Oct 20

36th Commandant General Dunford’s Message to all Marines

Marines, I am truly honored and humbled to serve as your Commandant. I’d like to begin my tenure by thanking General and Mrs. Amos for their four decades of extraordinary service and commitment. They transition to the next phase of their lives with the admiration, appreciation, and affection of all Marines and their families.

The Marine Corps is in great shape. We are recruiting and retaining high quality Marines who are fit, tough, and smart. Our Marines are well led, well trained, and well equipped. The infrastructure at our posts and stations — our barracks, family housing and training facilities — has been significantly enhanced over the past decade.

We remain forward deployed and forward engaged in the Pacific, South America, Africa, Europe, and the Middle East. Just in the last year, we have responded to crisis in the Philippines, South Sudan, Libya, and Iraq. In Afghanistan, we have remained engaged in combat operations. We have clearly demonstrated our flexibility, versatility, and adaptability. Marines are relevant and in high demand.

We have answered the call and we have delivered! Throughout the last decade, Marines have enhanced their reputation as the Nation’s premier force in readiness. Today’s Marines, like their predecessors, can be very proud to claim the title United States Marine.

Despite these accomplishments, much work remains to be done. As Marines, we maintain the highest standards and we constantly seek to improve. We will continue to attack by:

  • Maintaining a first-rate, well-trained total force of Marines in a high state of readiness.
  • Prioritizing the support of those Marines in harm’s way.
  • Developing and fielding MAGTF capabilities that will ensure that the Marine Corps remains an innovative,
    relevant, naval, expeditionary force-in-readiness.
  • Building upon our success in leader development, professional military education, wounded warrior care,
    and family readiness.

Our Corps is informed by your input. I will continue to engage with Marines of all grades to solicit feedback. Your ideas will help us improve our warfighting and crisis response capabilities and provide the foundation for detailed Commandant’s Planning Guidance in the New Year.

Know that I’m extraordinarily proud to stand in your ranks.
Thanks for who you are and what you do.
Continue to march…

Check out the official 239th Video featuring the Marine Corps Birthday Message.

239th Birthday Video Happy Birthday Marines from General Dunford 36th Commandant of the USMC  300x181 36th Commandant General Dunfords Message to all Marines

Oct 20

Tricare for Kids: A Response by Kids Stakeholders Coalition

Kids Stakeholders Coalition 1024x501 Tricare for Kids: A Response by Kids Stakeholders CoalitionInitial Response: “Study on Health Care and Related Support for Children of Members of the Armed Forces”
September 2014


On July 15, the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness, the Honorable Jessica L. Wright, submitted a Report analyzing pediatric health care coverage under TRICARE to the House and Senate Armed Services Committees. The Report, commonly referred to as the “TRICARE for Kids (TFK) Report,” was a requirement of Section 735 of the Fiscal Year 2013 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), directing the Secretary of Defense to conduct a comprehensive review and analysis of health care provided to dependent children of members of the Armed Forces.

The TRICARE for Kids Stakeholders Coalition, consisting of pediatric provider organizations, military and veterans’ service organizations, disability groups and military families, has been working since January 2013 for the purposes of providing input to the Department of Defense (DoD) on its provision of healthcare to our military children and coordinating next steps. The Coalition appreciates that its feedback and recommendations were included for consideration in the TFK Report and has asked Secretary of Defense, the Honorable Chuck Hagel, to also incorporate the feedback into the recently directed 90 day review of the military health system.

While each organization has its own perspective and priority issue areas, in order to provide an easy-to-reference summary and response to the TFK Report, the Coalition has compiled the following from analyses, concerns and reactions collected from partner organizations and military families.


The TFK Report concluded that the Military Health System (MHS) is meeting the needs of children in its care—including those with special health care needs—as specifically addressed under each of the nine elements listed in Section 735. This overall finding is not surprising, as this Report was an internal review conducted by the Defense Health Agency (DHA), which administers the TRICARE program.

Although the Report concluded that TRICARE was meeting the needs of children, it also acknowledges in every element of the study that there are significant “gaps,” “areas for clarification” and considerable deficiencies in data collection, utilization and analysis. These findings might be better described as “areas in need of improvement.” These gaps and findings align with many of the areas identified and recommendations made by Coalition partners to the DoD for consideration in preparing the Report. Those areas are ripe for and in need of immediate attention. TFK stakeholders are pleased that the Report acknowledges areas of concern and urges action in a timely and collaborative manner.

