Thursday, August 24, 2006

Lightning II Will Strike Yuma and Miramar

The U.S. Marine Corps has picked their base in Yuma, AZ as the first home of the new F-35B Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter. A squadron there will transition to the new aircraft in 2011. San Diego, California will house another squadron at Miramar.

The F-35 has multiple design versions to meet various military needs of the Marines, Navy, and Air Force. The Marine Corps version is a STOVL (short takeoff / vertical landing) stealth aircraft that is designed to replace the AV-8B Harrier and also the F/A-18D Hornet . It can takeoff in less than 500 feet. The F-35B is the first operational aircraft in the world that has STOVL capabilities and can fly at supersonic speeds.

The F-35 is in pre-production now and should be making its first flight this fall.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Get Ready for Action!

The Marine Corps has been authorized to involuntarily recall Marines that are in the Individual Ready Reserve (IRR) back to active duty. The recall is necessary due to a shortfall of volunteers for the war on terror. There is no limit to the number of Marines that may be recalled, but the current plan is to recall up to 2,500 Marines at a time.

The IRR consists mainly of Marines that served less than eight years of active duty. The initial contract when a person joins the Marine Corps obligates them for a total of eight years, with usually four or six of those being active duty. Once the active duty portion of the contract is fulfilled, the Marine has the choice of re-enlisting for active duty, transferring to the active reserves, or being transferred to the IRR. Once in the IRR, a Marine reports in one time per year, but can be involuntarily activated at any time.

The current shortfall of Marines is estimated at 1,200.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Silver Stars Awarded to Lima Company Marines

Cpl. Mark Camp earned the Silver Star for helping to clear a house full of insurgents that had already wounded four other Marines and for his actions after the vehicle he was travelling in on 11 May 2005 was destroyed by a roadside bomb. Despite the injuries he received in the explosion, including shrapenel in his leg and severe burns to his hands, Cpl. Camp pulled another Marine from the burning vehicle. Unfortunately, that Marine later succumbed to his wounds.

Sgt. David Wimberg was also a member of 3rd Battalion, 25th Marines, Lima Company. He was posthumously awarded the Silver Star for his actions during an ambush in Hadithah on 25 May 2005.

There were 48 Marines of 3rd Battalion have been killed, one third of them were members of Lima Company, based in Columbus, Ohio.

Iwo Jima Photographer, Joe Rosenthal, Died

Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer, Joe Rosenthal, died on Sunday, 20 August 2006 of natural causes. He was 94 years old. Rosenthal is the photographer who snapped probably the most famous Marine photograph of all time...the flag raising at Iwo Jima. On 23 Februrary 1945, four days after landing on the island, Marines raised a flag on top of Mt. Suribachi and another photographer took the picture. However, the flag was deemed too small and a second larger flag was raised later that day. Rosenthal captured that event as well and that second image is the one that immortalizes the Marines and the sacrifices they made on Iwo Jima.

The battle for Iwo Jima continued for about four and a half weeks after the flag was raised. The U.S. lost about 6,800 Marines, nearly 23% of the landing force, during that battle while they annihilated the 21,000 member Japanese force that occupied the island.

The famous picture by Rosenthal was taken by chance. It was not posed as some have asserted. Out of the corner of his eye, he saw them raising the second flag and he turned and quickly took the picture. He later took some posed pictures of Marines standing near the flag, but it was the spur of the moment photo that captured the heart of the nation. The picture was put onto posters, was used for fundraising for war bonds, and was made into a postage stamp. The photo was also used as the inspiration for the Marine Corps War Memorial in Washington, D.C. It is also eerily similar to a photograph taken by Thomas Franklin on September 11, 2001 that shows three firefighters raising a flag amid the ruins of the World Trade Center.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

MCAGCC's 54th Birthday

The Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center in Twentynine Palms, CA celebrated its 54th birthday on August 18th. Part of the celebration included a dedication ceremony for 29 palm trees. Each of the trees has a sign posted next to it naming a significant event in Marine Corps history from the Marines' birthday on 10 November 1775 at Tun Tavern to the battle of Fallujah in Iraq. The majority of the signs call to remembrance battles that the Marine Corps has fought in.

