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Friday, December 13th, 2019
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On This Day Marine Corps History
Today is December 13, 2019 1920 ★ George Pratt Schultz 1982 ★ U.S. Marine peacekeeping troops began training a special unit of the Lebanese Army in an expansion of the American role in Lebanon. About 75 Lebanese soldiers joined a company of 220 Marines at the Americans’ camp near Beirut airport for 21 days of training in basic infantry skills including helicopter assaults. 1986 ★ The SS Kocak, of Maritime Prepositioning Ship Squadron 1, began its biennial maintenance cycle at Blount Island, Florida. The second of 13 ships scheduled for biennial maintenance over the next three years, SS Kocak unloaded all of its embarked equipment and supplies for required repairs/modifications, modernization, and preservation as required. The SS Kocak was scheduled to re-embark its cargo during February 1987. 1996 ★ More than 6,000 Marines and sailors participated in Exercise Steel Knight at Marine Corps Air-Ground Combat Center, Twentynine Palms, California. It first took place six years ago as a live-fire exercise for 1st Tank Battalion and evolved into a Marine expeditionary force-scale combined arms exercise involving elements of the 1st Marine Division, 1st Force Service Support Group, and the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing. 2001 ★ Elements of the 15th and 26th Marine Expeditionary Units (MEUs) arrived in the city of Kandahar, the last Taliban stronghold, and secured the city’s airport. The MEUs traveled for almost two weeks (from Camp Rhino) to reach the city and were greeted by the anti-Taliban forces that had defeated the regime and flushed the Taliban out of the city just days before. Before converting the airport facilities into command centers, the Marines had to clear the area of shrapnel, glass, and explosive hazards. Four days later, a Marine Color Guard at the airport raised an American flag, which had been sent and signed by rescue workers and friends and family of victims of the 911 terrorist attacks and the attack on the USS Cole. 2001 ★ Rep. Walter B. Jones (R-N.C.), a member of the House Armed Services Committee, along with bipartisan co-sponsors, submitted a bill that would alter the title of one of the U.S.’s highest military officials. Rep. Jones’ bill calls for the title of “Secretary of the Navy” to be changed to “Secretary of the Navy and Marine Corps.” MCASs Cherry Point and New River, as well as Camp Lejeune, are located in Rep. Jones’ district. 2002 ★ The Department of Defense announced its plan to reinstate the Smallpox Vaccination Program for some members of the armed forces based on their occupational specialty. The military stopped routine smallpox vaccinations in 1990 but in the wake of the 11 September terrorist attacks and the anthrax letter attacks, DoD reassessed the overall potential to use smallpox as a biological weapon. 2002 ★ Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island renamed the depot headquarters building in honor of the 27th Commandant of the Marine Corps, General Robert H. Barrow. The retired general was on hand for the dedication ceremony; an unusual occurrence since most Marine Corps Commemorative namings honor deceased servicemen and women. Gen Barrow served 41 years in the Corps, including combat tours in World War II, Korea, and Vietnam, and was the first commandant to be a full-fledged member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. 2003 ★ American soldiers captured former Iraqi president Saddam Hussein after discovering him hidden away in the dark of a tiny, underground burrow near his hometown of Tikrit, Iraq. His identity was confirmed through DNA testing. 2004 ★ Commandant of the Marine Corps General Michael W. Hagee and Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps SgtMaj John L. Estrada visited Marines at various locations, including Al Asad and Fallujah, throughout Iraq to bring inspiration and hope to those serving. Both also candidly answered questions and concerns posed by service members. A few days later, troops received another visitor as Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld also made a visit to nearly every major U.S. base in Iraq on 24 December. 2004 ★ Commandant of the Marine Corps General Michael W. Hagee and Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps SgtMaj John L. Estrada visited Marines at various locations, including Al Asad and Fallujah, throughout Iraq to bring inspiration and hope to those serving. Both also candidly answered questions and concerns posed by service members. A few days later, troops received another visitor as Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld also made a visit to nearly every major U.S. base in Iraq on 24 December. copyright
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