Dear Members,

I hope your holiday season was joyous and that your New Year’s celebration is memorable and safe.

On 29 November, we hosted the MCA&F Ground Dinner in Arlington, Virginia featuring then LtGen John Paxton as the guest speaker. General Paxton became the Assistant Commandant of the Marine Corps Saturday, 15 December and General Amos and General Paxton’s wife Debbie, pinned on his fourth star. We thank him for carving out the time from his busy schedule to speak to our dinner guests. Visit our website HERE to read an overview of the event, see additional pictures and to view the guest speaker’s presentation on video.

Our next major events will be held in February and March. On 13 February, we travel to California to hold the MCA&F West Coast Dinner in Carlsbad. The dinner will be held in conjunction with the annual Marine West Exposition at Camp Pendleton and features LtGen John A. Toolan, Jr., Commanding General, I Marine Expeditionary Force as the guest speaker. We look forward to seeing our West Coast members and supporters there. The Spring, 2013, MCA&F Combat Development Dinner will be held on 21 February at Quantico with LtGen William M. Faulkner, Deputy Commandant for Installations and Logistics as the guest speaker, and on 14 March we will hold the MCA&F Ground Logistics Awards Dinner in Arlington to honor the Corps’ top performing logisticians of 2012. Click HERE to see our complete event schedule and to register for an event.

For the past several months, I have reminded our readers that the Marine Corps Association Foundation is a Combined Federal Campaign participant and have requested your support for the programs that advance leadership and recognize excellence of our courageous Marines. I thank you for choosing to support us through the CFC and sending in donations directly to the foundation. You still have the opportunity to make a tax deductible contribution this year by clicking HERE. Your support enables us to continue and expand what we do for Marines and we very much appreciate your generous support.

As the year closes out, I am pleased to report that, with your help, through our Marine Excellence Awards Program, MCA&F spent over $152,000 providing recognition to over 8,500 Marines this year in the form of trophies, plaques, Marine Swords, K-Bars, uniforms, professional reading, watches, cash awards, complimentary memberships, certificates of achievement and more.

Our Commanders’ Unit Library Program completed or expanded 193 unit libraries with another 91 in processing so far this year with grant donations for the purpose totaling over $140,000. Our Commanders’ Forum Program  provided over $24,000 for logistics and other support for 11 forums fostering the professional development of over 1,000 Marines  during the year. With your help, our programs make a difference to a significant number of Marines world-wide!

The 100th anniversary of the Marine Corps Association’s founding occurs in April 2013.  In a year-long commemoration of our founding, Leatherneck and Marine Corps Gazette will feature re-printed articles of enduring value, many by legends of the Corps, from their archives, along with a large variety of historic imagery, much of it rarely seen. This commemorative effort with appear in the digital editions of the magazines along with expanded material not available in the print edition magazines. If you have not yet accessed the digital editions of your magazines, 2013 is a great time to start. ALL members have access to both magazines ONLINE as a membership benefit regardless of what print edition subscription options they chose. Click HERE to access the digital editions and contact our member services department if you need help logging in.

I always enjoy hearing from our members and supporters. Write me at

All the Best & Semper Fidelis,

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


MCAF Donates Library to JROTC Unit

MCAF Donates Kindle to Marine

Marine Recruit Training Honor Grad Receives “Chesty Puller” Award

Moved? Update your mailing address with us HERE, OR, call us at 866-622-1775 to update your record so we can make sure you get your magazine on time.

If your membership is expiring click HERE to renew or join. Multi-year memberships save hassles down the road!

Reminder for Unit Commanders – 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.


ONLINE access to BOTH Leatherneck and Marine Corps Gazette comes with EVERY Membership!

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

Marine Corps Gazette
Gazette will celebrate the 100th Anniversary of the founding of the Marine Corps Association with articles from past issues. In January they start with an article by noted historian Col R.D Heinl Jr on the history of the formation of the original association. Look for historical articles in every issue in 2013 including articles that have had a profound effect on the Corps. Leadership and training are also featured in January along with the second and third place articles from the Ellis Essay Contest. For additional articles and viewpoints on the Corps don’t forget to go to the Gazette blog HERE.

Gazette’s FREEBIE Book Drawing.  Click the link below to enter the FREE monthly book drawing! Visit often and enter EVERY month! Did we mention it’s free?

