Within these pages, you’ll get to know the warriors, past and present, of the finest infantry battalion of the United States Marine Corps, and the courageous chaplains and corpsmen of the United States Navy who care, or have cared, for them.
We hope you’ll enjoy looking through the site, getting to know us and seeing what we’re all about. We’ve been going strong since 1988 and getting stronger every year. Our membership includes Marines from all corners of the United States having served from private to commandant, all of whom share the pride and privilege of having earned the title "United States Marine,” “Chaplain” and those few who earned another title, equally honored and deeply esteemed by Marines, the simple, three-letter title of "Doc."
Once you've navigated your way around the site, please feel free to make suggestions and let us know what you think. Those of you who have been either assigned or attached to the 2nd Battalion, 4th Marines of all eras, please consider taking membership and letting your friends know about us.
MEMORIAL BRICK PROJECT FUND RAISER
Honor all Magnificent Bastards who paid the final price defending our Nation. We plan to place a brick honoring every 2/4 Marine or sailor killed in action or died of a wound since 1911. Please help complete this mission by contributing now. Click here to learn how.
LCPL PATRICK GALLAGHER SHIP NAMING PROJECT
LCpl Gallagher, Hotel Company, 2/4, valiantly gave his life to protect his buddies in March 1967 by covering an enemy grenade with his body. He received the Navy Cross for his action. The citation may be viewed here. Scroll down to Navy Cross - Vietnam > Lance Corporal Patrick Gallagher [click on the red star].
LCpl Gallagher was an Irish national from County Mayo and is buried there. There is a movement afoot to honor him by having a US Naval vessel named after him. Please click the flyer for more information. You can sign in and add your signature to the petition at www.patrickgallagherusmc.info so that we may further honor one of our own.
Additionally, if you know of any person in a position to assist in getting this project accomplished, please contact:
SEARCHING FOR THOSE WHO MIGHT REMEMBER /LCPL MIKE R. MARNALSE
David Marnalse is searching for someone who may remember his brother LCpl Mike Marnalse, Fox Company, who participated in the Battle of Dai Do. If so, please contact Brooks Wilson or Becky Valdez for contact information. David was a 2/9 Marine after Vietnam and never had the opportunity to know what his brother experienced. Mike is now deceased [January 2012] and David desires some closure. He hopes to attend the 2018 reunion, but would like to touch base with anyone who knew Mike in those days.
I recently attended the annual awards ceremony on 14 December 2016 at Camp Mateo [Camp Pendleton] for 2/4. This annual event allows the Association to present very nice awards to the best of the best Marines and sailors in all ranks. The Battalion Commander, LtCol Greene, graciously allowed me to make the presentations and say a few words to the formation about the Association. I also attended the battalion’s Birthday Ball the next evening at the Pala Casino Spa Resort southeast of Pendleton. It was a beautiful evening and attended by not only the Battalion, but the attached units of the BLT which had just returned from a WestPac deployment. I can assure you that our Marines and sailors are fit and impressive! The guest speaker at the Ball was the Sergeant Major of the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force, SgtMaj Brad Kasal. SgtMaj Kasal is one of those Marines you can definitely look up to! He has never been married except to the Corps. He is the recipient of the Navy Cross and two Purple Hearts. His remarks were pointed at the individual and one’s responsibility to himself, his country and his Corps. By the end of the presentation, we were all ready to charge a hill!
I had the opportunity to talk with the Family Readiness Officer, Mark Sperling, a 30 year Marine himself, about where the Marine Corps was today. Many things have changed, more that I ever would have expected. They no longer have diary clerks, SRB clerks, legal clerks, etc. All clerks are now one MOS and expected to eventually learn all the aspects of administration. Company offices are no longer in the company barracks, but on the first deck of the battalion headquarters. Much of the administration has been combined and consolidated under the auspices of the Battalion. Though most administration has been computerized, there is now more to do than before which is so often the case. Computers make things easier thus it allows more things to be added to the mix. You just can’t win!
