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11-29-05, 12:17 PM
December 05, 2005
Marine News Briefs

FBI warns about fake e-mails

The FBI is warning of unsolicited “poison pill” e-mails purporting to be from the agency itself — with attachments infected with computer viruses.

The e-mails look like they’re from the FBI, coming from addresses such as mail@fbi.gov, post@fbi.gov and admin@fbi.gov. The e-mails typically claim that the FBI has been monitoring the recipient’s Internet use and found that he has accessed illegal Web sites. The messages then urge recipients to open an attachment to answer questions.

The FBI says such e-mails are scams and is investigating the situation. Bureau officials strongly warn against opening the e-mail attachments and ask anyone who receives one to report it to the Internet Crime Complaint Center at www.ic3.gov.

More information on the effects of the virus in these e-mails is online at www.cert.org. More information on this specific scam is on the FBI’s real Web site at www.fbi.gov.

Hats off to this hat

A squared-away hat from Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego recently earned the Corps’ Drill Instructor of the Year award, according to a Marine Corps news release.

Sgt. Maj. John Estrada, sergeant major of the Marine Corps, presented the award to Gunnery Sgt. Antonio Ceritelli at Quantico, Va., on Nov. 1.

Nominees must have spent the past year with a recruit training company and have received the drill instructor or senior drill instructor of the quarter award before they can be nominated by a battalion or regimental board, the release stated.

Ceritelli has three years of experience on the drill field, including time spent with special training companies, said 1st Sgt. Robert Eriksson, Echo Company’s first sergeant at MCRD San Diego.

Ceritelli said he was surprised when he won. “I didn’t know I was going to be accepting the award until 30 seconds before, when I was promoted to gunnery sergeant.”

It is tradition to promote the drill instructor of the year, the release said.

Vets rights advocate dies

C.A. “Mack” McKinney, a veteran of World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War — and many legislative battles to better the lives of service members — died Nov. 15. He was 80.

Few service members are likely to recognize his name, but countless troops have felt the results of his 30 years of work to improve military pay and benefits.

McKinney retired from the Marine Corps as a sergeant major in 1971 after a 29-year career. In the years since, he worked with a number of military organizations dedicated to improving life for the military community.

In 1985, McKinney helped found the Military Coalition, which brought together military advocacy groups to increase their legislative clout on Capitol Hill. Over the years, he worked with the Marine Corps League, the Non Commissioned Officers Association and, most recently, the Fleet Reserve Association. He also was co-chairman of the Military Coalition.

“There’s not a member of the active duty, Guard or reserve, retired force, or any family member, survivor or veteran, that Mack’s contributions haven’t helped in a substantial way,” said Steve Strobridge, director of government relations for the Military Officers Association of America. “He’s the godfather of the military associations. He’s going to be sorely missed.”

‘Never forget’

Leathernecks with Marine Light Attack Helicopter Squadron 369 designed a patch to honor two AH-1W Super Cobra pilots who were killed.

The phrase “Gunshot 66, we will never forget” was abbreviated to read “GT66 WWNF” on the patch, according to a Marine Corps news release.

“Gunshot 66” was the call sign used by Capt. Mike Martino and Maj. Jerry Bloomfield. Both HMLA-369 Cobra pilots were killed when their attack helicopter crashed in Qaim, Iraq, on Nov. 2.

According to a Defense Department press release, the cause of the crash is under investigation.

When squadron mates learned two of their brethren had been killed, some of the pilots took off their name patches and inscribed “GT66 WWNF” on them, which led to the creation of the patch.

“Words can’t even explain what this patch means to me,” said Sgt. Brainard Shirley, a quality-assurance representative with the squadron. “It represents all of us, doing our part in this war.”

Spare a beer, anyone?

A combat zone is no match for the no-holds-barred tradition to mark the Marine Corps’ birthday with a brew, real or fake.

During a Nov. 14 visit to the Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center at Twentynine Palms, Calif., Lt. Gen. John Sattler passed along his birthday message to members of 3rd Battalion, 5th Marines, training there.

During his visit, the I Marine Expeditionary Force commander shared a story from last year’s celebration.

“We had authority to bring beer to the Marines [in Iraq], so we had 88,000 bottles of Budweiser brought in for the birthday last year, and 50,000 bottles of rum,” he said.

Then came the order for what became a successful fight against insurgents in Fallujah, postponing I MEF’s Nov. 10 birthday ball. But few forgot about the beer.

After Sattler’s traditional talk to the troops on the eve of battle, a young Marine approached him.

“This lance corporal came up to me at the end. I said, ‘Any questions?’” Sattler recounted. “This lance corporal says, ‘Sir, you’re not going to give our beer away, are you?’”

“No,” the general told him. “It’ll be here.” Sure enough, I MEF celebrated happily on Dec. 4.

Sattler said his allotted two beers “were the best beers, although I gave one of mine away.”

It seems a soldier who’d fought alongside the Marines was shorted a beer. Or so he told the general, who admits that perhaps “he had hoodwinked me out of a third one.”

11-29-05, 12:18 PM
December 05, 2005 <br />
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11-29-05, 12:19 PM
December 05, 2005
Around the Corps

Compiled from military and other public sources.


Leathernecks train for dynamic entries

Twelve Okinawa, Japan-based Marines attended the 10-day Dynamic Entry Course conducted by III Marine Expeditionary Force’s Special Operations Training Group, according to a Marine Corps news release.

During the course, which began Oct. 31, the Marines learned how to gain entry to a barricaded building using mechanical tools and explosives.

“Once given a target to defeat, the students will be able to recognize, analyze and perform a positive breach,” said Gunnery Sgt. Keith Ross, a dynamic-entry instructor with SOTG. “The purpose is to use minimal amounts of explosive and still gain 100 percent penetration.”

According to the release, the course consisted of classroom instruction on different breaches and the devices used to perform them, as well as practical training on each.

The students learned how to use mechanical tools such as sledgehammers, exothermic torches and special pry bars called Hooligan Tools.

South Korea

Troops brush up on roadside bombs

More than 120 Marines, sailors and soldiers attended roadside bomb training at the Combined Arms Collective Training Facility in South Korea from Nov. 2 to Nov. 4, according to a Marine Corps news release.

Members of 9th Engineer Support Battalion, 3rd Marine Logistics Group, and soldiers with 602 Aerial Support Battalion learned about awareness, recognition and response to roadside bombs during the three-day course.

“This is realistic training,” said Sgt. Chris West, an explosive ordnance disposal technician with 9th ESB. “Having EOD Marines replicating actual [explosive devices] is a valuable training tool not every Marine receives.”

The exercise is a twofold operation, explained Maj. Ted Veggeberg, the operations officer for 9th ESB.

It allows the Marines and sailors of 9th ESB to conduct combined training with the South Korean army, improving relations. It is also designed to prepare 9th ESB for its upcoming deployment to Iraq.


Toys go to children affected by quake

Leathernecks with the Marine Detachment in Islamabad, Pakistan, distributed toys to more than 70 children as part of the annual Toys for Tots campaign, according to a Nov. 18 Pak Tribune newspaper article.

The Marines handed out new toys to children who were injured in the Oct. 8 earthquake and are recovering at the Rehabilitation Center at the National Institute for Special Education in Islamabad.

“This is just one small part in the relief efforts that the Marines of Detachment Islamabad can provide to offer hope for children who have endured so much,” said Staff Sgt. Richard Gonzalez, with the detachment.