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Thread: Black History Month

  1. #91
    Member ferguson's Avatar
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    Racial tension and incidents were at a high during this period.
    Much more amongst REMFs than guys in the bush.
    It got a lot more serious and violent than most people will ever know about.

    I got no personal issues-just part of history.

    In 1990, I believe, I attended the 50th anniversary of The Airborne.
    A several day salute over July 4th in DC. Big parade and other stuff. Lots of paratroopers.
    I stayed in a RV park and rode the bus in every day with a fellow from the 1st Black Test Platoon and his wife.
    Nice folks.
    A couple real oldtime airborne guys I know dis the 555 for not going overseas, but that's kind of dumb considering it was someone else's decision.

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    Racial tension and incidents were at a high during this period.
    Very true.

    Same in the USN..especially on carriers. I served on three CVs my first hitch the Hanna was the only ship not to suffer a racial incident.Most other incidents on carriers are not known..but this one below on the Kitty Hawk was so serious that it was reported in Time magazine.

    http://www.history.navy.mil/library/..._incidents.htm

    A. THE "KITTY HAWK" INCIDENT On February 17, 1972, the attack carrier U.S.S. Kitty Hawk departed San Diego for its sixth combat deployment to Southeast Asia. After several extended periods of combat activity, the ship put in to the U.S. Naval Base at Subic Bay, the Philippines, for replenishment of war materiel and a week of rest and recreation for the crew. The ship's company had just recently become aware of the fact they would return to the combat zone after this rest period rather than return home as scheduled. This rescheduling apparently was due the incidents of sabotage aboard her sister ships, U.S.S. Ranger and U.S.S. Forrestal.
    On the tenth of October, a fight occurred at the enlisted men's club at Subic Bay. While it cannot be unequivocally established that Kitty Hawk personnel participated in the fight, circumstantial evidence tend to support the conclusion that some of the ship's black sailors were involved since 15 young blacks returned to the ship on the run and in a very disheveled condition at about the time the fight at the club was brought under control.
    The following morning the ship returned to combat, conducting air operations from 1 to 6 p.m. There were 348 officers and 4,135 enlisted men aboard. Of these, 5 officers and 297 enlisted men were black.
    The first confrontation
    At approximately 7 p.m., in October 12, 1972, the ship's investigator called a black sailor to his office for questioning about his activities in the Subic Bay. He was accompanied by nine other black men. They were belligerent, loud, and used abusive language. Those accompanying him were not allowed to sit in on the investigation. The sailor was apprised of his rights, refused to make a statement and was allowed to leave. Shortly after he left a young messcook was assaulted on the after messdeck. Within a few minutes after that, another young messcook was assaulted on the forward messdeck. In each instance, this same sailor was on the scene.
    The first indication of widespread trouble aboard ship occurred at about 8 p.m. A large number of blacks congregated on the after messdeck, one of two enlisted dining areas. A messcook alerted the Marine Detachment Reaction Force. During the ensuing confrontation between the Marines and black sailors, the corporal of the guard, the only person carrying a firearm, attempted, or appeared to have attempted to draw his weapon. In any event it was not drawn. This incident appears in the testimony, at least in retrospect, to have been one of the more inflammatory events of the early evening.
    At this point the Executive Officer (XO), a black man, arrived on the after messdeck, ordered the Marines to withdraw closed off the hatches into the messdeck area, and, in company with the ship's senior enlisted advisor, a white master chief petty officer, remained inside with the black sailors. As the XO attempted to calm the crowd, the Commanding Officer (CO) entered the area behind him. The XO unaware of the CO's presence, continued to address the crowd. The XO urged all to calm down, asked the apparent leaders of the group to discuss their problem in his cabin, and assured the group that the Marines had been sent below. After an hour or so of discussion, the XO, feeling that the incident was over, released the men to continue about their business.
    The CO, having noted the hostile attitude of the group being addressed by the XO, left the area and instructed the Commanding Officer of the Marines to establish additional aircraft security watches and patrols on the hangar and fight decks. The Marines were given additional instructions by their CO to break up any group of three or more sailors who might appear on the aircraft decks, and disperse them.
    Confrontation on the hangar deck
