1 January – The strength of active duty U.S. Armed Forces was 2,340,354 of whom 197,764 were Marines. Almost half of the Corps' active duty strength would be in the Persian Gulf area by mid-month.
1 January – Effective on this date, the Ethics Reform Act of 1989 (Sec 501B) prohibited officers on active duty and civilians of the Federal Government from accepting honorariums for any appearance, speech, or article.
1 January – The Navy Relief Society changed its name to the Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society to accurately reflect the armed forces actually aided by the society. Its' bylaws clearly state that the society exists to benefit both members of the Navy and the Marine Corps.
2 January – Retired Lieutenant General Joseph C. Fegan, Jr. died at the age of 71. A Princeton graduate, Lieutenant General Fegan was commissioned in 1942 and earned two Silver Stars for actions during World War II and the Korean War. He commanded the 3d Marine Division from 1971-1973 and served as Commanding General, Marine Corps Development and Education Command before his retirement in 1978.
4-5 January – In Operation Eastern Exit, Marines and sailors joined forces to evacuate 260 United States and foreign citizens from the American embassy in war-torn Mogadishu, Somalia. Seven helicopters flew into the capital city as government soldiers fought with tribal factions trying to overthrow the nation's president. The Marines were with the 1st Battalion, 2d Marines, attached to the 4th Marine Expeditionary Brigade and afloat in the Arabian Sea, when they shifted focus from Operation Desert Shield.
9 January – Operation Sharp Edge, the seven-month commitment of the Mediterranean Amphibious Ready Group (MARG) to Liberia, ended on this date when the USS Nashville (LPD 13) departed Monrovia to rejoin the rest of MARG 3-90 in the Mediterranean. The 22d Marine Expeditionary Unit (Special Operations Capable) arrived off Monrovia last June as the prolonged civil war surged into the capital, threatening the lives of Americans and other foreign nationals. After 62 days afloat, Marines began evacuation operations in August. During the operation, U.S. forces evacuated some 2,600 people, including 330 Americans.
12 January – After three days of solemn, often-eloquent debate, Congress voted President Bush the authority to go to war against Iraq. The Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution allowed the U.S. to use all necessary means against Iraq if it did not withdraw from Kuwait by midnight, January 15th. It was the first time since August 7, 1964, when the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution was adopted, that Congress had voted directly for offensive military action.
12 January – The Aegis guided-missile cruiser USS Chosin (CG 65) was commissioned at the Ingalls Shipbuilding yard in Pascagoula, Mississippi. Retired General Raymond G. Davis, former Assistant Commandant of the Marine Corps and Korean War Medal of Honor recipient, was the principal speaker. The general's wife, Mrs. Willa Davis, christened the ship in October 1989 and is its sponsor.
15 January – Brigadier General James M. Myatt, commanding general of the 1st Marine Division serving in the Persian Gulf, was advanced to the grade of major general.
15 January – The V Marine Expeditionary Force (MEF) activated to assume missions and tasks assigned to I MEF prior to its deployment to Southwest Asia. V MEF would form, train, and deploy units to reinforce and replace those employed in the Persian Gulf area.
16 January – Operation Desert Shield became Operation Desert Storm as forces of the allied coalition launched an all-out air assault against targets in Iraq and occupied Kuwait in an effort to liberate Kuwait and enforce the resolutions of the United Nations Security Council. Overall, in the theater of operation there were more than 415,000 U.S. troops and over 265,000 allied troops in the coalition.
20 January – The Marine Corps Finance Center at Kansas City, Missouri, was deactivated after 24 years. Its' financing activities were taken over by the newly formed Defense Finance and Accounting Service also at Kansas City. The support activities were taken over by the newly activated Marine Corps Support Activity, Kansas City, that also absorbed the Marine Corps Central Design and Programming Activity.
21 January – Baghdad aired footage of captured allied airmen that included five Americans, two British, an Italian, and a Kuwaiti who appeared in their uniforms and spoke stiffly. Several of the prisoners had swollen, bruised faces. Marine prisoners were identified as Lieutenant Colonel Clifford M. Acree and Chief Warrant Officer Guy L. Hunter. Their OV-10 Bronco was shot down over southern Kuwait on 18 January.
29 January – The first serious ground fighting of Operation Desert Storm broke out when Iraqi troops mounted an attack into Saudi Arabia along a 40-mile front. Company and battalion-sized Iraqi units centered their efforts on Khafji, a deserted port city, six miles south of the border. Saudi and Quatari troops, supported by artillery and attack helicopters from the 1st Marine Division and aircraft from the anti-Iraq coalition, recaptured the town two days later. The fighting produced the first ground casualties of the war as 11 Marines were killed when their light armored vehicles were destroyed in a clash with Iraqi armored forces. It was later determined that the Marines were killed by friendly fire.
___February – Members of the armed forces who were in Hawaii on December 7, 1941, and civilian employees of the War Department or Navy Department who were killed or wounded in the Pearl Harbor attack, became eligible to receive a new congressional medal commemorating the 50th anniversary of the assault. The bronze, one and one-half inch Pearl Harbor Commemorative Medal, minted by the U.S. Mint, would be issued to qualified recipients by members of Congress.
4 February – The United States Service Organization celebrated its 50th anniversary. The USO was formed in 1941 when six non-profit agencies pooled their resources. Since World War II, the USO has served as an international agency serving the nation's armed forces around the globe.
