Memorial service for Marines lost in Hawaii helicopter crash

Captain Kevin T. Roche from St. Louis, Missouri was one of the 12 Marines lost in Hawaii after two CH-53E Super Stallion helicopters were involved in an incident off of the North Shore of Oahu on January 14. The Coast Guard suspended the search on January 19.

Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 463 will hold a memorial service honoring 12 of its Marines aboard Marine Corps Air Station Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii at 2 p.m. Central Time. Read more here MarinesMemorialHawaii-AP_732918435545

Marines' new tattoo policy will be more flexible, but won't allow sleeves

It continues to boggle my mind that our warriors are restricted to get tattoos while in the Marine Corps. Really? That's our biggest concern? Really? I wish Marines commiting suicide got this much attention. Time for a C-Gar

Marines will have more flexibility under the service’s upcoming updates to its tattoo policy, but they still will not be allowed to get sleeve tattoos, said Commandant Gen. Robert Neller.

Neller said he hopes the updated tattoo policy will be released within 30 days. It will seek to consolidate existing tattoo guidance in one document and to clarify which tattoos are allowed.

“Having talked to them, I don’t think most Marines understand what the policy is,” Neller told Marine Corps Times on Wednesday.  “I don’t think they understand what they can do. They just know they can’t get a sleeve.” Read more here

Fate of Pilot of Crashed F-16 Not Known- Happening now


The latest developments in the crash of an F-16 fighter in northwestern Arizona. (All times local):

1:45 p.m.

Authorities say helicopter crews still are searching for the crash site of an F-16 fighter that went down in northwestern Arizona.

Luke Air Force Base officials say the jet crashed Thursday morning in rugged terrain in a remote location near Bagdad in Yavapai County.

Bagdad is 85 miles northwest of the base, which is located in the Phoenix suburb of Glendale.

State authorities say the cause of the crash and the condition of the pilot are unknown and no contact has been made.

A spokeswoman for Gov. Doug Ducey says the state has dispatched personnel from the Arizona Department of Public Safety's Hazardous Materials Unit, Explosives Ordinance Disposal Unit and Aviation Unit to the reported location in the mountains to assist federal and local search and rescue and first responders. Follow progress here

Top Marine general eyes changes to promotions, deployments and fitness

If you are wondering “if” the armed forces will be less than what they were when we started the Iraq and Afghani war, I believe the below article sums up any doubt. It describes how the Commandant of the Marine Corps is making changes to your Marines Corps. The article describes how “Marines are promoted, how units develop physical fitness programs and how Marines deploy.”

After reading this it came across to me, a "Mustang" Marine  (which means you were first enlisted then became an officer ) infantry officer of a short 23 years of service and five combat deployments that this is another death by many cuts to not only ease and allow females into the military combat positions but to continue to reduce the Marine Corps to ridicules levels while maintaining the requirements of the nation. Last time I checked the mission of the Marine Corps was mission accomplishment....not "men and women of character". I know several enlisted and officer Marines of crappy character but awesome war fighters. The Marine Corps is a fighting force which was born in a bar in 1775. Kind of reflects the mentality "keep Marines in glass cage and only break in case of war." The quote "promote and retain those who are the most competent, mature and capable leaders, and who are innovative and willing to implement change." is a pre cursor for, we are getting rid of the combat hardened Marines that have been fighting for the past 13 years and want only those who are "yes" men and will not bow up to stupid administration forced changes that are about to be crammed down our throats.

It's funny....I guess (not really) how every new Commandant wants to put his "spin" of great ideas on the USMC while he is CMC. There are numerous examples of previous CMCs and their "good idea trains" that arrived while in office, then there those CMCs who did very little and were very successful. Go figure. Also, take note of the dozens of General Officers for example that are not yes men from this administration that have been abruptly sent packing out of the Marin Corps. Interesting correlation I think.

