SECNAV Spencer’s 243rd Marine Corps Birthday Message

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By Richard V. Spencer
Secretary of the Navy

To our Marines, civilians, families, and friends:

For 243 years, United States Marines have set the standard for military excellence, ready to respond at any time, in any place, whenever there is a need.

One hundred years ago, the enemy called them the Devil Dogs for the way they turned the tide at Belleau Wood. Seventy-five years ago, the shores and jungles of Tarawa shook with the determined charge of United States Marines. And fifty years ago, Marines like Gunnery Sergeant John Canley imposed order on the chaotic urban battlefield of Hue.

WASHINGTON (Oct. 18, 2018) Retired U.S. Marine Corps Sgt. Maj. John L. Canley, the 300th Marine Medal of Honor recipient, gives closing remarks at the Pentagon. From Jan. 31 to Feb. 6, 1968, in the Republic of Vietnam, Canley, the company gunnery sergeant assigned to Alpha Company, 1st Battalion, 1st Marines, took command of the company, led multiple attacks against enemy-fortified positions, rushed across fire-swept terrain despite his own wounds, and carried wounded Marines into Hue City, including his commanding officer, in order to relieve friendly forces who were surrounded. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Daisha R. Johnson/Released)
WASHINGTON (Oct. 18, 2018) Retired U.S. Marine Corps Sgt. Maj. John L. Canley, the 300th Marine Medal of Honor recipient, gives closing remarks at the Pentagon. From Jan. 31 to Feb. 6, 1968, in the Republic of Vietnam, Canley, the company gunnery sergeant assigned to Alpha Company, 1st Battalion, 1st Marines, took command of the company, led multiple attacks against enemy-fortified positions, rushed across fire-swept terrain despite his own wounds, and carried wounded Marines into Hue City, including his commanding officer, in order to relieve friendly forces who were surrounded. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Daisha R. Johnson/Released)

It was my honor to meet now Sergeant Major Canley (retired) and to add his name to the Hall of Valor following his receipt of the Congressional Medal of Honor. It was a reminder of the service and sacrifice of the unbroken line of patriots, from its beginning in the earliest days of the revolution, through the Marines it was my honor to serve alongside, to the warriors who stand watch throughout the globe today.

Polly and I are forever grateful for all that you, your families, and your loved ones do for our nation. Because of your hard work and dedication, the foundation for restoring readiness and increasing lethality has been set. But as we enter our 244th year of service, we must now build on that foundation with a committed sense of urgency. We are accountable for how and where we invest our time and our resources, and we must understand the readiness and lethality we gain from those investments.

Solve the problems in front of you. Send solutions up the chain, and empower those you command to do the same. Ask yourselves and each other how can we accomplish our mission better, faster, and more efficiently. With your help, I have no doubt we will leverage every resource, leading practice, and efficiency we can find with the professionalism, integrity, and accountability the American people have come to expect from the Corps after 243 years of honor and valor.

Happy Birthday, Marines. God bless you, God bless the United States Marine Corps, and God bless the United States of America. Semper Fi.


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SECNAV Spencer’s 243rd Marine Corps Birthday Message

Navy and Marine Corps Business Operations Reform Supports Global Operations

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Thomas Modly, Under Secretary of the Navy
Thomas Modly, Under Secretary of the Navy

For 243 years, the Navy and Marine Corps team has operated as the foundation of America’s military strength and forward-deployed presence, deterring conflict when possible, and ensuring that our nation is always ready to fight and win whenever and wherever required.

As our Navy regains readiness, restores lethality and prepares to compete against peers, near-peers and trans-national adversaries alike, we must strive to make our department as efficient, effective, and agile as possible to ensure that we can meet our nation’s call – now and into the future.

In order to achieve this, we must adopt the same aggressive readiness posture in our business processes as we do in every other aspect of warfare, and realize that what we do, whether Sailor, Marine or Civilian, impacts our ability to fight and win.

The business of the Department of the Navy is to man, train, and equip Navy and Marine Corps forces for global operations.

How we manage this business matters greatly to the success of our mission. That is why the Secretary of the Navy and I have announced today the release of the Department of the Navy’s Business Operations Plan for Fiscal Years 2019-2021.

