___January – The Department of Defense accepted an offer from the Saudi Arabian government to award its Kuwait Liberation Medal to members of the U.S. Armed Forces who directly participated in Operation Desert Storm, 17 January - 28 February 1991. The medal is suspended from a green ribbon, with red, black, and white stripes incorporating the colors of the flags of Saudi Arabia and Kuwait.
___January – Exercise Team Spirit 92, the largest combined exercise conducted annually between the U.S. and South Korean forces, was cancelled. The action was a conciliatory gesture by the U.S. and South Korea toward North Korea, which had strongly objected to the exercise conducted each spring. The two Koreas recently signed a peace treaty that banned all nuclear weapons from the Korean peninsula. Team Spirit is one of the Marine Corps' largest annual training exercises.
___January – A breakdown in negotiations between the U.S. and the government of the Philippines led to an order for the U.S. to vacate Subic Bay Naval Base by the end of the year, ending a vast American military presence for almost 100 years. The decision followed a year of intense talks between the countries on the fate of American bases in the Philippines. The 60,000-acre Subic base was the Navy's principal supply and ship-repair installation in the region. Some 550 Marines from Marine Barracks, Subic Bay would also relocate.
___January – Royal Ordnance delivered a prototype of its version of a towed, lightweight 155mm (LW-155) howitzer to the Army and Marine Corps for testing. It is the second firm to submit an LW-155 candidate for testing. A Vickers Shipbuilding and Engineering Limited prototype underwent Army-Marine Corps testing in 1990. The Marine Corps was pushing to purchase 548 LW-155s to replace the M198 155mm towed howitzers in the Corps' inventory within the next ten years.
1 January – The strength of active duty U.S. Armed Forces was 1,933,855 of whom 193,060 were Marines. These figures represented one of the largest decreases in active duty personnel strength from one year to the next. Comparatively, on this date in 1991, there were 2,340,354 active duty U.S. Armed Forces of whom 197,764 were Marines.
10 January – Lieutenant Colonel Doris Daniels became the first black female in the Marine Corps to be promoted to that rank while on active duty. (Lieutenant Colonel Winnie B. Dunn, a reservist, was promoted on 1 November 1991.) She was promoted by retired Lieutenant General Frank Petersen, the first black Marine to become a three-star general.
14 January – General Vernon E. Megee died in Albuquerque, New Mexico, at the age of 91. General Megee retired from the Corps in 1959 after a 40-year career in which he started as a private and rose to a four-star general. Megee was a pioneer in close air support development. As the colonel in command of the Landing Force Air Support Control Unit in the Iwo Jima and Okinawa campaigns, be brought the doctrine of close air support of ground units to an operational reality. He last appointment was in 1958 as commanding general, Fleet Marine Force, Pacific.
22 January – Seven astronauts from three countries went into orbit on board the space shuttle Discovery to conduct medical and scientific experiments for
one week. The crew included Marine Lieutenant Colonel David Hilmers, a mission specialist who made his fourth trip into space. Dr. Norman E. Thagard, a former Marine Corps Reservist and combat pilot in Vietnam, also served as a mission specialist on the shuttle.
31 January – Joint Task Force Guantanamo, commanded by Brigadier General George H. Walls, Jr., USMC, continued to provide relief support to the nearly 10,000 Haitian migrants that were housed in two camps at Naval Base, Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. On this date, the U.S. Supreme Court voted to allow the U.S. Government to repatriate Haitian migrants. The task force, which includes Marines, continued to provide shelter, food service, and medical support.
___February – The Department of Defense planned force reduction goals for the Marine Corps. It called for reducing the force to 159,100 Marines by 1997. The plan would dramatically change the Corps' force structure over the next five years in its biggest restructuring effort since the Korean War. Ground, aviation, combat support, and headquarters activities would be impacted by the plan which was designed to yield a smaller, more capable Marine Corps for the 21st century.
___February – The Marine Corps began to change the way it forms command elements. The long-standing practices of forming Marine Air Ground Task Forces and establishing permanent forces, brigades, and units was altered. The plan called for all six standing brigade-level command elements to be deactivated and replaced by Marine Expeditionary Force Command Elements. The change was a result of force cuts, budget constraints, and lessons learned in Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm.
___February – The Marine Corps announced that the "Avenger" would be a new addition to the Marine Corps' weapons systems inventory beginning in 1993. Also called the Pedestal Mounted Stinger, the Avenger is a low altitude, air defense (LAAD) system mounted on a high mobility, multipurpose, wheeled vehicle. It would be used by LAAD battalions in conjunction with the manned shoulder-fired Stinger missile systems.
___February – Marine Corps Research, Development and Acquisition Command was redesignated as Marine Corps Systems Command. The responsibilities of the Systems Command were streamlined with the redesignation. It would have comprehensive command for Marine expeditionary force programs such as all ground tactical equipment, vehicles, ammunition, individual clothes and equipment, and nuclear, biological, and chemical defense materials.
___February – Secretary of the Navy, H. Lawrence Garrett III, approved the Bronze Star Medal for about 3,000 Navy and Marine Corps personnel who served in the defense of Corregidor Island, Philippines, and fought alongside U.S. and Filipino Army soldiers from 7 December 1941 to 10 May 1942. During the infamous "Death March" from Bataan that followed, sailors and Marines suffered the privations of battle and internment.
___February – Staff Sergeant Roxane C. Thompson and Sergeant Eric Wetzel of the Marine Corps Combat Development Center, Quantico, Virginia, were chosen Marine Corps Athletes of the Year by the United States Military Sports Association. Staff Sergeant Thompson was also the first Marine to be selected as the Armed Forces Female Athlete of the Year. She was chosen for her outstanding performance in the 1991 Pan American Games in Sport Pistol and the 1991 U.S. International Shooting Championships as well as other competitions. Sergeant Wetzel was selected for his outstanding performance in the sport of wrestling where he won gold medals in the U.S. Greco-Roman National Championship.