5 February – The Secretary of the Navy authorized the involuntary recall of up to 2,000 retired Marines who completed at least 20 years of active duty and who were under the age of 60. The retirees would be retained on active duty for as long as deemed necessary according to ALMAR 33/91.
13 February – As of this date, the allied air forces had flown more than 65,000 sorties in Iraq and Kuwait, with a total of 28 planes lost in combat -- 19 from the United States and nine from allied forces. Of the 19 U.S. planes, four were Marine Corps aircraft -- three AV-8B Harriers and 1 OV-10 Bronco. Marine artillery units, using 155mm towed and 8-inch self-propelled howitzers staged a series of nighttime artillery raids over the heavily defended border of Kuwait.
13, 16 February – The Marine Corps ordered an additional 1,758 Selected Marine Corps Reservists to active duty effective on these dates. The total number of Selected Marine Corps Reserves called up during Operations Desert Storm and Desert Shield was brought up to 24,703. With the advent of war in the Persian Gulf, President Bush authorized the Secretary of Defense to expand the callup of Marine reservists to include the Individual Ready Reserve. At the same time, the Marine Corps Reserve mobilization ceiling of 23,000 was hiked to 44,000.
14 February – As of this date, the active duty end strength of the Marine Corps was 200,248, including reservists on active duty. It was the first time active duty end strength exceeded 200,000 since fiscal year 1971.
15 February – Captain Jonathan R. Edwards of Grand Rapids, Michigan, was the first Marine casualty of the Persian Gulf War to be buried at Arlington National Cemetery. He was killed on February 2nd when the AH-1 Cobra helicopter he was flying crashed in the desert.
15 February – Allied commanders estimated that 30% of Iraq's armor, 35% of its artillery, and 27% of its other armored vehicles were destroyed so far in the Kuwaiti theater of operations.
19 February – Sergeant Major Francis D. Rauber, the second Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps, died in Sun City, California, at the age of 89. He served as Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps from September 1, 1959 until his retirement on June 28, 1962. He was buried at Arlington National Cemetery with full military honors.
19 February – Colonel Charles H. Waterhouse, USMCR, the Marine Corps' artist-in-residence since 1973, was retired in a ceremony at the Marine Corps Historical Center. Commandant of the Marine Corps, General Alfred M. Gray, awarded him the Legion of Merit and the Marine Corps Historical Foundation's Distinguished Service Award. The evening ceremony and reception marked the opening of a retrospective exhibit of 160 of the artist's paintings.
20 February – Secretary of Defense, Richard B. Cheney, signed an order that reinstated the National Defense Service Medal for those service members on active duty in the armed forces after August 2, 1990. The medal was previously authorized for active service between June 27, 1950 - July 27, 1954, and January 1, 1961 - August 14, 1974.
21 February – General Alfred M. Gray delivered his fourth and final report as the Commandant of the Marine Corps to the House Armed Services Committee stating that the Corps would continue to provide the nation with the highest possible return on its defense investment. He assured Congress that the Marine Corps would overcome whatever challenges were ahead with a degree of excellence on the part of Marines, regular and reserve, expected by the nation and demanded by Corps traditions.
23 February - 26 Mar – Reserve Marines of the 2d Marine Expeditionary Brigade (MEB) participated in Exercise Battle Griffin 91. It was the first test of NATO's Norway Airlanded Marine Expeditionary Brigade (NALMEB). In an agreement between the United States and the Norwegian government in 1981, the NALMEB called for airlifting a MEB from the U.S. to Central Norway, where it would marry up with pre-positioned weapons, equipment and supplies. The combat exercise involved some 12,500 naval, ground, and aviation forces from the U.S., Norway, and the Federal Republic of Germany.
24 February – The I Marine Expeditionary Force and coalition forces began a ground assault on Iraqi defenses in the final chapter of Operation Desert Storm. Located just south of the Kuwaiti border along the Persian Gulf, the 1st and 2d Marine Divisions with its four main task forces - Ripper, Papa Bear, Taro, and Grizzly - stormed into the teeth of Iraqi defenses and convinced the defenders that it was the main allied effort of attack. Meanwhile, heavily armored allied forces attacked the Iraqi defenses in Iraq from behind. At the same time, Marine units of the 4th and 5th Marine Expeditionary Brigades afloat in the Persian Gulf pinned down large numbers of Iraqi troops expecting an amphibious assault. In 100 hours, U.S. and allied forces defeated the Iraqi Army.
28 February – Operation Desert Storm ended when the cease-fire declared by President George Bush went into effect. I Marine Expeditionary Force had a personnel strength of 92,990 making Operation Desert Storm the largest Marine Corps operation in history. A total of 23 Marines were killed in action or later died of wounds from the time the air war was launched on January 16th until the cease-fire took effect 43 days later.
10 March – Five Marine prisoners of war were among the 21 POWs who arrived at Andrews Air Force Base, Washington, D.C. The Marine POWs were freed on March 5th and were transported from Iraq by an International Red Cross aircraft. They were: Lieutenant Colonel Clifford M. Acree, Major Joseph J. Small III, Captain Michael C. Berryman, Captain Russell A.C. Sanborn, and Warrant Officer Guy L. Hunter. The POWs were met by Secretary of Defense Richard Cheney and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Colin Powell. Also greeted by their families and thousands of other well-wishers, the POWs were then taken to the National Naval Medical Center, Bethesda, Maryland.
