Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Col. George E. "Bud" Day, USAF (Ret.)

Noah's note: The Vietnamese in Hanoi did more to Bud Day than confinement. If he is truly the author of this letter, he had to be out of his mind. How could an American human being play such a big part (lying) in keeping John Kerry from being elected over George W. Bush as president? Shame on Day and the other lousy Republicans who contributed in making the American voters believe the lies. I hope Day and the others who lied about John Kerry's war record sleep well at night. We would not have had a war in Iraq if Kerry had been president and we would not have had 4,052 American dead with more that 40,000 wounded. And the United States would not owe another additional $5 trillion of borrowed money.
Letter from Col. George E. "Bud" Day regarding John Kerry Col. George E. "Bud" Day October 4, 2004 Col. George E. "Bud" Day
Posted on Monday, October 04, 2004 8:45:49 PM by GeekDejure

Dear Joe:
The major issue in the Swiftboat stories is, and always has been, what John Kerry did in 1971 after he returned from Vietnam. Kerry cast a long dark shadow over all Vietnam Veterans with his outright perjury before the Senate concerning atrocities in Vietnam. His stories to the Senate committee were absolute lies..fabrications..perjury..fantasies, with NO substance.
That dark shadow has defamed the entire Vietnam War veteran population, and gave "Aid and Comfort" to our enemies..the Vietnamese Communists. Kerry's stories were outright fabrications, and were intended for political gain with the radical left..McGovern, Teddy and Bobby Kennedy followers, Jane Fonda, Tom Hayden, and the radical left who fantasized that George McGovern was going to be elected in 1972. Little wonder that returning soldiers from Vietnam were spit upon and castigated as "baby killers".
A returned war hero said so. Kerry cut a dashing figure as a war hero, lots of medals, and returned home because of multiple war wounds..even a silver star. His Senate testimony confirmed what every hippie had been chanting on the streets.."Hey hey LBJ..How many kids did you kill today"????? He obviously was running for political office in 1971.
Until Lt. John O' Neil, himself a Swifboat commander, spoke out before the 1972 elections against Kerry's outright deceptions, there was no one from the Swiftboat scene that could contradict Kerry's self serving lies.
I was a POW of the Vietnamese in Hanoi in 1971, and I am aware that the testimony of John Kerry, the actions of Jane Fonda and Tom Hayden, and the radical left; all caused the commies to conclude that if they hung on, they would win North Vietnamese General Bui Tin commented that every day the Communist leadership listened to world news over the radio to follow the growth of the anti-war movement. Visits to Hanoi by Jane Fonda and Ramsey Clark gave them confidence to hold in the face of battlefield reverses. The guts of it was that propaganda from the anti-war group was part of their combat strategy.
While the Commies were hanging on, innumerable U.S. Soldiers, Sailors, Marines and Air Force members were being killed in combat. Every battle wound to Americans after Kerry's misdirected testimony is related to Kerry's untruthfulness. John Kerry contributed to every one of these deaths with his lies about U.S. atrocities in Vietnam. He likewise defamed the U.S. with our allies and supporters. His conduct also extended the imprisonment of the Vietnam Prisoners of War, of which I was one. I am certain of at least one POW death after his testimony, which might have been prevented with an earlier release of the POWs.
My friend and room mate Senator John S. McCain denounced the Swiftboat video by John O'Neil. I have a different take on the Swiftboat tape and disagree with my good friend John.
John Kerry opened up his character as a war hero reporting for duty to the country with a hand salute...and his band of brothers..of which he was the chief hero. Most of his convention speech was about John Kerry..Vietnam hero, and his band of brothers. John Kerry's character is not only fair game, it is the primary issue. He wants to use Bill Clinton's "is", as an answer to his lack of character.
The issue is trust. Can anyone trust John Kerry?? "Never lie, cheat or steal" is the West Point motto. When a witness perjures himself at trial, the judge notes that his testimony lacks credibility. Should we elect a known proven liar to lead us in wartime??
I draw a direct comparison of General Benedict Arnold of the Revolutionary War, to Lieutenant John Kerry. Both went off to war, fought, and then turned against their country. General Arnold crossed over to the British for money and position. John Kerry crossed over to the Vietnamese with his assistance to the anti-war movement, and his direct liaison with the Vietnamese diplomats in Paris. His reward. Political gain. Senator..United States. His record as a Senator for twenty years has been pitiful. Conjure up, if you will, one major bill that he has sponsored.
John Kerry for President? Ridiculous. Unthinkable. Unbelievable. Outrageous.
Col. Geo. "Bud" Day, Medal of Honor, Vietnam POW 1967- 1973, USMC- USA- USAF- Attorney 1949-2004

Friday, April 25, 2008



On November 10, 1775, the Continental Congress meeting in Philadelphia passed a resolution stating that "two battalions of Marines be raised" for service as landing forces with the fleet. This resolution, sponsored by John Adams, established the Continental Marines and marked the birth date of the United States Marine Corps. Serving on land and at sea, these first Marines distinguished themselves in a number of important operations, including their first amphibious raid into the Bahamas in March 1776, under the command of Captain (later Major) Samuel Nicholas. Nicholas, the first commissioned officer in the Continental Marines, remained the senior Marine officer throughout the American Revolution and is considered to be the first Marine Commandant. The Treaty of Paris in April 1783 brought an end to the Revolutionary War and as the last of the Navy's ships were sold, the Continental Navy and Marines went out of existence.

Following the Revolutionary War and the formal re-establishment of the Marine Corps on July 11, 1798, Marines saw action in the quasi-war with France (1798-1800), landed in Santo Domingo (1800) and took part in many operations against the Barbary pirates along the "Shores of Tripoli" (1801-1815).

