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This Month In USMC History
1 October 1997:
The first African-American female colonel in the Marine Corps was promoted to that rank during a ceremony at MCAS Cherry Point, North Carolina. Colonel Gilda A. Jackson, a native of Columbus, Ohio, made Marine Corps history when she achieved the rank of colonel. She was serving as Special Projects Officer, 2d Marine Aircraft Wing at the time of her promotion.

5 October 1775:
Meeting in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the 2d Continental Congress used the word "Marines" on one of the earliest known occasions, when it directed General George Washington to secure two vessels on "Continental risque and pay", and to give orders for the "proper encouragement to the Marines and seamen" to serve on the two armed ships.

6 October 1945:
Major General Keller E. Rockey, Commanding General, III Amphibious Corps, accepted the surrender of 50,000 Japanese troops in North China on behalf of the Chinese Nationalist government.

8 October 1889:
A force of 375 Marines under command of future Commandant George F. Elliott, attacked and captured the insurgent town of Novaleta, Luzon, Philippine Islands, and linked up with U.S. Army troops. There were 11 Marine casualties.

9 October 1917:
The 8th Marines was activated at Quantico, Virginia. Although the regiment would not see combat in Europe during World War I, the officers and enlisted men of the 8th Marines participated in operations against dissidents in Haiti for over five years during the 1920s. During World War II, the regiment was assigned to the 2d Marine Division and participated in combat operations on Guadalcanal, Tarawa, Saipan, Tinian, and Okinawa, and earned three Presidential Unit Citations.

11 October 1951:
A Marine battalion was flown by transport helicopters to a frontline combat position for the first time, when HMR-161 lifted the 3d Battalion, 7th Marines, and its equipment, during Operation Bumblebee, northeast of Yanggu, Korea.

19 October 1968:
Operation Maui Peak, a combined regimental-sized operation which began on 6 October, ended 11 miles northwest of An Hoa, Vietnam. More than 300 enemy were killed in the 13-day operation.

23 October 1983:
At 0622 an explosive-laden truck slammed into the BLT headquarters building in Beirut, Lebanon, where more than 300 men were billeted. The massive explosion collapsed the building in seconds, and took the lives of 241 Americans--including 220 Marines. This was the highest loss of life in a single day for Marines since D-Day on Iwo Jima in 1945.

28 October 1962:
An 11,000-man 5th Marine Expeditionary Brigade left Camp Pendleton by sea for the Caribbean during the Cuban Missile Crisis. One week earlier, the entire 189,000-man Marine Corps had been put on alert and elements of the 1st and 2d Marine Divisions were sent to Guantanamo Bay to reinforce the defenders of the U.S. Naval Base. Other 2d Division units and squadrons from five Marine Aircraft Groups were deployed at Key West, Florida, or in Caribbean waters during the Cuban crisis.

31 October 1919:
A patrol of Marines and gendarmes, led by Sergeant Herman H. Hanneken, disguised themselves as Cacos and entered the headquarters of the Haitian Caco Leader, Charlemagne Peralte, killing the bandit chief, and dispersing his followers. Sergeant Hanneken and Corporal William R. Button were each awarded the Medal of Honor.

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History Of The Salute

A unique aspect of military courtesy is the salute. It is a gesture of respect and sign of comradeship among military service personnel. Accordingly, the salute is a uniform gesture; meaning that the highest man in rank returns the salute in the same form in which it is rendered to him. By saluting first, no officer implies that he is in any sense inferior to the senior whom he salutes.

The origins of saluting, like so many military customs and traditions, is shrouded in the past, but there are several possibilities concerning its beginnings. In the medieval days of chivalry, mounted knights in mail raised their visors to friends for the purpose of identification. Because of strict adherence to rank, the junior was required to make the first gesture.

Another possibility concerning the origins of saluting comes from an age when assassinations by dagger were not uncommon. It became the custom in such times for potential adversaries to approach each other with raised hand, palm to the front, showing that there was no concealed weapon.

It seems reasonable to assume, however, that the hand salute as now rendered in the military, evolved to some degree from the British navy. There is general agreement among scholars that the hand salute is actually the first part of "uncovering" in front of a senior. That practice gradually evolved over time into merely touching the cap, and became the present salute.

There are several types of military salutes - the hand salute, the rifle salute at order arms, a rifle salute at right shoulder, and still another rifle salute at present arms. "Eyes Right" is another type of military salute which is rendered by troops in rank when passing in review.