    As the XO released the group of blacks with whom he had been talking, the major portion of them left the after messdeck by way of the hangar deck. Upon seeing the blacks come onto the hangar deck, the Marines attempted to disperse them. The Marines at the moment were some 26 strong and, trained in riot control procedures, they formed a line and advanced on the blacks, containing them to the after end of the hanger deck. Several blacks were arrested and handcuffed while the remainder, arming themselves with aircraft tie-down chains, confronted the Marines. At this point, the ship's CO appeared and, moving into the space between the Marines and the blacks, attempted to control the situation. The XO, upon being informed of this activity, headed there, arriving in time to see a heavy metal bar thrown from the area of the blacks land near and possibly hit the CO. At this point, the XO was informed that a sailor had been seriously injured below decks, so he departed. The CO, meanwhile, ordered the prisoners released and the Marines to return to their compartment while he attempted to restore order personally.
    Marauding bands
    The XO, after going below, became aware that small groups, ranging from 5 to 25 blacks, were marauding about the ship attacking whites, pulling many sleeping sailors from their berths and beating them with their fists and chains, dogging wrenches, metal pipes, fire extinguisher nozzles and broom handles. While engaged in this behavior, many were heard to shout, "Kill the son-of-a-*****! Kill the white trash! Kill, kill, kill!" Others shouting, "They are killing our brothers." Understandably, the ship's dispensary was the scene of intense activity with the doctors and corpsmen working on the injured personnel. Alarmingly, another group of blacks harassed them and the men waiting to be treated.
    The XO was then informed by at least two sources that the CO had been injured or killed on the hangar deck. Not sure of the facts but believing the reports could be true, the XO made an announcement over the ship's public address system ordering all the ship's blacks to the after messdeck and the Marines to the forecastle, thereby putting as much distance between the two groups as possible.
    Conflicting orders
    The CO, still on the hangar deck talking to a dwindling number of the black sailors, was surprised and distressed at the XO's announcement. At this point he was still unaware of the various groups of black assaulting their white shipmates in several different areas of the ship, and he was, obviously, neither dead nor injured. He headed for the nearest public address system microphone, found the XO there, held a brief conference with the XO, and made an announcement of his own to the effect that the XO had been misinformed and that all hands should return to their normal duties. The announcements by the CO and XO, occurring around midnight, were the first indication to the majority of the crew that there was troubled aboard.
    The final confrontation
    The blacks seemed to gravitate to the forecastle. Their attitude was extremely hostile. Of the 150 or so who were present, most were armed. The XO followed one group to the forecastle, entered and, as he later stated, he believed that had he not been black he would have been killed on the spot. He addressed the group for about two hours, reluctantly ignoring his status as the XO and instead appealing to the men as one black to another. After some time he acquired control over the group, calmed them down, had them put their weapons at his feet or over the side, and then ordered them to return to their compartments. The meeting broke up about 2:30 in the morning and for all intents and purposes, the violence aboard Kitty Hawk was over.
    The ship fulfilled its combat mission schedule that morning and for the remainder of her time on station. During this period Kitty Hawk established a record 177 days on the line in a single deployment. After the incident senior enlisted men and junior officers were placed in each berthing compartment and patrolled the passageways during night-time hours to ensure that similar incidents would not recur.
    The 21 men who were charged with offense under the Uniform Code of Military Justice and who requested civilian counsel, were put ashore at Subic Bay to be later flown to San Diego to meet the ship on its return. The remaining 5 charged were brought to trial aboard the ship during its transit back to the United States.
    A total of 47 men, all but 6 or 7 of them white, were treated for injuries on the night of October 12-13, 1972; three required medical evacuation to shore hospitals while the rest were treated aboard the ship.

  3. #93
    kid got gumption BAF's Avatar
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    What happend for those sailors to react that way BD? I cant really tel from the article (or i must be looking over it)

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    Quote Originally Posted by BAF View Post
    What happend for those sailors to react that way BD? I cant really tel from the article (or i must be looking over it)
    lack of leadership..lack of discipline in the 1972 USN. By lack of leadership I mean very few black petty officers,CPOs and Officers navy wide.

    In addition most of the petty officers and CPO's were southerners..Not good..I know I lived it..If I had not served on the USS Han***** I'm sure I would have ended my USN career at 4 years. Hanna had very few racial problems.