Marines participated in numerous naval operations during the War of 1812, as well as participating in the defense of Washington at Bladensburg, Maryland (1814) and fought alongside Andrew Jackson in the defeat of the British at New Orleans (1815). The decades following the War of 1812 saw the Marines protecting American interests around the world, in the Caribbean (1821-1822), at the Falkland Islands (1832), Sumatra (1831-1832), and off the coast of West Africa (1820-61), and also close to home in the operations against the Seminole Indians in Florida (1836-1842).

During the Mexican War (1846-1848), Marines seized enemy seaports on both the Gulf and Pacific coasts. While landing parties of Marines and sailors were seizing enemy ports along the coast, a battalion of Marines joined General Scott's army at Pueblo and marched and fought all the way to the "Halls of Montezuma," Mexico City.Marines served ashore and afloat in the Civil War (1861-1865).

Marines served ashore and afloat in the Civil War (1861-1865).

In World War I the Marine Corps distinguished itself on the battlefields of France as the 4th Marine Brigade earned the title of "Devil Dogs" for heroic action at Belleau Wood, Soissons, St. Michiel, Blanc Mont, and in the final Meuse-Argonne offensive (1918).More than 30,000 Marines had served in France and more than a third were killed or wounded in six months of intense fighting.

During the two decades before World War II, the Marine Corps began to develop in earnest the doctrine, and organization needed for amphibious warfare.The war had cost the Marines nearly 87,000 dead and wounded and 82 Marines had earned the Medal of Honor.

Marine units were taking part in the post-war occupation of Japan and North China, studies were being undertaken at Quantico, Virginia, which concentrated on attaining a "vertical envelopment" capability for the Corps through the use of helicopters. Landing at Inchon, Korea in September 1950,More than 25,000 Marines had been killed or wounded during the Korean War.

On November 10, 1775, the Continental Congress meeting in Philadelphia passed a resolution stating that "two battalions of Marines be raised" for service as landing forces with the fleet. This resolution, sponsored by John Adams, established the Continental Marines and marked the birth date of the United States Marine Corps. Serving on land and at sea, these first Marines distinguished themselves in a number of important operations, including their first amphibious raid into the Bahamas in March 1776, under the command of Captain (later Major) Samuel Nicholas. Nicholas, the first commissioned officer in the Continental Marines, remained the senior Marine officer throughout the American Revolution and is considered to be the first Marine Commandant. The Treaty of Paris in April 1783 brought an end to the Revolutionary War and as the last of the Navy's ships were sold, the Continental Navy and Marines went out of existence.

Following the Revolutionary War and the formal re-establishment of the Marine Corps on July 11, 1798, Marines saw action in the quasi-war with France (1798-1800), landed in Santo Domingo (1800) and took part in many operations against the Barbary pirates along the "Shores of Tripoli" (1801-1815).

Marines participated in numerous naval operations during the War of 1812, as well as participating in the defense of Washington at Bladensburg, Maryland (1814) and fought alongside Andrew Jackson in the defeat of the British at New Orleans (1815). The decades following the War of 1812 saw the Marines protecting American interests around the world, in the Caribbean (1821-1822), at the Falkland Islands (1832), Sumatra (1831-1832), and off the coast of West Africa (1820-61), and also close to home in the operations against the Seminole Indians in Florida (1836-1842).

During the Mexican War (1846-1848), Marines seized enemy seaports on both the Gulf and Pacific coasts. While landing parties of Marines and sailors were seizing enemy ports along the coast, a battalion of Marines joined General Scott's army at Pueblo and marched and fought all the way to the "Halls of Montezuma," Mexico City.

Marines served ashore and afloat in the Civil War (1861-1865). Although most service was with the Navy, a battalion fought at Bull Run and other units saw action with the blockading squadrons and at Cape Hatteras, New Orleans, Charleston, and Fort Fisher. The last third of the 19th century saw Marines making numerous landings throughout the world, especially in the Orient and in the Caribbean area.

Following the Spanish-American War (1898), in which Marines performed with valor in Cuba, Puerto Rico, Guam, and the Philippines, the Corps entered an era of expansion and professional development. It saw active service in the Philippine Insurrection (1899-1902), the Boxer Rebellion in China (1900). and in numerous other nations, including Nicaragua (1899, 1909-1910, 1912-1913), Panama (1901-1902, 1903-1904), Dominican Republic (1903-1904, 1916-1924), Cuba (1906-1909, 1912, 1917), Mexico (1914), and Haiti (1915-1934).

While Marine units were taking part in the post-war occupation of Japan and North China, studies were being undertaken at Quantico, Virginia, which concentrated on attaining a "vertical envelopment" capability for the Corps through the use of helicopters. Landing at Inchon, Korea in September 1950, Marines proved that the doctrine of amphibious assault was still viable and necessary. After the recapture of Seoul, the Marines advanced to the Chosin Reservoir only to see the Chinese Communists enter the war. After years of offensives, counteroffensives, seemingly endless trench warfare, and occupation duty, the last Marine ground troops were withdrawn in March 1955. More than 25,000 Marines had been killed or wounded during the Korean War.

In July 1958, a brigade-size force landed in Lebanon to restore order there. During the Cuban Missile Crisis in October 1962, a large amphibious force was marshaled but not landed. In April 1965, a brigade of Marines landed in the Dominican Republic to protect Americans and evacuate those who wished to leave.

The landing of the 9th Marine Expeditionary Brigade at Da Nang in 1965 marked the beginning of large-scale Marine involvement in Vietnam.The Vietnam War, longest in the history of the Marine Corps, exacted a high cost as well with over 13,000 Marines killed and more than 88,000 wounded.In July 1974 Marines aided in the evacuation of U.S. citizens and foreign nationals during the unrest on Cyprus.

Less than a year later, in August 1990, the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait set in motion events that would lead to the largest movement of Marine Corps forces since World War II. Between August 1990 and January 1991 some 24 infantry battalions, 40 squadrons, and more than 92,000 Marines deployed to the Persian Gulf as part of Operation Desert Shield.

