Monday, December 26, 2011

Celebrating Christmas

"You can give your heart to Jesus but your ass belongs to the Corps."

Marines can dig up the Christmas spirit just about anywhere in the world it seems.

Sgt. Maj. Wayne Rumore, 3rd Battalion, 23rd Marine Regiment sergeant major, and Staff Sgt. Kyle Provencher, jump platoon commander, 3rd Bn., 23rd Marines, gather around a Christmas tree, Dec. 25, 2008, at Expeditionary Patrol Base Tanner. Marines living in austere conditions still found a way to celebrate the holiday with minimal assets. Marine Corps News

At home, these Marines work pretty hard at Christmas too. In case you haven't seen it on TV yet ...

It looks like my Marine and his family have a nice bright town to hang in for the season ... seems a lot of people have gotten into the spirit.

President Barak Obama visited the Marines in Hawaii on Christmas day wishing them both Merry Christmas and "Mele Kalikimakas" (Merry Christmas in Hawaiian.). The family attended the Kaneohe Marine Base chapel service, chatted with Marines and Obama played with babies, including one who stuck his hand in the president's mouth. The photo is from last year, but they did this again this year.

Semper Fi and Good Night
Written by Jessica, Wife of a 1/7 Marine

Twas the nite before Christmas,
they lived far from home,
in dark,sandy quarters,
but not all alone

After clearing the checkpoints,
and with presents to give,
I wanted to see the Marines
Who in these quarters did live.

As I looked all about,
an awesome sight I did see,
some of the few and the proud,
U.S. Marines

Some young, some old,
with boots full of sand,
Marine Corps brothers
with rifles in hand.

Seeing bravery, courage,
and toughness of mind,
a sobering thought came thru my mind

For these quarters were different,
housing hardcharging Marines;
Who make it through
with various routines

The only easy day was the one they just got thru;
Uncommon valor, still a common virtue

Yet their spirits were high,
Minds and bodies were strong;
Despite the months
that were trying and long

These were the heroes
of whom I had read;
Whose main purpose was
to make the enemy dead

I knew the Americans
who i saw on this night
owed their lives to these men,
the first ones to fight.

Soon 'cross the country,
Americans would rise;
ready to celebrate
with joy in their eyes

Each one enjoyed freedom,
each day of the year;
because of Marines...
like the ones I saw here

I had to wonder
how many deeds went uknown,
of the men spending Christmas
in a land far from home

Thinking of this,
brought tears to my eyes;
my knees hit the deck,
and i started to cry

Some Marines turned to me,
saying "santa don't cry,"
"We're here for a purpose,
we'll get these bad guys"

We fight for freedom,
each other, the Corps;
and for this reason,
we'll win this war

Before turning away,
they said "This is our job."
I couldn't control it,
I continued to sob

I continued to watch
and silently weep;
seeing the esprits de corps
that ran so deep

I wanted to stay
on that cold desert night,
with these warriors for freedom,
so willing to fight

But a Marine came to me,
eyes steady and voice sure,
"It's Twenty-five December,
So carry on Santa, All is secure."

In that instance I knew,
the cause was just and right,
"Merry Christmas Marines;
Semper Fi and good night"
Posted by Sgt Grit Staff

Devil Dog Card

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Leaving Iraq

For better or worse its over.
On January 21, 2010, the U.S. Marine Corps wrapped nearly seven years in Iraq on Saturday, handing over duties to the Army and signaling the beginning of an accelerated withdrawal of American troops as the U.S. turns its focus away from the waning Iraqi war to a growing one in Afghanistan. Marines leave

Marines end role in Iraq

Now the withdrawl is done, the flag is down and who knows what will come.
The U.S. military officially ended its war in Iraq on Thursday, rolling up its flag at a low-key ceremony with Defense Secretary Leon Panetta nearly nine bloody years after the invasion that ousted dictator Saddam Hussein. U.S. withdraws
Members of the U.S. military retire its ceremonial flags signifying the end of their presence in Iraq at the Baghdad Diplomatic Support Center in Baghdad December 15, 2011. The U.S military officially ended its war in Iraq on Thursday, packing up a military flag at a ceremony with U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta nearly nine years after the invasion that ousted Saddam Hussein. This ceremony is called the "casing of the colors" and signifies the departing and inactivation of the U.S. military's presence in Iraq. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton

The U.S. war in Iraq — a conflict that killed more than 4,500 American troops, cost $800 billion and divided the nation — officially ended with a ceremony held under tight security.