19 February – ALMAR 039/92 revised the assignment policy for women Marines and permitted them to serve in the combat service support element (CSSE) of an airlifted Marine expeditionary brigade. Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm demonstrated that a maritime prepositioning force brigade, which is airlifted to a contingency area to link up with pre-positioned equipment, could successfully employ women in its CSSE.
27 February – The Chief of Naval Operations and Commandant of the Marine Corps testified before the Senate Armed Services Committee. Unlike past years, the Navy Department leadership issued one unified statement outlining their positions on the state of the Navy-Marine Corps team, its future course and fiscal year 1993 budget priorities.
1 March – Marine Aircraft Group (MAG) 12 celebrated its 50th anniversary. The group activated on this date in 1942, and participated in action during World War II and the Korean and Vietnam Wars. Two squadrons from MAG-12 were involved in operations in Southwest Asia. Currently, MAG-12 is located at Marine Corps Air Station, Iwakuni, Japan.
1 March – Lieutenant General James P. Riseley, USMC, Retired, died in Roswell, New Mexico, at the age of 94. General Riseley graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1922, and participated in World War II where he earned the Legion of Merit and Bronze Star. He retired from the Marine Corps in 1959 after serving as commanding general of Marine Corps Base, Camp Lejeune, North Carolina.
1-11 March – Marines from the 22d Marine Expeditionary Unit (Special Operations Capable) participated in Exercise Eager Mace held in Kuwait. The training exercise tested the aviation combat elements of Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron 362 and Marine Attack Squadron 231 as well as the light armored vehicles and howitzers attached to Battalion Landing Team, 1st Battalion, 8th Marines.
3 March – In ALMAR 050/92, the Commandant of the Marine Corps, General Carl E. Mundy, Jr., placed "the eradication of sexual harassment as a high priority issue on the agenda of every Marine" and civilian within the Corps. The message concurs with Secretary of the Navy, H. Lawrence Garrett III's pronouncement of 1 March that any officer or enlisted person found to have committed a sexually harassing act will be processed for administrative separation.
3-4 March – General Carl E. Mundy, Jr. appeared before the Senate Defense Appropriations Subcommittee and the House Armed Services Committee and warned Congress that the required force reduction of 30,000 Marines in the next few years would cut into the muscle of the Corps. He pointed out that the Marine Corps is the nation's "911 force" which has rescued more than 20,000 civilians and helped another two million in 1991.
5-25 March – The 4th Marine Expeditionary Brigade participated in Exercise Teamwork 92, a NATO exercise held in the North Atlantic Ocean, Norwegian Sea, and Norway. The exercise was designed to demonstrate and improve maritime surface and amphibious operations in the cold weather of NATO's northern flank.
9 March – The Commandant of the Marine Corps approved the commemorative naming of the main classroom for the Career Course at the SNCO Academy, Marine Corps Air Station, El Toro, California, in honor of Gunnery Sergeant John Steven Fredette, USMC (Deceased). He was a recipient of the Navy Achievement Medal for his outstanding contributions as an instructor at the SNCO Academy there.
10 March – The commemorative naming of the Marine Corps Artillery Detachment's Headquarters building at Fort Sill, Oklahoma, in honor of Major General Wilburt S. Brown, USMC (Deceased), was approved by the Commandant of the Marine Corps. Major General Brown was a pioneer in the coordination of naval gunfire, artillery, and air support as well as a noted instructor in those areas.
16 March – Marine Corps Air Station, Iwakuni, Japan, launched its last A-6 Intruder. After more than two decades in the air, the aircraft was retired from Marine Corps service and would be replaced by the F/A-18D Hornet. The Intruder was used in the Vietnam War and in the Persian Gulf as an all-weather attack bomber.
16 March – The Marine Corps adopted a silver bar with a red horizontal stripe insignia for chief warrant officers who served in the new CWO5 paygrade. The new insignia was based on a design developed by the Army Institute of Heraldry in 1965. The Warrant Officer Management Act, signed into law last fall, established a Chief Warrant Officer 5 rank and provided for all future warrant officer promotions, continuations, and retirements to be based on Marine Corps needs rather than on a fixed formula.
16 March – The Commandant of the Marine Corps approved a navy blue pullover sweater that could be worn with the blue dress "C" uniform in cold weather. The optional sweater was V-neck, wool, with shoulder straps and could be worn over long-sleeved shirts with neckties or necktabs. It was available to any Marine who would wear blues as a duty uniform such as Marine recruiters, Marine Security Guard Battalion Marines, and Marines at Marine Barracks, 8th and I Streets, Washington, D.C.
25 March – The first meeting of the Presidential Commission of the Assignment of Women in the Armed Forces was held in Washington, D.C. The 15-member commission was tasked to deliberate the laws that restrict women from combat. According to the 1992 Defense Authorization Act, the commission must study the readiness of an armed force that uses women in combat assignments, the effects of such assignments on unit morale, the public attitudes toward women in the military, as well as the legal implications of voluntary or mandatory assignments of women to combat positions. Final recommendations would be made in November.
29 March – Four Marines were killed when a CH-46E Sea Knight helicopter crashed off the coast of Somalia. Of the 18 Marines on board, 14 were rescued and five survivors received burns and were flown to Germany for medical treatment. The helicopter was from the 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit based at Camp Pendleton, California. Routine air operations were being conducted at the time of the accident.
29 March – Retired Colonel William L. Hendricks, USMCR, founder of the Marine Corps Reserve's "Toys for Tots" program, died at the age of 87 in Los Angeles, California. Toys for Tots was conceived in 1947 while (then) Major Hendricks served with the Volunteer Training Unit at the Los Angeles Reserve Center. For more than four decades, Toys for Tots has accomplished its mission with the help and generosity of local and national celebrities, businesses, and the American public.
31 March – Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 333 from Marine Corps Air Station, Beaufort, South Carolina, and Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 531 from Marine Corps Air Station, El Toro, California, were deactivated in order to meet FY-92 year-end strength reductions. The squadrons were selected for deactivation based on squadron history, length of service, participation in campaigns and operations, honors, and deployment cycles.
