Newsletters & Information > MPMA UPDATE JULY/AUGUST 2004
MPMA UPDATE JULY/AUGUST 2004

Jul 29, 2004

Fellow members, friends,

Welcome to the many new individuals on this update list.
For the benefit of the first timers receiving this update,
this email list is to be used exclusively for the passing
of information concerning the Montford Point Marine
Association. Please do not forward the names on this list
for any other purpose. Please do forward this information
to anyone you determine appropriate. Because it is so late
in the month, this update will serve as the July and August
update.

The first order of business is the death of Sergeant Major
Louis Roundtree. The services for the Sergeant Major were
held on Thursday 15 July at the chapel at Marine Corps Base
Quantico, Virginia. There were over 220 attendees and
nearly three-dozen Montford Pointers. There were also
three National Officers; our President Nathaniel James, our
National Public Relations Officer, Carmen Cordoba and
myself. Everything form the program to the actual service
was superb! During the procession to the National Cemetery
in Quantico, local, military, County and State police led
the way. Aboard base, all traffic was stopped in both
directions. Many of the law enforcement personnel saluted
as the limousines and vehicles rolled by. At the cemetery
the funeral detail executed flawlessly the flag
presentation and the firing detail. The final touch of the
bugler brought tears to the eyes of many. Sergeant Major
Roundtree’s wife, Famie, was extremely pleased in the
sendoff her husband of 35 years was given. Expressions of
condolence may still be sent to Famie at:

Mrs. Famie Roundtree

1200 Cabinwood Place

Silver Spring, MD 20904

NAACP 2004 Convention

Captain (ret) Fred Branch, the first African American
Marine Officer (10 November 1945) received a Proclamation
from the City of Philadelphia and an award from the Marine
Corps at the National NAACP convention in Philadelphia on
13 July 2004. Captain Branch has been hospitalized since 7
July and was unable to attend the luncheon in which he was
honored. It was my pleasure to accept on behalf of Captain
Branch. Brigadier General Cornell Wilson and Charles
Morrison, Executive Vice President of Uni World were in
attendance and Captain Branch received a standing ovation
for his pioneering accomplishment. Also in attendance was
original Montford Pointer Holsey Gillis from the
Philadelphia Chapter. Mr. Gillis was interviewed by the
Associated Press and by America’s Black Forum for a future
airing. Mr. Gillis also participated in a special tribute
to African Americans in the military at the convention.
Many thanks to our friends at the Uni World Group for not
only promoting the Marine Corps, but the Montford Point
Marine’s story during the Convention, specifically, Michael
Montgomery, Deryck Thompson & Robin West. These
individuals went all out to make sure the Montford Point
Story was told.

Convention 2004

Convention 2004 was a huge success. Special thanks go to
local convention coordinator, DC Chapter 6 President (and
MPMA 2004 Man-of-the-year) William Wilbur, who worked
tirelessly to ensure all in attendance enjoyed their stay
in Arlington VA, Some highlights of the convention:

