Happy New Years to All! New Years is a great opportunity to set goals and make resolutions. As we approach the busiest time of year for our Association I ask each and every one of you to continue to do what you can to assist in moving our organization from relative obscurity to the general public to a level of familiarity that other Veterans Groups enjoy. In order to do this we must all work a little harder to make the masses aware of our story. To that end I would like to challenge all to take advantage of the month of February, Black History Month, to include the Montford Pointers in your local celebrations.
I know that Major General Cornell Wilson will be traveling to Beaufort, South Carolina to address the Tri Commands there and he is planning on talking to the audience about the late Sergeant Major Louis Roundtree. I plan on doing the same at the many Black History Month programs I plan to attend. I would also like to offer congratulations to General Wilson on his promotion to Major General! General Wilson has been a relentless supporter of the Association over the past 5 years and attended the DC6 Marine Corps Birthday celebration in the DC area in November.
Captain (ret) Sam Saxton, Former National President MPMA and original Montford Pointer will be the keynote speaker at Quantico’s Dr. Martin Luther King Commemorative Service on Wednesday, 19 January 2005 at the Quantico Chapel. The event starts at 10:00am. Sam is a terrific speaker that really engages the audience. If you are in the area, please make plans to attend this event.
The Quantico Black History Month Program will be on Saturday, 26 February at the Clubs of Quantico from 5 pm – 9 pm (dancing from 9 pm – 11 pm). The meal includes beef and chicken so you will have both on your plate. This event continues to be a sell-out every year. I plan on attending for the third year and once again the committee has allowed me to do a presentation to the guest speaker on behalf of the Association. Tickets are $40.00 per and may be purchased through Master Sergeant (retired) William “Bill” Jones. Bill may be reached at 301-342-8263 or by email William.firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bill Jones was recently selected to participate in a major Department of Defense advertising campaign that targets adult influencers of school age children between 14 & 17. Bill was selected to this program because of impeccable military career and his vast community service. Congratulations to Bill and thanks for always including The Montford Point Marine Association in your programs!!
Jeff Gray, son of our beloved founder Master Gunnery Sergeant Brooks E. Gray Jr., recently committed to donating a plethora of Awards, Certificates, Medals and Books from the personal collection of Brooks to the Montford Point Museum. This permanent loan gift was also made with the blessings of Brook’s widow, Melvin Gray. There are over 40 different items in this donation and we cannot thank the Gray family enough for sharing these items with the many thousands of folks that will trek through our Museum at Camp Montford Point (Camp Johnson) North Carolina. It is only though acts of unselfishness like this will we reach our goal of National Recognition. Sometime this spring, a building will be dedicated at Camp Montford Point in the name of Brooks Gray. Further information on the exact date will be published as soon as it is made public.
Former Marine Captain and Marine Corps Diversity Manager, Ron Bickerstaff, recently included a picture of Montford Pointers in an advertising campaign for National Blood Donors Month. Throughout his career Ron has worked diligently to ensure the story of Montford Pointers was told in and outside the Marine Corps. Ron was instrumental in the first documentary “The Men of Montford Point” and other videos including “Profiles in Leadership”, which featured Generals Williams (Leo), Stanley, Bolden and Fields. Ron was also responsible for a four-page spread on Montford Point and African Americans in the Marines that appeared in Ebony Magazine a few years back. For all his work Ron was the 1998 recipient of the NAACP’s Roy Wilkens Award At their National Convention in Atlanta. Thanks Ron for your continued support!!
Our official website is also still in the process of being updated. National Public Relations Officer, Master Sergeant Carmen Cordoba, has begun giving our site its new look. Please provide her with the necessary information she requests to keep this site current. Check out the site at: www.montfordpointmarines.com .