The Business Operations Plan represents a strategic shift for the department, from oversight to leadership in ensuring that the DON’s business operations effectively and efficiently achieve its mission to man, train, and equip Navy and Marine Corps forces for global operations. Through greater accountability, more agile processes and better management of business operations, this plan will enable greater efficiencies, permitting the department to reallocate resources from business operations to readiness, seeking the advantages of new innovation ecosystems, and recapitalizing our naval forces for the future.

Our business plan aligns with the National Defense Strategy (NDS) lines of effort: Rebuild Military Readiness as We Build a More Lethal Joint Force, Strengthen Our Alliances & Attract New Partners, and Reform the Department’s Business Practices for Greater Performance and Affordability, and supports the nine objectives outlined in DOD’s Fiscal Year 2018-2022 National Defense Business Operations Plan (NDBOP).

As the Chief Management Officer (CMO) for the Department of the Navy, I will lead the implementation of our Business Operations Plan – and this is where I need your help.

I believe we are at an inflection point today. For our Navy and Marine Corps team to achieve continued success in the future will not only require more ships and aircraft and advanced technologies, but it will also require a shift in culture to an adaptable, fast, innovative, collaborative, and transparent organization. We all must embrace this shift. We all must rise to this challenge. 

This plan is our report to DoD, Congress, and the American people on how we are supporting the National Defense Strategy, prioritizing our efforts, measuring success and holding ourselves accountable. I expect this plan to exhibit the same agility we are seeking. It will respond and evolve to both our changing environment and to our successes and challenges. That it will change over time to adapt is a feature.

There is something in this plan for everyone in the department, and I encourage you all to look carefully at the plan to determine where you can contribute and how your actions will be measured to our Department’s success

181011-N-WM647-3022<br /> WATERS OFF THE KOREAN PENINSULA (Oct. 11, 2018) The Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76), left, steams alongside the Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Chancellorsville (CG 62) during a pass in review as part of the Republic of Korea navy to help enhance mutual trust and confidence with navies from around the world. Benfold is forward-deployed to the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations in support of security and stability in the Indo-Pacific region. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Elesia Patten/Released)

I am confident that, together, we can build the agile maritime force our nation needs. And by reforming the way we manage the business operations of the Department of the Navy we will find the additional resources our Sailors and Marines need to face current and future threats to our security.

This will not be easy, nothing worthwhile ever is, but our heritage unquestionably proves the Navy and Marine Corps team will always rise to meet a challenge. And this challenge is ours!

Thomas Modly
Under Secretary of the Navy



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Navy and Marine Corps Business Operations Reform Supports Global Operations

Special Report: Enduring Promise

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USNS Comfort is on an 11-week medical support mission to Central and South America as part of U.S. Southern Command’s Enduring Promise initiative.

Working with health and government partners in Ecuador, Peru, Colombia and Honduras, the embarked medical team is providing care on board and at land-based medical sites, helping to relieve pressure on national medical systems caused partly by an increase in cross-border migrants. The deployment reflects the United States’ enduring promise of friendship, partnership and solidarity with the Americas.

Be sure to bookmark and frequently visit this page to follow Enduring Promise.

Highlights

USNS Comfort Departs for Medical Assistance Mission in South and Central America

U.S. Navy hospital ship USNS Comfort (T-AH 20) departed Naval Station Norfolk, Virginia, Oct. 10, on an 11-week medical assistance mission to South and Central America where personnel will work closely with host-nation health and government partners in Ecuador, Peru, Colombia and Honduras.

Read more on Navy.mil.

NORFOLK (Oct. 10, 2018) The hospital ship USNS Comfort (T-AH 20) departs Naval Station Norfolk on an 11-week medical support mission to Central and South America as part of U.S. Southern Command's Enduring Promise initiative. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Daniel E. Gheesling/Released)
NORFOLK (Oct. 10, 2018) The hospital ship USNS Comfort (T-AH 20) departs Naval Station Norfolk on an 11-week medical support mission to Central and South America as part of U.S. Southern Command’s Enduring Promise initiative. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Daniel E. Gheesling/Released)

USNS Comfort Conducts Mass Casualty Training Exercise

Doctors, nurses and other embarked medical personnel aboard the hospital ship USNS Comfort (T-AH 20) conducted a mass casualty training exercise in preparation for visiting medical sites in Central and South America, Oct. 13.

Read more on Navy.mil.

