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02-07-06, 12:10 PM
February 13, 2006

Marine News Briefs

How your pay stacks up

Think the size of your military paycheck doesn’t match your expertise or responsibilities? Ever wonder what you could make in civilian life for what you’ve learned in uniform?

Each year, Marine Corps Times publishes a special report called “How Your Pay Stacks Up” that aims to answer those questions by comparing the earnings of active-duty service members in various military skills and their private-sector counterparts with similar levels of experience.

The 2006 edition of this special section is slated to run in our May 9 issue, and we’re looking for volunteers.

Note: You must be on full-time active duty, either regular military or a mobilized reservist, to be considered.

If you’d like to take part, visit www.marinecorpstimes.com and fill out a brief questionnaire. If you are selected, a member of our staff will contact you for a more thorough interview that will cover the details of what you do, how much you earn and how you feel about your job and military pay. You also will be asked to provide a high-quality, head-and-shoulders photograph of yourself. Digital images are preferred, but prints are acceptable.

Is the grass really greener on the outside? This is your chance to find out.

Opera for leathernecks

How many Marines go to the opera? Not enough, according to the National Endowment for the Arts, which is reaching out to a community it has overlooked: The 1.4 million men and women on active duty in the military.

“I guess it doesn’t go with the stereotype of a Marine,” Col. Pat O’Donogue, an opera fan and commander of Camp Pendleton’s Headquarters and Support Battalion, said after attending an opera performance at the California base’s theater.

Opera is the latest joint venture between the NEA and the Defense Department. This year, the NEA decided to bring opera performances to 39 military bases around the country.

According to Leslie Liberato, program manager for the NEA’s national initiatives, potential audience members had to be turned away from performances at Fort Carson, Colo., and Picatinny Arsenal in Wharton, N.J.

Pendleton’s 1,400-seat theater wasn’t as packed as it was when Arnold Schwarzenegger screened the movie “Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines” in 2003, but a few hundred Marines and families took advantage of the free show.

Mailbox medals

Veterans’ officials and postal employees are searching for the owner of a Bronze Star and two Purple Heart medals discovered in a mailbox outside a Greenwich, Conn., post office in January.

The medals are not inscribed and do not appear to have fallen out of a package, postal officials said.

The medals are being kept at the post office until their owner can be identified.

Charley Williams, chief of staff at the Department of Veterans Affairs, said he would look into the medals’ origin after their discovery was reported by the Greenwich Time.

Burke Ross, adjutant of the state’s Military Order of the Purple Heart, estimated that more than 1,800 Purple Heart recipients live in Connecticut. He wrote a letter to the postmaster requesting the medals so he can track down the owner.

It’s only the second time Ross has heard of unclaimed medals turning up. A few years ago, he said, someone discovered a box of medals in the garbage and brought it to him. The group determined that the recipient had died, and no family could be located.

If the same thing happens with the medals discovered in Greenwich, Ross said, they will be cleaned and displayed at the state’s home for veterans.

Recruiters move to Texas

Five months after being displaced from Louisiana by a hurricane, leathernecks and civilians of the 8th Marine Corps District formally re-established the district’s headquarters in Fort Worth, Texas, on Jan. 27, a Marine Corps news release said.

According to the release, the district personnel evacuated New Orleans on Aug. 27, just before Hurricane Katrina made landfall. Since the evacuation, district personnel have worked out of a Dallas hotel and local recruiting stations. Plans to move the unit to the Lone Star State were slated for 2007, but they were hastened with the one-two punch of hurricanes Katrina and Rita.


A caption with a photo accompanying the Feb. 6 Lore of the Corps article “Springfield bolt-action rifle used until WWII” incorrectly identified the weapon in the photo. The rifle pictured was a .58-caliber, muzzle-loading 1861 Springfield rifle. The correct weapon, a Springfield 1903 bolt action, is pictured above.

