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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
News Breaks

New witness in Philippine rape hearing

Lawyers representing six U.S. Marines in a Philippine court hearing were given a six-day continuance Nov. 23, after prosecutors introduced the statement of a surprise witness. The witness allegedly saw U.S. military members dump a Filipino woman now alleging rape from a van near the U.S. naval base in Subic, Philippines.

The defense was unaware of the witness’s testimony until the hearing began and requested a delay to prepare a response.

The Marines have been in the custody of the U.S. Embassy since the alleged rape on Nov. 1; embassy officials haven’t said if they will be transferred to Philippine custody.

The embassy has refused to provide the Marines’ names. All six were assigned to the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit.

About 100 members of the women’s group Gabriela and other left-wing organizations gathered outside the prosecutor’s office when the hearing began Nov. 23, carrying signs and streamers calling for an end to the Visiting Forces Agreement that allows U.S. troops to train in the nation.

Group admits cheating in marathon

A Canadian running group enlisted the help of an ethics counselor after it was discovered that some of its members cheated in the 2005 Marine Corps Marathon, according to a Nov. 20 Buffalo News report.

Dr. Jean Marmoreo, founder of the running group “JeansMarines,” said on her Web site www.jeansmarines.com that she encouraged her participants to shave four miles off the 26.2-mile course by lopping off the route around the National Mall in Washington, D.C., according to the report.

The incident was been reported in the Toronto Star, which ran the story under a headline that read, “Shortcut Sham Mars Marines Marathon.”

JeansMarines, whose motto is “Yes ma’am, you can run a marathon,” has helped hundreds of women train for the annual marathon, the report stated.

Col. selected as new Navy assistant JAG

Navy Secretary Gordon England announced Nov. 15 that he approved the selection of Col. Edward M. McCue III as assistant judge advocate general of the Navy.

McCue was selected for the billet by a board that reviewed the Corps’ senior lawyers.

According to U.S. Code, the position entitles McCue to a promotion to the rank of brigadier general, effective upon his retirement.

Korea vet, Medal of Honor recipient, dies

Retired Col. Reginald R. Myers, who received the Medal of Honor for leading vastly outnumbered forces against Chinese troops during the Korean War, has died. He was 85.

While serving as a major with 3rd Battalion, 1st Marines, in late 1950, Myers led a hastily assembled force of about 250 Marines and soldiers who had never fought or trained together in an assault on 4,000 entrenched Chinese troops who were holding a key high point of land during the Battle of the Chosin Reservoir.

He launched his charge at night, up a steep, snow-covered hill in freezing temperatures. His forces retook the hill and held it until reinforcements arrived. The maneuver allowed outmanned United Nations forces to evacuate.

Myers remained in Korea until he was wounded in action in April 1951. He received the Medal of Honor from President Truman in a White House ceremony six months later.

Myers died Oct. 23 at a hospice in West Palm Beach, Fla., from the effects of a stroke, according to his wife.

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.