Events that led up to Russia annexing the Crimea

Just a reminder of the events that led up to Russia annexing the Crimea. The threat of war in Ukraine was growing. As the unelected government in Kiev declares itself unable to control the rebellion in the country’s east, John Kerry brands Russia a rogue state. The US and the European Union step up sanctions against the Kremlin, accusing it of destabilizing Ukraine. The White House is reported to be set on a new cold war policy with the aim of turning Russia into a “pariah state”.

That might be more explicable if what is going on in eastern Ukraine now were not the mirror image of what took place in Kiev a couple of months ago. Then, it was armed protesters in Maidan Square seizing government buildings and demanding a change of government and constitution. US and European leaders championed the “masked militants” and denounced the elected government for its crackdown, just as they now back the unelected government’s use of force against rebels occupying police stations and town halls in cities such as Slavyansk and Donetsk.

Guardian Today: the headlines, the analysis, the debate – sent directly to you “America is with you,” Senator John McCain told demonstrators then, standing shoulder to shoulder with the leader of the far-right Svoboda party as the US ambassador haggled with the state department over who would make up the new Ukrainian government.

When the Ukrainian president was replaced by a US-selected administration, in an entirely unconstitutional takeover, politicians such as William Hague brazenly misled parliament about the legality of what had taken place: the imposition of a pro-western government on Russia’s most neuralgic and politically divided neighbor.

Putin bit back, taking a leaf out of the US street-protest playbook – even though, as in Kiev, the protests that spread from Crimea to eastern Ukraine evidently have mass support. But what had been a glorious cry for freedom in Kiev became infiltration and insatiable aggression in Sevastopol and Luhansk.

After Crimeans voted overwhelmingly to join Russia, the bulk of the western media abandoned any hint of even-handed coverage. So Putin is now routinely compared to Hitler, while the role of the fascistic right on the streets and in the new Ukrainian regime has been airbrushed out of most reporting as Putinist propaganda.

So you don’t hear much about the Ukrainian government’s veneration of wartime Nazi collaborators and pogromists, or the arson attacks on the homes and offices of elected communist leaders, or the integration of the extreme Right Sector into the national guard, while the anti-semitism and white supremacism of the government’s ultra-nationalists is assiduously played down, and false identifications of Russian special forces are relayed as fact.

The reality is that, after two decades of eastward Nato expansion, this crisis was triggered by the West’s attempt to pull Ukraine decisively into its orbit and defense structure, via an explicitly anti-Moscow EU association agreement. Its rejection led to the Maidan protests and the installation of an anti-Russian administration – rejected by half the country – that went on to sign the EU and International Monetary Fund agreements regardless.

No Russian government could have acquiesced in such a threat from territory that was at the heart of both Russia and the Soviet Union. Putin’s absorption of Crimea and support for the rebellion in eastern Ukraine is clearly defensive, and the red line was drawn: the east of Ukraine, at least, is not going to be swallowed up by Nato or the EU.

But the dangers are also multiplying. Ukraine has shown itself to be barely a functioning state: the former government was unable to clear Maidan, and the Western-backed regime is “helpless” against the protests in the Soviet-nostalgic industrial east. For all the talk about the paramilitary “green men” (who turn out to be overwhelmingly Ukrainian), the rebellion also has strong social and democratic demands: who would argue against a referendum on autonomy and elected governors?

Meanwhile, the US and its European allies impose sanctions and dictate terms to Russia and its proteges in Kiev, encouraging the military crackdown on protesters after visits from Joe Biden and the CIA director, John Brennan. But by what right is the US involved at all, incorporating under its strategic umbrella a state that has never been a member of Nato, and whose last elected government came to power on a platform of explicit neutrality? It has none, of course – which is why the Ukraine crisis is seen in such a different light across most of the world. There may be few global takers for Putin’s oligarchic conservatism and nationalism, but Russia’s counterweight to US imperial expansion is welcomed, from China to Brazil.

In fact, one outcome of the crisis is likely to be a closer alliance between China and Russia, as the US continues its anti-Chinese “pivot” to Asia. And despite growing violence, the cost in lives of Russia’s arms-length involvement in Ukraine has so far been minimal compared with any significant western intervention you care to think of for decades.

The risk of civil war is nevertheless growing and with it the chances of outside powers being drawn into the conflict. Barack Obama has already sent token forces to eastern Europe and is under pressure, both from Republicans and Nato hawks such as Poland, to send many more. Both US and British troops are due to take part in Nato military exercises in Ukraine this summer.

The US and EU have already overplayed their hand in Ukraine. Neither Russia nor the western powers may want to intervene directly, and the Ukrainian prime minister’s conjuring up of a third world war presumably isn’t authorized by his Washington sponsors. But a century after 1914, the risk of unintended consequences should be obvious enough – as the threat of a return of big-power conflict grows. Pressure for a negotiated end to the crisis is essential.

By Seumas Milne.

So, for our politician to stand up and boldface lie about us having no role in Putin taking the Crimea is downright laughable, they depend upon your not remembering. Remeber this picture from the Orange Revolution.

The point of the above post is not to say Russia is a great place or that Putin is a good man, rather to point out that Russia was pushed by the West, EU, and NATO to take the Crimea if they wanted to keep their only deepwater port. The Crimea was a part of Russia until I think it was Boris Nikolayevich Chernousov under the USSR, decided to put it under Ukraine authority, it did not matter much then, but when the USSR broke up the port, Russia’s only deep water port, the Crimea became very important to Russa.

Things do not happen in a vacuum, all event have precursors that led to what happened, and these events will lead to other events, and I am hoping that an atomic war is not one of them. For now, that is between Trump and Putin.


May God Bless Us All.

Published in: on July 17, 2018 at 15:21  Leave a Comment  
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Two Views of the Constitution: Originalism vs. Non-Originalism

I am a Libertarian, not a conservative, and I am in the originalist school of interpreting the Constitution. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia defined “originalism” this way:

“The Constitution that I interpret and apply is not living but dead, or as I prefer to call it, enduring. It means today not what current society, much less the court, thinks it ought to mean, but what it meant when it was adopted.” This applies to each and every one of the Amendments.

That means to understand what the Constitution means you have to understand how the writers understood the words they used to write the Constitution. That is in opposed to the Progressive’s Living Document way of applying the Constitution. The originalist doesn’t look to give the Constitution meaning, they look to understand what the original writers meant when they wrote it, and then apply that meaning to today’s issues. How judges line up on this divide is decided by the election of the President, and the justices he appoints to the bench. This is why election matter so much, and one of the consequences if elections.

It is the Living Document school of interpreting the Constitution that bends the meaning of the Constitution to fit how they wish to shape the law of the land. This article demonstrates how the two sides of this divide see how things that come before the Court should be decided.

This, by Katie Vloet, explains the divide very well:


Two Views of the Constitution: Originalism vs. Non-Originalism By Katie Vloet September 22, 2015

This year’s U.S. Supreme Court decision in Obergefell v. Hodges, regarding the fundamental right to marry, provides a useful lens through which to view the differences between originalist and non-originalist views of the U.S. Constitution, the U-M Constitution Day speaker said.

“It’s really a microcosm of the legal debate about how we interpret the Constitution,” John Bursch said on September 17 at Michigan Law. Bursch argued Obergefell on behalf of Michigan, Tennessee, and Kentucky earlier this year (listen to oral arguments).

Bursch presented benefits and challenges of both interpretations of the Constitution: originalism, in which the meaning of the Constitution is interpreted as fixed as of the time it was enacted, and non-originalism, in which the meaning of the Constitution is viewed as evolving with changes in society and culture.

“Non-originalists would say that the same-sex marriage decision is the perfect example of why courts need some flexibility to depart from the text, structure, and original intent,” Bursch said, and that, although changes were already happening in state laws about same-sex marriage, they were happening “at a snail’s pace.” A non-originalist, he said, would argue “that this case was decided correctly because it focused on the liberty and personal dignity that were the animating principles of the Constitution.”

The originalists—including the four dissenters in the Obergefell opinion—would say that the justices in the majority “used substantive due process to amend the Constitution by judicial fiat,” Bursch said. An originalist also would say that this is a “classic instance of the justices imposing their own personal values about the way that they thought the country should be going rather than an application of simple, neutral, objective criteria. The dissenters pointed out that the democratic process was working; laws were changing. … By taking this issue away from the people who passed [marriage] referendums in all of these states, the majority hurt democracy.”

Fight the good fight.


Published in: on March 1, 2018 at 08:16  Leave a Comment  

The Three-Fifths Compromise And Roland Martin

Tuesday on MSNBC “Velshi & Ruhle,” discussing White House chief of staff John Kelly’s comments on Fox News about Confederate monuments, host of “News One Now” Roland Martin said “too many people in this country who are white” didn’t know history and wanted to “somehow glorify these Confederate leaders.” Martin said, “I’m not going to allow four stars stuck on stupid to simply go on. Here’s a man who’s utterly clueless. For him to say, ‘Well, we could have compromised’—really? We did compromise. It was a thing called United States Constitution, and you know what that said? If you’re a black, you’re three-fifths of a human.” He continued, ”I need John Kelly to actually go back and read a history book that my 12-year-old nieces are reading right now, because clearly, he fell asleep in history.” Source.

In this spiel, Roland Martin demonstrated his own lack of understanding of history. The three-fifths compromise did not make a slave three-fifths of a human; it diluted the South’s power in the House of Representatives by not allowing slaves to count as a whole person when determining how many representatives each state could send to Congress. Had they been counted as whole persons, which is what the South wanted, the South would have many more representatives. The Northen states did not want the slaves to count as persons when determining how many representatives each state could send to Congress. The three-fifths of a person was the compromise made between the Southern and Northen states to get the Constitution ratified by both the Northern and Southern states.

So, Roland Martin, go back and study a little more history, and what the meaning and conditions that brought these events into existence. And, consider that no black slave came to North America that was not sold into slavery by other blacks.

ISIS is Going to Hell


Story from today’s headlines:

The Islamic State group once drew recruits from near and far with promises of paradise but now bodies of jihadists lie in mass graves or at the mercy of wild dogs as its “caliphate” collapses.

Flies buzz around human remains poking through the dusty earth in the Iraqi town of Dhuluiyah, 90 kilometres (55 miles) north of Baghdad, at a hastily-dug pit containing the bodies of dozens of IS fighters killed in 2015.

“They should have ended up in the stomachs of stray dogs,” local police officer Mohammed al-Juburi told AFP.

“We buried them here not out of love but because we wanted to avoid diseases.”

At one stage, IS ruthlessly wielded power over a vast swathe of territory straddling Iraq and Syria, but a military onslaught on multiple fronts has seen its fiefdom shrink to a last few pockets.

Since the launch in 2014 of air strikes in Iraq and Syria against the group, a US-led coalition says around 80,000 jihadists have been killed.

The overall number of dead is higher if you include those targeted by Russian and Syrian strikes.

Buried with bulldozers

In agricultural Dhuluiyah on the banks of the Tigris river, residents faced a common dilemma over what to do with the corpses of IS fighters after local Sunni militiamen beat back the jihadists in fierce clashes.

“We could have thrown them into the water, but we love the river too much to pollute it,” said the local policeman, who lost his own brother in the violence.

“The people here as well as their animals drink from the Tigris.”

Local finally decided to dig a mass grave for the fighters — but they said they refused to honor them with Islamic rites.

Back about 3 years ago I wrote this essay:

|Back then I said “who the hell know what Obama will do, but now we have Trump, and we know what he will do, “Bomb the Hell out of them”.