11 March – Major General Martin L. Brandtner was promoted to the grade of lieutenant general. He was serving as Director, J-3, Joint Chiefs of Staff.
11 March – President George Bush proclaimed the Marine volunteers of Henderson Hall, Arlington, Virginia, as the 400th "Daily Point of Light," part of his continuing effort to recognize community service and volunteering. Marines from Headquarters Battalion, Henderson Hall were honored for their tutoring work at Barcroft Elementary School in Arlington. During a ceremony at the school, President Bush thanked the "Marine Buddies" for their important work and inspiring example they are showing the nation.
12 March – President Bush signed an executive order establishing a Southwest Asia Service Medal for members of the U.S. Armed Forces who participated in Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm. The medal, designed by the Institute of Heraldry, depicts a desert and sea landscape on the front side with tanks, armored personnel carriers, helicopters, ships, and fixed-wing aircraft. It is suspended from a sand-colored ribbon incorporating the colors of the United States and Kuwaiti flags: red, white, blue, green, and black.
14 March – Euphoria in Kuwait rose with the return of the newly-liberated country's emir, Sheikh Jaber Ahmad Al-Sabah, after a seven-month exile. The emir's return brought hopes for democracy from the Kuwaiti people who endured the seven-month Iraqi occupation.
14 March – Five Marines and two Navy prisoners of war, who returned to the U.S. four days earlier, participated in a press conference at the Bethesda Naval Hospital. Appearing sharp and confident, they fielded numerous questions from the press on the details of their capture and experiences as prisoners.
16 March – The Commandant of the Marine Corps, General Alfred M. Gray, presented the Prisoner of War Medal to the five Marine POWs from the Persian Gulf. The ceremony took place at the Bethesda Naval Hospital.
1 April – Four new Landing Craft Air Cushions (LCACs) were delivered to Camp Pendleton, California. The LCAC hovercraft would transport troops, vehicles, and equipment from an offshore ship over land or sea into battle. The delivery increased the number of LCACs based at Camp Pendleton to 16. Most of the 12 older hovercrafts were deployed to the Persian Gulf.
1-15 April – Reserve Marines from the 4th Marine Division participated in Exercise Ahuas Tara 91 in Honduras. The joint U.S.-Honduran training exercise marked the first time the Marine reserve command was charged with heading such an exercise as active U.S. military components had previously headed similar exercises.
4 April – The Secretary of Defense, Richard B. Cheney, announced that Marine Corps Recruit Depot, Parris Island, South Carolina, was chosen as the 1990 recipient of the Commander in Chief's Award for Installation Excellence. The award is given to the installation in each military service that has done the best job with its resources to support the mission and provide innovative management actions. During fiscal year 1990, the depot successfully recruited, trained, and graduated 16,875 Marines with an increased emphasis on basic warrior and combat training.
6 April – President George Bush signed into law a Persian Gulf personnel benefits bill that increased imminent-danger pay, family separation allowance, group life insurance coverage, education assistance, childcare, and family education and support services. The Persian Gulf Conflict Supplemental Authorization and Personnel Benefits Act of 1991 authorized $15 billion for Persian Gulf operations, $400 million for benefits for service members, and $225 million for veterans' assistance.
7 April – A multinational relief effort to aid Kurdish refugees in southern Turkey and northern Iraq began. More than 7,000 U.S. military personnel supported Operation Provide Comfort. Serving in the operation was the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit (Special Operations Capable) consisting of Battalion Landing Team 2d Battalion, 8th Marines, Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron 264 and MEU Service Support Group 24. The relief effort established refugee camps, and provided food and security to many thousands of Kurds.
12 April – Defense Secretary, Richard B. Cheney, proposed closing 43 domestic military bases and realigning another 28, the deepest retrenchment since World War II. The proposal represented the first wave of a historic response to federal budget pressures and to the decline of the Soviet Union as a global adversary. The list of sea services' installations involved in the Defense Department Base Closure and Realignment proposal included nine major Navy bases and Marine Corps Air Station, Tustin, California.
15-18 April – Thousands of sailors and Marines were welcomed home by cheering crowds as they returned to their homeports from deployment to the Persian Gulf. They included more than 7,500 Marines of the 4th Marine Expeditionary Brigade that arrived at Moorehead City, North Carolina, and Marines of the 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit that arrived at Camp Pendleton, California.
18 April – The 1,000th F/A-18 Hornet became part of Marine All Weather Fighter Attack Squadron 242 at Marine Corps Air Station, El Toro, California. It was the sixth Hornet received by the squadron which was in the process of transitioning to the two-seat F/A-18D from the A-6E Intruder. Representatives of both McDonnell Douglas and Northrup Corporations were on hand, since this represented a milestone for the many people involved with the program since its inception.
22 April – President George Bush nominated Lieutenant General Carl E. Mundy, Jr. to be the next Commandant of the Marine Corps at the grade of general, succeeding General Alfred M. Gray who would retire during the summer. Lieutenant General Mundy was serving as Commanding General of the U.S. Atlantic Fleet Marine Force, the II Marine Expeditionary Force, the Allied Command Atlantic Marine Striking Force, and was designated to command Fleet Marine Forces which might be employed in Europe.