"To be sure, the cost was high — in blood and treasure for the United States and also for the Iraqi people," Defense Secretary Leon Panetta called. "But those lives have not been lost in vain."
The fighting resulted, Panetta said, in a "free and sovereign Iraq." U.S.A Today

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Pearl Harbor Day

I am a day late I know. But this is one of those days that can't be left behind easily. Another day that is remembered and soon is not remembered. It's like Sept. 11, or landing on the moon, or ... But now it has been 70 years and those people who can say exactly where they were that day are rare now. In fact, the Pearl Harbor Survivors Association is disbanding, only 120 people attended the commemoration ceremony of the organization this year.

"The 70th anniversary of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor Wednesday drew fewer people to Honolulu than for the 60th or 50th anniversaries.
The main reason — there are far fewer survivors of the attack who are still alive today, and they are now in their late 80s and 90s." Pacific News

Infamous Day
The United States Marine Corps, of course, was right there too.
The Marine Barracks at Pearl Harbor comprised a Barracks Detachment and two companies, A and B, the men living in a comfortable three-story concrete barracks. Company A manned the main gates at the Submarine Base and Navy yard, and other "distant outposts," providing yard security, while Company B enforced traffic regulations and maintained proper police and order under the auspices of the Yard Police Officer. In addition, Marines ran the Navy Yard Fire Department. Elements of Marine defense battalions made Pearl Harbor their home, too, residing in the several 100-man temporary wooden barracks buildings that had been completed during 1940 and 1941. Less commodious but no less important was the burgeoning airbase that Marines of Marine Aircraft Group (MAG) 2 (later 21) had hewn and hammered out near Barbers Point -- Ewa Mooring Mast Field, home for a Marine aircraft group consisting of fighting, scout-bombing, and utility squadrons. Infamous Day

A 5-inch/25-caliber open pedestal mount antiaircraft gun -- manned here by sailors on board the heavy cruiser Astoria  (CA-34) in early 1942 -- was the standard battleship and heavy cruiser antiaircraft weapon at Pearl Harbor. The mount itself weighed more than 20m000 pounds, while the gun fired a 53.8-pound projectile to a maximum range (at 45 degrees elevation) of 14,500 yards. It was a weapon such as this that Sergeants Hailey and Wears, and Private First Class Curran, after the sinking of their ship, Oklahoma  (BB-37), helped man on board Maryland  (BB-46) on 7 December 1941.

At Ewa every Marine plane was knocked out of action in the first attack. Two squadrons of Japanese fighters swept in from the northwest at 1,000 feet and dived down to rake the aircraft parked near the runways with machine-gun and cannon fire. Pilots and air crewmen ran to their planes in an attempt to get them into the air or drag them out of the line of fire, but the Japanese returned again and again to complete the job of destruction. When the enemy fighters drew off at about 0825 they left behind a field littered with burning and shot-up aircraft. The men of [Marine Aircraft Group] MAG-21 recovered quickly from their initial surprise and shock and fought back with what few rifles and machine guns they had. Salvageable guns were stripped from damaged planes and set up on hastily improvised mounts; one scout-bomber rear machine gun was manned to swell the volume of antiaircraft fire. Although the group commander, Lieutenant Colonel Claude A. Larkin, had been wounded almost as soon as he arrived at the field that morning, he continued to coordinate the efforts to meet further enemy attacks.  Navy History

 Another day in the life a warlike species, another day to "never forget."

Pearl Harbor Attack, 7 December 1941View of the Parade Ground at the Pearl Harbor Marine Barracks, between 0930 and 1130 hrs. on 7 December 1941, with smoke in the background rising from burning ships.
Note armed Marines at left, awaiting the possible return of Japanese aircraft.
Navy photos

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Famous Marines

Some surprises here, and some where you just have to say, "well that clarifies a lot." Actually, there are so many on the list, I have only listed four, Wickipedia has a great list, interesting ... wikipedia list of famous United States Marines

Hussein Aidid
Current Leader of Somali
"One of the many oddities in this battered capital is that a son of Gen. Mohamed Farrah Aidid, the Somali faction leader who humiliated the United States in 1993, was a naturalized American citizen, not to mention a U.S. Marine.
But that bizarre footnote took on a new dimension after the general died of gunshot wounds he had received in battle. His clan elders, meeting behind closed doors, selected the same 33-year-old son, Hussein Mohamed Farrah, to become the new president of Aidid's self-proclaimed republic.
It was a strange choice. Farrah was living an obscure and mundane life in a Los Angeles suburb, going to school part time and working as a clerk in the West Covina engineering department for $9 a hour. The closest he had come to his father's way of life was when he served as a corporal in the Marine reserves......" Read more at: How a U.S. Marine Became a Warlord in Somalia
Bugs Bunny
The U.S. Marine Corps was so flattered that Bugs Bunny decides to become a marine in the Supper Rabbit film that they insisted that the character be officially inducted into the force as a private, which was done, complete with dogtags. The character was regularly promoted until Bugs was officially "discharged" at the end of World War II as a Master Sergeant. Famous Marines B
Gene Hackman Corporal

