This blog is for Communication among Marines and people interested in the Marines. The 10 is for Communications. The Photo above is Marble Mountain, Danang, Vietnam.

May 26, 2012

Marine Air Group Reunion

The Marine Air Groups of the United States Marine Corps will hold a reunion at Branson, Mo October 17-20, 2012.  


Robert Miller <


"James M. Jordan" <

if you would like to attend.

Semper Fi

Memorial Day

Remembering our Fallen Veterans

Semper Fi

May 22, 2012

Tribute to Bill Mauldin

Willie, Joe and Bill in WWII

Get out your history books and open them to the chapter on World War II. Today's lesson will cover a little known but very important hero of whom very little was ever really known. Here is another important piece of lost US history, which is a true example of our American Spirit. 

Makes ya proud to put this stamp on your envelopes... 

Bill Mauldin stamp honors grunt's hero. The post office gets a lot of criticism. Always has, always will. And with the renewed push to get rid of Saturday mail delivery, expect complaints to intensify.

But the United States Postal Service deserves a standing ovation: Bill Mauldin got his own postage stamp.

Mauldin died at age 81 in the early days of 2003. The end of his life had been rugged. He had been scalded in a bathtub, which led to terrible injuries and infections; Alzheimer's disease was inflicting its cruelties. Unable to care for himself after the scalding, he became a resident of a California nursing home, his health and spirits in rapid decline

He was not forgotten, though. Mauldin, and his work, meant so much to the millions of Americans who fought in World War II, and to those who had waited for them to come home. He was a kid cartoonist for Stars and Stripes, the military newspaper; Mauldin's drawings of his muddy, exhausted, whisker-stubble infantrymen Willie and Joe were the voice of truth about what it was like on the front lines.

Mauldin was an enlisted man just like the soldiers he drew for; his gripes were their gripes, his laughs their laughs, his heartaches their heartaches. He was one of them. They loved him.

He never held back. Sometimes, when his cartoons cut too close for comfort, superior officers tried to tone him down. In one memorable incident, he enraged Gen. George S. Patton, who informed Mauldin he wanted the pointed cartoons celebrating the fighting men, lampooning the high-ranking officers to stop. Now!

"I'm beginning to feel like a fugitive from the' law of averages." 

The news passed from soldier to soldier. How was Sgt. Bill Mauldin going to stand up to Gen. Patton? It seemed impossible.

Not quite. Mauldin, it turned out, had an ardent fan: Five-star Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower, supreme commander of the Allied forces in Europe .. Ike put out the word: Mauldin draws what Mauldin wants. Mauldin won. Patton lost.

If, in your line of work, you've ever considered yourself a young hotshot, or if you've ever known anyone who has felt that way about him or herself, the story of Mauldin's young manhood will humble you. Here is what, by the time he was 23 years old, Mauldin accomplished:

"By the way, wot wuz them changes you wuz
Gonna make when you took over last month, sir?" 
He won the Pulitzer Prize, was featured on the cover of Time magazine. His book "Up Front" was the No. 1 best-seller in the United States .

All of that at 23. Yet, when he returned to civilian life and grew older, he never lost that boyish Mauldin grin, never outgrew his excitement about doing his job, never big-shotted or high-hatted the people with whom he worked every day.

I was lucky enough to be one of them. Mauldin roamed the hallways of theChicago Sun-Times in the late 1960s and early 1970s with no more officiousness or air of haughtiness than if he was a copyboy. That impish look on his face remained.

He had achieved so much. He won a second Pulitzer Prize, and he should have won a third for what may be the single greatest editorial cartoon in the history of the craft: his deadline rendering, on the day President John F. Kennedy was assassinated, of the statue at the Lincoln Memorial slumped in grief, its head cradled in its hands. But he never acted as if he was better than the people he met. He was still Mauldin, the enlisted man.

During the late summer of 2002, as Mauldin lay in that California nursing home, some of the old World War II infantry guys caught wind of it. They didn't want Mauldin to go out that way. They thought he should know he was still their hero.

"This is the' town my pappy told me about." 
Gordon Dillow, a columnist for the Orange County Register, put out the call in Southern California for people in the area to send their best wishes to Mauldin. I joined Dillow in the effort, helping to spread the appeal nationally, so Bill would not feel so alone. Soon, more than 10,000 cards and letters had arrived at Mauldin's bedside.
Better than that, old soldiers began to show up just to sit with Mauldin, to let him know that they were there for him, as he, so long ago, had been there for them. So many volunteered to visit Bill that there was a waiting list. Here is how Todd DePastino, in the first paragraph of his wonderful biography of Mauldin, described it:
"Almost every day in the summer and fall of 2002 they came to ParkSuperior nursing home in Newport Beach, California, to honor Army Sergeant, Technician Third Grade, Bill Mauldin. They came bearing relics of their youth: medals, insignia, photographs, and carefully folded newspaper clippings. Some wore old garrison caps. Others arrived resplendent in uniforms over a half century old. Almost all of them wept as they filed down the corridor like pilgrims fulfilling some long-neglected obligation."

