36-year MCRD grad photo search is over

I graduated from the Marine Corps Recruit Depot in San Diego on August 28, 1981 with 3rd Battalion, Platoon 3042.

During the latter part of boot camp training, individual photos are taken of recruits for the graduation book. For whatever reason, I never saw or received a graduation book or my photo, until today.

Over the years, I tried finding someone else from my MCRD platoon to see if they had a copy of our graduation book.

This search was the reason I started “The Marine Guest Book” website (1995) and later “THEFEW.COM” (1997). Through those sites, many Marines were put back in touch with their long lost brothers but finding someone from my platoon escaped me year after year.

A few weeks ago, through “Together We Served” website, I found Cpl Jerry Havens, from my platoon. After a few discussions, he searched for his yearbook and confirmed my photo was there.

Today, Jerry scanned it in and sent it to me.

Well, after 36 years of wondering, searching, waiting, my brother Jerry has come through. Thank you my brother!

Now, I can show my Mom!

Wally Beddoe MCRDSD 1981


Cpl Beddoe

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Sheep, Wolves, and Sheepdogs

This letter was written by Charles Grennel and his comrades, veterans of the Global War On Terror. Grennel is an Army Reservist who spent two years in Iraq and was a principal in putting together the first Iraq elections in January 2005.

They wrote it to Jill Edwards, student at the University of Washington, who did not want to honor Medal of Honor winner USMC Colonel Greg Boyington. Ms. Edwards, other students and faculty do not think those who serve in the U.S. armed services are good role models.

To: Jill Edwards, Student, University of Washington

Subject: Sheep, Wolves and Sheepdogs

Miss Edwards, I read of your student activity regarding the proposed memorial to Colonel Greg Boyington, USMC and a Medal of Honor winner. I suspect you will receive many angry emails from conservative people like me.

You may be too young to appreciate fully the sacrifices of generations of servicemen and servicewomen on whose shoulders you and your fellow students stand. I forgive you for the untutored ways of youth and your naiveté. It may be that you are simply a sheep. There’s no dishonor in being a sheep, as long as you know and accept what you are.

William J. Bennett, in a lecture to the United States Naval Academy November 24, 1997 said “Most of the people in our society are sheep. They are kind, gentle, productive creatures who can only hurt one another by accident. We may well be in the most violent times in history, but violence is still remarkably rare. This is because most citizens are kind, decent people, not capable of hurting each other except by accident or under extreme provocation. They are sheep.

Then there are the wolves who feed on the sheep without mercy. Do you believe there are wolves out there who will feed on the flock without mercy? You better believe it. There are evil men in this world and they are capable of evil deeds. The moment you forget that or pretend it is not so, you become a sheep. There is no safety in denial.

Then there are sheepdogs and I’m a sheepdog. I live to protect the flock and confront the wolf. If you have no capacity for violence then you are a healthy productive citizen, a sheep. If one has a capacity for violence and no empathy for one’s fellow citizens, then you have defined an aggressive sociopath, a wolf. But what if you have a capacity for violence, and a deep love for your fellow citizens? What do you have then? A sheepdog, a warrior, someone who is walking the unsheltered path.

Someone who can walk into the heart of darkness, into the universal human phobia, and walk out unscathed.

We know that the sheep live in denial; that is what makes them sheep.

They do not want to believe that there is evil in the world. They can accept the fact that fires can happen, which is why they want fire extinguishers, fire sprinklers, fire alarms and fire exits throughout their kid’s schools. But many of them are outraged at the idea of putting an armed police officer in their kid’s school. Our children are thousands of times more likely to be killed or seriously injured by school violence than fire, but the sheep’s only response to the possibility of violence is denial. The idea of someone coming to kill or harm their child is just too hard. So they choose the path of denial.

The sheep generally do not like the sheepdog. He looks a lot like the wolf. He has fangs and the capacity for violence. The difference, though, is that the sheepdog must not, cannot and will not ever harm the sheep. Any sheepdog that intentionally harms the lowliest little lamb will be punished and removed. The world cannot work any other way, at least not in a representative democracy or a republic such as ours. Still, the sheepdog disturbs the sheep. He is a constant reminder that there are wolves in the land.

