Dear Members,

October has been busy for the MCA.  On 7 October, we hosted our Fall MCAF Luncheon in Alexandria, VA with LtGen John E. Wissler, the Deputy Commandant for Programs and Requirements, as the guest speaker.  His perspective and thoughts on the projected fiscal challenges and emerging requirements facing the Marine Corps in coming years were thought provoking.  On 14 October, the MCA, with the Small Wars Journal Foundation and others, co-hosted “A Conversation on Counterinsurgency” that included a book signing with renowned counterinsurgency expert Dr. David Kilcullen at the Gari Melchers estate in Fredericksburg, VA.

Our Fall MCAF Combat Development Dinner was held on 20 October at MCB Quantico with LtGen Robert E. Schmidle, Jr as the guest speaker.

Finally, we were fortunate to have Colonel Tim Geraghty, USMC (Ret) former 24th MAU Commander during the 1983 Beirut Marine barracks terrorist bombing tragedy join us at the Marine Shop for a “meet the author” book signing event on 22 October. Col Geraghty also joined us for a book signing at our Camp Lejeune Book Store and was the guest speaker for the Camp Lejeune Fall MCAF Luncheon on 26 October.

My sincere thanks to these fine leaders for taking time from their busy schedules to share their insights with us. Time given to inform, teach, and mentor Marines in and out of uniform enriches all of us and is truly in keeping with the vision Gen Lejeune had for the MCA.

Check our events calendar below to see what we have coming up in the immediate future and click HERE for our complete schedule on the MCA web site. We have not had an MCA event on the West Coast for some time so on January 26th we will be hosting a MCA Dinner at the Sheraton Hotel Carlsbad to re-establish our connection. I will fill you in on what we have planned over the next several months, but please mark your calendars for 26 Jan.

The Marine Corps Birthday and Veterans Day approach on 10 and 11 November respectively. I wish you all a joyous 235th birthday and hope you will take some time to reflect on your service as a United States Marine and the contributions our great Corps and all our veterans have made to our freedom and security - Happy Birthday Marines!

Thanks for your support and 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



Member Section

  • Reader / Member Input. Do YOU have something newsworthy to share with your fellow MCA Members? Send it to us for consideration and possible posting in YOUR Member Update! Anniversaries, Reunions, unit news, major milestones?? Send to  and our Member Update Coordinator will consider including your item.
  • Too Good to Pass Up. Humorous, existential post script on message to the MCA Member Update “Comments” box sent to us from a member (Thanks to Gerald King – Attorney at Law):

    “ If I speak in a forest and no woman is there to hear me, will I still be wrong?”
    MCA thoroughly disavows the implicit misogyny but is curious if anyone has a definitive answer to the question? We think ABSOLUTELY you will STILL be wrong!
  • Modern Day Marine EXPO 2010 – Quantico, VA. MCA was present at the 30th Modern Day Marine Expo at Quantico at the end of September.  Many thanks to all the visitors who came to our booth – it was great seeing so many members!  Congratulations to our MCA Raffle Winners who won gift baskets with selections of some great professional reading, Semper Fi cologne and other prizes.  Here are our winners:
    Brian Villiard, Carl Hallen, Vincent Olman, Faith Barnes

  • MCA Visitors. Mike and wife Laura and Jerry and his wife Mary visited the Washington, D.C. area in June, got to attend both the evening and the sunset parades and met General Conway’s wife, Annette by accident while walking down the sidewalk near Marine Barracks at 8th & I.  Mrs. Conway very graciously invited them in to give them a personal tour of the Commandant’s home.  Unforgettable! Later they came down to Quantico and visited the MCA building and the Leatherneck staff.  Most welcome – Come back soon!
  • Major Gene Duncan. In last month’s edition of Member Update we reported that retired Major and noted Marine Corps philosopher, Major Gene Duncan, author of Green Side out and related books, was ill. He has rallied considerably and is now residing in an assisted living arrangement in Indiana. His address follows for those who would like to drop him their best wishes for his continued improvement:

    Major Gene Duncan, USMC (Ret)
    New Haven Care and Rehabilitation Center
    1201 Daly Dr.
    New Haven, IN  46774
    (260) 749 0413
    Re Run images of his books

  • MCA on FaceBook. We are proud to report that MCA has over 11,600 friends on Facebook so far.  We invite YOU to visit us there as well by clicking on the Facebook logo! Facebook Logo and Link to our Facebook Page

Of Interest to Marines

  • Marine Graduation Foundation.  One of our readers alerted us to this organization which provides assistance to families of Marines to enable them to attend graduations at the Recruit Depots. Check out their web site at, consider helping them and pass the word! Thanks to Member Update reader John Weant for informing us.

