Dear Members,

Recognizing the professional achievements of Marines is one of the most important things we do!  On September 15th, we hosted the first annual MCA&F Intelligence Awards Dinner.  This award dinner recognized the professional achievements of the top performing Marines in the intelligence community. It was a great evening with over 400 in attendance.  I want to thank General Joseph Dunford, Assistant Commandant of the Marine Corps, for serving there as our guest speaker and for assisting with the awards presentations.  Read an account of the evening along with additional pictures, a video of the ACMC’s presentation and a link to award recipient biographies HERE.

Fostering forums professional discussion is another key MCA&F mission and in pursuit of that, we held our Fall Luncheon at Camp Lejeune on September 28th. Our featured speaker was MajGen Paul Lefebvre, Commander, U.S. Marine Corps Forces Special Operations Command (MARSOC). He provided an update on MARSOC operations, insight on the continuing development of this important command, as well as taking questions from attendees.           

Looking to the near future, MCA&F will co-host the Fall Combat Development Dinner with the Commander of Marine Corps Combat Development Command, LtGen Richard Mills, at the Clubs of Quantico on 18 October. This annual dinner series features presentations on emerging combat development concepts and ideas and the guest speaker for this event will be announced shortly. Visit MCA’s event calendar HERE to keep up with our unfolding professional event schedule and to register for the event. 

A recurring and exciting September highlight for MCA&F is the annual Modern Day Marine Expo at Quantico. Our booth was well visited by Expo participants and gave us another opportunity for public outreach and to get the word out about our programs that support Marines. Thanks to all of the visitors that came by our booth for their support. MCA will also be in attendance at the Marine West on February 2nd, 2012 and Marine South on April 11th Expos as well, hosting professional dinners at both events. Check our event calendar for details and registration.

The demand for MCA&F programs continues to grow. So far this year we have been able to meet all requests, but its been tight and your contributions to our foundation have helped, and your continued support is needed to keep pace with demand for our programs outlined below. 

The Marine Excellence Awards Program: So far this year we have helped recognized 6,745 deserving Marines and sailors with incentive awards in the form of trophies, plaques, binoculars, watches, professional reading, Dress Blues, Marines swords, K-Bars and complimentary memberships.  Additionally, MCA provided over 4,000 Certificates of Achievement to Marines for academic excellence.

The MCAF Commanders’ Professional Library Program:  The demand for this important program has taken off. So far this year we have provided over 188 Marine units this year with professional books to establish or enhance their unit professional libraries.

The MCAF Commanders’ Forum Program:  This evolving program has supported over 15, various PME forums with the latest being an opportunity with Medal of Honor recipient and author MajGen James E. Livingston USMC (Ret) for Marine Corps Security Forces Battalion in Kings Bay Georgia. 

I’ll end with this important reminder. The Marine Corps Association Foundation (MCAF) is a newly approved charitable organization in this year’s Combined Federal Campaign - Our CFC Donor Code is 19821. As a result, our active duty supporters and Federal employees can designate MCAF as a donation recipient.  The campaign runs from September through December so we ask you to support us so we can continue to support Marines!

Thank you very much for your membership and support.  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! If you’ve moved, don’t forget to update your MCA mailing address. It’s a snap to do - Just log in to your account, OR, call us at 866-622-1775.

OR, if you are not currently a member, click HERE to renew or to join.

Unit Commanders –Use appropriated funds to get both Leatherneck and Marine Corps Gazette in to the hands of your Marines. Order your Unit Subscriptions TODAY!  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.
  • The MARINE Shop Book Signings. MCA was fortunate to host a number of noted authors for book signings and meet the author events during September:

    On 14 September, David J. Ulbrich author of Preparing for Victory, a biography of LtGen Thomas Holcomb was at The MARINE Shop.

    Renowned tactical expert John Poole, author of Expeditionary Eagles, Dragon Days, and others was at The MARINE Shop at Camp Lejeune on 15 September to sign his new book, Global Warrior.

    Karl Marlantes, author of Matterhorn, a novel about Marines in Vietnam was on hand at The MARINE Shop at Quantico on 20 September.           

