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.

Feb 27, 2013

All Hands Conference April 20th

The Marine Corps ALL HANDS CONFERENCE is back!!! The Conference will be held Saturday, April 20th at Weapons Company, 2d Battalion, 24th Marines located at 3155 Blackhawk Drive, Fort Sheridan, IL 60037. 

Doors open at 0700. Breakfast 0800-1000. Guest speakers from 0900-1100. Cost is $10 per person (cash or check), $11 per person (via PayPal - see below pay buttons) or $15 per person at the door. This is scheduled to be a great event with equipment displays, training aids, guest speakers, and breakfast. 

The Marine Corps Coordinating Council will be accepting additional donations to help defray the costs involved in hosting the event. If you cannot attend, please consider a donation. Check payments and donations can be mailed to: Marine Corps Coordinating Council of Chicago, 40557 N. Minena St., Antioch, IL 60002. 

To register for the All Hands Conference, please email and put ALL HANDS CONFERENCE in the subject line, then in the body of the email put the following information: NAME, ORGANIZATION AFFILIATION and EMAIL ADDRESS. Or by your tickets now!


Below we have two Marines looking for Employment, cut and paste to your contacts.



Bachelor of Science Degree in Workforce Education and Development. Effective problem solver and briefer. Tenacious, forthright, steadfast and knowledgeable with a positive can do attitude. Great intellectual, organizational and communication skills.

MASTER SERGEANT, United States Marine Corps, 10 Dec 1991 – 30 Sep 2012

Power Plants Division Chief, Camp Bastion, Afghanistan Managed 54 Marines located at 3 different bases. Provided engine and dynamic component repair support to 10 squadrons, flying 7 different type/model/series aircraft during combat operations.

Marine Corps Recruiting Substation Mount Prospect, RS Chicago, Illinois                  Responsible for obtaining monthly tasked goals for 5 Marine recruiters. Organized, directed and supervised their efforts and developed their professional selling skills. Accounted for 48% of all the quality enlistments into the military within the area of responsibility.

Head Instructor, Aviation Support Equipment Schoolhouse, Pensacola, Florida
Responsible for the course curriculum, Proficiency of 23 Instructors and course completion of 3,000 students. Ensured student/instructor materials were accurate and up to date. Ensured instructor’s maintained qualifications and personally reviewed all student course critiques.    

Division Chief, Support Equipment Division, Okinawa, Japan                                                                                 Tracked scheduled/unscheduled maintenance actions, ensured quality of completed tasks. Developed qualifications and prepared Marines to deploy in support of global operations.

Environmental Manager, Newburgh, New York  Responsible for the storage, disposal and education of personnel in the proper handling of Hazardous Materials, in accordance with Marine Corps and Air Force directives as well as OSHA and EPA regulations. Provided training on Hazard Communication & Hazardous Waste Operations Emergency Response. Ensured all Hazardous Materials were stored/disposed of properly, in accordance with all DOT and EPA regulations and properly maintained and tracked all records. Submitted all annual reports in a timely manner.

BACHELOR OF SCIENCE DEGREE, 2006 Cum Laude, Southern Illinois University,  Workforce Education & Development with a specialization in Education, Training & Development

Enrolled in Masters Program, Southern Illinois University 2006                                                  Workforce, Education & Development with focus on Human Performance Improvement

Basic Instructor Training, Pensacola, Florida
Classroom Instruction, Public Speaking, and Curriculum Development, 2003

Staff Noncommissioned Officers’ Advanced Course, Camp Johnson, North Carolina, Advanced Leadership, Management, and Combat Operations, 2005

Basic Recruiter School, San Diego, California
Needs Satisfaction Selling Process, Systematic Recruiting, Public Speaking & Sales, 2007

Lean Six Sigma, Executive Level, 2010, Green Belt 2010

References and Supporting Documentation Furnished Upon Request


4210 N. Natchez Avenue, Unit #301
Chicago, Illinois 60634


To begin a career with an organization that encompasses great culture and stability that will lead to a long relationship filled with growth opportunities.


Chase Bank • Chicago, Illinois (May 2011 - Present)
Personal Banker

The Personal Banker is a branch based sales professional whose primary goal is to acquire, retain, and deepen customer relationships. Responsible to maintain consistent communication, ensuring all banking needs are met and clients receive important updates on new policies or changes to existing bank policies.  Provide guidance, support and direction to clients in connection with selecting bank products based on individual needs.  Assist clients with completing any necessary documentation and walk them through complicated bank processes as needed.

             Awarded Most Valuable Participant (“MVP”) during national sales training
             Successfully attracted over 200 new customers to the bank
             Fortified existing customer relationships generating between $500 thousand and $1 
                    million in new assets for the bank

College Works Painting • Chicago, Illinois (February 2010 - September 2010) Internship
Branch Manager

Hired, trained, and supervised no fewer than 10 direct reports.  Created, designed and implemented plans for marketing, sales, and production.  Generated approximately 100 solid leads from Marketing Plan.


