Browsing: History and heritage

Late last week, I got to celebrate the 238th Marine Corps birthday in style with living Marine Corps legends aboard the Odyssey, an elegant cruise boat docked at Washington, D.C.’s Southwest waterfront. This was the 13th year that brothers Robert and Scott Shaw have collaborated to host a distinctive birthday celebration afloat, with time-honored Marine Corps traditions and celebrated guests of honor. Robert, a former captain and past president of Odyssey Cruises, and Scott, a retired lieutenant colonel, both follow in the steps of their father, the late Robert W. Shaw Sr., who retired as a lieutenant colonel. They say…

A new comic book, set for release Wednesday, will cover Marine heroism from Tripoli to Afghanistan. Titled “American Defenders: The Marines,” it is part of a series published by Bluewater Productions that highlights the history of each branch of the U.S. armed forces. In it, “we find out how the few, the proud and the brave not only fight for freedom, but continue to defend America in their greatest times in need whether it be in the Halls of Montezuma or on the shores of Tripoli…,” reads a company press release. The comic will be available in digital format from…

Awhile ago, we brought you the story of Paul “Doc” Doolittle, a mild-mannered Scout leader from Colorado who set out an an ambitious mission Oct. 1 to walk 273 miles–a mile in honor of every name on the wall of the official Beirut Memorial in Jacksonville, N.C. This morning, on the dawn of the 30th anniversary of the Beirut bombings, Doolittle finished his walk at the wall. And he wasn’t alone. Though Doolittle, a former sergeant who served part of his enlistment as an Embassy Security Guard in Beirut following the bombings, expected his 23-day walk to be a private…

Edit: The Marines YouTube channel apparently took the video down, but we found it reposted by another user. Check it out below. With the Marine Corps’ Nov. 10 birthday fast approaching, the Marines have released the commandant’s annual birthday message. Take some time out to watch this 15-minute video, guaranteed to give you chills. [HTML1] The video opens with Marine veterans of all ages reciting their oath of service. Cut to Marine Corps commandant Gen. Jim Amos and Sgt. Maj. Micheal Barrett standing at the Marine Corps memorial near Washington, D.C. Amos notes that this year marks a number of…

The remains of two Marines missing since World War II will be laid to rest Friday at Arlington National Cemetery, according to this Defense Department news release. Capt. Henry White and Staff Sgt. Thomas Meek were in a SBD-4 Dauntless dive-bomber that crashed July 21, 1943, on Mavea Island. (The Americans stationed there during the war referred to it as Mafia Island, according to report on the crash compiled in 2012.) If you’ve never of heard of the place, join the club. Mavea Island is a lonely sliver of earth in the South Pacific, not terribly far from Australia —…

Occasionally we come across a military-related item that just makes us curious. Today, it’s these “Marine wife” coins that are widely available online, wherever challenge coins are sold. As all Marines learn early on, a challenge coin is part of military unit identity. Technically, all Marines are supposed to carry their unit coin at all times. If you are “challenged” by another service member and don’t have your coin, you owe the other guy a drink, according to the accepted rules. The Commandant of the Marine Corps has an elaborate oblong coin featuring his signature. Other top officials, such as…

The “Forrest Gump” star who spends his free time entertaining military families became an honorary member of the few and the proud last night. The actor Gary Sinise, known for his iconic portrayal of sharp-tongued soldier Lieutenant Dan in the 1994 film and for his long run on the CBS series CSI, was made an honorary Marine Aug. 29 in an intimate dinner ceremony at the home of Marine Corps Commandant Gen. Jim Amos. For the last two years, Sinise’s eponymous nonprofit foundation has helped renovate veterans’ homes, sent military spouses on vacations, and sponsored military scholarships. And his Lt.…

In May we reported that the Philadelpia-area Smedley Butler chapter of the Marine Corps League had raised funds to buy a modest headstone for Maj. Samuel Nicholas, first leader of the Continental Marines. Nicholas, who was sworn in as the first commissioned officer in the Marine Corps on Nov. 5, 1775, is considered by some to be the de facto first commandant, although he never officially held the title. After he succumbed to yellow fever in 1790, he was buried in Philadelphia, but his grave was left unmarked according to the Quaker tradition, which he observed. Only recently did the…

The Marine Corps’ loveable mascot will retire Aug. 28 in a ceremony attended by the commandant of the Marine Corps. Officials at Marine Barracks Washington said Sgt. Chesty XIII, an English Bulldog, will retire in an 8a.m. ceremony held at 8th and I. The pooch has served as Marine Corps mascot for five years, greeting the public at community engagements around Marine Barracks Washington and making appearances at evening parades in the summer. Sgt. Chesty served the post honorably, though he once received a demotion for snapping at then-Defense Secretary Leon Panetta’s dog, Bravo, during an event. Sgt. Chesty’s predecessor,…

Everyone recognizes the distinctive dress blues uniform worn by male Marines: the high mandarin collar, the broad belt, the round white cover. Well, female Marines may get to wear that uniform too if all goes well with a wear test taking place now down at Marine Barracks Washington. All female Marines stationed at 8th and I have been wearing the white dress cover this parade season, and a select number have also donned tailored versions of the men’s dress blues jacket instead of the traditional women’s lapel blazer with white-collared shirt and necktab underneath. At the end of the summer…

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