(1930 - ) Biography from Baseline's Encyclopedia of Film
Occupation: Actor
Birth Name: Eugene Alden Hackman
Born: January 30, 1930, San Bernardino, CA  
Hailed by The New York Times Magazine as "Hollywood's Uncommon Everyman," Hackman is a formidable American character actor turned leading man. Like Spencer Tracy, his "regular guy" looks and manner make it easy for men to identify with his persona of outraged common sense. Hackman's performances are consistently natural, and he excels at playing ordinary men caught up in moments of unexpected crisis. He has been one of America's leading film actors since the 1970's.
Hackman quit high school at 16, lied about his age and joined the Marines. He was trained as a radio operator before being shipped overseas. When his unit's announcer was injured, Hackman stepped in and found radio a hospitable medium. After his discharge, he studied journalism and TV production at the University of Illinois on the GI Bill. Hackman moved to New York and attended the School of Radio Technique, supporting himself through a succession of odd jobs. He next worked as an announcer at small radio and TV stations across the country. Hackman did not decide on an acting career until, at age 30, he realized that his announcing skills would help him in the profession. Famous Marines H
Lee Harvey Oswald
Accused John F. Kennedy Assassin

Oswald was shot to death in the basement of Dallas Police headquarters while being transferred to the Dallas County Jail on November 24, 1963, by Jack Ruby, a local nightclub owner with significant political, police and organized crime connections. As a result, Oswald was denied his Constitutional right to a trial, which would have allowed him to defend himself against the murder charges and expose the conspirators. Oswald's body was ordered exhumed in 1981 after author Michael Eddowes brought suit in Texas to determine who was actually buried in Oswald's grave. The pathologists assigned to the case officially identified the body as Oswald's. However, the funeral director who originally buried the body insisted it could not be the same since the one he buried clearly showed a craniotomy, which had been done during autopsy, and the exhumed skull showed no craniotomy. Also, the pathologists used dental records to identify the corps, but ignored the fact that Oswald had lost a front tooth in a fight in high school (there is a photo of him in class with a gap-tooth smile, and many classmates remember the fight and the missing tooth). The exhumed skull had a full set of natural front teeth.
Oswald left high school at age 17 to join the U.S. Marine Corps. Oswald enlisted in the Marines on October 24, 1956, six days after his 17th birthday. In boot camp, Lee was soon ridiculed for his bad marksmanship. His fellow Marines also nicknamed him "Oswaldkovitch" because of his open, apparent support of communism. That did not prevent the Marine Corps, however, from giving this unusual 17-year-old soldier radar training, security clearance and an assignment at Atsugi Air Base in Japan, the CIA's main station of operation in the Far East. The base was home to top secret U2 aerial surveillance spy missions over Russia. Although he was court-martialed twice in 1957, once for unauthorized possession of a pistol and once for pouring a drink on a sergeant, his "punishment" was minor and allowed him to be separated from his normal duties for a total of 48 days. On February 25, 1959, Oswald was given a Russian language test by the Marines. Seven months later, he was on his way to "defect" to the Soviet Union after several strange circumstances resulted in his rapidly obtaining a passport, discharge, unscheduled flights and visa. After AP and UPI wire service news stories appeared about her son's "defection," Lee's mother became convinced that he was working undercover as a U.S. agent. Famous Marines O

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Happy Birthday Marine Corps, older than the country

The Marine Corps is celebrating 236 years today.

11/8/2011 By Lance Cpl. Chelsea Flowers
Headquarters Marine Corps
Commandant of the Marine Corps Gen. James F. Amos cuts the Marine Corps birthday cake during the cake cutting ceremony at the Pentagon in Washington Nov. 8. A sword is used to cut the cake to remind Marines that they are a band of warriors, committed to carrying the sword so that the nation may live in peace.
The founders of the United States of America made many decisions during the American Revolution. The Declaration of Independence being known by most people. Now, the founding of the Marine Corps is not known by most people. It was during the American Revolution that a committee of the Continental Congress met at Tun Tavern in Philadelphia, to write a resolution calling for two battalions of Marines able to fight for independence at sea and on shore. Approved on November 10, 1775, this resolution officially formed the Continental Marines.

