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On This Day
Marine Corps History

Today is May 19, 2019

1934 Happy Birthday Marine! Jim Lehrer

1984 In his Armed Forces Day message, the Commandant of the Marine Corps, General Paul X. Kelley, said that this day is a uniquely American occasion which underscores the nation's citizen-soldier heritage. He further stated that Armed Forces Day is a special time during which the Corps demonstrates and deepens the enduring trust it shares with fellow Americans and that military and civilian persons share in the responsibility to explore, strengthen, and participate in the constitutional task of providing for the common defense.

1986 Marine Detachment, USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71) was activated at Norfolk, Virginia.

1993 Four Marines were killed when a VH-60N helicopter from Marine Helicopter Squadron (HMX) 1, the Presidential support squadron, crashed. The helicopter was conducting a routine maintenance flight from Marine Corps Air Facility, Quantico, Virginia, when it crashed into a heavily wooded, unpopulated area. The VH-60N Black Hawk helicopters assigned to HMX-1 were then grounded pending an investigation of the crash.

1997 The Secretary of Defense formally announced the results of the Quadrennial Defense Review (QDR), which established broad outlines of his multiyear, departmental blueprint that would be implemented, evaluated, and refined over the course of his tenure. The QDR began in November 1996 to develop a balanced defense program addressing strategy, force structure, readiness, modernization programs, defense infrastructure, intelligence, and human resources.

1998 Approximately 10,600 U.S. and 6,250 Thailand service members participated in Exercise Cobra Gold 98, the largest exercise in the Asian-Pacific region so far in 1998. The exercise was conducted against a real-world backdrop of regional uncertainty. Neighboring India and Pakistan conducted 11 nuclear weapons test blasts and Indonesia’s President Mohammed Suharto was forced to resign from his 33-year reign as president. As Thai and U.S. troops trained together, 2,000 combat-ready Marines with the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit were diverted from the exercise toward Indonesia and positioned offshore as a possible evacuation force in case foreign nationals were unable to safely leave the troubled country by commerical transportation.

2000 The remains of six Marines, listed as missing in action from the Mayaguez incident in Southeast Asia 25 years ago, were identified and returned to their families for burial in the United States. The 15 May 1975 incident involved the attempt to rescue an American cargo ship and its crew on a small island near Cambodia. It was considered the last battle of the conflict in Southeast Asia.

2000 Approximately 15,000 men and women representing the armed forces of 14 North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) countries participated in Exercise Dynamic Mix 2000 in Greece. It was the largest NATO exercise of the year and involved more than 4,500 Marines of the newly formed 2nd Marine Expeditionary Brigade.

2003 Four Marines were killed when their CH-46 Sea Knight helicopter crashed shortly after take-off into the Shat Al Hillah Canal near Karbala, Iraq. Two Marines on the bank entered the water in a rescue attempt that tragically cost one of their lives as well. The helicopter was conducting a re-supply mission in support of civil military operations. The cause was under investigation although hostile fire was not suspected.

2003 Marine Major Farrell Sullivan was awarded the prestigious Leftwich Trophy for Outstanding Leadership for 2002. Promoted shortly before the announcement of the award, he received the honor as an outstanding combat-arms captain with Company L, 3rd Battalion, 8th Marines, which he served as commanding officer.

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May 19, 2019

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