             Achieved sales and production revenues in excess of $50 thousand
             Successfully built and ran a start-up business, overseeing all activity from inception 
                       through full operation
             Worked effectively, interacting seamlessly with a multitude of clients at any one time 
             Garnered nomination for Most Improved Manager of the Year

Triton College • River Grove, Illinois (August 2008- August 2009) Internship
Program Assistant

Assisted the Dean of Student Services in providing support for student clubs and organizations.  Functioned as an advisor to students in connection with the management of student clubs and the oversight of activities linked to organization initiatives.  Implemented recruitment and marketing strategies and programs designed to promote involvement in student clubs and organizations.  Assisted the Dean of Student Services with the special initiatives, projects and activities


             Increased the level of club participation on campus by 50%
             Led in coordinating a Bone Marrow Drive event resulting in the addition of over 75 new 
                      applicants to the donor registry

United States Marine Corps / Rank - Staff Sergeant • Camp Pendleton, California (June 2003- June 2007)

Supply Administration Supervisor

Provided all necessary direct supply support to an entire battalion maximizing resources available to ensure mission accomplishment.  Maintained an accurate inventory accounting of military assets with an estimated combine value in excess of $1 million.  Oversaw the administration of property control and sub-custody work sections to ensure the complete accuracy of records.  Constructed and monitored a multimillion dollar budget ensuring projected actual expenditures tracked with available appropriations.  Conducted internal audits to ensure proper policies and procedures were being adhered to.  Supervised, led, trained, and fostered the overall well-being of personnel in the work sector.  Directed the contract procurement of supplies using an authorized government purchase card.

           Recognized by the Secretary of the Navy for superior performance and dedication of 
            Accurately prepared the work section under the Commanding General's Inspection 
                     Program resulting in an overall score of 98% out of 100%
            Created a training schedule which enhanced the knowledge and proficiency of the                 
                      personnel under my direct supervision
             Reconstructed property records after deployment to Operation Iraqi Freedom
             Successfully completed training for the government purchase card program
             Received Battalion Marine for the Quarter honors


Bachelor of Arts, Business Administration
DePaul University, Chicago Illinois, March 2013 (Anticipated) 

Associate Degree in Science
Triton College, River Grove Illinois

Feb 24, 2013

Eleanor Roosevelt and the Russian Sniper

Lyudmila Pavlichenko arrived in Washington, D.C., in late 1942 as little more than a curiosity to the press, standing awkwardly beside her translator in her Soviet Army uniform. She spoke no English, but her mission was obvious. As a battle-tested and highly decorated lieutenant in the Red Army’s 25th Rifle Division, Pavlichenko had come on behalf of the Soviet High Command to drum up American support for a “second front” in Europe. Joseph Stalin desperately wanted the Western Allies to invade the continent, forcing the Germans to divide their forces and relieve some of the pressure on Soviet troops.
She visited with President Franklin Roosevelt, becoming the first Soviet citizen to be welcomed at the White House. Afterward, Eleanor Roosevelt asked the Ukranian-born officer to accompany her on a tour of the country and tell Americans of her experiences as a woman in combat. Pavlichenko was only 25, but she had been wounded four times in battle. She also happened to be the most successful and feared female sniper in history, with 309 confirmed kills to her credit—the majority German soldiers. She readily accepted the first lady’s offer.
Justice Robert Jackson, Lyudmila Pavlichenko and Eleanor Roosevelt in 1942. Photo: Library of Congress
She graciously fielded questions from reporters.  One wanted to know if Russian women could wear makeup at the front. Pavlichenko paused; just months before, she’d survived fighting on the front line during the Siege of Sevastopol, where Soviet forces suffered considerable casualties and were forced to surrender after eight months of fighting. “There is no rule against it,” Pavlichenko said, “but who has time to think of her shiny nose when a battle is going on?”
Read more: 

Feb 22, 2013

Gazette and Leatherneck

The March 2013 DIGITAL editions of Marine CorpsGazette and Leatherneck are good to go NOW.   Both digital editions feature enhancements not available in print and you have access to BOTH magazines ONLINE!

We continue the commemoration of our 100th Anniversary of the Marine Corps Association in both magazines in March with select articles of enduring interest along with historic images from our archives.

Leatherneck looks at Marines from the widest perspective with stories about Marine aviation in the opening stages of Operation Iraqi Freedom; Civil War Marines facing off with Cadets from the Citadel; ultra-realistic training in chemical, biological and natural disaster response; a warm memory of embassy duty in troubled,1956 Cairo at the start of the "Suez War" international incident and a Marine human interest feature about a Chinese immigrant who became a Vietnam era MP and later a martial arts expert and widely regarded professional athletic trainer.  