31 March – The USS Missouri, one of the nation's most historic battleships, was decommissioned due to defense cutbacks and the diminished Soviet threat. It was on the deck of "Mighty Mo" that the Japanese formally surrendered during World War II. The battleship also participated in the Korean War and the Persian Gulf War. It was the second time the Missouri was decommissioned. The first time was in 1955, and she was brought back into service in 1986. Marines have continually served as security guards on board the battleship.
___April – The Marine Corps formalized plans to remove from service all 48 of its OV-10 Bronco observation aircraft by March 1994. The first 12 OV-10s to be deactivated would be drawn from Marine Observation Squadron 2 at Camp Pendleton, California by the end of the year. The OV-10s were phased out as part of the Marines' five-year active duty force restructuring plan announced in February. The Corps planned to replace the OV-10s' capability by using a combination of the FA/18D Hornet and the AH-1W Cobra helicopter.
1 April – The command element of the 7th Marine Expeditionary Brigade was deactivated. It was part of the Marine Corps plan to deactivate all six standing brigade-level command elements by the end of FY-94. The new command and control concept plan was also a result of force reductions and budget constraints.
1 April – Marines at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, gained one-third more training space with the possession of 41,000 acres of land in neighboring Onslow County. The Navy Department bought the acres for $41,000 as part of the fiscal 1992 Defense Authorization Act signed into law last fall. The purchase increased Lejeune's size from 111,000 to 152,000 acres.
7 April – Lewis B. Puller, Jr., a Vietnam combat veteran and son of Lieutenant General Lewis B. "Chesty" Puller, was awarded the 1992 Pulitzer Prize for his autobiography, Fortunate Son: The Healing of a Vietnam Vet. The book tells the story of growing up in the shadow of one of the most decorated Marines in history, his service in Vietnam, being maimed by a booby trap, and his subsequent battles to survive his physical and mental wounds.
13 April – Marines of the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit were called upon to assist Italian authorities in saving the Sicilian town of Zafferana Etnea from an advancing lava flow by Mount Etna, Europe's largest volcano. Two CH-53E Super Stallion helicopters from Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron 266 from the USS Inchon helped carry over 200,000 pounds of concrete slabs to the perimeter of a vent in the side of the volcano which helped alter the lava's course.
30 April – The Naval Investigative Service report and the Naval Inspector General report were released and forwarded to the Chief of Naval Operations, Admiral Frank B. Kelso II and Marine Corps Commandant, General Carl E. Mundy, Jr. concerning the actions of naval aviators who attended the 35th annual Tailhook Convention last September. The documents stemmed from charges by Lieutenant Paula Coughlin, USN, a helicopter pilot who attended the convention, who reported that she and other women had been sexually abused by fellow naval aviators at the event.
1 May – Major General Jefferson D. Howell, Jr. assumed command of the 2d Marine Aircraft Wing, replacing Major General Richard D. Hearney.
1 May – Marines from Camp Pendleton, California, were ordered by President Bush to support law enforcement agencies in Los Angeles to quell riots that
broke out 29 April after four Los Angeles police officers were acquitted of criminal charges in the beating of motorist Rodney King. The 1,500 Marines and corpsmen were part of Joint Task Force Los Angeles along with 2,000 soldiers and 10,000 national guardsmen. Within six days, Marines were redeployed to a Marine Corps base as relative calm returned to the city. It marked the first time since 1968 that federal troops were ordered to quell civil unrest.
1-20 May – More than 30,000 personnel from the Marine Corps, Army, Navy, Air Force, and Coast Guard participated in Exercise Ocean Venture 92. The joint exercise took place on the North Carolina coast and included simulated battles, evacuations, rescues, and amphibious and heliborne assaults designed to test the services' integration into a joint task force.
4-28 May – Marines of the 37th Marine Expeditionary Unit participated in Exercise Cobra Gold 92 in and around the Gulf of Thailand. The 11th annual exercise centered on humanitarian and civic action joint-combined training. The combat arms training portions of the exercise were suspended.
6-20 May – Marines from the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit (Special Operations Capable) launched two amphibious and heliborne assaults during Exercise Dragon Hammer 92. The NATO exercise was held throughout southern Europe in the Mediterranean and included small arms and supporting arms live-fire cross-training.
14-17 May – Staff Sergeant Roxane C. Thompson earned a place on the U.S. Olympic Team by winning the Women's Sport Pistol Olympic Trials held in Chino, California. She would compete in the 1992 Summer Olympic Games in Barcelona, Spain. Staff Sergeant Thompson served as a marksmanship instructor at the Weapons Training Battalion, Marine Corps Combat Development Command, Quantico, Virginia, and had won numerous marksmanship honors.
21 May – The Department of Defense officially adopted new principles for battlefield coverage of the U.S. military in combat. The action followed eight months of discussion between the Pentagon and the news media on ways to improve combat coverage in the future. The sessions led to a consensus on nine principles that should guide future reporting from a battle zone.
27 May – The Women in Military Service for America Memorial Foundation announced that the design for a memorial to women veterans was unanimously approved by the National Capital Memorial Commission. The action was the first stage of approval for the memorial planned for construction at the gateway to Arlington National Cemetery. The memorial was authorized by Congress in 1986 to honor the 1.8 million women who have served the U.S. military throughout history.
28 May – The Commandant of the Marine Corps approved the commemorative naming of a Remotely Engaged Target System at Weapons Training Battalion, Marine Corps Combat Development Command, Quantico, Virginia, in honor of Colonel William A. Lee, USMC (Retired). A recipient of three Navy Crosses, Colonel Lee began his 31-year Marine Corps career in 1918, and later saw service in Nicaragua, and the Pacific Theater during World War II.
31 May – Marines from the 3d Force Service Support Group arrived to supply water to the drought-stricken island of Chuuk State, Federated States of Micronesia in Operation Water Pitcher. The Chuuk Marine Relief detachment consisted of Marines from the 9th Engineer Support Battalion, 3d Reconnaissance Battalion, and III Marine Expeditionary Force's Special Operations Training Group.