First---to all our Leatherneck readers, we thank you very much for your past support and look forward to continued support in the New Year. . . Happy New Year and we hope you enjoy this first Leatherneck issue of 2013.

The January issue kicks off a year of special content marking the 100th anniversary of the Marine Corps Association. While 25 April is the centennial birthday, our content throughout the year, beginning with the special informational “tip on” we’ve added to your January magazine, will highlight the MCA contributions to developing professional excellence among Marines while also helping to tell the Marine Corps story to all. Each issue in 2013 will also include a carefully selected article of enduring value from our digital archives. Kicking off these selected articles in this January issue is a November 1921 Leatherneck article by Major General Commandant John A. Lejeune directing that the Marine Corps Birthday be celebrated each year on 10 November with a special reading of his Birthday message of 1921. All Marine Corps Birthday celebrations continue to read the inspiring Birthday message of our 13th Commandant at each Birthday celebration.

Other articles focus on: flying and maintaining the amazingly capable F-35B; look at Hue City now and during the 1968 Tet Offensive in Vietnam; examining the modeling and sculpting of the emotionally powerful “Three Servicemen” statue at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial; telling the amazing story of 105-year-old Marine, G-man and Olympic shooter, Walter Walsh; celebrating Marine humanitarian efforts at Breezy Point after the devastation of Hurricane Sandy; and much more.

Read more Leatherneck content, including Leatherneck Lingo and quotes at:

  • New Member Benefit Reminder. GovX provides MCA&F members with privileged access to a wide range of premium brand products including sports equipment, apparel, tactical gear, jewelry, shoes and accessories at special savings of 40% AND MORE below retail. MCA&F members receive automatic activation to access by logging in to their MCA&F membership account online and then clicking on the link to Click HERE to go to the MCA&F member login page to start your shopping safari today.

  • PGA Tour Birdies for the Brave. Complimentary admission to PGA golf tour events across the country for Active Duty, Reserve and Military retirees and their dependents. Many tournaments will feature a complimentary hospitality tend for all military and dependents with free food and beverages. Click HERE for more information.

    • Visit the MCA&F website HERE. Keep up with Association events, Corps Daily News, and much more!  Use it as a portal to access the digital editions of Leatherneck and Marine Corps Gazette.

    • Click HERE to visit Marine Corps Gazette’s Blog. Raging controversies and hot topic discussions.  Have an opinion? SHARE IT here.

    • Visit The MARINE Shop online HERE. 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.

    • MCA publishes out of print and enduring classics of particular interest to Marines, as well as new titles in our Leatherneck Classics Series and Leatherneck Original Series. Click HERE to see these books published in partnership with the United States Naval Institute.

Q. A maiden kisses one in fairy tales and it turns into a prince. Marines know they have a good one if it is leaking hydraulic fluid. What am I, what is my purpose and what is my nickname?


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: A term that sounds like a lure for a certain type of fish that suspiciously sounds like a pejorative term for rear echelon Marine administrators though the term has nothing to do with fishing and actually refers to items of particular interest to those of glutinous, corpulent, porcine persuasion who are deliberately forbidden from its enjoyment while enduring boot camp. What is this generic term and to what does it refer?

Answer: Pogey BaitThe variety of spellings received were truly amazing and very amusing.

Congratulations to retired Army Major Thomas Hara of Clarksville, Tennessee for winning our last contest.

His reasonably accurate and comprehensive answer is reprinted below:

The term comes from the word poge which is used by military personnel to describe someone who is not infantry such as administration, clerical or supply. In the Marine Corps it is used to describe anyone not having an MOS (Military Occupation Specialty) of 03**. Example: 0311 is basic infantry.

Pogey bait is anything that does not fall under the typical field rations and used to describe something store bought. The term is used to suggest that store bought food might be used to lure Poges (admin or clerical personnel) away from their desk jobs and out into the field.

The Marines in China before WW II were issued candy (Baby Ruths, Tootsie Rolls, etc.) as part of their their ration supplements.  At the time, sugar and other assorted sweets were rare commodities in China and much in demand by the Chinese, so the troops found the candy useful for barter in town.