Changes in the Corps between 1917-1967 is examined in an article from the archives by one of Leatherneck's greatest editors. The usual features and a whole lot more round out another memorable edition of Leatherneck.

Creative solutions to a host of vexing problems affecting operations, training, education, organizational staffing and more shine in this thoroughly provocative edition of Marine Corps Gazette. A trio of articles on amphibious warfare particularly stands out and includes unique ideas for replacing the EFV. The lead article on inequities in Marine male and female fitness requirements adds fresh fuel to the ongoing controversy of opening up combat roles for women while another on combat "Fires" makes a compelling case for longer range and more effective weapons at levels lower than infantry battalions and companies. 

Additional articles on leadership, Marine Air, Force Reconnaissance and joint operations make this edition a must-read for all Marines who want to develop professionally.

Click the links to read both editions today:


Regards and Semper Fidelis from the Professional Association for ALL Marines,
Col Walt Ford, USMC (Ret)
Marine Corps Association & Foundation
Publisher & Editor, Leatherneck

Col John Keenan, USMC (Ret)
Marine Corps Association & Foundation
Editor, Marine Corps Gazette 

Feb 21, 2013

Fourragere Fifth and Sixth Marines

The fourragere. For outstanding combat unit action!

That Fifth and Sixth Marine Regiments are entitled to wear the Fourragere for accomplishments and valorous action during the Great War [WW1] on repeated occasions and all done within a period of less than a year.

American troops entering the fray of WW1 during that most critical moment of 1918, the grand spring offensive of the German still going well, the situation in doubt, the British and French almost on the ropes and reeling!

That intervention of American combat units in numbers able to hold the line and even to give back in measure to the German what had been dished out to the British and French.

Foremost in the lead USMC regiments as incorporated into regular U.S. Army divisions the Marines maintaining all the while their unit cohesion and integrity vital to success on the battlefield.

That Fifth and Sixth USMC regiments comporting themselves so well on the battlefield as to be awarded the fourragere by the French indeed a high honor!!

Combat actions of the Fifth Regiment during the WW1 to include:

Belleau Wood.

"The regiment's [Fifth] actions in France earned them the right to wear the Fourragère (seen in the outline of the unit's logo), one of only two in the Marine Corps (the other being the 6th Marine Regiment). The award was a result of being the only regiments in the American Expeditionary Force to receive three Croix de guerre citations: two in the order of the army and one in the order of the corps—Fourragère and Croix de guerre with two Palms and Gilt Star. The Fourragère became part of the uniform of the unit, and all members of the organization are authorized to wear the decoration on the left shoulder of the uniform as long as they remain members of the organization."

From that World War I wiki history of the Sixth USMC Regiment:

"The 6th Marine Regiment was first organized at Marine Corps Base Quantico, Virginia, on 11 July 1917 . . . Virtually all of the senior officers and staff non-commissioned officers of the 6th Regiment were long-service professionals, while most junior officers and all privates were new joinees. Although the new men were short on experience, they were long on education: Colonel Catlin estimated that 60% of them were college men."

Combat actions of the Sixth Regiment during to WW1 to include:

Belleau Wood.
* Soissons.
St. Mihiel.
Blanc Mont Ridge.

"For the actions at Belleau Wood, Soissons, and Blanc Mont, the 6th Marine Regiment was awarded the French croix de guerre three times. As a result, the regiment is authorized to wear the fourragère of the croix de guerre (seen in the unit's logo), one of only two units in the Marine Corps so honored (the other being the 5th Marine Regiment). Thefourragère thereafter became part of the uniform of the unit, and all members of the modern 6th Marines are authorized to wear thefourragère while serving with the regiment."

Graves B. Erskine while a lieutenant serving with the Sixth Regiment wounded in action - - forever after entitled to wear the fourragere"authorized to wear the decoration on the left shoulder of the uniform" in perpetuity!!

Excerpted from the great military blog.

  1. 5th Marine Regiment (United States) - Wikipedia, the free ...
    The 5th Marine Regiment is an infantry regiment of the United States Marine Corps based at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, California. It is the most highly ...
  2. 1st Marine Division > Units > 5TH MARINE REGT
    5th Marine Regiment conducts expeditionary combined arms operations in order to support theater engagement plans, crisis response contingency operations, ...
  1. 6th Marine Regiment (United States) - Wikipedia, the free ...
    The 6th Marine Regiment is an infantry regiment of the United States Marine Corps based at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. The regiment ...
  2. 6th Marine Division (United States) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    The 6th Marine Division was a division in the United States Marine Corps that formed in 1944 and disbanded in 1946. The division had formed to partake in the ...