1 June – Brigadier General Carol A. Mutter was assigned to command the 3d Force Service Support Group in Okinawa, Japan. She would oversee 7,500 Marines of the III Marine Expeditionary Force's (MEF) major combat support element that could provide the MEF with a full range of combat support capabilities for up to 60 days. Brigadier General Mutter was the first woman Marine to have an operation command that could allow her to go into combat with her troops.
1 June – For the first time in 30 years, Marine would be allowed to see their fitness reports upon completion by their immediate supervisor. The major policy change was part of a Marine Corps effort to improve fitness report writing and performance counseling.
2 June – The 1st Tank Battalion relocated from Camp Pendleton, California, where it was stationed since 1947, to Twentynine Palms, California. The
following day, the 1st Tank Battalion and the 3d Tank Battalion exchanged unit colors, thereby redesignating the battalions. The 3d Tank Battalion was then deactivated. The restructuring of the tank battalions was to comply with Marine Corps downsizing plans.
6 June – Reserve Major Generals John F. Cronin and John T. Coyne assumed commands of the 4th Marine Aircraft Wing and the 4th Marine Division respectively.
6 June – Major General James E. Livingston was installed as the first commanding general of Marine Reserve Forces.
14 June – President George Bush broke ground for the Korean War Veterans Memorial during a ceremony on the Washington, D.C. Mall. The memorial
would be scheduled for completion on 27 Jul 1995, the 42nd anniversary of the armistice. The $16 million bronze and granite structure would stand in a grove of trees across the Reflecting Pool from the Vietnam War Veterans and Lincoln Memorials.
16 June – The 4th Marine Expeditionary Brigade (MEB) deactivated as part of the Corps' force restructuring plan that called for the dissolution of all standing brigade headquarters. The unit was activated on 24 October 1917 as the 4th Marine Brigade and participated in World War I. The unit disbanded after the war and was reactivated during the 1960s to participate in various exercises in the Caribbean and Atlantic areas.
16 June – Retired Major General William C. Chip died in Vero Beach, Florida. A graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, he served with 1st Battalion, 1st Marines in the Korean War and commanded the 9th Marine Amphibious Brigade in Vietnam. The decorated general retired from the Corps in 1972.
19 June – The Coalition and Special Warfare Division was activated at Marine Corps Combat Development Command, Quantico, Virginia. The new division
was a consolidation of maritime special operations capabilities, security assistance, low intensity conflict, and counterdrug programs sections. It reflected the Corps' increased emphasis on international training responsibilities with decreased resources.
26 June – The Secretary of the Navy, H. Lawrence Garrett III resigned due to turmoil over the Tailhook incident. Garrett became the 68th Secretary of the Navy in May 1989. Mr. J. Daniel Howard, Under Secretary of the Navy, became the interim acting Secretary of the Navy.
30 June – The strength of the U.S. Armed Forces was 1,854,743 of whom 189,433 were Marines.
___July – The Naval Services continued to be troubled by the consequences of the 35th annual Tailhook Association convention held in Las Vegas last September where at least 26 women were alleged to have been sexually assaulted. The fallout from Tailhook included investigations by the House Armed Services Committee that studied the criminal investigation process within each service and how sexual harassment in the military can be eliminated, the temporary suspension of more than 4,000 Navy and Marine Corps officer promotions by the Senate Armed Services Committee, and the approval of a $252 billion military budget by the House that would cut 10,000 Navy administrative jobs in retaliation for the Navy's poor handling of the Tailhook investigation.
___ July – General Electric Armament Systems was awarded a Marine Corps contract for an air defense variant for the light armored vehicle (LAV-AD). As many as 100 LAV-ADs, worth an estimated $250 million, would be produced in the next few years. Each GE system would contain two four-round Stinger missile pods and a GAU-12U 25mm Gatling gun.
1 July – Lieutenant General Henry C. Stackpole III was reassigned as Commander Marine Forces Pacific/Commanding General Fleet Marine Forces Pacific/Commander Marine Corps Bases Pacific. He replaced Lieutenant General Royal N. Moore, Jr. who retired from the Marine Corps on the same day.
1 July – In an address to Navy and Marine Corps senior leaders, Under Secretary J. Daniel Howard announced specific steps by the Department of the Navy to "drive out attitudes" that led to the Tailhook incident last year. Among the plans Howard announced was a "special training stand down" where every command, and every unit in the Navy and Marine Corps would suspend operations for one day to conduct training on the policies and expectations regarding sexual harassment.
1-24 July – Marines from the I Marine Expeditionary Force participated in Exercise Tandem Thrust 92 that took place off the coast of California and ashore in Southern California and Arizona. The exercise tested the capabilities of approximately 20,000 Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, and special operations personnel. It was the first in a series of joint task forces exercises that emphasized regional crisis response to a low to medium intensity conflict.
2 July – Major General Norman E. Ehlert was promoted to the rank of lieutenant general and reassigned as Deputy Chief of Staff for Plans, Policies, and Operations at Headquarters, U.S. Marine Corps.
7 July – Secretary of Defense Richard B. Cheney announced the appointment of Sean O'Keefe to serve as acting Secretary of the Navy. Mr. O'Keefe had been Comptroller of the Department of Defense for the past seven years.
7-13 July – The Marine Corps Pistol Team shooters took top honors at the National Pistol Championships at Camp Perry, Ohio. The annual event was host to 1,070 competitors from the U.S. military and civilian teams, including teams representing almost all of the nation's 50 states.
20 July – Three Marines from Patuxent River Naval Air Station, Maryland, and four civilian employees of Boeing Aircraft Company were killed when their V-22 Osprey crashed into the Potomac River near the Marine Corps Air Facility, Quantico, Virginia. The aircraft, one of five prototypes of the V-22, departed Eglin Air Force Base, Florida, earlier in the day. It was nearing the end of a long-range ferry flight from Florida to Quantico when the crash occurred due to a flash fire and an engine failure.
