Colours of the Corps
What if you were born outside of the United States and lived a part of your childhood – or all of it – in the Philippines? Or maybe Brazil is where you called home. If not the Philippines, or Brazil, how does Rwanda sound? The list goes on; the Defense Manpower Data Center estimates that about 35,000 non-citizens currently serve in the U.S. active


Wed, 27 Aug 2014 08:27:00 GMT
Cherry Point, 2nd MAW rehearse, validate active-shooter response plan
The loud crack of simulated gunfire rang out Aug. 26 in the headquarters building here as air station officials, emergency responders and personnel conducted a long-planned active-shooter exercise.  During the exercise, emergency response teams responded to a mock scenario at building HQ-1, securing the perimeter and clearing the headquarters while

Tue, 26 Aug 2014 20:38:00 GMT
2/8 Marines join forces with MARSOC to enhance partner nation force training capabilities
As the nature of conflict and challenges to the U.S. and its interests remain constant, so does the demands of the U.S. Marine Corps’ ability to operate and conduct operations as a closely integrated Marine Air Ground Task Force (MAGTF) with interagency and multinational partners across the full range of military operations.   With this in mind,


Tue, 26 Aug 2014 17:49:00 GMT
Ceremonial marchers improve infantry skills
The primary mission of a Marine rifle squad is to locate, close with and destroy the enemy by fire and maneuver or to repel his assault by fire and close combat. Without a set of complementary warfighting skills, though, infantry units of all sizes would be unable to destroy any enemy. Marines from 3rd Platoon, Company B, Marine Barracks


Tue, 26 Aug 2014 17:31:00 GMT
MTACS-28 Marines, sailors, families celebrate end of summer
Marines and their families line up for food during Marine Tactical Air Command Squadron 28’s End of Summer Bash at Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, North Carolina, Aug. 22, 2014. The squadron hosted the event to foster esprit de corps and family readiness.   “It’s great when the squadron puts something like this together,” said Theresa


Tue, 26 Aug 2014 12:41:00 GMT
Leadership 101: Sailor from Los Angeles
The Marine expeditionary unit represents everything the Marine Corps offers.  The Marines that comprise the MEU are the first responders to crises around the world. Its success is carried out by young Marines dedicated to maintaining a force in readiness. However, this would not be possible without exceptional senior leadership at the MEU. Chief


Tue, 26 Aug 2014 05:11:04 GMT
Competing for Best in the West once more
Inspectors for the Best of the West mess hall competition visited Gonzales Hall aboard Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, Calif., Aug. 26.


Tue, 26 Aug 2014 04:00:00 GMT
CG hosts leadership forum to discuss readiness, address concerns
The commanding general of 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing hosted a commander's forum at Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point Aug. 21.  Commanders and sergeants major from across 2nd MAW joined Maj. Gen. Robert F. Hedelund, commanding general, to discuss a variety of topics to help improve unit readiness and plan for future Marine Air-Ground Task Force

Mon, 25 Aug 2014 22:44:50 GMT
CG hosts leadership forum to discuss readiness, address concerns
The commanding general of 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing hosted a commander's forum at Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point Aug. 21.  Commanders and sergeants major from across 2nd MAW joined Maj. Gen. Robert F. Hedelund, commanding general, to discuss a variety of topics to help improve unit readiness and plan for future Marine Air-Ground Task Force

Mon, 25 Aug 2014 22:43:42 GMT
MTACS-28 conducts TACC embarkation exercise
Marine Tactical Air Command Squadron 28 conducted a tactical air command center embarkation exercise at Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, N.C., Aug. 21.   The purpose of the exercise was for the squadron to test its ability to deploy a TACC and hone skills that can become perishable, said Maj. Richard Laviolette, the operations officer with


Mon, 25 Aug 2014 20:34:43 GMT
 
First In, Last Out: A Corpsman’s Story (Features) (Marines Uncovered)
Article By Sgt. Jessica Ostroska
A day that many remember and few will ever forget – the day four planes were hijacked and America was attacked. It was a day that would change the lives of thousands of Americans, on  [Read more...]
Article By Sgt. Jessica Ostroska
Petty Officer 1st Class Aaron Spaulding deployed to Afghanistan as the War on Terror kicked off in 2001. 13 years later, he's deployed there again to assist with security force assistance operations.

