Articles by this Author
Marine and Navy Corpsmen Memorial
The Forgotten Heroes amongst us…
Marine and Navy Corpsmen Memorial
Dedicated November 10th 2004
When the Marines associated with the Jacksonville Semper Fidelis Society wanted to establish a tribute to Marines from the community, it was understood that the special breed of sailor, the Corpsman, would equally share this tribute. Marines without Navy Corpsmen are like kites without strings. It has been the Navy Corpsmen who has kept Marines together in more ways than one. They are beacons of strength and pillars of compassion, unselfish and courageous. Corpsmen are and have always been held in the highest esteem amongst all Marines and we did not want this Marine emblem or the title Marine on this monument to be displayed without a reference to our brothers in blue.
Reminiscing…Looking back with a smile
I was a young Lieutenant going through TBS in the early seventies. The instructors where all Viet Nam Veterans and most of them where highly decorated. Navy Crosses and Silver Stars adorned the chests of many of the instructors and especially those in the tactics instructor pool. These instructors where serious, dedicated and highly motivated. Their instructional techniques included attention gainers and methods of instruction that have become legendary in the Corps. They often used examples from there own experience in Viet Nam or from the stories of extraordinary exploits that remain with units forever. This is about one of those exploits and its impact almost three decades later. The story starts in the year 1966 on Hill 488 northwest of Chulai overlooking the infamous Hiep Duc Valley where 1st Platoon, C Company, 1st Recon Bn’s 16 Marines and 2 Navy Corpsmen are inserted and ends in Jacksonville, Florida in 1997.
HONOR, COURAGE, COMMITMENT…Is the change really for life…when it comes to the core values?
Our character as Marines is forged by our training, history and adherence to our core values. From time to time as Marines, we come across situations where taking care of a Marine and adhering to our values takes on a special meaning; this is one of those times...
I was the S4 at the Basic School (TBS) and was tasked with overseeing the dedication of the new Infantry Officer’s Course building (IOC) in honor of a Korean War Medal of Honor recipient 1st Lt Frank Mitchell. Up to this point, I didn’t know anything about Lt Mitchell or the process of getting a government building named in honor of a war hero. I was just informed that Lt Mitchell’s name was selected and I was to take charge of the dedication ceremony; I was handed a file with Lt Mitchell’s picture and the documents authorizing that the Infantry Officer’ building be named in honor of him.
Are these values just another PR marketing tool being used for recruiting or are they values we honestly believe in and abide by… for life?
I remember when there was a big push in the early 90’s to get these Core Values out to all Marines and ensure they all understand them. Instructors were assigned at all commands to present the Core Values and explain what they meant to us as Marines. We were very successful in doing this and subsequently have made them a major part of everything seen and “done” by Marines from basic training to career level assignments. But do we actually practice what we preach; do all measure up to this standard…is the change really for life?