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Chronologies of the United States Marine Corps
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Reference Branch
USMC History Division
2009

Currently all Marine Corps chronologies are not available on-line. The History Division will be adding chronologies as it becomes available in a digital format. Please check back periodically for new material.


Reference Branch
USMC History Division
2009

1982

1 January – The strength of the armed forces was 2,093,032, of which 190,039 were Marines.

5 January – An auditorium used for weapons and tactics instructor training at Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS), Yuma was named in honor of the late Colonel John H. Ditto. Colonel Ditto was instrumental in the creation and development of Marine Aviation and Weapons Squadron based at MCAS Yuma. Colonel Ditto was killed 19 January 1981 at the age of 44 when his AV-8A Harrier crashed at MCAS Cherry Point.

9 January – A Marine Security Guard duty vehicle in San Salvador, El Salvador, was fired upon as it was enroute to the Marine House. The vehicle sustained one hit from a 7.62 millimeter weapon; there were no injuries.

13 January – Jiro Horikashi, 78, designer of the Japanese Zero fighter that challenged Marine aviators at the outset of World War II, died of pneumonia in a Tokyo hospital.

13 January – The first Marine Corps F/A-18 Hornet aircraft went on the assembly line at the Northrop Corporation in Hawthorne, California. After final assembly and extensive testing, Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 314 (VMFA-314) was the first squadron at MCAS El Toro to receive the F/A-18, followed by VMFA-323 and 531.

15 January – The Basic Skills Education Program (BSEP) opened its new learning center at Camp Geiger, Okinawa. The BSEP, which prepares Marines for the Graduate Equivalency Degree examination, has helped almost 4,500 Marines since its inception in 1977.

20 January – General Robert H. Barrow, the Commandant of the Marine Corps advised that urinalysis test results received from drug testing laboratories could be used in disciplinary proceedings involving Marines accused of drug usage for any drug except cannibis.

29 January – The base theater at Marine Corps Air Station, Beaufort, South Carolina, was named in honor of the late Lieutenant Colonel Lee T. Lasseter, who served as a fighter pilot during his career in the Marine Corps.

29 January – River Road, Marine Corps Base, Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, was renamed to Julian C. Smith Drive in honor of the late Lieutenant General Julian C. Smith, who commanded the 2d Marine Division on Tarawa during World War II.

31 January – Marines of the Marine Security Guard Detachment in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, responded to a fire in one of the American Embassy buildings and were instrumental in extinguishing the blaze. A Marine inside the building was badly burned and was evacuated to the United States as a result.

1 February – The Commandant of the Marine Corps launched a concentrated campaign to eliminate the use of illegal drugs in the Corps following specific guidelines set in ALMAR 246. The language of the order was simple, beginning with: “the distribution, possession or use of illegal drugs is not tolerated in the United States Marine Corps,” and all Marines were subject to random urinalysis testing.

3 February – The flag at the American Embassy in Beijing, China, was lowered to half-mast by Marines of the security guard detachment in memory of Lieutenant General Joseph C. Burger, who died on 1 February. Lieutenant General Burger served with the 4th Marines in Shanghai and later at the embassy in Peiping in 1935.

12 February – A decision was made by the Commandant of the Marine Corps to have east coast Marine amphibious units (MAUs) redesignated. Under the new system, they would be numbered in the 20s with the first digit “2” reflecting the Marine amphibious force (MAF) from which each MAU orignated. MAUs from II MAF would be designated 22, 24, 26, and 28 instead of 32, 34, 36, and 38.

13 February – Marines from III MAF participated in “Team Spirit 82,” conducted in the Republic of Korea (ROK) to exercise deployment, reception, and employment of ROK/US forces responding to possible contingencies in the Korean theater.

20 February – The 20th anniversary of the historic flight of Friendship Seven Mercury Spacecraft, in which Senator John Glenn (Colonel, USMC, Ret.) was the first American to orbit the earth in outer space, was observed. The flight, which took four hours and 56 minutes, consisted of three orbits around the earth.

28 February – The Defense Department rejected all bids by competing companies to manufacture a new 9 millimeter handgun, which was designed to be compatible with NATO sidearms and replace the Colt .45 currently in use by U.S. armed forces. Of the four companies bidding, none was able to meet more than 11 of the 71 specifications laid down by the Defense Department, which plans to purchase 400,000 9mm pistols over a 10-year period.

5 March – The Commandant of the Marine Corps announced that the Marine Corps program designed to reveal drug usage among Marines is now applicable to the Marine Corps Reserve.

5 March – The first of 15 CH-53E “Super Stallion” helicopters was unveiled at MCAS Tustin, California, by Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 465. New features of the CH-53E included the ability to refuel in flight (a first for helicopters) and lift capability twice that of earlier models. East coast helicopter squadrons had received their first CH-53Es in 1981.

15 March – The USS New Jersey, a 40-year old veteran battleship of three wars, was refloated at the Naval Shipyard, Long Beach, California. The ship is being returned to service for a fourth tour of duty, and will include a Marine detachment among its complement of officers and men.

17 March – An attempt was made by dissident military forces of Guatemala to take over the government in that country. U.S. Marines were placed on alert inside the American Embassy, but were later ordered to stand down. There were no casualties.

22 March – The space shuttle Columbia (STS-3) embarked on its third trip into space in a mission that lasted 7 days, 3 hours, and 25 minutes. The crew on board included Marine Colonel Jack R. Lousma, 46, who previously was a member of the astronaut support crews for the Apollo 9, 10, and 13 missions and pilot for Skylab 3.

23 March – “Woodland” camouflage utilities replaced “poplin” utilities in use throughout the Marine Corps. The new utilities improvements include reinforced knee, elbow, and seat patches, unpleated breast pockets, slightly heavier material, smaller trouser pockets, and larger collars. The cost of new utilities remained the same as the old ones.

27 March – A group of 120 politcians and ex-combat troops broke ground on the Mall near the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C., for a $6 million memorial to those who served and died in Vietnam. The U.S. Marine Band played “God Bless America” at the groundbreaking.

31 March – A group of unidentified individuals fired a Chinese-made rocket-propelled grenade (RPG) and 20 rounds of small arms ammunition at the American Embassy in Guatemala. The RPG caused a 4-inch hole in a second floor. No injuries were reported. The local police arrived in a timely manner and conducted an investigation.

1-6 April – “Gallant Eagle 82” employed 10,000 Marines and sailors of the 7th Marine Amphibious Brigade (MAB) at Twentynine Palms, California, in a United States Readiness Command exercise. The purpose of “Gallant Eagle 82” was to provide a simulated combat environment to exercise, train, and evaluate the 7th MAB, along with other multi-service forces of the Rapid Deployment Joint Task Force, in a desert environment. In all, “Gallant Eagle 82” employed 25,000 soldiers, sailors, airmen, and Marines.

2 April – The annual Navy League awards were presented to the following: Colonel Jack B. Hammond, 2d Marine Air Wing (MAW), received the General John A. Lejeune award for inspirational leadership; Major Richard F. Vercauteren, 2d Marine Division, received the General Holland M. Smith award for operational competence; and Gunnery Sergeant J. J. Brown, 1st Marine Division, received the General Gerald C. Thomas award for inspirational leadership.

5 April – Approximately 15 shots were fired by unknown assailants using a small caliber rifle at the American Embassy in Tegucigalpa, Honduras. There were no injuries and only minor damage to the outside of the building was incurred.

11 April – The Dome of the Rock shooting by unidentified assailants in Jerusalem caused extensive re-examination of political priorities throughout the Middle East. Marine Security Guards at overseas posts in the Middle East increased security measures for the protection of American interests and property as directed by the Secretary of State.

17 April – The USS Lewis B. Puller (FFG 23) was commissioned at the Long Beach, California, Naval Shipyard and was named in honor of Lieutenant General Lewis B. “Chesty” Puller, the only Marine in history to receive five Navy Crosses. The Puller, a 445-foot guided missile frigate, was under construction since 1979.

17 - 29 April – 29,000 sailors and Marines from the United States, Australia, Canada, Japan, and New Zealand participated in Exercise “RIMPAC ‘82” to enhance tactical capabilities of participating units in most major aspects of conventional maritime warfare.

22 April – The battleship USS Iowa (BB 61), leader of the fourmember class of battleships remaining in the U.S. Navy, was moved from its moorings at Philadelphia Naval Shipyard in preparation for reactivation and recommissioning in January 1985.

23 April – Rotation of the 31st Marine Amphibious Unit (MAU) units occurred with Battalion Landing Team, 3d Battalion, 3d Marines (BLT 3/3), Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron 165 (HMM-165), and MAU Service Support Group 31 (MSSG-31) departing Hawaii for deployment to WestPac. These units replaced BLT 1/3, HMM-265, and MSSG-37.

27 April - 16 May – Exercise “Ocean Venture 82” was conducted in the Carribbean, the Gulf of Mexico, and the southeastern United States to emphasize command and control of forces in a simulated combat environment. It included 5,500 Marines in the overall force of 45,000 active and reserve military from all the armed services and units of the Royal Netherlands Navy and Marines. The exercise was designed to signal that the U.S. is prepared to defend its Caribbean interests.

28 April – Lejeune Hall, the United States Naval Academy Physical Education Center, was dedicated. The new center was named after Lieutenant General John A. Lejeune, an 1888 graduate of the Naval Academy who became the 13th Commandant of the Marine Corps. Lejeune Hall is a 95,000-square foot, steel, concrete, granite, and glass building. It features swimming and diving pools, six wrestling rings, strength training rooms, a 120-person classroom, and administrative offices. The grounds surrounding Lejeune Hall feature three memorial monuments.

30 April – Marine Helicopter Training Squadron 303 (HMT-303) was activated at Camp Pendleton, California, and was attached to Marine Aircraft Group 39, 3d Marine Aircraft Wing.

21 May – Brigadier General Paul A. Putnam, USMC (Retired), died in Mesa, Arizona. He commanded Marine Fighting Squadron 211, the “Wake Island Avengers,” on Wake Island at the beginning of World War II and was a Japanese prisoner of war for four years.

21 May – Marine Aerial Refueler Transport Squadron 252, the oldest continually active squadron in the Marine Corps, reached 250,000 accident-free flight hours.

21 May – The winner of the 1982 Annual Rifle Squad Combat Competition was 1st Squad, 1st Platoon, Company E, 2d Battalion, 3d Marines, 1st Marine Brigade led by Sergeant Jack Lawrence.

22 May – The 70th anniversary of Marine aviation was observed. On 22 May 1912, Lieutenant Alfred Austell Cunningham became Marine Aviator Number 1 in a solo flight at Annapolis, Maryland, after two hours and 40 minutes of instruction.

24 May – The 32d Marine Amphibious Unit (MAU), commanded by Colonel James Mead, began deployment with the Amphibious Task Force, U.S. Sixth Fleet on duty in the eastern Mediterranean. The 32d MAU was composed of Battalion Landing Team, 2d Battalion, 8th Marines, Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron 261 and MAU Service Support Group 32.

28 May – The 1981 Colonel Robert Debs Heinl Award for Marine Corps history was awarded to Mr. Jack Shulimson and Dr. Graham A. Cosmas for their article in the November 1981 issue of Marine Corps Gazette, “Teddy Roosevelt and the Corps’ Sea-Going Mission.”

2- 6 June – The Marine Security Guard Detachment in Paris, France, provided support during President Reagan’s visit at the Versailles Summit.

7 June – The embassy in Beirut, Lebanon, was the subject of a rocket and machine gun attack which caused minimal damage. A Marine was wounded by shrapnel but continued in a full-duty status.

8 June – Camp Kuwae, Marine Corps Base, Camp Smedley D. Butler, Okinawa, was renamed Camp Lester in honor of the late Hospital Apprentice (HA) First Class Fred F. Lester, USNR. HA1 Lester was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for heroism while serving as a medical corpsman attached to the 6th Marine Division on Okinawa during World War II.

11 June – Colonel Michael P. Sullivan, commanding officer of Marine Aircraft Group 11, became the first Marine Corps pilot to achieve 4,000 accident-free flight hours in an F-4 “Phantom” aircraft.

21 June - 2 July – 7th Marine Amphibious Brigade (MAB) units from Camp Pendleton and Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center at Twentynine Palms participated in Exercise “Stratmobex 2-82” to exercise and test 7th MAB alert, marshalling, and deployment plans and procedures.

23 June – Initial evacuation of the American Embassy in Beirut, Lebanon, began with the Marine Security Guard Detachment providing security.

24 June – The American Embassy in Beirut was secured then abandoned due to severe fighting in the area. Remaining personnel were relocated to the ambassador’s residence in the nearby city of Yarze. Nine Marines of the Marine Security Guard Detachment provided security.

26 June - 26 November – Over 250 Marines from the 2d Marine Division and the 2d Force Service Support Group participated with other U.S. forces and navy/air forces from various South American nations in Exercise “Unitas XXIII” designed to promote military professionalism between the United States and participating South American navies.

28 June – The Marine Corps’ last C-117D aircraft was officially retired at Marine Corps Air Station, Iwakuni, Japan, after a final flight to Naval Air Station, Cubi Point, in the Republic of the Philippines. Better known as the “Skytrain,” the C-117D had been used for combat support, transporting troops, cargo lift, medical evacuations, and had been modified for cold weather missions by having skis attached.

30 June – The strength of the armed forces was 2,107,709, of which 193,399 were Marines.

2 July – The last Marine U11A Piper “Aztec” aircraft was retired at Marine Corps Air Station, Cherry Point, North Carolina.

9 July – President Ronald Reagan designated this date as National POW/MIA Recognition Day, in honor of all former American prisoners of war, those still missing, and their families. The President called on all Americans to join in honoring those who made the uncommon sacrifices of being held captive in war. From World War I to the Vietnam conflict, more than 142,000 U.S. servicemen were taken prisoner and more than 17,000 died while in captivity. During the same period, more than 92,000 servicemen were lost in combat and their remains were never recovered.

16 July – Marine Fighter Attack Training Squadron 101 participated with U.S. air and naval forces, along with Canadian military forces, in Exercise “Amalgam Chief 82-5” designed to exercise NORAD (North American Aerospace Defense) personnel throughout the radar network along with fighter-interceptor squadrons.

16 July – Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron 164 (HMM-164) was the first squadron recognized by the Boeing/Vertol Company, the manufacturer of the CH-46 “Sea Knight” helicopter, to reach 100,000 cumlative flight hours. HMM-164 is based at Marine Corps Air Station (Helicopter), Tustin, California.

18 July – Operation “Phoenix Bear,” an all-Reserve amphibious landing exercise, was executed by the 46th Marine Amphibious Unit to test readiness of reservists and equipment for partial or complete mobilization at Marine Corps Base, Camp Lejeune, North Carolina.

26 July – The USS Vandegrift (FFG 48) was launched by Todd Shipyard Corporation, Seattle, Washington. The ship was named in honor of General Alexander A. Vandegrift, the 18th Commandant of the Marine Corps (January 1944 – December 1947).

29 July – Colonel Justice M. Chambers, who received the Medal of Honor for heroism on Iwo Jima, died at National Naval Medical Center, Bethesda, Maryland, at the age of 74. Colonel Chambers commanded the 3d Battalion, 25th Marines in the Iwo Jima landing on 19 February 1945. In addition to the Medal of Honor, Colonel Chambers received many other medals including the Silver Star, Legion of Merit with Combat “V,” and three Purple Hearts. Commissioned in the Marine Corps in 1932, Colonel Chambers retired from the Marine Corps Reserve on 1 January 1946. After his retirement, he began a career in the federal government largely devoted to the Nation’s non-military preparedness.

5 August – General Paul X. Kelley, Assistant Commandant of the Marine Corps and Chief of Staff, laid the keel of the Dock Landing Ship 42 (LSD 42) at the Lockheed Shipbuilding and Construction Company in Seattle, Washington. The ship is designed to transport combat-ready and equipped Marines to a deployment area.

6 August – Deputy Secretary of Defense Frank C. Carlucci, Postmaster General William F. Bolger, and Army Sergeant John O. Marsh dedicated a new twenty cent embossed stamped envelope commemorating the 200th anniversary of the Purple Heart award.

7 - 9 August – The 40th anniversary of the landing on the beaches of Guadalcanal and Tulagi in the Solomon Islands during World War II was observed. The landings marked the first Allied land offensive in the Pacific and were the first amphibious assaults against the enemy forces by the 1st Marine Division (Reinforced).

14 August – President Reagan proclaimed this day as National Navajo Code Talkers Day to honor the Navajo code talkers from the New Mexico and Arizona reservations who joined the Marine Corps during World War II. They used their native language as a base for a Marine Corps communications code in operations against the Japanese throughout the Pacific.

25 August – Approximately 800 Marines of the 32d Marine Amphibious Unit under the command of Colonel James Mead went ashore in Beirut, Lebanon, to form the United States element of a multinational force called in to assist Lebanese armed forces and to assure the safe and orderly departure of Palestine Liberation Organization forces from Lebanon. U.S. Marines joined approximately 400 French and 800 Italian military personnel to form the peacekeeping force.

27 August - 18 October – Marines from the 4th Marine Amphibious Brigade and sailors from east coast commands joined forces with servicemen from nine other NATO nations to participate in two exercises: “Northern Wedding ‘82” and “Bold Guard ‘82” in Norway, Denmark, and the Federal Republic of Germany. The exercises tested the capacity of alliance forces to bring in reinforcements and resist aggression in the Atlantic, Baltic, and Norwegian sea areas. The exercises provided an opportunity for the conduct of a combined amphibious assault in the North Sea followed by a tactical reembarkation for subsequent amphibious landings in the Baltic approaches and the Baltic.

1 September – General Roy S. Geiger was named to the Naval Aviation Hall of Honor and will be enshrined in the Hall of Honor in May of 1983. General Geiger was the first Marine aviator to have tactical command of all Marine Corps ground forces in the Pacific during World War II, and, as a lieutenant general, became the third Marine officer to wear three stars on active duty. On 30 June 1947, Congress passed a special act promoting General Geiger posthumously to four-star rank in the Marine Corps.

2 September – Captain Dirk R. Ahle, of Weapons Company, 2d Battalion, 1st Marines, 1st Marine Division was the recipient of the 1982 Leftwich trophy for outstanding leadership as the unit’s company commander. The award was presented to Captain Ahle who is from St. Louis, Missouri, at the evening parade at the Marine Barracks, Washington, D.C.

10 September – By order of the President, Marines of the 32d Marine Amphibious Unit were withdrawn from Lebanon for scheduled redeployment to Camp Lejeune.

15 September – The Marine Detachment, USS New Jersey activated at Long Beach, California. The detachment will help man the vessel that has assisted the Marine Corps in accomplishing its mission in three wars. The USS New Jersey is scheduled to be brought back for a fourth tour of duty in formal recommissioning ceremonies in January 1983.

20 September – President Reagan announced that U.S. forces will again join French and Italian troops in Beirut to enable the government of Lebanon to resume control of the city. President Reagan’s decision was spurred by the massacre of hundreds of Muslim Palestinians, reportedly by Lebanese Christian militiamen, in two Beirut refugee camps.

25 September – Camp Pendleton, California, the largest Marine Corps amphibious base, celebrated its 40th anniversary. First dedicated by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1942, the Marine Corps base has been the home of the 1st, 3d, 4th, and 5th Marine Divisions spanning three wars. It is currently the home of the I Marine Amphibious Force, the 1st Marine Division, 1st Force Service Support Group, and Marine Aircraft Group 39.

26 September – The Defense Department announced that the Armed Forces, in an effort to find contraband, have the power to open overseas mail for the first time since World War II.

26 September – The Navy Unit Commendation was awarded to Marines and sailors for their handling of the U.S. peacekeeping effort in Beirut, Lebanon. While on the initial 16-day operation, Marines of the 32d Marine Amphibious Unit oversaw the departure of more than 6,000 Palestine Liberation Organization soldiers. Marine Corps Commandant, General Robert Barrow, and the Commander of the Sixth Fleet, Vice Admiral William Rowden, presented the awards in a ceremony aboard the USS Guam, about sixty miles off the coast of Beirut.

27 September – The laying of the keel for FFG 47, a guided missile frigate, took place at Bath Iron Works, Bath, Maine. FFG 47 will be named in honor of Major Samuel Nicholas, the Revolutionary War Marine who is considered to be the Corps’ first Commandant.

29 September – 1,200 Marines of the 32d Marine Amphibious Unit (MAU) again joined 2,200 French and Italian troops already in Beirut, Lebanon, as part of the multinational peacekeeping force assigned to protect Palestinians and prevent factional strife of the sort that led to the massacres at the Palestinian refugee villages of Sabra and Shatila. The 32d MAU was under the command of Colonel James Mead.

30 September – The strength of the armed forces was 2,108,612, of which 195,715 were Marines.

30 September – Corporal David L. Reagan, USMC, serving with the multinational peacekeeping force, was killed and three other Marines wounded as they attempted to defuse a piece of ordnance inside the grounds of the international airport in Beirut, Lebanon.

1 October – The Marine Detachment, USS Long Beach was reactivated at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard, Bremerton, Washington.

5 October – The Communications/Electronics School at the Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center, Twentynine Palms, California, celebrated its 40th anniversary. The Marine Corps’ largest formal school offers 69 classes to Marines in 38 different job specialties.

9 October – Station Operations and Maintenance Squadron (SOMS) activated at Marine Corps Air Station, El Toro. The activation of SOMS was a result of splitting Headquarters and Headquarters Squadron, the largest squadron in the Marine Corps, to form two separate squadrons. The split made the SOM’S command responsible for all station aircraft activities.

15 October – Three thousand precooked and frozen hamburgers, complete with bun, ketchup, salt and pickle, were shipped to U.S. Marines serving in Beirut as part of several American companies’ reaction to headlines that Marines were not eating as well as their French and Italian counterparts. The burgers were paid for and shipped free of charge by American firms in response to an appeal by radio Station WDJX in Dayton, Ohio.

15 October – Fiscal year (FY) 1982 topped FY81 and was cited by the Defense Department as the best recruiting and retention year for the armed forces since the draft ended in 1973. Not only did the Marine Corps meet its recruiting goals, but 90 percent of the recruits were high school graduates. The retention of quality Marines during FY82 resulted in the second largest number of reenlistments on record.

18 October – The High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle (HMMWV), the “Humvee”, replaced the jeep and some of its younger brothers. The “Humvee” is a basic four-wheel drive 1 and ¼ ton payload vehicle that will serve as a personnel carrier, cargo carrier, command vehicle, weapons platform, and ambulance. Contracts for the development of this vehicle were scheduled to be awarded at the end of 1982 in a contest involving AM General, Teledyne Continental Motors, and General Dynamics, who competed for a $1 billion, 5-year contract for 50,000 vehicles including an option for another 50,000 at a later date.

19 October – A decision was reached by the Marine Corps Chief of Staff Committee to develop a new concept for organizing and manning Marine Air Ground Task Force Headquarters. The new plan called for the establishment of three Marine Amphibious Force planning headquarters each headed by a brigadier general and each permanently staffed with 47 officers and 45 enlisted men. Six Marine amphibious brigades, two in each division-wing team, manned by 65 officers and 85 enlisted men, were also planned.

22 October – Headquarters and Maintenance Squadron 13 (H&MS-13) was awarded the 1982 Villard C. Sledge Memorial Award for best J52 turboshaft engine repair unit in the naval service. H&MS-13 has received the award for five consecutive years.

22 October – In a recent test of the new “Meal, Ready-to-Eat” (MRE) rations, 91.5 percent of the Marines at Camp Lejeune preferred the new C rations over the old ones. The most important feature of the new C rations was the old tin cans gave way to a new flexible package – a “retort” pouch. MREs are lighter than C rations and the new packaging materials are designed to withstand climate and rough handling stresses. The new MREs will be issued this year as old C ration supplies are depleted.

29 October – The 24th Marine Amphibious Unit (MAU), under the command of Colonel Thomas M. Stokes, Jr., replaced the 32d MAU as part of the multinational peacekeeping force in Beirut, Lebanon.

29 October - 3 November – The 32d Marine Amphibious Unit backload into five amphibious ships in Beirut enroute to Camp Lejeune, North Carolina.

4 November – U.S. Marines extended their presence in the Lebanese capital of Beirut to the Christian eastern sector, sending their first patrol into one of the most devastated areas along the old “Green Line” that for seven years divided the war torn city into sectarian parts. The Marines carried M16 rifles and .45 caliber pistols, while two of the jeeps were mounted with 60 mm machine guns.

5 November – Retired Marine Corps General Edwin Allen Pollock, 83, the only Marine to command both the Atlantic and Pacific Fleet Marine Forces died in Charleston, South Carolina. He commanded the 1st Marine Division in Korea from August 1952 - June 1953.

7 November – The Seventh Annual Marine Corps Marathon took place in Washington, D.C., and Arlington, Virginia, covering 26 miles and 385 yards. 9,996 runners from every state and 27 foreign countries participated in the second largest marathon in the nation after New York’s. Jeff Smith, a 27-year-old postal worker from Cumberland, Maryland, took first place with a time of 2:21:29.

9 November – The “Green Knights” of Marine Attack Squadron 121 exceeded the 45,000-hour accident free flight mark. This milestone marked more than eleven years of accident free flying and distinguished the “Green Knights” as the leading accident-free fixed-wing tactical jet squadron in the Marine Corps.

9 November – The Commandant of the Marine Corps issued a statement elaborating on the approval of the Marine Corps’ new service rifle, the M16A2. The M16A1 underwent significant engineering changes to produce a more sound and reliable weapon. The Commandant stated that the Marine Corps’ well-deserved reputation for military professionalism stems in part from the unique relationship that has existed between a Marine and his rifle and from the Corps’ devotion to marksmanship proficiency as a fundamental skill of all Marines. The Commandant also stated that he was confident that the selection of the M16A2 will enhance the Corps’ combat effectiveness. Due to the rapidly declining inventory of M161As, the Corps has elected to replace them with the newer models on a one-for-one basis in FY84, with inventory conversion completed by FY89.

10 November – Marines throughout the world celebrated the 207th birthday of the Marine Corps, in honor of the founding of the Marine Corps on 10 November 1775 by the Second Continental Congress in Philadelphia. In his birthday message, the Commandant of the Marine Corps said that “on this special day, as always, those who rely on us can feel confident that, if needed, we are ready.”

10 November – The 3d Marine Aircraft Wing celebrated its 40th birthday at Marine Corps Air Station, El Toro, California.

11 November – Space shuttle Columbia’s first satellite-carrying commercial flight took place with Marine Colonel Robert Overmyer on board as pilot of the vehicle and Vance D. Brand, a former Marine who served with the Corps from 1953-1957, as shuttle commander. The four-astronaut team successfully released a massive communications satellite from the space shuttle Columbia and left it behind them in the open sea of space.

13 November – The dedication of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial took place at the memorial site in Washington, D.C., immediately following a parade in tribute to Vietnam Veterans. The dedication and parade was part of the week long National Salute to Vietnam Veterans which included a candlelight vigil, unit reunion registration, and religious services for Marine Corps Vietnam veterans and those from other services.

16 November – Space shuttle Columbia, piloted by a Marine and commanded by a former Marine, landed at Edwards Air Force Base, California, at the completion of a successful mission which included the placing into orbit around the earth of two $50 million communications satellites.

24 November – The 32d Marine Amphibious Unit (MAU) arrived at Morehead City, North Carolina, from Beirut, Lebanon, concluding its Mediterranean deployment. The 32d MAU was relieved in Beirut on 29 October 1982 by the 24th MAU and participated in a training exercise in Morocco prior to its return.

24 November – The last F-4 “Phantom” fighters departed Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS), El Toro, California. Flight operations have been slowly phased out at MCAS El Toro due to the noise levels of modern aircraft and their incompatibility with neighboring communities. This marked the end of a twenty-year era at the air station.

3 December – The new Federal Aviation Administration Building in New York City was named after Major Robert M. Fitzgerald, a highly decorated Marine aviator. Major Fitzgerald was killed in action in the Quang Nam Province of Vietnam on 1 June 1970 while attempting a helicopter rescue of a six-man reconnaissance team that was engaged in combat.

3- 7 December – The 31st Marine Amphibious Unit participated in Exercise “Jade Tiger 83” conducted at Wahibah Sands, Oman. The exercise included close air support in conjunction with the establishment of the beachhead by amphibious forces, follow-on strikes as the force moved inland, and interdiction against designated hostile surface contacts.

7 December – President Reagan approved the activation of a new U.S. Central Command (US CENTCOM) responsible for protecting U.S. security interests in the Middle East, Persian Gulf, and Indian Ocean areas. The command will be empowered to draw from a pool of about 230,000 troops in the U.S. in the event of a war emergency in that critical region. The unified command is an outgrowth of the Rapid Deployment Force created by the Carter Administration in 1980, in the wake of the Iranian Revolution and the Soviet invasion of Afganistan.

10 December – A 250-man Marine Detachment assigned to Exercise “UNITAS XXII” and the “West African Training Cruise 82” on board the USS Portland returned after a six-month deployment. Navy and embarked Marine Corps personnel made goodwill visits to numerous African areas conducting training activities, community relations projects, open houses, and other events to enhance U.S. and African relations.

13 December – U.S. Marine peacekeeping troops began training a special unit of the Lebanese Army in an expansion of the American role in Lebanon. About 75 Lebanese soldiers joined a company of 220 Marines at the Americans’ camp near Beirut airport for 21 days of training in basic infantry skills including helicopter assaults.

16 December – The 36th anniversary of Fleet Marine Force Atlantic was observed. The force was born out of necessity for a grouping of Marine air, ground, and specialized units under one command to produce the Marine Corps highly effective air-ground “Force in Readiness.” This force in readiness was able to respond quickly and effectively to the crisis in Lebanon this year.

29 December – The USS New Jersey was recommissioned. The battleship was first commissioned in 1943 and fought in World War II, Korea, and Vietnam. The New Jersey was modernized with the addition of 32 Tomahawk Cruise missiles, 16 Harpoon surface-to-surface missiles, and a close-in weapons system of computerized radar-guided Gatling guns. Three helicopters, known as Light Airborne MultiWeapons System (LAMPS), have also been added. The modernizing and commissioning of the battleship took place three weeks ahead of schedule. The Commandant of the Marine Corps, General Barrow, and President Reagan attended the recommissioning ceremonies. Two officers and 42 enlisted men make up the Marine Detachment on board.

31 December – Marine Fighter Squadron 214, 3d Marine Aircraft Wing at Marine Corps Air Station, El Toro, was named attack squadron of the year and received the Lawson H.S. Sanderson Award. Major General Sanderson was the Marine Corps’ dive-bombing pioneer noted for his experimental close support bombing exercises. The award was established to recognize superior performance of a Marine attack squadron.

31 December – The Commandant announced that Marine Corps aviation achieved a new milestone of a major mishap rate of approximately 6.3 major mishaps per 100,000 flight hours for 1982. Against the 6.5 goal the Commandant set for 1982, this represented significant progress and is the lowest annual rate ever attained by Marine Corps aviation. While the ultimate goal of Marine Corps aviation will continue to be a zero mishap rate, the Commandant was confident that with the emphasis on successful measures already established, the Marine Corps can continue to work towards that goal by attaining a mishap rate of 6.0 or less in 1983.

1983

1 January – A composite U.S. Marine Corps band participated in the 94th Annual Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena, California. The 100-plus member band was composed of musicians from Marine units stationed at Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii; El Toro, California; Camp Pendleton, California; and San Diego, California. This marked the 36th consecutive year that the Corps’ bandsmen participated in the Rose Parade. Over one million spectators saw the Marine musicians and millions more viewed the marching unit on nationwide television.

1 January – A new unified command for Southwest Asia known as the U.S. Central Command (USCENTCOM) was activated. The new command, made up of Army, Air Force, Navy and Marine units, is responsible for protecting U.S. security interests in the Middle East, Persian Gulf, and the Indian Ocean areas. USCENTCOM command took the place of the Rapid Deployment Joint Task Force and is empowered to draw from a pool of 230,000 troops in the U.S. in the event of a war emergency in that critical region.

1 January – The Basic Skills Education Program (BSEP) became effective to provide training in reading, mathematics, and English to Marines who were identified as deficient in any of the basic skills. Guidelines for screening eligible BSEP participants included motivation, level of basic skills required for satisfactory performance in a specific military occupation series, and military classification test scores.

1 January – The strength of the armed forces was 2,112,500, of which 195,700 were Marines.

3, 5, 7 and 12 January – Purple Heart Medals were awarded to three Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, Marines and the widow of another for wounds suffered 30 September 1982 at the Beirut International Airport, Lebanon, from an explosion of a cluster bomb during mine-clearing operations. Lance Corporal George Washington was presented the medal on 3 January, Corporal Anthony Morgan received his medal on 7 January, and Lance Corporal Leslie R. Morris was awarded the Purple Heart on 12 January. The widow of Corporal David L. Reagan, who was seriously injured by the blast and later died during surgery aboard the USS Guam, was presented his Purple Heart on 5 January.

6 January – Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 361 (HMH-361) at Marine Corps Air Station, Tustin, California, achieved its 25,000th accident –free flight hour. Major General Clayton L. Comfort, commanding general of the 3d Marine Aircraft Wing, stated that the “Flying Tigers” of HMH-361 showed leadership, professionalism, and dedication to accomplish all tasks and missions safely and successfully for five years to achieve this milestone.

7 January – Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 314 (VMFA-314), the first tactical squadron of any service to receive the F/A-18 Hornet, began flight operations at Marine Corps Air Station, El Toro, California. VMFA-314 personnel were trained to operate the Hornet at Naval Air Station Lemoore, California, with joint Navy/Marine Fleet Readiness Squadron 125. The F/A-18 Hornet, as a replacement for the aging F-4 Phantom, provides a quantum improvement for Marine fighter-attack squadrons.

13 January – Retired General David Monroe Shoup, 78, a former Commandant of the Marine Corps, died of a heart ailment at Circle Terrace Hospital, Alexandria, Virginia. General Shoup served as the 22d Commandant of the Marine Corps from 1 January 1960 until his retirement from active service, 31 December 1963. As a colonel in World War II, General Shoup earned the Medal of Honor while commanding the Second Marines, 2d Marine Division on Tarawa. The highly decorated general was buried with full honors at Arlington National Cemetery on 17 January.

14 January – Retired Major General Samuel C. Cumming, 88, died in Sarasota, Florida. Major General Cumming entered the Marine Corps 1917 and served with the 5th Marines in World War I. He was commanding officer of the 25th Marines and the assistant division commander of the 4th Marine Division during World War II. The decorated general retired from the Marine Corps in 1946.

22 January - 1 February – The Commandant of the Philippine Marines, Brigadier General Rodolfp M. Pumsalang, visited the United States as a guest of the Commandant of the Marine Corps, General Robert H. Barrow. The purpose of this visit was to tour Marine Corps operational and support commands, observe equipment, individual and unit training, and amphibious operations.

___ February – Technology replaced the versatile World War II “steel pot” helmet with a synthetic fabric model weighing the same three pounds but offering 25 percent more protection to the wearer’s head, temple, ear and neck areas. The same Kevlar fabric developed by Dupont Corporation was also used in the manufacture of flak jackets. Marines of the 32d Amphibious Unit sported the Kevlar flak jackets during their deployments to Lebanon in 1982.

___ February – The first M198, 155mm towed artillery piece was received by the 1st Marine Division cannoneers at Marine Corps Base, Camp Pendleton, California. The regiment’s aging fleet of 105mm howitzer cannons were slowly retired in favor of the Corps’ new M198. The M198 has a range nearly 30 kilometers, weighs 15,700 pounds, and has a hydraulic pedestal so it can be rotated 360 degrees in 15 seconds.

2 February – Captain Charles B. Johnson, USMC, of Neenah, Wisconsin, drew and loaded his pistol while blocking an attempt by three Israeli tanks to pass through his checkpoint near the Beirut University Library, Lebanon. The lead tank in the Israeli formation stopped a foot in front of Captain Johnson of Company L of the 24th Marine Amphibious Unit. The confrontation appeared to be the most serious of six or seven reported between Israeli soldiers and U.S. Marines on peacekeeping duty in Lebanon.

7 February – A McDonald’s restaurant had a grand opening ceremony at Camp Pendleton, California, marking the first fast-food enterprise invasion of a U.S. military base. McDonald’s won the contract for an on-base operation through competitive bidding late in 1982 after the base commander approved a request from the Marine Corps Exchange. McDonald’s believed the company would have great potential at Camp Pendleton, a base for 40,000 Marines.

15 February – Marines of the 22d Marine Amphibious Unit (MAU) replaced the 24th MAU in Beirut, Lebanon, as part of an international peacekeeping force. The 22d MAU was commanded by Colonel James Mead who also commanded the 32d MAU during the initial landings in Lebanon during August and September 1982. The 22d MAU was composed of Battalion Landing Team, 2d Battalion, 6th Marines, Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron 264, and MAU Service Support Group 22.

15 February – Retired Brigadier General Robert Hugh Williams, 75, died of cancer at his farm “Bryn Mawr” near Wales, Wisconsin. During World War II, General Williams commanded the 1st Parachute Battalion and in 1943 became the first commanding officer of the 1st Parachute Regiment. He was awarded the Navy Cross for action at Gavutu, Solomon Islands, and was executive officer of the 28th Marines when the regiment captured Mount Suribachi and raised the flag on Iwo Jima.

16 February – Marine Helicopter Training Squadron 301 (HMT-301) of the 3d Marine Aircraft Wing at Marine Corps Air Station (Helicopter), Tustin, California, celebrated eight years of accident-free flying. In addition to training Marine Corps personnel, HMT-301 also trained pilots from the Naval Flight School at Pensacola, Florida.

21-24 February – The U.S. Marines in Lebanon conducted humanitarian relief operations in the town of Quartaba during Lebanon’s worst blizzard in memory. The operations consisted of snow removal, distribution of food and heating fuel, and medical assistance. U. S. Marine helicopters also flew into Syrian -- held territory in Lebanon’s central mountains -- and rescued four Lebanese men suffering from frostbite and exposure. The operation brought about a degree of cooperation between the Syrians, Israelis, Lebanese and the multinational force.

24 February – Marine Colonel Robert F. Overmeyer, who piloted the fifth flight of the space shuttle Columbia in November 1982, visited Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS), El Toro, California. Colonel Overmeyer presented the commanding general of MCAS El Toro, Brigadier General Richard M. Cooke, with plaques displaying Columbia patches and Marine Corps flags taken on the shuttle flight.

26 February – The honor platoon from Marine Corps Recruit Depot, San Diego, California, was on hand to welcome Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, on the first stop of their West Coast tour at San Diego. The Marines were part of a dual ceremonial guard which included a platoon of Navy recruits and a Navy/Marine Corps joint color guard. The Queen inspected the military units and toured the San Diego harbor area.

28 February – Major General David M. Twomey assumed command of Marine Corps Base, Quantico, Virginia, upon the retirement of Lieutenant General Richard E. Carey. Since June 1981, General Twomey was director of the Quantico Education Center, an 11-school complex. Prior to assuming his assignments at Quantico, General Twomey served as Commanding General of the 2d Marine Division at Camp Lejeune from July 1979 - June 1981; and Inspector General of the Marine Corps from July 1978 - June 1979.

1-3 March – Over 100 volunteers from the 3d Marine Aircraft Wing, Marine Corps Air Station, El Toro, California, assisted Huntington Beach, California, civil authorities in flood relief operations.

3-22 March – “Team Spirit 83,” a joint combined exercise involving some 188,000 U.S. and Republic of Korea Army, Navy, Marine Corps, and Air Force personnel, was staged in South Korea. III Marine Amphibious Force Marines stationed at Okinawa and Iwakuni, Japan, participated by forming a Marine Air Ground Task Force comprised of about 8,000. “Team Spirit 83” maneuvers were structured to train for a Korean contingency based on the defense of South Korea against North Korean aggression.

8 March – The 24th Marine Amphibious Unit (MAU), the second American MAU to serve as part of the international peacekeeping force in Beirut, Lebanon, arrived at Morehead City, North Carolina. The 24th MAU was relieved in Beirut by the 22d MAU on 15 February 1983.

9 March – Retired Brigadier General Robert Bostwick Carney, Jr., 63, former commander of Marine Barracks in Washington, D.C. from 1964-1968, died at his home in Arlington, Virginia. General Carney earned the Bronze Star Medal with Combat “V” for his service with the 5th Marine Division on Iwo Jima and was awarded the Legion of Merit with Combat “V” for his service in Vietnam. He retired from active duty in July 1972.

11-17 March – Elements of the 4th Marine Amphibious Brigade and ships of Amphibious Squadron 4 joined Naval and Air Forces of Norway, Canada, the United Kingdom, and the Netherlands for exercise “Cold Winter ‘83” in Norway. The biennial exercise, sponsored by the Norwegian Brigade North, was designed to exercise coordination procedures between Norwegian and allied units in combat operations under winter conditions.

12-26 March – More than 3,200 Marines from the 4th Marine Aircraft Wing participated in “Operation Skyhawk,” the largest Marine air reserve exercise ever held. Approximately 100 aircraft from 48 units and personnel from all reserve units in the continental United States participated in the exercise consisting of close air support, combat air patrols, troop lifts, electronic warfare missions and aerial refueling. Marine units included elements of the 3d Marine Amphibious Brigade, elements of the 5th and 11th Marines, and Marine Aircraft Group 42. The exercise took place at Marine Corps Air Station, Yuma, Arizona, and other military installations in Nevada and California.

14 March – General Robert H. Barrow, Commandant of the Marine Corps, demanded that “firm and strong action” be taken to stop Israeli forces in Lebanon from putting Marines in “life-threatening situations” that are “timed, orchestrated and executed for obtuse Israeli political purposes.” The general’s charges were contained in a letter to Secretary of Defense, Caspar W. Weinberger. General Barrow had been concerned for months over what he considered deliberate Israeli provocations designed to discredit international peacekeeping forces in Lebanon.

16 March – Five Marines from Weapons Company, Battalion Landing Team 2d Battalion, 6th Marines, 22d Marine Amphibious Unit were wounded superficially during a foot patrol in an urban area called Warzia, northwest of Marine Corps positions at Beirut International Airport. An unknown assailant tossed a fragmentation hand grenade at the patrol marking the first direct attack against the 1,200-man force since American troops took up positions in Beirut during 1982. An Islamic fundamentalist group known as Jihad Islami, or Islamic Holy War, claimed responsibility for the attack on the Marines.

17 March – The 24th Marine Amphibious Unit (MAU) was presented the Navy Unit Commendation by Major General Alfred M. Gray, Jr., Commanding General of the 2d Marine Division, for meritorious service from 29 October 1982 to 15 February 1983 as part of the multinational peacekeeping force in Lebanon. During that period, the 24th MAU was commanded by Colonel Thomas M. Stokes, Jr.

18 March – Marine Light Helicopter Squadron 267 (HML-267) celebrated 80,000 hours of accident-free flying. Major General Clayton L. Comfort, commanding general of the 3d Marine Aircraft Wing congratulated the Marines of HML-267 and praised them for soaring past aviation milestones.

18 March – The Bachelor Enlisted Quarters at Henderson Hall, Arlington, Virginia, were dedicated in honor of Marine Lance Corporal Miguel Keith, USMC (Deceased), a Vietnam War Medal of Honor recipient. Keith Hall consists of two separate five-story buildings which share a common garden and green area and a two-level underground parking complex. The facility has 260 individual rooms and houses 553 Marines. LCpl Keith was awarded a Medal of Honor posthumously for his actions as a machine gunner with Combined Action Platoon 1-3-2, III Amphibious Force in Vietnam.

18 - 22 March – Approximately 13,000 Marines, Navy, Army, and Air Force personnel participated in exercise “Gallant Knight ‘83.” Marines of the I Marine Amphibious Force participated in the exercise which was conducted under the aegis of the U.S. Central Command at Fort Bragg, North Carolina; San Diego, California; and Camp Pendleton, California. The exercise was designed to test command and control functions and employment plans. It also examined procedures of the U.S. Central Command.

21 March – Lebanon’s President, Amin Gemayel, visited U.S. Navy ships which directly supported the peace-keeping mission of the multinational force in Lebanon. He flew aboard the USS Nimitz (CVN-68) and was briefed on U.S. Sixth Fleet missions by Rear Admiral Edward H. Martin, Commander, Battle Force Sixth Fleet. He also toured the USS Guadalcanal (LPH-7) and was briefed by Captain George D. Bess, Commander, Amphibious Force Sixth Fleet, on the capabilities of Navy and Marine Corps forces in the Mediterranean.

21 March – Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 323 (VMFA-323) of the 3d Marine Aircraft Wing (3d MAW) at Marine Corps Air Station, El Toro, California, received the first of 12 F/A-18 “Hornet” aircraft. The “Death Rattlers” of VMFA-323 are the second 3d MAW squadron to convert to the strike fight jet.

22 March – The High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle (HMMWV) contract was awarded to AM General Corporation. A $59.8 million fixed price contract included an economic price adjustment for 2,334 vehicles with spare parts, provisioning support, publications, and training. This was the first of a five-year multi-year procurement. The total multi-year contract is $1,184,766,345 for 54,973 vehicles. The 5/4-ton HMMWV can be adapted for multiple missions, including reconnaissance, command and control, troop and weapons carrier, and utility roles.

24 March – President Reagan announced his intention to nominate General Paul X. Kelley, Assistant Commandant of the Marine Corps and Chief of Staff since 1 July 1981, as the next Commandant of the Marine Corps. General Kelley was scheduled to succeed General Robert H. Barrow, Commandant of the Marine Corps, on 1 July 1983.

25 March – Retired Major General Samuel S. Jack who served with the 2d Marine Brigade in Nicaragua and commanded the Marine Corps, Navy, and Army fighter planes operating from Guadalcanal during World War II, died in San Diego, California. He was awarded the Navy Cross for actions in Nicaragua and three Legions of Merit during World War II and Korea.

26 March - 1 April – The presentation of the annual Navy League awards took place at the Navy League Convention in Washington, D.C. Five Marines were selected for the 1982 awards: Captain Kenneth T. McCabe, 2d Marine Division received the General John A. Lejeune Award for inspirational leadership; Colonel James M. Mead, Commanding Officer of the 22d Marine Amphibious Unit and Master Sergeant Steven R. Head of the 2d Marine Division received the General Gerald C. Thomas Award for inspirational leadership; and CWO-4 Bruce M. Wincentsen of Marine Corps Development and Education Command, Quantico received the Rear Admiral William S. Parsons Award for scientific and technical progress.

27 March – Retired Brigadier General Samuel Blair Griffith II, 76, a decorated veteran of World War II and an authority on Chinese military history, died of respiratory arrest at the Newport Naval Regional Hospital in Newport, Rhode Island. In the 1930s General Griffith was stationed at the U.S. Embassy in Peking as a Chinese language officer. He returned to China in 1946 and commanded Marine forces in Tsingtao for two years. After he retired from the Marine Corps in 1956, he took a doctorate in Chinese history at New College, Oxford University.

28 March – A CH-53 “Sea Stallion” helicopter from Marine Helicopter Squadron 362, 2d Marine Aircraft Wing, Marine Corps Air Station (Helicopter), New River, North Carolina, crashed near San Simon, Arizona, while enroute to Marine Corps Air Station, Yuma, Arizona. While flying, the tail section of the plane detached and caused the helicopter to crash. Six Marines were killed and one was injured.

5 April – The result of the third annual Colonel Robert D. Heinl, Jr. Award in Marine Corps History was announced at a meeting of the Board of Directors of the Marine Corps Historical Foundation. The 1982 award went to Lieutenant Colonel Robert E. Mattingly for “Who Knew Not Fear,” on article that appeared in Studies in Intelligence, a quarterly publication of the Central Intelligence Agency.

9 April – President Ronald Reagan designated this date as National POW/MIA Recognition Day in honor of all former American prisoners of war, those still missing, and their families. From World War I to the Vietnam conflict, more than 142,000 U.S. servicemen were taken prisoner and more than 1,700 died while in captivity. During the same period, more than 92,000 servicemen were lost in combat and their remains were never recovered.

11 April – Louis Gossett, Jr. won an Oscar for his performance as a Marine Corps drill instructor in “An Officer and a Gentleman,” one of 1983’s romantic smash-hits. Mr. Gossett was also the first black performer in 20 years to win an Oscar.

15 April – The Commandant of the Marine Corps approved the Commemorative Renaming of a portion of Malecon Drive at Marine Corps Recruit Depot, Parris Island, South Carolina, in honor of General Edwin A. Pollock, USMC (Deceased).

17 April - 11 May – More than 47,000 persons from the Marine Corps, Navy, Army, and Air Force participated in Exercise “Solid Shield ‘83”. It was the 21st in a series of annual Commander in Chief Atlantic joint exercise at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina; Fort Stewart, Georgia; and Morehead City, North Carolina. The exercise was designed to emphasize command and control of military forces in a simulated combat environment and included extensive air operations. Approximately 16,000 Marines from II Marine Amphibious Force and the 4th Marine Amphibious Brigade participated.

18 April – A large car bomb exploded just outside the U.S. Embassy in Beirut, causing massive structural damage including the collapse of portions of all seven floors. The French contingent of the multinational peacekeeping force in Beirut was first to respond and provided the initial security and relief efforts at the scene. Shortly afterward, U.S. Marines from the 22d Marine Amphibious Unit secured the area around the embassy. The explosion killed 61 people, including one Marine Security Guard and 16 other Americans, and wounded more than 100 persons. An Islamic group known as the Islamic or Muslim Holy War claimed responsibility for the attack.

25 April – A monument was dedicated at Arlington National Cemetery to the three Marines and five airmen who died in the attempt to rescue American hostages in Iran during 1980.

26 April – Lance Corporal Robert McMaugh of Manassas, Virginia, was buried at Arlington National Cemetery. Corporal McMaugh, a Marine Security Guard at the U.S. Embassy in Beirut, was one of 61 people killed when the embassy was bombed on 18 April. He was standing guard at Post 1, just inside the front entrance when the bomb exploded outside the door. The other seven Marine Security Guards in the building were wounded in the blast.

26 April – Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron 266 was activated as part of Marine Aircraft Group 26, 2d Marine Aircraft Wing at Marine Corps Air Station (Helicopter), New River, North Carolina.

27 April – The USS Nicholas (FFG-47), a guided missile frigate, was launched at Bath Iron Works, Bath, Maine. General Leonard F. Chapman, Jr., former Commandant of the Marine Corps, was the principal speaker at the ceremony. The ship was named in honor of Major Samuel Nicholas, the Revolutionary War Marine considered to be the Corps’ first Commandant.

27 April – A CH-53D “Sea Stallion” helicopter from Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 461, 2d Marine Aircraft Wing, Marine Corps Air Station (Helicopter), New River, North Carolina, crashed in Virginia Beach, Virginia. The helicopter was conducting an amphibious assault rehearsal in conjunction with Exercise “Solid Shield ‘83.” The crash killed one Marine and injured three others.

5 May – In Beirut, Lebanon, a UH-1 Huey helicopter carrying the commander of the American peacekeeping force, Colonel James Mead, was hit by machine gun fire. The six Marines aboard escaped injury. Colonel Mead and his crew had taken off in the helicopter to investigate artillery and rocket duels between rival Syrian-backed Druze Muslim militiamen and Christian Phalangists that endangered French members of the multinational force.

7-21 May – The Commandant General of the United Kingdom’s Royal Marines, Lieutenant General Sir Steuart R. Pringle, visited the Commandant of the Marine Corps, General Robert H. Barrow. The visiting general toured Marine Corps facilities in Washington, D.C. and southern California.

12 May – President Reagan nominated Lieutenant General John K. Davis, Commanding General, Fleet Marine Force, Pacific for promotion to full General and assignment as Assistant Commandant of the Marine Corps. General Davis was scheduled to succeed General Paul X. Kelley, Assistant Commandant of the Marine Corps, 1 July 1983.

15 May – The Veterans Administration dedicated its newest national cemetery in Quantico, Virginia. The first burial took place 16 May. The new cemetery will relieve pressures for burial space at Arlington National Cemetery which has been forced to restrict eligibility in recent years. Interment in the Quantico National Cemetery will be available to any veteran who was discharged under conditions other than dishonorable, regardless of rank or length of service. The creation and designation of the Quantico site was made possible when the Marine Corps transferred 725 acres of land to the Veterans Administration, thereby providing for the burial needs of more than 600,000 veterans and their dependents. When fully developed, the Quantico National Cemetery will include 275 interment acres, a memorial center, assembly areas, mausoleum, administrative and maintenance facilities, and a six-acre lake.

25 May – The Commandant of the Marine Corps announced the selection of Sergeant Major Robert E. Cleary as the next Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps effective 1 July 1983. Sergeant Major Cleary succeeded the retiring Sergeant Major Leland D. Crawford as the Marine Corps’ highest ranking enlisted Marine. He becomes the tenth Marine to hold the post.

26-27 May – General Robert H. Barrow, Commandant of the Marine Corps, and Sergeant Major Leland D. Crawford, Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps, visited with Marines and sailors of the 22d Marine Amphibious Unit in Beirut, Lebanon. The Commandant presented Purple Heart Medals to five Marines who were wounded in a grenade attack on 16 March. He also presented 12 awards to French Marines for their assistance after the bombing of the U.S. Embassy on 18 April.

27 May – Two explosions occurred outside the American Embassy at Lima, Peru. Marines took up defensive positions. No further incidents occurred and there were no injuries.

29 May – The Marine Corps provided assault amphibian vehicle support to the state of Louisiana due to the imminent danger of the Mississippi River flooding the Louisiana State Penitentiary at Angola, Louisiana. The extent of damage was minor water seepage along the inboard side of the 18-mile long levee and an unknown amount of water absorbed by the levee itself. The support was requested by the governor of Louisiana.

30 May – Marines of the 24th Marine Amphibious Unit (MAU) took over peacekeeping duties in Beirut, Lebanon, and replaced 22d MAU Marines who had been ashore since 15 February 1983. The 24th MAU was commanded by Colonel Timothy J. Geraghty.

7 June – The U.S. Postal Service issued a stamp at a Pentagon ceremony commemorating the 120th anniversary of the Medal of Honor. Local postmasters planned ceremonies to present special stamp albums to Medal of Honor recipients in their communities. There are 260 living Medal of Honor recipients including 47 Marines.

7-13 June – More than 30,000 Marine Corps and Navy personnel participated in Exercise “Valiant Blitz ‘83” on Okinawa, Japan. The exercise was designed to provide forces with training in amphibious landing techniques and operations ashore. “Valiant Blitz” involved approximately 3,000 Marines plus 20 ships and 250 aircraft. It was the biggest exercise on Okinawa since “Fortress Gale” in 1979.

14 June – A bomb exploded under a van outside the residence of Marines assigned to the U.S. Embassy in Buenos Aires, Argentina, damaging the vehicle but causing no injuries. The bombing came on the first anniversary of Argentina’s surrender to Britain in the 1982 Falklands war.

16 June - 13 December – Marines of the 2d Marine Division participated in Exercise “Unitas XXIV/West African Training Cruise 83” in the Caribbean, South American, and West African waters. It provided training opportunities and interactions for South American and West African Navies and Marine Corps to exercise in combined training operations and to support mutual interest in the defense of the free world. The exercise was conducted in eight phases followed by seven port visits to five West African countries.

17 June – Navy Hospital Corpsmen were honored at Camp Pendleton, California, with the dedication of the Hospital Corpsmen/Dental Technician/Marine Combat Memorial at the Naval Regional Medical Center. The monument was made by Oceanside, California, artist, Raul Avina, whose design was based on a scene he had witnessed at Iwo Jima while serving in the Marine Corps.

21 June – Marines of the 22d Marine Amphibious Unit (MAU) arrived at Key West, Florida, after serving as part of the international peacekeeping force in Beirut, Lebanon, for four months. The 22d MAU was relieved in Beirut by the 24th MAU on 30 May 1983.

26 June – Before an estimated 3,400 Marines and visitors including President Ronald Reagan, the Commander in Chief, General Paul X. Kelley received the official battle color of the Marine Corps, relieving General Robert H. Barrow as Commandant of the Marine Corps. The ceremonies were conducted at Marine Barracks, Washington, D.C. General Kelley assumed command as the 28th Commandant of the Marine Corps and General Barrow officially retired. General Kelley’s command was effective 1 July 1983.

27 June – The U.S. Embassy in San Salvador, El Salvador, was sprayed with gunfire by unknown assailants in two passing vehicles. Seconds later, a rocket fired at the building hit a nearby tree and exploded. There were no reports of injuries in the attack and only minor damage was inflicted upon the embassy building. The attack caused some alarm since the embassy is located in a residential sector of the city.

27 June – The 22d Marine Amphibious Unit (MAU) received a Navy Unit Commendation for meritorious service in Lebanon. The award was made during the promotion ceremony of Colonel James Mead, former commanding officer of the 22d MAU, to brigadier general.

30 June – The strength of the armed forces was 2,113,400 of which 193,993 were Marines.

5 July – Secretary of State, George Shultz, visited the 24th Marine Amphibious Unit in Beirut, Lebanon. A former Marine major who served in the Pacific during World War II, Secretary Shultz was enroute to Damascus, Syria, to discuss the withdrawal of Syrian and Israeli forces from Lebanon.

6 July - 1 August – More than 6,000 U.S. troops, along with air and sea support, participated in Exercise “Cobra Gold 83,” a joint military exercise with Thailand’s armed forces in and around the Gulf of Thailand. The exercise was designed to strengthen the ability of Thailand’s armed forces to defend their country. The exercise involved training in mine-laying and sweeping, explosive ordnance disposal, special warfare operations, simulated air and sea battle, and amphibious assault and shore operations by Thai and U.S. Marines. “Cobra Gold” was the first exercise for the USS New Jersey since it was recommissioned in 1982.

11 July – The U.S. Marine Band, the oldest continuously active military musical organization in the nation, observed its 185th birthday. A concert for the new Commandant of the Marine Corps, General Paul X. Kelley, was performed at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. with President Ronald Reagan in attendance. The Marine Band was under the leadership of Colonel John R. Bourgeois, its 25th director since its founding in 1798.

11 July – An exhibition of a new series of historical paintings titled “Marines in the Frigate Navy 1794-1834” by Lieutenant Colonel Charles Waterhouse opened at the Marine Corps Museum in Washington, D.C. The display illustrated Marine Corps activities during the first 40 years of the United States Navy. “Marines in the Frigate Navy” will remain on exhibition in the Marine Corps Museum through February 1984. It will then appear in a number of naval and maritime museums from Virginia to Massachusetts during 1984 - 1986.

18 July - 1 August – More than 2,000 Marine Corps reservists participated in a combined arms exercise “CAX 8-83” at Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center, Twentynine Palms, California. The live-fire exercise was designed to improve the proficiency of the reservists in all phases of modern combat skills. Scenarios involving all facets of Marine Corps combat training were brought into play as reservists combined forces and operated as they would under battle conditions. “CAX 8-83” also indoctrinated troops to techniques of desert warfare and survival.

22 July – A U.S. Marine stationed in Beirut, Lebanon, as part of the multinational peacekeeping force was hit by flying shrapnel and suffered a superficial shoulder wound when the Beirut International Airport came under heavy shellfire from unknown positions.

26 July – The 6th Marine Amphibious Brigade (MAB) was activated by Lieutenant General John H. Miller, Commanding General Fleet Marine Force, Atlantic at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. The 6th MAB was activated as part of the Maritime Prepositioning Ship program designed to provide rapid introduction of combat forces anywhere they are needed.

29 July – Sergeant Charles A. Light, Jr. was promoted to the rank of staff sergeant and awarded the Meritorious Service Medal for outstanding service when the American Embassy in Beirut, Lebanon, was devastated by a car bomb last April. In a ceremony at Headquarters, U.S. Marine Corps, the Commandant of the Marine Corps, General Paul X. Kelley, made the presentation to the former assistant non-commissioned officer in charge of the Marine Security Guard Detachment, U.S. Embassy, Beirut.

31 July – Unidentified gunmen fired a burst of shots at a group of U.S. Marines as they were jogging on the edge of their encampment near Beirut International Airport. The gunfire struck the ground between two groups of Marines jogging on the road and hit about 20-25 yards from the nearest Marine. There were no injuries. Jogging as part of the multinational peacekeeping force in Beirut, were changed after the attack.

10 August – U.S. Marines at the Beirut International Airport in Lebanon were on their highest state of alert following an airport shelling that wounded one Marine. The rocket attack by Druze militia in the mountains east of Beirut provided the opening shots for a day of warfare between Muslim militiamen and the government. Rockets also hit the Defense Ministry and the Presidential Palace. The daylong hostilities by Druze Muslims against the Christian government included the kidnapping of three cabinet ministers.

16-17 August – The Commandant of the Marine Corps, General Paul X. Kelley, visited with Marines of the 24th Marine Amphibious Unit in Beirut, Lebanon. In the Commandant’s press statement upon his arrival at the Beirut International Airport, he vowed that threats from Druze gunmen would not intimidate the 1,200 Marines in Lebanon. The Commandant later made a mobile/aerial tour of Marine positions.

17-24 August – Exercise “Bright Star/Eastern Wind 83,” a combined exercise involving military forces from the United States and Somalia, was held near Berbera, Somalia. The exercise was designed to allow forces of both nations to conduct combined training in a harsh desert environment and to enhance Somalia’s ability to defend itself. About 2,800 U.S. servicemen, including Marines from the 31st Marine Amphibious Unit and the 3d Marine Aircraft Wing, participated in the exercise.

26 August – Captain Ronald L. King of Battery I, 3d Battalion, 12th Marines, 3d Marine Division was the recipient of the 1983 Leftwich Trophy, as the battery’s commanding officer. The Leftwich Trophy, an award for a captain in Fleet Marine Force who best exemplifies the principles of leadership, was presented to Captain King at the Evening Parade, Marine Barracks, Washington, D.C.
28 August – Marines fought a 90-minute battle with militiamen thought to be Shiite Muslims in their first combat involvement since they went to Beirut, Lebanon, as part of the multinational peacekeeping force a year ago. The combat outpost manned by about 30 Marines and Lebanese army troops east of the Beirut International Airport came under fire by semiautomatic weapons and two rocket propelled grenades. The Marines returned the fire with M-16 rifles and M-60 machine guns. There were no Marine casualties.

29 August – Two Marines were killed and 14 were wounded when dozens of rocket, mortar, and artillery rounds landed in positions occupied by the 24th Marine Amphibious Unit on the eastern side of the Beirut International Airport. It was the second day of heavy fighting and the second day that the Marines struck back at their attackers.

31 August – The Department of Defense authorized hostile-fire pay for Marines and sailors of the 24th Marine Amphibious Unit in Lebanon. Each of the 1,200 U.S. Marine peacekeepers serving in Lebanon were eligible for up to $65.00 a month extra pay. The authorization was under a Pentagon regulation that did not trigger any War Powers Act provisions.

2 September – President Ronald Reagan ordered a second 1,800 man amphibious unit to reinforce the 24th Marine Amphibious Unit (MAU) in Lebanon. The 31st MAU was not expected to go ashore, but rather act as a back up force on board ship.

3 September – The 35th Marine Amphibious Unit (MAU) was activated for western Pacific contingency operations in relief of the 31st MAU ordered to Lebanon.

6 September – Two Marines were killed and two were wounded when rockets hit their compound in Beirut, Lebanon. Since 28 August 1983, when fighting broke out between Muslim and Christian militiamen and the Lebanese army, 4 Marines were killed and 24 were wounded. Heavy fighting continued for the peacekeeping force in the area near their positions around the Beirut International Airport.

8 September – The U.S. Navy unleashed its firepower in Lebanon for the first time destroying a Druze militia battery that shelled Beirut International Airport. The frigate Bowen fired four rounds from its five-inch guns as mountain fighting raged and the U.S. Marine base was shelled. Lieutenant General John H. Miller and Major General Alfred M. Gray were inspecting the Marine compound when the shelling started. Marine gunners responded with six rounds from a 155mm howitzer as the Bowen’s guns blasted away.

13 September – President Reagan authorized Marine commanders in Lebanon to call in air strikes from Navy fliers if such action is needed to defend U.S. troops in Beirut. Marines in Beirut could request air strikes from carrier-based fighters off shore and the request, if granted, would be approved locally, rather than in Washington. Additionally, such support could be sought if other troops in the multinational peacekeeping force were threatened or if threats to the Lebanese army could endanger the Marines.

14 September – The USS Tarawa, with its force of Harrier jets and combat helicopters, arrived off the coast of Lebanon bringing an additional 1,800 Marines into position to be deployed as needed. With the arrival of the 31st Marine Amphibious Unit, under the command of Colonel James H. Curd, the United States had a total of 14,000 Marines and sailors on shore and on board ships in the Beirut, Lebanon area.

15 September - 19 November – Exercise “Bold Eagle 84” took place at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida. Approximately 19,000 Marines, sailors, soldiers and airmen participated in the exercise. It was the sixth in a continuing series of U.S. Readiness Command exercises. It was designed to exercise and evaluate participating commanders, staff and forces in joint service tactics, techniques and procedures employed by forces operating in a sophisticated air environment.

16 September – The Commandant of the Marine Corps, General Paul X. Kelley, was the principal speaker at the keel-laying ceremony for the first two of thirteen maritime prepositioning ships (MPS) to be built at the Quincey, Massachusetts Shipbuilding Division of General Dynamics. General Kelley announced that the ships would be named in honor of two Marine Medal of Honor recipients: Second Lieutenant John P. Bobo and Private First Class Dewayne T. Williams. The MPS program is the key to the Rapid Deployment Force concept.

17 September – U. S. warships off the coast of Beirut, Lebanon, fired dozens of shells from their five-inch guns deep into Syrian-controlled parts of Lebanon. The Naval salvos marked the first time the United States responded to shelling on targets other than U.S. Marine positions around the Beirut International Airport. The naval gun fire from the destroyer John Rodgers and the frigate Bowen came in response to continued shelling in the area around the residence of U.S. Ambassador, Robert Dillon, and the Lebanese Defense Ministry about a mile from the ambassador’s house.

19-20 September – U.S. Navy warships shelled Syrian-backed Druze positions in the hills overlooking Beirut. A continuous, 15-minute barrage from the USS John Rodgers and USS Virginia were fired into the mountains. The battleships fired hundreds of five-inch shells, the heaviest naval bombardment since the Vietnam War, to stop anti-government Druze Muslim and Palestinian forces from taking the village of Souk el Gharb. It marked the first time U.S. naval gunfire was used directly in support of the Lebanese Army.

20 September – U.S. Marines operated on the Lebanese war front for the first time when six Marine and Lebanese army observers went to the front line of fighting between the U.S. backed Lebanese army and Druze Muslim militiamen near the village of Souk el Gharb. The observers relayed information to the Marines and to naval gunners as U.S. Navy ships bombarded Muslim positions.

20 September – The residence of the U.S. Ambassador, Robert Dillon, and the Lebanese Defense Ministry were bombarded by Syrian-backed insurgents in Beirut, Lebanon.

24 September – The Department of Defense announced that 1,600 Marines were ashore at Beirut, 400 more than the number called for in the agreement with Lebanon that set up the multinational force. Defense Department officials stated that the 400 extra men included members of ordinance disposal squads, public information units, and the American Forces Radio and Television staff. They also included American Embassy guard reinforcements, and communication, medical, Post Exchange, and helicopter maintenance personnel.

25 September – The USS New Jersey arrived off the coast of Lebanon to increase the firepower of the U.S. naval forces off Beirut. The USS New Jersey, capable of firing a one-ton shell 20 miles, would be able to shell anti-government artillery positions that hammered targets around the U.S. Marine peacekeeping force. The battleship joined 12 other American warships.

26 September – A cease-fire for Lebanon was announced by Saudi Arabian and Syrian officials in Damascus. The leader of the Druze force also announced that his troops were committed to the cease-fire. The U.S. Marines continued peacekeeping duties in Beirut as talks on the formation of a new coalition government began.

27 September – Two Marine aviators were injured when their AH-1T Cobra helicopter crashed into the sea. The USS Tarawa-based Cobra went down during a routine training mission about eight to nine miles from the beach adjacent to the Beirut International Airport. The cause of the accident was not a result of hostile fire. The two pilots were recovered shortly after the crash by a USS Tarawa search and rescue helicopter. The USS Tarawa was off-shore Beirut as a contingency to support U.S. Marine and Navy forces.

27 September – General Alfred Houston Noble, USMC (Retired), died at his home in La Jolla, California, at the age of 88. General Noble, who retired in 1956, was a company commander in World War I and was awarded a Navy Cross for gallantry in action during the battle of Belleau Wood. The highly decorated general served with the 1st Marine Amphibious Corps during World War II and was commanding general of Camp Pendleton, California, from 1950 – 1951.

29 September – The Senate voted to let the Reagan administration keep U.S. Marines in Lebanon for as many as 18 more months. The Senate approved a resolution essentially the same as the 18-month authorization passed by the House of Representatives on 28 September. The action by both chambers marked the first time Congress sought to invoke the War Powers Act which was passed in 1973 after U.S. troops were withdrawn from fighting in the undeclared war in Vietnam.

1 October – The Pentagon announced that the 31st Marine Amphibious Unit, an emergency force of about 2,000 U.S. Marines on board three American ships, was sailing toward the Indian Ocean reportedly to take up position off the Strait of Hormuz, the entrance to the Persian Gulf. There was speculation that this move was linked to threats by Iran to blockade the strait and cut off the movement of oil tankers.

2 October – Major General Robert Blake, USMC (Retired), died at the age of 89 in Oakland, California. A combat veteran of both world wars, General Blake was twice awarded the Navy Cross for his actions at Belleau Wood in World War I and for bravery during fighting in Nicaragua.

4 October – Marine Air Control Squadron 1 (MACS-1) was activated at Camp Pendleton, California, as part of Marine Air Control Group 38, 3d Marine Aircraft Wing.

14 October – One Marine was killed and another Marine was wounded in a series of small-arms attacks near Beirut’s international airport as sporadic violations of the 26 September cease-fire continued. The incident erupted a three-hour exchange of fire between Marines and Muslim militiamen. This marked the first Marine killed since the start of the cease-fire which ended three weeks of fighting in the mountains east of Beirut between Lebanese Army and factional militias.

15 October – Lieutenant Colonel William G. Barnes, Jr., the former commanding officer of Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron 263 (HMM-263) that provided more than three months of accident-free airlift support for Marines in Beirut, received the Alfred A. Cunningham award for the Marine Corps Aviator of 1983 at the Marine Corps Association convention in San Diego, California. The CH-46 “Sea Knight” pilot earned the award for performance of duty with HMM-263, the aviation combat element of the 24th Marine Amphibious Force in Beirut, Lebanon from 29 October 1982 to 14 February 1983. HMM-263 was selected as the helicopter squadron of the year for 1983.

16 October – One Marine was killed and three other Marines were wounded as Muslim militiamen continued sporadic firing at peacekeeping troops in Beirut, Lebanon. The Marines responded by firing M-16 rifles and two Dragon rockets at a Muslim slum, the source of several attacks over the past few days. This marked the sixth combat death since the Marines arrived in Lebanon.

21 October – A ten-ship task force carrying 1,900 Marines of the 22d Marine Amphibious Unit was ordered to head for Grenada to signal the United States’ intentions to protect American citizens on the Caribbean Island. The force was in the Caribbean and was on its way to Lebanon when the orders were received.

23 October – A suicide terrorist driving a truck loaded with explosives blew up the headquarters of 1st Battalion, 8th Marines in Beirut, Lebanon, killing 220 and wounding approximately 70, the highest number of Marine casualties in a single day since World War II. 18 Navy and three Army U.S. servicemen were also killed in the blast. Almost simultaneously with the blast that devastated the Marine Corps building, a second suicide bomber drove a car into a building occupied by French paratroopers and destroyed it too.

23 October – An unspecified number of Marine replacements embarked for Beirut, Lebanon, to replace Marines killed or wounded by the terrorist attack. Major General Alfred M. Gray, commander of the 2d Marine Division based at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, said the departing troops would bring the 24th Marine Amphibious Unit back up to strength.

25 October – The Commandant of the Marine Corps, General Paul X. Kelley, visited seriously wounded Marines from the Beirut terrorist bombing at the Wiesbaden, West Germany, Air Force hospital. General Kelley presented 16 purple hearts there.

25 October – General Paul X. Kelley, inspected the flattened Marine headquarters at the Beirut International Airport. He viewed the devastation caused by the 23 October terrorist bombing that left 241 Marines and other U.S. servicemen dead.

25 October – An American force of up to 1,900 Marines, from the 22d Marine Amphibious Unit, and Army Rangers invaded the leftist-ruled Caribbean nation of Grenada. The force seized two airfields and the campus of an American-run medical school in an action that President Ronald Reagan said he ordered to protect 1,100 United States citizens living on the island. The airborne American units were joined by 300 soldiers from six neighboring Caribbean states that asked the U.S. to intervene to restore order after a new leftist government took power a few days earlier. The landing was the first large-scale American military intervention in the Western Hemisphere since the invasion of the Dominican Republic in 1965. Three Marine aviators died in the operation.

26 October – Vice President George Bush inspected the devastated Marine building where a bomb killed 241 U.S. servicemen and said “insidious terrorist cowards” would not change U.S. foreign policy. Accompanying Vice President Bush on the tour were: Commandant of the Marine Corps, General Paul X. Kelley; Reginald Bartholomew, the U.S. Ambassador to Lebanon; Colonel Timothy Geraghty, commander of the 1,600 Marines in Lebanon; and Mrs. Bush.

26 October – The Marine Corps took delivery of the first of its eight-wheeled, amphibious light armored vehicles, LAV-25s. Following a competitive evaluation in which U.S. armed forces compared vehicles from three manufacturers, a contract was awarded to Diesel Division, General Motors of Canada, Ltd. The joint Marine Corps/Army contract called for the delivery of 969 vehicles during a five-year period and options for 598 more vehicles.

29 October – Bodies of 14 Marines and one sailor killed in Beirut, Lebanon, on 23 October, arrived at Dover Air Force Base, Delaware, marking the first American casualties scheduled to return home in the upcoming weeks. The slain Marines were part of the 24th Marine Amphibious Unit from Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. The caskets, each draped with an American flag, were arranged in a row inside an aircraft hanger converted to a funeral chapel for the day’s ceremonies. The bodies of seven soldiers and one Marine killed in Grenada which arrived at Dover earlier, awaited their compatriots’ return along with the grieving families and U.S. military leaders including Marine Corps General Paul X. Kelley.

1 November – 300 Marines of the 22d Marine Amphibious Unit staged an amphibious and helicopter landing on the island of Carriacou, a dependency 15 miles northeast of Grenada’s main island, in a search for Cuban military installations or personnel. 17 Grenadian soldiers were captured, and arms, ammunition and training sites were found.

2 November – Marines of the 22d Marine Amphibious Unit (MAU) pulled out of the Caribbean area and proceeded on route to Beirut, Lebanon, where the unit was scheduled to replace the 24th MAU later in the month.

4 November – President and Mrs. Ronald Reagan paid solemn tribute to the American servicemen killed and wounded in Grenada and Lebanon at a memorial service at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. A somber crowd of 5,000 assembled in the rain at Camp Lejeune’s natural amphitheater. Also in attendance were: Commandant of the Marine Corps, General Paul X. Kelley; Secretary of Defense, Caspar Weinberger; Secretary of State, George Schultz; and National Security Advisor, Robert MacFarlane.

4 November – The Department of Defense Commission on the Beirut International Airport Terrorist Attack, October 23, 1983, was established. The Secretary of Defense directed that this Commission make a thorough investigation into all circumstances connected with the attack, and report to him it findings of fact and opinions relating to the attack, the Rules of Engagement then in force, the adequacy of security measures in place at the time of the explosion, and the adequacy of security measures subsequently established. Heading the Commission was Admiral Robert L.J. Long, USN (Retired).

6 November – Staff Sergeant Farley Simon, a native of Grenada, became the first Marine to win the Marine Corps Marathon in Washington, D.C. Sergeant Simon, stationed at Camp Smith, Hawaii, completed the marathon in 2 hours, 17 minutes, and 45 seconds. More than 11,000 runners participated in the eighth annual marathon.

6 November – A religious service was held for the U.S. Marine Corps at the Washington Cathedral, Washington, D.C. It was the Marines’ turn for the yearly armed services religious gathering at the cathedral. The service paid special tribute to the Marines who died in the terrorist bombing in Beirut and in the invasion of Grenada. Commandant of the Marine Corps, General Paul X. Kelley and Sergeant Major Robert E. Cleary, the Marines’ top-ranking enlisted man, attended the hour-long service.

10 November – Major General Richard C. Schulze, USMC (Retired), died in Boca Raton, Florida. The decorated general, commissioned in 1951 served in the Korean War and the war in Vietnam. His assignments included: Commanding General of Marine Corps Recruit Depot, San Diego, California; Inspector General of the Marine Corps; and Director, Personnel Management Division, Headquarters, U.S. Marine Corps.

10 November – U.S. Marines throughout the world celebrated the 208th birthday of the Marine Corps. On this date in 1775, the Second Continental Congress in Philadelphia founded the Marine Corps. In his birthday message, the Commandant of the Marine Corps, General Paul X. Kelley, said, “If there is a word which more accurately describes pride than any other, that word is Marine.”

15 November – General Paul X. Kelley returned a salute to Lance Corporal Jeffrey Lee Nashton, the Beirut bombing victim whose speechless devotion to the Marine Corps led him to scrawl “Semper Fi” as General Kelley stood by his hospital bed in West Germany on 25 October. In a brief ceremony at Bethesda Naval Hospital, Bethesda, Maryland, General Kelley presented the Marine, from Rome, New York, a plaque containing his four-stars and the words “Semper Fi.”

15 November – General Paul X. Kelley, Commandant of the Marine Corps, upgraded the command of the Marine force in Lebanon from colonel to brigadier general. General Kelley said in a statement that the move was necessary so that the commander of the U.S. contingent would be on the same level as leaders of the French and Italian elements of the multinational force in the Beirut area.

18-25 November – Approximately 1,000 Marines of the 28th Marine Amphibious Unit joined over 500 Honduran infantrymen in a joint amphibious landing exercise, “Ahuas Tara” (Big Pine II), on the Honduran coast. The joint maneuver was a major event in a series of exercises at sea around Central America and in Honduras which began during the summer. “Big Pine II” was designed to exercise and evaluate objectives in defending Honduras, which borders Nicaragua.

19 November – Marines of the 22d Marine Amphibious Unit (MAU), took over peacekeeping duties in Beirut, Lebanon. Commanded by Brigadier General James R. Joy, the 22d MAU replaced the 24th MAU which was stationed in Beirut since 30 May 1983. The 1,800 Marines of the 22d MAU was on its way to Beirut when it was sent to Grenada in October. The 22d MAU was the fifth Marine unit to serve in Beirut since the multinational peacekeeping force entered Beirut 25 August 1982. It was also the second time the 22d MAU was deployed to Lebanon.

29 November – The Pentagon announced that the U.S. Central Command, responsible for protecting United States interests in the Persian Gulf and Indian Ocean area, would establish a small floating headquarters in that region. A staff of up to 20 officers and men would be placed aboard a Navy ship operating with a small flotilla of warships called the Middle East Force. The command could draw on a pool of thousands of Marines, Army, Navy, and Air Force personnel as needed for rapid deployment in a region covering 19 nations.

4 December – Eight Marines of the 22d Marine Amphibious Unit were killed in Beirut, Lebanon, by heavy shelling from Syrian positions. In retaliation, U.S. Navy warships opened fire on the militia positions. Earlier on this day, 28 American warplanes went on their first combat mission in Lebanon and attacked Syrian positions in the mountains east of Beirut in retaliation for repeated Syrian attacks on U.S. reconnaissance planes. This marked the first combat use of U.S. aircraft in the Middle East and the highest number of Marines to die in Lebanon combat in one day since they went there in 1982.

7 December – Marines of the 24th Marine Amphibious Unit (MAU) arrived at Moorehead City, North Carolina, after six-months of duty in Beirut, Lebanon. The 24th MAU suffered a loss of 220 Marines in the 23 October bombing of their headquarters. The unit was composed of Battalion Landing Team, 1st Battalion, 8th Marines; Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron 162, and MAU Service Support Group 24.

14 December – Marines assigned to the U.S. Embassy Security Guard Detachment at Kuwait responded when a bomb-laden truck crashed through the gate at the compound and exploded in one of a series of coordinated terrorist attacks. The embassy suffered considerable damage. There were no American casualties, but five persons were killed and 37 were injured. In addition to the U.S. embassy attack, other explosions rocked the French Embassy, the Kuwait airport control tower, a Kuwaiti power station, a Raytheon Company headquarters compound, and a separate residential facility.

15 December – The USS New Jersey opened fire with its 16-inch guns on antiaircraft positions in the Syrian-occupied mountains southeast of Beirut. Last used in action off the Vietnam Coast in 1968, the ship was joined in the second straight day of offshore shelling by two smaller ships. They sent projectiles into the hills in an effort to silence Syrian firing at U.S. reconnaissance flights over the area. This marked the first time the USS New Jersey was put into action since arriving off the Lebanese coast 25 September.

18 December – Retired Lieutenant General Carson A. Roberts, 78, died in Pinehurst, North Carolina. Upon his retirement in March 1964, General Roberts was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal for exceptionally meritorious service as Commanding General, Fleet Marine Force, Pacific, from July 1962 to March 1964. Appointed a second lieutenant in 1929, the Marine aviator served in World War II and the Korean War. He was buried with full honors at Arlington National Cemetery on 21 December.

23-27 December – Comedian Bob Hope, flanked by a host of U.S. stars, brought the Marines in Lebanon a bit of America as a Christmas present with shows filled with pretty girls and hometown songs. His first series of Christmas shows to U.S. troops overseas since the Vietnam War, the 80-year-old comedian and his troupe hop-scotched among three ships of the U.S. Navy’s Sixth Fleet off the Lebanese coast. He also gave an unscheduled performance on Christmas Day to the Marines at their Beirut International Airport compound.

28 December – The Department of Defense Commission on the Beirut International Airport Terrorist Act released a 140 page unclassified report on the 23 October 1983 incident. A key recommendation by the Commission asked that the Secretary of Defense direct the development of doctrine, organization, force structure, education, and training necessary to defend against and counter terrorism.

31 December – The strength of the armed forces was 2,123,915 of which 193,858 were Marines.

1984

1 January – A four-percent pay increase for all military personnel, authorized by the Defense Authorization Act of 1984, went into effect. Those serving in the grade of Private (E-1) with less than four months service, were excluded from the pay raise.

1 January – The strength of the armed forces was 2,123,915, of which 193,858 were Marines.

8 January – A Marine was killed in Beirut, Lebanon, when unidentified gunmen opened fire on a helicopter unloading troops near the temporary American Embassy on Beirut’s northwest waterfront. The fatality was the first in the U.S. contingent of the multinational peacekeeping force in Lebanon, since 4 December 1983, when eight Marines were killed in a mortar attack.

11 January – General Paul X. Kelley, Commandant of the Marine Corps, saluted the New York Post for selecting the U.S. Marine as its first “Man of the Year.” The general expressed his appreciation for the positive portrayal which the New York Post has given the Marines. On the front page of the 23 December 1983 edition the New York Post described their “Man of the Year” as brown, black, yellow, red, and white, dressed in khaki touched with camouflage. The Post said the Marine charged forward in a year stained with his blood by bombs and bullets to raise the American flag.

12 January – The first McDonnell Douglas AV-8B Harrier II was welcomed to the Fleet Marine Force in ceremonies by the 2d Marine Aircraft Wing, at Marine Corps Air Station, Cherry Point, North Carolina. The Marine Corps’ second generation vertical or short takeoff and landing attack aircraft, the AV-8B represents an evolutionary, low-risk improvement over its predecessor, the AV-8A. Several technological advancements increase the AV-8B’s performance and readiness potential.

12 January – Aircrews of Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron 162 were presented the Combat Aircrew Insignia earned by flying combat missions in Beirut, Lebanon, while under hostile enemy fire. This marked the first time since the Vietnam War that this insignia was awarded. While in Lebanon, as the aviation element of the 24th Marine Amphibious Unit, the squadron accumulated almost 7,500 accident-free flight hours, a naval aviation record for a deployed squadron.

13 January – A two-hour movie entitled “Hard Knox” premiered on NBC-TV network. The movie starred Robert Conrad in the role of Marine Colonel Joseph Knox, who retires from the Marine Corps to take charge of a struggling military school he attended in his youth. Actor Robert Conrad previously portrayed Marine World War II ace, Gregory “Pappy” Boyington, in “Baa Baa Black Sheep” a few years ago.

15 January – For the first time since 18 December 1983, U.S. warships fired into the mountains above Beirut, Lebanon, to quell a heavy rock and mortar attack on Marine positions around the Beirut International Airport. The naval gunfire was provided by the battleship, USS New Jersey and the destroyer, USS Tattnall. Marines also responded with small arms fire, mortar rounds, and tank shells. There were no U.S. casualties.

16 January – Defense Secretary Caspar W. Weinberger announced that the Marine Corps would list Marines killed in Beirut, Lebanon, as battle casualties rather than non-combat deaths. Mr. Weinberger said that the Marines were casualties of a battle while not necessarily active participants in the conflict. For this reason, the Marine Corps redesignated all casualties suffered as a result of terrorist or other acts directed against them in Lebanon as battle casualties.

18 January – Marine Corps Bulletin 1742 of 18 January 1984 indicated that a lack of knowledge about the voting process was the most common reason for voter non-participation. In an effort to correct the situation, commanding officers were given the responsibility of establishing a command voter assistance program designed to encourage all eligible Marines to vote in the 1984 elections by providing information on absentee voting.

20 January – An enlisted club at Marine Corps Air Station (Helicopter) New River, North Carolina, was dedicated in honor of Corporal George N. Holmes, Jr., USMC (Deceased). Corporal Holmes was killed during the Iranian hostage rescue attempt in April 1980. The dedication date was selected in honor of the third anniversary of the release of the Iranian hostages.

30 January – One U.S. Marine was killed and three others were wounded when Marine Corps positions came under attack from suspected Muslim gunners in Beirut’s southern suburbs. Marines responded with tank guns, mortars, machine guns, and small arms fire. The attack coincided with intense U.S., French, and Saudi Arabian diplomatic efforts concentrated in Damascus to break the deadlock in negotiations on a security plan in Lebanon.

___ February – Deliveries of the General Motors commercial utility cargo vehicles (CUCVs) began. The new 1-1/4 ton vehicle had a 6.2 liter diesel engine that was derived from the four-wheel drive Chevrolet and GMC pickups and utility vehicles sold commercially as “Blazers” and “Jimmys.” CUCVs came in several configurations: cargo, shelter carrier, utility, and ambulance models. The CUCV replaced the M880s and represented the first major military vehicle production undertaken by General Motors since World War II.

___ February – The first of the new Marine Corps tactical fleet arrived at the 1st Marine Brigade, Marine Corps Air Station, Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii. The M-923 cargo trucks were delivered to the 1st Battalion, 12th Marines, Marine Aircraft Group 24, and supporting units. The trucks replaced the M-35 2.5-ton and the M-54A2C.

1 February – Marine Detachment, USS Constellation (CV-64) was activated at the U.S. Naval Station, San Diego, California.

3 February – This day marked the lift-off of the space shuttle Challenger. It was commanded by Vance D. Brand, a Marine Corps pilot from 1953 to 1957. This was his third space-flight; Commander Brand also commanded the fifth shuttle flight in November 1982.

6 February – ALMAR 029/84 authorized the new woodland camouflage field jacket to be issued as organizational clothing. Active duty Fleet Marine Force units were first to receive the new field jacket, followed by reserve forces and non-Fleet Marine units. A replacement for the old olive green field jackets, most Marines would be outfitted with the camouflage field jacket by the end of 1986.

7 February – The Commandant of the Marine Corps, General Paul X. Kelley, delivered the annual Marine Corps Posture Statement before the Senate Armed Forces Committee. In his statement, General Kelley recognized Congress’ steadfast support for the Marines and stressed that the Marine Corps “continues to strive to be deserving of America’s trust and confidence.”

7 February – President Ronald Reagan announced his decision to withdraw Marines from Beirut to ships off Lebanon’s coast in a phased re-deployment. The President also authorized the U.S. Fleet off Beirut to use naval gun fire and air support against any units shooting into Greater Beirut from Syrian-controlled Lebanese territory, as well as against any forces directly attacking multinational force personnel or facilities.

7-9 February – The USS Peleliu (LHA-5) visited its island namesake to participate in a ceremony honoring the U.S. Marines who fought there during World War II. Members of the ship’s company and the embarked 31st Marine Amphibious Unit helped dedicate a memorial to the 1st Marine Division, which suffered heavy casualties on Peleliu almost 40 years ago while taking the island from Japanese military forces.

8 February – Marine Major Alfred L. Butler of Jacksonville, Florida, was found dead of a single gunshot wound to the chest in his quarters in Beirut, Lebanon. Major Butler, the U.S. multinational force liaison officer to the Lebanese Army, accidentally shot himself while cleaning his .45-caliber pistol.

8-9 February – The USS New Jersey bombarded artillery positions of Syria and its Lebanese allies in Lebanon’s eastern and central mountains in the heaviest and most sustained American military action since the Marines arrived in Lebanon in 1982.