On Oct. 7, 2001, Marines invaded Afghanistan and are still fighting there to this day.

In December 1992, Marines landed in Somalia marking the beginning of a two-year humanitarian relief operation in that famine-stricken and strife-torn nation. In another part of the world, land and carrier-based Marine Corps fighter-attack squadrons and electronic warfare aircraft supported Operation Deny Flight in the no-fly zone over Bosnia-Herzegovina.

On March 19, 2003, Marines went ashore in Iraq. That war is still ongoing.

Closer to home, Marines went ashore in September 1994 at Cape Haitian, Haiti, as part of the U.S. force participating in the restoration of democracy in that country.

Combining a long and proud heritage of faithful service with the leadership and resolve to face tomorrow's challenges will keep the Marine Corps the "best of the best."

Monday, April 14, 2008

Vietnam War ended in 1975
In late April 1975, the outskirts of Saigon were reached by the North Vietnamese Army (NVA). On April 29th, the United States knew that their token presence in the city would quickly become unwelcome, and the remaining Americans were evacuated by helicopter or fixed-wing aircraft.

The surrender of Saigon was announced by the South Vietnamese president, General Duong Van Minh: "We are here to hand over to you the power in order to avoid bloodshed." General Minh had become South Vietnam’s president for two days as the country crumbled.

On April 30th, the North Vietnamese Army took over Saigon with little resistance, and it was quickly renamed Ho Chi Minh City in honor of their revolutionary leader, Ho Chi Minh, who had died several years before. Later in the day President Minh announced: "I declare the Saigon government [of South Vietnam] is completely dissolved at all levels."

America withdraws from Vietnam
U.S. commander General William Westmoreland was in charge of all operations during the Vietnam War until 1968. He commanded units full of young men placed in an alien environment, with no clear front in the conflict. Life in the jungle became a horrific experience for U.S. troops. Illegal drugs filtered their way into the daily routine of many servicemen, quickly corrupting any morale that had once been present.
Furthermore, for the first time, people back home began to resist the draft, and demonstrations against the war became a regular occurrence. Many Vietnam veterans also took part in the efforts to stop the war, which personalized the issue. The U.S. government could now see that the war was a "tar baby," and began to make plans to extricate its forces.
After great efforts by the U.S. to withdraw without losing the war, and the establishment of a peace agreement with North Vietnam in Paris on January 27th, 1973, American soldiers began to leave Vietnam for good. At that point, the war had left a black mark on humanity. Of the more than three million Americans who had served in the war, more than 58,000 were dead, and some 1,000 were missing in action. Approximately 150,000 Americans were seriously wounded.
North Vietnam's commitment to cease hostilities, as spelled out in the Paris Agreement, was hollow. Even as the U.S. military was rapidly departing the region, the NVA was plotting various strategic game plans to take the south.
Fall of Saigon and Operation Frequent Wind
By April 25th, 1975, after the NVA captured Phuoc Long city, Quang Tri, Hue, Da Nang and Hue, the South Vietnamese Army had lost its best units, more than a third of its men, and nearly half its weapons. The NVA were closing in on Saigon, which forced President Ford to order an immediate evacuation of American civilians and South Vietnamese refugees in Operation Frequent Wind.
The operation was put into effect by secret code. Remaining citizens, refugees, and officials were to stand by until the code was released. "White Christmas" was the code, which was broadcast on the morning of April 29th. Refugees and Americans then "high-tailed" it to designated landing zones.
U.S. Marine and Air Force helicopters, flying from offshore carriers, performed a massive airlift. In 18 hours, more than 1,000 American civilians and nearly 7,000 South Vietnamese refugees were flown out of Saigon.
South Vietnamese pilots also were permitted to participate in the evacuation, and they landed on U.S. carriers. More than 100 of those American-supplied helicopters (more than $250,000 each) were then pushed off carrier decks to make room for more evacuees.
At 4:03 a.m., April 30th, 1975, two U.S. Marines were killed in a rocket attack at Saigon's Tan Son Nhut airport. They were the last Americans to die in the Vietnam War. At dawn, the remaining marines of the force guarding the U.S. Embassy lifted off.
Only hours later, South Vietnamese looters ransacked the embassy as Soviet-supplied tanks, operated by North Vietnamese, rolled south on National Highway 1. On the morning of April 30th, Communist forces captured the presidential palace in Saigon, which ended the Second Indochina War.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

U.S. Marines captured capital of Baja California Sur
On April 13, 1847, the United States Marines captured La Paz, Calif., during the Mexican War. Fighting ended when U.S. Gen. Winfield Scott and his American troops occupied Mexico City on Sept. 14, 1847. The Mexican War between the United States and Mexico began with a Mexican attack on American troops along the southern border of Texas on April 25, 1848

Canada, to our north border has been a good neighbor, but Mexico to our south border has not been anything to write home about. The people of Mexico, with Mexican government blessing, are still on the attack and invading our shores from the north and south. The 20 million of them are illegal immigrants. They are bringing illegal drugs into our country, and robbing our health care centers which is costing the American taxpayers billions of dollars each year.

It is time to call on the United States Marine Corps once again. This below is the city the US Marines captured. Marines shoot with real bullets.

La Paz, Baja California Sur
La Paz is the capital of the Mexican state of Baja California Sur and an important regional commercial center. The city had a 2005 census population of 189,176 persons. Its surrounding municipality, which is the fourth-largest municipality in Mexico in geographical size, reported a population of 219,596 persons living on a land area of 20,275 km? (7,828.2 sq mi).

La Paz was first inhabited by neolithic hunter-gatherers at least 10,000 years ago who left traces of their existence in the form of rock paintings near the city and throughout the Baja peninsula. On May 3, 1535, Hernn Corts arrived in the bay by La Paz and named it Santa Cruz; he attempted to start a colony but abandoned his efforts after several years due to logistical problems. In 1596 Sebastian Vizcaino arrived, giving the area its modern name, La Paz.

