Sep 02

New flash-bang launcher expands Marines’ non-lethal capability

By Carden Hedelt, Marine Corps Systems Command Public Affairs | Marine Corps Systems Command | August 29, 2014
Tube Lanched Munions System New flash bang launcher expands Marines’ non lethal capability

Marines with II Marine Expeditionary Force practice loading and unloading inert rounds into the Non-Lethal, Tube-Launched Munitions System during their practical application training at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, Aug. 14, 2014. (Photo by Lance Cpl. Justin Updegraff)

For Marines running roadblocks and vehicle check points, identifying an oncoming vehicle as a threat is a decision that has to happen quickly and at standoff range because lives are on the line. A new system being fielded to II and III Marine Expeditionary Forces, Reserve Units and Marine Corps Forces Central Command will give Marines more certainty when distinguishing friend or foe.

The Non-Lethal/Tube Launched Munition System is a vehicle-mounted 40mm grenade launcher, which has a digital fire control and can shoot between one and 30 non-lethal rounds, depending upon the need. The rounds, which contain four flash-bang submunitions and fire from three banks of 10 launchers set for distances up to 100 meters, are visible out to 600 meters. The ammunition is an “all-up round,” meaning there is no assembly or disassembly required.

“Marines require something to be able to hail and warn from a distance” said Anita Tate, non-lethal team lead for NL/TLMS for Marine Corps Systems Command’s Infantry Weapons Systems. “What we have is a very safe, very easy-to-use system that will allow Marines guarding military checkpoints to better determine the intent of an approaching vehicle.”

Tate and the rest of the non-lethal team from MCSC are responsible for the acquisition and sustainment of the NL/TLMS.

The system is made to be mounted onto the turrets of Marine vehicles—Mine Resistant Ambush Protected vehicles and Humvees—or on ground tripods. On vehicle turrets, the NL/TLMS is mounted just to the left of the turret’s main weapon to allow for quick change between systems.

Rounds into Tube Launch System New flash bang launcher expands Marines’ non lethal capability

Marines with II Marine Expeditionary Force practice loading and unloading inert rounds into the Non-Lethal, Tube-Launched Munitions System. (Photo by Lance Cpl. Justin Updegraff)

Every second matters, according to Tate.

“These decisions are so quick,” she said. “In the past, that’s where uncertainty has made a difference: You have to protect yourself and your fellow Marines, but you don’t want to open fire on an unarmed vehicle. There’s a lot of pressure. This system allows you to make that decision quickly and with a clear conscience.”

Relieving that pressure is part of why non-lethal systems are so important to the military, according to Kelley Hughes, spokesperson for the Department of Defense Non-Lethal Weapons Program.

“Non-lethal weapons are designed and employed to achieve military objectives while minimizing human casualties or damage to property and equipment,” Hughes said. “Non-lethal weapons can also help clarify intent of an adversary,” she added.

During a train-the-trainer event aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune in Jacksonville, North Carolina, Marines had the opportunity to learn about the NL/TLMS.

After a morning in the classroom, Marines got to fire flash-bang rounds from the system.

“I was pretty excited, we haven’t had much hands-on with it,” said 1st Lt. Adam Flannery. “It made a lot of noise and some pretty big bangs.”

As a part of the 2nd Law Enforcement Battalion, Flannery might make different use of the NL/TLMS.

“It will be pretty useful in crowd dispersal or riot control,” he said. “It definitely expands our non-lethal capability.”

Also from 2nd LEB, 1st Lt. Josh Schubert appreciated how intuitive it was to operate the system.

“It’s very user friendly,” he said. “It’s electric and has a remote control that looks like a video game controller—black plastic with red and yellow buttons on it. Pretty much every Marine who took the short course was able to step right up and use it without much problem.”

Flannery and Schubert were both interested in the possibility of other non-lethal munitions but were happy about the capability Marines were gaining.

“It extends the range of our non-lethal systems,” Schubert said. “We can get a lot of non-lethal munitions downrange in the event of a disturbance.”

Fielding of the NL/TLMS to Marine units in the continental United States should be completed in early winter.

Aug 31

Marine Corps Boot Camp Receiving vs Other Military Branches

A quick look at how receiving differs throughout all the military services.

Marine Corps Boot Camp vs Army Basic Training (Boot Camp)

13 weeks vs 10 weeks

Air Force Basic Training (Boot Camp) – 8 weeks

Navy Boot Camp – 7 weeks

Aug 28

Corps Values: Preparing for Promotion Boards

By Verda L. Parker | Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany | August 28, 2014
Promotion Boards Corps Values: Preparing for Promotion Boards

Staff Sgt. Johnnie M. Encarnacion, procurement specialist, (Photo by Verda L. Parker)

Many things factor into preparing for a promotion board, whether studying Marine Corps history, brushing up on current events or just scrolling through an individually-generated checklist.