The Marine base in 29 Palms is famous for the large-scale, live fire combined-arms exercises (CAXs) that it hosts. The base covers approximately 932 square miles. The main part of the base including base housing only uses about 1.5 square miles of that area. The rest is used for training. A record high temperature of 120 degrees in Twentynine Palms was set on 17 July 2005. The previous record high of 118 degrees stood for 44 years and 6 days.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Lioness Program Prowls the Iraqi Borders

The Lioness Program is a 30-day rotation that gives female Marines of various military occupational specialties (MOS) the chance to train and work with the infantry. The Marines that are selected for the program are trained in procedures including personnel search techniques. The Muslim culture is very strict about physical contact between men and women. The insurgents try to take advantage of this by using women to smuggle weapons and money. The Lioness Program aims to put a stop to that by having the female Marines search them. The Marines are also trained in how to shoot from supported firing positions for proper fields of fire if necessary. This is in keeping with the tradition that every Marine is a basic rifleman first.

New West Coast Wastewater Plant Opens

Camp Pendleton began using their new tertiary treatment facility a few days ago. The new plant processes the water in three stages. In the first stage, solids are removed. The second stage removes bacteria and pathogens. The final stage filters the water so that it is clean enough to be used on vegetation and crops. This new $45 million facility has the ability to process 5 million gallons of sewage per day and replaces an old facility that was based on World War II technology.

In addition to helping to prevent sewage spills that cause beach closings, the new facility will also help to preserve drinking water on the base by allowing the base to recycle filtered water from the treatment plant to water the grass and other plants on base.

Phase two of the development will allow Camp Pendleton to stop pumping any sewage in the ocean by piping the recycled water to irrigation systems for athletic fields, horse pastures, and a golf course. This $46 million update is scheduled to be completed in the first quarter of 2008.

Monday, August 14, 2006

CAR Mods

The Marine Corps has made some modifications to the eligibility requirements for the Combat Action Ribbon. The ribbon, which was initially created in 1969 during the Vietnam war, was designed to recognize those Marines that physically participated in combat. Until now, a Marine, had to actually fire his weapon while under fire from an enemy. These requirements were decided in a time when firefights were the normal type of battle that a Marine would face when engaging an enemy military force.

Today's battles are more often against terrorists and insurgents, not military forces. These new enemies like to use roadside bombs and IEDs. Other times the enemy attacks from within a group of civilians and the Marines are ordered not to return fire. Therefore the Marines decided to change the criteria to include personnel that "render satisfactory performance under enemy fire."

The change is retroactive, but commanders must submit the ribbon request for retroactive actions prior to January 1st.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

National Museum of the Marine Corps

The Marine Corps and the Marine Corps Heritage Foundation are working together to create The National Museum of the Marine Corps. The facility is currently under construction on 135 acres outside of the Marine Corps base in Quantico, Virginia known as the Marine Corps Heritage Center and is scheduled to open in three months, in November 2006. The 100,000 square foot facility will contain artifacts and memorabilia from throughout USMC history. State of the art technology and multimedia will be used to recreate certain events such as the landing on Iwo Jima.

Since some of the priceless and irreplaceable artifacts are already starting to be placed in the facility, the Marine Corps is providing Marines to work as sentries guarding the area after construction finishes each day. Once the facility opens, the museum has a contract to provide its own security force.

The main entrance will be accessible from Route 1. Engraved above the entrance will be the words, "Enter and experience what it means to be a Marine."

Ooh-rah! I can't wait to visit the museum and take my friends and family.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

CG's Letter to the Editor of the Washington Post

This isn't from a Marine, but it gives a good view of what the military is doing over in Iraq, that you will not normally hear about in the mainstream press:

From: McCoy, William MG GRD
Sent: Sunday, August 06, 2006 11:48 AM
To: ''
Subject: Letter to the Editor

I am submitting this as a Letter to the Editor based on the terrible, and largely inaccurate, article I read by Andy Mosher. he knows there is a good side to the story of Reconstruction in Iraq; he saw it! yet he chose to write a negative story based on old SIGIR findings. Why? Don't you want the American people to know the truth?

