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