Courage is the mental, physical and moral strength to persevere and withstand danger, fear or difficulty. It is the heart of the core values instilled in every United States Marine and is what defines their character and warrior spirit.

It is with this courage that Marines with 1st Combat Engineer Battalion, 1st Marine Division were able to do what is right and necessary when they were faced with critical challenges throughout this past year. In the last twelve months, nine Marines from 1st CEB saved the lives of three people in completely separate events in our community.

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The Marine Corps is integrating new technologies into an existing handheld GPS targeting system that helps Marines locate adversaries on the battlefield.

Fielded in 2017, the Common Laser Range Finder-Integrated Capability is a handheld target location system that uses an eye-safe laser range finder and algorithms to determine a target’s location. It then transmits that location to the Advanced Field Artillery Tactical Data System or another fire support system.

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Prepared Myself

I was on Recruiting duty from Nov87-Oct90. I was stationed at RSS Santa Fe, New Mexico from RS Albuquerque, New Mexico. I had stopped to fill the gas tank on my GOV. (Government Vehicle) before setting out on another long drive to a rural high school in order to find a highly qualified applicant that had the guts to earn the title of the World’s Finest. Dressed in my Dress Blue uniform, I heard the screeching of tires as a gentleman in a light colored sedan pulled into the service station and right up to me. He got out of the vehicle with determination and I prepared myself for some strong words from a disgruntled civilian. Instead he reached out his hand to shake mine. He said, “I saw you here, and I have always made it a point to stop and shake every Marines hand I can find”. I asked him, Why was that? He told me that if it were not for the Marines that he would not be there to shake my hand. He went on further to explain that he was a pilot during WW2, A B-29 super fortress pilot. He had flown many missions to drop his bombs on Japan and Okinawa. On his last mission over Japan he and his crew had encountered Japanese planes on their return and were shot up severely. They would not be able to make it home to their base. He then told me that he was able to make it to Iwo Jima and land his plane there. He said that the Marines had secured the island only a few days earlier. Still holding my hand and shaking it, He said thank you again, for you and all Marines. “God Bless the Marines” he said, as he turned and got back into his car. As he drove away, I saw that he was teary eyed. I remember thinking about that moment for many days afterward. It was not until I went to see Clint Eastwoods movie, Flag of our Fathers, and saw a similar seen in the movie, were a crippled B-29 made an emergency landing, even as the fighting continued that I remembered that morning clearly. As I drove home that night, after the movie, I had several memories come back to me and it was a difficult night for me, but not as difficult as it has been for those who have made the ultimate sacrifice, and those that were there on Iwo, and all the other islands, and in Europe, Korea, Vietnam, Beirut, Grenada, Panama, Somalia, Bosnia, Desert Shield/Storm, Iraq, And countless other parts of the world where Marines serve faithfully. May we take time to reflect on those that have served, and are serving and the sacrifices that our families make as well, Especially during this holiday season.
Jon K Liebert SGT. USMC
MOS 0321, 1982-1996

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Atomic Marines

During the cold war approximate 300,000 Marines participated in Atomic bomb exercises in Nevada and the South Pacific. Records show that several died early with complications from various forms of cancer under a cloud of uncertainty about those exercises causing the cancer through ionizing radiation that are being disputed to this day. The VA has been drastically improved from the time the studies were initiated and is starting to recognize that there is reason to believe that those exercises had a major part is causing some of the cancers. As more scientific proof is developed there should be more cases presently in the claims process that will be recognized more specifically, for or against granting compensation for a claim. Something like what DNA has done for our legal process.

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The Marine Corps plans to introduce a new weapon intended to enhance the lethality of infantry Marines on the battlefield.

The M320A1 is a grenade launcher that can be employed as a stand-alone weapon or mounted onto another, such as the M27 Infantry Automatic Rifle. Scheduled to be fielded in fiscal year 2020, the system will give fleet Marines the ability to engage with enemies near and far, day or night.

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From detecting improvised explosive devices in Afghanistan to being on the front lines during World War I, military working dogs have been used to help service members win battles for generations. The same holds true today, as Cpl. Cody Hebert, military working dog handler, 2nd Law Enforcement Battalion and his military working dog, Ziggy, give us a look into their everyday lives.
“We start our daily duties when we come in every morning,” Hebert said. “Those duties include cleaning out the kennels and doing any tasks like preparing for any type of training that we might be doing that day.”
When it comes to training, there can be different variations that can influence the handlers and the dogs in order to become mission ready.
“Just like us, the dogs have training jackets for everything that they learn,” Herbert said. “This includes commands they know, training they have done, what they are good and bad at and even which handlers had them in the past.”
For a MWD handler, it is important to know the history of who and what the dog knows and how they are currently performing. Each handler creates a special bond with their dog to instill confidence in both the dog and themselves.
“When you and your dog deploy, there should be confidence in everything you do,” Herbert said. “If you’re on patrol with an explosive detector dog, not only do you have to trust to follow him, but the unit also has to be able to trust you and your dog because they are going to follow every step that you take.”
Training can take on different types of aspects between the dogs and their handlers. Training can involve doing an agility course to recreate real life situations, practicing commands for listening and direction and physical training to build strength and stamina.
“We have the opportunity to spend time with the dogs after hours almost anytime,” Hebert said. “We’re given the chance to build a bond and reward the dogs for all that they do. If we are willing to do that, the dogs are willing to work with us by listening to the commands while working for longer periods of time as well.”
The best way for the dogs to learn is to let them know that they are getting rewarded by either a ball or positivity and sometimes even belly rubs from their handlers.
“These dogs get taken care of like us,” Hebert said. “They get attention, exercise, training and medical care. As handlers, we’re trained to know the information just like how the dogs know what they are looking and listening for.”
A MWD’s average military career is eight years before it can retire.
“It just depends on the dog for when it retires,” Hebert said. “Most of the time they retire because of medical reasons. Going full speed and biting constantly puts a lot of strain on their bodies. Just like us, as the dogs get older their bodies aren’t able to do as much.”
Whenever a dog retires from the service, they have a chance to be adopted by their handlers.
Whether a MWD is spending time with its handler or training to protect Marines, they will always be rewarded for doing their job in every clime and place.

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Marine Corps Base (MCB) Camp Pendleton hosted the Environmental Law Training Symposium at the Pacific Views Event Center aboard MCB Camp Pendleton, California, on March 19, 2018.

The annual symposium is conducted every year with MCI-West MCB Camp Pendleton to provide training on updates in laws about environmental and land use, which include new regulations and policies. MCI-West MCB Camp Pendleton’s’ Environmental Security programs implement installation restoration initiatives that sustain the current compliance of operational environments and ranges.

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The U.S. military has always been fertile soil for firsts throughout our nation’s history, and the promotion of Carol A. Mutter to become the nation’s first female lieutenant general serves as a perfect case in point for Women’s History Month.

Women have served in the military from the earliest years of our representative republic.

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U.S. Airmen with the 442nd Fighter Wing descended on Marine Corps Base Hawaii in February to conduct various training exercises across the Hawaiian Islands.

The fighter wing, stationed out of Whiteman Air Force Base, Missouri, worked alongside III Marine Expeditionary Forces to improve combat strength and joint service effectiveness between the two branches.

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Marine Corps Systems Command plans to implement a new form of technology that allows the Marine Air-Ground Task Force to identify enemy activity.

The technology employs a vehicle-borne tool that enables Marines to discern what happens inside the electromagnetic spectrum. It connects several independent electronic capabilities into a single unit and allows Marines to manage threats and reactions from a central location.

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