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Brief History of MCRD San Diego, 1914-1962

By Elmore A. Champie

The Marine Corps Base at San Diego is surrounded by evidences of the Spanish heritage of southern California. Among the more conspicuous are the euphonious place names found everywhere , including the name San Diego itself, and the picturesque architecture that may be seen, not only in the city, but also in the permanent buildings of the Marine Corps post. This is a natural consequence of the fact that California was a Spanish possession for nearly three centuries. The region was claimed for Spain in 1542 by Juan Rodriquez Cabrillo, a Portuguese navigator in the services of Charles V and the first white man to see San Diego Bay. It remained under Spanish control until 1821, when Mexico won her independence from Spain. Thereafter, for about a quarter of a century, California was claimed by Mexico.

Cpl. Beddoe flying over MCRD San Diego in a restored USMC Sikorsky UH-34D Helicopter
Cpl. Beddoe flying over MCRD San Diego in a restored USMC Sikorsky UH-34D Helicopter

Geography and the westward expansion of the United States now brought the Marines into their first contact with San Diego. The town was seized by a landing party of seamen and Marines from the USS Cyane on 29 July 1846, shortly after war had broken out between the United States and Mexico. It was in this operation that the Stars and Stripes was first raised in southern California. Marines were also among the reinforcements sent early the following December to assist Brigadier General Stephen W. Kearny, USA, and his dragoons in completing the final portion of their march from Santa Fe, New Mexico, to San Diego/ Despite the harassment of Andres Pico’s lancers, Kearny succeeded in reaching San Diego on 12 December 1846. Hostilities in the California theater of operations ceased about a month later; and when the Treaty of Guadalupe-Hidalgo formally ended the war in 1848, Mexico ceded to the United States a large block of territory that included California.

Geography – an important element, as we have noted, in the foregoing events – has been a constant factor in the working out of San Diego’s destiny with respect to the Marine Corps. Only 12 miles north of the Mexican border and possessed of an excellent harbor, the city readily recommended itself to the strategic eye as an expeditionary base on the west coast when the need for such a base became evident in the early twentieth century. San Diego was not only convenient to the Pacific approaches of Latin America, where it was apparent that trouble could be expected at intervals, but it could also serve advantageously as a port of embarkation for Hawaii and the Par East* Concrete action toward establishing a base there, however, awaited some precipitating event. Mexican political Instability was to provide the catalyst that returned the Marines to San Diego for the first time since the Mexican War and subsequently caused a permanent Marine Corps post to be established there.

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mcrdsd_history

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Death of General Carl E. Mundy, Jr., 30TH Commandant

Date Signed: 4/03/2014
ALMARS Active Number: 008/14
R 031935Z APR 14
UNCLASSIFIED/
ALMAR 008/14

MSGID/GENADMIN,USMTF,2007/CMC WASHINGTON DC DMCS(UC)/F002//
SUBJ/DEATH OF GENERAL CARL E. MUNDY, JR., 30TH COMMANDANT OF THE MARINE CORPS//
GENTEXT/REMARKS/

1. IT IS WITH GREAT SADNESS THAT I ANNOUNCE THE DEATH OF GENERAL CARL E. MUNDY, JR., U.S. MARINE CORPS, RETIRED, THE 30TH COMMANDANT OF THE MARINE CORPS. GENERAL MUNDY PASSED AWAY EARLY IN THE MORNING OF APRIL 3, 2014.

2. ALL MARINE CORPS INSTALLATIONS WILL HALF-MAST THE NATIONAL ENSIGN UPON RECEIPT OF THIS NOTICE UNTIL SUNSET ON THE DAY OF INTERMENT. MORE INFORMATION WILL FOLLOW VIA SEPARATE CORRESPONDENCE.