Petty Officer 1st Class Aaron Spaulding deployed to Afghanistan as the War on Terror kicked off in 2001. 13 years later, he’s deployed there again to assist with security force assistance operations.

A day that many remember and few will ever forget – the day four planes were hijacked and America was attacked. It was a day that would change the lives of thousands of Americans, on that day and for many years to come. 

Born May 13, 1977, Petty Officer 1st Class Aaron Spaulding’s life-long dream was to enlist into the Navy as a medical corpsman. He enlisted and left for boot camp July 30, 1999. He completed his training and checked into his first duty station aboard Camp Pendleton, California, and was assigned to 1st Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment, during July 2000. 

While serving with 1st Battalion, 1st Marines, he deployed with the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit as a company line corpsman on a Western Pacific Tour, during July 2001.

“We headed to Darwin, Australia, to conduct some training with the Australian Army,” said Spaulding, a Glendale, Arizona, native. “After the training we were going to get a few days of liberty. We came back to the ship following the completion of the training, cleaned up our gear, showered, put on our liberty clothes and headed out. I remember I was in a bar with a bunch of friends when all the lights came on and they started yelling for all the Marines and sailors to get out. We weren’t sure what was going on as we boarded some buses to take us back to the ships.”

| More: Corpsman trains to join the Recon community |

The plan was to travel to Australia, Singapore, Hawaii, Bahrain, and Thailand conducting training with the different countries’ military. Little did they know a tragic event would change those plans. 

“We were on the buses riding back to the ship, and on the radio you could hear them say, ‘Another plane just crashed into the Pentagon.’ I remember like it was yesterday,” said Spaulding. “People were freaking out, and we are all like ‘what is going on?’ There were chiefs and gunnies with us on the bus, and they said, ‘We are going to Afghanistan. We are going to war.’ I mean they knew right away who it was. It was crazy. They said, ‘We are going to get them.’”

An Islamic terrorist group, al-Qaeda, had launched an attack against America, Sept. 11, 2001. Four planes were hijacked: two were flown into the north and south towers of the World Trade Center in New York City; one plane was flown into the Pentagon; and the fourth was targeted at Washington D.C., but crashed into a field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, after the passengers tried to overcome the hijackers.

On that day, more than 3,000 people were killed in the attacks, from the people working in the buildings and the passengers on the planes, to the firefighters and police officers risking their lives to help those trapped in the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.

| More: One Marine looks back on the 9/11 attacks |

“We headed full speed North to Jacobabad, Pakistan, awaiting orders from the president to invade Afghanistan, beginning Operation Enduring Freedom,” said Spaulding. “We waited there for a little over a month or so.”

The United States of America responded to the terrorist group by launching the Global War on Terror. They invaded Afghanistan to seek out and destroy al-Qaeda, which was hosted by the Taliban.

Petty Officer 1st Class Aaron Spaulding deployed to Afghanistan as the War on Terror kicked off in 2001. 13 years later, he's deployed there again to assist with security force assistance operations.

Petty Officer 1st Class Aaron Spaulding deployed to Afghanistan as the War on Terror kicked off in 2001. 13 years later, he’s deployed there again to assist with security force assistance operations.

“On Nov. 25, 2001, we conducted an amphibious assault over 400 miles into the land-locked country of Afghanistan, becoming the first U.S. ground troops in the region,” said Spaulding. “We set new standards for Marine Corps amphibious doctrine. We landed at a remote airbase, 90 miles southwest of Kandahar, and occupied America’s first forward operating base, Camp Rhino, and maintained the first significant conventional ground presence in Afghanistan.”

Camp Rhino was an abandoned runway just southwest of Kandahar. The 15th MEU’s mission was to seal off the city, cut off incoming supplies and escape routes, and take over the Kandahar airport. At its peak, the Camp contained approximately 1,100 Marines and corpsmen under the command of, then, Brig. Gen. James N. Mattis. 

