“Old breed?, New breed?, There’s not a damn bit of difference so long as it’s the MARINE breed!” Chesty Puller, USMC.
August 29th marks the 98th Birthday of the United States Marine Corps Reserves. Congress passed the Naval Appropriations Act on this day in 1916. This Act is in charge of providing trained units to be mobilized for Active Duty in time of war or National Security. It is the largest command in the United States Marine Corp.
Today’s Reservist enlists for an 8 year term. The Reservist have to pass the ASVAB (Armed Service Vocational Aptitude Battery) which is a written test to determine qualifications in all the Armed Services. Each Reservist must pass Recruit Training (boot camp). This is a 13-week program that is set to the highest standards both physically and mentally. After graduation, Reservists go on to the 2nd phase of SOI (School of Infantry). But if your job is not infantry then you go onto MCT (Marine Combat Training).
For Reservist it is off to home. They will train one weekend a month and two weeks out of the year. I do not make light of this; Reservist are held to the very high standards of every Marine. Reservist are critical to the overall combat readiness the Marine Corp demands.
USMCR are vital to the community. Remember that little program called Toys For Tots? This was thought up back in 1947 by a Reservist and his wife in Los Angeles. Toys For Tots grew by huge degrees and in 1991 Secretary of Defense authorized the non-profit affiliation. Come October through December of every year the USMCR collect new toys for distribution at Christmas time. They also have a website that you may donate: http://www.toysfortots.org/default.aspx
I am partial to the Marines because HONEY is a Marine Vet. And I don’t know a woman, 8 to 80 that does not stop to eye a Marine in his dress Blues!
Three States ceded into the Union in the month of August throughout our history. Missouri was the first on August 10, 1821. It was the 24th State and that brought our National Flag to 24 stars and its design was 3 rows of 6 stars with alternating red and white stripe. Then came Colorado on August 1, 1876. It was the 38th State and the 38 stared Flag was 5 rows of alternating 8 in a row and 6 in a row. On August 21, 1959 Hawaii became the 50th State to join the Union. The individual State Flags can be found on the United States Flag Store for a great low price.
Our 50 star Flag has a unique story that I would like to share because the adding of the 50th Star was done by a High School Senior. It was designed by Robert Heft, a 17 year old that was doing a history project. He took a 48 star Flag and measured out 100 stars on the blue section. Now this was back in 1959 and Alaska had just been admitted into the Union and this young man was pretty forward thinking. So he sewed the stars on with anticipation of Hawaii becoming a State. He turned his project in to his teacher Stanley Pratt. Well Pratt was not too impressed and Heft only received a B-. Heft, thinking ahead as usual argued his point that there would be 50 states in the future. Pratt told him if he could get Congress to accept his design he would change his grade to an A. Heft then sent the Flag to Congressman Walter Henry Moeller (Ohio) until we needed a 50 Star Flag. By August of 1959, President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed the proclamation to add Hawaii to the Union.
Congressman Moeller brought Heft’s Flag to the design committee where President Eisenhower himself choose Hefts’ design out of over 1500 others to choose from to become our National symbol. On July 4th, 1960, Bob Heft stood with President Eisenhower to watch the first 50 Star National Flag be raised. The 50 Star Flag has flown over the United States for 54 years now. What an accomplishment for a young man of only 17 years old. Mr. Heft passed away on December 12, 2009. You may hear Bob’s story in his own words on Story Corps at http://storycorps.org/listen/bob-heft/
Just to let you know Bob did finally get his “A” on his history project!
New Stanton, PA – 22 August 2014 – At the request of customers from Puerto Rico, Online Stores has produced the first commercially available 51-star American flag, symbolizing the possible conversion of Puerto Rico from a US Territory into US state. Social media followers of the US Flag Store, the flag division of Online Stores, offered their thanks and support when the flag was announced. American made of weather-resistant nylon in the popular 3’x5’ size, the flag retails for $23.95 and is available for purchase online at the OnlineStores.com using this direct link. http://www.onlinestores.com/51-star-american-flag-3ftx5ft-sewn-nylon.html. The flag is of course not an official US flag yet as it has not been adopted by Congress.