They would prefer that he didn’t tell them where to go, or give them traffic tickets, or stand at the ready in our airports, in camouflage fatigues, holding an M-16. The sheep would much rather have the sheepdog cash in his fangs, spray paint himself white, and go “Baa.” Until the wolf shows up. Then the entire flock tries desperately to hide behind one lonely sheepdog.

The students, the victims, at Columbine High School were big, tough high school students, and under ordinary circumstances would not have had the time of day for a police officer. They were not bad kids; they just had nothing to say to a cop. When the school was under attack, however, and SWAT teams were clearing the rooms and hallways, the officers had to physically peel those clinging, sobbing kids off of them.

This is how the little lambs feel about their sheepdog when the wolf is at the door. Look at what happened after September 11, 2001 when the wolf pounded hard on the door. Remember how America, more than ever before, felt differently about their law enforcement officers and military personnel? Understand that there is nothing morally superior about being a sheepdog; it is just what you choose to be.

Also understand that a sheepdog is a funny critter. He is always sniffing around out on the perimeter, checking the breeze, barking at things that go bump in the night and yearning for a righteous battle. That is, the young sheepdogs yearn for a righteous battle. The old sheepdogs are a little older and wiser, but they move to the sound of the guns when needed, right along with the young ones.

Here is how the sheep and the sheepdog think differently. The sheep pretend the wolf will never come, but the sheepdog lives for that day.

After the attacks on September 11, 2001, most of the sheep, that is, most citizens in America said “Thank God I wasn’t on one of those planes.” The sheepdogs, the warriors, said “Dear God, I wish I could have been on one of those planes. Maybe I could have made a difference.” You want to be able to make a difference. There is nothing morally superior about the sheepdog, the warrior, but he does have one real advantage. Only one. And that is that he is able to survive and thrive in an environment that would destroy 98-percent of the population.

Research was conducted a few years ago with individuals convicted of violent crimes. These cons were in prison for serious, predatory crimes of violence: assaults, murders and killing law enforcement officers. The vast majority said they specifically targeted victims by body language:

Slumped walk, passive behavior and lack of awareness. They chose their victims like big cats do in Africa, when they select one out of the herd that is least able to protect itself.

Some people may be destined to be sheep and others might be genetically primed to be wolves or sheepdogs. But I believe that most people can choose which one they want to be, and I’m proud to say that more and more Americans are choosing to become sheepdogs.

Seven months after the attack on September 11, 2001, Todd Beamer was honored in his hometown of Cranbury, New Jersey. Todd, as you recall, was the man on Flight 93 over Pennsylvania who called on his cell phone to alert an operator from United Airlines about the hijacking. When they learned of the other three passenger planes that had been used as weapons, Todd and the other passengers confronted the terrorist hijackers. In one hour, a transformation occurred among the passengers — athletes, business people and parents — from sheep to sheepdogs and together they fought the wolves, ultimately saving an unknown number of lives on the ground.

Edmund Burke said “There is no safety for honest men except by believing all possible evil of evil men.” Here is the point I want to emphasize, especially to the thousands of police officers and soldiers I speak to each year. In nature the sheep, real sheep, are born as sheep. Sheepdogs are born that way, and so are wolves. They don’t have a choice.

But you are not a critter. As a human being, you can be whatever you want to be. It is a conscious, moral decision. If you want to be a sheep, then you can be a sheep and that is okay, but you must understand the price you pay. When the wolf comes, you and your loved ones are going to die if there is not a sheepdog there to protect you.

If you want to be a wolf, you can be one, but the sheepdogs are going to hunt you down and you will never have rest, safety, trust or love. But if you want to be a sheepdog and walk the warrior’s path, then you must make a conscious and moral decision every day to dedicate, equip and prepare yourself to thrive in that toxic, corrosive moment when the wolf comes knocking at the door.

This business of being a sheep or a sheepdog is not a “yes-no” dichotomy.