These two pictures invoked outcry from every Progressive and Liberal leaning mind in America and were used as propaganda to kill American’s support for the Vietnam War.

Gen. Nguyen Ngoc Loan, South Vietnamese chief of the national police, fires his pistol into the head of suspected Viet Cong official Nguyen Van Lem on a Saigon street early in the Tet Offensive, February 1, 1968. Photographer Eddie Adams reported that after the shooting, Loan approached him and said, “They killed many of my people, and yours too,” then walked away. (AP Photo/Eddie Adams) 1969 Pulitzer Prize winner for Spot News Photography.

Bang, followed by soldiers of the South Vietnamese army’s 25th Division, June 8, 1972. A South Vietnamese plane seeking Viet Cong hiding places accidentally dropped its flaming napalm on civilians and government troops instead. Nine-year-old Kim Phuc (center) had ripped off her burning clothes while fleeing. The other children (from left) are her brothers Phan Thanh Tam, who lost an eye, and Phan Thanh Phouc, and her cousins Ho Van Bon and Ho Thi Ting.

Published in: on October 15, 2017 at 19:25  Leave a Comment  

Progressives, Liberals, and now Progressive Again

Woodrow Wilson, America’s 28th president, rejected the principles of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution’s system of the separation of powers. This philosophy is known as Progressivism.

“All that progressives ask or desire,” wrote Woodrow Wilson, “is permission — in an era when development, evolution, is a scientific word — to interpret the Constitution according to the Darwinian principle; all they ask is recognition of the fact that a nation is a living thing and not a machine.”

John Dewey and his followers, argued that we needed a broader conception of liberty than the one maintained by laissez-faire negative-rights libertarians. The key idea can be summed up in a quote from Anatole France: “In its majestic equality, the law forbids rich and poor alike to sleep under bridges, beg in the streets, and steal loaves of bread.” Basically, the idea is that the freedom to starve because you have no food is not a meaningful freedom at all, because it does not maximize your autonomy or allow your to realize your potential, which were important goals in classical liberalism.

Thus Dewey argued that we should recognize positive liberty as well as negative liberty, meaning that e.g. just as we ought to recognize a right to live without someone killing you, we similarly ought to recognize a right to live without dying due to lack of food. Thus American Progressives advocates that the government should play some role in the economy in order to give people autonomy and enable them to pursue their own happiness, along the lines of the “responsiveness” part of the Progressive philosophy. Thus Americans liberals still try to achieve the goals of classical liberalism, but they sometimes do it through Progressive means.

The Progressives rejected God given rights as naive and unhistorical. In their view, human beings are not born free. John Dewey, the most thoughtful of the Progressives, wrote that freedom is not “something that individuals have as a ready-made possession.” It is “something to be achieved.” In this view, freedom is not a gift of God or nature. It is a product of human making, a gift of the state. Man is a product of his own history, through which he collectively creates himself. He is a social construct. Since human beings are not naturally free, there can be no natural rights or natural law. Therefore, Dewey also writes, “Natural rights and natural liberties exist only in the kingdom of mythological social zoology.”

The Progressive presidents advocated a very interventionist foreign policy, since they were motivated by the desire to help people as much as possible, even people abroad. Liberals still share some of this impulse, and are willing to support limited American military intervention in circumstances of extreme humanitarian crisis. But mostly their foreign policy views were taken from classical liberalism, so they they’re antiwar for the most part.

Progressive are totally silent about their widespread support for the theory and practice of eugenics. As Princeton University economist Tim Leonard has chronicled, “eugenic thought deeply influenced the Progressive Era transformation of the state’s relationship to the American economy.” Despite the fact that this monograph favorably cites progressive hero Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes for his famous dissent in the economic liberty case Lochner v. New York (1905), the authors make no mention of Holmes’ notorious majority decision in Buck v. Bell, where Holmes and his colleagues (including Louis Brandeis) upheld the forced sterilization of those who “sap the strength of the State.”

Today it is the Progressive that laud Margaret Sanger and champing the slaughter of babies, which, btw the way are mostly black, Let’s read a few quotes:

“[Our objective is] unlimited sexual gratification without the burden of unwanted children… [Women must have the right] to live … to love… to be lazy … to be an unmarried mother … to create… to destroy… The marriage bed is the most degenerative influence in the social order… The most merciful thing that a family does to one of its infant members is to kill it.”

No, that was not taken from Hitler. That’s a quotation from the patron saint of the feminists and Hillary Clinton. And the above words were not a one-off moment of insanity. There’s more where those horrendous thoughts came from.

“We should hire three or four colored ministers, preferably with social-service backgrounds, and with engaging personalities. The most successful educational approach to the Negro is through a religious appeal. We don’t want the word to go out that we want to exterminate the Negro population. And the minister is the man who can straighten out that idea if it ever occurs to any of their more rebellious members.”

“Plan for Peace” from Birth Control Review (April 1932, pp. 107-108)

Article 1. The purpose of the American Baby Code shall be to provide for a better distribution of babies… and to protect society against the propagation and increase of the unfit.
Article 4. No woman shall have the legal right to bear a child, and no man shall have the right to become a father, without a permit…
Article 6. No permit for parenthood shall be valid for more than one birth.
“America Needs a Code for Babies,” 27 Mar 1934

Give dysgenic groups [people with “bad genes”] in our population their choice of segregation or [compulsory] sterilization.
April 1932 Birth Control Review, pg. 108

Birth control must lead ultimately to a cleaner race.

In any case, when contemporary liberals call themselves progressive, they’re hearkening back to their intellectual predecessors. The Progressives hijacked the Democrat Party early in the 20th Century, as they were doing it they stopped calling themselves Progressive and started referring to themselves a Liberals. We can thank Hilary for the label coming back out in the open, she said that she was proud To call herself a Progressive.

Trump is our Zeitgeist


The world is changing, it is history (His Story) that creates the man, not the man making the times in which he is raised to greatness. You can see this all through history, Julius Caesar could have been Julius Caesar only at that time in history. George Washington came to power because of the necessity of history, he did not create the Revolution. Wellington was raised to defeat Napoleon, as was Winston Churchill for Hitler, none of which could have ever raised to power at any other time in history, the events of those days made them, they did not make the events. Trump is our Zeitgeist, he is being raised by the events of our day, for the good or for the evil, and there is no stopping him. I believe that he is a force for the good raised by God for these days.

Published in: on March 16, 2016 at 10:25  Comments (7)  
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Barry Goldwater’s War Against The Religious Right

I would like to take this opportunity to respond to Barry Goldwater’s attack on the Religious Right.  This was brought to my attention by a Facebook friend, Christopher Lee Crowell, the other day in a discussion on religion’s role in the political process.  Let me point out the perspective from which I will be responding.  I consider myself a Christian Libertarian Constitutionalist, that is I believe that I am a person who believe that Jesus is my Savior God, believes that the less government is the best government, and that the Constitution as it was meant by its framer is the Law of the Land.  Christopher, on the other hand, is an atheist who, as far as I can tell subscribes to the living constitution concept.

One caveat, I voted Goldwater in 1964, but I did not pay as much attention back then as I do now, even though I believe that our country would have been much better off had he won instead of Johnson.

I will be adding my comment/rebuttals in red.

A note about the author D. Foster, Jr., a leftwing radical whose legitimacy is based solely on the fact that he is the braggadocios holder of a Bachelor’s Degree in History and Political Science from Missouri University of Science and Technology and is….surprise…… a teacher, in Pennsylvania and Missouri.


Barry Goldwater’s War Against The Religious Right

Known as ‘Mr. Conservative,’ Barry Goldwater embodied conservative values throughout his service as a Senator from Arizona, but he would oppose much of what conservatives have been doing today. Present day conservatives take many of their marching orders from the Christian right, also known as social conservatives, but Barry Goldwater resoundingly rejected them as extremists who disgrace the word ‘conservatism.’ Like present day conservatives, Goldwater supported the free market, but as much as he supported business, he rejected those who pollute the environment. Many conservatives today claim Barry Goldwater as one of their own, so it may surprise them to know that he rejected many of their present day core values. While maybe the concept, such as free markets and conservatives remand the same, how they are implemented is a different story. If Conservatism is a political and social philosophy promotes retaining traditional social institutions in the context of culture and civilization, then trying to obtain the goals of the Christian right can be viewed as a conservative goal in spite of Goldwater’s opinion, as many of the conservative of his day did.

Barry Goldwater rose to prominence as a man of deep conservative convictions. Liberals called him an extremist (which he was in his time) and his often colorful and controversial rhetoric cost him the Presidency in 1964. But Goldwater, as controversial as he was back then, also had the guts to call out his own party. For example, ‘Mr. Conservative’ rejected the Christian right-wing element of the party. As a firm believer in personal liberty, he saw their views as a violation of personal privacy and individual liberties. In fact, he believed in this creed so much that he voted to uphold legalized abortion and supported gay rights. He also rejected the use of God in political discourse and refused to vote in Congress the way the religious right wanted him to. Here is a portion of what Goldwater had to say about the religious right. A person’s personal liberty does not give them the liberty to kill another person, be it a baby or an old man dying on a sidewalk.  He had the right to reject the use of God in his political discourse, but not in others.  

“On religious issues there can be little or no compromise. There is no position on which people are so immovable as their religious beliefs. There is no more powerful ally one can claim in a debate than Jesus Christ, or God, or Allah, or whatever one calls this supreme being. But like any powerful weapon, the use of God’s name on one’s behalf should be used sparingly. The religious factions that are growing throughout our land are not using their religious clout with wisdom. They are trying to force government leaders into following their position 100 percent. If you disagree with these religious groups on a particular moral issue, they complain, they threaten you with a loss of money or votes or both. On religious issues there can be little or no compromise, true for the personal, but not true for a deliberating body of legislators. There is no more powerful ally one can claim in a debate than God, true only for the believers, and true only for the idea being presented. That they are trying to force government leaders into following their position 100 percent, is that not what every Special Interest Group does?  Why should the  Christian right be excluded because they are Christians who are trying to influence the course of our government both now and then.

I’m frankly sick and tired of the political preachers across this country telling me as a citizen that if I want to be a moral person, I must believe in “A,” “B,” “C” and “D.” Just who do they think they are? And from where do they presume to claim the right to dictate their moral beliefs to me?  But it is just fine for him to dictate his moral beliefs to them, from where comes his claim to a higher morality to preach to them?  Of course he, and people like him are free to express their opinions as to how it should be, and how others should behave, but that freedom is extended to those to whom he is preaching against.

And I am even more angry as a legislator who must endure the threats of every religious group who thinks it has some God-granted right to control my vote on every roll call in the Senate. I am warning them today: I will fight them every step of the way if they try to dictate their moral convictions to all Americans in the name of “conservatism.” What threat could/did they make other that to persuade people not to vote for him?  Is that not covered in the First Amendment?
~Barry Goldwater

Goldwater refused to march lockstep with the Christian right as conservatives do today. The Republican Party of today has surrendered to the Christian right and ignored the real issues facing the country as a result. Goldwater knew how dangerous this would be. As was his right then as it is the right of of conservatives that do so today.  Dissagreing with that right does not take the right away.