A unique type of salute is the respect that is rendered over a grave by a military honor guard. Originally, three rifle volleys were fired into the air over the grave of a fallen soldier. This custom may well have originated in a perceived need to scare away evil spirits "escaping" from the dead. As in ancient times, it was believed that the hearts of the recently deceased were ajar at such times, allowing the devil to enter! Today, the homage and respect displayed at military funerals is a visible final tribute to those individuals who have served their country.

The various forms of military hand and gun salutes are administered by an individual or group as a sign of respect. Originating in customs, traditions, and even superstitions from our distant past, the salute has evolved from ancient times to become an important part of military etiquette.

Posted by admin on Thursday 27 March 2008 - 10:13:39 | LAN_THEME_20
The Kevlar PASGT helmet

The Kevlar PASGT helmet was first fielded to U.S. military units in the early 1980s. The helmet, available in five sizes, provides ballistic protection for the head from fragmenting munitions. It is a one piece structure composed of multiple layers of Kevlar 29 ballistic fibre and phenolic PVB resin.

The PASGT helmet came from research by the U.S. Army Natick Research Lab. Beginning in the early 1970's Natick was looking for lighter materials to reduce the weight of the Vietnam era flak jacket and the World War II M-1 Helmet a.k.a the "steel pot". They eventually decided that a Kevalr helmet and vest would provide increased protection at an equivalent, but not a reduced, weight. Kevlar vests and helmets were issued during the 1980s as the Personnel Armor System, Ground Troops (PASGT).

PASGT Kevlar Helmet: Personal Armor System Ground Troops

Many of the problems with the M-1 steel helmet had to do with the fact that it only came in one size. The Kevlar helmet is made in five sizes, including an XS (intended primarily for women) and an XL (rare, suitable only for men with a very large head). The unit weighs between 3.1 pounds (size XS) to 4.2 pounds (size XL).

The nylon webbing inside the Kevlar helmet is functional but not comfortable. There is a foam helmet insert, a "comfort pad" or "donut", used by most soldiers. The inner web suspension system, including a sweatband, is olive drab in color but outer components such as the chin strap or cover and cover band are issued in camouflage pattern cloth or camo-compatible colors such as olive drab or desert tan. The photo at top shows a camo cloth cover with an olive drab band and chinstrap. Unit patches and rank insignia are attached to the cover. Each helmet has its size molded into the unit and nomenclature, contract, NSN information printed near the inside rim.

In 2000, Army safety engineers tested whether the weight of the Kevlar helmet increased neck injuries or caused other problems in accidents. The evidence from real-world analysis shows that Kevlar helmets appear to protect against head injury, and are not necessarily associated with neck injuries in motor vehicle accidents.

The Kevlar helmet is fitted with expendable components: headband; chin strap; center webbing suspensions assembly and screws that can be individually replaced for maintenance. Each helmet is issued with an instruction booklet that includes a size chart and other data. The PASGT system has been subject to a number of modifications over its lifetime, including a newer lightweight version of the helmet shell and changes in the suspension system and straps. The photo at left is of the newer-style suspension.

The PASGT style helmet has been widely imitated and is now standard issue in many countries around the world.
Kevlar is a Dupont product, a manmade organic fiber that combines high strength with light weight.

Posted by admin on Wednesday 26 March 2008 - 10:09:39 | LAN_THEME_20
What Is A Grunt? Part 1

The term "grunt" is used in the military as a general term for someone who's MOS (Military Occupational Specialty) is "Infantry". In the Marine Corps all MOS' preceeded by the number "03" are Infantry. About as "grunt" as you can get in the Corps is "0311 - Basic Rifleman".

The opposite of a "grunt" is a "pougue", which is a derogatory reference to pretty much anyone who isn't a grunt, but normally reserved for Marines who work in an office or some other rear-echelon job as part of their regular duties ("In the rear with the gear"). Call a pougue a "grunt" and they love it, but call a grunt a "pougue" and see what happens.

Posted by admin on Tuesday 25 March 2008 - 13:37:01 | LAN_THEME_20
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Marine Of The Month

Lance Cpl. James M. Gluff

20, of Tunnel Hill, Ga.; assigned to the 1st Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Lejeune, N.C.; died Jan. 19 in Ramadi, Iraq, while conducting combat operations.


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