The Battalion expects to receive their first female officer and enlisted early next year. Mark was not particularly concerned about this. His opinion was that after the initial "shock" of having women in the infantry units, things would settle down and everyone would make it work. He has a lot of experience with things like this, so I would like to think he is correct. I also spoke with the Battalion Chaplain and our Chaplain Frank Valdez about prayer in the military. Though prayer is still allowed, I guess one could say it has become non-secularized. The 2/4 Chaplain said he had Protestants, Methodists, Episcopalians, Baptists, Roman Catholics, Orthodox segments, Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, Wiccans and even Druids. If I understood Frank Valdez correctly, the words "Jesus" and "Christ" are not allowed to be included in prayers.
I do see our Marines and sailors today being every bit as "gungho" and well trained as we were at that age. Each company is now trained to do a specific job; i.e., one company is trained primarily in boat tactics, another in helo tactics and another in mountain warfare. I believe the CO said they had visited and trained in 13 different countries during their employment and had helped those countries with training their respective militaries. All in all, my visit was a real eye opener! Also available for viewing were several of the infantry weapons used in our Battalion. The SAW is being replaced by a lighter weight IAR [I would guess that acronym stands for Infantry Assault Rifle, but I neglected to ask]. It is lighter weight than the SAW and looks like an automatic capable AR-15 style weapon. I also spoke with a sniper. His choice of sound suppressors was eye opening! Those things are quite long and business like, you might say. The one on the new IAR actually had a twist ring on it that allowed the shooter to take the suppressor off with one twist. The suppressor slips over the muzzle brake rather than requiring the shooter to use a tool to remove one and add the other. Very nice!
On 20 January, I traveled back down to Camp Pendleton to witness LtCol Greene being replaced by LtCol Warren Cook, Jr. As the new Battalion Commander. I wanted to attend this event in order to thank LtCol Greene for keeping the Association close and supporting us so well. I also wanted to get to know LtCol Cook with the hopes that he will continue our association in a positive and spirited manner. I think we can be assured he will do so. LtCol Greene will be attending the Naval War College this summer. We wish his lovely wife, Cara, and him all the success for their future.
Switching gears, Colin Heaton is planning to make a memory book for the 50th Dai Do Anniversary Celebration in May 2018. He asks that all who participated in that battle consider sending him pictures and memories as soon as possible so he has time to develop the information for the book. Pictures should be no less than 600 dpi if sent to him via internet. Otherwise, please send all materials to:
Heaton-Lewis Books, LLC
Attn: Colin Heaton II
2326 Monroe Street
Wilmington, NC 28401
I presently have a list of all former 2/4 sergeants major on the web site, but many of the dates they served are incomplete / unavailable. I have asked the last four sergeants major of the Battalion to help, but they have been understandably busy. I asked member Dale Robinson if he had the ability to do this, but he did not have the access necessary to do this. He gave me the name of a colonel who had worked at HQMC, but, when called, he did not answer his phone. Recently I asked General Weise if he had any contacts, but he did not, saying that it would probably take someone in the area researching unit diaries for these dates. I am in need of someone in the Quantico area who might have the time to research dates. The names are available, so perhaps these men could be researched through record books. I realize that privacy issues may prevail, but possibly there is a way to get around that. If there is anyone in the Quantico area with time to spend helping on this project, please let me know and we can go from there. My contact information is under OFFICERS / STAFF on our web site. E-mail to: Brooks@ADanceofLight.com
One final note. Colonel Jim Williams has been "doing the duty" as our Liaison Officer to the active Battalion. He has asked to be relieved of his duties due to personal issues. While at the 2/4 Ball, I asked Phil Skaggs to step up and take the job. Phil now lives less than 30 minutes away from Pendleton and is positioned to do a good job. Thank you, Phil, for stepping up to the plate and thank you Colonel Williams for representing us over the years.
I wish you all a great new year. It has obviously started off with a positive bang! Colleen and I, for two, are very excited that we now have well respected Marine general officers running three vital billets of our government [Department of Defense, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and Department of Homeland Security]. We wish President and Mrs. Trump great success in working to turn our Nation in the right direction.
Semper fi & Anchors Aweigh,