When Jews begin their Hanukkah celebrations this week, they will commemorate a 2,200-year old revolt led by Judah Maccabee against a Greek empire attempting to crush the Jewish faith. For some, the holiday holds an added resonance, linking their military service to one of the greatest Jewish warriors of all time.
These are the Jews of the United States Marine Corps.
In the popular mind, a Jewish Marine may sound exotic. In fact, Jews have their own chapters in the history of the Corps. In his book "Semper Chai!" Howard J. Leavitt explains the compatibility with a refreshing lack of nuance: "[M]any Jews were—and are—Marines, and the basic and lofty precepts and spiritual underpinnings of the United States, the U.S. Marine Corps and Judaism are one and the same, without any differences or conflict."
The United States Department of Defense spends more than $10 billion annually on design and construction at its sites across the globe, making it the largest developer in the world. Installation planners play a key role in this development process and installation planning is increasingly important. Moreover, in light of global realignments, the DoD will task many installations with additional missions. Also, emerging threats require the application of appropriate Force Protection measures at all scales. And requirements for sustainable design add another layer of complexity to the planning process.
Students who attend courses in the DOD Master Planning Institute will learn how to integrate planning history, theory, and application in their own work. They will learn how to make real plans, develop compelling graphics, and connect their planning efforts with DOD policies. These hands-on courses are appropriate for all DOD personnel and contractors interested in learning about the planning process and in learning ways to make and improve master plans.
Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron 163 flew its last flight of the CH-46E Sea Knight before re-designating as a Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron with MV-22B Ospreys, Nov. 30, 2011. HMM-163 is scheduled to re-designate as VMM-163
National Guard (in Federal Status) and Reserve Activated as of November 29, 2011
This week the Army announced an increase in activated reservists, while the Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force and Coast Guard announced a decrease. The net collective result is 36 fewer reservists activated than 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 68,491; Navy Reserve, 4,563; Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve, 10,116; Marine Corps Reserve, 5,969, and the Coast Guard Reserve, 789. This brings the total National Guard and Reserve personnel who have been activated to 89,928, including both units and individual augmentees.
A cumulative roster of all National Guard and Reserve personnel who are currently activated may be found on line at
One of my fun duties in Vietnam in 1970 was to take in and pay out all the old Military Payment Certificates (MPC) with new MPC. We did not use US dollars in Vietnam – instead we used paper dollars, quarters, dimes, and nickels. We were only supposed to use MPC to buy things from military organizations. This was to reduce black market transactions between the US military and civilians.
With not notice all bases would be “locked down”, with no one permitted to leave or depart. The purpose of this was to screw anyone who was involved with the black market - anyone who was off base could not get back on to base to get their money exchanged. We got the word in the middle of the night. The base was locked down, and every Marine had to turn in his MPC.
Paper nickels, dimes, quarters, and dollars, covered with junk and waded up, were counted out, and I gave each man a receipt. I had over $20,000 in MPC and I kept it in an ammo box. Then I took the money to Wing Headquarters, count it to Wing, get new money in the same denominations, and return and pay each man. No mistakes, as I recall. It took me three long days to collect and pay back all the money to each man.
I had paid everyone except a Marine named Riley who was in the brig (jail). I did not know him as he had been in the brig before I joined the unit. I went over to the brig to collect his money. I was shocked to see it was a Marine I served with in 5th LAAMBn in Yuma who I knew very well. I had told him then he needed to clean up his act and quit drugs when we had served together. He did not listen then - hope he has cleaned up his act. He was a smart capable guy, just not willing to go along with the Marine program.
EXCERPT FROM ACTUAL REPORT THAT I SENT HOME IN A LETTER
"Personnel on operation observed 2 enemy moving into a cave. Enemy wearing dark shorts and shirts. 2 rifles of unknown type. Engaged enemy with 8-60mm, 30-81mm, 15-105's and fixed wing strike of 12-1,000 lb. bombs with excellent coverage of target."
The ordinance described in this report is very impressive, big, loud, and lethal, and probably considered as overkill by the two enemy soldiers.
"Operation Welcome Home is a volunteer organization dedicated to supporting our deployed troops, especially upon their return to America. In Baltimore, these volunteers eagerly await the call or email notifying them that someone is returning home. This someone might be one individual or a full battalion or a number of troops somewhere in between!"
"Those greeting the troops will be doing their greetings at the Baltimore Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport, better known as BWI! Many of these “welcoming events” are held at the International Terminal. "
We flew in to Baltimore from Europe twice SPACE A on a flight that originated from the Gulf. It was great to see the welcome for the troops. They also cheered for us, old retirees. I felt odd about this until my wife pointed out this was the welcome we should have received when we got back from Vietnam. So, my thanks to all who make this welcome happen.
Happy birthday to the Marines. We proudly share this 236th birthday with all Marines and our thoughts go out especially to those serving in the face of danger today who are adding to our rich traditions.
More than 700 Marines descended upon the city of St. Louis to conduct the third annual Marine Week June 20-26. In a series of displays, demonstrations and community service events, the Marine Corps brought to life the strength, values and heart of U.S. Marines.
Made it home Space A an Air Force Plane from Ramstein, Germany with 200 Gulf War Vets returning from Iraq and Afghanistan. The people in Baltimore greet the returning vets with a great welcome. Very nice. Thanks, Baltimore.
We visited Enland, Germany, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovakia, and Poland on this trip. The photo below is of Rothenburg. More photos on http://travelhullinger.blogspot.com
Marines with 2nd Battalion, 7th Marines, @31st Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) fast rope out of a CH-46E Sea Knight helicopter during a pre-deployment training exercise. Learn more about the Sea Knight at http://1.usa.gov/oP0iUv. Photo by Lance Cpl Vernon T. Meekins
In a letter written to the Secretary of Defense, Leon Panetta, the Commandant of the Marine Corps, Gen. James F. Amos, provided thoughts on the roles of the Marine Corps as our nation's expeditionary crisis response force.
The Marine Corps Martial Arts Program (MCMAP) Instructor Course is attended only by Marines who have not only mastered MCMAP, but whose commanders entrusted them to teach and influence junior Marines. As one course instructor says, "We don't just train someone (how) to fight (and) why to fight...(but) we also need them to use judgment to know when not to fight (and) when to stop."