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17.75K is the first step toward the Marine Corps Marathon
Just under 1,750 runners tackled the hills of Prince William Forest Park located just outside the main gate of Marine Corps Base Quantico during the Marine Corps 17.75K on April 12, 2014. Those who finished were given “Access Granted” passes that qualified them to sign up for the 39th Marine Corps Marathon on Oct. 26, 2014. Steven Henry, from

Sat, 19 Apr 2014 04:00:00 GMT
MCBH hosts walk, expo to support families
Marine Corps Base Hawaii hosted a Pinwheels for Prevention Walk, followed by the annual Keiki Aloha Expo for families, April 11, 2014.

Sat, 19 Apr 2014 03:28:00 GMT
NMCRS Active Duty Fund Drive extended
If potential donors had any doubts about whether Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society needs their help, then a talk with Cpl. Astin Crawford can set them straight.

Sat, 19 Apr 2014 01:40:00 GMT
Newly renovated Pop Warner Field reopens
Gathering around the new gridiron, Marine Corps Base Hawaii officials reopened Pop Warner field with a morning blessing held April 11.

Sat, 19 Apr 2014 01:30:00 GMT
MCB Hawaii teens soar in track, field events
Four Marine Corps Base Hawaii teens achieved first place in various track and field events last week and the week prior.

Fri, 18 Apr 2014 20:31:00 GMT
MCB Hawaii volunteers honored during annual ceremony
Marine Corps Base Hawaii volunteers were honored at the annual Volunteer Recognition Ceremony, April 4, 2014.

Fri, 18 Apr 2014 20:28:00 GMT
Base community pauses for its kids
Each April, the Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany community pauses to focus on its littlest hero — the military child. Although they don’t deploy or go off to war,they serve their country alongside their service member parents and are affected by those events just the same. April was designated as the Month of the Military Child by former

Fri, 18 Apr 2014 19:13:00 GMT
New exhibit center set to open
The Natural and Cultural Resources Center will open on Monday, April 21, at Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany giving people various opportunities to engage with nature.  The center will offer a walk through exhibit, art stations, which will allow children to draw while visiting the center, nature books, a reading corner, games and a variety of

Fri, 18 Apr 2014 19:11:00 GMT
NBHC Albany expands dental care to retirees, families
The Naval Branch Health Clinic Albany now offers dental services to TRICARE eligible retirees and their families on a space available basis at its clinic aboard Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany. “In an effort to expand dental services in the Albany area, we created our new space available services to provide additional dental care to our retiree

Fri, 18 Apr 2014 19:05:00 GMT
Base to celebrate Earth Day
Tuesday marks the 44th anniversary of Earth Day. In an effort to help preserve the environment, Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany’s Installation and Environment Division will hold several events in recognition of Earth Day. Brian Wallace, branch head, Environmental Branch, Installation and Environment Division, said the events include: • An Earth

Fri, 18 Apr 2014 19:02:00 GMT
Remembering the Boston Bombing (Features) (Marines Uncovered)
Article By CWO3 Benjamin E. Barr
One year ago CWO3 Benjamin E. Barr took on the challenge of competing in the Boston Marathon. In his own words, he recounts the events of that tragic day and how it has affected him.   [Read more...]
Article By CWO3 Benjamin E. Barr
(Courtesy Photo)

Last year, CWO3 Benjamin E. Barr’s first marathon ended in disaster with the Boston Bombing. But through the tragedy, Barr learned the power of family, friends and community. (Courtesy Photo)

One year ago CWO3 Benjamin E. Barr took on the challenge of competing in the Boston Marathon. In his own words, he recounts the events of that tragic day and how it has affected him. 

Twenty-five miles.

Almost there.

Just push through to the end.

Why are all these people all over the road?

Hey, we’re still running here.

It’s over.


The race is over.

What do you mean?

There was an explosion at the finish line …

I started training for a marathon because I don’t like to run. Well, I didn’t then. I decided that a marathon training plan would give me some motivation to get out on the road to reach each weekly running goal. You hear a lot about motivation in the Marine Corps. And you hear a lot about running.

The more I ran, the more I began to enjoy it. It’s a great opportunity to be alone in thought. I had more and more time with my thoughts as the weeks went on because the runs kept getting longer. I often thought about how thankful I was just to be able to run. I was thankful to God for my health. I was even thankful to the Marine Corps for making me run all the time.

I hadn’t made any plans to run an actual marathon, and then Boston fell in my lap – again, thanks to the Marine Corps. I saw that Marine Corps Community Services was coordinating a program with the Massachusetts State Police for recently deployed personnel to run the Boston Marathon. And it aligned perfectly with my training plan. I’m a decent runner, but my pace is “a few seconds” off Boston qualifying time, so this was an opportunity I simply couldn’t pass up.