It is not an all-or-nothing, either-or choice. It is a matter of degrees, a continuum. On one end is an abject, head-in-the-sand-sheep and on the other end is the ultimate warrior. Few people exist completely on one end or the other. Most of us live somewhere in between.

Since 9-11 almost everyone in America took a step up that continuum, away from denial. The sheep took a few steps toward accepting and appreciating their warriors and the warriors started taking their job more seriously.

It’s OK to be a sheep, but do not kick the sheepdog. Indeed, the sheepdog may just run a little harder, strive to protect a little better and be fully prepared to pay an ultimate price in battle and spirit with the sheep moving from “Baa” to “Thanks.”

We do not call for gifts or freedoms beyond our lot. We just need a small pat on the head, a smile and a thank you to fill the emotional tank which is drained protecting the sheep. And, when our number is called by The Almighty, and day retreats into night, a small prayer before the heavens just may be in order to say thanks for letting you continue to be a sheep. And be grateful for the millions of American sheepdogs who permit you the freedom to express even bad ideas.

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Marine Corps May Get a Cyber-Only MOS

Military.com | Jan 12, 2017 | by Hope Hodge Seck

The top officer of the Marine Corps wanted to expand the service’s cyber community, and he’s looking at ways to make the job more appealing to qualified Marines.

Speaking at the Surface Navy Association’s annual symposium Thursday, Gen. Robert Neller said he is entertaining several options to recruit and retain a growing cyber force.

At Marine Forces Cyber Command, there are about 1,000 uniformed troops and civilians, he said, and most have military occupational specialties in signals intelligence, data, networks or cyber protection.

“There’s no cyber MOS,” he said. “How am I going to keep them? We spent a lot of money training these Marines.”


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How does your organizational leadership compare with Mr. Trump’s Process?

Great reference to Jim Collins’ Good to Great. Couldn’t agree more. Get the right people on the bus, and get them in the right seats on the bus.
Cpl. Beddoe

By Major General Michael J. Diamond, US Army (retired), author of The Diamond Process

Regardless of what side of the aisle you sit on, from a professional organizational leadership standpoint, we are seeing an ambitious new way to run a transition process. President-elect Trump and his transition team have established some precedents that soon will set a new standard for future transitions. And, American organizations should sit up and take notice of how these processes may apply to their own company.

Three big reasons are evident to be the basis for the strong Trump Team hiring decisions: the hiring process supports a strategic objective for the organization; they are using an approach I have labeled the Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities (KSA) method; and candidates fit the ‘new culture’.

That’s right, top leaders in any organization share one major responsibility which is prevalent in this transition process and that is making sound decisions. In order to make effective and sound decisions, leaders should have in place a process for decision making which I like to call a Decision Support System (DSS). It is apparent that Mr. Trump has set a strategic organizational objective [read VISION] to build a good DSS and is using his hiring process for his cabinet and advisors to support that objective, which he has stated as “Make America Great Again.”

It is obvious that we see candidates being screened based on their ability to have used sound judgment under stressful conditions yet performed successfully. We see that with Rex Tillerson from Exxon Mobil in building that company into a global giant and many of the others who have steered their organizations through difficult times on the way to success. Mr. Trump is obviously selecting people that know what right looks like but also know what success looks like as well.

Secondly, his screening process seems to be using a KSA methodology where his transition team is looking for specific knowledge, skills and abilities needed to achieve the vision of “Making America Great Again.” The knowledge required is quite extensive but it must be apparent that strategic knowledge is paramount in the organization they are being considered for. Skills must be proven under fire in successful endeavors. But there seems to be more emphasis placed on the abilities part of the equation for the candidates to grow into the position to meet the vision of tomorrow.

They are following Jim Collins’ strong suggestion to “get the right people on the bus.” KSAs are at the heart of most successful organizations and their leaders must be at the center of driving this process that starts with their top team members.

