Yesterday, Flag Day, members of the Inland Empire Council and others were privileged to be among those attending a training evolution and demonstration of the Marine Air-Ground Task Force (MAGTF) concept. It took place on “the beach” at Camp Pendleton.
The event was part of Camp Pendleton’s celebration this year of its 75th anniversary and members of the community were invited to watch and learn more about the Marines and the base. Inland Empire Council received very short notice of the event and it was only possible for a few members to attend. With the impending merger of Tri-City and Inland Empire councils, it is the intention of the council-to-be to expand the range of such activities and access of members to them.
In simple terms, MAGTF involves Navy and Marine forces — air, ground, and sea — in a coordinated amphibious operation. Navy ships bring materiel and personnel to the area, land Marines and their equipment and supplies, supported by Navy and Marine aircraft.
The event was much less whiz-bang than similar demonstrations at the annual MCAS Miramar airshow, but the scale and kinds of equipment were quite different. The Camp Pendleton evolution involved Navy ships, amphibious craft, and an actual amphibious landing on an awesome stretch of sand and waves.
Cadets from two units supported by Tri-City Council helped Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1924 commemorate Memorial Day in Fallbrook yesterday.
Young men and women from US Naval Sea Cadet Corps Gunfighter Squadron and Navy League Cadet Corps Training Ship TopGun attended the event and Sea Cadets formed the color guard. Cadets from these units also assisted at ceremonies Sunday at Miramar National Cemetery.
Below is a relatively short (7:10) video of highlights of the Memorial Day ceremonies in Fallbrook, which featured an address by Major Dennis Katolin, USMC, from Camp Pendleton.
The support of youth programs such as these, as well as Junior Navy and Marine ROTC programs, is an important function of Navy League Councils. Tri-City also provides assistance to Marine Corps Junior ROTC programs at El Camino and Oceanside high schools.
Team “Maverick,” composed of members of Gunfighter Squadron, US Naval Sea Cadet Corps, a unit supported by Tri-City Council, took first place in the obstacle course competition in the National SeaPerch Challenge, Saturday, in Atlanta, Ga. A total of 89 teams from around the country participated at the high-school level.
SeaPerch is an underwater robotics program sponsored by the Office of Naval Research in which thousands of students in high schools, middle schools, and other organizations participate nationwide. Students build a remotely-operated vehicle (ROV) as part of a science and engineering technology curriculum.
In the obstacle course competition, teams navigate their ROV to maneuver through a underwater series of rings and cubes set at various angles, surface, re-submerge, and maneuver through the obstacles in the opposite direction.
Team Maverick’s ROV finished the course in 1 hour, 3 minutes, and 12 seconds, more than 3 minutes faster than the 2nd-place team from Austin Preparatory School, Reading, Mass.
The SeaPerch Challenge events were held in the Georgia Tech Aquatics Center.
Gunfighter Squadron, along with the Navy League Cadet Corps Training Ship TopGun, also supported by Tri-City Council, is based at MCAS Miramar.
Each quarter, Tri-City Council presents an award and certificate to the honor graduate of the class at Field Medical Training Battalion-West, MCB Camp Pendleton.
In March, Council President Bill McDonald was joined at the graduation ceremonies by Stephanie Davis, Navy Federal Credit Union, who presented a plaque to honor graduate HA Nicolas Jacquot.
FMTB-West trains those Navy hospital corpsmen who provide medical support and assistance to Marines. The rating of Hospital Corpsman is the most decorated in the Navy, with 22 Medals of Honor, 174 Navy Crosses, hundreds of Silver Stars, and more than 1,500 Bronze Medals.
Sixty-four years ago, a Marine officer serving in Korea purchased a small mare to assist his recoilless rifle platoon. On Wednesday, October 26, the anniversary of that purchase, a monument was dedicated at Camp Pendleton to that horse, which had become America’s greatest war hero horse. This is a short video (<7 mins) I took of those ceremonies.
The Marines named the horse “Reckless,” a play on the name of the weapons they used. During one five-day battle, Reckless made 51 round-trips on a single day from the ammunition supply point to the firing sites, carrying several 24-pound shells and nearly always under fire. On the return trips, Reckless carried wounded Marines to safety. She was wounded twice that day.
Reckless was brought to California and was formally made a Sergeant in the Marines in 1954. She was promoted to Staff Sergeant in 1959 in a ceremony at Camp Pendleton that featured a 19-gun salute and a 1,700-man parade of Marines from her wartime unit.
A Life Magazine special issue included SSgt Reckless among America’s 100 greatest war heroes.
At Camp Pendleton, SSgt Reckless produced four foals before and after her “retirement” in 1960. SSGt Reckless died in 1968 and is buried at Stepp Stables on base.