One of the veterans explained to me why it was so important: "You would have to be part of a combat infantry unit to appreciate what moments of relief Bill gave us. You had to be reading a soaking wet Stars and Stripes in a water-filled foxhole and then see one of his cartoons."

"Th' hell this ain't th' most important hole in the world. I'm in it." Mauldin is buried in Arlington National Cemetery. Last month, the kid cartoonist made it onto a first-class postage stamp. It's an honor that most generals and admirals never receive.

What Mauldin would have loved most, I believe, is the sight of the two guys who keep him company on that stamp. Take a look at it.
There's Willie. There's Joe.
 And there, to the side, drawing them and smiling that shy, quietly observant smile, is Mauldin himself. With his buddies, right where he belongs. Forever. 

What a story, and a fitting tribute to a man and to a time that few of us can still remember. But I say to you youngsters, you must most seriously learn of and remember with respect the sufferings and sacrifices of your fathers, grand fathers and great grandfathers in times you cannot ever imagine today with all you have. But the only reason you are free to have it all is because of them. 
I thought you would all enjoy reading and seeing this bit of American history!

May 21, 2012

Interesting forward of a book by Marine Lt General Cooper who was present at a meeting of Lyndon Johnson and the Joint Chiefs of Staff at the beginning of the Vietnam War. President Johnson and Defense Secretary Robert McNamara rejected the Chief's recommendations.

Quotes From the President:

"He screamed obscenities, he cursed them personally, he ridiculed them for coming to his office with their "military advice." Noting that it was he who was carrying the weight of the free world on his shoulders, he called them filthy names-shitheads, dumb shits, pompous assholes-and used "the F-word" as an adjective more freely than a Marine in boot camp would use it. He then accused them of trying to pass the buck for World War III to him. It was unnerving, degrading."

"He suggested that each one of them change places with him and assume that five incompetents had just made these “military recommendations.” He told them that he was going to let them go through what he had to go through when idiots gave him stupid advice," 

May 20, 2012

The next evolution in firepower has arrived.

For 27 years the M249 Squad Automatic Weapon has served as the Corps automatic rifle standard. In December 2010 initial fielding of the M249 SAW’s replacement, the Heckler and Koch M27 Infantry Automatic Rifle, was fielded and is now set for implementation throughout the Corps.

The M27 IAR is less than half the weight of the M249 and allows the automatic rifleman to carry fewer rounds because of its improved accuracy. With a lighter load to carry, enemy combatants will now face a more lethal and mobile Marine with better firepower to boot, allowing the Marine to move faster and engage his enemy in record time.

Click here to read about more gear that could be in store for Marines.