In 1921 Gen. John A. Lejeune  issued Marine Corps Order No. 47, Series 1921.  Gen. Lejeune's order summarized the history, mission, and tradition of the Corps.  It further directed that the order be read to all Marines on 10 November of each year to honor the founding of the Marine Corps.  Thereafter, 10 November became a unique day for U.S. Marines throughout the world.
   Soon, some Marine commands began to not only honor the birthday, but celebrate it. 

The first "formal" Birthday Ball took place on Philadelphia in 1925.  Over the years the annual Birthday Ball grew and grew, taking on a life of its own.  In 1952 the Commandant, Gen. Lemuel C. Shepherd Jr., formalized the cake-cutting ceremony and other traditional observances.  For example, Marine Corps policy now mandates that the first piece of cake must be presented to the oldest U.S. Marine present.  The second piece goes to the youngest Marine.  Among the many such mandates is a solemn reading of the Commandant's birthday message to the Corps. Marine heritage

Monday, November 7, 2011

Working with the world

The U.S. Marines don't often work with the forces of other countries, less than some other branches of the armed services like the Air Force and the Army, but sometimes the work with others pretty well.

 As part of the United States Militery Training Mission to Saudi Arabia:

"The U.S. Marine Corps Technical Assistance Field Team (TAFT), is based in the Royal Saudi Naval Forces Headquarters, Riyadh. The TAFT provides advisors to both Saudi Marine Forces Brigades in Jubail and Qadimah. Additionally, they provide technical advice to the Director of Marine Forces Schools at Ras al Gar. Advisor duties reflect the full range of combat skills to include field exercises, CPX, assault support training, and live-fire for individual, crew-served, and TOW missile systems. Organized to support Saudi Marine Forces Brigade Commanders, they provide advice and recommendations to both the Eastern and Western Fleet Commanders. "
And the Scottish, March 2011:

Scottish soldiers and US Marines mark historic relationship

In fact there is a whole Marine Corps Foreign Personnel Exchange Program. "The Marine Corps Foreign Personnel Exchange Program (MCFPEP) is a means of continuing a long-term, selectively visible presence and association among military counterparts to enhance worldwide security cooperation."

"The MCFPEP began during combined operations in World War II when a critical need to exchange and standardize operational doctrines between allied forces was identified, according to Marine Corps Order 5700.4E. More recently, a reduction in U.S. military presence in several regions around the world has created a need for closer relationships between friendly nations and coalition partners. MCFPEP is one means of continuing a long-term presence and association among military counterparts to enhance worldwide security cooperation.
The MCFPEP began during combined operations in World War II when a critical need to exchange and standardize operational doctrines between allied forces was identified, according to Marine Corps Order 5700.4E. More recently, a reduction in U.S. military presence in several regions around the world has created a need for closer relationships between friendly nations and coalition partners. MCFPEP is one means of continuing a long-term presence and association among military counterparts to enhance worldwide security cooperation." US Marine major flies with Royal Navy forces in Afghanistan 

9/15/2010 By Sgt. Deanne Hurla
3rd Marine Aircraft Wing (FWD)
U.S. Marine Maj. Joshua Nelson, an Mk4 "Sea King" pilot with 846 Naval Air Squadron, Commando Helicopter Force in the Royal Navy, is participating in the Marine Corps Foreign Personnel Exchange Program. Nelson is a CH-46E "Sea Knight" pilot for the Corps, but has flown the Sea King for a year and a half with the Royal Navy. The MCFPEP was created during World War II to keep close relationships between friendly nations and coalition partners.

 And of course they can come to us as well:

British Troops on US soil "sharing through "Foreign Exchange" program. Image: US Marines, sailors share "best practices" with Malaysian Rangers
Training with allied forces on foreign terrain introduces new obstacles and allows for the development of new war-fighting tactics, or the honing of existing doctrine specific to a region. Joint training also enables the sharing of tactics between U.S. service members and ally counterparts. Strength through unity is at the heart of this concept.
Military forces of allied nations training side-by-side enhances military interoperability and strengthens the allied fighting forces as a whole.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Twentynine Palms, Cali.

It's a long dry road to Twentynine Palms but beautiful, magnificent and mesmerizing.

And once you get there there really are palm trees.

Twentynine Palms, Calif. is all about Marines. The main streets are lined with tattoo parlors; auto sales and repair shops; and little this and thats. Beautiful murals decorate every couple of blocks, Marine murals about pride and flags and wars, native plant murals about the beauty of the desert and historical murals about the history of the city.

The only theater is a drive-in, first movie family oriented, second movie for the adults. SUVs and trucks with kids in PJs cuddled in the back fill the parking spaces except for the occasional older couple holding hands in their fold-out chairs.

The newspaper is about Marines and they have an entire television station devoted to Marines.