La Paz is featured in the John Steinbeck novel The Pearl (1947) and mentioned extensively in his travelogue The Log from the Sea of Cortez (1951). The city is also the setting of the children's novella The Black Pearl (1967) by Scott O'Dell, chosen as a Newbery Honor Book in 1968.

During the summer the cooling Coromuel winds, a weather phenomenon unique to the La Paz area, blow during the night from the Pacific over the Peninsula and into the Bay of La Paz.

La Paz's population has greatly increased from the 2000 census and now stands at approximately a quarter of a million people. This growth is largely because the city enjoys one of the highest standards of living and quality of life in Mexico, with average wages in the range of $27 USD per day, whereas minimum wages in the country overall stand at closer to $4.25 USD per day. Many of the poorer southern Mexican States' workers often have to work for half of that. For this reason many migrate to La Paz, and other areas in Baja California Sur, to enjoy a better life and be able to remit portions of their incomes to their families in their home states.

Eco-tourism is by far the major source of tourism income in La Paz as people come to enjoy its marine wonders, as well as its diverse and often unique terrestrial species endemic to the region. There are some 900 islands and islets in the Gulf of California with 244 now under UNESCO protection as World Heritage Bio-Reserves and the Espiritu Santos Islands group, which borders the south eastern portion of the Bay of La Paz and are considered the crown jewels of the islands of the Gulf (also referred to as the Sea of Cortez/Mar de Cortes), the primary tourist destination of the area. Its diving, snorkeling, and kayaking are considered second to none.

La Paz is also favored by water enthusiasts for its marinas (Paraiso del Mar, Costa Baja Marina Marina de La Paz, Palmira Marina, and Marina Sur, soon to open) as well as its four boatyards, marine supply stores and cruiser club activities. The surrounding waters are full of adventure for experienced captains. Novice captains enjoy its nearby island coves for day or overnight trips along with a wealth of experienced sailors and boaters willing to share their expertise.
Industries include silver mining, agriculture, fishing and pearls. Tourism is also an important source of employment for this coastal community.

La Paz recently became a perfect place for retirement, along with its marinas a new set of developments are emerging(e.g.:Paraiso del Mar, Ventanas la Paz,...), this is due it's relative closeness to USA(2 hours flight from L.A.), the almost always warm weather, the beautiful nature around the place, the services the city offers and the relative peace find in this small city;

La Paz is served by Manuel Mrquez de Len International Airport. Airlines flying into La Paz include Alaska, Delta, Alma, Interjet, AeroMexico, Mexicana, and AeroCalifornia. Two ferry services operate from the port of Pichilinque outside the city, connecting the Baja California peninsula to the mainland at Mazatln and Topolobampo, near Los Mochis.

La Paz is the state capital and center of commerce, as well as the home of the three leading marine biology institutes in Latin America (UABCS CIBNOR & CICIMAR), largely because it sits on the Gulf of California which is the most bio-diverse body of water in the world. It also supports several other university level institutes of learning. The combination of those makes La Paz one of the best educated per capita in the nation and thus gives it the largest per capita number of environmental experts/investigators in the country, and likely in one of the highest in the world.

Friday, April 4, 2008

First Marine Division
The Old Breed
The Old Breed fits me well as I now have lived long past my 80th birthday. I was indeed a member of the 1st Marine Division during World War II, and the Korean War. During those battles of war, I was blessed to be with American heroes who were proudly wearing the uniform of the United States Marine Corps. ~Noah H. Belew

