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New recruiting ad: Marines want women with ‘fighting spirit’

Most Marine Corps recruiting commercials have not shown female Marines fighting – until now.

The latest commercial “Battle Up” shows the evolution of a female Marine, starting when she is a young girl stopping bullies at school, through her days as a rugby player and ultimately as a convoy commander, leading her Marines as they fight through an ambush. It ends showing her as a vet helping the homeless.

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Began To Box

As a Lance Corporal with 18 months service, I was put in charge of a dorm of freshly minted Marines at Naval Communications Training Center, Corey Field, Pennsacola, Florida. I’m not sure that I needed it, but I soon had an “enforcer” who helped me control the rowdy barracks crowd of probably 75. Kenny was always able to better gain the attention of the others, and help me control the chaos. He was a natural leader that everyone looked up to, PFC out of boot and an all around great guy that everyone liked.

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So The Great Day Comes

This story takes place long, long ago, in a place far, far away. Actually, it was 1972, and the place was Mogadicsio, Somalia. I was NCOIC of the Marine Security Guard Detachment at the U. S. Embassy there, and myself and my five MSG Watchstanders comprised the entire U. S. military presence in the Peoples Democratic Republic of Somalia. That all changed several years later, but that is a different story.

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My Father, My Hero passes away at 92

As most young boys, I looked up to my Father as a provider, protector, friend, and all around Hero. My Father, Allen W. Miller, United States Marine Corps combat veteran during the Pacific Campaign earning a Purple Heart while on Okinawa passed away Friday, April 28, 2017 after a brief illness and two months after his wife passed. He saw action on Guadalcanal, Okinawa and served in China during the occupation. He never really talked much about his part of the war until I saw the scar of the wound he received while on Okinawa. When I asked him about the round looking hole behind his right knee, he told me the following story. He was one of many mortar teams set up on one side of a small hill while the Japanese were on the other side. They had been trading mortar rounds back and forth until one of my Dads team leaders got pissed and decided to storm over the top of the hill and “Kill those lousy Japs”. As my Dad was approaching the half way point over the hill, he said it felt like someone had hit the back of his leg with a baseball bat and the next thing he knew he was back at the bottom of the hill. He looked down and saw his trousers were soaked in blood from the waist down and thought he had be blown in half. One of the Corpsman came by and helped my Dad up and got him to an aid station, then to a hospital somewhere so he could recover and that was the end of the war for him. He returned home to Camp Pendleton where he became a Fireman on the base. He met my Mother prior to leaving for overseas and they got married when he returned home. I came along in 1956 and then my brother in 1960. For all those years he rarely spoke about the war until I found a shotgun in his closet. He told me that he had “Liberated” it from a dead jap soldier on Okinawa. He worked for 40 years for the Ford Motor Co., retired, and when my Mother passed in 1988, he mourned. Then in 1989 he found himself standing at the front door of a female family friend and said “Here I am!” They were together from that point on until her passing 2 months ago. The end came when I had to put my Dad in Hospice care while in the hospital for a massive blood infection. I thank God everyday for having such a loving and caring Father. I’ll miss you Dad. SEMPER FI, Leatherneck! Daniel Miller, L/cpl United States Marine Corps, 1974-1976

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Gunnery Sgt. Thomas Sullivan and Staff Sgt. David Wyatt were posthumously awarded the Navy and Marine Corps Medal, the highest non-combat award, at Ross’s Landing Riverside Park in Chattanooga, Tennessee, May 7, 2017.

Sullivan and Wyatt were awarded the medal for their actions during the July 16, 2015 shooting that occurred at the Naval Reserve Center Chattanooga and also killed Sgt. Carson Holmquist, Lance Cpl. Skip Wells and Petty Officer 2nd Class Randall Smith.

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SS Mayaguez Rescue / Battle of Koh Tang

