Donald R. McClarey

Once a Marine, Always a Marine

The things you find on Youtube!  The late great actor Lee Marvin was a Marine combat veteran of the Pacific.  He obviously retained a great deal of pride in the Corps.   Marvin dropped out of high school in 1942

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Donald R. McClarey

Quotes Suitable for Framing: John J. Pershing

      The deadliest weapon in the world is a MARINE and his rifle! General John J. Pershing Like most soldiers General Pershing had little fondness for the Marine Corps, viewing them as competitors and headline hunters.  He attempted

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Donald R. McClarey

Battle of Belleau Wood

“We have Americans opposite us who are terribly reckless fellows.” German Private, Belleau Wood, June 11, 1918   Prior to World War I most Americans were barely aware of the existence of the Marine Corps.  The Navy’s army made the

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Donald R. McClarey

Requiescat In Pace: R. Lee Ermey

It’s my firm conviction that when Uncle Sam calls, by God we go, and we do the best that we can. R. Lee Ermey       Sad news that R. Lee Ermey has passed away at age 74.  A

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Donald R. McClarey

December 4, 1942: Long Patrol Ends

In one of the most stunningly successful small scale operations in the history of the US Marines,  from November 6, 1942, to December 4, 1942, the 2nd Marine Raider Battalion, about 700 Marines, under Colonel Evans Carlson, in 29 separate

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Donald R. McClarey

Happy 242nd Birthday to the Corps!

  Some people work an entire lifetime and wonder if they ever made a difference to the world. But the Marines don’t have that problem. President Ronald Reagan, letter to Lance Corporal Joe Hickey, September 23, 1983      

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Donald R. McClarey

Yankee Marines

      During the Civil War the United States Marine Corp had its authorized strength increased to 3000 men, minuscule compared to the Union Army that reached over a million men.  Marine Commandant Colonel John Harris was a traditionalist

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Bastille Day and Les Sammes

Uncle Sam shaking hands with the Marquis de Lafayette, French poster-1917 On Bastille Day 1917, General John J. Pershing reviewed French troops and pinned the Croix de Guerre on men who had earned the award by their valor.  The Star

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July 11, 1798: Rebirth of the Marine Corps

        The Continental Marine Corps was disbanded after American victory in the Revolutionary War.  Predation by Barbary corsairs, and conflicts with the French Revolutionary Navy caused Congress to re-establish both the Navy and the Marine Corps.  On

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Happy 241rst Birthday to the Corps!

Some people work an entire lifetime and wonder if they ever made a difference to the world. But the Marines don’t have that problem. President Ronald Reagan, letter to Lance Corporal Joe Hickey, September 23, 1983 On November 10, 1775

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Padre of Guadalcanal

    (This is a post I did in 2009.  It seemed appropriate to repost it today in tandem with my Halsey post.  Father Gehring pray for us that we may have the courage to face our challenges in life

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James Forrestal and his Prophecy

  The last cabinet level Secretary of the Navy, and the first Secretary of Defense, James Forrestal was not content to remain in Washington.  As Secretary of the Navy during World War II he often visited the sites of active

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February 23, 1945: The Mass on Mount Suribachi

      Seventy years ago today the Marines raised the flag over Mount Suribachi during the battle of Iwo Jima and a mass was said at the summit.  Iwo Jima probably has the sad distinction of being the most

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Iwo Jima: Valor Was a Common Virtue

    Seventy years ago the battle of Iwo Jima was under way.  The ferocity of the fighting can be gauged by this stark fact:  there were 82 Medals of Honor earned by Marines during the entire war in the

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John Wayne and the Sands of Iwo Jima

   They told me to get you into shape so you can handle a piece of this war. That’s what I’m gonna do and that means I’m gonna tell you what to do every day, how to button your buttons

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Happy 239th Birthday to the Corps!

You cannot exaggerate about the Marines. They are convinced, to the point of arrogance, that they are the most ferocious fighters on earth – and the amusing thing about it is that they are…You should see the group about me

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Happy 238th Birthday to the Corps!

You cannot exaggerate about the Marines. They are convinced, to the point of arrogance, that they are the most ferocious fighters on earth – and the amusing thing about it is that they are…You should see the group about me

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Girlie Hats for Marines

That sound you hear are Gunnery Sergeants whirling in their graves:   A change to the Marine Corps’ uniform hats could take the hard-nosed Leathernecks from the Halls of Montezuma to the shops of Christopher Street. Thanks to a plan

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The Marines Called Her Reckless

“I was surprised at her beauty and intelligence, and believe it or not, her esprit de corps. Like any other Marine, she was enjoying a bottle of beer with her comrades. She was constantly the center of attraction and was

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The Dominican and the Devil Dogs

The sons of Saint Dominic have supplied many heroic military chaplains throughout their illustrious history, and one of these men was Father Paul Redmond.  Born on March 27, 1899 in New Haven, Connecticut, he served as an enlisted man in the

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Santa Claus Bootcamp

Hattip to Bookworm.  Mild language advisory.  Didn’t you always think it was odd that the United States Marine Corps Reserve runs Toys for Tots?  Now you know why!  Semper Santa!

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Happy 237th Birthday to the Corps

You cannot exaggerate about the Marines. They are convinced, to the point of arrogance, that they are the most ferocious fighters on earth – and the amusing thing about it is that they are…You should see the group about me

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Guadalcanal: America Turns the Tide

Before Guadalcanal the enemy advanced at his pleasure. After Guadalcanal, he retreated at ours. Admiral William “Bull” Halsey Seventy years ago Marines of the First Division, The Old Breed, launched the first offensive of America in World War II, by

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The Corps and the Kiwis

Hattip to Don the Kiwi for reminding me of this anniversary.  Seventy years ago on June 12, 1942 the Marines landed in New Zealand.  They were the vanguard of some 20,000 Marines who would train in New Zealand before going

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A Brave Kid And A Few Good Men

And when he goes to heaven To Saint Peter he will tell: Another Marine reporting, sir; I’ve served my time in hell! Epitaph on the grave of PFC Bill Cameron, (USMC), Guadalcanal, 1942 Go to Weasel Zippers here for an

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Jack Webb Wishes A Belated 236th Happy Birthday to the Corps

        On November 10, 1775 the Continental Congress passed this resolution authored by John Adams: “Resolved, That two battalions of Marines be raised consisting of one colonel, two lieutenant-colonels, two majors, and other officers, as usual in

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Chesty Puller and Catholic Chaplains

  Some men become legends after their deaths and others become legends while they are alive.  Lewis Burwell Puller, forever known as “Chesty”, was in the latter category.  Enlisting in the Marine Corps in 1918 he would serve until 1955,

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Happy 235th Birthday to the Corps

On November 10, 1775 the Continental Congress passed this resolution authored by John Adams: “Resolved, That two battalions of Marines be raised consisting of one colonel, two lieutenant-colonels, two majors, and other officers, as usual in other regiments; that they

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