Now I had even more motivation. There it is again. I started to receive all of the race information in the mail. I got more and more excited as the day approached.  Then I was in Boston. It was actually happening. The Massachusetts State Police were fantastic. They love Boston and they love the military.

Boston 1-2

CWO3 Benjamin E. Barr takes a photo of himself and other race participants before the Boston Marathon in 2013. Although Barr never finished the race due to the tragedy of the Boston Bombing, he was reminded of the power of brotherhood in overcoming adversity. (Courtesy Photo)

The morning of race day was amazing.  I was in Hopkinton surrounded by fellow military personnel. Everyone there had been in Afghanistan less than a year ago, but we were all focused on one thing that day – the finish line. Marathon training and the Marine Corps are very similar in that way. In the Marine Corps we say that we train like we fight. We have a specific goal in mind when we’re training and everything we do is getting us closer to that finish line. There comes a time, however, when the training is over and the real challenge begins. That’s when the rubber meets the road.

The road in this case was lined with the beautiful people of greater Boston. What a fantastic community. There was never a time when someone wasn’t offering something – orange slices; bananas; or, perhaps most important, encouragement. Encouragement is what keeps us going. It’s what motivates us. I needed that motivation around mile 18 when I started to feel sharp pains in my quad muscles.

My goal was to cross the finish line in four hours. I was right on my pace at the half-way point. I was feeling pretty good. Then the pain in my quads slowed me down. As I picked up my pace on Heartbreak Hill, someone in the crowd said, “Way to go, brother! Keep it going!” We often refer to the Marine Corps as a band of brothers. I saw brotherhood in Boston that day.

There was an explosion at the finish line …

Nobody knew what happened. My goal was four hours. My quads slowed me down. The time of the explosion was 4:09.43 on the race clock. The crowd continued to grow as runners approached the stopping point – not the finish line. The emotions grew, as well – confusion, frustration, anger, sadness. As the time grew longer the runners began to shift the focus outward from themselves. “Why is this happening to me?” became “Is everyone okay?” Marines know that we bond in adversity. Runners started turning to one another.

Do you need some water?

Are you cold?

We’ll figure this out.

We’ll get through it.

I hope everyone is okay.

Everyone was not okay. We know that now. Krystle Marie Campbell, 29; Lu Lingzi, 23; and eight-year-old Martin William Richard lost their lives that day. Many more were injured. But the people in Boston came together that day in heroic ways, including Carlos Arredondo – the man in the cowboy hat. Carlos lost his son, Lance Cpl. Alexander Scott Arredondo, during Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2004, another hero.

Motivation may come in many forms.

I’m doing this for my team.

I’m doing this for my brother.

I’m doing this for my son.

I’m doing this for those who can’t.

I’m doing this because it’s the right thing to do.

I could dwell on the fact that I never got to cross the finish line. I was given the opportunity to go back this year and finish what I started. I ran the Heartbreak Ridge 10K here at Camp Pendleton last week and I felt pretty good about it.

I think I’ll stay home this year. I’ll spend Race Day holding my family close, giving thanks, and reflecting on my motivation.


Wed, 16 Apr 2014 15:36:31 +0000
How I got here: Sgt.Maj. Sundermier
In 1990, a young woman proved to herself and the skeptics that she wasn’t just a pretty face and that she did have what it takes to become one of “the few and the proud.” Now she is the sergeant major of H&S Battalion at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, N.C. Here we borrow segments of Sgt. Maj. Toshia Sundermier’s 24 years of service as she continued to push in her career and strive to go and do what had not been done before by her gender.
How I got here: Sgt.Maj. Sundermier
Tue, 15 Apr 2014 14:31:34 -0400
Sgt.Maj. Sundermier career [Image 1 of 2]
From left to right, Sundermier on the Drill Field with Harvey Kietel as a reviewing officer. In cap and gown, earning her Bachelor’s degree. With her daughter at her last relief and appointment.
Sgt.Maj. Sundermier career [Image 1 of 2]
Tue, 15 Apr 2014 14:26:23 -0400
How I got here: Sgt.Maj. Sundermier [Image 2 of 2]
Sgt. Maj. Toshia Sundermier joined the Marine Corps 24 years ago to prove that she had what it takes to go above and beyond. Throughout her career, Sundermier continually pushed beyond what was expected and allowed for her gender and paved the way for future generations of female Marines.
How I got here: Sgt.Maj. Sundermier [Image 2 of 2]
Tue, 15 Apr 2014 14:26:00 -0400
How I got here: San Angelo, Texas native, Sgt. Maj. O'Neal
If the tiny, young woman from Texas had butterflies in her stomach while reporting to an all-male company in 1986, the men were none the wiser. She changed out of her crisp service uniform and into work clothes and served as a bulk fueler, carrying heavy hoses and ensuring Marines got the fuel they needed to get the job done. She flourished as leader in a field dominated by men, and if she ever had doubts, the Marines she followed and led, were again not aware. Today she is a wife, a mother, a grandmother and a Marine Corps sergeant major. Sgt. Maj. Irene O’Neal is serving as the senior enlisted adviser to the Inspector General of the Marine Corps. She is one of 15 women sergeants major filling some of the highest enlisted posts in the Marine Corps. This is how she got there.
How I got here: San Angelo, Texas native, Sgt. Maj. O'Neal
Tue, 15 Apr 2014 13:43:25 -0400
How I got here: Pine Bluff, Ark. native, Sgt. Maj. Murphy
Twenty-six years ago, a single mother joined the Marine Corps so she could have money for an education. She had every intention of getting out after her first enlistment. However, she soon found her niche in an environment that rewarded hard work and challenged her to keep striving for more.
How I got here: Pine Bluff, Ark. native, Sgt. Maj. Murphy
Tue, 15 Apr 2014 13:38:18 -0400
SP-MAGTF Africa Marines continue donating to relief society
Every year between March and April, Marines and sailors participate in an annual fund drive for the Navy and Marine Corps Relief Society.  The NMCRS provides financial assistance to service members with the Navy and Marine Corps, their family members, widows and survivors.  According to 1st Lt. Wes Roberts, the adjutant for Special-Purpose Marine

