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Marine Expeditionary Force – 2014 Highlights

Contains highlights from exercises during 2014 and is not limited to exercises like Steel Knight, Valiant Mark, Dawn Blitz, Koru Kiwi, Large Scale Exercise and Pacific Horizon.

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Bravo Battery Marines Tour Washington

QUANTICO, Va.

Marines with Bravo Battery, 2nd Low Altitude Air Defense Battalion, packed their bags and headed to Marine Corps Base Quantico, Va., for a lesson on Marine Corps history and a tour of the nation’s capital, Dec. 15-19.

According to 1st Sgt. Wesley O. Turner, the first sergeant for Bravo Battery, the trip was designed to give the battery’s Marines a chance to learn about the lineage of Marines past and to honor the sacrifice of previous generations of service members.

“The trip was designed to give the Marines background on their history and put it into perspective,” said Turner, a native of Kansas City, Mo. “Each day of the trio was intended to teach the Marines something different.”

During the trip, the Marines of the battery occupied a squad bay at the Marine Corps’ Officer Candidates School at Quantico. After claiming their racks and sorting out their gear, they prepared for day one, which included tackling the Tarzan Course at OCS.

According to Capt. Konrad N. Reese, commanding officer of Bravo Battery, the course gave the junior leaders within the battery a chance to challenge their Marines and build camaraderie.

“We chose to have the Marines take on the course to build unit cohesion and assess their mental courage,” said Reese. “Nothing makes a Marine more willing to overcome their fears than having everyone he knows cheering him on.”

The Tarzan Course was a blast, said Pfc. Isaac E. Moir, a gunner with the battery.

“The course wasn’t a cake walk,” said Moir, a native of Aurora, Colo. “Once you make it to around the half way point there is very little feeling left in your forearms. However, for me, the best part was after I finished and watching everyone else’s different approaches to the obstacles and cheering them on.”

On day two, the Marines visited the National Museum of the Marine Corps, outside the main gate of the Crossroads of the Marine Corps, as Quantico is known. According to Sgt. Anthony J. Zeitz, a section with 2nd Platoon, the visit gave the Marines a chance to learn about and view the history of the Corps and help give perspective to the junior leaders within the battery.

“I think for many of the Marines, myself included, going to the museum brought out who we are as Marines and reignited the flame that inspired us to join,” said Zeitz, a native of Olcott, N.Y.

During the third day, the Marines visited Arlington National Cemetery and toured the National Mall.

At the nation’s cemetery for service members, the Marines trod hallowed ground where more than 400 thousand service members are buried. During the tour, the battery’s Marines viewed the changing of the guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, a living monument to the sacrifice of service members across the generations, and stood solemnly during a burial ceremony.

“Visiting the cemetery opened my eyes,” said Moir. “It’s one thing to hear how many lives were lost but it is and completely jaw dropping to see it. It was an intense atmosphere.”

After touring the cemetery, the Marines explored the other monuments and memorials around the National Capital Region, a city rich with history, said Zeitz.

“A lot of guys bonded over the memorials,” said Zeitz. “Many of the Marines had family who fought in pervious wars but didn’t know about it until then.”

On the final day of the trip, the Marines visited Marine Barracks Washington, home of the Commandant of the Marine Corps. A special tour guide, First Lady of the Marine Corps Ellyn Dunford, explained the history and significance of the installation at 8th and I.

“The tour was amazing,” said Zeitz. “The house is full of history and Mrs. Dunford explaining everything to us, which made the experience even more unique.”

According to Reese, the battery’s leaders see the benefits of connecting their Marines to the past and providing a link to the Corps’ history and hope to make similar trips in the future.

“I believe the trip had a great impact on the Marines,” said Reese. “Our goal now is to make this experience an annual event for the battery.”

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Marine Corps Training Day

A typical day of training for the Marines starts at five o’clock in the morning and is jam-packed with physical training and Marine Corps history. Learn about a typical day of Marine Corps boot camp with information from a staff sergeant in this free video from the United States Marine Corps.