10 February – The Commandant of the Marine Corps approved the naming of two Bachelor Enlisted Quarters at Camp Schwab, Okinawa, in honor of two Marine Medal of Honor recipients, Sergeant Clyde Thomason, USMC (Deceased) and Private First Class Douglas E. Dickey, USMC (Deceased). Sergeant Thomason received the Medal of Honor posthumously for heroic actions in World War II and PFC Dickey was also awarded the Medal of Honor posthumously for actions in the Vietnam War.

10 February – The United States began a voluntary evacuation of its private citizens from Beirut, Lebanon. In the operation, forced by what officials called the deteriorating and unsettled situation in Lebanon, American and British helicopters airlifted hundreds of Americans and other foreign nationals to military ships waiting offshore. From there, they were ferried to Cyprus where they remained or traveled onward to other locations.

15 February – Marine Corps Bulletin 1650 authorized awards for service in Lebanon. Navy Unit Commendations were approved for the following units: 32d Marine Amphibious Unit (MAU), for service 16 August to 10 September 1982; 24th MAU for service 29 October 1982 to 15 February 1983; and 22d MAU for service 14 February to 30 May 1983. The Marine Corps Expeditionary Medal was awarded to: 32d MAU (20 August – 31 October 1982), 24th MAU (1 November 1982 – 14 February 1983), 22d MAU (15 February – June 1983), 24th MAU (5 June – 19 November 1983), and 31st MAU (11 September – 10 October 1983). The bulletin also authorized the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal for service in Grenada to units of the 22d MAU.

21 February – Marines of the 22d Marine Amphibious Unit officially began their withdrawal from Lebanon to U.S. Sixth Fleet ships offshore.

23 February – The Department of Defense established a new military command in Lebanon in an effort to give authorities tighter control over operations there. The new chain of command called Joint Task Force Lebanon, located in Beirut, cut out layers of military bureaucracy. It ran from Secretary of Defense, Caspar W. Weinberger, through the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General John W. Vessey, Jr., to the U.S. European command headquarters in Stuttgart, West Germany, and then directly to the task force under the command of Brigadier General James R. Joy, USMC.

23 February – President Ronald Reagan signed an executive order authorizing the award of a Purple Heart for wounds suffered in terrorist attacks or while on peacekeeping duty in the past decade. The document amended regulations to allow awarding of the medal to all members of the armed forces and civilians serving with them, who were victims of terrorism or wounded or killed while participating in peacekeeping forces. The order was retroactive to 29 March 1973, the day after U.S. forces left Vietnam.

26 February – The bulk of the U.S. Marine contingent of the multinational peacekeeping force completed its withdrawal from Beirut, Lebanon. The removal of the American combat troops from Lebanon to the safety of ships of the U.S. Sixth Fleet greatly reduced the American military presence in Beirut. The only U.S. troops which remained in Lebanon were a 100-man Marine guard at the American Embassy and an 80-man Army training team. The Marines’ positions at the Beirut International Airport were taken over by the Lebanese Army’s predominantly Shiite Muslim 6th Brigade.

28 February - 22 March – More than 8,000 Marines and sailors of the 4th Marine Amphibious Brigade participated in Exercise “Team Work ‘84,” a combined NATO military exercise in the north Atlantic. Netherlands, British, and U.S. Marines conducted a combined amphibious assault in support of Norwegian forces operating in northern Norway. The three-week exercise was designed to test response times of ship convoys and use of pre-positioned equipment in adverse weather conditions in the defense of Norway. “Team Work ‘84” was the largest amphibious exercise ever conducted in NATO’s history and the first large scale one conducted under arctic conditions.

10 March – The USS Samuel Nicholas (FFG-47), an Oliver Hazard Perry-class guided missile frigate was commissioned. General Paul X. Kelley, Commandant of the Marine Corps, was guest speaker for the commissioning ceremonies and called the USS Nicholas, “a manifestation of our world-wide commitment to security.” The USS Nicholas is the second ship built at Bath Iron Works, Bath, Maine, to bear the name of the Marine Corps’ first Commandant. The former ship served in the Pacific during World War II and also earned honors for service during the Korean and Vietnam Wars. She was sold in 1970.

11-31 March – “Team Spirit ‘84,” a joint/combined field training exercise focusing on rapid deployment and operations of forces used in defense of the Republic of Korea, was conducted. More than 27,000 of their Korean counterparts participated in the 9th annual exercise, marking the largest number of participants in the “Team Spirit” series.

12 March – The Commandant of the Marine Corps approved the naming of the Enlisted Club at Marine Corps Logistics Base, Albany, Georgia, in honor of Lance Corporal Glenn R. McCuaig, USMC (Deceased). The Commandant also approved the naming of the Staff Non-Commissioned Officer Club at the base after Staff Sergeant Earl Daniels, Jr., USMC (Deceased). Both Marines were killed in action in the Vietnam War and were originally from Georgia.

13 March – The Commandant of the Marine Corps, General Paul X. Kelley, visited Beirut, Lebanon, for the first time since the Marine contingent was withdrawn. General Kelley met with Marine guards and American officials at the U.S. Embassy and with General Ibrahim Tannous, the Commander of the Lebanese Army.

14 March – An American Marine was wounded in Beirut, Lebanon, as negotiations between Lebanon’s Muslim and Christian leaders took place for a cease-fire. The off-duty Marine was shot in the back, apparently by a sniper.

14 March – Sergeant Major Sir Jacob Charles Vouza, 84, died in his native Solomon Islands. A native of Guadalcanal, Vouza worked behind enemy lines with the Islands Defense Force as a scout during the Guadalcanal Campaign in World War II. His decorations include the U.S. Silver Star and Legion of Merit for outstanding service during operations with the 2d Marine Raider Battalion. In 1978, Vouza was knighted by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

18 March – An Arbor Day ceremony took place at Jacksonville, North Carolina, that dedicated a three and one half mile row of trees as a living memorial to U.S. servicemen killed in Lebanon and Grenada. The Beirut Memorial includes 265 Bradford pear trees that were planted along Lejeune Boulevard which leads to the main gate at Marine Corps Base, Camp Lejeune.

24 March – 18 U.S. Marines and 11 Republic of Korea Marines were killed when a Marine Corps CH-53 Sea Stallion helicopter crashed near Pohang, Korea, while participating in Exercise “Team Spirit ‘84.” The helicopter was one of six which took off from the Pohang Airfield for a night insertion exercise. As weather conditions deteriorated, the mission was terminated and all aircraft were returning to Pohang when the helicopter crashed into a mountainside.

27 March – Major General William L. McKittrick, USMC (Retired), died in Pensacola, Florida at the age of 87. He enlisted in the Marine Corps in 1918 and served in the Dominican Republic and Nicaragua. General McKittrick was awarded a Legion of Merit for directing air strikes against the enemy at Rabaul during World War II. As air defense commander at Saipan, he was awarded his second Legion of Merit. The general retired from the Marine Corps in 1951.

30 March – Lieutenant Colonel William F. Santelmann, USMC (Retired), died at the age of 82 in Tempe, Arizona. LtCol Santelmann served for 15 years as leader of the Marine Corps Band before retiring in 1955. In his Marine Corps career that spanned 37 years, all with the band, LtCol Santelmann became the third director to receive an officer’s commission and the first to supervise 14 Marine Corps field bands. His father, Captain William H. Santelman, who directed the Marine Corps Band from 1898 to 1927, succeeded the legendary March King John Philip Sousa and was the first band leader to hold a commission.

2 April – The Commandant of the Marine Corps approved the naming of the Main Gate Oak Tree at Marine Corps Logistics Base, Albany, Georgia, in honor of Colonel A.E. Dubber, Jr., USMC (Deceased), who was instrumental in the selection of Albany, Georgia, as the site for the Marine Corps Logistics Base.

2 April – The naming of the Base Commissary at Marine Corps Logistics Base, Barstow, California, was approved by the Commandant of the Marine Corps. The commissary will be named in honor of Lance Corporal Bruce D. Patterson, USMC (Deceased), a native of the Barstow area, who was killed in action in Vietnam.

4 April – The 2d Light Armored Vehicle Battalion was activated at Marine Corps Base, Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. Major General Alfred M. Gray, Jr., Commanding General, 2d Marine Division, was guest speaker at the ceremony which marked the establishment of the armed forces’ only current light armored vehicle battalion. The eight-wheeled vehicle, that weighs about 13 tons and can be configured in eight different variants, is expected to provide ground commanders a decided edge in the area of maneuver warfare.

7 April – General Gerald Carthrae Thomas, USMC (Retired), 89, died at his home in Washington, D.C. General Thomas enlisted in the Marine Corps during World War I and won a battlefield commission in France. In World War II, he served as Chief of Staff of the 1st Marine Division during the Guadalcanal campaign and during the Korean conflict he commanded the 1st Marine Division. General Thomas was Assistant Commandant of the Marine Corps from 1952 to 1954. After more than 38 years of distinguished service, the highly decorated general retired from the Marine Corps in 1955.

15 April – Marine Detachment, USS Iowa (BB-61) was activated at the U.S. Naval Station, Norfolk, Virginia. The detachment was formed for the ship’s recommissioning for active duty in the U.S. Navy on 28 April 1984. The USS Iowa earned 11 battle stars during World War II and Korea before it was decommissioned in February 1958. The second World War II battleship to come out of mothballs (the first was the USS New Jersey), the USS Iowa is equipped with 32 Tomahawk cruise missile and 16 Harpoon anti-ship missiles to add to her nine 16-inch guns. The recommissioning of the Iowa helps diminish the Corps’ continuing critical shortage in naval gunfire support.

18 April – The causeway that links the Parris Island Marine Corps Recruit Training Depot to the Beaufort community was dedicated in memory of the late General Edwin A. Pollock, USMC, in a formal ceremony held on Horse Island. The causeway symbolizes the link General Pollock forged between the military and civilian communities. A civilian committee raised the funds to construct the monument, which was unveiled by the general’s son, Major Edwin A. Pollock, Jr., USMC (Retired) and his daughter, Mrs. Jane Apple.

20 April - 6 May – Over 30,000 U.S. military personnel, including 1,800 Marines of the 26th Marine Amphibious Unit, participated in “Ocean Venture ‘84.” The exercise was conducted in the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, Straits of Florida, and the Atlantic Ocean. The largest U.S. exercise in the Caribbean for 1984, “Ocean Venture ‘84” was designed to demonstrate and improve the capability of the United States to protect and maintain the free use of the sea lines of communication in the Caribbean Basin and Gulf of Mexico. The maneuvers also enhanced the perception of the capability of the U.S. to project military power when necessary and to protect national interests by supporting friendly neighbors in the Caribbean area.

1 May – 1,800 Marines of the 22d Marine Amphibious Unit (MAU) returned home after a 195-day overseas tour. The 22d MAU’s mission involved more combat than any U.S. unit has seen since the Vietnam War. Originally deployed to take up peacekeeping duties in Lebanon, the Marines were diverted to Grenada in October 1983. After the Caribbean island was secured, the unit continued to Beirut, Lebanon, where 241 servicemen had died the previous month in a terrorist truck-bombing of their headquarters. The 22d MAU remained in Lebanon until February 1984 when President Reagan ordered the servicemen to redeploy to ships offshore. The 22d MAU continued routine patrolling of the Mediterranean until its scheduled deployment ended.

2 May – The rollout of the first air-cushioned landing craft (LCAC) took place at Bell Aerospace Textron’s Bell Halter Shipyard in New Orleans. The addition of LCACs is expected to greatly enhance the Marine Corps’ overall amphibious assault capabilities. LCACs, with their 200-mile range, will provide an over-the-horizon assault capability to reduce the fleet’s exposure to shore-based threat. Unconstrained by the presence of reefs and steep beach gradients, LCACs would be able to carry five light armored vehicles and move at a 50-knot speed. General Paul X. Kelley, Commandant of the Marine Corps, called the LCAC the most important development in amphibious warfare since the helicopter. General Kelley took delivery of the first LCAC-1 during the ceremony.

3 May – In a ceremony held at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, General Paul X. Kelley, Commandant of the Marine Corps, attached an Armed Forces Expeditionary Streamer to the flag of the 22d Marine Amphibious Unit for actions in Lebanon and Grenada. The streamer was added to the flag’s Navy Unit Commendation Streamer also awarded for actions in Lebanon and Grenada.

8-15 May – The 1984 Annual Rifle Squad Combat Competition was conducted at Quantico,Virginia. The competition consisted of six events which tested marksmanship and weapons employment, preparation for and conduct of an ambush patrol, squad attack, squad combat in urban terrain, squad in the defense, and land navigation abilities. The 1984 first place squad was 3d Squad, 1st Platoon, Company I, 3d Battalion, 3d Marines led by Sergeant Dennis D. Benson.

10 May – Lieutenant General William H. Fitch, the Marine Corps Deputy Chief of Staff for Aviation, commended the Marines of Marine Aerial Refueler Transport Squadron 252 (VMGR-252) in a ceremony held at Marine Corps Air Station, Cherry Point, North Carolina, for 25 years of accident-free flying which involved more than 268,000 flight hours. LtGen Fitch said the achievement of VMGR-252 was one of the most momentous occasions in Marine Corps aviation.

10 May – The Commandant of the Marine Corps, General Paul X. Kelley, presented the Colonel Robert D. Heinl, Jr. Award in Marine Corps History to Lieutenant Colonel Robert E. Mattingly in ceremonies held at Headquarters, U.S. Marine Corps. For the second year in a row, the Marine Corps Historical Foundation chose an article by Lieutenant Colonel Mattingly as the winner of the award. His article, “The Worst Slap in the Face,” appeared in the March 1983 issue of the Marine Corps Gazette.

11 May – The Association of Naval Aviation presented its annual outstanding achievement award in the Fleet support and special mission category to Marine Observation Squadron 1 (VMO-1) at its symposium held in San Diego, California. VMO-1 received the award for accumulating more than 42,000 accident-free flight hours while flying the OV-10 “Bronco” and for its assistance to the U.S. Customs Service.

11 May – U.S. Marines who protect American diplomatic posts overseas were honored by a ceremony at the State Department, which inaugurated a series of annual distinguished service awards. Marine detachments in Accra, Brussels, Casablanca, Tegucigalpa, and Tokyo were hailed as “most outstanding.” Two former Marines, Secretary of State George P. Shultz, and Assistant Secretary for Administration, Robert E. Lamb, were featured speakers.

12 May – The guided missile frigate Elrod (FFG-55) was launched at the Bath Iron Works, Bath, Maine. The ship was named in honor of Major Henry T. Elrod, USMC, who was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for heroism during the defense of Wake Island in December 1941. An Oliver Hazard Perry-class ship, the Elrod’s single-arm missile launcher is capable of firing standard surface-to-air missiles, Harpoon surface-to-surface missiles, and Tomahawk cruise missiles in serving amphibious task groups.

12-13 May – The U.S. Marine Band performed with famed jazz musician, Pete Fountain, at the opening ceremonies of the 1984 Louisiana World Exposition in New Orleans. The “President’s Own” also performed at the United States pavilion opening and gave two concerts at the exposition’s amphitheater.

14-18 May – 240 Marines participated in the Eastern Division Marksmanship Matches at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. The 1984 rifle competition included the use of the new M-16A2 for the first time. CWO-2 Theodore Wilson of Marine Corps Recruit Depot, Parris Island, was the top finisher in the individual rifle competition. The Recruit Depot at Parris Island won the Elliot Trophy for large team rifle shooting and the Edson Trophy for team pistol marksmanship.

18 May – Colonel Jerome G. Cooper, USMCR, was advanced to the rank of brigadier general. Selected for promotion in February 1984, Brigadier General Cooper became the first black general of the Marine Corps Reserve. After Major General Frank E. Petersen, USMC, Brigadier General Cooper is the second black officer to attain the rank of general in the Marine Corps.

18 May – The new Light Armored Vehicle (LAV) made its debut at Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center, Twentynine Palms, California. The first six LAV-25s were delivered to Company A, 1st Light Armored Vehicle Battalion. The LAV was previously tested and evaluated at the Air Ground Combat Center.

19 May – In his Armed Forces Day message, the Commandant of the Marine Corps, General Paul X. Kelley, said that this day is a uniquely American occasion which underscores the nation’s citizen-soldier heritage. He further stated that Armed Forces Day is a special time during which the Corps demonstrates and deepens the enduring trust it shares with fellow Americans and that military and civilian persons share in the responsibility to explore, strengthen, and participate in the constitutional task of providing for the common defense.

23 May – Former Marine James H. Webb, Jr., a much decorated Vietnam veteran and well-known novelist, was sworn in as the first Assistant Secretary of Defense for Reserve Affairs by Secretary of Defense Caspar W. Weinberger. James Webb, whose Fields of Fire was one of the definitive Vietnam novels, previously served as minority counsel to the House Veterans Affairs Committee from 1977 to 1981.

28 May – This Memorial Day President Ronald Reagan led the nation in a state funeral for the only American known to have perished in the Vietnam War who was still unidentified. Eleven years after the war ended, the unknown Vietnam casualty was interred in the Tomb of the Unknowns at Arlington National Cemetery. The serviceman, whom President Reagan awarded the Medal of Honor, now lies in a crypt near unknown servicemen from the two World Wars and the Korean War.

29 May – In an atmosphere of growing terrorist threats against Americans in Beirut, Lebanon, U.S. Marines patrolled the campus of the American University of Beirut and the U.S. Embassy. The precautions followed an embassy warning indicating that 100 members of a secret terrorist group were preparing a series of kidnappings of Americans.

6 June – This day marked the 40th anniversary of the D-Day invasion of Normandy. Marine detachments on board U.S. Navy Ships played a vital role in the invasion. Stationed in the superstructures of the invasion fleet, Marine sharpshooters exploded floating mines in the ship’s path. Other Marines handled the secondary batteries of five-inch guns during the landings. At times, Marines also manned the smaller caliber anti-aircraft guns on board ships.

7 June – Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 462 (HMM-462) logged 30,000 hours of accident-free flying. Based at Marine Corps Air Station (Helicopter), Tustin, California, the “Heavy Haulers” flew CH-53 helicopters.

16-30 June – Almost 3,000 Marine Corps and Navy reservists from 44 cities across the nation participated in a combined arms exercise CAX/8/84 at the Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center, Twentynine Palms, California. The exercise tested all elements of the Marine Corps’ air-ground team.

29 June – The dock landing ship Germantown (LSD-42) was launched at the Lockheed Shipbuilding and Construction Company, Seattle, Washington. General Paul X. Kelley, Commandant of the Marine Corps, was the principal speaker and Mrs. Paul X. Kelley was the ship’s sponsor. LSD-42 is the second ship launched in the projected eight-ship LSD-41 class program.

30 June – The strength of the armed forces was 2,142,075 of which 195,379 were Marines. A Department of Defense report indicated that 95% of Marine recruits held a high school diploma compared with 86% in 1983.

2 July - 10 August – Nearly 10,000 Thai and U.S. troops participated in exercise “Cobra Gold-84,” a combined military exercise with Thailand’s armed forces in and around the Gulf of Thailand. The exercise involved training in mine-laying and sweeping, special warfare operations, simulated air and sea battles, and amphibious assault shore operations by Thai and U.S. Marines. “Cobra Gold 84” was the largest yet in this annual series of “Cobra Gold” exercises which began in 1981.

14 July – The USS Hauge, the first of 13 maritime pre-positioning ships (MPS) named after Marine Medal of Honor recipients, was launched at the Bethlehem Steel Corporation’s shipyard at Sparrows Point, Maryland. The ship was named in honor of Corporal Louis J. Hauge, Jr., USMC, who was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for heroism on Okinawa during World War II. The launching was attended by the Commandant of the Marine Corps, General Paul X. Kelley. The MPS concept provides for three Marine amphibious brigades readied for airlift to potential crisis areas where they will unite with previously positioned ships carrying their equipment and supplies. The MPS program gives the Marine Corps a new dimension in mobility, sustainability, and global response.

20 July – President Ronald Reagan designated this date as National POW/MIA Recognition Day in honor of all former American prisoners of war, those still missing, and their families who endured uncommon sacrifices on behalf of this country. The President stated that Americans owe a special debt to our fellow citizens who gave up their freedom in the service of our country and to the families who have undergone a great travail. From World War I to the Vietnam War, more than 142,000 U.S. servicemen were taken prisoner and more than 2,400 U.S. servicemen are still listed as missing in action.

20 July – Dedication ceremonies for a 30-acre memorial grove to honor all U.S. prisoners of war and military personnel missing in action took place at Camp Pendleton, California. The first of 1,000 trees was planted in the grove which will be part of a multi-million dollar complex to include a Marine Corps museum and a monument. The dedication ceremony was conducted by Major General Robert E. Haebel, base commander and included remarks by retired Marine Corps Lieutenant Colonel Harold S. Dennis, a three-year POW in the Philippines during World War II.

20 July – Headquarters, II Marine Amphibious Force was activated at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. The unit will provide command, control, and coordination capability for effective planning and execution of Marine Air Ground Task Force (MAGTF) operations. The functions of the unit include planning and coordinating operational MAGTF training, conducting contingency plans, and coordinating and supervising the activations and deactivations of MAGTF units to conduct operations and exercises.

20 July - 1 August – The Marine Corps and Air Force joined forces for Exercise “Quick Strike.” Approximately 1,900 Marines and sailors of the 10th Marine Amphibious Brigade (MAB) participated in the Air Force operational readiness inspection. The 10th MAB was airlifted from Marine Corps Air Station, Cherry Point, North Carolina to Naval Air Station, Fallon, Nevada, and proceeded from there on a 150-mile motor march to the Marine Corps Mountain Warfare Training Center, Bridgeport, California, for training. “Quick Strike” was designed to test the Air Force’s ability to move a large contingent of troops on short notice and it provided the Marine Corps the opportunity to exercise its strategic mobility using Air Force assets. The exercise marked the largest Marine Corps participation in an Air Force readiness inspection.

25 July – The Los Angeles-bound Olympic torch passed through Camp Pendleton, California, on its way to the 1984 Summer Olympics to be held in August. The first Marine torch bearer of the Olympic Torch Relay at Camp Pendleton was Chief Warrant Officer Ralph Ramos of Schools Battalion. The second leg of the relay was traveled by 1st Marine Division’s Sergeant Major Domenick Irrera who turned the torch over to the first of 28 civilian runners. Staff Sergeant Charles James of Infantry Training School, carried the torch on its last leg before exiting the camp’s gates. The Marine torch bearers were accompanied on their runs by fellow Marines running in formation and measuring their pace in a cadence as thousands of spectators cheered.

25 July – The presentation of the annual Navy League awards took place at the annual convention at San Diego. Marines selected for the 1984 awards: Major Christian B. Cowdrey and Captain Michael E. Dick received the General John A. Lejeune Award for inspirational leadership; First Sergeant Richard E. Heroux received the General Gerald C. Thomas award for inspirational leadership by an enlisted Marine; and First Lieutenant Patrick E. Fuller received the General Holland M. Smith Award for operational competence.

26 July – In ceremonies held at the Marine Corps Logistics Base, Albany, Georgia, the staff noncommissioned officers club was officially dedicated as Daniels Hall. The facility was named in honor of Staff Sergeant Earl Daniels, Jr. USMC (Deceased). Staff Sergeant Daniels was a highly decorated Marine from southwest Georgia who was killed in action in Vietnam in 1967.

31 July – The last Marine Corps combat troops from the multinational peacekeeping force in Beirut, Lebanon, pulled out to U.S. Navy ships offshore, marking the end of the 22-month U.S. Military presence in Lebanon. The departure of the last 90 Marines was part of the preparations to move most of the embassy’s functions from its barricaded seafront compound in West Beirut to the relative safety of East Beirut. About a dozen Marines remained in Beirut to guard the new embassy.

___August – Olympic gold medal winner and former professional boxing champion, Sugar Ray Leonard, was selected as the 1984 Honorary National Chairman of the Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots program. Since 1947, the Marine Corps Reserve has sponsored the campaign to collect new toys for children who might otherwise be forgotten at Christmas.

2 August – General Paul X. Kelley, Commandant of the Marine Corps, visited the Marine Corps Development and Education Command at Quantico, Virginia, and test fired nearly all of the new battalion and company level weapons being integrated into the Corps’ new infantry battalion structure. Some of the weapons the Commandant test fired were the new M16A2 rifle, the M249 squad automatic weapon (SAW), the M60E3 machine gun, the MK19 Mod 3 40mm machine gun, and the shoulder-launched multipurpose weapons (SMAW).

2-12 August – Marines from Headquarters Battalion, Henderson Hall, Headquarters, U.S. Marine Corps, and personnel from the U.S. Park Service cleaned the bronze U.S. Marine Corps War Memorial in Arlington, Virginia, in preparation for the “Iwo Jima Memorial’s” 30th anniversary of its dedication to be observed on 10 November 1984. The cleaning process included a washing, a coating of corrosion inhibiter, and several coats of wax.

3 August – Soviet policemen and unidentified men in civilian clothes beat a U.S. Marine assigned to guard duty at the U.S. Consulate General in Leningrad, dragged him into a car and held him at a police station for two hours. The United States, both at the embassy in Moscow and in Washington, protested the action. The State Department said the beating of Sergeant Donald Campbell was the latest in a disturbing pattern of official involvement in a campaign to harass and isolate Americans in the Soviet Union. Sergeant Campbell suffered black eyes and bruises but was not hospitalized.

4-18 August – More than 7,000 reserve Marines of the 2d Marine Amphibious Brigade, representing 125 units from 32 states and the District of Columbia, participated in Exercise “Phalanx Sound II.” Infantry Marines remained at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, for most of the maneuvers while air unit Marines remained at Marine Corps Air Station, Cherry Point, North Carolina. The purpose of the exercise was to develop proficiency in command and control and to enhance the combat readiness of individual units and their ability to function as a whole. “Phalanx Sound II” was the largest Marine reserve exercise held since the Korean War.

4-19 August – Five Marines participated in the 1984 Olympics held at Los Angeles, California. They were: 2d Lieutenant Greg Montesi, Rowing (sculler); Sergeant Greg Gibson, Wrestling (Greco-Roman, 220lbs) who won a silver medal; Sergeant Lou Dorrance, Alternate in Wrestling (Greco-Roman, 114.5 lbs); Sergeant Ron Carlisle, Alternate in Wrestling (Greco-Roman, Heavyweight); and Corporal Julio Aragon, Alternate in Soccer. The Marine Olympians were among 29 U.S. military athletes to compete in the XXIII Olympiad.

7 August – Smedley Hall, a new barracks for enlisted Marines was dedicated at Marine Barracks, Hawaii, located at Pearl Harbor. The $2.5 million structure will house about 160 Marines, most of whom are security guards at the Navy installation. The new facility was named in honor of Marine Corporal Larry E. Smedley, USMC (Deceased), who was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for heroism in Vietnam.

17 August – General Paul X. Kelley, Commandant of the Marine Corps, approved the naming of three streets at Marine Corps Base, Camp Pendleton, California, in honor of Marine Medal of Honor recipients from the Vietnam War: Lance Corporal Lester W. Weber, USMC (Deceased), Private First Class Dewayne T. Williams, USMC (Deceased), and Private First Class Alfred M. Wilson, USMC (Deceased).

17 August – The Commandant of the Marine Corps approved the naming of eight streets at the Family Housing Project, Mountain Warfare Training Center, Bridgeport, California, in honor of Marine Medal of Honor recipients from the Korean War as follows: Corporal Jack A. Davenport, USMC (Deceased); Corporal David B. Champagne, USMC (Deceased); Private First Class Edward Gomez, USMCR (Deceased); Staff Sergeant Ambrosio Guillen, USMC (Deceased); Sergeant Frederick W. Mausert III, USMC (Deceased); Private Walter C. Monegan, Jr., USMC (Deceased); Private Jack W. Kelso, USMC (Deceased); and Corporal Joseph Vittori, USMC (Deceased).

20 August – Marine Corporal Jeffrey N. Nashton, the wounded Beirut bombing victim who last October wrote the words “Semper Fi” (always faithful) in a note to the Commandant of the Marine Corps, General Paul X. Kelley, at a West German hospital, received a gold medal and citation at the convention of the Veterans of Foreign Wars in Chicago.

21 August – The Commandant of the Marine Corps approved the naming of the recruit training regiment rappelling tower at Marine Corps Recruit Depot, Parris Island, South Carolina, in honor of Staff Sergeant Richard Holberton, USMC (Deceased), who was killed in the truck bomb explosion of the 24th MAU Headquarters building in Beirut, Lebanon, on 23 October 1983.

21 August – General Paul X. Kelley, Commandant of the Marine Corps, approved the naming of a new Department of Defense School at Camp McTureous, Okinawa, in honor of the late Mr. William C. Bechtel. Mr. Bechtel served in the Marine Corps during World War II, and later served with distinction in a variety of assignments with the Department of Defense Schools in Okinawa.

23 August – The last Marines to serve peacekeeping duty in Lebanon arrived home. The 24th Marine Amphibious Unit (MAU) left the U.S. last February to participate in a NATO exercise in Norway during March and arrived off the coast of Lebanon on 9 April to relieve Marines of the 22d MAU left Beirut on 31 July, marking the last presence of U.S. combat troops in Beirut since Marines entered almost two years earlier.

29 August – The leadership of the Marine Corps’ major operational command on the east coast changed hands at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. During a combined retirement/change of command ceremony, Lieutenant General John H. Miller, Commanding General, Fleet Marine Force, Atlantic/II Marine Amphibious Force, relinquished command to Major General Alfred M. Gray, Jr. General Miller retired after 38 years of active Marine Corps service. Prior to assuming command, General Gray relinquished command of the 2d Marine Division to Major General Dennis J. Murphy. General Gray was promoted to the rank of lieutenant general. The Commandant of the Marine Corps attended the ceremony as the senior reviewing officer for the pass in review of some 4,000 troops.

1 September – Marine Detachment, USS Nimitz (CVN-68) was activated at U.S. Naval Station Base, Norfolk, Virginia.

5-11 September – Approximately 50,000 Marines, sailors, soldiers, and airmen from several southern California bases participated in Exercise “Gallant Eagle ‘84.” The maneuvers at Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center, Twentynine Palms, California, involved war games with live ammunition. The exercise was designed to simulate the rapid intervention of U.S. forces to help an allied nation rout an invader force. “Gallant Eagle ‘84” was sponsored by the U.S. Central Command, which is responsible for 19 countries in northeast Africa, the Arabian Peninsula, the Persian Gulf, and southwest Asia.

7 September – Major Robert K. Dobson, Jr., USMC, was awarded the 1984 Leftwich Trophy. As a captain, Major Dobson was the commanding officer of Company G, 2d Battalion, 8th Marines, 2d Marine Division. His unit deployed to Grenada for Operation Urgent Fury and later went to Beirut, Lebanon, as part of the multinational peacekeeping force. The Leftwich Trophy, an award for a captain in the Fleet Marine Force who best exemplifies the principles of leadership, was presented to Major Dobson by the Commandant during the Evening Parade at Marine Barracks, 8th and I Streets, Washington, D.C.

14 September – Groundbreaking ceremonies were conducted at Marine Corps Air Station, Yuma, Arizona, for the Combat Aircraft Ordnance Loading Facility. The $7.6 million project was the largest contract ever awarded in Arizona under the Small Business Association/Minority Business Program. The contract was awarded to the Maya Construction Company, which was recognized by President Ronald Reagan as one of the outstanding small businesses of the year.

17 September – Fleet Marine Force, Pacific celebrated its 40th anniversary. Officially activated on this date in 1944, Fleet Marine Force, Pacific established a legendary reputation for valor, teamwork, and readiness from World War II to Vietnam.

20 September – A van driven by a suicide terrorist, careening past concrete barricades and heavy gunfire, exploded in front of the U.S. Embassy Annex in East Beirut, Lebanon, killing 23 people and injuring dozens of others including U.S. Ambassador Reginald Bartholomew and four Marine security guards. The Islamic Holy War claimed responsibility for the explosion. The same group took responsibility for the previous embassy bombing (April 1983) and the suicide bomb attack (October 1983) on the Marine garrison in Beirut last year.

24 September – The 1st Remotely Piloted Vehicle (RPV) Platoon was activated at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. The purpose of this unit was to assist with acquiring targets for artillery and naval gunfire and in adjusting their supporting fires. The 42-man unit was equipped with 4 Mastiff-3 mini-RVPs. The Mastiff-3 has a gross weight of 255 pounds, a range of 100 kilometers, and a flight endurance of nearly seven hours. A crew of five is normally used to control a flight.

28 September – Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron 364 was reactivated at Marine Corps Air Station, Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii. The squadron will be attached to Marine Aircraft Group 24, 1st Marine Brigade. Comprised of CH-46 “Sea Knight” helicopters, the squadron’s reactivation is expected to enhance the rotational capability of the group.

1 October – In a ceremony at Marine Air Ground Combat Center at Twentynine Palms, California, the 4th Battalion, 11th Marines was redesignated as the 5th Battalion, 11th Marines. The redesignation was part of a comprehensive, long-range program designed to change the structure and composition of many Marine units and bring into service new weapons systems and doctrines.

2 October – Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron 163 located at Marine Corps Air Station, El Toro, California, amassed 28,000 hours of accident free flying time. The milestone represented five years since an aircraft accident last occurred.

4-7 October – The 1984 Corps Aviation Association awards were presented at the association’s convention in Washington, D.C. Lieutenant Colonel Laurence R. Medlin of Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron 162 was named the Marine Aviator of the Year as the recipient of the Alfred A. Cunningham Award. The Lawson H.M. Sanderson award for the attack squadron of the year was earned by Marine Attack Squadron 211. Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 112 received the Robert M. Hanson Award for the fighter squadron of the year and Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron 261 won the helicopter squadron of the year award.

9-26 October – Approximately 6,500 Marines of the 10th Marine Amphibious Brigade participated in “Combined Arms Operation 1-85.” The majority of the maneuvers were conducted at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. The operation was designed to train commanders in planning and controlling various combat, combat support, and combat service support elements of Fleet Marine Force to accomplish tactical missions. The first combined arms operation for the 2d Marine Division in fiscal year 1985, the exercise provided realistic training for ground and aviation units in a simulated combat situation.

15 October – The Commandant of the Marine Corps approved the naming of a Landing Craft Air Cushion Complex (LCAC) Access Road at Marine Corps Base, Camp Pendleton, California, in honor of Colonel Donald G. Cook, USMC (Deceased). Colonel Cook was awarded the Medal of Honor posthumously on 16 May 1980 for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his own life while interned as a prisoner of war by the Viet Cong from 31 December 1964 until his death on 8 December 1967.

21 October - 27 November – Approximately 4,000 Marines participated in MAB CAX 1-85, a combined arms exercise involving the 7th Marine Amphibious Brigade. Marines and equipment from Camp Pendleton and the Marine Corps Air Station, El Toro, joined units based at Twentynine Palms to participate in the exercise. On 13-15 November the climax of the exercise took place which included a coordinated live-fire air and ground assault as part of a hypothetical desert campaign. The exercise was the first brigade-level combined arms exercise held. It demonstrated the ability of the CAX program to expand beyond the battalion and amphibious unit exercises held for the past few years.

23 October – By presidential proclamation, the U.S. flag was flown at half-staff on all buildings, grounds, and naval vessels of the federal government throughout the United States and its territories and possessions, in remembrance of all victims of terrorism throughout the world. The proclamation was issued by the White House on 19 October after the President signed antiterrorism legislation that authorized $366 million to increase security at U.S. embassies abroad.

23 October – Many families of victims of terrorism, some whose sons, brothers, or fathers were among the 241 Marines killed in the bombing of the Marine barracks in Beirut one year ago, attended a ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery. The ceremony, “A Time of Remembrance,” was sponsored by No Greater Love, a national, nonprofit group formed in 1971 to give support to the children of soldiers who were missing, killed, or prisoners of war in Southwest Asia. A simple ceremony of prayers and songs was conducted mostly by children for a crowd of over 500. The program was highlighted by the dedication of a tree -- a 14 foot Cedar of Lebanon -- planted in a section of the cemetery where some of the victims were buried.

23 October – Ceremonies were held at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, in honor of all U.S. servicemen killed in Lebanon and Grenada during the past two years. In the morning, a memorial service was held at the outdoor amphitheater where General Paul X. Kelley, Commandant of the Marine Corps, was the featured speaker to a crowd of about 2,000. A granite marker with three large bronze plaques bearing the names of 266 servicemen killed in Lebanon was dedicated. In a separate afternoon ceremony, the final six of 271 Bradford pear trees were planted to complete a 3.5 mile-long row of trees to serve as a living memorial to the servicemen who died in Lebanon and Grenada. In the evening, country singing star, Waylon Jennings, performed a benefit concert to raise funds for the Beirut Memorial Park project.

29 October – The Commandant of the Marine Corps approved the naming of the French Creek area parade field at Marine Corps Base, Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, in honor of Staff Sergeant Allen H. Soifert, USMC (Deceased). Staff Sergeant Soifert served with the 24th Marine Amphibious Unit in Beirut, Lebanon, when he was killed by sniper fire on 14 October 1983. At the time of his death, Staff Sergeant Soifert was serving a second tour of duty with the Marine peacekeeping force.

1 November – The Commandant of the Marine Corps proposed that the names “Dominican Republic,” “Lebanon,” and “Grenada” be added to the U.S. Marine Corps War Memorial in Arlington, Virginia. They will join the names of other wars and conflicts in which Marines have fought. The memorial, which depicts the heroic flag raising on Iwo Jima, honors all Marines from the founding of the Corps to present day.

4 November – Brad Ingram, a 29-year-old former Marine artillery officer from Mansfield, Ohio, won the Marine Corps Marathon in Washington, D.C. Mr. Ingram completed the ninth annual marathon in 2 hours, 19 minutes, and 40 seconds. Of the 12,000 entrants, Marines accounted for more than 3,000 of the total. Another 1,200 Marines provided support from start to finish lines and behind the scenes.

7 November – General Paul X. Kelley, Commandant of the Marine Corps, told a group of editors and reporters of the Washington Times that the Marine Corps is engaged in an extensive effort to updated its ability to fight terrorism worldwide. He has directed the drafting of comprehensive field manuals that would give commanders a total view of the kinds of terrorist threats they might face and the kinds of actions they might take to counter such acts.

8 November – Newly adopted shoulder cords were presented to each drill instructor in the Women Recruit Training Command at Marine Corps Recruit Depot, Parris Island, South Carolina, by their commanding officer, Lieutenant Colonel Shelley B. Mayer, USMC. Research had recently been done for an appropriate new symbol for women drill instructors. As a result, a scarlet shoulder cord was adopted for a two-year test period. Unlike the women DIs previous symbol, epaulets, the new shoulder cord could be worn with any uniform except dress blues.

9 November – A ceremony was held in honor of the 209th anniversary of the U.S. Marine Corps and the 30th anniversary of the Marine Corps War Memorial. Highlighting the program were guest speakers Dr. Felix W. de Weldon, the artist who sculpted the memorial, and Joseph J. Rosenthal, the combat photographer on Iwo Jima who photographed the classic shot of the flag raising. The ceremony, held at the Marine Corps (Iwo Jima) War Memorial, also included a parade unit from Marine Barracks, Washington, D.C., remarks by the Commandant of the Marine Corps, General Paul X. Kelley, volleys and taps, and wreath laying.

10 November – U.S. Marines throughout the world celebrated the 209th birthday of the Marine Corps. On this date in 1775, the second Continental Congress in Philadelphia founded the Marine Corps. In his birthday message, the Commandant of the Marine Corps, General Paul X. Kelley, said, “The name Marine knows neither defeat nor dishonor. Its knows only pride and professionalism.”

10 November – Annual wreath-lying ceremonies were conducted at the gravesites of deceased former Commandants of the Marine Corps. Since 10 November 1954, these ceremonies have been a continuing part of the Marine Corps birthday tradition. Of the 20 deceased Commandants, 13 have been interred at Arlington National Cemetery.

11 November – A bronze statue of three American servicemen was dedicated on Veteran’s Day when it became part of the Vietnam Memorial in Washington, D.C. The figures of the memorial statue were sculpted to resemble a white, a black, and a Hispanic soldier and represent the young fighting men who served in Vietnam. Sculpted by Frederick Hart, the statue stands at the entrance to the Vietnam Memorial.

24 November – The USS Vandegrift (FFG-48) was commissioned in Seattle, Washington. Built by Todd Pacific Shipyards Corporation, the USS Vandegrift was named in honor of the late General Alexander A. Vandegrift, the eighteenth Commandant of the Marine Corps. An Oliver Hazard Perry-class ship, the Vandegrift’s single arm launcher is capable of firing standard and Harpoon missiles.

25 November – Assailants fired four 60mm mortar rounds at the U.S. Embassy compound in Lisbon, Portugal, damaging three parked cars inside the walled complex but causing no injuries. A leftist guerrilla group claimed responsibility for the predawn attack. Only U.S. Marines and Portuguese guards were on duty when the mortar rounds hit the compound, which was opened in July 1983.

30 November – Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 466 (HMH-466) was activated during ceremonies at Marine Corps Air Station (Helicopter), Tustin, California. HMH-466 joined HMH-464 and HMH-465 as a CH-53E “Super Stallion” squadron. The CH-53E heavy-lift helicopter adds significant depth to Marine tactical mobility.

4 December – A detachment of 179 Marines and five Navy corpsmen returned to Camp Lejeune after completing six months of training in 18 South American and African nations. The unit took part in the annual United American States/West African Training Cruise “UNITAS/WATC ‘84.” The mission was to promote mutual hemispheric defense through cross-training and to foster mutual respect and friendship with Latin American and African nations. Marines were selected for the cruise from various units of the 2d Marine Division and the 2d Force Service Support Group at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina.

6-16 December – More than 10,000 Marines and sailors, including the 11th Marine Amphibious Unit, participated in Exercise “Kernel Usher 85-1,” an amphibious exercise involving 20 ships and various types of rotary and fixed wing aircraft. The exercise marked the first time in recent history that the embarked troops would be the same ones scheduled to deploy with Phibron 7 to the Western Pacific in 1985, giving Navy and Marine units an opportunity to operate jointly prior to actual deployment. The exercise included Navy embarkation of Marines, at-sea operations with a carrier battle group, an amphibious assault, and combat operations on shore.

17 December – Lieutenant General Thomas A. Wornham, USMC (Retired), died in San Diego, California, at the age of 81. Commissioned in the Marine Corps upon graduation from the Naval Academy in 1926, LtGen Wornham later commanded the 27th Marines on Iwo Jima in February-March 1945, for which he was awarded the Navy Cross. During the Korean War, LtGen Wornham commanded the 1st Marines. Prior to his retirement in 1961, the decorated general served as Commanding General, Fleet Marine Force, Pacific.

31 December – The strength of the armed forces was 2,141,295 of which 197,795 were Marines.

1985

___ January – The Secretary of the Navy approved the name “Osprey” for the tilt-rotor aircraft program formerly referred to as the “JVX.” The program will produce the replacement aircraft for the aging CH-46 Sea Knight helicopter fleet. Its new overall name is V-22 Osprey and its variants will be referred to as MV-22 for Marines, HV-22 for Navy, and CV-22 for the Air Force.

___ January – The “Stingers” of Marine Light Helicopter Squadron 167 celebrated 90,000 accident-free flight hours. Based at Camp Pendleton and attached to Marine Aircraft Group 36, 1st Marine Aircraft Wing, the squadron’s milestone marked 14 years of accident free flying. Using AH-1J Sea Cobras and UH-1N Hueys, its mission has been to provide attack and utility helicopter support to landing forces during ship-to-shore movements and operations ashore.

1 January – The strength of the armed forces was 2,138,339; 197,641 were Marines.

2 January – General Robert E. Cushman, Jr., the 25th Commandant of the Marine Corps, died of a heart attack at his home in Fort Washington, Maryland, nine days before his 70th birthday. Upon graduation from the Naval Academy, General Cushman was commissioned in 1935. Awarded the Navy Cross for heroism as a battalion commander during the recapture of Guam in 1944, the general went on a quarter of a century later in Vietnam to command more troops in combat --- Marine and soldiers --- than any other Marine officer. Prior to serving as Commandant in 1972, General Cushman was the deputy director of the Central Intelligence Agency. He retired from the Marine Corps 1975 after 40 years of active duty service. The general was buried with full military honors in Arlington National Cemetery on 7 January.

4 January – Three deceased Marine Medal of Honor recipients were honored at Marine Corps Base, Camp Pendleton, with the dedication of new streets in the South Mesa housing area. The streets: Littleton Court, Christianson Court, and Johnson Court, were named after Privates First Class Herbert A. Littleton and Stanley R. Christianson, and Sergeant James E. Johnson. The Marines were awarded the Medal of Honor posthumously for their actions in the Korean War.

9 January – The Douglass Room of the Diamond Hall Staff NCO Club at Quantico, Virginia, was dedicated. The room was named in honor of Sergeant Major Frederick B. Douglass, one of the 225 Marines killed in the bombing of the Marine barracks in Beirut, Lebanon, on 23 October 1983. During the dedication ceremony, Lieutenant General David M. Twomey, Commanding General, Marine Corps Development and Education Command, assisted Mrs. Shirley F. Douglass in unveiling a portrait of her late husband. The portrait will be permanently displayed in the Douglass Room. The recently renovated room will be used to host small conferences, meetings, and private parties. Douglass Hall, Marine Barracks 75 at Naval Air Station, South Weymouth, Massachusetts, was also named in honor of the decorated Boston-born Marine last year.

14 January – The U.S. Army announced it had selected the 9mm Beretta 92SB-F pistol as the replacement for the aging Colt .45. The Marine Corps will spend approximately $29 million for a total of 91,000 weapons with delivery extended through FY-89. The Beretta 92SB-F fires a 9mm parabellum round in a15-round staggered magazine. The new pistol is expected to have a service life of 10,000 rounds and to cost under $200.

19 January – The 2dLt John P. Bobo, the first of the five new-construction maritime prepositioning ships (MPS) built by the Quincy Shipbuilding Division of General Dynamics, was christened at Quincy, Massachusetts. Named in honor of Marine Second Lieutenant John P. Bobo, who was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for heroism in Vietnam, the Bobo and each of her sister ships will be able to carry roughly one-fourth of the cargo needed for 30 days of sustained operations by a 16,500-man MPS Marine Amphibious Brigade.

21 January – President Reagan’s second inauguration marked the 47th consecutive inauguration in which “The President’s Own” United States Marine Band performed. Due to severe cold weather, inaugural ceremonies were held in the Capitol rotunda. In addition to the Capitol ceremonies, members of the Marine Band performed at a variety of inaugural events including three of the inaugural balls. Music for the events focused on American composers that included Copeland, Chadwick, Schuman, and Sousa. The Marine Band was directed by Colonel John R. Bourgeois.

21 January – Marine Major General Ion M. Bethel, former Quartermaster General of the Marine Corps, died in Torrance, California. He began his Marine Corps career as an enlisted man in 1918 and was discharged a year later. Commissioned a second lieutenant in 1925, General Bethel joined the 4th Marines in China during 1927 and again in 1935. He participated in the Peleliu invasion during World War II and served as Commanding General of the Marine Corps Clothing Depot, Philadelphia, and the Marine Corps Supply Depot, Albany, Georgia, during the 1950s. He retired in 1958.

22 January – Eight Marine Medal of Honor recipients were the honored guests of The Basic School at Quantico, Virginia. The Medal of Honor winners were in the Washington area to take part in Inauguration activities. Among the recipients present were General Louis H. Wilson, former Commandant of the Marine Corps, and the Honorable Joseph J. Foss, a former governor of South Dakota. Other Medal of Honor recipients present were Colonels Mitchell Paige, Harvey C. Barnum, Jr., and William E. Barber; Lieutenant Colonels Wesley L. Fox and Howard V. Lee; and Mr. Jacklyn Lucas.

24 January – The Marine Corps accepted delivery of its new combat trainer for the F/A-18 Hornet. The trainer, operational with Marine Aircraft Group 11 at Marine Corps Air Station, El Toro, California, consists of two domes 40-feet wide along with two fully instrumented F/A-18 cockpits. Built by Hughes Aircraft at a cost of $24 million, the trainer incorporates an electronically created flight environment providing pilots with a 360-degree coverage of the earth, sky, and targets.

25 January – Secretary of the Navy, John Lehman, Jr., fired some of the Marine Corps’ newest battalion-and company-level infantry weapons including the M-16A2 rifle, the Shoulder-launched Multi-Purpose Assault Weapon (SMAW), the MK-19 machine gun, and the M-40A1 sniper rifle. The Secretary, accompanied by the Commandant of the Marine Corps, also used the Quantico visit as an opportunity to recognize a Marine who was instrumental in the development of the M-16A2 rifle. Major Michael W. Smith, the rifle’s developmental project officer, was awarded the Legion of Merit medal on behalf of President Reagan.

27 January – Major General Frank C. Croft, USMC (Retired) died in Coronado, California. A 1928 graduate from the U.S. Naval Academy, General Croft was designated an aviator in 1930 after training in San Diego and Pensacola. He saw action on Bougainville, Guam, and Peleliu during World War II, winning the Bronze Star with Combat “V” for service on Guam. During the 1950s, General Croft commanded the Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, and later served as Assistant Commander of the 1st Aircraft Wing. He retired in 1959.

30 January – A demonstration firing of the developing Upgunned Weapon Station (UGWS) was held in Quantico, Virginia, for personnel at Headquarters, U.S. Marine Corps. Among those attending were Brigadier General James M. Mead, Director of the Manpower Plans Policy Division, and Brigadier General Ray M. Franklin, Deputy Chief of Staff for Research, Development, and Studies. The UGWS would enhance the ability of amphibian assault vehicles to make a landing in a hostile environment. The Marine Corps has been developing the UGWS for use on the AAVP7A1, formerly designated the LVTP7A1 (tracked landing vehicle, personnel).

30 January – Marine Attack Squadron 331 became the first operational AV-8B Harrier II squadron in the Marine Corps. Located at Cherry Point, North Carolina, the “Bumblebees” made a transition from A-4M Skyhawks to Harrier IIs over a two-year period.

___ February – Camp Lejeune’s first fast-food restaurant – a Burger King – opened. It is the first Burger King on a Marine base and only the second nationally franchised food establishment to be so located. McDonald’s operates a facility at Camp Pendleton. Burger King will turn a percentage of its sales over to the base to be used for recreation programs.

4 February – The Commandant of the Marine Corps approved an acquisition decision memorandum that recommended the procurement of the M1A1 Abrams main battle tank for the Corps’ future armor needs. After extensive developmental and operational testing of the M1A1 in an amphibious environment, the Marine Corps Systems Acquisition Review Council, headed by the Assistant Commandant, General James K. Davis, considered three other armor alternatives for the Corps which included the M60A1 with improved fire control system, and the M60A3. The council found the M1A1 alternative to be the most effective. Deliveries to the Fleet Marine Force are expected to begin during 1989.

4 February – The first of a two-part Woman Marines Review was concluded with the publication of Marine Corps Order 1300.8M (Change 2). The directive contains formal policy on the classification, assignment, and deployment of enlisted women Marines. Similar policies regarding women Marine officers will be forthcoming with the second half of the review. The directive contained four objectives: to ensure commanders have sufficient men for deployment requirements; to control the combat risk for women; to guarantee equitable opportunity for men and women to serve in the Fleet Marine Force and the supporting establishment; and to ensure fair and equitable career progression for all Marines.

6 February – The Maritime Prepositioning Ship Stephen W. Pless was christened during ceremonies at the National Steel and Shipbuilding Company shipyard at San Diego, California. The ship was named in honor of deceased Marine Major Stephen W. Pless, who was awarded the Medal of Honor for gallantry during the Vietnam War. Mrs. Edwin Meese was the ship’s sponsor. The Pless is the sixth of 13 Maritime Prepositioning Ships to be named.

6-7 February – The Commandant of the Marine Corps, General Paul X. Kelley, delivered the annual Marine Corps Posture Statement before the Senate Armed Services Committee. In his statement, General Kelley asked Congress’ continuing support in maintaining Marine readiness and the Corps’ “unique capability to respond to national security needs across the entire spectrum of conflict.”

7 February – For the first time in Marine Corps history, a board of general officers selected a woman to be advanced to the rank of brigadier general. Colonel Gail M. Reals was selected from a group of 312 colonels. Currently serving as Chief of Staff, Marine Corps Development and Education Command at Quantico, Virginia, Colonel Reals enlisted in the Marine Corps in 1954 and was commissioned a second lieutenant in 1961 through the meritorious noncommissioned officer program. Her decorations include the Navy Commendation Medal, Army Commendation Medal, Navy Achievement Medal, and three meritorious unit citations.

8 February – The USS Whidbey Island (LSD-41) was commissioned at Lockheed Shipbuilding Company, Seattle, Washington. Brigadier General William A. Bloomer represented the Commandant of the Marine Corps at the ceremony, which 1,500 guests attended. LSD-41 was part of an 8-ship program to replace the LSD-28 class vessels. These dock landing ships are traditionally named for historic sites.

10 February – The recently established Terrorist Threat Section, Counterintelligence Branch, Intelligence Division, Headquarters, Marine Corps, completed its first Mobile Training Team (MTT) presentation concerning terrorism and terrorism countermeasures to approximately 2,500 civilian and military personnel assigned to the Marine Corps Logistics Base, Albany, Georgia. The eight one-hour presentations are provided to inform all Marines and civilian personnel assigned to Marine commands of the terrorist threat and individual protective measures against the threat.

19 February – A ceremony honoring the 40th anniversary of the assault on Iwo Jima was held at the Marine Corps War Memorial where some 700 people gathered. The ceremony included a message from President Reagan read by Commandant of the Marine Corps, General Paul X. Kelley.

19 February – Hundreds of Marine survivors of the battle for Iwo Jima gathered at reunions in honor of the campaign 40 years ago. At a reunion held on Iwo Jima, American and Japanese veterans dedicated a war memorial. In English and Japanese, the marker commemorates the “reunion of honors.” Additionally, an Iwo Jima reunion was held on the battleground at Vicksburg, Mississippi, as an alternative for veterans unable to go to Iwo Jima. This date marks the landing on Iwo Jima in which more than 70,000 Marines participated.

21 – 24 February – Approximately 1,000 Marine reservists from the 4th Marine Division were involved in a Mobilization Operational Readiness Deployment Test (MORDT). The units involved were elements of the 24th and 25th Marines from Cleveland, Ohio; Columbus, Ohio; Buffalo, New York; Wheeling, West Virginia; and Chicago, Illinois.

22 February – Forty years after Medal of Honor recipient Lieutenant Colonel Justice M. Chambers was wounded on Iwo Jima, General Paul X. Kelley presented the Chambers Trophy for Leadership to a Marine reservist. Colonel Chambers died in 1982. Captain Alfred R. Marshall, Jr., with Company C, 1st Battalion, 25th Marines, became the first recipient of the Chambers Trophy. The Chambers Trophy for Leadership is open to any company grade officer who exhibits extremely effective leadership and commitment, and serves in the Selected Marine Corps Reserve or on active duty as a member of the Full-Time Support Program with the 4th Marine Division.

___ March – A decision of the Commandant of the Marine Corps to reassign responsibility for furnishing WestPac afloat Marine Amphibious Units (MAUs) from the 1st Marine Brigade in Hawaii to Marine units in Southern California was implemented. Hereafter, the 1st Marine Division, 3d Marine Aircraft Wing, and 1st Force Service Support Group will maintain two standing MAUs—the 11th and the 13th – which will alternate deployments to the Seventh Fleet. The31st MAU, the permanent headquarters that served as the command element headquarters for afloat forces deploying to Seventh Fleet from Hawaii, will be deactivated.

___ March – Marine reserve units began receiving the new M-16A2 rifle and the new M-198 howitzer. As a part of total force modernization, units of the 23d and 25th Marines began receiving M-16A2 rifles and artillery batteries of the 1st Battalion, 14th Marines began receiving M-198 howitzers.

4 March – Marine Helicopter Training Squadron 301, located at Marine Corps Air Station (Helicopter), Tustin, California, logged 75,000 accident-free flight hours in CH-46 “Sea Knight” helicopters. During a ceremony commemorating the event, the squadron was presented a plaque by Boeing-Vertol, the manufacturers of the CH-46.

4 March - Colonel James F. Buchli, the Marine mission specialist for Shuttle Mission 51C, returned the Commandant’s colors that he carried into space onboard the Space Shuttle Discovery, to General Paul X. Kelley. Shuttle Mission 51C, flown 23-27 January, was the first space mission for Colonel Buchli, who began his Marine Corps career as an infantry officer in Vietnam. Graduating from the U.S.Naval Academy in 1967 with a degree in Aeronautical Engineering, Colonel Buchli became the first Marine naval flight officer to wear astronaut wings.

5-14 March – The 11th Marine Amphibious Unit (MAU), comprised of 1,800 Marines and sailors, took part in amphibious operations during Exercise Kernel Usher 85-2 in Southern California. The 11th MAU was in its final phase of training before a six-month deployment to the Far East.

8 March – Major General Donald McPherrin Weller, USMC (Retired), a pioneer in the development of naval gunfire support tactics, died at the age of 77. A1930 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, General Weller commanded the 2d Battalion, 12th Marines at Bougainville and Guam. Following World War II, he served as Chief of the Naval Gunfire Section, Marine Corps Schools, Quantico, and during the 1950s and early 1960s, General Weller commanded the 10th Marines and the 3d Marine Division. He retired from active duty in 1963. His military decorations included the Legion of Merit and two Bronze Stars.

9 March – The Maritime Prepositioning Ship PFC James Anderson, Jr., was renamed during ceremonies held at the Bethlehem Steel Corporation Sparrows Point Yard at Baltimore, Maryland. The ship was renamed in honor of Marine PFC James Anderson, Jr., who was awarded the Medal of Honor (posthumously) for gallantry during the Vietnam conflict. The MPS PFC James Anderson, Jr., which is the seventh of 13 Maritime Prepositioning Ships, will provide the Navy and Marine Corps with a significant new dimension in mobility, sustainability, and global response.

13 March – The Commandant of the Marine Corps approved the naming of three streets at the Light Assault Amphibious Vehicle Battalion Complex site, Las Flores Area, Camp Pendleton, in honor of three Marines from California who were killed in action during the Vietnam War: Second Lieutenant Albert O. Nelson, Jr., Private First Class Clyde J. Valstad; and Private LeMarr Fisher.

13 March – The naming of the Courthouse Bay Area Dining Facility at Marine Corps Base, Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, was approved by the Commandant of the Marine Corps. The dining facility was named in honor of Sergeant Thomas G. Keown, USMC (Deceased). Sergeant Keown was serving with the 24th Marine Amphibious Unit in Beirut, Lebanon, when he was killed in the 23 October 1983 terrorist attack on Battalion Landing Team 1/8 Headquarters.

13 March – The Commandant of the Marine Corps approved the naming of a conference room at the Marine Corps Institute, Washington, D.C., in honor of the Institute’s founder, Lieutenant General John A. Lejeune.

15 – 22 March – Approximately 1,500 Marines participated in Exercise Cold Winter ‘85 in Norway. Marines of the 4th Marine Amphibious Brigade teamed up with Norwegian, British, Canadian, and Dutch troops. Designed to enhance operational readiness among forces that protect NATO’s northern flank, the exercise tested the forces’ capabilities during winter conditions.

15 – 27 March – The 9th Marine Amphibious Brigade participated in Exercise Team Spirit ‘85 near Pohang, Korea. The 10th annual combined field training focused on rapid deployment for the defense of the Republic of Korea. Approximately 200,000 United States and Republic of Korea military personnel participated in the exercise, which featured the first Team Spirit landing executed under cover of total darkness.

21 - 30 March – Marine “Skyhawks” from the 4th Marine Aircraft Wing participated in Exercise Border Star ‘85. The exercise was conducted at White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico, and included Marine reservists from VMA-131, VMA-124, VMAQ-4, and VMGR-234, along with personnel from the U.S. Air Force, U.S. Army, and a Canadian airborne regiment. The purpose of the exercise was to test the compatibility of American armed forces in a joint combat situation.

25 March – Marine Corps Bulletin 1020 contained several changes to uniform regulations which included the wearing of rank insignia on the camouflage utility cover, rank insignia on the camouflage utility coat, and the mandatory possession date of 1 July for olive green undershirts to be worn with the utility uniform.

26 March – Marine Attack Training Squadron (VMAT) 203 stationed at Marine Corps Air Station, Cherry Point, North Carolina, witnessed the last sortiesMarine pilots will fly for training in the “A” model Harrier. VMAT-203, the only Harrier training squadron in the Marine Corps, began AV-8B training on 1 April, although the squadron will still use TAV-8As prior to training students in AV-8Bs. VMAT-203’s “A” model Harriers were transferred to Marine Attack Squadrons 542 and 231.

27 March – The 2d Light Armored Vehicle (LAV) Battalion, the first such battalion in the Marine Corps which activated one year ago, finished a 10-week training exercise at the Infantry Training Center, Fort Benning, Georgia, with 47 LAVs. The reason for this training was to qualify LAV crews on the Army’s computer-operated 25mm multiply moving-target ranges that are used to qualify M2 Bradley Crews. This range is the only one of its type in the United States. The training value of the exercise lay not only in qualifying the LAV crews on gunnery ranges, but also in utilizing those skills in a battalion-sized combined arms operation. This, in conjunction with airlift operations, demonstrated the ability of combat-ready Marine units to rapidly deploy to possible theaters of conflict.

27 March – Retired Marine Major General Frank H. Lamson-Scribner died at the age of 83 in Charleston, South Carolina. A Marine flier for more than 25 years, the general entered the Marine Corps in 1923 upon graduation from the U.S. Naval Academy. During World War II, he served as the Air Officer, Amphibious Force, Pacific Fleet and was Assistant Commander of the 1st Marine Aircraft Wing in Korea.

___ April – Sergeant Major Philip V. Malarski was selected as the Marine Corps’ first Reserve Division Sergeant Major. Sergeant Major Malarski, who has served as a drilling reservist for the past 27 years, will serve as the senior enlisted reserve advisor to the Deputy Chief of Staff for Reserve Affairs.

__ April – The 7th Marine Amphibious Brigade, a contingent of the Corps’ readiness enhancement program, improved its ability to move 12,500 men to the Persian Gulf within a week, equipped to fight for 30 days without resupply. This was made possible by the advance positioning of supplies on ships in the Indian Ocean. The maritime pre-positioning ships concept represented a significant new dimension in mobility, readiness enhancement, and global response.

___ April – The Commandant of the Marine Corps made final decisions to bring the permanent Marine Air-Ground Task Force (MAGTF) concept into effect over the next several years. The Corps will have a total of 13 permanently established MAGTF headquarters and will place far less reliance on temporary command elements formed at a time of crisis. The MAGTF’s new structural lineup includes three amphibious force headquarters, five amphibious brigades, four amphibious units, and one brigade.

1 April – The Marine Corps Air Facility at Camp Pendleton, California, was officially redesignated as Marine Corps Air Station, Camp Pendleton, California.

9 April – The Army’s Central Intelligence Laboratory in Honolulu positively identified the remains of six American servicemen who died during the Vietnam War that were recently returned to the U.S. by the Vietnamese. Four of the six men were Air Force officers who were shot down over North Vietnam and listed as missing in action. The other two, an Army soldier and a Marine, were listed as prisoners of war who were known to have died after being captured. The Marine was identified as Sergeant Robert C. Sherman of Danville, Illinois, who was captured in South Vietnam of 24 June 1967.

15 April – The Marine Detachment on the USS Independence deactivated as the ship was scheduled for a complete overhaul.

23 April – Marines from the 26th Marine Amphibious Unit made an amphibious landing on the Caribbean coast of Honduras as part of Exercise Universal Trek ‘85 that began 12 April. One of the largest military exercises held in Central America, with 7,000 U.S. participants, Universal Trek ‘85 was designed to integrate Marine, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard, and Army forces that might be used against enemy forces in the Caribbean region.

26 April – The Commandant’s White Letter No. 11-85 addressed the Marine Corps’ initial six-year enlistment program. The Quality Enlistment Program (QEP) became available only to high school graduates who meet the Corps’ most stringent standards. In return for their six-year commitment, these Marines receive certain incentives, which include a choice of military occupation specialty, and initial appointment to private first class with subsequent promotions to lance corporal and corporal. In 1985, 5,000 Marines are expected to enlist through QEP.

26 April – Marine All Weather Attack Squadron 533 received an award for outstanding achievement in tactical aviation from the Association for Naval Aviation during its annual symposium/convention in Arlington, Virginia. The award was presented to the “Hawks” for their performance aboard the USS Saratoga during 1984, which included work in the use of the A-6E tram to control naval gunfire from an airborne platform at night.

26 April – The Marine Corps performance evaluation system received its own “fitness report” from the Commandant of the Marine Corps. In his White Letter No. 10-85, the Commandant placed major emphasis on the accountability and accuracy of individual reports and records. Improvements the Commandant seeks will result from a simplification of the current system which includes a shift from semiannual to annual reports, a two-thirds reduction in the types of reporting occasions, and a standardization of the reporting chain.

30 April – On this date, ten years ago, U.S. Marines completed evacuation operations of Americans and selected foreign nationals from the American Embassy in Saigon in Operation Frequent Wind. The last two Marine in-country battle casualties of the Vietnam War also occurred with the deaths of Corporal Charles McMahon, Jr. and Lance Corporal Darwin Lee Judge. This date also marked the decade anniversary of the surrender of the Government of South Vietnam to North Vietnam Communist forces.

30 April - 16 May – More than 43,000 U.S. military personnel, including 1,200 Marines of the II Marine Amphibious Force, participated in Exercise Solid Shield ‘85. The purpose of the operation was to exercise command and control of military forces in a simulated combat environment. Solid Shield ‘85 was conducted along the East Coast and the adjacent waters and was highlighted by an air assault and amphibious landing at Camp Lejeune. The exercise was the 22d in a series of joint exercises conducted annually by the Commander in Chief Atlantic Command.

30 April – Station Operations and Maintenance Squadron (SOMS) was activated at Marine Corps Air Station, Yuma, Arizona, by Brigadier General William A. Bloomer, commander of Marine Corps Air Bases, Western Area. Comprised of the former station S-3 department, the weapons department, and the air freight section, the new squadron would also provide administrative support of the Aircraft Intermediate Maintenance Department. SOMS was established to provide a more effective organizational structure.

6 May – A CH-53D Sea Stallion from Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 462 crashed off the island of Yakushima in the Sea of Japan. All 17 Marines on board were presumed dead after a day-long search. The helicopter was en route from Marine Corps Air Station, Iwakuni, in central Japan, where it participated in a Friendship Day celebration, to its home base on Okinawa when the crash occurred.

10 - 16 May – The 1985 Competition in Arms Program was held at Marine Corps Base, Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, during the Marine Corps Rifle and Pistol Matches. The Lauchheimer Trophy, presented to the shooter with the highest aggregate score in both the rifle and pistol match, went to Master Sergeant Ricardo Rodriquez. Marines from Quantico, Virginia’s Marksmanship Training Unit held 19 of the 33 highest scores in the distinguished shooters category, and marksmen from the Western Division won 10 of the 20 individual team awards.

10 - 20 May – The 6th Marine Amphibious Brigade (MAB) used the unloading of the PFC William B. Baugh at Wilmington, North Carolina, to stage Reception Control Exercise 1-85. The exercise was the first major test of the 6th MAB’s plans for receiving and processing supplies and equipment from maritime pre-positioning ships (MPS) in a contingency reception area. Having completed its assignment as part of MPS-1T, the Baugh was being unloaded in preparation for reassignment to MPS-2.

15 May – Marine Detachment, USS Forrestal (CV-59) was activated at Naval Station, Mayport, Florida.

15 May – Colonel Gail M. Reals, USMC, was promoted to the rank of brigadier general at Quantico, Virginia, where she was stationed. Brigadier General Reals was the first women to be selected by a promotion board for the rank of general.

18 May – The Maritime Prepositioning Ship PFC Dewayne T. Williams was christened at the General Dynamics Shipyard, Qunicy, Massachusetts. The ship was named in honor of Marine PFC Dewayne T. Williams, who was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for gallantry in the Vietnam War.

24 May – A revised order on the Training Policy for Women Marines (MCO 1500.24D) was released. It stated that women Marines were no longer exempt from certain portions of the annual essential subjects test and that they will be expected to maintain and demonstrate proficiency in areas relatively unfamiliar to them in the past. The directive stated that since women Marines serve in many different units and MOSs, their exposure to danger in a hostile environment cannot be precluded.

27 May – In his Memorial Day message, General Paul X. Kelley, Commandant of the Marine Corps, remembered all of America’s valiant dead as well as living veterans. He stated “As Marines, we are committed to serving our country with honor – to keeping faith with every American serviceman who fought and wept, and died, on a distant battlefield.”

28 May – This year’s Colonel Robert D. Heinl, Jr. Award in Marine Corps history went to Thomas L. Friedman of The New York Times for his article, “America’s Failure in Lebanon” published in the New York Times Magazine, 8 April 1984. Major General John F. Condon presented the award on behalf of the Commandant of the Marine Corps during a ceremony at the Marine Corps Historical Center.

30 May – The keel was laid for LHD 1, Wasp, in a ceremony at Ingalis Shipbuilding, a division of Litton Industries, in Pascagoula, Mississippi. General Paul X. Kelley, Commandant of the Marine Corps, authenticated the keel plaque at the ceremony. The Wasp, scheduled for delivery in 1989, was the first of the new class that will replace the “Iwo Jima” LPH class and augment the existing “Tarawa” LHA class to provide amphibious lift capabilities into the decades ahead.

30 May – Marine Helicopter Training Squadron 204 located at Marine Corps Air Station, New River, North Carolina, completed five years of accident-free flying. The squadron logged 24,588 flight hours in CH-46 and Ch-53 aircraft.

31 May – The 1st Light Armored Vehicle (LAV) Battalion was activated at Marine Corps Base, Camp Pendleton, California, with Lieutenant Colonel Lyle D. Gearhart assigned as commanding officer. By the end of 1985, the command would reach an interim strength of 31 Marine officers and 375 enlisted men and hold 56 LAV-25s.

1 June – Marine Corps Air Stations (Helicopter) at Tustin, California, and New River, Jacksonville, North Carolina, were redesignated as Marine Corps Air Stations.

1 June – Major General William W. Davis, USMC (Retired), died in San Diego, California. Commissioned a second lieutenant in May 1922, General Davis served with the Marine Corps in the Dominican Republic, China, and Nicaragua during the 1920s and 1930s. During World War II, he served as Amphibious Tractor Officer for Fleet Marine Force, Pacific, participating in the Marshalls, Marianas, and Okinawa campaigns. While in the Pacific, General Davis commanded the 25th Marines. Prior to retiring in July 1955, he served as Commanding General, Troop Training Unit, Pacific, in Coronado, California.

10 June – A detachment from the 2d Marine Division sailed with a flotilla of U.S. Navy and Coast Guard ships from their east coast homeports to mark the beginning of UNITAS XXVI, an annual series of exercises conducted by United States and South American military forces. The mission of the six-month cruise through Caribbean and South American waters was to promote hemispheric solidarity and foster goodwill and military professionalism between participating countries.

17 June – Seven U.S. Navy ships carrying 100 warplanes and helicopters and 1,800 Marines of the 24th Marine Amphibious Unit sailed toward the eastern Mediterranean Sea near Lebanon. The Marines were brought in as a “show of force” as 37 American passengers from TWA’s Flight 847, hijacked 14 June, were being held in separate locations in Beirut.

18 June – Marine Corps Base, Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, received a new commanding general. Major General Louis H. Buehl relinquished his command to Brigadier General Joseph B. Knotts during ceremonies at W.P.T. Hill Field at the base.

19 June – Four off-duty Marines and two American businessmen were among 13 people slain when terrorist gunmen opened fire on an outdoor café in San Salvador, El Salvador. The Marines, who were embassy security guards, were unarmed and dressed in civilian clothes when the attack occurred. They were: Staff Sergeant Thomas T. Handwork of Beavercreek, Ohio; Staff Sergeant Bobby Joe Dickson of Tuscaloosa, Alabama; Sergeant Gregory H. Weber of Cincinnati, Ohio; and Sergeant Patrick R. Kwiatkowski of Wausau, Wisconsin.

22 June – Retired Brigadier General Walter S. McIlhenny, USMC, died at the age of 74. Commissioned a second lieutenant in 1936, he served 31 months in the Western Pacific during World War II, where he was awarded the Navy Cross, Silver Star, and two Purple Hearts. Relieved from active duty in 1945, the General continued his Marine Corps affiliation with the Marine Reserves until 1959. President of the McIlhenny Tabasco Sauce Company, he was one of the founders of the Marine Military Academy in Harlingen, Texas.

30 June – The mid-year strength of the U.S. Armed Forces was 2,151,568, of whom 198,241 were Marines.

1 July – The 5th Marine Amphibious Brigade reactivated as a permanent headquarters at Camp Pendleton, California. This activation was part of the new concept for organizing and manning six Marine air-ground task force headquarters to permit more detailed planning for deployment.

1 July – Marine Lieutenant General D’Wayne Gray, USMC, took command of Fleet Marine Force, Pacific. Lieutenant General Charles G. Cooper, who had held the post since June 1983, retired after 35 years of Marine Corps service.

1 July – Marine Corps Air Station (Helicopter) at Futenma, Okinawa, was redesigned as a Marine Corps Air Station. The “Helicopter” designation was dropped as the air station, like Tustin and New River, lands and services not only helicopters, but a variety of other aircraft.

5-16 July – Nearly 10,000 U.S. and Thai troops, which included Marines of the 11th Marine Amphibious Unit, participated in Exercises Cobra Gold ‘85, an annual training exercise in and around the Gulf of Thailand. The exercise consisted of multi-threat operations at sea during which the amphibious task force surface combatants and other support ships transited international waters and conducted training involving simulated air, surface, and subsurface threats.

6 July – A military historian, Colonel Angus Malcolm Fraser, USMC (Retired), died at the age of 72. Colonel Fraser, a decorated combat veteran of World War II and advisor to a Korean Marine Corps regiment during the Korean War, retired from active duty in 1964 after nearly 30 years in the Marine Corps. He later became a senior research analyst in Chinese matters with the Institute for Defense Analysis and other research groups where he authored a number of studies and articles on a wide variety of military topics.

6 July – The USS Elrod (FFG-55), an Oliver Hazard Perry-class guided-missile frigate, was commissioned at Brunswick, Georgia. The Elrod was the 100th ship commissioned into the U.S. Navy at the Brunswick harbor. The ship was named in honor of Marine Major Henry T. Elrod, a native of Georgia, who was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for heroism during the battle of Wake Island in World War II.

11 - 13 July – All-Marine grappler, Sergeant Greg Gibson, was selected to wrestle on the United States’ World Team after completing the World Wrestling Team Trials held at the Olympic Training Center, Colorado Springs, Colorado. Sergeant Gibson, a 1984 Olympic silver medalist, became the only wrestler in the world to win medals in three styles of world-class competition.

15 July - 11 August – About 2,300 Marines from the 6th Marine Amphibious Brigade participated in Exercise Bright Star ‘85, the largest U.S. exercise ever in the Middle East. Under the command of Brigadier General Edmund P. Looney, Jr., Marines participated in operations in Egypt which included an amphibious landing with Egyptian troops and a live-fire exercise. Bright Star involved about 9,000 U.S. servicemen and also included operations in Jordan and Somalia.

19 July – President Ronald Regan designated this date as National POW/MIA Recognition Day in honor of returned prisoners from all wars and in keeping with the nation’s commitment to resolve the Indochina POW/MIA issue. The President called on all Americans to join in honoring all former American POWs, those still missing, and their families who have endured and who still suffer extraordinary sacrifices on behalf of this country.

23 - 30 July – More than 300 shooters, representing the Marine Corps, Army, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard, and their respective reserve units participated in the 24th annual Interservice Rifle Championship Match at Quantico, Virginia. The National Guard team claimed top honors, the Army team placed second, and the Marine Corps team placed third. Marine Corps’ shooters also claimed title to several individual and team awards.

25 July – Secretary of Defense Caspar W. Weinberger announced Marie Corps Air Station (MCAS) Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii, as the recipient of the 1984 Secretary of Defense Environmental Quality Award. MCAS Kaneohe Bay promoted awareness of environment protection and enhancement through excellence in water quality protection and conservation, hazardous waste management, and an active community relations program. The award was presented annually by the Department of Defense Environment Quality Program to recognize excellence in achieving national goals to protect the environment.

2 August – Male Marine recruits at Marine Corps Recruit Depot, Parris Island, South Carolina, began qualifying with the M-16A2 rifle and women Marine recruits at Parris Island were tested in close order drill with the M-16A2s on 29 July as a result of a recent change in the training order for women Marines. The transition from the M-16A1 to the M-16A2 continued throughout the Corps with more than 100,000 M-16A2s already in the hands of Fleet Marine Force Marines. The transition was scheduled to be completed during fiscal year 1989.

9 August – In observance of the 40th anniversary of V-J Day and to honor former Commandants, the Marine Corps Historical Foundation hosted a reception at the Marine Corps Historical Center which was followed by the Evening Parade at Marine Barracks, 8th and I. In addition to General Paul X. Kelley, former Commandants of the Marine Corps Wallace M. Greene, Jr., Leonard F. Chapman, Jr., and Louis H. Wilson were in attendance along with Lieutenant Colonel Donald T. Regan, USMCR (Retired), the White House Chief of Staff, and about 450 other guests.

12 August – The Commandant of the Marine Corps selected Captain Dennis J. Hejlik as the 1985 recipient of the Leftwich Trophy for outstanding leadership. Captain Hejlik was assigned to Battalion Landing Team 3/8, 22d Marine Amphibious Unit. The Leftwich Trophy is awarded annually to a Marine captain serving with Fleet Marine Force who best exemplifies the leadership qualities exhibited by Lietuenant Colonel William G. Leftwich, Jr., who was killed in Vietnam in 1970.

14 August – Retired Marine Lieutenant General Merwin H. Silverthorn, died at Bethesda Naval Hospital at the age of 88. General Silverthorn received the Navy Cross and Silver Star for heroism in World War I. During the Second World War, he served as chief of staff of the III Amphibious Corps and took part in landings on Guam, Peleliu, and Okinawa. At the end of World War II, the general was chief of staff of Fleet Marine Force, Pacific. The general was named Assistant Commandant of the Marine Corps in 1950 and served as Commanding General, Marine Corps Recruit Depot, Parris Island, before retiring in 1954.

15 August – The Marine Corps took delivery of the first variant of the light armored vehicle (LAV), in ceremonies at the Marine Corps League’s exhibition at the Sheraton Washington Hotel in Washington, D.C. Ninety-four LAV(L)s were scheduled to be delivered within one year. With a cargo capacity of about two tons, the LAV(L) has roof hatches that allow the loading and offloading of standard NATO pallets. A small crane was also incorporated at the rear of the vehicle with a capacity of 1,100 pounds and 360 degree traverse.

15 August – Four Marines and a Navy corpsman were honored during the Marine Corps League’s fifth annual force-in-readiness exposition. The awards are presented yearly to deserving enlisted Marines and a Navy hospital corpsman/dental technician who distinguished themselves by contributing to combat readiness in the Fleet Marine Force. The 1985 Marine winners were: Gunnery Sergeant Valaile Fuiava, Jr., received the Gunnery Sergeant Carlos N. Hatchcock II Award for marksmanship training; Sergeant Joseph J. Busweiler received the Sergeant Major Wilbur Bestwick Award to a Marine in the ground combat element of an FMF unit; Gunnery Sergeant Melvin E. Farr received the Sergeant Harry D. Meyers Award to a Marine in the combat service support element of an FMF unit; and Staff Sergeant Raymond F. Hilfiger received the Sergeant Major Frederick B. Douglass Award to a Marine in an aviation element of an FMF unit.

23 August – The Commandant of the Marine Corps approved the naming of the Camp Barrett Enlisted Club at The Basic School, Marine Corps Development and Education Command, Quantico, Virginia, in honor of Private First Class Oscar P. Austin, USMC (Deceased). Private First Class Austin was attached to the 2d Battalion, 7th Marines when he was killed in action on 23 February 1969 near Da Nang, Republic of Vietnam. He was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for heroism in the engagement that claimed his life.

23 August – The naming of the new gymnasium at Camp Elmore, Norfolk, Virginia, in honor of Private First Class Michael Hopkins, USMC (Deceased), was approved by the Commandant of the Marine Corps. Private First Class Hopkins was attached to Company K, 3d Battalion, 9th Marines when he was killed in action on 4 July 1966 in the vicinity of Da Nang, Republic of Vietnam. He was posthumously awarded the Navy Cross for heroism.

24 August – In ceremonies held at the Bethlehem Steel Corporation’s Sparrows Point (Maryland) Yard, a Maritime Prepositioning Ship was named in honor of Marine Private Harry Fisher. A native of McKeesport, Pennsylvania, Private Fisher was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for heroism while serving with the American Legation Guard at Peking during the Boxer Rebellion of 1900. The Private Harry Fisher has the capacity to carry 120,000 square feet of vehicles, 313 ammunition and refrigerated cargo containers, and 615,083 gallons of fuel.

30 August – The 1st Marine Brigade at Marine Corps Air Station, Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii, was redesignated as the 1st Marine Amphibious Brigade (MAB). The unit was renamed and reconfigured to conform with the maritime pre-positioning ships (MPS) structure. The 1st MAB is third and final brigade in the Corps to join the 6th and 7th MABs in the MPS mission.

3 September – The naming of the enlisted club at Marine Corps Logistics Base, Albany, Georgia, in honor of Lance Corporal Joseph R. Wynn, Jr., USMC (Deceased), was approved by the Commandant of the Marine Corps. A native of Tifton, Georgia, Corporal Wynn was attached to the 3d Reconnaissance Battalion, 3d Marine Division when he was killed in action on 14 May 1965 near Nam Yen, Republic of Vietnam.

4 September – The Commandant of the Marine Corps approved the naming of four access roads at Marine Corps Base, Camp Pendleton, California, in honor of four Marine security guards who were killed 19 June 1985 in San Salvador, El Salvador. The honored Marines are: Staff Sergeant Bobby J. Dickson, Staff Sergeant Thomas T. Handwork, Sergeant Gregory H. Weber, and Sergeant Patrick R. Kwiatkowski.

7 September – The 1stLt Alex Bonnyman was renamed during ceremonies at the Bethlehem Steel Corporation Beaumont Yard, Beaumont, Texas, in honor of Marine Lieutenant Alexander Bonnyman, Jr., who was awarded the Medal of Honor for heroism during the battle for Tarawa.

11 September – The enlisted galley at the Meridian Naval Air Station, Meridian, Mississippi, was dedicated to the memory of Lance Corporal Roy M. Wheat, USMC (Deceased). Corporal Wheat, from Moselle, Mississippi, was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for heroism in Vietnam while serving with the 3d Battalion, 7th Marines. Medal of Honor recipient, Colonel Harvey C. Barnum, Jr., was the guest speaker at the ceremony.

12 September – The Commandant of the Marine Corps approved the naming of five facilities at Marine Corps Base, Camp Pendleton, California in honor of the five Marines from California who were killed in action during the Vietnam War: Lieutenant Colonel George W. Ward, Captain Edward R. Browne, Gunnery Sergeant Robert R. Eggleston, Sergeant Edward G. Courteau, and Corporal Richard B. Blinder. The facilities include three childcare centers, a multi-purpose building, and a temporary lodging center.

13 September – Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron 166, Marine Aircraft Group 16, 3d Marine Aircraft Wing, was activated at Marine Corps Air Station, Tustin, California. The activation completes the reorganization of the Marine Corps primary assault helicopter structure for 15 12-plane squadrons.

14 September – Over 20,000 members of the American and Okinawan communities attended the 8th Annual Friendship Day held at Marine Corps Air Station, Futenma, Japan. The event included displays, aerial demonstrations, and stage programs. The goal of the successful event was to increase understanding of the mission and capabilities of U.S. forces in the Pacific and to enhance relations between Okinawans and the American military.

15 September – This day marked the 35th anniversary of the 1st Marine Division’s amphibious landing at Inchon, Korea, and the beginning of the Inchon-Seoul Campaign. From assignment to execution, the Inchon Landing operation was accomplished in record time – about 20 days. It was one of the shortest periods ever allotted to a major amphibious assault that included the planning, assembly of ships, and the mounting out of a combined force of 29,000 Marines and support personnel.

16 September – Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 451, located at Marine Corps Air Station, Beaufort, South Carolina, exceeded 30, 000 accident-free flight hours. The milestone represents almost eight years of flying in the squadron’s F-4 aircraft.

18 September – A new commissary at Marine Corps Logistics Base, Barstow, California, was dedicated in honor of Lance Corporal Bruce D. Patterson, the first Marine from Barstow to die in the Vietnam War. Corporal Patterson served with the 3d Battalion, 5th Marines and was killed in combat 13 January 1967. Brigadier General Joseph P. Hoar dedicated the 19,000-square-foot structure in special ceremonies.

28 September – Lieutenant General Richard O. Mangrum, former Assistant Commandant of the Marine Corps, died in Southern Pines, North Carolina. Commissioned in the Marine Corps in 1928, General Mangrum commanded the first dive bomb squadron, Marine Scout Bombing Squadron 232, at Guadalcanal and was awarded the Navy Cross for successful attacks on Japanese naval units. He saw duty in Korea as commanding officer of Marine Aircraft Group 12. During the early 1960s, he served as Deputy Commander, Fleet Marine Force, Atlantic, Commanding General, 2d Marine Aircraft Wing, and Director, Marine Corps Educational Center, Quantico. He assumed the office of Assistant Commandant in 1965, remaining in that position until his retirement in 1967.

1 October – Marine Corps infantry battalions began returning to the 13-man rifle squad as the first step in a comprehensive fine-tuning of selected ground combat units. The rifle company’s 13-man squad, composed of three four-man fire teams, was one portion of the Commandant’s Ground Force Structure Enhancements Program. Other changes included the activation of antitank battalions in each Marine Amphibious Force, reactivation of the 1st Force Reconnaissance Company, and restructuring the heavy machine gun section of the infantry battalion.

1 October – As a result of a revised training policy for women Marines, released last May, women Marines officially began training much the same as men in areas such as marksmanship, close order drill with rifles or swords, and some forms of tactics. Primarily, the training involved the “12 Essential Subjects” taught to all enlisted Marines. Female recruits began qualifying on rifle ranges the same as male recruits. All other women Marines, most of who have never fired the M-16 rifle, also began to qualify. Women Marines also began learning about such tactical measures as squads in defense, fields of fire, fighting positions, cover-concealment-camouflage, mines and booby traps, and the use of grenades. Nuclear and chemical defenses were also covered as well as the use of deadly force as part of guard duties.

3 October – The Commandant of the Marine Corps approved the naming of five streets at Marine Corps Air Station, Yuma, Arizona, in honor of the following five Marine Medal of Honor recipients who were killed in action during the Vietnam War: Captain James A. Graham, Staff Sergeant Karl G. Taylor, Sergeant Paul H. Foster, Sergeant Walter K. Singleton, and Corporal William T. Perkins, Jr.

3- 7 October – Marine astronaut Major David C. Hilmers served as a mission specialist on the maiden voyage of the Atlantis, the third shuttlecraft in NASA’s fleet. The Department of Defense mission released two military communications satellites in space. Atlantis was commanded by Air Force Colonel Karol J. Bobko, and three other crew members served on board.

10 - 13 October – The 1985 Marine Corps Aviation Association awards were presented at the association’s convention in Chicago. Captain Michael C. Albo of Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 212 was named the Marine Aviator of the Year and the recipient of the Alfred A. Cunningham Award. Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 212 also received the Robert M. Hanson Award for the fighter attack squadron of the year. The Lawson H.M. Sanderson Award for the attack squadron of the year was won by Marine All Weather Attack Squadron 332. The helicopter squadron of the year award went to Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron 163.

10 October - 28 November – Marines from the 35th Marine Amphibious Unit participated in Exercise Bear Hunt ‘86 held in the Republic of Korea. The joint airborne/air transportality exercise included tactical training with tanks, artillery, air evolutions, and a live-fire maneuver.

13 October – The names of five Marine Corps military actions were added to the Marine Corps (Iwo Jima) War Memorial in Washington, D.C. Sculptor Harold Vogel added the following to the memorial: Lebanon 1958, Vietnam 1962-1975, Dominican Republic 1965, Lebanon 1981 – 1984, and Grenada 1983. Already engraved on the memorial’s base were previous campaigns since the Corps’ founding in 1775. The cost of the additions was shared by the Marine Corps Historical Foundation, the Marine Corps Association, and the U.S. Naval Institute.

14 October – Retired Major General Edwin Bliss Wheeler, 67, died at his Dallas home after a heart attack. Commissioned a second lieutenant in 1941, the general participated in several Pacific Island campaigns. During the Korean War, he was commanding officer of the 1st Amphibian Tractor Battalion and the 1st Battalion, 5th Marines. In Vietnam he also commanded the 3d Marines, 1964-1965, and the 1st Marine Division, 1969-1970, after which he became Assistant Chief of Staff, G-1 Headquarters, U.S. Marine Corps until his retirement in 1972.

15 October – Marine helicopter, CH-46 Sea Knight, crashed into Onslow Bay off North Carolina and sank, killing 15 of the 19 servicemen on board. The helicopter, attached to Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron 263, was participating in a training exercise involving the 26th Marine Amphibious Unit from Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. It crashed after taking off from the USS Guadalcanal, an assault helicopter ship used for beach assaults. Of the victims, 14 were Marines and one was a Navy chaplain.