24 July – The Commandant of the Marine Corps approved the commemorative naming of the Camp Las Pulgas Mess Hall at Camp Pendleton in honor of Sergeant James E. Johnson, USMC, a posthumous Medal of Honor recipient from the Korean War.
27 July – The naming of the Air Defense Complex at Marine Corps Air Station, Yuma, Arizona, in honor of First Lieutenant George H. Cannon, was approved by the Commandant of the Marine Corps. Lieutenant Cannon received the Medal of Honor posthumously for gallantry in World War II.
30 July – Lieutenant General Robert J. Winglass retired from the Marine Corps. He was last assigned as Deputy Chief of Staff for Installations and Logistics at Headquarters, U.S. Marine Corps.
___August – The Loral Electro Optical Systems was awarded a contract by the U.S. Navy to produce 49 AN/ALQ-157 infrared counter-measure systems for the Marine Corps, Air Force, and National Guard. The AN/ALQ-157 was primarily designed to protect large, troop-carrying aircraft, such as the CH-46, from enemy infrared, heat-seeking missiles. The contract was worth $7.2 million.
___August – The Marine Corps awarded a team led by GE Aerospace a $43 million contract to upgrade two of its AN/TPS-59 air defense radars. The upgrade was designed to improve the radar's ability to detect and track incoming tactical ballistic missiles. The contract included options to modify all nine additional AN/TPS-59 radars in Marine inventories that could result in as much as $156 million being awarded to GE in the future.
1 August – Brigadier General Charles E. Wilhelm was promoted to the grade of major general. Last month, he assumed command of the 1st Marine Division.
3-19 August – Two years after Iraqi President Saddam Hussein invaded neighboring Kuwait, Marines of the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit stormed the beaches there in two peacetime exercises conducted to demonstrate U.S. commitment to the stability and security of the region. Over 1,900 Marines participated in Exercise Eager Mace 92-3, an amphibious field training exercise, while 900 Marine and Navy personnel were involved off-loading combat equipment from Maritime Prepositioning Force ships and staging equipment ashore in Exercise Native Fury 92. Two Marines were killed in a helicopter crash during routine night training.
5 August – President Bush announced the establishment of a White House health task force to explore complaints about care for veterans with war-related illnesses in his address to the Disabled American Veterans. Additionally, the Department of Veterans Affairs proposed to Congress that a Persian Gulf registry be established to note individuals who served in that region and track the health of those veterans, particularly those exposed to the fumes of burning oil.
7 August – Thousands gathered at the Marine Corps War Memorial in Arlington, Virginia, to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the landing on Guadalcanal and to honor those veterans who fought in the first offensive of World War II. President George Bush, Secretary of Defense Richard Cheney, and Commandant of the Marine Corps, General Carl E. Mundy, Jr. were in attendance. Of the 6,000 guests, over 2,000 were former Marines who were in Washington, D.C. participating in the 1st Marine Division Association reunion.
7-8 August – U.S. servicemen once again landed on the island of Guadalcanal, this time as part of a special purpose task force to commemorate the 50th anniversary of that famous pacific battle. "Task Force Guadalcanal" was comprised of active duty Marines from the 1st Marine Division and set sail in June on board the USS Racine. The task force visited several other South Pacific islands to commemorate Marine Corps and Navy actions in World War II's Pacific theater. On Guadalcanal, Marines and sailors linked up with 1,000 U.S. and allied veterans to dedicate several monuments and conduct other commemorative ceremonies.
11 August – President and Mrs. George Bush honored Marine Olympians at the White House upon their return from the Summer Olympic Games in Barcelona, Spain. Staff Sergeant Roxane C. Thompson (Women's Sport Pistol), Sergeant Anthony M. Lee (Greco-Roman Wrestling), and Corporal Sergio R. Reyes (Boxing) were also congratulated by Secretary of Defense, Richard Cheney. Although the Marines did not win medals, they felt honored to participate on the Olympic team.
12 August – Major General Robert A. Tiebout was promoted to the grade of lieutenant general and became Deputy Chief of Staff for Installations and Logistics at Headquarters, U.S. Marine Corps.
17 August – Company E of The Basic School witnessed the first lifting of training restrictions on women Marine officers since 1980 when the Marine Corps restricted women from participating in training exercises encompassing offensive tactics. The 22 women of the class would be fully integrated into the training, unlike their previous separation into all-female platoons, and they would participate in combat training on the same basis as men.
18 August – President George Bush announced his decision to provide 145,000 tons of food to Somalia via military airlift, along with a United Nations Guard Force to help provide security for humanitarian relief operations there. For Operation Provide Relief, Marines and other U.S. forces began to assist relief agencies in distributing supplies to the famine and drought stricken areas of Somalia and northern Kenya on 28 August. Marine Brigadier General Frank Libutti was named to head the military relief operations.
19-30 August – Marines of the III Marine Expeditionary Force teamed up with Republic of Korea (ROK) Marines and soldiers of both the U.S. and ROK armies in a historic Ulchi Focus Lens exercise held 20 miles south of Seoul, Korea. Eight U.S. Marine Corps general officers and 745 U.S. Marines participated in the command post exercise that stressed joint and combined service interoperability, joint targeting procedures, intelligence dissemination, and joint communications. Approximately, 130,000 U.S. and ROK armed forces participated in the exercise.
20 August – A retirement ceremony was held for General John R. Dailey, Assistant Commandant of the Marine Corps, at Marine Barracks, 8th and I Streets, Washington, D.C. He would be replaced by Lieutenant General Walter E. Boomer who commanded I Marine Expeditionary Force during Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm.
21 August – Six of the former Sergeants Major of the Marine Corps attended the evening parade at Marine Barracks, 8th and I Streets, Washington, D.C., honoring the past and present Marine Corps Sergeants Major. They were: Sergeants Major Thomas J. McHugh (1962-1965), Herbert J. Sweet (1965-1969), Clinton A. Puckett (1973-1975), Leland D. Crawford (1979-1983), Robert E. Cleary (1983-1987), and David W. Sommers (1987-1991).
