Happy 241st Birthday Leathernecks!

As we celebrate our Corps’ Birthday, a heartfelt Semper Fi! We’ll toast to those who have gone before us and to those forever by our side.

cwmln7g

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Marine One Computer Security Breach?

NOT GOOD! Somebody needs to be held accountable…
~Wally

http://news.cnet.com/8301-1009_3-10184558-83.html
An Internet security company claims that Iran has taken advantage of a computer security breach to obtain engineering and communications information about Marine One, President Barack Obama’s helicopter, according to a report by WPXI, NBC’s affiliate in Pittsburgh.

Tiversa, headquartered in Cranberry Township, Pa., reportedly discovered a security breach that led to the transfer of military information to an Iranian IP address, according to WPXI. The information is said to include planned engineering upgrades, avionic schematics, and computer network information.

The channel quoted the company’s CEO, Bob Boback, who said Tiversa found a file containing the entire blueprints and avionics package for Marine One.

“What appears to be a defense contractor in Bethesda, Md., had a file-sharing program on one of their systems that also contained highly sensitive blueprints for Marine One,” Boback told WPXI.

Tiversa makes products that monitor the sharing of files online. A representative for the company was not immediately available for comment.

Boback believes that the files probably were transferred through a peer-to-peer file-sharing network such as LimeWire or BearShare, then compromised.

==
http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2009/03/01/report-pennsylvania-company-discovers-marine-security-breach/

A Pennsylvania company that monitors peer-to-peer file-sharing networks discovered a potentially serious security breach involving President Obama’s helicopter, Marine One, NBC affiliate WPXI in Pittsburgh reported.

Sensitive information about Marine One was reportedly found by Tiversa employees at an IP address in Tehran.

Tiversa CEO Bob Boback said a defense contractor in Bethesda, Md., had a file sharing program on one of their systems that contained highly sensitive blueprints for Marine One and financial information about the cost of the helicopter.

“We found a file containing entire blueprints and avionics package for Marine One,” Boback said.

Boback said the issue most likely stemmed from someone downloading the file-sharing program without realizing the problems that could result.

“When downloading one of these file-sharing programs, you are effectively allowing others around the world to access your hard drive,” Boback told WPXI.

“We found where this information came from. We know exactly what computer it came from. I’m sure that person is embarrassed and may even lose their job, but we know where it came from and we know where it went,” Retired Gen. Wesley Clark, an adviser to Tiversa, told WPXI.

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Colonel Gregory R. “Pappy” Boyington, Medal of Honor Recipient

Rank and organization: Major, U.S. Marine Corps Reserve, Marine Squadron 214.
Place and date: Central Solomons area, from 12 September 1943 to 3 January 1944. Entered service at: Washington. Born: 4 December 1912, Coeur D’Alene, Idaho. Other Navy award: Navy Cross.

Citation:
For extraordinary heroism and valiant devotion to duty as commanding officer of Marine Fighting Squadron 214 in action against enemy Japanese forces in the Central Solomons area from 12 September 1943 to 3 January 1944. Consistently outnumbered throughout successive hazardous flights over heavily defended hostile territory, Maj. Boyington struck at the enemy with daring and courageous persistence, leading his squadron into combat with devastating results to Japanese shipping, shore installations, and aerial forces. Resolute in his efforts to inflict crippling damage on the enemy, Maj. Boyington led a formation of 24 fighters over Kahili on 17 October and, persistently circling the airdrome where 60 hostile aircraft were grounded, boldly challenged the Japanese to send up planes. Under his brilliant command, our fighters shot down 20 enemy craft in the ensuing action without the loss of a single ship. A superb airman and determined fighter against overwhelming odds, Maj. Boyington personally destroyed 26 of the many Japanese planes shot down by his squadron and, by his forceful leadership, developed the combat readiness in his command which was a distinctive factor in the Allied aerial achievements in this vitally strategic area.

Boyington died of cancer on January 11, 1988 at the age of 75 in Fresno, California.