Why Won’t They Tell You the Truth?

After spending almost three days traveling with and being interviewed by one of the co-writers of a very poorly written article (“Much Undone in Rebuilding Iraq, Audit says”, Washington Post, August 2, 2006), I’m astounded at how distorted a good story can become and what agenda drives a paper to see only the bad side to the reconstruction effort here in Iraq. Instead of distorting the facts, let’s get to the truth.

There is no flailing reconstruction effort in Iraq. The United States has rightfully invested $20 billion in Iraq’s reconstruction - in the opinion of many here, we should do more. This massive undertaking is part of a wider strategy for success in Iraq that involves the establishment of a democratic government, the development of professional Iraqi Security Forces, and the restoration of basic essential services and facilities to promote the sustained economic development of this new country.

Yes, this reconstruction effort has been challenged occasionally by security, poor materials, poor construction program management practices, and in some cases poor performance by contractors for a variety of reasons. The Department of State and Defense professionals over here, many of them civilian volunteers, and the Iraqi associates who risk their lives every day to have a future that approximates what America has today, continuously see the challenges and develop and implement solutions. This is a core part of managing construction anywhere in the world and, while somewhat more complex here, it is successfully being accomplished. Have we been guilty of poor planning and mismanagement? The answer to that is, at times, yes. But professionals constantly strive to overcome challenges that arise and we are succeeding and making Iraq better every day!

The heart of the article rests on several old statements by the Special Investigator General for Iraq Reconstruction (SIGIR) which infer these are recent or recurring problems. The SIGIR knows that, in fact, program management, construction quality, progress, and accountability have all improved significantly since the early days of the effort some three years ago. Yet, the reporters’ “project problems” comments infer that these are recent issues. Such actions inflame public opinion in the United States and create resentment by the very people so many conscientious Americans over here are trying to help here in Iraq and worse, embolden our very enemies.

When I arrived here a year ago we planned to complete 3,200 reconstruction projects. Today we are focusing on the completion of 3,700 projects. We’ve started 3,500 of those projects and completed almost 2,800…and work is continuing! This is not a failure to meet our commitment to the Iraqi people as the article states. In some cases we are not executing the same projects—we have changed to meet new priorities of three government changes in Iraq since our arrival—but in all cases, rest assured, these projects will be completed. We discussed this at length with the reporter…and he was taking notes and recording our conversations.

We told the reporter that, while 141 health clinic construction projects were taken away from a U.S. contractor who failed to perform, they were re-awarded to Iraqi contractors who are already demonstrating progress, have improved quality and shown their great desire to work with the United States to help Iraq improve…and they are doing so phenomenally! We did talk to the reporter about on electricity. Three-quarters of Iraq gets twice as much electricity today as they did before the war. Furthermore, we are working with the Minister of Electricity to improve the situation in Baghdad daily and have doubled the hours of power from four to eight in the capitol in the last six months in spite of the fact that demand is markedly increased with Iraqis’ new ability to buy personal electrical products. What is truly amazing to me is that we took the reporter to the Nasiriyah prison project and, while it is true that we terminated the prime U.S. contractor for failure to perform, the Iraqi sub-contractor continues to work there (now directly for us) and his progress and quality have improved significantly...and he saw that! We are not turning unfinished work over to the Iraqis as he stated in his article; we are fulfilling the U.S. commitment to the people of Iraq and using Iraqis to do it!

The reporter didn’t tell you about the hundreds of dedicated military and civilian professionals he saw over here working to make Iraq better, or the Iraqis who come to work every day at their own peril because they believe in what we, and they, are accomplishing together. He failed to tell you about Aseel or Salah who worked for the Corps of Engineers since we arrived in 2003, because they wanted to make their country like ours, but who were recently brutally murdered in the streets because they worked for the Americans. He never wrote about the Water Treatment Plant he visited that will provide fresh potable water to over half a million people in southern Iraq in just two more months, or the one in northern Iraq that is providing water for the 330,000 citizens of Irbil. He never told folks back home about the thousands of children that are now in 800 new or rebuilt schools, or about oil production now being back to pre-war levels and getting better everyday, or raw sewage being taken out of the streets and put back in the pipes where it belongs, or about the thousands of miles of new roads, or post offices, police stations or courthouses or… well, he just left a great deal out now, didn’t he?

