Friday, January 22, 2010

Former UW linebacker and combat Marine using skills to help Haitians

As he watched the chaotic scenes from Haiti unfold on television, Jake Wood worried that large-scale relief efforts couldn't move quickly enough ... ( wire)

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Republic, Mo., Marine Back from Boot Camp Catches Thief in the Act

Via KSPR News

While this type of action is not recommended, I can’t say it’s surprising either. What’s most impressive about this young Marine is the level of self-discipline he exhibited. He just finished three months of boot camp, to include martial arts training, and is likely in the best shape of his life, yet he exhibited the maturity and judgment to control a heated situation using words alone.

Being reminded how impressive our young Marines are just never gets old. Thanks to KSPR News for covering the story!

Posted via web from Midwest Marines

Monday, January 18, 2010

Hopefully Marines' Iraq departure signals return to expeditionary roots

Now THIS is good news (First wave of Marines leave Iraq)! Our Marines have performed remarkably in Iraq, but it's time to get back to our roots: ship-based, expeditionary operations; deploying at a moment's notice with a Marine Air Ground Task Force capable of accomplishing nearly anything.

 I've heard it said that a Marine in combat fights not for country and not for Corps, but rather for the Marines to his left and right. Whether or not that’s true in every case, Master Sgt. Sewell’s recollection in this story is a poignant reminder of the often unspoken but always present commitment Marines have to each other:

As a severely wounded Marine was flown in by helicopter, "We'd go down there and stand in line, waiting to give blood," said [Master Sgt. Matthew] Sewell, 26, of N. Ft. Myers, Florida. "You'd see 200 people standing in line. We'd all stand there until the guy was stabilized or we gave blood." (AP)

Posted via web from Midwest Marines

Friday, January 15, 2010

A Few Good African American Men and Women

One of the Commandant of the Marine Corps' recruiting goals is to recruit to the "face of the nation."  This nation is 12 percent African American and 14 percent Hispanic American.  It is the goal of the Marine Corps to represent this diversity within our ranks, at all levels.  Over the past few years, the Marine Corps has been a popular choice for Hispanic Americans; 17 percent of Marines are Hispanic, even greater than the percentage of Hispanic individuals in our nation's population as a whole.  Hispanic Marines are setting the example throughout the Marine Corps, with one noteworthy example being Brigadier General Angela Salinas, the first Marine Latina General Officer, who just completed a tour as the commanding officer of the Marine Corps Recruit Depot in San Diego.  Yet only nine percent of Marines are African American.
This is a problem throughout all the services, particularly when it comes to attracting African Americans who are qualified to be officers.  The Government Accountability Office reported that the number of African American officers began to decline in all service branches in 2003, as did the number of African Americans enrolled in NROTC.  Part of a research study done by the Department of Defense Youth Polls in 2006-2008 gives one possible reason why - African Americans lack confidence that they can be successful in the military.  Amongst 16-24-year-olds who are college bound or enrolled in college, African Americans were less confident than their white and Hispanic counterparts that they could complete boot camp or officer candidates school, fight in a war, meet the requirements for enlistment, and qualify for a good job.  African Americans were less confident about their prospects for success in the military than their white and Hispanic counterparts in every category surveyed.  The Marine Corps prides itself on its ability to transform women and men of all geographic, economic, and racial backgrounds into warriors either at boot camp or officer candidates school.  So why is it that African Americans lack confidence in us that we can make them into Marines?      
In February, the Marine Corps will launch a new commercial celebrating Black History Month.  There will also be print ads and online advertising to support the commercial.  This is the second year that the Marine Corps has made a commercial specifically for Black History Month; last year's commercial featured Major General (retired) Bolden and Lieutenant General (retired) Peterson.
But will our efforts be enough to communicate to African Americans that they can be successful in the Marine Corps?
*Note: This post was actually written by Capt Amelia Kays

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Post 9-11 GI Bill turned enormous regret into a promising future for my daughter


My college freshman daughter is attending a terrific university this year with tuition, fees, books, housing and a small stipend all paid for by the Post 9-11 GI Bill; and it truly cost me nothing. This occured to me as I moved her from one school to another this week with very little anxiety, which will likely floor other parents who've pulled thier hair out after a son or daughter decided the first choice just wasn't what they'd expected.

I never signed up for the Montgomery GI Bill when enlisting in 1988 because it sounded too good to be true, and I did not trust the government at its word (the irony is not lost, I assure you). This simple act of defiance – or “lack” of action -- haunted me for more than 20 years as my singular regret to military service (and I could not even claim that my recruiter lied to me). Alternatively, I spent years going to school at night to attain my degree using the 100% tuition assistance offered to all active duty members. Still a good deal, but challenging as any working parent pursuing their education can tell you.

I was about to give up a 20-year mission to make up for that initial mistake when rumors of the Post 9-11 program surfaced in late 2008. This godsend for military members went active in August 2009 – a month before my daughter started school. The VA website has the details, but this program replaced that singular regret with a promise for the future that is a true gift to American service members!

Posted via web from Midwest Marines

Friday, January 8, 2010

Getting out of the cold soon with HS teachers seeing boot camp up close in San Diego with the first 2010 Midwest Marines Educators Workshop

Thoughts of the four upcoming Midwest Marines Educators Workshop trips to San Diego are helping us stay warm as temperatures plummet and snow piles up across America’s heartland. A few seats are still available for high school teachers and faculty (and a few members of the media) to experience Marine Corps recruit training first hand and free of charge between February and June. I’m glad I’ll be joining the firsts groups from Milwaukee and Saint Louis at the end of February – I’m ready to go right now (after shoveling my way out of the driveway, of course)!


While it’s no dog and pony show and the days are long, groups from Minnesota, Wisconsin, Western Michigan, Illinois, Iowa, Indiana, Nebraska, Kansas, Missouri, Northwestern Arkansas and parts of the Dakotas tour recruit training, a major Marine Corps base, and an air station.  Most importantly, no question is off limits, and educators can even speak to the actual recruits currently going through boot camp; it’s pretty awesome when teachers come across their former students in training!


Information, trip dates, past educator comments, and application instructions are available at the Midwest Marines’ official website, where you can also download memory books from past Midwest Marines Educators Workshops. Interested educators can also simply contact their local Marine Corps recruiter to find out about upcoming trips from their area.


The video below gives a nice overview of the program, and there are numerous news reports online from reporters who’ve joined us. Drop us a comment if you need help finding one of the reports from Midwestern media outlets.


Posted via web from Midwest Marines

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

'Marine' title comes with the inherent obligation to honor it for life

The safest place in America is in its heartland next to a Marine, which makes cases like the tragic death of Indiana University Professor Don Belton even more disturbing than normal since a former Marine may be involved. A recent CBS’ News headline caught my eye in particular: Did "Gay Panic" Lead Ex-Marine Michael Griffin to Kill Professor Don Belton? Despite no apparent connection between his past military service and this case, including the words “Ex-Marine” in the headline is a reminder that this country rightly holds its US Marines to a higher standard, regardless of when they served.



Most people realize that actions like those alleged are not representative of Marines, and that’s exactly why we’re shocked to hear about it. At the same time, those seeking the title “Marine” should first consider the inherent obligation to honor it for life.


While my heartfelt condolences go out to Professor Belton’s family, friends, students, peers, and readers across the nation, I can’t help thinking that he may be missed even more by those of us who will never meet him, hear him, or sit in his classroom.




Posted via web from Midwest Marines