Monday, May 15, 2017, will mark the 42nd anniversary of an oft forgotten event in both Marine Corps and U.S. military history. But, it will not be forgotten by the hundreds of Marines, Sailors and Airmen who participated in the rescue of the U.S. container ship S.S. Mayaguez and the battle fought on Koh Tang, an island off the Cambodian mainland, for the release of the ship and her crew. It is not my intent in this posting to recite the entire story because it is too long, many books and articles have been written about the operation and are available to anyone who wishes to delve deeper into it. I would suggest to start at which is the web site for the Koh Tang/Mayaguez Veterans Organization. My intent today is just to make it known and ask that everyone take a moment on Monday to remember those 41 servicemen who sacrificed their lives to rescue 41 the merchant sailors of the S.S. Mayaguez, Here’s the story in a nut-shell: On 12 May 1975 the SS Mayaguez was captured by Cambodian Khmer Rouge pirates and taken to Koh Tang (island), Aircraft from Thailand and the Philippines responded to ascertain the situation. On 13 May 1975 2nd Battalion/9th Marines (WestPac Air Contingent Battalion) we alerted, pulled from the field in NTA & Kin Blue on Okinawa, during monsoon rains, back to Camp Schwab for deployment to Royal Thai NAS U-Tapao, Thailand. At the same time USS Coral Sea, USS Wilson and USS Holt were diverted to the Gulf of Siam (Thailand). At U-Tapao, CH/HH-53 helicopters from the Air Force 40th ARRS and 21st SOS squadrons rendezvoused to provide lift from U-Tapao to Koh Tang, about 180 miles. During this rendezvous, one of the choppers crashed killing 23 Airmen. The morning of May 15, 1975 the Marines of 2/9 assaulted Koh Tang, while a detachment from Delta 1/4 landed aboard the USS Holt and cross-decked to the SS Mayaguez. It was a massacre on the island due to poor intelligence which led us to believe that there were only about 20 irregulars on the island instead of the 200+ battle hardened Khmer Rouge regulars with heavy armament. USS Holt towed SS Mayaguez from the island, while USS Wilson picked up the crew who had been released by the Cambodians. Getting off the island was now the problem, with so many aircraft damaged and destroyed during the insertion. Final extraction from West Beach was not accomplished until after dark that evening. Marines of 2/9 were scattered between all three ships and the final muster brought a shocking realization. A three man MG crew, as well as bodies from the days combat had been left on the island. This was a direct violation of the adage that Marines never leave their brothers behind. However, regardless of how much we begged the Admiral aboard the Coral Sea to let us return to the island, our requests fell on deaf ears due to the geopolitical situation at the time. Most of their remains have now been recovered and are buried in their hometowns or Arlington National Cemetery. There is still much controversy about the remains of the 3 man MG crew which may have been taken to mainland Cambodia. The Koh Tang/Mayaguez Veterans Organization continues to monitor and do what it can to find out what happened to our brothers. “All Gave Some, 41 Gave All” Semper Fi, Edd Prothro, MSgt USMC Ret.

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I finally got my way with the D I.

I enlisted in Aug. 1956, right out of high school as soon as I was 18. While in school I sported a mustache because I was always in too much of a hurry to get finished. So when I got to Chicago for indoctrination and swearing in and had my picture taken for my ID card it was with my mustache. After arriving at MCRD and around 3 or 4 weeks into boot training our DI’s took offense with some of the ‘screws’ starting to grow mustaches and one morning announce at roll call that when we hit the head to shave if you don’t have a mustache on your ID card you will exit the head clean shaven. Well that went as planned except I didn’t shave mine off, after all it was on my ID card. During muster for our march to the chow hall our senior DI called me out and reamed me for not following orders and who the hell do you think you are and more importantly WHERE do you think you are. I will admit I was intimidated but stood my ground and reminded him that his order was “If you don’t have a mustache on your ID card, SHAVE!”, he demanded I present my card and that is when I felt I had trumped him on that one. He didn’t like it but he was a Man about it. I was appointed to be ‘Right Guide’ afterward and performed my duties proudly and competently after that.

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Investigations find hazing at Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego

The Marine Corps’ recruit hazing scandal is not limited to the Corps’ East Coast training depot at Parris Island, South Carolina. At least two drill instructors at Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego have been disciplined since 2014 for hazing recruits, according to redacted copies of the investigations, which Marine Corps Times obtained through the Freedom of Information Act. One drill instructor at Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego received nonjudicial punishment in 2014 after he ordered his recruits into the shower, where he had them crowd together while naked until they were standing, “nuts to butts,” as one recruit told investigators. Another drill instructor accused of choking recruits was found guilty of violating a lawful order at a July 2016 summary court martial and reduced in rank to corporal, according to the investigation. The Marine Corps is not releasing either of the drill instructors’ names, said Capt. Matthew Finnerty, a spokesman for the San Diego recruit depot. The drill instructor involved with the shower incidents is still on active-duty but no longer trains recruits; while the drill instructor accused of assaulting recruits has been administratively separated from the Corps.

Both the San Diego and Parris Island recruit depots have made a series of institutional changes to prevent hazing, including doubling the number of officers who supervise recruit training and adding more drill instructors, Finnerty said.

But the incidents show how hard it is for recruits to identify hazing at boot camp and report drill instructors who cross the line.

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