Our client the Marine Corps League held its annual Marine South Military Expo aboard Camp Lejeune, NC, on 21-22 April. The event afforded more than 200 military vendors and hundreds of Marines a chance to hold frank, face-to-face discussions about equipment.
The opening ceremonies included a brief address from Major General Carl B. Jensen,
Commanding General, Marine Corps Installations East. He drew an appreciative chuckle from the assembled vendors, Marines and Marine Corps League members when he bluntly described the equipment on display as “slicker than deer guts on a door knob.”
Leading the opening ceremony was Lieutenant General (Ret.) Ronald Coleman, the newly appointed Marine Corps League Exposition Coordinator. “I believe you can and do provide the finest equipment in the world,” he told the vendors. “I urge you to work with these young Marines to produce whatever they need.”
Despite a rainy first day and a number of Marines deployed to Afghanistan and other points of the globe, traffic was heavy under a large tent and in the adjacent Goettge Memorial Field House.
Items on display ranged from armored trucks displayed to a dazzling array of weaponry and “accessories” such as scopes, targeting lasers, and lights, to compact survival kits, boots, socks and—always in demand—protective eyewear and knives, especially those made by Ontario Knife Co., the only company that produces official Marine Corps issue knives.
Many of the Marine Corps League members present trained at Camp Lejeune, and they have launched a campaign to teach younger Marines that the correct way to pronounce the base’s name is “Luh-JERN.” That’s the family’s preferred pronunciation, and, since Lieutenant General John Archer Lejeune is regarded as the greatest of all Leathernecks, he’s due that simple respect.
Here’s a link to photos from the show.