The 2015 Reunion...

I'm adding some 650 pictures of the 2015 reunion as you read this.  Images are viewable in groups of 50 from the main menu. Directly above is the main menu. Next to Home is Past Reunions. Inside it select F4's then at the bottom is 2015. You can find your way from there I believe. The gallery is such that each picture can be clicked on to see a larger version. Beware though that sometimes it may take a little longer tfor the larger verson to be displayed.

Whew....  I'm still catching my breath! I wish this would have been a couple of weeks long instead of just a few days. Just not enough time to renew all the old friendships and ignite new ones with other Shamrocks.

Once again my heartfelt thanks goes out to Connie Gause our Reunion-Miester. I know there is no way that I could have pulled this off. We are so blessed and fortunate to have Connie taking care of us. Connie, you've put a bigger smile on our faces, a little more spring in our step through all your selfless work. How can we ever thank you enough? Semper Fi Sergeant Gause another job well done.

The Paris Island was not so good but only because the Drill Instructor that was to meet us was UA from this particular responsibility. But the lunch at Traditions was excellent. And oh my goash! We ran into Clingerman at Traditions!! Those of you who know him understand my excitement about running in to him. We all though he was either in Prison or somebody killed him! But here he was working on the Island. Was very nice to shake his hand and say hello to him. Once again, those who knew him understand when I say he was a Legacy in his Shamrock days.

The Air Station tour was wonderful except for the Exchange drama our PAO Corporal caused and was 'busted' by Leprechaun and Sergeant Gause over. Actually standing next to an F-35. Wow, I commented to some close to me that this aircraft puts our own loved yet hated F4's two fighter generations back. Hmmm...  sure makes me feel my age! Takes about a year and a half to train a nugget pilot just to fly one of those things. Compare that to how long it took to train a newbie to fly an F4. And when one of the tour pilots said "shoot a missile over the shoulder". That just made me go "huh, do what!". I just can't imagine the training the maintainers get.

'It's your medal': Read Kyle Carpenter's inspiring speech to Marjah vets

By Hope Hodge Seck, Staff writer 5:21 p.m. EST February 16, 2015

On Feb. 13, 2010, Marines assaulted the Taliban hub of Marjah in Southern Afghanistan in what coalition leaders would title Operation Moshtarak, from an Afghan Dari word meaning "together," or "joint." The attack would be the largest military operation since the start of the war in Afghanistan nine years earlier. It would take longer than expected and take a greater toll in casualties than anticipated.

According to a tally by, 78 U.S. and British troops would lose their lives in Marjah and in support of Operation Moshtarak. But the operation would also be a success: Coalition forces ultimately flushed out insurgents from their stronghold and returned greater safety and stability to the region's population.

From the Battle of Marjah also came one of the Marine Corps' greatest stories of heroism out of Afghanistan. Medically retired Marine Cpl. Kyle Carpenter would receive the Medal of Honor for throwing himself on a grenade to shielda friend and fellow Marine from the blast during the 2010 Marjah assault.

On the five-year anniversary of the launch of Operation Moshtarak, Carpenter addressed several hundred Marjah veterans at the National Museum of the Marine Corps. Here, as accurately transcribed as possible from a recording, is his deeply moving and personal speech.

"With this short amount of time I have to speak to you tonight, I couldn't possibly sum up the historical battle of Marjah.

His Heroism Goes Beyond Athletics

Brigadier General

Frank Huey

It was his 31st mission, the night of April 21, 1966, in the midst of the Vietnam War and not long after a surge in deployment of American troops, when Frank Alvin Huey's fighter jet was shot down over Laos.

He'd been hotdogging it, gloves off, sleeves rolled up, painting a line of supply trucks with napalm on the Ho Chí Minh trail, when flames roared into the cockpit, searing the Marine's left hand before he managed to eject.

Marines Air Chief Nominated For Key Defense Advisory Role

Law360, Washington (February 18, 2014, 8:48 PM ET) -- U.S. Marine Corps Lt. Gen. Robert E. Schmidle Jr. has been nominated as principal deputy director of the U.S. Department of Defense’s Office of Cost Assessment and Program Evaluation, advising Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel on the cost and feasibility of planned defense programs, the DOD announced Tuesday.
Schmidle, nominated to fill the CAPE role by President Barack Obama, is currently the Marine Corps’ deputy commandant for aviation, heading up policy for the Corps' aviation units and facilitating their manning, training and equipment, according to the DOD.

CAPE, which has held several names since its establishment in 1961 as the Office of Systems Analysis, works to combine the expertise of about 150 military officers and civilian workers across a range of disciplines with support from contractors to provide private, independent analysis to the defense secretary, according to the agency.

The agency's analysis extends to military plans, programs and budgets, assessing them — often against potential alternatives — on the basis of cost and available resources and whether programs meet defense objectives and policies. It also explores the impact of DOD spending on the U.S economy, it claims, and as such, Schmidle will play a key role in advising Hagel on the future of the military.

Among other duties, CAPE assists with development of joint programming guidance for the DOD, setting out the agency’s future plans, and with the direction of the military’s annual program review, although it does not have any direct decision-making authority.

Beaufort on track to get 1st F-35 in June

COLUMBIA, S.C. — The Marine Corps in South Carolina is getting its first futuristic F-35 fighter jets in June, a commander from the Air Station in Beaufort announced Wednesday.

Marine Air Group 31 commander Col. Bill Leiblien told members of the South Carolina Military Base Task Force that the first of dozens of aircraft and pilots are due to arrive by early to mid-June.

“We will be in full pilot production in October 2014,” Leiblien told the group of several dozen military officers and supporters.

Leiblien said it will take about eight to 10 months to train each pilot on the advanced aircraft, which is both stealthy and supersonic.

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