    This is what the USN found out about the causes of the riot..

    http://www.history.navy.mil/library/..._incidents.htm

    II. FINDINGS, OPINIONS, AND RECOMMENDATIONS A. FINDINGS
    1. The subcommittee finds that permissiveness, as defined on page 17679 of this report, exists in the Navy today. Although we have been able to investigate only certain specific incidents in depth, the total information made available to us indicates the condition could be servicewide.
    2. The vast majority of the Navy men and women are performing their assigned duties loyally and efficiently. The subcommittee is fully aware and appreciative of their efforts. The cause of concern, however, rests with that segment of the naval force which is either unable or unwilling to function within the prescribed limitations and up to the established standards of performance or conduct.
    3. The subcommittee has been unable to determine any precipitous cause for rampage aboard U.S.S. Kitty Hawk. Not only was there not one case wherein racial discrimination could be pinpointed, but there is no evidence which indicated that the blacks who participated in that incident perceived racial discrimination, either in general or any specific, of such a nature as to justify belief that violent reaction was required.
    4. The subcommittee finds that the incident aboard U.S.S. Constellation was the result of a carefully orchestrated demonstration of passive resistance wherein a small number of blacks, certainly no more than 20-25,in a well-organized campaign, willfully created among other blacks the belief that white racism existed in the Navy and aboard that ship. The subcommittee, again in this instance as with the incident aboard Kitty Hawk, found no specific example of racial discrimination. In this case, however, it is obvious that the participants perceived that racial discrimination existed. Several events were made to appear as examples of racial discrimination when, in fact, such was not the case.
    5. Testimony revealed that one of the triggering devices for the dissident activity aboard Constellation was a misunderstanding, particularly among the young blacks, which led them to believe that in order to reduce the number of personnel aboard the ship to the authorized level, general discharges were about to be awarded to 250 black crew members.
    In fact, the ship was in process of reducing its complement by 250 personnel in order to make room for air wing personnel who would embark prior to the forthcoming combat deployment. At the same time the captain had directed that certain records be reviewed and that those he considered to be troublemakers, if they qualified for administrative discharge, be notified of the ship's intent to commence processing of the required paperwork.
    It is unfortunate that this latter discharge procedure was initiated against six crewmembers in one day without adequate explanation of the justification for such action--especially since all six were black and this promoted the feeling that racial discrimination was the cause. In addition, the lack of counselling pertaining to the poor performance marks received by those being considered for administrative discharge caused notification of pending discharge to serve as traumatic incidents to those who were to receive them.
    There is strong evidence, however, that these misunderstandings were fostered and fanned by a small group of skilled agitators within the ranks of the young black seamen.
    6. The subcommittee was informed that the review, conducted by Naval Personnel Research Activity, San Diego, has found no racial discrimination in the punishments awarded by the Commanding Officer, U.S.S. Constellation.
    The subcommittee found no evidence that that conclusion was in error.
    7. Discipline, requiring immediate response to command, is absolutely essential to any military force. Particularly in the forces afloat there is no room for the "town meeting" concept or the employment of negotiation or appeasement to obtain obedience to order. The Navy must be controlled by command, not demand.
    8. The subcommittee found that insufficient emphasis has been given to formal leadership training, particularly in the ranks of petty officers and junior officers.
    9. The generally smart appearance of naval personnel, both afloat and ashore, has deteriorated markedly. While the subcommittee appreciates efforts to allow maximum reasonableness in daily routines, there is absolutely no excuse for slovenly appearance of officers and men in the Navy uniform and such appearance should not be tolerated.
    10. There was no formal training of the master-at-arms force. There was not effective utilization of the Marine force. Certainly there was no contingency plan for the coordination of these two forces in events such as these. Once the activities started, there was no plan which would have acted to halt them. The result was to let them wear themselves out.
    11. The members of the subcommittee did not find and are unaware of any instances of any instances of institutional discrimination on the part of the Navy toward any group of persons, majority or minority.
    12. Black unity, the drive toward togetherness on the part of blacks, has resulted in a tendency on the part of black sailors to polarize. This results in a grievance of one black, real or fancied, becoming the grievance of many. Polarization is an unfortunate trend and negates efforts since 1948 to integrate the military services and to stamp out separation. This divisive trend must be reversed.
    13. Nonmilitary gestures such as "passing the power" or "dapping" are disruptive, serve to enhance racial polarization, and should be discouraged.
    14. After the incidents on Kitty Hawk and Constellation, a meeting was called by the Secretary of the Navy of all the admirals in the Washington, D.C., area in which the CNO spoke to the failure of the Navy to meet its human relations goals. Immediately thereafter, his remarks were made available to the press and sent as a message to all hands. Because of the wording of the text, it was perceived by many to be a public admonishment by the CNO of his staff for the failure to solve racial problems within the Navy. Even though this was followed within 96 hours by Z-gram 117 which stressed the need for discipline, the speech itself, the issuance of it to the public press, and the timing of its delivery, all served to emphasize the CNO's perception of the Navy's problems. Again, concern over racial problems seemed paramount to the question of good order and discipline even though there had been incidents on two ships which may be characterized as "mutinies". The subcommittee regrets that the tradition of not criticizing seniors in front of their subordinates was ignored in this case.
    15. The Navy's recruitment program for most of 1972 which resulted in the lowering of standards for enlistment, accepting a greater percentage of mental category IV and those in the lower half of category III, not requiring recruits in these categories to have completed their high school education, and accepting these people without sufficient analysis of their previous offense records, has created many of the problems the Navy is experiencing today.
    16. The reduction of time in recruit training from 9 to 7 weeks, thus sending those personnel who do not qualify for advanced training in "A" schools from the street to the fleet in less than two months, appears to result in inadequate preparation for shipboard duty.
    17. The investigation disclosed an alarming frequency of successful acts of sabotage and apparent sabotage on a wide variety of ships and stations within the Navy.
    that being stated