18 - 19 October – Marine helicopters flew over China for the first time since 1949 to perform a support mission for Vice President, George Bush. Four UN-IN Huey helicopters from Marine Attack Helicopter Squadron 369, stationed at Futenma, Okinawa, provided support transportation for Vice President Bush from Shenzhen, China, to Hong Kong.

22 October – Retired Lieutenant General Richard G. Weede, 74, died in Portsmouth, Virginia. Commissioned a second lieutenant upon graduation from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1935, the general served as commanding officer of the 2d Battalion, 10th Marines during the Okinawa campaign. In the Korean War, he commanded the 5th Marines and later became Commanding General, Fleet Marine Force, Atlantic. The highly decorated general retired from Marine Corps service in 1969.

22 October - 19 November – More than 4,300 Marines and sailors participated in MAB CAX 1-86, a combined arms exercise involving the 5th Marine Amphibious Brigade (MAB). Marines from Camp Pendleton and Marine Corps Air Stations at El Toro, Tustin, Yuma joined units based at Twentynine Palms for the exercise. The purpose of the CAX was to exercise command and control of the MAB in fire-support coordination, particularly in combat arms operations.

23 October – The Department of Defense announced that more than half of the new German-style Marine Corps and Army helmets, replacements for the M1 “Steel pot” helmets, were defective. First worn by soldiers and Marines who took part in the invasion of Grenada two years ago, the new molded Kevlar helmets were being phased in for use by all U.S. armed forces. The Pentagon said half the new helmets were being made improperly by the Gentex Corporation of Carbondale, Pennsylvania, thus jeopardizing the lives of servicemen wearing them.

30 October - 6 November – Marine astronaut Colonel James F. Buchli served as a mission specialist on board the space shuttle Challenger. The flight, designated “Space Lab D-1,” was dedicated to a space lab mission. It was chartered by the West German Space Institute and was the first foreign space lab dedication. The crew consisted of two West Germans, one Dutch, and five American astronauts.

31 October – The Marine Security Guard Detachment at the American Embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan, performed superbly when coping with the incident involving the entry into the embassy of an armed Soviet solider. Marines disarmed the soldier and housed him, under guard, for five days before he was released. The Soviet soldier was apparently homesick and wished to return to his homeland. Additionally, Marine security guards also contended with Soviet and Afghan troops that surrounded the embassy compound and cut off the electrical service shortly after the Soviet soldier entered the embassy.

3 November – Commander Tom Bernard, a 37-year-old member of the United States Coast Guard from Hayes, Virginia, won the 10th Annual Marine Corps Marathon in Washington, D.C. Bernard crossed the finish line with a time of 2:19:16, just 30 seconds ahead of Brad Ingram, a 29-year-old former Marine, who took first place last year. Marines accounted for more than 1,000 of the 9,900 entrants. Another 1,700 Marines and sailors provided support from start to finish lines and behind the scenes.

10 November – Marines throughout the world celebrated the 210th 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 asked, “that all Marines rededicate themselves to the hallmark of our Corps …professionalism, courage, integrity, and selfless devotion to duty.”

14 November – The first of a series of Senate Armed Services Committee hearings were held in Congress concerning the reorganization of the Department of Defense and the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Statements were given by the Joint Chiefs of Staff, including the Commandant of the Marine Corps, General Paul X. Kelley.

15 November – Headquarters, 11th Marine Amphibious Unit was activated at Marine Corps Base, Camp Pendleton, California. This headquarters was charged with a specific responsibility for planning and conducting amphibious operations as a forward deployed Marine air-ground task force under Landing Force, Seventh Fleet.

24 November – The Marine Corps Astronaut Selection Board selected 18 Marines to represent the Corps as potential candidates for the NASA astronaut training program. Captain E. Deborah Elke stationed at Marine Corps Air Station, Yuma, was selected as a mission specialist candidate marking the first time a woman Marine was selected. NASA will screen applications from all services in early 1986.

26 November - 3 December – The second flight of NASA’s Atlantis was piloted by Marine astronaut Lieutenant Colonel Bryan D. O’Connor. The mission included a space construction test and the launching of three communication satellites.

27 November - Marine General George B. Crist, assumed the duties of Commander in Chief, U.S. Central Command (USCENTCOM), replacing the Army’s retiring General Robert C. Kingston. General Crist’s selection marked the first time a Marine was appointed to head a unified command. President Reagan announced on 1 November that General Crist was nominated for promotion to the grade of four-star general and assignment as the Commander in Chief of the Central Command. On 22 November, after Senate confirmation General Crist was advanced to his current grade during ceremonies at the Pentagon. USCENTCOM, formerly the U.S Rapid Deployment Task Force, was established as a unified command in January 1983 and its one of six unified commands.

28 November – A nine-foot-tall bronze sculpture of Lieutenant Colonel William G. Leftwich, Jr. was dedicated during ceremonies at The Basic School, Quantico, Virginia. The sculpture depicted a Marine officer in combat gear, one hand holding a rifle and the other beckoning in a gesture of leadership. Sculptor Felix De Weldon cast the statue as a copy of the Leftwich Tropy he created. The trophy has been awarded annually since 1979 to the outstanding Marine captain serving with the ground forces of Fleet Marine Force. Leftwich was killed in action in Vietnam in 1970.

___ December – Retired General Wallace M. Greene, Jr., 23d Commandant of the Marine Corps, became the first life member of the Marine Corps Association (MCA), General Greene, 78, was an annual member since 1931 when he was a second lieutenant. Life memberships were established in November for the first time in history of the MCA, which was founded in 1913.

___ December – The new high mobility, multipurpose, wheeled vehicle (HMMWV), nicknamed the “Hummer” started arriving at training commands and Fleet Marine Force (FMF) units. Priority in FMF deliveries went to the II Marine Amphibious Force. The Marine Corps is slated to procure five different models of the Hummer to replace the Jeep. The Corps also received a number of vehicles to meet the loading dates for MPS-2 (7th Marine Amphibious Brigade) last month.

5 December – Former Marines who in 1950 survived the heroic but costly withdrawal from the Chosin Reservoir in North Korea held their first national reunion. More than 1,000 Korean War veterans participated in the 35th anniversary reunion held at Camp Pendleton, California. One of the reunion’s honored guests was Medal of Honor recipient General Raymond G. Davis, USMC (Retired), who commanded the 1st Battalion, 7th Marines at the reservoir.

7 December – Lieutenant General John C. McQueen, USMC (Retired), died at Stanford University Medical Center, California. A 1921 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, the general served in Haiti and Nicaragua during the 1920s. During World War II, General McQueen participated in the Marshall and Marianas Islands campaigns. He was named Chief of Staff of the 6th Marine Division and served with the division on Okinawa. In the 1950s, he was named Director of Marine Corps Public Information and later Director of the Marine Corps Reserve. The general retired in 1958 after serving with the Military Assistance Advisory Group to the Netherlands.

10 December – The General Gerald C. Thomas Endowment Fund for Amphibious Warfare Research was established at the Marine Corps Development and Education Command, Quantico, Virginia. Supported by a grant from the Elizabeth S. Hooper Foundation, the fund will provide approximately $17,000 annually to the Education Center to support research projects by students and faculty at the Command and Staff College, Amphibious Warfare School, and Communication Officers School.

23 December – The naming of an access road to the Serra Mesa Housing site at Marine Corps Base, Camp Pendleton, California, in honor of Marine Lance Corporal William R. Prom was approved by the Commandant of the Marine Corps. Lance Corporal Prom was serving with Company I, 3d Battalion, 3d Marines, when he was killed in action on 9 February 1969 near Quang Nam Province, Republic of Vietnam, during Operation Taylor Common.

23 December – The Commandant of the Marine Corps approved the naming of a new football field at Camp Kinser, Okinawa, in honor of Sergeant Jackie Roberts, USMC. Sergeant Roberts was a member of the 1985/1986 3d Force Service Support Group varsity football team. He sustained a severe spinal cord injury while training with the team on 29 August 1985. This tragic accident caused Sergeant Roberts’ untimely death on 20 September 1985. Sergeant Roberts was the recipient of several meritorious masts and was considered a fine individual and a superb Marine.

30 December – The Commandant’s final White Letter for 1985 congratulated commanders for their support of the Competition-in-Arms Program (CIAP). Their support contributed to an impressive performance by Marine rifle and pistol shooters last summer at Camp Perry, Ohio, during the National Rifle Association National Championship Matches and other competitive shooting matches. The Commandant encouraged increased participation in the CIAP “to ensure we continue to rebuild our base of skilled, experienced Marines who can serve as coaches and marksmanship instructors.”

31 December – The strength of the armed forces was 2,149,073; 197,171 were Marines.

1986

___ January – The Marksmanship Training Unit at Quantico, Virginia, tasked by Headquarters, Marine Corps to design, test, and demonstrate a new course of fire for the M-9 Beretta Model 92SB-F 9mm semi-automatic pistol, began testing on a recently approved service pistol qualification course and a close-combat pistol course. The special group of Marine Corps shooters were selected to fire the 9mm pistol course to help set future Marine Corps qualification standards for expert, sharpshooter, and marksman awards.
 
1 January – The strength of the U.S. Armed Forces was 2,149,073; of whom 197,171 were Marines.
 
6-24 January - The 1986 Pacific Division Rifle and Pistol Matches were held. More than 140 Marine and Navy marksmen from commands in Hawaii participated. The matches were part of the Competition-in-Arms Program designed to enhance the combat marksmanship proficiency of the Marine Corps. The M-16A2 rifle and the .45 caliber pistol were the weapons used in the competition. In the team rifle matches, Gunnery Sergeant J.D. Powell led his Marine Aircraft Group 24 (MCAS Kaneohe Bay) sharpshooters to a victory and the Julian C. Smith Trophy. In the team pistol competition, Marines from Marine Barracks Hawaii, led by Captain Michael G. Sessions, captured the Pacific Trophy. Team and individual awards were presented on 28 January by Lieutenant General D’Wayne Gray, Commanding General, Fleet Marine Force, Pacific.
 
10 January - A firm-fixed price procurement contract was awarded to Cadillac Gage Corporation for the Assault Amphibian Vehicle Upgunned Weapons Stations (UGWS). The UGWS, a 40mm grenade launcher and M-2 .50 caliber machine gun turret, replaced the M-85, .50 caliber machine gun turret. This initial procurement was for 240 UGWS with an option for an additional 100 UGSW. Initial deliveries and testings were scheduled for late 1986.
 
15 January – The Marine Corps Reserve reported the conclusion of the 38th Toys for Tots campaign. Units in the 4th Marine Division, 4th Service Support Group, and the 4th Marine Aircraft Wing collected more than 5 million toys for distribution to 1.6 million needy children throughout the United States.
 
15 January - Headquarters, Marine Corps established a new Security Branch within its Operations Division to provide better coordination for antiterrorism policy and a single point of contact for all matters relating to security. Marine detachments on board ships, Marine barracks, Marine security guards, and law enforcement activities came under the cognizance of the new branch. Prior to this activation, responsibility for security activities was divided among several Headquarters organizations.
 
17 January - The 3d Marine Aircraft Wing saluted Marine Attack Helicopter Squadron 169 with an aviation safety milestone award. On this day, the squadron attained 30,000 accident-free flight hours.
 
21 January – An agreement was reached with the airframe prime contractor team of Bell Helicopter and Boeing Vertol for a full scale development of the V-22 Osprey tilt rotor aircraft. This agreement included the following: a not-to-exceed (NTE) agreed upon fixed-price for full scale development, a NTE option for the Pilot Production Lot of 12 aircraft, an agreement on the sharing of costs with the government for production tooling, and an agreement to provide NTE options for three additional production lots following critical design review.
 
26 January - Super Bowl XX fans watched during a break in the action as one of the Marine Corps’ most popular recruiting advertisements took over the screen. The ad began with “You begin with raw steel…” and captured the makings of a gleaming Mameluke sword which was then put through a display of precision by a Marine in dress blues. The Marine in the commercial was Captain Thomas R. Kean with 4th Reconnaissance Battalion, Anchorage, Alaska.
 
26 January – 9 February - Some 200 Marines and sailors from Okinawa, Japan, joined 450 members of the Japanese Ground Self-Defense Force for a bilateral, cold weather training exercise in northern Japan. In Exercise Forest Light II, principles of communications, small arms firing, plus individual and unit tactics were exchanged between Marines from 1st Battalion, 2d Marines and their Japanese counterparts of the 39th Infantry Regiment.
 
29 January – Station Operations and Engineering Squadron at Marine Corps Air Station, Cherry Point, North Carolina, celebrated an aviation milestone with 100,000 hours of accident-free flight. Best known for its HH-46 helicopter search and rescue team, the squadron also flew the CT-39G and the Marine Corps’ only two C-9s. The safety milestone represents 10 years of accident-free flying.
 
___ February – One of the first AN/TPS-59 radars was placed in service by Marine Air Control Squadron 23. The AN/TPS-59 was the Marine Corps’ first all solid-state, long-range tactical radar capable of providing a three-dimensional display of targets at distances of up to 300 nautical miles. It replaced the obsolete vacuum tube technology.
 
1-19 February – More than 800 Marines and 40 aircraft from Marine Aircraft Group 26 joined with 1,500 Marines from Battalion Landing Team, 1st Battalion, 8th Marines for Combined Arms Exercise (CAX) 4-86 at Twentynine Palms, California. The combined exercise required extensive training operations for the aviation combat element and resulted in an increase in combat readiness. CAX 4-86 was the second phase of a two-part exercise. The first phase was CAX 3
-86 (13-28 January).
 
4 February – In Marine Corps Bulletin 1650, the Secretary of the Navy granted authority to the Commandant of the Marine Corps to subdelegate the awarding authority for Navy Achievement Medals to Marine Corps commanding officers. This authorization was issued to provide more timely recognition to enlisted Marines.
 
5 February – The Commandant of the Marine Corps, General Paul X. Kelley, delivered the annual Marine Corps Posture Statement before the House Armed Services Committee. General Kelley stated that when this nation needed a quality force to project amphibious power anywhere in the world, the Marine Corps would be ready. Citing an across-the-board increase in readiness in both air and ground components, General Kelley attributed the good news to Congressional support, quality people, and superb training.
 
8 February – The dock landing ship Germantown (LSD 42) was commissioned at Lockheed Shipbuilding and Construction Company, Seattle, Washington. General Paul X. Kelley, Commandant of the Marine Corps, was the principal speaker. Mrs. Barbara Kelley, wife of the Commandant, was the ship’s sponsor. The Germantown was named for Germantown, Pennsylvania, the scene of a Revolutionary War battle between the British and troops of the Continental Army commanded by General George Washington.
 
15 February – TAVB-3, USNS Wright, the lead aviation logistics support ship, was christened at Todd Shipyard, Galveston, Texas. A converted commercial container ship, the USNS Wright had the capability to transport rapidly a Marine aviation intermediate maintenance activity to contingency areas. As a result of this capability, considerable strategic airlift assets, already in short supply, would be available for other priority missions.
 
23 February – 12 March - Marines from the 4th Marine Amphibious Brigade participated in Anchor Express ‘86, a NATO exercise held in northern Norway. Approximately 20,000 troops from eight countries took part in the exercise. Designed to enhance operational readiness among forces that protect NATO’s northern flank, the exercise tested the forces’ capabilities during extreme winter conditions.
 
27 February – The Commandant of the Marine Corps granted approval to name three new buildings at Marine Corps Recruit Depot, San Diego, California, in honor of three enlisted Marines from the state of California who were killed in action during the Vietnam War, and posthumously awarded the Navy Cross. The deceased Marines to be so honored were Corporal Richard W. Duncan, Corporal Thomas Soliz, and Private First Class Steven A. Srsen.
 
___ March – The Marine Corps received its initial delivery of 12 (of 99) Logistic Vehicle Systems (LVS) for Maritime Prepositioning Ships III to satisfy heavy vehicle fleet requirements. The LVS, a family of combat support vehicles designed to replace a diverse collection of overaged, oversized items, consisted of a tractor and four interchangeable read body units (container trailer, cargo trailer, recovery trailer, and fifth wheel). It would provide enhanced cross-country mobility for transport of weapons systems, as well as other logistics support to operating forces.
 
1 March - Actions were initiated to reduce spending for Marine Corps Reserve programs by a total of $4.1 million in the following areas as a result of the passage of the Gramm-Rudman-Hollings Amendment: mobilization training (Reserve Counterpart Training), formal schools, special tours, personal defense equipment (body armor, kevlar helmets, NBC protective devices, and uniforms), depot maintenance, and automated data processing.
 
2 March - Colonel Katherine A. Towle, the first Director of Women Marines, died at her home in California. She was 87 years old. Colonel Towle entered the Marine Corps in 1943 and served as the second Director of the Marine Corps Women’s Reserve during World War II. She left the military for a short time to become the assistant dean of women at the University of California at Berkeley. Returning to active duty in 1948, Colonel Towle was assigned as the first Director of Women Marines, a post she held until her retirement in 1953.
 
3-24 March – Almost 4,000 Marines and sailors participated in Exercise Agile Sword ‘86 at Eglin Air Force Base and Naval Air Station, Pensacola, Florida. Highlights of the exercise included an “in-stream off-load” of the 2dLt John P. Bobo, one of four Military Sealift Command chartered ships assigned to Maritime Prepositioning Ship Squadron 1 and designated to support deployments of the 6th Marine Amphibious Brigade (MAB). Exercise participants were part of the 6th MAB, headquartered at Marine Corps Base, Camp Lejeune, North Carolina.
 
4 March - The Commandant of the Marine Corps approved the commemorative naming of three buildings at Marine Corps Air Station, Futenma, Okinawa, Japan, in honor of the following Marine aviator Navy Cross recipients who were killed in action during the Vietnam War: Major William J. Goodsell, First Lieutenant Lee M. Halstead, and First Lieutenant William L. Peters, Jr.
 
4 March - The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff sent a message to the Commanders in Chief of the Unified and Specified Commands on the 1986 
omnibus agreement for command and control of U.S. Marine tactical air in sustained operations ashore. The message defined the Joint Force Air Component Commander’s authority and the Maine Air Ground Task Force direct support requirements.
 
6 March - The Maritime Prepositioning Ship (MPS) 1stLt Jack Lummus was delivered at Quincy, Massachusetts. This was the fourth of five ships designed for use as a MPS from the keel up. The ship was named in honor of First Lieutenant Jack Lummus who was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for gallantry while serving with the 2d Battalion, 27th Marines on Iwo Jima. 
 
7 March - The 4th Air Naval Gunfire Liaison Company (ANGLICO) was activated in West Palm Beach, Florida. The second ANGLICO unit in the Selected Marine Corps Reserve, it was activated to provide training support in the event of mobilization for active and reserve component units.
 
8-28 March – The III Marine Amphibious Force participated in Exercise Team Spirit ‘86 in South Korea. The 11th annual joint-combined field training focused on rapid deployment for the defense of the Republic of Korea. It was designed to evaluate and improve procedures and techniques used to defend the Korean peninsula and to increase the combat readiness of U.S. and Republic of Korea Marines. Approximately 200,000 United States and Republic of Korea military personnel, including more than 13,000 U.S. Marines, participated in the exercise despite denunciations of Team Spirit ‘86 by North Korea.
 
12 March – Major Helen Nicholson Crean, who was awarded the French Croix de Guerre in World War I as a civilian and the Bronze Star Medal in World War II as a woman Marine officer, died in Washington, D.C. at the age of 92. During World War I, Major Crean performed volunteer work with the American Fund for French Wounded where her services led her to the 5th Marine Regiment’s area of operations. She was awarded the Croix de Guerre for significant actions during a bombing and machine gun attack on her nursing station at Glorieu, France. Major Crean was later awarded the Bronze Star for her meritorious service as commanding officer of the Aviation Women Reserve Squadron 15 Marine Corps Air Station, Ewa, Hawaii during 1944-1945.
 
13 March – The Marine Corps decided to proceed with a full-scale engineering development (Milestone II) of an improved Direct Air Support Center (DASC). The new DASC would provide manual air support control capabilities for the interim period before achieving full operational semi-automated capability with the Marine Integrated Fire and Air Support System. DASC would be the principal agency of the Marine Air Support System and the Marine Air Command and Control System, responsible for the conduct of tactical operations directly supporting ground forces.
 
14 March - The Commandant of the Marine Corps approved an initiative to proceed with the reorganization of aviation ground support within Marine aircraft wings. Each wing would reorganize into a Headquarters and Headquarters Squadron and four Marine Wing Support Squadrons. This reorganization and activation of squadrons would consolidate all aviation ground support assets into combat organizations that will train and operate in peacetime with the same structure needed in combat. The following squadrons would be deactivated. Wing Engineer, Wing Transportation, Marine Air Base, and Headquarters Squadrons.
 
20 March - The Marine Corps received its initial delivery of 186 lightweight Kawasaki KCR250 motorcycles. These on-and-off road motorcycles each cost $2,873. Although the Marine Corps had not used motorcycles since World War II, Headquarters determined the two-wheeled vehicles could provide inexpensive transportation while serving a variety of combat and noncombat functions such as transporting lengthy messages between units, guiding groups during nighttime location changes, and moving individual passengers and small equipment packages between units.
 
21 March - Marine Fighter Training Squadron 401 was activated at Marine Corps Air Station, Yuma, Arizona. Using Israeli “Kfir” aircraft, the squadron would provide adversary training for active and reserve Marine Corps pilots. The squadron was under operational control of the 4th Marine Aircraft Wing.
 
21 March - The Commandant of the Marine Corps approved the commemorative naming of a new Bachelor Enlisted Quarters at Marine Corps Air Facility, Marine Corps Development and Education Command, Quantico, Virginia, in honor of First Lieutenant Robert G. Robinson. First Lieutenant (then Gunnery Sergeant) Robinson was awarded the Medal of Honor for heroism during aerial action in World War I while serving as an observer with the 1st Marine Aviation Force.
 
21 March - Captain C. Robert Frauser, USMCR, became the second recipient of the Justice Marion Chambers Memorial Award during a ceremony at Headquarters, U.S. Marine Corps. Captain Frauser, a Marine reservist from St. Louis, served with the 3d Battalion, 24th Marines. The leadership award was named after Colonel “Jumping Joe” Chambers, a reserve Marine who earned the Medal of Honor for actions on Iwo Jima during World War II. It is presented annually to a reserve company-grade officer within the 4th Marine Division who best demonstrated outstanding leadership qualities as exemplified by Chambers.
 
24 March - Marine Corps Air Facility, Camp Pendleton, California, was redesignated as Marine Corps Air Station, Camp Pendleton. The air station provides the home base for Marine Aircraft Group 39 and supports I Marine Amphibious Force units and missions.
 
26 March - Four AV-8B Harrier pilots from Marine Attack Squadron 331 returned home after completing a round trip, non-stop transatlantic flight. This aviation 
milestone was a first for the AV-8B. The eastward leg from North Carolina to Rota, Spain, took seven hours and five refuelings for the 3,500-mile flight. The return flight, delayed by headwinds, took nine hours and eight refuelings. The aerial refuelings were made possible by a U.S. Air Force KC-10.
 
27 March - The Marine Corps wrestling team upheld almost a decade of tradition as the Marine wrestlers claimed their ninth consecutive interservice victory during the 1986 Armed Forces Wrestling Championships held at Quantico, Virginia. Approximately 20 wrestlers from each of the armed services, many of them national and international champions, participated in the four-day tournament that encompassed both Freestyle and Greco-Roman style competition.
 
27 March - Naval exercises ended in the Mediterranean off Libya, closing the chapter on a brief, violent military clash in the Gulf of Sidra. The American operations provoked a military challenge from the Libyan government along with threats of terrorism against Americans. A U.S. Navy task force destroyed at least two Libyan ships and an antiaircraft radar site while under attack by Libyan forces. The task force included three Marine Corps Squadrons: Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 314 and 323, and Marine Tactical Electronic Warfare Squadron 2.
 
27 March - The first production AH-1W “Super Cobra” helicopter was delivered to the Marine Corps in a ceremony at Bell Helicopter Textron, Inc., Fort Worth, Texas. An improved version of the Marine Corps’ AH-1T “Cobra” attack helicopter, the “Super Cobra” featured advanced technology twin-engines and the capability to carry increased ordnance. It could be armed with the tube-launched, optically-tracked, wire-guided missile (TOW); the Hell-fire precision, laser-guided munition; and the A1M-9L Sidewinder air-to-air, heat-seeking missile.
 
1 April – The reorganization of three Marine Attack Helicopter Squadrons and three Marine Light Helicopter Squadrons into six Marine Light/Attack (HML/A) Squadrons began. Approved by the Commandant of the Marine Corps in October 1985, this reorganization would provide support for six Marine amphibious brigade-sized Marine Air Ground Task Forces.
 
9 April - The Marine Corps and the Army complete coordination of a joint service operational requirement for the Advanced Anti-Tank Weapon System-Medium (AAWS-M). The AAWS-M would be a manportable anti-tank weapon replacing the current Dragon system. At a Defense System Acquisition Review Council meeting, held on 11 April, approval was recommended for AAWS-M to proceed into the technology demonstration phase of development.
 
14 April - U.S. warplanes bombed suspected Libyan terrorist headquarters after obtaining irrefutable evidence that Libya was responsible for recent terrorist attacks on Americans and planned future multiple attacks against U.S. installations, diplomats, and citizens. A strike force of F-1211s from airbases in England joined warplanes from Navy carriers in the Mediterranean and hit the Libyan port cities of Tripoli and Benghazi in an attack which included the headquarters of Libyan leader Moammar Khadafy. Marine Fighter Attack Squadrons 314 and 323 on board the USS Coral Sea were part of the Navy’s Sixth Fleet.
 
14 April - Lieutenant General John C. Munn, former Assistant Commandant of the Marine Corps and veteran Marine aviator, died in Encinitas, California. Upon his graduation from the U.S. Naval Academy, he was commissioned a second lieutenant in 1927 and designated a Naval aviator in 1931. During his illustrious career, which spanned 37 years, General Munn commanded many Marine units and activities. His assignments included Director of Aviation, Headquarters, Marine Corps; Assistant Commandant of the Marine Corps (1960-1963); and Commanding General, Marine Corps Base, Camp Pendleton. The highly decorated general retired in June 1964.
 
23 April – The final chapter on the AV-8A Harrier closed when the last two AV-8A’s from Marine Attack Squadron (VMA) 542 were flown from Marine Corps Air Station, Cherry Point, North Carolina, to Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Tucson, Arizona, for retirement. Like other Harrier aviation units, VMA-542’s aircraft would now consist of AV-8B Harriers.
 
29 April – 20 May – More than 20,000 U.S. military personnel participated in Exercise Ocean Venture ‘86, conducted on U.S. beaches, the Atlantic Ocean, and the Caribbean. The exercise was designed to demonstrate the capability of the U.S. to project military power to protect national interests by supporting friendly neighbors in the Caribbean. Marine Corps units that participated in this joint U.S. military exercise were the 6th Marine Amphibious Brigade and the 22d Marine Amphibious Unit.
 
___ May – The first of five Pioneer remotely piloted vehicle (RPV) systems purchased from the AAI Corporation of Baltimore, Maryland, was delivered for testing to the Pacific Missile Test Center, Point Mugu, California. The RPV, capable of undetected penetration of enemy lines, would provide field commanders with real-time tactical intelligence directly from the battlefield. Described as a sophisticated remote-controlled aircraft, the RPV could operate at a distance of 100 nautical miles and an altitude of 10,000 feet. Operational systems would later be delivered to Fleet Composite Squadron 6, Naval Air Station Patuxent River; the 1st RPV Platoon, Camp Lejeune, North Carolina; and Marine Air-Ground Combat Center, Twentynine Palms, California.
 
1 May – Marine Barracks, Vallejo, located at the Naval Shipyard on Mare Island in northern California, deactivated. Active since 1862, it was the oldest Marine Corps post on the west coast of the U.S. and held streamers for service during the Civil War, World War I, and World War II. A Marine detachment would remain stationed on Mare Island.
 
1 May - Deputy Secretary of Defense William H. Taft signed a Defense Systems Acquisition Review Council memo approving full scale development of the V-22 Osprey aircraft. The following day the Department of the Navy finalized and signed the V-22 development contract with Bell Boeing. The V-22 represented the keystone to the modernization of Marine Corps aviation into the 21st century.
 
4 – 10 May – Marines and sailors of the 26th Marine Amphibious Unit (Special Operations Capable) participated in the NATO Exercise Distant Hammer ‘86. During the exercise, Marines and sailors joined with a combined landing force of French, Italian, and Royal Netherlands Marines to seize a beachhead and conduct follow-on missions near Capo Teulada, Sardinia, Italy.
 
8 May – This date marked the 75th anniversary of Naval aviation. In celebration, the U.S. Navy participated in the reenactment of the world’s first successful transatlantic flight, retracing the route of the original Navy NC-4 mission of 1919. The Marine Corps, in its 74th year of aviation, also commemorated this milestone with the completion of a transatlantic flight by AV-8B Harriers on 26 March.
 
8 May - Two Marine airmen were inducted into the Naval Aviation Hall of Honor. Retired Major General Marion E. Carl, the seventh-ranking Marine Corps ace credited with 18 ½ kills in World War II, and First Lieutenant Robert G. Robinson, a World War I Medal of Honor recipient, were enshrined in the Hall of Honor at Naval Air Station, Pensacola, Florida. Of the 30 individuals honored thus far, four were Marines. The other two Marines were Lieutenant Colonel Alfred A. Cunningham and General Roy S. Geiger.
 
10 May - The USS Missouri (BB-63) was recommissioned. Number three of a four Iowa-class battleship reactivation/modernization program, the Missouri followed the USS New Jersey (BB-62) and the USS Iowa (BB-61). The USS Wisconsin (BB-64) was scheduled for modernization later in 1986. Originally commissioned in 1944, the Missouri was the site of the Japanese surrender on 2 September 1945 and had, prior to the current restoration, been stored in “mothballs” since 1958. Marine Corps Detachment, USS Missouri was activated during January 1986.
 
12 May - A reorganization became effective within the Plans, Policies, and Operations Department at Headquarters, U.S. Marine Corps. A new branch, the Tactical Space Planning Branch was formed. The mission of the branch was to provide centralized oversight and coordination for the Corps’ participation in the operation and development of space systems. The branch would also oversee, within the Marine Corps, management of joint space programs, monitor the space systems doctrine that supports the operational needs of the Fleet Marine Force, and coordinate Marine Corps space policy and strategy.
 
14 May - The first of two Aviation Logistic Support Ships USNS Wright (TAVB-3), was delivered to the Military Sealift Command. Converted from government owned Seabrigde Class merchant ships, each would provide the capability to lift Intermediate Maintenance Activity (IMA) facilities which support deploying Marine amphibious brigade aviation units. Each IMA, housed in deployable vans, would perform aircraft maintenance in unimproved forward areas. Three hundred Marine Corps maintenance personnel would embark to activate, operate, and maintain the IMA vans during transit and in the objective area until phased ashore as conditions permit. The USNS Wright was converted by Todd Shipyard, Galveston, Texas.
 
19 May - Marine Detachment, USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71) was activated at Norfolk, Virginia.
 
21 May - Lieutenant General Clyde D. Dean was reassigned as Chief of Staff, Headquarters, U.S. Marine Corps, replacing Lieutenant General Thomas R. 
Morgan.
 
22 May – The thirteenth and last Maritime Prepositioning Ship (MPS), the Sgt William R. Button, was delivered to the Military Sealift Command. The Button, a newly constructed roll-on/roll-off container ship built by General Dynamics at the Quincy, Massachusetts Shipyard, was assigned to MPS Squadron 3. This ship was named in honor of Sergeant William Robert Button who was awarded the Medal of Honor for heroism during the Haitian Campaign.
 
22 May – 6 Jun - In Exercise Freedom Banner ‘86, the 7th Marine Amphibious Brigade completed the first in-stream off-load of a maritime prepositioning ship in the Pacific command. More than 3,000 Marines and sailors from southern California participated in the exercise which was designed to train personnel in the planning, coordinating, and conducting of maritime prepositioning force operations on the Cpl Louis J. Hauge, Jr. The exercise took place in the waters of Subic Bay, Philippines.
 
23 May – The Marine Corps began to phase out mess duty for enlisted personnel in mess halls nationwide. As Marine Corps manpower is needed more in the field, kitchen help would be civilianized and provided by private companies under contract. Recruits in boot camp and Marines assigned on board ships would not be exempt from mess duty. This plan would not change the status of Marines trained as cooks, bakers, and butchers as Marines would still prepare food for Marines. The Corps was the last military service to switch to civilian workers to clean tables, scrub pots, man food service lines, and perform related duties.
 
__ June - New boots, developed by the U.S. Army Natick (Massachusetts) Research and Development Center, became available for purchase by U.S. Marines. Earlier this year, some 2,400 soldiers and Marines plodded more than 280,000 miles through mud and water and over all kinds of terrain testing six boot designs. The Natick product won. For Marine Corps and Army users, the new boots feature longer-lasting soles and heels, excellent traction, and high water and mildew resistance.
 
__ June - The Marine Corps’ plan to reorganize the aviation ground support structure went into action with aircraft wings deactivating many of their support detachments and consolidating personnel and equipment into new Marine Wing Support Squadrons. The reorganization provided each aircraft wing with one Headquarters and Headquarters Squadron and four Marine Wing Support Squadrons, two configured for fixed-wing airfields and two configured for rotary-wing operations.
 
1 June - Marines deploying or executing permanent change of station orders were required to have dental X-rays on file with the Defense Medical Systems Support Center. All other active duty Marines had a 1 October 1987 deadline for having a panoral radiograph in their dental record and a duplicate on file with the above center. This requirement was made as dental X-rays are among the most reliable means of casualty identification. They are easily duplicated and their small size makes centralized storage convenient.
 
1 June - General John K. Davis, Assistant Commandant of the Marine Corps, retired after more than 40 years of military service. He was replaced by General Thomas R. Morgan who was serving as Acting Chief of Staff and Deputy Chief of Staff, Plans, Policies, and Operations.
 
4 June - President Ronald Reagan visited Marine Corps Recruit Depot, Parris Island, South Carolina. The first president to visit Parris Island since Franklin 
Roosevelt in 1943, President Reagan went to the recruit depot a day after sending a message to Congress warning that lawmakers were close to endangering national security with their proposed cuts in the defense budget. The President observed Marines in recruit training and delivered a speech to graduates of the depot, being the first to address members of Recruit Series 1044 as “Marines”.
 
4 June - Major General Edwin J.Godfrey was reassigned as Commanding General, III Marine Amphibious Force, 3d Marine Division, replacing Major General Harold G. Glasgow.
 
4 – 6 June - Approximately 700 Marine reservists from seven 4th Marine Division units participated in a Mobilization Operational Readiness Deployment Test, designed to simulate a mount-out and deployment. Units involved were from Folsom and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; New Haven, Connecticut; Peoria, Illinois; Dayton, Ohio; and Lafayette and Shreveport, Louisiana.
 
6 June - The Marine Corps provided fielding acceptance notification of the High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle (HMMWV) to AM General Corporation via the U.S. Army Tank-Automotive Command. This was accomplished as a result of initial production testing deficiencies and quality assurance issues being resolved. The notification would allow deliveries of HMMWVs to active forces beginning during July 1986.
 
10 June - The first suite of ground mobile forces tactical satellite communications terminals was delivered to the 8th Communications Battalion at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. Each suite consisted of one AN/TSC-85A SHF terminal and four 93A SHF terminals. Each Marine Corps communications battalion would receive a suite of this equipment, with delivery completions by March 1987. This equipment would use the Defense Satellite Communications System to establish communication links in support of critical command, control, and communications requirements of the Fleet Marine Force.
 
12 June - Major General Frank E. Petersen, Jr. was promoted to the grade of lieutenant general and assigned as Commanding General, Marine Corps Development and Education Command at Quantico, Virginia. He replaced Lieutenant General David M. Twomey who was to retire 1 July. General Petersen was the Marine Corps’ first black officer to be promoted to lieutenant general.
 
12 June - Major General John R. Dailey was reassigned as Commanding General, 2d Marine Aircraft Wing, replacing Major General Richard M. Cooke.
 
17 June - Two literary awards sponsored by the Marine Corps Historical Foundation were presented by General Wallace M. Greene, 23d Commandant of the Marine Corps, during an awards luncheon at the Washington Navy Yard Officers Club. The Colonel Robert D. Heinl Award in Marine Corps History went to Russell Werts for his article, “The Ghosts of Iwo,” published in the February 1985 issue of the Marine Corps Gazette. The first annual General Roy S. Geiger Award, for the most outstanding aviation article published in the Marine Corps Gazette, was awarded to Major Gerald W. Caldwell for “The Destruction of Soviet Air Defenses” which appeared in the December 1985 issue.
 
20 June - The Commandant of the Marine Corps approved the naming of a corridor on the second deck of the new Navy and Marine Corps Intelligence Training Center, Fleet Combat Training Center, Atlantic, Dam Neck, Virginia, in honor of Chief Warrant Officer 3 Solomon H. Godwin. Chief Warrant Officer 3 Godwin was posthumously awarded the Silver Star for heroism while serving with the 1st Counterintelligence Team, 1st Marine Division in Vietnam.
 
27 June - The Commandant of the Marine Corps, General Paul X. Kelley, presented Lance Corporal Dean R. Fenton from 1st Tank Battalion a plaque commemorating his statues as the Marine Corps Institution’s (MCI’s) five millionth enrollee. A native of Bellingham, Washington, Lance Corporal Fenton most recently enrolled in MCI’s “Personal Finance” course and previously completed other courses offered by the Institute, which has been providing courses for Marines since 1920.
 
30 June - The mid-year strength of the U.S. Armed Forces was 2,143,030, of whom 196,225 were Marines.
 
1 July - Presentation of annual awards took place at the Navy League’s annual convention in San Francisco. Marines selected for the 1986 awards were: 
Lieutenant Colonel Bruce A. Byrum for the General John A. Lejeune Award for inspirational leadership; Staff Sergeant Derek J. Hutzley and Sergeant Rickey Marlowe for the General Gerald C. Thomas Award for inspirational leadership by an enlisted Marine; First Lieutenant Talarah G. Baltz for the Captain Winifred Quick Collins Award for inspirational leadership by a woman officer; First Lieutenant Robert G. Cahill for the Admiral Ben Moreel Award for logistics competence; and Master Gunnery Sergeant Bradley C. Lumbray for the General Holland M. Smith Award for operational competence.
 
2 – 6 July - Marines were on land, sea, and air for the Fourth of July celebration in New York, honoring the 100th anniversary of the Statue of Liberty. Marine Helicopter Squadron 1 provided its fleet of presidential helicopters; ground and air elements prepared static displays of Marine weapons, equipment, and aircraft; Marine detachments on board the USS Iowa and USS John F. Kennedy, in addition to participating in the International Naval Review, were used as security and color guards for ceremonies involving President Reagan; and “The President’s Own” U.S. Marine Band performed for several events during Liberty Weekend as it did 100 years ago under the direction of John Philip Sousa for the 1886 dedication of the statue.
 
16 July - An aviation milestone was attained at Marine Corps Air Station, Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii, when Marine Fighter Attack Squadron (VMFA) 235 logged 30,000 hours of accident-free flying. VMFA-235’s record was achieved over an eight-year span. 
 
17 July - The Commandant of the Marine Corps approved the commemorative naming of a Community Center and Center Court in the Serra Mesa Housing Area, Marine Corps Base, Camp Pendleton, California, in honor of Sergeant Paul H. Foster, who was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for heroism while serving with the 2d Battalion, 4th Marines, 3d Marine Division, near Con Thien in the Republic of Vietnam during October 1967.
 
22 July - A detachment from the 2d Marine Division sailed with a task force of U.S. Navy ships from their east coast homeports to mark the beginning of UNITAS XXVII, an annual series of exercises conducted by the United States and South American military forces. The mission of the five month cruise through the Caribbean and South American waters was to promote hemispheric solidarity and foster goodwill and military professionalism among participating countries.
 
22 July – Four Marines and a Navy corpsman were honored during the Marine Corps League’s sixth annual force in readiness exposition. The awards are presented annually to deserving enlisted Marines and Navy hospital corpsmen/dental technicians who distinguished themselves by contributing to combat readiness in the Fleet Marine Force. The 1986 winners were: Staff Sergeant Rene L. Cote received the Gunnery Sergeant Carlos N. Hatchcock II Award for markmanship training; Sergeant Gilbert G. Kerr received the Sergeant Major Wilbur Bestwick Award to a Marine in the ground combat element on an FMF unit; Gunnery Sergeant Alfredo V. Saldate received the Sergeant Harry D. Meyers Award to a Marine in the combat service support element of an FMF unit; and Master Sergeant Richard L. Pharo received the Sergeant Major Frederick B. Douglas Award to a Marine in an aviation element of an FMF unit.
 
22 July – More than 800 guests were on hand to see Donald T. Regan, White House Chief of Staff, receive the Marine Corps League’s highest civilian award, the Military Order of Iron Mike. The award was presented by Marine Corps League National Commandant, Edward MacIntrye, at a formal grand banquet which was the highlight of the sixth annual Modern Day Marine – Force In Readiness Military Exposition. A retired Marine Reserve officer, Regan participated in five major campaigns during World War II and retired in the grade of lieutenant colonel.
 
22 – 30 July - More than 290 shooters, representing the Marine Corps, Army, Navy, Air Force, National Guard, and their respective reserve components competed in the 25th Annual Inter-service Rifle Championship Match at Quantico, Virginia. The Marine Corps team claimed top honors, the Army team took second place, and the National Guard team placed third. Marine Corps shooters also claimed title to several individual and team awards.
 
25 July – 3 August – Approximately 35,000 Marines, sailors, soldiers, and airmen from several southern California bases participated in Exercise Gallant Eagle ‘86. The exercise was designed to provide a simulated combat environment for training, planning and execution of joint military operations. Gallant Eagle ’86, sponsored by the U.S. Central Command, evaluated the command’s headquarters and portions of its multi-service forces in tactical operations in a desert environment.
 
28 July - The commemorative naming of the Wire Mountain access road at Marine Corps Base, Camp Pendleton, in honor of Gunnery Sergeant Donald L. Carnes, was approved by the Commandant of the Marine Corps. Gunnery Sergeant Carnes was attached to Headquarters and Service Company, 3d Battalion, 9th Marines, 3d Marine Division, when he was killed in action on 1 May 1968 in Quang Tri Province, Republic of Vietnam.
 
28 July - The Commandant of the Marine Corps approved the commemorative naming of 14 streets in the Serra Mesa Housing Area, Marine Corps Base, Camp Pendleton, in honor of 14 enlisted Marines from California who were killed in action during the Vietnam War.
 
1 August – Marine Barracks, Naval Support Facility, Diego Garcia was activated. Based in the Indian Ocean, the facility supported the Maritime Prepositioning Ships Program.
 
1 August – In signing ALMAR 177/86, General Paul X. Kelley, the Commandant of the Marine Corps, ordered inspector general visits to Fleet Marine Force commands cut back to one every three years instead of every other year, along with efforts to reduce the scope of the inspections. The Commandant also ordered that the number of collateral duties be reduced and the cutting of the number of required reports. The order was an effort to reduce unnecessary administrative workloads.
 
4 August - The Commandant of the Marine Corps approved the naming of the airfield at Marine Corps Air Station, Camp Pendleton, in honor of the late Lieutenant General John C. Munn, USMC. A veteran Marine aviator, General Munn served as Assistant Commandant of the Marine Corps from 1960-1963, and later as Commanding General of Marine Corps Base, Camp Pendleton, from May 1963 until his retirement from active service on 1 July 1964. He died 14 April 1986 in Encinitas, California, after a long illness.
 
4 – 13 August – Approximately 10,000 U.S. and Thai troops, including Marines of the 13th Marine Amphibious Unit, participated in Exercise Cobra Gold ‘86, an annual training exercise in and around the Gulf of Thailand. The fifth in a series, Cobra Gold ‘86 was designed to strengthen the ability of Royal Thai armed forces to defend Thailand. The exercise provided training in planning, command and control, and execution of air, land, and sea operations. It concluded with an amphibious assault by U.S. and Thai Marines.
 
11 August – In the reorganization of selected Marine Corps units, the 2d Low Altitude Air Defense Battalion (2d LAAD) was activated and the 2d Forward Area Air Defense Battery (2d FAAD) was deactivated. The activation of the new battalion resulted from an on-going Marine Corps study to enhance air defense capabilities of the Fleet Marine Force. The 2d LAAD Battalion, located at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, was tasked to provide close-in air defense protection of Marine Air Ground Task Force assets in forward combat areas and to provide defense of units engaged in independent operations. The 1st LAAD Battalion at Futenma, Okinawa, and the 3d LAAD Battalion at Camp Pendleton, California, were scheduled for future activations.

13 August - Major General James J. McMonagle was reassigned as Commanding General, I Marine Amphibious Force, 1st Marine Division, replacing Major General John I. Hudson.
 
20 August – 19 September - Marines of the 4th Marine Amphibious Brigade joined forces with servicemen from nine other nations to participate in Exercise Northern Wedding ‘86 in Norway. The NATO exercise involved a total of 35,000 troops, 150 ships, and hundreds of aircraft. The exercise tested the capacity of allied forces to bring in reinforcements and resist aggression in the Atlantic, Baltic, and Norwegian Sea areas.
 
20 – 29 August – Kernel Blitz 86-2, an annual amphibious exercise involving Marines from the 5th Marine Amphibious Brigade, took place at Camp Pendleton, California. The exercise tested the capability to coordinate land, sea, and air action. It included securing an operating base during an assault, evacuating non-combatants, and attacking and seizing enemy positions through helicopter assault.
 
23 August - Retired Brigadier General Herman H. Kanneken, who was awarded the Medal of Honor for his heroic actions during the Haitian Campaign, died in LaJolla, California, at the age of 83. The general enlisted in the Marine Corps in 1914 and was later appointed to a second lieutenant in 1919. His 34-year career took him to Nicaragua in 1928 and through the Pacific campaigns with the 1st Marine Division in World War II. He retired in 1948. In addition to the 
Medal of Honor, his personal decorations included two Navy Crosses, and the Silver Star, Legion of Merit, and Bronze Star Medals.
 
29 August – Eight Marines were killed when a CH-46 “Sea Knight” helicopter crashed into the Atlantic Ocean off Norway during Exercise Northern Wedding ‘86. Thirteen other Marines on the helicopter were injured. The crash occurred shortly after takeoff from the USS Saipan.
 
30 August - The Marine Integrated Fire and Air Support System (MIFASS) was shipped to Marine Corps Base, Camp Pendleton, California, to begin final field-testing. The tests conducted at Camp Pendleton and Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center, Twentynine Palms, California, by the I Marine Amphibious Force, would involve more than 1,300 Marines. The MIFASS was a semi-automated data processing system which could aid the Marine Amphibious Force commander to coordinate all available fire support assets including air, artillery, mortars, and naval gunfire support.
 
30 August - A new world record for the longest slo-pitch softball game was established by 20 Marines from Marine Corps Air Station, Iwakuni, Japan. Marine Wing Support Squadron 171 and the station’s Crash, Fire, and Rescue Unit each put 10 of their most durable slo-pitch players on the field. After 102 hours and 34 minutes of play, and 144 innings, the Crash, Fire, and Rescue team won 876 to 853. To set this world record, the Marines used the official guidelines supplied by the “Guinness Book of World Records” in London, England.
 
___ September - A milestone was reached in the long-term effort to improve the organization of the Corps’ force service support groups (FSSGs), with phase 
I of the reorganization underway. Earlier this year, the decision was made to pursue the general reorganization concept contained in the Center for Naval Analysis, Combat Service Support Structure Study of 1985 to restructure the FSSG’s functional battalions in a way that would facilitate deployment of Marine amphibious brigades and simplify task organizing for other Marine air-ground task force commitments. A trial for the revised structures was scheduled to begin during early 1987.
 
___ September - The Marine Corps began to take a delivery of 50 new light armored vehicles. Designated the LAV-M, the newest addition to the Corps’ growing family of LAVs would provide an additional indirect fire support capability on the battlefield. Its main punch would be delivered by an M-252 81mm mortar mounted internally on a 360-degree traverse along with an M-60 machine gun and smoke grenade launcher. The LAV was made by General Motors of Canada whose contract called for delivery of 758 LAVs to the Marine Corps. More than 400 of the basic variant LAV-25s were already in Marine Corps service.
 
__ September - Armed with a GAU-2B Gatling Gun, a .50 caliber machine gun, and 2.75-inch rockets, a UH-1N “Huey” from Marine Light Attack Helicopter Squadron (HML/A) 269 became the first tactical helicopter to employ the Marine Corps’ Defensive Armament Subsystem Improvement Program, or DASIP. The HML/A-269 firing, which took place in the Pamlico Sound near Marine Corps Air Station, New River, North Carolina, marked the first time a “Huey” was “rearmed” since Vietnam.
 
__ September - The first three Landing Craft Air Cushion (LCAC)vehicles arrived at Marine Corps Base, Camp Pendleton, California. The delivery of the high-speed hovercraft-type vehicles marked the beginning of operations at the $55 million LCAC complex. The LCAC port at Camp Pendleton, the only one of its kind in the world would be joined by a similar facility at Little Creek, Virginia, under construction. Each facility would eventually hold 45 landing craft. LCAC capabilities were displayed when they were deployed from the USS Germantown for a small crowd which included the Commander of the Pacific Fleet, Admiral James A. Lyons, and Major General Robert E. Haebel, Commanding General, Camp Pendleton. A fleet of 90 LCACs, scheduled to be procured within the next decade, were designed to replace the pre-World War II LCM-family of conventional craft.
 
1 September - A new Marine Corps command, the Biennial Maintenance Command (BMC), was activated at Jacksonville, Florida. About 50 Marines and sailors are permanently assigned to the BMC. Members of the new command would plan and conduct a biennial maintenance cycle involving equipment and supplies embarked on board maritime prepositioning ships to ensure operational readiness.
 
1 September - To ensure the continued survivability of the M60A1 tank, until replacement by the M1A1 tank, the Marine Corps procured appliqué armor kits which consisted of explosive tiles mounted to the outside of the tank that increase protection against chemical energy shaped charged munitions. This procurement decision was based on highly successful Israeli battlefield experiences and favorable U.S. Army and Marine Corps testing of reactive appliqué armor. Initial operational capability was planned for July 1987.
 
3 September - The Commandant of the Marine Corps approved the naming of four bachelor enlisted quarters at Marine Corps Air Station, Cherry Point, North Carolina, in honor of the following Marines from hometowns close to Cherry Point who were killed in action during the Vietnam War: Master Gunnery Sergeant John V. Berg, Corporal Donald R. Yarboro, Lance Corporal Franklin D. Ray, and Private First Class Joseph M. Grantham III.
 
10 September - Staff Sergeant Robby B. Franker of Weapons Training Battalion, Marine Corps Development and Education Command, Quantico, Virginia, represented the Marine Corps at the 1986 International Rifle Competition in Suhl, East Germany. Staff Sergeant Franker shot a perfect 600 for 600 against competitors from 61 countries. Using a .22-caliber rifle, Franker hit the 10 millimeter bull’s eye 60 out of 60 times to claim a new world record. All shooting was from the prone position.
 
11 September - The 3d Light Armored Vehicle Battalion (LAVB) was activated at Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center, Twentynine Palms, California. The 
battalion’s eight-wheeled vehicle, weighing about 13 tons and configured in eight different variants, provides ground commanders new flexibility in maneuver warfare. This new land-sea-air mobile tank unit joins the 1st and 2d LAVBs in providing the Marine Corps with versatile capability.
 
12 September – The Secretary of the Navy approved the reorganization of naval security forces in a move designed to improve physical security of naval installations against terrorist acts. The new security program capitalized on the leadership and combat skills of Marines and called for a total reorganization of Marine Corps Security Forces. Implementation would begin 1 October 1986.
 
16 September – 13 October - More than 2,000 U.S. Marines and 800 Turkish and Italian troops participated in Exercise Display Determination ‘86. The Mediterranean exercise demonstrated the ability of a Marine air ground task force to conduct combined amphibious operations in a NATO environment. Marine units included the 10th Marine Amphibious Brigade, the 24th Marine Amphibious Unit, and the 10th Marine Aircraft Group.
 
17 September - The Commandant of the Marine Corps approved the naming of six new high-rise apartment complexes at Camp Courtney, Marine Corps Base, Camp Smedley D. Butler, Okinawa, Japan, in honor of the following Marine Corps Navy Cross recipients who were killed in action during the Vietnam War: First Sergeant David M. Kaufman, Gunnery Sergeant Joseph F. Covella, Staff Sergeant Willie D. Tyrone, Sergeant Joseph G. Rodriques, Jr., Private First Class Roy E. Pitts, and Private First Class Darrell T. Ray.
 
22 September - The Commandant of the Marine Corps directed that the responsibility for the education and conduct of the three Staff Noncommissioned Officer (SNCO) Academies be changed from officers to senior staff noncommissioned officers. A time-phased plan was developed to carry out the turnover. By June 1988, the progressive relief would be completed and all commissioned officers on duty at the SNCO Academies (Quantico, Camp Lejeune, and El Toro) would be replaced by senior SNCOs.
 
22 September – 7 October – U.S. Marines of the 4th and 6th Marine Amphibious Brigades participated in Exercise Bold Guard ‘86 in Germany and Denmark. The exercise tested the capabilities of a Marine Air-Ground Task Force and included the first employment of the Maritime Prepositioning Ships Program in a NATO environment. The objective was to demonstrate NATO solidarity and a commitment by the Free World to defend key corridors of central Europe. Bold Guard ‘86 brought together approximately 65,000 servicemen from the United States, the Federal Republic of Germany, the United Kingdom, Denmark, and the Netherlands.
 
30 September – An era in Marine aviation came to a close when the Marine Corps’ only A-6 Intruder training squadron stood down. Since 1968, Marine All Weather Attack Training Squadron 202 served as a temporary home and school to officers learning to pilot the A-6 or serve as bombardier-navigators. The squadron’s training mission was transferred to the Navy at Air Station, Whidbey Island, Washington, a move that expanded training opportunities for A-6 crews.
 
___ October – The Department of Defense Reorganization Act of 1987, commonly known as the Goldwater-Nichols Reorganization Bill, became effective. The new legislation was viewed by its advocates as a landmark law that will overcome the decision-making difficulties that were believed to impede actions in the joint arena. Opponents of the legislation, however, found portions to be ill considered. Among the revisions of the new law is the consolidation of staff functions (to include acquisition, auditing, comptroller, information management, inspector general, and public affairs) which would be integrated and combined under the cognizance of the service secretaries.
 
1 October - Marine Aerial Refueler Transport Training Squadron (VMGRT) 253 activated at Marine Corps Air Station, Cherry Point, North Carolina. The squadron holds six KC-130 aircraft and provides Fleet Replacement Squadron and Fleet Replacement Aviation Maintenance Program training for Marine Corps aircrew and maintenance personnel. The activation of VMGRT-253 resulted from the Commandant’s decision, earlier this year, to reorganize KC-130 squadrons located at Marine Corps Air Stations Cherry Point, El Toro, and Futenma.
 
1 October – The naming of a future gymnasium at Henderson Hall, Headquarters, U.S. Marine Corps was approved by the Commandant. The gymnasium would be named in honor of Corporal Terry L. Smith who was posthumously awarded the Silver Star for heroism while serving with Company M, 3d Battalion, 26th Marines, 3d Marine Division, near Khe Sanh in the Republic of Vietnam during February 1968.
 
2 October - The Commandant of the Marine Corps, General Paul X. Kelley, addressed his concern about the recent popularity of a form of cocaine called “crack” in ALMAR 226/86. In his address, the Commandant said “the far reaching effects of illegal drug use make it the concern of every Marine and family member. The Marine Corps must be drug free if we are to accomplish our mission.”
 
9 – 12 October - The 1986 Marine Corps Aviation Association awards were presented at the association’s convention in Dallas. Major Ivan M. Behel of Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 314 was named the Aviator of the Year and the recipient of the Alfred A. Cunningham award. Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 323 received the Robert M. Hanson Award for the fighter attack squadron of the year. The Lawson H.M. Sanderson Award for the attack squadron of the year was won by Marine All Weather Attack Squadron 242. The helicopter squadron of the year award went to Marine Light Attack Helicopter Squadron 269.
 
10 October - Maritime Prepositioning Force 3, having achieved initial operational capability 10 days earlier, completed the loadout of the last ship, Sgt William R. Button. The entire four-ship squadron then steamed to the Guam-Tinian area in the western Pacific for stationing with the equipment of Hawaii-based 1st Marine Amphibious Brigade. The departure of the Button from Panama City, Florida, marked the end of a two-year loadout process that began with the delivery of Cpl Louis J. Hauge, Jr., in 1984.
 
10 October - Marine Aircraft Group (MAG) 39 received the AH-1W “Super Cobra” helicopter. It was the first of 78 that would be added to the MAG-39 inventory between October 1986 and FY-90. The AH-1Ws, the fourth and latest generation of Marine attack helicopters, would be used to provide close-in fire support and fire support coordination in aerial and ground escort operations.
 
15 October - The Marine Corps approved the procurement of the automatic fire sensing and suppression system (AFSSS) for the assault amphibious vehicle, AAV7A1. The AFSSS kit would protect the lives of the embarked troops and crew against a catastrophic fire resulting from the destruction of the fuel cell. A total of 1,413 kits would be procured from fiscal year 1988 through 1990. Installation of the AFSSS components would be performed by the Marine Corps logistics depots.
 
17 October - The Commandant of the Marine Corps approved the naming of the new recruit processing center at Marine Corps Recruit Depot, San Diego, in honor of Private First Class Gary W. Martini, who was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for heroism while serving with Company F, 2d Battalion, 1st Marines, 1st Marine Division, near Da Nang in the Republic of Vietnam during April 1967.
 
18 October - The 3d Marine Aircraft Wing saluted Marine All Weather Attack Squadron 242 for achieving a significant aviation milestone. The squadron attained three years of Class A and B mishap-free flying.
 
20 October - The Roi-Namur battlefield was officially dedicated as a National Historic Landmark. During his keynote address, Lieutenant General D’Wayne Gray, Commanding General, Fleet Marine Force, Pacific, paid tribute to the gallant efforts of the Marines who captured the former Japanese outpost in World War II. A bronze plaque presented by the Department of Interior was unveiled by Connor Dyess Smith, daughter of Medal of Honor recipient Marine Lieutenant Colonel Aquilla J. Dyess, who was killed on Namur during the 1944 assault.
 
23 October - On the third anniversary of the Beirut bombing, a granite-engraved memorial was dedicated on a four and one-half acre site at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. The monument honors the 241 Marines and other servicemen who were killed in the terrorist bombing. It features a white-granite wall engraved with the names of the servicemen, a brick-paved gathering area with granite benches, and a footpath winding through woods and greenery. Honored guests were Governor Jim Martin of North Carolina, General Paul X. Kelley, Commandant of the Marine Corps, and retired Colonel Timothy J. Geraghty, Commanding Officer, 24th Marine Amphibious Unit at the time of the terrorist attack.
 
27 October – 6 November - The Marine Corps participated in the Joint Chiefs of Staff-directed, worldwide regional crisis command post exercise, Power Sweep ‘87. The scenario called for a Northwest Pacific superpower confrontation which led to the implementation of several operational landings. The exercise tested Marine Corps crisis management plans, policies, and procedures in a multiple operational landings environment. Major Marine Corps commands included Fleet Marine Forces Atlantic and Pacific, the 4th Marine Division, and the 4th Marine Aircraft Wing.
 
___ November - The Marine Corps joined with the Army in awarding a $17.1 million contract to Loral Corporation for upgraded eye-safe infrared laser transmitters to be used on small arms as part of the multiple integrated laser engagement system (MILES). The improved transmitters were significantly smaller and lighter than the earlier versions and could be used interchangeably with the M16A1, M16A2, and M249 squad automatic weapon.
 
2 November - Brad T. Ingram, a 31-year-old former Marine artillery officer from Mansfield, Ohio, won the 11th Annual Marine Corps Marathon in Washington, D.C. Ingram, who won the 1984 Marine Corps Marathon with a personal-best time of 2:19:40, crossed the finish line with a time of 2:23:13. The first fatality in the history of the event occurred when Staff Sergeant Martin A. Wurst, Jr., a 32-year-old veteran of previous marathons, collapsed on the course near the 15-mile mark. More than 10,000 marathoners competed, including runners from all 50 states and 24 countries.
 
4 November - A new Marine Corps aviation display commemorating the 75th anniversary of Naval Aviation opened at the National Air and Space Museum, Washington, D.C. The permanent exhibit, located in the Sea-Air Operations gallery of the museum, traces the history of the Marine Corps’ Short Airfields for Tactical Support (SATS) or expeditionary airfields from 1942 to the 1980s.
 
10 November - This date marked the completion and dedication of the re-guilding of the engraved lettering on the U.S. Marine Corps War Memorial, (Iwo Jima Memorial), in Arlington, Virginia. Dedicated in 1954, the memorial’s original gold leaf on the engraved lettering had faded. The Marine Corps Historical Foundation received funds for restoring the lettering from Mr. Peter Haas of Denville, New Jersey, a Marine from 1945-1960. Haas donated the guilding as a memorial to his son, also a Marine, who was killed in a helicopter crash in 1982. The estimated cost of the re-guilding was $18,500.
 
10 November - Marines throughout the world celebrated the 211th 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 asked, “all Marines to embrace those inspirational words from our own hymn… first to fight for right and freedom and to keep our honor clean, we are proud to claim the title of United States Marine.”
 
10 November - The Assistant Commandant of at the Marine Corps, General Thomas R. Morgan, dedicated the new headquarters of the Marine Corps Association (MCA) located at the Quantico, Virginia, base. Speaking to an audience of over 250 guests, General Morgan officially opened the $3.1 million structure. The building, housing all MCA functions other than health care administration, would enable the association’s staff to provide improved services to the membership. The MCA was founded in 1913.
 
12 November - The Marine Corps signed a production contract with General Electric to procure 44 decoys to protect the new AN/TPS-59 long-range, air defense radar from anti-radiation missiles. The contract was negotiated and signed for $10,719,721. This was the first and only decoy system approved for service use in the U.S. military. It would enter service in May 1988.
 
20 November - The Commandant of the Marine Corps selected Major David W. Mauldin as the 1986 recipient of the Leftwich Trophy for outstanding leadership while serving with Company E, 2d Battalion, 8th Marines at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. Commemorating the service and leadership of Lieutenant Colonel William G. Leftwich, who was killed in action in Vietnam, the annual award goes to a Marine captain serving with the ground forces of Fleet Marine Force at the time of nomination.
 
23 November - “The President’s Own” United States Marine Band was featured during the halftime show of the Washington Redskins – Dallas Cowboys football game at the Robert F. Kennedy Stadium, Washington, D.C. This special appearance, in celebration of the 50th year of the Redskins’ franchise, was the first time the Marine Band ever played for the Redskins. Prior to the game, Marine Band baritone vocalist, Michael Ryan, sang the national anthem. During the halftime program, “The President’s Own” played musical highlights of the past 25 years along with “Hail to the Redskins” and “Happy Birthday.”
 
1 December - A $22.5 million reprogramming request for an additional five AN/TSQ-130 (V) Technical Control and Analysis Centers (TCAC) was approved by Congress. The TCAC was an automated signal intelligence analysis and sensor management system. It would significantly improve response time for the Marine Air Ground Task Force commander’s intelligence information needs. The TCAC was fielded by the U.S. Army and, since TCAC had inherent networking capability, the Marine Corps’ fielding of the system would enhance potential signal intelligence inter-operability between the two services.
 
1 December - Major General James L. Day, the last U.S. Marine combat veteran to have seen continuous service since World War II, retired from service. During his 43-year career, General Day earned three Silver Star Medals for valor and six Purple Hearts. His combat included the Marshall Islands, Guam, Okinawa, Korea, and Vietnam. The “mustang” general enlisted in the Marine Corps during 1943 and attained the rank of technical sergeant prior to being commissioned a second lieutenant in 1952. His last assigned duty was Commanding General, Marine Corps Base, Camp Smedley D. Butler/Deputy 
Commander, Marine Corps Bases, Pacific/Okinawa Area Coordinator, Okinawa, Japan.
 
2 December - Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron 365, Marine Aircraft Group 28, 2d Marine Aircraft Wing went over 80,000 Class A mishap-free flying hours. This represented 14 years of mishap-free flying that included joint and combined training in support of worldwide commitments. The squadron flies the CH-46 “Sea Knight” helicopter.
 
13 December - The SS Kocak, of Maritime Prepositioning Ship Squadron 1, began its biennial maintenance cycle at Blount Island, Florida. The second of 13 ships scheduled for biennial maintenance over the next three years, SS Kocak unloaded all of its embarked equipment and supplies for required repairs/modifications, modernization, and preservation as required. The SS Kocak was scheduled to re-embark its cargo during February 1987.
 
15 December - Secretary of State George P. Shultz and the Commandant of the Marine Corps, General Paul X. Kelley, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the State Department and the Marine Corps Security Guard (MSG) Program. The MOU came one week after the Commandant authorized an additional 100 Marines for the embassy protection program abroad. The revision addressed current employment, fiscal and logistical support, and safety of MSG members while serving in foreign countries.
 
18 December - Three Marines and seven children from the Washington, D.C. area made a house call to the White House to receive a Toys for Tots donation from President Reagan. The President said he hoped his donation would help publicize the Toys for Tots Program. Marines, in return, presented the President with a Toys for Tots Certificate of Appreciation. 
The Toys for Tots program, sponsored by the Marine Corps Reserve, dates back to 1947.
 
18 December- The Joint Resources Management Board approved the V-22 Baseline Program (Marine and Army MV-22, Air Force CV-22, and Navy HV-22) for full-scale development (Milestone II). Marine Corps procurement would eventually number 552 MV-22As to replace existing CH-46E aircraft. The MV-22A would be a medium assault aircraft carrying 24 troops at speeds up to 300 knots out to a radius of over 400 nautical miles.
 
21 December - Major General Harry C. Olson died in Charleston, South Carolina. Commissioned a second lieutenant in 1941, the general was a combat veteran of World War II, Korea, and Vietnam. In 1972 he became the 32d Quartermaster General of the Marine Corps and served as Commanding General, Marine Corps Supply Center, Barstow, California, prior to his retirement in 1974.
 
31 December - The strength of the U.S. Armed Forces was 2,177,862; of whom 198,245 were Marines.

1987

1 January - The strength of the U.S. Armed Forces was 2,177,862, of whom 198,245 were Marines. 
 
1 January - Marine Detachment, USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69) was activated at Norfolk, Virginia. 
 
3 January - 27 March - Approximately 6,300 Marines and sailors from elements of the 4th Marine Amphibious Brigade participated in Exercise Alpine Warrior '87. The annual training exercise took place at Fort McCoy, Minnesota, and Volk Field Air National Guard Base, Wisconsin. It was designed to teach individual and unit arctic skills in preparation for cold weather contingency operations.

8 January - Medal of Honor recipient, General Christian F. Schilt, died in Norfolk, Virginia. Enlisting in the Marine Corps in 1917, he served with one of the first organized American air units that went overseas during World War I. In 1919, after being designated a naval aviator, he was commissioned as a second lieutenant. While serving with Observation Squadron 7-M in Managua, Nicaragua, in 1928, he was awarded the Medal of Honor for his daring rescue and resupply flights to the beleaguered Marine force at Quilali. During World War II, he participated in the Guadalcanal Campaign and the consolidation of the Southern Solomon Islands. Upon his return to the states, General Schilt commanded the 9th Marine Aircraft Wing, and later the 1st Marine Aircraft Wing in Korea during the Korean War. He later served as Commanding General, Aircraft Fleet Marine Force, Pacific. Prior to his retirement in 1957, the decorated aviator served as Director of Aviation at Headquarters, U.S. Marine Corps.

8 January - A CH-53E "Super Stallion" from Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 465 crashed at the Salton Sea Test Range in Imperial County, California, killing all five Marines on board. Based at Marine Corps Air Station, Tustin, California, the helicopter was participating in routine training at the time of the crash.

12 January - The air station at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, California, was named Munn Airfield in honor of the late Lieutenant General John C. Munn during dedication ceremonies. A decorated aviator, General Munn served as the Assistant Commandant of the Marine Corps between 1960 and 1963 and was then named Commanding General of Camp Pendleton where he served until his retirement in 1964.

14 January - An A-6E "Intruder" assigned to the Navy's Attack Squadron 128, Naval Air Station, Whidbey Island, Washington, crashed during a routine training mission near Naval Air Facility, El Centro, California. One Marine officer was killed and another was injured.

15 January - 6 February - More than 150 Marine and Navy marksmen from commands in Hawaii participated in the 1987 Pacific Division Rifle and Pistol Matches at the Camp Smith Training Facility. For the second consecutive year, Marine Aircraft Group 24 (MCAS Kaneohe Bay), made a clean sweep of the team awards. In addition to competing with the M-16A2 service rifle, the competitors were introduced to the 9mm Beretta pistol, which is scheduled to replace the Colt .45 caliber automatic. The matches were part of the Competition-in-Arms Program designed to enhance the combat marksmanship proficiency of the Marine Corps.

17 January - Two Marine officers were killed in the crash of an A-6E "Intruder" into the western Mediterranean Sea. The jet was attached to Marine All-Weather Attack Squadron 533 at Marine Corps Air Station, Cherry Point, North Carolina. It was operating off the Norfolk-based aircraft carrier John F. Kennedy at the time of the accident. As an outgrowth of the recent crashes, the Marine Corps' five all-weather attack squadrons temporarily grounded all older aircraft for a series of inspections. 

23 January - Four Marines who were killed while serving on Marine Security Guard duty in El Salvador were honored in a dedication ceremony at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, California. Four streets were dedicated, one each in honor of Staff Sergeants Bobby Joe Dickson and Thomas T. Handwork, and Sergeants Patrick R. Kwiatkowski and Gregory H. Weber who were killed in a terrorist attack at a sidewalk cafe 19 June 1985 in San Salvador, El Salvador. Major General Robert E. Haebel, Commanding General of Camp Pendleton, praised the fallen Marines in his remarks.

27 January - Charges were preferred against Sergeant Clayton J. Lonetree, formerly a member of the Marine Security Guard detachment at the U.S. Embassy in Moscow. Arrested in December 1986, Lonetree was charged with sexual involvement with a Soviet woman and with allowing, at her request, unauthorized personnel access of restricted embassy areas.

28 January - 4 February - Marines of the 7th Marine Amphibious Brigade participated in Exercise Kernel Blitz 1-87 in Southern California. Designed to test the combat readiness of the brigade, the exercise included the first operational use of the Landing Craft Air Cushion (LCAC).
 
5 February - General Paul X. Kelley delivered his fourth and final report as the Commandant of the Marine Corps to the Senate Armed Services Committee stating that the Corps' readiness for war was the highest ever in peacetime. Citing an across-the-board increase in readiness in both air and ground components, General Kelley assured Congress that the Marine Corps was ready to meet the challenge as a versatile, cost-effective force that can be rapidly projected to resolve conflict on foreign soil.

6 February - Major General Dennis J. Murphy, Commanding General, 2d Marine Division, presented Major David W. Mauldin with the 1986 Leftwich Trophy at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. Named for Lieutenant Colonel William G. Leftwich, who was killed in a helicopter crash in Vietnam while serving as commander of the 1st Reconnaissance Battalion, it has been awarded annually to deserving Marines since 1979. The Trophy recognizes outstanding leadership by a Marine captain serving with ground forces in the Fleet Marine Force. Major Mauldin earned the award while serving as commander of Company E, 2d Battalion, 8th Marines.
 
12 February - A CH-46E "Sea Knight" helicopter crashed in Trabuco Canyon near Marine Corps Air Station El Toro, California, on a night training flight, killing all three Marine crew members. The helicopter was attached to Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron 764.
 
19 February - 9 May - The III Marine Amphibious Force participated in Exercise Team Spirit '87 in South Korea. The 12th annual joint-combined training focused on rapid deployment for the defense of the Republic of Korea. It was designed to evaluate and improve procedures and techniques used to defend the Korean peninsula and increase the combat readiness of U.S. and Republic of Korea Marines. Approximately 200,000 United States and Republic of Korea military personnel participated in the exercise.
 
21 February - Major General William T. Fairbourn died in Salt Lake City, Utah, at the age of 73. During General Fairbourn's illustrious 32-year career, he served as commanding officer of the 2d Battalion, 12th Marines on Iwo Jima and in 1955 commanded the 11th Marines. During the 1960s, the decorated general commanded the 1st Marine Division and the 5th Marine Expeditionary Force. He retired in 1967.

1 March - The 1st Light Antiaircraft Missile (LAAM) Battalion was reactivated on Okinawa. In response to Fleet Marine Force concerns about the organizational deficiencies of the Forward Area Air Defense (FAAD) Batteries, the 1st LAAM Battalion was activated for optimized use of the programmed air defense structure to enhance all aspects of the Marine Air Ground Task Force air defense.
 
3 - 29 March - The 4th Marine Amphibious Brigade (MAB) participated in Exercise Cold Winter '87, a NATO exercise held in northern Norway. Cold Winter '87 marked the first time a Marine general commanded an Allied defensive force in Norway. Brigadier General Matthew B. Caulfield led the 4th MAB, along with British and Norwegian units. Under the direction of the Military Airlift Command, the Marines of the 4th MAB, as well as rotary-wing aircraft, were transported to the exercise by military and chartered civilian aircraft. Designed to enhance operational readiness among forces that protect NATO's northern flank, the exercise tested the forces' capabilities during extreme winter conditions. 
 
6 March - The Majestic Metal Fabrication Company of Roseville, Michigan, was awarded a contract to provide 189 applique armor kits (AAK) for the Marine Corps' Assault Amphibious Vehicle 7A1 (AAV7A1) personnel and command and control vehicles. The procurement was for the P900 AAK version consisting of perforated plates attached to the vehicle hull. The AAK would significantly improve AAV7A1 survivability against small arms kinetic energy munitions.

18 March - The Navy's Assault Craft Unit 4 (ACU-4) celebrated the delivery of LCAC-7 (air cushioned landing craft) manufactured by Textron Marine Systems. The occasion marked the first LCAC delivered to ACU-4, which was temporarily located at Panama City, Florida, while a permanent facility was constructed at Little Creek, Virginia. ACU-4 would continue training its crews and conducting tests on LCACs to include cold weather operations.
 
25 March - 3 April - Marines and sailors of the 26th Marine Amphibious Unit (Special Operations Capable) participated in Exercise Sardinia '87 on the southern tip of Sardinia, Italy, as part of the joint U.S. training exercise with Italian and Spanish forces. Sardinia '87 featured a night waterborne and helicopter assault and provided an opportunity for the three nations to work together and improve their abilities in tactics and marksmanship.
 
30 March - The State Department announced that the entire 28-man Marine Corps guard detachment at the U.S. Embassy in Moscow had been recalled to the United States as part of the investigation into alleged espionage by former guard Sergeant Clayton Lonetree. The measure was precautionary in nature and was intended to facilitate an investigation of the security program at the U.S. Embassy.
 
31 March - Lieutenant General Anthony Lukeman was promoted to three-star rank and continued with his assignment as Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense (Military Manpower and Personnel Policy), Office of the Secretary of Defense, Washington, D.C.
 
1 April - A reorganization became effective within the Plans, Policies, and Operations Department at Headquarters, U.S. Marine Corps. A new branch, the Amphibious Warfare, Marine Air-Ground Task Force Operations, and Prepositioning Matters Branch was formed. The consolidation of the Marine Air-Ground Task Force Concepts and Capabilities Branch and the Amphibious Requirements Branch was designed to improve effectiveness and efficiency within the Operations Division.
 
1 April - Major General Harold G. Glasgow retired from active duty. Major General Joseph P. Hoar replaced him as Commanding General, Marine Corps Recruit Depot/Commanding General, Eastern Recruiting Region, Parris Island, South Carolina.
 
10 April - Captain James H. Webb, Jr., USMC (Retired), a decorated Vietnam Marine veteran and noted author, replaced John H. Lehman Jr., becoming the 66th Secretary of the Navy. A 1968 graduate of the Naval Academy, Webb served with the 1st Battalion, 5th Marines in Vietnam. His military decorations include the Navy Cross, Silver Star, two Bronze Stars, and two Purple Hearts. A graduate of Georgetown Law School in 1975, Webb authored the novels, Fields of Fire (1977), A Sense of Honor (1981), and A Country Such As This (1983).
 
15 April - Louis R. Lowery, a noted World War II Marine Corps combat photographer, died in Fairfax, Virginia, at the age of 70 after a prolonged illness. Best known for photographing the first flag raising at Iwo Jima on 23 February 1945, Lowery covered the fighting on Saipan, Tinian, Guam, Peleliu, Iwo Jima, and Okinawa. Wounded twice, he is believed to have been the only photographer to film six major Pacific battles, one with each of the six Marine divisions. He was a retired photographic director of Leatherneck magazine and an active member of the Marine Corps Combat Correspondents Association.
 
16 April - The first of two Marine Corps Security Force (MCSF) Battalions, the foundation of the newly organized Marine Corps Security Forces, was officially established in a ceremony at Marine Barracks, Norfolk, Virginia. The colors of Marine Barracks, Norfolk were retired and replaced with those of the Marine Corps Security Force Battalion, Atlantic. Each security force battalion would consist of a headquarters, Marine Security Force School, cadres assigned to the security departments of Navy installations, security force companies ashore (formerly Marine Barracks), Marine detachments afloat, along with Marine instructors to provide training to assist naval security forces at naval bases where no Marines are stationed. MCSF Battalion, Pacific would activate in July 1987 at Mare Island, California.
 
17 April - The Commandant of the Marine Corps, General Paul X. Kelley, held a press conference at the Pentagon on the embassy security scandal. The Commandant spoke about the Corps’ impeccable record of providing worldwide embassy security for 38 years, and pledged that an exhaustive investigation would leave no stone unturned. He asked for patience and cooperation from the public at large and demanded due process for those charged.
 
17 April - Graduation ceremonies were held at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, for the first class to pass through a Marine Corps Staff Noncommissioned Officer (SNCO) Academy run by senior enlisted men. Brigadier General Edmund P. Looney, Jr., Commanding General of the 6th Marine Amphibious Brigade, presented diplomas to the 36 graduates. Under the Commandant's direction of September 1986, the responsibility of education and conduct of the three SNCO Academies was changed from officers to senior staff noncommissioned officers. The SNCO Academies, also at El Toro and Quantico, were under the guidance of Quantico's Marine Corps Development and Education Command.
 
22 - 30 April - Nearly 1,000 Marines and sailors and almost 2,000 tons of equipment from the 7th Marine Amphibious Brigade (MAB) were flown from Southern California to McCord Air Force Base, Washington, for Strategic Mobility Exercise (STRATMOBEX) 2-87. With support from Air Force and Army units, critical aspects of forming, loading, transporting, and unloading the fly-in-echelon of the Maritime Prepositioning Force were refined by the 7th MAB. The Military Airlift Command was tested as part of its annual operational readiness inspection and had only nine days to get the brigade to McCord, then back to Southern California. 
 
23 April - 4 May - The 13th Marine Amphibious Unit (MAU) from Camp Pendleton, California, and the Navy's Amphibious Squadron 5 from San Diego, California, took part in Exercise Kernel Usher 87-3 off the coast of California. The U.S. Third Fleet exercise involved more than 8,000 Marines and sailors, 13 ships, and various types of rotary and fixed-wing aircraft. It displayed a first time tactical use of the new amphibious Landing Craft Air Cushion (LCAC) and, in support of the exercise, the LCAC was launched by a ship for the first time.

25 April - 15 May - More than 40,000 U.S. military personnel, including Marines of the II Marine Amphibious Force, participated in Exercise Solid Shield '87. The exercise was the 24th in a series of annual joint exercises designed to emphasize command and control of military forces with a friendly nation in a simulated combat environment. Solid Shield, which takes place every other year, was divided into two phases -- one conducted at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, and the other, a joint U.S. - Honduran air and amphibious exercise in Honduras.
 
____ May - Teams of government and industry personnel, who had been actively replacing defects in the main transmission assemblies of the recently grounded fleet of CH-53E Sikorsky helicopters, have put the heavy lift helicopters back in the air. The Marine Corps maintained three operational squadrons, each with 16 CH-53Es "Super Stallions" (Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadrons 464, 465, and 466). Additionally, it had 10 CH-53Es in Marine Helicopter Training Squadron 301, and one assigned to Marine Helicopter Squadron 1.
 
____ May - The consolidation of Morale, Welfare, and Recreation (MWR) functions within the Marine Corps was approved. This consolidation involved the merger of the Morale Support Division of the Manpower Department and the Marine Corps Exchange Service Branch of the Installations and Logistics Department, at Headquarters, U.S. Marine Corps. The consolidation resulted from Congressional guidance to organize and manage all MWR activities in a more business-like manner. Congressional budget actions reduced appropriated fund support and concurrently focused on the need to generate and manage additional non-appropriated funds to support MWR requirements.
 
4 May - The Commandant of the Marine Corps approved the naming of Building 3090 at the Marine Corps Development and Education Command, Quantico, Virginia, in honor of Sergeant Darrell S. Cole who was awarded the Medal of Honor posthumously for heroism during the Iwo Jima campaign of World War II while attached to Company B, 1st Battalion, 23d Marines, 4th Marine Division. Building 3090 would be the new home of the Quantico Marine Band.
 
7 May - A United Nations delegate of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) observed the operations at a Prisoner of War compound during Exercise Solid Shield '87. This marked the first visit by an ICRC representative to a U.S. military exercise. The visit served as a means to introduce military officials to an organization that plays an important role in world conflicts.
 
9 May - The USS Rodney M. Davis (FFG 60), an Oliver Hazard Perry class guided missile frigate, was commissioned at U.S. Naval Station, Long Beach, California. The ship was named in honor of Sergeant Rodney M. Davis, a posthumous Medal of Honor recipient who died in 1967 while serving as platoon sergeant with Company B, 1st Battalion, 5th Marines in Quang Nam Province, Vietnam. It was the fifth frigate to be named after a Marine. The other four were the USS Lewis B. Puller (FFG 23), USS Nicholas (FFG 47), USS Vandegrift (FFG 48), and USS Elrod (FFG 55).
 
21 May - The Marine Corps decided to procure 12 Mobile Electronic Warfare Support Systems (MEWSS) that would provide the capability of detecting, locating, and degrading enemy tactical AM and FM radio communications in the VHF and UHF spectrums. MEWSS was an integration of existing electronic warfare (EW) systems in a light armored vehicle derivative which would provide for rapid displacement of EW assets over all types of terrain.
 
22 May - This date marked the 75th anniversary of Marine Corps aviation. On 22 May 1912, First Lieutenant Alfred A. Cunningham reported to the Navy's aviation camp at Annapolis for flight instruction. Cunningham was the first Marine Corps aviator and led the 1st Marine Aviation Force in France during World War I. A major traveling exhibition of aviation art, "75 Years of Marine Corps Aviation © A Tribute," assembled by the Marine Corps Museum, Washington, D.C., illustrated events and aircraft from 1912 to the 1980s.
 
29 May - A production contract was signed with Litton Industries for delivery of Tactical Air Operations Modules (TAOM) to the Marine Corps and the Air Force. This semi-automated system replaced the major components of the Tactical Air Operations Center (TAOC) fielded in the early sixties. The modular design of the TAOM would dramatically reduce time to emplace and displace, enhancing survivability on the modern day battlefield. The TAOM would also provide the essential combat capability to command and control assigned airspace and air defense weapons, both interceptors and surface-to-air defense missiles, to meet the postulated threat of the 1990s. The Marine Corps planned to procure 48 TAOMs. 
 
____ June - The "Silver Eagles" of Marine Fighter Attack (VMFA) Squadron 115 made aviation history when their F/A-18 "Hornets" arrived in Iwakuni, Japan, under the Marine Corps Unit Deployment Program. The arrival of VMFA-115, home based at Beaufort, South Carolina, marked the introduction of the F/A-18s into the six month rotation cycle, replacing the last F-4 "Phantom" squadron, VMFA-212, to participate in the program. 
 
___ June - A joint Navy-Marine document providing general guidance to commanders and staffs involved in the planning and execution of Maritime Prepositioning Force (MPF) Operations was published. Operational Handbook 7-6, Maritime Prepositioning Force Operations (Tactical Memorandum PZ.0022-1-87) addressed the characteristics, scope, planning, and execution of MPF operations to include the responsibilities of commanders, MPF organization, and terminology.

___ June - The Marine Corps began accepting delivery of the TOW IIA antiarmor missiles from Hughes Aircraft Company. Designed to defeat enemy reactive armor by adding a precursor warhead to the probe of a standard TOW II missile, the warhead would strip reactive armor upon detonation, allowing the main warhead's shaped charge to penetrate the remaining armor. The Marine Corps would continue receiving TOW IIAs through FY91 at which time the upgraded missile would comprise about 25 percent of the Corps' TOW missile inventory.
 
3 June - Marines and sailors were authorized to wear the new Navy/Marine Corps Overseas Service Ribbon. Approved by the Secretary of the Navy, the ribbon was for Marines who served 12 months, either consecutive or accumulated, in a non-deployable billet outside the United States. It was retroactive from August 1974.
 
8 June - The 5th Marines celebrated its 70th anniversary during ceremonies at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, California. Originally activated as the 5th Regiment of Marines on 8 June 1917, during World War I, the regiment was among the first American forces to fight in Europe. During World War II, the 5th Marines fought throughout the Pacific theater, including Guadalcanal and Okinawa. The Korean War saw the 5th Marines at Inchon and the Chosin Reservoir. In Vietnam, elements of the highly decorated regiment participated in the battle for Hue.
 
10 June - A detachment from the 2d Marine Division sailed with a task force of U.S. Navy ships from their East Coast homeports to mark the beginning of UNITAS XXVIII, an annual series of exercises. The mission of the five month cruise through Caribbean, South American, and West African waters was to promote hemispheric solidarity and foster goodwill and military professionalism among participating countries. 
 
13 - 27 June - More than 2,800 Marine Corps and Navy Reservists participated in CAX 7-87, a Reserve Combined Arms Exercise that tested Reservists' skills learned throughout the year at their home drill sites. Reservists from across the country were under the Command of Colonel Merlyn A. Sexton, commanding officer of the 25th Marines, Worcester, Massachusetts, for the live-fire exercise held in the Southern Mojave Desert. 
 
14 June - The first Biennial Maintenance Cycle (BMC) for equipment and supplies of the 6th Marine Amphibious Brigade loaded on board the four ships of Maritime Prepositioning Ships Squadron 1 was completed. The BMC period began during October 1986 with the PFC Eugene A. Obregon and completed with the backloading and sailing of the Maj Stephen W. Pless.
 
14 June - Marine Corps and Japanese veterans of the Battle of Okinawa returned to the island to jointly dedicate a memorial honoring those who died during the final battle of World War II. The 25-foot tall, triangular granite monument was designed to honor American servicemen, Japanese soldiers, and the civilians who perished in the battle. A time capsule containing memorabilia from the Okinawa battle is located at the base of the monument.
 
15 June - The Marine Corps Intermediate Weight Jacket for men, better known as the "tanker" jacket, was approved after a month-long wear test. The Permanent Marine Corps Uniform Board had Marines in 11 locations test 70 jackets for four to six weeks. The coat was designed to be worn with Service "B" and "C" uniforms or with the service sweater.
 
17 June - Two literary awards and a distinguished service award, sponsored by the Marine Corps Historical Foundation, were presented during an awards luncheon at the Washington Navy Yard Officers Club, Washington, D.C. The Colonel Robert D. Heinl Award in Marine Corps History went to Lieutenant Colonel Merrill L. Bartlett for his essay "Old Gimlet Eye," published in the November 1986 Proceedings. The General Roy S. Geiger Award, for the best aviation article published in the Marine Corps Gazette, was awarded to Colonel John L. Adkinson for his article "Who Were Those Guys? The Playboys," which appeared in the May 1986 issue. The Foundation's first Distinguished Service Award was presented to noted photographer David Douglas Duncan.
 
19 June - Landing Craft Air Cushions (LCACs), homeported at Camp Pendleton, California, embarked on board the USS Germantown (LSD 42), a specially designed dock landing ship. The LCACs were from Assault Craft Unit 5 and they joined the 13th Marine Amphibious Unit (MAU) for a six-month cruise. It marked the first time that LCACs were deployed to the Western Pacific. The craft and their crews demonstrated their increased amphibious capabilities.

24 June - The 7th Marine Amphibious Brigade took part in the Biennial Maintenance Cycle (BMC) of Maritime Prepositioning Ships (MPS) Squadron 2 with the arrival of 1stLt Alex Bonneyman at Blount Island, Florida. It was the first of five ships in MPS-2 to have its BMC performed. The BMC period was scheduled to last until May 1988.
 
24 June - Major General Hollis E. Davison assumed command of the 4th Marine Division, replacing Major David B. Barker, who was retiring.
 
26 June - Sergeant Major David W. Sommers assumed the post of Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps, replacing Sergeant Major Robert E. Cleary. The 11th Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps was selected for the Corps' highest enlisted post after he became director of the Staff Noncommissioned Officers (SNCO) Academy at Quantico, Virginia. His assumption of the SNCO Academy post marked the first time an enlisted Marine was designated for the director's position. Sergeant Major Sommers previously served as sergeant major of the 2d Marine Division and The Basic School.
 
