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Happy 240th Marines!….”From the Halls of Montezuma to the Shores of Tripoli…” November 10, 2015

Posted by Chris Mark in Uncategorized.
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IwoJima240 years ago..on November 10th 1775…in a pub (go figure) in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania the Marines were born.  According to USMC Press.com..“On November 10, 1775, the Continental Congress commissioned Samuel Nicholas to raise two Battalions of Marines. That very day, Nicholas set up shop in Tun Tavern. He appointed Robert Mullan, then the proprietor of the tavern, to the job of chief Marine Recruiter — serving, of course, from his place of business at Tun Tavern. Prospective recruits flocked to the tavern, lured by (1) cold beer and (2) the opportunity to serve in the new Corps of Marines. So, yes, the U.S. Marine Corps was indeed born in Tun Tavern. Needless to say, both the Marine Corps and the tavern thrived during this new relationship.”

From the “Halls of Montezuma to the shores of Tripoli..”…and to Baghdad and beyond, the US Marines have been ready and willing to lead the charge into battle to carry the flag of the United States!…Those who have had the luxury..or displeasure…of meeting US Marines have very strong opionions…here are some comments throughout history of my beloved Corps…

Eleanor Roosevelt said:

“The Marines I have seen around the world have the cleanest bodies, the filthiest minds, the highest morale, and the lowest morals of any group of animals I have ever seen. Thank God for the United States Marine Corps!”

And…Army General William Thornson said:

“There are only two kinds of people that understand Marines: Marines and the enemy. Everyone else has a second-hand opinion.”

While there are many comments about US Marines…I would agree with these two…

To all those who have given the ultimate sacrifice…I will see you in Valhalla…Godspeed my brothers…

Semper Fi! and Happy 240th!….“Never above you…never below you..always beside you….”

Integrity and Honor April 2, 2015

Posted by Nick Noll in Uncategorized.
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High respect; esteem. A privilege.


When you join the United States Marine Corps you will either take a bus to Parris Island, South Carolina or San Diego, California to attend Basic Training. As young men from various parts of the country arrive late at night they are greeted by a Drill Instructor yelling at them on the bus to get off the bus. There they get off onto the yellow footprints. They stand as young men some barely 18 hoping not to be singled out for further attention.

One of the most critical things you learn, as a young recruit is the 14 Marine leadership traits. Among those leadership traits one stands above all: “Integrity”. A quick web search will reveal Integrity to mean: “The quality of being honest and having strong moral principles; moral uprightness and or the state of being whole and undivided.” Leadership within the Marines is extremely important and it is bestowed upon young men who make critical life and battle changing decisions. Recent movies such as Lone Survivor or American Sniper give the American public a glimpse into the split second decisions made by men of integrity and honor whom have been called upon by U.S. policy makers to act in the best interests of U.S. national security.

As the wars continue to wind down the American public continues to see a myriad of integrity violations that lead to a loss of public trust in the leadership of this nation from Cabinet level officials, news anchors, and our highest enlisted Marines who serve in positions of authority but continue to betray the public trust and in some cases the trust of their Marines and honor of those passed.

Integrity in the Marines over the course of a career breeds a level of honor that is often reflective of one’s rank. The highest enlisted rank within the United States Marine Corps is the Sergeant Major (SGTMAJ). Through the course of a 20-30 year career to attain such a high rank the 14 leadership traits are continuously in use and enhanced through experience and professional training. However, just as in the case of the recent Veterans Affairs director Honor has been lost and integrity violated. Having read the biographical profile of SGTMAJ Kenneth C. Lovell III of the 3rd battalion 2nd Marines. A few errors were discovered from colleagues who served alongside the upcoming SGTMAJ. As in the case of Brian Williams there appears to be an attempt to amplify ones accomplishments in the public eye for future albeit notoriety or career ambition.

His original bio stated he: “…attended the Scout Sniper Basic Course in which he was an Honor Graduate.”

SGTMAJ Lovell attended the Scout Sniper Basic Course 3-98 at Stone Bay in Camp Lejeune, NC. The Honor graduate for the class was Corporal Aaron Pine who attained the rank of Sergeant before being Honorably discharged. Once the SGTMAJ was called to task for this claim his official bio was changed where it stated he was a distinguished graduate. No such recognition was made for a distinguished graduate at sniper school in 1998. Additionally, it was discovered through his picture that the SGTMAJ appears to be wearing two stars on his combat action ribbon in lieu of third award. The bio again was changed and now reflects two awards for combat action. The SGTMAJ was recently relieved of his command.