No matter one’s current rank in the Corps, at the end of the day, a “squared-away” Marine is in pursuit of getting selected for that next grade.

Some of the installation’s fellow Marines weighed in with suggestions, which may answer some questions on steps to improve one’s competitive edge when going before promotion panels or other boards.

According to Gunnery Sgt. Daniel Walters, company first sergeant, Headquarters and Support Company, Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany, although book-based knowledge is important, he advises Marines to “not get tunnel vision.”

“The first thing that comes to mind when a Marine starts thinking about a board is, ‘I’ve got to study, I’ve got to remember my knowledge, I’ve got to master all of it,’” Walters said. “That’s only one factor of the whole equation. Just like we do everything else, it’s the whole Marine concept. So, they have to look at the big picture. And, they can’t get that tunnel vision.” Read the rest of this entry »

Aug 25

11 Great Back to School Traditions

Back to School Traditions 272x300 11 Great Back to School TraditionsBack to school traditions abound, whether parents follow the latest trends, or carry out traditions established from their childhood.  However, most families agree it’s really about creating lasting memories and having fun together. It seems there are as many Back-to-School traditions as there are first day jitters, but let’s admit it… the nerves aren’t solely from the kiddos. We parents fret about the series of events leading up to the Big Day too and wait on pins and needles to hear positive reports so we can celebrate with a shared happy dance. Perhaps the reasons for constructing memory lane – besides the obvious recall of events to provide our children for when they’re grown, is that maybe, just maybe, they can appreciate all that we did for them.  After all, much time passes between the first photo holding a “First Day of Kindergarten” sign until they too have children of their own, or perhaps they’re simply older and it finally clicks… they finally understand parenting sacrifices, right? Traditions also provide a beautiful way to celebrate our children’s life while also nurturing and comforting them during an intimidating time. Military children are unconventionally resilient when it comes to familiarizing themselves with ‘the new.’ However, that doesn’t mean they don’t feel uneasy while they make the transition. Taking action to create and share a moment with them helps reassure them they aren’t alone as they face a monumental day. Read the rest of this entry »

Aug 22

Marine Sends ISIS a Warning About Messing with the USA

72 Virgin Dating Service 1024x575 Marine Sends ISIS a Warning About Messing with the USA

A message has gone viral which has been attributed to a Marine veteran, Nick Powers, who posted it on Facebook.



To all you ignorant Islamic extremist f—ks. As I sit here watching you execute women, children and men in the Middle East I chuckle. Why do I chuckle you may ask? Well let me explain something to you idiots who think you are so tough. You are scaring a population that doesn’t know how to fight, you’re bullying the weak.

What did Saddam’s troops do when we came to town? Surrendered, twice… All your threats of coming to America and raising your flag over the White House amuse me more than you could ever understand. In 2012 there were 21.2 million veterans in the United States. Do you understand what that means? That means there are millions of pissed off veterans who have been dealing with years of abuse from their government stabbing them in the backs and having to watch friends die because you Islamic idiots can’t seem to act like human beings and stop terrorism and violence.

It’s one thing to take over an Islamic state, pretty sure we plowed through Fallujah in 4 days, do you really think you stand a chance on US soil? Do you really think it would be smart to poke that bear? Remember we are armed in the US and I can promise you that the Geneva Conventions will not apply to you. You attack us and there is no mercy. The ball is in your court Islam, we are more than ready to send you to your “prophet” Mohamed….


Aug 22

Combat shooting takes Marine overseas, shooting professionally for his country

CAMP HANSEN, Okinawa, Japan – By Sgt. Jonathan G. Wright | 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit | August 22, 2014

Andrew Walker 222x300 Combat shooting takes Marine overseas, shooting professionally for his country

1st Lt. Andrew Walker, assigned to the Combat Shooting Team, Weapons Training Battalion, Marine Corps Base Quantico. (Photo by Cpl. Michael C. O’Donnell)

It’s not a cliché: every Marine is a rifleman, regardless if they are an infantryman or an administrative clerk. Annual requirements dictate qualifying on a known-distance rifle range and the occasional field exercise, but the minimum expectations don’t inspire Marines to excellence. What, then, if a Marine has a burning passion and the drive to master the fundamentals of marksmanship?

“My family didn’t have any guns, and aside from both of my grandfathers (who served), we weren’t a military family,” said 1st Lt. Andrew H. Walker, the assistant logistics officer for Battalion Landing Team 3rd Battalion, 5th Marines, 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit. “It wasn’t until I was in college that I began hunting and fishing with some of the friends and fell in love with shooting.”

Marksmanship instructors claim that some of the most accurate Marines are those who didn’t shoot growing up because they avoid developing bad habits or improper shooting postures. Such is the case with Walker when, seven years after college, he represented the Marine Corps in shooting matches during the Australian Army Skill at Arms Meeting at the Puckapunyal Military Area, Victoria, Australia in the early weeks of May, 2014.