I suppose I could be wrong and in five years look back at this article and think that it actually made the Marine Corps stronger, however unless the physical fitness tests are actually more demanding for male and female Marines equally and standards are not reduced, the promotion boards are fair across all military occupations I bet I will be correct along with my gut call. However, somewhere there will always be young Marines who will be punished for having tattoos, and walking on the grass.  Time for a C-Gar

Marine Corps Commandant Gen. Robert Neller has released his planning guidance for the next four years, which includes changes to how Marines are promoted, how units develop physical fitness programs and how Marines deploy.

Meeting the wide range of threats facing the nation will require Marines to be "smart, fit, disciplined, resilient, and able to adapt to uncertainty and to the unknown," Neller wrote in a fragmentary order to the planning guidance released last January by his predecessor, Gen. Joseph Dunford. Read full article here

"Recruiting and retaining quality men and women of character in today’s Corps is our friendly center of gravity and our highest priority," Neller wrote. "Among those that earn the title 'Marine,' we must ensure we recognize, promote and retain those who are the most competent, mature and capable leaders, and who are innovative and willing to implement change."

The Great Santini

If you have never seen the movie by this title, want to see what our warrior pilots use to be like before we began worrying about whose feelings we hurt and were restricted by politics and "administrations" with agendas, watch the movie. Many can relate to it who have served. Here is a little clip to wet your appetite. Time for a C-Gar

Search for 12 Marines from downed helicopters enters 3rd day

HONOLULU — The ongoing search for 12 Marines who are missing after two helicopters crashed off Hawaii entered the third day with no plans Sunday morning to call off or suspend the massive effort, the Coast Guard said.

"We are dedicated to trying to locate and bring back these service members and we will continue our efforts throughout the day," Coast Guard. Capt. James Jenkins, chief of staff of the 14th Coast Guard District, told reporters during a Sunday press conference. Read more here

Missing US Marine names

Marine Corps Base Hawaii Public Affairs Office named the missing marines as:

  • Maj Shawn M. Campbell, 41, College Station, Texas
  • Capt Brian T. Kennedy, 31, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • Capt Kevin T. Roche, 30, St. Louis, Missouri
  • Capt Steven R. Torbert, 29, Florence, Alabama
  • Sgt Dillon J. Semolina, 24, Chaska, Minnesota
  • Sgt Adam C. Schoeller, 25, Gardners, Pennsylvania
  • Sgt Jeffrey A. Sempler, 22, Woodruff, South Carolina
  • Sgt William J. Turner, 25, Florala, Alabama
  • Cpl Matthew R. Drown, 23, Spring, Texas
  • Cpl Thomas J. Jardas, 22, Fort Myers, Florida
  • Cpl Christopher J. Orlando, 23, Hingham, Massachusetts
  • Lance Cpl Ty L. Hart, 21, Aumsville, Oregon

U.S. Embassy says several Americans missing in Iraq


BAGHDAD — The U.S. Embassy confirmed Sunday that "several" Americans have gone missing in Iraq, after local media reported that three Americans had been kidnapped in the Iraqi capital.

U.S. Embassy spokesman Scott Bolz said, "We are working in full cooperation with Iraqi authorities to locate the missing Americans."

Bolz did not identify the missing Americans or say what they were doing in Iraq. Read more here

Larry Fitzgerald honors WWII, Korean, Vietnam veteran Col. James Ballard at Cardinals game - Motto Monday


Some of you may see this picture on Facebook. Ive included the actual details below. Good on Mr Fitzgerald. Time for a C-Gar

GLENDALE, AZ - Despite being in the midst of a football game on Nov. 22, Cardinals receiver Larry Fitzgerald took time to honor a veteran on the sidelines.

Fitzgerald spoke with U.S. Air Force Colonel James Ballard during the game to honor the man for his years of service. Fitzgerald even removed his glove to shake Ballard's hand and presented him with a signed practice ball. 

Read full story here