Preventive Healthcare: Comfort’s Plan Heading into First Stop

Moving closer to providing care in the first country of an 11-week medical mission in support of Enduring Promise 2018, providers and corpsmen aboard hospital ship USNS Comfort (T-AH 20) are eager to execute a major initiative­ — preventive health care.

Read more on Navy.mil.

USNS Comfort Transits the Panama Canal

PANAMA CITY, PANAMA (Oct. 17, 2018) The hospital ship USNS Comfort (T-AH 20) transits the Panama Canal. (U.S. Navy video by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Keith Wilson/Released)

USNS Comfort Begins Medical Site Set-up in Ecuador

A team comprised of more than 900 personnel, embarked aboard USNS Comfort (T-AH 20), commenced their first mission stop as part of U.S. Southern Command’s Enduring Promise initiative in Esmeraldas, Ecuador, Oct. 20.

Read more on Navy.mil.

ESMERALDAS, Ecuador (Oct. 20, 2018) Sailors move medical supplies from the hospital ship USNS Comfort (T-AH 20) onto one of two medical sites in preparation for upcoming treatment days. Comfort is on an 11-week medical support mission to Central and South America as part of U.S. Southern Command’s Enduring Promise initiative. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Jacob Waldrop/Released)
ESMERALDAS, Ecuador (Oct. 20, 2018) Sailors move medical supplies from the hospital ship USNS Comfort (T-AH 20) onto one of two medical sites in preparation for upcoming treatment days. Comfort is on an 11-week medical support mission to Central and South America as part of U.S. Southern Command’s Enduring Promise initiative. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Jacob Waldrop/Released)

Ecuadorian Minister of Defense Visits USNS Comfort

As part of its partnership with Ecuador, the hospital ship USNS Comfort (T-AH 20) hosted officials from the government of Ecuador during the ship’s medical assistance visit, Oct. 22.

Read more on Navy.mil.

ESMERALDAS, Ecuador (Oct. 22, 2018) Ecuadorian Minister of Defense Oswald Jarrin speaks during the opening ceremony at one of two medical sites. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Benjamin T. Liston/Released)
ESMERALDAS, Ecuador (Oct. 22, 2018) Ecuadorian Minister of Defense Oswald Jarrin speaks during the opening ceremony at one of two medical sites. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Benjamin T. Liston/Released)

Esmeraldas, Ecuador

Oct. 22

ESMERALDAS, Ecuador (Oct. 22, 2018) Sailors and partner-nation personnel check in patients at one of two medical sites during Enduring Promise 2018. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Pat Morrissey/Released)
ESMERALDAS, Ecuador (Oct. 22, 2018) Sailors and partner-nation personnel check in patients at one of two medical sites during Enduring Promise 2018. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Pat Morrissey/Released)

Oct. 22

ESMERALDAS, Ecuador (Oct. 22, 2018) Hospitalman Cayman Buchanan, from Atlanta, helps a patient down the stairs at one of two medical sites. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Pat Morrissey/Released)
ESMERALDAS, Ecuador (Oct. 22, 2018) Hospitalman Cayman Buchanan, from Atlanta, helps a patient down the stairs at one of two medical sites. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Pat Morrissey/Released)

Oct. 22

ESMERALDAS, Ecuador (Oct. 22, 2018) Dr. Carolina Melo, from the White Helmets of Argentina, translates for Lt. True Xiong, a dentist from Spokane, Wash., while conducting a dental procedure at one of two medical sites during Enduring Promise 2018. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Pat Morrissey/Released)
ESMERALDAS, Ecuador (Oct. 22, 2018) Dr. Carolina Melo, from the White Helmets of Argentina, translates for Lt. True Xiong, a dentist from Spokane, Wash., while conducting a dental procedure at one of two medical sites during Enduring Promise 2018. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Pat Morrissey/Released)

Oct. 22

ESMERALDAS, Ecuador (Oct. 22, 2018) Rear Adm. Sean Buck (right), commander of U.S. 4th Fleet, meets members of the Ecuadorian Ministry of Health while touring one of the two medical sites in Esmeraldas, Ecuador. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Kris R. Lindstrom/Released)
ESMERALDAS, Ecuador (Oct. 22, 2018) Rear Adm. Sean Buck (right), commander of U.S. 4th Fleet, meets members of the Ecuadorian Ministry of Health while touring one of the two medical sites in Esmeraldas, Ecuador. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Kris R. Lindstrom/Released)