“Mark my word, if and when these preachers get control of the [Republican] party, and they’re sure trying to do so, it’s going to be a terrible damn problem. Frankly, these people frighten me. Politics and governing demand compromise. But these Christians believe they are acting in the name of God, so they can’t and won’t compromise. I know, I’ve tried to deal with them.” And just how did this manifest itself?  With Obama election?
~Barry Goldwater

Goldwater was a strong supporter of separation of church and state and was a passionate advocate for religious freedom. He would not support the Christian right’s crusade against non-Christian religions. Jefferson’s separation of church and state was just a guarantee that the government would neither establish a religion nor prevent the free exercise their of. It was not a prohibition of people to use their religious beliefs as a guiding light in the political process. 

“Religious factions will go on imposing their will on others unless the decent people connected to them recognize that religion has no place in public policy. They must learn to make their views known without trying to make their views the only alternatives.”  Sadly for Goldwater and people of his ilk many decent people recognize that religion has as place in public policy as anyone else’s opinion.
~Barry Goldwater

It might surprise you to know that Goldwater was a supporter of gay rights and rejected ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.’ As a man devoted to personal liberty, Goldwater believed that consenting adults are free to marry whomever they please. And as a strong ally of those in the military, Goldwater would be smiling about the repeal of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.’

“Everyone knows that gays have served honorably in the military since at least the time of Julius Caesar.”
~Barry Goldwater

“It’s time America realized that there is no gay exemption in the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness in the Declaration of Independence.”
~Barry Goldwater

“You don’t need to be straight to fight and die for your country. You just need to shoot straight.”  I believe that incorporation of openly queers will prove to be a big mistake.  The incidents of male on male rape in the military is exploding, that was something you never had in the ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ ere or before. 
~Barry Goldwater

Here’s how the debate over military sexual assault has unfolded thus far: Bold female leaders spoke out, smart male allies stood behind them, clueless conservative men started mansplaining the issue, and right-wing media went full misogynist. Because of this, it’s easy to imagine that military sexual assault is mainly a problem of men versus (or attacking) women, but as James Dao in the New York Times explains, in fact, the majority of sexual assault in the military is male-on-male crime.

Goldwater would be horrified by the current war against gay Americans being waged by the Republican Party and would have flatly denounced the conservative audience who booed the gay soldier and would have damned the Republican candidates who failed to jump to his defense during one of the GOP Debates. It should also be noted that Goldwater supported desegregation. As a Colonel he founded the Arizona Air National Guard, and he desegregated it two years before the rest of the US military. Goldwater was instrumental in pushing the Pentagon to support desegregation of the armed services. This would clearly make Goldwater enemy number one in the conservative south.  If that war ever existed, it was lost in the courts.

Conservatives today are expected to oppose abortion at any cost. Abortion are murders. In fact, Republicans have been passing anti-abortion laws for the last three years in an effort to curb women’s rights, personal privacy, and individual liberty., including over 90 anti-abortion bills that have been passed in 2012 alone. Barry Goldwater would be absolutely disgusted with this effort and would call conservatives a disgrace to the Constitution. I bless them for it.

“Today’s so-called ‘conservatives’ don’t even know what the word means. They think I’ve turned liberal because I believe a woman has a right to an abortion. That’s a decision that’s up to the pregnant woman, not up to the pope or some do-gooders or the Religious Right. It’s not a conservative issue at all.”
~Barry Goldwater Conservatism is a political and social philosophy promotes retaining traditional social institutions in the context of culture and civilization, the argument is over what is traditional and how the social institutions should be retained. Goldwater had a different idea than the other conservative, to believe that it is murder to kill an unborn child is conservative, that was the law until Roe v. Wade.  It is apparent to me that Goldwater had lost his conservative roots when he wrote this.

It’s clear that Goldwater supported Roe v. Wade. He consistently voted to uphold abortion rights. He made this decision because of his personal conviction that every woman has the right to privacy as protected by the Constitution. As an American, Goldwater put the Constitution before the Bible. That’s something that conservatives fail to do today. So sad that he lost his way.

There’s something else that conservatives support today that Barry Goldwater would flatly reject. Conservatives have an unshakable belief in the free market system, as did Goldwater. But conservatives believe that corporations should be allowed to pollute the environment as they wish, which is something Goldwater wouldn’t support at all. To put it bluntly, Goldwater would support the Koch brothers and their right to do business, but he would take them to the woodshed for willfully destroying the environment.  Conservatives never supported pollution, it was Nixon who created the EPA. In 1969 halt all dumping in the Great Lakes.  In 1970 he created cabinet-level Council on Environmental Quality. Then in 1970-72: he created EPA which passed Clean Air Act.

“While I am a great believer in the free enterprise system and all that it entails, I am an even stronger believer in the right of our people to live in a clean and pollution-free environment.” As do all Conservatives.
~Barry Goldwater

Barry Goldwater was a huge environmental advocate. He sincerely believed that we needed to protect our world. Republicans in Congress have proposed a plan that would eliminate over 100 years of environmental regulations including allowing mining operations in the Grand Canyon. Barry Goldwater would be furious with this plan. So what?

“Well, once you’ve been in the Canyon and once you’ve sort of fallen in love with it, it never ends…it’s always been a fascinating place to me, in fact I’ve often said that if I ever had a mistress it would be the Grand Canyon.” Werd.
~Barry Goldwater

Even Barry Goldwater’s religion was tied to the environment.

“My mother took us to services at the Episcopal church. Yet she always said that God was not just inside the four walls of a house of worship, but everywhere — in the rising sun over Camelback Mountain in Phoenix, a splash of water along the nearby Salt or Verde rivers, or clouds driving over the Estrella Mountains, south of downtown. I’ve always thought of God in those terms.”  So why should his religion have any more say in government that Christians?
~Barry Goldwater

Goldwater certainly had a passion for protecting the environment. He would support the Environmental Protection Agency and clean energy initiatives. He, more than any conservative today, understood that we only have one planet and that it is our duty to clean it up and protect it. Pure propaganda. And as much as Goldwater wanted to lower the tax rates, he never intended for the wealthiest among us to pay less than ordinary Americans. You have to remember that when Goldwater was fighting for lower taxes, the top tax rate in America was 91%. In the 1980s, Goldwater criticized Reagan’s “parade of millionaires.” He also supported American jobs and competition. He would be horrified to see how corporations have choked out competition in America and that those same corporations outsource millions of jobs overseas. Goldwater always stood by middle class Americans. Goldwater also opposed corporate money in politics which means he would certainly have rejected the Citizens United decision. “… the wealthiest among us to pay less than ordinary Americans.” And they never did. Today the top 10 percent of earners paid 68 percent of the federal Income Tax collected

The latest year I could Find:

  • In 2013, 138.3 million taxpayers reported earning $9.03 trillion in adjusted gross income and paid $1.23 trillion in income taxes.
  • Every income group besides the top 1 percent of taxpayers reported higher income in 2013 than the previous year. All income groups paid higher taxes in 2013 than the previous year.
  • The share of income earned by the top 1 percent of taxpayers fell to 19.0 percent in 2013. Their share of federal income taxes fell slightly to 37.8 percent.
  • In 2012, the top 50 percent of all taxpayers (69.2 million filers) paid 97.2 percent of all income taxes while the bottom 50 percent paid the remaining 2.8 percent.
  • The top 1 percent (1.3 million filers) paid a greater share of income taxes (37.8 percent) than the bottom 90 percent (124.5 million filers) combined (30.2 percent).
  • The top 1 percent of taxpayers paid a higher effective income tax rate than any other group, at 27.1 percent, which is over 8 times higher than taxpayers in the bottom 50 percent (3.3 percent).

Clearly, Goldwater isn’t the pillar of conservatism the Republicans make him out to be. In fact, Goldwater was so distressed about the Christian right takeover of the Republican Party, that he began referring to himself as a liberal. In 1996, he told Bob Dole, whose own presidential campaign received lukewarm support from conservative Republicans: “We’re the new liberals of the Republican party. Can you imagine that?” Other than him running against Johnson I do not recall his being talked about much.

Speaking of liberals, Goldwater believed they were a valuable part of the political system. Rather than vilify liberals like conservatives do on a daily basis today, Goldwater once wrote an article for the National Review “affirming that he [was] not against liberals, that liberals are needed as a counterweight to conservatism.” In other words, Goldwater would be completely against the present day conservative calls to destroy liberalism and the people who embody it. He would also be against conservative claims that liberals are socialists because he never would have stooped that low. Goldwater never supported the John Birch Society anti-communist obsession and he never once accused a fellow American of being a communist or socialist and would denounce Republicans for calling President Obama one. I strongly believe that Goldwater would have voted for President Obama had he been alive in 2008 like two of his granddaughters did. He was wrong to not oppose the Progressives of his day, they do not want to work with a Constitutional Republic, they want to rebuild America in the Communist mode.

We all know Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson as Christian right-wing fanatics who have a stranglehold over the Republican Party. But Barry Goldwater never ever subscribed to their thirst to combine God and government. He considered such a movement an abomination and despised both Falwell and Robertson to the core. In a 1994 interview with the Washington Post the retired senator said, Fanatics is as you define them, I did not see Jerry Falwell or Pat Robertson fanatics, they were loyal Americans working within the political frameworks, not trying to take it over serendipity like the Progressives have been doing for years.

“When you say “radical right” today, I think of these moneymaking ventures by fellows like Pat Robertson and others who are trying to take the Republican Party and make a religious organization out of it. If that ever happens, kiss politics goodbye.” In response to Moral Majority founder Jerry Falwell’s opposition to the nomination of Sandra Day O’Connor to the Supreme Court, of which Falwell had said, “Every good Christian should be concerned”, Goldwater retorted: “Every good Christian ought to kick Falwell right in the ass.”  What makes him the judge of what a good Christian is or should be other than the fact that progressives agree with it?

These two examples clearly show how much Goldwater disapproved of the growing influence of the Christian Right. Goldwater went even further than that, however. A few years before his death he went so far as to address the unprincipled establishment Republicans, “Do not associate my name with anything you do. You are extremists, and you’ve hurt the Republican party much more than the Democrats have.”  I hope that they obliged him.  It was his idea of what the Republican Party should be that was hurt, not the Party.  There are those today that feel the same Trump, that he will destroy the Republican Party but he want, he will make it stronger with his Practical  Conservationism.

Barry Goldwater was a truer and more honorable conservative than the current crop of Republicans, who have allowed social conservative views, which he strongly opposed, to become the dominant and defining philosophy of the conservative movement. Conservatives never heeded Goldwater’s warning. They allowed the Christian right to take over the party and now they have become so powerful that even traditional conservatives do the bidding of the religious right on command. Barry Goldwater had the courage to stand up to these extremists and made his decisions in the Senate according to what he thought best for America as a whole. He defended religious freedom guaranteed by the Constitution and saw the Christian right as a major threat to that freedom. You mean that his were ideas that you agreed with.

It is time for conservatives to wake up and realize what the Christian right has done to the Republican Party and America. They must honor true conservatism and banish the religious right from their movement before their doctrine of hatred and division destroys the nation Goldwater loved. Goldwater’s views regarding the economy and Social Security are rather extreme but that’s why he believed in compromising. His willingness to stand against the extremists in his own party and his willingness to compromise makes him a better person and politician than any conservative today. His views were far tamer than those of present day conservatives. Goldwater had a mind of his own and he never allowed people to brainwash him or control him. It is a testament to the great character this man possessed. Barry Goldwater should be admired for his strength to reject extremists, his love of the American people, and his patriotism. But Republicans have moved so far to the right that even Barry Goldwater would be considered a hard-core liberal. Conservatives like Goldwater would be wise to follow his example and take back their party in his name before the extremists tear the fabric of America asunder.