"Twentynine Palms was named for the palm trees located in the Oasis of Mara, at the Joshua Tree National Park headquarters. When the area was settled by gold miners in the late 19th century, there were 29 palm trees growing in the oasis, most of which are still standing today.
After decades as a rest stop for wagon travelers on what's called the "Utah Trail" named for a group of Mormon discoverers, the town was established in the 1920s.
There's a small Indian reservation belonging to the Twentynine Palms Band of Mission Indians. The nearby Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms was founded in 1952." wikipedia

My Marine, when asked if he likes it there, shrugs his shoulders and says, "It's just like home."
Really the only difference between Twentynine Palms is that they have Joshua Trees and we, in southern New Mexico, have mesquite.

There are two movies called Twentynine Palms, both look very different, yet both seem to use the place as sort of an allegorical desolation and distance, an application of the desert to the human soul.
I haven't seen either of them yet but plan to. They are not about Marines.
"What draws us into the desert is the search for something intimate in the remote."           -Edward Abbey
And too there is Robert Plant - 29 Palms - again into a human desert, more internal than not:

"Taking me back down the road that leads back to you
29 Palms - I feel the heat of your desert heart" - Robert Plant

Monday, October 17, 2011

Where they live: Cribs/Barracks

They gotta live somewhere and they gotta keep it clean.

Here is actually a very interesting article on the rules about barracks and what can be done there:
 Relaxing in the barracks
Just a sample from the above story ...
"It’s no secret that some service members marry for two reasons other than love: No more barracks living and more money. Some Marines refer to them as 'contract marriages'"
"'I’m almost 28, and I can’t do half the stuff I want to do. If I want to have a lady friend stay the night, I should be able to,' McCumber said. 'But I have to go over to her place or get a hotel. And my family can’t come over and visit unless I have money for a hotel room, too.'”
That could explain this which seriously confused me at first.

Where it all began: Marine Barracks, Washington, D.C. is located at 8th and I Streets, Southeast in Washington, D.C. Established in 1801, it is a National Historic Landmark, the oldest post in the United States Marine Corps, the official residence of the Commandant of the Marine Corps since 1806, and main ceremonial grounds of the Corps. wikipedia
The oldest continually active post in the Corps, the Marine Barracks served as Marine Corps Headquarters from 1801 to 1901. Here recruits and officers were trained, and vital decisions were made affecting Corps development. Troops quartered at the Barracks played significant roles in the wars with the Barbary pirates, the War of 1812, the Seminole War, the capture of John Brown at Harper's Ferry, and the conquest of Cuba in the Spanish-American War. As the home of the Marine Band, which has played for every President since John Adams, the Marine Barracks witnessed a significant epoch in American musical history when John Philip Sousa, the "March King," served as leader from 1880 to 1892. The Marine Band is still stationed at the Barracks and remains the official White House musical unit. Marine Barracks
Marine's digs in Fort Lost in the Woods:

Must be field day

A place for Firewatch

Roomy too


Monday, October 10, 2011

Bravo Team MTIC graduate

Goodbye Fort Leonard Wood, this Marine can drive now.

Job Description: Motor vehicle operators operate passenger and cargo carrying wheeled vehicles (except LVS's) to include M-Series tactical vehicles to rated capacity.
The United States Armed forces own and operate over 50,000 heavy trucks and transport vehicles, which include water/fuel tank trucks, semi-tractor trailers, troop transports, heavy equipment transports, and passenger buses. Motor Transport Operators are primarily responsible for supervising or operating wheel vehicles to transport personnel and cargo.

Duties performed in this MOS include:
Operates all wheel vehicles and equipment over varied terrain and roadways for support of combat operations. Manages entrucking and detrucking of personnel being transported. Oversees and checks proper loading and unloading of cargo on vehicles and trailers. Secures cargo against inclement weather, pilferage, and damage. Operates vehicle component material handling equipment (MHE), as required. Employs land navigation techniques. Must be knowledgeable with the operation of radios and weapons when they are mounted on the vehicle. Performs vehicle self-recovery and field expedients to include towing vehicles. Corrects or reports all vehicle deficiencies; supports mechanics where necessary. Prepares vehicles for movement/shipment by air, rail, or vessel.
Provides guidance to subordinates in accomplishing their duties. Organizes and participates in convoys. Dispatches vehicles; verifies vehicle logbooks. Receives and fills requests from authorized persons for motor transport. Compiles time, mileage and load data.

And ... on to 29 Palms - 3rd Combat Engineer Battalion

Monday, October 3, 2011

What he drives

Graduating from his MOS on Wednesday, my Marine is learning to drive a 7 ton monster. Tuesday night is the final night driveing adventure. He said his class has learned as much in this week on this machine as they learned in all the previous weeks of MOS.