26 June - The Commandant of the Marine Corps approved the naming of Building 33615, 33 Area, Camp Pendleton, California, in honor of Private First Class Eugene A. Obregon, who was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for heroism while serving with Company G, 3d Battalion, 5th Marines, 1st Marine Division during September 1950 in the Korean War.
 
26 June - The naming of the new recruit training facility at Marine Corps Recruit Depot/Western Recruiting Region, San Diego, California, in honor of Private First Class Robert C. Burke, was approved by the Commandant of the Marine Corps. Private First Class Burke was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for heroism, while serving with Company I, 3d Battalion, 26th Marines, 1st Marine Division, during May 1968 in the Vietnam War.
 
26 June - The first Marine Corps AV-8B Harrier II aircraft with night attack capability made its maiden flight from St. Louis. The new capability would allow the Marine Corps to provide around-the-clock air support for ground troops. All production AV-8Bs would be equipped with the night attack features beginning in September 1989. A vertical/short takeoff and landing jet, the AV-8B was built by McDonnell Douglas in St. Louis. Four tactical squadrons and one training squadron used the aircraft.
 
28 June - Before an estimated audience of 4,000 Marines and guests, including special guest and keynote speaker, Vice President George Bush, General Alfred M. Gray, Jr., received the official battle color of the Marine Corps and became the Corps' 29th Commandant of the Marine Corps. He relieved General Paul X. Kelley. The ceremonies were conducted at the historic Marine Barracks in Washington, D.C. The evening's ceremony honored General Kelley who retired after a career spanning 37 years. General Gray assumed command on 1 July.
 
29 June - Sergeant Major Domenick A. Irrera, one of the last active duty Marines to have served in World War II, retired after a 41-year military career. A Philadelphia native, Sergeant Major Irrera enlisted in the Marine Corps in 1943 and saw combat in the Pacific. After the war, he left the service to become a professional lightweight boxer. He returned to active duty during the Korean War. Although he did not reach the Korean battlefields, he served a duty tour in Vietnam. His retirement ceremony was marked by the presence of newly appointed Marine Commandant, General Alfred M. Gray, and the presentation of a Legion of Merit from President Ronald Reagan.
 
30 June - Headquarters, 27th Marines, located at Twentynine Palms, California, retired its colors. The deactivation of the regimental headquarters enabled the Marine Corps to return to its traditional nine active duty infantry regiments. The 27th Marines was first activated in January 1944 and distinguished itself in the battle of Iwo Jima. At the end of World War II, the regiment was deactivated. The colors were again unfurled in June 1966 in preparation for combat in Vietnam. Returning to Camp Pendleton, California, in September 1968, the unit was deactivated during October 1969. During December 1981, the regimental headquarters reactivated as the headquarters for the ground combat element of the 7th Marine Amphibious Brigade. During this period, the 27th Marines was the only permanently organized mechanized combined arms task force regiment in the Marine Corps. 

30 June - The mid-year strength of the U.S. Armed Forces was 2,150,816, of whom 198,555 were Marines.
___July - Upon recommendation from the Commandant of the Marine Corps, the Secretary of the Navy decided to terminate the development of the Marine Integrated Fire and Air Support System (MIFASS), a Marine Corps program designed to automate the coordination and control of supporting arms. MIFASS was to provide for coordination and integration of mortars, artillery, naval gunfire, and direct air support in order to achieve more effective and responsive fire support for ground maneuver forces. The Marine Corps would continue to study other solutions to meet its supporting arms requirements. 

____ July - The Naval Sea Systems Command awarded contracts to Textron Marine Systems and Lockhead Corporation for 17 air cushion landing craft (LCACs). As part of the duel procurement strategy, Textron Marine would build 10 craft and Lockhead would build seven. A total of 90 LCACs were scheduled to be built by the early 1990s.
7 - 25 July - Lieutenant Colonel Oliver L. North testified before a Congressional committee investigating the Iran contra affair involving the use of profits from the Iran arms sales to help the rebels in Nicaragua. Lieutenant Colonel North served on the White House National Security Council Staff. A nationally televised investigation into his activities and the Reagan Administration's policies on Iran and Nicaragua was conducted on Capital Hill.

8 July - The 15th Marine Amphibious Unit (MAU), a new permanent Marine air-ground task force (MAGTF), was activated at Camp Pendleton, California, with Colonel Marvin T. Hopgood, Jr., as its first commander. The unit joined the 11th and 13th MAUs that made up the Marine Corps combat forces afloat in the Western Pacific. The new unit raised the number of permanent MAGTF command groups to a total of 15.

16 July - On this date, 30 years ago, Major John H. Glenn, Jr., completed the first non-stop supersonic coast-to-coast flight in an F8U-1 "Crusader." The flight, from Los Alamitos Naval Air Station, California, to Floyd Bennett Field, New York, took 3 hours, 23 minutes, and 8.1 seconds. He was awarded a Distinguished Flying Cross for this feat, his fifth such award. 

17 - 21 July - The Marine Corps Pistol Team, based at Quantico, Virginia, competed in the National Pistol Competition at Camp Perry, Ohio. In the Team Match Competition, the Marine Corps team placed third. Master Sergeant Ricardo Rodriquez won the President's 100 Match and received the McMillan Trophy. Sergeant Roxane Conrad scored more points than any other active duty Marine in the National Trophy Individual Match. The matches were sponsored by the National Rifle Association.
 
18 July - The Marine Corps approved the production of the first phase of Generation II, a product improvement of the M47 "Dragon" antitank system. It would provide an 85 percent increase in penetration over the previous system and a redesigned fuze to enhance safety. The product improvement would require no retraining of Marines.

18 July - 2 August - For the first time, active duty and reserve forces were integrated at the Marine Amphibious Brigade (MAB) level to test the Marine Corps' "total force" concept in Exercise Solar Flare. Nearly 8,000 active duty Marines from the 4th MAB and 7,000 reserve Marines from the 2d MAB engaged in a force-on-force field training exercise in free-play maneuver warfare at
Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. 

18 – 21 July - Gunnery Sergeant Dana Dennis set a new interservice record in the 600-Yard Match during the 26th Annual Interservice Rifle Championship Matches at Quantico, Virginia. More than 290 military shooters throughout the U.S. competed individually and with teams during the week-long match. Teams from the Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force, as well as their respective Reserve components, and the National Guard, competed.
 
20 July - 15 September - Exercise Bright Star '87 brought the I Marine Amphibious Force, the 24th Marine Amphibious Unit, and Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 314 together with the Egyptian 10th Mechanized Infantry Brigade for an international demonstration of combined air, sea, and land power. The U.S. Central Command exercise, held in Egypt, included an amphibious landing and cross-training between armed forces of two countries.

27 July - The first international tribute to the United Nations forces in Korea and a dedication of a memorial meditation bench in honor of Americans who gave their lives during the Korean War was held at Arlington National Cemetery. Sponsored by No Greater Love and the Korean War Veterans Association, Marine Medal of Honor recipient of the Korean War, Colonel Carl L. Sitter, was the master of ceremonies.

27 July - Brigadier General Michael P. Sullivan became Commanding General of the 2d Marine Aircraft Wing, Fleet Marine Force Atlantic, located at Marine Corps Air Station, Cherry Point, North Carolina. General Sullivan replaced Major General John R. Dailey, who became Commandant of the Armed Forces Staff College, Norfolk, Virginia.

28 July - In a small ceremony, the last Marine Corps F-4 squadron in the continental United States bid farewell to its "Phantoms." Marines of Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 312 at Marine Corps Air Station, Beaufort, South Carolina, witnessed the departure of their last four "Phantoms" as they flew to Davis Air Force Base for retirement. The last trip added the final flight hours to more than 700,000 accumulated by Beaufort F-4s.

30 July - ALMAR 162/87 stated that insignia of grade would no longer be worn on the utility cap by Marines and Navy personnel serving with Marine Corps units.
___ August - By direction of the Commandant, planners at Headquarters Marine Corps put into motion a program to introduce an assault gun to the Fleet by FY90. In developing new program alternatives, planners expected the Marine Corps to follow Army requirements that would call for a 105mm gun that fires existing NATO ammunition. A Marine Corps requirement was that the vehicle be capable of swimming on the surface for river-crossing operations.

4 August - Six months after the bow and stern sections of the USS Wasp (LHD 1) were joined, the Navy/Marine Corps' newest amphibious assault ship was launched in Pascagoula, Mississippi, home of the ship's builder, Ingalls Division of Litton. To get the ship to water for its launching, Ingalls' shipbuilders rolled the 27,600-ton Wasp over land 276 feet, breaking the world's tonnage record for moving manmade objects. The ship would be christened in September 1987.

4 - 11 August - A milestone was achieved in the Maritime Prepositioning Ships (MPS) Program when two of the MPS ships were off-loaded in-stream simultaneously for the first time in Exercise Freedom Banner '87 that was held in the Philippines. The flagship of MPS Squadron 2, the Pvt Harry Fisher and the Pvt William B. Baugh sailed from Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean to link up with l,300 Marines and sailors of the 7th Marine Amphibious Brigade that were airlifted from California for the exercise.

12 August - Two pilots were killed when a TAV-8A "Harrier" training jet they were flying crashed in a field near Bayboro, North Carolina. The TAV-8A from Marine Attack Training Squadron 203, stationed at Marine Corps Air Station, Cherry Point, was on a routine training flight when the accident occurred.

13 August - The Secretary of Defense announced that President Reagan nominated Major General William G. Carson, Jr., for appointment to the grade of lieutenant general and assignment as Deputy Chief of Staff for Installations and Logistics and Quartermaster General of the Marine Corps; and Major General John I. Hudson for appointment to the grade of lieutenant general and assignment as Deputy Chief of Staff for Manpower, Headquarters, Marine Corps.
 
13 August - The Marine Corps established a required operational capability for a lightweight early warning detection device (LEWDD). The LEWDD would provide low altitude air defense (LAAD) section leaders with a capability to alert and cue LAAD gunners to maximize the utility and effectiveness of their surface-to-air weapons. It would be able to detect fixed and rotary wing aircraft out to 20 kilometers and would enable LAAD gunners to receive timely alerting information on hostile aircraft during day and night operations under all weather conditions.
 
13 August - The Marine Corps' first adversary squadron had its official stand up ceremony at Marine Corps Air Station, Yuma, Arizona. Equipped with the Israeli-built F-21A "Kfir" aircraft, Marine Fighter Training Squadron 401 would provide instruction to active and reserve Marines through the simulation of adversary aerial tactics. General Alfred M. Gray, Commandant of the Marine Corps, was on hand to inaugurate the Corps' first aggressor squadron in Yuma and also celebrated the air stations' 25th anniversary.
 
18 August - The Commandant of the Marine Corps approved the commemorative naming of the athletic field within the Courthouse Bay area of Marine Corps Base, Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, in honor of Major Henry C. Drewes, USMCR. The major served as the Commanding Officer of the 2d Amphibian Tractor Battalion from March 1942 to November 1943, when he was killed in action during the assault on Tarawa Atoll. Major Drewes was 
posthumously awarded the Silver Star for heroism in leading the battalion during the assault.
 
18 August - The commemorative naming of the new headquarters of the 7th Motor Transport Battalion, Camp Pendleton, California, in honor of Marine Sergeant Major Frank W. Jones, was approved by the Commandant of the Marine Corps. Sergeant Major Jones served as the battalion Sergeant Major of the 7th Motor Transport Battalion during a period in which he was diagnosed as having terminal cancer. His unyielding spirit and devotion to duty during a time of great personal hardship served as an inspiration to all Marines who had the privilege to work with him.
 
19 August - The Marine Corps awarded the Fleet Marine Force-End User Computing Equipment (FMF-EUCE) contract to C3, Incorporated of Herndon, Virginia. The contract would provide up to 13,335 field-deployable microcomputers, associated peripherals, software, and maintenance. The FMF-EUCE devices would be used to support the developing Marine Corps Information Systems in the areas of personnel, pay, supply, budgeting, logistics, and accounting.

21 August - A Marine once again became the "Gray Eagle," the Navy Department's senior aviator by date of aviation designation. Lieutenant General Frank E. Petersen, Commanding General of the Marine Corps Development and Education Command, Quantico, Virginia, assumed the title when Navy Vice Admiral James E. Service retired. As the general's October 1952 designation superseded all other Armed Forces aviators, he also became the senior aviator in the Department of Defense. The Gray Eagle Trophy award, sponsored by the Vought Corporation, was started in 1960 and is passed on to honor the senior Naval Aviator still on active duty.
 
24 August - Court martial proceedings against Sergeant Clayton J. Lonetree concluded when an eight member panel of Marine Corps officers found Lonetree guilty of 13 charges of espionage, conspiracy to commit espionage, failure to report contacts, and disclosing identities of covert government agents while serving as an embassy guard in Moscow and Vienna. Lonetree was sentenced to 30 years confinement, forfeited all pay and allowances, reduced to the rank of private, and fined $5,000. He became the first Marine to be convicted of espionage in the Corps' 212-year history.
 
26 August - Navy Secretary James H. Webb announced that a new Aegis guided-missile cruiser would become the first Navy combat ship to carry the name of a Vietnam War battle. The USS Hue City will be named for the battle to retake the old Imperial capital from the North Vietnamese during the Tet Offensive in 1968. U.S. Marines and Army troops together with South Vietnamese soldiers and Marines fought for more than a month to retake the city.
 
28 August - Major General Gene A. Deegan assumed command as Commanding General, Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center/Commanding General, 7th Marine Amphibious Brigade, replacing Major General Ernest T. Cook, Jr.

28 August - The Secretary of Defense announced that President Reagan nominated Major General Ernest T. Cook, Jr. for appointment to the grade of lieutenant general and assignment as Commanding General, Fleet Marine Force Atlantic/II Marine Amphibious Force/Fleet Marine Force Europe (Designate). General Cook replaced Major General Clayton L. Comfort, who was retiring.

___ September - The Marine Corps published a history of its operations on Grenada, U.S. Marines in Grenada, 1983, a 43-page brief account of the Marines' part in the intervention in October 1983. Based in part upon real-time interviews with members of the 22d Marine Amphibious Unit, which landed on the island, and illustrated with combat art, the history was distributed to Marine Corps units, institutional libraries, and sold to the general public by the Government Printing Office.

___ September - The Marine Corps accepted delivery of the first antitank variant of the light armored vehicle, with 95 more LAV(AT)s to follow. Armed with TOW II missiles for primary missions and an M60 7.62mm machine gun for self defense, the LAV(AT) had two missiles ready for firing when operating and 14 missiles stowed. The vehicle also had two M257 smoke grenade launchers that were controlled from the commander's station.
 
1 September - The Marine Corps approved a limited initial production of 15 rigid raiding craft (RRC) with twin 70 horsepower motors. The RRCs would be used to transport up to Marine company-sized raids outside cruise missile range to the shore with minimal signature. The boat would allow amphibious raids under conditions that precluded helicopter insertion or employment of amphibious vehicles.

3 September - A CH-46E "Sea Knight" helicopter from Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron 164 crashed at Camp Pendleton, California, killing all four crewmembers. The helicopter was flying a routine night training operation. This marked the second fatal accident involving a CH-46E during 1987.

3 September - The Marine Corps expendable jamming drone (EXDRONE) completed operational and developmental testing phase II at White Sands, New Mexico. EXDRONE was an air vehicle that was intended to disrupt enemy VHF communications. The lightweight, low-cost craft with an eight-foot wingspan and a ten-pound payload capacity, performed successfully. The Marine Corps planned to go to pilot production in FY 88 to refine the capabilities of the system and fully develop the concept of operations.

10 September - Major General Norman H. Smith assumed command as Commanding General, 3d Marine Division/III Marine Amphibious Force, replacing Major General Edwin J. Godfrey. 
 
11 - 16 September - More than 4,000 Marines and sailors attached to the 13th Marine Amphibious Unit and Amphibious Squadron Five participated in Exercise Valiant Usher '87, held off the coast of Western Australia. The Marine Corps and Navy joined elements of the Royal Australian forces in the execution of joint amphibious training operations. The air cushion landing craft made its debut on foreign soil in a major exercise and embarked on the USS Germantown. Also for the first time, Marine F/A-18 jets from the 1st Marine Aircraft Wing flew over Australian airspace.
 
15 September - The Marine Corps signed a production contract with Westinghouse Electric Corporation for an extended range processor for the AN/TPS-63 radar. The processor would double the acquisition range of the radar from 80 to 160 miles. The Marine Corps would procure 22 extended range processors to be fielded processors to be fielded in 1991.
 
16 September - The Marine Corps completed its second FY 87 delivery to Norway in its prepositioning program effort with the government of Norway. The 1982 bilateral agreement allowed the Marine Corps to preposition equipment and supplies to support a 13,000 Marine air-landed brigade for contingency purposes. This brought the major items of equipment to 43 percent. Initial operating capability is scheduled for the end of 1989.

17 September - "The President's Own" U. S. Marine Corps Band participated in the bicentennial of the Constitution celebration in historic Philadelphia. Reviewed by President Reagan, the Band paraded with the Silent Drill Platoon from Marine Barracks, Washington, D.C. One hundred years earlier, John Philip Sousa's Marine Corps Band paraded through the city in honor of the Constitution's centennial celebration. 
 
21 September - The first F/A-18C, the new single seat version of McDonnell Douglas' strike fighter, arrived at Naval Air Test Center, Patuxent River, Maryland, for extensive testing. The newest "Hornet" protected itself with the latest airborne self-protection jammer and was capable of firing both the advanced medium range air-to-air missile and the infrared imaging Maverick air-to-ground missile.
 
23 September - The 4th Light Armored Vehicle Battalion activated. The new reserve unit consisted of Headquarters and Service Company and Company 
A, both at Camp Pendleton, California, and Company B at Fort Detrick, Maryland.

25 September - The Commandant of the Marine Corps selected Captain Paul E. Lefebvre as the 1987 recipient of the Leftwich Trophy for outstanding leadership by a Marine captain serving with ground forces in the Fleet Marine Force. Captain Lefebvre served with 2d Battalion, 9th Marines.
 
28 September - The Commandant of the Marine Corps approved the commemorative naming of a housing area at Marine Corps Logistics Base, Albany, Georgia, in honor of First Lieutenant John N. Boyett who was attached to the 1st Battalion, 8th Marines, 24th Marine Amphibious Unit, when he was killed in action in the 23 October 1983 terrorist explosion of the battalion landing team headquarters in Beirut, Lebanon.
 
28 September - The commemorative naming of the Camp Barrett Medical/Dental Clinic at Marine Corps Development and Education Command, Quantico, Virginia, in honor of Hospital Corpsman Second Class David R. Ray, USN, was approved by the Commandant of the Marine Corps. Hospital Corpsman Second Class Ray was attached to Battery D, 2d Battalion, 11th Marines, when he was killed in action on 19 March 1969 near An Hoa, Quang Nam Province, Republic of Vietnam. He was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for heroism in sacrificing his own life to save the life of a Marine comrade.

29 September - ALMAR 137/87 stated that the Secretary of Defense approved the payment of imminent danger pay (IDP) to personnel on duty in the Arabian Gulf area and the countries of Bahrain and Kuwait, including the airspace over each area. The Arabian Gulf area included the Arabian Gulf (Persian Gulf), the Strait of Hormuz, and the part of the Gulf of Oman which lies north of 25 degrees north latitude and west of 057-30 degrees east longitude. The $110 per month IDP went into effect on 25 August.
 
___ October - The Marine Corps published a history of its deployments to Lebanon, U.S. Marines in Lebanon, 1982-1984, a 196-page account of the participation of the 22d and 24th Marine Amphibious Units in the multinational peacekeeping force to assist the Government of Lebanon in achieving stability. The illustrated history was based in part on numerous interviews with Marines and commanding officers of the Marine units deployed to Lebanon. It was distributed to Marine Corps institutional libraries, and sold to the general public by the Government Printing Office.
 
___ October - Renovation of The Commandant's House at 801 G Street, Washington, D.C. began. Since its construction in 1806, the house has been the official residence of all but two Commandants of the Marine Corps, Major Samuel Nicholas and Lieutenant Colonel William W. Burrows. An in-depth inspection of structural, architectural, mechanical, and landscaping deficiencies was conducted in 1985. As a result of this inspection, a five-year refurbishment plan was developed. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, it is the oldest public building still in continuous use in the Nation's capital.
 
1 October - The Installations and Logistics Department at Headquarters Marine Corps was reorganized to strengthen and consolidate planning, policy, requirements, and acquisitions functions and better facilitate accomplishment of other combat service support missions. The reorganization plan was rooted in the Defense Reorganization Act of 1986 and reflects initiatives begun during the summer by the Commandant, General Alfred M. Gray.
 
1 October - The last active duty A-4 replacement aircrew training squadron, Marine Attack Training Squadron 102, deactivated. In 18 years of operation, the "Fighting Skyhawks" attained more than 136,000 flight hours. The squadron would be replaced by Marine Aircraft Group 49, Detachment B and the AV-8B aircraft.

1 October - Major General Louis H. Buehl III was promoted to the grade of lieutenant general. Replacing Lieutenant General Clyde D. Dean, who retired on this day, General Buehl was assigned as Chief of Staff, Headquarters, U.S. Marine Corps.

1 October - Major General Edwin J. Godfrey was promoted to the grade of lieutenant general and was assigned as Commanding General, Fleet Marine Force, Pacific, replacing Lieutenant General D'Wayne Gray who retired on the same day.

2 October - The last active duty Marine to have served in World War II retired after a 35-year military career. Chief Warrant Officer Charles B. Russell, 62, joined the Marine Corps in 1943. He participated in battles for Peleliu and Okinawa and was discharged after the war. In 1954, he returned to the Corps and later served in Vietnam.

4 October - A UH-1N helicopter from Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron 263 crashed in the Persian Gulf. Based on the USS Guadalcanal, the helicopter was on a routine night patrol when the crash occurred. Three Marine crewmembers were rescued, but the pilot was unaccounted for and presumed dead. The Guadalcanal, a helicopter and troop transport ship used in amphibious assaults, was one of five ships sent to the Persian Gulf to operate with the task force protecting oil tankers there.

6 October - Major General Donald E. P. Miller assumed command as Commanding General, 3d Marine Aircraft Wing/Deputy Commander, III Marine Amphibious Force.

9 October - Marine Barracks, Portsmouth, New Hampshire, deactivated after 174 years of continuous service. The Marine Corps' second oldest barracks, activated 24 October 1813, was disestablished due to security force reorganization. Future security of the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard would be handled by the Navy.
 
15 October - ALMAR 238/87 stated that the Plans and Program Section, Security Branch within the Operations Division of the Plans, Policies and Operations Department at Headquarters, U.S. Marine Corps was reorganized. Effective 1 August, it was changed to the Marine Security Guard Section and assumed staff cognizance for Marine security guard matters. The Marine Corps Security Forces Section would continue to handle matters on security forces, Marine barracks, and Marine detachments afloat.
 
15 October - The Commandant of the Marine Corps approved the commemorative naming of Building 460 at Marine Corps Base, Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, in honor of Lieutenant Weedon C. Osborne, USN. A U.S. Navy dentist in World War I, Lieutenant Weedon was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for heroism during the Belleau Wood campaign in June 1918, while attached to the 6th Regiment, U.S. Marines.
 
15 October - The Deputy Chief of Staff for Reserve Affairs, Major General Jacob W. Moore, joined a panel of Military Reserve Chiefs to testify before the Subcommittee on Education, Training, and Employment during a legislative hearing on the Montgomery GI Bill. The hearing was initiated in an effort to gather data on the effectiveness of the new bill. Representatives from the Veterans Administration, the Department of Defense, as well as a panel of Military personnel chiefs were also present to testify before the subcommittee.

15 October - Major General William C. Groeniger III, USMCR, former Deputy Chief of Staff for Reserve Affairs (Mobilization Designee) and ranking Marine Corps Reserve general officer, retired from the Marine Corps Reserve.

15 - 18 October - The 1987 Marine Corps Aviation Association awards were presented at the association's convention in Anaheim, California. Lieutenant Colonel Stephen D. Haley of Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron 261 was named Aviator of the Year and the recipient of the Alfred A. Cunningham Award. Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 115 received the Robert M. Hanson Award for the fighter squadron of the year. The Lawson H. M. Sanderson Award for the attack squadron of the year went to Marine Attack Squadron 214. The helicopter squadron of the year was won by Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron 261.

20 October - Marine Corps officials confirmed that convicted spy Clayton J. Lonetree's 30-year sentence was reduced by five years in exchange for cooperation with U.S. counterintelligence agents. He was also granted immunity from further prosecution by the commander of the Quantico Marine base, where he had been incarcerated for more than nine months.

26 October - The Commandant of the Marine Corps approved the commemorative naming of 12 streets at Marine Corps Air Station, Tustin, California, in honor of 12 officer and enlisted Marines who died during the Vietnam War while attached to aviation units.

26 October - Marines replaced civilian guards at the three gates to the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland. Although civilians manned the gates since 1898, Marines were previously at the gates until they were called to duty in the Spanish-American War.
 
28 October - ALMAR 245/87 stated that as of this date "Anchors Aweigh" would be played immediately prior to the "Marine Corps Hymn" at all parades and ceremonies. The directive was issued by General Alfred M. Gray, Commandant of the Marine Corps. As Marines and sailors have served, fought, and died side by side for 212 years, the action reflects this brotherhood in arms.
 
30 October - Major General Orlo K. Steele assumed duty as Commanding General, 2d Marine Division/Deputy Commander, II Marine Amphibious Force.

____ November - The Marine Corps published a 181-page regimental history, A Brief History of the 6th Marines. The author, retired Lieutenant General William K. Jones, served with the regiment from 1940-45, rising from the rank of second lieutenant to lieutenant colonel. General Jones based his history on official records, published sources, personal recollections, and input from a number of other veterans. This volume, in addition to being distributed to Marine Corps units and institutional libraries, was sold to the public by the Government Printing Office.

___ November - A History of Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 323 was published by the Marine Corps. It consisted of a 61-page account of the squadron's activities from its commissioning in 1943 through the Okinawa campaign of World War II, three years of combat in Korea, three tours of duty in Vietnam, and a number of significant accomplishments during the 1970s and 1980s. Based on the squadron's command diaries, personal papers, and recollections of Marines involved, the history was distributed to Marine Corps units and institutional libraries, and sold to the public by the Government Printing Office.

____ November - Survivors of the Chosin Reservoir campaign in the Korean War (November-December 1950), "The Chosin Few," began a project to erect the first international Korean War memorial in the U.S. Dr. Felix DeWeldon, sculptor of the famous Iwo Jima flag-raising scene, designed the 40-feet-high, 1,800-ton monument. Featuring Asians for the first time on a U.S. battle monument, the scene depicts 15 Allied soldiers in a Chosin Reservoir battle. The monument would stand overlooking the Pacific Ocean near the Korean Friendship Bell in Angels Gate Park, California, the last U.S. territory seen by American soldiers before going to war.

____ November - The Marine Corps was in the process of acquiring 17 Marine Air Traffic Control and Landing Systems (MATCALS) to provide fully automated, all-weather, air traffic control at expeditionary airfields. The MATCALS would be operated by the Marine air traffic control squadrons in each air wing. The systems consisted of three major subsystems: an ANTPN-22 approach radar built by ITT, an AN/TSQ-131 control and communications subsystem, and an AN/TPS-73 airport surveillance radar. The new technology, superior to that in the previous 1950-vintage equipment, would permit increased sorties rates and improved reliability and safety of flight under all weather conditions.

8 November - Jeff Scuffins, a 25-year-old Hagerstown, Maryland, resident, won the 12th Annual Marine Corps Marathon in Washington, D.C. He set a new Marine Corps Marathon record of 2:14:01. In the women's division, Mary Robertson of Richmond, Virginia, took first place honors with a time of 2:44:36. More than 12,000 runners participated in what was considered the largest amateur race in the U.S. The event was featured on a three-hour live television broadcast for the first time in its 12-year history by Fox's WTTG, Channel 5, Washington, D.C.

10 November - Marines throughout the world celebrated the 212th 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 said, "it is more than just the anniversary of our beloved Corps. It is a celebration to commemorate the many achievements of our proud forefathers and to rededicate ourselves to the honor and privilege of bearing the title, "United States Marine."
 
10 November - The Marine Corps established the Marine Corps Combat Development Command (MCCDC) at Quantico, Virginia, to increase the Corps' efficiency in training, education, planning, material requirements identification and concept, and doctrinal development. MCCDC combined the former Marine Corps Development and Education Command with several Headquarters Marine Corps elements to ensure standardized doctrine and training throughout the Marine Corps. It would include five centers responsible for air, ground, and logistics warfare; training and education; intelligence; wargaming and assessment; and information technology.
 
10 November - A new $800,000 Marine Corps Museum opened at Marine Corps Recruit Depot, San Diego, California. The museum holds artifacts, uniforms, and memorabilia from 141 years of Marine Corps history in San Diego. The museum is a regional, rather than national, reflection of Marine Corps history, dating back to 1846 when Marines were first at San Diego.

10 November - Marine Helicopter Training (HMT) Squadron 302 reactivated at Marine Corps Air Station, Tustin, California, and was assigned to Marine Aircraft Group 16. HMT-204 and HMT-301 were reorganized by splitting off assigned CH-53A and CH-53E aircraft with associated personnel and support. The split-off CH-53 assets formed HMT-302.
 
15 November - The National Security Task Force formed in April 1987 and consisting of approximately 24 persons (Judge Advocate and legal support personnel) concluded its operations at Marine Corps Combat Development Center, Quantico, Virginia, and was disbanded. The Task Force was a Marine Corps organization formed to handle the Sergeant Lonetree court martial and other national security cases resulting from the Marine Security Guards at the American Embassy, Moscow.

16 November - An F/A-18 "Hornet" fighter bomber attached to Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 531 at El Toro, California, crashed in the Pacific Ocean after its pilot bailed out to safety. The single-seat fighter was on a training mission near San Clemente Island when the crash occurred.

18 November - The Marine Corps restructured the process and organization for combat systems acquisition to form the Marine Corps Research, Development, and Acquisition Command (MCRDAC). It was organized to streamline the acquisition process, make it more responsive to the operational forces, and to comply with Department of Defense and Department of the Navy initiatives. The time it would take to translate a requirement into a development effort would be shortened to ensure that technology advances are not encumbered by a lengthy staffing and review process. MCRDAC integrated the major portion of the Development Center at Quantico, Virginia, with the majority of the current Headquarters Marine Corps staff of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Research, Development and Studies and the Acquisition Division of the Deputy Chief of Staff of Installations and Logistics.

20 November - The Tarawa Memorial was dedicated at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. On the 44th anniversary of the landing by the 2d Marine Division on the Pacific island of Betio in the Tarawa atoll, the memorial honors the men who died there. General Alfred M. Gray, Commandant of the Marine Corps, and retired Major General Michael P. Ryan, who landed on Betio as a company commander, were the keynote speakers. The nine-foot monument is made of Georgia blue granite and has two bronze plaques attached.
 
22 November - A CH-46E "Sea Knight" helicopter from Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron 164 crashed into the USS Peleliu 20 miles off the coast of California. Based at Tustin, California, the squadron was participating in joint Navy-Marine Corps wargames when the helicopter crashed on the deck of the amphibious assault ship. One Marine was killed and 25 other servicemen were injured.

30 November - ALMAR 280/87 stated that basic warrior training for all Marines would be implemented early next year at Marine Corps recruit depots. In addition to the basic field indoctrination provided by the Parris Island and San Diego depots, all recruits would receive training in the individual skills required to function in a combat situation. This action would mark an initial phase in an overall effort to increase the combat effectiveness of the Corps.

___ December - Forty years ago, the first Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program was conceived. Founded by Colonel William Hendricks along with Colonel Charles E. Shepherd, Jr., and Major John Hamilton, the program began as an annual event in Los Angeles to aid orphaned children in World War II. The community project has been spearheaded by Marines in 180 cities who collect new toys for children who might otherwise do without at Christmas time. The program has developed into a nationwide campaign complete with benefit concerts, sporting events, corporate involvement, and massive celebrity support. Veteran entertainer, Bob Hope, chaired the 1987 Toys for Tots Program.

1 December - This date marked the 40th anniversary of Marine Helicopter Squadron (HMX) 1. Best known for providing transportation support for the president and other dignitaries, HMX-1 has also played a key role in the development, testing, and evaluation of Marine Corps helicopters and related principles and tactics. Based at Quantico, Virginia, HMX-1 is the oldest helicopter squadron.

1 December - Marine Detachment, USS Independence (CV 62) was activated and Marine Detachment, USS Kitty Hawk (CV 63) deactivated.

8 December - Sea School, one of the oldest schools in the Marine Corps and a landmark at the San Diego Marine Corps Recruit Depot since 1923, closed its doors after graduating its last class. The only one of its kind in the Marine Corps, the school trained Marines for service with Marine detachments on board Navy ships. The primary duty of those detachments is to provide internal security for U.S. ships. The closing of the Sea School was part of a general Marine Corps reorganization. Candidates for fleet service would now be trained for shipboard security at Marine Corps Security Force Battalion, Vallejo, California.

8 December - The Commandant of the Marine Corps approved the commemorative naming of a new operations/maintenance facility, which would serve Marine Air Traffic Control Squadron 18, in honor of First Lieutenant James E. Magel, who was posthumously awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for heroism and extraordinary achievement in aerial flight with Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron 163 in the Republic of Vietnam during March 1965.

8 December - The commemorative naming of the Remotely Piloted Air Facility at the Marine Air Ground Combat Center, Twentynine Palms, California, in honor of Captain Jeb F. Seagle, was approved by the Commandant of the Marine Corps. Captain Seagle was posthumously awarded the Navy Cross for heroism while serving as an AH-1T(TOW) "Cobra" attack helicopter pilot during October 1983 with Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron 261, 22d Marine Amphibious Unit, on the island of Grenada. 
 
8 December - The Commandant of the Marine Corps approved the commemorative renaming of the Margarita Chapel at Marine Corps Base, Camp Pendleton, California, in honor of Lieutenant Vincent R. Capodanno, USNR. He was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for heroism while serving as a chaplain with the 3d Battalion, 5th Marines, 1st Marine Division, in the Republic of Vietnam during September 1967.

17 December - The commemorative naming of Building 33402 (Camp Margarita Gymnasium) in honor of Corporal Jack A. Davenport, was approved by the Commandant of the Marine Corps. Corporal Davenport was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor while serving with the 3d Battalion, 5th Marines, 1st Marine Division, in Korea during September 1951.

17 December - The Commandant of the Marine Corps approved the commemorative naming of the Marine Corps Reserve Training Center, Galveston, Texas, in honor of Colonel Clarke W. Thompson, USMCR (Deceased). A Marine Corps veteran of both World War I and World War II, Colonel Thompson also served in Congress as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives, where he served on a number of committees. He was instrumental in bringing the Marine Corps Reserve to the city of Galveston.

31 December - The strength of the U.S. Armed Forces was 2,174,724, of whom 198,437 were Marines.

1988

___ January – The Commandant of the Marine Corps, General Alfred M. Gray, convened a study group to develop a proposed balanced Fleet Marine Force total force structure for the Marine Corps. Cast in the mold of earlier study boards -- Shepherd (1946), Hunt (1950), Hogaboom (1957), and Hayes (1976) -- the force structure study group began its deliberations with the guidance that the Marine Corps must remain capable of fighting across the full spectrum of conflict.
 
___ January – By direction of the Secretary of the Navy, James H. Webb, Jr., midshipmen from the Naval Academy who desire to be commissioned as Marine officers upon graduation would successfully complete the "Bulldog" program at Officer Candidates School (OCS) at Quantico, Virginia. In the past, midshipmen commissioned as second lieutenants were sent directly to The Basic School. The OCS training would begin with the class of 1989.
 
1 January – The strength of the U.S. Armed Forces was 2,166,611, of whom 198,437 were Marines.
 
1 January – Lieutenant General Ernest C. Cheatham, Jr., retired from the Marine Corps. Lieutenant General John I. Hudson replaced him as Deputy Chief of Staff for Manpower, Headquarters, U.S.
Marine Corps.
 
10-21 January – The PFC William Baugh, the third ship of Maritime Prepositioning Ship Squadron 3, completed its initial Biennial Maintenance Cycle at Blount Island, Florida. Essential preventive maintenance for all ground and aviation prepositioned equipment was performed.
 
11 January – Retired Colonel Gregory "Pappy" Boyington, Marine Corps Medal of Honor and Navy Cross recipient and leader of the "Black Sheep" squadron, 
died of cancer in Fresno, California, at the age of 75. Colonel Boyington was best known for commanding Marine Fighting Squadron 214 in the Central Solomons during World War II. The combat fighter pilot is credited with the destruction of 28 Japanese aircraft. During the 1950s, Colonel Boyington published a best selling autobiography, Baa Baa Black Sheep, which inspired a network television series that ran in 1976-1978. Colonel Boyington was buried at Arlington National Cemetery.
 
13 January – Marine Security Guards (MSGs) providing internal security for U. S. foreign missions around the world were among those honored at the first Department of State Security Awareness Day held in Washington, D.C. Secretary George Shultz applauded the fine job done by MSGs during the past year. The State Department saluted the 140 detachments.
 
16 January – The Commandant of the Marine Corps, General Alfred M. Gray, was the principal speaker at the christening ceremony of the USS Comstock (LSD - 45) at the Avondale Shipyard, New Orleans. His wife, Jan, was the ship's sponsor. The ship was the second to be named for the Comstock Lode, an early American mining site near Virginia City, Nevada. The original was commissioned in 1945 and earned 10 battle stars for service in the Korean War, the most awarded to a ship of its type.
 
20 January – The President of the United States submitted to the Senate for confirmation the nomination of Major General Carl E. Mundy, Jr., to the grade of lieutenant general to serve as the Deputy Chief of Staff for Plans, Policies, and Operations at Headquarters, U. S. Marine Corps.
 
22 January – The Marine Corps honored its top two athletes of the year, Staff Sergeant Ausbey Alexander, a world record holder for powerlifting, and Corporal Val Bode, an Armed Forces and all-Marine volleyball and softball player, at Headquarters, U. S. Marine Corps. Lieutenant General John I. Hudson, Deputy Chief of Staff for Manpower, presented Staff Sergeant Alexander, Military Police Company, Headquarters Battalion, Camp Pendleton, with a plaque for Male Athlete of the Year. Corporal Bode, a journalist with the Joint Public Affairs Office at Camp Lejeune, was honored as the Corps' Female Athlete of the Year.
 
26 January – In ALMAR 14-99, General Alfred M. Gray, Commandant of the Marine Corps, emphasized the importance of the Competition-in-Arms Program and encouraged as many Marines as possible to participate in it. The program had traditionally provided the Marine Corps with skilled and experienced marksmen and instructors necessary to enhance combat marksmanship proficiency. It includes yearly division rifle and pistol matches.
 
27 January – About 400 Marines and sailors from the 2d Marine Division, 2d Marine Aircraft Wing, and 2d Force Service Support Group deployed for the war-torn Persian Gulf. The Contingency Marine Air-Ground Task Force (MAGTF) CM 2-88, commanded by Colonel William M. Rakow, Jr., would relieve a similar though larger (700-man) Contingency MAGTF, CM 1-88, commanded by Colonel Frank Libutti. Use of the contingency MAGTFs would provide a small but effective landing force capability to Joint Task Force Middle East without drawing down on the Marine amphibious units routinely deployed to the Mediterranean and Middle East.
 
29 January – This date marked the 20th anniversary of the 1968 Tet Offensive. In that year, a nationwide truce in celebration of the Tet Lunar New Year throughout Vietnam was shattered by the impact of North Vietnamese rocket attacks against Da Nang, Marble Mountain, and Chu Lai. The rocket attacks were followed on January 30th and 31st by enemy ground assaults against all five northern provincial capitals, but especially the cities of Da Nang and Hue.
 
1 February – Lieutenant General John Phillips retired. He served as Deputy Chief of Staff for Plans, Policies, and Operations at Headquarters, U. S. Marine Corps.
 
1 - 15 February – Exercise Kernel Blitz 88-1, a free-play exercise involving the 5th Marine Expeditionary Brigade and Amphibious Group 3, took place at Camp Pendleton, California. The Navy-Marine Corps exercise was the first major attempt to develop and execute a tactical scheme compatible with the new concepts and weapons pertinent to amphibious warfare developed in recent years.
 
2 February – Secretary of Defense Frank C. Carlucci requested that the Department of the Navy assign women Marines to the Marine Security Guard Program. In response, the Commandant of the Marine Corps, General Alfred M. Gray, recommended to the Secretary of the Navy, James H. Webb, Jr., that women Marines be assigned as watchstanders at appropriate overseas locations. The Marine Corps would be developing, in conjunction with the Department of State, an implementation plan.
 
3 February – The fourth ship of Maritime Prepositioning Ships Squadron 2, the Private Harry Fisher, started its Biennial Maintenance Cycle at Blount Island, Florida. Preventive maintenance was performed on all aviation and ground prepositioned equipment.
 
4 February – The Commandant of the Marine Corps approved the commemorative naming of the Camp Margarita Medical Clinic, Building 33305, at Marine Corps Base, Camp Pendleton, California, in honor of Hospitalman Francis C. Hammond, USN, who was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for heroism while serving with 1st Battalion, 5th Marines in Korea during 1953.
 
5 February – The Marine Corps changed the designations of Marine Air-Ground Task Forces that constitute its fighting formations. The word "amphibious" was replaced by "expeditionary." Marine Amphibious Units, Marine Amphibious Brigades, and Marine Amphibious Forces – the trademarks of the Corps for over 20 years – were redesignated as Marine Expeditionary Units, Marine Expeditionary Brigades, and Marine Expeditionary Forces. The new term signified that the Marine Corps would not be limited to amphibious operations but rather be capable of a wide spectrum of deployment and employment options.
 
8 February – The Marine Corps reorganized the communications assets of the aircraft wing to enhance the use of personnel and equipment. A Marine wing communications squadron would be equipped and organized to support simultaneously two Marine expeditionary brigades. The reorganization would increase the effectiveness of the wing's communications through optimum use of constrained resources.
 
8 - 14 February – The 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit participated in Exercise Valiant Usher in the Philippines. The exercise scenario was based on a projected situation where units conducted raid, hostage rescue, and special operation missions.
 
15 February – The first recruits to undergo the most extensive change in basic training in many years began Basic Warrior Training at Marine Corps Recruit Depot, Parris Island, South Carolina. Basic Warrior Training, a program to improve individual skills and survivability in combat, incorporated additional weapons training. The Commandant of the Marine Corps, General Alfred M. Gray, visited Parris Island on 18 February to observe the first series of recruits to go through the training.
 
15 February – Major General Joseph O. Butcher died in Indianapolis, Indiana, at the age of 75. Commissioned a second lieutenant in 1936, the general served as the editor and publisher of Leatherneck magazine, commanding officer of the Marine Corps Institute Detachment in Washington, D. C. and Assistant Quartermaster General. Before retiring in 1968, he was Commanding General of Marine Corps Base, Camp Lejeune, North Carolina.
 
15 - 23 February – Marines of the 4th Marine Expeditionary Brigade participated in Exercise Alpine Warrior-88 at Fort McCoy, Wisconsin. The cold weather training exercise was designed to enhance operational readiness and test the unit's capabilities during extreme winter conditions.
 
17 February – Lieutenant Colonel William R. Higgins, assigned to the United Nations Truce Supervision Organization (UNTSO) was abducted by pro-Iranian 
terrorists while traveling on the Lebanese coastal highway near the southern port city of Tyre. He headed one of three UNTSO detachments in the region responsible for monitoring the border between Israel and Lebanon. UNTSO is a multi-national peacekeeping organization comprised of unarmed military observers which, since its formation in 1948, has been responsible for supervising armistice agreements between Israel and neighboring Arab countries.
 
19 February – A jury of seven Marine Corps officers at Marine Corps Base, Quantico, Virginia, found Corporal Lindsey Scott not guilty after a second court-martial on charges of attempted murder, rape, sodomy, and abduction stemming from an April 1983 incident at Quantico. Scott was convicted in a 1983 court-martial and sentenced to 30 years hard labor, but the verdict was overturned in 1987. The second trial began 25 January.
 
22 February – In his final message to the fleet, Secretary of the Navy, James H. Webb, Jr., said he sent his letter of resignation to President Reagan because he could not support Navy Department budget reductions mandated by the Department of Defense. Webb, who previously served as Assistant Secretary of Defense for Reserve Affairs, said that it had been a great privilege to serve in government the last four years alongside the men and women of the American military. A decorated Vietnam Marine officer, Webb was sworn in as the 66th Secretary of the Navy on 10 April 1987. The noted author planned to return to writing.
 
24 February – The Marine Corps awarded a $20 million contract to RCA for five Technical Control and Analysis Centers (TCAC) designated the AN/TSQ-130. The TCAC would provide radio battalions with a semi-automated capability to process and report signal intelligence information and to enhance collection management efforts.
 
26 February - 11 March – Marines of the 7th Marine Expeditionary Brigade (MEB) participated in FEX 1-88 at Twentynine Palms, California, the largest field exercise ever conducted by the 7th MEB and among the biggest force-on-force exercises in recent memory. The exercise pitted the 7th MEB against the 3d Brigade, Army 7th Infantry Division (Light) and involved more than 7,700 Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps personnel. It was designed to test the combat power of the MEB in a desert environment.
 
29 February – Marine Corps Order 6100.3 redefined the Corps' attitude toward physical fitness, placing a greater emphasis on the physical conditioning needed to prepare Marines for combat. The order outlined the conditioning programs that commanders must implement, which included; physical readiness training, occupational conditioning, and competitive conditioning activities. The order also stated that commanders must require that every Marine participate in an effective physical conditioning program on a continuous and progressive basis.
 
___ March – Three Marines were named as crewmembers for NASA shuttle missions to fly in 1989. Colonel James F. Buchli and Colonel Robert C. Springer were assigned as mission specialists on shuttle mission STS-29, scheduled for launch 19 January 1989. The primary mission objective would be to deploy a third tracking and data relay satellite. Colonel Charles F. Bolden was designated the pilot for STS-31, which would feature deployment of the Hubble space telescope, targeted for launch 1 June 1989.
 
1 March – The Commandant of the Marine Corps, General Alfred M. Gray, delivered the annual Marine Corps posture statement to the Defense Sub-Committee of the House Appropriations Committee. General Gray stated that the Marine Corps would be prepared to do whatever is necessary to protect national interests around the world.
 
5 March – Lieutenant General Lewis J. Fields, commanding general of the 1st Marine Division in Vietnam during the mid 1960s, died at Fairfax, Virginia. He was 78 years old. Commissioned in 1935, the much-decorated general served in World War II, Korea, and Vietnam and commanded the Marine Development and Education Command at Quantico before retiring in 1970.
 
7 March – The long-running legal battle between Republican presidential candidate Pat Robertson and former Republican Paul N. McCloskey, Jr. (R-California), over Robertson's Korean War record ended on the eve of the trial. A U. S. District Court Judge formally dismissed Robertson's libel suit, after he agreed to pay McCloskey's court costs. The suit was filed in 1986 over McCloskey's charge that Robertson used his father's influence as a U. S. senator to avoid combat duty as a Marine in Korea in 1951. Robertson announced that he dropped the suit because the "Super Tuesday" trial date conflicted with his political plans.
 
8 March – As outlined in ALMAR 53-88, the second stage of testing for the human immunodeficiency virus, the virus which causes Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS), got underway. Marines serving in units subject to deployment on short notice to areas that are considered to have high risk of endemic disease or to areas with minimal medical capabilities would be the first to be retested. Next would be those pending such assignment and all health care providers. All remaining active duty personnel would be retested before the end of FY 1988.
 
16 March - 15 April – Marines from the III Marine Expeditionary Brigade participated in Exercise Team Spirit 88 in the Republic of Korea. The 13th annual joint-combined training focused on rapid deployment for the defense of South Korea. It was designed to evaluate and improve procedures and techniques to defend the Korean peninsula against external aggression. American forces included 15,800 Marines, 12,000 sailors, 15,300 airmen, and 26,800 soldiers. The Republic of Korea forces numbered 139,500.
 
17 March – The Commandant of the Marine Corps approved the commemorative naming of a newly constructed barracks at the Officer Candidates School, Marine Corps Combat Development Command, Quantico, Virginia, in honor of Captain James A. Graham who was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for heroism while serving with Company F, 2d Battalion, 5th Marines, 1st Marine Division in Vietnam during June 1967.
 
24 March – William L. Ball III was sworn in as the 67th Secretary of the Navy during a ceremony at the U. S. Naval Academy. A former naval officer, Ball previously served on the White House staff as the Assistant to the President for Legislative Affairs. He succeeded James H. Webb, Jr., who resigned on 22 February.
 
24 March – Appearing in court for their arraignment, Lieutenant Colonel Oliver L. North, Rear Admiral John M. Poindexter, and two arms dealers pleaded not guilty to charges of conspiracy, theft, and fraud in the Iran-contra affair. On 16 March, the four defendants were accused in a 23-count indictment of defrauding the United States by supplying rebels in Nicaragua with profits from the sale of American weapons to Iran. They are accused in the most sweeping indictment of former White House officials since the Watergate scandal.
 
26 March – General Alfred M. Gray, Commandant of the Marine Corps directed that records of the late Private Harry Fisher, Medal of Honor recipient, be changed to show his true name, Franklin J.
Phillips. Entering the Marine Corps under an alias, Harry Fisher was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for heroic actions against the Chinese in the Boxer Rebellion in 1900. The name change for Maersk Class maritime prepositioning ship, the MV Private Harry Fisher, commissioned in 1984, was later authorized by the Secretary of the Navy, William L. Ball III.
 
27 March – An estimated 30 million viewers tuned to CBS news magazine "60 Minutes" when General Alfred M. Gray, Commandant of the Marine Corps, was featured in a segment titled "Papa Bear." The general took the cameras to Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island, where they filmed him observing the first increment of recruits undergoing Basic Warrior Training. He was also filmed at Quantico, Virginia, and the U. S. Naval Academy.
 
28 March – President Ronald Reagan signed an executive order changing the wording of the Code of Conduct to remove references to the gender-specific "American Fighting Man." The change deleted the word "man" from Articles I, II, and VI of the six-paragraph code which provides guidelines for service members who may become prisoners of war. The original code, written in 1955 and amended in 1977, applied to men and women in the military, but its gender-specific references to males was a source of ambiguity for female service personnel.
 
29 March – The Commandant of the Marine Corps approved the commemorative naming of an athletic complex at Marine Corps Air Station New River, North Carolina, in honor of First Lieutenant Lee M. Halstead, who was posthumously awarded the Navy Cross for heroism while serving as a pilot with Marine Light Helicopter Squadron 167 in Vietnam during August 1968.
 
29 March – The naming of an access road in honor of Sergeant Major Frederick B. Douglass at Marine Corps Air Station New River, North Carolina, was approved by the Commandant of the Marine Corps. Sergeant Major Douglass, a combat veteran of the Vietnam War, was tragically killed on 23 October 1983 in the terrorist explosion at the headquarters building of Battalion Landing Team 1/8 in Beirut, Lebanon.
 
____ April – Prompted by the growing concern over the security of American installations in Panama, Marines from the 6th Marine Expeditionary Brigade reinforced the Fleet Antiterrorist Security Team (FAST) attached to the Marine Corps Security Force Company at Rodman (near Panama City). An additional 800 Marines from 2d Battalion, 9th Marines and 1st Battalion, 5th Marines were sent to Panama during mid-April for a three-week battalion-level training program at the Army Jungle Operations Center. Unfortunately, while providing security for a petroleum storage facility, one Marine was mistakenly shot and killed by another. 
 
____ April – ALMARs 80, 81, 83, and 85-88 announced that women Marines could now apply for training and assignment as Marine security guards (MSGs). Female applicants would be considered for Marine Security Guard School, Quantico, Virginia, starting with Class 4-88 beginning in May. MSGs are assigned to 140 detachments in 127 countries around the world and protect classified material and American lives and property vital to the security of the nation.
 
____ April – The "Lucky Red Lions" of Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 363 attained four years of Class A mishap-free flying and achieved 20,000 hours of Class A mishap-free flight.
 
____ April – A Prisoner of War Medal was authorized by Congress. U.S. service personnel held as prisoners of war after 5 April 1917 would be eligible for the new military medal. Nearly 142,000 military personnel who participated in World War I, World War II, Korea, and Vietnam would qualify to receive the POW medal depicting an eagle surrounded by barbed wire and bayonet points with the inscription "For honorable service while a prisoner of war."
 
____ April – Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 323 became the first Marine squadron to receive four consecutive CNO Aviation Safety Awards (1984-1987). Concurrently, the "Death Rattlers" marked seven years and 30,000 hours of Class A and B mishap-free flying. 
 
1 April – Brigadier General Michael K. Sheridan retired. He served as Director, Plans Division for Plans, Policies, and Operations at Headquarters, U.S. Marine Corps.
 
1 - 22 April – More than 40,000 U. S. military personnel participated in Exercise Ocean Venture 88 conducted on U. S. beaches, the Atlantic Ocean, the Gulf of Mexico, and the Caribbean Sea. The exercise was designed to demonstrate U. S. capability to protect national interest by supporting friendly neighbors in the Caribbean. Approximately 5,400 Marines from the 6th Marine Expeditionary Brigade and the 28th Marine Expeditionary Unit participated in the exercise. On 12 April, one Marine was injured during the offloading of a maritime prepositioning ship and died later that day.
 
14 April – The Commandant of the Marine Corps, General Alfred M. Gray, assessed the Corps' priorities to members of the U. S. Senate Committee on the Armed Services. He stated that the Marine Corps, over the past seven years, has devoted its efforts to making improvements in readiness, sustainability, modernization, and force structure. The Commandant assured the committee that the Marine Corps would be prepared to do whatever has to be done to protect and ensure national interests globally.
 
17 April – This date marked the first time an aviation logistics support ship was used to support the aviation combat element of a Marine air ground task force. Called a T-AVB (T - military sealift command operated; A - auxiliary; V - aviation; B - tender) ship, the SS Wright, dropped anchor off the coast of Puerto Rico, was one of two ships that provided dedicated sealift to move an aviation intermediate maintenance activity in support of rapid deployment of Marine fixed and rotary wing aircraft units.
 
18 April – Acting on evidence that Iran had laid the mine that damaged the USS Samuel B. Roberts in the Persian Gulf, the U. S. retaliated with attacks on two Iranian oil platforms that had been used to help direct attacks on civilian shipping. Iranian counterattacks against civilian and military targets led to wide-ranging engagements in the gulf that resulted in heavy losses for the Iranian Navy. One Marine Corps helicopter from Marine Light Attack Helicopter Squadron 167 disappeared while on a reconnaissance flight from the guided missile frigate USS Wainwright
 
19 April – Two women Marines were discharged from the Marine Corps as a result of a continuing investigation of lesbianism at the Marine Corps Recruit Depot, Parris Island, South Carolina. Although not charged under the Uniform Code of Military Justice, the two were administratively discharged by reason of homosexuality as provided for in accordance with Department of Defense policy. The women Marines were the first released as a result of an investigation, which began in December, involving the 4th Recruit Training Battalion, where all female recruits are trained. Five other women have also been charged and are involved in criminal proceedings.
 
24 April - The Commandant of the Marine Corps addressed the semi-annual Conference of Defense Advisory Committee on Women in the Services. General Alfred M. Gray discussed the recent Report of the Task Force on Women in the Marine Corps which examined the current policy on utilization of women and the implementation of this policy. The report indicated that women Marines would have more opportunity for challenging assignments and for deployment during training exercises in the near future. The Commandant approved the majority of the task force's recommendations to improve career opportunities for women and to eliminate sexual harassment and discrimination.
 
24 April & 1 May – The CBS Network Radio Newsmagazine, "Newsmark," featured the Marine Corps in two half hour programs. Commandant of the Marine Corps, General Alfred M. Gray, and former CMCs Robert H. Barrow and Louis H. Wilson were interviewed. The programs focused on Marine Corps recruit training and the Marine Corps role in global defense strategy.
 
25 April – This date marked the 75th anniversary of the Marine Corps Association (MCA). Founded by the Marines of the 2d Provisional Brigade stationed at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, in 1913, the association chose as its first director, then Lieutenant Colonel John A. Lejeune. Not long after its founding, MCA began publishing the Marine Corps Gazette, which it has done since. In August 1976, the Leatherneck Association joined ranks with MCA and brought with it Leatherneck Magazine. Since then, MCA had published that magazine.
 
29 April – Major General Richard A. Gustafson assumed command of the 2d Marine Aircraft Wing at Cherry Point, North Carolina, replacing Major General Michael P. Sullivan.
 
____ May – The Laser Maverick, a short-range, laser guided, air-to-surface missile for close air support began Operational Test III. Laser Maverick was the only weapon under development that satisfied the Marine requirement for a standoff guided missile for use by aircraft in close air support. It would be fired in the Systems Weapons Integration Program for the night attack AV-8B, and the FA-18. Test completion was scheduled for July 1988.
 
___ May – The first F/A-18D "Hornet" prototype equipped with an advanced night attack navigation system made its maiden flight and began testing at McDonnell Douglas facilities in St. Louis, Missouri, under a $3.8 million full-scale development contract. The system was expected to greatly improve the Navy and Marine Corps' ability to operate at night and in adverse weather conditions by using a new forward-looking infrared sensor.
 
1 May – As of this date, traditional Inspector General of the Marine Corps (IGMC) inspections were no longer conducted. The responsibility for the new inspection process shifted from Headquarters, U. S. Marine Corps to major subordinate commanders. Each commander would be responsible for designing and conducting a biannual Command Inspection Program (CIP). The IGMC would provide guidelines to maintain Corps-wide inspection standardization and it would evaluate the effectiveness of the individual CIP every three years through visits and the analysis of the command inspection reports.
 
1 - 14 May – Marines of the 26th Marine Expeditionary Brigade (Special Operations Capable) participated in Exercise Dragon Hammer 88. The joint NATO amphibious exercise was held at Capo Teulada, Italy. The exercise demonstrated the U.S. capability to defend NATO's Southern Region from external aggression.
 
2 May – Two literary awards sponsored by the Marine Corps Historical Foundation were presented by General Alfred M. Gray during an awards dinner at the Washington Navy Yard Officers Club. The foundation's Colonel Robert D. Heinl Award in Marine Corps History went to Brigadier General William Weise for his article, "Memories of Dai Do," published in the September 1987 issue of the Marine Corps Gazette. The General Roy S. Geiger Award, for the outstanding aviation article published in the Marine Corps Gazette, was awarded to Marine Captain Timothy C. Hanifen for a pair of articles on the V-22 Osprey, published in the March and May 1987 issues.
 
5 May – The late General Keith B. McCutcheon was enshrined in the Naval Aviation Hall of Honor at the Naval Aviation Museum in Pensacola, Florida, along with four other former naval officers and a civilian engineer. General McCutcheon flew combat missions in World War II and Korea and commanded the 1st Marine Aircraft Wing and III Marine Amphibious Force in Vietnam. He recognized the potential of rotary wing aircraft and became a strong advocate for helicopters and oversaw their introduction and proliferation throughout the Marine Corps.
 
10 May – The Commandant of the Marine Corps approved the naming of the 5th Marines Dental Clinic, Building 33306, at Marine Corps Base, Camp Pendleton, California, in honor of Vice Admiral Alexander G. Lyle, USN (Deceased). During World War I, (then) Lieutenant Commander Lyle was awarded the Medal of Honor for heroism while serving with the 5th Marines in France, as a member of the Navy's Dental Corps.
 
10 May – The Secretary of Defense, Frank C. Carlucci, announced that President Reagan had nominated Major Generals Charles H. Pitman and William R. Etnyre for appointment to the grade of lieutenant general. General Pitman would assume the assignment of Deputy Chief of Staff for Aviation, Headquarters, U. S. Marine Corps, upon the May retirement of Lieutenant General Keith A. Smith. General Etnyre would assume the assignment as Commanding General, Marine Corps Combat Development Command, Quantico, Virginia, upon the retirement of Lieutenant General Frank E. Petersen later this year.
 
10 May – The commemorative naming of a new dining facility at Camp Horno, Marine Corps Base, Camp Pendleton, California, in honor of Private First Class Gary W. Martini, was approved by the Commandant of the Marine Corps. PFC Martini was attached to Company F, 2d Battalion, 1st Marines, 1st Marine Division when he was killed in action 21 April 1967 in Vietnam. He was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor.
 
15 May – The bodies of the two Marine Corps helicopter pilots killed during the U. S. retaliatory strike against Iran last month were recovered in the Persian Gulf. The remains of Captains Stephen C. Leslie, of New Bern, North Carolina, and Kenneth W. Hill, of Thomasville, North Carolina, were recovered along with their helicopter 15 miles southeast of Abu Musa Island in the central Persian Gulf. Both officers were posthumously awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross as well as the Purple Heart and Navy Commendation Medal for their actions in the 18 April strike. The pilots are credited with destroying an antiaircraft gun emplacement which had opened fire on helicopters carrying Marine assault forces to an Iranian-operated oil platform.
 
16 May – Retired Colonel Peter Julien Ortiz, 75, a colorful and highly decorated veteran of World War II, died of cancer in Prescott, Arizona. His exploits with the Office of Strategic Services, forerunner of the CIA, and the Marine Corps were the subject of two motion pictures, "13 Rue Madeleine," starring James Cagney, and "Operation Top Secret," starring Cornel Wilde. Best known for his work in organizing French resistance units and coordinating the delivery of arms, ammunition, and equipment to the underground, he was awarded the Navy Cross twice and the Croix de Guerre five times.
 
23 May – The V-22 Osprey, the world's first production tilt-rotor aircraft, made its debut during rollout ceremonies at Bell Helicopter Textron's Arlington, Texas, facility. More than 1,000 representatives from the industry, military, and media gathered at Bell's Flight Research Center to hear guest of honor Mr. Jim Wright, Speaker of the House of Representatives, and General Alfred M. Gray, Commandant of the Marine Corps, praise the versatile rotorcraft designed from the ground up to meet the needs of all four services on 21st century battlefields. The Osprey is scheduled for delivery to the Corps beginning in late 1991.
 
24 May – Lieutenant Kathleen Mazure, a Navy dentist threatened with court-martial for fraternizing with an enlisted Marine, who later became her husband, was cleared of all charges at Twentynine Palms, California. Major General Gene A. Deegan, Commanding General, Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center, arrived at his decision after a four-hour non-judicial punishment hearing. The case was one of the first in which a member of the armed forces faced a court-martial for fraternizing with a member of another branch of the military and in which no professional working relationship was at stake.
 
27 May – The Commandant of the Marine Corps, General Alfred M. Gray, received an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from Lafayette College in Easton, Pennsylvania. General Gray attended Lafayette College before enlisting in the Marine Corps in 1950. The general was one of five recipients of honorary degrees during the college's commencement exercises.
 
28 May – The "Blacksheep" of Marine Attack Squadron 214 achieved an aviation safety milestone by passing the five-year mark for Class A accident-free flying.
 
___ June – The replacement for the Fleet Marine Force standard IBM computer, the "Green Machine," became ready for delivery to FMF commands. The rugged TEMPEST (test for electromagnetic propagation and evaluation for secure transmission) microcomputer adapted for Marine Corps use by C3 Corporation was significantly faster, had 16 times the main memory, and cost only half as much as the aging "Green Machine." The equipment would be used to support the FMF commander in the areas of personnel, pay, supply, logistics, and intelligence.
 
___ June – The Commandant of the Marine Corps approved recommendations for several changes in force structure and manning within Marine air-ground task forces. The changes were designed to enhance the combat-readiness of the Corps while complying with the end-strength reduction of 3000 Marines that was directed by the Department of Defense. The Corps' goal was to produce a balanced warfighting machine. Included among the changes were the reduction of the number of active infantry battalions from 27 to 24 and the addition of a fourth rifle company to eight of the Corps' active infantry battalions.
 
1 - 30 June – In Exercise Freedom Banner 88, the 7th Marine Expeditionary Brigade demonstrated procedures for a single ship offload by conducting around-the-clock, in-stream unloading of a maritime prepositioning ship. The exercise took place in the waters near Indian Island, Washington.
 
3 June – Major General Jerome G. Cooper, USMCR, was frocked to his present rank by the Commandant of the Marine Corps and was assigned as Director, Personnel Procurement Division, Manpower, Headquarters, U.S. Marine Corps. Major General Cooper and Lieutenant General Frank E. Petersen were the two black general officers in the Marine Corps at this time.
 
13 June – The Commandant of the Marine Corps approved the commemorative naming of a recreational area on the grounds of the Naval Hospital, Marine Corps Base, Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, in honor of Senior Chief Hospital Corpsman Robert D. Road, USN (Deceased). Throughout his 18-year military service, HMCS Road unselfishly devoted his off-duty time to youth activities.
 
25 June – Seven Marines died when a CH-53D helicopter crashed into a ridgeline on Shikoku Island, Japan. The helicopter was on route from Marine Corps Air Station, Iwakuni, to Marine Corps Air Station, Futenma, when it encountered severe weather. The CH-53D was assigned to Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron 462. The squadron was nearing the end of a six-month deployment in Japan from the 3d Marine Aircraft Wing in California.
 
30 June – The mid-year strength of the U.S. Armed Forces was 2,112,834, of whom 196,668 were Marines.
 
____ July – More than 200 years of Marine Corps history received wide play in a three-part video series entitled "Marines in Combat -- The Gallant Breed." Part I of the series premiered on the Arts and Entertainment Cable Network and was followed by Parts II and III in the following months. Narrated by E. G. Marshall and produced by Lou Reda Productions in cooperation with the Marine Corps Historical Foundation, "Marines in Combat" chronicles the Corps' history from the days of the Revolution to Grenada.
 
____ July – Marshal Sergei Fedororich Akhromeyev, Chief of the General Staff of the Soviet Union, and senior military leaders on his staff toured Marine Corps installations as part of a Joint Chiefs of Staff-sponsored visit to promote better understanding between the armed forces of the Soviet Union and the United States. The Soviet officials visited Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, where they watched a demonstration of a Marine air-ground task force operation. They also observed training and professional education at Marine Corps Combat Development Command, Quantico.
 
____ July – Three women Marines, the first to graduate from Marine Security Guard (MSG) School, Quantico, Virginia, since the field was re-opened to women in April, moved to their respective assignments at MSG detachments at U. S. Embassies in Ottawa, Canada; Paris, France; and Geneva, Switzerland. The only initial change made to accommodate the women at MSG School was the addition of the women's physical fitness test. Women attended the same classes and received the same training as the male Marines.
 
1 July – Lieutenant General Joseph J. Went was promoted to the grade of general and was appointed as Assistant Commandant of the Marine Corps replacing General Thomas R. Morgan who retired on the same day.
 
1 July – Major General William G. Carson, Jr., was promoted to the grade of lieutenant general and assigned as Deputy Chief of Staff for Installations and Logistics, Headquarters, U. S. Marine Corps.
 
4 - 8 July – Two Marine Corps wrestlers dominated the worldwide military wrestling tournament in Palermo, Italy, by winning gold medals in both the Freestyle and Greco-Roman divisions. Only 
three Americans in the 39-year history of the military championship have ever gone double gold. All three were Marines. Sergeants Craig Pittman, a heavyweight, and Eric Wetzel, a 105.5-pounder, joined fellow Marine Greg Gibson, a double winner for the 1983-1984 season, in placing first in both styles of wrestling in a championship which fielded competitors from 86 countries.
 
4 July - 3 August – Approximately 8,000 U. S. and Thai troops, including Marines from the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit, participated in Exercise Cobra Gold 88, an annual training exercise in and around the Gulf of Thailand. The exercise was designed to strengthen the ability of the Royal Thai armed forces to defend their country. It also demonstrated the U. S. ability to rapidly deploy its forces in the defense of an ally.
 
8 July – Marine Corps Combat Development Command located at Quantico, Virginia, officially assumed its new reorganization, the first in almost two decades. Previously designated as Marine Corps Development and Education Command, the Quantico base was commanded by Lieutenant General Frank E. Petersen. On this date, Lieutenant General Petersen relinquished his command and was succeeded at Combat Development Command by Major General William R. Etnyre. Brigadier General Gail M. Reals assumed command of Marine Corps Base, Quantico.
 
19 July – Major General John P. Monahan assumed command of the I Marine Expeditionary Force/1st Marine Division located at Camp Pendleton, California.
 
19 - 27 July – Marine Corps marksmen took top honors during the 27th Annual Interservice Rifle Championships. The matches were held at Marine Corps Combat Development Command, Quantico, Virginia. More than 400 military shooters from throughout the U. S. competed individually and with teams during the weeklong match. Marine Sergeant Nelson Ocasio, from New York City, became the top individual rifle marksman in the U.S. Armed Forces. Out of 14 primary matches and a number of subordinate competitions, the Marines won or placed highly in 13.
 
23 July – A detachment from the 2d Marine Division sailed with a task force of U. S. Navy ships from their East Coast home ports to mark the beginning of UNITAS XXVIX, an annual series of exercises conducted by the U. S. and South American military forces. The five-month cruise through Caribbean and South American waters was designed to promote hemispheric solidarity, military professionalism, and understanding among participating countries.
 
26 July – The Commandant of the Marine Corps approved the commemorative naming of Building H-1 at Marine Corps Base, Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, in honor of Lieutenant General Julian C. Smith. In command of the 2d Marine Division during the Tarawa campaign, General Smith later was appointed Commanding General, Expeditionary Troops, Third Fleet, which captured the Southern Palaus Islands and Ulithi Atoll. General Smith retired from the Marine Corps in 1946 and died 5 November 1975. Building H-1 would house the headquarters of the 2d Marine Division and the II Marine Expeditionary Force.
 
___ August – Two T-45As, an aircraft designed to train Navy and Marine Corps attack and fighter pilots, underwent the first phase of a 19-month testing program by McDonnell Douglas at Marine Corps Air Station, Yuma, Arizona. The T-45A Goshawk training system, the first completely integrated pilot training package to be delivered to the Navy, is slated to replace the aging T-2C Buckeye and TA-4J Skyhawk aircraft. The T-45A system would eventually comprise a total of 300 aircraft, 32 flight simulators, and 49 computer-aided instructional devices to train 600 pilots.
 
____ August – A revised version of the Marine Battle Skills Training program was approved by General Alfred M. Gray, Commandant of the Marine Corps. The program, called Marine Battle Skills Training (MBST), expanded the basic warrior training implemented in February 1988. The mission orientation would require enhanced combat skills for all Marines regardless of their military occupational specialties or unit assignments. Specifically, all Marines would be trained to effectively serve in a rifle squad in defensive or offensive combat operations, should the need arise.
 
1 August – Lieutenant General Frank E. Petersen retired on this date after completion of more than 38 years active duty service. Since June 1986, he served as Commanding General, Marine Corps Combat Development Command, Quantico, Virginia. Lieutenant General Petersen was the first black general officer in the Marine Corps. He also held the distinction of being the "Gray Eagle," the longest serving active duty naval aviator.
 
1 - 10 August – Approximately 28,000 Marines, soldiers, sailors, and airmen participated in Exercise Gallant Eagle 88 at several locations in the western United States. The exercise was designed to provide a simulated combat environment for training, planning, and execution of joint military operations. Gallant Eagle 88, sponsored by the U.S. Central Command, evaluated the command's headquarters and portions of its multi-service forces in tactical operations in a desert environment.
 
5 August – Retired Brigadier General James P. S. Devereux, hero of Wake Island and recipient of the Navy Cross, died of pneumonia in Baltimore, Maryland. He was 85 years old. Commissioned in 1925, he commanded the 400-man Marine unit that tried to repel the Japanese invasion of Wake just three days after the Pearl Harbor attack. Faced with overwhelming odds, the garrison was forced to surrender and its survivors spent the remainder of the war in Japanese prisoner of war camps. After retiring in 1948, he served four terms as a member of Congress representing Maryland.
 
5 August – Lieutenant General James M. Masters, Sr., 77, who had commanded the 1st and 3d Marine Divisions and the Marine Corps Development and Education Command at Quantico, Virginia, died of cancer. Lieutenant General Masters served 35 years in the Marine Corps before retiring in 1968. He was awarded a Navy Cross for heroism on Okinawa during World War II.
 
15 - 26 August – Reserve Marines participated in the annual logistical exercise, LOGEX 88. Held at Camp Pickett, Virginia, this year's exercise used a European scenario. LOGEX demonstrated an appreciation for theater-wide logistics and the application of combat service support on the modern battlefield in a joint-combined environment.
 
31 August - 21 September – Marines of the 4th Marine Expeditionary Brigade joined forces with servicemen from nine other nations to participate in Teamwork 88. Involving more than 45,000 troops, the NATO exercise tested the ability of allied forces to bring in reinforcements and resist aggression in the North Atlantic, North Norwegian Sea, and Northern Norway areas.
 
____ September – A new Marine Corps Reserve squadron, Marine Aerial Refueler Transport Squadron (VMGR-452) activated at Stewart International Airport in Newburgh, New York. The unit would support the 2d, 3d, and 4th Marine Aircraft Wings as well as the 4th Marine Division. The muscle within the squadron was the KC-130 "Hercules," a refueling and assault transport aircraft. The mission of VMGR-452 would be to refuel Marine Corps tactical aircraft and provide assault transport and emergency medical transportation.
 
____ September – The Marine Corps' bid to develop a new generation of Dragon anti-armor weapons, Dragon Generation III, was approved by Congress and signed by the President as part of the FY89 Defense Appropriations Bill. The Marine Corps would be the lead service developing Dragon Generation III which was awarded more than $10 million for FY89 split equally between the Army and Marine Corps. Also participating in the program would be the government of Egypt which would fund part of the development effort.
 
1 September – The Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Research, Development, and Acquisition (DC/S RD&A) was disestablished. The move complied with the Goldwater-Nichols Department of Defense Reorganization Act of 1986 and codified the Commandant's desire to make the Marine Corps Research, Development, and Acquisition Command (MCRDAC) the focal point of all acquisition matters. The disestablishment of the DC/S RD&A billet was but one of several expected moves that would bring the Marine Corps fully into compliance with the Defense Reorganization Act of 1986, which also expressly limited Headquarters Marine Corps to five deputy chiefs of staff and three assistant chiefs of staff.
 
10 September – On this date, an order came from President Reagan that Marine units from Camp Pendleton were to deploy to Yellowstone National Park to help bolster tired firefighters who had been battling the massive blaze all summer. In all, some 1,200 Marines from 1st and 3d Battalions of the 5th Marines, the command element of the 5th Marines, along with Combat Service Support Detachment 12 of the 1st Force Service Support Group made up Marine Air Ground Task Force 5. The task force joined approximately 6,500 other Army and civilian firefighters already at Yellowstone.
 
13 September – A selection board convened at Headquarters, U.S. Marine Corps to select 16 Marines for appointment to the grade of warrant officer for military occupational specialty (MOS) 0306, infantry weapons officer. Those appointed would be designated "Marine Gunner" and authorized to wear the "Bursting Bomb" insignia. The Marine gunner program was instituted in 1916 and had been abolished and reestablished many times since then, the last gunners being appointed in 1974.
 
18 September - 11 October – Marines of the 5th Marine Expeditionary Brigade joined Italian and Turkish troops for Exercise Display Determination 88 in the Mediterranean. The exercise resolved to reinforce NATO's Southern Region in time of crisis or war and meet NATO commitments to defend the region from external aggression. The exercise marked the first time the Corps included its newest combat vehicle, the LAV, in a six-month forward deployment.
 
27 September – The Commandant of the Marine Corps approved the commemorative naming of Building 933 at Marine Corps Recruit Depot, Parris Island, South Carolina, in honor of Colonel Ruth Cheney Streeter, USMCR (Retired). The first Director of the U.S. Marine Corps Women's Reserve, Colonel Streeter oversaw the recruitment and training of over 19,000 women during World War II. The building named in her honor serves as the headquarters for the women's 4th Recruit Training Battalion.
 
29 September – The space shuttle Discovery raced into orbit carrying five experienced astronauts, among them Lieutenant Colonel David C. Hilmers, USMC. The first shuttle mission since the Challenger's explosion on 28 January 1986, the Discovery carried the nation's hopes for renewing its space program. The successful four-day mission included the release of a $100 million satellite that will be a critical link in a communications network for orbiting shuttles and other spacecraft.

30 September – The Terry L. Smith Gymnasium at Henderson Hall, Arlington, Virginia, was dedicated. The new $3 million facility was named in honor of Corporal Smith, a Nashville, Tennessee, native. Corporal Smith was posthumously awarded a Silver Star for gallantry while serving with Company M, 3d Battalion, 6th Marines in Vietnam. General Alfred M. Gray, Commandant of the Marine Corps, the keynote speaker, invited Mr. and Mrs. Henry Smith, the corporal's parents, to help unveil the plaque honoring their son.
 
1 October – Light armored vehicle (LAV) units were redesignated light armored infantry (LAI) units as part of a continuing reorganization effort designed to tailor the Corps' active structure to the most likely threat it would encounter in the future—low-to-mid-intensity conflict. A four-man scout team would be assigned to each LAV-25 in the LAI battalion's letter companies adding 168 scout/infantrymen to each of the three LAI battalions.
 
1 October – The headquarters and maintenance squadron (H&MS) within each active duty marine aircraft group (MAG) was reorganized to form a MAG headquarters and marine aviation logistics squadron (MALS). The new MAG headquarters provided administrative and supply support for the MAG and also assumed aircraft controlling custodian functions. The MALS consolidated the responsibility for MAG aviation logistics support in one squadron.
 
5 October – Lieutenant General Louis H. Buehl III, Chief of Staff, Headquarters, U. S. Marine Corps since October 1987, died in Bethesda Naval Hospital after suffering a stroke. Commissioned a second lieutenant in 1954, General Buehl's service included two combat tours in Vietnam and command of the 3d Marines, 1st Marine Brigade, and Marine Corps Base, Camp Lejeune. Prior to his assignment as Chief of Staff, General Buehl was the Senior Military Assistant to the Deputy Secretary of Defense. He was buried at Arlington National Cemetery.
 
6 - 9 October – The 1988 Marine Corps Aviation Association awards were presented at the association's convention in Boston, Massachusetts. Lieutenant Colonel Larry D. Outlaw of Marine Light Attack Helicopter Squadron 167 was named aviator of the year and the recipient of the Alfred A. Cunningham Award. Colonel Outlaw's squadron was also named helicopter squadron of the year. Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 115 received the Robert M. Hanson Award for the fighter squadron of the year for the second straight year. The Lawson H. M. Sanderson Award for the attack squadron of the year went to Marine Attack Squadron 214.
 
19 October – Lieutenant General Henry W. Buse, Jr., a retired veteran of World War II and the Korean War, died of cancer at his home in Severna Park, Maryland. A graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy in 1934, the general commanded the 3d Battalion, 7th Marines on Cape Gloucester. During the Korean War, he served as Chief of Staff of the 1st Marine Division. During the early 1960s, General Buse commanded the 3d Marine Division. He later served as Chief of Staff at Headquarters, Marine Corps and Commanding General of Fleet Marine Force, Pacific before retiring in 1970. The general was awarded the Silver Star and two Bronze Stars for heroism in World War II.
 
22 October – USS Wisconsin (BB 64), the fourth and last of the Iowa class battleships to undergo a modernization/reactivation program to add more firepower to the surface Navy, rejoined the fleet during ceremonies at Pascagoula, Mississippi. Modernization of the 58,000©ton battleship included the installation of eight Tomahawk long-range cruise missile launchers, 16 Harpoon surface-to-surface missile launch canisters, and new types of ammunition, including extended-range rounds, were added for the 16-inch guns. A Marine detachment was activated earlier this year to serve on board the ship.
 
22 October – A six-foot bronze statue of a Marine with a lowered rifle was added to the Beirut Memorial at Marine Corps Base, Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. The memorial contains the names of 271 service members killed five years ago in Lebanon and Grenada. General Alfred M. Gray, Commandant of the Marine Corps, was the guest speaker during a joint memorial observance and the unveiling of the statue.
 
22 October – Major John R. Allen was named winner of the 1988 Leftwich Trophy that recognizes outstanding leadership by a company grade officer serving with the ground forces of the Fleet Marine Force. At the time of the competition, Major Allen served with the 3d Battalion, 4th Marines. The trophy is named for Lieutenant Colonel William G. Leftwich, commanding officer of 1st Reconnaissance Battalion, who died in a helicopter crash in Vietnam.
 
23 October – Marine Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron 3 became the first Navy/Marine Corps Phantom squadron to achieve 50,000 flight hours without having a Class A mishap. The milestone represents seven and one half years of mishap-free flying. McDonnel Douglas, manufacturer of the RF-4 Phantom, presented a plaque to the squadron for its accomplishment.
 
25 October – The Assistant Commandant of the Marine Corps policy memorandum 16-88 stated that the Goldwater-Nichols Department of Defense Reorganization Act of 1986 limited Headquarters, Marine Corps to five Deputy Chiefs of Staff and three Assistant Chiefs of Staff. Accordingly the following Deputy Chief of Staff designations were effected: Manpower and Reserve Affairs, Installations and Logistics, Aviation; Plans, Policy, and Operations; and Requirements and Programs. The following Assistant Chief of Staff designation was effected: Command, Control, Communications and Computer, Intelligence, and Interoperability.
 
29 October - 11 November – Marines of the 9th Marine Expeditionary Brigade (MEB) joined Korean allies in practicing amphibious assault techniques during Exercise Valiant Blitz 89-1. Among the firsts for Valiant Blitz, a Korean Marine battalion conducted several helicopter assaults on Korean territory from a U.S. Navy ship. Korean forces also employed air cushion landing craft to move artillery ashore during a simulated amphibious assault.
 
31 October – Four Marines were killed in a helicopter crash in the Northern Training Area of Okinawa, Japan. Two CH-46 Sea Knight helicopters, assigned to Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron 262, collided while conducting routine training operations. One of the helicopters crashed in the remote, mountainous terrain near the Marine Corps base while the second helicopter returned safely to Marine Corps Air Station, Futenma.
 
6 November – Jim Hage, a 30-year-old Lanham, Maryland, resident, won the 13th Annual Marine Corps Marathon in Washington, D.C., with a time of 2:21:59. In the women's division, Lori Lawson, 22, of Philadelphia took first place honors with a time of 2:51:26. More than 12,000 runners representing 49 states and 18 countries competed.
 
10 November – Marines throughout the world celebrated the 213th 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 asked each Marine to reflect on those Marines who preceded them and to rededicate themselves toward achieving and maintaining the higher standard of excellence that the nation expects of Marines.
 
10 November – Amongst many other Marine Corps Birthday celebrations and ceremonies, the new Commandants of the Marine Corps Corridor in the Pentagon was dedicated. The Commandant, General Alfred M. Gray, and the Secretary of the Navy, William L. Ball, presided at the ribbon cutting. The art in the corridor traced the history of the Corps with portraits of 27 of the 29 Commandants interspersed with art portraying historical events of the period of each Commandant.
 
10 November – The 1st Tracked Vehicle Battalion on Okinawa was redesignated as the 1st Armored Assault Battalion. The redesignation was made in order to emphasize the unit's inherent warfighting capabilities while underscoring its unique makeup of tanks and assault amphibious vehicles.
 
10 November – Two Marine FA-18 Hornets collided in mid-air during a simulated bombing run in the Arizona desert. One Marine was killed when his Hornet crashed. The second aircraft, although severely damaged, was able to return to Marine Corps Air Station, Yuma. The aircraft and personnel, assigned to Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 312 based at Marine Corps Air Station, Beaufort, South Carolina, were on a training exercise when the collision occurred.
 
21 November – The 4th Recruit Training Battalion Headquarters Building at Parris Island, South Carolina, was dedicated in honor of Colonel Ruth C. Streeter, USMCR (Retired), the first Director of the United States Marine Corps Women's Reserve (1943-1945). Major General Jarvis D. Lynch, Commanding General of the Recruit Depot, was the keynote speaker.
 
1 December – General George B. Christ, one of the Corps' three four-star generals, retired. He served as Commander in Chief, U. S. Central Command.
 
2 December – A bronze plaque and an 80-foot lighted flagpole replaced a 65-foot cross that stood at the Fleet Marine Force, Pacific headquarters at Camp H. M. Smith in Hawaii for 22 years. Earlier this year, a federal judge ordered that the wooden cross, which was lit each night, be removed because it was construed as a government endorsement of a religion. The cross-served as a memorial to Marines killed in the Vietnam War or missing in action. The new flagpole was dedicated to Vietnam POWs and MIAs, and the flagpole flies the American and POW/MIA flags.
 
4 December – The San Bernardino County search and rescue organizations located the remains of Lance Corporal Jason J. Rother of 3d Battalion, 2d Marines. Rother had been missing since 31 August when he was posted as a road guide to help direct vehicles during a night tactical movement that was held in the desert training areas at Twentynine Palms, California. He was not picked up with the rest of the guides the next morning, and his absence was not immediately noted. A series of large-scale air and ground searches conducted by the Marine Corps, park rangers, and volunteer searchers a short time later, failed to locate him. The location of the remains was 17 miles from where Rother was posted. Formal charges were brought against Rother's squad leader, his platoon sergeant, and the officer responsible for the road guide detail.
 
6 - 8 December – More than 30 general and flag officers met at Quantico, Virginia, for the Commandant's Policy, Strategy, and Tactics Wargame III that dealt with the strategic and operational issues associated with U. S. Southern Command's area of operations, Central America. A related military history dinner was also held. Focus of the dinner was a discussion of Dr. Walter LaFeber's book Inevitable Revolutions, a highly critical history of U. S. relations with the five Central American republics.
 
17 December – Six Soviet military museum curators visited the Marine Corps Historical Center, Washington, D.C. The curators also visited the Naval Historical Center also in Washington, the Naval Aviation Museum at Pensacola, the U. S. Army Armor Museum at Ft. Knox, and the U.S. Air Force Museum at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base during the week of 15-22 December. The exchange of military museum officials was part of a two-year program of U.S. Soviet military contact activities agreed to in July 1988 by the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral William J. Crowe, Jr., and Marshal of the USSR Sergei F. Akhromeyev. A reciprocal visit was scheduled for early 1989.
 
31 December – Marine Aircraft Group 15 deactivated at Marine Corps Air Station, Iwakuni, Japan, after 46 years of continuous service.
 
31 December – The strength of the U.S. Armed Forces was 2,121,142, of whom 195,027 were Marines.

1989

____ January – The 1st Light Armored Infantry (LAI) Battalion, based at Camp Pendleton, California, began operations with the new single channel ground and airborne radio system (SINCGARS). The new system boasted both single channel and frequency hopping capabilities; however, its greatest advantage was expected to come with its exceptional reliability. SINCGARS was projected to average 1,250 hours mean time between failures and early operational experience had shown that this may grow to as many as 5,000 hours. The use of the SINCGARS came several years before the Marine Corps intended to field them and was the result of an agreement between the Marine Corps Research, Development, and Acquisition Command and the Army that brought 334 SINCGARS to the 1st LAI. 
 
___ January – The AN/UYK-83 portable computer suite that would provide the Marine Corps enhanced automated data processing capabilities in a field and/or combat environment, replaced the Automated Data Processing Equipment "Green Machine" that had been used for a number of years. During FY-89, more than 1,000 of the suites would be fielded to units throughout the Marine Corps. The introduction of the "Yuk-83" would bring standardization of microcomputers to field commanders, primarily at the battalion level. 
 
___ January – Marine Corps installations worldwide began testing for radon gas. Radon, a naturally occurring radioactive gas that enters buildings through openings at ground or basement levels, had become a concern after federal and state studies determined that high indoor radon levels could be detrimental to health. The Navy Radon Assessment and Mitigation Program, a four-part program designed to locate and correct radon problems found in Navy and Marine Corps structures, based its guidelines on those used by the Environmental Protection Agency.
 
1 January – The strength of the U. S. Armed Forces was 2,121,142, of whom 195,027 were Marines.
 
1 January – Lieutenant General Anthony Lukeman retired from the Marine Corps. He served as the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense (Military Manpower and Personnel Policy).
 
4 January – The Commandant of the Marine Corps, General Alfred M. Gray, reviewed the investigation on the circumstances surrounding the death of Lance Corporal Jason Rother, 19, of the 3d Battalion, 2d Marines. Lance Corporal Rother had been missing since 31 August 1988 when he was posted as a road guide to help direct vehicles during a night tactical movement held in the desert training areas at Twentynine Palms, California. He was not picked up with the rest of the guides the next morning and he was not reported missing for almost 40 hours. Despite a series of extensive searches, Rother's remains were not found until 4 December. Formal charges were brought against Rother's squad leader, his platoon sergeant, and the officer responsible for the road guide detail. In the Commandant's message, he repeatedly emphasized the requirement for continuous communications up and down the chain of command.
 
5 January - 24 February – Marines of the 4th Marine Expeditionary Brigade participated in Exercise Alpine Warrior 89. The annual training exercise took place at Fort McCoy, Wisconsin. It was designed to teach individual and unit arctic skills in preparation for cold weather contingency operations.
 
7 January – The 3d Marine Aircraft Wing saluted the "Raiders" of Marine Aerial Refueler Transport Squadron 352 for completing 15 years and 120,000 flight hours of Class A mishap-free flying. The squadron was based at Marine Corps Air Station, El Toro, California.
 