Why? Perhaps it’s because some in the press don’t want the American people to know the truth and prefer instead to only report the negative aspects of the news because “it sells papers.” We deserve better from those who claim the protection of the Constitution we are fighting to support and defend. America, don’t give up. You are doing much better over here than all too many of your press will tell you. If you are tired of fighting for freedom and democracy for those who so strongly long for the country we have, then think of the alternatives for a moment. Iraq will be better for our efforts and so will the world. And you are making it happen. Be proud and keep supporting this vital effort. It is the most important thing America can do.

Thank you. I invite you and your staff to come over at any time to get the facts. I took a risk with Mr Mosher and obviously got what I consider to be a very unbalanced representation of what he saw, personally. But I still believe in general in the press and will always be open to helping you tell a balanced story.

Essayons! Deliverance!

MG Bill McCoy
CG, Gulf Region Division/Dir, Project and Contracting Office
Multi-National Force-Iraq

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

USMC Awards Danner Boots a 5-Year Contract

The contract, with a one-year base and four option years, calls for Danner to produce the Mountain Cold Weather Boot specially designed for the U.S. Marine Corps. The minimum number of boots specified in the contract is 500, while the maximum is 40,000. The cost to the Marine Corps will be between $75,000 and $6 million depending on how many boots they opt to get. Danner is a subsidiary of LaCrosse Footwear, Inc, which also owns FireTech, a manufacturer of firefighting boots.

31st Marine Corps Marathon

This year "The People's Marathon" will be held on October 29, 2006. A new challenge has been added this year - the Marine Corps Marathon Squad Challenge. Teams of 9-13 individuals will compete and the finish time of the 9th team member to cross the line will be the team's finish time. Participants are encouraged to show their team spirit by wearing unit clothing, carrying a team flag, or by running in formation.

Additionally, this year's race will have remote runners for the first time. Dubbed Marine Corps Marathon Forward, it will allow servicemembers serving in Iraq to participate in the race via satellite. Registered runners that complete MCM Forward will receive an official finisher medal, certificate, and CD.

Marines Bring Wasps to Iraq and Afghanistan

Marines in the Middle East now have a new tool to use. The Wasp is a Micro Air Vehicle (MAV) that has been in testing and development for over a year. It contains a GPS and two color cameras but is only seven inches long with a thirteen-inch wingspan. It is designed to fly about 100 feet off the ground at speeds of 21-46 miles per hour and can stay airborne for about 90 minutes. Using the Wasp, Marines can recon an area and even see people and determine if they have any weapons or not. The Wasp is operated by a small remote control with a seven-inch color screen from up to 6 miles away.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Sixteen Years Ago Today

Five days after Iraq invaded Kuwait, the 7th Marine Expeditionary Brigade and other U.S. military units entered Saudi Arabia as part of Operation Desert Shield to help defend that country against a possible invasion. A week later the Marine Corps committed 45,000 troops to the operation.

Operation Desert Shield became the largest deployment of U.S. forces since the Vietnam War. The operation lasted until 16 January 1991, when Operation Desert Storm began with air strikes. The ground war started on 24 February, when the 1st and 2nd Marine Divisions moved from Saudi Arabia into Kuwait. The 4th and 5th Marine Expeditionary Brigades were used as decoys to keep numerous Iraqi troops tied up waiting for an amphibious landing that never came. Four days later, Kuwait was free, and President Bush called a cease-fire.

"I can't say enough about the two Marine divisions. If I use words like brilliant, it would really be an under-description of the absolutely superb job they did in breaching the so-called impenetrable barrier. . .Absolutely superb operation, a textbook, and I think it'll be studied for many, many years to come as the way to do it." -- General H. Norman Schwarzkopf, USA, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, 27 February 1991

92,990 Marines participated in the two operations, almost 25% of the total American forces used. 24,703 Marine reservists were called to active duty during this time. The U.S. only lost 766 men and women during the Gulf War, 50 of which were Marines. In contrast, there were 85,000 Iraqi casualties and 175,000 Iraqis were taken as prisoners of war.