    On the JFK in 1972 there were about 400-500 blacks. Only two black first class petty officers and no black officers or CPOs. And very few E-5 and E-4 black petty officers.

  5. #95
    Senior Member Dominique's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bd popeye View Post
    Very true.

    Same in the USN..especially on carriers.
    My father served as SK and MA back in the early late 60's and 70's on a couple of carriers, and shore duty in San Francisco and Treasure Island, and from what he used to tell me, those were "interesting" times.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bd popeye View Post
    On the JFK in 1972 there were about 400-500 blacks. Only two black first class petty officers and no black officers or CPOs. And very few E-5 and E-4 black petty officers.
    How were Promotions based back then in the Navy? Point/Merit based, or board reccomendation?

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    Quote Originally Posted by LineDoggie View Post
    How were Promotions based back then in the Navy? Point/Merit based, or board reccomendation?
    You had to take a Navy wide exam. But.. you had to be recommended and do certain courses. When I was on the JFK no one in my division told me or answered any of my questions about how to do the rate training courses. By the time I got to the Midway I had figured it out. It was then I took the petty officer 3rd class exam and passed and was promoted.

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    OK so you could still be jammed up by a bad reccommendation, no reccommendation by a racist supervisor or one that doesnt like you for whatever reason even before the exams. Thats why I liked the point system by MOS- went by Mil Education, Civ education, Awards, PT and Weapons score, and then Personal appraisal. the pers appraisal counted for less than the other main categorys so a **** had less chance of screwing you over.

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    Limedoggie one of the biggest stumbling blocks for some in that USN at that time was the ability to read and understand the required courses and the exam.. At that time the USN and the other services had recruited "lower mental group" persons to serve. Big mistake. Not only that the military was granting waivers for past criminal conduct. Nowadays many of these persons could not get past the first meeting with a recuiter.

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    Next weekend I'm gonna post more pix like these..



    "A gun crew of six Negroes who were given the Navy Cross for standing by their gun when their ship was damaged by enemy attack in the Philippine area." Crew members: Jonell Copeland, AtM2/c; Que Gant, StM; Harold Clark, Jr., StM; James Eddie Dockery, StM; Alonzo Alexander Swann, StM; and Eli Benjamin, StM. Ca. 1945.


    "Crewmen aboard U.S.S. Tulagi (CVE-72) en route to southern France for Aug. 15th invasion. Miles Davis King, StM 2/c, carrying a loaded magazine to his 20mm gun." August 1944.

