Marine Corps/DoD News

Marine Vet helping other Vets with PTSD

  • 20 Aug 2014 8:12 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)


    New Orleans, La. --

    Marine Administrative Message 328/14 announced the acceptance of applications for the Marine Corps Reserve Policy Board during calendar year 2014 through 2016.

    The MCRPB was established to make recommendations to the Secretary of the Navy on matters that affect the readiness, mobilization, and deployment capability of the Marine Corps Reserve. Membership of the MCRPB is appointed to provide a broad representation of the Marine Corps ready reserve and regular forces.

    The MCRPB is required by law to meet annually in Washington, DC, for one week, and at various other locations for shorter periods of time. The board consists of 18 members: 14 officers and four enlisted.

    The chairman of the MCRPB requests that commanders consider qualified officers in the grades of chief warrant officer, major, lieutenant colonel, or colonel.

    Marines serving in Reserve units or as IMAs are requested to forward applications endorsed by their command/organization to the Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Navy (Reserve Affairs) no later than September 1, 2014. Marines in the IRR can submit their application directly to the Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Navy.

    For additional information, to include the military resume format, see MARADMIN 328/14.

  • 20 Aug 2014 8:06 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The planting of cherry blossom trees originated in 1912 as a gift of friendship to the people of the United States from the people of Japan. In Japan, the flowering cherry blossom tree, or "sakura," is a prized flowering plant. The beauty of the cherry blossom is a potent symbol equated with the evanescence of human life and epitomizes the transformation of Japanese culture throughout the ages, according to the National Park Service. For Lt. Col. Eric Terashima, the assistant chief of staff for operations and future operations with Force Headquarters Group, Marine Forces Reserve, the cherry blossom symbolizes his family’s legacy in America – a legacy of endurance, forgiveness and pride.

    In early 2013, Terashima visited the Marine Corps Museum in Quantico, Virginia, with his father. When leaving the museum, Terashima talked with his father about donating a cherry blossom tree to the museum to honor the Marine Corps’ history with the Japanese people.

    After talking the idea over with the museum’s president, Terashima decided that he wanted to line the driveway leading to the parking lot with cherry blossom trees from October to December that same year. His reason for donating the trees leads back to his family’s history while living in America and Japan.

    “The same civil liberties have been given to us as just about everyone over the past 70 years: military desegregation, equal opportunity for education and jobs, and the ability to buy land,” said Terashima. “I wanted to give back to the Marine Corps and the United States that signifies something bigger than myself.”

    Shortly after the bombing of Pearl Harbor in World War II, Terashima’s family, the Shimonishi family at the time, was forced from their home in southern California and moved into camps during the internment of Japanese-Americans. Along with the Shimonishi family, more than 110,000 Japanese-Americans were moved to these camps.

    Terashima’s grandmother, Mili Shimonishi, who is now 101 years old, endured the camps for several years after Pearl Harbor, while also caring for her four children. After being released from the camps, the Shimonishi family traveled back to Japan and settled onto a small farm and began work. After years of hard work on the farm, Shimonishi found a job working on what now is Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni in southern Japan.

    While working at the base, Shimonishi was surrounded by American people and culture. In 1958, while Shimonishi was watching the American movie, “The White Cliffs of Dover”, she remembered why she loved America in the first place. With her love of the United States driving her thoughts, she packed up her four children and moved back to southern California.

    Throughout the years, the Shimonishi and Terashima family have endured many obstacles to get to where they are today.

    “Just the fact that we went from being poor farmers in Japan to me being commissioned and promoted to lieutenant colonel in the United States Marine Corps, shows how strong my grandmother is,” said Terashima. “The Marine Corps has given me a lot and sometimes you just have to give back and show your appreciation.”

  • 05 Aug 2014 8:53 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    The last piece of a 16-month investigation against the Marine Corps’ top officer, Commandant Gen. James F. Amos, has come to close with the general cleared of wrongdoing.

    The Defense Department Inspector General did not substantiate allegations that Amos  inserted himself illegally into the military justice system to ensure tough punishments against Marine scout snipers who were depicted in a video urinating on dead Taliban fighters in Afghanistan, a Pentagon official told The Washington Post on Monday. The news was first reported by Marine Corps Times over the weekend, citing an anonymous Defense Department official. The investigation is said to have ended July 24. 