The Commandant's Own

The United States Marine Drum and Bugle Corps, also known as "The Commandant's Own", has a CD, "On the March", available for free. You can request a copy by visiting their website,, and clicking on the link from the left menu titled, Request a copy of "On the March".

The Drum and Bugle Corps will be performing at the Drum Corps International (DCI) World Championships in Madison, Wisconsin on 12 AUG 2006. For more information, or tickets, visit the DCI website.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Brigadier General Angela Salinas

BGen. Salinas became the first Hispanic woman in the Marines to earn the rank of Brigadier General during a ceremony on 02 AUG 2006. There are only five other women that have obtained that rank in the Marine Corps.

The Marine Corps was the first of the armed services to have a female general.

On 04 AUG 2006, BGen. Salinas made history again by becoming the first woman to command Marine Corps Recruit Depot (MCRD), San Diego.

BGen. Salinas has made a number of firsts during her career which started when she enlisted in 1974. In June 1989, Salinas became the first female in the Marine Corps to command a recruiting station. In June 1992, she became the first woman ever to be assigned as a combat service support ground monitor. Then in the Spring of 2001, she became the first woman to serve as a recruiting district commanding officer.

BGen. Salinas holds a master’s degree from the Naval War College. She is a graduate of the Amphibious Warfare School, the Naval War College’s Command and Staff College and the Army War College.

Her personal decorations include the Defense Superior Service Medal, the Legion of Merit, the Meritorious Service Medal with 2 Gold Stars, the Navy/Marine Corps Commendation Medal with Gold Star, the Army Commendation Medal, and the Navy/Marine Corps Achievement Medal with 2 Gold Stars.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Noteworthy and Famous Marines

Our list of noteworthy Marines, ones that made a name for themselves through the things they did in the Marine Corps, as well as our list of Famous Marines, who gained notoriety outside of the Corps, are available again.

Additionally, our lists of Marine Corps quotes and Marine Corps slogans have also been put back online.

The links to all of these lists are located on the right-side menu.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Conway Confirmed as Next CMC

On June 13th, President Bush nominated Lt. Gen. James T. Conway for appointment to the grade of General and for appointment as the 34th Commandant of the Marine Corps (CMC). Conway was confirmed by the Senate with a unanimous vote on August 2nd and was promoted, receiving his fourth star. In the near future, he will be replacing Gen. Michael W. Hagee who has served as CMC since January 13th, 2003.

Gen. Conway has most recently been serving as the Director of Operations, J-3, on the Joint Staff assisting the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Marine General Peter Pace. He has served on the Joint Staff two other times in the past. In the 1980's he served two years as Senior Aide to the Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff. In the 1990's, he was reassigned to the Joint Staff where he served as the Deputy Director of Operations J-3 for Combating Terrorism.

This is also not the first time that Conway has taken over command following Gen. Hagee. In November 2002, he replaced Gen. Hagee as the Commanding General of I MEF as Hagee prepared to take over as CMC.

His official biography is below:

General Conway was commissioned in 1970 as an infantry officer and served initially with the 3d Battalion, 1st Marines, Camp Pendleton, as a rifle platoon commander and as the Battalion's 106mm recoilless-rifle platoon commander. Subsequently, he served as a company commander in the Infantry Training Regiment; as Executive Officer of the Marine Detachment aboard the USS Kitty Hawk (CVA-63); at the Marine Corps Recruit Depot in San Diego as a series and company commander in the Recruit Training Regiment, as the aide to the Commanding General, and as Director, Sea School.

After career level school in 1977, he reported to 3d Battalion, 2d Marines, 2d Marine Division where he commanded two companies and served in the Regiment's S-3. Posted to The Basic School he commanded two companies of officer students and taught tactics. Following intermediate level school, his next tour was as operations officer for the 31st MAU, where he spent 13 months at sea in WESTPAC and in contingency operations off Beirut, Lebanon.