He was buried in Arlington National Cemetery on January 15, 1988, in plot 7A-150 with full honors accorded to a Medal of Honor recipient, including a missing man fly-by conducted by the F-4 Phantom IIs of the Marine detachment at Andrews Air Force Base. Before his flight from Fresno, California, VMA-214 (the current incarnation of the Black Sheep Squadron) did a flyby. They intended to do a missing man formation, but one of the four aircraft suffered a mechanical problem.

After the burial service for Boyington, one of his friends, Fred Losch, looked down at the headstone that he was standing next to, the boxing legend Joe Louis, and remarked that “Ol’ Pappy wouldn’t have to go far to find a good fight.”

[ More about Pappy ]

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Colonel Gregory R. "Pappy" Boyington, Medal of Honor Recipient

Rank and organization: Major, U.S. Marine Corps Reserve, Marine Squadron 214.
Place and date: Central Solomons area, from 12 September 1943 to 3 January 1944. Entered service at: Washington. Born: 4 December 1912, Coeur D’Alene, Idaho. Other Navy award: Navy Cross.

Citation:
For extraordinary heroism and valiant devotion to duty as commanding officer of Marine Fighting Squadron 214 in action against enemy Japanese forces in the Central Solomons area from 12 September 1943 to 3 January 1944. Consistently outnumbered throughout successive hazardous flights over heavily defended hostile territory, Maj. Boyington struck at the enemy with daring and courageous persistence, leading his squadron into combat with devastating results to Japanese shipping, shore installations, and aerial forces. Resolute in his efforts to inflict crippling damage on the enemy, Maj. Boyington led a formation of 24 fighters over Kahili on 17 October and, persistently circling the airdrome where 60 hostile aircraft were grounded, boldly challenged the Japanese to send up planes. Under his brilliant command, our fighters shot down 20 enemy craft in the ensuing action without the loss of a single ship. A superb airman and determined fighter against overwhelming odds, Maj. Boyington personally destroyed 26 of the many Japanese planes shot down by his squadron and, by his forceful leadership, developed the combat readiness in his command which was a distinctive factor in the Allied aerial achievements in this vitally strategic area.

Boyington died of cancer on January 11, 1988 at the age of 75 in Fresno, California.

He was buried in Arlington National Cemetery on January 15, 1988, in plot 7A-150 with full honors accorded to a Medal of Honor recipient, including a missing man fly-by conducted by the F-4 Phantom IIs of the Marine detachment at Andrews Air Force Base. Before his flight from Fresno, California, VMA-214 (the current incarnation of the Black Sheep Squadron) did a flyby. They intended to do a missing man formation, but one of the four aircraft suffered a mechanical problem.

After the burial service for Boyington, one of his friends, Fred Losch, looked down at the headstone that he was standing next to, the boxing legend Joe Louis, and remarked that “Ol’ Pappy wouldn’t have to go far to find a good fight.”

[ More about Pappy ]

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Giovanna’s Hero

This wonder piece completely moved me.
~Wally

Marine Sergeant, Police Officer Sean P.
By Giovanna P., Hull, MA

To me, heroes are those who put others first, even if it means risking their life. Heroes have courage, integrity, and bravery. They will stop at nothing. A hero is a person who is not afraid of adversity. My hero is my cousin Sean.

As a young boy growing up in New Hampshire, Sean looked up to his father, a Vietnam veteran. He dreamed of following in his footsteps and serving our country. And so when he reached 18, he enrolled in the Marine Corps. He packed his bags and headed for boot camp in North Carolina, where he learned military tactics and survival skills for battle. The demanding and wrenching physical fitness was difficult, but Sean stuck with it.

Then Sean was sent to Iraq and placed on the front line. The ­climate was dry, and dust emanated in the air with each footstep. Not once did Sean regret being in the service. After his tour was up, he returned to North Carolina, and a year later was deployed to serve another tour in Iraq. Each day he prayed and was happy to be alive. Sean survived two tours of duty and returned home to New Hampshire. Although his time in the Marines had ended, Sean was not finished serving.