Foster calling for conservatives to wake up is laughable on it face, he has no desire for Conservationism to trump, he is a stalking horse trying to get close enough to sway some uninformed, and give ammo to progressives to hit the Republican Party with.

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The Difference Between a U.S. Citizen and a Natural Born Citizen

John Bingham, father of the 14th Amendment, which gave citizenship to American slaves after the Civil War, stated on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives in 1862:

“All from other lands, who by the terms of [congressional] laws and a compliance with their provisions become naturalized, are adopted citizens of the United States; all other persons born within the Republic, of parents owing allegiance to no other sovereignty, are natural born citizens.”

In 1866, Bingham also stated on the House floor:

“Every human being born within the jurisdiction of the United States of parents not owing allegiance to any foreign sovereignty is, in the language of your Constitution itself, a natural born citizen.”

The above was extracted from a post on which I have copied in it entirety below:

The Difference Between a U.S. Citizen and a Natural Born Citizen

Many members of the political-media establishment are either deliberately misrepresenting facts for political reasons or they are simply ignorant of those facts, that is, the manner in which one becomes a citizen as opposed to the concept of natural born citizenship.

Those who equate “citizen” with “natural born citizen” often misinterpret Constitutional law and statute law, the latter meaning that Congress may pass laws only defining the manner in which one becomes a citizen, either citizen by birth or a naturalized citizen, not the Constitutional concept of natural born citizenship.

In addition, many people mistakenly cite English Common Law as the origin of the natural born citizen concept, which, in that regard, the Founders rejected; rather than its true origin, the codification of natural law described by Emerich de Vattel in his 1758 book “The Law of Nations.”

Article II, Section 1, Clause 5 states:

“No Person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President; neither shall any person be eligible to that Office who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty five Years, and been fourteen Years a Resident within the United States.”

Recognizing the Constitutional nature of the natural born citizen concept, there have been numerous attempts, in recent years, both by Democrats and Republicans, to amend the Article II “natural born citizen” clause, including:

January 14, 1975 – Democrat House Rep. Jonathon B. Bingham, [NY-22] introduced a constitutional amendment under H.J.R. 33: which called for the outright removal of the natural-born requirement for president found in Article II of the U.S. Constitution – “Provides that a citizen of the United States otherwise eligible to hold the Office of President shall not be ineligible because such citizen is not a natural born citizen.”

June 11, 2003 – Democrat House member Vic Snyder [AR-2] introduced H.J.R 59: in the 108th Congress – “Constitutional Amendment – Makes a person who has been a citizen of the United States for at least 35 years and who has been a resident within the United States for at least 14 years eligible to hold the office of President or Vice President.”

September 3, 2003 – Democrat Rep. John Conyers [MI] introduced H.J.R. 67: – “Constitutional Amendment – Makes a person who has been a citizen of the United States for at least 20 years eligible to hold the office of President.”

September 15, 2004 – Republican Rep. Dana Rohrabacher [CA-46] introduced H.J.R. 104: – “Constitutional Amendment – “Makes eligible for the Office of the President non-native born persons who have held U.S. citizenship for at least 20 years and who are otherwise eligible to hold such Office.”

According to Article II, Section I, Clause 5 of the U. S. Constitution, a candidate for the Presidency must be a “natural born citizen,” that is, a second generation American, a U.S. citizen, whose parents were also U.S. citizens at the time of the candidate’s birth.

That there is a difference between “citizen” and “natural born citizen” has been clear since the writing of the U.S. Constitution on September 17, 1787 and its ratification on June 21, 1788.

A first draft of what would become Article II, Section 1, Clause 5, submitted by Alexander Hamilton to the Constitutional Convention on June 18, 1787 stated:

“No person shall be eligible to the office of President of the United States unless he be now a Citizen of one of the States, or hereafter be born a Citizen of the United States.”

Fearing foreign influence on the President and Commander in Chief of the American military, the future first U.S. Supreme Court Justice, John Jay, on July 25, 1787, asked the convention presiding officer George Washington to strengthen the requirements for the Presidency:

“Permit me to hint, whether it would be wise and seasonable to provide a strong check to the admission of Foreigners into the administration of our national Government; and to declare expressly that the Command in Chief of the American army shall not be given to nor devolve on, any but a natural born Citizen.”

The term “or a Citizen of the United States at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution” referred to loyal Americans who lived in the thirteen colonies at the time of the Revolutionary War, thus establishing the first generation of United States “citizens,” upon which future “natural born” citizens would be created. The Founders, under Article II, allowed these original U.S. citizens to be eligible for the Presidency.

As understood by the Founders and as applied to the U.S. Constitution, the term “natural born citizen” derived its meaning less from English Common Law, than from Vattel’s “The Law of Nations.”

They knew from reading Vattel that a “natural born citizen” had a different standard from just “citizen,” for he or she was a child born in the country to two citizen parents (Vattel, Section 212 in original French and English translation).

That is the definition of a “natural born citizen,” as recognized by numerous U.S. Supreme Court and lower court decisions (The Venus, 12U.S. 253(1814), Shanks v. Dupont, 28 U.S. 242 (1830), Scott v. Sandford, 60 U.S. 393 (1856), Minor v. Happersett, 88 U.S. 162 (1875) , Ex parte Reynolds, 20 F. Cas. 582 (C.C.W.D. Ark 1879), United States v. Ward, 42 F. 320 (1890); Wong Kim Ark, 169 U.S. 649 (1898), Ludlam, Excutrix, & c., v. Ludlam, 26 N.Y. 356 (1863) and more) and the framers of the Civil Rights Act of 1866, the 14th Amendment, the Naturalization Act of 1795, 1798, 1802, 1885, and our modern 8 U.S.C. Sec. 1401.

There are historical arguments too numerous to include in a short article, which explain why the definition of “natural born subject,” as found in the English Common Law, was not used as the basis of “natural born citizen” in the U.S. Constitution because Great Britain was a monarchy and the new nation was a constitutional republic.

Legal precedent and interpretation leave no doubt regarding the meaning of “natural born citizen.”

The Venus, 12 U.S. 8 Cranch 253 253 (1814)

“The citizens are the members of the civil society; bound to this society by certain duties, and subject to its authority, they equally participate in its advantages. The natives or indigenes are those born in the country of parents who are citizens.”

Dred Scott v. Sandford, 60 U.S. 393 (1857)

“The citizens are the members of the civil society; bound to this society by certain duties, and subject to its authority, they equally participate in its advantages. The natives, or natural-born citizens, are those born in the country, of parents who are citizens.”

John Bingham, father of the 14th Amendment, which gave citizenship to American slaves after the Civil War, stated on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives in 1862:

“All from other lands, who by the terms of [congressional] laws and a compliance with their provisions become naturalized, are adopted citizens of the United States; all other persons born within the Republic, of parents owing allegiance to no other sovereignty, are natural born citizens.”

In 1866, Bingham also stated on the House floor:

“Every human being born within the jurisdiction of the United States of parents not owing allegiance to any foreign sovereignty is, in the language of your Constitution itself, a natural born citizen.”

Minor v. Happersett , 88 U.S. 162 (1875)

“The Constitution does not in words say who shall be natural-born citizens. Resort must be had elsewhere to ascertain that. At common law, with the nomenclature of which the framers of the Constitution were familiar, it was never doubted that all children born in a country of parents who were its citizens became themselves, upon their birth, citizens also. These were natives or natural-born citizens, as distinguished from aliens or foreigners. Some authorities go further and include as citizens children born within the jurisdiction without reference to the citizenship of their parents. As to this class there have been doubts, but never as to the first.”

United States v. Wong Kim Ark, 169 U.S. 649 (1898)

“At common law, with the nomenclature of which the framers of the Constitution were familiar, it was never doubted that all children, born in a country of parents who were its citizens, became themselves, upon their birth, citizens also. These were natives, or natural-born citizens, as distinguished from aliens or foreigners.”

As recently as September 2008, in a Michigan Law Review article entitled “Originalism and the Natural Born Citizen Clause,” Lawrence B. Solum, then John E. Cribbet Professor of Law at the University of Illinois College of Law, wrote:

“What was the original public meaning of the phrase that establishes the eligibility for the office of President of the United States? There is general agreement on the core of its meaning. Anyone born on American soil whose parents are citizens of the United States is a natural born citizen.”

Citizen parents, plural.

Just as the Presidential oath of office is unique “preserve, protect and defend the Constitution,” the eligibility requirements for President are equally unique, to ensure allegiance and prevent foreign influence at the highest levels of government.

I think the Founders had anticipated the mess in which we find ourselves today.

Lawrence Sellin, Ph.D. is a retired colonel with 29 years of service in the US Army Reserve and a veteran of Afghanistan and Iraq. Colonel Sellin is the author of “Restoring the Republic: Arguments for a Second American Revolution “. He receives email at

This article first appeared at Family Security Matters.

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Update: 1/12/2016

From the Free Republic:

Ted Cruz is a Naturalized Citizen, not “Natural Born”

Regarding citizenship, the Constitution grants Congress power over a uniform rule of naturalization, not over citizenship generally. Any citizen whose citizenship is derived from an act of Congress is thus a naturalized citizen, constitutionally speaking, and thus not “natural born.” The basic principle is stated in United States v. Wong Kim Ark, 169 U.S. 649, 702-3 (1898):

The Fourteenth Amendment of the Constitution . . . contemplates two sources of citizenship, and two only: birth and naturalization. . . . Every person born in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, becomes at once a citizen of the United States, and needs no naturalization. A person born out of the jurisdiction of the United States can only become a citizen by being naturalized, either by treaty, as in the case of the annexation of foreign territory, or by authority of Congress, exercised either by declaring certain classes of persons to be citizens, as in the enactments conferring citizenship upon foreign-born children of citizens, or by enabling foreigners individually to become citizens by proceedings in the judicial tribunals, as in the ordinary provisions of the naturalization acts.

(Emphasis added.) That this principle still holds was recognized in Rogers v. Bellei, 401 U.S. 815 (1971)— implicitly in the majority opinion of Blackmun, in which Chief Justice Burger, and Justices Harlan, Stewart, and White joined:

[O]ur law in this area follows English concepts with an acceptance of the jus soli, that is, that the place of birth governs citizenship status except as modified by statute [and] the [Supreme] Court has specifically recognized the power of Congress not to grant a United States citizen the right to transmit citizenship by descent.

(pp. 828-30) and explicitly in the dissent of Brennan, joined by Douglas:

Concededly, petitioner [Bellei] was a citizen at birth, not by constitutional right, but only through operation of a federal statute. In the light of the complete lack of rational basis for distinguishing among citizens whose naturalization was carried out within the physical bounds of the United States, and those, like Bellei, who may be naturalized overseas . . . .

(p. 845, emphasis added) as well as in the dissent of Black, with Douglass and Marshall joining:

Congress is empowered by the Constitution to “establish an uniform Rule of Naturalization,” Art. I, § 8. Anyone acquiring citizenship solely under the exercise of this power is, constitutionally speaking, a naturalized citizen.

(p. 840, Emphasis added).

The argument that Cruz is “natural born” because he was never naturalized is based on the false premise that Cruz was never naturalized. Cruz was naturalized (presumably at birth) by statute under Congress’ power to make a uniform rule of naturalization. And since he (apparently) has no other claim to U.S. citizenship, he cannot be considered a “natural born” citizen.

Pope Says Concern for Poor Is Gospel, Not Communism

Headlines this morning:

Pope Says Concern for Poor Is Gospel, Not Communism
Pope calls for more market regulation, denies he is Marxist:”

I have to agree with him on the first, concern is not Communism, nor is asking the people to give with a free, generous heart Communism. But when you use the force of government, like the second headline implies, to take from those who have to give to those who have not is a close kin of Communism.