Fri, 18 Apr 2014 16:50:51 GMT
U.S., Estonian service members meet with Latvian high school students
United States Marines with 3rd Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division assigned to Black Sea Rotational Force 14, are currently in Latvia training with the local army for exercise Summer Shield along with Estonian and Lithuanian service members, but they were able to make a special trip to a small school in the rural Latvian countryside

Fri, 18 Apr 2014 12:30:00 GMT
Multinational participation plays key factor to Exercise African Lion
In the current global-security environment, one nation isn’t enough. After decades of overseas contingency operations, from the sands of Afghanistan to the jungles of Mali, coalitions are a clear indicator of partner nations’ commitment to worldwide stability and security.   Exercise African Lion is U.S. Africa Command’s flagship program in

Mon, 14 Apr 2014 06:50:00 GMT
US Marine, Coastguardsman work together, train with Togolese Navy, Gendarmerie
A U.S. Marine and U.S. Coastguardsmen traveled to Lomé, Togo, to demonstrate small-boat engine mechanics to a group of sailors and Gendarmerie from the Togo Navy, March 22-29.  Lance Cpl. Tyler Jackson, a Marine with Special-Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force Africa 14.1, and Petty Officer 3rd Class Brian Spence, a Coastguardsman with U.S. Coast

Fri, 11 Apr 2014 15:15:50 GMT
Marines land in Morocco, demonstrate crisis response capability
In today’s security environment, the ability to quickly place military personnel on a location anywhere on the globe is at a premium. In order to stay ready for that task, the U.S. Marines of Special-Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force conducted a training mission in Tifnit, Morocco, April 3, 2014. Their mission was executed in conjunction with

Wed, 09 Apr 2014 11:25:55 GMT
International military police officers find common ground at African Lion 14
Military police officers from the U.S. Marines, Army and Air Force, along with Royal Moroccan soldiers specializing in riot-control, found common ground as enforcers of the law during African Lion 14.  The training engagement, out on the desert-lined coast of Tifnit, Morocco, focused on more than training alongside partners; it integrated the

Wed, 09 Apr 2014 09:13:00 GMT
Marines conduct non-lethal weapons training in Nigeria
A group of Marines with Special-Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force Africa 14.1 recently returned from a five-day training exercise in Abuja, Nigeria, March 22.  The group of four Marines trained approximately 20 Nigerian soldiers on basic non-lethal weapons techniques in support of U.S. Africa Command and Marine Corps Forces Europe and Africa’s

Fri, 04 Apr 2014 10:33:00 GMT
US Marines demonstrate non-lethal weapons to Ghanaian sailors
Three Marines with Special-Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force Africa 14.1 trained a group of sailors from the Ghana Navy in non-lethal weapons tactics in Takoradi, Ghana, March 17-21.  Capt. Travis Posey and Lance Cpls. Sheridan Halfacre and Dewayne Gregory traveled from Naval Air Station Sigonella, Italy, with members of a small theater security

Thu, 03 Apr 2014 11:10:00 GMT
Marines finish theater security cooperation mission in Mauritania
After nearly a month in Mauritania, a team of Marines with Special-Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force Africa 14.1 completed its latest theater security cooperation mission, March 21.  The group was in Mauritania to train and advise their counterparts, the Fusiliers Marins (FUMA), on basic infantry skills, marksmanship, patrolling skills, first