The 1st Marine Division was activated aboard the battleship Texas on 1 February 1941. It is the oldest, largest, and most decorated division in the United States Marine Corps, with nine Presidential Unit Citations (PUCs).
The 1st Marine Division is comprised of Headquarters Battalion, the 1st, 5th, 7th, and 11th Marine Regiments, 1st Reconnaissance Battalion, 1st and 3d Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalions, 1st Tank Battalion, and 3d Assault Amphibian Battalion. These units represent a combat-ready force of more than 22,000 Marines and Sailors.
Division regiments were in existence as early as March 8, 1911, when the 1st Marines was formed at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. It saw action in Haiti in 1915, in the Dominican Republic in 1916, and throughout the Caribbean during World War I. The 5th Marines was created in Vera Cruz, Mexico July 13, 1914. It served in Santo Domingo in 1925 and participated in 15 major engagements during World War I. These included Belleau Wood, Chateau and St. Mihiel. On Aug. 11, 1917, 7th Marines was activated in Philadelphia, Penn. It spent the duration of World War I in Cuba and was disbanded after the war. It was reactivated in 1941. The 11th Marines was formed in January 1918 at Quantico, Va., as a light artillery regiment. The regiment went to France as an infantry unit, providing a machine gun company and a guard company. Decommissioned and reactivated twice between world wars, the regiment again served as infantry in Nicaragua. Re-formed in 1940 as a full-fledged artillery unit, 11th Marines joined 1st Marine Division.
Medal of Honor winners for heroism on Guadalcanal were, MajGen Alexander A. Vandegrift, Col. Merritt A. Edson, 2ndLt. Mitchell Paige and Platoon Sergeant John Basilone.
The Guadalcanal campaign in 1942 was the first major American Pacific campaign in World War II and the first time the 1st Marine Division conducted combat operations as a division. The Division’s actions during this operation won it the first of three World War II PUCs. 1st Marine Division also won PUCs for the battles of Peleliu and Okinawa. Three weeks after Japan surrendered, the Division was dispatched to North China for occupation duty. While in China, the Division had numerous encounters with the Chinese Communists.
“The Old Breed,” as the Division became known, provided the Pusan Fire Brigade when war broke out in Korea and then was chosen to land at Inchon on 15 September 1950. The Division subsequently fought into the mountains around the Chosin Reservoir. The Chinese Communists suffered more than 37,500 casualties trying to stop the Marines’ march out of the “Frozen Chosin.” These battles, and those that followed between April and September, earned the Division its fourth, fifth, and sixth PUCs.
The 2d Battalion, 1st Marines deployed to Guantanamo Bay for two months in 1962 during the Cuban Missile Crisis. More than 11,000 Marines of the 5th Marine Expeditionary Brigade participated in the naval blockade which forced the withdrawal of the missiles from Cuba.
A landing zone is hastily prepared for a Marine helicopter and guarded by members of the 7th Marine Regiment during Operation Stockton near Da Nang, Vietnam in July 1967.
In 1965, 7th Marines participated in the first major engagements for American ground troops in South Vietnam. March 1966 saw 1st Marine Division Headquarters established at Chu Lai. By June, the entire Division was in South Vietnam; its zone of operation – the southern two provinces of I Corps – Quang Tin and Quang Ngai. Between March 1966 and May 1967, the Division conducted 44 named and unnamed operations. Major engagements included Operations HASTINGS and UNION I and II. In these operations, 1st Marine Division units decisively defeated the enemy. During the 1968 Tet Offensive, the Division was involved in fierce fighting with both Viet Cong and North Vietnamese Army elements. It successfully beat back and decimated every enemy assault in its area of operations, pursuing the enemy into his sanctuaries. It was during this period that the Division earned its seventh and eighth PUCs.
After six hard years, the 1st Marine Division returned to California in 1971, closing another chapter of dedicated service to Corps and country. In 1975, the Division supported the evacuation of Saigon by providing food and temporary shelter at Camp Pendleton for Vietnamese refugees as they arrived in the United States.In 1990, the 1st Marine Division formed the core of the force sent to Southwest Asia in response to Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait. During Operation DESERT SHIELD, the Division provided the ground combat element of I Marine Expeditionary Force in Saudi Arabia against the Iraqi threat. In 1991, the Division fought alongside the 2d Marine Division under I MEF and with the rest of the Coalition Forces in Operation DESERT STORM. In 100 hours of offensive ground combat, 1st Marine Division destroyed the enemy in its path as it led the breakthrough to Kuwait City.
Immediately following the Persian Gulf conflict, the Division sent units to assist in disaster relief efforts in Bangladesh (Operation SEA ANGEL) and the Philippines (Operation FIERY VIGIL). In 1992, 2d Battalion, 9th Marines and the 15th MEU, brought relief to famine-stricken Somalia. The final phase of the operation involved the transition from a U.S. peacemaking force to a United Nations peacekeeping force. U.S. Marine involvement in Operation RESTORE HOPE officially ended 27 April 1993 when the humanitarian relief sector of Mogadishu was handed over to Pakistani forces. Elements of the Division ultimately participated in the extraction of U.N. forces from Somalia.
In early 2003, the Division deployed by air and sea to link up with its advance headquarters deployed to Kuwait under I MEF. In a high speed attack, and in conjunction with 1 U.K. Armored Division and the 3d U.S. Army Infantry Division, the Marines and Sailors conducted the deepest penetrating ground operation in Marine Corps history. Attacking to Baghdad alongside 3d ID and eventually seizing Saddam Hussein’s hometown of Tikrit, the Division again showed the Marine Air-Ground team in action. The 1st Marine Division conducted stability operations in Baghdad, Tikrit, and then in south-central Iraq from May to October 2003. The Division then returned home to Camp Pendleton and 29 Palms and prepared for redeployment. These actions earned the Division its ninth PUC.
In March 2004, the 1st Marine Division relieved 82d Airborne Division in Iraq’s Sunni Triangle. During Operation IRAQI FREEDOM II, the Division conducted counter-insurgency operations throughout the Al Anbar Province, culminating in Operation AL FAJR which liberated the insurgent stronghold of Fallujah and enabled the first legitimate elections to occur in Iraq. During February and March 2005, 1st and 2d Marine Divisions successfully conducted the largest relief in place in the history of the Marine Corps.
Today 1st Marine Division is a multi-role, expeditionary ground combat force. The Division is employed as the ground combat element (GCE) of I MEF or may provide task-organized forces for assault operations and such operations as may be directed. The 1st Marine Division must be able to provide the ground amphibious forcible entry capability to the naval expeditionary force (NEF) and to conduct subsequent land operations in any operational environment.
Today, the 1st Marine Division continues to support the Global War On Terrorism by providing fully trained units and personnel in support of on-going Operation IRAQI FREEDOM/Operation ENDURING FREEDOM, MEU(SOC), and UDP requirements.
The state of the art MOUT facility provides a realistic urban training environment for thousands of 1st Marine Division Marines.
Headquarters Battalion provides command and administration for 1st Marine Division. Within the battalion are a headquarters and service company, military police company, a communications company, and a truck company. The division headquarters is located in the 11 Area, while Headquarters Battalion and its companies are located in the 33 Area. The 1st, 5th and 7th Marines each consist of one headquarters company and four infantry battalions, with one battalion deployed outside the continental United States at all times. The infantry battalions are the basic tactical units that the regiment uses to accomplish its mission of locating, closing with and destroying the enemy by fire and close combat. The 1st and 5th Regiments are located in the 53 and 62 Areas, respectively. The 7th Marines is located in Twentynine Palms, Calif.
The 11th Marines consists of a headquarters battery and four artillery battalions. The 11th Marines is the primary source of fire support for 1st Marine Division in amphibious assault and subsequent operations ashore. It provides direct and general fire support to frontline units as required by the infantry commanders. The 11th Marines’ organic weapon is the 155 mm howitzer (M198 towed howitzers). The Las Pulgas (43) Area is home to 11th Marines, 1/11 and 2/11. Las Flores (41) Area is home to 5/11 and 3/11 is located at Twentynine Palms.
1st Tank Battalion was activated on 1 November 1941 and is located at Twentynine Palms, Calif. Its mission is to provide combat power to 1st Marine Division in the form of amphibious and/or Maritime Preposition Forces; conduct operations ashore utilizing maneuver, armor protected firepower, and shock action in order to close with and destroy the enemy. As a separate battalion, 1st Tank Battalion is responsible for providing armored assets as well as anti-armor systems and staff expertise in their employment. The 1st Tank Battalion is equipped with the M1A1 Abrams Battle Tank.
The 1st Combat Engineer Battalion performs many specific functions while fulfilling its mission of providing both tactical and logistical engineer support to 1st Marine Division. The battalion shares San Mateo (62) Area with 5th Marines.
The mission of 3d Assault Amphibian Battalion is to transport the surface assault elements of the landing force from amphibious shipping to inland objectives during the amphibious assault and to provide support to mechanized operations ashore. The amphibious assault vehicles are primarily used to transport personnel in tactical operations. The battalion is located in Camp Del Mar (21) Area.
The Division has two light armored reconnaissance battalions. The mission of a LAR battalion is to conduct reconnaissance, security and economy of force operations, and within its capabilities, limited offensive or delaying operations that exploit the unit's mobility and firepower. 1st LAR Battalion was activated 31 May 1985 and is located at Las Flores (41) Area. 3d LAR Battalion was activated on 11 September 1986 and is located at Twentynine Palms.
The Division reactivated the 1st Reconnaissance Battalion on 8 June 2000 but the battalion was originally activated on 1 March 1937. It now calls the Margarita(33) Area home. Before 1944 Marine Recon was primarily scout/sniper units. In April 1944 a two company amphibious reconnaissance battalion was formed with the mission of conducting beach reconnaissance and hydrographic survey. Today the Battalion performs a wide variety of tactical and special operations in support of the Division.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