  • Bed & Breakfasts to honor Military Vets – 10 November.   A wide range of the country’s Bed & Breakfast Inns are offering free rooms to America’s veterans on 10 November. Visit the program website for details and a list of participating properties:

Q. Fun with nicknames! What are these nicknames and to which Marine units do they apply?

1. Really stupendous and wondrous, but sadly reputed to be of dubious parentage.
2. Capable of perambulation, though expired
3. Sounds like Jarheads from an oriental country but are really ours
4. This nation’s very own unit
5. One more than 2 and loud with the sound made by lightning


How to Win.  Send your answers to and please include your name and address so we can send you 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 the highly coveted Marine Corps Association Coin, we are now including our handy new Four in One gadget as a bonus.  Be the first in your neighborhood to get one!

Here’s a short version of our trivia question from September:

Question:  Served as a Marine on Guadalcanal and also served as a drill instructor.  In another line of work, he annoyed his boss by insisting on using the  “Cone of Silence” during secretive conversations. Often seen talking into his shoe to his colleague who is one less than a hundred. “Would you believe?” was his most memorable catch phrase.  Who is this veteran Marine and why is he famous?

Answer:  Don Adams played  the character of Maxwell Smart / Agent 86 on the popular spoof of secret agent shows “Get Smart” along with Barbara Feldon who played Agent 99. He served as a Marine on Guadalcanal and later spent over a year in the hospital after contracting black water fever.  Following his service in WW-II he became an actor, director, comedian and voice actor until his passing in 2005.

Congratulations to Joseph Inglese of Amsterdam, New York for winning the September Contest.
This contest resulted in almost 200 responses with all but about 6 being correct or at least partially correct.  As usual, some of the incorrect answers were amusing.  Comedians Don Knotts and Steve Carell were two of the wrong answers.  Steve Carell was actually in a 2008 movie entitled Get Smart but was not a Marine fighting on Guadalcanal so, thanks for playing but no banana.

One answer we get from someone EVERYTIME , No Matter What the Question, is Chesty Puller. HELLO!!!!!  We can see Chesty Puller talking to MajGen O.P. Smith, his “Chief” at the Chosin reservoir in Korea with a shoe phone or under the “Cone of Silence.”  The picture just does NOT play in Peoria…  Some years back we had a trivia contest question about equipment with the “Ontos” being the correct answer and we still got Chesty Puller as a response. 

One of our respondents asked that if he won to give his prize to an NCO who walked in to The MARINE Shop.  We were charmed by the idea and, even though he did not win the drawing, we decided to run with the idea.

Here is SSgt Jesus Perez, the envy of his unit, receiving a coveted prize coin and our handy Four in One Gadget at The MARINE Shop from retired Major Randy Stegner on 29 September. Thanks to Colonel David Coggins for the idea.

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.


From the Leatherneck staff: Happy 235th Marine Corps Birthday and thank you for your continuing supportive feedback.

In this Birthday issue, we continue our mix of articles on current operations and history. One current-day article of note provides an in-depth look at the Corps' efforts to bring renewable power to combat operations, removing the need for fuel consuming generators and batteries. The Corps has one battalion in Afghanistan using the systems mentioned in the article, which translates to fewer logistics across the IED infested roads.

Then our article, "The Battle for the City of the Dead," recounts the July / August 2004 Battle of Najaf, Iraq.  Part one, in the November issue, sets the scene a Marine patrol comes under heavy fire from the Mahdi Militia. The conclusion is in the December magazine. 

There's a great deal more in your Marine Corps Birthday issue of Leatherneck. We hope you enjoy it.

Marine Corps Gazette
The November Gazette contains two articles that look at the future of the Corps. The first is the annual Shulze Essay, written by noted defense analyst Michael O'Hanlon and is titled "Be All the Army Can't- or Won't Be". The second is by the Honorable Robert Work, Undersecretary of the Navy, and is titled "The Post-Afghan Marine Corps." 

Also in November are articles on Marine Corps history, personal reminiscences of Marines as well as Manpower policies, strategy and current tactics.Of course the Commandant's Birthday Message is prominently featured. Enjoy the November issue and the 235th Birthday of the Corps.

Corps Daily News.  Read the latest breaking news about or affecting Marines at Corps Daily News featured prominently on BOTH the Marine Corps Gazette and Leatherneck.  Visit daily to stay connected and informed on the happenings in YOUR Corps!