    On Friday, 23 September, LtCol Robert J. Darling USMC (Ret) was on hand at The MARINE Shop at Quantico to sign his new book, 24 Hours inside the President's Bunker: 9-11-01: The White House  

  • MCA Area Rep Corner

  • EXPO Pics.  MCA was present at this year’s Modern Day Marine Expo, staffing a booth for outreach and membership purposes.  Thanks to ALL our many visitors.  Here are some pictures:

    Click HERE to see pictures of the Expo exhibits taken by MCA staff photographer Ron Lunn.
  • Word of the Month. Commentariat. An obvious and very pejorative corruption of “Proletariat” except, instead of describing the mass of deprived and downtrodden working class, instead paints a picture of the over rated and usually supercilious, lip flapping and pen slinging class. Used especially to portray left leaning journalists and bloggers.

  • The Pope & A Marine Gunny. NOTE – this is a true story!

    The Pope died of old age and found himself at the gates of Heaven at 0300.  He knocks on the gate and a very sleepy Duty NCO opens the gate and “Waddyah want?”

    “I’m the recently deceased Pope and have done 68 years of godly works and thought I should check in here.”

    The watchman checked his roster and says, “I ain’t got no orders for you here. Just bring your stuff in and we’ll sort this out in the morning.” They go to an old WWII style barracks, 3rd floor, open bay.  The Pope stows his gear under a rack and climbs in to an upper bunk.

    The next morning he awakens to sounds of cheering and clapping. He goes to the window and sees a flashy Jaguar, convertible parading down the clouds from the golden HQ building. The cloud walks are lined with saints and angels cheering and tossing confetti.  In the back seat sits a Marine Gunny with a cigar in his mouth and a can of San Magoo in one hand and his other arm around a voluptuous blonde angel with magnificent halos.

    The Pope is disturbed by this and runs downstairs to the Duty Shack and says “Hey, what gives? You put me, the Pope, with 68 years of godly deeds, in an open squad bay while this Gunny, who must have committed every sin known and unknown to man is staying in a mansion on the hill and getting a hero’s welcome. How can this be?”

    The Duty NCO calmly looks up and says, “Hey, we get a Pope up here every 20 or 30 years, but we’ve NEVER had a Marine Gunny before.”

Q. With an outer covering of cured, bovine epidermal material, these sturdy, high-quarter, pedestrial, propulsion enhancements came to be known by a pejorative but affectionate term referring to out of the way and far removed places of a bucolic nature.  What is my nickname and what 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 the late Major Gene Duncan’s Books as a bonus.

Here’s our trivia question from last month:

Question: 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?

Answer: The despot in question was Joseph Stalin, dictator of the USSR.  President Harry S. Truman is the author of the remark and the issue surrounded a suggestion that the Commandant of the Marine Corps should be raised to membership on the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Learn more about this period of inter service rivalry in this highly readable book

Congratulations to veteran LCpl Robert J. Castaldi, of Hockessin, Delaware 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 November Gazette has a focus on Marine Corps history and esprit. With reminiscences of a Korea and Vietnam vet as well as World War II Marine, they look back on the long line that has added luster to the title "Marine." Another article is a primer on how to fund and place a unit memorial monument. Finally there is an article on the bond that Marines form over the years with the corpsmen who bind our wounds and ensuring they are recognized. The November issue will touch a chord with Marines both past and present.

Your October Leatherneck provides continued coverage of the war on terror with a look at Marine engineers reducing IEDs while other Marines help local Afghan leaders build an environment for positive governance. We also provide a well-rounded look at post traumatic stress and traumatic brain injury with an exclusive interview with the Commandant, General James F. Amos, followed by a feature article of PTS/TBI and book reviews of "On Killing: The Psychological Cost of Learning to Kill" and Karl Marlantes' new book, "What It Is Like To Go To War." These plus more features on robotic trucks, Marine veterans helping wounded warriors through LeMans racing and former Marine bandsman suiting up to represent the Corps help make the October

Leatherneck a keeper. We know you will enjoy the October issue, but stand by, the November Marine Corps Birthday Leatherneck magazine will be even better.

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 Sept 1945 - Japan formally surrendered aboard USS Missouri in Tokyo Bay          
With the virtual eradication of their naval, maritime and air assets and the systematic reduction of their Asian and Pacific-island Empire,
the Japanese seized upon the two nuclear strikes on Hiroshima and Nagasaki as an opportune time to surrender and end the war.