“From November 2001 until the end of January 2002, we lived in fighting holes,” said Spaulding. “Literally, big holes we dug in the dirt, in a perimeter to surround the entire camp, and we went outside the wire and conducted different missions to gain objectives.” Once they took the Kandahar airfield, the 15th MEU was replaced by the 26th MEU and the Marines and sailors headed back to their respective ships that were anchored and awaiting their return to the Arabian Sea. 

Since his first deployment with the first Marine unit into Afghanistan, Spaulding has completed two successful combat tours. One with 3rd Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment, during 2003 as the United States invaded Iraq and during the intense battle in Fallujah, and then with 2nd Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment, during 2005 to 2006.  

Now, 13 years later, Spaulding is once again deployed to Afghanistan as the senior medical department representative and serving with the last Marine unit in the country, Marine Expeditionary Brigade – Afghanistan, under the command of Brig. Gen. Daniel D. Yoo. 

The missions have changed from counterinsurgency to security force assistance operations throughout the years, and the Marines and sailors currently have the responsibility of retrograding all personnel and equipment out of the country. 

“It is such a substantial honor to be a part of the first group that was here as the War on Terror kicked off in 2001, and to now have an active role in the end of operations as the units exit the country,” said Spaulding. “It means a lot to me to be a part of this history 13 years later. I have two boys, and they will read about this in their history books and know that their dad was a part of it.”


Mon, 25 Aug 2014 17:15:49 +0000
 
War of 1812 undaunted legacy memorialized
The National Capital Region, the area encompassing the limestone monuments and structures of the central hub of democratic leadership known as Washington. Only two centuries ago, the small, Southern Maryland town of Bladensburg was in the War of 1812. Marines, soldiers, sailors and militiamen tried to hold off more than 4,000 hardened British troops.
War of 1812 undaunted legacy memorialized
Wed, 27 Aug 2014 14:45:22 -0400
War of 1812 undaunted legacy memorialized [Image 3 of 5]
The President’s Own, United States Marine Corps Band provided the music for the dedication of the “Undaunted in Battle” memorial to the Battle of Bladensburg, designed and sculpted by Joanna Blake, at Bladensburg, Maryland, Aug. 23, 2014. The ceremony and the memorial honor those who fought in the battle.
War of 1812 undaunted legacy memorialized [Image 3 of 5]
Wed, 27 Aug 2014 14:39:46 -0400
War of 1812 undaunted legacy memorialized [Image 2 of 5]
The “Undaunted in Battle” memorial to the Battle of Bladensburg, designed and sculpted by Joanna Blake, was dedicated at Bladensburg, Maryland, Aug. 23, 2014. The monument features a bronze sculpture of the end of the battle. It depicts a wounded Commodore Joshua Barney, commander of the Chesapeake Flotilla, Charles Ball, a freed slave and flotilla man, and an unnamed Marine, in honor of the Marines who fought to the bitter end trying to repel British forces.
War of 1812 undaunted legacy memorialized [Image 2 of 5]
Wed, 27 Aug 2014 14:39:22 -0400
War of 1812 undaunted legacy memorialized [Image 4 of 5]
The “Undaunted in Battle” memorial to the Battle of Bladensburg, designed and sculpted by Joanna Blake, was dedicated at Bladensburg, Md., Aug. 23, 2014. Two centuries ago, outside of the small, Southern Maryland town Marines, soldiers, sailors and militiamen tried to hold off more than 4,000 hardened British troops.
War of 1812 undaunted legacy memorialized [Image 4 of 5]
Wed, 27 Aug 2014 14:39:08 -0400
War of 1812 undaunted legacy memorialized [Image 1 of 5]
The “Undaunted in Battle” memorial to the Battle of Bladensburg, designed and sculpted by Joanna Blake, was dedicated at Bladensburg, Maryland, Aug. 23, 2014. The monument features a bronze sculpture of the end of the battle. It depicts a wounded Commodore Joshua Barney, commander of the Chesapeake Flotilla, Charles Ball, a freed slave and flotilla man, and an unnamed Marine, in honor of the Marines who fought to the bitter end trying to repel British forces.
War of 1812 undaunted legacy memorialized [Image 1 of 5]
Wed, 27 Aug 2014 14:38:51 -0400
 