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Marine Corps Officers’ Physical Fitness

Marine Corps Officers’ Physical Fitness
Executive Order No. 989
President Theodore Roosevelt
9 December 1908

1. Officers of the United States Marine Corps, of whatever rank, will be examined physically and undergo the tests herein prescribed at least once in every two years; the time of such examinations to be designated by the Commandant of the Corps so as to interfere as little as possible with their regular duties, and the tests to be carried out in the United States between May first and July first, as the Commandant of the Corps may direct, and on foreign stations between December first and February first.

2. All field officers will be required to take a riding test of ninety miles, this distance to be covered in three days. Physical examinations before and after riding, and the riding tests, to be the same as those prescribed for the United States Army by General Orders, No. 79 (paragraph 3), War Department, May 14, 1908.

3. Line officers of the Marine Corps in the grade of captain or lieutenant will be required to walk fifty miles, this distance to be divided into three days, actual marching time, including rests, twenty hours. In battle, time is essential and ground may have to be covered on the run; if these officers are not equal to the average physical strength of their companies the men will be held back, resulting in unnecessary loss of life and probably defeat: Company officers will, therefore, be required, during one of the marching periods, to double-time two hundred yards, with a half minute’s rest; then three hundred yards, with one minute’s rest; and then complete the test in a two hundred yard dash, making in all seven hundred yards on the double-time, with one and one-half minutes’ rest. The physical examinations before and after the tests to be the same as provided for in paragraph 2 of this order.

4. The Commandant of the Marine Corps will be required to make such of the above tests as the Secretary of the Navy shall direct.

5. Field officers of the permanent staff of the Marine Corps who have arrived at an age and rank which renders it highly improbable that they will ever be assigned to any duty requiring participation in active military operations in the field, may, upon their own application, be excused from the physical test, but not from the physical examination, prescribed above. Such a request, however, if granted, will be regarded by the executive authority as conclusive reason for not selecting the applicant for any future promotion in volunteer rank, or for assignment, selection or promotion to a position involving participation in operations of the line of the Marine Corps, or in competition with officers of the line of the Marine Corps for any position.

Marine Corps Poetry: A Hopeful Holiday Christmas

(Cpl Cook forgot the females)

Holidays are coming near
And our lads are over there
And we at home miss them much
And try to stay in close touch

Though absence make the heart
Grow fonder
‘Rather have them here
Than yonder.

We remember the growing years
The times we kissed away their tears
And patched up a skinned knee
The day he fell out of the tree

We cannot help but shed a tear
And put away the nagging fear
That greets us on each morn
That lingers in a heart that’s torn.

So let us all give thanks in prayer
With hope that they return from there
Before the year has turned around
That they are again on home ground.

Semper Fi and Amen!

Cpl. Robert L. Cook

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Medal Of Honor Recipient Captain Joseph J. McCarthy

(Part of a continuing series of articles spotlighting United States Marines who have been awarded America’s highest military award, the Medal of Honor.)

From the Presidential Citation:

For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty as commanding officer of a rifle company attached to the 2d Battalion, 24th Marines, 4th Marine Division, in action against enemy Japanese forces during the seizure of Iwo Jima, Volcano Islands, on 21 February 1945.

Determined to break through the enemy’s cross-island defenses, Capt. McCarthy acted on his own initiative when his company advance was held up by uninterrupted Japanese rifle, machine gun, and high-velocity 47mm. fire during the approach to Motoyama Airfield No. 2.

Quickly organizing a demolitions and flamethrower team to accompany his picked rifle squad, he fearlessly led the way across 75 yards of fire-swept ground, charged a heavily fortified pillbox on the ridge of the front and, personally hurling hand grenades into the emplacement as he directed the combined operations of his small assault group, completely destroyed the hostile installation.

Spotting 2 Japanese soldiers attempting an escape from the shattered pillbox, he boldly stood upright in full view of the enemy and dispatched both troops before advancing to a second emplacement under greatly intensified fire and then blasted the strong fortifications with a well-planned demolitions attack.