Feb 19, 2013

Hellfire, Morality and Strategy

Interesting discussion of the use of drones.

Hellfire, Morality and Strategy

By George Friedman
Founder and Chairman
Airstrikes by unmanned aerial vehicles have become a matter of serious dispute lately. The controversy focuses on the United States, which has the biggest fleet of these weapons and which employs them more frequently than any other country. On one side of this dispute are those who regard them simply as another weapon of war whose virtue is the precision with which they strike targets. On the other side are those who argue that in general, unmanned aerial vehicles are used to kill specific individuals, frequently civilians, thus denying the targeted individuals their basic right to some form of legal due process.
Let's begin with the weapons systems, the MQ-1 Predator and the MQ-9 Reaper. The media call them drones, but they are actually remotely piloted aircraft. Rather than being in the cockpit, the pilot is at a ground station, receiving flight data and visual images from the aircraft and sending command signals back to it via a satellite data link. Numerous advanced systems and technologies work together to make this possible, but it is important to remember that most of these technologies have been around in some form for decades, and the U.S. government first integrated them in the 1990s. The Predator carries two Hellfire missiles -- precision-guided munitions that, once locked onto the target by the pilot, guide themselves to the target with a high likelihood of striking it. The larger Reaper carries an even larger payload of ordnance -- up to 14 Hellfire missiles or four Hellfire missiles and two 500-pound bombs. Most airstrikes from these aircraft use Hellfire missiles, which cause less collateral damage.
Unlike a manned aircraft, unmanned aerial vehicles can remain in the air for an extended period of time -- an important capability for engaging targets that may only present a very narrow target window. This ability to loiter, and then strike quickly when a target presents itself, is what has made these weapons systems preferable to fixed wing aircraft and cruise missiles.

Read more: Hellfire, Morality and Strategy | Stratfor 

Birth of the Israeli Air Force

Birth of the Israeli Air Force Documentary

A number of American Pilots flew to Israel and flying German WWII planes helped with the 1948 War.

Thanks to Colonel John Wilkes USMCR Retired for sending.

WW II Photos

The scene in Berlin's Republic Square, before the ruined Reichstag Building, on September 9, 1948, as Anti-Communists, estimated at a quarter of a million, scream their opposition to Communism. At the time, the Soviet Union was enforcing the Berlin Blockade, blocking Allied access to the parts of Berlin under Allied control. In response, Allies began the Berlin Airlift until the Soviets lifted the blockade in 1949, and East Germany and West Germany were established. When the meeting pictured here broke up, a series of incidents between Anti-Red Germans and Soviet troops brought tension to a fever pitch as shootings took place, resulting in the deaths of two Germans.(AP-Photo) # 
In March of 1974, some 29 years after the official end of World War II, Hiroo Onoda, a former Japanese Army intelligence officer, walks out of the jungle of Lubang Island in the Philippines, where he was finally relieved of duty. He handed over his sword (hanging from his hip in photo), his rifle, ammunition and several hand grenades. Onoda had been sent to Lubang Island in December of 1944 to join an existing group of soldiers and hamper any enemy attacks. Allied forces overtook the island just a few months later, capturing or killing all but Onoda and three other Japanese soldiers. The four ran into the hills and began a decades-long insurgency extending well past the end of the war. Several times they found or were handed leaflets notifying them that the war had ended, but they refused to believe it. In 1950, one of the soldiers turned himself in to Philippine authorities. By 1972, Onoda's two other compatriots were dead, killed during guerrilla activities, leaving Onoda alone. In 1974, Onoda met a Japanese college dropout, Norio Suzuki, who was traveling the world, and through their friendship, Onoda's former commanding officer was located and flew to Lubang Island to formally relieve Onoda of duty, and bring him home to Japan. Over the years, the small group had killed some 30 Filipinos in various attacks, but Onoda ended up going free, after he received a pardon from President Ferdinand Marcos. (AP Photo) #

Feb 14, 2013

The Shooter

Interesting interview with the Navy Seal who killed Osama.

His first person account does not differ too greatly from the movie Zero Dark Thirty.

Things about the raid that surprised me was the use of CH-47 Helicopters.  We used them in Vietnam - you would think they would have improved helicopters after forty years.

I also find it interesting the way Osama failed to fight.  After instigating many people to fight and die, he passively awaited his fate.  He heard the helicopters land, he heard gunfire and demolitions.  The lights were turned out. Yet he did not pick up or use his assault rifle. He mounted about the same resistance that Saddam Hussein offered.

My guess is he thought we would capture him and he would be a martyr.  Or perhaps he was paralyzed with fear.  He seemed be hiding behind his wives and children.  We will never know for sure.