23 April – Exercise Team Spirit 91 ended after several months of training in the Republic of Korea. Marines of the III Marine Expeditionary Force participated in the 16th annual joint combined exercise. It was designed to evaluate and improve combat readiness to defend the Korean peninsula against external aggression.
24 April – Five Marines who performed heroic acts in the Persian Gulf received Silver Star medals in ceremonies held at Camp Pendleton, California. Lieutenant General Walter E. Boomer, Commanding General of the I Marine Expeditionary Force presented the medals to: Staff Sergeant Daniel A. Kur, Sergeant Gordon T. Gregory, and Corporals Bryan R. Freeman, Michael S. Kilpatrick, and Bryan K. Zickefoose.
24 April – The I Marine Expeditionary Force (MEF) was welcomed home from Operation Desert Storm during ceremonies at Camp Pendleton, California. At the same time, V MEF, that was activated in January to assume the missions and tasks assigned to the deployed I MEF, deactivated.
29 April – The Commandant of the Marine Corps announced the selection of Sergeant Major Harold G. Overstreet as the 12th Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps, in relief of Sergeant Major David W. Sommers who would retire during the summer.
2 May – A new training facility at Camp Geiger, North Carolina, was named in honor of Sergeant Major John M. Malnar who was killed in Vietnam exactly 23 years earlier on 2 May 1968. He was the recipient of two Silver Stars, two Bronze Stars, and four Purple Hearts. Malnar Hall is a multimillion-dollar, state-of-the-art complex at Camp Lejeune's School of Infantry. Officiating at the ceremony were Lieutenant General Carl E. Mundy, Jr. who commanded Malnar's unit (2d Battalion, 4th Marines) during the 1970s and retired Brigadier General William Weise, Malnar's commanding officer at the time he was killed.
16 May – Major General Harry W. Jenkins, Jr., Commanding General of the 4th Marine Expeditionary Brigade, testified before the Senate Armed Services Committee concerning the Navy's involvement in Operation Desert Storm. Major General Jenkins was one of several sea service officers who participated on the panel. He spoke on amphibious operations.
25-30 May – Lieutenant Colonel W. Beaman Cummings, Jr., Commanding Officer of Marine All Weather Attack Squadron 533, received the Lieutenant General John A. Lejeune Award for Inspirational Leadership from the Navy League of the United States during their annual convention in Anaheim, California. His squadron deployed to Operation Desert Shield after an extended eight-month deployment to the Western Pacific. During Operation Desert Storm, the squadron flew more than 400 combat sorties in 41 straight days of intense air-to-ground combat without the loss of a single aircrew or aircraft.
29 May – Elements of a joint task force that included the 5th Marine Expeditionary Brigade departed the Bay of Bengal off the coast of Bangladesh after nearly two weeks of disaster relief operations following a major cyclone. The joint task force arrived off the coast of Bangladesh on 15 May and proceeded to deliver tons of relief supplies using helicopters, C-130s, and landing craft. The operation, originally called Productive Effort, was renamed Operation Sea Angel when the people of Bangladesh referred to the Marines delivering needed supplies as "angels from the sea."
1 June – The strength of the U.S. Marine Corps on active duty was 199,356.
1 June – Brigadier General Carol A. Mutter was advanced to one-star rank and assumed duties as the Deputy Commanding General, Marine Corps Research, Development and Acquisition Command and Program Manager, Marine Air Ground Task Force Command Control.
7 June – Humanitarian relief efforts for Kurdish refugees in northern Iraq and southern Turkey transitioned from coalition forces to the United Nations High Commission on Refugees. The commission would be responsible for overall management of the humanitarian effort including coordinating all the actions of the nongovernmental and private voluntary organizations providing food distribution, water, health care, shelter, and social services to the refugees. Marines had participated in Operation Provide Comfort since April.
8 June – Operation Welcome Home paid tribute to every service member who went to Southwest Asia in support of Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm. Some 1,800 Marines, 14 pieces of major equipment, and 19 aircraft participated in the Desert Storm National Victory Parade in Washington, D.C. that was led by General H. Norman Schwarzkopf, Commander of the U.S. Central Command and Desert Storm forces. Marines from the I Marine Expeditionary Force and all its major subordinate commands marched in the parade reviewed by the Commander in Chief, President George Bush. In addition to the parade, Marines manned over 30 pieces of equipment on display for public viewing on the Mall in Washington. Two days later, over 1,700 Marines including about 650 reservists, marched down Broadway in New York City's ticker-tape parade.
11 June – A V-22 Osprey test aircraft crashed while attempting to land at a Wilmington, Delaware, test site. The accident came at a poor time for the V-22 program, which had been beleaguered by ongoing budget squabbles between Congress and the administration over its future. The program's ability to meet its flight-testing program had also been an issue.
12 June – Mt. Pinatubo in the Philippines began erupting and approximately 6,000 Marines and sailors from the III Marine Expeditionary Force and Marine Barracks, Subic Bay began to provide relief of the disaster-stricken area in Operation Fiery Vigil. The Marines and sailors worked closely with Commander, U.S. Naval Forces, Philippines, and Army and Air Force personnel and provided security augmentation, heavy equipment support, cleanup, resupplying food and potable water, generator support, and evacuation assistance. Within a few weeks, more than 20,000 American service members and their dependents were evacuated from Subic Bay Naval Base and Clark Air Force Base.