Jorge, a customer of Online Stores, Inc. said, “As a proud American citizen and a native of Puerto Rico, I would like to see my island as the 51st State of the Union. After 519 years first as a US colony and then as a US territory, the people of Puerto Rico demand equality so we can enjoy the full rights, obligations, and responsibility of the continental US. I will be flying your 51-star flag.” Says Cheo, “I currently live in Texas. This flag will be the symbol for the more than 3 million supporters for PR statehood. I will personally fly and display this flag at home as well as pro-statehood meetings.”
Earlier this year, Puerto Rico took a step towards being the 51st state with the introduction of the Puerto Rico Status Resolution Act into the Senate. This bill requires a binding referendum to be held in Puerto Rico asking whether the territory wants to be admitted as a state. The majority have already voted to become a state. (huffingtonpost.com)
Puerto Rico is a self-governing commonwealth in association with the United States, that recognizes the United States President as authority. The US controls their currency, military, law, postal system, and Social Security. (welcome.topuertorico.org).
Online Stores, Inc. is a privately held American e-commerce business and a top 500 retailer, based in New Stanton, PA. The company operates several web sites including Onlinestores.com, EnglishTeaStore.com, ConstructionGear.com, Toysplash.com, United-States-Flag.com and DiscountsafetyGear.com. Online Stores serves over 500,000 customers every year.
Two little girls, a few dolls, and a wonderful playhouse = a whole lot of fun! Every little girl dreams. Just about any little girl would LOVE this playhouse in her backyard!
There’s just one thing missing but don’t worry! The US Flag Store can fix it! We have darling little garden flags. Several in our fall line are just the thing for this playhouse!
Each garden flag by BreezeArt® measures 12.5” x 18”. Individual metal stands that go into the ground or mount on the wall of the house beside the front door are also available. Pair it with a matching banner (28” x 40”) and mailbox cover for the big house!
August 16, 1940 is the first established Army Parachute jump. In August of 2002, President George W. Bush put forth the proclamation for August 16th to honor the Airborne Forces, annually.
The idea of men jumping out of planes was not a new one, it was tossed just after World War I by General William (Billy) Mitchell. The General tested this out in San Antonio, Texas as a demonstration. Although the jump went well, the theory did not catch on here in America. During World War II, Germany started to use paratroopers in 1940 to quickly invade and surprise the enemy behind their own resistance. Triggered by the success Germany’s Fallschirmjäger , the US Military branches began a full-scale production to develop this type of warfare. In April of 1940, the War Department approved a test platoon of Airborne Infantry under the Army’s Infantry Board, this was set up at Fort Benning 29th Regiment.
In July of 1940, First Lieutenant William T. Ryder volunteered and was designated the Platoon Leader. Because of the rigid physical and health standards set, only 48 were elected out of 200 volunteers. Lieutenant Colonel William C. Lee, a staff officer for the Chief of Infantry, was intently interested in the test platoon. He recommended that the men be moved to the Safe Parachute Company at Hightstown, NJ for training on the parachute drop towers used during the New York World’s Fair. Eighteen days after organization, the platoon was moved to New Jersey and trained for one week on the 250-foot free towers.(http://freepages.military.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~douglas/Creeds_Histories/abnhistory.html)
Because the towers worked so well the Army purchased brought them to Fort Benning. In less than 45 days, on August 16, 1940, out of a Douglas B-18 over Lawson Field the first drop was held. Out of these 48 men, they held a lottery to see who would go after Lieutenant Ryder and Private William N. (Red) King. On August 29, 1940, the platoon made the first mass jump in the United States. Less than 45 days it took these dedicated men to be ready for their first jump. That is crazy-brave.
The traditional paratrooper cry “GERONIMO” was originated in the 501st by Private Aubrey Eberhart to prove to a friend that he had full control of his faculties when he jumped. That cry was adopted by the 501st and has been often used by paratroopers since then.
The First all black 555 Parachute Infantry Company is remembered as the Triple Nickel. Another landmark is in December 1973, when Privates Joyce Kutsch and Rita Johnson became the first women to graduate from the Basic Airborne Course.