Feb 12, 2013

Russian Navy on Facebook

Russian Submarine on Facebook.  It is a new and better and safer world today than back in the Cold War Days.  A fine thing that we did not blow each other up.

Thanks to Al Linsenmeyer of  for sharing.

Feb 10, 2013

Coming in on a Wing and a Prayer

B-17 in 1943 in North Africa

Coming in on a Wing and a Prayer

A mid-air collision on February 1, 1943, between a B-17 and a German fighter over the Tunis dock area, became the subject of one of the most famous photographs of World War II. An enemy fighter attacking a 97th Bomb Group formation went out of control, probably with a wounded pilot then continued its crashing descent into the rear of the fuselage of a Fortress named All American, piloted by Lt. Kendrick R. Bragg, of the 414th Bomb Squadron.

When it struck, the fighter broke apart, but left some pieces in the B-17. The left horizontal stabilizer of the Fortress and left elevator were completely torn away. The two right engines were out and one on the left had a serious oil pump leak. The vertical fin and the rudder had been damaged, the fuselage had been cut almost completely through connected only at two small parts of the frame, and the radios, electrical and oxygen systems were damaged. There was also a hole in the top that was over 16 feet long and 4 feet wide at its widest, and the split in the fuselage went all the way to the top gunners turret. Although the tail actually bounced and swayed in the wind and twisted when the plane turned, and all the control cables were severed except one single elevator cable still worked, and the aircraft still flew - miraculously!

The tail gunner was trapped because there was no floor connecting the tail to the rest of the plane. The waist and tail gunners used parts of the German fighter and their own parachute harnesses in an attempt to keep the tail from ripping off and the two sides of the fuselage from splitting apart. While the crew was trying to keep the bomber from coming apart, the pilot continued on his bomb run and released his bombs over the target.

 When the bomb bay doors were opened, the wind turbulence was so great that it blew one of the waist gunners into the broken tail section. It took several minutes and four crew members to pass him ropes from parachutes and haul him back into the forward part of the plane. When they tried to do the same for the tail gunner, the tail began flapping so hard that it began to break off. The weight of the gunner was adding some stability to the tail section, so he went back to his position.

The turn back toward England had to be very slow to keep the tail from twisting off. They actually covered almost 70 miles to make the turn home. The bomber was so badly damaged that it was losing altitude and speed and was soon alone in the sky. For a brief time, two more Me-109 German fighters attacked the All American. Despite the extensive damage, all of the machine gunners were able to respond to these attacks and soon drove off the fighters. The two waist gunners stood up with their heads sticking out through the hole in the top of the fuselage to aim and fire their machine guns. The tail gunner had to shoot in short bursts because the recoil was actually causing the plane to turn.

Allied P-51 fighters intercepted the All American as it crossed over the Channel and took one of the pictures shown. They also radioed to the base describing that the empennage was waving like a fish tail, that the plane would not make it and to send out boats to rescue the crew when they bailed out. The fighters stayed with the Fortress taking hand signals from Lt. Bragg and relaying them to the base. Lt. Bragg signaled that 5 parachutes and the spare had been "used" so five of the crew could not bail out. He made the decision that if they could not bail out safely, then he would stay with the plane and land it.

Two and a half hours after being hit, the aircraft made its final turn to line up with the runway while it was still over 40 miles away. It descended into an emergency landing and a normal roll-out on its landing gear.

 When the ambulance pulled alongside, it was waved off because not a single member of the crew had been injured. No one could believe that the aircraft could still fly in such a condition. The Fortress sat placidly until the crew all exited through the door in the fuselage and the tail gunner had climbed down a ladder, at which time the entire rear section of the aircraft collapsed onto the ground. The rugged old bird had done its job.

Feb 9, 2013

Burial at Sea

To only those who would and could appreciate it. Tough duty then as it is now.Burial at Sea

by LtCol George Goodson, USMC (Ret)

In my 76th year, the events of my life appear to me, from time to time, as a series of vignettes. Some were significant; most were trivial...

War is the seminal event in the life of everyone that has endured it. Though I fought in Korea and the Dominican Republic and was wounded there, Vietnam was my war.

Now 42 years have passed and, thankfully, I rarely think of those days in Cambodia , Laos , and the panhandle of North Vietnam where small teams of Americans and Montangards fought much larger elements of the North Vietnamese Army. Instead I see vignettes: some exotic, some mundane:

*The smell of Nuc Mam.
*The heat, dust, and humidity.
*The blue exhaust of cycles clogging the streets.
*Elephants moving silently through the tall grass.
*Hard eyes behind the servile smiles of the villagers.

*Standing on a mountain in Laos and hearing a tiger roar.