20 June – The official groundbreaking ceremony marking the beginning of construction of the $14.2 million Marine Corps Research Center was held at Quantico. The center will be a 100,500 square-foot library, research, and conference facility designed to focus on military history with emphasis on amphibious and expeditionary warfighting for the Marine Corps University.
27 June – Sergeant Major Harold G. Overstreet became the 12th Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps during a Post and Relief Ceremony held at Marine Barracks, 8th and I Streets, S.E., Washington, D.C. Sergeant Major David D. Sommers, who served as the senior enlisted advisor to the Commandant of the Marine Corps since June 1987, retired after more than 31 years in the Marine Corps.
28 June – General Alfred M. Gray, Jr. presented the battle color of the Marine Corps to General Carl E. Mundy, Jr. during a change of command ceremony at Marine Barracks, 8th and I Streets, Washington, D.C. General Mundy accepted the responsibilities as the 30th Commandant of the Marine Corps in front of a crowd of nearly 3,000 well-wishers, including Vice President Dan Quayle. The ceremony marked the first time General Mundy appeared wearing his fourth star, which he received that same day by direction of the President. The evening's ceremony honored the retiring General Gray. General Mundy would assume command on 1 July.
28 June – ALMAR 165-91 authorized the wearing of embroidered name and service tapes above the pockets on the utility jacket. The individual's last name would be above the right pocket and the words "U.S. Marines" above the left pocket. Although initially the wearing of these tapes would be optional, the ALMAR specified that it eventually would be mandatory, and the USMC eagle, globe, and anchor emblem device worn by Marines on the left breast pocket would be eliminated. Responding to objections from throughout the Corps, Headquarters, U.S. Marine Corps decided to retain the emblem on the pocket but will eliminate the USMC initials, as that would be redundant with the tape.
28 June – The Commandant of the Marine Corps approved the commemorative naming of a new barracks at the Officer Candidates School at Marine Corps Combat Development Command, Quantico, Virginia, in honor of Second Lieutenant Sherrod E. Skinner, Jr., USMCR, a posthumous Medal of Honor recipient from the Korean War.
30 June – After a seven-month deployment in support of Operations Desert Shield/Desert Storm and Operation Sea Angel, seven ships of Amphibious Group 3 and Marines of the 5th Marine Expeditionary Brigade arrived at their west coast homeports. The amphibious task group, with nearly 7,000 Marines and sailors, was diverted to Bangladesh to aid survivors of a devastating cyclone.
___ July – Lockheed Aeronautical Systems Company was building two KC-130T-30H Hercules Tankers, new stretched tanker versions of the C-130 military transport, for the Marine Corps Reserve. The 15-foot addition would increase troop-carrying capacity from 92 to 128 or would allow enough space for five additional cargo pallets. Scheduled for delivery to Glenview Naval Air Station in Chicago this fall, the tankers were primarily designed for aerial refueling of aircraft with a secondary mission of troop and equipment transport.
___July – The Navy awarded a $138.9 million contract to Textron Marine Systems of New Orleans, Louisiana, to build 12 new landing craft, air cushion (LCAC) vehicles approved under the FY91 budget. The single-source contract also contained the option for FY92 procurement of 12 additional LCACs. The LCACs had an estimated fixed cost of $11 million per vehicle.
___July – The design for the Korean War Memorial on the Mall in Washington, D.C. was rejected by the Commission of Fine Arts. The memorial design was five years in the making and already cost supporters $3 million when the commission claimed the overall design was "too much." The design depicted 38 seven-foot-high ground troopers lining a pathway to a pool with an inscribed stone and flag plaza encircled by linden trees. The Washington, D.C. firm commissioned to complete the design would work on revisions.
1 July – Marine All Weather Fighter Attack Squadron 225 reactivated at Marine Corps Air Station, El Toro, California. The F/A-18D squadron would be assigned to Marine Aircraft Group 11, 3d Marine Aircraft Wing. The squadron was inactive since June 1972.
1 July – Major General William M. Keys was promoted to the grade of lieutenant general and assigned as Commanding General, Fleet Marine Force, Atlantic/II Marine Expeditionary Force/Striking Force, Atlantic/Fleet Marine Force, Europe.
6 July – Detachments of the 2d Marine Division deployed with a task force of U.S. Navy ships for the 32nd annual UNITAS XXXII. The joint-combined operation was conducted with various navies of South America. The six-month cruise through Caribbean and South American waters was designed to promote hemispheric solidarity, military professionalism, and understanding among participating countries.
15 July – As of this date, all allied forces had left northern Iraq where they had been providing humanitarian and security assistance to the Kurdish refugees since April. The 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit (Special Operations Capable) was among the units that participated in Operation Provide Comfort.
15 July – Several months after Operation Desert Storm, Marines were still in Saudi Arabia backloading ammunition and other supplies onto ships headed home. As of mid-July, the Marine Corps had more than 4,500 Marines left in Southwest Asia -- 2,274 ashore in Saudi Arabia and another 2,257 afloat on ships of the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit. Nearly 90,000 Marines were in Southwest Asia during the height of the Persian Gulf War.
17 July – After more than a year of negotiations, the U.S. announced it will retain Subic Bay Naval Base in the Philippines for 10 years under a base agreement that included the closure of Clark Air Force Base there. The decision followed remarks by Defense Secretary, Richard B. Cheney, when he stated that refurbishing Clark after the extensive damage from Mt. Pinatubo was not a viable prospect.