An overarching theme woven throughout the Report is the lack of data and meaningful utilization of data, or inability to collect data, which then limits the analysis in many of the elements examined. Many areas, such as specialty care, the Extended Care Health Option (ECHO) program, care management and the Exceptional Family Member Program (EFMP), lack sufficient data to support the DoD’s conclusion that it is providing adequate care and support, particularly to military families with special needs. This lack of data and appropriate analysis is consistent with a recent New York Times article “In Military Care, a Pattern of Errors but Not Scrutiny,” published on June 28, 2014. The Coalition aligns itself with the comments of Dr. Jonathan Woodson, the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs, in a follow-up to the New York Times investigation:

“The people we serve expect us to improve. The American public expects us to improve. We expect ourselves to improve.” Woodson called for greater attention to patient safety and more openness about problems in treatment. “In moments like these, it can be easy to close down,” he said. “We need to do the opposite. We need to become even more transparent.”
In each of the nine areas of the Report, the TFK Coalition identifies substantial opportunities for the DHA and the DoD to work with the Congress and stakeholders to collect better data, increase transparency, enhance safety and institute changes to improve TRICARE for one of our most valuable resources, our military children.

Click to Download the Rest of the Report Now

Kids Stakeholders Coalition Complete Report.jpg Tricare for Kids: A Response by Kids Stakeholders Coalition



Oct 17

Marine Survives Sniper Headshot By Inches In Afghanistan

This video has gone viral and shows footage of a Marine peering out from behind cover. The Marine survives a non-fatal headshot by Taliban sniper in Afghanistan. Luckily the bullet only hit his helmet and didnt caused fatal damages. His other squadmembers also had luck the bullet didnt hit one of them. Notable is how calm they reacted to the shot. The attack was recorded on an helmet camera during a joint helicopter raid in the Now Zad district, Helmand Province.


Marine shot in helmet 300x155 Marine Survives Sniper Headshot By Inches In Afghanistan

Oct 15

Happy Birthday Marine Corps: Celebrate at the USMC Ball

This year the Corps will be celebrating 239 years — Marine Corps, you’ve still got it and you’re looking good. Where will you be celebrating your USMC Birthday?

Check out our tribute to all of those who earned the title Marine and some famous folks you may not know were Marines as well. Semper Fi.

USMC video celebrating the Marine Corps Happy Birthday Marines 300x280 Happy Birthday Marine Corps: Celebrate at the USMC Ball

Oct 14

Here’s What What Happened When NASA Simulated A Marine Helicopter Crash

Researchers and military representatives met up at the Langley’s Landing and Impact Research facility along with national and international government agencies to do something that has been in the works for three years… they’re going to drop a Marine helicopter 30 feet to the ground.

The NASA drop test featured a Boeing CH-46 fuselage outfitted with:

  • 13 crash test dummies complete with monitoring
  • 2 non instrumented manikin
  • Approximately 40 cameras
  • 350 data channels to record movement

The test would only take three seconds, but the impact is instrumental in helping those who design helicopters to develop safer aircraft.


Helicopter Crash 300x153 Heres What What Happened When NASA Simulated A Marine Helicopter Crash

Oct 12

Drum Battle Between the US Marine Corps and their Korean Counterparts

Drum Battle: III Marine Expeditionary Force (III MEF) Band

vs. Republic of Korea (ROK) Army Band

Check our these servicemembers having a bit of fun with this drum-battle between the III Marine Expeditionary Force band out or Okinawa, Japan and the Republic of Korea. In the end, it’s declared a tie — but we think it’s safe to say that the Marines won.

Oct 12

How to Stop Your Phone From Tracking and Showing Where You Are

How to stop Facebook from Tracking You 285x300 How to Stop Your Phone From Tracking and Showing Where You AreIf you are on Facebook, you may not know that you are sending our signals from your mobile device which tells others where exactly you are.

Yes. You read that right, they can track your GPS location 24/7, and let others know exactly where you are and you probably don’t know that you’re doing it.

It’s called ‘Nearby Friends’ and with our current threats of Domestic Terrorism, we highly suggest you turn this off.

How To Turn Off Nearby Friends in Facebook

Read the rest of this entry »

Oct 10

Paving the way: Montford Point Marine widow accepts Congressional Gold Medal

Ella Jackson Marine wife 300x200 Paving the way: Montford Point Marine widow accepts Congressional Gold Medal

Ella Jackson, a 93-year-old widow, receives a Congressional Gold Medal replica in lieu of her late husband, Master Sgt. George Jackson, in Port Royal, S.C., Oct. 2. George Jackson enlisted in the Marine Corps in 1942 and retired after 27 years of service in 1969. Brigadier General Terry Williams, the first African-American commanding general of Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island, presented Jackson with the medal at a ceremony. In 2012, Congress awarded the Montford Point Marines with the Congressional Gold Medal, the United States’ highest civilian award bestowed by Congress.