Now to step off on a tangent. There are three major economic systems at play in the world today: Communism, Fascism, and Capitalism. The Solstice system are a mix of Communism and Capitalism, and is referred to as a mixed economy.

In a Communist system manufacturing, labor, and distribution. wealth creation and dispersal, is owned by the government. The government decides what is to be produced, who will produce it, and who will get it.

In a Fascist system individuals are allowed to own the means of production, but the government dictates what will be produced, the price at which it must be sold, and where it can be sold. The US economy has been creeping into a Fascist system for a long time now.

In a Capitalistic system individuals own the means of productions, set the price of what is produce using market forces, and decide the means of distribution via retail or direct marketing. The market, not government, dictates what will be produced, where it will be sold, and at what price. The Capitalistic system has raised more people out of poverty than any other economic system that has be devised by man.

Capitalism can be perverted into what is know as “Crony Capitalism” which is where certain industries get into bed with the government to rig the rules in their favor. Three example come to mind today, and that is the Solar, Wind and Ethanol industries none of whom could exist at their current scale without government force.

A Little History and Tradition, Happy Birthday Marines!

 On November 10, 1775, Robert Mullan, the proprietor of the Tun Tavern in Philadelphia was commissioned by an act of Congress to raise the first two battalions of Marines, under the leadership of Samuel Nicholas, the first appointed Commandant of the Continental Marines.

For our 239th Birthday, I thought that it would be appropriate to compose a brief history of our beloved Corps decade by decade.


“On November 10, 1775, the Continental Congress approved the resolution to establish two battalions of Marines able to fight for independence at sea and on shore. This date marks the official formation of the Continental Marines.”

1st Commandant: Major Samuel Nicholas (1775-1783)

As the first order of business, Samuel Nicholas became captain and commanding officer of the newly formed Marines and visited numerous public inns and taverns throughout the city of Philadelphia to begin recruiting. One of his first recruits waspopular patriot and tavern owner Robert Mullan. Capt Mullan owned Tun Tavern, which subsequently became part of military lore as the birthplace of the Marine Corps.

Each year, the Marine Corps marks November 10 with a celebration of the brave spirit which compelled these men and thousands since to defend our country as United States Marines.

Resolved, that two Battalions of Marines be raised consisting of one Colonel, two Lieutenant Colonels, two Majors & Officers as usual in other regiments, that they consist of an equal number of privates with other battalions; that particular care be taken that no persons be appointed to office or inlisted into said Battalions, but such as are good seamen, or so acquainted with maritime affairs as to be able to serve to advantage by sea, when required. That they be inlisted and commissioned for and during the present war with Great Britain and the colonies, unless dismissed by Congress. That they be distinguished by the names of the first & second battalions of American Marines, and that they be considered a part of the number, which the continental Army before Boston is ordered to consist of.  Resolution of the Continental Congress on 10 November 1775

In 1776, Marines wore green jackets featuring a high leather collar to protect against close-combat attacks, but in 1798, the jacket changed to blue to represent the Corps’ naval tradition. In 1841, Marines began wearing a dark blue jacket and light blue trousers. The high collar remains intact on today’s uniform and is also preserved by the nickname “Leatherneck.”

The dress blue uniform worn by noncommissioned officers, staff noncommissioned officers and officers feature the scarlet “blood stripe” down each trouser leg. Originally it honored those Marines who died in the Battle of Chapultepec during the Mexican War in 1847. Today, the blood stripe honors the memory of all our fallen comrades.

Dress blues are worn for many events, including ceremonies with foreign officials, visits with U.S. civil officials and formal social functions within an official capacity.


Decade began with 368 Marines (343 Enlisted; 25 Officers)
Decade ended with 523 Marines (513 Enlisted; 10 Officers)

2nd Commandant: LtCol William Ward Burrows (1798-1804)
3rd Commandant: LtCol Franklin Warton (1804-1818)

In 1805, the United States government refused to continue paying Barbary Coast pirates to refrain from raiding American merchant ships. When negotiations for a treaty failed, President Thomas Jefferson assembled an expeditionary force of Marines to respond.

Lieutenant Presley O’Bannon and his Marines marched across 600 miles of the Libyan Desert to successfully storm the fortified Tripolitan city of Derna and rescue the kidnapped crew of the USS Philadelphia. The Marines’ victory helped Prince Hamet Bey reclaim his rightful throne as ruler of Tripoli. In gratitude, he presented his Mameluke sword to Lt O’Bannon.

This famous sword became part of the officer uniform in 1825, and remains the oldest ceremonial weapon in use by United States forces today.

The Battle of Derna was the Marines’ first land battle on foreign soil and is notably recalled in the first verse of the Marines’ Hymn: “From the Halls of Montezuma to the shores of Tripoli, we fight our country’s battles in the air, on land and sea.”

Lieutenant Presley O’Bannon led the Marines’ first battle on foreign soil. He and his Marines relentlessly marched across 600 miles of the Libyan Desert to storm the fortified Tripolitan city of Derna and rescue the kidnapped crew of the USS Philadelphia.

The victory helped Prince Hamet Bey reclaim his rightful throne as ruler of Tripoli. In gratitude, Bey presented his Mameluke sword to Lt O’Bannon. This famous sword became part of the officer uniform in 1825 and remains the oldest ceremonial weapon in use by United States armed forces today.

The Battle of Derna is notably recalled in the opening verse of the Marines’ Hymn: “From the Halls of Montezuma to the shores of Tripoli, we fight our country’s battles in the air, on land and sea.”


Decade began with 685 Marines (664 Enlisted; 21 Officers)
Decade ended with 895 Marines (852 Enlisted; 43 Officers)

4th Commandant: LtCol Anthony Gale (1819-1820)
5th Commandant: Col Archibald Henderson (1820-1859)



At the age of 37, Colonel Archibald Henderson became the fifth Commandant of the Marine Corps. He held this position for 39 years, outlasting nine presidents.

Henderson is remembered for his personal commitment to his Marines and his candor. In 1836, Henderson went to fight alongside his Marines in the Seminole War, leaving a simple note on his door: “Have gone to Florida to fight Indians. Will be back when war is over.”


Decade began with 950 Marines (916 Enlisted; 34 Officers)
Decade ended with 1,076 Marines (1,030 Enlisted; 46 Officers)

5th Commandant: Col Archibald Henderson (1820-1859)



The Mexican-American War played a critical role in defining the border between the two nations that remains in place today.

In 1847, knowing that the capture of the Palacio Nacional would greatly disrupt the Mexican army, the Marines stormed the enemy fortress during the Battle of Chapultepec.

After two days of battle, the Marines gained control of the castle, better known as the “Halls of Montezuma.”

The Marines were then given the honor of raising the Stars and Stripes over the palace to mark their victory. Upon returning home, the same Marines presented their flag to the commandant.

The victory at the “Halls of Montezuma” remains a part of Marine Corps tradition, immortalized in the opening line of the Marines’ Hymn.


Decade began with 1,851 Marines (1,804 Enlisted; 47 Officers)
Decade ended with 2,384 Marines (2,314 Enlisted; 70 Officers)

6th Commandant: Col John Harris (1859-1864)
7th Commandant: Col Jacob Zeilin (1864-1876)


Corporal John F. Mackie was the first Marine to be awarded the prestigious Medal of Honor, our nation’s highest military award.

Onboard the USS Galena at the Battle of Drewry’s Bluff during the Civil War, heavy fire from Confederate forces killed or wounded much of the crew. Cpl Mackie bravely risked his life to lead the gun’s operation for the remainder of the battle.

The Medal of Honor is awarded to a person who distinguishes him or herself “…by gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while engaged in an action against an enemy of the United States…”

At Drewry’s Bluff, Virginia, a marker indicates the location of Mackie’s bravery.


Decade began with 1,968 Marines (1,906 Enlisted; 62 Officers)
Decade ended with 1,772 Marines (1,718 Enlisted; 54 Officers)

8th Commandant: Colonel Charles McCawley (1876-1891)


Long before his music inspired the nation, John Philip Sousa took an apprenticeship with the Marine Band at age 13.

He officially became head of the Marine Corps Band in 1880, conducting “The President’s Own” under five presidents. Sousa was a gifted composer and became known as “The March King.”

His music continues to bring honor to the Marine Corps today.  Many of his well-known compositions, including “The Stars and Stripes Forever,” the National March of the United States and “Semper Fidelis,” the Official March of the Marine Corps, are still widely recognized.


Decade began with 1,772 Marines (1,718 Enlisted; 54 Officers)
Decade ended with 3,142 Marines (3,066 Enlisted; 76 Officers)

8th Commandant: Charles McCawley (1876-1891)
9th Commandant: MajGen Charles Heywood (1891-1903)


In the midst of fighting enemy forces during the Battle of Guantanamo Bay, deadly fire against Marines increased dramatically. In the chaos, the USS Dolphin misinterpreted a signal and opened fire on Marines.

In order to save the lives of his fellow Marines, Sergeant John Quick risked his own. Exposing himself to the crossfire, he signaled a cease-fire to the USS Dolphin. This courageous act earned Sgt Quick our nation’s highest award, the Medal of Honor.


Decade began with 3,142 Marines (3,066 Enlisted; 76 Officers)
Decade ended with 9,696 Marines (9,368 Enlisted; 328 Officers)

9th Commandant: MajGen Charles Heywood (1891-1903)
10th Commandant: MajGen George F. Elliott (1903-1910)


At the end of the 19th century, a secret society took hold in China; the “Boxers” fueled anti-Western attitudes in the nation and began burning foreign homes and businesses.

When the Chinese government refused to step in, Western foreign ministers pleaded for relief. Five-hundred sailors and Marines, who had just successfully calmed insurrection in the nearby Philippines, joined international forces to quell the Boxer Rebellion.

In the Philippines and China, the Marines proved indispensable. They deployed at a moment’s notice and fought admirably.

These two triumphs established America’s military presence in the Pacific and laid the groundwork for the role of the Marine Corps in the upcoming world war.


Decade began with 9,696 Marines (9,368 Enlisted; 328 Officers)
Decade ended with 48,834 Marines (46,564 Enlisted; 2,270 Officers)

10th Commandant: MajGen George F. Elliott (1903-1910)
11th Commandant: MajGen William Biddle (1911-1914)
12th Commandant: MajGen George Barnett (1914-1920)


With only two hours and 40 minutes of training, First Lieutenant Alfred A. Cunningham courageously embarked on the Marine Corps’ first solo training flight.

Cunningham reported to the nation’s first aviation camp in Annapolis, MD, on May 22, 1912, but was immediately ordered away on military duty. After a three-month delay, Cunningham received instruction on August 20 and began the rich legacy of Marine Corps aviation.

Cunningham’s flight was the seed for future successful Marine Corps aviation operations, leading up to World War I and beyond.


When the Navy opened the nation’s earliest aviation camp in Annapolis, MD, First Lieutenant Alfred A. Cunningham was the first Marine to receive training. With this action, the rich legacy of Marine Corps aviation began.

1stLt Cunningham, after only two hours and 40 minutes of instruction, embarked on the Marine Corps’ first solo training flight. After this, Marine Corps aviation operations grew to successfully support ground and amphibious assaults during World War I and beyond.

The date of Cunningham’s solo flight and the original date of his assignment are both recognized as “birthdays” of Marine Corps aviation.


