot’s name should replace the X’s, who made this regrettable statement and what was the question asked about the status of the Commandant?


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 the late Major Gene Duncan’s Books as a bonus.

Here’s our trivia question from last month:

Question: To the consternation of the Army, I had my Marines cut in front of stalled Army units to put Marines in a position to capture a strategic castle.  Who am I, what is the name of the castle and in which battle did this event occur?

Answer: MajGen Pedro A. del Valle, Commanding General of the 1st Marine Division in 1945 had his division cut in front of a stalled U.S. Army division to seize Shuri Castle during the campaign to take Okinawa in World War II.

Learn more about the battle of Okinawa:

Congratulations to Walt Stachowicz of Inverness, Florida for winning last month’s 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
The September Gazette has a focus on logistics and science and technology. These articles span the gamut from the views of the Deputy Commandant for Installations and Logistics to updates on science and technology we are using in combat. In addition there are articles on leadership lessons learned and other topics you find interesting and thought provoking. Every member has access to the digital edition of the Gazette and Leatherneck. Go to to read the additional content not in the paper edition. You will need a sign on name and a password. If you don't have yours please call our member services at 1 866-622-1775 to obtain one. Use the full benefits of your membership. Read the digital editions of Gazette and Leatherneck.

Never to be forgotten—11 September 2001. Your September Leatherneck marks the 10th anniversary of the cowardly attack on America by al-Qaida with two articles. We will never forget. Also in September, author MajGen O. K. Steele, USMC (Ret), notes the 60th anniversary and the origins of the Marine Corps' cold weather training facility and its first winter at Pickel Meadow. His historical piece is updated with an article on today's Marine Corps Mountain Warfare Training Center. Add to these a special article on staying fit using the TRX system, an update on the innovations by the Marine Corps Warfighting Lab and a look at how the Corps' combat correspondents are telling the Marine Corps story from Afghanistan and I think you'll agree our back to school issue is special. To see even more visit

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


2 Aug 1950 - 1st Provisional Marine Brigade landed at Pusan, Korea, one month after being alerted.           
Following the end of World War II, the Marine Corps found itself significantly downsized in post war austerity moves and, at the start of the Korean War, seriously unprepared for large scale combat operations. At the outset of the war, in June 1950, the JCS directed the Marine Corps to fully staff a Marine Division for service under the United Nations Command in Korea. Immediate efforts to rebuild the 1st Marine Division ran concurrent with building the 1st Provisional Marine Brigade, a force built around the 5th Marine Regiment with Marine Aircraft Group 33 in support. The Brigade was activated on 7 July, received Marines from all over the country, organized, equipped and sailed for Korea a week later and arrived at Pusan, South Korea on 2 August. A scant 5 days later, on 7 August, the 1st Provisional Marine Brigade was committed to combat operations at Masan and along the Naktong River in support of keeping the Pusan perimeter viable in the face of substantial and determined North Korean opposition. By September, the Brigade had been reabsorbed into the 1st Marine Division and would participate in the pivotal amphibious landing at Inchon.

That a unit could be so rapidly assembled, equipped, and sent in to wage successful combat in so short a time, with so little unit training and opportunity to develop unit cohesion is a tribute to the Marine ethos, basic training and esprit.

Here are two great books detailing the exploits of Marines in the early days of the war at the Pusan Perimeter and at Inchon:

6 Aug 1847 - LtCol S.E. Watson’s Marines commenced their march on the “Halls of Montezuma in Mexico.
The Republic of Texas had been admitted to the Union but border discord and American political and territorial ambitions led to war with Mexico in May 1846. An American army forays deep into Mexico and Marines are involved in the siege of Vera Cruz. In March, a 13,000 man army with some Marines included subdues Vera Cruz and their valor and efficiency induces General Winfield Scott to request more Marines in units organized larger than ship’s detachments.  In June 1847, a battalion sized formation of Marines under the command of LtCol Sam Watson, departed for Vera Cruz and was later attached to BGen John Quitman’s division to support the offensive against Mexico City on 6 August.  Initially in reserve and in the rear, Marines were called forward to participate in the assault on the Citadel of Chapultepec, guarding the approaches to Mexico City.  Armed with scaling ladders and pioneer equipment they, along with Army volunteers marched off during the night of 12 September to position themselves for the assault.  At dawn on the 13th, under cover of a furious artillery cannonade the Marine and Army Volunteer assault group ascended the slope and effected a breach for the remainder of the assault force and a general melee ensued with vicious hand to hand fighting at close quarters. The Citadel soon fell and freed up Marines to participate in the assault on Mexico City.