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    Quote Originally Posted by California Joe View Post
    How about the 54th Massachussets and their actions at Ft. Wagner. Depicted in the movie "Glory".

    That is an Exceptional Film one off my favourites

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    ^^ agreed.. "Glory" is an outstanding film. the best ever depiction the US Civil War.

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    These are the original captions.. I will not edit them in any way..



    . "A company of men has set up its office between the columns (Doric) of an ancient Greek temple of Neptune, built about 700 B.C." At desk, front to rear: Sgts. James Shellman, Gilbert A. Terry, John W. Phoenix, Curtis A. Richardson, and Leslie B. Wood. In front of desk, front to rear: T/Sgt. Gordon A. Scott, M/Sgt. Walter C. Jackson, Sgt. David D. Jones, and WO Carlyle M. Tucker. Italy. September 22, 1943.


    "A kitchen was set up along the beach for the...labor battalion unloading the boats. This picture shows a couple of the men enjoying a hot meal for a change. Massacre Bay, Attu, Aleutian Islands." May 20, 1943. T/5 Vincent A. Wallace.


    American Army Engineer task force in Liberia find themselves in a land from which their ancestors came. Wash day and Pvt. Jack David scrubs out his things on top of a table made from native trees." Ca. July 1942. Fred Morgan.


    "Negro members of the 477th Antiaircraft Artillery, Air Warning Battalion, study maps in the operations section at Oro Bay, New Guinea." November 15, 1944. Pvt. Edward Grefe.


    A U.S. Army soldier and a Chinese soldier place the flag of their ally on the front of their jeep just before the first truck convoy in almost three years crossed the China border en route from Ledo, India, to Kunming, China, over the Stilwell road." February 6, 1945. Sgt. John Gutman.


    troops in Burma stop work briefly to read President Truman's Proclamation of Victory in Europe." May 9, 1945. S/Sgt. Yarnell.


    WWI New York's famous 369th regiment
    arrives home from France




    No caption WW I



    Charles Young Buffalo soldier officer.

    Buffalo Soldier” is the collective nickname given to the first African-American members of the U.S. Armed Forces. The Buffalo Soldiers, originally the 9th 10th, 24th, and 25th U.S. Military regiments, were common figures around the U.S./Mexico border during the turn of the century. Henry Flipper, the first African-American graduate of the U.S. Military Academy (1877), and Charles Young, an officer of the 9th and 10th Cavalries and the 25th Infantry, both spent time patrolling the barely tamed outpost of Fort Huachuca.

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    Sgt. George Mitchell's company (Company K of the 62nd U.S. Colored Infantry) was, according to Coddington's research, the last to fire arms in the Civil War.


    This rare portrait shows an identified Confederate noncommissioned officer, Sgt. Andrew Martin Chandler (left), and his named slave, Silas Chandler (right). It is the only Confederate photograph in the book by Rod Coddington, African American Faces of the Civil War. Born into slavery, Silas "was one of thousands of slaves who served as [body servants] during the war," writes Coddington.


    Corp. Wilson Weir was a slave when he joined the Union army at age 21. "My initial attraction to old photos was purely aesthetic, and this still continues to be the dominant motivating factor," writes Coddington. "This carte de visite meets and exceeds my criteria. ... He wears his hat at a jaunty angle, perhaps reflective of his character."
    Collection of the Beinecke Rare Book and M****cript Library, Yale University


    John and Isaiah Owens. "An absolutely wonderful cased tintype of two brothers who served in the same company in the 60th U.S. Colored Infantry," writes Coddington. "The story of the Owens brothers is poignant. Both died during the war. Isaiah succumbed of disease, and John fell from a transport and drowned in the Mississippi River."


    Sgt. Alexander Herritage Newton (left) and Sgt. Daniel S. Lathrop. "After obtaining permission to publish [this]," writes Coddington, "I discovered Newton's autobiography, Out of the Briars. This honest and able account of his life experiences is one of the best personal Civil War narratives that I have read."


    Credit Collection of the *****sburg National Military Park Museum
    Corp. Henry Gaither. "One of the few free men of color in this book when the war began, Gaither and his regiment, the 39th U.S. Colored Infantry, fought as hard as any white organization in the Union army," writes Coddington. "This is one of my favorite images in the book."