Navajo Code Talkers Day is celebrated on August 14, President Ronald Reagan declared in 1982 to officially honor the Code Talkers for their service to our country. During World War II the Allied Forces found it hard to stump the Japanese code breakers or cryptographers. Now a little history: the military was not the one to come up with idea it was civilian named Philip Johnston, he was a civil engineer in Los Angeles but had grown up on the Navajo Indian Reservation, his parents were Protestant missionaries. Johnston read an article about the military communications debilitating losses. Johnston went to Camp Elliott to meet with Lieutenant Colonel James E. Jones, Marines’ Signal Corps Communications Officer. Jones was not convinced that it would work but after Johnston explained the language, inflections and completely different meanings that one word may mean, they gave it a try. The initial run was a success so the Marines needed volunteers by mid-April of 1942, they traveled to the Navajo reservation to recruit personnel. Now these recruits had to be bilingual in both English and Navajo languages. The enlistees also had to be physically fit. After boot camp, the new Marines were to construct a new Military code. “The first part, a 26-letter phonetic alphabet, used Navajo names for 18 animals or birds, plus the words ice for I, nut for N, quiver for Q, Ute for U, victor for V, cross for X, yucca for Y, and zinc for Z. The second part consisted of a 211-word English vocabulary and the Navajo equivalents. This code, when compared with conventional Marine Corps codes, offered considerable savings in time, since the latter involved lengthy encoding and deciphering procedures by Signal Corps cryptographic personnel using sophisticated electronic equipment.” http://www.historynet.com/world-war-ii-navajo-code-talkers.htm
There were 29 original Code Talkers. This became the 382nd Platoon USMC. By August 1943 the number swelled to over 200. 421 Navajos had completed wartime training at Camp Pendleton’s code talker school, and most had been assigned to combat units overseas. Navajo code talkers served with all six Marine divisions in the Pacific and with Marine Raider and parachute units as well. Major Howard Conner, the Fifth Marine Division’s Signal Officer, said that ‘The entire operation was directed by Navajo code. . . . During the two days that fol lowed the initial landings I had six Navajo radio nets working around the clock. . . . They sent and received over 800 messages without an error. Were it not for the Navajo Code Talkers, the Marines never would have taken Iwo Jima.’
In December of 2000 the US Congress passed, and President Bill Clinton signed into law, which awarded the Congressional Gold Medal to the original twenty-nine World War II Navajo code talkers, and the Silver Medal to each person who qualified as a Navajo code talker (approximately 300). In July 2001, U.S. President George W. Bush personally presented the Medal to four surviving original code talkers (the fifth living original code talker was not able to make it) at a ceremony held in the Capitol Rotunda in Washington, D.C. Gold medals were presented to the families of the 24 original code talkers no longer living.
The last of the original 29 Navajo Code Talkers passed away this year, June 4, 2014. His name is Chester Nez. Mr. Nez has a memoir, its title is: Code Talker: The First and Only Memoir by One of the Original Navajo Code Talkers of WWII
Hollywood made an historical fictional movie about Navajo Code Talkers, Windtalkers, released in 2002.
Victory Over Japan Day. The United States and the Allied Forces won victory over Japan during World War II. On August 15, 1945, just days after the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were hit by the annihilating atomic bombs from American B-29 plane Enola Gay on August 6 & 9, 1945 consequently. This marked the end of World War II. The official surrender was not signed until September 2, 1945 aboard the USS Missouri, which was anchored in Tokyo Bay. General Douglas MacArthur, along with the Japanese foreign minister, Mamoru Shigemitsu, and the chief of staff of the Japanese army, Yoshijiro Umezu, signed the official Japanese surrender. President Harry S. Truman declared September 2nd as VJ Day.
We observe this on the second Monday in August. VJ Day or Victory Day is not a widespread “holiday.” Rhode Island is the only state that officially still celebrates this memorial. We stay strong in our country because we carry and hold our history in many ways. I am raising my flag in honor of those that came before me. The POW’s, the MIA and the KIA, the members of all who served the United States and her Allies during this time in our history. Raise your flag! Raise them all, the American Flag, the POW/MIA Flag, the Some Gave All Flag and your Flag For the Fallen. Rhode Islanders raise your state flag because there is always HOPE. Fly them proudly!