3. JAMES F. AMOS, GENERAL, U.S. MARINE CORPS, COMMANDANT OF THE MARINE CORPS.//

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Corps is going sleeves up

Headquarters Marine Corps
Commandant Gen. James F. Amos: Corps is going sleeves up
By Gen. James F. Amos | Headquarters Marine Corps | February 25, 2014
WASHINGTON

Sgt. Maj. Barrett and I have now spoken to the majority of you about our efforts to “Reawaken the Soul of our Corps.” Each time that we have talked with you, we come away with a strong belief that you “get it.” You understand that our renewed focus on the four enduring principles of: DISCIPLINE; ADHERENCE TO STANDARDS; ENGAGED AND CONCERNED LEADERSHIP (24/7); and FAITHFUL OBEDIENCE TO ORDERS, is key to resetting the Corps and getting ready for tomorrow’s fight. You understand that those 4 principles define what we have called “The Soul of the Corps.” They have been with us for over 238 years…it’s always been that way.

2-27-2014 12-28-06 PM

As we complete the mission in Afghanistan, it’s critical to understand that there will be no “peace dividend” for America’s Marines…there will be no operational pause for us. The world that we will live and operate in over the next two decades will be a dangerous one; there will be plenty of work for those who wear our cloth.

As we have travelled throughout our Corps, many of you have let us know how important your identity as a Marine is to you and the Marines you lead. I can’t tell you how many times we have been asked the persistent question “Commandant, are we ever going to return to SLEEVES UP?” I’ve thought a lot about this over the past 2 .5 years; I realize that it’s important to you. Sleeves up clearly and visually sets us apart.

WE HEAR YOU MARINES!

Because of the persistence of you, my Sergeants and Corporals, this evening I am publishing a MARADMIN that will return us to SLEEVES UP status when wearing our Desert CAMMIES in non-combat areas. This will take effect on 9 March when we transition to our summer warmer weather uniforms. Get the word out Marines.

Thank you for your leadership in some very challenging times!!!

Semper Fidelis
Commandant Gen. James F. Amos: Corps is going sleeves up

Source

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How the Marines have survived, and why

MAY 6, 2013, VOL. 18, NO. 32 • BY MACKUBIN THOMAS OWENS

In 1957, the commandant of the Marine Corps, General Randolph Pate, sent a brief note to the director of the Marine Corps Educational Center, Brig. Gen. Victor Krulak, in which he asked, “Why does the U.S. need a Marine Corps?” Krulak, already a legend in the Marines, penned a lengthy reply: “The United States does not need a Marine Corps mainly because she has a fine modern Army and a vigorous Air Force. .  .  . We [the Marine Corps] exist today—we flourish today—not because of what we know we are, or what we know we can do, but because of what the grassroots of our country believes we are and believes we can do.”

BOB.v18-32.May6_.Owens_Krulak went on to say that the American people believe three things about the Marines: that they will be ready to fight on short notice; that they will turn in a dramatically and decisively successful performance; and that the “Corps is downright good for the manhood of our country; that the Marines are masters of a form of unfailing alchemy which converts un-oriented youths into proud, self-reliant stable citizens—citizens into whose hands the nation’s affairs may safely be entrusted.” Krulak concluded that as long as the American people “are convinced that we can really do the three things .  .  . we are going to have a Marine Corps. .  .  . And, likewise, should the people ever lose that conviction—as a result of our failure to meet their high—almost spiritual—standards, the Marine Corps will then quickly disappear.”

Read the entire STORY

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V-22 Joins HMX

The first of up to 12 Bell-Boeing MV-22 Osprey tiltrotors are joining Marine Helicopter Squadron (HMX) 1, the unit tasked with transporting the President, other VIPs and their entourages. The Marine Corps was expected to take formal delivery of the first HMX-1 MV-22 last month. The MV-22s are replacing the CH-46E Sea Knights attached to the squadron and are being modified with upgraded communications equipment and seating. They are not expected to be used to transport the President. While they will be painted in HMX-1’s signature dark green, they will not have the white tops associated with the Sikorsky VH-3Ds and VH-60Ns used to fly the President. (source)

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USMC: Commitment, Semper Fi

Our strength lies not in our numbers, but in our commitment. In the Marine Corps, it’s called Semper Fidelis. It means always faithful — to our country, to the Corps, to each other.

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USMC 236th Birthday Message

The Commandant of the Marine Corps and Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps present the 236th Marine Corps birthday message and honor the 10th anniversary of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks and the 70th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor, and how the events shaped the lives of Marines past and present.

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