Built to go over even the roughest terrains and through the most hazardous environments, the Oshkosh Medium Tactical Vehicle Replacement (MTVR) is a high-performance, extremely durable, all-terrain vehicle military personnel can rely on. The MTVR easily carries 15 tons over the highway and up to 7 tons off-road. And with advanced technologies like TAK-4® independent suspension and the Command Zone integrated control and diagnostics system, the MTVR has the brawn and the brains to take on any obstacle that attempts to impede the mission. oshkoshdefense

All versions of the MTVR use the same 6x6 configuration. Engine is located under a forward fiberglass bonnet. Roof of the cab with hinged aluminum windscreen and door frames can be folded down to reduce overall height.

It's wide versatility makes the MTVE an integral part of the Marine Corps logistical backbone. This vehicle is the  prime mover for the M777 howitzer, troops, fuel, water and a wide variety of other equipment.
The MTVR truck can be fitted with armor protection kit or armed with a 12.7-mm or 7.82-mm machine gun. Armament sit in a mounted position above the cab.

The Oshkosh MTVR is powered by the Caterpillar C-12 11.9-liter turbocharged diesel engine, developing 425 hp. It has a full-time all-wheel drive. Vehicle has an independent suspension and is fitted with a central tyre inflation system. The MTVR uses some commercially available driveline components. Some versions of the MTVR are fitted with a 9-ton capacity winch. Vehicle can be airlifted by the C-130 Hercules aircraft (with some preparation) and CH-53 helicopter.


Friday, September 30, 2011

Marine ranks: PFC-plus

Hmmm, I think I lost a post somewhere. Well it's been a crazy few weeks, I can't believe it's been so long since I posted. I'm sorry. My Marine has been promoted a level to Private First Class (Sept. 1, 2011) and has that little thingy on his clothes now. next Wednesday he graduates from his MOS and Thursday gets on an airplane to his permanent duty station at 29 Palms, California.

Some of the other recruits received the PFC designation in boot camp already, This can only happen under very special circumstances: If you were an Eagle Scout, in High School JROTC or had Prior Service in the military. You can also get it meritoriously out of boot camp if you are an excellent recruit. Or two referrals in the DEP, as a platoon honor grad, over 15 credit hours of college, or are in the top 10 percent in your series. leatherneck

Anyway, whatever the timing, I am still ridiculously proud of my fabulous Marine son!

Up up and on the way:
"In the United States Marine Corps, the rank of Private First Class is the second lowest, just under Lance Corporal and just above Private, equivalent to NATO Grade OR-2, being pay grade E-2. It was established in 1917 to match the newly created Army rank, although it is actually one grade lower." wikipedia

Monday, September 19, 2011

J.J. DID TIE BUCKLE or Marine leadership traits

Sorry it's been so long, had some computer issues and life is moving forward way too fast. My Marine will be going in October to be stationed in 29 Palms, California. Keep watching, info on that coming soon.

These leadership traits can be found on numerous business and civilian Websites as examples of how to be a good leader, USMC first.

Marine Corps Leadership Traits
The 14 leadership traits are qualities of thought and action which, if demonstrated in daily activities, help Marines earn the respect, confidence, and loyal cooperation of other Marines. It is extremely important that you understand the meaning of each leadership trait and how to develop it, so you know what goals to set as you work to become a good leader and a good follower.

Justice is defined as the practice of being fair and consistent. A just person gives consideration to each side of a situation and bases rewards or punishments on merit.

Judgment is your ability to think about things clearly, calmly, and in an orderly fashion so that you can make good decisions.

Dependability means that you can be relied upon to perform your duties properly. It means that you can be trusted to complete a job. It is the willing and voluntary support of the policies and orders of the chain of command. Dependability also means consistently putting forth your best effort in an attempt to achieve the highest standards of performance.

Initiative is taking action even though you haven't been given orders. It means meeting new and unexpected situations with prompt action. It includes using resourcefulness to get something done without the normal material or methods being available to you.

Decisiveness means that you are able to make good decisions without delay. Get all the facts and weight them against each other. By acting calmly and quickly, you should arrive at a sound decision. You announce your decisions in a clear, firm, professional manner.

Tact means that you can deal with people in a manner that will maintain good relations and avoid problems. It means that you are polite, calm, and firm.

Integrity means that you are honest and truthful in what you say or do. You put honesty, sense of duty, and sound moral principles above all else.

Enthusiasm is defined as a sincere interest and exuberance in the performance of your duties. If you are enthusiastic, you are optimistic, cheerful, and willing to accept the challenges.