Oct. 22

ESMERALDAS, Ecuador (Oct. 22, 2018) Lt. Emily Norris, left, and Lt. Cmdr. Mark Johnson perform an umbilical hernia surgery aboard the hospital ship USNS Comfort (T-AH 20). (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman J. Keith Wilson/Released)
ESMERALDAS, Ecuador (Oct. 22, 2018) Lt. Emily Norris, left, and Lt. Cmdr. Mark Johnson perform an umbilical hernia surgery aboard the hospital ship USNS Comfort (T-AH 20). (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman J. Keith Wilson/Released)

Oct. 22

ESMERALDAS, Ecuador (Oct. 22, 2018) Dr. Maggie Cardonell, an ophthalmologist with Global First Responder and a professor from the University of Missouri, examines a patient’s eye during pterygium surgery, a corneal growth removal, aboard the hospital ship USNS Comfort (T-AH 20). (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman J. Keith Wilson/Released)
ESMERALDAS, Ecuador (Oct. 22, 2018) Dr. Maggie Cardonell, an ophthalmologist with Global First Responder and a professor from the University of Missouri, examines a patient’s eye during pterygium surgery, a corneal growth removal, aboard the hospital ship USNS Comfort (T-AH 20). (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman J. Keith Wilson/Released)

Oct. 23

ESMERALDAS, Ecuador (Oct. 23, 2018) Members of the surgical services directorate aboard the hospital ship USNS Comfort (T-AH 20) perform gallbladder surgery on a patient. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Benjamin T. Liston/Released)
ESMERALDAS, Ecuador (Oct. 23, 2018) Members of the surgical services directorate aboard the hospital ship USNS Comfort (T-AH 20) perform gallbladder surgery on a patient. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Benjamin T. Liston/Released)

Oct. 24

ESMERALDAS, Ecuador (Oct. 24, 2018) Juan Francisco Saerz, right, a medical student from Quito, Ecuador, helps a patient find the correct eye-glasses prescription at one of two medical sites in Esmeraldas, Ecuador, set up by personnel embarked aboard the hospital ship USNS Comfort (T-AH 20. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman J. Keith Wilson/Released)
ESMERALDAS, Ecuador (Oct. 24, 2018) Juan Francisco Saerz, right, a medical student from Quito, Ecuador, helps a patient find the correct eye-glasses prescription at one of two medical sites in Esmeraldas, Ecuador, set up by personnel embarked aboard the hospital ship USNS Comfort (T-AH 20. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman J. Keith Wilson/Released)

Oct. 24

ESMERALDAS, Ecuador (Oct. 24, 2018) Hospital Corpsman 3rd Class Brandon Williams, from Brooklyn, N.Y., checks a patient’s eyesight at one of two medical sites in Esmeraldas, Ecuador. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Benjamin T. Liston/Released)
ESMERALDAS, Ecuador (Oct. 24, 2018) Hospital Corpsman 3rd Class Brandon Williams, from Brooklyn, N.Y., checks a patient’s eyesight at one of two medical sites in Esmeraldas, Ecuador. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Benjamin T. Liston/Released)

Oct. 24

ESMERALDAS, Ecuador (Oct. 24, 2018) Capt. Kevin Buckley, commanding officer of the hospital ship USNS Comfort's (T-AH 20) medical treatment facility, poses with a patient for a photo at one of two medical sites in Esmeraldas, Ecuador. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Devin Alexondra Lowe/Released)
ESMERALDAS, Ecuador (Oct. 24, 2018) Capt. Kevin Buckley, commanding officer of the hospital ship USNS Comfort’s (T-AH 20) medical treatment facility, poses with a patient for a photo at one of two medical sites in Esmeraldas, Ecuador. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Devin Alexondra Lowe/Released)

Oct. 26

USNS Comfort Surgeons Perform a Frontalis Sling Procedure to Save Ecuadorian Child’s Eyesight

Patricia Caicedo, grandmother of Domenica, both from Esmeraldas, Ecuador, speaks about the frontalis sling procedure her granddaughter received aboard the hospital ship USNS Comfort (T-AH 20).


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Special Report: Enduring Promise

National Park Week (Military Pass)

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It’s almost here…

Did you know that National Park Week is April 20-28, 2013?