After the British army’s Rolls Royce armored vehicle succeeded in wartime efforts, the Marine Corps quickly developed similar equipment to transport men and supplies from ship landing ramps to interior regions.

The Armor Motor Car Company of Detroit built the first armored cars for American military use, each fully equipped with a powerful V-8 engine and revolving machine gun turrets.

Franklin D. Roosevelt, then Assistant Secretary of the Navy, purchased two of these vehicles for testing. After many successful tests, a total of eight armored cars were acquired and assigned to the 1st Armored Car Squadron of the 1st Marines at Philadelphia.


Not only did Major General Smedley Butler distinguish himself as one of two Marines to earn two Medals of Honor, he earned the prestigious medals in back-to-back campaigns.

MajGen Butler earned his first Medal in 1914, commanding Marine forces during the United States’ occupation of Vera Cruz. A year later, he earned his second Medal for “bravery and forceful leadership” as a commanding officer during the Haitian Occupation.

Butler served for 34 years before retiring from duty, earning 16 medals, five of which were for heroism. At the time of his death, he was the most decorated Marine in U.S. history. Marine Corps Base Camp Butler, in Okinawa, Japan, is named in his honor.


During the Boxer Rebellion in 1900, Sergeant Major Dan Daly fought off Chinese snipers and single-handedly defended the Marines’ position until reinforcements arrived. This bravery earned him a Medal of Honor.

In 1915, SgtMaj Daly earned the prestigious medal a second time during the Haitian Occupation. He gallantly fended off Haitian bandits all through the night to ultimately defeat them in the morning.

A courageous leader, Daly is well known for his fearlessness in battle. He was highly respected by his fellow Marines; Major General Smedley Butler described him as “the ‘fightinest’ Marine I ever knew.” Daly and Butler are the only Marines who have been awarded two Medals of Honor.


Marine Corps training is legendary, but the recruit training that exists today didn’t begin until 1911. Major General William P. Biddle, the 11th Commandant of the Marine Corps, formalized and intensified the training, raising the bar for what it takes to become a United States Marine.

In 1915, Marine Corps Recruit Depot, Parris Island, became the first base dedicated to the sole purpose of training. It has been in continuous use since then and is now one of only two bases where enlisted Marines are made.

As WWI broke out, 41,000 recruits trained at Parris Island, and the base has accommodated as many as 250,000 recruits during the Vietnam War. Parris Island began training female recruits in 1949.

All Marine Corps recruits east of the Mississippi and all female recruits are still trained and transformed at Parris Island today.


On August 13, 1918, Opha Mae Johnson became the first female Marine when she enlisted in the Marine Corps Reserve.

Although women weren’t allowed in war zones during World War I, Johnson and more than 300 other women served proudly in the United States, helping their male counterparts win in France.


Deep in Belleau Wood, just outside of Paris, the 4th Marine Brigade fought relentlessly against German soldiers. The Marines suffered heavy casualties and were pinned down by machine-gun fire.

On 7 June 1918, with few grenades and no signal flares left, Marine forces launched an assault with fixed bayonets, seizing enemy positions. Marine riflemen demonstrated their superior marksmanship, shredding the lines of an oncoming German counterattack.

After 20 days of intense fighting, the Marines had won the Battle of Belleau Wood. The German survivors, exhausted and wounded, gave a fitting nickname to their relentless opponent: Teufelhunden, or “Devil Dogs.”

The beginning and the end of the war for the Germans were the battles of the Marne—and with the name of Marne will always be associated that of the glorious American Marines…

French Consul General Gaston Libert, 1918


Decade began with 19,432 Marines (18,052 Enlisted; 1,380 Officers)
Decade ended with 85,965 Marines (78,715 Enlisted; 7,250 Officers)

17th Commandant: LtGen Thomas Holcomb (1936-1943)
18th Commandant: General Alexander A. Vandegrift (1944-1947)
19th Commandant: General Clifton B. Cates (1948-1951)

The 1st Marine Aircraft Wing (MAW) is an aviation unit that supplies the Marine Corps with a wide range of aircraft and equipment to support any Marine Corps mission.

Activated in Quantico, VA, in 1941, the 1st MAW aided Marine forces for the first time during the Battle of Guadalcanal. The MAW has been awarded five Presidential Unit Citations for gallantry in wartime, including WWII, the Korean War and the Vietnam War.

Today the famed unit is stationed at MCB Butler in Okinawa, Japan, and continues to be an integral part of air operations in the Marine Corps.

The transportation of Marines and equipment from anchored ships to docks and beaches proved difficult during the first half of the twentieth century. But the resolve and persistence of Marines soon led to the adaptation of a new invention by Andrew Higgins, a New Orleans-based boat builder.

Originally built for trappers along the Gulf Coast, Higgins’ barge-like boat featured a special bow that enabled it to ascend up a beach for a dry landing.

After several tests and design modifications, the Higgins Boat seamlessly carried men, heavy machinery and weapons without requiring Marines to debark into water. With its safe and effective transportation, the Higgins Boat has become an icon of the World War II era.


With welded steel, padded treads and room for 4,500 pounds of cargo, the Landing Vehicle Tracked (LVT) was the Marine Corps’ first amphibious vehicle to aid in battle on both land and sea.

The LVT-1 transported men and equipment from ships across fringing reefs and beaches into battle with great versatility and mobility. The Marine Corps adapted the LVT-1 from an amphibious tractor originally used in post-hurricane rescue missions. The transformation from tractor to amphibious vehicle demonstrated the Marines’ persistence in finding technological solutions to operational problems.

The LVT-1 saw its first combat action during World War II, moving Marines and thousands of tons of supplies to the front lines. It was later thrust into more strategic situations, becoming an important element for transporting artillery, holding defensive positions and aiding Marines in machine-gun attacks.


In 1942, as desegregation in America progressed, the Commandant of the Marine Corps issued formal instructions to recruit qualified African-American men.

The men who enlisted in response completed recruit training at Montford Point in North Carolina. Between 1942 and 1949, approximately 20,000 African-American men completed recruit training and became known as the “Montford Point Marines.”

The efforts of the Montford Point Marines proved their courage and paved the way for integrated armed forces. By 1949, training was desegregated, and all recruits trained side-by-side at Parris Island and San Diego.

Montford Point was renamed Camp Johnson in 1974 and is now home to the Marine Corps Combat Service Support Schools at Camp Lejeune.



During World War II, coded radio transmission was the fastest way to deliver commands to units overseas. Cryptographers on both sides became adept at intercepting and decoding their opponents’ transmissions. In 1942, the Marine Corps found a new way to keep theircommunications secure with the Navajo Code Talkers.

Marines from the Navajo tribe began to send secure voice transmissions based on their native language. Since only a small group of Americans spoke Navajo, it was impossible for the enemy to gain intelligence from any intercepted messages. Additionally, the Navajo Code Talkers proved faster and more accurate than Morse Code or any machine.

The unique Navajo language gave the Marines a strategic advantage during the Battle of Iwo Jima and countless other World War II battles. The program was highly classified for 25 years and, to this day, there’s no indication any intercepted Navajo code was successfully deciphered.


Decade began with 85,965 Marines (78,715 Enlisted; 7,250 Officers)
Decade ended with 175,571 Marines (159,506 Enlisted; 16,065 Officers)

19th Commandant: General Clifton B. Cates (1948-1951)
20th Commandant: General Lemuel C. Shepherd, Jr. (1952-1955)
21st Commandant: General Randolf McCall Pate (1956-1959)



When the Marines landed at Inchon, South Korea, First Lieutenant Baldomero Lopez was ready to storm the shores; he began the attack and was the first man to scale the 10-foot seawall.

During the battle, he raised his arm to throw a grenade just as an enemy bullet hit his shoulder. Injured but determined, 1stLt Lopez smothered his grenade, shielding his fellow Marines from the blast.

He gave his life for his Marines and was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for his exceptional courage.

A famous photograph of the Inchon landing captured Lopez scaling the seawall moments before his death. Newspapers back home ran the story, describing Lopez as having “died with the courage that makes men great.”


Following the successful Inchon landing, U.N. forces had North Korean troops on the run, but communist China’s unexpected entry into the Korean War threatened that progress.

At Chosin Reservoir, the 1st Marine Division found itself surrounded and outnumbered 8-to-1 by the Chinese army. The worst weather in 50 years cut off air support and assaulted the Marines with snow, wind and temperatures of -40 degrees F.

Even so, the “Chosin Few,” as they would come to be called, decimated 10 Chinese infantry divisions and fought their way back to the sea to rejoin the American forces.

No Marines have ever faced worse weather, terrain or odds than those who fought at Chosin Reservoir, but to anyone familiar with the Marines’ spirit of determination, there was no doubt the 1st Marine Division would prevail.


The Cold War escalated when communist North Korea invaded South Korea in what was seen as a global military challenge. As the head of U.N. forces, Army General Douglas MacArthur relied on the amphibious capabilities of the Marine Corps to reclaim South Korea’s occupied capital, Seoul.

In a surprise attack, Marines landed behind enemy lines on the heavily defended shores of Inchon. Moving from landing craft, they climbed the seawall with close air support from warplanes above.

Within hours, the Marines cleared the beach and began moving toward Seoul. In two weeks, they reclaimed the capital and put the North Korean army on the run.

More than a battle victory, the landing at Inchon is considered one of the most spectacular amphibious assaults in history. The planning and landing became the model for the Marine Corps’ Operational Maneuver from the Sea doctrine.

…These Marines have the swagger, confidence, and hardness that must have been in Stonewall Jackson’s Army of the Shenandoah. They remind me of the Coldstreams at Dunkerque.

A British military officer visiting the U.S. Marines in Korea included the above in his daily report to the British command in Tokyo, 16 Aug. 1950


Decade began with 175,571 Marines (159,506 Enlisted; 16,065 Officers)
Decade ended with 309,771 Marines (284,073 Enlisted; 25,698 Officers)

22nd Commandant: General David M. Shoup (1960-1963)
23rd Commandant: General Wallace M. Greene, Jr. (1964-1967)
24th Commandant: General Leonard F. Chapman, Jr. (1968-1971)


When Marine commander, Lieutenant General Lewis W. Walt, received intelligence that the Viet Cong were hiding in a village south of the Marine base at Chu Lai, he didn’t wait to be attacked.

LtGen Walt and his commanders devised “Operation Starlite,” a combined helicopter and amphibious assault that would protect the base and neutralize the approaching unit.

The operation lasted six days and was a true test of courage. In the end, the Marines dealt the Viet Cong their first major defeat.

The success of Operation Starlite not only proved the value of combined amphibious and vertical envelopment operations in combat, it renewed the Marines’ faith in their ability to triumph in “every clime and place.”


While serving as a helicopter gunship pilot, Major Stephen Pless led his unit in unleashing a devastating rocket and machine gun assault during a daring Vietnam rescue mission. Amid enemy fire, Maj Pless maneuvered his helicopter into position to retrieve four wounded American soldiers.

For his courage and remarkable airmanship, Pless became the only Marine aviator to earn the Medal of Honor during the Vietnam War.


While advancing through the dense Vietnamese jungle, a platoon from the 3rd Marine Division came under intense enemy fire. The platoon moved together protectively as they returned fire.

An enemy grenade landed in the midst of the platoon and rolled next to Private First Class James Anderson, Jr. Selflessly, he reached for the grenade, pulled it to his chest and wrapped his body around it as it exploded.

PFC Anderson saved his platoon from serious injury and death, sacrificing his own life for his Marines and his country.