Some of the KSAs that seem to be prevalent in the hires are: Defense requiring a deep understanding of impacts of combat along with how to lead that effort; State being able to return the US to their previous leadership role and projecting global presence through an aggressive foreign policy; and Homeland Security possessing extensive strategic global counterterrorism experience.

Thirdly, candidates fit the culture of the organization. Mr. Trump is outspoken, not afraid to speak out with what he feels, questions the status quo, looks for what right looks like. Candidates are being screened for these cultural traits as well. He is certainly not looking for any ‘yes people’ as evidenced by his considering many of his campaign opponents [Perry, Carson, et al] as well as naysayers [Romney].

Moreover, some of his selections are critics of organizations they about to lead [Sessions, Pruitt, et al] or have been crossed with some of the policies [Mattis, Flynn] of the previous administration. If nothing else, he and we should expect some very lively discussions with these top-level leaders/advisors. He/we should expect all to speak what they feel is right and stick to their guns.

So, how does this relate to your organization and how you lead. One must first learn that in order to lead an organization, you must get the organization “right”. That means getting everyone toting the load in the same direction contributing toward the same key drivers: Mission, Vision, Goals. Streamlining processes and out of date policies to achieve efficiencies. Properly resourcing these efficient processes to achieve the key drivers. Balance these three components of any organization for long term success.

We see many pieces of this complex puzzle coming together with TEAM Trump. It appears to be a good start to organizational success.

Mike Diamond is a retired Army Major General and is CEO for Diamond Strategy Group. His Diamond Process Model is presented in a book he has co-authored with his son Chris Harding that is being released in April, 2017. You can learn more about the book and this model by visiting their web site: diamondstrategygroup.com.

Major General Michael J. Diamond, US Army (retired) served a combined 35 years on active duty and in the Reserves. He brings this wealth of experience in military, manufacturing, retail, consulting, IT and many other sectors to help improve performance in organizations. His new book, The Diamond Process: How to Fix Your Organization and Effectively Lead People, co-authored by his son, Capt. Christopher R. Harding, presents the Diamond Process Model referenced above. The book will be available in April 2017 on DiamondStrategyGroup.com, Amazon and other fine booksellers. For more information, visit DiamondStrategyGroup.com.

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Essays on War: Mattis

by Stan Coerr November 28, 2016

America knows General James Mattis as a character, Mad Dog Mattis, fount of funny quotes and Chuck Norris-caliber memes.

Those of us who served with him know that he is a caring, erudite, warfighting general. And we know that there is a reason he uses the callsign Chaos: he is a lifelong student of his profession, a devotee of maneuver warfare and Sun Tzu, the sort of guy who wants to win without fighting—to cause chaos among those he would oppose.

image source: https://wn.com/james_mattis

To Marines, he is the finest of our tribal elders. The rest of the world, very soon, will know how truly gifted he is. Our friends and allies will be happy he is our new Secretary of War; our enemies will soon wish he weren’t.

I worked for General James Mattis three times: when he was a Colonel, a Major General, and a Lieutenant General.

Read the entire story here

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Four Marines charged in boot camp abuse scandal

It’s a slippery slope..

PARRIS ISLAND, S.C. — The training of Marine recruits at Parris Island is supposed to be tough. But investigations have found it to be downright cruel. Drill instructors abusing, humiliating and hazing recruits — none of it permitted, according to Commanding Gen. Austin Renforth.

“You put your hands on a young man or woman you have crossed the line and we are not going to tolerate it,” Renforth said.

But investigations show that behavior was tolerated until last spring, when the abuses came to light.

An e-mail sent to the White House titled “Concerned Loved Ones of Innocent Recruits” described incidents of drill instructors withholding food, drinking on the job, calling recruits “terrorists” and “faggots,” and warning them that “snitches get stitches.”

The most notorious case, involving a Muslim recruit named Raheel Siddiqui who allegedly jumped to his death after being slapped and choked by a drill instructor, is still under investigation.

In an earlier incident that same drill instructor allegedly ordered another Muslim recruit into a clothes dryer.

Renforth was supposed to fix all that when he assumed command last June. He said that choking, slapping and name-calling are not acceptable.