Bearing is the way you conduct and carry yourself. Your manner should reflect alertness, competence, confidence, and control.

Unselfishness means that you avoid making yourself comfortable at the expense of others. Be considerate of others. Give credit to those who deserve it.

Courage is what allows you to remain calm while recognizing fear. Moral courage means having the inner strength to stand up for what is right and to accept blame when something is your fault. Physical courage means that you can continue to function effectively when there is physical danger present.

Knowledge is the understanding of a science or art. Knowledge means that you have acquired information and that you understand people. Your knowledge should be broad, and in addition to knowing your job, you should know your unit's policies and keep up with current events.

Loyalty means that you are devoted to your country, the Corps, and to your seniors, peers, and subordinates. The motto of our Corps is Semper Fidelis!, (Always Faithful). You owe unwavering loyalty up and down the chain of command, to seniors, subordinates, and peers.

Endurance is the mental and physical stamina that is measured by your ability to withstand pain, fatigue, stress, and hardship. For example, enduring pain during a conditioning march in order to improve stamina is crucial in the development of leadership.
Because it is important to always be able to remember the basic leadership traits, the acronym "J.J. DID TIE BUCKLE" is used. Each letter in the acronym corresponds to the first letter of one of the traits. By remembering the acronym, you will be better able to recall the traits.

Remember it yet?

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Marine Traits: Dependability

"Ability without dependability has no value."


So I came across these traits and I'm doing the third one first because, that's the first one I came across. But it is a good one so go J.J. DID TIE BUCKLE!

The third Marine Corps leadership trait Dependability, which means, “You can be relied upon to perform your duties properly. It means that you can be trusted to complete a job. It is the willing and voluntary support of the policies and orders of the chain of command. Dependability also means consistently putting forth your best effort in an attempt to achieve the highest standards of performance.” Marines blog

I am finding that these traits are used often as examples in the business world and that beyond the basic definition, Marines are encouraged to contemplate for themselves what the words mean. Interesting for an organization that supposedly tells its members what to think to be telling them to think for themselves. Pretty cool.

From an education website about a school lesson on dependability:

Students explained that they believed being dependable meant that you were trustworthy, honest, and did what you said you were going to do.  We discussed who in their lives were dependable and they concluded that their parents, some friends, and some teachers were dependable in that they could count on these people to care about and for them.  We discussed the difference between friends and acquaintances and how dependable each one of those categories of people were.  They decided, overwhelming that a few friends were very dependable but in all cases it depended on the situation.  I asked them if they thought that they were dependable people and the majority thought that they were. Character Education
So in the world of Marines, one would hope one's partners, fellow Marines are more dependable than friends, teacher and even parents. I wonder what a similar discussion with Marines would yield.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Backing up a little, SOI

Those from Marine's India Co. boot camp who chose MOIs of Infantry are still in their Infantry Training Battalion at Camp Pendleton. The families of those young men report it is difficult and the battalion has quite a few who "don't make it." There were 249 to start and now are 193 left.
The mission is: "To train and provide proficient, MOS qualified Infantrymen to the Fleet Marine Force, Marine Security Forces and Marine Force Reserve."

The first three weeks you learn what all basic Grunts must know. The M67 fragmentary grendades, the M203 grenade launcher, the M249 SAW, and you will spent some time getting to use the AN/PVS 14B night vision goggles. You will also learn Basic combat formations, patrolling, hand and arm signals, Field craft(how to live right in the field), the correct way to pack a pack. (the bootcamp way is just craming things in tight as hell.) how to understand 5 paragraph orders. and a whole lot of humps....

Once your 3 week is training is up, you will be split off into actual MOSs like 0311 rifleman, 0331 machinegunner, 0341 mortorman, 0351 assualtman.
The whole thing ends with one giant illuminated night attack, combined arms range, with your old buddies the Machine gunners and mortarmen in support. youll assault those evil Ivan target bastards with Machineguns cracking over your head, and Mortars providing constant illumination. Its serrious buisness, but to be honnest it was alot of fun.

The best of all luck and heart to all these young men and women who are undergoing hell to put their lives in danger. Sempre Fi!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Dancing Marines

My Marine son and some buddies went to a club but there were few girls there. He said there was one girl to every 10 guys and the Marines were mostly dancing with each other. It made me wonder ...

They pretty much dance at the drop of a hat it seems ...
At home and abroad ...