The heritage of the United States Army Chaplaincy reaches far back into the dim recesses of history. In times of turmoil, trouble, and terror mankind always looks to religion and religious figures for comfort. War is no exception. Both ancient and modern societies have turned to religion in periods of conflict. Communities always have extended the comfort of religion to those serving in the heart of battle. From what we know of societies prior to written history, it is likely that priests and other religious figures petitioned gods and spirits for victory in war.

The Old Testament often refers to priests accompanying troops into battle. "And it shall be when ye are come nigh unto the battle," states the Pentateuch, Deuteronomy 20:2-4, "that the priest shall approach and speak unto the people." Another well-known example is found in Joshua 6:2-5. In this passage, seven priests, each carrying a ram's horn, march around the walls of Jericho daily for six days. They are followed by other priests carrying the Ark of the Covenant and finally the troops. On the seventh day, the procession marched around the city seven times while the priests blew the horns. After the sound of the horns, the troops shouted, whereupon the walls collapsed and the city was taken.

Megiddo in 1479 BC, is one of the earliest great battles of which we have detailed knowledge. There, the Egyptian army of the warrior Pharaoh Thutmose III defeated a Syrian force. Egyptian records describe Thutmose in religious terms as he led the final charge, "like Horus armed with talons." One modern writer, Thomas Mann, envisioned the exalted high priest of Atum-Re at the battle wearing the "priestly leopard skin...draped around his shoulders, with the head and forepaws hanging down his back, the hind-paws crossed on his breast...(with) other insignia of his state: a blue scarf, and a complicated gold ornament with rams heads...."

For the Romans the presence of a priest before each battle was vital. Sacred animals had to be killed ritually. Then, their livers were removed and read by the priests for favorable or unfavorable omens. In Imperial Rome the priests proclaimed war upon the advice of the Senate. Thus every war declared was both just and holy.

The modern chaplaincy's roots are essentially medieval Catholic in origin. The Council of Ratisbon (742 AD) first officially authorized the use of chaplains for armies, but prohibited "the servants of God" from bearing arms or fighting. The word chaplain itself also dates from this period. A fourth century legend held that a pagan Roman soldier called Martin of Tours encountered a beggar shivering from the cold and gave him part of his military cloak. That night he had a vision of Christ dressed in the cloak. As a result, Martin was converted to Christianity. He devoted his life to the church, and after his death was canonized. Martin of Tours later became the patron saint of France and his cloak, now a holy relic, was carried into battle by the Frankish kings. This cloak was called in Latin the "cappa". Its portable shrine was called the "capella" and its caretaker priest, the "cappellanus". Eventually, all clergy affiliated with military were called "capellani," or in French "chapelains", hence chaplains.

Religious figures in this era often went into battle as fighting men with the army. Archbishop Turpin (Tilpinus of Rheims), whose exploits are to be found in The Song of Roland, is a notable example of the warrior priest. In l066 at the Battle of Hastings, Bishop Odo, the younger half-brother of William the Conqueror, fought with a heavy blunt mace since as a religious man he had forsworn the use of edged or pointed weapons.

In 1175, the Synod of Westminster (England) prohibited the clergy, "to take up arms nor to go about in armor," but this was not generally heeded until the 14th century. By the time of the Reformation in the 16th century, the chaplain's duty was defined "to have 'care of souls,' and it is well if he meddle with no other business, but make that his only care."

The conflict between the religious function and the military role can be seen in the career of the patron saint of military chaplains. Designated as such by Pope John Paul II in 1984, the Franciscan Saint John Capistrano was born in Italy in l386. Besides serving the Church as a diplomat, he also led part of the Christian army at the Battle of Belgrade in l456. This European tradition extended to colonial America where the chaplain both fought alongside and ministered to his neighbors in the militia. For the militia chaplain in early colonial American that heritage of active fighting and ministering was a living one. The tradition, however, was slowly changing as European culture adjusted to fit a new religiously diverse world.