This Month in Marine Corps History


1 October 1880 - John Phillip Sousa was named leader of the Marine band. Sousa, known as the “March King,” was enlisted in the Marine Corps as an apprentice musician at age 13 to keep him from joining a circus band. While in the Marines, he learned to play a variety of woodwind instruments and after serving for 7 years in the Marine Band, he was released. He learned how to conduct and several years later returned as the leader of the Marine Band and served there from 1880-1892. Best known for composing the “Washington Post” march, he also wrote “Semper Fidelis” and “Stars and Stripes Forever” the official march of the Marine Corps and the National March of the United States. Interestingly, Sousa, the best known leader of the Marine Band, later joined the U.S. Navy and served as a band leader there during WW-I.


23 October 1983 - Terrorist bombing of the Marine Barracks position in Beirut, Lebanon.  A multi-national peace keeping force had been dispatched to help achieve order during the Lebanese Civil War. At 0620 a yellow Mercedes Benz truck filled with explosives was able to circumvent the defensive barriers surrounding the expeditionary HQ and billeting area manned by 1st Bn, 8th Marines and exploded after crashing in to the lobby of the building.  The force of the explosion collapsed the building resulting in the demise of 218 Marines. Another explosion some minutes later killed 58 French paratroopers in the multinational force in another building.  Eric Hammel, a historian who writes extensively about Marines wrote a very readible account of the event in The Root: The Marines in Beirut, which is available at MCA. Here are some pictures of the post explosion rescue and investigative efforts from MCA’s photo archives:





24 October 1955 - Five time Navy Cross recipient and legend of the Corps from the Banana Wars, World War-II and the Korean War, Lewis Burwell “Chesty” Puller retires from the Marine Corps as a LtGen.


Colonel Puller selecting objectives beyond Inchon after the landing.



MajGen Gerald Thomas and newly promoted BGen Chesty Puller in Korea with 1st Marine Division.

28 October 1943 - Led by another Legend of the Corps, LtCol Victor H. Krulak, the 2nd Bn, 1st Marine Parachute Regiment assaulted Choiseul in the Solomon Islands as part of a week-long diversionary operation to cover the Bougainville invasion. Wounded in the battle, Krulak received a Navy Cross and the Purple Heart for gallantry in action there. Future president John F. Kennedy’s helped evacuate part of Krulak’s battalion from the island at the end of the operation on his PT Boat. Click on the book image to check out Robert Coram’s new biography of LtGen Krulak.  

LtGen Krulak touring positions in Vietnam.


From MCA’s Picture Archive

Featuring Marines in Exotic China Through the Ages for October


Color Guard of the 4th Marines – the China Marines.

Variously uniformed members of the Marine Guard, American Legation in the early 30's.

Comedian and Actor Joe E Brown talking to Marines on Chinese mass transit.

A Marine touring the Great Wall of China in the late 40’s.

Gun Drill by 38th Machine Gun Company, Marine Guard - Peking.

Horse Marines in China.

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

29 October
Book Signing with Thomas P. Daly, author of Rage Company: A Marine’s Baptism by Fire
Quantico, VA

16 November
Book Signing with Robert Coram, author of Brute: The Life of Victor Krulak, U.S. Marine
Quantico, VA

17 November
MCAF Annual Dinner
Guest Speaker – Dr. David Kilcullen
Crystal Gateway Marriott
Arlington, VA

18 November
Book signing with Robert Coram, author of Brute: The Life of Victor Krulak, U.S. Marine
MCA Bookstore
Camp Lejeune, NC

2 December
MCAF Ground Dinner
Guest Speaker – General James F. Amos, Commandant of the Marine Corps
Crystal Gateway Marriott
Arlington, VA

9 December
Book Signing with Col Wes Fox, USMC (Ret) author of Courage and Fear: A Primer and also Marine Rifleman: Forty-Three Years in the Corps

Quantico, VA

26 January
West Coast MCA Dinner
Guest Speaker – TBD
Sheraton Carlsbad
Carlsbad, CA

Visit the MCAF website: for more information on our events and our programs.


Thanks to our Sponsors and Donors for Supporting Marines!

The MCAF 2011 Calendars have been mailed to MCA members and you should have received yours by now.  Full of dynamic shots of Marines in action in every clime and place, we are sure you are going to love it. If you did not get yours let us know at the contact information below.

The Foundation welcomes corporate support for our professional programs. We invite interested sponsors to contact LeeAnn Mitchell at for more information.

Click HERE to visit the MCAF Sponsor page and see a complete list of the companies currently helping MCAF support Marines!

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



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