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Today In Marine Corps History: 26 Jan. 1904

The emperor of Addis Ababa, Abyssinia, decorated Captain G. C. Thorpe for escorting diplomats 500 miles through the desert.

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Today In Marine Corps History: 25 Jan. 1856

Marines and seamen from the U.S. sloop DECATUR went ashore at the village of Seattle, Washington, to protect settlers from Indian raids.

The Indians launched a seven-hour attack but were driven off later that day after suffering severe losses.
Incredibly, only two civilian volunteers were killed and no Marines or sailors were lost.

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General Robert H. Barrow

General Robert H. Barrow, 27th Commandant of the Marine Corps, was born 5 February 1922 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. After attending Louisiana State University, he enlisted in the Marine Corps in 1942 and was commissioned a second lieutenant 19 May 1943.

Lieutenant Barrow subsequently served as Officer-in-Charge of an American team attached to a group of Chinese Nationalist guerrillas. He entered China via India and after many months of operations along the periphery of the area held by the Japanese in central China, his team entered Japanese occupied territory and conducted intensive guerrilla operations for the last seven months of World War II. For this service, he was awarded the Bronze Star Medal with Combat “V”. After the war, Lieutenant Barrow remained in China for another year, six months of which was spent in Shanghai and six months in the Tientsin-Peking area.

He returned to the United States in October 1946, and served as Aide-de-Camp to the Commanding General, Fleet Marine Force (FMF), Atlantic, until September 1948. Captain Barrow then completed the Amphibious Warfare School, Junior Course, Quantico, Virginia.

From 1949 until 1950, he served as Commanding Officer of Company A, 1st Battalion, 2d Marines, Camp Lejeune, North Carolina.

During the Korean War, he led Company A, 1st Battalion, 1st Marines, in the Inchon-Seoul operation and the Chosin Reservoir campaign. For the latter he was awarded the Navy Cross for holding a pass near Koto-ri on 9-10 December 1950.

In February 1956, he commenced an eighteen month tour with the 2d Battalion, 6th Marines, Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. From the summer of 1957 to the summer of 1960, he served as the Marine Officer Instructor, NROTC Unit at Tulane University, New Orleans, Louisiana. In September 1959, he was promoted to lieutenant colonel.

Colonel Barrow graduated from the National War College in June 1968. He then served in the Republic of Vietnam, as Commanding Officer, 9th Marines, 3d Marine Division (Rein), and as Deputy G-3, III Marine Amphibious Force. During the nine months he served as Commanding Officer of the 9th Marines, his regiment participated in numerous combat actions in the vicinity of the DMZ, Khe Sanh, Da Krong Valley, and A Shau Valley. For extraordinary heroism in Operation Dewey Canyon, he was awarded the Army Distinguished Service Cross.

After promotion to brigadier general, he served as Commanding General at Camp Butler, Okinawa. On further promotion to major general, he became Commanding General, Marine Corps Recruit Depot, Parris Island. He was promoted to lieutenant general in 1975 and assigned to Headquarters Marine Corps as Deputy Chief of Staff for Manpower. In 1976, he was named Commanding General, FMF, Atlantic, at Norfolk.

General Barrow became the Assistant Commandant of the Marine Corps in July 1978, so serving until appointed the Corps’ Commandant on 1 July 1979.

General Barrow was the first Commandant to serve, by law, a regular four-year tour as a full member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. He was instrumental in acquiring approval of production for the Marine Corps of the American-modified Harrier aircraft, in awakening interest in new and improved naval gunfire support, in getting amphibious ships included in the Navy’s new construction programs, and in returning hospital ships to the fleet, especially on station with Marine Corps amphibious task forces.

General Barrow retired as Commandant on 30 June 1983 and returned to his native state of Louisiana. Upon retirement he was presented with the Distinguished Service Medal.

General Barrow died in his sleep on 30 October 2008 and was laid to rest at Grace Episcopal Church Cemetery in Saint Francisville, Louisiana.

In addition to the Distinguished Service Medal, a complete list of his medals and decorations include: the Navy Cross; the Army Distinguished Service Cross; the Silver Star Medal; three Legions of Merit; the Bronze Star Medal with Combat “V” and Gold Star in lieu of a second award; the Presidential Unit Citation with one bronze star; the American Campaign Medal; the World War II Victory Medal; the China Service Medal; the National Defense Service Medal with one bronze star; the Korean Service Medal with three bronze stars; the Vietnamese Service Medal with one bronze star; four Vietnamese Crosses of Gallantry with Palm; the Republic of Vietnam National Order, Fifth Class with Gold Star in lieu of a second award; the United Nations Service Medal; and the Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal.

Source: United States Marine Corps History Division

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Marine Corps Photos: In the Heat of the Night

Marine Corps Moto Photo 89

Marines with Battery M, 3rd Battalion, 11th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division load an M777 lightweight 155mm Howitzer for firing during Exercise DESERT SCIMITAR aboard Marine Corps Air-Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms, Calif. May 2, 2013. Exercise DESERT SCIMITAR was conducted to allow 1st Marine Division the opportunity to sustain their ability to plan and execute all aspects of its operations in offensive and defensive scenarios.

Photo by Cpl John Clary.

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Today In Marine Corps History: 23 Jan. 1780

Marines participated in the capture of a British brig by the USS Providence and USS Ranger off the coast of Charleston, South Carolina.

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The U.S. Marine Corps: Pride Of The Nation

A recruiting commercial from 2005, “Pride of the Nation.”