The Chinese word for prostitute, roughly translated, is "pogey".  Thus, Marines being Marines, candy became "Pogey Bait".

This Month in Marine Corps History


2 December 1942

Carlson’s Raiders neared the end of an epic 26-day patrol on Guadalcanal.
The amphibious assault and subsequent campaign to take Guadalcanal and some adjacent islands was the first offensive action by American forces in the Pacific after the surprise attack at Pearl Harbor dealt the U.S. Navy a serious blow and started only 8 months from the day that would “Live in Infamy.”  What followed was 6 months of gritty fighting by American Marines and soldiers, along with forces from Britain, New Zealand and Australia.  A decisive, combined arms and multi service campaign, the intense fighting swirled in the air, offshore and with both conventional infantry and guerilla combat on land.

One of the many remarkable operational feats during the long campaign was the lengthy patrol lead by LtCol Evans Carlson who was a Marine expert on guerilla warfare after having observed it close at hand in many parts of the world.  In command of the 2nd Raider Battalion, Carlson took his Marines well behind Japanese lines disrupting supply and communication lines, gathering intelligence and defeating enemy forces in open combat, forcing them to dilute their main effort.  Carlson’s success helped establish a foundation for subsequent Special Forces units in the Marine Corps and Army.

Read more about LtCol Carlson and his Raiders here: 

And here is one about Edson’s Raiders, who also performed amazing exploits on Guadalcanal and the islands around it:

Get a detailed perspective on the battle of Guadalcanal in these:


7 December 1941
Constitution Day.
The Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor left more than 3,000 Marines and Sailors Killed in Action. 
The sneak attack, air raid that started World War II and the day that President Franklin D. Roosevelt said “…will live in infamy” as he asked Congress for a declaration of war against the Empire of Japan.  Days later, Adolph Hitler declared war against America in support of his Axis ally, Japan and shortly thereafter so did Italy, and most of the rest of the civilized world joined a conflict that had already been raging for several years in China, France, Poland, Russia and elsewhere. 

Visit our website HERE for a wide range of books on the subject of World War II.

12 December 2001
Task Force 58 commanded by BGen James Mattis, rolled through Kandahar, Afghanistan and secured the city’s airport. 
Almost 3 months to the day after the attack on the World Trade Center on 9/11/01, the United States takes the war to the Taliban and Osama Bin Laden’s supporters in Afghanistan. Eleven years later we remain engaged there in America’s longest war.

Here are some great books to get a perspective on the continuing campaign there:
Pics and Hotlinks:

Click HERE to see our wide selection of other books on Afghanistan; the war; the culture and the history.


MCA&F hosts professional and awards dinners, 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:

  • 13 February 2013
    MCA&F West Coast Dinner

    Guest Speaker – LtGen John A. Toolan, Jr. Commanding General I Marine Expeditionary Force

  • 21 February 2013
    MCA&F Combat Development Dinner

    Guest Speaker – LtGen William M. Faulkner, Deputy Commandant for Installations & Logistics

  • 10 April 2013
    MCA&F Camp Lejeune Dinner
    Guest Speaker – TBD

  • 14 March 2012
    MCA&F Ground Logistics Awards Dinner
    Guest Speaker – TBD

Special Announcement!
MCA&F NOW broadcasts “Live stream” videos of our professional dinners for your convenience. View the event from home on your computer. To view visit  

If you miss the Live stream video, you can still view the event on our MCA&F website at  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' Professional Library Program
In 2012, this program established or enhanced the professional libraries for 284 Marine units to support commander’s professional development objectives directly affecting over 88,000 Marines.

Marine Excellence Awards Program
Through the end of November, this program provided recognition for the professional accomplishments of over 8,500 Marines.  These are tangible awards including 37 K-Bars, watches, over 1,950 professional books including one complete set of books from the USMC Professional Reading List, 57 cash awards, over 1,600 plaques, 50 Marine swords, 113 trophies, 132 complimentary memberships and more.

Commanders’ Forum Program
MCAF provided logistics support to 110 Marines from 2d LAR Battalion during 4-6 December for a battle study of the decisive Chancellorsville, Civil War battle. MCAF provided a meal, camp ground lodging and a guide.

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 MCAF at least one of your donation recipients during the 2012 CFC Campaign!


CFC Donor Code is 19821


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 (


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