Thu, 03 Apr 2014 09:56:00 GMT
Moroccans, U.S. engage in stability operations training
The U.S. and coalition forces learned valuable lessons during recent campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan, specifically regarding the importance of stability operations and their relevance during future contingencies.  Soldiers from the Royal Moroccan Armed Forces and U.S. military personnel participating in Exercise African Lion 14 conducted

Wed, 02 Apr 2014 14:27:06 GMT
Marine Corps Warfighting Lab begins ship-to-shore landing craft
Members of the Marine Corps Warfighting Lab arrived here to test a model version of the Ultra Heavy-lift Amphibious Connector (UHAC) March 3. The UHAC is an amphibious craft that has three times the lift capacity and greater coastal access than the Landing Craft Air Cushion (LCAC.) “It’s promising because it allows a greater lift and it’s exciting

Fri, 18 Apr 2014 04:00:00 GMT
Marines and Australians train together in the Top End
Marines slowly edge their way to the firing line as adrenaline courses through their veins. Assuming their firing positions, they insert their magazines and prepare to fire. As the command was given, the sharp crack of rifles could be heard through the jungle as Marines and Australian Soldiers sent rounds downrange towards their targets.  Marines

Thu, 17 Apr 2014 20:40:00 GMT
Marines increase presence in Australia with third iteration of MRF-D
Service members at Marine Corps Air Station Kaneohe Bay departed here, March 25, to begin a six-month deployment to Australia’s Northern Territory as part of Marine Rotational Force – Darwin. Approximately 100 Marines from Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 463 (HMH-463) and Marine Aviation Logistics Squadron 24 (MALS-24), as well as four CH-53E

Thu, 27 Mar 2014 01:14:00 GMT
Marine Corps Warfighting Lab begins testing ship-to-shore landing craft
Members of the Marine Corps Warfighting Lab arrived here to test a model version of the Ultra Heavy-lift Amphibious Connector (UHAC) March 3. The UHAC is an amphibious craft that has three times the lift capacity and greater coastal access than the Landing Craft Air Cushion (LCAC.) “It’s promising because it allows a greater lift and it’s exciting

Wed, 19 Mar 2014 02:47:00 GMT
Exercise Cobra Gold 2014 concludes
Exercise Cobra Gold 2014 concluded Feb. 21 following a multilateral combined arms live-fire exercise at Royal Thai Navy Tactical Training Center Ban Chan Krem, Kingdom of Thailand.  Cobra Gold is the largest multinational and multiservice exercise in Southeast Asia, which takes places annually throughout the Kingdom of Thailand. This year’s

Fri, 21 Feb 2014 21:21:00 GMT
Culminating event strengthens interoperability at Cobra Gold
The roar of jets overhead diverts the attention of the crowd to the sky as aircraft drop various types of ordinance. The rumble of tanks approaching is heard at the same time as the crack of the explosion. The combined arms live-fire exercise has started.  Marines from the Republic of Korea, Kingdom of Thailand and United States came together in

Fri, 21 Feb 2014 20:31:00 GMT
Royal Thai, US Marines practice entry methods
Royal Thai and U.S. Marines conducted methods of entry training Feb. 15 at Ban Chan Krem, Kingdom of Thailand during Exercise Cobra Gold.   The purpose of the training was to demonstrate to Royal Thai Marine infantrymen and combat engineers the Marine Corps explosive ordinance disposal’s tactics, techniques and procedures for breaching an   

Fri, 21 Feb 2014 07:34:00 GMT
Osprey supports multinational Marine fast-rope drills
Ever since the MV-22B Osprey was fully implemented into the Marine Corps, U.S. Marines have been riding, rappelling and parachuting out of them as part of operations and exercises.   Royal Thai, Republic of Korea and U.S. Marines conducted fast-rope drills out of an MV-22B Osprey Feb. 18 in Hat Yao, Kingdom of Thailand during Exercise Cobra

Thu, 20 Feb 2014 22:16:00 GMT
Royal Thai, U.S. Marines partner to improve combat accuracy, effectiveness
“Shooters, STANDBY!” echoes across the range as a line of Royal Thai and U.S Marines bring their rifles up to their shoulders and lean forward into their buttstocks.  Each shooter stands prepared to fire on the appropriate command. When that moment comes, the smell of sulfur fills the air as each Marine starts taking steps toward their target,

Wed, 19 Feb 2014 05:00:00 GMT
School dedication symbolizes regional cooperation during
Dignitaries with the Kingdom of Thailand, U.S. and People’s Republic of China came together for a building dedication ceremony Feb. 18 at the Wattatakian School in Phitsanulok province, Kingdom of Thailand, during Exercise Cobra Gold 2014.  Cobra Gold, in its 33rd iteration, is designed to advance regional security and ensure effective response to

Tue, 18 Feb 2014 05:00:00 GMT
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