    African-American serving with the US Navy in the Civil War aboard the USS Wabash.


    This photo of Robert Walker, a young African-American “First Class Boy” dressed in a sailor’s uniform, has “Our Bob” written on the bottom.

    “First Class Boys” in the U.S. Navy were generally young men under 17 years of age. They were paid $9 per month and performed various sailor duties. African-Americans served in the Union navy from the start of the Civil War in 1861 and were fully integrated into a ship’s crew. There was little public objection since slaves and seamen shared a common low social standing. Black sailors were paid the same wages as the white crewmen in sharp contrast to the army. Most African-American sailors were northern, urban free blacks from New York or Boston. It is estimated that approximately 24,000 (16%) of the Union navy was African-American.

    Image Courtesy Wilson’s Creek National Battlefield; WICR 32071-L

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    JOINT BASE PEARL HARBOR-HICKAM (May 23, 2012) Rear Adm. Fernandez "Frank" Ponds, commander of Navy Region Hawaii, hands out diplomas at the Armed Services YMCA preschool graduation ceremony for 37 preschool children at the Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam Submarine Memorial Chapel (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Ronald Gutridge/Released)

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    HONOLULU (Feb. 2, 2013) Rear Adm. Frank Ponds, commander of Navy Region Hawaii and Naval Surface Group Middle Pacific, and his wife Carol Ponds participate in the Night in Chinatown Chinese New Year Parade. 2013 is the Year of the Snake, the sixth sign of the Chinese Zodiac which traditionally consists of 12 animal representations. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Daniel Barker/Released)

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    MAYPORT, Fla. (Feb. 7, 2013) Rear Adm. Sinclair Harris, Commander U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command and U.S. 4th Fleet, speaks with Capt. de Fragata Eduardo Torres Figueroa, commanding officer of Chilean submarine CS Simpson (SS-21). Simpson has been participating in the Navy's Diesel Electric Submarine Initiative which provides training opportunities against the real world threat of a modern, quiet, diesel-electric submarine. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Salt Cebe/Released)

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    MAYPORT, Fla. (Nov. 26, 2012) Rear Adm. Sinclair M. Harris, commander of U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command/U.S. 4th Fleet, and Chilean navy Rear Adm. Osvaldo Schwarzenberg Ashton, Commander-in-Chief of Chilean Submarine Forces, wait for the arrival of Chilean submarine Simpson (SS-21) at Naval Station Mayport. (U.S. Navy photo by Lt. Cmdr. Corey Barker/Released)

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    LOS ANGELES (Feb 1, 2013) Vice Adm. Michelle Howard, deputy commander of U.S Fleet Forces, poses for the press after receiving the Chairman's Award. The award is bestowed in recognition of special achievement and distinguished public service. Past honorees include U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Regina Benjamin, former Vice President Al Gore and then-Senator Barack Obama. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Michael O'Day/Released)

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    SAN DIEGO (Jan. 31, 2013) Lance Cpl. Jason Hallett, assigned to Naval Medical Center San Diego's (NMCSD) Wounded Warrior Battalion-West Detachment, receives a coin from Vice Adm. Michelle Howard, deputy commander, U.S. Fleet Forces. The purpose of Howard's visit was to tour the C5 facility and raise morale of wounded, ill and injured service members. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Clay M. Whaley/HIPAA Complete)


    Feb 04,2013
    Carlsbad, Ca - CARLSBAD, Calif. – John F. Farritor, a retired first sergeant and the oldest Marine in the room, bites into a birthday cake presented to him by Maj. Gen. Ronald Bailey, the 1st Marine Division commanding general, during a dinner in celebration of the 72nd anniversary of the founding of the 1st Marine Division at the Sheraton Carlsbad Resort and Spa in Carlsbad, Calif., Feb. 1, 2013. Farritor, 93-year-old member of the 1st Marine Division Association, and a resident of Vista, Calif., served as an artilleryman from 1941 to 1971. He saw action in the Korean War in the 11th Marine Regiment under the command of Maj. Gen. Oliver P. Smith. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Jacob H. Harrer)

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