22 August – On this day, 50 years ago, the 4th Marine Aircraft Wing was activated to participate in World War II. The wing was deactivated in 1946 and reactivated in 1962 as part of the United States Marine Corps Reserve. Since 1974, it has been located at New Orleans, Louisiana.
24 August – A change of command and promotion ceremony was conducted by the Commandant of the Marine Corps, General Carl E. Mundy, Jr., at Marine Corps Combat Development Command (MCCDC), Quantico, Virginia. Major General Charles C. Krulak was promoted to the grade of lieutenant general and assumed command of MCCDC. His father, retired Lieutenant General Victor H. Krulak, was on hand to pin on his son's third star. Lieutenant General Walter E. Boomer, who relinquished command of MCCDC, was promoted to general and would assume the duties of assistant commandant of the Marine Corps on 1 September.
24 August – Hurricane Andrew tore through southern Florida, just 20 miles south of Miami. Within a few days, Marines from the II Marine Expeditionary Force deployed to Homestead Air Force Base to help those left devastated by one of the worst hurricanes in U.S. history. The Marines erected two tent cities in close proximity to local neighborhoods so that residents could live under cover while they worked on their homes and got their lives back in order. Marines also provided field kitchens, generators, water purification units, and storage tanks. Joint Task Force Andrew, a relief effort headquartered in Miami, included some 29,000 Marines, sailors, soldiers, airmen and national guardsmen.
28 August – Typhoon Omar devastated the island of Guam with 150 mph winds. Marines from the 1st Marine Expeditionary Brigade began relief efforts one day later. Joint Task Force Marianas, made up of all four services, provided potable water, restoration of power, reestablishment of basic communications and transportation networks, restoration of sanitation support systems, and general island cleanup.
28 August – Bob Hope was honored by the Marine Corps for more than 50 years of service to the Armed Forces during an evening parade at Marine Barracks, 8th and I Streets, Washington, D.C. The parade also commemorated the efforts of the American entertainment industry's support of U.S. Armed Forces during World War II. He was accompanied by his wife of 58 years, Dolores. They were presented with the first two Civilian Desert Shield/Desert Storm Medals by General Carl E. Mundy, Jr., Commandant of the Marine Corps.
___September – The Marine Corps and Navy announced plans to integrate three Marine FA/18 squadrons and one Marine EA-6B squadron into Navy carrier air wings. The plan resulted in Marine fighter attack squadrons being chopped to the USS Abraham Lincoln on the west coast and the USS Theodore Roosevelt on the east coast.
___September – The 3d Marine Division began a reorganization phase that would extend over the next two years. The 1st Armored Assault Battalion on Okinawa, Japan, was redesignated as the Combat Support Group (CSG). The new CSG would provide a battalion-level command element for much of the division's redesigned combat support. In addition to its headquarters and service company, the CSG would consist of three companies: light armored reconnaissance, assault amphibian, and combat engineer.
___September – A detachment from Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron 265 was deployed to Cambodia for two weeks to provide helicopter support to Joint Task Force-Full Accounting (JTF-FA) investigators who conducted survey and excavation operations in Phnom Penh. This was the 19th operation of its kind sponsored by the U.S. Government since 1988. To date, a total of 2,266 Americans (of which 283 are Marines) are still unaccounted for from the war in Indochina that ended in 1975.
___September – The U.S. Navy awarded an engineering and manufacturing development contract to McDonnell Douglas for development of a single-seat E and two-seat F variant of the F/A-18 Hornet. The McDonnell Douglas contract was worth $3.97 billion for the design, manufacture, and testing of five E and two F models. Procurement of the new aircraft, an improved version of the existing C/D model, would be spread out over an 18-year period beginning in FY97.
___September – For the first time, the Marine Corps Toys for Tots Foundation was listed as an official charity of the Combined Federal Campaign. It would give Marine and other federal employees the opportunity to donate to Toys for Tots through payroll deductions.
1 September – Marine Corps artillery units completed organizational changes. Active artillery structure now comprised of three regiments subdivided into 11 battalions and 33 batteries. All 11 battalions were configured for the direct support mission. Each battalion would have three firing batteries, and each battery would have six M198 155mm howitzers.
3 September – Operation Provide Promise began for Marines of the 26th Marine Expeditionary (Special Operations Capable) on board the USS Iwo Jima, which was in the Adriatic Sea on standby. Although Marines were not directly assigned to the operation, four Marine helicopters from Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron 365 searched for an Italian transport plane that crashed in the mountains west of Sarajevo, Yugoslavia. It was the first time American military helicopters flew over the disputed territory of Bosnia-Herzegovina since they were dispatched to help protect the supply of food and medicine to Sarajevo last June.
4 September – A building at U.S. Eighth Army Headquarters, Korea, was dedicated to a Marine Medal of Honor recipient, First Lieutenant Henry A. Commiskey, Jr. The lieutenant earned his medal for actions during September 1950 while serving as a platoon commander with Company C, 1st Battalion, 1st Marines near Yongdungpo not far from the dedicated building. He survived the Korean War, eventually retired as a major, and died in 1971. Marine Major General James M. Myatt, Assistant Chief of Staff, Republic of Korea/U.S. Combined Forces Command, U.S. Forces Korea, presided over the dedication ceremonies.
11 September – Hurricane Iniki devastated the island of Kauai in Hawaii in one of the worst storms the islands had seen in over a century. Marines of the 1st Marine Expeditionary Brigade (MEB) based at Marine Corps Air Station, Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii, spearheaded Operation Garden Sweep, the massive cleanup effort conducted by Joint Task Force Garden Isle.
15 September – The nucleus headquarters of all brigade service support groups (BSSGs), except BSSG-1, were officially deactivated. This action, taken in compliance with the Marine Corps Force Structure Plan, was in accordance with the earlier deactivation of the command elements of the 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, and 9th Marine Expeditionary Brigades. Further Force Service Support Group (FSSG) realignments progressed as mandated in the force structure plan.