Returning to CONUS in July 1984, he was assigned to Headquarters Marine Corps, and later served two years as Senior Aide to the Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff. Upon completion of top level school, he was reassigned to the 2d Marine Division serving as Division G-3 Operations Officer before assuming command of 3d Battalion, 2d Marines in January 1990. Under his command Battalion Landing Team 3/2 deployed to Southwest Asia for eight months for Operations DESERT SHIELD and DESERT STORM. Selected for colonel, he was assigned as the Ground Colonels' Monitor, HQMC. He assumed command of The Basic School on April 30, 1993 and in that role was selected for Brigadier General in December 1995. Re-assigned to the Joint Staff, he served as the Deputy Director of Operations J-3 for Combating Terrorism. He then served as the President, Marine Corps University at Quantico, VA. After being selected for promotion to Major General, he assumed command of the 1st Marine Division. In November of 2002 LtGen Conway was promoted to his current rank and assumed command of the I Marine Expeditionary Force. He commanded I MEF during two combat tours in Iraq.

His personal decorations include the Defense Distinguished Service Medal, Distinguished Service Medal, Legion of Merit, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal with gold stars in lieu of second and third awards, Navy Commendation Medal, Navy Achievement Medal, and the Combat Action Ribbon.

General Conway graduated with honors from The Basic School, the U.S. Army Infantry Officers' Advanced Course, the Marine Corps Command and Staff College, and the Air War College.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Future Changes to Marine Corps Units and Tactics

According to Lt. Gen. Jim Amos, 2 MEF Commander, who has been selected to become the Deputy Commandant of the Marine Corps for combat development and integration, future Marine Corps units will be smaller and lighter. The new units will consist of five or six Marines that are trained in new tactics learned in Iraq. These small units can be inserted behind the enemy using the Osprey, an ultra-quiet aircraft that flies like an airplane, but can rotate its wings and hover like a helicopter. The Marines would also be wearing a new type of body armor that provides protection for the shoulders, neck, lower torso, and legs from shrapnel. Better yet, this new body armor is about 90% lighter than the current body armor in use.

The new unit sizes and tactics are needed to combat the non-traditional enemies that Marines now face. In the past, Marines mostly fought against state-sponsored forces in massive frontal assaults. Now more and more of the fighting is against smaller diverse groups of people that are attacking based on ideology or religion. This type of enemy threat is expected to increase over the next 10 to 15 years according to analysts.

Senate Approves $5.3 Billion for Marine Corps Equipment

On Tuesday, the U.S. Senate unanimously approved funding emergency repairs and replacement of equipment being used by the Marines in Iraq. An additional, $7.8 billion was approved for the Army.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Goat Jerky

U.S. Marines based at Camp Lemonier, Djibouti completed ten days of desert training with French marines. During the training the Marines of 4th Provisional Security Company practiced night movement through mountains, conducted raids on mock villages, and learned how to kill, skin and cook goats like the locals. One of the ways they prepared the meat was to make jerky out of it.

Marine Nicknames

Marines have accumulated a number of nicknames over the years. Many people would like to know where they came from.
  • Leatherneck - This name originates from the stiff leather stock that early Marines wore around their necks, probably to protect their jugular vein against saber blows
  • Devil Dog - The Germans after the battle at Belleau Wood in World War I called the Marines "Teufelhunden", which translates as Devil Dog, because of the fierce fighting that the Marines demonstrated
  • Jarhead - This was a slang term used by sailors in World War II because Marines in their Dress Blues with the stiff collar resembled Mason Jars
  • The President's Own - Used in reference to the Marine Band located in Washington, D.C., because they play at all the official White House ceremonies; it could easily refer to all Marines because the U.S. Marine Corps Mission states in part that the Marines "shall perform such other duties as the President may direct"
  • Gyrene - formed from the combination of G.I. and Marine
  • America's 911 Force - The Marine Corps has earned this nickname by being the first forces called in a crisis - like one of our mottos we are "First to Fight"

Marine Captain Awarded Silver Star

On July 28th, Capt. Jason P. Schauble, 4th platoon commander, 2nd Force Recon, was awarded the Department of Defense's third highest award for valor for his actions while serving under I MEF during Operation Iraqi Freedom Jan. 3, 2005. Capt. Schauble entered a farmhouse to recover a fallen Marine and drew fire from multiple insurgents. He was seriously wounded but was able to kill two of the insurgents which allowed the rest of his Marines to move into position and engage the enemy.