US Marines to Modernize Equipment Stored in Norwegian Prepositioning Caves
U.S. Marines, in coordination with the Norwegian military, are scheduled to conduct a pre-planned Single Ship Movement and offload of military equipment from a Maritime Prepositioning Force ship in the Trøndelag region of Norway mid-August.  The equipment will significantly enhance the readiness of the Marine Corps Prepositioning Program-Norway by


Fri, 15 Aug 2014 07:35:00 GMT
SP-MAGTF Africa 14 participates in National Night Out
Marines and sailors with the second iteration of Special Purpose Marine Air Groud Task Force Africa 14 participated in the 34th annual National Night Out event at Marinai Base Housing, Aug. 5, 2014.  “National Night Out was designed to heighten crime and drug prevention awareness, generate participation in local anti-crime programs, strengthen


Thu, 07 Aug 2014 04:00:00 GMT
Transfer of Authority of SP-MAGTF Crisis Response from 8th Marines to 26th MEU
Marines and Sailors with Special-Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force – Crisis Response (SP-MAGTF Crisis Response) held a Transfer of Authority ceremony Aug. 4, 2014, aboard Morón Air Base, Spain, where 8th Marine Regiment formally passed command of SP-MAGTF Crisis Response to 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit. The ceremony was attended by senior U.S.


Mon, 04 Aug 2014 04:00:00 GMT
U.S. Marines enhance Non-Lethal Systems to Support Future Overseas Peacekeeping Events
The Armed Forces of Bosnia and Herzegovina worked in conjunction with Marines from the Black Sea Rotational Force at a non-lethal systems familiarization exercise in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina to support future overseas peacekeeping events, July 22.  The exercise consisted of baton and riot control techniques, live fire of less-lethal crowd


Tue, 29 Jul 2014 08:21:00 GMT
SP-MAGTF Africa helps out local community
Approximately 20 Marines and Sailors with the second iteration of SP-MAGTF Africa 14 partnered with Sailors aboard Naval Air Station Sigonella, Catania locals, and local dignitaries. The service members cleaned and rearranged items inside the Ursino Castle, which is located in the heart of downtown Catania, Italy, July 24. The Ursino Castle was


Tue, 29 Jul 2014 04:00:00 GMT
Marines secure departure of Tripoli Embassy personnel
On Saturday, July 26, 2014, the Marines and Sailors of Special-Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force Crisis Response (SP-MAGTF CR) provided support to a military assisted departure of the U.S. Embassy in Tripoli, Libya. A combination of ground and aviation forces were used by the Marines to assist in the departure of the U.S. civilian personnel


Sat, 26 Jul 2014 04:00:00 GMT
First Platinum Wolf exercise comes to a close
After approximately two weeks of multinational, integrated military training, exercise Platinum Wolf 14 officially concluded July 11, 2014. The exercise instilled a meaningful experience in the participating service members allowing them to train together with multiple partners and allies in the region. This is the first iteration of the Platinum


Wed, 16 Jul 2014 04:00:00 GMT
Marines, sailors partner with task force in Gabon
Marines and sailors from Special-Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force Africa 14 completed a partnership exercise in Gabon, June 28. The team of 15 Marines and sailors trained with their Gabonese counterparts from the Agence Nationale des Parcs Nationaux and the Gabonese military and Gendarmerie to demonstrate tactics that could then be applied to


Wed, 09 Jul 2014 04:00:00 GMT
Eleven countries participate in logistics conference
The United States and European nations alike face declining defense budgets and evolving strategic challenges. They will now more than ever need to rely on each other for assistance. Recently, eleven nations participated in a logistics conference hosted in Ljubljana, Slovenia to discuss and learn about the roles and methods of each country's


Tue, 08 Jul 2014 04:00:00 GMT
A Hero of Two Worlds Honored
Two hundred and thirty-eight years after America declared it'sindependence, the legacy for one of the country's earliest and greatestallies continues to be honored and celebrated.  French and American service members, dignitaries and societiesparticipated in an annual commemorative ceremony at the tomb of MajorGeneral Gilbert du Motier, Marquis de