30 July – A vote by the House of Representatives sealed the fate of Marine Corps Air Station, Tustin, California. The base had been targeted by the Base Closure and Realignment Commission to close as part of a move by the Department of Defense to reduce defense spending by closing over 30 military bases in the United States.
30 July - 10 August – The Marine Corps High-Power Rifle Team swept the National High-Power Rifle Championship Matches at Camp Perry, Ohio. The team placed first in eight of the 28 matches, including the men and women's National Service Rifle Championships. Military and civilian shooters from all over the country participated in the competitions.
31 July – The Senate voted to overturn the 43-year-old law barring women from flying aircraft in combat, paralleling a measure passed by the House of Representatives last month. The bill to modify the exclusion rule was drafted as an amendment to the Defense Authorization Bill for fiscal year 1992. While it did not mandate assignment of women aviators to combat aviation billets, the ruling would allow women to fly combat missions.
___August – The EA-6B Prowler electronic warfare (EW) plane, which recently proved its worth in the Persian Gulf War, was slated to receive a block upgrade that would extend its life into the next century. The latest upgrade, called ADVCAP (advanced capability)/Block 91, would be a combination of three major improvements: a vehicle enhancement program, an avionics improvement program, and an improvement of the plane's EW capabilities with a replacement of the Prowler's tactical support jamming EW suite and the introduction of the Navy's new low-band communications countermeasures system.
___August – The Marine Corps continued to develop a replacement for the assault amphibious vehicle, the AAV7A1. The follow-on system would complement the landing craft air cushion (LCAC) and medium-lift aircraft the Corps uses to transport troops from ship to shore during amphibious assaults. Some 13 different options would be considered for this purpose.
___August – As part of an on-going drawdown of forces, the Marine Corps would deactivate the fourth rifle companies of the Corps' eight Marine Expeditionary Unit (Special Operations Capable) battalions. This move, along with the shifting of the headquarters and service companies of those battalions to different tables of organization, would eliminate a total of 48 officer and 1,536 enlisted billets.
1 August – Major General Matthew T. Cooper was promoted to the grade of lieutenant general and assigned as Deputy Chief of Staff for Manpower and Reserve Affairs, replacing Lieutenant General Norman H. Smith who retired from the Marine Corps on the same day.
9 August – General H. Norman Schwarzkopf, USA relinquished command of the U.S. Central Command to General Joseph P. Hoar, USMC in ceremonies at MacDill Air Force Base, Florida. The ceremony marked the end of General Schwarzkopf's 35 years of military service which was capped earlier in the year with the highly successful Desert Storm operation. General Hoar, who was promoted to four-star status, had been serving as Deputy Chief of Staff for Plans, Policies, and Operations. Previous to that assignment, he had served as the Chief of Staff, U.S. Central Command under General Schwarzkopf.
13 August – Retired Brigadier General James Roosevelt, USMCR, the last surviving child of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, died of a stroke at his home in Newport Beach, California, at the age of 83. Commissioned in the Marine Corps Reserve during 1936, he took part in the Makin Island raid during World War II for which he was awarded the Navy Cross, and was also later awarded the Silver Star by the Army for gallantry. He retired from the Marine Corps Reserves in 1959.
16 August – Brigadier General Harold W. Blot was promoted to the grade of major general and assumed command of the 3d Marine Aircraft Wing.
20 August – The Commandant of the Marine Corps convened a Force Structure Planning Group at Quantico, Virginia, to assist him in defining the optimum structure for the Corps within the constraints considered by the Department of Defense. The 17-man planning group was headed by Brigadier General Charles C. Krulak who was serving as Director, Personnel Management Division/Personnel Procurement Division.
23 August – Captain Dennis M. Greene was selected as the 1991 recipient of the Leftwich Trophy for outstanding leadership by a company grade officer serving with the ground forces of the Fleet Marine Force. Captain Greene was assigned to the 2d Light Armored Infantry Battalion at the time of the competition. The trophy is named for Lieutenant Colonel William G. Leftwich, commanding officer of 1st Reconnaissance Battalion, who died in a helicopter crash in Vietnam. General Carl E. Mundy, Jr., Commandant of the Marine Corps, presented Captain Green with the trophy during a ceremony on 19 September.
27 August – The last Desert Storm participants to leave the Persian Gulf, some 5,000 Marines and sailors, returned home. The ships of the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit (Special Operations Capable) and the Navy's Amphibious Squadron One had embarked last December to aid in operations in Southwest Asia.
29 August – The Marine Corps Reserve, a force in readiness, celebrated its 75th anniversary. On this date in 1916, Congress passed an act to establish the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve consisting of five classes or types of personnel: Fleet Marine Corps Reserve, the Marine Corps Reserve A, the Marine Corps Reserve B, the Volunteer Marine Reserve, and the Marine Corps Flying Reserve.
___September – The Commandant's house at Marine Barracks, 8th and I Streets, Washington, D.C., underwent final renovations to repair and refurbish the "Home of the Commandants." The renovations, which began in 1987, included installation of a new heating and cooling system, replacement of the water systems' lead pipes with copper pipes, new carpeting and curtains throughout, repainting the exterior of the building, and repairing and replastering the walls and ceilings throughout. The house was first occupied by the Corps' third commandant Lieutenant Colonel Franklin Wharton in 1806, and is the oldest continuously occupied building in Washington, D.C.