Between l607 (the founding of Jamestown) and l775, a span of l68 years, a unique civilization emerged in North America as waves of European immigrants (mainly from the British Isles, but also from the Germanies) were transformed, often in a generation, into Americans. This extended period of change also saw an almost continual war with the Native American tribes, and against the French for the political and economic control of the continent. The chaplain, clad in his suit of black broadcloth, accompanied the colonial militia into battle from the very beginning. The colonial forces were locally recruited and when they went to war they took with them one of the local ministers, who usually, but not always, was one of the younger and more physically able of the clergy.

It was an age when religion played a much more important role in the lives of Americans. For the colonist, the minister was a powerful figure of authority within the community. Not even a minor military operation was planned or carried out without making sure that a minister was available to counsel and motivate the colonial fighting man. The Reverend Samuel Stone of the Church of Christ in Hartford, Connecticut, is an example of the power and authority exercised by the chaplain. The Reverend Stone was the first military chaplain to begin his active field service in English America. Earlier chaplains accompanied expeditions to the New World. Stone served in the Pequot War of l637, the first large scale Indian conflict in New England.

Increase Mather wrote in his Early History of New England that when the military leaders of an expedition against the Pequots disagreed on how to attack the tribe -- either to make a direct assault up the Thames River (in what is now Connecticut), or to attack in a roundabout manner by Narragansett Bay (now Rhode Island) - - the Reverend Stone was asked to give his judgment. "He retired himself from them aboard the Pink [a type of sailing vessel]," wrote Mather, "the remaining Part of the Day, and the following Night was not wanting in spreading the Case before the Lord, and seeking his Direction...." Stone told the expedition's commanders the next morning that it was God's will that the Narragansett Bay route be taken. This was done and the Pequots were defeated.

As European settlers found their lives changed because of the different economic and geographical conditions in America, so too did their way of making war. By 1675, when the next great Indian war, King Philip's War, was fought, the heavy Cromwellian armor from Europe which was worn during the Pequot War had disappeared; the colonists adopting a form of warfare more suitable to the forest, emphasizing both speed of movement and surprise. Chaplains such as Joseph Dudley, Nicholas Noyes, and Samuel Nowell served with the colonial militias in this war, and they and other chaplains were present at all the battles in the conflict, such as the Great Swamp fight in l675, and the Battle of the Falls in l676.
From 1689 to 1763, the colonists took part in four great wars against the French: King William's War (l689-l697); Queen Anne's War (l702-l7l3); King George's War (l744-l748); and the French and Indian War (l754-l763). In each of these conflicts, chaplains accompanied their men on the campaigns and in battle. In the first large-scale colonial expedition against the French in l690, five chaplains saw service with the 2500 colonial militiamen who sailed under Sir William Phips in an unsuccessful attack upon Quebec. Nine chaplains went with the colonial force that captured the French fortress of Louisbourg (often referred to as the "Gibraltar of North America") in l745. In the last and greatest of the colonial conflicts, the French and Indian War, some thirty-one chaplains served: "Nearly half were from Massachusetts, and a fourth were on duty with Pennsylvania regiments. Congregationalists were the most numerous, with a considerable number of Presbyterians and some Episcopalians." During this conflict a young George Washington realized the necessity that every military unit have access to a chaplain. For two years during this war he vainly tried to persuade Governor Dinwiddie of Virginia to authorize a chaplain for his command, which was then guarding the Virginia frontier. He wrote:

The want of a chaplain does, I humbly conceive, reflect dishonor upon the regiment, as all other officers are allowed. The gentlemen of the corps are sensible to this, and did propose to support one at their private expense. But I think it would have a more graceful appearance were he appointed as others are.

The colonial chaplain's duties varied. Ministers preached on Sundays but held prayers daily. They visited the sick and wounded. And, even though there was no formal organization of chaplains, those representing various denominations would meet, share preaching duties and support each other with intellectual companionship, prayer, and fellowship.

The history of Army chaplains throughout our War for Independence is a chronicle of sacrifice and service. Colonial clergymen frequently raised military units from their own congregations or localities, and often led them in battle. They bore their suffering and knew hunger, loneliness, imprisonment, defeat, wounds, death, and ultimate victory. The story of the Revolutionary War chaplains begins at Lexington Green and Concord Bridge on 19 April l775. A number of New England clerics served at Concord: William Emerson, later to die while on active duty; Joseph Thaxter, soon to be wounded at Bunker Hill; Edmund Foster, a theological student; and the Reverend Doctor Philips Payson. The latter three not only ministered to the minutemen but also "shouldered their muskets, and fought like common soldiers." It was written of Rev. Payson: "Seizing a musket he put himself at the head of a party, and led them forward to the attack." William Emerson served at Concord in the capacity of a chaplain only, and so has the distinction of being the first Revolutionary War chaplain.

The Revolutionary Army at the start was built on the old militia system -- a plan for utilizing every able-bodied man regardless of age or occupation in life. First to be called were the minutemen, the younger and more active third of the militia. Next were the militia proper, and finally those deferred until the last, the Alarm List. These were the old men, magistrates, paupers (who could not afford to arm themselves), and the clergy. Some clergymen distinguished themselves by actually fighting in the Alarm List, as did those who led the "Old Men of Monotomy" at Lexington and Concord.

Scores of others were not content to wait for action with this home guard but joined the minutemen or militia: Some fighting, others simply as ministers of religion, and still others taking up the work they had laid down years before after the capture of Louisburg in King George's War, but all without military status. The Reverend Benjamin Balch of Danvers, Massachusetts, for example, served as a lieutenant in an Alarm Company commanded by a deacon, Captain Edmund Putnam. Following Lexington, Balch volunteered to be the chaplain of Colonel Ephraim Doolittle's Regiment. In 1778 he became the first chaplain in the fledgling American Navy.