“Any allegation of recruit abuses comes directly to me. That is something I implemented when I took over,” he said.

But since then, one recruit has been found dead in his bunk, the cause still unknown.

Another is in critical condition after jumping from a second floor landing.

Both cases are still under investigation.

The Marines have brought charges ranging from lying to cruelty and maltreatment against four Marine sergeants involved in the abuse scandal; All four are slated for courts martial. None of those charges involve Siddiqui’s death.

More charges ranging from assault to dereliction of duty are expected to be filed against both officers and drill instructors.

But Renforth says the training at Parris Island will remain as tough, though not as cruel, as ever.

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General Mattis Quotes

“You are part of the world’s most feared and trusted force. Engage your brain before you engage your weapon.”

“You cannot allow any of your people to avoid the brutal facts. If they start living in a dream world, it’s going to be bad.”

“The most important 6 inches on the battlefield is between your ears.”

“If in order to kill the enemy you have to kill an innocent, don’t take the shot. Don’t create more enemies than you take out by some immoral act.”

“I come in peace. I didn’t bring artillery. But I’m pleading with you, with tears in my eyes: If you f— with me, I’ll kill you all.”

“Be polite, be professional, but have a plan to kill everybody you meet.”

“We’ve backed off in good faith to try and give you a chance to straighten this problem out. But I am going to beg with you for a minute. I’m going to plead with you, do not cross us. Because if you do, the survivors will write about what we do here for 10,000 years.”

“I don’t lose any sleep at night over the potential for failure. I cannot even spell the word.”

“A country that armed Stalin to defeat Hitler can certainly work alongside enemies of Al Qaeda to defeat Al Qaeda.”

“The first time you blow someone away is not an insignificant event. That said, there are some a–holes in the world that just need to be shot. There are hunters and there are victims. By your discipline, you will decide if you are a hunter or a victim.”

“You go into Afghanistan, you got guys who slap women around for five years because they didn’t wear a veil. You know, guys like that ain’t got no manhood left anyway. So it’s a hell of a lot of fun to shoot them. Actually it’s quite fun to fight them, you know. It’s a hell of a hoot. It’s fun to shoot some people. I’ll be right up there with you. I like brawling.”

“There are some people who think you have to hate them in order to shoot them. I don’t think you do. It’s just business.”

“Marines don’t know how to spell the word defeat.”

“PowerPoint makes us stupid.”

“In this age, I don’t care how tactically or operationally brilliant you are, if you cannot create harmony — even vicious harmony — on the battlefield based on trust across service lines, across coalition and national lines, and across civilian/military lines, you need to go home, because your leadership is obsolete. We have got to have officers who can create harmony across all those lines.”

“Find the enemy that wants to end this experiment (in American democracy) and kill every one of them until they’re so sick of the killing that they leave us and our freedoms intact.”

“Treachery has existed as long as there’s been warfare, and there’s always been a few people that you couldn’t trust.”

“Fight with a happy heart.”

“For the mission’s sake, for our country’s sake, and the sake of the men who carried the Division’s colors in past battles — ‘who fought for life and never lost their nerve’ — carry out your mission and keep your honor clean. Demonstrate to the world there is ‘No Better Friend — No Worse Enemy’ than a US Marine.”

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We Win Battles

Enjoy the latest video from HQMC

It’s what we do. It’s who we are. It’s what makes us Marines.

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Mattis and Women in Combat

Women Train to Become U.S. Marines
PARRIS ISLAND, SC – JUNE 23: Women Train to Become U.S. Marines (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

What’s your opinion? Will Mattis reverse Obama’s policy to allow women in combat?

Women in combat is not a new idea and there’s been much discussion on the topic in the past few years. But what might General Mattis have to say about it when he becomes SECDEF?

In a post by Kassia Halcli on December 9:
He [Mattis] also drew an analogy between allowing women in combat and making Stanford University’s football team 50 percent female, a notion he dismissed as laughable. “We take football more seriously than national defense,” he said.


See also http://www.txdevildog.com/women-in-combat/

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