Sun, 06 Jul 2014 04:00:00 GMT
 
MARFORPAC bids farewell to Robling, welcomes Toolan
In a change of command ceremony, Lt. Gen. Terry G. Robling relinquished command of U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Pacific, to Lt. Gen. John A. Toolan, Aug. 15, at Marine Corps Base Hawaii. The event also marks the end of a 38-year-long career for Robling, who retired after relinquishing command.  The change of command, which is normally conducted every


Sat, 16 Aug 2014 00:50:00 GMT
Philippines host US Marines for non-lethal weapons exercise 2014
Service members from the Armed Forces of the Philippines, Philippine National Police and U.S. Marines from 3rd Law Enforcement Battalion, III Marine Expeditionary Force, began the field training exercise portion of the Non-Lethal Weapons Executive Seminar 2014, Aug. 4. This year marks the 13th iteration of this event, which is held annually by U.S.


Fri, 15 Aug 2014 00:24:00 GMT
AFP, PNP demonstrate techniques learned throughout NOLES
Service members from the Armed Forces of the Philippines and police officers with the Philippine National Police demonstrated techniques learned throughout the field training exercise portion of Non-lethal Weapons Executive Seminar (NOLES) 2014, August 14, in front of senior leaders from 20 nations. This year marks the 13th iteration of this event,


Thu, 14 Aug 2014 23:59:00 GMT
JGSDF experience Marine Corps aircraft maintenance
Japan Ground Self-Defense Force officers attended a display of the MV-22B Osprey tiltrotor aircraft and machinery used for maintenance on the Marine Corps’ aircraft July 18 at Marine Corps Air Station Futenma.   The JGSDF officers who attended were pilots and maintenance workers that deal with similar aircraft and responsibilities.   “They have


Wed, 30 Jul 2014 12:08:23 GMT
CLT-2 takes grenade range on PTA
Headquarters Battery with 1st Battalion, 12th Marines and members of the Indonesian Korps Marinir and Australian Army, all attached to Company Landing Team 2, conducted grenade range operations at Range 5A in Pohakuloa Training Area, Hawaii, July 20, during Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) Exercise 2014.  RIMPAC is the largest maritime exercise in the

Thu, 24 Jul 2014 16:24:02 GMT
SPMAGTF 3 leads RIMPAC from the sea
POHAKULOA TRAINING AREA (July 18, 2014) Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) Exercise 2014 is the largest maritime exercise in the Pacific region. It includes 22 partner nations, 25,000 people and is headed up by Special Purpose Marine Air Ground Task Force 3.

Wed, 23 Jul 2014 23:07:00 GMT
Training differs between nations, goal remains the same
POHAKULOA TRAINING AREA, Hawaii - Canadian and Malaysian service members along with U.S. Marines with Lima Company, 3rd Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, conducted a squad live- fire shoot, July 18, during the Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) Exercise 2014.


Wed, 23 Jul 2014 19:44:00 GMT
U.S., Indonesia Marines conduct grenade tosses at PTA
POHAKULOA TRAINING AREA, Hawaii – Indonesian Korps Maranir and U.S. Marines with India Company, 3rd Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, trained on proper throwing for M67 Fragmentation grenades, July 19, during the Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) Exercise 2014.


Wed, 23 Jul 2014 19:07:00 GMT
Meeting LS3: Marines experiment with military robotics
KAHUKU TRAINING AREA, Hawaii - The Legged Squad Support System has taken five years in concept developed by Boston Dynamics and $2 million to create. It is now being thrown into the heart of Kahuku Training Area – completely controlled and field tested by five young Marines from India Company, 3rd Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment.


Wed, 16 Jul 2014 22:12:00 GMT
The Marine Corps Warfighting Lab showcases the UHAC during RIMPAC 2014
MARINE CORPS TRAINING AREA BELLOWS, Hawaii - The Marine Corps Warfighting Lab sponsored an Advanced Warfighting Experiment featuring a half-scale Ultra Heavy-lift Amphibious Connector (UHAC) prototype at the Marine Corps Training Area Bellows, July 11.


Wed, 16 Jul 2014 22:07:00 GMT
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