Marines’ Longest-Serving Assistant Commandant Retires After 42 Years

MARINE BARRACKS WASHINGTON — Defense Secretary Ash Carter said he insisted on being a speaker at the retirement Thursday of Gen. John “Jay” Paxton, the longest serving assistant commandant of the Marine Corps in the service’s history.

Carter, who collaborated with Paxton on the Pentagon’s effort to counter the improvised explosive device threat to American troops in Afghanistan, said the 42-year officer was tireless and undeterred when it came to caring for and protecting his troops.

“He brought a field commander’s operational style to the E-Ring of the Pentagon, of all places, focusing on identifying solutions or assigning responsibility,” Carter said. “Answers like ‘It can’t happen,’ or ‘It’s too costly,’ or ‘It will take years,’ weren’t acceptable. Jay’s answer was always, ‘Figure it out and come back to me.’ “..”

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The Marine Corps has ordered all non-deployed aircraft squadrons to observe a 24-hour “operational pause” after a Miramar-based squadron suffered a third F/A-18C Hornet crash in 12 months — two within the span of a week, one fatal.

Marine Corps spokeswoman Capt. Sarah Burns told there would be an operational pause for all Marine Aircraft Wings, exempting deployed units.

“This operational pause is to happen within the next seven business days,” she said in an email. “Operational pauses are routine and are a time to align, discuss best practices and look at ways to continue to improve.”..”

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Marine Veteran Wants to Correct Spelling Error Set in Stone

ATHENS, Ala. — Skip Ferguson, a retired U.S. Marine and commandant of the local Marine Corps League, won approval earlier this month to place two new monuments on the Limestone County Courthouse lawn, but he also hopes to fix an existing monument.

The new monuments will recognize the county’s honored dead who fell in combat in Beirut, Iraq and Afghanistan, and Ferguson has launched a fundraising campaign to garner the $800 to $1,000 needed to pay for them.

But Ferguson has another project on his to-do list: Correcting a spelling error on the nearby Vietnam War monument and adding the names of five fallen servicemen missing from the monument.

The monument lists the names of 19 Limestone County residents who were casualties in the Vietnam War and incorrectly spells Vietnam as “VIEINAM.”..”

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Thousands of U.S. Marines at the biennial Rim of the Pacific, or “RIMPAC,” exercises in Hawaii and southern California are passing on hard-earned lessons to partner nation troops on the most complex of military maneuvers — the amphibious landing.

“We’ve really been stressing that this is a two-way street” in working with troops from Canada, Mexico, Chile, Australia, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, Indonesia, New Zealand, Tonga and others in and off Hawaii and California, said Marine Brig. Gen. Raymond Descheneaux, commander of Fleet Marine forces for the exercise known in Pentagon parlance as RIMPAC 16.

“We start with completely integrating those [partner] forces, making sure they’re embedded from start to finish in everything we’re doing from command and control down to the most junior members of the team,” Descheneaux said in an interview from Hawaii last week…”

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Marines Investigate 15 Drill Instructors Accused of Hazing, Abuse

The Marine Corps is investigating allegations of hazing, physical abuse, assault, and oversight failures among 15 drill instructors based at Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island, South Carolina, officials said.

News of this sweeping new probe comes on the heels of the March 18 death of Raheel Siddiqui, a 20-year-old Muslim-American recruit who had been at boot camp just 11 days when he died from a reported fall from the fourth floor of a barracks building.

All drill instructors under investigation are attached to 3rd Recruit Training Battalion, to which Siddiqui was assigned, Capt. Joshua Pena, a spokesman for Marine Corps Training and Education Command, said in a statement. The investigation was first reported by the Wall Street Journal…”

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