___September – The Communications Electronics School at Twentynine Palms, California, was the first organization within the Marine Corps to receive a new production model AN/TYQ-23 Tactical Air Operations Module (TAOM). The modules would be fielded to Marine air control squadrons that operate the tactical air operations center on the battlefield.
1 September – Major General Royal N. Moore, Jr. was promoted to the grade of lieutenant general and assumed command of Fleet Marine Force, Pacific/Marine Corps Bases, Pacific, replacing Lieutenant General Robert F. Milligan who retired from the Marine Corps on the same day.
1 September – Lieutenant General Henry C. Stackpole, III was reassigned as the Deputy Chief of Staff for Plans, Policies, and Operations at Headquarters, U.S. Marine Corps.
1 September – Brigadier General James E. Livingston was promoted to the grade of major general. He assumed command of the 4th Marine Division in July.
6 September – ALMAR 232/91 was issued on the adoption of a Marine Corps command screening program. The Commandant directed that such a program be established to ensure that Marines are led by the best qualified officers and to provide all officers with an equal and fair opportunity to compete for command billets -- an approach long used in other Services.
14 September – The USS Hue City (CG 66), designed and built by Ingalls Shipbuilding division of Litton in Pascagoula, Mississippi, was commissioned into the fleet. It was the first U.S. Navy war ship named in commemoration of the efforts of Marines, soldiers, and sailors who fought to retake Hue City in Vietnam during January -March 1968.
15 September – A new C-17A transport, intended to augment U.S. airlift capabilities, flew for the first time. The Marine Corps, working closely with the Air Force, was testing the C-17A at the Air Force Test Center, Edwards Air Force Base, California. The C-17A, a four-engine, wide-body cargo carrier capable of hauling about 100 troops or 172,000 pounds of equipment and supplies, also has airdrop and aerial refueling capabilities.
16 September – The Philippine Senate, voting to end nearly a century of American military presence in the country, rejected a treaty extending U.S. use of Subic Bay Naval Base. Twelve of the 23 senators (four more than necessary) opposed the agreement that would have extended the lease on the base for 10 years.
27 September – In a ceremony at the Marine Corps Combat Development Command (MCCDC), Quantico, Virginia, Lieutenant General Ernest T. Cook, Jr. retired from the Marine Corps. He served as the commanding general of MCCDC, and transferred the MCCDC colors to his replacement, Lieutenant General Walter E. Boomer, former Commanding General, I Marine Expeditionary Force/Commanding General, Marine Corps Base, Camp Pendleton, California.
30 September – The battleship, USS Wisconsin (BB 64) was decommissioned for the third time at the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard. The ship was first commissioned in April 1944 and most recently saw action in the Persian Gulf in support of Marines and coalition forces fighting in Kuwait. The Wisconsin was put into mothballs as part of a general cutback in defense spending and downsizing of naval forces.
___October – All four V-22 Osprey test aircraft returned to flight status following the crash of aircraft number five in June. The aircraft's test schedule has
been put on hold since that date as naval investigators and program officials looked into what caused the V-22 to crash while on its maiden flight. Testing would be conducted at Bell-Boeing test sites in Texas and Delaware.
1 October – A contingent of some 300 Marines departed Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, for Naval Base, Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, where it was positioned to assist in the possible evacuation of U.S. citizens from Haiti. The turmoil in Haiti was precipitated on 30 June when military forces staged a violent coup, ousting President Jean-Bertrand Aristide on 30 September and installing a military junta.
1 October – Major General Michael P. Sullivan retired from the Marine Corps. Major General Clyde L. Vermilyea replaced him as Deputy Commander, Fleet Marine Force, Atlantic.
7 October – Lieutenant General James L. Underhill died at the age of 100 in Pacific Grove, Monterey, California. He was the oldest living retired Marine general officer at the time of his death. The general was commissioned in 1913 and served at many posts and stations during his distinguished career. During World War II, he participated in the Marshalls operation and became island commander of Tinian. He retired in 1946 after 33 years active service.
16 October – Four Marines died when their UH-1 Huey crashed during a training mission near Calpatria, California. The crewmembers were from Marine Light Attack Helicopter Squadron 169 based at Camp Pendleton, California. All UH-1N and AH-1J Cobra helicopters were restricted from flight following the crash.
16 October – Major General William R. Collins died in Richmond, Virginia, at the age of 78. He was commissioned in the Marine Corps in 1935. Ten years later, he was awarded the Silver Star for gallantry on Iwo Jima while commanding the 5th Tank Battalion. He later served as commanding general of the 3d Marine Division and III Marine Expeditionary Force during the Vietnam War.
17 October – The Marine Corps Aviation Association presented its annual aviation awards in Norfolk, Virginia. Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 235 was named winner of the Robert M. Hanson Award for Fighter Attack Squadron of the Year. Marine Attack Squadron 311 was awarded the Lawson H. M. Sanderson Award for Attack Squadron of the year, and Marine Light Attack Helicopter Squadron 369 received the Keith B. McCutcheon Award for Helicopter Squadron of the Year.
25 October – Lieutenant General George F. Good, Jr. died in Harlingen, Texas. He was 90 years old. A graduate of the Naval Academy, he was commissioned in the Marine Corps during 1923. Prior to his retirement in 1958, the general commanded the 2d Marine Division, Camp Pendleton, and the Department of the Pacific.