02-07-06, 12:12 PM
February 13, 2006 <br />
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News Breaks <br />
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Marines reject pre-indictment handover <br />
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The Marine Corps in Japan effectively rejected on Feb. 1 a pre-indictment handover of two service members allegedly...

02-07-06, 12:13 PM
February 13, 2006

Around the Corps

Compiled from military and other public sources.

South Carolina

Squadron Marines and Hornets deploy

Elements of Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 533 deployed from Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort, S.C., to Iraq on Feb. 2, a Corps press release said.

According to the release, about 24 Marines and 12 F/A-18 Hornets will replace VMFA-332 while deployed to Iraq.


Headquarters unit leaves Pendleton

About 300 Marines and sailors from 5th Marines left Camp Pendleton, Calif., and deployed to Iraq on Feb. 2, a Corps press release said.

According to the release, the Marines and sailors will form the headquarters element of Regimental Combat Team 5. Their primary mission will be training and mentoring Iraqi security forces in Fallujah and the surrounding areas.


2/5 Marines practice explosives techniques

Combat engineers and anti-tank assaultmen with Echo Company, Battalion Landing Team, 2nd Battalion, 5th Marines, used a controlled blast to topple an old communications tower antenna Jan. 26 as part of the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit’s urban training on Guam, a Jan. 28 Corps news release said.

The blast allowed the engineers to teach the assaultmen enhanced procedures on safely using explosives, the release said.

According to 2nd Lt. Edward Rushing, platoon commander of the combat engineer detachment, the goal of the training is to enable Marines to “be able to calculate the exact amount of explosives and combine that with precise placement.”

Grunts hit the jungle for ambush training

Marines and sailors with Golf Company, Battalion Landing Team 2nd Battalion, 5th Marines, conducted jungle ambush patrols Jan. 26 as part of the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit’s urban training exercise on Guam, a Jan. 28 Corps news release said.

The patrol included members of 3rd Platoon and an attached machine-gun section entering the dense jungle and establishing a solid position from which to engage the enemy.

“We’ve been doing more of these patrols, because we need to be ready if we go to war in the jungle,” said Lance Cpl. Jose Angulo, a fire team leader. “But a lot of these skills apply to urban combat, too.”


Okinawa Marines test convoy skills at Fuji

More than 150 members of 3rd Marine Logistics Group traveled from Okinawa, Japan, to Camp Fuji for a three-week convoy operations exercise Jan. 11-29, a Jan. 31 Corps news release said.

According to Col. R.R. Ruark, 3rd Materiel Readiness Battalion’s commanding officer, Exercise Materiel Warrior was designed to increase the combat readiness of augments from the 3rd MRB, detachments from Headquarters and Service Battalion, 3rd Transportation Support Battalion and 9th Engineer Support Battalion, in preparation for deployment to Iraq.

Border patrol team trains for convoy ops

Marines and sailors with the Border Transition Team, 12th Marines, performed a convoy operations field exercise at the Okinawa, Japan, Central Training Area on Jan. 19 and 20, a Jan. 30 Corps news release said.

According to the release, the two-day exercise helped the service members understand the complex aspects of convoy operations.

The team was tested throughout the training to ensure it meets preparation requirements for an upcoming deployment to Iraq.

During their tour in Iraq, the team will be responsible for training and assisting the Iraqi border police, the release said.


CLR-25 winds down with field meet

More than 300 Marines with Combat Logistics Regiment 25, 2nd Marine Logistics Group, competed in a field meet at Camp Taqaddum’s Lakeside Sports Arena Jan. 29, a Feb. 1 Corps news release said.

According to Sgt. Thomas McKenzie, the event’s coordinator, the meet offered a chance for the Marines to escape their offices and generally have a good time.

The meet included a volleyball game, egg toss and tug-of-war.

McKenzie said he hadn’t seen some of the Marines who attended the field meet during the entire deployment.

“It was a good turnout,” he said.

The unit is nearing its return home to Camp Lejeune, N.C., the release said.