*A young girl squeezing my hand as my medic delivered her baby.
*The flowing Ao Dais of the young women biking down Tran Hung Dao.
*My two years as Casualty Notification Officer in North Carolina, Virginia , and Maryland .

It was late 1967. I had just returned after 18 months in Vietnam. Casualties were increasing. I moved my family from
Indianapolis to Norfolk, rented a house, enrolled my children in their fifth or sixth new school, and bought a second car.

A week later, I put on my uniform and drove 10 miles to Little Creek, Virginia. I hesitated before entering my new office. Appearance is important to career Marines. I was no longer, if ever, a poster Marine. I had returned from my third tour in Vietnam only 30 days before. At 5'9", I now weighed 128 pounds - 37 pounds below my normal weight. My uniforms fit ludicrously, my skin was yellow from malaria medication, and I think I had a twitch or two.

I straightened my shoulders, walked into the office, looked at the nameplate on a Staff Sergeant's desk and said, "Sergeant Jolly, I'm Lieutenant Colonel Goodson. Here are my orders and my Qualification Jacket."

Sergeant Jolly stood, looked carefully at me, took my orders, stuck out his hand; we shook and he asked, "How long were you there, Colonel?" I replied "18 months this time." Jolly breathed, "you must be a slow learner Colonel." I smiled.

Jolly said, "Colonel, I'll show you to your office and bring in the Sergeant Major. I said, "No, let's just go straight to his office." Jolly nodded, hesitated, and lowered his voice, "Colonel, the Sergeant Major. He's been in this job two years. He's packed pretty tight. I'm worried about him." I nodded.

Jolly escorted me into the Sergeant Major's office. "Sergeant Major, this is Colonel Goodson, the new Commanding Officer. The Sergeant Major stood, extended his hand and said, "Good to see you again, Colonel." I responded, "Hello Walt, how are you?" Jolly looked at me, raised an eyebrow, walked out, and closed the door.

I sat down with the Sergeant Major. We had the obligatory cup of coffee and talked about mutual acquaintances. Walt's stress was palpable. Finally, I said, "Walt, what's the h-ll's wrong?" He turned his chair, looked out the window and said, "George, you're going to wish you were back in Nam before you leave here. I've been in the Marine Corps since 1939. I was in the Pacific 36 months, Korea for 14 months, and Vietnam for 12 months... Now I come here to bury these kids. I'm putting my letter in. I can't take it anymore." I said, "OK Walt. If that's what you want, I'll endorse your request for retirement and do what I can to push it through Headquarters Marine Corps."

Sergeant Major Walt Xxxxx retired 12 weeks later. He had been a good Marine for 28 years, but he had seen too much death and too much suffering. He was used up.

Over the next 16 months, I made 28 death notifications, conducted 28 military funerals, and made 30 notifications to the families of Marines that were severely wounded or missing in action. Most of the details of those casualty notifications have now, thankfully, faded from memory. Four, however, remain.

My third or fourth day in Norfolk , I was notified of the death of a 19 year old Marine. This notification came by telephone from Headquarters Marine Corps. The information detailed:

*Name, rank, and serial number.
*Name, address, and phone number of next of kin.
*Date of and limited details about the Marine's death.
*Approximate date the body would arrive at the Norfolk Naval Air Station.

*A strong recommendation on whether the casket should be opened or closed.

The boy's family lived over the border in North Carolina , about 60 miles away... I drove there in a Marine Corps staff car. Crossing the state line into North Carolina , I stopped at a small country store / service station / Post Office. I went in to ask directions.

Three people were in the store.. A man and woman approached the small Post Office window. The man held a package. The Storeowner walked up and addressed them by name, "Hello John. Good morning Mrs. Cooper."

I was stunned. My casualty's next-of-kin's name was John Cooper!

I hesitated, then stepped forward and said, "I beg your pardon. Are you Mr. and Mrs. John Cooper of (address.)

The father looked at me-I was in uniform - and then, shaking, bent at the waist, he vomited. His wife looked horrified at him and then at me. Understanding came into her eyes and she collapsed in slow motion. I think I caught her before she hit the floor.

The owner took a bottle of whiskey out of a drawer and handed it to Mr. Cooper who drank. I answered their questions for a few minutes. Then I drove them home in my staff car. The storeowner locked the store and followed in their truck. We stayed an hour or so until the family began arriving.

I returned the storeowner to his business. He thanked me and said, "Mister, I wouldn't have your job for a million dollars." I shook his hand and said; "Neither would I."

I vaguely remember the drive back to Norfolk. Violating about five Marine Corps regulations, I drove the staff car straight to my house. I sat with my family while they ate dinner, went into the den, closed the door, and sat there all night, alone.

My Marines steered clear of me for days. I had made my first death notification.

Weeks passed with more notifications and more funerals. I borrowed Marines from the local Marine Corps Reserve and taught them to conduct a military funeral: how to carry a casket, how to fire the volleys and how to fold the flag.