Capt. Schauble was also awarded the Bronze Star with combat "V" for his his actions during Oct. 11 to Nov. 16, 2004 in the battles of Hit and Fallujah. He was responsible for coordinating all artillery fire, as well as sniper operations during the shaping operations in those cites. While directing his Marines he selflessly exposed himself to enemy machine gun fire. His direction enabled his Marines to successfully engage enemy targets. Additionally, Capt. Schauble and his team killed more than 50 insurgents during several long firefights. His team suffered at least 15 Marines wounded, but his leadership and bravery helped his team to keep their "superior fighting spirit".

A third award, the Meritorious Service Medal, was presented to Capt. Schauble for his knowledge and experience used in creating both the Foreign Military Training Unit and Marine Corps Special Forces Command.

OOH-RAH!! Semper Fi, Devil Dog!

Dishonorable Discharge

Branden Brown, a Marine reservist from Des Moines, Iowa, was dishonorably discharged after pleading guilty to kidnapping, burglary, and robbery charges. The incident took place in August 2005 when Brown and another person, Richard Garrison, drugged and attempted to kidnap a woman in Des Moines. Both men pleaded guilty and will be sentenced in September.

20 Confirmed Kills

LCpl Galen Wilson, a 21-year old Marine infantryman with 3rd Battalion, 8th Regiment, is following in the footsteps of his father, who was a sniper in the Navy SEALS. He is the designated marksman for his unit and carries a sniper rifle. He has 20 confirmed kills in Iraq and another 40 probable kills.

On Easter Sunday, during a large-scale attack, he noticed six gunmen on the roof of a building about 400 yards away. In eight seconds, he had taken out five of the gunmen with a well-placed headshot - one shot, one kill. The sixth one was in his sights when the gunman decided to try his luck diving off the 3-story building rather than wait for the same fate as his compadres. He probably died from the fall.

Wilson is planning to join a Florida SWAT team after his contract expires next year.

Navy Cross Awarded

Former Marine Sgt. Robert J. Mitchell received the nation's second highest award for battlefield heroism, the Navy Cross, on July 28th, 2006, in recognition of his actions as a Corporal fighting in Fallujah, Iraq in November 2004. Sgt. Mitchell served two tours in Iraq and was wounded four times. He was present the medal by Lt. Gen. John F. Sattler, commanding general of the I Marine Expeditionary Force.

Four Marines Killed in Anbar Province

The U.S. military released a statement on Saturday concerning four Marines that were killed last Thursday. Three of the Marines were assigned to 1st Brigade, 1st Armored Division, the other Marine was from Regional Combat Team 5.

Senator's Son Signs Up for the Marines

Jimmy McCain, the youngest son of Senator John McCain (R-Ariz), will report to boot camp this fall. The family has a tradition of military service in the Department of the Navy. Jimmy's great grandfather was an admiral, as was his grandfather. His father was a Navy fighter pilot who was shot down in Vietnam and spent several years as a POW. Jimmy's brother, Jack, is currently attending the U.S. Naval Academy.

Although it seems the norm for a McCain to join the military, only about 1% of the members of Congress have children that serve in the military.

New Shirts for Marines

The U.S. Marine Corps awarded a $2 million contract to InSport International to provide two types of special shirts.

The short-sleeve Performance T-shirts are made with Polartec's Power Dry fabric providing a better solution than the standard cotton T-shirts.

The long-sleeve Defender T-shirts add heat resistance to keep the shirts from melting after exposure to IEDs.

Article 32 Hearing for Pendleton 8 Starts Today

The hearing for seven Marines and a Navy corpsman accused of conspiracy, kidnapping, and murder is scheduled to start today. The victim, Hashim Ibrahim Awad, was a 52-year old Iraqi from Hamdaniya.

Regardless of their guilt or innocence, they need our prayers.

New Design

The main page of the website has been redesigned in blog format. This will allow me to make updates more quickly and easily. As time permits I will be re-enabling features from the old site that I started back on the Marine Corps birthday in 1999.