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Tuesday, September 26th, 2017
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On This Day Marine Corps History
Today is September 26, 2017 1918 ★ 2nd Division and the incomplete 36th American Division are attached to the 4th French Army for an attack on Blanc Mont, west of the Argonne Forest.Germans are expected to resist bitterly because Argonne Forest and Blanc Mont screen their railroads. Loss of the area will imperil their entire army.Major General Lejeune learns that the French commander intends to break up the American units and use them as shock troops who will lead the way for the French troops.He successfully resists this plan. 1982 ★ The Navy Unit Commendation was awarded to Marines and sailors for their handling of the U.S. peacekeeping effort in Beirut, Lebanon. While on the initial 16-day operation, Marines of the 32nd Marine Amphibious Unit oversaw the departure of more than 6,000 Palestine Liberation Organization soldiers. Marine Corps Commandant, General Robert Barrow, and the Commander of the Sixth Fleet, Vice Admiral William Rowden, presented the awards in a ceremony aboard the USS Guam, about sixty miles off the coast of Beirut. 1982 ★ The Defense Department announced that the Armed Forces, in an effort to find contraband, have the power to open overseas mail for the first time since World War II. 1983 ★ A cease-fire for Lebanon was announced by Saudi Arabian and Syrian officials in Damascus. The leader of the Druze force also announced that his troops were committed to the cease-fire. The U.S. Marines continued peacekeeping duties in Beirut as talks on the formation of a new coalition government began. 1989 ★ Major General Henry C. Stackpole III assumed command of the III Marine Expeditionary Force/3rd Marine Division on Okinawa replacing Major General Norman H. Smith. 1990 ★ General Alfred M. Gray, Commandant of the Marine Corps, addressed a detachment of Marines in Saudi Arabia while touring Marine positions there and meeting with officials from Persian Gulf nations. He talked about a variety of topics ranging from relations with Arab countries to unit rotations, and challenged Marines to continue to do their jobs in the best way they know how. It was the first visit to Southwest Asia during Operation Desert Shield for the Commandant who was accompanied by the Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps, David W. Sommers. 1995 ★ First Lieutenant Sarah Deal completed her final flight hour at Marine Helicopter Training Squadron 302, earning her the distinction of becoming the Marine Corps first female aviator. The 26 year-old Pemberville, Ohio, native was then assigned to Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 466 where she would fly the Corps premier troop carrier -- the CH-53E Super Stallion helicopter. 1996 ★ After more than 15 years of debate by Marine Corps uniform boards, female drill instructors were issued the same trademark "Smokey the Bear" field hat as their male counterparts. The scarlet shoulder cord worn by female drill instructors since 1983 would no longer be authorized. 1996 ★ Exercise Fuerzas Unidas Counterdrug (Riverine) '96 took place in Panama. It involved military personnel and civilians from Bolivia, Ecuador, Peru, Venezuela, and the United States. The latest in a series of multinational exercises sponsored by the U.S. Southern Command, it was the first hosted by the U.S. Marine Corps. The focus of the exercise was to develop ways to eradicate the shipment of illegal drugs from the region. It also was the first exercise to concentrate on riverine operations in combating illegal drug trade. 1997 ★ Marines of the 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit participated in Exercise Dynamic Mix 97, the largest NATO-led, multinational exercise in the Mediterranean theatre this year. The joint, multi-warfare event included more than 24,000 personnel of whom 13,700 were U.S. Armed Forces personnel. In all, 14 nations participated including Greece, Spain, Italy, Romania, and Poland. The exercise was held in Kiparrissa, Greece, and marked the largest Mediterranean exercise in 15 years. 1997 ★ The Marine Corps Aviation Association honored its 1997 award recipients during its annual symposium at Marine Corps Air Station, Cherry Point, North Carolina. Unit awards included: Fighter Attack Squadron of the Year, VMFA-312; Attack Squadron of the Year, VMA-214; Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron of the Year, HMH-361; Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron of the Year, HMM-365. Lieutenant General Jefferson Howell Jr. received the Silver Hawk Award which honors the active-duty Marine aviator or Marine naval flight officer with the earliest designation date as a naval aviator. 2003 ★ Commandant of the Marine Corps General Michael Hagee was among those present for the groundbreaking for the National Museum of the Marine Corps. The museum, whose projected opening date was summer 2006, would be located outside the main gate of the Quantico Marine Corps Base in Virginia and was expected to eventually draw nearly 500,000 visitors a year. copyright
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