Story by Sgt. Marcy Sanchez

PORT ROYAL, S.C. – African-American service in the United States military can be traced back to the country’s inception. It wasn’t until the twentieth century that service members were truly integrated in military units.

In 1942, President Franklin D. Roosevelt issued Executive Order 8802 permitting African-American recruitment in the Marine Corps.

These recruits were not sent to the swamps of Parris Island, S.C., or the hills of San Diego, Calif.; rather they were segregated and sent to basic training at Montford Point, N.C.

Between 1942 and 1949 about 20,000 African-American recruits attended basic training at Montford Point. One of those recruits was George Jackson.

“At the time, [Jackson] was joining an organization that was getting ready to fight in a World War, in a country that wasn’t always kind to African-Americans,” said Brig. Gen. Terry Williams, the commanding general of Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island / Eastern Recruiting Region. “You have to ask yourself why somebody would fight for a country that in some places [African-Americans] were not treated very well.”

In 2012, Congress authorized the Congressional Gold Medal to be awarded to each of the 20,000 Montford Point Marines or their families to recognize the accomplishments and sacrifices during a time of segregation. Read the rest of this entry »

Oct 09

Marine Makes MMA Debut

John Zimmer MMA Fighter USMC 300x211 Marine Makes MMA Debut

John Zimmer, a security specialist at Headquarters Battalion, Marine Forces Reserve, tries to fight off his opponent’s take down at the Caged Warrior Championship V on Oct. 4, 2014, in Patterson, La. This was Zimmer’s first time competing in a mixed martial arts fight. Although he lost, Zimmer looks forward to future challenges as a martial artist.

Story by Lance Cpl. Ian Leones

NEW ORLEANS – Sitting backstage at the Patterson Civic Center in Louisiana, minutes before his debut mixed martial arts fight, John Zimmer kept his nerves down by cracking jokes.

“If I win this fight, I just want the other guy to know that he got beaten up by a nerd,” said Zimmer, a security specialist with Headquarters Battalion, Marine Forces Reserve and a sergeant in the Individual Ready Reserve.

The fight was over within minutes. Zimmer took a flurry of punches to the face, but he was able to follow his game plan and trap his opponent, Kesler Jones, with a leg lock. Unfortunately, Jones escaped and submitted Zimmer with a guillotine choke.

The Metairie, Louisiana, native does not fit the description of a typical muscle head MMA fighter. Weighing in at 137 pounds, the wiry Marine is as comfortable navigating security protocols as he is rolling in a grappling match.

Zimmer competed in his first MMA fight at the Caged Warrior Championship V on Oct. 4, 2014. Read the rest of this entry »

Oct 08

Kelly: Southcom Keeps Watch on Ebola Situation

By Jim Garamone
DoD News, Defense Media Activity

Lt General John Kelly 300x199 Kelly: Southcom Keeps Watch on Ebola Situation

Photo of Lt Gen John Kelly, USMC

WASHINGTON, Oct. 8, 2014 – The potential spread of Ebola into Central and Southern America is a real possibility, the commander of U.S. Southern Command told an audience at the National Defense University here yesterday.

“By the end of the year, there’s supposed to be 1.4 million people infected with Ebola and 62 percent of them dying, according to the [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention],” Marine Corps Gen. John F. Kelly said. “That’s horrific. And there is no way we can keep Ebola [contained] in West Africa.”

If it comes to the Western Hemisphere, many countries have little ability to deal with an outbreak of the disease, the general said.

“So, much like West Africa, it will rage for a period of time,” Kelly said.

This is a particularly possible scenario if the disease gets to Haiti or Central America, he said. If the disease gets to countries like Guatemala, Honduras or El Salvador, it will cause a panic and people will flee the region, the general said.

“If it breaks out, it’s literally, ‘Katie bar the door,’ and there will be mass migration into the United States,” Kelly said. “They will run away from Ebola, or if they suspect they are infected, they will try to get to the United States for treatment.”

Also, transnational criminal networks smuggle people and those people can be carrying Ebola, the general said. Kelly spoke of visiting the border of Costa Rica and Nicaragua with U.S. embassy personnel. At that time, a group of men “were waiting in line to pass into Nicaragua and then on their way north,” he recalled.

“The embassy person walked over and asked who they were and they told him they were from Liberia and they had been on the road about a week,” Kelly continued. “They met up with the network in Trinidad and now they were on their way to the United States — illegally, of course.”

Those men, he said, “could have made it to New York City and still be within the incubation period for Ebola.”

Kelly said his command is in close contact with U.S. Africa Command to see what works and what does not as it prepares for a possible outbreak in the area of operations.

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