May 16, 2012

Cutting the Core of the Corps

Marine Corps Times 
May 21, 2012 
Rock Bottom 
ACMC paints bleak picture of Corps should further cuts be ordered 
By Andrew Tilghman and Andrew deGrandpre 
Another 18,000 Marines could be cut, forcing the Corps to cancel contracts and push people out of the service, if Congress fails to change the current law that will impose huge defense spending reductions in January, Assistant Comman­dant Gen. Joseph Dunford told lawmakers May 10. 
Additionally, “we would not have ade­quate capabilities or capacities to meet a single major contingency operation,” Dun­ford said during a hearing of the Senate Armed Services Committee’s readiness panel. 
“We would absolutely not be able to keep faith with our people. … We’d be breaking contracts and sending people on their way who believe they had a commitment from us to [stay] on active duty.” 
Dunford’s comments mark the starkest, most detailed forecast to date of the poten­tial impact on Marines, their families and the institution of the so-called sequester law, which Congress passed in a biparti­san vote last August. The law will begin imposing sweeping cuts to the budgets of all government departments and agencies, including the Pentagon, on Jan. 1 unless Congress agrees on an alternative plan to lower federal spending before then. 
Sequestration cuts are projected to be about 10 percent across the board for all agencies. The Pentagon’s share would come on top of the $487 billion in reduced defense spending over 10 years that Defense Secre­tary Leon Panetta outlined in February, which set the Corps on its present course to reduce authorized active-duty end strength by 20,000. 
Dunford was joined on Capitol Hill by the vice chiefs of the Army, Air Force and Navy. They also painted bleak pictures of the hit sequestration would impose on their ser­vices. The Army could be forced to lose another 100,000 soldiers, while the Navy could lose 50 ships and the Air Force would be rendered unable to modernize its aging aircraft fleet, top officials said. 
Pentagon officials have insisted for months they are not planning for sequestra­tion, hoping instead that lawmakers will change the law before the trigger date in January. But formal planning may begin this summer if Congress fails to act, Panet­ta has said. 
During March testimony on the Hill, the top Marine, Gen. Jim Amos, indicated further tampering with the Corps’ force structure would “stunt, if not completely negate,” his ability to reset the service from a decade of combat, jeopardizing resources needed to train, arm and fuel the force at home and abroad. It would be “a recipe for a hollow force,” he said. 
Dunford’s comments raise the ante — sig­nificantly. His assessment suggests there is mounting concern among top brass that lawmakers are not moving swiftly enough to head off what is widely viewed as the biggest threat to maintaining a potent, capable military in an era of constrained government spending. 
“We need a shockwave to be felt in Con­gress,” a Marine official, speaking on condi­tion of anonymity, told Marine Corps Times after the hearing. “And Marines need to know we’re doing everything we can to pre­vent greater impact on them.” 
18,000 more people cut 
Presently, the active-duty Marine Corps stands at about 196,000, although its autho­rized size is 202,100 through the end of this fiscal year. But once Oct. 1 rolls around, the drawdown will start in earnest. 
The service only recently announced plans for reducing active-duty end strength to 182,100, which is to be finalized by the end of 2016. Using voluntary and involuntary separation measures, officials expect to shed about 5,000 Marines a year. Some will receive financial incentives to leave. 
The current drawdown plan is carefully calibrated to ease the impact on individual Marines. Starting next year, the Defense Department’s base budget will fund only 182,000, but the Corps plans to use supple­mental war funding, known as Overseas Contingency Operations funding, to keep thousands of Marines on the payroll as it stair-steps down to that level over four years. 
Dunford suggested the Corps could see a precipitous drop in force levels — potentially lopping off 30,000 Marines in a single year — if the sequestration law severely curtailed war funding. 
As part of its drawdown plan, the Corps built in what it branded “final protective fires,” three measures that could be used should the service be ordered to cut man­power deeper and faster, the proverbial worst-case scenario. 
Dunford said in his testimony that sequestration would force an additional cut of about 18,000, down to a total of 168,000. From a starting point of 182,000, however, an additional reduction of 18,000 would leave 164,000. Either way, that would be the smallest active-duty force since 1950. 
To cut so deeply would require the Corps to terminate contracts, Dunford said, a move that senior leaders have vowed to resist in the interest of “keeping faith” with Marines and their families who have endured multi­ple combat deployments over the past decade. 
“These are the very people … who are in Afghanistan today forward-deployed, for­ward-engaged, in harm’s way,” Dunford said. “And their reward when they come home will simply be to dismiss [them] and shake their hand. And I think that would be a mistake.” 
Dunford declined a request to speak with Marine Corps Times about his remarks, but through a spokesman at the Pentagon issued the following statement: “Per the SecDef guidance, we are not doing any sequestration planning. As I said in my testimony, we can meet our cur­rent commitments with the proposed bud­get. Sequestration will require a re-look at the strategy.” 
Any re-look would be overseen by officials at Marine Corps Combat Development Com­mand and Manpower and Reserve Affairs, both based in Quantico, Va. MCCDC led efforts to accommodate manpower reductions by creating a multiyear plan for restructuring the force and rebalancing its capabilities. Echoing Dunford’s statement, MCCDC has received no direction to draft plans for a force smaller than 182,100, said Col. Sean Gibson, a spokesman for the command. 
Should further cuts be necessary, they would be informed by another capability­based assessment, said Maj. Shawn Haney, a spokeswoman for Manpower and Reserve Affairs. When the Corps devises its man­ning needs, officials “build to a requirement, not an end-strength number,” she said. 
“If there are further cuts,” Haney said, “we have asked for, and will need, another year for every 5,000 personnel cuts in order to keep faith with Marines.” So, should sequestration indeed force the Corps to cut another 18,000 Marines, it could be 2020 before all those cuts are made. Of course, Congress would have final say in determining how quickly any budget cuts would take effect, thus dictating the speed of any further drawdown. 
The Budget Control Act allows — but does not require — the White House to shield military personnel programs from seques­tration. But if personnel programs were exempted, the Pentagon would be forced to cut deeper into other programs. 
Also at stake 
For the Army, “back-of-the-envelope calcu­lations” would probably mean reductions of another 100,000 soldiers on top of cuts that are already planned, said Gen. Lloyd Austin, the service’s vice chief of staff. About half of the sequestration cuts would come in the active-duty force, and half in the National Guard and Army Reserve, he said. Current plans call for the active-duty Army to shrink from about 560,000 to about 490,000 during the next five years. Austin’s comments suggest the sequester law could push that final active-duty end strength down to about 440,000. 
For the Navy, the budget cuts imposed under sequestration could force today’s fleet of about 285 ships to drop to about 235, Navy officials said. That would force the Pentagon to reconsider basic elements of national-security strategy because the Navy would not meet current expectations. 
The Corps would feel that, too. Much of its plan for future force posture calls for return­ing Marines to Navy ships, stepping up maritime missions in the Pacific. 
“It would … cause us to go back and re-look at the strategy because the force that comes out of sequestration is not the force that can support the current strategy that we’re oper­ating under,” Vice Adm. Mark Ferguson, vice chief of naval operations, told senators. 
For the Air Force, sequestration cuts would force hard decisions about the size of the air fleet. 
“The Air Force is the oldest it’s ever been in terms of its iron,” said Gen. Philip Breedlove, Air Force vice chief of staff. “We desperately need to recapitalize our flying fleet. If we see sequestration, we will not be able to maintain capacity and do recapital­ization of those fleets. So we’ll have to make very tough decisions to either come way down in the number of units or to give up the modernization of those units.” 
Many experts say a breakthrough agree­ment is unlikely before the presidential election in November. That could put off the issue until a post-election “lame duck” ses­sion of Congress. 
In his testimony, Dunford recalled being a junior officer during the post-Vietnam era, in the aftermath of massive downsiz­ing that left the Corps a disjointed mess. That can’t be allowed again, he said. 
“I know what a hollow force is because I was a platoon commander in a hollow force,” he said. “And I will tell you, the num­ber-one thing that keeps me awake at night is being a part of anything that would cause the United States Marine Corps to look like it did in the 1970s as opposed to what it looks like in 2012.” 
Staff writer Gina Cavallaro contributed to this report.