15 - 28 January – Marines from the III Marine Expeditionary Force at Camp Butler, Okinawa, Japan, participated in Exercise Yama Sakura XV, a large-scale command post exercise combining American and Japanese military forces in a bilateral defense of northern Japan. Consisting of more than 3,000 participants, the exercise was a computer-assisted "war game" that provided close parallels to potentially realistic situations in North East Asia and Japan.
 
20 January – President George Bush was inaugurated as the nation's 41st president of the United States. Among the many Americans who helped herald in the new chief were hundreds of Marines stationed in and around the Washington, D. C., area who were assigned to the many ceremonial and behind-the-scenes duties during inauguration week. Marine Corps participation was highlighted by the inaugural parade contingent performances of the "The President's Own" United States Marine Corps Band, which had performed at every inauguration since 1801 when it played for President Thomas Jefferson, and the Silent Drill Platoon from Marine Barracks, 8th and I. 
 
26 January - 9 February – Camp Pendleton, California’s 5th Marine Expeditionary Brigade joined forces with the Navy's Amphibious Group Three for a Third Fleet exercise off the coast of Southern California. The Navy and Marine Corps task force for Exercise Kernel Blitz 89 consisted of 13 ships and more than 15,000 sailors and Marines. The exercise included an amphibious assault and low intensity conflict operations ashore.
 
30 January – The American flag was lowered at the embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan. After the ceremony, the remaining Marines from the embassy detachment and U. S. diplomats left the country. Most western embassies closed in Kabul as the withdrawal of Soviet forces, which occupied Afghanistan for almost a decade, began and the security situations in the capital became more uncertain. 
 
___ February – The TRW Corporation for the National Security Agency developed an encryption device for use by the Army, Navy, and Marine Corps. Designated as the KL43D, the keyboard device would link headquarters to units in the field, permitting users to transmit and receive coded messages over regular telephone lines. Weighing less than two pounds, the KL43D looked like a computer keyboard. The new model was meant to supplement other existing systems like the KY65. The III Marine Expeditionary Force distributed 350 KL43Ds among subordinate commands. 
 
1 February – The headquarters building for the 2d Marine Division and the II Marine Expeditionary Force at Marine Corps Base, Camp Lejeune, North 
Carolina, was officially dedicated as Julian C. Smith Hall, in honor of the late lieutenant general who led the 2d Marine Division's assault on Tarawa during World War II. The general's widow, Harriette "Happy" Byrd Smith, joined the Commandant of the Marine Corps, General Alfred M. Gray, to dedicate the building and unveil a plaque with a bust of General Smith. Brigadier General Edwin H. Simmons, Director of Marine Corps History and Museums, was a keynote speaker. 
 
5 - 10 February – Marines of the 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit (Special Operations Capable) participated in Exercise Valiant Usher 89, an amphibious readiness exercise which took place at Subic Bay, Republic of the Philippines. The exercise involved various amphibious missions including a beach assault by a battalion landing team. Valiant Usher 89 was designed to test the concept of over-the-horizon deployment of assault amphibian vehicles on high-speed air-cushioned landing craft for rapid insertion during amphibious operations. 
 
10 February – Elements of the 3d Light Armored Infantry (LAI) Battalion disembarked at White Beach, Okinawa. Its assignment to the III Marine Expeditionary Force marked the first full-scale deployment of an LAI battalion overseas. The deployment dramatically increased LAI assets in WestPac. Primarily a swift mobile reconnaissance unit charged with seeking out and locating the enemy, the LAI battalion had sufficient firepower to engage almost any threat it might encounter. 
 
26 February – The first group of Marine gunners matriculated at The Basic School. In line with the Commandant's efforts to improve warfighting skills, 15 new warrant officers claiming the title "Marine gunner" took to the field. Forty more infantry billets would be filled by Marine gunners over the next four years. Like their title, the new Marine gunners would concentrate on weapons and weapons employment, working out of the S-3 section of infantry battalions. 
 
27 February - 22 March – The 4th Marine Expeditionary Brigade participated in Exercise Cold Winter 89, a NATO exercise held in northern Norway. The exercise marked a first for the Marine Corps when six heavy lift helicopters and more than 120 Marines were flown from Marine Corps Air Station, Cherry Point, North Carolina, to Norway on board three USAF-5B "Galaxy" transports. Cold Winter 89 was designed to enhance operational readiness among forces that protect NATO's northern flank. The exercise tested the forces' capabilities during extreme winter conditions. 
 
___ March – The Small Emplacement Excavator (SEE) Tractor was brought into the Marine Corps' arsenal as a far-advanced replacement of the CASE MC580B backhoe. The versatile new tractor would be capable of towing 105mm and 155mm artillery pieces, travel on the highway in a convoy at 55 mph, and maneuver in tight spaces. The SEE Tractor would also take up half the space and have twice the capabilities as previous excavators.
 
___ March – Plans were drafted and a fundraising effort brought underway to build a major new museum celebrating Marine Corps aviation at Marine Corps Air Station, Cherry Point, North Carolina. The museum will be named for the Corps' first aviator, Alfred A. Cunningham, and will honor all Marines and their distinct aviation heritage. Construction was expected to begin in the summer of 1990 with an anticipated opening in 1992. The museum project is sponsored by the A.A. Cunningham Air Museum Foundation headed by retired Brigadier General James M. Mead. 
 
1 March – The Commandant of the Marine Corps, General Alfred M. Gray, delivered the annual Marine Corps posture statement to the Defense Subcommittee of the House Appropriations Committee. General Gray stated that the Marine Corps was more combat ready today than it was last year and that it will continue to improve. 
 
3 March – The 2d Battalion, 6th Marines at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, was put into cadre status as was the 2d Battalion, 1st Marines at Camp Pendleton, California, on 31 March. The above actions were part of a major reorganization of Marine infantry units ordered by Marine Corps Commandant, General Alfred M. Gray, last year. In general terms, these plans called for placing three infantry battalions in cadre, while beefing up the remaining 24 active battalions. The personnel and equipment savings achieved by these cuts would be reallocated to provide needed personnel enhancements throughout the infantry structure.
 
9 March – Anticipated cost overruns and early development successes with a rival program led to the cancellation of the Dragon III anti-armor missile program. The Marine Corps would focus its energies on completing development of the Advanced Antitank Weapon System-Medium (AAWS-M), a joint Army/Marine Corps program. The AAWS-M represented a significant departure from earlier man portable, wire-guided missiles. The missile would come equipped with an infrared seeker that internally controls the flight from point of launch to the target.
 
13 - 18 March – Marine Corps Colonels James F. Buchli and Robert C. Springer were on board NASA's space shuttle Discovery. They served as mission specialists who launched the primary payload, a tracking and data relay satellite. This was Colonel Buchli's third shuttle flight and Colonel Springer's first. 
 
15 - 23 March – Marines from the III Marine Expeditionary Force participated in Exercise Team Spirit 89 in the Republic of Korea. The 14th annual joint-combined training exercise focused on rapid deployment for the defense of South Korea. It was designed to evaluate and improve procedures and techniques to defend the Korean peninsula against external aggression. 
 
17, 20 March – Two helicopter crashes within three days left 23 servicemen dead and many more injured during Exercise Team Spirit 89 in South Korea. Four Marines on board a CH-46E from Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron 161 died on 17 March when their helicopter crashed near the town of Tok Sok Ri. Three days later on 20 March, a CH-53D from Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 363 crashed near the port of Pohang. Of the 34 men on board, 18 Marines and one corpsman were killed.
 
19 March – A prototype of the world's first production tilt-rotor aircraft, the V-22 Osprey, flew for the first time at Bell Helicopter Textron's Flight Research Center at Arlington, Texas. The aircraft remained in the helicopter mode during the 15-minute flight and performed a series of slow taxis, lift-offs, hover turns, and run-on landings. The V-22 combines the operational capabilities of a helicopter with those of a fixed-wing turboprop.
 
26 March – General Lewis W. Walt, 76, former assistant commandant of the Marine Corps and a highly decorated combat veteran of three wars, died at Gulfport, Mississippi. The first assistant commandant to attain a four-star grade, General Walt retired in 1971 after 35 years of Marine Corps service. His decorations include two Navy Crosses, two Distinguished Service Medals, and the Silver Star. He also wrote three books including Strange War, Strange Strategy, dealing with American policies in Vietnam. 
 
27 March – Requirements for individual combat skills training changed when Almar 52-89 cancelled the use of the Essential Subjects handbook and test, and authorized the use of the New
Battle Skills Training/Essential Subjects handbook and accompanying test. The new handbook (MCIO P1500.448) would serve as the guidebook for basic knowledge and skills training for individual Marines.
 
___April – The Marine Corps' History and Museums Division published a 403-page history, U. S. Marines in Vietnam: High Mobility and Standdown, 1969. The volume is the sixth book in the planned nine-volume operational series on Vietnam. Written by Charles R. Smith, it details the mobile operations in the north and the withdrawal of the 3d Marine Division from Vietnam. Like its predecessors, the volume is largely based on official unit command chronologies, combat after-action reports, daily message and journal files, and participants' accounts. 
 
1 April – The Marine Corps Air-Ground Museum at Quantico, Virginia, reopened for the 1989 season with a record first day attendance of 296 visitors. Among the updated exhibits was a new display on Marine parachutists of World War II. 

1 April – The Marine Corps initiated a new and comprehensive professional military education (PME) program for officers, SNCOs, and NCOs outlined in Almar 255-88. The new program was based on recommendations from a three-month study of the Marine Corps education system by a MCCDC PME Task Group. The PME program would consist of resident instruction to the maximum extent possible, structured self-study, and professional reading. The ALMAR expressed the Commandant's philosophy that the fundamental purpose of PME is to assist Marines in fulfilling their personal responsibilities for achieving operational competence. 

18 April – A detachment of Marines left San Diego on board the USS Juneau bound for Valdez in Alaska's Prince William Sound to assist with cleanup operations stemming from the 24 March wreck of an Exxon oil tanker that spilled more than 10 million gallons of crude oil in the sound. The Alaska Marine Air Ground Task Force 89-1 was made up of 85 Marines from the 1st Marine Division, 1st Force Service Support Group, and the 3d Marine Aircraft Wing. The Navy/Marine Corps team would provide logistical support with two CH-46 Sea Knight helicopters, combat rubber raiding craft, and support personnel and equipment.
 
20 April – The President of the United States submitted to the Senate for confirmation the nomination of Major General Norman H. Smith to the grade of lieutenant general. General Smith was serving as Commanding General, III Marine Expeditionary Force. 
 
22 April – Retired Major General Henry R. Paige died in Carlsbad, California. A graduate of the U. S. Naval Academy, General Paige was commissioned a second lieutenant in 1927. During his 34-year Marine Corps career, General Paige participated in operations against rebel bandits in Nicaragua, commanded the 7th Antiaircraft Artillery Battalion in the Pacific during World War II, and commanded the 1st Marine Division, 1959-1961, prior to his retirement.
 
25 April – Secretary of Defense Richard B. Cheney proposed cutting $10 billion from the fiscal 1990 budget and $9.9 billion in fiscal 1991 in his testimony before the House Armed Services Committee. One of the largest programs to be cancelled would be the Navy/Marine Corps V-22 tilt-rotor Osprey. Cheney described the V-22 as "interesting technology" but said its limited use was offset by its costs. The termination of the Osprey program would save $1.3 billion in fiscal 1990.
 
25 April - 9 May – Marines of the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit participated in Exercise Kernel Usher 89 off the coast of southern California. The Third Fleet exercise involved 10 ships and approximately 15,000 sailors and Marines. A variety of sea and shore operations were conducted including amphibious landings, close air support, naval gunfire, and artillery coordination exercises at Camp Pendleton and San Clemente Island.
 
28 April – The Commandant of the Marine Corps approved the commemorative naming of the Rifle Range Bachelor Enlisted Quarters (RR-9) at Marine Corps Base, Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, in honor of Retired Colonel Walter R. Walsh. Instrumental in the development of the Marine Corps marksmanship program, Colonel Walsh was a renowned champion, coach, and team champion in national, world, and Olympic pistol and rifle competitions.
 
30 April – At its annual awards dinner at the Washington Navy Yard Officers Club, the Marine Corps Historical Foundation presented its Distinguished Service Award to General Wallace M. Greene, Jr., 23d Commandant of the Marine Corps, for his lifetime accomplishments in Marine Corps history and his services as founder, director, honorary chairman, and advisor of the foundation. Additionally, two literary awards were presented. The Colonel Robert D. Heinl, Jr., Award for the best Marine Corps historical article published in any journal, was presented to Major Edward F. Palm for his two-part article "Tiger Papa Three: A Memoir of the Combined Action Program," published in the January and February 1988 issues of the Marine Corps Gazette. The General Roy S. Geiger Award for the best aviation article to appear in the Gazette was awarded to Major Michael D. Becker for "Command and Control of Marine TacAir in Joint Land Operations," published in the October 1988 issue.
 
30 April - 26 May – More than 40,000 U.S. Military personnel, including Marines of the II Marine Expeditionary Force, 4th and 6th Marine Expeditionary Brigades, participated in Exercise Solid Shield 89. Held at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, and other east coast locations, the exercise was designed to emphasize the command and control of military forces in a simulated combat environment. During the exercise, a Marine Corps first lieutenant was killed on 3 May when his AV-8A Harrier crashed near Beaufort, South Carolina. He had been assigned to Marine Attack Squadron 542 based at Marine Corps Air Station, Cherry Point, North Carolina.
 
___May – Representatives of the Research, Development, and Acquisition Command and Saco Defense completed plans to introduce improvements to the M60E3 machine gun. Once final testing was completed, the following changes would be incorporated into new weapons and retrofitted onto existing weapons as hardware kits become available: barrel assembly, bipod assembly, forward grip/forearm assembly, sling swivel, and buttstock assembly. 
 
3 May – Five Marines were killed when their UH-1N Huey helicopter crashed during routine night flight training at Camp de Canjuers near Toulon, France. The Huey, which was the lead aircraft in a flight of two, crashed when it struck power lines. The trailing aircraft was not involved. The aircraft were from Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron 162 based at Marine Corps Air Station, New River, North Carolina. At the time of the crash, they were participating in Exercise Tranch II with French forces. 
 
4 May – Former White House aide, Lieutenant Colonel Oliver L. North, USMC (Retired), who was involved in the Iran-contra scandal, was convicted by a federal court jury on three felony counts of obstructing Congress, unlawfully mutilating government documents, and taking an illegal gratuity from one of his confederates. North, who swore that he was only doing the bidding of President
Ronald Reagan and other top officials, was acquitted of nine other charges brought against him after the scandal broke in November 1986. Seven of these involved allegations that he lied to Congress or obstructed other inquiries into his undercover work in aiding the anti-Sandinista Nicaraguan rebels and arranging arms-for-hostages deals with Iran.
 
10 May – Two marksmen serving with the permanent Marine Corps Shooting Teams based at Quantico, Virginia, were named the best rifle and pistol shooters in the Corps at the 1989 Marine Corps Matches held at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. Master Gunnery Sergeant Richardo Rodriquez won the coveted Walter R. Walsh Trophy for the third straight year after downing all opponents in the .45 caliber pistol portion of the weeklong matches. Sergeant D. K. Jones shot his way to his first all-Marine title and the David S. McDougal Trophy in the M14 rifle competition. Winning the Charles H. Lauchheimer Award for the best combined score in both rifle and pistol was Master Sergeant Richard C. Waller from the Marksmanship Training Unit at Camp Lejeune. 
 
11 May – The Marine Corps sent 147 Marines and 16 light armored vehicles (LAVs) from Company A, 2d Light Armored Infantry Battalion, Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, to U. S. bases in Panama. They were among about 1900 new troops dispatched by President George Bush to protect American citizens and the strategic Panama Canal in the troubled Central American country. It would be the first time the armored, eight-wheeled personnel carrier LAV was used operationally since its introduction in 1984. The deployment was part of an all-fronts strategy to force the hand of Panama's General Manuel Antonio Noriega who refused to recognize what was widely regarded as an opposition victory in the 7 May presidential election.
 
11 May – The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced it would reexamine the disability claims of more than 34,000 Vietnam veterans who were exposed to the herbicide Agent Orange. The VA would begin work on a standard of evidence that requires veterans to prove only a significant correlation between their exposure to Agent Orange and their disability, rather than a direct cause-and-effect relationship. The VA expected to have the evidence standard in place by late 1989.
 
15 May – H. Lawrence Garrett III was sworn in as the 68th Secretary of the Navy replacing William L. Ball III. Garrett served 20 years in the Navy as an officer in the Judge Advocate General's Corps, retiring as a commander in 1981. He worked as an associate White House counsel for former President Reagan from 1983 to 1986, then served as chief counsel for the Defense Department until 1987 when he assumed his post as Undersecretary, the Navy's number two civilian position.
 
27 May – Two women Marines, Sergeant Brenda L. Schroeder and Corporal Lisa Tutt, were killed when a CH-46E helicopter collided with another CH-46E during a routine training flight near Fallon Naval Station in Nevada. None of the crewmembers from either aircraft were injured. The women were receiving indoctrination flights from Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron 764, based at Marine Corps Air Station, El Toro, California, when the accident occurred. 
 
30 May – Another CH-46 Sea Knight helicopter crashed into the sea off the southern coast of Okinawa, Japan. The accident came seconds after the CH-46 took off for night flight operations from the deck of the USS Denver (LPD-9) as part of Exercise Valiant Mark 89-4. Of the 22 servicemen on the aircraft, 13 Marines and one Navy corpsman were killed in the crash. 
 
31 May – The USS Cleveland, with Alaska Marine Air Ground Task Force (MAGTF) 89-2 on board, relieved the USS Juneau and continued to provide a base for extensive cleanup operations for several hundred civilian workers. MAGTF 89-2 was made up of 11 officers and 46 enlisted Marines that assumed the duties of their predecessors. The primary role of the Marines was to support the civilian workers by transporting them and a variety of heavy cleanup machinery to remote work sites.
 
2 June – A classroom to honor Marine artillery regiments was dedicated at the Army Field Artillery School, Fort Sill, Oklahoma. A display of colors, battle streamers, combat art, and photographs of the 10th, 11th, 12th, and 14th Marines were featured.
 
5 June – The Commandant of the Marine Corps approved the naming of the 2d Marine Division Photographic Laboratory at Marine Corps Base, Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, in honor of Corporal William T. Perkins. Attached to Company C, 1st Battalion, 1st Marines, 1st Marine Division in the Republic of Vietnam during October 1967, Corporal Perkins was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for heroism while serving as a combat photographer.
 
6 June – Due to the recent string of aircraft mishaps, General Alfred M. Gray, Commandant of the Marine Corps, ordered all aviation units to conduct a two-day safety stand-down within the following two weeks. The string of accidents, a total of seven so far in 1989, had resulted in the deaths of 45 Marines. General Gray pointed out that of "the information available on the circumstances surrounding the tragedies, aircrew error predominates and most likely will be a primary cause in all these mishaps." The stand-downs, involving 1,200 aircraft, would focus on aircrew, wingman, and supervisory functions from the initial stages of flight preparations through post-flight debriefing procedures.
 
12 June – Fifteen Marine gunners that graduated from The Basic School last month began the Infantry Officer Course. They were selected as a result of the Commandant's recent policy of moving qualified senior staff noncommissioned officers into infantry officer billets with the rank of chief warrant officer (CWO-2). Following the Infantry Officer Course, these first Marine gunners since the rank was abolished in 1959, would undertake specialized training at Weapons Training Battalion, Quantico, Virginia. Those appointed would be authorized to wear the "bursting bomb" insignia of the past and would be known as infantry weapons officers. 
 
12 - 22 June – General Joseph J. Went, Assistant Commandant of the Marine Corps, visited the Soviet Union accompanying Admiral William J. Crowe, USN, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and vice chiefs of the three other services. The trip was the reciprocal of the visit to the United States in the summer of 1988 by Soviet Marshal Sergei Akhromeyev and his party. The itinerary included visits to major Soviet facilities and bases in Moscow, Murmansk, Minsk, and Leningrad.
 
14 June – A 10-member panel of Korean War veterans, which included Medal of Honor recipient General Raymond G. Davis, USMC (Retired), approved a design for a memorial to stand in Ash Woods, near the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D. C. The competition-winning design for the Korean War Veterans Memorial, a combat patrol, was unveiled in the White House Rose Garden. When erected the granite files of 38 combat-equipped fighting men, each seven to eight feet tall, will stretch nearly 350 feet. Their march will end in a semicircle paved plaza with the flagpole as its centerpiece. 
 
15 June – The A-4M Skyhawk ended its last overseas deployment when Marine Attack Squadron (VMA) 211's aircraft returned from a six-month Western Pacific tour. VMA-211, the last active duty squadron to fly the A-4M, would transition to the AV-8B Harrier II during 1990. The squadron flew the aircraft for over 30 years.
 
20 June – The Commandant of the Marine Corps approved the naming of the Las Flores Area Chapel at Marine Corps Base, Camp Pendleton, California, in honor of Major Aloysius P. McGonigal, USA (Deceased). Assigned to the Military Assistance Command Compound in Hue, Republic of Vietnam, Major McGonigal voluntarily left the safety of his post on 17 February 1968 to administer to Marines fighting in the vicinity. He was subsequently killed in action.
 
21 June – An $80 million contract for full-scale development of the Advanced Antitank Weapon System - Medium (AAWS-M) by the U. S. Army Missile Command at Huntsville, Alabama, was awarded to Texas Instruments of Lewisville, Texas, and Martin Marietta of Orlando, Florida. The AAWS-M system was a joint Army/Marine Corps program that was looked upon as a dramatic departure from existing anti-tank technology since it included an internally located infrared imager that allowed the missile to guide itself to the target. 
 
23 June – For the first time in the 74-year history of Marine Corps Recruit Depot, Parris Island, South Carolina, male and female recruits earned the title "Marine" together during the same ceremony. Officially established as a recruit depot in 1915, Parris Island began training women recruits in 1949, making it the only command in the Corps with this mission. In recent years, training for female recruits has mirrored that of male recruits. The history-making Marines who participated in this first combined graduation were 210 male Marines from Company H, 2d Battalion and 98 female Marines making up the 4016 series of Company N, 4th Battalion.
 
26 June – A special Evening Parade was held at Marine Barracks, 8th and I Streets, S.E., Washington, D. C. to honor President George Bush. Senators, congressmen, well-known political figures, as well as Marines from Headquarters Marine Corps attended. The parade included a concert from the "Presidents Own" United States Marine Band, a performance by the United States Marine Drum and Bugle Corps, and drill by the Silent Drill Platoon. The parade was identical to the one performed for the public each Friday during the summer at 8th and I.
 
29 June - 1 July – Marines from Marine Corps Combat Development Command at Quantico, Virginia, and around the Corps swept the 1989 Interservice Pistol Matches held in Nashville, Tennessee. Competing against 21 teams and more than 125 shooters, the USMC "Scarlet" Team defended the Corps' National Team Championship title. Staff Sergeant Mitch Reed won the Individual Interservice Champion award. Both wins were decided on a grand aggregate of several matches which included the .22 Caliber, Center Fire, .45 Caliber, and Service Pistol competitions.
 
30 June – Standing in front of the Marine Corps War Memorial with Old Glory streaming in the background and a flag by his side, President George Bush reaffirmed his opposition to the recent
Supreme Court ruling which allows burning the American flag as a peaceful political protest. The President and several prominent congressmen who also oppose the decision, gathered at the monument. Bush called upon the vivid symbol of the flag, to urge swift passage of a Constitutional amendment that would give Congress and the states power to prevent defacing of the flag.
 
30 June – The 4th Battalion, 10th Marines deactivated at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. The artillery battalion's general support mission would be transferred to the 3d Battalion, 14th Marines in the reserve force. Originally activated in 1923, the battalion participated in a number of World War II campaigns as well as the occupation of Japan. The deactivation would leave the 10th Regiment with four battalions -- the 1st, 2d, 3d, and 5th.
 
30 June – The strength of the U. S. Armed Forces was 2,115,330 of whom 195,107 were Marines.
 
1 July – Major General Arthur B. Hanson, USMCR, died of cancer at his home in Potomac, Maryland, at the age of 72. Commissioned in 1941, Major General Hanson participated in the battles for Roi-Namur, Saipan, Tinian, and Iwo Jima and was awarded a Bronze Star in each of these operations. Released from active duty in 1946, Major General Hanson remained active in the Marine Corps Reserve until his retirement in 1974. At the time of his death, he was president of the Marine Corps War Memorial Foundation, which had been instrumental in having the Iwo Jima flag-raising statue by Felix de Weldon erected in Washington.
 
1 July – Marine Aircraft Group 46, Detachment A, 4th Marine Aircraft Wing achieved a safety milestone of 35,711.4 mishap-free flight hours over a 20-year period, the longest so far in the Marine Corps Reserve. The unit is based at Norfolk, Virginia.
 
4 July – The U. S. Marine Band, the Marine Corps Drum and Bugle Corps, and the Silent Drill Team, all from Marine Barracks, 8th and I, Washington, D. C., were featured during NBC's special live holiday broadcast on "Good Morning America."
 
7 July – Five CH-53E Super Stallion helicopters left Marine Corps Air Station, El Toro, for Okinawa aboard several U. S. Air Force C-5B Galaxy aircraft. This move marked the entry of CH-53Es into the unit deployment program. The Corps' newest heavy-lift helicopters would also become available on a permanent basis in Western Pacific forces. A significant improvement over the CH-53D, the CH-53E could lift many items such as the M198 howitzer.
 
11 July – Almar 127-89 announced the establishment of the Marine Corps Professional Reading Program. The new program was designated to support the professional military education program for NCOs, SNCOs, and Officers. Marines would be required to read books from a carefully selected list of military biographies, battle accounts, and other warfare-related topics. The objectives of the program include: to impart a sense of Marine values and traits, to improve analytical and reasoning skills, to increase knowledge of our nation's institutions and the principles upon which our government and our way of life are founded, and to increase knowledge of the world's governments, culture, and geography.
 
13 July – The Commandant of the Marine Corps approved the naming of the Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility, Building 1139, at Marine Corps Base, Camp Pendleton, California, in honor of Colonel John E. Knight, Jr. During his distinguished 24 year career in the Corps, Colonel Knight made outstanding contributions to the Marine Corps intelligence community.
 
29 July – The USS Wasp (LDH 1), the first of the new class of multipurpose amphibious assault ships designed to conduct over-the-horizon operations, was commissioned at Pier 11, Norfolk Naval Base, Norfolk, Virginia. The traditional "coming alive" of this ship represented a further and significant advance in amphibious capabilities. Nearly 10,000 were in attendance for the ceremony with Commandant of the Marine Corps, General Alfred M. Gray, as the principal speaker. The new Wasp has a flight deck for operating helicopters and vertical/short takeoff and landing aircraft, and a well deck for launching air cushion and conventional landing craft. It has a crew of 1,081 and room for 2,000 deployed Marines.
 
31 July – A ruling by the General Accounting Office, a Congressional investigative body, supported the Navy's decision to suspend Lieutenant Colonel Oliver North's $23,000-a-year military pension. North was convicted on three charges for his role in the Iran-contra affair while serving as a National Security Council aide in the Reagan administration. The sentence handed down on 5 July netted North a $150,000 fine, two years probation, and 1,200 hours of community service.
 
___August – General Electric's Aircraft Engine Business Group of Lynn, Massachusetts, was selected to provide the U. S. Navy with $13.8 million in fighter engines for the F/A-18 Hornet program. The contract called for GE to be the sole-source producer of all F404-GE-400 turbo fan engines for the Navy throughout FY90 and marked the end of Pratt & Whitney's participation in the F/A-18 program.
 
1 August – The Marine Corps University (MCU), an integral part of the Marine Corps Combat Development Command at Quantico, Virginia, was activated. The mission of MCU was to develop, recommend, implement, and monitor the resident and non-resident professional military education policies and programs for all Marines, active and reserve, corporal through general. The MCU will provide an integrated military education network, with ties to amphibious warfare research facilities and historical assets, under one commander. Brigadier General Paul K. Van Riper was designated to perform the duties of President.
 
1 August – Lieutenant General Stephen G. Olmstead re-retired from the Corps. He served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Drug Policy and Enforcement as well as the Director of the Department of Defense Task Force on Drug Enforcement. 
 
7 August – The Commandant of the Marine Corps advised Major Robin Higgins, wife of Colonel William Higgins, of the virtual certainty that her husband was killed by Middle East terrorists. Colonel Higgins was seized on 17 February 1988 while serving as chief of the United Nations observer group in southern Lebanon. Major Higgins was also contacted by President George Bush who offered his support and sympathy.
 
8 August – Captain James B. Laster was selected as the 1989 recipient of the Leftwich Trophy for outstanding leadership by a company grade officer serving with the ground forces of the Fleet Marine Force. This marked the first time the trophy was awarded to an inspector-instructor staff officer on duty with the Marine Corps Reserve. Captain Laster served with the 1st Battalion, 25th Marines at the time of his nomination. The trophy is named for Lieutenant Colonel William G. Leftwich, commanding officer of 1st Reconnaissance Battalion, who died in a helicopter crash in Vietnam.
 
14-18 August – More than 30 of the Corps' senior artillery and infantry officers met at Quantico to develop recommendations for the Commandant pertaining to the future of Marine Corps artillery in the areas of structure, equipment, doctrine, and training. The Commandant participated in the final day of the conference and issued guidance to implement most of the conference recommendations.
 
15 August - 18 September – The 7th Marine Expeditionary Brigade joined U. S. Navy, U. S. Air Force, and Royal Thai Navy and Marine Corps units for Exercise Thalay Thai 89 in Thailand. Under the umbrella of this exercise were Exercise Freedom Banner 89, which involved the deployment and employment of the maritime prepositioning force, and Exercise Valiant Usher 89 that featured amphibious operations by the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit (Special Operations Capable) and the Royal Thai Marines.
 
18 August – Major General Royal N. Moore, Jr. was reassigned as Commanding General, 3d Marine Aircraft Wing/Deputy Commander, I Marine Expeditionary Force located at El Toro, California, replacing Major General Donald E. P. Miller.
 
21 August – The Commandant of the Marine Corps approved the naming of Building 41303 at Marine Corps Base, Camp Pendleton, California, in honor of Private First Class Ralph H. Johnson. One of five Black Medal of Honor recipients, Johnson was posthumously awarded the medal for heroism while serving with Company A, 1st Reconnaissance Battalion, 1st Marine Division in the Republic of Vietnam during March 1968.
 
23 August – The Marine Corps adopted the maternity camouflage uniform used by Army and Air Force women. The purpose of this action was to provide uniformity at commands where utilities are worn as the uniform of the day and to provide a comfortable and easily maintained uniform for duties for which the utilities would normally be appropriate. The uniform consisted of a coat and slacks made of rip-stop cotton fabric in the woodland camouflage pattern. 
 
24 August – Two Marines on board an OV-10A aircraft were killed when their plane crashed in Banning Pass, California. The Marines and aircraft from Marine Observation Squadron 2 were on a three-hour photo and visual aerial reconnaissance training mission over the Southern California desert when the crash occurred. 
 
26 August – Mr. Ralph W. Donnelly, former head of the History and Museums Division's Reference Section from 1967 to 1975, died at Charlotte, North Carolina, following a heart attack. He was 75 years old. Mr. Donnelly became the leading expert on the history of the Confederate States Marine Corps and published several books on the subject. He also co-authored an official history with Mr. Henry I. Shaw, Jr., Blacks in the Marine Corps.
 
29 August – The Commandant of the Marine Corps approved the naming of twelve Bachelor Enlisted Quarters at Marine Corps Air Station, Cherry Point, North Carolina, in honor of twelve deceased, enlisted Marines from the state of North Carolina who were killed in action during the Vietnam War. 
 
___September – The first M1A1 track-width mine plow delivered to the Marine Corps was used in a familiarization exercise by the 1st Tank Battalion at Camp Pendleton, California. Built by Israeli Aircraft Industries, the Corps' new mine plow would be used on M60 tanks, fitted by means of an adaptor kit, until the M1A1s begin to come on line in early 1991. Delivery of 72 mine plows is scheduled to be completed by May 1990.
 
___September – Congressional debate over funding Bell Boeing's V-22 Osprey did not slow down testing of the first prototype. The aircraft flew at 6,000 feet while transitioning to the airplane mode and reached speeds up to 155 knots. The focus of the 65-minute flight, which marked the end of the second phase of flight testing, monitored the aircraft's maneuverability at varying speeds and nacelle angles. 
 
1 September – The keys to the new official quarters for the Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps were presented to Sergeant Major and Mrs. Sommers in a ceremony hosted by the Commandant, General Alfred M. Gray. The four bedroom, two-story brick house is located near Headquarters Marine Corps in the Defense Communications Agency compound across from Ft Myer, Virginia. The home, long sought by the Corps, was one of three built during 1989 for the senior enlisted of the sea services.
 
5 September – Major General Robert F. Milligan was promoted to the grade of lieutenant general and assigned as Commanding General, Fleet Marine Force, Pacific/Commander, Marine Corps Bases, Pacific, replacing Lieutenant General Edwin J. Godfrey who was retiring.
 
6 September – The Commandant of the Marine Corps approved the naming of eight streets at Marine Corps Air Station, Tustin, California, in honor of eight officer and enlisted Marines who were killed in action during the Vietnam War while serving with Marine Aircraft Group 36. 
 
13 September - 4 October – Marines of the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit joined Italian and Turkish troops for Exercise Display Determination 89 in the Mediterranean. The exercise involved reinforcing NATO's Southern Region in time of crisis or war and defending the region from external aggression. Approximately 13,000 land and amphibious troops participated in the exercise. 
 
15 September – The first of 99 approved and budgeted night attack AV-8B Harrier IIs was delivered by McDonnell Douglas to the Naval Weapons Center at China Lake, California. Following testing the night attack Harrier would be sent to Marine Corps Air Station, Yuma. These specially equipped Harriers would allow Marine Corps pilots to provide enhanced close air support to ground troops through a forward looking infrared sensor located in the nose of the aircraft.
 
17 September – Major General Frank D. Weir died in Santa Barbara, California, at the age of 87. A graduate of the U. S. Naval Academy, he was commissioned a second lieutenant in the Marine Corps in 1923. During his distinguished 30-year career, General Weir participated in operations against bandits in Nicaragua and served on the staff of the Commander, Amphibious Force, South Pacific during World War II.
 
18 September – The first show of the television comedy series, "Major Dad" aired on CBS. Starring Gerald McRaney, the series portrayed a Marine major at the School of Infantry at Camp Pendleton. (In the series, Pendleton was referred to as Singleton). The storyline of "Major Dad" featured his life as a Marine officer who had recently been married for the first time.
 
20 September – The Joint Unmanned Ground Vehicle Program Office concluded a major milestone --a demonstration of several unmanned ground vehicles for a combined audience of Marine Corps, Army, and industry representatives at Camp Pendleton, California. The demonstration was designed to acquaint those attending with the program's progress in developing robotic vehicles for Army/Marine Corps use and particularly to show off the reconnaissance and target acquisition capabilities of the Marine Corps' Teleoperated Vehicle and the Army's Teleoperated Mobile All-Purpose Platform. 
 
20 September – Retired Master Sergeant John DeGrasse, noted Marine artist and illustrator, died at the age of 70. During the 1940s and 1950s, he served as art director for Leatherneck and the Marine Corps Gazette and painted over 100 covers for the magazines. A combat artist during the Korean War, he later worked as an exhibit specialist for the Marine Corps Museum and as the Navy Museum's exhibit chief, both in Washington, D. C.
 
24 September - 10 October – More than 640 Marines and Navy medical corpsmen arrived in the Charleston and Myrtle Beach area of South Carolina to provide disaster relief support after Hurricane Hugo slammed into that area on 21 September. In the aftermath of the storm, Marines joined state police, National Guardsmen, Red Cross workers, and thousands of volunteers from across the country. Marines from the 2d Force Service Support Group, Marine Wing Support Squadron 273, and Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron 362 provided assistance with road clearing, power supply and transmission line hookup, and water purification.
 
26 September – Major General Henry C. Stackpole III assumed command of the III Marine Expeditionary Force/3d Marine Division on Okinawa replacing Major General Norman H. Smith.
 
27 September – Major General William M. Keys was assigned as Commanding General, 2d Marine Division located at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, replacing Major General Orlo K. Stelle.
 
30 September – Five battalions assigned to Marine Expeditionary Unit (Special Operations Capable) (MEU (SOC)) missions – 2/4 at Camp Lejeune and 1/1, 1/4. 1/9, and 3/1 at Camp Pendleton – were reorganized under the new Table of Organization 1038G. Over the past year, the Marine Corps had implemented infantry battalion enhancement and cadre actions planned to balance Fleet Marine Force total force structure. Generally, these plans called for placing three infantry battalions in cadre, while beefing up the 24 remaining active battalions. Personnel and equipment savings achieved by these cuts were reallocated to provide needed personnel enhancements throughout the infantry structure and to add a fourth rifle company to battalions assigned to MEU (SOC) commitments. 
 
2 October – Two Hungarian military historians, Major General Ervin Liptai, Director General of the War Historical Institute and Museum, and Colonel Imre Fuzi, Chief of Faculty of the Zrinyi
Miklos Military Academy, visited the Marine Corps Historical Center as part of an ongoing program of official visits between Warsaw Pact and American military historical and museum activities. 
 
5 - 8 October – The 1989 Marine Corps Aviation Association awards were presented at the association's convention in Pensacola, Florida. Lieutenant Colonel Robert J. Garner of Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron 268 was named aviator of the year and recipient of the Alfred A. Cunningham Award. Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 451 received the Robert M. Hanson Award for the fighter squadron of the year. The Lawson H. M. Sanderson Award for the attack squadron of the year went to Marine All Weather Attack Squadron 224 and Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron 261 received the Keith B. McCutcheon Award for the helicopter squadron of the year. 
 
13 October – The Immigration and Naturalization Service released a statement on its agreement with the Marine Corps to conduct joint training and surveillance operations along the southwest border of the United States in support of the Bush administration's war on drugs. About 50 Marines would be involved, primarily for training and instruction on situation maps, patrol briefing and debriefing procedures, and information analysis. This agreement marks the first use of full-time military personnel in support of the anti-drug effort.
 
14 October – Mrs. Raymond G. Davis was the sponsor of the guided missile cruiser USS Chosin (CG 65) and christened the ship at ceremonies held in Pascagoula, Mississippi. General Davis, who received the Medal of Honor for actions at the Chosin Reservoir, accompanied her at the Ingalls Shipyard ceremony.
 
17 October – A deadly earthquake shook the San Francisco Bay area. Marines from Battalion Landing Team 3d Battalion, 1st Marines, the15th Marine Expeditionary Unit, Marine Aircraft Group 42, and Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron 166 and others provided disaster relief support. The wide-range of support included crowd control at the port of San Francisco, rescue efforts at the site of a collapsed overpass, flying damage inspection tours of the bay area, and general clean up.
 
20 October – Major General John R. Dailey was appointed to the grade of lieutenant general while serving as Commanding General, Marine Corps Research, Development, and Acquisition Command, Headquarters Marine Corps.
 
26 October – The Commandant of the Marine Corps approved the naming of the 8th Marines mess hall (Dining Facility #122) at Marine Corps Base, Camp Lejeune, in honor of Colonel Henry P. (Jim) Crowe. A recipient of the Navy Cross, Silver Star, Bronze Star, and Purple Heart, Colonel Crowe served in World War II as well as the Dominican Republic, Nicaragua, China, and Korea during his 40-year Marine Corps career. 
 
1 November – The Marine Detachment, USS Coral Sea deactivated as part of the aircraft carrier's scheduled decommissioning in April 1990. The detachment had been on board since 1947 and saw 42 years of active service. 
 
1 November – Lieutenant General John I. Hudson retired. He served as Deputy Chief of Staff for Manpower and Reserve Affairs, Headquarters Marine Corps.
 
5 November – Jim Hage, a 31-year old resident of Lanham, Maryland, won the 14th Annual Marine Corps Marathon in Washington, D. C. with a time of 2:20:23. He became the first man to post back-to-back victories in the history of the 14-year race. In the women's division, Laura DeWald, 32, of Grand Rapids, Michigan, took first place honors with a time of 2:45:16. More than 12,700 military and civilian runners competed.
 
6 November – The Commandant of the Marine Corps approved the naming of a road and three buildings at Camp San Mateo, Marine Corps Base, Camp Pendleton, California, in honor of the following four deceased Marines of the 7th Regiment who were awarded the Medal of Honor: Colonel Archie Van Winkle, Staff Sergeant Lewis G. Watkins, Corporal Lee H. Phillips, and Private First Class Charles H. Roan. 
 
8 November – The first three AH-1W Super Cobras made their debut in the 2d Marine Aircraft Wing at Marine Corps Air Station, New River. The "Whiskey" Cobras were assigned to Marine Light Attack Helicopter Squadron 167. Manufactured by Bell Helicopter Textron, the AH-1W is an upgraded version of the AH-1T Sea Cobra. 
 
8 November – Eight whooping cranes were airlifted on a KC-130 by Marine Aerial Refueler Transport Squadron 452 from Andrews Air Force Base, Washington, D. C., to Baraboo, Wisconsin, home of the International Crane Foundation (ICF). The eight cranes were the first of three shipments of approximately half the captive whooping crane flock in the world. As endangered species, the birds were sent to ICF to protect them from possible outbreaks of disease and natural predators and to establish a breeding flock at ICF. 
 
10 November – Amongst the many Marine Corps Birthday celebrations and ceremonies worldwide, the 35th anniversary of the dedication of the Marine Corps (Iwo Jima) War Memorial was observed in Washington, D. C. General Robert H. Barrow, 27th Commandant of the Marine Corps, was the guest speaker at ceremonies held at the memorial site.
 
13 November – A milestone in Marine Corps aviation was achieved with the completion of the transition of the F-4 Phantom to the F/A-18 Hornet in the active force. The transition began when Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 314 received its first F/A-18A on 12 December 1982. The transition was completed by Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 233 receiving its twelfth aircraft when an F/A-18C touched down on this date.
 
15 November – The Commandant of the Marine Corps approved the naming of a new Dental Clinic Wing at Marine Corps Recruit Depot/Eastern Recruiting Region, Parris Island, South Carolina, in honor of Captain Lucian C. Williams, DC, USN. Reporting for duty at Marine Barracks, Parris Island, on 4 August 1913, he was the first dental officer to serve with the U. S. Marine Corps.
 
19 November – Major General William J. Whaling died at the age of 95 in Lyons, New Jersey. Commissioned in the Marine Corps in 1917, he served with the 6th Regiment in France during World War I. He commanded the 1st Marines in the Cape Gloucester operation of World War II and the 29th Marines on Okinawa, where he was awarded the Navy Cross for heroism. In the Korean War, he was assistant division commander of the 1st Marine Division. He retired in 1954 after 37 years of active service.
 
___ December – The Marine Corps completed outfitting all tank companies with a new class-60 armored vehicle launched bridge (AVLB). The folding bridge, which would be transported on modified M60A2 chassis, provided the combined arms team a rapid, assault gap-crossing capability of spanning lengths up to 60 feet and greatly enhanced combat mobility. All current and future vehicles in the Marine Corps' combined arms team, to include the new M1A1, could use the bridge.
 
14 December – A detachment from the 2d Marine Division returned with a task force of U. S. Navy ships from UNITAS XXX, an annual series of exercises conducted by the U. S. and South American military forces. The five-month cruise through Caribbean and South American waters was designed to promote hemispheric solidarity, military professionalism, and understanding among participating countries. 
 
14 December – The headquarters of the Marine Air-Ground Training and Education Center, Quantico, Virginia, was dedicated in honor of Major General Smedley D. Butler. Major General Matthew Caulfield, Director of the Training and Education Center, was the keynote speaker during the dedication ceremony.
 
15 December – First Lieutenant Robert Paz, an operations officer with U. S. Southern Command in Panama, was shot and killed by Panamanian Defense Forces while enroute to a restaurant in Panama City. He was one of 700 Marines dispatched to Panama to protect American citizens. 
 
20 December – Operation Just Cause was launched in Panama to protect American lives, restore the democratic process, preserve the integrity of the Panama Canal Treaty, and apprehend dictator General Manuel Antonio Noriega. Although it was predominately an Army show, all Marines on the scene were fully committed to a wide variety of operational tasks that included a preemptive attack against the Panamanian Defense Forces on the southeast side of the canal. One Marine, Corporal Garreth C. Isaak, was killed and three others were wounded during the operation.
 
22 December – Over 20 years of continuous operation of A-6 aircraft by the "Green Knights" of Marine All Weather Attack Squadron 121 was brought to a close as the last A-6E aircraft was transferred to Whidbey Island, Washington. The first phase of the Marine Corps transition from A-6 aircraft to F/A-18D aircraft was completed. The squadron was scheduled to receive its first F/A-18D aircraft in early 1990.
 
31 December – The strength of the U. S. Armed Forces was 2,098,394, of whom 197,102 were Marines.

 

1990

___January – A 400-man task force from I Marine Expeditionary Force (MEF) deployed to carry out a variety of engineering tasks as part of a four-month series of Ahuas Tara exercises in Honduras, a joint U.S./Honduran counterinsurgency exercise. A major maritime prepositioning force exercise was later conducted that involved Maritime Prepositioning Squadron 1. Other phases of the exercise series involved a test of I MEF air contingency forces and a combined exercise with Honduran military units. 
 
___January – The move of the 7th Marines from Camp Pendleton, California, to Twentynine Palms, California, got underway as scheduled. Based on a 1989 force structure study group's recommendations, the Commandant of the Marine Corps, General Alfred M. Gray, made the decision to move the 7th Marines and its direct support artillery battalion, 3d Battalion, 11th Marines. The final phase of the shift would be completed in mid-1991.
 
1 January – The strength of the U. S. Armed Forces was 2,098,394, of whom 197,102 were Marines.
 
1-31 January – Approximately 4,200 Marines and sailors participated in Exercise Alpine Warrior 90 held at Fort McCoy, Wisconsin, and Volk Field Air National Guard Base, Wisconsin. Elements of the 4th Marine Expeditionary Brigade took part in the exercise which was designed to teach individual and unit Arctic skills in preparation for cold weather contingency operations.
 
5 January – The Marine Corps implemented its program for testing its civilian workers in compliance with both Executive Order 12564, which established a goal of achieving a drug-free workplace, and the Department of the Navy's policy on a drug-free work environment. The program, consistent with the Corps' policy for Marines, would test about 3,000 designated civilian workers for five types of drugs.
 
8 January – The Commandant of the Marine Corps approved the naming of a moving target simulator building in the 32 Area at Marine Corps Base, Camp Pendleton, California, in honor of Corporal Tony Stein. He was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for heroism while serving with Company A, 1st Battalion, 28th Marines, 5th Marine Division during the battle for Iwo Jima in March 1945.
 
16 January – A recognized military classic written more than 2,500 years ago was named the 1990 "Commandant's Choice" for the Marine Corps' professional military education reading program. Almar 016/90 indicated that The Art of War, written by Chinese author Sun Tzu and translated by the late Brigadier General Samuel B. Griffith, II, topped General Alfred M. Gray's list of required reading for its timeless applications and perceptive insights on military operations. 
 
31 January – Operation Just Cause in Panama concluded. Launched on 20 December 1989, the mission of the operation was to protect American lives, restore the democratic process, and preserve the integrity of the Panama Canal Treaty. One Marine, Corporal Garreth C. Isaak, was killed and three others were wounded during the operation.
 
___February – Blount Island Command at Jacksonville, Florida, completed its first maritime pre-positioning force maintenance cycle (MMC) when the SS Obregon, the fourth ship of Maritime Pre-positioning Force (MPF) 1, returned to its area of operation in the Atlantic Ocean. The command was established in the spring of 1989 along with a shift in responsibility for the maintenance program from FMFLant/FMFPac commanders to Commanding General, Marine Corps Logistics Base, Albany, Georgia. Each MPF ship undergoes an MMC about every 30 months. 
 
2-3 February – Nearly 1,000 Marines and sailors of the 37th Marine Expeditionary Unit participated in Exercise Valiant Usher 90-4 at Subic Bay, Republic of the Philippines. The exercise provided the opportunity to review and practice contingency plans in support of U.S. forces stationed in the Subic Bay area. The Marine Air-Ground Task Force augmented existing security forces from the Marine Barracks by conducting amphibious landings and heli-borne operations. 
 
3 February – The USS Comstock (LSD 45) was commissioned in New Orleans. As one of the Whidbey Island class of LSDs, the Comstock's main mission would be to transport Marines and to launch and support assault landing craft and helicopters during amphibious operations. The Comstock was designed to carry four of the new LCAC assault hovercraft. Construction began during October 1986 by Avondale Industries, New Orleans, and the ship was christened in January 1988 by Mrs. Alfred M. Gray, wife of the Commandant of the Marine Corps. 
 
5-23 February – In an 18-day concert tour, the United States Marine Band became the first U.S. military band to tour the Soviet Union. Led by Colonel John R. Bourgeois, the 69 members of "The President's Own" performed in five major cities in three Soviet republics during the visit. The tour was part of a U.S.-Soviet Armed Forces Band Exchange that saw The First Independent Performing Orchestra of the U.S.S.R. Ministry of Defense perform in the United States during its East Coast tour 12-29 January. 
 
17 February – The 1990 Pacific Division Marksmanship Matches ended with 20 of the 102 Marine competitors walking away with individual or team honors. The matches were held at Camp H. M. Smith, Hawaii, and were part of the competition-in-arms program designed to enhance the combat marksmanship proficiency of the Marine Corps. Shooters from the Navy, Air Force, Hawaii National Guard, and National Rifle Association rounded out the field. 
 
19 February – This date marked the 45th anniversary of the assault on Iwo Jima. The battle for Iwo Jima pitted the 3d, 4th, and 5th Marine Divisions against a determined force of well-entrenched Japanese defenders. A (second) flag raising by five Marines and one Navy corpsman was photographed by Associated Press photographer Joe Rosenthal. The Pulitzer Prize-winning photo became one of the most famous battle photographs of World War II, and was the inspiration for the Marine Corps War Memorial, Washington, D.C.
 
21 February – The Commandant of the Marine Corps approved the naming of the 1st Reconnaissance Battalion Headquarters at Marine Corps Base, Camp Pendleton, California, in honor of Lieutenant Colonel William G. Leftwich. In 1970, he served as commanding officer of the above battalion in Vietnam prior to being killed in a helicopter crash. His decorations include the Navy Cross and Silver Star. 
 
22 February – The Commandant of the Marine Corps, General Alfred M. Gray, delivered the annual Marine Corps posture statement to the Defense Subcommittee of the House Appropriations Committee. General Gray stated that Marines were training harder and following a chartered course that would enhance their ability to respond to the changing international security environment. 
 
___March – Two Pointer unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) systems were delivered to the 8th Marines at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, and the 7th Marine Expeditionary Brigade at Twentynine Palms, California, for year-long operational field tests. Pointers are manportable, battery-powered UAVs that are carried in two backpacks. They have a range of about three miles and carry an onboard camera that records and relays video images back to the pilot's and observer's video monitor. In addition to the Corps' testing plans, the Army received several Pointer systems for field testing.
 
___March – The Marine Corps completed a proof-of-concept demonstration at Marine Corps Air Station, Yuma, Arizona, for new upgrades to its HAWK missile system, the Corp's principal air defense missile system against medium-to-low-altitude enemy targets. The demonstration involved the B-1 Battery of the 2d Light Antiaircraft Missile Battalion that performed a number of field exercises as part of its annual FIREX-90 live fire exercise. 
 
5 March – The Commandant of the Marine Corps approved the naming of the Senior Officer's Guest House at Marine Corps Base, Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, in honor of Lieutenant General Lewis B. Puller who served as both commanding general of the base and commanding general of the 2d Marine Division located there.
 
8 March – This date marked the 25th anniversary of the first U.S. ground combat unit landing in the Republic of Vietnam. The 9th Marine Expeditionary Brigade commanded by Brigadier General Frederick J. Karch landed at Da Nang to defend the air base. The brigade included two battalion landing teams: 3d Battalion, 9th Marines and 1st Battalion, 3d Marines.
 
8 March – An Armed Forces Full Honor Review was conducted at Ceremonial Hall, Fort Myer, Virginia. There, Secretary of Defense Richard B. Cheney and the Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Colin L. Powell, presented the Armed Forces Expeditionary Streamer to each service for Operation Just Cause in Panama during December 1989 - January 1990. Commandant of the Marine Corps, General Alfred M. Gray, received the streamer and placed it on the Marine Corps battle colors. 
 
13-22 March – Marines and sailors of the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit (Special Operations Capable), as well as other Navy and Marine Corps units of the III Marine Expeditionary Force and the U.S. Seventh Fleet, took part in Exercise Team Spirit 90. The 15th annual exercise took place in the Republic of Korea and was designed to improve defensive readiness of ROK and U.S. forces through combined and joint operations.
 
15-21 March – For the first time since 1977, the U.S. Marine Wrestling Team took second place at the 1990 Armed Forces Wrestling Championship held at Quantico, Virginia. The Marine team, which took first place for 13 consecutive years, was derailed by the U.S. Army Wrestling Team that captured the overall title of Best Wrestling Team in the U.S. Military. The Marine team was able to take nine individual first place gold medals.
 
___April – The AV-8B Night Attack Weapons Systems Trainer, the newest advancement in aerial combat capability, arrived at Marine Corps Air Station, Yuma, Arizona. The new trainer would allow pilots to perform a night attack mission to include engine starts, field and carrier takeoffs and landings, air-to-air and air-to-ground weapons deliveries, threat avoidance, and tactical navigation. The new simulator would provide pilots with a complete night attack training environment.
 
1 April – On this date 45 years ago, the Tenth Army, including XXIV Corps and III Amphibious Corps (1st and 6th Marine Divisions with the 2d Marine Division in reserve) and Tactical Air Force, Tenth Army (primarily 2d Marine Aircraft Wing) landed in assault on Okinawa.
 
2 April – Colonel Charles R. Geiger, the first Marine to command the Naval Space Command at Dahlgren, Virginia, relieved Rear Admiral David E. Frost. A Naval aviator since 1964, Colonel Geiger joined the Naval Space Command in July 1989 as the third Marine selected to the deputy commander position. Colonel Geiger would be relieved by Rear Admiral L. E. Allen, Jr., the commanding officer of the aircraft carrier USS Coral Sea, after the ship is decommissioned in May.
 
2 April – A delegation of six Soviet military historians visited the Marine Corps Historical Center as a reciprocal visit by U.S. military historians to the Soviet Union during April 1989. The delegation was headed by Colonel General Dmitri A. Volkogonov, chief of the Soviet Institute of Military History.
 
20 April – The Commandant of the Marine Corps approved the naming of a new Bachelor Enlisted Quarters at Marine Corps Development Command, Quantico, Virginia, in honor of Major General William J. Whaling. Widely known for his competitive marksmanship, Major General Whaling commanded Marine regiments in World War II campaigns and served as the assistant commander of the 1st Marine Division during the Korean War.
 
20 April - 7 May – Marines of the 28th Marine Expeditionary Unit participated in Exercise Ocean Venture 90 in the Caribbean. The five-service joint task force was designed to demonstrate U.S. power projection and rapid deployment capability in the Caribbean. Unlike Exercise Ocean Venture 1988 that involved dozens of ships and 40,000 military personnel, the 1990 exercise only involved 12 ships and 14,000 troops -- a result of budget cuts curtailing large-scale joint exercises.
 
23 April - 8 June – Marines from the I Marine Expeditionary Brigade participated in Exercise Cobra Gold 90 in and around the Gulf of Thailand. The exercise was designed to strengthen the ability of the Royal Thai armed forces to defend their country and included combined joint air, land, maritime, amphibious, and special operations. During this exercise, the Army's 25th Infantry Division employed for the first time the new Pointer unmanned aerial vehicle that primarily conducted small unit, over-the-hill reconnaissance.
 
25 April – On this date in 1970, eight Americans died in an attempt to rescue American hostages in Iran. The all-volunteer military mission was aborted, and three Marines and five Air Force servicemen were killed when a helicopter and a transport plane collided during refueling in Iran's Great Salt Desert. No Greater Love sponsored a memorial ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery in honor of the servicemen lost. Ted Koppel, ABC News Nightline anchor, served as master of ceremonies. Family members and former hostages were also present.
 
___May – Marines who served north of the Arctic Circle became eligible to receive the Navy Arctic Service Ribbon. To qualify, a Marine must have served above the Arctic Circle for 28 days, consecutive or non-consecutive, on or after 1 January 1982. For most Marines, this duty would have been in Thule, Greenland, or Narvik, Norway. Marines were not eligible for the Navy Arctic Service Ribbon when it was first awarded in 1987.
 
1 May – The first two prototypes of the new air defense variant of the light armored vehicle, the LAV(AD), were delivered to the Marine Corps at Twentynine Palms, California. The LAV(AD) is a highly mobile, low altitude antiaircraft weapons platform that could incorporate three different types of weapons -- a 25mm automatic gun, a 2.75-inch Hydra 70 rocket system, and a Stinger launcher. The prototypes were supplied by two firms, General Electric and FMC. 
 
1 May – The Commandant of the Marine Corps approved the naming of Building 575 at Marine Corps Base, Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, in honor of Corporal Garreth C. Isaak who was killed in action while leading his Marine squad against enemy forces in Panama on 20 December 1989.
 
6 May – Two literary awards sponsored by the Marine Corps Historical Foundation were presented during an awards dinner at the Sheraton National Hotel in Arlington, Virginia. The foundation's Colonel Robert D. Heinl Award in Marine Corps History went to David C. Brooks for his article, "U.S. Marines, Miskitos, and the Hunt for Sandino: the Rio Coco Patrol in 1928," that appeared in the Journal for Latin American Studies, May 1989. The General Roy S. Geiger Award, for the outstanding aviation article published in the Marine Corps Gazette, was awarded to Major John B. Saxman, USAF, for his article, "The Role of Marine Aviation in Maneuver Warfare," published in the August 1989 issue.
 
13 May – All Marine Corps CH-46 Sea Knight helicopters were grounded following an investigation of a CH-46 mishap in Twentynine Palms, California, on 4 May that injured 17 Marines. Investigation results showed that a CH-46 from Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron 163 was operating with a defective quill shaft within the rear transmission assembly that caused a loss of drive to the rear rotor system. Inspection of all Navy and Marine Corps helicopters was conducted.
 
22 May – The two foremost weapons designers of the last half of the 20th century -- Mikhail T. Kalashnikov, designer of the Soviet AK47 assault rifle and former Marine Eugene M. Stoner, designer of the U.S. M16 rifle met at Quantico, Virginia. The visit was the culmination of a six-day symposium on their designs and careers arranged by Dr. Edward Ezell of the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History. 
 
24 May – The Commandant of the Marine Corps approved the naming of the base theater at Marine Corps Air Station, Cherry Point, North Carolina, in honor of Reserve Major General Melvin J. Maas who served in World War I, World War II, and Korea. He was also a Congressman representing the state of Minnesota for 16 years. 
 
25 May - 31 July – Exercise Freedom Banner 90 demonstrated how the Military Sealift Command's prepositioned naval support forces and U.S. Marine Corps and Navy personnel could provide humanitarian assistance when needed. The MV Sgt William R. Button, under charter to the Military Sealift Command and assigned to Maritime Prepositioning Squadron 3, provided support for a disaster relief scenario on Indian Island, Washington. In contrast, during Exercise Freedom Banner 88, a brigade-sized force of Marines invaded the Puget Sound Island to test rapid deployment of combat troops and forwarding supplies to foreign battlefields. 
 
1 June – Brigadier General Gail M. Reals, Deputy Commander for Support, Marine Corps Combat Development Command and Commanding General, Marine Corps Base, Quantico, retired after more than 35 years of service as a Marine. Brigadier General Reals was the only Woman Marine general officer on active duty in the Corps. 
 
1 June – Major General Clyde L. Vermilyea assumed command of the 4th Marine Aircraft Wing replacing Major General Jeremiah W. Pearson III.
 
7-18 June – Four Marines from the Mountain Warfare Training Center at Bridgeport, California, climbed Mt. McKinley, the highest peak in North America. The Alaskan climb provided an opportunity to test and evaluate cold weather clothing and equipment as well as provide advanced, high altitude, cold weather training. The Marines were participating in a Tri-Corps Expedition with British Royal Marines and the Netherlands Marines. 
 
12 June – The Commandant of the Marine Corps approved the naming of the headquarters building of the 2d Battalion, 24th Marines in Chicago, in honor of Lieutenant Colonel Joseph J. McCarthy, a Medal of Honor recipient from World War II. 
 
14 June – John Philip Sousa, 17th director of the President's Own, United States Marine Band, was honored when a "star" was unveiled on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. It was a tribute to his contributions to American marching band music.
 
18 June – Marine Forces, Panama ended its two-year-long presence as part of the Department of Defense's reduction of forces in Panama to pre-1988 levels. The 600 members of Task Force Semper Fi returned to the U.S. after participating in the joint task force combat operation Just Cause and the recent nation-building efforts of Operation Promote Liberty. 
 
20 June – The Army's Tank-Automotive Command in Warren, Michigan, awarded a contract on behalf of the Marine Corps to Cadillac Gage Textron, Inc. for full-scale development of three prototype LAV-105s. The LAV-105 would be the assault gun variant of the Corps' light armored vehicle which was originally built by Diesel Division, General Motors. 
 
22 June – The Commandant of the Marine Corps approved the naming of the new instructional building at Marine Corps Combat Development Command, Quantico, in honor of First Lieutenant Frank N. Mitchell, a posthumous Medal of Honor recipient from the Korean War. 
 
22 June – The namings of three buildings at the Marine Corps Reserve Center, Kansas City, Kansas, were approved by the Commandant of the Marine Corps. The buildings were named in honor of three deceased Medal of Honor recipients: Lieutenant Colonel Aquilla J. Dyess, First Lieutenant John V. Power, and Corporal Jack A. Davenport.
 
25 June – On this date, 40 years ago, the "land of the morning calm" was invaded by more than 60,000 North Korean troops marking the beginning of the Korean War. The 1st Provisional Marine Brigade arrived in Pusan on 2 August 1950 and was followed by Marines of the 1st Marine Division and 1st Marine Aircraft Wing who participated in the war from September 1950 to July 1953.
 
25-29 June – Staff Sergeant Mitchell Reed of the U.S. Marine Corps Pistol Team fired his way to his third consecutive title at the Interservice Pistol Matches. Staff Sergeant Reed competed against 140 shooters, using various weapons and ammunition. Traditionally held in Nashville, Tennessee, the matches were moved to Little Rock, Arkansas, for the first time. 
 
28 June – The Commandant of the Marine Corps approved the naming of Building 62500 at Marine Corps Base, Camp Pendleton, California, in honor of Private First Class Jimmy W. Phipps, a posthumous Medal of Honor recipient from the Vietnam War.
 
30 June – The strength of the U.S. Armed Forces was 2,520,406, of whom 195,559 were Marines.
 
___July – The Marine Corps decided to buy seven 35-foot multipurpose riverine assault craft from SeaArk Marine, Inc. of Monticell, Arkansas, under a plan aimed at enhancing Marine Riverine capabilities. The assault craft, which cost about $300,000 each, would be fast, armed boats powered by waterjet propulsion systems.
 
1 July – Lieutenant General Carl E. Mundy, Jr. assumed command of Fleet Marine Force, Atlantic/II Marine Expeditionary Force/Fleet Marine Force, Europe, replacing Lieutenant General Ernest T. Cook, Jr. 
 
1 July – Major General Joseph P. Hoar was promoted to the grade of lieutenant general and reassigned Deputy Chief of Staff for Plans, Policies, and Operations at Headquarters, U.S. Marine Corps, replacing Lieutenant General Mundy.
 
1 July – Lieutenant General William G. Carson, Jr. retired. He served as Deputy Chief of Staff for Installations and Logistics at Headquarters, U.S. Marine Corps. Lieutenant General Carson was replaced by newly promoted Lieutenant General Robert J. Winglass. 
 
1 July – Major General Matthew T. Cooper was reassigned as Commanding General of the 4th Marine Division replacing Major General Walter E. Boomer who would be reassigned as Commanding General, I Marine Expeditionary Force/Marine Corps Base, Camp Pendleton, California.
 
1 July – Major General Richard D. Hearney assumed command of the 2d Marine Aircraft Wing replacing Major General Richard A. Gustafson.
 
3 July – The Department of the Navy grounded its fleet of Navy and Marine Corps CH-46 "Sea Knight" helicopters for the third time in two months after an investigation into a 22 June helicopter crash, which killed four Navy crewmembers, revealed problems with the aircraft's rotor system. The initial grounding of the CH-46s came after an investigation into the 4 May accident at Twentynine Palms, California. The CH-46s were again grounded on 30 May after a Marine helicopter landed with an oil leak near the rotor head of the aircraft. The CH-46 is used by the Marine Corps for combat support and search and rescue.
 
6 July – One of the oldest and most versatile attack aircraft in Marine Corps history, the A-4 Skyhawk, retired from the Corps' active aviation structure after over 30 years of service. The last two OA-4M Skyhawks from Marine Aircraft Group 32 flew their final flight from Cherry Point, North Carolina, to Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Maryland, where they would be used to support ongoing naval testing exercises. 
 
7 July – Major General Thomas G. Ennis, a veteran Marine aviator, died at the age of 85. A graduate of the Naval Academy, Major General Ennis was commissioned in the Marine Corps in 1928. He served on Guadalcanal and the Philippines during World War II and commanded Marine Corps Recruit Depot, Parris Island, South Carolina, before his retirement in 1960.
 
9 July – The Commandant of the Marine Corps approved the commemorative naming of the new headquarters building of Marine Air Control Squadron 1, aboard Marine Corps Base, Camp Pendleton, in honor of Brigadier General Walter L. J. Bayler. He served as the first commanding officer of Marine Air Warning Group 1, to which Marine Air Control Squadron 1 was assigned, and was the last man off Wake Island before it fell to the Japanese in December 1941.
 
16 July – A multinational task force of U.S., Peruvian, and Venezuelan ships weighed anchor to begin a five-month deployment that would circumnavigate the South American continent. The exercise, UNITAS, joined ships and aircraft of the U.S. Atlantic Fleet with South American units for a series of combined naval warfare exercises. The 31st annual exercise also allowed Marines and sailors to engage in community relations.
 
18 July – An earthquake registering 7.7 on the Richter Scale rocked the northern provinces of Luzon in the Philippines. Responding to the call for help were approximately 200 Marines assigned to Marine Air Ground Task Force 4-90. The Marines responded along with other Navy and Air Force units to help search for survivors and provide emergency relief for those decimated by the earthquake.
 
19-23 July – For the third consecutive year, Marines of the USMC "Scarlet" Pistol Team won the National Team Championship title at Camp Perry, Ohio. Three All-Marine shooters also walked away with national titles, keeping the Corps in the shooting spotlight for yet another year. More than 1,280 military and civilian shooters participated. 
 
23 July – The Marine Detachment on board the USS New Jersey deactivated. It was the fourth deactivation ceremony of Marine Detachment, USS New Jersey in the battleship's 47-year history.  The Commanding Officer of the detachment, Captain Enrico Degusman as well as Commanding Officer of Marine Corps Security Force Battalion, Pacific, Colonel Henry Reed, were on hand for the ceremony.
 
24-31 July – Sergeant Nelson Ocasio of the Marine Corps Rifle Team won the Interservice Individual Rifle Championship at the 1990 Interservice Rifle Matches held at Quantico, Virginia. He became the first shooter of the 29-year-old event to claim three consecutive Interservice Individual Rifle Championships.
 
___August – Captain Ronald F. Baczkowski was selected as the 1990 recipient of the Leftwich Trophy for outstanding leadership by a company grade officer serving with the ground forces of the Fleet Marine Force. Captain Baczkowski served with Company K, 3d Battalion, 1st Marines. The trophy is named for Lieutenant Colonel William G. Leftwich, commanding officer of 1st Reconnaissance Battalion, who died in a helicopter crash in Vietnam. 
 
___August – As part of the Commandant's decision to phase out self-propelled howitzers, 5th Battalion, 10th Marines completed the deactivation of its M109A3 155mm and M110A2 eight-inch self-propelled howitzer batteries and activated M198 155mm towed howitzer batteries. The conversion to a towed system would increase both tactical and strategic mobility.
 
1 August – General Joseph J. Went, Assistant Commandant of the Marine Corps since July 1988, retired after 38 years of service. The decorated aviator received three awards of the Air Medal and holds the Legion of Merit with Combat "V". He was replaced by General John R. Dailey.
 
1 August – Lieutenant General William R. Etnyre retired from the Marine Corps. He last served as Commanding General Marine Corps Combat Development Command, Quantico, Virginia, and was replaced by Lieutenant General Ernest T. Cook, Jr.
 
1 August – Major General Duane A. Wills was promoted to the grade of lieutenant general and assigned as Deputy Chief of Staff for Aviation at Headquarters, U.S. Marine Corps, replacing Lieutenant General Charles H. Pitman who retired on this day.
 
1 August – Major General Norman E. Ehlert assumed command of the 1st Marine Aircraft Wing/9th Marine Expeditionary Brigade replacing newly promoted Lieutenant General Wills.
 
5 August – On this date, 237 Marines from the 22d Marine Expeditionary Unit (Special Operations Capable) flew into the American Embassy compound in Monrovia, Liberia, to bolster security and assist in the evacuation of Embassy employees and American citizens. The Marines, who were stationed off the Liberian coast for 62 days as part of the 22d MEU assigned to Mediterranean Amphibious Ready Group 2-90 assisted in evacuating 79 people during the first day of operations. By the end of the month, they evacuated over 1,700 foreign nationals, including 139 Americans, from the crisis-torn West African country.
 
6 August – General Lemuel C. Shepherd, Jr., 20th Commandant of the Marine Corps, died at his home in La Jolla, California, at the age of 94. A graduate of Virginia Military Institute, General Shepherd was commissioned in the Marine Corps in 1917. In World War I, the general served with the 5th Regiment. During World War II, he formed the 9th Marines at Camp Elliott, California. He was named assistant division commander of the 1st Marine Division, participating in the campaign for Cape Gloucester. He later commanded the 1st Provisional Brigade and led them in the invasion and recapture of Guam, and then led the 6th Marine Division throughout the Okinawa campaign. During the Korean War, he served as Commanding General, Fleet Marine Force, Pacific. The distinguished and decorated general served as Commandant from 1952 to 1956. He was the first Marine Commandant to sit with the Joint Chiefs of Staff. 
 
6 August – The Secretary of Defense approved the payment of imminent danger pay (IDP) to personnel on duty in Liberia and Kuwait. The authorization extended over the total land area of Liberia, including the airspace there over. The IDP designation for Kuwait included total land area, airspace there over, and coastal waters. 
 
7 August – President Bush ordered U.S. military aircraft and troops to Saudi Arabia as part of a multinational force to defend that country against possible Iraqi invasion. The Persian Gulf crisis was triggered on 2 August when Iraqi President Saddam Hussein invaded neighboring Kuwait with overwhelming forces and subsequently positioned assault elements on the Saudi-Kuwait border. On 6 August, the United Nations Security Council approved a total trade ban against Iraq. A major deployment, the largest since the Vietnam War, was underway for Operation Desert Shield that would include major units from all four services.
 
8 August – Major General Walter E. Boomer was promoted to the grade of lieutenant general and reassigned as Commanding General of I Marine Expeditionary Force. 
 
8 August – Brigadier General James M. Myatt assumed command of the 1st Marine Division replacing Brigadier General Peter J. Rowe.
 
13 August – The burial of General Lemuel C. Shepherd, Jr. at Arlington National Cemetery brought all living, former Commandants to Washington, D.C. They included General Wallace M. Greene, Jr., 23d Commandant; General Leonard F. Chapman, Jr., 24th Commandant; General Louis H. Wilson, 26th Commandant; General Robert H. Barrow, 27th Commandant; and General Paul X. Kelley, 28th Commandant. General Alfred M. Gray, present Commandant of the Marine Corps, used the occasion to meet with them and discuss the Corps and the current world situation.
 
15 August – Headquarters, U.S. Marine Corps announced the commitment of 45,000 troops to the Persian Gulf area. They consisted of elements of the I Marine Expeditionary Force to include units from 1st Marine Division and 1st Force Service Support Group (FSSG), 3d Marine Aircraft Wing (MAW), and 7th Marine Expeditionary Brigade (MEB). Also en route were elements of the 4th MEB to include units from 2d Marine Division and 2d FSSG, and 2d MAW. Additionally, Maritime Pre-Positioning Ship Squadron 2 (MPS-2) had been at Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean. The five-ship squadron contained 7th MEB's equipment and enough supplies to sustain the 16,500-person force for 30 days. Ultimately, the Marines would comprise a portion of approximately 200,000 U.S. ground troops.
 
22 August – President Bush ordered the first mobilization of U.S. military reserves in 20 years and declared the call-up "essential to completing our mission" of thwarting Iraqi aggression in the Persian Gulf. Most of those summoned to active duty in the initial mobilization would be Army reservists. 
 
24 August – The Commandant of the Marine Corps approved the commemorative naming of the Main Exchange Complex at Marine Corps Base, Camp Pendleton, California, in honor of a former Marine, Mr. C. B. "Buzz" Moyer (Deceased) who was instrumental in the growth of the exchange at the base. 
 
24 August – The U.S. Embassy in Kuwait was ordered closed. Marine security guards were with approximately 100 U.S. officials and citizens transferred to the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad by the Iraqi government. They were among an estimated 1,000 Americans being held hostage in Iraq.
 
25 August – Lance Corporal Sergio Reyes won a gold medal in boxing at the 1990 Goodwill Games held in Seattle. The bantamweight won three bouts during the games, all on 3-2 split decisions. In doing so, he beat the world's top two boxers in the 119-pound weight class.  The All-Marine, Interservice, and U.S. Amateur champion is from Forth Worth, Texas, and he is 20 years old.
 
___September – The Marine Corps took delivery of its first Indoor Simulated Marksmanship Trainer System at 36 different Marine Reserve sites. The new training device would incorporate realistic combat and military police videotaped scenarios to sharpen marksmanship skills. 
 
___September – The Marine Corps accepted several new pieces of equipment to help Marines survive in a nuclear, biological, and chemical warfare environment. The new equipment would include lightweight chemical warfare suits that could be laundered to provide better protection in a desert climate. In addition to other chemical agent detectors, the Marine Corps purchased a new remote sensing chemical agent alarm, the XM21, that would give troops a vastly improved means to detect chemical attacks long before they would reach friendly lines. 
 
4 September – The Commandant of the Marine Corps approved the commemorative naming of the new Camp Lejeune Elementary School in honor of the late Lieutenant Colonel William F. Russell who was actively involved with civic activities in Onslow County, North Carolina, following his retirement from the Marine Corps.
 
11 September – President Bush spoke at a joint session of Congress and was adamant about U.S. objectives in the Persian Gulf: Iraq must withdraw from Kuwait completely, Kuwait's legitimate government must be restored, the security and stability of the Persian Gulf must be assured, and American citizens must be protected. The remarkable buildup of U.S. and allied military forces in Saudi Arabia and the Persian Gulf area and the blockade of Iraq would continue at full pace amid renewed statements of determination on both sides.
 
13 September – The Commandant of the Marine Corps approved the commemorative naming of a new Parade Reviewing Stand at Marine Corps Recruit Depot, San Diego, in honor of General Lemuel C. Shepherd, Jr., recently deceased 20th Commandant of the Marine Corps. Also approved was the commemorative naming of a new Child Development Center at the Recruit Depot in honor of Mrs. Virginia D. Shepherd, wife of the late General Shepherd.
 
15 September – The Marine Corps Air-Ground Museum at Quantico, Virginia, opened its Korean War exhibit on the 40th anniversary of the Inchon Landing. The new permanent exhibit, "Jets, Helicopters, and the Korean War – 1946-1956," included helicopters, tanks, aircraft, and artillery displayed in the refurbished Hangar 3 at the former Brown Field.
 
18 September – The Philippine-American Cooperation Talks began in Washington, D.C. to negotiate U.S. plans to phase-down military forces in the Philippines and negotiate a new bilateral agreement with that country. Negotiators would seek a phase-out period that could last up to 10 years, followed by continued military access to the facilities perhaps on a commercial basis. Subic Bay Naval Station, home of Marine Barracks, Subic Bay, was among the U.S. facilities slated to phase-out.
 
18 September – A new, 40-acre training facility for Military Operations in Urban Terrain (MOUT) was dedicated by the Commandant of the Marine Corps at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. The new facility is a full-scale model of a small city complete with a several-story hotel, 30 other buildings and single family dwellings, a full-size sewer system, and a soccer stadium. The MOUT facility would test Marines' combat skills in a variety of urban environments. 
 
26 September – General Alfred M. Gray, Commandant of the Marine Corps, addressed a detachment of Marines in Saudi Arabia while touring Marine positions there and meeting with officials from Persian Gulf nations. He talked about a variety of topics ranging from relations with Arab countries to unit rotations, and challenged Marines to continue to do their jobs in the best way they know how. It was the first visit to Southwest Asia during Operation Desert Shield for the Commandant who was accompanied by the Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps, David W. Sommers.
 
28 September – The phased stand-down of the 1st Light Antiaircraft Missile Battalion was completed when the remaining elements of the unit (located on Okinawa, Japan and at Yuma, Arizona) were deactivated. The battalion was first activated during 1937 and participated in World War II and the Vietnam War. The deactivation was part of the reduction of forces outlined in the Strategic Framework for the Asia-Pacific Rim: Nunn-Warner Report.
 
30 September – The first director of the Marine Corps Women's Reserve, Colonel Ruth Cheney Streeter, died at the age of 94. In 1943, Colonel Streeter became the highest-ranking woman in the Corps during World War II when she was appointed to head the Women's Reserve, approximately 23,000 strong. She retired from the Corps after the war and was awarded the Legion of Merit. It was the highest award made to a woman Marine for service in World War II.
 
___October – The presence of two Marine Corps T-AVBs in the Persian Gulf marked the first time such ships were used in a real conflict. The T-AVBs provided sealift for aviation maintenance units that supported the rapid deployment of Marine Corps fixed-wing and rotary-wing assets. The two T-AVBs in inventory were the USNS Wright and the USNS Curtiss. 
 
2 October – Brigadier General John Groff died at the age of 100 in Oceanside, California. He was awarded the Navy Cross, Distinguished Service Cross, and Purple Heart for the battle of Belleau Wood in World War I. Brigadier General Groff enlisted in the Marine Corps in 1912 and was commissioned in 1918 after his exploits at Belleau Wood. During World War II, he was commanding officer of Marine Corps Recruit Depot, San Diego, California. He was promoted to brigadier general upon retirement in 1946 and lived to be one of the oldest retired generals in the Marine Corps.
 
8 October – The first fatal accident for Marines in Operation Desert Shield claimed the lives of eight when two UH-1N Huey helicopters crashed into the North Arabian Sea during a night training mission. The Marines were assigned to Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron 164 for deployment.
 
10 October – The first unit-sized activation of reservists came when Marines from Combat Service Support Detachment 40 reported to Marine Corps Air Station, Kaneohe, Hawaii. The mission of the unit was to maintain and refurbish equipment left behind by I Marine Expeditionary Force as it deployed to Saudi Arabia to marry up with its pre-positioned equipment aboard Maritime Prepositioning Ship 3. 
 
11 October – Major General Walter G. Farrell died in San Diego, California, at the age of 93. He was commissioned in the Marine Corps during World War I and became a naval aviator in 1921. During World War II, he was awarded a Silver Star for heroism on Guadalcanal. At the time of his retirement in 1946, he commanded Marine Air West Coast.
 
13 October – The Marine Corps Aviation Association presented its annual aviation awards in Norfolk, Virginia. Winners included Lieutenant Colonel John G. Castellaw who received the Alfred A. Cunningham Award as Aviator of the Year. Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 115 was named winner of the Robert A. Hanson Fighter Attack Squadron of the Year. Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron 163 was awarded the General Keith B. McCutcheon Award as Helicopter Squadron of the Year. 
 
23 October – The Commandant of the Marine Corps approved the commemorative naming of the School of Infantry, East Instructional Complex at Marine Corps Base, Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, in honor of Sergeant Major John M. Malnar, a highly decorated Marine from the Korean and Vietnam Wars.
 
26 October – Sergeant Major Allan J. Kellogg, Jr., the last active duty enlisted Medal of Honor recipient, retired from the Marine Corps after 30 years of service. Sergeant Major Kellogg was awarded the Medal of Honor for gallantry while serving with Company G, 2d Battalion, 5th Marines in Vietnam during 1970.
 
31 October – Mr. Henry I. Shaw, Jr., the Marine Corps' Chief Historian for 18 years, retired. He edited four of the five-volume History of U.S. Marine Corps Operations in World War II and co-authored Okinawa: Victory in the Pacific and Blacks in the Marine Corps. Mr. Shaw also wrote extensively in military history publications and for journals of professional military history societies. Serving the Marine Corps historical program for over 39 years, Mr. Shaw was a pillar of the military history community.
 
4 November – Matthew Waight, a 27-year-old resident of New Britain, Pennsylvania, won the 15th Annual Marine Corps Marathon in Washington, D.C. with a time of 2:21:32. In the women's category, Olga Markova, 22, earned the title of the first Soviet to win the marathon in its 15-year history with a time of 2:37:06. Also for the first time in the history of the marathon, the race reached its maximum 13,000-runner limit and was on national television in conjunction with the New York race held the same day.
 
8 November – President Bush announced that he planned to add more than 200,000 U.S. troops to those already deployed in Operation Desert Shield in the Persian Gulf area. The number of Marines in the objective area would be doubled by the addition of II Marine Expeditionary Force units from the Corps' east coast bases and the 5th Marine Expeditionary Brigade from California. 
 
8 November – Approximately 300 dignitaries, friends, fellow Marines, and family members were present at a memorial service for Colonel William R. Higgins, held at the Quantico National Cemetery. Colonel Higgins disappeared during February 1988 while serving as chief of the United Nations observer group in southern Lebanon and was presumed killed by Middle East terrorists during August 1989. The Commandant of the Marine Corps, General Alfred M. Gray, posthumously awarded the Legion of Merit and Purple Heart medals to Colonel Higgins and presented them to his widow, Major Robin Higgins, at the ceremony.
 
10 November – Marines throughout the world celebrated the 215th 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 whether assigned to operational forces or supporting them, the Marines are privileged to remain a visible symbol of reassurance to our Nation's allies and deterrence to her foes. 
 
13 November – A second involuntary call-up of selected Marine Corps Reserve units began. Marines from 20 units of the 4th Marine Division and the 4th Marine Aircraft Wing reported to the 5th Marine Expeditionary Brigade at Camp Pendleton, California, for redeployment training. 
 
14 November – Defense Secretary Richard Cheney authorized the call-up of 72,500 more National Guard and reserve troops in support of Operation Desert Shield. Added to authority already granted, the action raised the number of Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps selected reservists to 125,000 who could be on active duty at the same time. The call-up ceiling for the Marine Corps would be 15,000. 
 
15 November – The four directors of the Corps' staff noncommissioned officer (SNCO) academies met at Quantico, Virginia, as part of a plan to consolidate the 17 noncommissioned officer schools into 7, and to bring those schools under the cognizance of the SNCO academies. The consolidation, which would be completed during FY92, was part of a larger effort to ensure a natural progression of professional military education for enlisted personnel. 
 
15-21 November – About 100 miles south of the Kuwait border, American and Saudi Arabian military forces participated in Exercise Imminent Thunder. The exercise included an amphibious landing by more than 1,000 Marines of the 4th Marine Expeditionary Brigade and tested the military's ability to command, control, and coordinate air and ground forces. It included air-to-air mock fighter combat and close air support of ground forces. At the same time, only 25 miles south of Kuwait, another 1,000 Marines from the 1st Marine Expeditionary Brigade conducted field exercises ashore.
 
16 November – Admiral Frank B. Kelso II, Chief of Naval Operations, announced that ships would remain in the Middle East longer than the six-month limit established for Navy deployments. The decision of November 8th to send nearly 200,000 more troops to the Persian Gulf not only scuttled Defense Department plans to start rotating personnel home from the desert, but also bumped the subject of troop rotation off the Pentagon's list of priorities. 
 
22 November – President Bush addressed U.S. Marines, sailors, and British soldiers during his visit to Saudi Arabia. Standing before a crowd of more than 3,000 frontline forces, the president reaffirmed his resolve to see Iraqi strongman Saddam Hussein ousted from Kuwait. The President and Mrs. Bush then joined the Marines for a traditional Thanksgiving Day meal. 
 
27 November – A ten-year contract was awarded to Domino's Pizza by Government Services Division. The pizza service was competitively solicited among the five largest, nationally recognized, pizza carryout and delivery service companies. Five initial sites would be scheduled to open on Marine Corps installations within six months.
 
30 November – The evacuation operation from Monrovia, Liberia, ended after 185 continuous days of Navy and Marine Corps presence. During Operation Sharp Edge, 2,438 persons from 30 countries were evacuated out of the capital city. Marines and sailors also provided humanitarian assistance, airlifting more than 14,000 pounds of fuel, food, and medical supplies to Monrovia. 
 
3 December – The Marine Corps was granted a new call-up ceiling of 23,000 reservists when Defense Secretary Richard Cheney gave the military departments authority to call-up 63,000 additional members of the National Guard and Reserves in support of Operation Desert Shield. Added to authority already granted, this action raised the number of Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps selected reservists to 188,000 who could be on active duty at the same time.
 
10 December – More than 24,000 Marines of the II Marine Expeditionary Force mustered on the parade ground at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, for a pre-deployment review by the Commandant of the Marine Corps and the Commander in Chief, Atlantic Fleet in what was the largest formation of Marines in modern history. Commanded by Lieutenant General Carl E. Mundy, Jr., the units included the 2d Marine Division, 2d Marine Aircraft Wing, 2d Force Service Support Group, and the 2d Surveillance Reconnaissance and Intelligence Group. The units would deploy to Southwest Asia in support of Operation Desert Shield through the month of December.
 
14 December – Mrs. Barbara Bush visited the Marine Corps Reserve Center in Anacostia, Washington, D.C. to help promote the Corps' Toys for Tots program. The First Lady helped Marines bag Christmas toys for needy children during her visit. 
 
18 December – Rollout ceremonies for the Corps' new M1A1 tank were held at the General Dynamics Land Systems Division in Warren, Michigan. The M1A1 "common tank" is outfitted to Marine Corps specifications with such features as ship tiedowns, a deep water fording capability, and position locating and reporting system capability. The tank would replace the aging M60A1. The 2d Tank Battalion based at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, would use the new tank in the Persian Gulf while other tank battalions would operate the M60A1s. 
 
22 December – Secretary of Defense Richard B. Cheney visited the 1st Marine Division combat operations center in Saudi Arabia. He and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Colin L. Powell, were on a five-day trip to the Middle East where they met with deployed commanders, sailors, soldiers, airmen and Marines aboard ship and in the sands of Saudi Arabia. They expressed their support for the 300,000 men and women serving in the Persian Gulf area.
 
27 December – Company A from Marine Barracks, Washington, D.C., the oldest post of the Marine Corps, departed for Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, to join elements of the 2d Marine Division deploying for Operation Desert Shield. Marines from the barracks were last deployed in 1906 when a detachment was assigned to the expeditionary battalions sent to Cuba for pacification duty. 
 
31 December – The strength of active duty U. S. Armed Forces was 2,340,354 of whom 197,764 were Marines.

1991

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. 

1992

___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. 

1993

___January – The Marine Corps took delivery of it's first AH-1W Sea Cobra fight simulator whose primary manufacturer was the CAE-LINK Corporation. The $32 million dollar training device for both pilot and copilot could simulate the firing of all the various types of ordnance carried on the AH-1W and obtain target results. Additionally, various regions worldwide could be graphically depicted for the pilot in order to conduct terrain flying. 
 
___January – Two prototypes of an air defense variant of the Marine Corps' light armored vehicle (LAV) were received. The LAV-AD, the seventh variant of the Marine Corps LAV family, could better counter low-altitude fighters and helicopters. The Armament Systems Division of General Electric was awarded an $18 million contract last summer to complete development of the light armored vehicle air defense system. 
 
1 January – The strength of the U.S. Armed Forces was 1,773,996 of whom 183,563 were Marines.
 
4 January – The Commandant of the Marine Corps convened a study group to review the organization of Headquarters Marine Corps. The group was chaired by Lieutenant General Robert J. Winglass, USMC (Retired) and included a senior military or civilian representative from each department or division of the Headquarters. The Winglass Study Group" made a comprehensive assessment of the Headquarters organization and took into account earlier surveys, analyses, and reports. 
 
11 January – The Secretary of the Navy signed a new Department of the Navy (DON) instruction on sexual harassment. The instruction, SECNAVINST 5300.26B, defined sexual harassment and delineated the department's policy. It applied to all DON members, both military and civilian, and stressed resolution at the lowest level. 
 
12 January – After five weeks of ground operations in Somalia, a U.S. Marine was shot and killed during a gun battle near the airport in Somalia's capital, Mogadishu. The Marine was the first American combat death in the military operation aimed at ensuring the delivery of food and humanitarian relief supplies to thousands of people in the famine-stricken country. 
 