16 September – This date marked the 50th anniversary of the 3d Marine Division. The division activated at Camp Elliot, California in 1942 and participated in the Bougainville, Northern Solomons, Guam, and Iwo Jima campaigns of World War II. During 1956, the division was relocated to Okinawa, Japan, where it has been based since. The division participated in the Vietnam War, 1965-1969. Elements of the division later participated in evacuation operations in Vietnam and Cambodia during 1975, as well as Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm during 1990-1991.
21 September – The 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) command element was reactivated during ceremonies at Camp Courtney, Okinawa, Japan. It would provide the III Marine Expeditionary Force with a permanent amphibious planning and execution element in the Western Pacific. The 31st MEU was preciously active from 1967 to 1985.
22 September – The first radar-equipped AV-8B Harrier II Plus made its maiden flight at the McDonnell Douglas plant in St. Louis, Missouri. The new radar would improve the Harrier's bombing accuracy and air-to-air combat performance by providing it with a long-range mapping capability to help locate and identify targets as well as deliver ordnance accurately at night, in bad weather, and through dust and smoke. The Marine Corps would receive 27 of the aircraft during the next 18 months.
23-27 September – Camp Pendleton, California, celebrated its' 50th anniversary with a variety of events. The first two days saw Marines from Company K, 3d Battalion, 9th Marines retrace a historical march from Camp Elliott to Camp Pendleton. On the 25th, a rededication parade was held with former Commandant of the Marine Corps, General Louis H. Wilson as guest of honor. Additional events included an open house at Marine Corps Air Station, Camp Pendleton, and religious services commemorating the 50th anniversary.
25 September - 10 October – Marines from II Marine Expeditionary Force joined Italian and Turkish troops for Exercise Display Determination 92 in the Mediterranean. The annual exercise demonstrated the ability to conduct combined amphibious operations in a NATO environment, and to enhance warfare capabilities through training and coordination among NATO countries and commands in the Mediterranean Southern Region.
28 September – The Secretary of the Navy, Chief of Naval Operations, and Commandant of the Marine Corps signed a Navy/Marine Corps white paper that described the preparation of the naval service for the 21st century. The strategy, entitled "...From the Sea," was developed in response to the challenges of the 1990s. It shifted the focus from a global threat to a focus on regional challenges and opportunities, and concentrated on warfare near land and maneuver from the sea.
29 September – Captain Michael L. Ettore was selected as the 1992 recipient of the Leftwich Trophy for outstanding leadership by a company grade officer serving with the ground forces of the Fleet Marine Force. Captain Ettore was assigned to 1st Battalion, 8th Marines, 2d Marine Division 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.
30 September – U.S. Naval Station, Subic Bay, Republic of the Philippines (R.P.) was disestablished after 47 years of service to the U.S. Pacific Fleet following the year-old decision by the Philippine Senate to strike down the long-standing U.S./R.P. Military Bases Agreement of 1947. Most of the Marines assigned to the Marine Barracks at Subic Bay remained to continue to provide security for vital U.S. property and personnel.
___October – Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 451 achieved 60,000 Class "A" mishap-free flight hours. It took the "Warlords" 14 years to accomplish this record. During that time period, the squadron made the transition from F-4 Phantoms to F/A-18 Hornets, participated in combat, and deployed several times. The squadron topped the list of all Marine F/A-18 squadrons for flying the most mishap-free flight hours.
1 October – The House and Senate conferees agreed on a $253.8 billion defense appropriations bill for FY-93. The Marine Corps was to receive $8.8 billion of this in direct appropriations, a decrease of over $1 billion from last year's level and $100 million less than requested last spring as part of the President's budget. The Corps' military personnel account reflected a 3.7 percent pay raise that would be effective on 1 January 1993 and an FY-93 active duty end strength of 181,900, a reduction of 6,100 from the FY-92 total.
1 October – Marine Attack Squadron 331 was deactivated to meet congressionally mandated end strength for active duty Marine Corps personnel and reductions in Marine Corps force structure. The AV-8B Harrier squadron was active 1943-1945 and 1952 to present. It was primarily based at Cherry Point, North Carolina and Beaufort, South Carolina.
1 October – Marine Tactical Electronic Warfare Squadron 4 was deactivated from the Selected Marine Corps Reserve (SMCR) and was activated as an active unit. This action was part of the Marine Corps force structure plan to reorganize electronic warfare squadrons within the SMCR and active forces. The squadron relocated from Whidbey Island, Washington, where it was based since its' first activation in 1981, to Cherry Point, North Carolina.
1 October – Marine all-weather fighter squadrons were undergoing a major realignment that would shift east coast VMFA(AW) assets from Cherry Point, North Carolina to Beaufort, South Carolina and replace their A-6E Intruders with F/A-18D Hornets. On this date Marine All-Weather Attack Squadron 533 was redesignated as Marine All-Weather Fighter Attack Squadron 533 at Beaufort and kicked off the transition process.
1 October – As of this date, all Marines were required to wear name and service tapes on their camouflage utility uniforms. The Marine Corps' new standard name tapes were made from olive green cloth embroidered with black block letters. Surnames were spelled out in capital letters. Service tapes were inscribed with "U.S. MARINES."
13-19 October – Marines and sailors of the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit trained with Australian soldiers in Exercise Valiant Usher 93-1 at Lancelin Range, Australia. The combined amphibious training exercise was designed to improve allied interoperability. The high point was a simulated battle in the rugged Australian countryside approximately 60 miles north of Perth.
19 October – Marines of the II Marine Expeditionary Force (MEF) returned to Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, from Homestead, Florida, effectively ending the largest peace-time military operation: the cleanup after Hurricane Andrew. The II MEF was among the first units to arrive in August and virtually the last to leave.
22 October – Bell-Helicopter-Textron Inc. and Boeing Helicopter received an initial contract of $550 million to begin engineering and manufacturing development of the Osprey, the tilt-rotor aircraft that was the leading candidate to replace the Corps' current medium left helicopter, the CH-46. Terms of the contract called for the design, assembly, and testing of four new production V-22s and the modification of two existing V-22s for design-support flight-testing.