27 October – At its annual awards dinner, the Marine Corps Historical Foundation recognized individuals for their exceptional writing pertinent to Marine Corps History. The General Wallace M. Greene, Jr. Book Award was presented to Richard B. Frank for Guadalcanal: The Definitive Account of the Landmark Battle. The Colonel Robert D. Heinl, Jr. Award in Marine Corps History went to Dirk A. Ballendorf for his article "Earl Hancock Ellis: A Final Assessment" that appeared in the November 1990 issue of the Marine Corps Gazette. The General Roy S. Geiger Aviation Award for the outstanding aviation article published in the Marine Corps Gazette, was awarded to Major William H. Dixon, Jr.'s, "Close-In Fire Support: Is It Degraded by Bad Doctrine?" published in the October 1990 issue.
___ November – In an effort to deal with the rising epidemic of the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) infection, the Marine Corps issued the Commander's Guide to HIV. The publication stresses the importance of educating, testing, and counseling Marines on the disease. As this virus causes the Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS), the Corps urged units to conduct annual HIV-AIDS awareness classes.
___November – The Marine Corps Art of War Studies (MCWAR), (professional education for lieutenant colonels who demonstrate superior academic skills) was renamed the Marine Corps War College and retained the MCWAR acronym. The War College also moved directly under the President of the Marine Corps University at Quantico, Virginia, and was no longer part of the Marine Corps Command and Staff College.
___November – Secretary of Defense Richard B. Cheney approved the Department of Defense Civilian Desert Shield/Desert Storm Medal for some 4,000 civilians who served in the Persian Gulf War. It was the first such award since civilians were recognized for service in Vietnam. The medal was designed to salute those civilians who made substantial contributions to the success of the operations while enduring many of the same hazards and conditions faced by military personnel.
___November – The Commandant of the Marine Corps, General Carl E. Mundy, Jr., responded to the Secretary of the Navy regarding the FY92 Defense Authorization Act to lift a 43-year-old ban imposed by law on women flying combat aircraft. He pointed out the unique demands placed on Marine aviators and stated that "the Marine Corps has no requirement for women aviation officers in combat squadrons, and I believe that no gain in operational effectiveness would be achieved by their assignment."
1 November – The 9th Marine Expeditionary Brigade kicked off Exercise Valiant Blitz 92 in the Republic of Korea. The annual Seventh Fleet exercise was designed to improve defensive readiness of ROK and U.S. forces through combined and joint operations.
3 November – The 16th annual Marine Corps Marathon was held in Washington, D.C. Carlos Rivas, a 28-year old Mexican Marine, won the marathon and completed the 26.2- mile course in 2:17:54. Charlotte, North Carolina, native Amy Kattwinkel won the women's category, finishing in 2:44:27. Some 13,000 runners participated in what was dubbed the "Tour of the Monuments."
10 November – Marines throughout the world celebrated the 216th birthday of the Marine Corps. On this date in 1775, the Second Continental Congress in Philadelphia authorized the recruitment of the first two Marine battalions. In his birthday message, the Commandant stated that to military professionals -- both friend and foe -- the Marine Corps has personified the highest in all that is associated with the profession of arms.
___December – The Marine Corps' aviation safety record improved dramatically in 1991 with only 3.95 mishaps per 100,000 flight hours. It was a 45 percent improvement over 1990's rate of 7.23 and the third lowest annual rate since 1981. There were 14 aviation fatalities during the year, the lowest reported number in any year of Marine aviation since 1941.
16 December – About 300 Marines from the 8th Marines based at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, arrived at the Guantanamo Bay Naval Base in Cuba, to assist in Joint Task Force Guantanamo Bay. They joined 400 other military personnel to provide humanitarian assistance to more than 6,000 Haitian refugees. Marines erected temporary shelters and shower facilities, and provided motor transport, food service, and translators.
26 December – The Commandant of the Marine Corps approved the commemorative naming of a small arms range complex and future bachelor enlisted quarters at Naval Security Group Activity, Northwest, in Chesapeake, Virginia, in honor of Major Ross Lindsay Iams, USMC (Deceased) and Private Samuel Gross, USMC (Deceased). Both Marines received the Medal of Honor for heroism during the 17 November 1915 storming of Fort Riviere in Haiti.
30 December – The bodies of Colonel William R. Higgins, USMC, part of the United Nations peace-keeping force in Lebanon, and William F. Buckley, a former Central Intelligence Agency station chief in Beirut, arrived at an Andrews Air Force Base homecoming ceremony. Both were killed by their kidnappers in Lebanon, Higgins in 1989 and Buckley in 1987. Colonel Higgins was laid to rest at Quantico National Cemetery in Virginia. The Commandant of the Marine Corps, General Carl E. Mundy, Jr.; Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Army General Colin L. Powell; and Secretary of the Navy, H. Lawrence Garrett III attended Higgins' funeral. Buckley was buried at Arlington National Cemetery in a separate ceremony.
30 December – The Commandant of the Marine Corps approved the commemorative naming of the hanger serving Marine Observation Squadron 1 at Marine Corps Air Station, New River, North Carolina, in honor of Captain David M. Spellacy, USMC, a posthumous recipient of the Distinguished Flying Cross for heroism while serving with VMO-1 during Operation Desert Storm.
31 December – The strength of active duty U.S. Armed Forces was 1,933,855 of whom 193,060 were Marines.
USMC History Division