Subsequently entering the ruins, he found a Japanese taking aim at 1 of our men and, with alert presence of mind, jumped the enemy, disarmed and shot him with his own weapon.

Then, intent on smashing through the narrow breach, he rallied the remainder of his company and pressed a full attack with furious aggressiveness until he had neutralized all resistance and captured the ridge.

An inspiring leader and indomitable fighter, Capt. McCarthy consistently disregarded all personal danger during the fierce conflict and, by his brilliant professional skill, daring tactics, and tenacious perseverance in the face of overwhelming odds, contributed materially to the success of his division’s operations against this savagely defended outpost of the Japanese Empire.

His cool decision and outstanding valor reflect the highest credit upon Capt. McCarthy and enhance the finest traditions of the U.S. Naval Service.

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Marine Corps News From World War Two: Jap Shell Intrudes To Protect Marines

SOMEWHERE IN THE SOUTH PACIFIC

Staff Sgt. Alfred Scalcione says it’s peculiar how things are taken out of one’s hands In wartime.
“Three of us were huddled in a small dugout one night,” said Scalcione, “waiting for an enemy battlewagon to get tired of pumping shells in our direction. “A spotter plane dropped a flare right over our position to direct its ship’s fire.
The Japs couldn’t miss us unless we doused that flare as soon as it hit ground.
“It seemed to take an hour to come down. PFC. George Mason jr. volunteered to sandbag the giveaway light.
Just as he poised to dash out of our dugout, a 14–inch Jap shell plunked right on top of the flare 15 feet away.

From The May 1943 Issue Of The Marine Corps Chevron

Public Domain

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War Secrets Must Not Be Shared Even With Family

(This article appeared in a 1942 issue of the Marine Corps Chevron. The advice is as true today as it was then.)

The following is another in a series on lip-silence and national security taken from an address by the Chief of the Bureau of Naval Personnel.

There is danger of having faith in your fellow men. But what about the faith you have in your friends and relatives —- in your mother and father, and the girl you are going to marry? Of all Security lessons, this is the hardest to- learn — that Service information must be shared with no one, not even with those you love. Now that is not to say that you must no longer put your trust in these people in whom you may have confided all your life. But you must not share with them secrets that are not yours to impart—secrets that belong to the Navy and to tho Navy alone. It is no good arguing that you have absolute faith in the girl you are going to marry, and that if you cannot trust her, then you cannot trust anyone. That is not the point. She will not have had the advantage of Security instruction such as you have had. She may not properly understand what you are talking about. She may give away information without knowing she has done so. And remember that the first person an enemy agent contacts when he wants to know anything secret is the wife or girl friend of the man who knows that secret. You may feel that your wife or mother has the right to know when you are in danger a right to be told if you know that on a certain date you are sailing in convoy, or are going on a raid from which you may never return. And you may also feel that they have a right to know if this raid is cancelled so that their minds may be set at rest. But this must not happen. The more people who know a secret, the less chance there is of it being kept, keep this quite clear in your minds, because it is the first rule of Security. Once you realize this, you will see that it is not only careless talk that costs lives. Too many people are of the opinion that careless talk is loud-mouthed conversation in public bars to perfect strangers, and that its opposite, careful talk, is a confidential whisper to your wife or sweetheart. But it is talk of any sort that must be stopped, no matter what the precautions that are taken.

Public Domain

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Marine Corps News From World War Two: Knife Nips Ninth Nip For Irishman

SAN DIEGO (U.P.)

A six-dollar San Diego knife put Irish Billy Beauhuld’s ninth Jap down for the long count, after his rifle was shot from his hand and a bullet ripped open his knee.
Irish Billy is a former lightweight boxer who battled some of the best in his day down St. Louis way. He was diving for a foxhole when the Nip won the drop on him and shot away a finger of his rifle hand. Beauhuld was credited with two snipers shortly after arriving on Guadalcanal, and six others In a skirmish shortly before the Marines were relieved by the Army.

From The May 1943 Issue Of The Marine Corps Chevron

Public Domain

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