22-25 October – The Marine Corps Aviation Association annual awards were presented at their convention held in New Orleans, Louisiana. Marine All-Weather Fighter Attack Squadron 242 was named winner of the Robert M. Hanson Award for Fighter Attack Squadron of the Year. Marine Attack Squadron 231 was awarded the Lawson H. M. Sanderson Award for Attack Squadron of the Year, and Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron 265 received the Keith B. McCutcheon Award for Helicopter Squadron of the Year.
25 October – The 17th annual Marine Corps Marathon was held in Washington, D.C. Rene Guerrero, a 29-year-old officer in the Mexican Armada, won the marathon and completed the 26.2-mile course in 2:24:09. Judy A. Mercon, 33, of Clearwater, Florida, won the women's category with a time of 2:47:50. More than 13,000 runners participated in what was dubbed the "Marathon for a Drug-Free America."
25 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 Lieutenant Colonel Otto J. Lehrack III, USMCR (Ret.) for No Shining Armor: The Marines at War in Vietnam, An Oral History. The Colonel Robert D. Heinl, Jr. Award for the best article went to Major Jon T. Hoffman, USMCR for "Edson's First Raiders," Naval History, Fall 1991. The General Roy S. Geiger Aviation Award for best aviation article published in the Marine Corps Gazette was awarded to Lieutenant Colonel Cary R. Cheston for "Will the MAGTF Survive?" published in the June 1991 issue.
3 November – The Marine Corps honored Colonel William A. "Ironman" Lee, USMC (Retired) by dedicating a $5.5 million rifle and pistol range in his name at the Weapons Training Battalion, Marine Corps Combat Development Command in Quantico, Virginia. Colonel Lee, 92, attended the ceremony. Naming the range after a living individual was a rare occurrence, and an exception was made due to Colonel Lee's age and legendary experiences last May. A distinguished rifle and pistol shooter, Colonel Lee was officer in charge of the Quantico firing ranges when he retired in 1950.
4 November – A Marine Corps CH-53E Sea Stallion helicopter from the amphibious assault ship USS Guam (LPH 9) crashed into the Atlantic Ocean some 37 miles east of the Canary Islands, killing all five Marines on board. The Marines were assigned to Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron 261 serving with the 22d Marine Expeditionary Unit. They were conducting night operations when the crash occurred.
6 November – A final update of Operations Desert Shield/Desert Storm awards was issued by the Military Awards Branch at Headquarters, U.S. Marine Corps. 11,273 awards were approved for Marines including 2 Navy Crosses, 8 Distinguished Service Medals, 14 Silver Stars, 70 Legion of Merits, 21 Distinguished Flying Crosses, and 509 Bronze Stars. This total did not include Purple Heart and Prisoner of War medals.
10 November – Marines throughout the world celebrated the 217th birthday of the U.S. 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 Marines were part of an unbreakable, 217-year bond of courage, honor, comradeship, valor, and pride.
10 November – The Marine Corps closed out more than 90 years on the island of Guam as colors were lowered for the last time at Marine Barracks, Guam. Marines were first on Guam during the Spanish-American War in 1898 and a year later established the barracks. The Marines were there continuously with the exception of the World War II time period when the Japanese captured the island.
10 November – This date marked the 50th anniversary of the 3d Marine Aircraft Wing. The wing activated at Cherry Point, North Carolina in 1942, deployed to Ewa, Oahu, Hawaii during 1944 and deactivated in 1945. Reactivated in 1952, elements of the wing participated in operations in Southwest Asia, 1990-1991.
11 November – The Vietnam Veterans Memorial marked its 10th anniversary. Each year about 1.5 million people visited the memorial to reach and touch the 58,132 names engraved on it.
It became the most-visited monument in Washington, D.C. The memorial was designed by Maya Ying Lin. Her idea was selected from over 1,420 other design entries by an anonymous panel of artists and designers.
15 November – The Presidential Commission on the Assignment of Women in the Armed Forces presented final recommendations to President Bush. The commission voted on a number of issues after nine months of hearings and numerous visits to military commands. The commission stated that military readiness should be the driving concern regarding assignment policies and recommended that women in the military be assigned to combat positions under certain circumstances. By narrow margins, the commission recommended allowing women to serve on some Navy combat ships, but voted against allowing military women to fly in combat.
24 November – Marines lowered the flag at Subic Bay, U.S. Naval Facility, Republic of the Philippines for the last time during ceremonies to turnover the facility to the government of the Philippines. The withdrawal from the Philippines came 14 months after the Philippine Senate rejected the proposed treaty of friendship, cooperation, and security on 16 September 1991, ending almost a century of U.S. presence in the Philippines.
2 December – Marine Colonel Robert Cabana served as the pilot on board the space shuttle Discovery. The mission of the shuttle was to release a secret Department of Defense satellite and conduct a dozen military experiments. The shuttle would land seven days later at the Kennedy Space Center, Florida.
9 December – Marines of the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit (Special Operations Capable) landed in Somalia kicking off Operation Restore Hope, the largest humanitarian relief operation of its kind. The decision to send in the Marines followed several weeks of diplomatic maneuvering aimed at increasing world awareness of the brewing crisis in Somalia. Over 300,000 Somalis died of famine or disease since January 1991 and another two million people were at risk, suffering from a hunger crisis. The mission of the operation was to secure major air and seaports, key installations, and food distribution points in order to provide open and free passage of relief supplies.
11 December – Sean O'Keefe was appointed Secretary of the Navy by President Bush. Last July, he was appointed as acting Secretary of the Navy.
15 December – A detachment from the 2d Marine Division returned with a task force of U.S. Navy Ships from UNITAS XXXIII, an annual joint-combined series
of exercises conducted by the U.S. and South American military forces. The six-month cruise through Caribbean and South American waters was designed to improve operational readiness and interoperability of U.S. and South American naval and air forces.
31 December – The strength of the U.S. Armed Forces was 1,773,996 of whom 183,563 were Marines.
USMC History Division