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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Marine riflemen and mortarmen will keep their job titles even as 19 others change in keeping with a mandate from Navy Secretary Ray Mabus to make them more friendly to female troops.

The list of titles, obtained by and first reported by Marine Corps Times, has not been publicly released. An official told an administrative message detailing the changes and what this means for Marines is likely to be published on Friday.

A memo reviewed by showed that decisions regarding job titles were finalized in a June 9 meeting between Marine officials and Mabus’ staff.

Of 33 jobs, or military occupational specialties, reviewed by the Marine Corps, 14 will keep their names…”

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The Marine Corps is solving the problem of requiring pull-ups for women by adding a push-ups option for all troops on the physical fitness test, has learned.

On Friday, the Corps rolled out a series of sweeping changes to the PFT, combat fitness test, and body fat standards — the result of a review of existing policies that began last November. The new fitness standards go into effect Jan. 1, 2017, officials said, and the body composition standards take effect immediately.


Perhaps the most significant change is the elimination of the flexed-arm hang as an alternative to pull-ups for women on the PFT. Instead, both men and women will be able to opt for push-ups instead — an exercise that was not previously part of the test. To encourage troops to do the more demanding exercise, the new standards limit the number of points available to those who choose the push-ups option. While women can achieve the maximum 100 points for completing between seven and ten pull-ups, and men can meet their max at between 20 and 23 reps depending on age, the push-ups scoring chart maxes out at just 70 points…”

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