The Tri-City and Inland Empire councils, on Tuesday, honored nine Marines and Sailors from Camp Pendleton nominated by their units as Enlisted Father of the Year.
The nominees and members of their families, as well as command representatives, attended the awards luncheon at Iron Mike’s, Pacific View Event Center, Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton. Offering remarks and assisting in the presentation of awards were BGen Edward Banta, Commanding General, MCI West/MCB Camp Pendleton, and SgtMaj Julio Meza, MCIW/MCBCP Sergeant Major.
Honorees, in alphabetical order:
SgtMaj Christopher Adams, USMC, Marine Aviation Logistics Squadron 39
Sgt Matthew Annable, USMC, Headquarters and Support Battalion
SSgt Ryan Farish, USMC, Security and Emergency Services Battalion
SSgt Reginald Glenn, USMC, Marine Light Attack Helicopter Training Squadron
LS1 Cenon Lu II, USN, Medical Logistics Company
HM1 Miguel Murillo, USN, Headquarters Regiment, 1st Marine Logistics Group
Sgt Michael Parker, USMC, Headquarters and Support Battalion
AE2 Richard Smallwood, USN, Marine Aircraft Group 1, 3d Marine Aircraft Wing
Cpl Daniel Taylor, USMC, Headquarters Battalion, 1st Marine Division
Also among those attending were: Col Joseph Craft, Commanding Officer, Headquarters and Support Battalion; SgtMaj Michael Saucedo, Headquarters and Support Battalion Sergeant Major; Edward Langmaid, President, San Diego/Imperial Valley Area, Navy League of the United States; Michelle Langmaid, National Director, Navy League; Bob Berman, Vice President, Sea Services, San Diego Council, Navy League; and Maggie Meza, wife of SgtMaj Meza.
Organizations that assisted in sponsoring the event were:
This was the second Enlisted Father of the Year Awards program, in what we hope will continue as an annual tradition. The event joins Navy League programs in the San Diego area that recognizes and honors service members who are mothers as well as spouses of service members.
As part of the Navy League’s commitment to programs that promote to youth the values of our sea services, the Tri-City Council supports the Marine Corps Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (MCJROTC) units sponsored by Oceanside Unified School District.
Yesterday, those units held their annual awards ceremony at El Camino High School. Council president Bill McDonald had the honor and privilege to present the Navy League’s Theodore Roosevelt Youth Medal to two outstanding cadets.
Thanks to council member Victoria Black for attending the awards ceremonies, and taking pictures.
In addition to the Oceanside MCJROTC units, the council supports Gunfighter Squadron, US Naval Sea Cadet Corps, and Training Ship TopGun, Navy League Cadet Corps, based at MCAS Miramar.
Theodore Roosevelt, 26th President of the United States (1901-09), and previously Assistant Secretary of the Navy, enthusiastically supported the founding of the Navy League in 1902. The Navy League’s Theodore Roosevelt Youth Medal was established to honor those young people who best exemplify Roosevelt’s values of energy, spirit, competition, and fair play.
It is a pleasure to recognize these outstanding young people, and inspiring to see so many participate in these programs.
Joined by members of Gunfighter Squadron, US Naval Sea Cadet Corps, and Training Ship TopGun, Navy League Cadet Corps, the Council offered information about the Navy League and programs it supports locally, including these cadets, to the throngs at Fallbrook’s Avocado Festival yesterday.
The cadets, all in uniform, were especially effective visual communicators and they made personal contact with hundreds of festival attendees.
Many thanks to those cadets and adult leaders who helped out. CDR Donn Murray SC, USN (Retired), commanding officer of the cadet units, joined by unit instructors Carole Stockbridge and Don Burns, spent much of the day communicating with the public and assisting cadets.
Members of the Inland Empire and Tri-City Councils of Navy League visited several Navy units Friday, April 8, in San Diego. Final stop on the tours was USS Pasadena (SSN-752), as seen above. Arrangements were made by Bill Lauper, CDR USN (Retired), president of the Inland Empire Council, and at right in the photo.
Here’s a short — just under nine minutes — video of the day’s activities. The day started in Coronado with a tour of San Diego harbor aboard one of Assault Craft Unit ONE’s boats, moved to Naval Air Station North Island to visit HSM-35, then just across the air station to USS Carl Vinson (CVN-70), and finished on USS Pasadena. As you’ll see, the tour group earlier in the day was larger than the group posed on the gangplank above and included several members of the US Naval Sea Cadet Corps.
Bill Lauper has been diligent in arranging such tours and making them available to members of the Navy League. Tri-City Council is working closely with Bill and the Inland Empire Council to engage in collaborative ventures, including these tours. Because of the operational activities of these active duty units, such tours often come together on short notice and are during the week, which limits accessibility. Please let us know if you would like to be on a list of those to be notified when such tours are available.