$500,000 approval form Congress to film a documentary on
Montford Point.
16 Original Montford Pointers stories were video taped for
the Museum and documentary.
A group picture of the convention group at the Marine
Memorial (Iwo Jima).
A special tribute to Montford Point evening that included a
breath taking first person recital of the story of Montford
Point by Marine Captain Michael Williams.
A spectacular banquet in which nearly 90 Original Montford
Pointers were in attendance. THE Marine Band (The
President’s Own) provided pre-banquet and ceremonial music.
Brigadier General Mary Ann Krusa-Dossin (Commandant’s
Public Affairs Officer) was the guest speaker and gave a
motivational and well-received talk about the progress of
African Americans and Women in the Marine Corps. Also,
Brigadier General Cornell Wilson and Willie Williams were
in attendance. Lieutenant Colonel Denice Williams again
served as our Mistress of Ceremonies and did a splendid job
of ensuring the entire evening went smoothly.
The unveiling of the Final Roll Call book by Dr. Herman
Rhett was a huge success and contributed greatly to the
large gathering of Original Montford Pointers.
A personal appearance by the Author of the book “We Were
There” Yvonne Latty who personally signed each book sold.
Original Montford Pointer Thomas McPhatter is feature in
her book.
Re-election of all incumbent officers; Public Relations
(Carmen Cordoba), Special Projects George Herring),
Sergeant-at-Arms L.E. Mike Johnson), Scholarship Director
(PNP Gene Doughty). And Veteran Affairs (Leo Taylor).
The Chicago Chapter captured the Queen title from Camp
Lejeune.
Maryland 17 received Chapter of the Year honors.
Man of the Year went to William Wilbur (DC6) and James
Stewart (MD 28).
James Calendar award went to Master Sergeant Donna Coursey
(DC 6)
Gilbert “Hashmark” Johnson Award went to National Treasurer
Houston Shinal (Camp Lejeune 10)
The Semper Fidelis Award went to Major Brian Milan.
Woman of the Year went to Past New York Chapter President
Alexandria Johnson (NY).
2004 Hall of Fame inductees were: Major General (ret)
Clifford Stanley, Lieutenant Colonel Demetrius Bellizare,
Mr William I. Forman Sr., Mr. Leo Taylor & Mr. McFall C.
Gourdine.
Appointment of a National Quartermaster (PNVP Elijah
Abram).

Final Roll Call

There are still copies of the Final Roll Call available as
well as posters and other items surrounding Dr. Rhett’s
project. To order to Final Roll Call Book, please send
$35.00 plus $6.00 S/H to:

Herman Rhett, PNP

Post Office Box 3266

Laurel, MD 20708

Please make check payable to: “MPM Final Roll Call” For
questions: call 301-725-0111

Miscellaneous

We are rapidly approaching the Marine Birthday Ball season.
Please inform both the National Public Relations Officer,
Carmen Cordoba, cordobac@aol.com 703-784-6407, and National
Recording Secretary, Regina Lawrence, reginab@aol.com
804-279-3589, the particulars of birthday celebrations and
any other activities in your area.

Please see your local chapter presidents for copies of all
the reports that were submitted during the convention. The
site of Convention 2005 will be Chicago. Chapter President
Norman Payne has a very detailed plan to make sure that
Convention 2005 is as productive and enjoyable as
Convention 2004. Detailed information about Spring Council
2005 & Convention 2005 will be passed as soon as it is
available.

I have attached an Application for Membership for our
association to this update. Please fill free to tailor this
application to fit your individual Chapter needs. Our
membership year runs from 31 August – 1 September. This
means that membership dues are due for individuals who are
paying annually. Recruiting new members is of course the
Lifeblood of our Association and cannot be emphasized
enough. I sincerely believe that many of the projects your
Executive Council and select chapters have been working the
past few years will come to fruition within our next year
and we need as many paid up members as possible to help us
move these projects forward. Please do not put off any
longer renewing or becoming current in your membership.
‘nuff said.

Please continue to visit the national website at:
www.montfordpointmarines.com the Maryland site at
www.mpma28.com and the new New York site at:
http://www.mpmanyc.com/

Finally, a very special thank you to the members of DC6 for
making Convention 2004 on of the most well attended,
memorable conventions in recent memory. The bar has now
been set slightly higher for future conventions. We are
still looking for a Chapter to host Convention 2006.
Hosting a Convention will be the most challenging and
rewarding event that a Chapter can do. The National Office
and the National Convention Director stand ready to assist
you in this endeavor. If your Chapter is interested, your
CHAPTER President must contact either the National
President or myself to discuss.

Please continue to do all that you do to Preserve the
Legacy of our heroes!

Semper Fidelis!
Joe Geeter

Master Gunnery Sergeant (retired)

National Vice President

Montford Point Marine Association

Joe Geeter
27 Red Tail Court
Limerick, PA 19468

610 495 3619 Hm
610 337 7000 ext 7797 wk

 JAMES E STEWART JR PRESIDENT

JOHN TILLMAN VICE PRESIDENT

Historical advisor Byron Stewart PhD

 

5708 CHRIS MAR AVE
CLINTON MARYLAND, 20735
240-535-5580
oklamarine@aol.com
 
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