Traditionally known for their ability to do much with little and to improvise, the United States Marine Corps is nevertheless going on a diet. During it time as a “second land army” In Iraq, the Corps “got heavy” as its leaders express it, relying on massively mine-resistant vehicles to protect its warriors, who also strapped on personal armor and other gear often weighing 90 pounds or more.
All this extra mass required correspondingly greater amounts of fuel and electricity to run. Now, eying a return to its seafaring roots, the Corps is slimming down. From battlefield to base barracks, the Corps is particularly interested in curbing its appetite for fuel and power. The July-August issue of Semper Fi, the magazine of the Marine Corps League, examines how the Marines plan to get back into fighting trim.
Some of that new equipment was on display at the recent Marine South Military Expo aboard Camp Lejeune, NC. Sponsored by the Marine Corps League the Expos showcase the finest gear available to the military in the world.
Elsewhere in this issue, we meet a Marine veteran who did a tour in Korea during that “Forgotten War,” leading a squad of airplane mechanics who kept Marine aviators in the air around the clock. Flight mechanics had to go up with pilots to check out repairs, leading to some hair-raising moments – and a very personal commitment to do it right – first time, every time.
Semper Fi also remembers the Navajo Code Talkers of World War II, who used their native language to transmit unbreakable messages during the bloody battles with the Japanese on remote Pacific Islands. With only a few left, they are pursuing a new goal: To build a museum and veterans center honoring their legacy.
The new issue also coincides with the League’s 87th National Convention in August in Greensboro, NC, and the magazines salutes retiring National Commandant Jim Laskey.
The issue also reports on progress toward a cherished League objective — redesignating the Department of the Navy as the Department of the Navy and Marine Corps. Though approved by the House and with most of the Senate signed on as cosponsors, the effort still faces potentially stiff opposition when debate starts sometime this summer.