Did you know that there are 401 national parks? That they include seashores, battlefields, historic homes, archaeological sites, and spectacular natural areas?

Did you know there is at least one national park in every state?

Did you know that 99 percent of counties in America have recreational facilities such as playgrounds and trails funded by the National Park Service’s Land & Water Conservation Fund?

So, if you are looking for something fun and fantastic to do with family and friends, head out to America’s national parks where millions of stars light up the dark night sky, deer and antelope (and a few other critters!) play on the wide open range, and history is an unbelievable experience, not an exam.

The National Park Service is proud to once again join with the National Park Foundation, the official charity of America’s national parks, to present National Park Week, a presidential-proclaimed celebration of our national heritage.

Be sure to pick up your free military pass to national parks! For more information, check this out:


Video provided by the National Park Service YouTube Channel

———-

Disclaimer: The appearance of hyperlinks does not constitute endorsement by the Department of Defense of this website or the information, products or services contained therein. For other than authorized activities such as military exchanges and Morale, Welfare and Recreation sites, the Department of Defense does not exercise any editorial control over the information you may find at these locations. Such links are provided consistent with the stated purpose of this DoD website.

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National Park Week (Military Pass)

Marines Blog

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Colonel Walt Ford, USMC (Ret)

DiamondVsBasilone

Who is the Ultimate Marine’s Marine? Each day, we’ll compare two Marine Corps legends across three categories: Service (actions while in uniform), Legacy (how their service continued to impact the Corps and the world) and Motivation (esprit de corps and overall badassery). The Marines Blog will judge initial rounds internally and guest writers will take over for the final rounds. Be sure to make your voice heard by voting in our simultaneous fan bracket here on the Marines Blog. Share your opinion on our Facebook page, or tweet your thoughts with us @usmc using the hashtag: #UltimateMarine

This round is being judged by Colonel Walt Ford, USMC (Ret), the publisher for Marine Corps Association periodicals and editor of Leatherneck Magazine. Leatherneck, started by then-Brigadier General John A. Lejeune in 1917 as the Marine Barracks Quantico newspaper, and becoming a magazine published by the Marine Corps Institute in 1921, was an official publication of the Marine Corps, staffed by active duty Marines until 1972. It’s mission continues to be to tell the Marine Corps story, yesterday, today and tomorrow. Searchable archived articles back to 1921 may be accessed via the magazine’s website.

ViewBracketThe Marine Corps has more than its share of myths and legends, but few Marines are surrounded by less fact and more fiction than Master Gunnery Sgt. Leland “Lou” Diamond and Gunnery Sgt. John “Manila John” Basilone. While these two definitely rate high in the pantheon of Leatherneck Lore as “Giants of the Corps,” and previous bloggers have superbly presented much about each and his legacy, I’ll add a few tidbits for your consideration and, for what it’s worth, give you my take on each, relative to theViewFanBracket established criteria: Service — Their actions while serving in uniform. Motivation — motivating stories/anecdotes/details about them. Legacy — How their actions continued to impact the Corps/world after they left. From that we’ll consider which of these two legends has the more lasting impact on our Corps of Marines.

MGySgt Leland “Lou” Diamond (and not Diamond Lou, who would also make for a very interesting discussion), famously known as “The Honker” because of his loud, often obnoxious voice clearly heard above the din of barroom or battle, was heralded as the master-mortarman of World War II, and certainly was one of the most eccentric Devil Dogs to ever pull on dungarees.

He was a fairly old railroad switchman when he decided to take part in the action in France. Promoted to corporal before deploying from Quantico, the self-confident, cocky Marine cussed and killed the “Boche” from Belleau Wood to the Armistice. Returning Stateside, the salty Lou Diamond was discharged in August 1919. But he quickly found “civvies” didn’t fit him well and came back to his family — the Corps. For the next two decades, America forgot about professional warfighters like Lou Diamond. But Diamond was happy. First he served as an armorer. Then he was in a machine gun company while doing duty with those machine gun artists, the Fourth Marines, in China.

The mortars became Lou’s sweethearts and hundreds of stories began to circulate through the Corps about the amazing accuracy of Lou Diamond’s 81mm mortars. His proficiency with the 37mm cannon and heavy machine guns gained the respect of the Japanese too.