14 January – Mrs. Jane V. E. Blakeney, longtime head of the Decorations and Medals Branch of Headquarters Marine Corps, died at the age of 94. Mrs. Blakeney was an enlisted Marine from 1918 to 1922 and was a civilian employee with the Decorations and Medals Branch for 34 years. She is best known for book, Heroes, U.S. Marine Corps, 1861-1955, published in 1957. 

14 January – Retired Marine Lieutenant Colonel William W. McMillan, Jr., USMC who represented the U.S. as a pistol shooter in six Olympics, six World Championships and four Pan Am Games, was inducted into the U.S. International Shooting Hall of Fame in Houston, Texas. The 64 year-old veteran earned the following honors during his 27-year pistol career: 11 gold, nine silver, and three bronze international medals as well as two team world records.
 
15 January – After more than 11 consecutive days of rain, Marine Corps Base, Camp Pendleton succumbed to torrential flooding which left areas of the largest Marine amphibious base under as much as 15 feet of water. The base was officially closed 17 - 21 January to non-essential personnel. General Walter E. Boomer, Assistant Commandant of the Marine Corps, visited on 21 January to assess the estimated $70 million in damages.
 
18 January – Approximately 850 Marines from 3d Battalion, 9th Marines left Somalia. An additional 1,900 Marines from the 1st Force Service Support Group and Marine Aircraft Group 16 left later in the month. The number of U.S. forces remaining in the country was just over 19,000, with the total coalition figures standing at 33,430 troops from 22 other countries. Marine missions would be assumed by these coalition forces. Military relief operations to Somalia were in progress since August 1992 when Operation Provide Relief was initiated to provide food to Somalia via U.S. military aircraft. Operation Provide Relief was absorbed under Operation Restore Hope last December.
 
20 January – President Bill Clinton was inaugurated as the nation's 42nd President of the United States. Over a thousand Marines stationed in and around the Washington, D.C. area were assigned to the many ceremonial and behind-the-scenes duties. Marine Corps participation was highlighted by "The President's Own" U.S. Marine Corps Band, which played at the Capitol immediately before and after President Clinton took his oath of office.
 
20 January – Les Aspin became Secretary of Defense replacing Richard B. Cheney. Sean O'Keefe stepped down as secretary of the Navy and Admiral Frank Kelso II, the chief of naval operations, would serve as acting Navy secretary until a new one was appointed. 
 
28 January – In Somalia, the logistics responsibility transferred from the Marine Corps to the U.S. Army. The transition would be conducted from the 1st Force Service Support Group (FSSG) to the newly established Unified Task Force Support Command. The 1st FSSG provided the bulk of logistics support since their deployment in December 1992. 
 
28 January – Ceremonies at Headquarters Marine Corps honored Sergeants Anthony N. Lee and Barbara L. Meinke as 1992 male and female athletes of the year. Sergeant Lee won honors through his impressive showing as a Greco-Roman wrestler in the 136.5lb class and Sergeant Meinke for her distinguished marksmanship achievements.
 
29 January – Following days of negotiation, President Clinton accepted a compromise agreement on his plans to lift the ban on homosexuals in the military. The president directed the secretary of defense to conduct a review of the Department of Defense (DOD) policy that excluded homosexuals from military service and prepare a draft executive order based upon that review by 15 July 1993. Current DOD personnel policies on this issue would remain in effect except for specific changes that included the removing of questions regarding sexual orientation from future versions of the induction application.
 
___ February – General Colin Powell, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, made a decision to assign a special-purpose Marine Air Ground Task Force. The USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) would make history a month later when it would become the first carrier to sail for a six-month deployment with a complement of 600 combat Marines. The concept of putting Marines on board carriers was from the Navy's new strategy paper, "...From the Sea," which emphasized projecting power ashore rather than fighting naval battles on the open ocean.

13 February – On this date in 1943, the Marine Corps opened its ranks to allow women to enlist in the Corps. The peak strength of the Marine Corps Women's Reserve reached 19,000 during World War II, 50 years ago.
 
16 February – Retired Sergeant Major Leland D. Crawford, the ninth Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps, died of cancer at his home in San Diego on his 63rd birthday. The highly decorated Sergeant Major enlisted in the Marine Corps in 1951. He served as Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps from 1979 to 1983. 
 
25 February - 11 March – Approximately 3,500 Marines and sailors from the II Marine Expeditionary Force, 2d Marine Regiment, 2d Force Service Support Group, and Marine Aircraft Group 40 participated in Exercise Battle Griffin 93. The NATO exercise included sea, air, and land operations in Norway above the Arctic Circle.
 
___March – Secretary of Defense, Les Aspin, directed the military services to begin early retirement programs for selected active-duty members with more that 15, but less than 20 years of service. The program is part of President Clinton's defense conversion initiative and was designed to help service members who are affected by the force reduction transition to civilian life. 
 
1-18 March – Approximately 10,000 Marines participated in Exercise Team Spirit 93, a joint/combined training exercise held in the Republic of Korea (ROK). Team Spirit involved more than 100,000 troops from all four U.S. combat services plus South Korean forces, and was the largest exercise planned for the year. It was designed to improve defensive readiness of U.S. and ROK forces through joint and combined operations. 
 
8 March – Major General Carl A. Youngdale, USMC (Retired) died at the age of 80 in Virginia Beach, Virginia. The decorated general served as an artillery officer in World War II and the Korean War. He also served two tours in Vietnam. Major General Youngdale retired in 1972, after 36 years of active service. 
 
12 March – President Clinton visited sailors and Marines on board the USS Theodore Roosevelt for his first visit to U.S. forces as commander in chief. The president toured the ship, observed flight operation, and gave a brief speech before several hundred crewmembers assembled on the hangar deck. 
 
12 March – Several Marine Corps installations were included in a list of recommendations for closing, realignment, or disestablishment of U.S. military bases forwarded to the Base Closure and Realignment Commission by Secretary of Defense, Les Aspin. A total of 31 major military installations were recommended for closure, while 12 others were recommended for alignment. The commission would make its recommendations to the President and Congress by 1 July. 

15 March – Marine Wing Support Squadron (MWSS) 173 was deactivated in response to the mandated structure reduction of Marine aviation. MWSS-173 was attached to Marine Wing Support Group 37, 3d Marine Aircraft Wing.
 
18 March – The National Toxics Campaign Fund, a non-profit environmental group, delivered a report to Congress and the White House. It stated that thousands of Persian Gulf War veterans may have been exposed to radiation from American weapons tipped with depleted uranium. The radiation might be the cause of unexplained illnesses reported by hundreds of Southwest Asia veterans. 
 
29 March – The Senate Armed Services Committee opened hearings on homosexuals in the Armed Forces. The committee tailored the hearings to deal 
initially with five major subject areas: legal questions on a change in the present policy, effects on unit cohesion, experiences of foreign countries, views of a broad cross section of military personnel, and views of the individual service chiefs and senior DOD officials. 
 
31 March – The Commandant of the Marine Corps appeared before the House Armed Services Committee to present the Navy Department Posture Statement and testify on behalf of the FY 94 budget.

20 April - 25 May – More than 20,500 service personnel of the U.S. Marine Corps, Army, Navy, Air Force, and Coast Guard, along with allied forces, participated in Exercise Ocean Venture 93 held in Puerto Rico. It was designed to demonstrate the ability of continental U.S.-based forces to operate in a joint/combined environment.
 
22 April – The II Marine Expeditionary Force stood up its first Small Craft Company located within Headquarters Battalion, 2d Marine Division at Camp Lejeune. In recent years, riverine operations expanded rapidly and necessitated the acquisition of 35-foot riverine assault craft and trained personnel. The company consisted of two officers and 140 enlisted Marines.
 
23 April – The Department of Defense Inspector General released the final, 208-page report of the investigation into the allegations of sexual assault and other violations committed during the 1991 Tailhook convention held in Las Vegas. The report charged 117 officers with offenses ranging from indecent assault to conduct unbecoming an officer. 90 people, 83 women and seven men, were found to have been assaulted during the convention. 
 
28 April – Secretary of Defense, Les Aspin, announced a revised policy on the assignment of women in the armed forces, turning around some of the recommendations made by the Presidential Commission on the Assignment of Women in the Armed Forces that released its report during November 1992. The policy decision directed the military services to open more specialties and assignments to women. It would permit women Marines to compete for assignments in all aircraft, including aircraft engaged in combat missions. 
 
30 April – Marine Aircraft Group 32 at Marine Corps Air Station, Cherry Point, North Carolina, deactivated as a result of downsizing requirements in the Marine Corps. Originally activated in 1943, the group served in the Pacific during World War II, then in North China before deactivating in 1947. The group reactivated in 1952. Elements of the group participated in Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm. 
 
30 April – Marine Corps Security Force Company, Brunswick, Maine was disestablished. The unit was active from 1943 - 1946 and 1959 - 1993. It was named Marine Barracks, Naval Air Station, Brunswick, Maine until 1987 when it was redesignated. 
 
___May – Another round of Congressional hearings kept the issue of homosexuals in the military in the forefront during the month. One highlight of the Senate hearings held in Washington on 11 May was the emotional testimony of Colonel Frederick C. Peck, USMC, who testified in support of the ban only days after learning of his son's homosexual identity. 
 
3-28 May – Marines of the 35th Marine Expeditionary Unit participated in Exercise Cobra Gold in Thailand. The 13th in a series, the exercise was designed to maintain and improve Thai and U.S. combat readiness. 
 
4 May – Lieutenant General Robert B. Johnston passed the command of the U.S.-led Somali relief operation, Restore Hope, to Turkish Lieutenant General Cevik Bir. The ceremony finalized the transition of what was once a primarily American intervention of more than 30,000 troops to a multi-national peacekeeping force projected to reach 28,000. Approximately 4,000 Americans would remain in Somalia as part of the United Nations force.
 
6 May – General Carl E. Mundy, Jr., Commandant of the Marine Corps, officially opened the Marine Corps Research Center at Quantico, Virginia. The $12 million facility would improve the Corps' ability to collect, store, retrieve, and disseminate information pertaining to the art and science of warfighting.
 
7 May – President Bill Clinton was treated to an evening of ceremonial pageantry and musical fanfare as guest of honor at an Evening Parade conducted at historic Marine Barracks, Washington, D.C. It was the President's first official visit to a Marine Corps installation. Prior to the start of the parade, the nation's 
42nd President and first lady, Hillary Rodham Clinton, attended a garden reception held in their honor at the Home of the Commandant, which was hosted by General Carl E. Mundy, Jr. and his wife, Linda.
 
18 May – A Naval Board of Inquiry determined that a fatal 1992 crash of the V-22 Osprey at Quantico, Virginia, was most likely the result of maintenance errors and engine housing design flaws, not tilt-rotor technology. The embattled aircraft was then cleared for further testing. The entire fleet of test aircraft had been grounded since last July following the crash. Marine Corps officials reiterated their confidence in the V-22 as the best replacement for the current fleet of medium-lift helicopters. 
 
19 May – Four Marines were killed when a VH-60N helicopter from Marine Helicopter Squadron (HMX) 1, the Presidential support squadron, crashed. The helicopter was conducting a routine maintenance flight from Marine Corps Air Facility, Quantico, Virginia, when it crashed into a heavily wooded, unpopulated area. The VH-60N Black Hawk helicopters assigned to HMX-1 were then grounded pending an investigation of the crash.
 
20 May – Marine Observation Squadron (VMO) 2 was deactivated as part of the Corps' on-going program to retire the OV-10 Bronco. The aircraft had served the Marine Corps since the Vietnam War. The deactivation of VMO-2, based at Camp Pendleton, California, would leave the Corps with 12 Broncos in VMO-1 at New River, North Carolina. VMO-1 would be scheduled for deactivation later this year.
 
26 May – Retired Major General Oscar F. Peatross, USMC, died in South Carolina after a long illness. The decorated general participated in the famous raid on Makin Island, in World War II. He later saw action in the Korean War and Vietnam War. He was 77 years old. 
 
5 June – Lieutenant General Edward J. Miller, (Retired), died at the age of 71 at his home in Carlsbad, California. He enlisted in the Marine Corps in 1942 and rose to the rank of lieutenant general from which he retired in 1980. The decorated general served in World War II, Korea, and Vietnam. He was buried at Arlington National Cemetery.
 
9-30 June – Marines of the I Marine Expeditionary Force participated in Exercise Native Fury 93 held in Kuwait. The exercise provided valuable training for Marines, many of whom had not dealt with Maritime Prepositioning Force (MPF) operations before. MPF is one of the Corps' most important assets for getting Marines deployed and equipped quickly anywhere in the world.
 
11 June – Marine Air Control Squadron (MACS) 5, located at Beaufort, South Carolina, was deactivated due to a reduction in Marine air control squadrons from six active and two reserve squadrons to three active and one reserve squadron. MACS-5 was active since 1944.
 
20 June – The 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) returned to Mogadishu, Somalia, to stand ready to assist United Nations forces in maintaining peace in 
the war-torn country. Earlier this month, the 24th MEU was ordered to cut short Exercise Eager Mace 93-2 in Kuwait to respond to possible contingency operations in Somalia. 
 
23 June – In an effort to alleviate the Marine Corps' shortage of tanks, an agreement was made for the Corps to receive 50 M1A1 tanks from the Army. The additional 50 tanks would bring the Marine Corps total up to 271.
 
26 June – This date marked the 75th anniversary of the beginning of the World War I battle for Belleau Wood. In its first offensive action of the war, the 4th Brigade was sent in to help block an aggressive German drive directed toward Paris. In 20 days of gallant fighting, the Marine brigade met and defeated the German enemy. 
 
27 June – The Defense Base Closure and Realignment Commission completed its deliberations and votes for the 1993 round of base closures. The most significant item for the Marine Corps was the closure of Marine Corps Air Station, El Toro, California.
 
___July – The Marine Corps Pistol and Rifle Teams accomplished a clean sweep of all individual and team championships at the annual National Championships conducted at Camp Perry, Ohio. This clean sweep marked only the fourth time since the Camp Perry national matches were instituted in 1903 that the Corps accomplished this feat -- 1921, 1927, 1956, and 1993.
 
8 July – The first fully operational, radar equipped AV-8B Harrier II Plus entered world service when Lieutenant Colonel Kevin Leffler, commanding officer of Marine Attack Squadron 542, landed the new night attack aircraft at Marine Corps Air Station, Cherry Point. The new aircraft integrates a major radar upgrade that would improve the Harrier's bombing accuracy and air-to-air combat capability. 27 Harrier II Pluses were scheduled to be received over the course of the next 18 months.
 
10-25 July – Approximately 5,000 Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force and Special Operations personnel participated in Exercise Tandem Thrust 93 in the areas surrounding and including Guam, Tinian, and Farallon de Medinilla Islands. The joint task force exercise was designed to emphasize response to regional crises and low- to medium-intensity conflict. 
 
13-21 July – More than 13,000 U.S. Atlantic Fleet sailors and Marines participated in Fleetex 3-93 in the western Atlantic Ocean. The exercise provided realistic at-sea training, and prepared units to make deployments overseas as cohesive battle groups in support of U.S. national security interests. 
 
14 July – The USS Iwo Jima was decommissioned after over 30 years of service in a ceremony at Norfolk Naval Base, Virginia. The ship was named for the 
World War II battle during which three Marine divisions ousted 20,000 entrenched Japanese troops. The Iwo Jima was commissioned 26 August 1961, and it was the first ship specifically designed as an amphibious assault ship from the keel up.
 
17 July – A detachment of Marines from the 2d Marine Division participated in Exercise UNITAS XXXIV, an annual joint-combined series of exercises conducted by the U.S. and South American military forces lasting four to five months. Held each year since 1959, the exercises were designed to improve the interoperability of U.S. and South American forces. 
 
19 July – President Bill Clinton announced the new policy regarding homosexual conduct in the armed forces. The new policy, also known as "don't ask, don't tell, don't pursue," directed that homosexual conduct would be grounds for separation, yet sexual orientation would not be a bar to entry in to the military or continues service unless manifested by homosexual conduct. It came following nearly six months of extensive review at the highest levels of government, and would become effective on 1 October.
 
22 July – Eight F/A-18D Hornets from Marine Fighter Attack (All Weather) 533 arrived at Aviano Air Base, Italy, to participate in an extension of Operation Deny Flight: the enforcement of the no-fly zone over Bosnia-Herzegovina launched by NATO officials in conjunction with the United Nations on 12 April. Secretary of Defense, Les Aspin, approved an order 14 July directing U.S. aircraft to deploy and join NATO's planned air support to the U.S. Protection Force in Bosnia.
 
22 July – John H. Dalton was sworn in as the 70th Secretary of the Navy after being unanimously confirmed by the Senate the previous day. He is a graduate of the Naval Academy and was a lieutenant commander in the U.S. Naval Reserve.
 
29 July – A groundbreaking ceremony was held for the Vietnam Women's Memorial in Washington, D.C. The memorial would recognize the commitment, honor, and sacrifice of women veterans of the Vietnam War. General Colin L. Powell, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, was the keynote speaker. Over 265,000 military women served in Vietnam.
 
___August – Due to the diminished communist threat worldwide and projected naval base closures, Marine Corps Security Force (MCSF) Battalion Atlantic and MCSF Battalion Pacific would consolidate during FY93 into a single MCSF battalion headquarters at Norfolk, Virginia. The new battalion would be responsible for all MCSF activities. 
 
___August – Beginning this month, the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Department of Defense honored World War I veterans with commemorative medals. The VA and veterans service organizations were locating some 30,000 - 50,000 veterans of World War I alive, the youngest being in the 90s. The medal was based on the World War I Victory Medal. 
 
___August – As of this time, there were 64 Marines serving in Somalia in support of Operation Continue Hope. Of those 64, 50 were from the fleet antiterrorism security team (FAST) company with Marine Corps Security Force Battalion, Atlantic. The company was assigned in direct support of the U.S. State Department efforts in Somalia. 
 
6 August – A Medal of Honor presented for valor during the Civil War to Corporal Miles M. Oviatt was returned to the Marine Corps. The medal is one of 17 Medals of Honor presented to Marines during the Civil War. Of these 17, it is one of only three known to exist and the only one in the Marine Corps Museum, Washington, D.C. The medal was given to the museum by Corporal Oviatt's great-granddaughter, Mrs. Mary P. Livingston of Bloomington, Indiana. It was accepted on behalf of the Commandant by Lieutenant General Robert B. Johnston, Deputy Chief of Staff for Manpower and Reserve Affairs. 
 
11 August – President Clinton announced that General John Shalikashvili, USA, the current NATO commander, would succeed General Colin L. Powell, USA, as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Marine General Joseph P. Hoar was one of the leading candidates for the appointment.
 
11 August – Defense Secretary Les Aspin reversed a new Marine Corps directive that would have barred enlistment of married recruits after 1995. Following this adverse reaction, the directive was canceled and a new directive was issued. The policy reversal focused concern on the critical dependency question and its relationship to readiness. The Secretary of Defense would initiate a Department of Defense wide comprehensive study of first-term enlistment issues. 
 
16 August – On this date, 50 years ago, the 4th Marine Division was activated at Camp Pendleton, California, and participated in the following World War II campaigns: Marshall Islands, Saipan, Tinian, and Iwo Jima. The division deactivated on 28 November 1945. It reactivated 14 February 1966 as the Corp's reserve division.
 
20-27 August – Marines and sailors teamed up for Operation Tafakula 93, a joint international exercise involving elements of the French armed services and the Tongan defense services. The operation included amphibious movement and assault in three Tongan island groups. 
 
20 August – The gymnasium at the Marine Corps Logistics Base, Albany, Georgia was rededicated in a ceremony to honor the first enlisted Marine of World War II awarded the Medal of Honor. Sergeant Clyde Thomason had been an Albany resident prior to reenlisting after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. He died while serving with the 2d Raider Battalion during the August 1942 raid on Japanese-occupied Makin Island in the Gilberts. 
 
___September – During FY93 the Corps bought approximately 1,460 high mobility multipurpose wheeled vehicles (HMMWVs) from AM General Corporation at a total cost of more than $50 million. This buy completed the two-year acquisition cycle for 2,560 HMMWVs begun in FY92 -- the largest buy for the Corps since the initial purchase of over 14,000 HMMWVs in the mid-1980s.
 
1 September – Following more than five months of detailed study and analysis, the Department of Defense announced results of its Bottom Up Review leveling off the Marine Corps at 174,000 active Marines and 42,000 Reserve personnel while ensuring the Corps retains the capability to remain the nation's premier force-in-readiness. The review was a comprehensive look at the U.S. Armed Forces and overall military strategy in the post Cold-War era.
 
8 September – The carrier Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) sailed into port following an historic six-month deployment with a crew that included 600 Marines and 10 Marine helicopters. The Special Purpose Marine Air Ground Task Force was put on board as part of the Navy's new adaptive force packaging concept. 
 
15 September - 5 October – Marines and sailors of the 1st Marine Expeditionary Brigade and the Naval Support Element from Naval Amphibious Base, Coronado, California, participated in Exercise Ke A'o Koa (warrior training) in Hawaii. The exercise involved a maritime prepositioning force in-stream off-load of equipment and supplies from a Maritime Prepositioning Ship. 
 
17 September – As two Marines flew in their F/A-18 Hornet over Bosnia-Herzegovina, they collected enough flight time to push the F/A-18 Hornet over the two-million-hour mark. The milestone took ten years to reach and included the flight times of all McDonnell Douglas F/A-18s in service worldwide.
 
27-28 September – Following a series of mishaps that killed 13 people, the Commandant of the Marine Corps ordered all Marine aircraft grounded for two days. The standdown came in the wake of six accidents involving Marine aircraft in a six-week period. The standdown was used to review safety procedures, and affected all Marine aircraft except those in Europe under NATO command and the helicopters used by President Clinton.
 
30 September – Marine Observation Squadron (VMO) 1 at Marine Corps Air Facility, New River, North Carolina, and Marine Medium Helicopter Training Squadron (HMT) 301 at Marine Corps Air Station, Tustin, California, deactivated. VMO-1 was activated in 1943 and HMT-301 was activated in 1966. Both squadrons were decommissioned as part of the Marine Corps' strength reduction. 
 
1 October – The U.S. Atlantic Command, headquartered in Norfolk, Virginia, assumed operation control of all CONUS-based forces of the Army's Forces Command and the Air Force's Air Combat Command. These additional forces added almost 400,000 military personnel to the roles of the U.S. Atlantic Command, already responsible for the operational control and training of the Navy's Atlantic Fleet and the Corps' Marine Forces Atlantic Command.
 
1 October – The command element of the 3d Marine Expeditionary Brigade (MEB) activated at Camp Pendleton, California. It established a Reserve MEB command element on the West Coast identical in organization and mission to the 2d MEB command element on the East Coast. 
 
1 October – General Colin L. Powell, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff retired after serving four years in that position. He would be replaced by Army General John M. Shalikashvili. 
 
7 October – After the deaths of 14 U.S. soldiers in Somalia, President Clinton announced the deployment of additional 1,700 soldiers and 104 armored vehicles to Somalia. Additionally, he directed an aircraft carrier and both the 13th and 22d Marine Expeditionary Units (Special Operations Capable) to 
positions off the Somali coast. The deployment of additional forces was to provide more protection for U.S. units supporting United Nations forces in Somalia.
 
18 October – More than 600 Marines of Marine Forces Caribbean deployed to Naval Air Station, Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. It was in response to President Clinton's call up of a standby force and to the United Nation's naval embargo of Haiti. 
 
23 October – Ceremonies at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, and Arlington National Cemetery marked the 10th anniversary of the terrorist bombing of Marine Barracks in Beirut, Lebanon. The tragedy claimed 241 American servicemen, 220 of whom were Marines. 
 
23 October - The USS Russell (DDG 59), an Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer was christened at Pascagoula, Mississippi. The ship was named for Major General John H. Russell, 16th Commandant of the Marine Corps (1934-1936), and his father Rear Admiral John H. Russell, USN. It was build by the Ingalls Shipbuilding division of Litton.
 
24 October – The 24th Marine Corps Marathon ended in tragedy when a 58-year old New Jersey man, Julius Becza, became the marathon's third fatality in the past eight years. Frenchman Dominique Bariod placed a controversial first place with a time of 2:23:52. Although Bariod was discovered to have cut three corners in the marathon, officials ruled that Bariod would not be disqualified and would remain winner of the men's division. Holly Ebert from Ogden, Utah, finished the race with the first-place time of 2:48:41 in the women's division.
 
31 October – The TV program, 60 Minutes, broadcasted a report on minority officers in the Marine Corps, which generated strong reactions. Although the show's producers received detailed information from HQMC and interviewed the Commandant for two hours, they elected to use only a segment of the interview that seemed to intimate poor minority performance in the Corps. 
 
10 November – This date marked the 218th birthday of the United States Marine Corps. In his birthday message, the Commandant of the Marine Corps, General Carl E. Mundy, Jr. stated that the actions today's Marines are tomorrow's legends, to be celebrated by future generations. 
 
11 November – The Vietnam Women's Memorial was dedicated in a ceremony at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C. The bronze statue was designed and sculpted by Glenna Goodacre and depicts three women and a wounded soldier. It honors the thousands of women who served in Southeast Asia. Vice President Al Gore was the keynote speaker. 
 
11 November – President Clinton signed an FY94 defense appropriations bill of $242 billion, a decrease of $13.5 billion from last year's bill. The Marine Corps would receive $8.7 billion of this in direct appropriations, a decrease of $346 million from last year's level. 
 
11 November – General Robert E. Hogaboom, who retired as Chief of Staff of the Marine Corps in 1959, died at the age of 90 at his home in St. Mary's City, Maryland. A veteran of World War II and the Korean War, General Hogaboom served 34 years in the Marine Corps.
 
15 November – Groundbreaking ceremonies for the memorial to Korean War prisoners of war took place in Angels Gate Park, San Pedro, California. The 
memorial was designed by sculptor Terry Jones, and was conceived by The Chosin Few, survivors of battle for the Chosin Reservoir.
 
19-20 November – The 50th anniversary of the World War II battle for Tarawa was commemorated in the Republic of Kirabati. Marines of the III Marine Expeditionary Force as well as World War II veterans participated in the ceremony. Lieutenant General Henry C. Stackpole, III, Commander, Marine Forces Pacific, was the guest speaker. 
 
22 November – Congress signed off on a bill to give veterans with "Persian Gulf Syndrome" the benefit of the doubt that their ailments are service-connected. The bill would also ensure that the veterans have high-priority access to inpatient, outpatient, and nursing home care from the Department of Veterans Affairs. 
 
7 December – The Marine Corps first fast food chow hall officially opened at Twentynine Palms, California. The newly renovated facility would serve 2,700 meals a day. It would be the only dining facility of its type in the Marine Corps.
 
20 December – Secretary of Defense, Les Aspin, announced that a comprehensive study of factors affecting the readiness of first term service members found no statistical link between marital status and readiness. The report was initiated in August after the Corps tried to phase out over a two-year period the practice of enlisting first-term, married recruits, citing severe deployment difficulties. 
 
22 December – The Department of Defense issued new regulations that would enable homosexuals to serve in the military so long as they keep quiet about their sexual orientation and refrain from engaging in homosexual acts. The policy allows service members to acknowledge homosexual feelings and sympathies, provided that they can demonstrate that they are not engaging in homosexual conduct. The new regulations would take effect on 5 February. They codify the Administration's compromise policy dubbed, "don't ask, don't tell, don't pursue," which was challenged by the Supreme Court.
 
31 December – The strength of the U.S. Armed Forces was 1,675,269 of whom 176,613 were Marines.

1994

___January – Marines from Camp Pendleton and Marine Corps Air Station, El Toro, teamed up with reservists to aid earthquake victims of Southern California. They provided clean drinking water and aircraft support. 
 
___ January – Nearly four years after entering the Marine Corps' Officer Candidate School (OCS), Bruce I. Yamashita was given the honor he sought: a Marine Corps commission. Yamashita, A Honolulu lawyer, waged a private and public battle for the commission denied him because of racial discrimination at the OCS. He would be commissioned as a captain in a non-drilling Standby Reserve for four years.
 
1 January – The Marine Corps established the Marine Corps Recruiting Command (MCRC) at Headquarters, U.S. Marine Corps in order to improve the Corps' organizational approach to recruiting. In doing so, the Personnel Procurement Division (Code MR) was disbanded. MCRC consists of the Eastern Recruiting Region headquartered at Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island and the Western Recruiting Region at Marine Corps Recruiting Depot San Diego.
 
1 January – The strength of the U.S. Armed Forces was 1,675,269 of whom 176,613 were Marines.
 
11 January – John Bradley, the last survivor among the servicemen shown raising the U.S. flag on the island of Iwo Jima in one of the most famous combat 
photographs of World War II, died in Antigo, Wisconsin, at the age of 70. Bradley, who served in the Navy as a pharmacist mate second class, helped five Marines raise the flag on Mount Suribachi on 23 February 1945.
 
13 January – Outgoing Secretary of Defense Les Aspin approved a new policy governing the role of women in combat. His action effectively lifted the "risk rule" that barred women from non- combat units in close proximity to enemy units. This policy came on the heels of an earlier pronouncement last April that eliminated the ban on women in combat aviation billets.
 
24 January – President Clinton elevated the number two man at the Pentagon, Deputy Secretary of Defense William J. Perry as his new Secretary of Defense. Dr. Perry had been the Pentagon's deputy since March 1993 and would bring a wide range of government, academic, and defense industry experience to the position.
 
___February – The Marine Corps Toys for Tots Foundation, the chief fund-raising arm for the Marine Reserve's Christmas gift drive, was the target of a federal investigation into whether its former president diverted money from the nonprofit organization and engaged in other financial improprieties for his personal benefit. 
 
3-11 February – Marine astronaut, Colonel Charles Bolden, Jr. led the six-person crew of the year's first space shuttle. The flight was highlighted by the participation of a Russian astronaut serving as a crewmember. 
 
13 February – Robert L. Sherrod, noted combat correspondent, author and editor, died at his home in Washington, D.C. at the age of 85. Among his many publications, he is most remembered for his 1944 book, Tarawa: The Story of the Battle. At that time he was an associate editor of Time magazine and had covered various phases of the war in the Pacific. Mr. Sherrod had also been editor of The Saturday Evening Post.
 
17 February – Secretary of the Navy, John H. Dalton, announced the names to be given to five of the new Arleigh Burke class guided missile destroyers scheduled for construction. Two of the ships would be named after Marines: DDG 75 for Colonel Donald G. Cook, USMC, a prisoner of war in Vietnam who was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor, and DDG 76 for Colonel William R. Higgins who was kidnapped and killed by terrorists in Lebanon, 1988.
 
19 February – Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko of Japan, together with Americans, stood together and paid respects to their war dead on the 49th anniversary of the battle for Iwo Jima. Emperor Akihito was Japan's first emperor to visit the island.
 
19 February – Marine Barracks (MB), Annapolis, Maryland, retired its colors and was redesignated U.S. Naval Academy Company, MB Washington, D.C. MB Annapolis was a continuously active unit since 1851.
 
20 February – This date marked the deadline for Serbs and other warring factions in Sarajevo to remove their weapons or place them under United Nations control. Operation Deny Flight, a force of 4,000 from 12 NATO countries including VMFA-251 based in Aviano, Italy, supported the U.N.-mandated no-fly zone over the skies of Bosnia-Herzegovina. 
 
24 February – On this date, the Commandant of the Marine Corps, General Carl E. Mundy, appeared before the House Armed Services Committee for the third time. He told Congress that the Marine Corps, Congress' 911 Force, remains ready to answer the nation's calls and requested funds for equipment, repairs, and maintenance projects.
 
28 February – The "U.S. Marine Corps Implementation of DOD Homosexual Conduct/Administrative Separation Policy," outlined in ALMARS 64/94 and 65/94, took effect. The new policy continued to enforce separation procedures for homosexual conduct, however, a Marine's sexual orientation would be considered a "personal and private" matter and that alone would not be a bar to continued service.
 
___March – With no aircraft yet identified to replace the CH-46 and with possible procurement of the V-22 still years away, the Corps began a modernization effort to ensure that all CH-46s reach the 12,500-hour level, some 4,000 more hours of current flight time. It would require a Dynamic Component Upgrade Program that would replace the aircraft's rotor heads, drive systems, transmissions, and rotor control system over a five-year period.
 
3 March – The U.S. and South Korean governments canceled Exercise Team Spirit 94, an annual exercise that is the mainstay in readiness training for the defense of South Korea against an attack by the North. The cancellation is part of a package of agreements meant to end the standoff over North Korea's nuclear program.
 
8 March – The Department of Defense announced the implementation of a smoke-free workplace policy that would ban smoking of tobacco products in all work facilities worldwide. The new policy, signed by Undersecretary of Defense for Acquisition and Technology John M. Deutch, would become effective on 8 April and would cover all uniformed personnel and civilians.
 
11-18 March – Marines participated in Exercise North Edge 94, a joint training exercise involving more that 14,600 military personnel. Held at Ft. Greely, Alaska, the exercise focused on peace enforcement and evacuation of American and foreign citizens as part of a simulated border dispute between two fictional countries.
 
13 March – General John Shalikashvili, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, visited sailors and Marines on board the USS Peleliu off the coast of Somalia as they redeployed. He expressed his gratitude for their service during Operation Restore Hope. Some 50 Marines from Marine Corps Security Force Battalion, Atlantic, would remain in Somalia after the U.S. forces withdrawal to provide security for U.S. diplomats who would continue to man a U.S. liaison office in Mogadishu. 
 
16 March – The parade deck at Marine Corps Recruit Depot, Parris Island, South Carolina, was dedicated in honor of the late Major General Oscar F. Peatross. General Robert H. Barrow was the guest speaker at the ceremony.
 
4-25 April – More than 500 Marines and sailors teamed up with the Kuwait Army and British Royal Marines for Exercise Native Fury 94 in Kuwait. The exercise was part of a 10-year defense pact between the United States and Kuwait. It was designed to demonstrate U.S. commitment to stability in the region while conducting maritime prepositioning force operations and combined training. 
 
11 April – Two F/A-18s from Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 251 attacked Bosnian Serb forces outside the town of Gorazde, Bosnia. The F/A-18s were part of NATO forces dedicated to supporting United Nations peacekeepers in Bosnia. The air strikes followed similar action by U.S. Air Force F-16s the previous day and were requested by U.N. forces inside Gorazde that had come under increasingly heavy Serb fire. 
 
12 April – Operation Distant Runner rescued Americans from Rwanda. Some 230 civilians, including 142 U.S. citizens, fleeing ethnic bloodshed in Rwanda, were evacuated to safety through the central African nation of Burundi by a contingency force of Marines from the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit (Special Operations Capable).
 
15 April – The Marine Corps consolidated its installations in Hawaii under the single command, Marine Corps Base (MCB), Hawaii. Headquarters and Headquarters Squadron, Marine Corps Air Station, Kaneohe Bay consolidated with Camp H. M. Smith and other facilities to form MCB Hawaii. Unification would enable Marine facilities to operate more efficiently.
 
22 April – Former President Richard M. Nixon died at the age of 81 after a stroke. The remains of the nations' 37th President were transported from the East Coast to Marine Corps Air Station, El Toro, California, and he was buried at the Richard M. Nixon Presidential Library in Yorba Linda, California on 27 April. Marines from Battery R, 5th Battalion, 11th Marines rendered 21-gun salutes at the arrival and internment ceremonies. 
 
23 April – Admiral Frank B. Kelso II, the Navy's 24th Chief of Naval Operations, retired after 42 distinguished years of service. Admiral Jeremy M. Boorda was selected by President Clinton to replace Admiral Kelso. 
 
25 April - 11 May – More than 13,000 Marines from four major commands participated in Exercise Agile Provider 94, a joint and combined exercise spread out over six southern states and Puerto Rico. Sponsored by the U.S. Atlantic Command, the exercise was designed to train more than 44,000 soldiers, airmen, Marines, and Coast Guard personnel to operate jointly in command and control, forcible entry, air and ground operations, and maritime and special operations.
 
___ May – The Department of Veterans Affairs encouraged veterans of the Persian Gulf War, who were concerned about possible environmental exposures in the Gulf region, to take advantage of the VA's health monitoring program that included free comprehensive physical examinations and lab tests. 
 
1 May – The Marine Corps Reserve Center, Brookpark, Cleveland, was re-named the Colonel Justice M. Chambers U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Center to honor the Marine who was awarded the Medal of Honor on Iwo Jima when he commanded 3d Battalion, 25th Marines. The ceremony included remarks by Major General James E. Livingston, Commanding General, Marine Reserve Force, New Orleans, himself a Medal of Honor recipient. 
 
2 May - Sergeant Major Edgar R. Huff, one of the Marine Corps' first African-American sergeants major, died at the Camp Lejeune Naval Hospital at the age of 74. He enlisted in the Marine Corps in 1942. During his 30 years of Marine Corps service, he participated in World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War. 
 
2-26 May – The 13th in its series, Exercise Cobra Gold 94 was held in Thailand. The exercise was designed to maintain regional peace through the U.S. strategy of cooperative engagement, and strengthen the ability of the Royal Thai armed forces to defend Thailand. The exercise included joint/combined land and air operations as well as combined naval/amphibious operations. Some 11,000 Thai troops and 13,000 U.S. personnel, including elements of Marine Forces Pacific, participated. 
 
12 May – Lewis B. Puller, Jr., Silver Star recipient for heroic actions in Vietnam, Pulitzer Prize winning author, and son of Lieutenant General Lewis B. "Chesty" Puller, died of an apparent self-inflicted gun-shot at his home in Fairfax County, Virginia. Puller suffered catastrophic injuries in 1968 while serving as a platoon commander in Vietnam. In 1991, he told the story of his ordeal in his winning novel Fortunate Son.
 
23 May – The Reserve Marine Air-Ground Task Force Command Element, Pacific activated. The unit was created as a result of a long-term planning process involving the realignment and organizational changes within the Marine Corps. It was commanded by Brigadier General John W. Hill, USMCR.
___June – The final Marine Corps "Tailhook" case was closed by Lieutenant General Charles C. Krulak, Commanding General of Marine Corps Combat Development Command, Quantico, Virginia, who had consolidated disposition authority for all Marine Corps cases arising from the 1991 Tailhook Association convention. There was a total of 22 cases reviewed by General Krulak.
 
1 June – Major General Carol A. Mutter pinned on her second star making her the first female major general in Marine Corps history. General Mutter assumed command of Marine Corps Systems Command, Quantico, Virginia on 3 June.
 
4 June - 13 August – Marine Reserve Force conducted Exercise Pinnacle Advance, the largest peacetime training exercise in the Marine Corps Reserve's 78-year history. The exercise involved 16,000 Marines and took place at sites in Southern California, Nevada, and Arizona. It included humanitarian assistance, peace keeping, combat, and amphibious operations.
 
15-23 June – The U.S. Navy and Marine Corps combined with the Russian navy and naval infantry to conduct an historic joint/combined exercise. USS Dubuque (LPD-8), based out of Sasebo, Japan, and Detachment One, 3d Marine Division from Okinawa, Japan, participated in Exercise Cooperation From the Sea at Vladivostok, Russia. It was designed to advance military-to-military cooperation in a disaster relief scenario. 
 
___July – Marines and civilian employees of Marine Corps Logistics Base, Albany, Georgia, assisted the people of flood-damaged southwest Georgia, particularly the Albany area where record floods wreaked havoc and rescues were conducted daily. About 20,000 Albany residents were evacuated from their homes as a result of Tropical Storm Alberto. 
 
1 July – The U.S. Senate and House budget negotiators agreed on an amendment to the 1995 defense authorization bill that called for a transfer of 84 M1A1 Abrams tanks from the Army to the Marine Corps.
 
15 July – General Richard D. Hearney was confirmed by the U.S. Senate as the 25th Assistant Commandant of the Marine Corps. He would succeed General Walter E. Boomer, who would retire on 1 September, after more than 33 years of active duty service.
 
21 July – On Guam, the National Park Service unveiled a memorial wall honoring the casualties of the fighting there during World War II. The ceremony also honored more than 1,000 American veterans visiting the island as Guam celebrated 50 years of liberation from the Japanese. General Carl E. Mundy, Commandant of the Marine Corps, attended as well as retired General Louis H. Wilson, Jr., former Commandant of the Marine Corps, who was awarded the Medal of Honor for heroism on Guam in 1944. Additionally, a War Dog Cemetery was dedicated on Guam with a granite monument of a life-sized Doberman sculpture in bronze.
 
21 July – The 9th Marines deactivated for the fourth time in its 77-year history. Originally formed on 17 November 1917 at Quantico, Virginia, the regiment participated in World War II and the Vietnam War. 
 
22 July – Leadership of the largest Marine field command passed during a change of command and retirement ceremony at Marine Corps Base, Hawaii, Kaneohe Bay. Lieutenant General Henry C. Stackpole III relinquished command of Marine Forces Pacific to Lieutenant General Charles C. Krulak. General Stackpole retired after 36 years of active duty service. General Krulak took the helm of Pacific Marine forces 30 years after his father, retired Lieutenant General Victor H. Krulak, assumed that same command.
 
28 July – Secretary of Defense William Perry approved recommendations made by the service chiefs to expand career opportunities for military women, a move that would almost double the number of occupational opportunities available to women in the Marine Corps. Women Marines would be eligible to serve in 93 percent of all occupational specialties, an additional 48,000 new positions, effective on 1 October.
 
29 July – After more than 90 years of providing security for Hawaii naval installations, Marine Barracks, Pearl Harbor deactivated. Its remaining forces were redesignated Marine Corps Security Force Company, Pearl Harbor. 
 
31 July – The first contingent of 1,200 Marines arrived in Washington state to join fire fighters in combating blazes across the eastern Cascade Range in 
central Washington. Marines from the 5th and 11th Marines stationed at Camp Pendleton, California, marked the seventh summer in a decade that the military was called upon to assist firefighting efforts. The fire in Washington was one of 26 blazes ranging over eight western states. 
 
___August – Marine Corps Air Station, El Toro began taking steps toward closing down. By the end of the summer, 1,500 Marines, about a quarter of the present military population of the base, would be transferred to Miramar Naval Air Station. El Toro, as well as Tustin Marine Corps Air Station, will be closed by the end of 1999.
 
5-26 August – Exercise Agile Sword 94, a Commander in Chief, U.S. Atlantic Command sponsored maritime prepositioned force (MPF) exercise, was conducted at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. The exercise was designed to train Navy and Marine Corps commands and personnel in the planning, coordination, and execution of MPF deployment, employment, and regeneration operations. 
 
10-12 August – The History and Museums Division was a co-sponsor of the World War II in the Pacific Conference held in Crystal City, Virginia. The conference program included academic papers, remembrances of war veterans, book exhibits, slide and film presentations, and displays. 
 
13 August – The city of Centron, France held a commemoration ceremony in honor of Lieutenant Colonel Peter J. Ortiz, USMC (Deceased) who assisted the French resistance in World War II. A plaque naming the town center "Place Colonel Peter Ortiz" was unveiled. The ceremony was attended by the late Colonel's wife, Jean, and their son, Marine Lieutenant Colonel Peter J. Ortiz, Jr. 
 
15 August – Lieutenant General Frederick L. Wieseman, USMC, former Commandant of Marine Corps Schools, died in Annapolis, Maryland, of a heart ailment at the age of 86. A graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, General Wieseman served more than 35 years in the Marine Corps.
 
19 August – Secretary of the Navy, John H. Dalton, approved the name change of the Navy Commendation Medal and the Navy Achievement Medal. The 
medals were renamed as Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal, and Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal. Both new medals and their accompanying certificates and citations would be available by 1 October 1994.
 
19 August – More than 500 Pacific-based Marines and sailors deployed to the Republic of Korea to participate in Exercise Ulchi Focus Lens 94. The purpose of the month-long exercise was to improve plans for the defense of the Republic of Korea. The exercise provided the yearly opportunity to form and train the Combined Marine Forces Command Staffs, a United Nations command component established in 1992. 
 
___September – Women Marines from the 4th Recruit Training Battalion at Marine Corps Recruit Depot, Parris Island, South Carolina, were screened for candidates to fill highly visible presidential support duty and ceremonial positions at Marine Barracks, 8th and I Streets, Washington, D.C. The desire for increased presence of women Marines in ceremonial details was a direct result of the Corps' commitment to provide more opportunities for women to serve in the same billets as their male counterparts. 

20 September – Special Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force Caribbean, built around the headquarters of the 2d Marines, landed at Cap Haitien, Haiti, to end a standoff rebellion between the Haitian military commander and the Haitian president. Operation Uphold Democracy included 1,900 Marines who were part of a 20,000-man Army force. After 12 short days, the task force was relieved by members of the 10th Mountain Division.
 
20 September – The top civilian and uniformed leadership of the Navy and Marine Corps presented their strategic vision to the Congressional Commission on Roles and Missions of the Armed Forces in a series of briefings. General Carl E. Mundy, Jr., Commandant of the Marine Corps, indicated that historically the Corps has adapted to the times and that it is an ideal force for the 21st century -- "A Certain Force for an Uncertain World."
 
23 September – The 1st Marine Expeditionary Brigade (MEB) deactivated at a ceremony at Dewey Square on Marine Corps Base Hawaii, Kaneohe Bay. The 1st MEB was originally activated in 1901 at Cavite, Philippine Islands. It had been located at Hawaii since 1953.
 
29 September – Amid growing concerns over operational tempo and readiness of America's Armed Forces, Congress approved the FY95 Defense Appropriation Bill. While U.S. forces continue to operate around the globe from Haiti to Kuwait, the FY95 defense bill marks the ninth consecutive year of real decline in defense spending. 
 
30 September – The 3d Light Antiaircraft Missile (LAAM) Battalion deactivated. The battalion originally activated in 1938 using machine guns, graduating to 3-inch antiaircraft guns, then to missile systems. The 3d LAAM had been located at Cherry Point, North Carolina, since 1963. 
 
___October – Some 20,000 Pacific-based Marines were on alert and ready to deploy to Southwest Asia to battle Iraqi forces then threatening Kuwait. Although the threat of an imminent Iraqi attack on Kuwait receded, 2,500 Marines were deployed to the Southwest Asia to continue to deter Iraq and to train with coalition partners. 
 
___October – In FY95, the Corps would be getting the Belgian M240 medium machinegun, manufactured by Fabrique Nationale of Columbia, South Carolina, as a one-for-one replacement for the Saco Defense-manufactured M60E3 machinegun held by all ground units. 
 
13 October – The command of Operation Sea Signal, Guantanamo Naval Base, Cuba, changed hands from Brigadier General Michael J. Williams to Brigadier General Raymond P. Ayres, Jr. The operation was a humanitarian relief effort for 14,000 Haitian migrants seeking shelter from a military dictatorship and 30,000 Cubans stymied by the closing of a door to the U.S. Hundreds of Marines from units at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, provided security for the base. 
 
17-25 October – Approximately 1,700 Marines of the 37th Marine Expeditionary Unit, III Marine Expeditionary Force from Okinawa, Japan, helped commemorate the 50th anniversary of the battle of Leyte Gulf when they reenacted the landing that returned General Douglas MacArthur to the Philippines during World War II. 
 
23 October – The 19th Marine Corps Marathon was held in Washington, D.C. Some 14,000 runners participated this the event this year, including 2,900 military personnel. The top male finisher was Mexican Army Sergeant Graciano Gonzalez with a time of 2:22:51. The first place female runner was Susan Molloy of Charlottesville, Virginia, who finished the race in 2:39:34.
 
10 November – 28 recipients of the country's highest military award, the Medal of Honor, gathered in New Orleans to celebrate the 219th anniversary of the Marine Corps. The 24 Marines and 4 corpsmen were also featured in several commemorative veteran's activities there.
 
10 November – Marine Reserve Force was redesignated as Marine Forces Reserve during the birthday ball ceremony in New Orleans. The redesignation was a move to keep the reserve force visibility more in line with its Fleet Marine Force command counterparts, such as Marine Forces, Pacific and Atlantic.
 
25 November- 9 December – Marines from the III Marine Expeditionary Force participated in Exercise Tandem Thrust, a biennial joint military training exercise that stressed rapid response to short-notice crises in the Pacific. The exercise took place on the islands of Guam, Tinian, and Farallon de Medinilla in the South Pacific.
 
___ December – A detachment of Marines from the II Marine Expeditionary Force wrapped up Exercise Unitas XXXV after completing 10 successful phases of operation with Naval and Marine forces from nine South American navies. The annual joint-combined exercise began in July and was designed to improve the interoperability of U.S. and South American forces. 
 
___December – The Marine Corps Toys for Tots Program would take on a new community flavor as the Marine Reserve Force implemented changes to the 47-year-old program. The type and level of official Marine Corps participation in the Toys for Tots campaign would be governed by a newly published Department of Defense regulation. The Program would involve a team effort between the Marine Corps and local communities rather than the Corps exclusively. 
 
6 December – Secretary of the Navy, John H. Dalton, announced that an Arleigh Burke class destroyer DDG 79 would be named in honor of Private First Class Oscar P. Austin, an African-American Marine who was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for gallantry during Vietnam. 
 
8 December – Veterans Affairs Secretary Jesse Brown endorsed a proposal to pay compensation benefits to Persian Gulf War veterans suffering from undiagnosed illnesses for a period of three years if their symptoms manifested within one year of their departure from the Persian Gulf theater.
 
11 December – Retired Lieutenant General Edward A. Craig died at his El Cajon, California, home at the age of 98. A veteran of World War II and the Korean War, the general was awarded a Navy Cross for heroism on Guam. He retired from the Corps in 1951 after 33 years of service.
 
15 December – Exercise Eager Mace began as the 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit assaulted Camp Monterey, Kuwait. It was a combined amphibious training exercise that demonstrated the capabilities of U.S. forces and the continuing U.S. commitment to the security and stability of the Persian Gulf region.
 
31 December – The strength of the U.S. Armed Forces was 1,584,232 of whom 174,507 were Marines.

1995

___January – President Clinton announced a $25 billion increase in Department of Defense spending over the next six years. The funding would be used to maintain troop readiness, increase military pay, and provide other quality-of-life improvements without drastically cutting weapons-modernization programs. 
 
1 January –The strength of the U.S. Armed Forces was 1,584,232 of whom 174,507 were Marines.
 
10 January – The Pentagon announced that 2,600 U.S. Marines would be deployed to Somalia for Operation United Shield to assist in the final withdrawal of United Nations peacekeeping troops from Somalia. The decision came in response to a longstanding U.N. request for American protection of its peacekeeping forces serving in the war-torn African nation. The U.N. Security Council established 31 March as the deadline for the departure of all its forces participating in U.N. operations in Somalia.
 
17 January – Vietnam veterans who were harmed by Agent Orange were given an extended period of time to file compensation claims. The original deadline for claims was 31 December 1994, but was extended amid a flood of last minute appeals from veterans. The Agent Orange Payment Program was established in 1985 to distribute $184 million in proceeds from a class-action lawsuit against the makers of Agent Orange, a defoliant used extensively during the Vietnam War.
 
17 January – The Commandant of the Marine Corps approved the selection of Major Steven M. Zotti as the 1994 recipient of the Leftwich Trophy for outstanding leadership. At the time of the nomination, Major Zotti was a captain with Battalion Landing Team, 1st Battalion, 6th Marines, 22d Marine Expeditionary Unit.
 
20 January – Medal of Honor recipient Franklin E. Sigler died at Morristown Memorial Hospital, New Jersey, at the age of 70. He was awarded the Medal of Honor for heroism during the Battle of Iwo Jima. He was also awarded the Purple Heart for wounds suffered. Both medals were presented by President Harry S. Truman.
 
20 January – Commandant of the Marine Corps, General Carl E. Mundy Jr., opened the Marine Corps History and Museums Division's exhibition commemorating the 50th Anniversary of World War II, in the Pentagon's Hall of Heroes. The exhibit, "The Final Campaigns: Spring and Summer 1945," highlighted the role of American and Allied forces as they neared victory in the Pacific and European Theaters of operation.
 
___ February – NASA named Marine Colonel Robert Cabana as the Chief of the Astronaut Office at Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas. Colonel Cabana, a naval aviator, graduated from the Naval Academy in 1971 and the Naval Test Pilot School in 1981.
 
2 February – The Marine Corps Institute (MCI) celebrated 75 years of professional military education support to the Marine Corps. Although the focus of MCI changed from vocational to professional military education in the past 75 years, the original spirit and intent -- personal development through education -- would remain valid.
 
13 February – Lieutenant General James P. Berkeley died in Virginia, Beach, Virginia. General Berkeley enlisted in the Marine Corps in 1927 and was commissioned in 1930. In his last duty assignment, General Berkeley served as Commanding General, Fleet Marine Force, Atlantic. 
 
18 February – An Arleigh Burke Class Aegis guided missile destroyer, USS Gonzalez (DDG 66), named in honor of Marine Sergeant Alfredo Gonzalez, was launched at Bath Iron Works in Maine. Sergeant Gonzalez was awarded the Medal of Honor for heroic actions in Vietnam during 1968. 
 
19 February – Commemoration ceremonies were held in honor of the 50th anniversary of the World War II battle for Iwo Jima at the Marine Corps War Memorial in Arlington, Virginia. More than 20,000 people gathered to pay tribute to the Marines, sailors and soldiers who fought on the south Pacific Island 50 years ago.
 
21 February – The Bell-Boeing Joint Program Office was awarded a $375 million contract modification for continued engineering of the Marine Corps MV-22 Osprey. Expected to be deployable in FY01, the tilt-rotor aircraft is capable of flying like a helicopter and conventional plane. The use of this technology would meet the Marine Corp's 21st century combat medium-life requirements. 
 
22 February – Appearing before the House National Security Committee, the Commandant of the Marine Corps, General Carl E. Mundy, Jr., identified vital requirements supported by the budget request, and focused on the areas of unplanned contingency funding and recruiting as personal concerns necessary to maintain Marine Corps readiness. The Commandant would also appear before the Senate Armed Services Committee on 7 March, also reiterating his 1995 Posture Statement.
 
28 February – Secretary of Defense William Perry announced his intention to recommend to the Defense Base Closure and Realignment Commission the closure or realignment of 146 military installations in the United States. Although no Marine Corps installation or facility was included for closure or disestablishment, the following installations would be impacted from previous commission decisions: Marine Corps Air Stations (MCAS) El Toro and Tustin, California; MCAS Cherry Point, North Carolina; and MCAS Beaufort, South Carolina. 
 
3 March – After two years and $2 billion, the United Nations concluded its withdrawal from Somalia. Under the protective cover of a seven-nation task force, 2,500 Pakistani and Bangladeshi peacekeepers completed their withdrawal and began their journey home. About 1,800 U.S. Marines and 350 Italian Marines landed on 1 March to safeguard the movement. The 73-hour operation was successful. The Marines' return marked the second landing in Somalia in the last 
27 months. In December 1992, U.S. Marines were called upon to stem the war-induced famine that claimed 350,000 Somali lives in Operation Restore Hope. 
 
14 March – Lieutenant General Charles C. Krulak was nominated to be the 31st Commandant of the Marine Corps, pending Senate confirmation. General Krulak would replace General Carl E. Mundy, Jr. and assume the position as the Corps' senior Marine and member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
 
14 March – Nearly 1,000 American and Japanese World War II veterans returned to Iwo Jima to commemorate the 50th anniversary of one of the bloodiest Pacific battles. The Iwo Jima veterans and their families covered the eight-square-mile island as they went through sulfur caves, attended ceremonies, and stood once more atop Mount Suribachi. In attendance were: U.S. Ambassador to Japan, Walter Mondale; Secretary of the Navy, John Dalton; Commandant of the Marine Corps, General Carl E. Mundy Jr.; Commandant select, Lieutenant General Charles C. Krulak; as well as Charles W. Lindberg, former Marine, who is the sole survivor of either of the two flag raisings atop Mount Suribachi. 
 
14 March – Secretary of the Navy, John H. Dalton, while on Iwo Jima observing the 50th anniversary of the battle, announced his decision to name the newest maritime prepositioning ship in honor of Medal of Honor recipient First Lieutenant Harry L. Martin, who posthumously won the Medal of Honor there five decades ago.
 
24 March - 8 April – One of the Marine Corps' largest exercises of the year, Exercise Kernal Blitz '95 took place at Camp Pendleton, California. It involved more than 12,000 active duty and reserve Marines as well as units from the Navy and Army. The exercise tested the ability of Marine and Navy expeditionary forces to project combat power ashore in a major amphibious landing.
 
1 April – This date marked the 50th anniversary of the battle of Okinawa. Assault forces for Okinawa, located only 360 miles from the Japanese homeland, totaled 182,000.
 
3 April – Former Assistant Commandant of the Marine Corps, Lieutenant General Charles H. Hayes died at the age of 89 in his home in Rancho Bernardo, California. A 1926 graduate of the Naval Academy, General Hayes was commissioned in the Marine Corps in 1930. The decorated general served as the Assistant Commandant of the Marine Corps from 1963 until his retirement in 1965.
 
8 April – An Arleigh Burke Class Aegis guided missile destroyer, USS Cole (DDG 67), was launched at Ingalls Shipbuilding, Pascagoula, Mississippi. The ship was named in the honor of Marine Sergeant Darrell S. Cole who was awarded the Medal of Honor for actions during the battle of Iwo Jima. 
 
9 April - 30 May – Exercise Emerald Express '95 was the second in a series of annual peacekeeping and humanitarian assistance exercises that I Marine Expeditionary Force would hold for the U.S. Central Command. The exercise, held on 22-26 May, was preceded by an ambitious two-phase, high-level conference held on 9-14 April.
 
13 April - The V-22 Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft exceeded 1,000 hours risk reduction flight-testing during ongoing testing at Naval Air Station, Patuxent River, Maryland. With more than 860 flights, the V-22 would continue to prove that tilt-rotor technology would be a valid and essential requirement to meet the Corps' needs for the 21st century. 
 
19 April – Two Marines were killed and four other Marines were injured in a catastrophic explosion of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Office Building in Oklahoma City that claimed 167 lives. The above Marines along with one injured civilian were assigned to the U.S. Marine Corps Recruiting Station, Oklahoma City, located on the sixth floor of the building. The remains of Captain Randolph A. Guzman from Castro Valley, California, and Sergeant Benjamin L. Davis, a native of Oklahoma City, were found at their recruiting station posts on 24 April. 
 
4-24 May – More than 17,000 Marines and other U.S. military personnel and 9,000 Royal Thai forces participated in Exercise Cobra Gold '95 in Thailand. The annual exercise was the latest in a continuing series of U.S.-Thai military exercises designed to ensure regional peace and stability through the U.S. cooperative engagement strategy and to strengthen the ability of the Royal Thai armed forces to defend their country. 
 
5 May – Lieutenant General Edward W. Snedeker died at the age of 92 in Carlsbad, California. General Snedeker was awarded the Navy Cross for 
commanding the 7th Marines during the battle for Okinawa in World War II, in addition to the Silver and Bronze Stars for combat operations on Guadalcanal. The decorated general retired from the Marine Corps in 1963 after 37 years of military service. 
 
8 May – In the wake of the most devastating storm to hit the New Orleans area in more than 200 years, a group of Marines and sailors from Marine Forces Reserve demonstrated the quick response synonymous with the Navy/Marine Corps teams. Within 37 hours of being called, Marines assisted in the evacuation of 2,500 civilians, and Navy corpsmen treated 26 flood victims.
 
16 May – The Veterans of Foreign Wars dedicated a memorial plaque at the U.S. Memorial, Point Salines, Grenada, to honor U.S. military men who fought to return freedom to the Grenadine people and safeguard the lives of 1,000 American citizens in October 1983.
 
20 May – The Navy commissioned the USS Russell (DDG 59), Ageis guided missile destroyer, in honor of Rear Admiral John Henry Russell, USN (1827-1897), and his son, Major General John Henry Russell, Jr., USMC (1872-1947) who served as the 16th Commandant of the Marine Corps.
 
24 May – The Commission on Roles and Missions of the Armed Forces delivered its final report to the Congress, the Secretary of Defense, and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. The resulting report contained an evaluation of roles, missions, and functions of the armed forces and assessed their utility for the post-cold war era. It recommended over 150 changes. 
 
24-25 May – Marine aviation units stationed in Northern Italy supporting NATO Operations Deny Flight and Provide Promise stepped up operational tempo. Air strikes on the Bosnian Serb ammunition dump in Pale were conducted on these dates. Also, in recent support of Operation Deny Flight, Marine All Weather Attack Squadron 533, enforced U.N. restrictions on the movement of weapons on the ground and aircraft flying over Bosnia and Herzegovina. Operation Provide Promise involved escorting an airlift of food and medical supplies into Sarajevo.
 
4 June - 8 July – More than 8,000 Marines from reserve units across the country participated in Exercise Pinnacle Advance at the Marine Air Ground Combat 
Center in Twentynine Palms, California. The number of reserve participants dropped from 16,000 last year due to limited funding for traditional large-scale exercises. 
 
8 June – A Marine tactical recovery of aircraft and personnel (TRAP) team from the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit (Special Operations Capable) stationed on board the USS Kearsarge (LHD 3) rescued a downed U.S. pilot from Bosnian Serb territory in Bosnia. The downed pilot, Captain Scott O'Grady, USAF, was flying an F-16C fighter near the town of Banja Luka on 2 June in support of Operation Deny Flight to enforce a no-fly zone when he was shot down by one of several Bosnian Serb surface-to-air missiles. 
 
22 June – This date marked the groundbreaking ceremony for the Women in Military Service for America Memorial, the nation's memorial honoring all service women. The memorial will stand at the Gate of Arlington National Cemetery honoring the 1.8 million women who have served from the American Revolution to present. 
 
22 June – The 50th commemoration of the Battle of Okinawa honored the veterans of the fierce World War II battle at a memorial service and wreath laying at Marine Corps Base, Camp Smedley D. Butler, Okinawa, Japan. More that 250 veterans, active duty service members, and guests were in attendance. General Carl E. Mundy, Jr., Commandant of the Marine Corps, was the special guest.
 
25 June – Forty-five years ago on this date, seven infantry divisions and an armored division of the North Korean People's Army swept across the 38th parallel into South Korea. The Korean War had begun, and within days U.S. air and naval forces were ordered into action.
 
26 June – The Secretary of the Navy approved a new Marine Corps service ribbon recognizing the challenges and successes of Marine Corps recruiters. The Marine Corps Recruiting Service Ribbon was the first billet-specific award established for the Marine Corps.

27 June – The Enola Gay exhibition opened at the National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C., after years of debate between various veterans groups, the Japanese, and museum officials. Nearly 50 years ago, the B-29, named after the mother of its pilot, dropped the atom bomb that instantly destroyed the Japanese city of Hiroshima and with the atomic bombing of Nagasaki three days later, hastened the end of World War II.
 
29 June – Sergeant Major Lewis G. Lee became the 13th Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps. He assumed his post from Sergeant Major Harold G. Overstreet at a post and relief ceremony at Marine Barracks, Washington, D.C. 
 
30 June – General Charles C. Krulak became the nation's 31st Commandant of the Marine Corps in a change of command ceremony at Marine Barracks, Washington, D.C., replacing General Carl E. Mundy, Jr.

30 June – The 3d Combat Engineer Battalion was deactivated during a ceremony at Camp Hansen, Okinawa. The battalion was activated in 1942 and participated in World War II and the Vietnam War. 

10 July – A small armada of active-duty as well as reserve ships, along with European and Latin American ships, gathered in the Caribbean to begin the Navy's annual show-the-flag cruise. The six-month deployment, dubbed Unitas, would cruise around South American. A Marine detachment from Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, would participate.
 
11-17 July – The Marine Corps Pistol Team took home the Gold Cup from the 1995 National Pistol Competitions held at Camp Perry, Ohio. The team challenged and prevailed over some of America's top military and civilian distinguished marksmen. 
 
12-22 July – Marines from the 3d Force Service Support Group and Marine Wing Support Squadron (MWSS) 172 participated in Exercise Freedom Banner near Pohang, Korea. During the exercise, Typhoon "Faye" touched down southwest of the Sea of Japan port city of Pohang. MWSS-172 provided weather support to all Marine aviation assets, issued warnings, and conducted weather briefs.
 
14 July – Major General James E. Livingston, the last active duty Marine who held the Medal of Honor, retired after 33 years of service. General Livingston earned the Medal of Honor on 2 May 1968 while serving as a rifle company commander in Vietnam. He is one of 29 living Marines who hold the Medal of Honor. 
 
17-21 July – More than 1,700 Marines from the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit participated in Exercise Rescue Eagle with U.S. Navy and Albanian forces near the city of Durres, Albania. Rescue Eagle was a combined overland search and rescue exercise. Training was designed to emphasize humanitarian search and rescue skills. 
 
18-25 July – Two Marine Corps officers were among the winners of the 34th Annual Interservice Rifle Competition at Quantico, Virginia. Major Tom R. Marchegiano and Captain Patrick G. Looney won two of three matches at the competition beating out 214 shooters from Armed Forces teams across the globe.
 
26-29 July – Thousands of veterans and their families gathered on the mall in Washington, D.C., for the dedication events of the Korean War Veterans Memorial honoring 5.7 million Korean War era veterans and those from 21 other countries who served in the United Nations force in Korea. President Bill Clinton and President Kim Young Sam of South Korea attended the dedication ceremonies.
 
___August – The Secretary of Defense accepted an offer by the Government of Kuwait to award the Kuwait Liberation Medal to members of the U.S. Armed Forces who participated in Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm in Southwest Asia between August 1990 and April 1991. 
 
1 August – The Pentagon concluded its study on 10,000 veterans and family members who served in Operation Desert Storm complaining of one or more of a variety of symptoms. The study found that there was no clinical evidence for new or unique illnesses or syndromes among Persian Gulf veterans, and that most of the symptoms are common to the general population.
 
6 August – On this date was the 50th anniversary of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima in Japan. This day was marked by commemorative ceremonies in Hiroshima and an international calling for the abolition of nuclear weapons.
 
6 August – The American flag was raised for the first time in more than 20 years over an American embassy in Vietnam. Secretary of State, Warren Christopher, attended the ceremony at the new U.S. embassy in Hanoi.
 
14 August – More than 400 Pacific-based Marines and sailors deployed to the Korean peninsula to participate in Exercise Ulchi Focus Lens 95 that involved about 16,000 U.S. military personnel from units around the world. The training exercise was used to improve plans for the defense of the Republic of Korea.
 
16 August – Commandant of the Marine Corps, General Charles C. Krulak, directed a revision of the physical fitness standards for women Marines. When implemented, the changes would require women to run three miles during their semiannual physical fitness test -- the same distance as required by male Marines.
 
27-31 August – U.S. Marines and Russian Naval Infantry conducted their first combined training exercise on U.S. soil in Hawaii. The exercise, "Cooperation From the Sea," was a maritime disaster relief exercise that included cross training, personnel exchanges, and a combined amphibious landing.
 
29 August – Two Beaufort, South Carolina-based Marine fighter attack squadrons from Marine Aircraft Group 31 were participating in NATO-directed air strikes against Bosnia Serb military targets in Bosnia as a part of Operation Deliberate Force, a new offensive air operation that was part of the ongoing Operation Deny Flight. Marine All Weather Fighter Attack Squadron 533 operated from Aviano Air Base, Italy, and Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 312 operated off the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71).
 
1 September – Retired Major General Douglas J. Preacher, USMCR, died in La Jolla, California. He was commissioned in 1936 and served on active duty in World War II. Prior to his retirement in 1972, the general served two tours as Assistant Deputy Commanding General, Fleet Marine Force, Atlantic.
 
1 - 3 September – Hawaii-based Marines were at the center of special 50th anniversary VJ Day commemorations. Ceremonies included a National Memorial Service with President Clinton as the keynote speaker, a parade of ships and airplanes, wreath laying and memorial services at the USS Arizona, and a veterans parade. More than 10,000 veterans attended and 180 veterans' organizations were invited to present memorial wreaths. 
 
12 September –Two Marines were awarded the Navy/Marine Corps Medal for their efforts in the aftermath of the Oklahoma City federal building bombing. Captain Matthew Cooper and Sergeant Tad Snidecor were awarded the highest peacetime medal for heroism. Both served at Recruiting Station Oklahoma City located on the sixth floor of the federal building at the time of the bombing.
 
18 September - 12 October – The Marine Corps had four separate crashes involving a total of six aircraft -- three AV-8B Harrier attack jets, one F/A-18D Hornet fighter jet, and two F-5 Tiger jets. One Marine student pilot was killed and seven pilots (six Marines and one Navy officer) were unharmed or slightly injured. 
 
21 - 24 September – The Marine Corps Aviation Association presented annual awards at their reunion/symposium in Washington, D.C. The award winners for 1995 included: Alfred A. Cunningham Aviator of the year, LtCol W.G. Duncan; Robert M. Hanson Fighter/Attack Squadron of the year, VMFA(AW)-332; and Keith B. McCutcheon Heavy Helicopter Squadron of the year, HMH-361.
 
21 September - 9 October – Marines from the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit participated in Exercise Eager Mace 96-1 held in Kuwait. Eager Mace was a combined amphibious training exercise held with the Kuwaiti armed forces. It was designed to promote interoperability and enhance cooperation and coordination between Kuwaiti and U.S. Armed Forces.
 
22 September – The Naval Medical Clinic dedicated and opened the new John H. Bradley Medical Clinic at Officer Candidates School, Quantico, Virginia. The clinic was named for Pharmacist Mate 2d Class Bradley who served as a hospital corpsman attached to a Marine rifle platoon with 2d Battalion, 28th Marines on Iwo Jima, 21 February 1945, and is known for his participation in the famous flag raising atop Mount Suribachi. 
 
26 September – First Lieutenant Sarah Deal completed her final flight hour at Marine Helicopter Training Squadron 302, earning her the distinction of becoming the Marine Corps' first female aviator. The 26 year-old Pemberville, Ohio, native was then assigned to Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 466 where she would fly the Corp's premier troop carrier -- the CH-53E Super Stallion helicopter. 
 
11 October – A Joint Meeting of Congress was held to commemorate the ending of World War II, 50 years ago, and to honor its veterans. It was only the 13th meeting of its kind since 1866. Representatives from all services were present. Special guests included Marine Medal of Honor recipients General Louis H. Wilson, former Commandant of the Marine Corps, and Corporal Richard E. Bush. Both were presented the Medal of Honor on 5 October 1945 at the White House by President Harry Truman.
 
22 October – Some 16,200 runners participated in the 20th Marine Corps Marathon in Washington, D.C. Darrell General of Mitchelville, Maryland, was the top male finisher with a time of 2:16:34 and Claudia M. Kafen of Williamsburg, Virginia, was the female winner with a time of 2:49:21.
 
26 October – Henderson Field, the site that was key to the Guadalcanal Campaign and whose capture and retention marked a critical turning point in the Pacific War, was rededicated in ceremonies on the island. The field was named in honor of Major Lofton R. Henderson who was killed in action during the Battle of Midway in 1942. The ceremonies were attended by Major Henderson's younger brother, Brigadier General Frederick P. Henderson, USMC (Retired) and David Vouza, son of World War II hero Sergeant Major Sir Jacob Vouza.
 
29 October – At the annual awards dinner at Quantico, the Marine Corps Historical Foundation recognized three persons for exceptional writing pertinent to Marine Corps history during the last year. General Charles C. Krulak, Commandant of the Marine Corps, was the guest of honor. The General Wallace M. Greene, Jr. book award was presented to Colonel Joseph H. Alexander, USMC (Retired). The Colonel Robert D. Heinl, Jr. memorial award for the best article was awarded to Major Jon T. Hoffman USMCR. The Sergeant Major Dan Daly award for the best article by an enlisted Marine was presented to Sergeant Lance M. Bacon, USMC.
 
10 November – This date marked the 220th birthday of the Marine Corps. In his birthday message, the Commandant of the Marine Corps, General Charles C. Krulak, stated that the Marine Corps looks ahead to the 21st century and stands ready when the nation, as she always has, says "Send in the Marines."
 
10 -19 November – The 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit participated in Exercise Bright Star 95 in Egypt. About 33,000 Egyptian troops along with British, French and Arab Emirates troops took part in the largest joint military exercise held in Egypt. 
 
11 November – On this date 50 years ago, Frederick C. Branch, a native of Hamlet, North Carolina, earned the distinction of becoming the first African American Marine Corps officer. Branch returned to Quantico to celebrate the Corps' 220th birthday and his own commissioning anniversary. 
 
27 November – A Marine was pulled from the North Arabian Sea by Pakistani fisherman after surviving more than 36 hours alone and adrift. Lance Corporal Zachary R. Mayo, a 20-year-old aviation mechanic with Marine Tactical Electronic Warfare Squadron 3, fell from the aircraft carrier USS America (CV 66) on 
 
24 November. Lance Corporal Mayo credited his Marine water survival training for keeping him alive.
 
27 November – A ceremony was held at the U.S. Navy Memorial to pay tribute to the 45th anniversary of the Korean War battle of the Chosin Reservoir in North Korea. Marines of the 1st Marine Division suffered over 4,000 battle casualties, including 730 dead. Brigadier General James F. Lawrence, USMC (Retired) provided the main address to "Frozen Chosin" veterans and friends at the ceremony. 
 
30 November – A $243 billion FY96 defense appropriations bill became public law. Although the bill represented some $7 billion more than the White House wanted to spend, funding concerns for the peacekeeping operation in Bosnia were sufficient to save it from a veto. For the Marine Corps, Congress approved a budget of $9.5 billion, which was more than $441 million above the official FY96 request. The allocation would allow for an end-strength of 174,000 active Marines and 42,274 reservists.
 
___December – A new Marine Corps Order was in effect that would preserve most of the Toys for Tots Program as it had been for the past 48 years. One notable change was a reversal of a 1994 directive that instructed Marine Corps reserve units to allow a civilian-run committee to assume charge of the program. The Program rebounded from a 1993 scandal that had sent donations plummeting.
 
5 December – At the close of the trading day on the New York Mercantile Exchange in New York City, a team of Marine Corps generals and colonels tested their mettle with exchange traders as part of the first wargaming experiment conducted by the Commandant's Warfighting Laboratory (CWL), created by General Charles C. Krulak. The CWL would serve as the test bed for the development or enhancement of concepts, tactics, techniques, and doctrine that can be introduced into the operating forces.
 
10 December – In Bosnia, 22 Marines from Marine Corps Security Force Company, Naples, Italy were among the first American troops to arrive. They provided the security for Allied Forces Southern Europe headquartered at Sarajevo. About 2,500 NATO troops would be in place by 19 December taking on the task of peace enforcement in former Yugoslavia from the U.N.
 
21 December – This date marked the end of Operation Deny Flight after nearly 1,000 days and 100,000 flights supporting and enforcing the U.N. no-fly zone over Bosnia. 2d Marine Aircraft Wing squadrons were based at Aviano Air Base, Italy.
 
22 December – The Commandant of the Marine Corps approved the selection of Major Jeffrey J. Sharrock as the 1995 recipient of the Leftwich Trophy for outstanding leadership. At the time of his nomination, (then) Captain Sharrock was assigned to the 3d Marine Division.
 
22-23 December – The Commandant of the Marine Corps, General Charles C. Krulak, visited Marines and praised his leathernecks deployed to Aviano Air Base, Italy, the carrier USS America (CV 66) in the Adriatic Sea, and ships of Amphibious Ready Group 3, home members of the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit, during a pre-Christmas visit to the region. He was accompanied by Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps, Lewis G. Lee. 
 
30 December – Major General George H. Cloud, USMC (Retired) died in Elizabethtown, Kentucky, at the age of 91. He was commissioned a second lieutenant in 1930 and saw World War II service in the defense of Pearl Harbor and in the Peleliu and Okinawa campaigns. 
 
31 December – The strength of the U.S. Armed Forces was 1,518,224 of whom 174,049 were Marines.

1996

___Jan - The sexual assault of a young Japanese girl by three U.S. servicemen last September and their ongoing trial in a Japanese court prompted an outpouring of sympathy and outrage from the American and Japanese communities on Okinawa. They have also brought to the forefront the continuous U.S.-Japanese negotiations over the future of U.S. basing rights on Okinawa and on mainland Japan. Approximately, 18,000 Marines on Okinawa represent a key component of the U.S. commitment to the security of the Asia-Pacific region. 
 
1 Jan - Admiral Arleigh A. Burke died of pneumonia at Bethesda Naval Hospital, Maryland, at the age of 94. He was the Navy's most famous destroyer squadron combat commander and chief of naval operations from 1955-1961, retiring after 42 years service. Remembered as the father of the modern Navy, he was one of his service's most revered figures. One measure of his service's and nation's regard came when the Navy named an entire new class of destroyers, the most powerful ever built, the Arleigh Burke class. He was laid to rest on 4 January at the U.S. Naval Academy from which he graduated in 1923. 
 
1 Jan - The strength of the U.S. Armed Forces was 1,518,224 of whom 174,049 were Marines. 
 
8 Jan - Nine Marines from Marine Corps Air Station, New River, North Carolina, received the Air Medal with Combat "V" for their heroic efforts in the rescue of downed Air Force pilot Captain Scott O'Grady during the tactical recovery of aircraft and personnel mission last June in Bosnia. 
 
11 Jan - President Clinton signed an Executive Order establishing an Armed Forces Service Medal to recognize members of the Armed Forces who serve in significant foreign operations such as peacekeeping or prolonged humanitarian operations, yet not against armed opposition or involving hostile action. It would only be awarded for operations for which no other U.S. service medal is approved. The medal would be effective for service on or after 1 June 1992, corresponding with the beginning date of U.S. assistance in Bosnia. 
 
17 Jan - After 55 years in the Navy Annex, Arlington, Virginia, Headquarters Marine Corps moved to new offices on the E-ring of the Pentagon adjacent to those of the Secretary of the Navy. Commandant of the Marine Corps, General Charles C. Krulak, addressed an audience at the dedication ceremony. Although the move was not the first for Headquarters Marine Corps, which has been located at various sites in the Washington, D.C. area since 1800, it was perhaps the most significant linking the Marine Corps' command with that of the Armed Services.
 
19 Jan - Brigadier General Edwin H. Simmons, USMC (Retired) retired as the civilian director of the History and Museums Division, a position he held upon leaving active duty in 1978. General Simmons' 54 years of cumulative service was marked during ceremonies in Washington, D.C. with the Commandant of the Marine Corps, General Charles C. Krulak, presiding.
 
25 Jan - 2 Feb - Exercise Keen Edge 96, a joint-bilateral command post exercise, was conducted at U.S. and Japanese military installations throughout Japan. Approximately 4,000 military personnel from the Japan Self Defense Forces and U.S. Marine Corps, Navy, and Army participated. Computer simulations were used to train the staffs to solve the intelligence, logistics, and communications challenges of the combat operations.
 
___Feb - Commandant of the Marine Corps, General Charles C. Krulak, approved an allocation of eight CH-53Es to replace RH-53Ds at two Reserve heavy-lift squadrons. The plan was to deliver six aircraft to Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron (HMH) 769 during the summer and six additional aircraft to HMH-772 next year. Both squadrons were the last of Marine Reserve squadrons to operate an aircraft that was unique to the Reserve Component.
 
___Feb - The first of 73 remanufactured AV-8Bs was scheduled for delivery to Marine Corps Air Station, Cherry Point, North Carolina. The McDonnell Douglas aircraft, originally an AV-8B day attack Harrier, is virtually identical to the newer radar/night attack variant. Prior to delivery of the first remanufactured Harrier, the Marine inventory included 120 day attack, 56 night attack, and 28 radar/night attack AV-8Bs. 
 
7 Feb - The best commercials worldwide were honored during the 25th anniversary of the Mobius Advertising Awards in Chicago where the Marine Corps' newest entry, "Transformation" garnered a record setting seven first place awards including "best in show" for television. Competing against 5,000 entries from 31 countries, the award-winning commercial was created by J. Walter Thompson, the Corps' advertising agency. 
 
10 Feb - A revised FY96 defense authorization bill was signed into law by President Clinton, who had vetoed an earlier version of the bill. In order to gain a Presidential signature, Congress dropped provisions that mandated a national missile defense by 2003 and revised language on other requirements. The authorization act included a 2.4 percent military pay increase and a 5.2 percent housing allowance increase for enlisted personnel not living in government quarters. 
 
12 Feb - Lieutenant General Foster C. Lahue, USMC (Retired) died at his home in Ormond, Florida. The decorated general served 33 years on active duty and participated in World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War. His last duty assignment was Chief of Staff, Headquarters Marine Corps before retiring in September 1974.
 
16 Feb - 31 Mar - Marines from the 3d Regiment and detachments from helicopter squadrons based in Hawaii participated in intensive training with elements of the Royal Australian Army in Exercise Gold Eagle 96. The exercise was designed to further enhance relations between the two countries. 
 
26 Feb - 12 Mar - More than 4,200 Marine reservists from 38 different states participated in Exercise Battle Griffin 96 held in Norway. It was the largest 
Marine Reserve exercise scheduled for 1996. The exercise tested the Corps' Norway Air-Landed Marine Air-Ground Task Force program, the Corps' only land-based prepositioning program and involved staging Marine Corps equipment in specially constructed caves in Norway. The exercise also provided Marines an opportunity to train for combined-arms operations in an extreme, cold-weather environment. 
 
27 Feb - Former Sergeant Clayton Lonetree, the only Marine ever convicted of espionage, returned to private life after serving eight years in a military prison. Lonetree, now 35, served as a guard at the U.S. Embassy in Moscow in the early 1980s. He was convicted by a court-martial in 1987 of giving information to the KGB. His sentence of 30 years was reduced to 15 for good behavior. 
 
28 Feb - Corporal Tina K. Lee, primary marksmanship instructor, Marksmanship Training Unit, Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, became the first woman to win the individual portion of the Eastern Regional Intramural Marksmanship Tournament, Stone Bay Ranges, at Camp Lejeune. Lee competed with her M16A2 service rifle against 194 Marines winning overall in the rifle and placing first as Marine Corps Base Grand Aggregate winner.
 
___Mar - Dr. Paul G. Kaminski, under secretary of defense for acquisition and technology, appointed the Commandant of the Marine Corps to serve as the 
executive agent in the Department of Defense for the coordination of non-lethal weapons program requirements. 
 
6 Mar - After a five-day safety stand down, the Marine Corps' AV-8B Harrier aircraft were cleared for takeoff. General Charles C. Krulak, Commandant of the Marine Corps, gave the go-ahead for normal flight operations after investigators determined that two recent crashes of day-attack Harrier jets were not related.
 
7 Mar - Three American servicemen were convicted by a Japanese court of abduction and rape of a 12-year-old Japanese girl, a crime that ignited a public outcry against the presence of American military bases on Okinawa. Most American bases and about three-fifths of the 47,000 American troops in Japan are located on Okinawa. The two Marines and one sailor were sentenced to 6 1/2 - 7 years in a Japanese prison. 
 
13 - 26 Mar - Marines and sailors of the 22d Marine Expeditionary Unit (Special Operations Capable) participated in Exercise Destined Glory 96, a combined exercise of seven nations held in the Mediterranean. The two-week exercise was designed to provide training for crisis response.
 
18 Mar - More than 500 Marines and 3,500 Army, Navy, and Air Force personnel began a major staff training exercise at Camp Blanding, Florida. Exercise 
Internal Look 96 took place to prepare for future crisis in the Persian Gulf and was the largest U.S. Central Command exercise within the United States this year. The Central Command last held an Internal Look exercise in 1990 just before Iraq invaded Kuwait. General Colin Powell, then Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, credited that 1990 exercise for preparing U.S. planners to succeed in Operation Desert Shield and Desert Storm.
 
22 Mar - Colonel Robert Overmyer, USMC (Retired), a Marine astronaut and pilot who commanded one of the last successful flights of space shuttle Challenger in 1985, died when a small plane he was test flying went into a spin and crashed. He was 59 years old. 
 
26 Mar - Alarmed by a rash of unexplained crashes, the Marine Corps called a two-day halt to all nonessential aircraft flights. With nine aircraft losses so far this year, the Marines' rate of major accidents was the highest in six years. Just in the past six weeks, the Corps lost six aircraft and five crewmembers. 
 
27 Mar - President Clinton nominated Major General Carol A. Mutter for appointment to the grade of lieutenant general and assignment as Deputy Chief of Staff for Manpower and Reserve Affairs. Already the senior woman in the military, General Mutter, 50, was serving as Commander, Marine Corps Systems Command at Quantico, Virginia. Unfortunately, General Mutter would not make history as the first woman in the U.S. military to wear three stars. That honor went to Vice Admiral Patricia Tracey who was nominated some seven weeks after General Mutter but was officially promoted 10 July, 13 days before General Mutter.
 
2 Apr - A clinical study of thousands of veterans of the Persian Gulf war found no evidence of "Gulf War Syndrome." The survey said 36 percent of the patients suffered from psychological or ill-defined ailments in a wide variety of diagnoses. The study of 18,929 veterans, the largest of its kind undertaken by the Pentagon, was conducted over the last two years at an estimated cost of $80 million and involved thorough medical examinations of most of the more than 20,000 gulf war veterans who registered for a special program with the Pentagon. 
 
2 Apr - The 1st Marine Division's Desert Fire Exercise 2-96 was completed. The division-level exercise was designed to challenge unit commanders and their staffs to conduct real-time fire support planning and coordination in a rapid tempo with units widely dispersed, yet maneuverable. This exercise was the Corps' largest live-fire support exercise involving three regiments.
 
13 Apr - Joe Rosenthal, Associated Press photographer whose photo of the flag raising atop Iwo Jima's Mount Suribachi earned him international acclaim, became an Honorary Marine during the 1996 Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation's annual ball in Chicago. Although he never served as a Marine, Rosenthal saw plenty of action throughout the Pacific theater side-by-side with leathernecks. 
 
17 Apr - The last U.S. troops of the United Nations peacekeeping mission left Haiti. This ended U.S. military intervention there that began 19 months ago when President Clinton sent 20,000 troops to oust the military regime that deposed Haiti's first freely elected president, Jean-Bertrand Aristide. Some 250 U.S. troops would remain for another year as part of a humanitarian mission group.
 
20 Apr - In Operation Assured Response, a reinforced company from the 22d Marine Expeditionary Unit (Special Operations Capable) was airlifted into the U.S. Embassy compound in Monrovia, Liberia, in order to provide security and assist the embassy and its Marine detachment in evacuation of American and designated foreign citizens due to continuing political unrest and increased lawlessness in the Liberian capital. Ten days later, several of the 270 Marines guarding the embassy returned fire from Liberian street fighters, killing three and wounding several more. Some 2,100 people were flown from the embassy to neighboring countries and thousands of others assisted in leaving by commercial ships.
 
25 Apr - 20 May - Combined Joint Task Force Exercise 96/Purple Star linked the armed forces of the U.S. and the United Kingdom in a corps-level wargame exercise that spanned military installations in Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and Florida. It involved over 53,000 total troops of which 38,000 were U.S. forces including Marines from the II Marine Expeditionary Force (Forward) and the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit. The joint/combined exercise was directed by Commander in Chief, U.S. Atlantic Command, General John J. Sheehan, USMC, and it was designed to represent methods by which a coalition force could prepare for possible security challenges. 
 
29 Apr - 25 May - More than 19,000 troops participated in Exercise Cobra Gold 96 in Thailand. The annual combined exercise involved some 10,000 Thai troops and 4,500 Marines that included the 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit. It was designed to ensure regional peace and stability through the U.S. cooperative strategy and to strengthen the ability of the Royal Thai armed forces to defend their country. 
 
5 May - A new memorial to American servicemen who died in El Salvador, 1981-1992 was dedicated at Arlington National Cemetery. The black granite marker shares the memory of five Marine Corps security guards who were among 21 U.S. military personnel who died while assigned to duty in the then-embattled Central American country. The memorial was sponsored by No Greater Love, a Washington-based nonprofit organization that holds tributes for the families of those who died serving their country overseas.
 
10 May - The lives of 14 U.S. servicemen (12 Marines, one sailor, and one soldier) ended tragically when a CH-46E Sea Knight transport helicopter and an AH-1W Super Cobra helicopter collided in the air over Camp Lejeune, North Caroline, while participating in Combined Joint Task Force Exercise 96. The crash was the deadliest Marine training accident in seven years. On 20 March 1989 a CH-53D Sea Stallion helicopter crashed into a mountainside near Pohang, South Korea, during Exercise Team Spirit, killing 19.
 
11 May - General Merrill B. Twining died at Fallbrook, California at the age of 93. A graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy in 1923, General Twining helped plan the landing on Guadalcanal in World War II and later fought in the Korean War. He is credited with creating the 1st Marine Division patch of World War II and for authoring the famous statement given by General Vandegrift before the 1946 Congress, "The bended knee is not a tradition of our Corps. If the Marine as a fighting man has not made a case for himself after 170 years of service he must go. But I think you will agree with me he has earned the right to depart with dignity and honor, not by subjugation to the status of uselessness and servility planned for him by the War Department."
 
14 May - More than two decades after the final shots were fired in the Vietnam War, President Clinton signed an executive order ending the country's designation as a combat zone. The recommendation to end the combat zone status came from the Pentagon. The designation had been preserved for people declared missing from the Vietnam War, but the last government-acknowledged prisoner of war was declared dead 19 September 1994.
 
16 May - Admiral Jeremy M. "Mike" Boorda, 56, died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound at his residence in the Washington Navy Yard, Washington, D.C. Admiral Boorda served as the Chief of Naval Operations, the Navy's most senior position, since April 1994 when he assumed command of a service that had been tarnished by sexual harassment charges stemming from the Tailhook scandal of 1991, and was facing drastic personnel reductions after the end of the Cold War. 
 