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Marine Corps News From World War Two: Mortars Blast Enemy On Namur

NAMUR, Kwajalein Atoll (Delayed)

“Our assault elements pushed the Japs back so fast on this small island that we were unable to bring up heavy concentrations of infantry supporting weapons for fear of hitting our own troops,” said 2dLt. William Capers James Jr., a mortar platoon leader in the Marine unit that took this island in 27 hours of bloody fighting.
Lt. James was able to register some telling fire on Jap pillboxes on the morning of the second day of fighting when troops called for mortar concentrations on the three remaining Jap pillboxes on the northeast shore of the island. Mortars softened up cornered Japs preliminary to the final assault by lumbering tanks.

From the 11March1944 issue of the Marine Corps Chevron

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Today In Marine Corps History: 22 Jan. 1969

Operation Dewey Canyon, perhaps the most successful high-mobility regimental-size action of the Vietnam War, began in the A Shau/Da Krong Valleys when the 9th Marines, commanded by Colonel Robert H. Barrow, and supporting artillery were lifted from Quang Tri.

By 18 March the enemy’s base area had been cleared out, 1617 enemy dead had been counted, and more than 500 tons of weapons and ammunition unearthed.

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Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps Ronald L. Green

WASHINGTON

The Commandant of the Marine Corps announced today the selection of Sgt. Maj. Ronald L. Green as the next Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps.

“It gives me great pleasure to name Sgt. Maj. Green as the 18th Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps,” said Gen. Joseph F. Dunford Jr., the commandant of the Marine Corps.

“His dynamic leadership is well known throughout the ranks of our Corps. His wide range of experience in both peacetime and combat, and his record of performance make him extraordinarily well-qualified to serve as our senior enlisted leader,” Dunford said.

Green, currently the sergeant major of I Marine Expeditionary Force (I MEF), will replace Sgt. Maj. Micheal P. Barrett, who has held the billet since June 2011.

Barrett is credited with improving Marines’ training, education, compensation, quality of life, bachelor enlisted quarters, on-base housing, and family support programs.

“Sgt. Maj. Barrett has poured his heart and soul into serving Marines, Sailors, and their families,” Dunford said. “He has truly made a positive impact on the combat readiness of our Corps.”

The relief and appointment ceremony is scheduled for 10 a.m., Feb. 20, at the Marine Corps War Memorial in Arlington, Virginia.

The post of Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps was established in 1957 as the senior enlisted advisor to the Commandant of the Marine Corps, the first such post in any of the branches of the United States Armed Forces. The Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps is selected by the Commandant, and typically serves a four-year term, though his service is at the pleasure of the Commandant.

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Marine Corps Photos: All Aboard

Marine Corps Moto Photo 92

26th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) Maritime Raid Force Marines climb aboard a rigid hull inflatable boat after conducting scout swimming exercises at sea, April 24, 2013. Eagle Resolve is an annual multilateral exercise designed to enhance regional cooperative defense efforts in the Gulf Cooperation Council nations and U.S. Central Command. The 26th MEU is deployed to the 5th Fleet area of operations aboard the Kearsarge Amphibious Ready Group. The 26th MEU operates continuously across the globe, providing the president and unified combatant commanders with a forward-deployed, sea-based quick reaction force. The MEU is a Marine Air-Ground Task Force capable of conducting amphibious operations, crisis response and limited contingency operations.

Photo by Cpl Christopher Q. Stone.

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Today In Marine Corps History: 21 Jan. 1918

The 1st Aeronautical Company arrived at Ponta Delgada, Azores, for anti-submarine duty.

That unit was one of the first completely equipped American aviation units to serve overseas in World War I.

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Establishing the Advanced Base Force

Establishing the Advanced Base Force
Category: Marine Corps Order No. 7 (Series 1921)
Author/Presenter: Major General John A. Lejeune, USMC
Commandant of the Marine Corps

Date: 3 March 1921

706. (1) Marine Corps organizations available for overseas service with the fleet shall be known as “The Advanced Base Force, U.S. Marine Corps.”

(2) Permanently organized units of The Advanced Base Force will normally be known by their numerical designation. Any part of The Advanced Base Force assigned to a special duty (force of occupation, landing forces, raiding forces, etc.) will be named in accordance with its mission.

(3) The training centers of The Advanced Base Force will be at Marine Barracks, Quantico, Va., and Marine Barracks, San Diego, California.

(4) The terms “First Advanced Base Force” and “Second Advanced Base Force” are hereby abolished.

(5) Under “Tables of Organization, Technical Regiment, Advanced Base Force (Provisional),” dated May 3, 1920, in the letter promulgating these tables, strike out the words:

“An advanced base force will normally consist of

“1 technical regiment
“1 brigade of infantry
“1 artillery regiment.”

(6) The Advanced Base Force, or any part thereof, shall comprise such infantry, artillery, and specialist troops as may be assigned to it by Headquarters, U.S. Marine Corps, and shall receive instruction in the following branches and such other kindred subjects as may be designated by Headquarters, U.S. Marine Corps, to enable it to operate efficiently on any duty which may be assigned:

Artillery: Field guns, naval guns, howitzers, mortars, antiaircraft armament.
Fire control.
Machine guns, ground and antiaircraft.
Submarine mines.
Searchlights: Harbor defense, antiaircraft, and field.
Signals: Radio, telephone and telegraph, visual, radio director, microphone sound detector.
Engineering.
Infantry and attached weapons, grenades, 37 mm., Stokes mortar, etc.
Air forces: Land and water planes, observation balloons.

JOHN A. LEJEUNE,
Major General Commandant

Approved:
JOSEPHUS DANIELS,
Secretary of the Navy.

Re-printed with the authorization of the Marine Corps History Division

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