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On This Day
Marine Corps History

Today is January 16, 2019

1984 Defense Secretary Caspar W. Weinberger announced that the Marine Corps would list Marines killed in Beirut, Lebanon, as battle casualties rather than non-combat deaths. Mr. Weinberger said that the Marines were casualties of a battle while not necessarily active participants in the conflict. For this reason, the Marine Corps redesignated all casualties suffered as a result of terrorist or other acts directed against them in Lebanon as battle casualties.

1988 The Commandant of the Marine Corps, General Alfred M. Gray, was the principal speaker at the christening ceremony of the USS Comstock (LSD - 45) at the Avondale Shipyard, New Orleans. His wife, Jan, was the ship's sponsor. The ship was the second to be named for the Comstock Lode, an early American mining site near Virginia City, Nevada. The original was commissioned in 1945 and earned 10 battle stars for service in the Korean War, the most awarded to a ship of its type.

1990 A recognized military classic written more than 2,500 years ago was named the 1990 "Commandant's Choice" for the Marine Corps professional military education reading program. Almar 016/90 indicated that The Art of War, written by Chinese author Sun Tzu and translated by the late Brigadier General Samuel B. Griffith, II, topped General Alfred M. Gray's list of required reading for its timeless applications and perceptive insights on military operations.

1991 Operation Desert Shield became Operation Desert Storm as forces of the allied coalition launched an all-out air assault against targets in Iraq and occupied Kuwait in an effort to liberate Kuwait and enforce the resolutions of the United Nations Security Council. Overall, in the theater of operation there were more than 415,000 U.S. troops and over 265,000 allied troops in the coalition.

2001 Ten years ago, the air war against Iraq began, transforming Operation Desert Shield into Operation Desert Storm. Of the 400,000 Americans participating in Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm, 92,990 were Marines, making it the largest number of Marines ever to participate in a single operation. The war began after Iraqi President Saddam Hussein invaded the small neighboring country of Kuwait and threatened to invade Saudi Arabia.

2002 Lieutenant General Frank Libutti, retired commander of Marine Forces Pacific in Hawaii, was named Deputy Commissioner for Counter-terrorism by New York Police Department Commissioner Raymond Kelly. Libutti spent 35 years in the Marine Corps, including a combat tour in Vietnam in 1967 and duty as commanding officer of Joint Task Force Provide Relief—the airlift of food to Kenya and Somalia in October 1992.

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January 16, 2019

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