February Newsletter

Plan to join us at 1130 at Desert Falls Country Club, Palm Desert. Please make a reservation at 901-5494 in order to get the $15.00 lunch. Otherwise, the price will be $20.

Honored Guest Speaker will be Sgt. Major Paron A. Lewis, 1st Battalion, 7th Marines. He has been awarded the Marine Corps Commendation Medal with 3 stars, Navy Marine Achievement Medal with 3 stars, Good Conduct Medal with one silver star and 2 bronze stars in lieu of seventh award, Combat Action Ribbon and just last month was awarded the Bronze Star for his last deployment to Iraq.
He is also the Acting Sgt. Major for the 7th Marines during Sgt. Major Kufchak’s deployment to Afghanistan. Lewis will inform us on what is going on with the 7th Marines and what the 1/7 are preparing for when they deploy in July.


NEW MEMBER
Larry Seaward has joined the chapter as an associate member. Larry served with the 3rd Marine Division as a Corpsman during the Korean War. He lives with his wife Mary in Palm Desert. Welcome aboard Larry!


PISTOL MARKSMEN
It is amazing how many of us who own pistols and claim that they can’t find anywhere to shoot them. So, how do you feel about helping organize a pistol shoot at a local gun club, High Desert Gun Club, located west of Hwy. 62 on the grade up to Yucca Valley? Let us know by calling 901-5494 that you are interested and would like to participate if we should schedule an event this spring.


NEWS FROM 7TH MARINES, AFGHANISTAN Sgt. Major Michael Kufchak
Dated 1/27/2010
Jim, Great to hear from you. Things here are extremely busy as you all would guess. I am happy to report that the Marines/Sailor of the RCT are doing quite well up to this point. Everyone is very enthusiastic regarding the Mission at hand. As you’ve probably read in the newspapers or heard from some other source of media, our 3rd Battalion 4th Marines had an overwhelming success regarding their seize of Now‐Zad. Not one Marine received so much as a scratch regarding that operation (Cobra’s Anger). It was a real unexpected success.
Make no mistake about item those Warriors are well prepared. Just the sere numbers and overwhelming combat fighting power that they brought to the fight was enough to scare any force who may have wanted to oppose us. As for the Command Element of the RCT they have been hard at work manning their shifts that support the Command and Control of the Combat Operations Center and other various tasks that not only support us but all supporting commands and elements that have showed up for their contribution toward this effort.
We currently have 6 battalions, one of which is artillery, out in the RCT Battle Space.
The Battle Space is divided up amongst them in smaller more effective portions where they can influence best with personal customer service for both innocent civilians and enemy forces. Their hard work has resulted with great success and has netted great results in mitigating the components and material that comprise the make up of I.E.D.’s. There have been multiple finds of munitions and ordinance items. The men have really developed quite the eye for these types of things. But most notable is their keen sense in spotting the makeup of I.E.D.’s that are lying in wait for a victim. Unfortunately, we’ve found a few the hard way and at the expense of valuable Marine lives.
As far as life goes, we are living quite well given our Forward Operating bases and Combat Outposts. The men that are living the hardest are the ones that are manning the patrol bases which are significantly smaller ins size and amenities. None the less, the men are making due with what they have. Regards to chow, the patrol bases doing with 2 hot meals a day and MRE’s at noon. No one is complaining.
We’re getting lots of support from all over the USA. We are receiving hygiene items, snack foods, reading materials and a variety of other things. Technology is beginning to set in some camps with WI‐Fi and Internet so that the troops can stay in touch with their loved ones.
O.K. Jim for now. Sorry it took so long but we’ve been busy and things are going to get busier in the comings months. Take care and my Best to Everyone. R/S


SPRING BARBECUE
We are working on having a barbecue sometime in April or May before the 1/7 deploy in July. Proceeds will be dedicated to the families of the 1/7 while the battalion is in Afghanistan. We will let you know when the barbecue will be held and all of the details once they are able to confirm with us.


NAME BADGES
Reminder to contact Sandy Sandoval (760) 772-7616 to order the new gold colored name badges. They cost $15.00.


DON’T FIGHT THE YELLOW LEGS - KOREA, 1950 by Mike Walker
The Marines, like most of our armed forces, were caught unprepared at the start of the Korean War. The Marines went to war with the gear that had been issued during the Second World War. In December, 1948 there were only 86,000 Marines, down from a peak strength of 485,000 less than four years earlier. As one historian put it, Truman “savaged” the naval services as he held “utmost disdain” for the Navy and “its stepchild, the Marine Corps.”
Along with the loss of manpower, the Marine Corps was also starved for funds. The Secretary of Defense at that time had build his reputation on cutting spending. His public position was that the military would be stronger if defense spending was cut again in 1950. The results were near disaster when the North Korean Army, equipped by the Soviets with the most modern weapons in the world, crashed over the 38th parallel in June, 1950.
The Marines Corps quickly deployed a provisional brigade to the embattled Pusan perimeter in South Korea., It was only a brigade because it took all of the riflemen in the under-strength 1st Marine Division to flesh out one full strength regiment (5th Marines). Later, when the 1st Marine Division was able to land at Inchon, south of Seoul, in September, 1950, it had picked up every rifleman from the rump of the 2nd Marine Division, 35% by calling up the Marine Corps Reserve, and the rest by taking all the rear-echelon 1st Marine Division jarheads left in Camp Pendleton.
If the Marines were scraping the bottom of the barrel to put a division on the Korean battlefield, the same was true for procuring equipment. The Marines went to war with the same gear and uniforms they wore in 1945.
The Army had managed to field a newer uniform and importantly new combat boots. The Marines were still wearing the same boon Dockers from almost a decade earlier and that included the leggings that had provided outer protection for Marine combat boots since the WW I.
As of leggings aged, the green canvas color faded to a brownish yellow.
This made it easy for all to distinguish the Marines on the battlefield. And that distinction began to work against the United Nations Forces fighting the North Koreans in 1950 for the enemy also noticed the difference. More importantly, the North Koreans discovered that the Marines were the toughest fighters. Soon, they adopted a strategy of directing the fight away from the “Yellow Legs” and towards other United Nations forces.
To get back into the fight the Marines convinced the logistical “powers-that-be” to immediate issue the superior army combat boots to the Marines as soon as possible. By the time the Marines had reached the Chosin Reservoir a month later, almost all had their new boots. The North Koreans, and their soon-to-be Chinese allies, could no longer avoid fighting the “Yellow Legs.”


ELECTION OF DIRECTORS
There will be an election in March for two new directors which will serve a two year term. If you are interested in serving the chapter, please call Jim Sullivan (760) 219-8317 for more information and details.


PALM DESERT HIGH SCHOOL
Franz Jevne has developed a lecture program where our members will appear at this high schools history classes and discuss their participation in WW II, Korea, Viet Nam and Iraq. If you are interested in participating for sometime in April, please call Franz 760 773-1974 and talk to him.


GOD BLESS AMERICA & SEMPER FIDELIS
Jim Sullivan, Editor