Sean was accepted into the police academy, and became an ­officer for Hopkinton, New Hampshire. He took these responsibility seriously and knew the standards he needed to fulfill. Then tragedy struck. In the small New Hampshire town sirens sounded, and reporters arrived at the scene in seconds. One ­reporter said with heavy emotion, “On this night of August 15, 2008, Sean Powers was struck from behind by an alleged drunk driver, on his way home from work, and killed.”

When I heard this news, I crumbled to my knees and could not find words. My hero, the one who would pick me up when I fell, was gone. I felt all the emotions in a rush: anger, melancholy, and hope that he was now in a better place. Sean touched many lives, and continues to. Sean will always be remembered and loved. He put others before himself in every situation, and never gave up on anyone or anything. For that, he is my hero.

http://www.teenink.com/Heroes/article/86279/Marine-Sergeant-Police-Officer-Sean-P/

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Violence in Iraq Drops to Six-Year Low

American Forces Press Service
Violence in Iraq Drops to Six-Year Low
By John J. Kruzel

BAGHDAD — Feb. 22, Army Maj. Gen. David Perkins, director for strategic effects at MNF – Iraq, told reporters in Baghdad the downtick in violence marks a 90% decrease since the surge of U.S. troops began in 2007.

Contributing to the improved security are the growing Iraqi SF, which have increased the size of their ranks from 463,000 last year to 618,000 now – a 25% boost.
“It’s not only an increase in the size and numbers, but the capability such as planning, orchestrating these very complicated ops, and then leading throughout the country of Iraq,” Perkins said. He added that Iraqi forces led and planned security for the countrywide provincial elections last month, in which some 7 million Iraqis participated in balloting that featured 14,000 registered candidates. “On election day this year, there were no attacks which resulted in any disruption to any of the voting that went on,” Perkins said. “This is in comparison to the last national election period in 2005, where we had hundreds of attacks on election day, with 44 deaths.”

“If you take a look at emerging democracies, historically, it is generally the second election that is sometimes more difficult than the first election,” the general said. “By the time the second election comes, those who may have to lose power or give up power are not necessarily as excited about doing that. “But the fact that we’ve had this second election and a very large number of people participating, both as candidates and as voters,” he continued, “shows the enthusiasm that Iraqis have for the democratic process here in Iraq.”

The agreement between Washington and Baghdad stipulates that American combat forces pull back from cities and villages to major bases by June 30. “There’s no doubt that we will be out of the cities by June,” Perkins said.
[ AP PHOTO ]

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NY Times alters policy on ‘Marines’

source
By Andrew deGrandpré – Staff writer
Posted : Wednesday Feb 25, 2009 10:11:16 EST

Leathernecks have long found it irksome — heck, they’ve downright hated the fact — that The New York Times has refused to capitalize the “m” in Marine. It’s a point of pride, Marines always argue, to which the Times has routinely replied, “Yeah, but we don’t capitalize the ‘s’ in soldier.”

Well, the Old Gray Lady has finally come to her senses. In a Feb. 18 blog post titled “When every letter counts,” Deputy News Editor Philip B. Corbett, point man for the newspaper’s style manual, announced that The New York Times has at last decided to join the ranks of Marine Corps Times and countless other publications that adhere to The Associated Press’ longstanding guidance on this matter:

A Marine is a Marine — capital “M,” case closed.

“We heard repeatedly from readers and sources who found our usage puzzling or ill-informed — even … disrespectful,” Corbett wrote. “We’ve assured current and former members of the Marine Corps that the old rule reflected not a lack of respect but rather a desire for consistency.”

Indeed, just as Marines pride themselves on being squared away, The New York Times is a stickler when it comes to syntax. Within its pages, even scoundrels are afforded the courtesy of being referred to as “Mr.” Hitler, McVeigh or bin Laden. So there’s no doubt this decision was made with a lot of hand-wringing.