Manila John Basilone — well, he’s documented as coming to the Corps in July 1940 as a “doggie” and didn’t even go to Marine boot camp. Is that important? Over the history of the Corps, there have been a great many soldiers see the light and come to the Corps. Boot camp? While few WWII leathernecks did not complete recruit training, a great many Marines who went to war as part of “The Fire Brigade” in August 1950 had not gone to boot camp — don’t make the mistake of telling one of them he’s not a real Marine!

Both these leathernecks were brave, dedicated to their profession and much loved by their Marines who would follow them to Hell and bring back the Devil if asked. In the case of Lou Diamond, he was awarded the Bronze Star for his actions in WWII, but this came years after the fact. Manila John was recommended for the Medal of Honor by the battalion commander of 1st Bn, 7th Marines, LtCol Lewis B. “Chesty” Puller, for his actions on the night of Oct. 24-25, 1942. He was awarded the medal during a formation in Balcombe, Australia, in May 1943. Basilone also earned a Navy Cross leading his men on Iwo Jima, and the Purple Heart when he was killed in action on Iwo.

Service: GySgt John “Manila John” Basilone

Both these giants were loved by their Marines as professionals, but also because of their often eccentric personalities.

When Diamond was on liberty, he was known to have a beer bottle in each hand but was no roisterer. Still, he liked his beer. Once at a China station, where the nearest bar was far from the post, Diamond is said to have set up a Chinese man in the bar business right across the street from the Marine barracks. He was known to hold forth with salty tales even after the lights were out.

But Diamond has no edge on Basilone. Basilone’s prodigious appreciation of alcoholic libations was heralded from the Philippines to the States, certainly in New Zealand and Australia, and his homemade “hooch” on Guadalcanal was legendary. Opposite of Lou, Manila John was known as a bit of a brawler on liberty who really could turn out your lights.

Family, well Lou was married to the Corps — right to the end. Manila John — he enjoyed the ladies until a very pretty young hash-slinger in a Camp Pendleton mess hall, Sgt. Lena Mae Riggi, won his heart. They married on July 7, 1944, and shortly thereafter Gunnery Sgt. Basilone was sent back to the Pacific where he was killed on Iwo Jima leading his Marines, Feb. 19, 1945.

She christened the Navy destroyer escort USS Basilone (DDE-824) in 1949 and later helped erect a statue in her husband’s honor at Raritan, N.J. She never remarried, stating, “Once you have the best, you can’t settle for less.”

Lou’s family members were all Marines and the families of his Marines. Many of the Marine children on base at San Diego imagined that the Lord had a scraggly white goatee, a lot of hash marks on his sleeve and a stern visage, just like Master Gunnery Sgt. Lou Diamond.

How did Lou Diamond look? Well, we know from the photo above about his goatee and white hair, but let’s read what Gunny Sgt. Mickey Finn said on that subject:

“One day, coming back from Nicaragua, I got off the train at Quantico, and there was Lou Diamond with his bulldog, Bozo. This Bozo was the ugliest bulldog I ever saw. But, I would say that Bozo was considerably prettier than Diamond.”

Beside Bozo, the homely bulldog at Quantico, Diamond had many pets. At the time the First Marine Division was preparing to leave New River for the South Seas, Diamond was the owner of a particularly ornery goat named “Rufus” and a couple of “trained” chickens whose names were said to be too impolite to print. These were left in New River under the care of a farmer. While he was in the Solomons, rumor had it that Diamond sweated about meat shortages back in the States because he was fearful that Rufus and the educated chickens might be barbecued in his absence.

Basilone? Well, he had no known pets.

Motivation: Master Gunnery Sgt. Lou Diamond

Both Lou Diamond and Manila John were media darlings. Both were on the cover of various magazines such as Time, Life and Leatherneck. In 1949, several million Americans once again re-heard Diamond’s story via the “Cavalcade of America.” Then in a June 1, 1955, television version on the “Cavalcade of America” originally entitled, “The Old Breed,” and later dubbed “The Marine Who Lived 200 Years,” Ward Bond played Lou embellishing the already ostentatious reputation of the by-then deceased “Diamond in the Rough.”

Of course, Basilone is much more well-known today because of the 2010 HBO miniseries, “The Pacific.” Basilone was also featured in the 1995 Iwo Jima documentary, “Red Blood, Black Sand.”