Click HERE to read Marine Sgt Edward J. Edwins’ September 1947 Leatherneck article on the event.

7 Aug 1953
- SSgt Barbara Barnwell was the first woman Marine awarded the Navy and Marine Corps Medal for heroism. She saved a fellow Marine from drowning in the ocean near Camp Lejeune.

18 Aug 1965 - Operation Starlite began in Vietnam.
Originally termed “Operation Satellite”, a power blackout and subsequent clerk-typist error inadvertently caused the renaming of this first, purely U.S. military-only operation of the Vietnam war to Operation Starlite. Launched by Marine LtGen Lew Walt at the urging of Vietnamese MajGen Nguyen Chanh Thi, the intent was to form a pre-emptive strike at the 1st Viet Cong Regiment that was poised around the Chu Lai base. Utilizing forces from the 9th Marine Amphibious Brigade, Marines from battalions 3/3, 3/7, 2/4 and 3/4 deployed in a three pronged assault by helo insertion, river crossing and amphibious landing to block and encircle the VC. While some of the VC succeeded in disengaging overnight, the operation resulted in dramatically reducing the threat to the vital communications tower at Chu Lai and over 600 VC were reported being killed with only 45 KIA and 203 WIA on the Marine side. Two Marines from 3/3 (Cpl Robert O’Malley-recipient of the first MOH awarded to a Marine in the war) and 2/4 (Cpl Joe Paul) were awarded the Medal of Honor for gallantry in action during the operation. Read more about Marine activities in the early days of the Vietnam War in Semper Fi and see how the war unfolds in The Vietnam War: A Chronology of War.

19 Aug 1919 - The Marines Hymn was registered with the U.S. Copyright Office. Catchy tune!
Click on Leatherneck Magazine’s own “Master Guns Playlist” which has a jazz version of The Marines Hymn by the one and only Jerry Lee Lewis and also has a tune, “Geneviève de Brabant” that serves as the model for the hymn along with an interesting story about the song’s development. Click HERE to visit that website page with this music, the story and much more!

26 Aug 1942 - The first black Marines to serve with the Corps in modern times enlisted.
Executive Order # 8802, signed by FDR on 25 June 1941 opened the door to black Americans again serving in the Marine Corps, as they had in the Revolution.

The Order allowed for full participation in the country’s defense program regardless of color, race, creed or national origin. Working through a host of recruiting, facility, training, organizational and leadership problems, black Marines were initially recruited in June 1942 and started arriving at Montford Point, North Carolina (at Camp Lejeune) for training with the expectation of eventually serving in segregated Defense Battalions with all white officers.  The Defense Battalions were composite units, task organized for defense of a designated base and were comprised of coastal and antiaircraft artillery, infantry and armor.

From the early days of segregated units, rapid development of black NCO’s, dealing with the prejudice and constraints of the time to serve with distinction and ultimately shoulder to shoulder with all other Marines read the story of an uphill battle HERE  at the Montford Point Marines Association Historical site.

Also check out these detailed histories:


MCA’s professional events schedule is at Click on the link for more information and registration.


MCAF membership directly supports Marines and ANYONE can Join!
Join Today and Help Support our Corps!

MCAF is NOW part of the Combined Federal Campaign!
We invite you to make MCAF at least one of your donation recipients during the 2011 CFC Campaign!

     CFC Donor Code is 19821     

Corporate Support Welcome! MCAF 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 (

MCAF is a 501(c)(3) charitable foundation so your support may qualify for tax deductions.

Wounded Marine Donations
Now you can add a donation to our Wounded Marine Fund when paying your invoice or renewal. Just note the amount of donation in the gray box that says, "I'm including an additional donation in the amount of $____ to provide support to Wounded Marines." Additional details about donations are HERE.

Thanks to Panasonic
for donating 11 “Toughbook” laptops in August to MCAF for the Wounded Warrior Regiment

LeeAnn Mitchell of MCAF handing over laptops donated by Panasonic to Lisa Rotte of the Wounded Warrior Regiment MEDCELL for distribution to Wounded Marines to use with brain train exercises and for education.

When You Move – We Want to Move with you!
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