The Iowa class “Fast Battleship” Missouri was designated to host the surrender ceremony in Tokyo bay and was dispatched along with a task force to receive the surrender and commence American occupation of Japan.
Ordered in 1940, the “Mighty Mo” was a remarkably powerful ship with an illustrious combat history and a strong supporter of Marines. Named for the sitting president’s home state, the ship was christened by the president’s daughter in 1944 and deployed shortly thereafter for service in the western Pacific. Armed with a total of 9 – 16”, 20 – 5” guns and over 120 smaller caliber, anti-aircraft guns the ship was valued by Navy carrier forces, the capital forces of the time at sea, for the seagoing anti-aircraft barrage she was capable of spewing continuously while Marines and ground forces were fond of the accuracy, volume and continuity of large caliber naval gunfire support she was able to provide. Mighty Mo supported Marine landings at two of the most iconic battles of World War II at Iwo Jima and at Okinawa.  She would support Marines again in the Korean War and beyond, including service during the Gulf War where her long range 16” guns were relegated to second place in the shore fire support role, losing out to the much longer range and more accurate Tomahawk ground attack missile.

 The surrender ceremony was a who’s who of Pacific war military luminaries with General Douglas MacArthur presiding, Admirals Halsey and Nimitz participating with many more Admirals and Generals from numerous countries in attendance. The surrender document was first signed by the Japanese officials including Japan’s foreign minister Mamoru Shigemitsu who was followed by General Yoshijiro Umezu, Chief of the Army General Staff.

General MacArthur, Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers then signed the document followed by the military representatives from the United States (Admiral Nimitz), Republic of China, United Kingdom, Soviet Union, Australia, Canada, France, Netherlands and New Zealand.

The table used for the surrender ceremony, along with the table cloth, now resides at the United States Naval Academy in their museum with a lot of other tremendous memorabilia from that and other wars involving the Naval Service. The Missouri, the last battleship ever built by the United States was finally decommissioned in 1992 at the end of her Gulf War service and in 1998 ended up in Hawaii, at Pearl Harbor as a museum ship.

For a great overview of the war in the Pacific in WWII, Eagle Against the Sun is hard to beat

14 Sept 1942 - Japanese attacked Guadalcanal’s “Bloody Ridge” and were shredded by Edson’s Raiders
The first major American offensive in the Pacific during WW-II, Guadalcanal was actually a lengthy, hard fought campaign lasting from August 1942 to February 1943 and involved 3 major land battles, 7 large naval actions and continual aerial engagements and raids on Guadalcanal and surrounding islands.  The battle of Lunga Ridge, also called “Bloody Ridge,” and “Edson’s Ridge” offered an almost undefended avenue of approach for the Japanese towards the Henderson field, the airfield held by U.S. forces. On 11 September, the 800 plus men of LtCol Merritt Edson’s Raider Battalion occupied the ridge and the area around it.  The Japanese attacked in battalion strength on the night of 12 September and forced one Marine company to fall back before they halted their attack for the night.  The next night the Japanese attacked in brigade strength with about 3,000 men and an array of light artillery.  Marines supported by artillery were subjected to determined frontal attacks by successive waves of attackers throughout the night resulting in bitter, hand to hand fighting along much of the defending line.  On 14 September, the Japanese withdrew from the contest leaving over 850 KIA in the area and suffering numerous other casualties. 

“Red Mike” Edson, the Marine Commander at the action on the ridge received a second Navy Cross for actions on Tulagi in August 1942 and subsequently received the Medal of Honor for his role in repelling the assault on Lunga Ridge several weeks later.  He would lead Marines at Saipan and Tinian and later commanded the 2d Marine Division before retiring as a MajGen.

Check out Eric Hammel’s book Guadalcanal: The U.S. Marines in World War II: a Pictorial Tribute for more information and great pictures of the battle.



MCA hosts professional dinners, awards dinners for various Marine occupational communities, professional lunches, book signing and meet the author events and more. See what is on MCA’s professional events schedule at Click on the link for more information and event registration.


Anyone can join MCAF and EVERY membership directly supports Marines
Join Today and Help Support our Corps!

Visit our website at to check out the programs we utilize to support the professional development and professional recognition of Marines.

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

GREAT News - MCAF is NOW part of the Combined Federal Campaign!
We invite you to make MCAF at least one of your donation recipients during this year’s CFC Campaign!

     CFC Donor Code is 19821     

More GREAT News! Check out the MCAF Auction!

Auction Proceeds go to support the MCAF programs that support Marines and prizes include the following:

  • Four Year College Scholarship from Grantham University worth over $33,000

  • Historical Tour of your choice from Military Historical Tours worth over $6,000 

  • Leatherneck Tribute M1 Garand Rifle worth over $3,500

  • Leatherneck Vietnam Tribute M1911 45 Caliber Pistol worth over $2,100

Click HERE for details, rules and to register for bidding on the prizes that interest you.

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.

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