    The case began when Maj. James Weirick, a Marine attorney then serving at Quantico, Va., filed a complaint with the Pentagon IG in March 2013 alleging that the cases for against the snipers was tainted because Amos and other members of his staff had inappropriately got involved. Weirick focused on the Commandant’s decision to remove the three-star general assigned to oversee the cases, Lt. Gen. Thomas Waldhauser, after learning that he intended to impose administrative nonjudicial punishment on some of the Marines, rather than move forward with a court-martial. Doing so, Weirick argued, amounted to unlawful command influence, in which a senior officer seeks to pressure a junior commander for a certain outcome in a case.

    Waldhauser said in a sworn statement in July 2013 for one of the cases that Amos told him he wanted the Marines “crushed,” and stripped Waldhauser of his control over the cases shortly after disagreeing with how the three-star general was handling them. Waldhauser acknowledging that was highly unusual
    undefined active-duty generals rarely speak out against their service chief.

    The Commandant had denied Waldhauser’s version of events in an interview with NPR in February, effectively pitting a three-star general’s comments, against a four-star’s.

    Some critics of the Commandant’s are have called for him to release the IG investigation report. Retired Marine staff judge advocate Lee Thweatt, for example, called for Amos to release the results in an essay on the website on Sunday, saying doing so would explain how the IG’s office came its “astonishing conclusions.”

    The law does not require that. It is standing policy for the IG to release the results of investigations that substantiate misconduct. When an investigation does not, however, they are typically withheld due to privacy concerns.

    Indeed, Marine Corps officials declined to confirm Monday the conclusion of the investigation, releasing only a one-sentence statement when asked if Amos’ office would release the results of the investigation.

    “We do not have the necessary release authority to provide details, or confirmation of status, associated with the subject of your query on behalf of the Marine Corps or our Commandant,” said the statement, released by Maj. John Caldwell, a Marine Corps spokesman.

  • 12 Jul 2014 5:00 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
     WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Walter B. Jones (NC-3) released the following statement applauding the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for upholding a district court’s ruling that $1.75 billion of Iranian money should be distributed to the families of the victims of the 1983 bombing of a Marine Corps barracks in Beirut, Lebanon:

     “I applaud the appeals court for upholding this ruling in favor of the families whose loved ones were tragically killed as a result of an act of violent terrorism in which the government of Iran played a vital role,” said Congressman Jones.  “While no amount of money will ease the pain caused by the loss these individuals have suffered, this ruling is a small token of justice and reiterates the fact that acts of violence against American service members cannot be executed without consequences.” 

    The money in question is currently being held in an account in New York.  Congressman Jones has long advocated for justice for the families of the victims and has supported bipartisan legislation to that end.

  • 10 Jun 2014 8:23 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    BELIZE CITY undefined Marine combat engineers are teaming with airmen and members of the Belize Defence Force to build schoolhouses and hospital buildings during Exercise New Horizons.  Members of Marine Wing Support Squadron 472, a Massachusetts-based reserve unit, completed construction of a two-room schoolhouse addition here, one of Central America’s largest cities. Now they’re working on another addition at a nearby five-room schoolhouse, including a kitchen and bathroom.

    Brig. Gen. David Jones, commander of the Belize Defence Force, said his engineers learn a lot from working with American combat engineers. His soldiers, however, may be called on not only to build new infrastructure, but also to destroy infrastructure that’s being used illegally. That can include busting up a runway that traffickers are using to move illicit drugs by air, he said.  In turn, the Marines are learning new techniques from the Belizeans, said Staff Sgt. Matthew Houle, the New Horizons site foreman. For example, they taught the Marines a new way to finish interior and exterior walls called parging. 

    “It’s a concrete mix they put on the outside of the buildings here undefined similar to what we do with stucco,” Houle said. “It gives them a nice smooth finish.”

    Chief Warrant Officer 3 Patrick Robb, the New Horizons site officer-in-charge, said in addition to the new techniques they’ve picked up, it has been good for the Marines to observe the resourcefulness of the local troops. Instead of receiving materials like ready-mix concrete, they’ll mix what they need with what’s found at the site. Houle said he has seen them weld scrap metal into just about anything they need.

    Maj. Shaun Thomson, the New Horizons civil affairs officer, with 1st Civil Affairs Group out of Camp Pendleton, California, has been coordinating the delivery of donated materials to fill the schoolhouses once the combat engineers have completed them. Non-governmental organizations in the local area are donating chairs and desks to fill the schoolhouses so they can be used immediately. 

    Since arriving in April, the Marines have been working nearly non-stop to complete their work. School has been in session while they’ve been doing the construction, and the Marines sometimes stop what they are doing to play sports with the kids on their break, Robb said. They’ve also interacted with many other Belizeans, who flock to the schools on weekends because they serve as community centers for the locals, he said. 