When I presented the flag to the mother, wife, or father, I always said, "All Marines share in your grief." I had been instructed to say, "On behalf of a grateful nation...." I didn't think the nation was grateful, so I didn't say that.

Sometimes, my emotions got the best of me and I couldn't speak. When that happened, I just handed them the flag and touched a shoulder. They would look at me and nod. Once a mother said to me, "I'm so sorry you have this terrible job." My eyes filled with tears and I leaned over and kissed her.

Six weeks after my first notification, I had another. This was a young PFC. I drove to his mother's house. As always, I was in uniform and driving a Marine Corps staff car. I parked in front of the house, took a deep breath, and walked towards the house. Suddenly the door flew open, a middle-aged woman rushed out. She looked at me and ran across the yard, screaming "NO! NO! NO! NO!"

I hesitated. Neighbors came out. I ran to her, grabbed her, and whispered stupid things to reassure her. She collapsed. I picked her up and carried her into the house.. Eight or nine neighbors followed. Ten or fifteen later, the father came in followed by ambulance personnel. I have no recollection of leaving.

The funeral took place about two weeks later. We went through the drill. The mother never looked at me. The father looked at me once and shook his head sadly.

One morning, as I walked in the office, the phone was ringing. Sergeant Jolly held the phone up and said, "You've got another one, Colonel." I nodded, walked into my office, picked up the phone, took notes, thanked the officer making the call, I have no idea why, and hung up. Jolly, who had listened, came in with a special Telephone Directory that translates telephone numbers into the person's address and place of employment.

The father of this casualty was a Longshoreman. He lived a mile from my office. I called the Longshoreman's Union Office and asked for the Business Manager. He answered the phone, I told him who I was, and asked for the father's schedule.

The Business Manager asked, "Is it his son?" I said nothing. After a moment, he said, in a low voice, "Tom is at home today." I said, "Don't call him. I'll take care of that." The Business Manager said, "Aye, Aye Sir," and then explained, "Tom and I were Marines in WWII."

I got in my staff car and drove to the house. I was in uniform. I knocked and a woman in her early forties answered the door. I saw instantly that she was clueless. I asked, "Is Mr. Smith home?" She smiled pleasantly and responded, "Yes, but he's eating breakfast now. Can you come back later?" I said, "I'm sorry. It's important. I need to see him now."

She nodded, stepped back into the beach house and said, "Tom, it's for you."

A moment later, a ruddy man in his late forties, appeared at the door.. He looked at me, turned absolutely pale, steadied himself, and said, "Jesus Christ man, he's only been there three weeks!"

Months passed. More notifications and more funerals. Then one day while I was running, Sergeant Jolly stepped outside the building and gave a loud whistle, two fingers in his mouth... I never could do that... and held an imaginary phone to his ear.

Another call from Headquarters Marine Corps. I took notes, said, "Got it." and hung up. I had stopped saying "Thank You" long ago.

Jolly, "Where?"

Me, "Eastern Shore of Maryland . The father is a retired Chief Petty Officer. His brother will accompany the body back from Vietnam ..."

Jolly shook his head slowly, straightened, and then said, "This time of day, it'll take three hours to get there and back. I'll call the Naval Air Station and borrow a helicopter. And I'll have Captain Tolliver get one of his men to meet you and drive you to the Chief's home."

He did, and 40 minutes later, I was knocking on the father's door. He opened the door, looked at me, then looked at the Marine standing at parade rest beside the car, and asked, "Which one of my boys was it, Colonel?"

I stayed a couple of hours, gave him all the information, my office and home phone number and told him to call me, anytime.

He called me that evening about 2300 (11:00PM). "I've gone through my boy's papers and found his will. He asked to be buried at sea. Can you make that happen?" I said, "Yes I can, Chief. I can and I will."

My wife who had been listening said, "Can you do that?" I told her, "I have no idea. But I'm going to break my ass trying."

I called Lieutenant General Alpha Bowser, Commanding General, Fleet Marine Force Atlantic, at home about 2330, explained the situation, and asked, "General, can you get me a quick appointment with the Admiral at Atlantic Fleet Headquarters?" General Bowser said," George, you be there tomorrow at 0900. He will see you.

I was and the Admiral did. He said coldly, "How can the Navy help the Marine Corps, Colonel." I told him the story. He turned to his Chief of Staff and said, "Which is the sharpest destroyer in port?" The Chief of Staff responded with a name.

The Admiral called the ship, "Captain, you're going to do a burial at sea. You'll report to a Marine Lieutenant Colonel Goodson until this mission is completed..."