Books, well I don’t recall any on Lou Diamond, but two 2010 books quickly jump to mind on Manila John. One, billed as family-authorized and on the Commandant’s Professional Reading List is, “I’m Staying With My Boys: The Heroic Life Of Sgt. John Basilone, USMC.” Opinion only — a much more balanced, well-presented book on Manila John is “The Hero of the Pacific: The Life of Marine Legend John Basilone,” by noted Marine veteran and author, now-deceased James Brady. Both books positively portray Manila John.

Legacy: GySgt Manila John Basilone

Every Marine today is taught of the heroism, leadership and commitment of Manila John Basilone. Lou Diamond is lost in history to most Marines. Bringing him to life again via this blog is fantastic and I’m proud to be part of the effort. But, in overall service, motivation and legacy, the tip of the hat and hand salute has to go to Gunnery Sgt. John “Manila John” Basilone.

— — — — — —

Round One

Daly vs Lejeune

Foss vs Hulbert

Diamond vs Gray

Basilone vs Johnson

Puller vs Barnum

Hathcock vs Mawhinney

Vittori vs Glenn

Butler vs Davis

Round Two

Daly vs Foss

Diamond vs Basilone

Puller vs Hathcock

Glenn vs Butler

— — — — — —

The fan bracket has taken a different turn than the Marines Blog. Today’s fan match is between Gen. Alfred Gray and Gunnery Sgt. John Basilone. Read the first round blog to catch up on Gray and cast your vote below.

Take Our Poll
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Marines Blog

Obama Proclaims April Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month

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File photo: President Barak Obama. Defense Department photo by Erin A. Kirk-Cuomo

File photo: President Barak Obama Defense Department photo by Erin A. Kirk-Cuomo

President Barack Obama today proclaims April “National Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month.” He reminds the nation that sexual violence is an affront to human dignity that cannot be tolerated and calls on Americans to offer their support to survivors of such crimes.

The proclamation reads:

In the last 20 years, our nation has made meaningful progress toward addressing sexual assault. Where victims were once left without recourse, laws have opened a path to safety and justice; where a culture of fear once kept violence hidden, survivors are more empowered to speak out and get help.

But even today, too many women, men, and children suffer alone or in silence, burdened by shame or unsure anyone will listen. This month, we recommit to changing that tragic reality by stopping sexual assault before it starts and ensuring victims get the support they need.

Sexual violence is an affront to human dignity and a crime no matter where it occurs. While rape and sexual assault affect all communities, those at the greatest risk are children, teens, and young women. Nearly one in five women will be a victim of sexual assault during college.

For some groups, the rates of violence are even higher — Native American women are more than twice as likely to experience sexual assault as the general population. Moreover, we know rape and sexual assault are consistently underreported, and that the physical and emotional trauma they leave behind can last for years.

With Vice President Joe Biden’s leadership, we have made preventing sexual violence and supporting survivors a top priority. Earlier this month, I was proud to sign the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act, which renews and strengthens the law that first made it possible for our country to address sexual assault in a comprehensive way. The act preserves critical services like rape crisis centers, upholds protections for immigrant victims, gives state and tribal law enforcement better tools to investigate cases of rape, and breaks down barriers that keep lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender victims from getting help. It also expands funding for sexual assault nurse examiner programs and sexual assault response teams, helping states deliver justice for survivors and hold offenders accountable.

Just as we keep fighting sexual assault in our neighborhoods, we must also recommit to ending it in our military — because no one serving our country should be at risk of assault by a fellow service member.

Where this crime does take place, it cannot be tolerated; victims must have access to support, and offenders must face the consequences of their actions. Members of our armed forces and their families can learn more about the resources available to them at 1-877-995-5247 and www.SafeHelpline.org.

All Americans can play a role in changing the culture that enables sexual violence. Each of us can take action by lifting up survivors we know and breaking the silence surrounding rape and sexual assault. To get involved, visit www.WhiteHouse.gov/1is2many.

Together, our nation is moving forward in the fight against sexual assault. This month, let us keep working to prevent violence in every corner of America, and let us rededicate ourselves to giving survivors the bright future they deserve.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim April 2013 as National Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month. I urge all Americans to support survivors of sexual assault and work together to prevent these crimes in their communities.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this twenty-ninth day of March, in the year of our Lord two thousand thirteen, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-seventh.

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Obama Proclaims April Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month