The AASAM is an international combat shooting competition between approximately 20 nations from the Asia-Pacific and North American militaries, including the U.S., Brunei, New Caledonia, Canada, Japan, Papua New Guinea and Tonga.

The competition consisted of a variety of combat shooting scenarios, from a traditional known-distance range to a modified biathlon where shooters run three kilometers with gear, rifles, and water jugs prior to shooting at targets from unknown distances. Read the rest of this entry »

Aug 20

What Kind of Men Join the Marines?

60s boot camp 298x300 What Kind of Men Join the Marines?

Company Commander’s rifle inspection, the first three squads, left front into line. By this time, maybe 5 weeks into it, we were pretty “squared away” as recruits. Full basic training consisted of 17 weeks, including 13 weeks of basic recruit training and 4 weeks of advanced infantry training with weapons.
Courtesy of

It was a hot day yesterday.

My wife and I had gone to Walmart and after purchasing our weekly groceries and she wanted to look at some other things (translation: get lost for a while). I pushed our loaded shopping cart to a wooden bench in the entryway where a slight air-conditioned breeze made its way to me from inside the store.  I sat, removed my utility cover, mopped my brow with a handkerchief, and wondered how long she would be diddling around ‘looking at other things’. I put my cover back on and tried to get comfortable, as much as my arthritis on a hard wooden bench would allow. I dug out my crossword puzzle book.

Hey, Mister, were you… ummm… like, a Marine?”

I turned to see a young boy of maybe eight or ten year’s old standing near the end of my bench clutching a soccer ball nervously. He probably thought all old Marines were miserable grouches.

Yes, son, I sure was,” I said with a smile, “a long time ago”. He was wide-eyed.

Cool! Were you then like, in World War Two ‘er somethin’? Did’ja win any medals?

Son, I’m old, but I’m not quite that old!” I said laughing, “I was in the Marine Corps in 1963. Not much older than you are now. The only medal I won was for Expert Rifleman, but a lot of guys got those.” Read the rest of this entry »

Aug 14

How to Choose the Right Body Armor for Protection, Shape and Size

Safeguard Clothing Logo 300x99 How to Choose the Right Body Armor for Protection, Shape and SizeMany of us put ourselves in harm’s way for work and we need to take precautions against gunshot and knife wounds, shrapnel and more. Law enforcement officers and military personnel aren’t the only ones in dire need of protection against assaults by firearm criminals. Private detectives, bail bondsmen and other occupations yield an elevated risk of falling victim to an attack by someone equipped with a firearm. While wearing body armor isn’t a guarantee to escape a gunfight without a scratch, it does decrease the chance of being injured while also lessening the chance of falling victim to life threatening injuries. In short, body armor can help survive an attack that otherwise may have been fatal. Read the rest of this entry »

Aug 11

Flag Case Holder and Certificate Frame Review + Giveaway

I’ve spent months looking for a flag case display and have been disappointed in the quality of cases out there. Most of them have been cheaply made from plastic or vinyl wood, or poorly put together. Like many of you, I want a case that is beautiful because this flag means something to me.

In my case, I had a flag flown at Marine Corps Barracks 8th and I on Christmas Day in honor of Samantha Wagner. Christmas was her favorite holiday and she passed away shortly after giving birth her child two years ago. I’m sending this case to her family not only to honor her service on the homefront, but also as a reminder to let them know we haven’t forgotten her.   Read the rest of this entry »

Aug 09

Disney’s Armed Forces Salute is Extended to 2015

Armed Forces 300x227 Disney’s Armed Forces Salute is Extended to 2015Military families, if you are planning to visit ‘The Happiest Place on Earth,’ Walt Disney is extending their Armed Forces Salute program to October 2015,  Disney’s Armed Forces Salute provides military families with deeply discounted tickets to our nation’s active and retired military personnel.

Armed Forces Salute Ticket Prices

Disneyland Park & California Adventures 3-day Park Hopper $132.00 (Regular 3-day Park Hopper Ticket Price: $265).  The following blackout restrictions apply where tickets cannot be used to access the park:

  • 25 December 2014 – 4 January 2015 (No theme Park Use)
  • 29 March – 9 April 2015 (No theme Park Use)

Disney World in Orlando Florida 4-day Park Hopper $177 thru 9/24/2014.  (Regular 4-day Park Hopper Ticket Price: $294). Water park access can be purchased for $29 more plus tax. The following blackout restrictions apply where tickets cannot be used to access the park:

  • 22 December 2014 – 2 January 2015 (No Theme Park or Water Park Use)
  • 29 March – 9 April 2015 (No Theme Park or Water Park Use)

Read the rest of this entry »

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