He hung up, looked at me, and said, "The next time you need a ship, Colonel, call me. You don't have to sic Al Bowser on my ass." I responded, "Aye Aye, Sir" and got the h-ll out of his office.

I went to the ship and met with the Captain, Executive Officer, and the Senior Chief. Sergeant Jolly and I trained the ship's crew for four days. Then Jolly raised a question none of us had thought of. He said, "These government caskets are air tight. How do we keep it from floating?"

All the high priced help including me sat there looking dumb. Then the Senior Chief stood and said, "Come on Jolly. I know a bar where the retired guys from World War II hang out."

They returned a couple of hours later, slightly the worst for wear, and said, "It's simple; we cut four 12" holes in the outer shell of the casket on each side and insert 300 lbs of lead in the foot end of the casket. We can handle that, no sweat."

The day arrived. The ship and the sailors looked razor sharp. General Bowser, the Admiral, a US Senator, and a Navy Band were on board. The sealed casket was brought aboard and taken below for modification. The ship got underway to the 12-fathom depth.

The sun was hot. The ocean flat. The casket was brought aft and placed on a catafalque. The Chaplin spoke. The volleys were fired. The flag was removed, folded, and I gave it to the father. The band played "Eternal Father Strong to Save." The casket was raised slightly at the head and it slid into the sea.

The heavy casket plunged straight down about six feet. The incoming water collided with the air pockets in the outer shell. The casket stopped abruptly, rose straight out of the water about three feet, stopped, and slowly slipped back into the sea. The air bubbles rising from the sinking casket sparkled in the in the sunlight as the casket disappeared from sight forever....

The next morning I called a personal friend, Lieutenant General Oscar Peatross, at Headquarters Marine Corps and said, "General, get me out of here. I can't take this anymore." I was transferred two weeks later.

I was a good Marine but, after 17 years, I had seen too much death and too much suffering. I was used up.

Vacating the house, my family and I drove to the office in a two-car convoy. I said my goodbyes. Sergeant Jolly walked out with me. He waved at my family, looked at me with tears in his eyes, came to attention, saluted, and said, "Well Done, Colonel. Well Done."

I felt as if I had received the Medal of Honor!

A veteran is someone who, at one point, wrote a blank check made payable to 'The United States of America ' for an amount of 'up to and including their life.' That is Honor, and there are way too many people in this country who no longer understand that.

Feb 6, 2013

Watch Aircraft Flights

Very cool program shows all the flights in your area.  Click on the link below to see the aircraft flights.

Just the thing for an Air Controller.

Technology never ceases to amaze me.

Thanks to Albert Linsenmyer for sharing.

Feb 3, 2013

NCP - Nuclear Catastrophe Planner

I was working as the Planning Director of Will County, Illinois (Joliet, Naperville, Tinley Park, 
Park Forest) in 1976 when a man came in to see me. He gave me a business card, which 
showed his name and indicated that he was an NCP.

"What is an NCP", I asked? "Nuclear Catastrophe Planner", he replied.

I have another live one, I thought.  He proceed to show me a large old colorfully 
printed document that showed the areas that would be destroyed by a nuclear 
attack.  All of the six County Chicago metro area would be destroyed except a 
small corner in the southwest corner of Will County. 

"Interesting and depressing", I said.  "What do you want me to do about it?"

"Prepare an evacuation plan." he said.  

"You want to evacuate the entire Chicago metro area before an attack?" I said. 
"Won't you have only 15 minutes or so to evacuate 8 million people?  
Where would they go?" The roads would be impassable.

"They will go to rural areas outside of the metro area." He said.

And then what he said made some sense. He told me that the Soviet Union had plans 
and actually practiced evacuation of their large cities.  If we got into a toe to toe confrontation 
with the USSR or PRC, as we did over the Cuban missile crisis, things could once again 
get very tense.  

"If we see they are evacuating their cities it would be best to start evacuating our cities. 
Otherwise we would be pressured to strike first." he said. Both the USSR and USA 
might take several days to evacuate their cities.

Our NCP seemed to be a free lance individual rather than a representative of a government 
agency. I asked if any of the other planning agencies were preparing such plans or 
if there was a Federal agency coordinating or funding this effort.  There was no 
funding of sponsoring Federal agency.

We never did prepare evacuation plans.


Click to see a fun video on nuclear fallout from 1955.  Anytime you get depressed 
about how things are doing now politically, think back to fun times of the cold war.

And it is a wonderful thing that the USA, USSR, and the PRC avoided blowing 
the world up. Lets keep up the good work, guys.

The map above is not from the NCP Document. 
The one the NCP showed me had a much larger 
destruction zone - probably from multiple bombs.

You probably recall the old joke

What to do in the event of nuclear attack?

Bend over, put your head between your legs, and kiss your ass goodbye.

Nuclear war takes all the fun out of warfare.