In exploring all levels of public trust one can only think of the statement: “What worries me the most, is our ability to govern ourselves.” maid by former Director of the CIA and DoD, Mr. Leon Panetta. It would not be an assumption to say he knows exactly what he is talking about. Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has come under scrutiny recently for betraying the public’s trust as our nation’s most senior diplomat. Cabinet level officials such as Mrs. Clinton hold clearances at the highest level and by nature of their very position are dealing with classified information almost exclusively and of the most compartmented nature.

When you hold a security clearance you sign a secrecy agreement and you are not allowed to take home or hold on your private email server anything related to the work you do. She has compromised her integrity, violated classified handling of material protocols and likely handed over critical information to foreign intelligence services through the use of a commercial and unsecured server per standards set forth by the U.S. government for the handling of classified material. If she could only handle one phone at a time there is surely a team within the State department that would have been capable of integrating any and all features she required to conduct her duties both privately and professionally.

What the public is seeing today and should be gravely concerned over going forward is this sense of entitlement and lack of integrity by both appointed officials and government agencies. Quite simply “The government makes the rules and the government chooses whether to follow them”. Look no further than the examples of Mrs. Clinton and the IRS loosing emails that suggest selective targeting of citizens of opposing political views to that of those serving in IRS leadership positions such as Lois Lerner. This is clearly an arm of the government weaponized against a group of its citizens. It is profoundly more egregious than that of the Benghazi scandal.

Integrity is it becoming a lost art among those who are in positions of authority and entrusted by the public, peers, and colleagues to protect, inform, and lead? Here are but a few examples at the Government, Military, and Corporate levels where public trust is lost for personal gain. It divides a workforce, weakens a military unit, and a public that demands strong leadership to drive us through the grave national security issues that exist today is divided. The United States stands strong today because “United we stand, divided we fall.” Leadership is key!

BREAK! BREAK! Please Donate to help the 7 MARSOC Marines’ families! March 11, 2015

Posted by Chris Mark in Uncategorized.
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MARSOCRIPIf you have not heard a Helo crash claimed the lives of 7 MARSOC Marines and 4 Army Soldiers last night.  I received the message below today in a private FB group.  Many of our members are/were MARSOC members and we are all brothers in arms….I know John (PayPal administrator) and can assure all of the funds will go directly to our Brother’s family to help them through this time of need.  If you can give anything (even $1), please think about helping.  Thank you in advance!!

“As many of you already know, we have just lost 7 MARSOC operators in a helo crash off the coast of Eglin AFB in Florida. Names are not being released until all next of kin have been notified. I’m told by one of the operators that was on the adjacent helo that most of the team members had wives and kids. I’m setting this hasty post up so we can quickly start generating funds to help support the families in any way we possibly can. I would do a gofundme but they get a 10% cut and I want every penny to go to our Brother’s loved ones who needless to say will be very devastated. Please give whatever you can and just remember, no matter how large or small the donation is, every penny helps. The funds will be going to JJ Brown‘s paypal which is johnbrown691@gmail.com and every cent of the donations will be dispersed to the families on behalf of BDC in a to be determined method.”

Fair Winds and Following Seas Brothers. Always Beside You”

Scout Snipers & Recon Marines on The News (Earl Catagnus Jr) February 13, 2015

Posted by Chris Mark in Uncategorized.
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EarlWith the release of Holly Wood Blockbuster American Sniper a number of Reconnaissance Marines and Marine Scout Snipers (including me) have been asked to comment, debate, and be interviewed about the movie and its portrayal of snipers.  I am very proud to see my brothers in arms representing our group with such intelligent, articulate points.  Here are a few of the recent videos.

Earl Catagnus, Jr.  Assistant Professor of History and Military Studies at Valley Forge Military and Academy College , and former Marine Scout Sniper, speaking on the Melissa Harris Perry Show.

“So you wanna be a Scout/Sniper huh?” – BulletLogic May 19, 2012

Posted by Chris Mark in weapons and tactics.
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Jeff Fox, a former Marine Sniper I served with many years ago has a new blog called Bullet Logic in which he talks about long range and tactical shooting.  He is still very active in shooting and competitions and his blog provides some great information and insight into long range and tactical shooting.  If you are interested in long range or tactical shooting, take a spin over to Bullet Logic.  It has some very good information.

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