March 2010 Newsletter


Major General John E. Bianchi, Retired, will be our March guest speaker.

Bianchi served in the California National Guard and Army. He retired for the first time in 1997 as Major General and Commander of the California State Military Reserve and was recalled for a two year post retirement tour after September 11, 2001. He is also well known as the largest manufacturer of quality firearm accessories for police, military and sportsmen, Bianchi International. During his five decades of commitment to law enforcement, military and business Bianchi earned Bachelor, Master and PhD degrees in the fields of Law Enforcement and Business Administration.

Time is ll30 at the Desert Falls Country Club, Palm Desert. Please call and make a reservation, 760 901-5494 to get the $15 lunch. Otherwise, $20.


Franz Jevne has been working on a series of lectures for history classes at this local high school. There will be one on W W II, the Korean War, Viet Nam, Desert Storm, Iraq and Afghanistan. Each lecture will be conducted by one of our members who is a veteran of one of those wars. These lectures will be done in April. If you are a veteran of one of these wars and would like to help, please contact Jevne at (760) 773-1974 for more information and details.


Since its founding in 1775, the Marine Corps has played a vital role in shaping American history and shaping our way of life. The National Museum of the Marine Corps (NMMC) proudly represents the men and women who wear the Eagel, Globe and Anchor. Of course no exhibit could possible replicate the danger our Corps faces in battle, however, visitors to the NMMC have a new respect for the courage of generations of Marines who are and have protected our freedom.

Once inside the Museum, visitors can step from a landing craft onto the black sands of Iwo Jima…leap from a CH-46 helicopter into a hot and humid landing zone on Hill 881 South in Vietnam…or test their skills with a M-16 at the virtual rifle range.

Not since the deication of the Marine Corps War Memorial in Arlington, VA has there been such a meaningful tribute to the values and ideals of our Corps. The history preserved in the Museum touches the lives of the people who cherish freedom, Marine and non-Marine alike.

This is your opportunity fo become a part of this historic effort to honor Marines and the Marine Corps. Every Marine should be a part of this wonderful legacy to our Corps. There are many ways toa become a member of the Marine Corps Heritage Foundation, National Museum of the Marine Corps and Semper Fidelis Memorial Park. For a donation of $300, your name or that of someone you wish to honor or remember will be engraved on a brick paver lining the winding pathway adjoining the Museum. Your engraved brick will affirm for posterity your Esprit de Corps. You will receive a special Certificate of Registration recognizing your contribution. There will also be a complimentaryk Campaign Membership for you.

Other gifting ideas: E.A.G. Member $50. Flag Raisers $100. Esprit De Corps $250. Semper Fidelis Society Membership $500. Bequest by Will or other Planned Giving. Visit our website: or call 800-397-7585 for more information.


Frank “Doc” Gillette is the chapter liaison with Veterans Hospitals and keeps the board informed on his activities. Doc reports that “that due to the economy, there are fewer organizations that donate magazines”. “We are the primary source for Loma Linda V A Hospital and their Clinics”. Doc assures us
‘that each clinic area gets magazines for their waiting areas as well as the in-patients”.

Doc asks our members to continue to bring magazines so he can keep the pipeline full to the hospitals. He also reports that at this time V A is not in need of books.

Recently, Doc learned that it was difficult for vets who were in wheel chairs to make and complete phone calls at payphones since it was hard to reach the coin slots. He resolved that problem by finding a company to donate a substantial number of prepaid phone cards. Gillette has a reputation for being a problem solver.

Next time you see Gillette be sure to load him up with some magazines and give him a big pat on the back for doing a terrific job with the V A Hospitals.

Commanding Officer, 1/7

Shortly after BLT 2/7 deployed to Okinawa, it set sights on Exercise Cobra Gold in February, 2010. With necessary focus and coordination, every man gave all to achieve the number one priority that was embarkation with the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) on the shipping of Amphibious Squadron Eleven. Before the Marines and Sailors could settle into rhythm in Okinawa, they were steaming on three ships through the Pacific bound for Thailand. The staff planned to execute missions during the MEU Certification Exercise that ran in conjunction with Exercise Cobra Gold. The Marines and Sailors conducted mission rehearsals to ready themselves to fight from the sea to objectives ashore. Not only did each of the companies conduct successful raids by helicopters, small boats and amphibious assault vehicles, but the battalion also conducted an amphibious landing for the Cobra Gold Combined Exercise. The companies worked ashore and focused on marksmanship, fire and movement and cultural exchange. The culmination of the bi-lateral training was a Combined Arms Live Fire Exercise during which BLT 2/7 synchronized the effects of the MEU’s aviation assets with its artillery, mortars, light armored vehicles, machine guns, anti-armor missiles, breaching charges and the small arms fireand maneuver that included two Thai units. BLT 2/7 is very aggressive in its application of combined arms, but the unit ethos balances that forcefulness and unforgiving demand for tactical excellence with humility. That day when many witnessed such significant combat power for the first time, some of the Marines simply said that they just brought a bit of 7th Marines and a live fire corridor from 29 Palms to Thailand.


The 14th Annual Desert Cities Classic Golf Tournament will be held Friday, April 30th at Chaparral Country Club, Palm Desert. Information and reservations (760) 636-9597.


On February 12th chapter officers and members attended the Relief and Appointment Ceremony to welcome Sgt. Major Harrison Tanksley aboard. He relieved Sgt. Major Susan Bellis who will be leaving to assume similar duties at MCAS, Cherry Point.


For those of you that missed last year, we have another one scheduled with the 1/7 in May. The date will be either May 5th or May 12th once the Sergeant Major confirms with us. More info next month.

To participate our members will have to be able to climb a ladder to board a truck for transportation to the training range. You will also have to be able to walk up an incline. Each member going will have to sit in on a training class that morning to be informed of what we all have to do. Everyone will be required to wear helmets, flak jackets and goggles. As we get closer we will ask for each participants jacket and helmet size so that they will be available for us

Keep those potential dates in mind and once we nail down the exact one we will contact you. The group will be limited to approximately 15 members. The Sergeant Major will provide chow (MRE’s) and water for us.


The Desert Cities Mitchell Paige MOH Chapter web site will now have the monthly newsletter posted monthly. Check it out:


The Marine Corps League has a dinner planned at the Woodhaven CC on March 17th.
Dinner is corned beef and cabbage at $15. Call (760) 322-5185 to make your rez.

Jim Sullivan, Editor