21 May - Marines from the 22d Marine Expeditionary Unit (Special Operations Capable) responded to U.S. Embassy security requirements in the Central African Republic following a request from the Ambassador for security assistance due to civil unrest following an army mutiny. Marines in Operation Quick Response processed departing personnel, conducted communications, and reinforced existing security for the embassy. The 22d MEU(SOC) continued to provide security at the American embassy in the Liberian capital, Monrovia, in Operation Assured Response. 
 
23 May - 8 Jul - For the third consecutive year, the 1st Marine Aircraft Wing sent its squadrons to the Royal Australian Air Force Base, Darwin, Australia, for aviation training in the vastness of the outback for Exercise Southern Frontier 96. The exercise focused on aviation-specific training including sharpening the skills of F/A-18 Hornet fighter attack pilots. 
 
5 Jun - The Marine Corps was nationally recognized for excellence in minority and diversity advertising at the annual Effie Awards ceremony in New York City. The Corps brought home a first place award in the "diversity" category for the Marines' efforts in recruiting women. Marines received a third place award in the "recruiting" category for their minority officer recruiting campaign.
 
7 Jun - Nine Marine lieutenants were found guilty of at least one of four charges stemming from a cheating scandal during August 1995 at The Basic School, Quantico, Virginia. The nine lieutenants from Charlie Company were implicated in cheating on a land navigation final exam. Officials discovered that at least 16 lieutenants were involved in a scheme where some students were given "cheat sheets." Further investigations indicate that as many as half of the 250 officers in the company may have relied on the lists. 
 
10 - 19 Jun - Almost 900 Camp Lejeune, North Carolina-based Marines participated in Exercise Agile Sword 96 in Puerto Rico. The Maritime Prepositioning Force (MPF) exercise was designed to train Marine and Navy commands in MPF deployment operations. The Marine Corps' MPF concept, which began in the early 1980s, places merchant cargo ships loaded with equipment and supplies in a forward position for rapid contingency response in support of a Marine Air-Ground Task Force. 
 
12 Jun - The Navy and Marine Corps grounded all 154 Marine CH-53E Super Stallions and 45 Navy MH-53E Sea Dragon minehunters pending a comprehensive inspection of rotorhead bearings. A problem in the swashplate duplex bearing assembly was believed to have caused the 9 May crash of a Sikorsky CH-53E that was slated for delivery to the Corps, killing four Sikorsky aircraft employees.
 
12 Jun - The Marine Corps deployed its first full aviation squadron to Bosnia-Herzegovina in support of Task Force Eagle, the U.S. contingent assigned to NATO's Operation Joint Endeavor. The 1st Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Squadron would support the U.S. contingent of the Multinational Military Implementation Force by providing field commanders with real-time imagery for reconnaissance and surveillance.
 
13 Jun - General Dynamics Land Systems Division in Warren, Michigan, was awarded a $216.9 million contract for the Demonstration/Validation phase of the advanced assault amphibious vehicle (AAAV) program. During this phase General Dynamics, manufacturer of the M1A1 battle tank, would build three prototypes -- two configured as personnel carriers and one configured as a mobile command post -- to be completed by FY01.
 
14 Jun - Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 235 was deactivated at Naval Air Station Miramar, San Diego, California. The "Death Angels" was originally activated in 1943 and participated in four World War II campaigns as well as the Vietnam War during 1966 - 1968. 
 
15-20 Jun - The Marine Corps Pistol Team swept the competition at the Interservice Pistol Championships in Little Rock, Arkansas. The combined efforts of 
the 24 shooters and three armorers stationed at Quantico, Virginia, resulted in the team taking close to two-thirds of all the awards including first place in the "Excellence in Competition" championship.
 
17 Jun - Last February, changes in the conduct of the semi-annual physical fitness test were announced in ALMAR 070/96 and included a longer run and more sit-ups for women, plus a modification in the execution of pull-ups for men. The above revisions remained valid but additional guidance on the pull-ups as well as the proposed scoring matrix was announced in ALMAR 213/96. Of major concern to male Marines is the implementation date of the "dead hang" 
pull-up (without "kipping") that would be implemented,along with the other revisions, on 1 January 1997 vice 1 July 1996. 
 
20 Jun - Retired Colonel Dave Severance, 77, was among those taking the Olympic torch on a ceremonial circuit of the Marine Corps War Memorial as it passed through Arlington, Virginia. Colonel Severance, an infantry officer during World War II, commanded Company E, 2d Battalion, 28th Marines. Marines 
from this unit raised the flag on Iwo Jima's Mount Suribachi for what was to become one of the most famous pictures in history and the basis for the memorial sculpture.
 
25 Jun - Terrorists exploded a truck bomb outside the perimeter of Khobar Towers in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia. The action severely damaged the building, a housing facility for U.S. and allied forces supporting the coalition air operation over Iraq in Operation Southern Watch. There were 19 deaths and approximately 500 other casualties.
 
___Jul - The Marine Chemical and Biological Incident Response Force (CBIRF) based at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, was a member of the U.S. joint task force keeping watch over the Olympics held in Atlanta. The new force was made up of 350 Marines and sailors. It's mission was to respond swiftly to any threat, in the U.S. or in a U.S. interest abroad, identify problems, decontaminate areas, treat casualties, and bolster local medical agencies' treatment capabilities. Formed during April 1996, the CBIRF responded in a security capacity after the Centennial Park bombing. 
 
11 Jul - Colonel John R. Bourgeois retired after 17 years as Director of "The President's Own" U.S. Marine Band and Music Advisor to the White House. The 25th Director in the band's history, Colonel Bourgeois ended an acclaimed career that spanned nearly 40 years. The Marine Band marked the special occasion with a concert at DAR Constitution Hall, Washington, D.C. The director's baton was passed to Major Timothy W. Foley.
 
15 Jul - For only the fourth time in 40 years, a Marine won the U.S. National Pistol Championships, outgunning more than 780 civilian and military shooters for the country's top handgun trophy. Sergeant Brian Zins, a three-time Interservice champ as well as a second place finisher at the 1994 Nationals, was victorious at the Camp Perry, Ohio competition.
 
20 Jul - 5 Aug - A number of Marine athletes participated in the Centennial Olympic Games held in Atlanta, Georgia. Corporal Tom Gough was a standout setting three American weightlifting records, including a 440.9-pound clean and jerk on his first attempt and a 369.3-pound snatch on this third attempt. Corporal Gough placed 14th overall in his first Olympic appearance. 
 
25 Jul - The Marines received authorization for 12 more general officers after weeks of leading a military services assault to break through a five-year-old congressional ceiling on the number of authorized flag officers. The Marines would be entitled to raise the number of active duty generals from 68 to 80. It would give the 174,000-member Corps one more general than it had in June 1945 when the force was 475,000 strong. 
 
30 Jul - General Charles C. Krulak, 31st Commandant of the Marine Corps, unveiled his plan "Transformation" that would be a process of making Marines for the 21st century. General Krulak's vision of what the 21st century holds for U.S. Marines led to a new approach in training Marines for warfighting. The Commandant called for making Marines tougher physically, mentally and morally. The biggest change would occur in the eleventh week of boot camp when both male and female recruits would be tested by the "Crucible," a 54-hour event which would offer highly focused physical and mental challenges. Major changes under the transformation program would begin at the recruit depots during October.
 
5 Aug - The Pentagon acknowledged in a new report that chemical weapons were detected as many as seven times in the first week of the 1991 Persian Gulf war near staging areas in northern Saudi Arabia, where tens of thousands of American troops were housed. The Department of Defense maintained no conclusive evidence that American soldiers were exposed to Iraqi chemical weapons and found no "clinical link" between chemical weapons and postwar illness among American troops. 
 
8 Aug - A decoration established in 1993 to honor reservists who go on active duty in support of a military operation can now be authorized and worn. President Clinton signed an executive order authorizing the award of the bronze "M" mobilization device to U.S. reservists who have "performed qualifying active-duty service in support of a designated contingency operation on or after 1 August 1990."
 
14-30 Aug - NATO conducted a Partnership for Peace exercise at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, that brought 16 nations to the U.S. to participate in 
Exercise Cooperative Osprey 96. The exercise focused on developing individual and joint unit procedures for such scenarios as convoy operations, civil disturbances, mass casualty evacuations, weapons disarmament, mine awareness, airfield security, and humanitarian assistance. 
 
16 Aug - Marine First Lieutenant Jeanne Buchanan became a Naval Flight Officer and got her wings pinned on at graduation at Pensacola Naval Air Station, Florida. A graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, Lieutenant Buchanan completed her training with Training Squadron 86 and would go on to train in the EA-6B Prowler electronic jamming jet. She is the second woman in the Marine Corps to be "winged" and training to fly an aircraft, and the first in a fixed-wing tactical aircraft. The first female Marine aviator, First Lieutenant Sarah Deal, was trained to fly the heavy CH-53E Super Stallion transport helicopter.
 
20 Aug - The U.S. Atlantic Command's second monthly contingency readiness exercise at Port-au-Prince, Haiti began when a reinforced platoon from U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Atlantic departed for training as part of Exercise Fairwinds. The Army and Marine Corps alternated deployment of forces for this series of exercises since July. Exercise Fairwinds, which included engineering, medical, and security force training, began in April 1995 and was designed to ensure that various U.S. military forces were prepared to deploy and conduct their respective missions while remaining self-sustained. 
 
30 Aug - Approximately 570 Marines from 2d Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment at Camp Pendleton, California, were deployed to the fire lines in northern Oregon to assist 1,600 firefighters in mop-up efforts, helping to bring the 50,650-acre site at Umatilla National Forest under control. 
 
5 Sep - Hurricane Fran, a Category 3 hurricane, hit Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune and Marine Corps Air Station, Cherry Point, North Carolina, causing extensive damage. Hardest hit was base housing still in the process of being repaired from damage caused by Hurricane Bertha that struck the base 12-13 July. The hurricane left in its wake $20 million in damage.
 
6 Sep - Lieutenant General Edward J. Bronars, a decorated veteran of the Korean and Vietnam Wars, died at the age of 69. A graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy in 1950, General Bronars retired from the Marine Corps in 1982. 
 
19 Sep - General Richard I. Neal was promoted to his present grade and named the next Assistant Commandant of the Marine Corps during a frocking ceremony at Marine Barracks, Washington, D.C. He assumed his new position on 27 September succeeding General Richard D. Hearney who retired from the Marine Corps with more than 34 years of service. 
 
17-26 Sep - Exercise Fuerzas Unidas Counterdrug (Riverine) '96 took place in Panama. It involved military personnel and civilians from Bolivia, Ecuador, Peru, Venezuela, and the United States. The latest in a series of multinational exercises sponsored by the U.S. Southern Command, it was the first hosted by the U.S. Marine Corps. The focus of the exercise was to develop ways to eradicate the shipment of illegal drugs from the region. It also was the first exercise to concentrate on riverine operations in combating illegal drug trade.
 
19-22 Sep - The recipients of the 1996 Marine Corps Aviation Associations' awards were presented at the annual reunion-symposium held in San Diego. Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 232 received the Robert M. Hanson Award for Fighter/Attack Squadron of the Year. Marine Attack Squadron 211 received the Lawson H. M. Sanderson Award for Attack Squadron of the Year. Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 464 received the Keith B. McCutcheon Award for Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron of the Year. 
 
25 Sep - Deputy Secretary of Defense John White informed Congressional leaders that the Department of Defense would redouble its efforts to investigate matters relevant to the illnesses of Persian Gulf War veterans. He would head a new "action team" that would reassess all aspects of the Pentagon's many programs of research and inquiry into the causes of Gulf War ailments. Among the new actions would be a $5 million research effort in the possible effects of low-level chemical exposure. 
 
26 Sep - After more than 15 years of debate by Marine Corps uniform boards, female drill instructors were issued the same trademark "Smokey the Bear" field hat as their male counterparts. The scarlet shoulder cord worn by female drill instructors since 1983 would no longer be authorized. 
 
___Oct - The Marine Corps grounded 90 of its 170 AV-8B Harriers following the latest two Harrier crashes in a series of recent major mishaps involving Marine pilots. Seven Harriers crashed in the past year, including two during the month of October. The Harrier's 406 model single-engine was the principle target of investigators. This was the second time those planes were grounded in less than a year -- 70 model 406 powered Harriers were grounded in March. 
 
18 Oct - Of the Marine Corps' 154 CH-53Es, 68 were still grounded as of this date awaiting parts that should prevent repeats of the 9 May crash at a Sikorsky facility in Connecticut. While the recovery effort would continue, it fell off schedule because of the need to manufacture some of the parts. The Marine Corps grounded the helicopters in June after the initial crash investigation.
 
26 Oct - The Marine Corps Historical Foundation held its annual awards ceremony in the auditorium of the Marine Corps Research Center, Quantico, Virginia. Major General John P. Condon, USMC (Retired) was presented the Heritage Award for his lifelong interest in Marine Corps history and service to the Foundation. Mr. J. Robert Moskin received the Distinguished Service Award for his extensive accomplishments in American and Marine Corps history and his service to the Foundation. 
 
27 Oct - Some 19,000 runners took part in the 21st annual Marine Corps Marathon in Washington, D.C. The Mexican Navy took home this year's top honors: Isaac Garcia, 28, was the first runner across the finish line with a time of 2:15:09, and Emma Cabrera, 32, also of the Mexican Navy, was the fastest woman in the race with a 2:48:34 time.
 
___Nov - Both houses of Congress sponsored legislation that would provide additional funds to the Navy-Marine Maritime Prepositioning Force Enhacement Program (MPF(E)). The Congressional actions came in response to a long-standing Marine Corps plan to increase MPF lift capacity. The Corps recognized a need for one additional MPF ship for each of its three MPF squadrons in order to augment expeditionary warfighting capability, particularly in the area of tanks and expeditionary airfield assets.
 
9 Nov - New battle honors were unveiled at the Marine Corps War Memorial, Arlington, Virginia, better known as the Iwo Jima Memorial, during annual wreath-laying ceremonies in honor of the 221st birthday of the Marine Corps. "Persian Gulf 1987-1991 * Panama 1988-1990 * Somalia 1992-1994" joined numerous other Marine Corps operations. Architectural sculptor, Tom Winkler of Wheat Ridge, Colorado, engraved and gold-leafed the new honors in conformity with the style of the existing lettering on the memorial.
 
10 Nov - This date marked the 221st birthday of the U.S. Marine Corps. In his birthday message, Commandant of the Marine Corps, General Charles C. Krukak, stated "as we bring to close another year in the illustrious history of our Corps, we face the future unafraid and undaunted by the challenges ahead."
 
___Dec - Beginning this month, every recruit graduating from boot camp and every officer candidate completing Officer Candidates School received a 
laminated plastic card embossed with the Marine Corps' core values. Each Marine would sign the back of the card as a visible demonstration of their individual commitment and carry the card at all times as a daily reminder that they joined a corps of dedicated professionals for whom honor, courage, and commitment are a way of life. This was part of the Marine Corps Values Program consisting of initial entry training, reinforcement education, and sustainment education. 
 
2 Dec - U.S. and Japanese officials signed an agreement to reduce the size of American military presence on the island of Okinawa yet maintain the present U.S. Armed Forces troop strength there. The U.S. will return control of more than 12,000 acres of land on Okinawa to the Japanese, 97 percent of which was used by the Marine Corps. The 12,000 acres was to be turned over to Japan by 2008. Marine Corps Air Station Futenma, the largest Marine Corps facility to be returned to Japan within seven years, was considered for relocation to a revolutionary floating sea-based facility off the Okinawan island. 
 
3 Dec - The family-owned business with the sole contract for making the Medal of Honor pleaded guilty to illegally manufacturing and selling 300 of the medals for $75 apiece from 1991 - 1995. The firm, HLI Lordship Industries in Hauppauge, N.Y., was punished with an $80,000 fine although there was no indication that it would lose its millions of dollars in contracts with the Defense Department. 
 
8-13 Dec - More than 6,000 Marines and sailors participated in Exercise Steel Knight at Marine Corps Air-Ground Combat Center, Twentynine Palms, California. It first took place six years ago as a live-fire exercise for 1st Tank Battalion and evolved into a Marine expeditionary force-scale combined arms exercise involving elements of the 1st Marine Division, 1st Force Service Support Group, and the 3d Marine Aircraft Wing. 
 
12 Dec - Marine Corps Recruit Depots at Parris Island, South Carolina, and San Diego, California, initiated an arduous, 54-hour event known throughout the Corps as "The Crucible." Part of the Commandant's "Transformation Plan" for making Marines for the 21st century, the Crucible was designed to significantly challenge the mental, moral, and physical character of recruits working together during their transformation from recruit to Marine. It was part of a new boot camp program consisting of 12 weeks training for men and women with a new focus on teamwork.
 
26 Dec - Major General John P. Condon died at the age of 85 in his home in Alexandria, Virginia. A graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy in 1934, General Condon served in the Marine Corps for more than 28 years active service, retiring in 1962. General Condon was a veteran of World War II and the Korean War, and later commanded the 1st and 3d Marine Aircraft Wings. Following retirement, he completed a doctoral degree, embarked upon a second career in the aerospace industry, and authored histories on Marine Corps aviation. 
 
30 Dec - 112 women Marines from Class 1-97 made history as the first women in the Marine Corps to undergo extensive post-recruit combat training at Marine Corps Recruit Depot, Parris Island, South Carolina. The need to begin Marine Combat Training (MCT) for females came as part of the enhancements to recruit training ordered by the Commandant of the Marine Corps that included training for both sexes equal in time and content. MCT focused on providing 
all Marines in non-infantry fields the basics in combat training since, as seen in Operation Desert Storm, any area could become a combat zone. 
 
31 Dec - The strength of the Marine Corps was 174,873.

1997

___Jan - President Bill Clinton unveiled the winning design for a national World War II memorial planned for the Mall in Washington, D.C. It was designed 
by Friedrich St. Florian, former dean of the Rhode Island School of Design, and selected from more than 400 submissions in a nationwide design competition. The memorial design concept will honor all who served and sacrificed in World War II to include those who served in uniform as well as those on the home front.
 
1 Jan - The strength of the U.S. Armed Forces was 1,456,266 of whom 174,873 were Marines.
 
8 Jan - The Presidential Advisory Committee on Gulf War Veterans' Illnesses issued its report that found no final explanation for symptoms suffered by Gulf War veterans. The Pentagon's earlier efforts to investigate possible exposure to poison gas were criticized as superficial and lacking in credibility in the report. President Clinton asked the commission to continue its research another nine months.
 
13 Jan - Brigadier General Charles F. Bolden, Jr. was among nine Marine Corps officers nominated for promotion to the grade of major general. He would become the highest-ranking African American currently serving in the Corps. A Marine pilot and former NASA astronaut, Bolden serves as the Assistant Wing Commander, 3d Marine Aircraft Wing, Naval Air Station Miramar, California.
 
20 Jan - "The President's Own" United States Marine Corps Band performed for its 50th inaugural as President William "Bill" Jefferson Clinton took the oath of office for the second time. Before the nation's leaders and a television audience of millions, the Marine Corps Band performed at the Inauguration Ceremony, marched in the parade, and played at two inaugural balls, sustaining a tradition that stretched from the days of President Thomas Jefferson almost 200 years ago.
 
20 Jan - Master Sergeant Thomas "Tom" P. Bartlett, USMC (Retired), long-time managing editor of Leatherneck magazine died at National Naval Medical Center, Bethesda, Maryland, after a year-long struggle with cancer at the age of 63. He served on the staff of Leatherneck for more than 25 years since his retirement from the Marine Corps in 1971.
 
31 Jan - Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 451, nicknamed "The Warlords," deactivated on this date. The squadron was first activated in 1944 and participated in the Iwo Jima and Okinawa campaigns of World War II. Since then, the squadron participated in the intervention in the Dominican Republic, 1965, and the Persian Gulf War, 1990-1991. The F/A-18A Hornet squadron recently attained more than 80,000 hours of mishap-free flying, the first Marine tactical squadron to accomplish that tally.
 
8-17 Feb - The 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit participated in Exercise Island Thunder 97 in Sardinia, Italy. It was a joint/combined exercise with the U.S. Army's Southern European Task Force and elements of the Italian armed forces. Island Thunder 97 included a joint service noncombatant evacuation exercise, an amphibious assault, and a joint fire-support coordination exercise. 
 
10 Feb - Former heavyweight boxing champion Riddick Bowe reported to Marine Corps Recruit Depot, Parris Island, South Carolina, to begin 12 weeks of boot camp. The 29-year old millionaire boxing champion would leave boot camp 10 days later, not joining the ranks of boxing champ Leon Spinks who served on active duty in the Marine Corps.
 
10 Feb - The Marine Corps denounced as shocking and degrading video tapes shown recently on TV news programs depicting Marines getting "blood wings" in 1991 and 1993. Investigations into the hazing incidents were conducted and Marines involved were held accountable for their actions. A new Marine Corps Order (MCO 1700.28) addressing hazing would be signed by the Commandant of the Marine Corps on 18 June.

15 Feb - Gunnery Sergeant Patricia Crimmins became the first female Marine to earn the drum major military occupational specialty (MOS 5521). As the  
drum major for the Marine Corps Base Quantico, Virginia, Field Marching Band, Crimmins would lead the unit during parades and ceremonies. 
 
18 Feb - An AV-8B Harrier of Marine Attack Training Squadron 203 crashed at Brogue Field, North Carolina. The pilot ejected and was medevaced to a 
local hospital for treatment. Nine days later, a Marine Fighter Attack Training Squadron 101 T-34C Turbo-Mentor crashed northeast of El Toro, California, killing two Marine lieutenants.
 
20 Feb - This date marks the 35th anniversary of astronaut John Glenn's historic space flight -- the first manned orbit of the earth -- considered a milestone in the American space program at a time when it was building toward a manned flight to the moon. A U.S. Senator since 1975, John H. Glenn, Jr., left the space program in 1964 and retired from the Marine Corps, at the grade of colonel, the following year. He served as a test pilot during the 1950s and was a highly decorated fighter pilot of World War II and the Korean War. 
 
25 Feb - In the continuing investigations into the illnesses suffered by thousands of U.S. veterans who served in the Persian Gulf War in 1991, the Pentagon acknowledged that the Army was warned in 1991 that U.S. soldiers may have been exposed to nerve gas while blowing up a weapons depot in southern Iraq. The CIA gave the warning to the Army Central Command just eight months after the chemical weapons were destroyed but the warning was not taken seriously.
 
___Mar - The governments of the Republic of Korea and the United States decided not to hold the Team Spirit exercise in 1997. The decision was based on the recent security situation on the Korean Peninsula and would have no impact on the defense readiness of the ROK-US forces on the peninsula.
 
1-14 Mar - The Commandant's Warfighting Laboratory (CWL) conducted an Advanced Warfighting Experiment (AWE) called Hunter Warrior. It involved more than 7,000 Marines and sailors and took place mainly in southern California. Designed to explore future tactical concepts, this large-scale experiment was the first of three AWEs which are part of the Sea Dragon five-year experimentation plan. The CWL was created by General Charles C. Krulak in one of his first official acts as Commandant. The Lab was charted to be his "test-bed" for evaluating change, assessing the impact of new technologies on warfighing, and expediting the introduction of new capabilities into the operating forces of the Marine Corps.
 
1-22 Mar - Marines participated in the largest U.S.-Australian combined exercise in the history of the U.S. Pacific Command, Exercise Tandem Thrust 97. It was designed to prepare and train forces for crisis action planning and executing response operations in the Pacific area. This marked the fourth of a series of exercises which began in 1990, but the first time the exercise was staged in Rockhampton, Australia's Shoalwater Bay Training Area. More than 8,000 Marines, 14 U.S. Navy warships and 20 Australian vessels -- over 28,000 troops -- participated. 
 
7 Mar - Joint Task Force (JTF) Pacific Haven, a consolidation of evacuees, was completed. The operation provided support to over 2,500 Kurds seeking asylum and eventual entry into the U.S. JTF Pacific Haven was activated in September 1986. Marines were assigned to the Tiyan housing area in Guam to support the overflow of Kurdish evacuees who were flown from Turkey where they had previously migrated from northern Iraq. 
 
13 Mar - Marines of the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit arrived in Tirana, Albania, during Operation Silver Wake to evacuate some 900 U.S. citizens and third-world nationals. The large-scale noncombatant evacuation in the Albanian capital took place in the face of increasing civil revolt resulting from Albania's state of financial chaos. 
 
17 Mar - The Marine Corps and Army awarded a contract for the Lightweight 155mm Howitzer. Textron Marine and Land Systems Division of Cadillac Gage Textron, teamed with Vickers Shipbuilding and Engineering Limited, of the United Kingdom, to win the $40 million, three-year contract to build the new LW155. The new weapon would replace the M198 towed howitzer in both services.
 
23 Mar - About 350 U.S. troops deployed to Africa to prepare for possible evacuation of Americans from Zaire. Marines from the 22d Marine Expeditionary Unit continued to standby in Operation Guardian Retrieval, the name assigned to the preparation for evacuation of Americans from Kinshasa, as rebels 
continued to take control of Zaire's capital city in a relatively peaceful manner. 
 
24 Mar - General Charles C. Krulak, Commandant of the Marine Corps, signed a joint Navy and Marine Corps Order that called for the implementation of operational risk management (ORM) in all Navy and Marine Corps activities. The order stated that ORM would be considered a thought process or system of steps used during planning that would assist the commander and his staff in more thoroughly identifying risks associated with military operations. 
 
31 Mar - For the first time enlisted women Marines shot live ammunition from heavy weapons in combat training at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. In addition to operating the MK-19, a 40-millimeter weapon used extensively in the Persian Gulf War, women Marines joined their male platoon-mates in shooting machine guns and hurling hand grenades. As of this date, instead of proceeding directly from boot camp to specialty schools, women Marines would join the 17-day combat training program that had been reserved for men following the same pursuits. 
 
31 Mar - The Commandant of the Marine Corps approved the selection of Captain Jeffrey J. Kenney as the 1996 recipient of the Leftwich Trophy for outstanding Leadership. Captain Kenney was assigned to 2d Battalion, 2d Marines, 2d Marine Division. 
 
5 Apr - The 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) assumed the role as the main force to conduct evacuation operations in Zaire if the need arised. Positioned off the western coast of Africa on board the USS Nassau, the MEU was part of the Joint Special Operations Task Force. The MEU maintained its ability to conduct evacuations by air or surface, or a combination of the two.
 
17 Apr - General Colin L. Powell, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff during the Persian Gulf War, told the Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee that he and other senior military commanders never received warnings from the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) about the presence of chemical weapons in areas of southern Iraq where American troops blew up Iraqi ammunition depots. A week earlier, the CIA acknowledged that it had detailed intelligence before and during the war to suggest that chemical weapons were stored at the Kamisiyah ammunition depot in southern Iraq. 
 
25 Apr - The MV-22 Osprey was approved for low-rate initial production (LRIP). The LRIP contract, awarded to Bell/Boeing, would fully fund production for five V-22s scheduled to begin delivery in 1999 and included provisions for advance procurement to begin to build a second lot of five aircraft that would be delivered in 2000.
 
28 Apr - Brigadier General Charles F. Bolden, Jr., Assistant Wing Commander, 3d Marine Aircraft Wing, was honored by the National Aeronautic Association in a ceremony at the Smithsonian Institute's National Air and Space Museum. He was presented with the Yuri A. Gargarin Medal which is awarded to the astronaut who made the greatest achievement in the conquest of space. General Bolden was nominated for the medal for his meritorious service as the commander of Mission STS-60 that marked the first American Space Shuttle flight to include a Russian cosmonaut as a member of the crew. 
 
3 May - The Aegis guided missile destroyer USS Donald Cook (DDG 75) was christened at Bath Iron Works, Maine, in honor of Colonel Donald G. Cook, a Marine who died while a prisoner of war in Vietnam in 1967. Colonel Cook was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor in 1980.
 
6-23 May - Marines participated in Exercise Cobra Gold 97, one of the largest exercises in the Pacific Theater this year. For the 16th time, American and Thai Marines trained together to promote peace and stability in Thailand. 
 
10 May - A CH-46E Sea Knight helicopter from Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron 164 crashed in the ocean off the southern California coast. After an 
extensive search, four Marines were presumed dead. Exactly one year ago, a fatal midair collision between an AN-1W Super Cobra attack helicopter and a CH-46E killed 14 Marines at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. 
 
12 May - The Marine Corps Historical Center at the Washington Navy Yard, Washington, D.C. celebrated its 20th year. Since 1977, the Center has written and published numerous volumes on Marine Corps history, continued to display temporary and permanent exhibits covering more than 200 years of Corps history, and more than a quarter-million researchers, scholars, Marines and their families have been assisted by the Center's library, reference, histoires, and archives sections.
 
19 May - The Secretary of Defense formally announced the results of the Quadrennial Defense Review (QDR), which established broad outlines of his multiyear, departmental blueprint that would be implemented, evaluated, and refined over the course of his tenure. The QDR began in November 1996 to develop a balanced defense program addressing strategy, force structure, readiness, modernization programs, defense infrastructure, intelligence, and human resources. 
 
21 May - The Roebling "Alligator" amphibian tractor on display at the Marine Corps Air-Ground Museum, Quantico, Virginia, was recognized by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers as an Historic Mechanical Engineering Landmark. A bronze plaque was unveiled at the museum signifying the importance of the Roebling Alligator in the Marine Corps evolution as the world's premier amphibious fighting force. The vehicle was restored by the museum staff in 1985 and placed on exhibit. It is the oldest surviving amphibian vehicle in the United States. 
 
21 May - 19 Jun - The 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit participated in Exercise Infinite Moonlight 97, the largest Marine Corps exercise in the Middle East this year. The month-long, bilateral combined arms exercise was intended to increase military training opportunities and enhance the relationship 
between U.S. Naval amphibious forces and the Royal Jordanian armed forces. 
 
30 May - The 22d Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) moved from standby status for a possible evacuation of Americans from Kinshasa, Zaire, to Freetown, the capital of Sierra Leone where over 2,500 individuals, including some 450 Americans were evacuated during Operation Nobel Obelisk. Three evacuations took place within five days in the midst of near anarchy. The mission was one of a succession of noncombatant evacuation operations (NEO) for Camp Lejeune-based MEUs throughout West Africa over the past year. Marines were involved a year ago in back to back NEOs in Liberia and the Central African Republic. 
 
4 Jun - The Marine Corps was honored with a 1st place "Gold" Effie Award for the recruitment advertising commercial "Transformation" at the American Marketing Association's annual Effie Awards held in New York City. "Transformation" was the centerpiece of the Corps' advertising campaign. The commercial depicted a young man overcoming challenges as he raced through a cryptic maze before being transformed into a Marine at the spot's climatic end. It was developed by J. Walter Thompson, the Corps' contracted advertising agency. 
 
6 Jun - General Charles C. Krulak, Commandant of the Marine Corps, chartered separate reviews of the Marine Corps Active and Reserve force structures as per his announcement in ALMAR 168/97 on implementation of the Quadrennial Defense Review. Both reviews were tasked with defining "the most effective, capable, relevant, and realistically attainable force structure" for the Corps. 
 
7 Jun - Marine All Weather Fighter Attack Squadron (VMFA(AW)) 224 returned to Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort, South Carolina, from Aviano Air Base, Italy. It signaled the successful conclusion of the Corps' mission of providing air support during Operation Deliberate Guard (formerly Operation Decisive Edge), as part of the United Nation's peacekeeping mission in Bosnia. Along with VMFA(AW)-332 and 533, VMFA(AW)-224 had rotating deployments to Bosnia since July 1993. The three F/A-18D squadrons flew over 19,000 sorties during their four years of participation. 
 
10 Jun - Secretary of the Navy, John H. Dalton, announced that the Navy's newest amphibious warship would be named the USS Iwo Jima (LHD-7), the seventh ship of the Wasp class. The mission of the amphibious assault ship would be to enable the Navy-Marine Corps team to accomplish a seamless transition from the sea to a land campaign and conduct prompt, sustained combat operations at sea. The new ship would be christened at the turn of the century and would have the most powerful technology and weapons capability available.
 
17 Jun - 1 Jul - More than 12,000 Marines and sailors participated in Exercise Kernel Blitz 97 in Southern California. The biannual exercise allowed the Navy-Marine Corps team to practice its amphibious mission of rapidly projecting decisive military power ashore.
 
7 Jul - The new Joint Non-Lethal Weapons Directorate opened its doors for business at Marine Corps Base, Quantico, Virginia. The directorate would supervise the day-to-day activities for the Department of Defense's (DoD) executive agent - the Commandant of the Marine Corps - for all matters pertaining to non-lethal weapons, their development, and subsequent service procurement. Until recently, there were several related efforts underway within DoD, but no manager to coordinate the various projects.
 
7 Jul - The Navy and Marine Corps began operations in support of Unitas, the annual deployment to South America. 1997 marked the 38th consecutive year the deployment would serve as a showcase for the Navy and Marine Corps team with numerous multinational operations. Secretary of the Navy John H. Dalton, taking a two-week trip to South America, joined sailors and Marines on board the USS Whidbey (LSD 41) during a port visit to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
 
9 Jul - On this date, the remodeled Academics Building at Marine Corps Combat Development Command, Quantico, Virginia, was dedicated in honor of Frederick C. Branch who became the Corps' first African-American commissioned officer on 10 November 1945. He served on active duty until May 1952 then remained in the reserves. He was promoted to the rank of captain in 1954 and resigned his commission in 1955.
 
10-24 Jul - Exercise Baltic Challenge 97, a multinational humanitarian and peacekeeping exercise conducted in the spirit of NATO's Partnership for Peace initiative took place in Paldiski, Estonia. More than 2,600 military personnel from eight nations, including the USA, participated. 
 
11-25 Jul - U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Europe (Stuttgart, Germany) and Marine Corps Standing Joint Task Force (Camp Lejeune, North Carolina) executed Exercise Agile Lion 97 at Kelley Barracks, Stuttgart. The exercise was designed to provide humanitarian assistance and disaster relief during a mock nuclear incident. 
 
15 Jul - Secretary of the Navy, John Dalton, approved two new ribbons honoring Marines who have previously served, or are currently serving, as drill instructors and Marine security guards ("Embassy Marines"). The ribbons would recognize successful completion of a respective tour. 
 
16 Jul - This date marked 80 years of service for Marine Corps Base, Quantico, Virginia. The base was activated in 1917 when it was designated Marine Barracks, Quantico. Traditionally known as the "Crossroads of the Corps," Quantico has been the center of education for officers and enlisted Marines. 
 
21 Jul - America's oldest commissioned warship afloat, USS Constitution ("Old Ironsides") celebrated her 200th birthday by setting sail and gliding 
through the water under wind power alone for the first time in 116 years. The ship sailed near Marblehead, Massachusetts. Launched in 1797 in Boston Harbor, the Constitution gained her reputation for daring battles against the British during the War of 1812. The ship was guarded by her own detachment of 52 Marines -- the same number assigned when she first set sail 200 years ago.
 
24 Jul - The Pentagon confirmed that five times more U.S. troops than previously believed -- a total of about 99,000 -- may have been exposed to low levels of toxic nerve gases during the Persian Gulf War. The nerve agents, sarin and cyclosarin, were released into the air when U.S. forces blew up a chemical rocket storage pit at Khamisiyah in southern Iraq on 10 March 1991.
 
28 Jul - Colonel Albert F. Schoepper, USMC (Retired) died at the age of 83 in Alexandria, Virginia. Before retiring in 1972, Colonel Schoepper served as director of the Marine Corps Band, "The President's Own", for 17 years. 
 
___ Aug - The Marine Corps took delivery of the first of 17 light armored vehicle air defense variants, or LAV-ADs. The turret, manufactured by General Dynamics Armament Systems, would be capable of firing up to eight Stinger missiles with a maximum effective range of up to 11,000 meters. Most of the LAV-ADs would be assigned to the 4th Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion at Camp Pendleton, California.
 
14 Aug - The 7th Marine Regiment celebrated its 80th birthday. Activated in 1917, the regiment participated in World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, and Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm in Southwest Asia.
 
15 Aug - A Texas grand jury refused to bring charges against Marine Corporal Clemente Banuelos, who had shot and killed an 18-year old Texan while on a drug-surveillance mission about 200 miles southeast of El Paso. The 20 May shooting of Esequiel Hernandez Jr., a goat herder who was not a suspect in the drug trade, set off a controversy that stretched all the way to the Pentagon. Mr. Hernandez fired twice in the direction of four Marines watching a drug-trafficking route when Corporal Banuelos shot him in the chest. Military anti-drug operations along the Mexican border were suspended after the incident.
 
29 Aug - Marine General Anthony Zinni took the helm of the U.S. Central Command at MacDill Air Force Base, Florida. He would be responsible for monitoring U.S. military interests in a region that spans 20 countries in the Middle East, North Africa, and Southwest Asia. The volatile region includes nearly 25,000 American troops forward-deployed in areas known for internal conflict and terrorism. 
 
31 Aug - The Commandant of the Marine Corps, General Charles C. Krulak, issued a "Frag" order to his much celebrated 1995 Commandant's Planning Guidance, the exhaustive document the Commandant used to steer and overhaul the Corps. The new order called for more sweeping studies and actions on everything from force structure cuts to individual gear issue programs. 
 
8 Sep - A new infantry combat boot went into production. The new boot, sheathed in Gore-Tex fabric, would replace the existing all-leather black boot. The new 8-inch high boot would have Cordura nylon side panels, Cambrelle polyester lining, a rubber lug outsole and a cushioned polyurethane midsole, costing $82 a pair. The contract was awarded to Bellville Shoe Manufacturing of Bellville, Illinois.
 
11 Sep - In ALMAR 295-97, General Charles C. Krulak, Commandant of the Marine Corps, ordered a standdown for two days and a three-day pass for all Marines. Marines were encouraged to: talk about where they are as Marines and as a unit, and what needs to be done to improve themselves and their unit; discuss the initiatives and missions from the Commandant's Planning Guidance and frag order; and consider issues and problems in their units that might otherwise not be addressed.
 
17 Sep - The Marine Corps Exchange System celebrated 100 years of service to the Marine Corps family. For the past century, Marine Corps Exchanges have supported quality of life and recreation programs and services that have made a positive difference in the lives of all Marines and their families.
 
18 Sep - This date marked the 50th anniversary of the Department of Defense. On this date in 1947, the National Military Establishment became a reality 
and consisted of the Department of the Army, Department of the Navy, and the new Department of the Air Force. In 1949, it's name was changed to the one by which it is known today: Department of Defense.
 
18 Sep - The Air Force Memorial Foundation held a site dedication ceremony in Arlington, Virginia, near the U.S. Marine Corps War Memorial for a proposed Air Force Memorial and visitors center. Two years ago, the Air Force Memorial Foundation received site approval from two federal commissions to build a 50-foot tall, three-dimensional aluminum star that would be 4,000 square feet at the surface as well as 20,000 square foot visitors center under ground about 500 feet southeast of the War Memorial. Congressman Gerald Solomon, a former Marine, introduced a bill that would prohibit any structure above or below ground on the extended grounds surrounding the War Memorial. Other opposition groups, including Iwo Jima Preservation Committee and Friends of Iwo Jima, objected to the size and site of the proposed Air Force Memorial.
 
23 Sep - 7 Oct - Marines of the 22d Marine Expeditionary Unit participated in Exercise Dynamic Mix 97, the largest NATO-led, multinational exercise in the Mediterranean theatre this year. The joint, multi-warfare event included more than 24,000 personnel of whom 13,700 were U.S. Armed Forces personnel. In all, 14 nations participated including Greece, Spain, Italy, Romania, and Poland. The exercise was held in Kiparrissa, Greece, and marked the largest Mediterranean exercise in 15 years.
 
24 Sep - Lieutenant General Charles E. Wilhelm was promoted to general and became the fifth active-duty four-star Marine general. He would serve as Commander-in-Chief of U.S. Southern Command. He joined the ranks with Generals Charles C. Krulak, Commandant of the Marine Corps; Richard I. Neal, Assistant Commandant of the Marine Corps; John J. Sheehan, former Supreme Allied Commander, Atlantic who stepped down on 18 September and was scheduled to retire 1 November; and Anthony C. Zinni, U.S. Central Command.
 
25-28 Sep - The Marine Corps Aviation Association honored its 1997 award recipients during its annual symposium at Marine Corps Air Station, Cherry Point, North Carolina. Unit awards included: Fighter Attack Squadron of the Year, VMFA-312; Attack Squadron of the Year, VMA-214; Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron of the Year, HMH-361; Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron of the Year, HMM-365. Lieutenant General Jefferson Howell Jr. received the Silver Hawk Award which honors the active-duty Marine aviator or Marine naval flight officer with the earliest designation date as a naval aviator. 
 
___Oct - Beginning this month, the Corps began issuing individual combat equipment, or 782 gear, to all Marines for the duration of their career. Originally cited as a priority in the Commandant's Planning Guidance, Marines would be responsible for maintaining and replacing this one-time issue.
 
___Oct - Two separate but complementary Marine Corps force structure review boards, chartered earlier this year by the Commandant, were completed. Both sets of recommendations combined to form a plan that met structure cuts targeted by the Quadrennial Defense Review. The Active Component review would cut more than 1,800 in end strength and cut or consolidate additional non-operational billets as to enable an Active end strength of 172,200 to man operational battalions and squadrons at above 90 percent. The Reserve Component review identified nearly 5,000 billets to cut or consolidate. 
 
___Oct - The ninth and final volume of the Marine Corps operational history series was published. U.S. Marines in Vietnam, 1968, The Defining Year would be the largest in the series at 803 pages. The writing project, which spanned more than 20 years, was authored by a team of four -- Dr. Jack Shulimson, LtCol Leonard H. Blasiol, Mr. Charles R. Smith, and Capt David A. Dawson. The Vietnam series comprised a total of 12 volumes -- 9 operational histories, functional volumes on chaplains and military law, and an anthology-bibliography volume. 
 
1 Oct - The Navy relinquished control of Miramar air station in California to the Marine Corps. The change in designation for the air station continued a process that would eventually relocate the entire 3d Marine Aircraft Wing to Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) Miramar and MCAS Camp Pendleton from Marine air stations in El Toro and Tustin in California. 
 
1 Oct - The first African-American female colonel in the Marine Corps was promoted to her present rank during a ceremony at Marine Corps Air Station, Cherry Point, North Carolina. Colonel Gilda A. Jackson, a native of Columbus, Ohio, made Marine Corps history when she achieved the rank of colonel. She was serving as Special Projects Officer, 2d Marine Aircraft Wing at the time of her promotion.
 
3 Oct - Chief Historian of the Marine Corps, Benis M. Frank, retired after 43 years of combined military and civilian service with the Corps. He served with the 1st Marine Division at Peleliu and Okinawa, and later in Korea. He became a member of the History and Museums staff in 1961 where he pioneered the Marine Corps Oral History Program. He was designated Chief Historian of the Marine Corps in 1990.
 
4 Oct - The Navy's newest destroyer, USS Higgins (DDG 76) was christened and launched at Bath, Maine. The guided missile destroyer was named after deceased Marine Colonel William Richard Higgins. His widow, Lieutenant Colonel Robin L. Higgins, was the ship's sponsor. Lieutenant Colonel Higgins was kidnapped by pro-Iranian terrorists in February 1988 while working in Lebanon as the Chief, Observer Group Lebanon and the senior U.S. military observer with the U.S Truce Supervision Organization in the Middle East. He was officially declared dead in July 1990.
 
8 Oct - First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton visited the Child Development Center and Russell Elementary School's School-Age Care Program at Quantico, Virginia. Six years in the making, the Quantico child care and child development facilities were a model for the nation. Mrs. Clinton visited the facilities to help celebrate this achievement and provide insight for an upcoming conference on child care at the White House.
 
17 Oct - The first female Marine strike pilot was "winged" at Meridian Naval Air Station in Mississippi. The Marine Corps would train 1stLt Karen F. Tribbett, 25, in its high performance strike fighter, the F/A-18 Hornet jet. Tribbett, an Athens, Georgia, native, was among 10 Marine Corps and Navy officers to receive gold aviator wings after completing nearly two years of aviation training.
 
18 Oct - The nation's first major memorial paying tribute to the nearly 2 million women who have served the U.S. Armed Forces was dedicated in Washington, D.C. Over 25,000 women veterans, active-duty servicewomen, and family members took part in the weeklong commemoration that included a black-tie gala, reunion reception, dedication ceremony, and candlelight march and memorial service. The Women in Military Service for America Memorial stands at the entrance to Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia. 
 
18 Oct - The U.S. Postal Service officially issued a stamp honoring military women as part of the ceremonies surrounding the dedication of the Women in Military Service for America Memorial. The 32 cent stamp featured five women dressed in uniforms that represented the Army, Marines, Navy, Air Force, and Coast Guard. 
 
26 Oct - Some 16,000 runners participated in the 22nd Marine Corps Marathon in Washington, D.C. First across the finish line was Darrell General of Mitchellville, Maryland, who broke the tape at 2:18:20. General also won the race in 1995. The top female finisher was Donna Moore from Kensington, Maryland, with a time of 2:53:42. Known as the "Marathon of the Monuments," approximately 2,000 volunteers, mostly Marines and sailors, assisted with the race.
 
31 Oct - The second major revision to the physical fitness test (PFT) in less than two years was approved by the Commandant of the Marine Corps, General Charles C. Krulak. ALMAR 369/97 announced the following changes for Active and Reserve Marines effective 1 July 1998: Instead of sit-ups, Marines will do abdominal crunches. All Marines, including those 46 years and older, will be required to take the PFT. An extra 90 seconds would be added to the 3-mile run time for Marines tested at elevations at or above 4,500 feet above sea level.
 
31 Oct - The Marine Corps Historical Foundation (MCHF) hosted its annual awards banquet in Washington, D.C. Mr. Benis Frank, former Chief Historian of the History and Museums Division received the Distinguished Service Award and Mr. David Hugel received the Heritage Award for significant service to the MCHF.
 
4 Nov - The 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit participated in Exercise Bright Star 97 in Egypt and was visited by the Commandant of the Marine Corps, General Charles C. Krulak, and Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps, Lewis G. Lee. The 10-day exercise was designed to enhance the cooperation between seven participating nations to conduct combined operations in the U.S. Central Command. 
 
5 Nov - More than 500 Marines from the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit and 2,000 Republic of Korea Marines stormed the beach at Tok Sok Ri, Korea, and inland areas from the Sea of Japan as part of Exercise Foal Eagle 97. This combined exercise incorporated portions of the old Team Spirit exercise, which tested rear-area protection operations. It also focused on the execution of numerous combat missions and demonstrated the Korean and American resolve to deter war on the peninsula. 
 
11 Nov - The Marine Corps celebrated its 222nd anniversary. In his birthday message, General Krulak said that the Corps and its friends around the world gather to celebrate making Marines and winning battles. "Over the course of those years, the name "Marine" has taken on a legendary, almost mystical, warrior status. It is a status forged in the cauldron of basic training, tempered by shared hardship, and sharpened in the crucible of battle."
 
14 Nov - The Army's civilian personnel chief resigned after a furor arose over her description of Marines as "extremists." Sara E. Lister was scheduled to leave her post as the Army's assistant secretary for manpower and reserve affairs in late November anyway. The announcement of her resignation came in response to a furor that arose after she was quoted as saying "...the Army is much more connected to society than Marines. The Marines are extremists. Wherever you have extremists, you've got some risks of total disconnection with society. And that's a little dangerous" during a seminar sponsored by Harvard University's Olin Institute for Strategic Studies. 
 
___Dec - The U.S. Marine Corps commemorated the golden anniversary of its premier community action program: the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program. Created in 1947 by Reserve Major Bill Hendricks as a project in Los Angeles, the Marine Corps expanded it into a nationwide campaign in 1948. The program has fulfilled the Christmas hopes and dreams of more than 112 million children.
 
___Dec - The Marine Corps completed a review of its total force structure as required by the 1997 Quadrennial Defense Review and announced that the Reserve Component would be reduced from 42,000 Marines to 39,000. The 3,000-person reduction would be completed by Fiscal year 2003.
 
___Dec - Secretary of the Navy John Dalton announced that one of three new Arleigh Burke Class guided missile destroyers would be named after a Marine Corps Medal of Honor recipient. The USS Howard (DDG 83) would honor Gunnery Sergeant Jimmie E. Howard (1929-1993) for his heroic leadership of a platoon in Vietnam during 1966. Howard also received the Silver Star medal for service in the Korean War. 
 
9 Dec - The Commandant of the Marine Corps, General Charles C. Krulak, approved a major overhaul of the Corps' nine-year-old close combat training program. Significant changes would include the elimination of combat hitting skills, such as boxing, at boot camp. Also, a new, six-phase program of close combat instruction would be instituted that would emphasize basic skills taught at boot camp and various schools. 
 
16 Dec - A report was released by the Federal Advisory Committee on Gender-Integrated Training and Related Issues. The committee called for a partial re-segregation of the sexes - mainly in the barracks and in Army platoons, Navy divisions, and Air Force flights - during basic and advanced training. It was one of several committees formed on gender related challenges and problems.
 
31 Dec - The Marine Corps Historical Foundation officially changed its name to the Marine Corps Heritage Foundation. The change marked the Foundation's leadership position in the planned creation of a Marine Corps Heritage Center at Quantico, Virginia. 
 
31 Dec - The strength of the U.S. Armed Forces was 1,418,773 of whom 171,637 were Marines.

1998

1 January – The strength of the U.S. Armed Forces was 1,456,266 of whom 174,873 were Marines.
 
1 January – The change in name from the Marine Corps Historical Foundation to the Marine Corps Heritage Foundation took effect. Lieutenant General Philip D. Shutler, USMC (Retired) was chairman of the Foundation’s Board of Directors. At the same time, the Corps examined the possibility of a Marine Corps Heritage Center to be constructed at Quantico, Virginia.
 
5 January – This date marked the 50th anniversary of Marine units reinforcing the Sixth Fleet. The first unit to do so was the 2d Marines which left North Carolina for the Mediterranean in 1948.
 
18-23 January – The Marine Corps Warfighting Laboratory in Quantico, Virginia, launched the first “Urban Warrior” training experiment designed to examine numerous facets of military operations in urban environments. Limited Object Experiments (LOE 1) took place at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. Additional experiments would be held over the next 18 month period on the east and west coasts.
 
20 January – Major General James L. Day, USMC, 72, who retired from the Marine Corps in 1986, received the Medal of Honor for his actions on Okinawa, 14-17 May 1945. At the time, General Day was a 19-year old corporal. The nation’s highest award was presented by President Bill Clinton.
 
20 January – Only a month after one advisory committee urged the defense department to separate men and women during much of their training, another Pentagon panel found that most members of the armed services actually wanted more integration of the sexes during their early months in uniform. The new report by the Defense Advisory Committee on Women in the Services, a panel formed in the 1950s to advise the department on women’s issues, said that an inspection of 12 military training schools last year showed that “most service members from every service believed that more gender integration of training was needed than currently existed.”
 
25 January – Among the festivities at Super Bowl XXXII in San Diego, California, was a detachment of 300 Marines from Camp Pendleton who were tasked with stretching a massive American flag across the entire football field, goal line to goal line, for the playing of the national anthem.
 
29 January – Carl Gorman, the oldest of the 400 Navajo code talkers who served in the Marine Corps during World War II, died at the age of 90 in Gallup, New Mexico. Mr. Gorman was a prominent artist in his civilian life and active member of the Navajo Code Talker Association.
 
31 January – As of this date, all non-deployed Marine Corps ships’ detachments stood down while the remaining deployed detachments would stand down following deployments (totaling 11 officers and 275 enlisted personnel). Structure from the disestablished detachments would be used to create a second fleet antiterrorism security team (FAST) company.
 
__ February – Early this month, Okinawa Governor Masahide Ota announced his opposition to plans for the construction of a floating seabase (FSB) facility in Oura Bay, near the community of Nago. Plans called for the proposed facility to replace Marine Corps Air Station Futenma which was scheduled for closure in 2003. The governor’s authority over Okinawa’s airspace would give him a key role in determining the future of the FSB.
 
3 February – A U.S. Marine EA-6B Prowler jet over Italy’s Dolomite mountains struck and severed the cable of a ski resort gondola, causing the cable car to fall 300 feet to the ground and killing 20 people inside. The aviation mishap occurred during a low level training mission where the jet was flying far below its prescribed altitude. The Prowler from Marine Tactical Electronic Warfare Squadron 2 was flying out of Aviano, Italy, from where Marine and Air Force units provided support to the on-going effort in Bosnia.
 
10 February – 137 Marines and Navy Corpsmen from Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, passed through the Aerial Port of Embarkation at Marine Corps Air Station, Cherry Point, North Carolina, on their way to Haiti in support of Operation New Horizon. The company provided security for the U.S. support group in Haiti that provided humanitarian and civil assistance missions. It would be replaced by an Army unit in May.
 
15 February – On this date 100 years ago, the battleship USS Maine (BB 2) mysteriously exploded and sank in the Spanish-held harbor of Havana, Cuba. 
On board the Maine, 28 Marines died along with 238 sailors. A few months later, the United States declared war on Spain on 21 April 1898. The USS Maine was remembered today during a number of ceremonies at various locations around the United States.
 
24 February – Iraq’s Saddam Hussein and United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan reached an agreement whereby Iraq agreed to provide immediate, unrestricted and unconditional access for U.N. weapons inspectors to all suspected sites in Iraq. Since January, nearly 27,000 American and British troops (including 2,200 Marines) had assembled in the Persian Gulf area ready for an imminent military strike against Iraq if Saddam Hussein continued to deny U.N. weapons inspectors unfettered access. Iraq precipitated the crisis on 12 January by refusing access to a U.N. team headed by an American, Scott Ritter, a former Marine captain.
 
27 February – A joint task force (JTF), commanded by Brigadier General William A. Whitlow, USMC, was sent to Kenya to support ongoing relief operations. Operation Noble Response, headquartered in Mombasa, included a headquarters element from I Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Pendleton, California, and two KC-130s from Marine Aerial Reflueler Squadron 352, El Toro, California. More than 2 million pounds of food was delivered to Kenyans devastated by flooding in the northeastern part of the African nation.
 
__March – Gore-Tex-all-weather coats and trousers were approved for wear by recruits undergoing the Crucible during adverse weather conditions at Marine Corps Recruit Depot, Parris Island, South Carolina. Until a permanent supply could be purchased, the depot would use 1,500 sets on temporary loan from the Contingency Training Allowance Pool at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina.
 
3 March – The Secretary of Defense authorized the U.S. Central Command to start vaccinating its personnel deployed to the Persian Gulf for protection against anthrax. The decision accelerated the mandatory anthrax vaccination plan, first announced on 15 December 1997, for all active and reserve military personnel deployed to Southwest Asia.
 
7 March – Retired General Raymond G. Davis, a Medal of Honor recipient for actions during the Korean War, dedicated the Marine Corps Korean War Memorial in Felicity, California. The memorial honors the 4,617 Marines and 107 Navy hospital corpsmen who died for their country in the Korean War. Felicity is located along Interstate 8, about 10 miles west of the Arizona-California border.
 
9-12 March – Marines from the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit took part in Exercise Valiant Usher 98-1 in Australia. The exercise included combined arms and sustainment operations at Shoalwater Bay Training area and adjacent Townshend Island. It gave the Marines the opportunity to simultaneously use a variety of weaponry while being supported by naval gun fire.
 
22-31 March – Exercise Desert Thunder took place at Kuwait’s Udairi Range. The 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit participated in the live-fire exercise.
 
25 March - 6 April – The 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit was part of NATO’s Strategic Reserve Force (SRF) in Exercise Dynamic Response 98, the largest Marine participation in Bosnia thus far. The exercise was part of NATO’s efforts to prepare the SRF for support to the Stabilization Force already in Bosnia in case of renewed hostilities there. The SRF was a mobile, flexible unit designed to augment in-theater forces and was comprised of light and airborne infantry, armor, artillery, and attack aircraft.
 
28 March – World War II veterans from the 2d and 5th Marine Divisions and the V Amphibious Corps Artillery were honored at the Camp Tarawa Monument Dedication on Parker Ranch near Camp H. M. Smith, Hawaii. Camp Tarawa was once the largest Marine training camp in the Pacific. The dedication ceremony also honored the late Richard Smart, owner of Parker Ranch during the war, and the residents of Kamuela, who played host to more than 50,000 Marines from 1942 – 1945. The monument consists of three massive black granite slabs set in a small park behind the existing, but smaller monument.
 
29 March – Medal of Honor recipient, Chief Warrant Officer Harold W. Wilson, USMCR (Retired) died in Lexington, South Carolina. He served in World War II and the Korean War. He was awarded the Medal of Honor as a platoon sergeant in Korean for his actions during 23-24 April 1951. Retired from the Marine Corps in 1972, his personal awards also included the Bronze Star Medal with Combat “V” and Purple Heart with four Gold Stars.
 
9 April – The National Prisoner of War Museum in Andersonville, Georgia, opened the anniversary of the fall of Bataan and POW Recognition Day. The museum displays letters and artifacts collected from POW camps and former prisoners, and features a granite courtyard with a bronze statue.
 
15 April – Lieutenant General Williams K. Jones, 81, died in Alexandria, Virginia. A veteran of World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War, General Jones retired from active duty in 1972. His service assignments included Commanding General, 3d Marine Division and Commanding General, Fleet Marine Force, Pacific. His military decorations included the Navy Cross, three Distinguished Service Medals, Bronze Star with Combat “V”, and a Purple Heart.
 
19 April – Major General John I. Hopkins, 65, died in San Diego, California. A graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy in 1955, he served in the Vietnam War and the Persian Gulf War. His decorations included the Distinguished Service Medal, Silver Star, Legion of Merit, and four Bronze Stars with Combat “V”.
 
26-30 April – The Marine Corps Warfighting Lab and Special Purpose MAGTF(X) participated in Urban Warrior’s second limited objective experiment at Camp Lejeune’s Military Operations in Urban Terrain (MOUT) facility. Urban Warrior was the Marine Corps’ two-year exploration of new concepts, tactics, and technologies for addressing combat on urbanized terrain.
 
1 May – A new athletic field known as the N302 Complex was renamed at Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center, Twentynine Palms, California, in honor of Lance Corporal Eliseo C. Felix who was killed in Operation Desert Storm in the Persian Gulf War, Lance Corporal Felix served with 5th Battalion, 11th Marines and was 19 years old at the time of his death on 2 February 1991 near the Kuwait border.
 
7-8 May – Five former Commandants of the Marine Corps joined the current Commandant, General Charles C. Krulak, to meet and exchange ideas with the Corps’ newest brigadier generals and senior civil servants. The historic gathering marked the first time that all living former Commandants were invited to meet with the current Commandant. Generals Leonard F. Chapman, Jr. (1968-1971), Louis H. Wilson (1975-1979), Robert H. Barrows (1979-1983), Paul X. Kelley (1983-1987), and Carl E. Mundy, Jr. (1991-1995) shared their experiences and visions at the Brigadier General Select Orientation Conference in Washington, D.C. Two former Commandants, Generals Wallace M. Greene (1964-1967) and Alfred M. Gray, Jr.(1987-1991) were unable to attend.
 
13 May – Retired Marine Lieutenant General Victor H. Krulak was inducted into the Department of the Navy Acquisition Hall of Fame as a 1998 Acquisition Pioneer. General Krulak was honored for breaking through a deadlocked process to develop the amphibious assault craft which eventually spelled victory for American forces in the Pacific during World War II.
 
19 May - 5 June – Approximately 10,600 U.S. and 6,250 Thailand service members participated in Exercise Cobra Gold 98, the largest exercise in the Asian-Pacific region so far in 1998. The exercise was conducted against a real-world backdrop of regional uncertainty. Neighboring India and Pakistan conducted 
11 nuclear weapons test blasts and Indonesia’s President Mohammed Suharto was forced to resign from his 33-year reign as president. As Thai and U.S. troops trained together, 2,000 combat-ready Marines with the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit were diverted from the exercise toward Indonesia and positioned offshore as a possible evacuation force in case foreign nationals were unable to safely leave the troubled country by commerical transportation.
 
21 May - 15 June – More than 1,200 Marines and sailors from I Marine Expeditionary Force participated in Exercise Native Fury 98 in Kuwait. The Maritime Prepositioning exercise demonstrated the ability to rapidly project a combat force abroad by linking Marines with the equipment they would need to fight.
 
24 May – The “President’s Own” United States Marine Band, America’s oldest professional musical organization, was the first musical institution inducted into the American Classical Music Hall of Fame and Museum in Cincinnati, Ohio. In addition to the Marine Band, the 1998 Inaugural Group included Leonard Bernstein, Aaron Copland, Duke Ellington, George Gershwin, Arturo Toscanini, and the Marine Band’s 17th Director, John Philip Sousa.
 
27 May – The Clinton administration, which sent dozens of extra bombers and thousands of soldiers and sailors to intimidate Iraq during a showdown in the Persian Gulf in February, began withdrawing the additional forces and returning to pre-crisis levels of military strength in the region. The reduction in U.S. military power in the gulf reflected an assessment that the crisis with President Saddam Hussein’s government subsided since Baghdad renewed promises to cooperate with United Nations weapons inspectors.
 
31 May – General Charles C. Krulak, 31st Commandant of the Marine Corps, delivered the Memorial Day address at the American Cemetery at Belleau Wood, France. It had become a tradition for the Commandant to visit the historic battlefield on Memorial Day to join Marines from Europe, veterans groups, and the people of France to pay tribute to the Marines who sacrificed their lives in the epic World War I battle. This year marked the 80th anniversary of 
the Battle for Belleau Wood.
 
___ June – The new Belleville Model 700 TLS Infantry Combat Boot was issued to all Marines assigned to infantry regiments and battalions in the active and reserve Marine Corps. The new Marine Corps infantry boot contract was awarded to the Belleville Shoe Manfacturing Company about a year ago. The Model 700 TLS (Tri-Layer System) sole has three layers and the outer boot consists of waterproof leather and Cordura nylon.
 
6 June – A group of 30 Marines from the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit evacuated 172 people from Asmara, Eritrea. Two Marine C-130 Hercules aircraft flew the evacuees from the airport in Asmara to safety in Amman, Jordan. The evacuation was a precautionary measure, as recent border conflicts intensified between the East Africian countries of Eritrea and Ethiopia. Of the 172 citizens evacuated, 105 were from the United States.
 
9 June – Internationally-acclaimed sculptor Felix de Weldon was the honored guest at the evening’s Sunset Parade where the Drum and Bugle Corps from Marine Barracks, 8th and I Streets, Washington, D.C. performed. De Weldon, now 91 years old, was inspired to create the statue after seeing Associated Press photographer Joe Rosenthal’s Pulitzer Prize-winning photo of the American flag raising on Iwo Jima 23 February 1945. The flag raising sculpture became de Weldon’s most famous work.
 
10 June – Defense Secretary William Cohen announced that military services should continue training as usual whether gender integrated or segregated. Cohen was convinced on this issue by a report submitted by the services in March. He had directed them months before to review and to respond to the December report of the Kassebaum Baker panel on gender-integrated training related issues. The Marine Corps would continue to keep its recruit training gender segregated while the other services would continue training male and female recruits together.
 
18 June – Retired Sergeant Major Herbert J. Sweet, who had served as Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps, died at his home in Alexandria, Virginia. He was 78 years old. Sergeant Major Sweet held the Corps’ top enlisted post from 1965 - 1969 during the Marine Corps’ heaviest fighting in Vietnam.
 
22 June – The historic symbol of the end of World War II, the USS Missouri, floated into Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. The battleship USS Missouri joined other historic Navy war ships memorialized there: the battleship USS Arizona, wherein hundreds of servicemen are entombed, represents the beginning of the war, and the submarine USS Bowlin which represents the middle of World War II.
 
28 June – Retired Major General Marion E. Carl, one of the Corps most highly decorated aviators and a World War II ace, was shot and killed during an apparent robbery in his Roseberg, Oregon home. He was 82 years old. It was a tragic ending for a man whose lifetime achievements made him famous as a combat Marine, aviator, and test pilot. General Carl became the Corps’ first ace in 1942. By the end of the war he was credited with 18.5 kills and earned five Distinguished Flying Crosses, a total of 14 Air Medals, as well as two Navy Crosses. He was buried with military honors at Arlington National Cemetery.
 
__ July – The Marine Corps approved the design of the advanced amphibious assault vehicle (AAAV). With completion of a critical design review, procurement of the AAAV moved into the prototype production phase with the first prototype to be delivered by General Dynamics Land Systems in August of next year. It was deemed the Corps’ number one ground system priority. Entry into the fleet was anticipated by 2006.
 
2 July – CNN retracted its story that the military used deadly nerve gas during the 1970 Operation Tailwind in Laos to kill American defectors, apologizing for “serious faults” in its reporting. CNN said its internal investigation concluded that its “NewsStand” report with Time magazine, disputed by “hundreds” of veterans and military officials, could not be supported.
 
10 July – Lieutenant General Peter Pace, Commander Marine Forces Atlantic, ordered the pilot and navigator of the EA-6B Prowler that severed an Italian ski gondola cable in February, killing 20 people, to court-martial on manslaughter charges. The pilot, Captain Richard J. Asby, and navigator, Captain Joseph P. Schweitzer, would go to trial later this year.
 
10 July – Former U.S. Navy hospital corpsman, Robert Ingram, was awarded the Medal of Honor by President Clinton at the White House 32 years after his heroic actions. While serving with Company C, 1st Battalion, 7th Marines in Vietnam, Mr. Ingram was wounded four times on 28 March 1966 during Operation India.
 
11 July – The United States Marine Band marked its 200th birthday in the nation’s capital with a gala performance at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts Concert Hall. The historical event highlighted the year as “The President’s Own” celebrated its bicentennial and inaugurated its third century.
 
16 July - 1 August – Exercise RimPac 98 brought together more than 25,000 sailors, Marines, airmen, and coastguardsmen from Australia, Chile, Japan, Canada, the Republic of Korea, and the United States. The exercise was designed to test the abilities of the U.S. and its allies to react to crisis and defend against threats to the Central Pacific. The 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit participated in the exercise which was held in Hawaii.
 
26 July – Fifty years ago on this date President Harry S. Truman signed Executive Order 9981 and set in motion the racial integration of America’s armed forces.
 
27 July – President Clinton proclaimed this day as National Korean War Veterans Armistice Day. He called upon all Americans to observe this day with appropriate ceremonies and activities that honor and give thanks to Korean War veterans.
 
30 July – Medal of Honor recipient, Lieutenant Colonel Kenneth A. Walsh, USMC (Retired), died at the age of 82. Lieutenant Colonel Walsh served in World War II where he rose from a flying private to the fourth-ranking Marine Corps ace. He received the Medal of Honor for heroic service with Marine Fighting Squadron 124 during August 1943.
 
4 August – The U.S. Air Force announced plans to reorganize more than 2,000 warplanes and support aircraft into 10 “air expeditionary forces” (AEFs) that would rotate responsibility for deployments to the skies over Iraq, Bosnia, and other potential trouble zones. The reorganization, patterned similarly like Marine Corps expeditionary units, would be an attempt to ease the strain of a surge of post-cold war missions.
 
6 August – The James Wesley Marsh Center, a new facility at Quantico, Virginia, was dedicated on this date. It was named in honor of Colonel James W. Marsh, USMC (Deceased) who was instrumental in developing the automated information management capabilities supporting virtually all Marine Corps manpower operations today. The building would house the Marine Corps Recruiting Command and Manpower and Reserve Affairs of Headquarters, U.S. Marine Corps. The move would be part of the gradual departure from Headquarters’ location at the Navy Annex, Arlington, Virginia.
 
7 August – Two bombs exploded minutes apart adjacent to two U.S. embassies in east Africa. One bomb exploded near the U.S. Embassy in Nairobi, Kenya, killing at least 247 people, including 12 U.S. citizens – one of which was Sergeant Jesse N. Aliganga, USMC, a Marine security guard at the embassy. The other bomb exploded near the U.S. Embassy in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, killing at least 9 people, but no U.S. citizens.
 
17 August – A new exhibit honoring African Americans was unveiled at the Pentagon. Displayed in the “African Americans in Defense of Our Nation” corridor, it was the third in a series of five Department of Defense exhibits commemorating President Harry S. Truman’s Executive Order 9981 which established the President’s Committee on Equality of Treatment and Opportunity in the Armed Services. Among those on hand for the unveiling was Mrs. Beulah Huff, widow the late Sergeant Major Edgar R. Huff. He was the first African American to attain the rank of sergeant major in the Marine Corps and retired with over 30 years of active service.
 
18 August – Phase I of a military-wide Anthrax vaccination program began for the Marine Corps. Marines and members of the other armed services deployed or preparing to deploy to high threat areas would be the first to be vaccinated. The mandatory vaccinations were ordered by Secretary of Defense William S. Cohen in December 1997. Phase II of the vaccination program was scheduled for December 1999 for personnel considered “early deployers.” Phase III would begin in January 2003 for recruits, officer accessions, and the majority of the reserve forces.
 
20 August – U.S. military forces struck targets in Afganistan and Sudan going after terrorists believed responsible for the 7 August bombings of the U.S. Embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. The attacks were directed at a major terrorist training center in Afganistan and a chemical weapons facility in Sudan after obtaining substantial evidence of their involvement in past and planned future terrorist activities.
 
26 August – The Assistant Commandant of the Marine Corps, General Richard I. Neal, made his farewell remarks on this date during a ceremony at Marine Barracks, 8th and I Streets, Washington, D.C. He would retire from the Marine Corps after 36 years of active service. Succeeding General Neal as Assistant Commandant is General Terrence R. Dake who assumed his position on 5 September.
 
__ September – A $3 billion program designed to remanufacture the Marine Corps’ fleet of AH-1W Cobra attack and UH-1N Huey utility helicopters completed its critical design review (CDR) phase. The CDR specified what new systems would clear the way for the programs to move forward into its manufacturing phase. Remanufacturing the Corps’ aging Cobras and Hueys was critical in order to extend the service life of the airframes for another 20 years.
 
__ September – The Marine Corps continued to move forward with its AV-8B Harrier II Plus Remanufacture Program in which day-attack Harrier IIs already in 
the fleet would be converted into radar/night-attack Harrier II Plus aircraft. The manufacture program would provide new service life to the Harrier at a cost significally lower than purchasing completely new aircraft.
 
1 September – On this date, the Marine Corps Material Command was established at Albany, Georgia. The new command consisted of a headquarters element and two major subordinate commands – Marine Corps Logistics Bases and Marine Corps Systems Command. It would be the principal advisor to the Commandant of the Marine Corps for material life cycle management of all Marine Corps ground equipment, information systems, and ground weapons systems.
 
11 September – Major General Marion L. Dawson, USMC (Retired) died at his home in Coronado, California. Retired since 1962, the naval aviator last served as Commander, Marine Corps Air Bases, Western Area, and Commanding General, Marine Corps Air Station, El Toro, California. He was a veteran of Nicaragua and World War II.
 
12-19 September – The Warfighting Lab conducted its “Culminating Phase Experiment” at Marine Corps Base, Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, and Charleston, South Carolina. The experiment was the final phase in a series of Urban Warrior East Coast experiments that focused on urban tactics, techniques, and procedures as well as long-range, over-the-horizon command and control capabilities.
 
15 September – The MV-22 Osprey arrived at Marine Corps Air Station, New River, North Carolina, for several months of various operational tests. It would be joined by another Osprey in October. Two other Ospreys would remain at Patuxent River Naval Air Station, Maryland, where the small but growing force of four operational aircraft were based. The tilt-rotor Osprey would eventually replace the Corps’ fleet of aging CH-46 Sea Knight helicopters.
 
16 September – Colonel Truman W. Crawford, Commanding Officer/Director of “The President’s Own,” The United States Marine Drum and Bugle Corps, retired from active duty. At the age of 64, Colonel Crawford was the oldest Marine on active duty when he ended a 41-year military career. He was part of “The Commandant’s Own” since 1967.
 
21 September – Major General Walter A. Churchill, Sr., USMCR (Retired) died on this date. His last assignment was Acting Commandant of the Marine Corps Schools, Quantico, Virginia, and was the first reserve general to command the Marine Corps Schools. He retired in 1963.
 
30 September – By this date, the Marine Corps fielded 14 non-lethal weapon capability sets to each of its three Marine Expeditionary Forces. Each capability set provided weapons, munitions, and equipment to outfit a 200-man reinforced company that included riot gear (shields and batons), pepper spray, restraining devices, and road spikes.
 
30 September – At the end of FY 1998, the Marine Corps met its enlistment target, enlisting about 34,000 Marines. The Air Force exceeded its goal by about five percent. The Army fell just short of its goal while the Navy missed its enlistment goal by about 6,900 recruits. During FY 1998, the U.S. military services recruited 186,131 for a total of about three percent less than the overall goal of 192,332.
 
___ October – Beginning in fiscal year 1999, the Marine Corps would get two new small arms weapons: the Close Quarters Battle Weapon (CQBW) and the Designated Marksman Rifle. The CQBW was the Colt-manufactured M4A1 5.56mm rifle with a rail system that supports a reflex sight, an M203 40mm grenade launcher, and could be outfitted with a sound suppressor. It would replace the 9mm MP5N submachinegun in the Corps’ inventory. The Designated 
Marksman Rifle was essentially a modified M14.
 
3-15 October – Marines from the II Marine Expeditionary Force participated in Dynamic Mix 98, a joint-combined exercise near the southern coast of the Turkish Republic. The exercise included a rare in-stream off-loan of Maritime Prepositioning Force equipment and follow-on training with 10 NATO nations near the Syrian border some 325 miles from northern Iraq. Dynamic Mix highlighted the Corps’ capabilities in the area of rapid deployment, force sustainment and interoperability with allied nations.
 
7 October – Joint Task Force (JTF) Full Provider, a Camp Lejeune, North Carolina-based JTF, arrived at Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands to provide humanitarian and disaster relief in the wake of Hurricane Georges. The JTF was in support of Operation Fundamental Relief and involved approximately 800 Marines and sailors.
 
17 October – President Clinton signed the National Defense Authorization Act which provided the following major provisions: reduction of Marine Corps Active and Reserve end strength from 174,000 to 172,200 and 42,000 to 40,000 respectively, and an increase of basic pay by 3.6 percent for military personnel. The $270.5 billion defense authorization bill affirmed U.S. policy goals for fiscal year 1999.
 
23 October – On this date 15 years ago, Marines and other service members were hit by a terrorist attack on the Marine barracks in Beirut, Lebanon, leaving 241 Americans dead and more than 100 wounded.
 
23 October – The Marine Corps Heritage Foundation, founded in 1979 as the Marine Corps Historical Foundation, hosted its annual awards ceremony. Among the 1998 award winners were: Dr. Gregory J. W. Urwin (General Wallace M. Green Award for outstanding nonfiction book), Dr. William H. Bartsch (Colonel Robert D. Heinl, Jr. Award for best article on Marine Corps history), and Major Patrick M. McGinn (General Roy S. Geiger Award for best article on Marine Corps aviation.)
 
25 October – More than 16,000 runners participated in the 23rd Annual Marine Corps Marathon in Washington, D.C. The winner of the 1998 “Peoples Marathon” was Weldon Johnson of Washington, D.C. who crossed the finish line at 2:25:30. The winner in the female category was Air Force Major Kimberly Markland of Lackland Air Force Base, Texas, who finished with a time of 2:49:07. It was the second year that the marathon used electronic chip technology to keep track of runners’ times.
 
27 October - 9 November – Exercise Foal Eagle 98, one of the largest defensive exercises in the world, provided more than one million active and reserve members of the Republic of Korea and U.S. Armed Forces an opportunity to train in a challenging and realistic environment. The annual exercise tested the combined force’s capabilities to defend and protect the Republic of Korea.
 
28 October – Major General James L. Day, who was presented the Medal of Honor in January 1998 for action in World War II on Okinawa, died of a heart attack in Cathedral City, California, at the age of 73. General Day was also a veteran of the Korean and Vietnam Wars. His last assigned duty was Commanding General, Marine Corps Base, Camp Butler/Deputy Commander, Marine Corps Bases, Pacific/Okinawa Area Coordinator, Okinawa, Japan. He retired from the Marine Corps in 1986.
 
29 October – Senator John Glenn joined a crew of seven astronauts as payload specialist during a seven-day mission aboard the Space Shuttle Discovery. Senator Glenn achieved everlasting fame as the first American to orbit the Earth on 20 February 1962 as one of this Nation’s original astronauts. With his return to space 36 years later, the 77-year old former Marine aviator became the oldest person to go into space.
 
30 October – Two ceremonies were held in Augusta, Georgia, in honor of Lieutenant Colonel Aquila J. “Jimme” Dyess, USMCR, the only person to have earned this Nation’s two highest awards for heroism, the Medal of Honor and the Carnegie Medal. One ceremony dedicated a parkway in his honor, while the other dedicated a reserve center in his name.
 
___ November – The Marine Corps decided to discontinue a four-year old plan to increase diversity in the officer corps in favor of a new plan to meet specific quotas for minority officer candidates. There would no longer be the 12-12-5 plan, which sought to elevate the percentage of minorities among new officers to 12 percent Hispanic, and five percent Asian and Pacific Islander by 2003. A new selection board system would be similar to those used to select officers for promotion.
 
___ November – Over 700 Marines of the II Marine Expeditionary Force deployed to Central America to conduct humanitarian assistance and disaster relief operations in the wake of Hurricane Mitch. Exercise Strong Support involved two joint task forces deployed to Honduras, Nicaragua, El Salvador, and Guatemala. The official death toll from Hurricane Mitch was about 10,000 with more than 13,000 people homeless.
 
6 November – Lieutenant General Carol A. Mutter retired after 32 years of Marine Corps service. The former Deputy Chief of Staff, Manpower and Reserve Affairs Department, was the first woman in the Department of Defense nominated for three-star flag rank. Also, while working for the U.S. Space Command in 1988, then-Colonel Mutter became the first woman to ever be qualified as the director of space operations.
 
10 November – The Marine Corps celebrated its 223rd birthday with a gathering of thousands of veterans and present-day Marines at the Marine Corps War Memorial in Arlington, Virginia. The annual wreath laying ceremony was conducted in honor of all Marines who have given their lives in the service of our country since 1775. The War Memorial’s sculptor, Dr. Felix De Weldon, attended the ceremony as did Marine combat veteran Senator Charles S. Robb (D-VA) who was this year’s guest of honor.
 
13-15 November – The Marine Corps Warfighting Lab, in conjunction with the Special Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force (Experimental), both headquartered at Marine Corps Base Quantico, Virginia, held their third limited objective experiment at the Tappanhannock Virginia Airport. Capable Warrior, the third and final phase of its five-year program, tested and evaluated Operational Maneuver from the Sea, the Corps’ conceptual warfighting doctrine of the future. The purpose of this objective was to research, evaluate, and test a new technique called dynamic targeting which may help reduce the amount of time it takes for a ground unit to receive air support in combat.

16 November – Richard Danzig was sworn in as the 71st Secretary of the Navy. During the last year, he was on adjunct professor at Syracuse University. Prior to last year, Mr. Danzig served as the 26th Under Secretary of the Navy, 1993-1997.
 
___ December – The 1998 Toys for Tots campaign was the most successful year in the history of the program and surpassed the old record last year. Marine reservists collected more than 12 million toys which were distributed to about 4.8 million children in the United States. In 1997, the 50th anniversary of the Toys for Tots, 4.7 million children benefited from nearly 10 million toys.
 
4 December – Two Marines, Colonel Robert D. Cabana and Major Frederick W. Sturokow, and four fellow crew members launched into space aboard the Shuttle Endeavour on the first of 45 missions to assemble the largest cooperative space construction project in history – building the International Space Station. During the 11-day flight, the Endeavour rendezvoused with a Russian component of the space station that was launched in November. When completed in 2004, the space station will enable scientific experimentation not possible of Earth.
 
9 December – The “Watch Dogs” of Marine Air Control Squadron (MACS) 6 deactivated and reorganized with Marine Air Control Squadron 2, MACS-6 orginially activated in August 1944 and had been located at Cherry Point, North Carolina.
 
16 December – The United States and Great Britain conducted air attacks on Iraqi command and control, air defense, and weapons facility targets. The attacks were in the wake of Iraq’s most recent obstruction of U.N. personnel conducting weapons of mass destruction inspections in the country. Kuwait-based aircraft from Great Britain, the USS Enterprise (CVN 65), and more than 200 ship-borne cruise missile attacked selected targets which began Operation Desert Fox. Marine Forces in the Persian Gulf included Okinawa-based 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit (Special Operations Capable) as well as Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 312 on board the USS Enterprise.
 
18 December – Following the commencement of U.S. and British air strikes against Iraq, the Okinawa-based 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit (Special Operations Capable) conducted a noncombatant evacuation operation of some 90 diplomats and American citizens from the U.S. embassy in Kuwait.
 
23 December – The 1st Landing Support Battalion (LSB) and the 7th Motor Transport Battalion (MTBn) merged to form the 1st Transportation Support Battalion at Camp Pendleton, California. Before the merging, the 1st LSB performed embarkation, landing support, port and terminal operations, air delivery, and material handling, while the 7th MTBn was responsible for motor transport and freight and passenger transportation. With the merger, integrated responsibilities would increase efficiency.
 
27 December – Colonel William A. Lee, USMC (Retired) died at the age of 98 in Fredericksburg, Virginia. He entered the Marine Corps in 1918 and saw service in France during World War I, and later in Nicaragua (1920 - 1930) where his exploits earned him three Navy Crosses, the nickname “Ironman”, and a lasting place in Marine Corps legend. He served in China when World War II broke out, was captured by the Japanese, and spent 44 months as a prisoner of war. He retired from the Corps in 1950.
 
31 December – Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 131 deactivated. The squadron originally activated in 1920 and deactivated after participation in World War II in 1945. It was reactivated as a reserve squadron in 1958 and was stationed at Willow Grove, Pennsylvania, since 1970.
 
31 December – The strength of the U.S. Armed Forces was 1,381.034 of whom 171,265 were Marines.

1999

1 Jan - The strength of the U.S. Armed Forces was 1,381,034 of whom 171, 265 were Marines. 
 
14 Jan - The MV-22 Osprey began a series of sea trials aboard the USS Saipan as part of its operational flight test program. The two primary objectives of this phase were to validate the general launch and recovery envelope of the aircraft and determine aircraft/shipboard compatibility. The sea trials concluded in mid-February. 
 
21 Jan - Brigadier General Woodrow M. Kessler, a World War II prisoner of war and veteran of the Korean War died at the age of 85. The general retired in 1955. In 1988, he wrote his World War II memoirs, "Reminiscences: To Wake Island and Beyond" and in 1992 presented his six rein/oil paintings depicting his captivity to the Marine Corps Art Collection at the Marine Corps Museum, Washington, D.C. 
 
28 Jan - The Commandant of the Marine Corps, General Charles C. Krulak, published an article detailing the threat of Anthrax and the importance of being immunized against its use as a biological weapon. He said that the Anthrax vaccine represents our best defense against an invisible killer, and that our potential enemies are very much aware that we have blunted one of the most lethal weapons in their arsenal. 
 
1 Feb - On this date, the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit stood down. The unit was officially activated on 8 July 1987 at Camp Pendleton, California, and participated in operations in Southwest Asia, Philippines, Somalia, Rwanda and Zaire during the 1990s. 
 
6 Feb - Major General Arthur H. Adams died in Norfolk, Virginia, at the age of 83. He served as a combat pilot during World War II and the Korean War. He retired from active duty in 1972. His decorations included two Legions of Merit, five Distinguished Flying Crosses, two Bronze Stars, a Meritorious Service Medal, and 16 Air Medals. 
 
8 Feb - Major General Ralph H. Spanjer died in Delafield, Wisconsin, at the age of 78. A veteran of World War II and the Korean and Vietnam Wars, he retired from active service in 1972 after a 37- year career. He became the superintendent of Marine Military Academy, Harlingen, Texas, and later president of St. John's Northwestern Military Academy in Delafield, Wisconsin. 
 
9 Feb - The Commandant of the Marine Corps, General Charles C. Krulak, and Secretary of State, Madeleine Albright, gathered with the Marines of the Marine Security Guard Battalion in Washington, D.C. to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Marine Security Guard Program. Although the program had been in place since December 1948, the 50th anniversary commemorated the graduation of the first formal class of Marines assigned to duty in early 1949. 
 
12 Feb - 4 Mar - More than 5,000 Marines and sailors from II and III MEFs participated in Exercise Battle Griffin 99, a triennial NATO field training exercise in Norway. The exercise tested the Air-Landed Marine Air Ground Task Force concepts of the U.S. and Norway. It also met the requirement for realistic training to fully prepare forces for Allied/Joint operations in an arctic environment. 
 
16 Feb - Dr. Felix DeWeldon, the artist who immortalized the battle for Iwo Jima, visited the Marine Corps Historical Center, Washington, D.C. The 92-year-old lectured on his best known work, the Marine Corps War Memorial. Dr. DeWeldon also created over 33 public sculptures in Washington, D.C. 
 
17 Feb - A National Park Service public hearing was held in Arlington, Virginia, with over 200 persons to comment on the site of the proposed Air Force Memorial. The site was near Arlington National Cemetery on a hillside occupied by the Marine Corps War Memorial, the famous statue of the Iwo Jima flag raising. The proposal by the Air Force Memorial Foundation stirred deep-seated feelings from active duty Marines, veterans, and local residents.
 
17 Feb - Major General Norman W. Gourley, a fighter pilot and veteran of three wars and former test pilot, died in Hot Springs Village, Arkansas, at the age of 77. The decorated general retired from the Corps in 1978. 
 
22 Feb - Gunnery Sergeant Carlos N. Hathcock II, one of the Corps' top snipers credited with 93 kills in Vietnam and a Silver Star recipient, died of multiple sclerosis in Virginia Beach, Virginia, at the age of 56. 
 
23 Feb - The Smithsonian's National Postal Museum unveiled the first in a series of posters in conjunction with the museum's new membership campaign. The poster featured the famous photograph and three-cent stamp image of the Marines raising the flag at Mount Suribachi on Iwo Jima. The unveiling commemorated the 54th anniversary of the pivotal World War II battle.
 
27 Feb - A joint task force was sent to Kenya to support ongoing relief operations in Operation Nobel Response. Flooding, resulting from unseasonable rainfall, prevented relief supplies from reaching their destination. Marines provided air support to air-drop food supplies. The task force was commanded by Marine Brigadier General William A. Whitlow. 
 
1 Mar - Marines from 2d Force Service Support Group began redeployment to Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, from Honduras where they had been since last November. Marines were deployed there for disaster relief operations in Honduras in the wake of Hurricane Mitch. While in Honduras, Marines built bridges, delivered relief supplies, and repaired roadways.
 
2-11 Mar - The 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit (Special Operations Capable) participated in Exercise Alexander the Great in Greece. The annual, bilateral exercise with the Greek military was designed to improve cooperation and interoperability of sailors and Marines of both Greek and U.S. forces. 
 
4 Mar - A military jury acquitted Captain Richard J. Ashby of all charges brought against him for piloting his Marine Prowler jet through cables holding a ski 
gondola last year in an accident that killed 20 people in the Italian Alps. Captain Ashby had faced involuntary manslaughter and numerous lesser charges as a result of the accident. 
 
4 Mar - The 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit (Special Operations Capable) landed in Kuwait to begin more than 25 days of combined arms training in Exercise Eager Mace 99-1. The focus of the exercise was to improve bilateral interoperability between Kuwait and U.S. forces and to refine complementary warfighting capabilities for coalition warfare. 
 
13 Mar - The Marine Corps Warfighting Laboratory began to conduct its second of five Advanced Warfighting Experiments, Urban Warrior. This experiment was held in Northern California and was designed to test the Marines' ability to deal with terrorist threats, provide disaster assistance, and simulate civil-military relations in an international setting. 
 
24 Mar - NATO began an extensive air war against the Serb-led Yugoslav Government as a result of its refusal to accept a U.S. drafted peace settlement for Kosovo - a province of Serbia, Yugoslavia's dominant republic. Operation Allied Force involved the daily use of cruise missiles, bombers, and attack aircraft on Serbian targets to include its military, police, and command and control apparatus in order to rid Kosovo of Yugoslav Government forces. 
 
1 Apr - Major General William B. Fleming, a decorated Marine who served as an artillery officer in Korea and went on to become a leatherneck pilot in Vietnam, died in Mobile, Alabama, at the age of 70. He commanded the 4th Marine Aircraft Wing/Marine Air Reserve Training Command, New Orleans until his retirement in 1979. 
 
4 Apr - The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) celebrated its' 50th anniversary in Washington, D.C. NATO was created by treaty in 1949 where members agreed to settle disputes by peaceful means, develop their capacity to resist armed attacks, and take necessary action to repel attacks.
 
5 Apr - Marines and sailors of the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit (Special Operations Capable) landed by helicopter in theYugoslav Republic of Macedonia. The 24th MEU(SOC) conducted humanitarian assistance support operations as part of the NATO force already there. This insertion culminated a lengthy involvement by the 24th MEU(SOC) in Balkan operations since January when the unit arrived in the central Mediterranean. 
 
13 Apr - The arrival of KC-130 Hercules aircraft from Marine Aerial Refueler Transport Squadron (VMGR) 352 completed the final migration of 3d Marine Aircraft Wing units to Marine Corps Air Station, Miramar, California. The arrival of VMGR-352 ended the unit's 50-year era of service aboard Marine Corps Air Station, El Toro, California. 
 