May 5, 2012

Vietnam - The End of the War

A book written by George J. Veith's "Black April" is summarized in the Wall Street Journal. Some quotes below:

"the root cause of South Vietnam's defeat was the slashing of assistance by the U.S. Congress in 1974, when military aid was nearly halved. As the North Vietnamese onslaught began in March 1975, South Vietnam's shortages of aircraft fuel and spare parts prevented the military from flying troops in to fortify a vulnerable 900-mile western flank." 
"More than 100,000 South Vietnamese who had sided with the United States perished in the final battles, were executed immediately thereafter or died from maltreatment in massive "re-education" camps. Half a million more South Vietnamese died while attempting to flee communist oppression by boat."


As a Vietnam Vet I have total contempt for Congress when after supporting Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos for many years, they pulled the plug, condemning millions to die. And most of them are proud of their actions.

My Thoughts on the War on the blog below:

May 1, 2012

Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund
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Dear Patriot,

SGT. Doug Potratz knows about American Heroes. One in particular helped his family get out of Vietnam safely. 

After arriving at Tan Son Nhut Air Base on April 21, 1975, SGT. Potratz tried to secure his Vietnamese wife and four-year-old stepdaughter safe passage to American soil. LCPL. Darwin Judge saw SGT. Potratz’s concern and frustration, knew the guy who filled out the plane manifest, and got them on the next flight that day.  

LCPL  Darwin Judge’s name is etched in granite on The Wall along with three other Marines who lost their lives during Operation Frequent Wind, the evacuation of Saigon: CPL Charles McMahon Jr., CAPT William Nystul, and 1LT Michael Shea.   

Today, we remember these service men and work to build The Education Center at The Wall so their stories will live on for generations to come. And we'd like to hear why you support our efforts to make sure our American heroes’ stories are being told.

Share with us why you think it is important to preserve these stories for future generations:

VVMF has supported the healing power and emotional impact of The Wall for over three decades. From supporting The Wall's construction through 1982, to creating the traveling The Wall That Heals in 1996, to creating the Virtual Memorial Wall in 1998, we have worked to connect millions of people to the memorial.

And when the Education Center is built, the hundreds of thousands of messages, anecdotes, and photographs collected at the Wall and through the Virtual Wall will be displayed inside the Center, helping to connect even more people to the incredible, moving stories of the men and women whose names are on The Wall.
My reason for preserving these stories is perfectly explained in a quote from SGT. Potratz: "If it weren't for the Darwin Judges and the Charles McMahons…thousands of Americans and Vietnamese would not have made it out of the country and lived a fuller life.” His story and thousands of others like it will live on in the Education Center at The Wall for future generations. 

Please take a moment now to help us make the case for The Education Center at the Wall:


Jan C. Scruggs
Founder and President