When George Washington assumed command of the Continental Army at Cambridge, Massachusetts, chaplains were already present for duty. Washington could count fifteen chaplains serving with the twenty-three regiments gathered around Boston. The Continental Congress gave the chaplains its official recognition on 29 July l775, when it voted pay for various officers and enlisted personnel in the Continental Army not previously covered in its resolution of l6 July. The reference is to dollars per month, and it reads: "Chaplain 20." This was the same sum paid captains and Judge Advocates, and it was the first official recognition of chaplains by an American government. As such it is considered the birth date of the chaplaincy. Nearly a year later General George Washington issued the following General Order:

New York, July 9th, l776
The Honorable Continental Congress having been pleased to allow a Chaplain to each Regiment, with the pay of Thirty-Three Dollars and one third dollars pr month - The Colonels or commanding officers of each regiment are directed to procure Chaplains accordingly; persons of good Characters and exemplary lives - To see that all inferior officers and soldiers pay them a suitable respect and attend carefully upon religious exercises. The blessing and protection of Heaven are at all times necessary but especially so in times of public distress and danger -The General hopes and trusts, that every officer and man, will endeavor so to live, and act as becomes a Christian Soldier defending the dearest Rights and Liberties of his country.

At the outset of the war, each colony had its own plan for the chaplaincy or hastily improvised one. Virginia established its militia regimental chaplaincy by legislative act in 1758 at the request of Colonel George Washington, yet no chaplains seem to have been appointed until 1776. Connecticut had regimental chaplains appointed by the Governor. Massachusetts had several systems operating at the same time. The official plan was to rotate the duty among the clergy of the established Congregational Church. Each clergyman was paid by his parish while neighboring pastors substituted in his pulpit. Rhode Island had at first no chaplains, but soon two brigade chaplains were chosen by the brigade officers. They were Chaplain John Murray, who served without pay, and Chaplain John Martin, who appeared on the rolls as a surgeon. The New Hampshire troops surrounding Boston chose a local minister as their chaplain. The only consistent principle was that the chaplain should represent, if possible, the religious sentiment of the troops he served. When Congress, in 1777, desired to substitute brigade chaplains for regimental chaplains, General George Washington protested that the measure might introduce religious disputes, and that the regimental arrangement "gives every regiment an opportunity of having a chaplain of their own religious sentiments, it is founded on a plan of a more generous toleration ... a Brigade ... composed of four or five, perhaps in some instances six regiments, there might be so many different modes of worship."

From 1775 to 1783 the chaplains' story parallels that of the Revolutionary Army. Between 222 and 238 served in the American cause. Chaplains were to be found in every campaign and on every battlefield in the long conflict: Bunker Hill, Quebec, White Plains, Trenton, Princeton, Brandywine, Saratoga, Monmouth, King's Mountain, Camden, Yorktown. Their duties were wide ranging, for besides accompanying the soldiers into battle and on the march, the trials of war found them preaching in camp, visiting and caring for the sick and wounded, and ministering to the dying. On 2 January 1777, John Rosbrugh was killed in the second battle of Trenton, the first American chaplain killed during the Revolution.

The Revolution, which began with a haphazard system of volunteer preachers, closed with an organized system of brigade chaplains. From an original captain's rate of $20 a month, the pay advanced to that of a colonel. Article 4 of the Original Rules and Articles of War, adopted 20 September l776, referred to "Every Chaplain who is commissioned to a regiment, company, troop, or garrison." In addition to these, the Continental Army had hospital chaplains, a German chaplain at large, a chaplain missionary to the friendly Indians, and one division chaplain at Headquarters (Israel Evans). All were Protestant except the chaplain of a Canadian regiment and a volunteer chaplain in the West, who were Roman Catholic.

A Canadian priest, the Reverend Louis Eustace Lotbiniere, was the first Roman Catholic chaplain. Over sixty years of age and a priest of the Diocese of Quebec when Canada was invaded by Generals Benedict Arnold and Richard Montgomery, he espoused the American cause at great financial loss. Although he and the members of the two Canadian regiments raised for the American Army suffered excommunication by Bishop Briand, he served throughout the entire war. After the war he lived in Philadelphia in poverty, dying in l786 at the age of seventy-one years.

As the war drew to its close chaplains continued to play an important and visible role. During the siege at Yorktown, Chaplain Israel Evans was partially buried by an exploding cannonball. Washington having witnessed the incident recommended that the chaplain keep his tattered hat as a souvenir for his family. And, on that great day when peace finally came, 19 April l783 -- eight arduous years to the day after Concord Bridge -- Chaplain John Gano led the assembled personnel in a prayer of thanksgiving for independence and victory from the doorway of the first Army chapel, the "Temple of Virtue," at the Commander-in-Chief's headquarters in Newburgh, New York. This chapel was built to accommodate a brigade for worship. Planned by Chaplain Evans and approved by General Washington on Christmas Day, l782, it was built by a Colonel Tupper from materials gathered by a Major Rochefontaine. The materials were obtained by trade: "one-half ration and gill of rum had been given for each 10 feet of timber."

On 15 February 1783, General Orders stated: "The New Building being so far finished as to admit troops to attend public worship therein, after tomorrow it is directed that divine services should be performed therein every Sunday by the several chaplains of the New Windsor cantonment in rotation."

The chaplains of the Revolution, who had so well served in the crisis of war, also helped in the development of the new nation. Former chaplain Abraham Baldwin represented Georgia in l787 at the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia and was one of the 39 signers of the Constitution. He became a Senator and a founder of the University of Georgia. His brother-in-law, Joel Barlow, late chaplain of the 4th Massachusetts Brigade, became a poet and hymn writer of distinction and represented his country in diplomatic missions to France, England, and during the Barbary War. Nathan Strong became a figure of stature in his church and editor of the Connecticut Evangelical Magazine. Timothy Dwight, a noted hymn writer, became one of Yale's more famous presidents and was instrumental in the religious revival that later swept that campus and all of New England. Israel Evans became chaplain of the New Hampshire General Court.