    Air Force Col. Daniel Pepper, the New Horizons commander, said the exercise has been a great opportunity for the Marine Corps and Air Force to work jointly, instead of only coming together when a crisis occurs or in response to hostilities around the globe.

    “We don’t often get to do this in a permissive environment,” Pepper said. “We’ve been in combat since 2001, so it’s great to have the ability to work in a permissive environment with different techniques.” New Horizons has brought together a variety of military occupational specialties, Pepper said. But throughout the exercise he has seen the troops work together to get the job done, regardless of their MOS. “The leadership that I’ve seen in the field amongst all our services has really been excellent,” he said. 

    Working jointly has been an important experience, Robb said. Just as the Belizeans do things differently from Marines, so does the Air Force, he said. With the likelihood of future operations being joint, it’s important that they speak each other’s lingo, he added.

    It’s also good to utilize reservists for these types of missions, Thomson said, giving them a chance to get away from their base and out into the world.

  • 23 May 2014 2:00 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The Army National Guard, Army Reserve, Marine Corps Reserve, Air Force Reserve, and the Coast Guard Reserve announced a decrease in activated National Guard members and reservists this week, while the Navy Reserve and the Air National Guard announced an increase of activated National Guard members and reservists. The net collective result is a decrease of 485 activated National Guard members and reservists in comparison to last week.

    At any given time, services may activate some units and individuals while deactivating others, making it possible for these figures to either increase or decrease. The total number currently on active duty from the Army National Guard and Army Reserve is 21,294; Navy Reserve, 3,292; Marine Corps Reserve, 1,088; Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve, 6,749; and the Coast Guard Reserve, 295. This brings the total National Guard and reserve personnel who have been activated to 32,718, including both units and individual augmentees.

    A cumulative roster of all National Guard and reserve personnel who are currently activated may be found online at:


  • 15 Apr 2014 7:41 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Today, the Department of Defense released a report that documents the damaging cuts to military forces, modernization, and readiness that will be required if defense budgets are held at sequester-levels in the years beyond fiscal 2015.  This report fulfills a commitment made by Secretary Hagel to provide details on the effects of these undesirable budget cuts.

    As the report says, sequester level budgets would result in continued force-level cuts across the military services.  The Army would be reduced to 420,000 active duty soldiers along with 315,000 in the Guard and 185,000 in the Reserve.  The Marine Corps would drop to 175,000 active duty personnel.  The Air Force would have to eliminate its entire fleet of KC-10 tankers and shrink its inventory of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs).  The Navy would be forced to mothball 6 destroyers and retire an aircraft carrier and its associated air wing, reducing the carrier fleet to ten.

    Modernization would also be significantly slowed.  Compared to plans under the fiscal 2015 budget, the department would buy eight fewer ships in the years beyond fiscal 2016-- including one fewer Virginia-class submarines and three fewer DDG-51 destroyers – and would delay delivery of the new carrier John F. Kennedy (CVN-79) by two years.  The services would acquire 17 fewer Joint Strike Fighters, five fewer KC-46 tankers, and six fewer P-8A aircraft.

    There would also be sharp cutbacks in many smaller weapons programs and in funding for military construction. In addition, the department would invest about $66 billion less in procurement and research funding compared with levels planned in the fiscal 2015 budget.  The report notes that sequester-level budgets would worsen already existing readiness shortfalls across the force and delay needed training to prepare the joint force for full-spectrum operations.

    Overall, sequester-level cuts would result in a military that is too small to fully meet the requirements of our strategy, thereby significantly increasing national security risks both in the short- and long-term.  As Secretary Hagel has said, under sequester-level budgets, we would be gambling that our military will not be required to respond to multiple major contingencies at the same time.

    For full report click:

  • 15 Apr 2014 9:05 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Following backlash from his statements in front of the Senate Armed Services subcommittee on personnel April 9, Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps Mike Barrett is working to clarify his position in a written letter to Marines.

  • 08 Apr 2014 8:53 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    With a rapidly shrinking force and fewer amphibious ships available, the Marine Corps is questioning whether it can support the strategic shift to the Asia-Pacific region.  “We are on our way …. to a less than a 300 hundred ship Navy. We are on our way to a 175,000 man Marine Corps. These are the messages we are trying to take to Congress,” Gen. John M. Paxton Jr., assistant commandant of the Marine Corps, said April 7 in a speech at the Navy League’s Sea, Air, Space conference at National Harbor, Md.