Get em in their Dress Blues and things get even wilder ...
So just for curiosity again, I looked at the other armed forces ...
Lets just say, well, dance, dance, dance
I guess it's universal.
But clearly the Marines do it best.
Finally, one from the history screen ... Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C. Dance Marine Dance

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Marine Corps Detachment, Fort Leonard Wood and one special MOS

From their facebook page:
The Marine Corps Detachment at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri hosts the largest United States Marine Corps detachment outside a Marine Corps base. With over 1200 students and support personnel, Ft Leonard Wood hosts Marines training at the Motor Transport Instruction School, Military Police Instruction School, Chemical Biological Radiological and Nuclear Defense School and the Engineer Equipment Instruction School.

Conduct basic and advanced Engineer Equipment, Motor Transport, Military Police, Chemical Biological Radiological Nuclear Defense and Non-Lethal Weapons Systems training in order to provide the operating forces with basic and advanced qualified Marines capable of operating in the 21st Century.
Continue the transformation process by providing force preservation through dedicated leadership, mentoring, ORM, risk reduction to better develop Marines’ ethos, moral character, esprit de corps and further recognize the dignity of every Marine in order to prepare them for the challenges of the operating forces.
Serve as the USMC representative for engineer equipment, motor transport, military police, CBRND, Non-lethal weapons systems and other ITRO matters to the United States Army Maneuver Support Center, Fort Leonard Wood.
Serve as the Training and Education Centers of Excellence (TECOE) for Motor Transport, Military Police and Chemical Biological Radiological Nuclear occupational fields in order to provide connectivity and timely coordinated solutions for validated training and education requirements in support of the Operating Forces using the DOTMLPF process.

And here he goes ...

Marine Pvt. Mark Ladele, Marine Corps Detachment, student, prepares to drive an MK23 on one of the many designated routes through post, Monday.

The Military Occupational Specialty 3531 is full of some bad mother truckers. (Shut your mouth)

I'm just talking about the basic motor transport Marines, and the training they receive on post.
Fort Leonard Wood's Marine Corps Motor Transport Instruction Company provides about 2,800 Marines a year with the basic knowledge and skills to operate and handle the MK23 7-ton truck, as well as the M1113 High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle.
The intensive 27-day course is split up into five different sections, culminating in a convoy to Lebanon through the back roads of south central Missouri. By the time its over, each student will have more than 250 miles under their belt. Marines train for the long haul

Friday, August 12, 2011

Fort Leonard Wood

Marine is in Mo. at Fort Leonard Wood. The place is an Army facility but Marine reports there is representation from all branches there training for their future placements. He said the Army outnumbers everyone else, but there are a lot of people there.

The Mission of MANSCEN is to provide the Nation with values-based individuals, leaders, and teams trained in basic combat skills and chemical, engineer, military police and transportation disciplines who are prepared for success in any future environment.  Fort Leonard Wood
Marine is close to his father's original home. The facility is about 75 miles from the family grave yard and 104 miles from his uncle's house.

Fort Leonard Wood, in the beautiful south central Missouri Ozarks, covers more than 62,911 acres, of which, 53,995 is used for training.  The fort is located in Pulaski County, which has a population of nearly 45,000.  Bordering the installation to the north are the towns of Waynesville and St. Robert, with an approximate combined population of 6,700.  The post is two miles south of Interstate 44.  St. Louis is a two hour drive to the east along Interstate 44 and Springfield, Missouri is a little more than an hour’s drive to the west.

Also Marine says there is plenty available to do on the weekends on the base: fishing, swimming, kayaking, paint ball and much more. MWR

Marine said they have already had several tornado warnings ... Last year they had a tornado.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Another graduation: MCT

So Marine graduated from combat training yesterday in the morning, then they put him on a bus to the airport and now he is in Missouri. He said the graduation ceremony was short, half an hour, and they didn't even change out of their cammos.

MCT Graduation, Kilo Co August 2, 2011 (Photo courtesy of  Phyllis Galvan McGeath, Wackadoo!)
It looks quite beautiful there at Camp Pendleton, and I wonder where that road leads ... I'm sure those boys know.

Every time I talked to him during the past few weeks, he talked about hiking (that and blowing things up). And sure enough, seemingly they did a lot of that marching around stuff:

Marine Combat Training
The hikes at MCT are not any better or worse than the Boot Camp hikes. You will only do 3 main hikes. You’ll do a scheduled 5k (3.1 miles), a 10k (6.2 miles) and a 17k (10 miles). You’ll also hike every day to either class, or the range which can be anywhere from 2 miles to 5 miles per day… every day while you’re there. You won’t PT much, but the hiking will keep you from getting fat, just expect to lose some muscle mass during Marine Combat Training. Kevin Webb

My Marine's actual platoon group, MCT Facebook

MCT Facebook also posted my Marine himself (above), and according to him, his butt (below).

So, with that at an end ... on to the next adventure: Missouri, Camp Leonard Wood ...