The Coast Guard turned 224 years old yesterday August 4, 2014. Beginning in 1790, Congress commissioned a flotilla of 10 to enforce tariff and trade laws, prevent smuggling, and protect the collection of federal revenue. (www.military.com) The Coast Guard is one of the oldest organizations in our government. The original name was Revenue Marine and the Revenue Cutter Service the name was changed in 1915 when the government joined the Service with the Life-Saving Service to form an organization to serve all maritime services. Including, saving life at sea, enforcing our nation’s maritime laws, aid to maritime navigation, operating the nation’s Lighthouses, Merchant Marine licensing and inspection, since 2003 the Coast Guard has served under the Department of Homeland Security. The Coast Guard has been a defensive frontline in its long esteemed history.
The Women’s Reserve of the U. S. Coast Guard Reserve program (officially nicknamed the “SPARs”), was first established in 1942. LCDR Dorothy Stratton transferred from the Navy WAVES to serve as the director of the SPARs. A total of 978 women officers and 11,868 enlisted women served in the SPARs during World War II. (www.uscg.mil) although women were keepers of lighthouses as early as the 1830’s. In 1973, Congressional legislation ended the Women’s Reserve and women were first officially integrated into the active-duty Coast Guard and the Coast Guard Reserve. This background is sparse (this is a blog!). For more 411 please check out the USCG link.
My girlfriend Melanie and I graduated from high school in 1979. I asked Melanie to tell her story.
What age were u when joined?
I went into the Coast Guard through the “Delayed Enlistment Program” in signed up when I was 17 yrs, I forged my mothers signature to the paper work.
Why the USCG versus another branch of the military?
Actually, there are 2 reasons – 1st one is that I got interested when in 6th grade on a field trip to an air station in Port Angeles, WA. Then I figured I’d go into a smaller military thinking that there may be better opportunities. I was not offered very many opportunities after high school.
What opportunities were offered u as a women?
None really, it was 1979 and they men including the officers thought of the women as “moral incentives for the men” kind of sucked. (that is another story in itself)
What were your duties?
I was first stationed in Cape May, New Jersey (Boot camp). While in Cape May I won a push up contest against the guys and I was approached by an officer and asked if I would be interested in being the very first “Full Time” fire fighter in Kodiak, AK. Silly me thought why not. That was the hardest job I have ever had. Men usually only need to prove themselves once with other men, I was forced to proved my abilities daily (I had to carry 200lb men up and down ladders in and out of windows, etc…every stinking day. Then I was stationed in San Diego & Texas (ship and oil well firefighting schools). Then I was sent to Petaluma, CA (Coast Guard Station Two Rock)where I trained to be a radioman. Then to Charleston SC I was radioman their, and off the Miami, FL where I also was a radioman. (As far as busy USCG bases Miami was crazy, I would handle at least 20 SARS (Search & Rescue cases), about 5 Drug enforcement cases, and maybe 10 immigration cases at the same time. I extended my enlisted for one year and got out in 1984.
What is your proudest moment in your USCG career?
I have several but the one that stands out the most is in 1980 I was on Leave in Georgia and came across a vehicle overturned in a ditch. I crawled into the car and assisted the occupant while Billy Carter stood outside the car and kept putting out the fire that had erupted. He told his brother Jimmy about me and I was awarded one of the highest medals offered by the coast guard for bravery and courage.
Now that you have a daughter of your own, would u recommend a military career?
Yes, I would recommend the Coast Guard to my daughter, it taught me valuable lessons that I use every day.
What advice to young women seeking a Coast Guard career would you give?
Check into the academy or officer training schools, an officer life is a much better one. Also, keep your mouth shut, follow orders whether you agree with them or not and just try to have the best time you can.
Melanie was the First Full-Time Women Fire Fighter in the United States Coast Guard. What an accomplishment in that era, because she helped pave the way for women Coast Guard members than set precedent today. Today, on the Birthday of our United States Coast Guard I say THANK YOU for all you do. For my girlfriend Melanie, you are so brave and true, thank you for being my friend.