    “Do we have enough people and enough ships to do it?” he asked of the Asia-Pacific strategic shift.  Budget pressures will bring the service’s end strength down from 202,000 during the height of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, to the current goal of 186,800. However, with cuts under sequestration scheduled to return after 2015 the force will shrink to 175,000.

    Meanwhile, the service said it needs 54 amphibious assault ships to do its job. Current plans call for only 38, but that is likely to shrink to 33, he said. Operational availability of those ships continues to go down as they age, and they spend more time in maintenance yards. “And the demands on a diminished fleet keep going up,” he said.

    Paxton recalled Typhoon Haiyan, which struck the Philippines last year. Three out of four of the Western Pacific region’s amphibious vessels were undergoing repairs. The initial efforts to provide assistance were carried out by  V-22 Ospreys and KC-130 refueling aircraft. It took two weeks to get the ships out of the yard and to sail to the hard hit areas.

    “Filipinos were living and dying based on V-22 and KC-130s … Think of the difference it would have made if we had more ships,” Paxton said.
    In another example, Paxton said when the Marine Corps was called upon to assist the embassy in South Sudan, the closest available Marine Air-Ground Task Force was in a “Northern Mediterranean” nation, which he did not disclose.

    Two V-22 Ospreys and two C-130Js were able to leave that country, fly across the Mediterranean, along the Red Sea to Djibouti, and then on to their destination with a total of three air-to-air refuelings and two ground stops. They flew 3,175 miles in 15 and half hours, which he said was “unheard of.” But this was made necessary by a lack of presence in the region and the fact that nearby Marine Corps forces were “disaggregated” carrying out various missions.

    As far as fighter squadrons are concerned, they once had 12 to 14 aircraft available. Now, they are almost routinely 12. “We project next year may only have eight on the line. At least four of those 12 aircraft are going to be in for phased maintenance,” he said.  “When you have the 12 you’re supposed to have, and you only got eight on the line, and you still have a full squadron’s worth of pilots, the training doesn’t happen,” he said. Forward deployed units have all the necessary aircraft, “but what happens to the bench?” he asked.

    “If they are not ready and there is a major conflict, the nation must ask itself what kind of risk it is willing to take,” Paxton said.  “With the dollars we have, and the ships we have and the aircraft we have, and the people we have, are we going to be ready to do what we need to do?” he asked.
  • 07 Apr 2014 8:15 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    The Navy will commission its newest littoral combat ship, the future USS Coronado (LCS 4), Saturday, April 5, during a ceremony at Naval Air Station, North Island in Coronado, Calif. Vice Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Mark Ferguson will deliver the ceremony's principal address. Susan Ring Keith, a long-time leader in the San Diego community, will serve as ship's sponsor. The ceremony will be highlighted by a time-honored Navy tradition when Keith gives the first order to "man our ship and bring her to life!"

    "The commissioning of USS Coronado is a celebration of the history of the great city of Coronado and its lasting relationship with our Navy and Marine Corps. The sailors aboard LCS 4 will bring this mighty warship to life with their skill and dedication, honoring her namesake and our nation for years to come," said Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus. "When she sets sail for distant shores, Coronado, and ships like her, will have a vital role maintaining freedom of the seas, and providing naval presence in the right place, all the time."

    Cmdr. Shawn Johnston, a native of North Carolina, is the commanding officer of the ship's Gold Crew and will lead the core crew of 40 officers and enlisted personnel. The 2,790-ton Coronado was built by Austal USA Shipbuilding in Mobile, Ala. The ship is 417 feet in length, has a waterline beam of 100 feet, and a navigational draft of 15 feet. The ship uses two gas turbine and two diesel engines to power four steerable water jets to speeds in excess of 40 knots.

    Designated LCS 4, Coronado is the fourth littoral combat ship and the second of the Independence variant. Named for Coronado, Calif., it is the third Navy ship to bear the name. USS Coronado (LCS 4) will be outfitted with reconfigurable mission packages and focus on a variety of mission areas including mine countermeasures, surface warfare and anti-submarine warfare.  The first USS Coronado (PF 38) was a patrol frigate and served as a convoy escort during World War II. The subsequent Coronado (AGF 11) was designed as an Austin Class Amphibious Transport Dock (LPD) and was reconfigured to be an Auxiliary Command ship (AGF) in 1980 and subsequently served as the commander, Middle East Force flagship, then the commander, U.S. Sixth Fleet flagship in the Mediterranean, and subsequently the commander, U.S. 3rd Fleet flag ship in the Eastern Pacific Ocean prior to decommissioning in 2006.

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