In the end, Corbett said, it all came back to consistency. “If the term for an individual member is the same as the proper name of the organization, why not capitalize ‘Marine’ just as we capitalize ‘Democrat,’ ‘Catholic’ or ‘Rotarian’?” he reasoned. “Consistency is a virtue. But stubbornness isn’t, and we’re willing to consider revisions when a good case can be made.”

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Joker One

Not having read the book , it sounds like it would be an incredible insight…
~Wally

source
Marine recounts how service in Iraq changed him
By CURT SCHLEIER

“Joker One” is a book that takes you into the heart of combat and into the soul of a young Marine lieutenant.

Author Donovan Campbell served two tours of duty in Iraq, the last (and the subject of this book) as an infantry platoon leader in Ramadi, one of the most dangerous areas of the country.

Ironically, Donovan never intended to join the military. He signed on for Officer Candidate School between his junior and senior years at Princeton because he believed it would enhance his résumé. He hated the experience, and because he was not ROTC and had not taken any money from the corps, he had no post-graduate military commitment. Nor did he want one.

But somehow that changed as he made the rounds of job recruiters at Princeton. The positions they offered “lost their luster.” He yearned for something meaningful, a job that would allow him “to assume responsibility for something greater than myself.” And as much as he tried to resist it, Campbell kept coming back to the Marines.

When the book begins, he is pushing for an assignment that gets him into combat, and when he doesn’t receive it he does what he says any Marine officer would do: he whines until he’s assigned as leader of the first platoon (Joker One) of Golf Company of the 2/4 (2nd battalion of the 4th Marine Regiment).

Some of what he writes is tragically familiar. His unit rides into Iraq in 2004 unprotected trucks. Hand grenades are rationed, because there are not enough to go around. The radios they are assigned have limited range of only a couple of blocks, so squads lose contact with each other. Ironically, the private contractors, the Blackwaters of the world, are better equipped than the Marines.

Beyond the colorfully described chaotic battle scenes, beyond the noble warriors who populate the book, what sets “Joker One” apart is its unsparing honesty. These Marines took their mission seriously. They wanted very much to win the hearts and minds of the locals. But that proved impossible. On one patrol, they were engulfed by kids asking for gifts. After distributing all the candy and pens and pencils they had, the platoon continued on. And then the kids started throwing stones at them. He wonders: “What kind of a child tries repeatedly to stone someone who has just give them a present?”

And it’s not just the kids. All their efforts to befriend the locals backfire. “Our kindness quickly became perceived as weakness by the insurgents and by most of Ramadi’s citizens, and by late March, 2/4 earned itself the nickname awat, an Iraqi term for a soft sugary cake that crumbles easily to the touch.”

Even though the Marines regularly altered missions and made themselves less safe in order to avoid offending or endangering locals, “the citizens of Ramadi had come out of their houses and actively tried to kill us.”

These were not insurgents. According to multiple intelligence sources, hundreds perhaps even thousands “of males, ranging from teenagers to 50-year-olds, had grabbed their family assault rifles, and using the chaos caused by the hard-core insurgents, they had taken potshots at U.S. forces.”

No wonder something inside him changed: “Some part of me took a grim satisfaction every time Joker One killed cleanly. . . .  After months of walking around Ramadi feeling as if we were more or less unsuspecting targets, it felt good to hit back strongly, to regain some of the initiative, to kill our enemies in large numbers. It felt good to know that someone else was . . .  suffering, and that if we were suffering maybe we could make our enemies suffer more.”

When he returned home on leave, he felt naked without a rifle in his hands, crowds made him nervous and loud noises made him jump. At first he wasn’t sure whether he would attend a battalion ceremony honoring its dead. He goes and meets the mother and sister of the one soldier who died under his command.

He rehearses what he’s going to say to them, how the young man was a hero. But when he finally stands in front of them, all he can sob and repeat is “I’m sorry, I’m sorry,” over and over again.

The Marine’s mom stands up, pulls him down to her chest and hugs him tight. “I don’t remember if she said something to me, but when that moment passed I felt some measure of absolution. Life continued and so would I.”

Curt Schleier is a reviewer in New Jersey.

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