15 Apr - Marine AV-8B Harrier jets conducted air strikes against Yugoslavia as part of NATO's Operation Allied Force. The mission was conducted by four AV-8Bs attached to Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron 266 of the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit on board the USS Nassau. It was the first time Marine Harriers participated in combat operations since Operation Desert Storm in 1991. 
 
16 Apr - Captain Jason Q. Bohm, an infantry officer deployed with 2d Battalion, 1st Marines, was the 1998 recipient of the Leftwich Trophy for Outstanding Leadership. The trophy is named for Marine Lieutenant Colonel William G. Leftwich who was killed in action in Vietnam, November 1970.
 
19 Apr - A Marine F/A-18 Hornet dropped its ordnance more than a mile off target on the outlying Puerto Rican island of Vieques, accidentally killing a local civilian security guard. Demonstrations followed, along with a demand from the Puerto Rican Governor for the U.S. Navy to abandon their live fire range on Vieques used for close air support, artillery, and naval gunfire. In response to the Puerto Rican outcry, President Clinton temporarily halted live fire training and ordered the Department of Defense to form a panel to review the Vieques situation. 
 
19 Apr - Four members of Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 361, deployed to Okinawa from Marine Corps Air Station, Miramar, California, died when their CH-53E Super Stallion helicopter went down during a night-flying exercise off Okinawa. 
 
19-30 Apr - Marines from I Marine Expeditionary Force and the 3d Marine Aircraft Wing took part in a joint experiment with the Navy's Third Fleet at Camp Pendleton, California. Exercise Kernel Blitz 99 demonstrated advance technology and concept development which concentrated on improving the Navy and Marine Corps' joint operational effectiveness. 
 
21 Apr - Secretary of Defense, William S. Cohen, announced that President Clinton nominated Lieutenant General James L. Jones for appointment to the grade of general and assignment as the 32nd Commandant of the Marine Corps. 
 
24 Apr - The Navy's newest guided missile destroyer, Higgins (DDG76), joined the U.S. Pacific Fleet during a commissioning ceremony in Port Everglades, 
Florida. The ship would honor Marine Colonel William Richard Higgins who was kidnapped by terrorists in February 1988. He was declared dead in July 1990. The ship's sponsor was retired Marine Lieutenant Colonel Robin L. Higgins, widow of the ship's namesake. 
 
27 Apr - General Charles C. Krulak, representing the Marine Corps, and Retired General Joseph J. Went, representing the Marine Corps Heritage Foundation, participated in ceremonies announcing Quantico as the future site of the Marine Corps Heritage Center. The center was envisioned as a multi-use complex of buildings and outdoor facilities devoted to the presentation of Marine Corps history. 
 
27 Apr - 25 May - U.S. and Thai Marines combined forces during Exercise Cobra Gold 99 in Thailand. The annual joint/combined exercise allowed the two forces to hone their amphibious capabilities and interoperability. 
 
30 Apr - Elements from the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit (Special Operations Capable) went ashore in Albania to provide security for a 20,000-person refugee camp for displaced Kosovar Albanians. The 26th MEU(SOC) also assisted in delivering food to thousands of displaced refugees as well as supporting the Operation Allied Force bombing campaign. The 26th MEU (SOC) replaced the 24th MEU(SOC) on 28 April, ending their six-month deployment to the Mediterranean. 
 
5 May - Marine Aviation Training Support Group (MATSG) at Pensacola, Florida, dedicated the MATSG headquarters (Building 52) in honor of the late Major General Marion E. Carl. In June 1998, the general was murdered in his home while defending his wife from an armed intruder. 
 
14 May - The Marine Corps took delivery of its first MV-22 Osprey aircraft at the Bell Helicopter Textron Flight Research Center in Arlington, Texas. General 
Terrance Dake, Assistant Commandant of the Marine Corps, accepted the first of four low-rate initial production aircraft to be delivered to the Marine Corps in 1999. From Arlington, Texas, the MV-22 completed a 1,200 mile ferry flight that included a historic refueling stop at Marine Corps Air Facility, Quantico, Virginia. The landing at Quantico marked the first time an Osprey owned by the Corps landed on Marine Corps property.
 
14 May - The 1st Air Naval Gunfire Liaison Company (ANGLICO) was deactivated at Camp Pendleton, California. The unit originally activated in 1951 at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, relocated to Camp Pendleton, California, in 1975, and participated in the Persian Gulf War during 1990-1991. 
 
17 May - The Marine Corps decided that blood-red stripes should not adorn the skirts of women Marines. In an experiment last fall, the Marine Corps Uniform Board selected certain women Marines to wear the "bloodstripes" on their skirts and to solicit opinions. The stripes on skirts were not well received.
 
20 May - Two squadrons from Marine Aircraft Group 31 that were deployed to Tazar, Hungary, began flying combat missions in support of Operation Allied Force, NATO's air war that was waged on the Serb-led Yugoslavian government since March. Marine All Weather Fighter Attack Squadrons VMFA (AW)-332 and 533 were home-based in Beaufort, South Carolina. In Hungary, VMFA(AW)-332 had two aircraft outfitted with the Advanced Tactical Airborne Reconnaissance System (ATARS) which was capable of providing digitally formatted day/night, all-weather reconnaissance data via mission tapes that were downloaded upon landing for processing and dissemination. 
 
24 May - The Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center at Twentynine Palms, California, dedicated the Tactical Training Exercise Control Group Headquarters, Building 1587, in memory of the late Major General John I. Hopkins, a former MCAGCC commanding general and Silver Star recipient. 
 
4 Jun - Sergeant Major Alford L. McMichael was selected as the 14th Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps. A post and relief ceremony with retiring Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps Lewis G. Lee would take place on 28 June at Marine Barracks Washington. McMichael would become the first African American to hold the post since it was established in 1957.
 
10 Jun - The first wave of 2,200 Marines and sailors of the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit (Special Operations Capable) came ashore in the northern Greek town of Litohoro bound for Macedonia as Kosovo peacekeepers. On this date, the NATO air war on the Serb-led Yugoslavian government, that began on 24 March, was suspended as a result of peace agreements signed by both NATO and the Yugoslavian government. NATO would send forces into Kosovo for peacekeeping duties as part of Operation Joint Guardian as the Serbian military moved out of the war-torn province.
 
15 Jun - An order to ground all AV-8B Harrier aircraft was issued by Rear Admiral Craig Steidle, Vice Commander of Naval Air Systems Command, after the loss of Harriers on 4 and 14 June from Marine Corps Air Station, Yuma, Arizona, and Kadena Airbase, Japan. Both mishap aircraft were powered by the Rolls Royce 408A engine, which was the Harrier II Plus' main engine and the same engine installed as part of the ongoing Harrier II Plus Remanufacture Program. 
 
19 Jun - Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 124 was deactivated at Naval Air Station, Fort Worth, Texas. The squadron was originally activated in 1942 and participated in World War II. It became part of the Marine Corps Reserves in 1946. 
 
20 Jun - NATO officially ended its air war against Yugoslavia after Serbian forces completed their withdrawal from Kosovo. U.S. and NATO aircraft flew more than 34,000 sorties during Operation Allied Force, the 79-day air campaign, that began 24 March. 
 
23 Jun - Marine Corps Base, Quantico, Virginia, hosted the Marine Corps Amphibious Triad roll-out ceremony at the air facility. The ceremony presented the three elements of the amphibious triad - advanced amphibious assault vehicle (AAAV), MV-22 Osprey, and the landing craft air cushioned (LCAC) - that the Marine Corps planned to use to ensure the success of its Operational Maneuver From the Sea doctrine. The highlight of the ceremony was the official unveiling of the AAAV. 
 
30 Jun - General James Jones became the 32nd Commandant of the Marine Corps during a ceremony at Marine Barracks, 8th and I Streets, Washington, D.C. replacing General Charles C. Krulak. 
 
___Jul - The House Armed Services Committee appropriated $4 million of the defense budget for the Marine Corps to purchase a counterartillery system known as the Shortstop Electronic Protection System. The system, first fielded during Operation Desert Storm in Southwest Asia, provides protection from incoming mortar, artillery, and rocket shells by detecting incoming rounds. 
 
___Jul - The first of 680 refurbished assault amphibious vehicles (AAVs) returned to the Fleet Marine Force. The 4-year, $300 million project would be completed by Marine Corps Logistics Bases at Albany and Barstow in conjunction with the original manufacturer, United Defense. 
 
2 Jul - The Marine Corps officially closed Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) El Toro and MCAS Tustin. Both California air stations were ordered closed by the 1991 and 1993 Base Closure and Realignment Commissions. As a result of the closures, MCAS Miramar, California, would house eight F/A-18 squadrons, one KC-130, four CH-53E squadrons, and four CH-46E squadrons. 
 
6 Jul - The 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit (Special Operations Capable) began its turnover with the U.S. Army's 1st Infantry Division in Kosovo for Operation Joint Guardian. 
 
12 Jul - Colonel John Ripley, USMC (Retired), assumed the post of Director of the Marine Corps History and Museums Division succeeding Colonel Michael F. Monigan, USMC. Colonel Ripley is a veteran of 35 years active duty with the Marine Corps, a Navy Cross recipient, and was most recently the president of the Hargrave Military Academy in Chatham, Virginia. 
 
19 July - A military memorial ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery was held for two Marines, Captain Robert A. Holt of Reading, Massachusetts, and Captain John A. Lavoo of Pueblo, Colorado, whose F-4B Phantom crashed in combat during the Vietnam War on 19 September 1968. After 31 years, their remains were identified and returned to their families for burial in the United States. 
 
28 Jul - Abuhena M. Saifulislam became the first Muslim chaplain assigned to the Marine Corps. The former enlisted sailor earned his commission through the Chaplain Candidate Program, Newport, Rhode Island. Although there are relatively few practicing Muslims in the Marine Corps, the role of chaplains extends far beyond religious observances as chaplains are an integral part of the Corps' quality of life program. 
 
28 Jul - Exercise Summer Thunder 1999 climaxed with an amphibious assault at Camp Pendleton, California. The two-week exercise involved more than 2,800 active duty and reserve Marines and 750 sailors in one of the largest total force Marine Corps annual exercises. 
 
28 Jul - The Marine Corps proposed legislation to change the five titles of Deputy Chiefs of Staff to Deputy Commandants. Also proposed was the change of the Assistant Chief of Staff position to Assistant Deputy Commandant. 
 
___Aug - The 3d Battalion, 1st Marines received the Corps' first Javelin antiarmor weapons system. Developed by the U.S. Army and the Marine Corps, the Javelin is a joint venture combining the technical expertise of Lockheed Martin and Raytheon. Each infantry battalion would rate eight Javelin gunners, vice the current 12 Dragon gunners. The Javelin is capable of engaging and destroying any armored target in the world today with a range in excess of 2,000 meters, compared to 1,000 meters for the Dragon. 
 
7 Aug - The Department of the Navy launched USNS Red Cloud (T-AKR 313) from the National Steel and Shipbuilding Company in San Diego, California. The ship was commissioned in honor of Corporal Mitchell Red Cloud, Jr. He served in the Marine Corps during World War II and the U.S. Army during the Korean War where he was awarded the Medal of Honor posthumously.
 
11 Aug - The Naval Air Systems Command again ordered a precautionary flight restriction for all Marine AV-8B Harriers after a recent engineering investigation of a 408A engine revealed improper installation of a cotter key used to secure the variable inlet guide vanes support structure. This suspension of flight operations came just as the majority of the Corps' Harrier fleet was returning to full flight status after being grounded in June following two mishaps. 
 
19 Aug - Three U.S. Sixth Fleet ships of the Kearsarge Amphibious Readiness Group (ARG) and 2,100 embarked Marines of the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit (Special Operations Capable) were ordered from Spanish ports to the vicinity of Istanbul, Turkey, in response to the aftermath of an earthquake two days earlier. Participation in Operation Avid Response included the rescue of survivors, providing medical care, and distribution of relief supplies. The ARG departed Turkey on 10 September after nearly three weeks of humanitarian assistance. 
 
___Sep - Brigadier General Timothy Ghormley became the Inspector General of the Marine Corps and would carry out the Commandant's new philosophy for no-notice operational readiness inspections. The no-notice inspections would provide an authentic glimpse of how prepared the Corps is. 
 
___Sep - The Marine Corps awarded the Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation a $5.46 million contract to build two prototype VTOL UAVs (vertical takeoff and landing unmanned aerial vehicles) known as Cypher II and dubbed Dragon Warrior by the Corps. The Cypher II is a high-speed, donut-shaped UAV that incorporates shrouded rotor technology that encloses the rotor system. 
 
8 Sep - The world's first production tiltrotor aircraft landed at the Pentagon's River Entrance before a crowd of officials and guests. The Commandant of the Marine Corps, General James L. Jones, and several members of Congress arrived aboard the V-22 Osprey as its 38-foot-diameter rotor blades transitioned from horizontal flight mode to helicopter mode in less than 20 seconds. 
 
15-16 Sep - Hurricane Floyd, a category three hurricane that passed through the Carolinas, sent thousands of military personnel as well as aircraft to higher ground. Some 7,000 recruits from Marine Corps Recruit Depot, Parris Island, South Carolina, deployed on 14 September to Marine Corps Logistics Base, Albany, Georgia, to avoid the potential wrath of the hurricane. In the aftermath of the storm, Marine units provided humanitarian assistance to local communities in what was called one of the worst agricultural disasters in the history of that region. Hurricane Floyd caused more than $9 million in damages to Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, alone. 
 
17 Sep - Major General Rathvon McClure Tompkins died in Lexington, South Carolina, at the age of 87. General Tompkins served in World War II, and the Korean and Vietnam Wars during his 36 years of active service. He was the recipient of numerous honors including the Navy Cross, Silver Star, Bronze Star, and two Distinguished Service Medals. 
 
20 Sep - 12 Nov - More than 6,500 U.S. service members participated in Exercise Crocodile 99 held in Australia. The U.S./Australian combined joint, air, land, maritime, amphibious, and special operations exercise involved approximately 4,000 Marines from III Marine Expeditionary Force, 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit, 3d Force Service Support Group, 3d Marine Division, and 1st Marine Aircraft Wing. 
 
22 Sep - George C. Scott, the former Marine staff sergeant who won an Oscar for playing Army General George S. Patton, died in Los Angeles at the age of 71. He joined the Marine Corps in 1945 for four years and had public relations duties at Marine Barracks, 8th and I, Washington, D.C. which included performing at parades and ceremonies as well as burial details at Arlington National Cemetery. 
 
30 Sep - Marines of the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit, based in Okinawa, Japan, deployed to the Timor Sea in order to provide heavy-lift support to the Austrailian-led International Forces in East Timor (INTERFET). Violence erupted across the province of East Timor in early September when its population voted overwhelmingly for independence from Indonesia, and militias opposed to the vote went on a rampage forcing over 250,000 inhabitants to flee the province. The Australian-named operation was called Operation Stabilise. 
 
30 Sep - When the fiscal year ended, the Marine Corps was the only service that made its recruitment goals bringing in 39,500 new Marines without lowering its standards. The Army was still 6,800 recruits short of its requirement to enlist 74,500 new soldiers. The Air Force missed its 33,800 mark by almost 1,800 airmen, and the Navy hit its mark but only after deciding to admit more recruits without high school degrees. 
 
___Oct - The Marine Corps took delivery of the first of 293 Kawasaki 650cc motorcycles that will replace the Kawasaki-manufactured KLR 250 motorcycles that have been in the operating forces since 1986. The M1030B1 dual-purpose military motorcycle, or KLR 650, would be intended for assignment to infantry, reconnaissance companies, artillery, military police, and communications units. 
 
1 Oct - Marine Corps Forces South activated at Miami, Florida. It would be a fully-staffed and operational component headquarters to the Commander-in-Chief, U.S. Southern Command whose mission is to promote democracy and stability in the Latin-American region. 
 
1 Oct - As of this date, black leather combat boots would not meet Marine Corps standards. Marines would be required to have a pair of the new waterproof boots that were lighter, more comfortable, and had more cushioning. 
 
9 Oct - The Marine Corps Heritage Foundation held it annual awards banquet at The Army and Navy Club in Washington, D.C. Among the 12 awards bestowed at the ceremony were: General Roy S. Geiger Award for the best Marine Corps aviation article went to Captain Russell Blauw. General Wallace M. Green, Jr. Award for a nonfiction book relating to Marine Corps history went to Colonel Charles T. Williamson, USMC (Ret.). Colonel Robert D. Heinl, Jr. Award for the best article related to Marine Corps history went to Joseph G. Dawson III. 
 
15 Oct - 2 Nov - More than 2,000 Marines of the 22d Marine Expeditionary Unit and Marine Aircraft Group 41 participated in Exercise Bright Star 99/00 held in Egypt. It was the largest U.S. Central Command exercise outside of the Persian Gulf and included more than 70,000 troops from 11 coalition nations. The main focus of the exercise was to improve readiness, interoperability, and to build professional relationships through realistic training. 
 
23 Oct - A new Molly Marine monument was dedicated at Memorial Park, Marine Corps Recruit Depot, Parris Island, South Carolina. The statue was the first of two bronze casts made from the original Molly Marine statue that stands at the corner of Elks Place and Canal Street in New Orleans. The original Molly Marine, standing 20 feet tall from the ground to the top of her cover, was the first monument in the United States of a woman in military uniform and was dedicated in New Orleans in 1943. 
 
24 Oct - Senator John H. Chafee died at the age of 77. Chafee was a Marine Corps veteran of World War II and the Korean War. In a testament to Chafee's four decades of public service, his funeral was attended by President Bill Clinton, more than half the U.S. Senate, and other dignitaries. It was announced that the 40th ship of the Arleigh Burke class of guided-missile destroyers, among the Navy's most technologically advanced ships, would be named after Chafee. 
 
24 Oct - The 24th Marine Corps Marathon was held in Washington, D.C. Former Marine and 1964 Olympic gold-medalist, Billy Mills, fired the starting pistol. He was the only American to ever win the Olympic 10,000-meter race. Team Marine, composed of eight Leathernecks from around the Corps, placed first in the year's U.S. Armed Forces team competition with a total time of 10:52:12. 
 
25 Oct - President Bill Clinton signed the $268 billion 2000 defense appropriations law that included one of the largest increases in military compensation 
(4.8 percent) in over a generation. The Marine Corps' portion of the bill was some $11.9 billion, $1.5 billion more than originally requested by the President. 
 
5 Nov - The Congressional Medal of Honor Memorial was dedicated at Riverside National Cemetery near Camp Pendleton, California. The ceremony commemorated past and present recipients of the nation's highest military award. Twenty-two of 31 living Marines who earned the Medal of Honor, along with 66 recipients from other military service branches, attended the dedication. It was a memorial service for 3,409 men and one woman whose names are etched into the memorial's walls. 
 
10 Nov - This date marked the Marine Corps' 224th Birthday. In his message, the Commandant of the Marine Corps, General James L. Jones, stated: "As the United States evolved into the role of superpower during the often-turbulent events of the last 100 years, Marines were ever present; exerting influence far beyond that expected of a Corps so few in number."
 
19 Nov - Marine Medal of Honor recipient, Major Joe Foss, a Marine fighter ace and former governor of South Dakota, kicked off the national Toys for Tots campaign. Ranking representatives from some of America's leading businesses gathered in Arlington, Virginia, where tens of thousands of dollars were collected on the spot for the program. The 1999 Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Campaign would collect 13,800,000 new toys and distribute them to 5,900,000 children. 
 
22 Nov - The titles "Chiefs of Staff" were changed to "Deputy Commandants" for Marine generals in charge of various divisions at Headquarters, U.S. Marine Corps. 
 
22 Nov - The last Marine infantry unit departed from Panama, closing another chapter in the 96-year history of U.S. military presence in the Central American country. The departure of Company B, 1st Battalion, 6th Marines, followed a gradual drawdown of U.S. forces that began more than four years ago.
 
23 Nov - The 1st Marine Expeditionary Brigade stood up at Camp Pendleton, California. The unit was originally activated in 1901 and was active during various time periods, most recently deactivating in 1994. It was commanded by Brigadier General James R. Battaglini. 
 
3 Dec - Secretary of the Navy, Richard Danzig, announced the cessation of live fire training on the island of Vieques, Puerto Rico. The decision would force training changes for naval battle groups including Marine expeditionary units. The announcement followed several months of talks between the Clinton Administration and the Department of Defense. 
 
7 Dec - The 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) departed East Timor for Southern California after completing its humanitarian mission in support of the Australian-led International Forces in East Timor. The 11th MEU took over the mission on 26 October from the 31st MEU. 
 
9 Dec - A CH-46 "Sea Night" helicopter from Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron 166 crashed 14 miles off the coast of Point Loma, California. It was attached to the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit and was participating in a routine training mission. The Marines on board the aircraft were part of a force recon unit. Eleven Marines were rescued, but six Marines and one sailor were missing at the time of the accident and declared dead the following day. 
 
17 Dec - The remains of nearly 20 Marines killed in action on Butaritari Island during World War II were repatriated at a ceremony at Hickam Air Force Base, Hawaii. The Marines were from the 2d Raider Battalion that participated in the Makin Atoll Raid during August 1942. The remains were believed to include those of Sergeant Clyde Thomason, the first enlisted Marine awarded the Medal of Honor during World War II. 
 
31 Dec - The strength of the U.S. Armed Forces was 1,367,838 of whom 171,154 were Marines. 

2000

___Jan - Marine jumpers and the V-22 Osprey teamed up for the first parachute operation from a tiltrotor aircraft. Marines from the 2d Reconnaissance Battalion, Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, participated in the developmental testing as the first personnel to deploy from an Osprey in free fall from 10,000 feet. 
 
1 Jan - The strength of the U. S. Armed Forces was 1,367,838 of whom 171,154 were U. S. Marines. 
 
1 Jan - The 3d Marine Expeditionary Brigade activated on this date at Camp Courtney, Okinawa. It was formerly active as the 3d Marine Amphibious Brigade during 1965 and 1971, and participated in the war in Vietnam. 
 
5 Jan - After flying for four months, the U.S. flag was lowered in a ceremony at the U.S. Forces, International Forces East Timor (INTERFET) compound, and the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit departed for Okinawa. The ceremony marked the turning over of the compound to Australian forces. The U.S. role in INTERFET was to assist other nation's military forces involved in Operation Stabilize primarily by providing helicopter support for the humanitarian mission. 
 
6 Jan - General Leonard F. Chapman, Jr., USMC (Retired), the 24th Commandant of the Marine Corps, died at the age of 86 in Fairfax, Virginia. He served as Commandant from 1968 to 1971 during the peak of the Vietnam conflict. In addition to his leadership prowess in combat, he is best known for guiding the Marine Corps through the social upheaval and anti-military atmosphere that characterized the late 1960s and early 1970s. 
 
6 Jan - The Colonel Charles Waterhouse Historical Museum, located in Toms River, New Jersey, officially opened with more than 95 paintings and two bronze sculptures on display. Colonel Waterhouse, USMCR (Retired) was the first and only named Marine Corps artist-in-residence. He served with the Marine Corps during World War II, and with the reserves from 1972 to 1992. 
 
15 Jan - Marines of the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit at Camp Hansen, Okinawa, were the first in the Pacific to receive the new Modular Lightweight Load Carrying Equipment (MOLLE) pack. The new pack would replace the All Purpose Light Weight Individual Carrying Equipment (ALICE) pack. The Department of Defense started looking to replace the ALICE pack in 1994. 
 
27 Jan - Brigade Service Support Group One was activated at Marine Corps Base, Camp Pendleton, California, to support the recently reactivated 1st Marine Expeditionary Brigade. 
 
31 Jan - The Clinton administration persuaded Puerto Rico to let the Navy resume training on its firing range at Vieques. The administration offered $90 million in aid, nearly $10,000 for each of the 9,300 people who live on the small island of Vieques. The deal resolved a dispute that disrupted training for the Atlantic fleet since April 1999, when a wayward bomb killed a civilian security guard and protesters occupied the lush hillsides and beaches where the Navy and Marine Corps have practiced invasions for nearly 60 years. 
 
___Feb - President Clinton submitted his fiscal year 2001 budget to Congress which began the several months of congressional deliberations and reviews before a final budget bill was drafted in the fall. The $277.5 billion dollar budget was up almost $10 billion from last year, increased military pay 3.7 percent and appropriated $60 billion for weapons procurement. The Marine Corps' share of the Department of Defense budget was $12.16 billion, with an additional $5.4 billion in the U.S. Navy budget for Marine aviation. 
 
18-20 Feb - More than 400 veterans representing the Marine Corps, Army, Navy, Air Force, and Coast Guard met in Washington, D.C. to commemorate the 55th anniversary of the battle for Iwo Jima. The reunion was sponsored by the Combat Veterans of Iwo Jima and brought together veterans in a series of events in the Capital area. Due to the age of its members, the veterans passed leadership of the organization to their children. The Department of Defense estimated that as many as 45,000 World War II veterans die each month.
 
21 Feb - Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps Thomas J. McHugh, USMC (Retired) died in Jacksonville, North Carolina, at the age of 80. He served as the third Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps from 1962 to 1965. He was a veteran of World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War. 
 
6 Mar - Major General Paul R. Tyler, USMC (Retired) died at Easton, Maryland, at the age of 86. He was a veteran of World War II and the Korean War. He became the 20th Quartermaster General of the Marine Corps before retiring in 1969. 
 
23 Mar - 4 Apr - Marines of the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit participated in Exercise Dynamic Response 2000 in Macedonia and Kosovo. The exercise tested NATO's ability to reinforce allied forces in Kosovo. Units from the U.S., Argentina, the Netherlands, Poland, and Romania participated in the exercise. Dynamic Response 2000 coincided with the anniversary of NATO's air campaign to end ethnic cleansing inside Kosovo. 
 
25 Mar - The U.S. Navy christened its newest amphibious assault ship, Iwo Jima (LHD 7) at Litton Ingalls Shipbuilding, Pascagoula, Mississippi. The Iwo Jima became the second amphibious warship named to honor the enduring legacy of the February 1945 battle. The first ship named for the battle, Iwo Jima (LPH 2), was the lead ship of the LPH class. It was built in the 1960s and decommissioned in 1993. 
 
31 Mar - Major Robert H. Dunlap, USMCR (Retired), a Medal of Honor recipient for heroism during the battle for Iwo Jima, died in Monmouth, Illinois, at the age of 79. 
 
31 Mar - Marine Barracks, 8th and I Streets, S.E., Washington, D.C. celebrated its bicentennial. The unit was activated on 31 March 1800 when a detachment of Marines from Baltimore, Maryland, established the barracks in Washington, D.C. Since 1801, the barracks has been home to the "President's Own", U.S. Marine Corps Band. 
 
31 Mar - On this date, two Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, battalions merged. The 2d Landing Support Battalion and the 8th Motor Transport Battalion merged to form the 2d Transportation Support Battalion. 
 
7 Apr - A ceremony at Virginia Military Institute (VMI) in Lexington, Virginia, marked the establishment of a permanent memorial to Lieutenant General Lewis B. "Chesty" Puller, USMC (Deceased). General Puller attended VMI where he would have graduated with the Class of 1921 if he had not enlisted in the Marine Corps in World War I. 
 
8 Apr - One of the Marine Corps' five MV-22 Osprey tiltrotor aircraft crashed during training operations near Tucson, Arizona, killing all 19 Marines on board. The Osprey was part of a group of four flying from Marine Corps Air Station, Yuma, Arizona, to carry out a nighttime noncombatant evacuation exercise. The $37 billion MV-22 program had its share of difficulties since its inception in 1981. The latest crash was the third crash in its history and the second one to have fatalities. Despite safety and budget concerns, the Corps maintained that the MV-22 would be essential as a replacement for the aging CH-46 helicopters and for its doctrine of operational maneuver from the sea. 
 
14 Apr - Fifty-five years after the end of World War II, Marines from the 6th Marine Division dedicated a memorial to their legacy at Quantico National Cemetery, Quantico, Virginia. More than 400 members of the 6th Marine Division Association and their families attended the event. The "Striking Sixth" was formed on Guadalcanal in 1944 and participated in the Battle for Okinawa. 
 
29 Apr - This date marked the 25th anniversary of the fall of Saigon. On 29 April 1975, thousands of U.S. personnel, foreign nationals, and "at-risk" Vietnamese were evacuated in Operation Frequent Wind from the U.S. Embassy by CH-46 helicopters in what would be the largest helicopter evacuation in history. Marine Security Guards Corporal Charles McMahon, Jr. and Lance Corporal Darwin Judge killed earlier in the day at the Defense Attache office compound at Tan Son Nhut, were the last U.S. service members to die as a result of enemy fire in Vietnam. It was 21 years after the first advisors arrived in Vietnam and nearly three years after the last combat troops withdrew from that country. 
 
___May - The U.S. Navy awarded Northrop Grumman a $93.7 million contract for the engineering and manufacturing development of the newest unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) for the Navy and Marine Corps. Called the "Fire Scout", the vertical takeoff and landing tactical UAV, or VTUAV, would replace the current Pioneer UAV system. 
 
4 May - Lieutenant General Ernest T. Cook, Jr. died at the age of 65 in South Carolina. A veteran of the Vietnam War, General Cook served as Commanding General, Marine Corps Combat Development Command/Commanding General, Marine Corps Base, Quantico, Virginia, before retiring in 1991. 
 
5 May - Marine Aviation Training Support Group (MATSG) at Pensacola, Florida, dedicated Building 52, the MATSG headquarters, in honor of the late Major General Marion E. Carl. General Carl was murdered on 28 June 1998 at his home in Roseburg, Oregon, while defending his wife from an intruder. 
 
5 May - Lieutenant General Michael J. Williams was nominated by President Clinton for the rank of general to serve as Assistant Commandant of the Marine Corps to replace General Terrence R. Dake. 
 
9 May - Captain Daniel M. Sullivan, commanding officer of Weapons Company, 3d Battalion, 8th Marines, and a native of Huntington, New York, was selected as the 1999 Leftwich Trophy recipient. The trophy, named after Marine Lieutenant Colonel William G. Leftwich, had been awarded annually since 1979 in recognition of outstanding leadership by a Marine captain serving with ground forces in the Fleet Marine Force.
 
9 - 23 May - Marines of the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit participated in Exercise Cobra Gold 2000 in Thailand. The 19th annual joint/combined military exercise, involved approximately 13,000 U.S. forces as well as forces from Thailand and Singapore. The exercise was designed to improve combat readiness and interoperability, and demonstrate the U.S.'s resolve to support the security and humanitarian interests of its allies in that region. 
 
13 May - A letter to Defense Secretary William S. Cohen from Republic of Korea Defense Minister Seong Tae Cho formally announced that his government would provide the Republic of Korea War Service Medal to eligible U.S. veterans of that conflict, or to their surviving next of kin. The medal was initially offered in 1951 to United Nations forces serving in Korea and adjacent waters, but was never issued.
 
16 May - Major General John R. "Russ" Blandford died at the age of 82 in Seabrook, South Carolina. He was a veteran of World War II and spent 30 years in the Reserve. He was chief council of the House Armed Services Committee before retiring in 1976. 
 
19 May - The remains of six Marines, listed as missing in action from the Mayaguez incident in Southeast Asia 25 years ago, were identified and returned to their families for burial in the United States. The 15 May 1975 incident involved the attempt to rescue an American cargo ship and its crew on a small island near Cambodia. It was considered the last battle of the conflict in Southeast Asia. 
 
19 May - 6 Jun - Approximately 15,000 men and women representing the armed forces of 14 North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) countries participated in Exercise Dynamic Mix 2000 in Greece. It was the largest NATO exercise of the year and involved more than 4,500 Marines of the newly formed 2d Marine Expeditionary Brigade. 
 
30 May - 6 Jul - Special Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force 3 participated with naval forces from six neighboring Pacific countries in the Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) exercise in the waters off Hawaii. It was the 17th in a series of RIMPAC exercises held since 1971. It was intended to enhance the tactical proficiency of participating units in a variety of combined operations at sea. Over 22,000 service members participated in what was considered the world's largest naval exercise. 
 
1 June - The first new Maritime Prepositioning Force (Enhanced) (MPF(E) ship, USNS 1stLt Harry L. Martin was launched from Jacksonville, Florida. The ship was named in honor of a Marine Medal of Honor recipient from the battle for Iwo Jima. The MFP(E) ships added a new dimension to prepositioning operations as they could contain enough supplies for a fleet battalion hospital and construction equipment for a complete expeditionary airfield. 
 
3 Jun - The U.S. Naval Marine Corps Reserve Center in Richmond, Virginia, was officially named the Lance Corporal Troy L. Gregory U.S. Naval Marine Corps Reserve Center to honor a Reserve Marine. In 1991, Lance Corporal Gregory was killed in action during the Persian Gulf War. 
 
12 Jun - On this date, 100 years ago, a battalion of Marines commanded by Colonel Robert L. Meade and Major Littleton W. T. Waller landed at Tangku, China, to restore order and protect Americans, foreigners, and Chinese citizens from the outrages of the Boxers, an anti-Christian, anti-Western Chinese sect. The Marines were part of an international relief effort in the Boxer Rebellion that culminated during the late summer of 1900. 
 
14-23 Jun - More than 18,700 service members from all branches of the U.S. Armed Forces along with military forces from Germany, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, and Canada, participated in Exercise Roving Sands. The exercise was the world's largest joint theater air and missile defense exercise. It was conducted at training ranges and sites throughout Virginia, North Carolina, Louisiana, New Mexico, Texas, and Nevada. 
 
17 Jun - General James L. Jones, Commandant of the Marine Corps, was the first passenger on board an MV-22 Osprey since it was grounded after a crash that killed 19 Marines near Tucson, Arizona, on 8 April. The flight was based from Naval Air Weapons Station, China Lake, California. Six days later, the Chief of Staff of the U.S. Air Force, General Michael E. Ryan, flew on board an Osprey with General Jones at the Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Maryland. 
 
21-29 Jun - Marines from the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit joined seven other NATO countries to participate in Exercise Cooperative Partner in Odessa, Ukraine. The simulated combined peacekeeping exercise included soldiers and Marines from Bulgaria, Ukraine, France, the United Kingdom, Romania, Turkey, and Greece. It was designed to improve understanding of peace support operations doctrine and training, and practice interoperability of maritime and amphibious forces. 
 
25 Jun - President Bill Clinton was the keynote speaker for the 50th Anniversary of the Korean War Commemoration Opening Ceremony in Washington, D.C. Thousands of veterans and their families gathered at the Korean War Memorial for ceremonies commemorating the start of the war. Numerous events were held in conjunction with the anniversary including the opening of a Korean War exhibit at the Marine Corps Museum in the Washington Navy Yard. 
 
28 Jun - MARADMIN 322/00 announced the establishment of the Kosovo Campaign Medal and Streamer to recognize the accomplishments of military service members and units that participated in, or were in direct support of, the Kosovo operations. 
 
4 Jul - President Clinton announced that the Navy would honor the late Admiral Elmo R. "Bud" Zumwalt, Jr. by naming its 21st century land attack destroyer (DD 21) after him. Zumwalt, who became the youngest man ever to serve as Chief of Naval Operations in 1970, died in Durham, North Carolina, on 2 January. 
 
12 Jul - The crash of an AV-8B Harrier II at Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center, Twentynine Palms, California, on 21 June resulted in the Naval Aviation (NavAir) Systems Command grounding of over 100 aircraft in the inventory. NavAir began an investigation of the Harrier's Rolls Royce F402-RR-408 engine, citing problems with its No. 3 bearing assembly. Harriers were also grounded on 17 February, 24 March, and 22 June of this year for various deficiencies. The last grounding marked the 28th time since 1991 that NavAir has issued such a standdown.
 
17-25 Jul - The Marine Corps Rifle Team stood up to the toughest shooting competition in the military at the 39th Annual Interservice Rifle Championship Matches at Marine Corps Base, Quantico, Virginia. Members of the Marine Corps team won six of the 14 matches that made up the interservice championships. Four wins were in individual matches and two were in team competitions. 
 
19 Jul - About 200 Marines from Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, set sail for South America to participate in a series of combined amphibious exercises in order to promote interoperability and cultivate closer ties with South American forces. The four-month Unitas cruise would land in eight countries on both sides of the continent. 
 
21-23 Jul - President Clinton attended a Group of Eight (G-8) summit on Okinawa. About 26,000 of the 47,000 American service members stationed in Japan were based on Okinawa. Prior to the summit, curfews and other restrictions on all military personnel serving on Okinawa were enforced as a result of a series of incidents involving U.S. service members and local residents. 
 
28 Jul - Major General Jonas M. Platt died at the age of 80 in Sterling, Virginia. The decorated veteran participated in World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War. He served in the Marine Corps for 30 years before retiring from active duty in 1970. 
 
___Aug - The Marine Corps began to test the new Year Out Program designed to give mid-level career officers (majors) an opportunity to see how corporations and businesses would deal with significant issues. The selected majors, three for the initial testing, would spend 12 months observing and participating with senior management in fields such as international finances, corporate leadership, long-range planning, integration of information technology, and logistical problems. 
 
5 Aug - More than 500 Marines from Camp Pendleton, California, arrived in Salmon-Challis National Forest, Idaho, to battle wildfires that would burn more than 156,000 acres. Upon arriving in Idaho, the Marines joined with Army units from Fort Hood, Texas, and National Guardsmen to fight the fires. Marines with Task Force Wildfire would fight fires for four weeks in what was called the largest wildfire in the country since 1988. 
 
17 Aug - Chaplain Lou Iasiello was frocked to the rank of rear admiral making him the first flag officer to serve as the Chaplain of the Marine Corps. Dual-hatted, Rear Admiral Iasiello was also the Deputy Chief of Chaplains. Since 1959, only Navy captains held the position of Chaplain of the Marine Corps. 
 
19 Aug - The Arleigh Burke-class destroyer DDG 79, named in honor of Marine Private First Class (PFC) Oscar P. Austin, was commissioned. PFC Austin was an African-American Marine who was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for gallantry in Vietnam in August 1969. 
 
20 Aug - Medal of Honor recipient, Major Douglas T. Jacobson, USMC (Retired), died at the age of 74 in Port Charlotte, Florida. He was awarded the Medal of Honor for heroism during the battle for Iwo Jima. After World War II, he re-enlisted in the Marine Corps and served in both the Korean War and Vietnam War before retiring as a major in 1967. 
 
20 Aug - During an August afternoon, 200 summers ago, Marine bandsmen mustered on a hill overlooking the Potomac River and began an enduring musical tradition. That first concert was conducted by Drum Major William Farr. The Marine Corps Band became known as "The President's Own" during the time of President Jefferson. To rave reviews, the band would continue to perform concerts for U.S. presidents, dignitaries, and the general public. 
 
22 Aug - President Clinton signed the Fiscal Year 2001 Defense Appropriations Act. The budget of $288 billion included a 3.7 percent pay raise for service members, effective 1 January. During the budget briefings, the Commandant of the Marine Corps emphasized the importance of readiness of the Operating Forces and the Marine Air Ground Task Force as the Corps' highest priority. 
 
25 Aug - The Marine Corps issued suspension orders for three models of aircraft after officials discovered unrelated problems with each type of aircraft. All 11 Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft, the CH-53E Super Stallion assault support helicopter, and the AH-1W Cobra attack helicopter were temporarily grounded. The groundings were the first of the year for the 165 Super Stallions and 198 Cobras which were among the Corps' safest aircraft. The most significant of the three actions was the grounding of the Super Stallions because it would likely take longer to get them back in the air. 
 
2 Sep - A Molly Marine statue was unveiled at Quantico, Virginia, during a ceremony attended by more than 750 people, many of whom were members of the Women Marines Association who held their annual convention in Arlington, Virginia, over the weekend. The ceremony featured many guest speakers including Major General John Cronin, Commanding General of Marine Corps Base, Quantico, and retired Lieutenant General Carol Mutter, the highest ranking woman Marine in the history of the Corps.
 
7 Sep - The Assistant Commandant of the Marine Corps, General Terrence R. Dake, retired from the Marine Corps at a ceremony at Marine Barracks, Washington, D.C. General Dake was retired after 34 years of service by General James L. Jones, Commandant of the Marine Corps, who presented him with the Distinguished Service Medal.
 
7 Sep - A study released by the National Academy of Sciences in Washington, D.C. examined the substances that were of greatest concern to Persian Gulf War veterans. The panel found no firm evidence linking battlefield toxins to long-term health problems. The panel's chairman suggested that future studies should examine the effects of battlefield stress on veterans. He noted that symptoms associated with Gulf War illnesses have been documented in the aftermath of every major U.S. conflict since the Civil War. 
 
8 Sep - Marine Colonel Terrence Wilcutt of Louisville, Kentucky, commanded the Space Shuttle Atlantis which left on its return flight to the International Space Station (ISS). Colonel Wilcutt, a former F/A-18 pilot, and the seven-man crew on STS-106 would dock at the ISS to transfer supplies for the first permanent residents when they arrive in November.
 
8-11 Sep - The Marine Corps Warfighting Laboratory conducted Millennium Dragon 00 as part of the Joint Forces Command's Millenium Challenge 00 joint experiment. Held in the Gulfport area of Mississippi, the exercise was conducted to continue the refinement of operational maneuver from the sea and ship-to-objective maneuver. 
 
13 Sep - The bodies of two Marine Corps aviators were recovered in the wreckage of an F/A-18D Hornet jet fighter that collided with another Hornet in the 
skies over Yuma, Arizona. The Marines died while conducting aerial combat maneuver training. The crashed Hornet was from Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 242 based at Marine Corps Air Station, Miramar, California.
 
14-16 Sep - More than 600 Marines from the 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit (Special Operations Capable) and Tarawa Amphibious Ready Group deployed to East Timor to assist in the medical, dental, and logistics efforts with Australian peacekeepers. 
 
18 Sep - The Boeing X-32A Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) concept aircraft conducted its first flight and flew 20 minutes from Palmdale to Edwards Air Force Base, California. The second flight took place on 23 September and lasted 50 minutes. The X-32A is the conventional take-off and landing version of Boeing's entry in the JSF competition. It would attempt to meet Marine Corps requirements for short takeoff and vertical landing by testing the X-32B variant of the JSF model in early 2001. 
 
21-24 Sep - The Marine Corps Aviation Association held its symposium in Washington, D.C. Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron (HMM) 265 was named the Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron of the Year. Lieutenant Colonel Andrew W. O'Donnell, Jr., commanding officer of HMM-265, was awarded the Alfred A. Cuningham Aviator of the Year Award. 
 
5 Oct - On this date, 18 AV-8B Harrier jets were grounded after four Engine Variable Inlet Control System (EVICS) failures were recorded. These 18 represented half of the total Harriers cleared after another problem was rectified. The Marine Corps asked the Joint Chiefs of Staff to remove all Harrier jets from Marine expeditionary units for a year due to the various maintenance problems. 
 
12 Oct - Congress approved a $309.8 billion defense budget that included a 3.7 percent all-ranks pay raise, targeted raises for mid-grade noncommissioned 
officers and petty officers, increases in basic allowance for housing, and major health-care improvements for retirees. 
 
12 Oct - The USS Cole (DDG 67) was disabled following a terrorist explosion that killed 17 sailors and wounded 39 while refueling in the harbor of Aden, Yemen. The ship was in transit from the Red Sea to Bahrain. Marines of the 2d Fleet Antiterrorism Security Team (FAST) were deployed to the Cole to assist in securing and investigating the area. The USS Cole was named after Sergeant Darrell Samuel Cole, USMC, who was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for gallantry in World War II. 
 
13 Oct - The Marine Corps announced that the V-22 Osprey was judged operationally effective and operationally suitable for land-based operations, validating eight months of comprehensive evaluation and moving the tilt-rotor aircraft a major step closer to full-rate production. The report stopped short of declaring the aircraft suitable for ship-based operations, pending additional evaluation of the blade-folding mechanism. 
 
17 Oct - Marines landed on the beaches of Vieques, Puerto Rico, for the first time in 18 months. More than 1,000 Marines from the 22d Marine Expeditionary Unit made an amphibious landing on the island for a supporting arms coordination exercise.
 
21 Oct - The 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit arrived off the coast of Pohang, Republic of Korea, to participate in Exercise Foal Eagle 2000. The two-week exercise was the 39th annual joint-combined exercise conducted between the Republic of Korea and U.S. forces on the Korean peninsula. It was designed to test rear area protection operations and major command, control, and communication systems. 
 
21 Oct - The Marine Corps Heritage Foundation annual awards dinner was held in Washington, D.C. Mr. James Bradley was this year's recipient of the General Wallace M. Greene, Jr. Award for best nonfiction book pertinent to Marine Corps history for his book Flags of Our Fathers. 
 
22 Oct - The Marine Corps Marathon celebrated its silver anniversary with a record number of 21,000 runners plus 2,500 Marines, sailors, civilian employees, and volunteers who provided support to the "People's Marathon" in the Washington, D.C. area. Richard Cochrane, a 27-year-old member of the U.S. Navy, was the overall winner of the marathon finishing with a time of 2:25:50. 
 
24 Oct - The Lockheed Martin entry in the Joint Strike Fighter program, the X-35A concept demonstrator, made its first flight in Palmdale, California. The X-35A, the conventional takeoff and landing variant, reached a height of 10,000 feet, where it performed various maneuvers at 250 knots. 26 Oct - The 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit completed the second and final phase of NATO's Exercise Destined Glory 2000, ending the unit's largest training evolution since its Mediterranean deployment began. The multi-national exercise was designed to improve joint amphibious operations in the southern Mediterranean region. 
 
1 Nov - Marine Corps officials announced that they were trying to reach about 10,000 former residents of on-base housing at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, who may have been exposed to contaminants in the water supply prior to 1985. The effort was made to support the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry to determine if exposure to drinking water may be related to specific health concerns in children that were conceived during the time of exposure. 
 
3 Nov - Marine Corps Security Force Command Center in Bangor, Washington, was dedicated Fulton Hall. Brigadier General James R. Battaglini, Commanding General of the 1st Marine Expeditionary Brigade at Camp Pendleton, California, was the guest of honor for the commemorative ceremony for the building named in honor of the late Lance Corporal Jeffrey Scott Fulton who was killed during a training exercise in 1989.
 
9 Nov - A statue of Lieutenant General John A. Lejeune was dedicated at the traffic circle on Holcomb and McHugh Boulevards at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. Various dignitaries attended the ceremony including Assistant Commandant of the Marine Corps, General Michael J. Williams and Lejeune's grandson, retired Colonel James Blair Glenn. The statue was funded by former Marine Corporal Patrick F. Taylor who also funded a similar statue that stands in Lejeune's hometown of New Roads, Pointe Coupee Parish, Louisiana. 
 
10 Nov - On this date the Marine Corps celebrated its 225th birthday. The Commandant of the Marine Corps, General James L. Jones, stated in his birthday message, " This year is especially meaningful. Fifty years ago, the free nations of the world united to stem aggression in Korea; 25 years ago, the long war in Vietnam drew to a close; and a short decade ago, America and her allies liberated Kuwait." 
 
11 Nov - This date marked the groundbreaking ceremony for the National World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C. President Clinton, former Senator Bob Dole, and Defense Secretary William S. Cohen joined with World War II veterans to begin the process of building the $140 million structure. It will honor the 
16 million Americans who served in the Armed Forces during World War II, the more than 400,000 who died, and the millions who supported the war effort at home. 
 
15 Nov - The 32nd Commandant of the Marine Corps, General James L. Jones, released the new vision and strategic goals for the Marine Corps called "Marine Corps Strategy 21". He promised Marines an overarching operational concept that would touch every aspect of the institution and would be reflected in doctrine, structure, training and education, and acquisition programs.
 
20 Nov - The Marine Corps' newest attack helicopter, the AH-1Z, was rolled out in a ceremony at Bell Helicopter Textron's Flight Research Center in Arlington, Texas. The AH-1Z was part of the H-1 Upgrade Program to remanufacture about 100 UH-1N transport helicopters and 180 AH-1W Super Cobra 
attack helicopters with common engines and flight dynamic components. 
 
25 Nov - Marines of the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit participating in Exercise Slunj 2000 in Croatia launched the first Javelin Missile ever overseas. The $90,000 missile was able to photograph its target and use that image to find and destroy the object. General Jones, Commandant of the Marine Corps, was there to observe the Javelin shoot. 
 
29 Nov - The Advanced Amphibious Assault Vehicle (AAAV) Program was approved by the Department of Defense Acquisition Board for entry into the next phase of its development, known as engineering and manufacturing development. Engineered by General Dynamics, the AAAV was on schedule to be delivered to Marine operating forces by fiscal year 2006, giving commanders longer range and more protection during amphibious operations. 
 
30 Nov - The Marine Corps announced that the remains of 19 World War II Marines killed in action on Butaritari Island (Makin Atoll) and listed as missing since August 1942 were recently identified and would be returned to the U.S. for burial. The Marines were with the 2d Raider Battalion and were killed during the 17-18 August 1942 raid on Japanese-held Butaritari Island. Lieutenant Colonel Evans F. Carlson commanded the Raiders during the raid and President Franklin D. Roosevelt's son, Captain James Roosevelt, was the operation's second-in-command. 
 
7 Dec - A national commemorative ceremony was held at Camp Pendleton, California, to mark the 50th anniversary of the Korean War and the Chosin Reservoir Campaign. The site was selected since Camp Pendleton had been home to the 1st Marine Division, which fought in Korea, and because it was accessible to several thousand Chosin veterans who attended the 50th anniversary reunion of the Chosin Few in San Diego during that week. The Commandant of the Marine Corps was host to many prominent speakers, Medal of Honor recipients, government leaders, other dignitaries, and Korean War veterans. 
 
11 Dec - Four Marines from Marine Medium Tiltrotor Training Squadron 204 were killed when an MV-22 Osprey aircraft crashed while on a night training mission near Jacksonville, North Carolina. This marked the fourth incident involving the Osprey since 1991. The first took place in June 1991; the second occurred at Quantico in July 1992 killing all seven on board; and the most serious incident occurred during April this year when 19 Marines were killed. 
 
27 Dec - Lieutenant General Herman Nickerson, Jr., decorated combat veteran of three wars, died at the age of 87 in Maine. The general served in the Marine Corps for 35 years, and commanded the III Marine Amphibious Force in Vietnam before retiring in 1970. 
 
31 Dec - The strength of the U.S. Armed Forces was 1,372,352 of whom 171,676 were U.S. Marines. 

2001

1 January - The strength of the U.S. Armed Forces was 1,372,352, of whom 171,676 were U.S. Marines.
 
9 January - The 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) began the Training in an Urban Environment Exercise (TRUEX) in Savannah, Georgia, to prepare for an upcoming deployment to the Mediterranean Sea. Local residents came out to witness this unique training, which included Marines from 24th MEU’s Maritime Special Purpose Force (MSPF) fast roping from CH-46 helicopters (HMM-266) onto the roof of a city building.
 
16 January - Ten years ago, the air war against Iraq began, transforming Operation Desert Shield into Operation Desert Storm. Of the 400,000 Americans participating in Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm, 92,990 were Marines, making it the largest number of Marines ever to participate in a single operation. The war began after Iraqi President Saddam Hussein invaded the small neighboring country of Kuwait and threatened to invade Saudi Arabia.
 
18 January - LtCol Odin “Fred” Leberman, commanding officer of Marine Medium Tiltrotor Training Squadron 204, home of the V-22 Osprey, was relieved of duty after allegations that he ordered subordinates to falsify aircraft maintenance records. An anonymous letter making the allegations was sent to the Marine Corps along with an audiotape on which, reportedly, Leberman is heard telling his Marines that the V-22 Osprey program was in jeopardy and they must lie to preserve it. In December, four Marines from Leberman’s unit were killed in a V-22 crash and earlier in the year, nineteen Marines were killed when the V-22 they were aboard crashed in Arizona. These mishaps created concern with regards to the safety of this unique, newly developed aircraft, which takes off and lands like a helicopter, but tilts its rotors forward to fly like an airplane.
 
19 January - MajGen James E. Livingston, USMC (Ret.), a Medal of Honor recipient, was honored with a room dedication at O’Bannon Hall, The Basic School, Marine Corps Base Quantico, Virginia. Livingston earned his Medal of Honor during fighting in Dai Do, Vietnam, on 2 May 1968.
 
19 January - The Secretary of the Navy approved “the awarding of the Prisoner of War Medal to eligible members of the Marine Security Guard Detachment, United States Embassy, Teheran, Iran, for the period 4 November 1979 through 20 January 1981.” On 4 November 1979, sixty-five Americans were taken hostage, including thirteen Marines. While four of the Marines were released two weeks later, the remaining nine were not released until the inauguration of President Ronald Reagan on 20 January 1981, suffering 444 days in captivity.
 
20 January - The Marine Corps participated in the inauguration of the 43rd President of the United States, George W. Bush. Marine Corps representatives who participated in the inauguration included the United States Marine Corps Color Guard, officers representing the Marine Corps staff, and a group of Marine reservists. The Marine Band, known as “The President’s Own,” was also on hand as they have been for every Presidential inauguration since President 
Thomas Jefferson’s inaugural in 1801.
 
22 January - The nearly month-long Hawaii Combined Arms Operation 2-01 “Kona Winds” kicked off in the Pohakuloa Training Area in Hawaii, with over 2,000 
Marine participants. During HCAO, the Marines honed weapons skills and tested combat readiness, as well as helped the community by clearing an elementary school yard for the placement of a playground, and assisting the Federal Fire Department to tame a brush fire.
 
30 January - The remains of a Marine Raider killed during the World War II assault on the Japanese logistics base of Makin Atoll were returned to his home in Tulare, California, for burial after almost sixty years. The Marine Raiders who survived the assault were unable to transport their dead and were forced to pay an islander to bury Cpl I.B. Eyres and the other eighteen Raiders who were killed. The remains were recovered in 1999 by a team from the Central Identification Laboratory in Hawaii.
 
31 January - The 1st Marine Division celebrated its 60th anniversary with a gathering of both veterans and active Marines who have ties to the unit. Activated in 1941, the oldest and most decorated division has been involved in many significant campaigns in Marine Corps history, from Guadalcanal during World War II to Operation Restore Hope, the 1992-3 peacekeeping mission in Somalia.
 
__February - Sailors can now earn the Fleet Marine Force Warfare Device, recently approved by the Chief of Naval Operations and the Commandant of the Marine Corps. The corpsman, religious program specialists, dental technicians, and select members of the aviation community who are eligible for the new device must serve with Marines in a type 2 (with Marines) or type 4 (overseas with Marines) capacity. Furthermore, each sailor is required to complete training in Marine battle skills and Navy and Marine Corps history, customs, and courtesies and meet unit-specific standards.
 
3 February - A TAV-8B Harrier II trainer crashed at MCAS Cherry Point during a conventional runway landing attempt, killing both Marines on board (Maj Todd S. Denson and Capt Jason K. Meiners) and raising more concerns about the Harrier, which has been plagued by mechanical problems and crashes over the past few years. The HQMC Aviation Division ordered all Harriers to stand down pending an investigation into the crash.
 
12 February - The numbers were released and by all counts the 53rd annual U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Campaign (held during the Christmas season of 2000) was the most successful in history setting new records for number of toys distributed (15,800,000) and number of children reached (6,300,000). Toys for Tots is one of the premier charitable endeavors sponsored by the Department of Defense, and the only one that reaches beyond the military community.
 
14 February - President George Bush concluded his three-day tour of east coast military installations as Commander-in-Chief. Bush gained military support during his campaign with the promise of “a billion dollars in salary increases.” This week he outlined the logistics of this campaign promise stating that $1.4 billion would go toward pay raises and incentives and an additional $4.3 billion would go to improving military housing and health care.
 
24 February - The guided-missile destroyer Shoup (DDG-86) was christened by Lt Col Catherine Chase, granddaughter of the vessel’s namesake. Gen David M. Shoup was a World War II Medal of Honor recipient and served as the 22nd Commandant of the Marine Corps from 1960 to 1963. The Shoup will be commissioned in 2002.
 
28 February - Following last years amendment of Combat Action Ribbon qualifications, approximately 1,200 Marines who served as a peacekeeping force in Kosovo following the air war in 1999 were the first to rate and receive the ribbon in its amended state. Formerly, award of the Combat Action Ribbon was reserved for troops who fell under hostile fire and returned fire. Rules of engagement during peacekeeping missions dissuade troops from returning fire as 
readily as they would on combat missions. In recognition of the danger faced by those who serve in peacekeeping missions, the ribbon criteria were relaxed. 
 
20 March - General James L. Jones, Commandant of the Marine Corps, handed out tan utility belts to the first company of Marine lieutenants coming out of 
The Basic School to complete martial arts training. The Marine Corps martial arts program has five belts, tan delineating the first level of training (26 hours of fundamentals). General Jones aims to have every Marine receive some level of training in martial arts by mid-2002.
 
26 March-6 April - 15,000 United States Marines, sailors, and soldiers joined Allied troops in Camp Pendleton, California, for Exercise Kernal Blitz. This year the biennial amphibious assault exercise focused on regional warfare and was limited to current capabilities. One highlight of the training was mine hunting and clearing.
 
30 March - The Marine Barracks, located at “8th and I” in Washington, D.C. commenced the celebration of its bicentennial year with a ceremony attended by General James L. Jones, Commandant of the Marine Corps and other general officers, and former barracks Marines. Founded in 1801, the location of the “oldest post of the Corps” was decided upon by President Thomas Jefferson and LtCol William Ward Burrows, Commandant of the Marine Corps, based on its proximity to the Capitol and Navy Yard. The 200th Anniversary celebration will continue through the year, concluding with the final Evening Parade of the summer on 31 August.
 
__April - Two hundred Marines from Marine Corps Air Station, Beaufort, South Carolina, VMFA(AW)-533 were sent to Kadena Air Base, Okinawa, to train to 
become the first Marine Expeditionary Unit (Special Operations Capable) F/A-18 Hornet squadron. Technology has made fixed-wing aircraft a valuable MEU(SOC) tool. The Hornets on-board electronic and visual sensors, combined with its high flying altitude allows it to provide real-time detailed aerial photographs to use in conjunction with on the ground situation reports. The Hornet is also able to communicate troop movements, as seen from above.
 
2-6 April - The 7th Marines conducted a mock emergency deployment during Strategic Mobility Exercise 2001. While seemingly mundane, there are a myriad of responsibilities a Marine must attend to upon notification of emergency deployment, which in some cases must be taken care of within forty-eight hours. The duties range from professional to personal: packing unit and personal equipment and gear, updating medical and dental records, writing last wills and testaments, packing up household belongings, storing personal vehicles, setting up a plan to deal with household expenses and mail delivery. This type of exercise not only tests the deploying units readiness, but also the readiness of the entire base’s support system, from personnel and administrative to legal and medical.
 
9-11 April - The 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit (Special Operations Capable) and Boxer Amphibious Ready Group provided civic and humanitarian aid to the fledgling country of East Timor, an island nation besieged by civil strife and violence since declaring independence from Indonesia two years prior. The Marines and sailors provided medical and dental care, transported supplies and resources, and helped in construction projects.
 
26 April-10 May - United States Marines joined forces from the Republic of the Philippines for the 17th annual joint-service exercise Balikatan 2001. This exercise, staged in the Philippines, not only allows Marines to cross-train in tactical maneuvers and amphibious assaults, but also to provide humanitarian assistance to towns lacking adequate medical and dental care.
 
27 April - The Navy awarded the Landing Craft, Air Cushioned (LCAC) service life extension program (SLEP) contract to Textron Marine and Land Systems. SLEP, at a cost of $35 million, includes main engine upgrades, installation of a new skirt system, hull and fuel modifications, and the installation of an enhanced communication/navigation suite, and affects the first two productions of the LCAC that are currently serving the fleet.
 
4 May - The Marine Corps Warfighting Lab, MCB Quantico, Virginia, conducted a computer simulated urban combat operation testing new high-tech equipment being evaluated by the lab’s Reconnaissance, Surveillance, and Target Acquisition (RSTA) project. Replying to Marines’ need for better intelligence in urban combat situations, the new equipment being tested included a small, portable unmanned aerial surveillance vehicle, a global positioning system wristwatch, lighter, more versatile vision equipment, and unattended ground sensors. The first phase of the RSTA project, which ends in July 2002, is expected to culminate in a battalion’s receipt of the equipment.
 
15-29 May - United States troops, including 2,000 Marines, joined forces with troops from Thailand and Singapore to participate in the annual Cobra Gold exercise. Cobra Gold, located in Thailand, includes drills in joint land, air, and naval operations, and amphibious and special operations.
 
18 May - Marine Sgt Mitchell Pray, along with the rest of the 23-member crew of the Navy surveillance plane downed in China on 1 April, was awarded the Air Medal for heroism. The crew also met with President Bush who thanked them for their service and for maintaining “class and dignity” during their eleven days of captivity in China.
 
18 May - President George Bush visited Marine Barracks, Washington, also known as 8th and I based on the intersection where the Barracks is located. The ceremonial units stationed there were on hand to greet the President, as was Corporal Chesty XI, the bulldog mascot of the Marine Corps.
 
20-25 May - Marine Corps Commandant General James L. Jones and Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps Alford McMichael held the second annual NCO Symposium. The weeklong Symposium brought thirty-six corporals and sergeants together at Marine Corps headquarters and culminated in the meeting with the Commandant and Sergeant Major. The primary issue raised and discussed was the waning attention paid to the maintenance of basic marksmanship skills.
 
22 May - HR 1696, a bill expediting the construction of a World War II memorial on the National Mall, passed through Congress and was expected to be signed into law by President Bush. This bill, which technically bars judicial review of the memorial’s planned design or site, comes in the wake of controversy surrounding the memorial’s planned location in the open vista between the Lincoln Memorial and Washington Monument.
 
24 May - Gordon R. England was sworn-in, becoming the 72nd Secretary of the Navy. England, nominated by President George Bush, served as vice-president of General Dynamics since 1997, and brings with him over thirty years of experience in the defense and technology industries. As Secretary of the Navy, England plans to “substantially improve our combat capability, enrich the lives of our people, swiftly incorporate technology across our total operation, and dramatically improve our business practices.”
 
29 May - President George Bush visited Camp Pendleton, California, making him the first sitting president to do so since Richard Nixon in 1971. Following a tour of the Marine Corps base, President Bush spoke to a captive audience, praising the successful base-wide energy conservation effort and calling the Marines deserving of “better housing, pay, and health.”
 
30 May - Commandant of the Marine Corps General James L. Jones approved the Installations 2020 plan, which deals with the long-range future of Marine Corps bases and training ranges. The vision, while not specifically discussing implementation, focuses on five key areas of concern: strategic base locations, training ranges and maneuver space, encroachment, base management, and quality of service. Navy Capt Thomas Calhoun, project manager for the Installations 2020 plan, compares the plan to the “big picture,” while future logisticians and installation commanders will map a fitting implementation course. 
 
5 June - General James L. Jones named Capt Jason L. Morris, commander of Bravo Company, Battalion Landing Team 1/5, 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit, winner of the Leftwich Trophy for Outstanding Leadership for 2000. The award is in honor of Lt Col William G. Leftwich, who was killed in Vietnam in November of 1970, and is awarded annually to a captain in a ground combat unit who exemplifies leadership, esprit de corps, and “through personal example, sets the standards that all other officers seek to emulate.”
 
6 June - A new Marine Corps uniform was given final approval by the Commandant of the Marine Corps. The new cammies, aside from being wash-and-wear, will feature a unique computer generated pixel camouflage design. The boots will be rough-texture leather that will not require shining. The new uniform, unique to the Marine Corps, was designed to be more practical and could be distributed to some Marines as early as December.
 
14 June - While on tour in Europe, President George Bush announced that the Navy would be pulling out of Vieques, a Puerto Rican island which serves as the Atlantic Fleet’s prime warfare training range. This decision comes in light of the intense Puerto Rican opposition to the military’s presence on Vieques. With a departure deadline of May 2003, the Center for Naval Analyses compiled a report that cites ranges in North Carolina and Florida as being jointly capable of replacing the valuable Vieques training ground.
 
18-28 June - 7,000 Marines and sailors participated in Kernal Blitz experimentation exercises at Camp Pendleton. The focus of the exercises, which became the largest experimentation and demonstration exercise ever, was to test computers and wireless equipment that may be made available as early as 2007.
 
27 June - General Dynamics and the Marine Corps came to a $712 million agreement for the manufacturing and testing of the new Advanced Amphibious Assault Vehicle (AAAV). General Dynamics will produce ten AAAVs for testing to be followed up in 2004 by the initial low-scale production of 100 more. Upon completion of the evaluation process on these 110 AAAVs, full-scale production will begin in 2007.
 
29 June - Five legendary Marine athletes were the first to be inducted into the new Marine Corps Sports Hall of Fame in a ceremony held at the Marine Barracks Washington. The inductees were Capt Gene Tunney, boxing legend famous for defeating Jack Dempsey in 1927 for the world heavyweight title; Col Frank Goettge, a Marine football player killed on Guadalcanal during World War II; Capt Ted Williams, Boston Red Sox right-fielder and World War II and 
Korean War fighter pilot; Cpl Lee Trevino, an outstanding golfer still competing on the Senior PGA Tour; and Capt Billy Mills, Olympic gold medallist in the 10,000 meter run.
 
30 June - The amphibious assault ship Iwo Jima was commissioned by the Navy in Pensacola, Florida, during a ceremony which included a keynote address by Gen Michael Williams, Assistant Commandant of the Marine Corps. Zandra Krulak, wife of former Commandant General Charles Krulak and sponsor of the LHD-7, officially named the ship by breaking a bottle of champagne across the bow. The Iwo Jima will serve as a multipurpose transport ship and is capable of serving as the command ship for any amphibious operation. The ship can support 3,200 crew members and troops and boasts a 600-bed hospital featuring several operating rooms.
 
6 July - An enhanced Marine Prepositioning Force ship was christened to honor GySgt Fred W. Stockham, a World War I hero who was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for sacrificing his life at the Battle of Belleau Wood. The Stockham will join the Military Sealift Command’s Maritime Prepositioning Force fleet, which is stationed at the island of Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean.
 
9 July - A CH-46 Sea Knight helicopter crashed near MCAS New River, North Carolina, killing three Marines and injuring two. The Marines, members of Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron 365, were practicing nighttime landings on a simulated ship deck positioned on the banks of the New River when the crash occurred approximately 500 yards short of the landing. An aircraft mishap board will investigate the crash to determine the cause.
 
12 July - The Veterans Affairs Committee, a benefits subcommittee of the House, passed legislation that would make Gulf War veterans suffering from fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, or chronic multisymptom illness eligible for monthly disability payments. While the diseases, in their vagueness, are still difficult to diagnose and the new bill does not change prohibitive existing law, the bill is expected to affect approximately 3,000 veterans whose claims were previously denied by Veterans Affairs.
 
13 July - 1st Lt Vernice Armour earned her wings, becoming the Marine Corps’ first African-American female aviator.
 
21 July - The late Marine Corps MajGen Marion E. Carl was among four aviators inducted in the National Aviation Hall of Fame, located in Dayton, Ohio. Gen Carl became the first Marine flying ace of World War II, achieving thirteen total kills at Midway and Guadalcanal. Other aviation accomplishments Gen Carl is noted for include setting the world’s airspeed record in 1947, becoming the first Marine helicopter pilot, and becoming the first to land a jet onto an aircraft carrier. Gen Carl was killed in June 1998 during an attack at his home.
 
24 July - Sculptor Felix W. de Weldon was named Honorary Marine, by Commandant of the Marine Corps Gen James Jones. de Weldon, 94, is the sculptor of the famous U.S. Marine Corps War Memorial, which he was inspired to sculpt after he, while serving at Patuxent Naval Air Station, Maryland, as a Navy Seabee, saw the famous World War II photograph of the second flag-raising on Mount Suribachi on the island of Iwo Jima. The 78-foot-tall memorial de Weldon was commissioned to create was nine years in the making and came at a cost of $850,000. President Dwight D. Eisenhower dedicated it on 10 November 1954.
 
27 July - President George Bush awarded the twenty-nine original Navajo “code talkers” of World War II Congressional Gold Medals. Four of the five living encoders attended the ceremony, held at the U.S. Capitol. The unique code, based on the Navajo language, was never deciphered by the Japanese and because of its success, remained classified until 1968. Between 1942 and 1945, the “code talkers” were involved in every Marine assault in the Pacific and thirteen were killed in action. 
 
__ August - The House Armed Services subcommittee on military installations suggested an alternative site for the planned Air Force Memorial in an effort to ease tensions between the Air Force and the Marine Corps over the existing planned memorials location. Currently planned for the same site as the U.S. Marine Corps War Memorial, Marines fear encroachment and competing ceremonies, which often take place at the Memorial. The new suggested site, still considered a prime location along a commuter and tourist route, is located on the opposite side of Arlington National Cemetery, near the Navy Annex.
 
13 August - On a mission to assist the United Nations in enforcing an oil embargo and other sanctions on Iraq, the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit comprised of approximately 2,200 Marines deployed from San Diego, California. The six-month deployment will take the Marines to the Western Pacific, Indian Ocean, and Persian Gulf.
 
10 August - Eight Marine Corps officers, including the commanding general of the 2d Marine Aircraft Wing MajGen Dennis T. Krupp, were charged in connection with the falsification of the maintenance records for the MV-22 Osprey tiltrotor aircraft. Commander of Marine Medium Tiltrotor Training Squadron 204 at MCAS New River, Col Odin “Fred” Leberman, was relieved of duty in January, immediately following the allegations. Col Leberman is also one of the eight charged with offenses that include dereliction of duty, making false official statements, and conduct unbecoming an officer.
 
17 August - Fifty-nine years ago, thirty of “Carlson’s Raiders,” men of the 2d Raider Battalion, died during the famous World War II raid on Makin Atoll. On this fifty-ninth anniversary, the remains of thirteen Raiders were buried at Arlington National Cemetery in a ceremony that drew over 1,000 surviving friends, family members, and Raiders, and other Marines and war veterans who came to honor the dead. The Raiders were buried with full military honors, including a moving 21-gun salute. The bodies of nineteen of the Raiders remained missing until 1999, when the location of where the island natives had buried them was discovered. Upon identification by the Army’s Central Identification Laboratory in Hawaii, the men returned home for proper burial. Six of the families opted for a private burial.
 
20 August - Citing the need to balance the interests of its citizens with those of the local military, the Board of Commissioners of Onslow County, North Carolina, passed a resolution asking that Camp Lejeune be removed from the list of possible replacement sites for the Puerto Rican island of Vieques, which currently serves as the United States military’s major live-fire exercise site. In June, President George Bush bowed to strong Puerto Rican opposition to the military presence on Vieques and announced that the military would withdraw by 2003. Currently, domestic locations, specifically on the lower east coast, are being considered as alternatives.
 
22 August - Capt Jacob Wiebe, 32, a Marine pilot with Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 115 in MCAS Beaufort, South Carolina, was killed when his F/A-18A Hornet jet crashed on the Barry Goldwater Training Range near Yuma, Arizona. Capt Wiebe was participating in low-altitude air combat training when the crash, which is under investigation, occurred.
 
24 August - President George Bush nominated Marine Gen Peter Pace to succeed Air Force Gen Richard Myers as the vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Currently serving as the chief of the U.S. Southern Command, overseeing U.S. military interests in Central and South America, Gen Pace will be the first Marine to serve as vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. He is slated to take over as vice chairman of the JCS on 1 October.
 
24 August - Commandant of the Marine Corps General James L. Jones announced a new approach to Marine Corps training abroad, which he has dubbed “lily-padding.” Concerned that the U.S. military may have overstayed its welcome in some parts of the globe, Gen Jones suggests a technique in which Marines travel to more countries, staying for a shorter period of time. For the military, “lily-padding” would create a wider variety of training situations, reduce 
the need for permanent overseas bases, and serve as an opportunity to foster new or better relationships with nations.
 
31 August - Secretary of the Navy Gordon R. England formally added the Kosovo Campaign Streamer to the official Battle Colors of the Marine Corps in a ceremony during the summers final Evening Parade at the Marine Barracks, Washington. Former President Bill Clinton approved the Kosovo Campaign Medal and streamer in recognition of the role U.S. troops played in the Balkans against the oppressive Yugoslavian government, headed by then-President Slobodan Milosevic. In 1999, Marines participated in the air campaign against Yugoslavia, and have since been an element of the peacekeeping forces in Kosovo. 
 
6 September - Arriving eight months late, the Marine Corps first production KC-130J aerial refueler airplane arrived at MCAS Cherry Point, North Carolina. The aircraft, manufactured by Lockheed Martin, went through months of redesign and development to solve problems with the refueler component, stalling delivery. The Marines at Cherry Point are expecting the remaining six to be delivered through October.
 
11 September - At 9:38a.m. a commercial airliner, piloted by terrorists, slammed into the Pentagon, the headquarters of the Department of Defense, located across the Potomac River from Washington, D.C. The Marines Corps was fortunate in that no Marines were killed or seriously injured in this attack. The weekend before, most of the Department of Marine Aviation, located directly above the site of impact, had been relocated to another area of the Pentagon, during building renovation. Immediately following the attack, Marines set up a “command center” under an overpass of Interstate 395, which runs beside the Pentagon. Working alongside fellow servicemen and civilians for hours, days, and weeks after the tragedy, Marines played a large role in the rescue and recovery effort. Including those aboard the hijacked Boeing 757, 189 men, women, and children were killed in the terrorist attack on the Pentagon.
 
12 September - For the first time ever, Marine aviators made combat air patrols in the skies over the Unites States. Washington, D.C. was guarded by F/A-
18 Hornets flown by pilots from Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 321 based out of Andrews Air Force Base in southern Maryland. The Marine pilots flew the 
patrols to give a days respite to the Washington Air National Guard, which had flown the patrols on 11 September, and resumed command of the mission on 
13 September.
 
13 September - Two of the eight officers originally facing charges related to falsification of MV-22 Osprey maintenance records received punitive letters of reprimand, while the charges against the remaining Marines, including the commanding general of the 2d Marine Aircraft Wing, MajGen Dennis T. Krupp, were dismissed following a series of Article 15 hearings. The Marines punished were Lt Col Odin “Fred” Leberman, former commander of Marine Medium Tiltrotor Training Squadron 204 at MCAS New River, North Carolina, and Capt Christopher Ramsey, the assistant aviation maintenance officer under Col Leberman. The Osprey scandal broke in January when an audio tape, allegedly capturing Col Leberman’s voice asking his Marines to “lie” about the Osprey’s readiness rates, was anonymously submitted to then-Navy Secretary Richard Danzig.
 
15-17 September - The 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit (Special Operations Capable) and Amphibious Squadron-1 spent three days in East Timor, providing humanitarian assistance. The Marines provided medical and dental care and supplies, food and clothing, and construction materials. In addition, they assisted with agricultural and building programs by moving pipes, food, and equipment to outlying areas. The East Timorese voted for a transition to independence from Indonesia in August of 1999, suffering the wrath of pro-integration militias that carried out many terrorist attacks in retaliation. Marines have deployed to East Timor since September of 1999 including participation in the multi-national peace-keeping mission, Operation STABILISE.
 
20 September – Prince William County, Virginia, donated 135 acres of land to the Marine Corps in an official ceremony, which also celebrated the lands planned use as the site of the Marine Corps Heritage Center. The Commandant of the Marine Corps, General James L. Jones, who officially signed the necessary land transfer paperwork, was present, as were many county and Marine Corps officials. The Heritage Center, slated to open on the Marine Corps’ 230th birthday (November 10, 2005), will ultimately house exhibits, a gift shop, a restaurant, classrooms, offices, a research library, archives, an Artifact Restoration/Preservation Facility, and a conference center.
 
28 September - The Marine Corps released its proposal to set up a brigade-size antiterrorism unit that would, because of its size, be more effective against overseas or domestic terrorist threats. Since the terrorist attacks of 11 September, the U.S. military faces restructuring in preparation for a unique war against unconventional enemies. The proposed unit would be made up of an existing infantry battalion, reinforced by members of the Marine Corps Security Force Battalion, the Marine Security Guard Battalion, and the Chemical/Biological Incident Response Force, each bringing a measure of expertise. Once trained and equipped, claimed a Marine official, the brigade could deploy in seventy-two hours.
 
1 October - The military police (MP) companies from 2d Marine Division, 2d Force Service Support Group (FSSG), and 2d Marine Air Wing will combine to form the most recent activation of a battalion-size MP unit. Previously serving in World War II and Vietnam, MP battalions are an asset to a Marine Air-Ground Task Force (MAGTF), performing battlefield duties that include law and order, maneuver and mobility support operations, area security, and internment operations. The 2d Military Police Battalion, 2d FSSG, will be based out of Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, and will support parts of the II Marine Expeditionary Brigade and area Marine Corps Provost Marshall’s Offices.
 
5 October - Michael J. Mansfield, an influential politician and former Marine, died of congestive heart failure. Mansfield, who served as an enlisted Marine from 1920 to 1922, was an outspoken defender of the Marine Corps while serving thirty-four years in the U.S. Congress. In 1951, he and Senator Paul Douglas introduced the Douglas-Mansfield Bill, which remains today the legal foundation for the present Marine Corps. Following his career in the Senate, Mansfield served eleven years as the ambassador to Japan, retiring in 1988.
 
8 October - Exercise Bright Star 01/02 kicked off in Egypt with more than 70,000 U.S. and allied troops involved in the desert training, which included live-fire exercises, capabilities demonstrations, and force-on-force war games. The attacks on 11 September strengthened the resolve and sense of purpose among the service members participating in Bright Star. While forming meaningful bonds with allied counterparts, Marines also issued a warning to those who stand in opposition to the United States—a sign posted at one of the secure entrances to the camp read “United States Marines: No Better Friend, No Worse Enemy.”
 
10 October - The 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit (Special Operations Capable) was deployed in Pakistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. While U.S. Central Command would not comment on the MEU’s specific role, it is trained to carry out a myriad of warfare missions and may have aboard a platoon of force reconnaissance Marines, which often work in tandem with the elite Navy SEALs.
 
18 October - The pilots of Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 251 became the first Marines known to be engaged in combat in Afghanistan, supporting Operation Enduring Freedom. The Marines, piloting Hornets, took off from the deck of the aircraft carrier Theodore Roosevelt, and flew several bombing missions, including the destruction of a bridge in northern Afghanistan. The Theodore Roosevelt, carrying approximately 195 Marines, was leading one of the 
four Navy battle groups in the region.
 
20 October - Two CH-53 Super Stallion helicopters from the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit (Special Operation Capable) were sent on a tactical recovery of 
aircraft and personnel (TRAP) to salvage the wreckage of a U.S. Army UH-60 Black Hawk that had crashed in Pakistan during a raid on a Taliban compound the night before, killing two Army Rangers. The Black Hawk was abandoned on the return trip when, while refueling, the Stallions came under enemy fire. The Marines returned to the refueling site and recovered the Black Hawk on 24 October. Deployed from Camp Pendleton, California, since August, The 15th MEU (SOC) has been in the Arabian Sea and surrounding areas since September, supporting Operation Enduring Freedom.
 
20 October - The latest destroyer in the Arleigh-Burke class, the Howard, was commissioned in Galveston, Texas. The ship, named in honor of Marine Corps Gy Sgt Jimmie E. Howard (1929-1993), will be tasked with conducting sustained combat operations at sea and is equipped with the latest in radar technology. The ship’s namesake was awarded the Medal of Honor for the leadership exemplified while engaged in a battle with the Viet Cong, in June of 1966, during the Vietnam War.
 
24 October - The Marine Corps’ Chemical/Biological Incident Response Force (CBIRF), in support of Operation Noble Eagle, conducted testing in buildings on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. So far, twenty-nine cases of inhalation anthrax have been confirmed and are thought to be the result of anthrax-laden mail sent to addressees in the Metro area, most notably to Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle, D-S.D. The CBIRF was created in 1995 after the sarin gas attack in Tokyo and is trained to respond to chemical and biological emergencies, detect the presence of a chemical or biological agent, and decontaminate affected areas. The unit spent two weeks in Washington, D.C. inspecting various buildings.
 
25 October - The Department of Defense awarded the $200 billion Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) engineering/manufacturing development contract to Lockheed Martin and its X-35 JSF demonstrator. The Marine Corps alone plans to purchase over 600 B-model short takeoff and vertical landing (STOVL) variants, which are expected to be operational by 2008.
 
28 October - 15,011 runners came to the nation’s capital to participate in the 26th annual Marine Corps Marathon. The 26.2-mile race looped through parts of northern Virginia and Washington, D.C. and runners passed landmarks such as the Pentagon, Washington Monument, Lincoln Memorial, and the Capitol. Retired Marine GySgt Farley Simon, who won the race in 1983 becoming the first and only Marine ever to do so, took the title home again this year with the winning time of 2:28:28. The 2001 Marine Corps Marathon was dedicated to the victims of the 11 September attacks.
 
29 October - The 4th Marine Expeditionary Brigade (Anti-terrorism) was reactivated after nearly ten years. Operating out of Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, the unit, built around an existing infantry battalion, will combine elements of the Marine Security Guard Battalion, Marine Security Forces Battalion, and Chemical/Biological Incidence Response Force (CBIRF). A Fleet Anti-terrorism Security Team (FAST) will also be formed to strengthen the 4th MEB (AT). Quickly responding to the need for such a force in the wake of the 11 September attacks, the Marine Corps formally announced plans to create an anti-
terrorism brigade 4 October.
 
3 November - The 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit (Special Operations Capable), aboard the USS Peleliu, flew its first bombing missions as part of Operation 
Enduring Freedom. Harrier pilots with the 15th MEU (SOC) dropped 500-pound MK-82 bombs on Taliban and al-Qaida targets located in southern Afghanistan. The 15th MEU (SOC) has been operating from the Arabian Sea since late September.
 
6 November - Marines with Company B, 1st Battalion, 23d Marines, the first reserve unit mobilized as part of Operation Enduring Freedom, left for Guantanamo Bay Naval Station, Cuba. The reservists were called upon to relieve two Fleet Anti-terrorism Security Team (FAST) platoons. While in Cuba, the reserve unit will provide security for the base and conduct training operations to hone specialized security skills. The FAST platoons, elite quick-response units, returned to their home base in Norfolk, Virginia, so that they could be deployable.
 
6 November - A team of independent researchers and engineers, led by NASA’s Ames Research Center in California, released the report based on a study of the V-22 Osprey, the tiltrotor aircraft which has been troubled by scandal and crashes, raising questions concerning its safety. The group concluded that “there are no known aeromechanics phenomena that would stop the safe and orderly development and deployment of the V-22.” The Osprey has been grounded for nearly a year.
 
10 November - Vice President Dick Cheney addressed the crowd at the 226th Marine Corps birthday celebration in Washington, D.C. He offered encouraging words and praise for the Marines saying, “We will prevail because of men and women like you.” Since the war on terrorism began, the Vice President has spent much of his time at an undisclosed location to preserve the line of presidential succession.
 
13 November - The 1st Battalion, 3d Marines, 3d Marine Division arrived in northern mainland Japan to participate in Forest Light 2001, a semiannual cold 
weather training exercise conducted in conjunction with soldiers from the 10th Infantry Regiment, 11th Division, Japanese Ground Self Defense Force. The exercise, during which the temperature dropped as low as twenty degrees Fahrenheit, has mainly served as a demonstration of weapons capabilities.
 
20 November - For the first time since the Gulf War, the Marine Corps initiated a limited stop-loss order, which will keep approximately 560 Marines on active-duty for an additional six-months. The order is in place so that the Marine Corps can fully man the reactivated 4th Marine Expeditionary Brigade (Anti-terrorism) and only affects those serving as an infantry officer, rifleman, infantry unit leader, or nuclear, biological and chemical defense specialist, who have an end-of-active-service date in or after January.
 
22-24 November - The 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU), aboard the Bataan amphibious ready group (ARG) arrived in the Arabian Sea after receiving orders to deploy from the Mediterranean Sea. The Bataan ARG joins the Peleliu ARG (with the 15th MEU on board) and brings the total number of Marines on standby in the area to more than 4,000. The 26th MEU deployed in late September, relieving the 24th MEU.
 
24 November - About 250 World War II Navajo Code Talkers were recognized for the vital role they played in defeating the Japanese in the Pacific campaigns and were awarded the Congressional Silver Medal. The medal, in commemoration of the Navajo code, which remained classified until 1968, depicts two Marine Navajo Code Talkers communicating a message by radio and also bears the Code Talkers emblem alongside the Marine Corps emblem. The original 29 Code Talkers were awarded Congressional Gold Medals earlier this year.
 
25 November - The 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) arrived in Afghanistan, becoming the first team of U.S. ground troops in the region. Encountering no resistance, the MEU began to set up a fortified base, “Camp Rhino,” at the airport just south of Kandahar, the last political and military stronghold of the Taliban regime. The mission, codenamed “Swift Freedom”, is to seal off the city of Kandahar, cutting off incoming supplies and escape routes. Within a day of securing the abandoned airstrip, Marine Cobra helicopters supported Navy F-14s in an attack in an armored convoy of fifteen enemy transport vehicles near the base.
 
28 November - The body of the first American killed in action inside Afghanistan since the bombing campaign began was recovered from a prison compound. Former Marine Mike Spann, 32, of McLean, Virginia, was a paramilitary trooper with the Central Intelligence Agency and was tasked with interrogating the Taliban and al-Qaida prisoners held at the compound. The prisoners rioted on Sunday, taking over the compound until quelled by northern alliance fighters and U.S. airstrikes. 
 
28 November - A statue honoring LtGen John Archer Lejeune, the 13th Commandant of the Marine Corps from 1920 to 1929, was dedicated at MCB Quantico, Virginia. The statue is one of six that will be dedicated to the famous Marine, including one that will go to the Marine Corps Base named for the general, Camp Lejeune, North Carolina.
 
1 December - The 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit (Special Operations Capable), aboard the USS Bonhomme Richard, departed Camp Pendleton, California, bound for the Arabian Sea. The approximately 2,200 Marines of the 13th MEU (SOC) are headed to join or relieve the 15th MEU, currently on the ground in Afghanistan.
 
4 December - Elements of the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) landed in Afghanistan to reinforce the 15th MEU at Camp Rhino located south of Kandahar. Marines from the 26th MEU’s Combined Anti-Armor Team (CAAT) and Light Armored Reconnaissance (LAR) bring with them valuable weaponry and combat vehicles.
 
7 December - Marines from the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit (Special Operations Capable), carrying out Operation Swift Freedom, were involved in combat while blocking the roads leading away from the Taliban-controlled city of Kandahar. A firefight erupted when the first vehicle of a seven-vehicle convoy attempted to run the roadblock, was restrained by concertina wire, and the passengers fired upon the Marines who approached the vehicle. The rest of the convoy headed in another direction and air support was called in to destroy the targets. The Marines suffered no casualties, while enemy casualty estimates varied between fifty and 150.
 
10 December - CIA agent Mike Spann, the first American killed in action in Afghanistan, was buried in Arlington National Cemetery. Spann served as an artillery captain in the Marine Corps until two years ago, when he decided to join the CIA’s Special Activities Division, where he served as a paramilitary officer. President Bush, at the family’s request, signed a waiver to allow Spann interment at Arlington National Cemetery. Spann was buried with full military honors, carried out by Marines from the Marine Barracks, Washington.
 
12 December - Under a bill introduced into the House, military tribunals for accused terrorists would be overseen by Congress and steps would be taken to safeguard the defendants’ rights. The bill places some restraints on the executive order signed by President Bush last month, which authorized military tribunals. The issue of military tribunals as a means of trying suspected terrorists has been hotly debated in legal, political, military, and social circles.
 
13 December - Rep. Walter B. Jones (R-N.C.), a member of the House Armed Services Committee, along with bipartisan co-sponsors, submitted a bill that would alter the title of one of the U.S.’s highest military officials. Rep. Jones’ bill calls for the title of “Secretary of the Navy” to be changed to “Secretary of the Navy and Marine Corps.” MCASs Cherry Point and New River, as well as Camp Lejeune, are located in Rep. Jones’ district.
 
13 December - Elements of the 15th and 26th Marine Expeditionary Units (MEUs) arrived in the city of Kandahar, the last Taliban stronghold, and secured the city’s airport. The MEUs traveled for almost two weeks (from Camp Rhino) to reach the city and were greeted by the anti-Taliban forces that had defeated the regime and flushed the Taliban out of the city just days before. Before converting the airport facilities into command centers, the Marines had to clear the area of shrapnel, glass, and explosive hazards. Four days later, a Marine Color Guard at the airport raised an American flag, which had been sent and signed by rescue workers and friends and family of victims of the 11 September terrorist attacks and the attack on the USS Cole.
 
16 December - A Marine lost his foot and two more were wounded when a previously undetected land mine was detonated. While on patrol at the Kandahar airport, Cpl Chris Chandler stepped on a plastic anti-personnel mine, which had eluded a previous sweep with a metal detector. So far, disposal crews have detonated nine caches of weapons, including rockets, grenades, and guns.
 
17 December - The United States Embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan, was ceremoniously reopened as Marines raised the same flag that was hastily lowered by Marine Security Guards when the embassy was evacuated on 31 January 1989. In 1979, U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan, Adolph Dubs, a former Marine and World War II veteran, was kidnapped and murdered by extremists. While barely operational for the next ten years, it was evacuated in preparation for the 
tumult expected to f