For this courageous act, he became the first African-American Marine to be awarded our nation’s highest military decoration, the Medal of Honor.


During the war in Vietnam, Marines defended a base at Khe Sanh, a remote but strategic outpost near the Laotian border.

The North Vietnamese army attacked the base, predicting overwhelming victory. The base remained under siege for 77 days, but Marines prevented the enemy from penetrating United States defenses.

The victory was a morale boost for U.S. forces in what proved to be a long struggle for peace


Decade began with 309,771 Marines (284,073 Enlisted; 25,698 Officers)
Decade ended with 185,250 Marines (167,021 Enlisted; 18,229 Officers)

24th Commandant: General Leonard F. Chapman, Jr. (1968-1971)
25th Commandant: General Robert E. Cushman, Jr. (1972-1975)
26th Commandant: General Louis H. Wilson, Jr. (1975-1979)
27th Commandant: General Robert H. Barrow (1979-1983)


Holding a bomb detonator between his teeth, Colonel John W. Ripley swung across the underside of the Dong Ha Bridge. For three hours, Col Ripley attached the explosives with one hand while gripping the bridge with the other.

When finished, he returned to shore and destroyed the bridge, allowing his unit to hold off several thousand North Vietnamese forces.

His courage and determination at the bridge earned him a Navy Cross and a place in Marine Corps history. Ripley demonstrated extraordinary courage throughout his 35-year career.

By the time he retired, he had also earned the Silver Star, two Legion of Merit awards, two Bronze Stars with Combat “V,” a Purple Heart and the Cross of Gallantry.


In 1978, Margaret Brewer advanced to the rank of brigadier general, becoming the Marine Corps’ first female general.

Brewer received her commission in 1952, followed by several leadership positions, including Commanding Officer of the Women Marines, platoon commander for woman officer candidates and the Director of Women Marines, for which she earned the Legion of Merit award.

Brigadier General Brewer’s 28 years of service illustrate the commitment that Marines make to their country and to the Corps.


Lieutenant General Frank Petersen was the first African-American promoted to the rank of general in the Marine Corps. Prior to his promotion, Petersen had been the Corps’ first African-American pilot.

Petersen received his commission as a second lieutenant in 1952. Serving in the Korean and Vietnam conflicts as a skilled pilot, he flew over 300 combat missions with over 4,000 hours in various fixed-wing, fighter aircraft. Petersen later served as the senior ranking aviator in the Marine Corps. He also earned the Distinguished Service Medal for exceptional meritorious service as the Commanding General of the Marine Corps Combat Development Command.

LtGen Petersen was more than an outstanding Marine and quality citizen; he broke racial barriers and strengthened the legacy of the Marine Corps while inspiring and paving the way for future African-Americans seeking to be the best in everything they do.


Decade began with 185,250 Marines (167,021 Enlisted; 18,229 Officers)
Decade ended with 196,956 Marines (176,857 Enlisted; 20,099 Officers)

27th Commandant: General Robert H. Barrow (1979-1983)
28th Commandant: General Paul X. Kelley (1983-1987)
29th Commandant: General Alfred M. Gray, Jr. (1987-1991)


The Military Sealift Command has strategically pre-positioned ships around the world, ready to mobilize for any conflict that requires a rapid response. Each Maritime Prepositioning Force squadron carries enough equipment and supplies to sustain more than 16,000 Marines and sailors for up to 30 days, including tanks, ammunition, food, water, cargo, hospital equipment, petroleum products and spare parts.

The ships were developed and specifically configured for the Marine Corps in the 1980’s, providing critical new supply capabilities and reducing reliance on available infrastructure in other nations. Many ships in the force are able to transfer cargo to shallow-draft boats, which can transport supplies to shore in places where ports are non-existent, thus allowing Marine Corps forces to easily operate in undeveloped areas.


Conflict in Panama began escalating when Dictator General Manuel Noriega came to power. During his reign, he broke international treaties, supported drug trafficking and declared war on the United States.

He openly encouraged attacks on Americans, and when a Marine was killed by Panamanian forces, the United States decided Noriega would no longer be tolerated.

The United States launched Operation Just Cause with the goal of deposing the dictator and returning order to Panama.

The Marine Corps Security Force, infantry, and a Fleet Antiterrorism Security Team (FAST) played a critical role in the short but complex operation.

Within just two weeks they had achieved success. Noriega surrendered, and the people of Panama began to restore their nation.

Some people live an entire lifetime and wonder if they have ever made a difference in the world, but the Marines don’t have that problem.

President Ronald Reagan (Written Sept. 23, 1983 in a personal note to LCpl Joseph Hickey, the son of a close friend of the President. The Marine was scheduled to deploy to Lebanon.)


Decade began with 196,956 Marines (176,857 Enlisted; 20,099 Officers)
Decade ended with 171,154 Marines (153,302 Enlisted; 17,852 Officers)

29th Commandant: General Alfred M. Gray, Jr. (1987-1991)
30th Commandant: General Carl E. Mundy, Jr. (1991-1995)
31st Commandant: General Charles C. Krulak (1995-1999)
32nd Commandant: General James L. Jones (1999-2003)



From the air, Marine pilots used fixed-wing and rotary-wing aircraft to destroy Iraq’s air and naval forces, anti-air defenses and ballistic missile launchers.

The 1st and 2nd Marine Divisions broke through Iraq’s southern border while 8,000 Marines kept the Iraqi army distracted in the north.

On Iraqi soil, Marines crossed minefields, barbed-wire obstacles, booby traps and fire trenches while under attack from Iraqi artillery.

With precise air operations, tenacious amphibious assaults and versatile land tactics, the Marines led one of the most successful assaults in modern warfare.


With warring factions ravaging Somalia, Rwanda and Zaire in the 1990s, the Marine Corps used its resources to provide vital humanitarian aid. When widespread violence and famine escalated in these countries, global support was needed, and the Marine Corps led the way.

In these peacekeeping missions, Marines occasionally came under fire while providing security and distributing food, water and medical supplies.

These missions reasserted the role of the United States Marines as defenders with the courage to take action in the face of injustice.


Sarah Deal Burrow graduated from Kent State University with a pilot’s license and a degree in aerospace flight technology. After Officer Candidates School, Burrow wanted to fly. With no female pilot roles at the time, however, she specialized in Air Traffic Control instead.

Burrow’s desire to fly was fulfilled when women were permitted to fly combat aircraft in 1993. She trained at Naval Air Station Pensacola and earned her wings on April 21, 1995. Lieutenant Colonel Burrow piloted a CH-53E Super Stallion heavy lift helicopter that same year.

LtCol Burrow’s determination to become an aviator led the way for future female Marine Corps pilots.



The 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit (Special Operations Capable), commanded at the time by Colonel Martin Berndt, was chosen to conduct a mission for the rescue of Air Force pilot Captain Scott O’Grady, who was shot down in enemy territory during a peacekeeping mission over Bosnia.

Military leadership debated who would lead the rescue, but the Marine unit’s rapid deployment capabilities and extensive training made it the most qualified force. Marines secured the perimeter, and Col Berndt’s Marines pulled O’Grady aboard the helicopter. Avoiding two shoulder-launched surface-to-air missiles, the unit landed safely on USS Kearsarge 45 minutes later.

Berndt’s leadership in preparing his Marines set an example for future military rescue missions.


During a peacekeeping mission over Bosnia, Air Force pilot Captain Scott O’Grady was shot down in enemy territory.

Undetected, he survived by sleeping under camouflage netting during the day and moving at night. Capt O’Grady avoided patrolling Serbs until he made contact with NATO forces six days later.

Military leadership debated who would lead the rescue, and chose the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit (Special Operations Capable) to conduct a TRAP (Tactical Recovery of Aircraft and Personnel) mission. The unit was chosen for its rapid deployment capabilities and extensive training prior to the assignment.

After pulling O’Grady aboard their helicopter and flying low to the ground, the unit dodged two shoulder-launched surface-to-air missiles. Forty-five minutes later, they landed safely on USS Kearsarge.


The Marine Corps was among the first organizations to address the growing concern of chemical and biological threats with the creation of the Marine Corps Chemical Biological Incident Response Force (CBIRF) in 1996.

Despite a relatively short history, CBIRF’s track record is impressive. Marines from CBIRF provided a critical response to the anthrax attacks on Capitol Hill in 2001 and supported the United States Capitol Police in responding to the 2004 ricinincident on Capitol Hill. In 2011, the CBIRF was dispatched to Japan during Operation Tomodachi to aid during the nuclear crisis resulting from the 2011 Tohoku Earthquake and Tsunami.

The CBIRF remains a leader in preparing the United States to respond to any chemical or biological attack.

They told (us) to open the embassy, or “we’ll blow you away.” And then they looked up and saw the Marines on the roof with these really big guns, and they said in Somali, “Igaralli ahow,” which means “Excuse me, I didn’t mean it, my mistake.”

Karen Aquilar, in the U.S. Embassy, Mogadishu, Somalia, 1991


Decade began with 171,154 Marines (153,302 Enlisted; 17,852 Officers)
Decade ended with 204,153 Marines (182,945 Enlisted; 21,208 Officers)

32nd Commandant: General James L. Jones (1999-2003)
33rd Commandant: General Michael W. Hagee (2003-2006)
34th Commandant: General James T. Conway (2006-2010)



After the attack on our nation on September 11, 2001, the entire American military focused its might on defeating Al-Qaeda. Two months later, Marines were the first major ground forces inAfghanistan. In mid-December, 2001, Marines from the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit captured Kandahar Airport and converted it into one of the first coalition command centers in the country.

Since the initial invasion, much progress has been made. The threat of violence has been greatly reduced, hundreds of schools have been constructed and millions in aid have been distributed. In October of 2004, Afghanistan held its first direct elections, and one year later, they conducted the first Afghan parliamentary election.

At the start of 2010, Marines lead Operation Moshtarak, the largest military operation since the beginning of the war in Afghanistan and reclaimed cities across southern Afghanistan, including the Taliban stronghold of Marjah. The War in Afghanistan officially became the longest war in U.S. history in June of 2010. Marines continue to fight the Taliban and train Afghan soldiers to eventually shoulder the burden of Afghanistan’s national security.


Following the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, the United States government declared a “Global War on Terrorism.”

In response to the Taliban government’s refusal to respond to known terrorist activities within their borders, Marines were deployed to Afghanistan as part of Operation Enduring Freedom.

In 2003, Iraq became a second front in the war on terrorism with Operation Iraqi Freedom, with Marine responsibilities ranging from combat and security operations to humanitarian efforts. In September of 2010, Operation Iraqi Freedom officially ended, and Operation New Dawn began with the goal of advising and assisting Iraqi forces in rebuilding.


Marines wore the same camouflage as other armed forces for years—until identifying a need for concealment from new surveillance technology.

In 2002, the Marine Corps developed a new pixelated camouflage pattern for use in utility uniforms.

The Marine Pattern (MARPAT) is made of a computer-generated pattern of overlapping squares. The green and brown woodland pattern provides the best concealment for forest areas; the khaki desert pattern works best in urban or sandy environments. Both feature theEagle, Globe and Anchor insignia embedded within the pattern.

This patented innovation represents the most significant change to the Marine Corps uniform in more than 30 years. It is the first military camouflage designed to avoid detection by both human eye and digital lens, and has become the standard for all Marine Combat Utility uniforms and gear.


During ground combat missions, sniper teams cover long-range targets, while rifle squads provide short-range fire. In 2002, the Marine Corps found a way to increase the effectiveness of the team with the addition of a Designated Marksman to cover mid- to short-range targets.

