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It’s #MarineMonday!

Today we are highlighting Medal of Honor recipient Private First Class Oscar P. Austin.

On February 23, 1969, Austin sacrificed his life to save a wounded Marine at Da Nang and would become the fourth African-American Marine to receive the Medal of Honor.

His citation states, “During the early morning hours of February 23, 1969, Private First Class Austin's observation post was subjected to a fierce ground attack by a large North Vietnamese Army force supported by a heavy volume of hand grenades, satchel charges and small arms fire. Observing that one of his wounded companions had fallen unconscious in a position dangerously exposed to the hostile fire, Private First Class Austin unhesitatingly left the relative security of his fighting hole and, with complete disregard for his own safety, raced across the fire-swept terrain to assist the Marine to a covered location. As he neared the casualty, he observed an enemy grenade land nearby and, reacting instantly, leaped between the injured Marine and the lethal object, absorbing the effect of its detonation. As he ignored his painful injuries and turned to examine the wounded man, he saw a North Vietnamese Army soldier aiming a weapon at his unconscious companion. With full knowledge of the probable consequences and thinking only to protect the Marine, Private First Class Austin resolutely threw himself between the casualty and the hostile soldier and, in so doing, was mortally wounded. Private First Class Austin's indomitable courage, inspiring initiative and selfless devotion to duty upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country.”

Semper Fidelis Marine!

#AfricanAmericanHistoryMonth #AAHM #Marines #History #Vietnam

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#OTD in 1945, the Battle of Iwo Jima began.
Video: by @USMC

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It's #MarineMonday!

In honor of African American History Month, we are highlighting Edgar R. Huff, one of the first African-Americans to enlist in the Marine Corps in 1942, and the first African-American to be promoted to the rank of sergeant major.

Huff enlisted in the Marine Corps in June 1942 and trained at Montford Point Camp. "I wanted to be a Marine," he said years later, "because I had always heard that the Marine Corps was the toughest outfit going, and I felt I was the toughest going, so I wanted to be a member of the best organization."

Huff reported for duty at a time when the Montford Point operation desperately needed forceful and intelligent African Americans to assume the duties of white non-commissioned officers on the staff. He attended a drill instructor's course, served briefly as an assistant to two white drill instructors, took over a platoon of his own, and soon assumed responsibility of all drill instructors at Montford Point.

He was promoted to platoon sergeant in September 1943, Gunnery Sergeant in November and in June 1944, he became the first sergeant of a malaria control detachment at Montford Point. He deployed overseas in late 1944 as First Sergeant, 5th Depot Company. Huff served on Saipan, saw combat on Okinawa, and took part in the occupation of North China.

Huff was discharged when the war ended. He spent a few months as a civilian and then reenlisted. He saw service during the Korean War, where he participated in combat operations at both the Punchbowl and later on the west-central front. During the Vietnam War, he served two tours of duty, where he became Sergeant Major, III Marine Amphibious Force, the principal Marine Corps command in Southeast Asia. He retired in 1972 while serving as Sergeant Major, Marine Corps Air Station, New River. , North Carolina. He died in May 1994.

Find out more about Huff and Montford Point Marines in our WWII Gallery.

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13 Feb 1943 - With the motto, "Be a Marine...Free a Marine to Fight" the establishment of a Marine Corps Women's Reserve organization was announced on 13 February 1943. Those who volunteered were required to meet stringent qualifications for age, education, and health.⠀

Pictured in our Leatherneck Gallery is Cadet Louise B. Harsh. She completed the strenuous officer's training course in May 1943.⠀

Find out more about the Women's Reserve in our WWII Gallery.⠀

#History #USMC #Marines #TDIH #usmcmuseum #potd📷 #reserves #WWII

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WWII Veteran Surprised With Purple Heart:
Semper Fidelis Marine!

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EVENT: Montford Point Marine Reenactor

On Saturday, February 11th (12-3 PM), there will be a Montford Point Marine reenactor in our WWII Gallery. He will be sharing with visitors the history of the service of African-American Marines during WWII.

#AfricanAmericanHistoryMonth #AAHM #History #Learn

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It’s Marine Monday!
In recognition of African American History Month, today we highlight one of the first African Americans to enlist in the Marine Corps, Gilbert “Hashmark” Johnson.

Born in rural Mount Hebron, Alabama, Johnson attended Stillman College in 1922, aspiring to become a minister. He left college the following year, however, and joined the Army. At the end of his enlistment in October 1929, Johnson was discharged as a corporal. After four years of civilian life, he decided to try the Navy. The Navy accepted Johnson into the Steward's Branch, the only job available to African Americans at that time, and he served for nearly 10 years. Johnson was aboard the USS Wyoming during the bombing of Pearl Harbor in December 1941.

The following year, when President Franklin D. Roosevelt ordered the integration of the armed forces, Johnson requested transfer from the Navy to the Marine Corps. He went on to serve the last 17 of his 32-year military career in the Marine Corps. Throughout his Marine Corps career Johnson provided leadership to his younger and less experienced comrades. It was at Montford Point he was given the name "Hashmark," because of his age and many years of service.

In 1943, he was among the first African American men to be trained as Marine drill instructors. He also served as field sergeant in charge of all recruit training at Montford Point. As a member of the 52d Defense Battalion on Guam in World War II, "Hashmark" asked that African American Marines be assigned to combat patrols from which they were currently exempt. Once approved, he personally led 25 combat patrols.
Johnson later served in Korea with the 1st Shore Party Battalion, then later with 2d Battalion, 1st Marines, and finally as administrative advisor at the Headquarters of the Korean Marine Corps. He went on to become one of the first African American sergeants major in the Marine Corps. Sergeant Major Johnson transferred to the Fleet Marine Force Reserve in 1957 and retired in 1959.

Sergeant Major Johnson passed away in 1972. On 19 April 1974, the Montford Point facility at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, was dedicated as Camp Gilbert H. Johnson, Montford Point, Camp Lejeune, in honor of this outstanding Marine.

Find out more about Gilbert “Hashmark” Johnson in our Montford Point exhibit in our World World II Gallery.
#Marines #AfricanAmericanHistoryMonth

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1 February 1941-- #OTD the 2nd Marine Division was officially organized at Camp Elliott, California by a change of designation from the 2nd Marine Brigade. By mid-1941, because of the growing threat of a German invasion to Iceland, the 6th Marine Regiment, a battalion from 10th Marines and other units were pulled from the division and sent to Iceland.

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The National Museum of the Marine Corps is seeking individuals to volunteer within museum departments as well as on the museum floor as docents.

Candidates will be trained in Marine Corps history and basic museum studies. The training course begins on Saturday, February 04, 2017 (9:00 AM - 1:00 PM).

Schedule of training:
Feb 4 & 11 (9 AM - 1 PM)-- Initial training of volunteers* and docents
Feb 18, 25; Mar 4, 11, 18, 25; Apr 1, 8 (9 AM - 1 PM)-- Docent training continues every Saturday for 8 weeks after initial training.
*Additional Volunteer training will be determined by each Museum department.

For more information please contact Michele Flynn at

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Cheer on "chefs" as they compete for our coveted "Golden Cup" award! 

8 chefs will be competing to make delicious meals out of 2 randomly-selected MREs!  Competitors are only allowed to bring in seasons that will fit in a gallon ziplock bag (which is about the same size as a Marine's cargo pocket).  

Admission to the Museum and parking are FREE!
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