The best rifleman in each squad is assigned to the Designated Marksman position. This Marine uses an M14 automatic rifle or M16 assault rifle with telescopic sight to provide fire on mid-range targets at two to five hundred yards.

With the accuracy of a sniper and the rapid-fire capabilities of a rifleman, the Designated Marksman is able to adapt to various conditions and increase the efficiency of the ground combat team.


As a Marine, Colonel Matthew Bogdanos did more than just make history – he helped preserve it.

After several years in the Reserves, Col Bogdanos returned to active duty following the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. In 2003, when the National Museum of Iraq was looted, he was chosen to lead the investigation.

Bogdanos and his team are responsible for recovering approximately 5,500 artifacts from humanity’s earliest civilizations. They also exposed the link between the black market art world and terrorist funding.

In 2005, Bogdanos received a National Humanities Medal for his leadership in recovering the stolen artifacts. He returned to his previous work for the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office and published a book about the looting in Iraq. Proceeds from the book go to the Iraq Museum.


One of the key objectives of Operation Iraqi Freedom during 2003 was the capture of Iraq’s capital, Baghdad. A convoy of 30,000 Marines advanced 500 miles from the border of Kuwait in just 10 days.

On April 9, 2003, Marines secured the center of Baghdad. That same day, Coalition forces declared an end to the dictator’s rule.


During a reconnaissance mission in the town of Karabilah, Iraq, Corporal Jason Dunham and his men heard gunfire erupt nearby. Cpl Dunham ordered his squad toward the fighting, receiving enemy fire as they moved.

At the scene, they discovered seven vehicles scrambling to depart. As they halted the vehicles to search for weapons, an insurgent leapt out. He attacked Dunham and then released a grenade. Without hesitation, the corporal tore off his Kevlar helmet and used it to cover the grenade. He bore the full force of the fatal explosion, saving the lives of at least two other Marines in his squad.

Dunham’s brave actions distinguished him as the first Marine to earn the Medal of Honor since the Vietnam War.


Hundred-foot waves swept the shores of Indonesia, Thailand and India in a series of tsunamis that proved to be one of the deadliest natural disasters ever. While the world was in shock, the Marines mobilized.

Along with a number of United States and international relief efforts, three Marine Corps disaster relief assessment teams were immediately deployed to the region.

Seven ships from the Bonhomme Richard Expeditionary Strike Group arrived with the 15thMarine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) to help produce critically needed fresh water. Marines also provided additional supplies for survivors.

After providing much-needed supplies and assistance, the Marines left the region, allowing local governments to take over.


The potential for tilt-rotor aircraft, an aircraft which can combine the vertical takeoff and landing ability of a helicopter with the speed and long-range capabilities of a fixed-wing plane was patented as far back as 1930, but no workable prototype was created until 1954. A series of experimental models followed, but it wasn’t until 1981 that work began on developing the first tilt-rotor aircraft for military use: the MV-22 Osprey.

The Marine Corps began crew training on the MV-22 Osprey in 2000, and in 2006, Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 263 (VMM-263) became the first operational MV-22 Osprey Squadron in the U.S. Armed Forces.

In 2009, the MV-22 Osprey saw its first combat mission in Afghanistan, transporting over 1,000 Marines and 150 Afghan troops to the Now Zad Valley, and in 2010, the aircraft was deployed to Haiti in its first humanitarian mission.

In 2011, two MV-22s participated in the recovery of a downed Air Force crew member during Operation Odyssey Dawn in Libya, proving the aircraft’s usefulness in a Tactical Recovery of Aircraft and Personnel (TRAP) mission.


Major Zembiec was nicknamed the “Lion of Fallujah” as a result of his heroic actions during Operation Vigilant Resolve in 2004. As a rifle company commander, he lead Echo Company 2/1 in the first conventional ground assault into Fallujah, Iraq. He was awarded a Silver Star, Bronze Star with Combat Distinguishing Device and two Purple Hearts due to wounds incurred in action. His brave actions are detailed in the book No True Glory: A Front-line Account of the Battle of Fallujah by Bing West.

Major Zembiec was killed by small arms fire while leading a raid during his fourth combat tour in Iraq. Zembiec warned his Marines to seek cover before doing so himself and was hit by enemy fire. Zembiec’s warning saved his men and the initial radio report of the incident said there were, “five wounded and one martyred.”


In 2008, Major Jennifer Grieves became the first female to pilot Marine One, the helicopter of the President of the United States. Of the 70 pilots in the Marine Helicopter Squadron (HMX), she was one of only five cleared for the honor and responsibility of commanding the president’s helicopter.

While most Marine One pilots serve in that position for one year, Maj Grieves’s tour extended through July 2009. She then advanced to the Command and Staff College in preparation for a future assignment in the operating forces.

Grieves enlisted in 1990 and earned her commission eight years later. After leading as a sergeant, becoming an officer put Grieves in a position to make command decisions and to prove herself as a pilot.


When the forward element of his combat team was hit with intense fire in the Kunar Provence of Afghanistan on September 8, 2009, Dakota Meyer (then a Corporal) mounted a gun truck, enlisted another man to drive, and raced to attack the ambushers. During a six-hour firefight, Meyer returned four times, single-handedly turning the tide of the battle and personally evacuating 12 wounded Marines and soldiers, providing cover for another 24 Marines and soldiers to escape. For his actions, he became the first living Marine to earn the Medal of Honor since the Vietnam War.

Meyer said of his citation, “The main thing that we need to get from that day is that those guys died heroes, and they are greatly missed. This isn’t about me.”

The men in his unit who lost their lives were: 1stLt Michael Johnson of Virginia Beach, VA; SSgt Aaron Kenefick of Roswell, GA; Hospital Corpsman Third Class James Layton of Riverbank, CA; and GySgt Edwin Wayne Johnson Jr. fromColumbus, GA.


Decade began with 204,153 Marines (182,945 Enlisted; 21,208 Officers)

34th Commandant: General James T. Conway (2006-2010)
35th Commandant: General James F. Amos (2010- Present)


The Improved Modular Tactical Vest (IMTV) is the latest body armor innovation designed to allow Marines to scale their body armor up or down, depending on mission requirements. In addition to superior weight distribution, the improved vest provides increased torso protection with less exposure under the arms.

The modular capability of the vest also allows Marines to attach optional lower back and groin protection sections, as well as a removable collar, which is half the size of the previous model.

Lighter and more comfortable, the armor will provide protection from Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) and small arms fire while allowing greater freedom of movement.


After a catastrophic magnitude 7.0 earthquake shook Haiti to its foundation in January of 2010, the Marine Corps responded quickly, deploying both the 22nd and 24th Marine Expeditionary Units (MEUs) to restore order and stability.

Arriving amidst violence and looting, Marines provided security to the ravaged nation and distributed food and water to the Haitian people. Rebuilding hospitals and distributing medical supplies were also top priorities for Marines in Haiti. During the two-month mission, Marines distributed nearly 560,000 liters of bottled water, 1.6 million pounds of rations and 15,000 pounds of medical supplieS.


One of only two active-duty female Generals in the Marine Corps, Brigadier General Loretta Reynolds became Marine Corps Recruit Depot (MCRD) Parris Island’s first female base commander in 2011. Her command at Parris Island also put her in charge of the Marines’ Eastern Recruiting Region, which covers the 23 states east of the Mississippi River.

Commissioned by the Marine Corps in 1986 after completing her undergraduate degree at the Naval Academy, Reynolds has commanded Marines in numerous deployments in Okinawa, Japan; Quantico, VA, Iraq and Afghanistan, notably becoming the first female Marine to hold a command position in a battle zone.

During her historic command in Afghanistan where she took charge of five battalions of the I Marine Expeditionary Force (I MEF), she is credited with helping to double the capabilities of a base initially able to house 10,000 Marines and sailors stationed in Helmand Province.

An avid scholar, Reynolds has also attended the Marine Corps University in Quantico, VA, the Naval War College in Newport, RI, and the Army War College in Carlisle, PA.


In 2011, Marines were sent back to the shores of Tripoli in support of Operation Odyssey Dawn in Libya. The goal of the operation was to prevent the forces of Muammar Gaddafi from carrying out airstrikes on the Libyan rebels.

As the situation in Libya began to deteriorate into a civil war, President Obama made the call to reposition the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) off the coast of Libya. Once Operation Odyssey Dawn was officially underway, Marines were among the first troops to enforce the no-fly zone and conducted numerous successful airstrikes against Gaddafi’s forces.


Hours after a magnitude 9.0 earthquake and the resulting 124-foot Tsunami decimated Japan, Marines stationed in Okinawa responded with supplies and support as the government mobilized Operation Tomodachi.

With over 45,000 buildings in ruins and a snowstorm dropping temperatures to 15 degrees Fahrenheit, the Marines deployed the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) and joined forces with the Japanese Self-Defense force, supplying vital water, heating fuel and other supplies to displaced residents in difficult to reach areas.

Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant was one of the buildings badly damaged by the tsunami. Marines from the Chemical, Biological and Incident Response Force (CBIRF) were also deployed to aid the Japanese in the event of a reactor meltdown.

During Operation Tomodachi, Marines strengthened our alliance with Japan by responding quickly and decisively to avert greater disaster.

The 26th MEU also conducted a successful Tactical Recovery of Aircraft and Personnel (TRAP) mission using the MEU’s MV-22 OspreysCH-53E Super Stallions and KC-130J Hercules aircraft.

Maj Kenneth Harney, one of the rescued Air Force pilots, recalled the moment of his rescue saying, “As that backdoor opened I see a group of young Marine recon units jump out; that was probably the best feeling I ever felt in my entire life.”


The history of Marine Aviation is best summed up in the words of Marine Aviator #1, First Lieutenant Alfred A. Cunningham: “The only excuse for aviation in any service is its usefulness in assisting troops on the ground.”

Since its infancy, Marine aviators have always demonstrated both agility and resolve. From the 1st Marine Aviation Force providing bomber and fighter support to the Navy in WWI, to the perfection of close air support during the Banana Wars, to making aviation history through the combination of rotary-wing and fixed-wing capabilities in the MV-22 Osprey, every chapter was forged by those in the cockpit and the crews that kept them aloft.

Marine Pilots do not fly above the combat zone but at the top of it, forming the lethal air-ground team that continues to sharpen the tip of the spear—and the next 100 years will be no different.

For an in-depth look into this centennial, download 100 years of Marine Aviation: An illustrated History.



Each year, Marines all over the world celebrate the birth of the Marine Corps on November 10th, 1775. No matter where they’re stationed, whether they’re forward deployed or in combat, Marines take time to remember the honor, courage and commitment of their fellow Marines and listen to the Commandant’s birthday message to the Corps.

Over the years, other birthday traditions have evolved from the annual Birthday Ball, to the custom of cutting the cake with the sword and serving the first piece to the oldest Marine present and the second piece to the youngest Marine.

This year, the Corps commissioned a video to commemorate some of the great milestones of the past 237 years.  From the Revolutionary War to Operation Unified Response, the Marine Corps has been liberating, restoring and protecting our nation with honor, courage and commitment. Happy Birthday, Marines.


This year is the 239th Marine Corps Birthday. “On 10 November each year, wherever we are, we pause to celebrate the anniversary of our Corps, and reflect on who we are, what we do, and why we do it.” — Commandant of the Marine Corps Gen. Joseph F. Dunford, Jr. (Produced by Headquarters Marine Corps Combat Camera)