MD Chapter 28 President James Stewart continues to give his chapter’s website new looks and new information. Please continue to visit this site at http://www.mpma28.com/ and take a few moments to sign in the guest book your comments on the site. This website has generated many leads that have helped us educated folks about who we are. Recently, Carolyn Ferren and I consulted on beautiful written article for the Cincinnati Herald newspaper from a lead from this website. Carolyn’s site has served for years as one of the premier sites for information about the Montford Point Marines. Please visit her site at; www.geocities.com/nubiansong/montford.htm
The NY Chapter MPMA Website has been updated. Please visit and take a look. The New York Chapter is working hard to share local information and activities involving the Chapter, as well as that of the National, or sister Chapters as it is made available. Point of Contact in New York is;
MGySgt James Carr (USMC-Ret) Communications-Website. http://www.mpmanyc.com http://leatherneckball.org
Chapters should have received their compliment of Queens Raffle Tickets to sell by now. The Queens Contest is our premier National Fundraiser. Besides raising money for our National Scholarship commitment and to help with operating costs, this fundraiser should be viewed as an excellent opportunity to raise money and awareness of our individual chapters. Chapters are required to raise a minimum of $500.00 each to remain financial with the National Office. Chapters that are not financial will not have any voting privileges at the National Spring Council or National Convention. Tickets are $1.00 each for a grand prize of $2500.00 cash with 2d place receiving$ 500.00 and 3rd place getting $300.00. Please see your chapter representative for tickets.
Louisville, Chapter #22 is sponsoring its first scholarship banquet Saturday, March 12 2005 at Masterson’s Restaurant located at 1830 South third Street, Louisville, KY. They have named the event in honor of John T. Covington and John W. Hagan, two deceased members who were instrumental in the success of the Louisville Chapter over the years. For further information please contact Charles Stallard, Chapter 22 President and Regional Vice President at; PO Box 36382 Louisville, KY 40232. Charles may also be reached at home at 502-231-0132 or by Cell 502-550-2453 and by email email@example.com. Louisville always puts on world-class events and this should be no different.
Spring Council dates in Chicago are; 6-9 April 2005. Chicago has blocked out 25-30 Rooms, for the spring council meeting. Point of contact is Chapter Vice President MSgt Retired Racine Wilson at 312-217-4162. The site of the Spring Council will be the Hyatt Regency McCormick Place. The phone number is 800-233-1234. Be sure to mention that you are part of the Montford Point Marine Association.
The Spring Council is where we layout our plan for the upcoming year and review reports from the past year. Chapters are reminded to have their reports ready and in sufficient copies for the council. Chapters are also reminded that Award Nominations are due in writing at the Spring Council. Please consult your by-laws for award type and criteria. Also, due at the council are nominations for those seeking National Office. Those offices up for election (reelection) this year are National President, National Vice President, Recording Secretary, Financial Secretary and Treasurer. Please send updated chapter rosters to Regina Lawrence, National Recording Secretary BEFORE the Spring Council so that she may update the National Roster.
Convention Chicago 2005
The dates for our 40th Annual Convention are 13-17 July 2005 with the 13th and the 17th being travel days. Chicago is hard at work to make our 40th Convention as memorable as the DC Convention, which set the bar high!! We’ll see you in Chi for 05!
We are still searching for a Chapter or Chapters to host Convention 2006. If you are interested, please contact the National President or myself as soon as possible.
Major Pat Johnson, long time member of the DC6 Chapter, was recently selected to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel!!! Major Johnson has been a fixture at many Association events over the past decade. I had the pleasure of serving with then Captain Johnson during my tour in Beaufort and she always brings enthusiasm and order to events she is involved in. Congratulations Pat on your selection!!!
Former National Vice President and Beaufort Chapter President, Elijah is our new National Quartermaster. “Abe” may be reached at 843-838-5475. Please coordinate all official MPMA items for sell through Mr. Abram. Abe and Former National Public Relations Officer, Master Gunnery Sergeant Taylor, are busy working on the final of our trilogy of coins for the 2005 Convention in Chicago. Additionally, for the first time there will be a Special Coin minted for the Ladies Auxiliary. There are still a few of the Commemorative Drill Instructor Coins left.
Montford Point Covers are available from Keystone Uniform Cap, 801 North Front Street, Philadelphia, PA 19123. Voice 215-922-5493, Fax 215-922-5161. Keystone knows our regulations and the point of contact is Edith. Caps are approximately $27.00 plus shipping.
Many of our Association members are members of numerous Veterans Groups. I encourage all to bring MPMA information to their veteran’s groups meetings and convention to help spread the word on our group. The Marine Corps League will hold their South East Divisional Conference March 10-13 2005 in Atlanta, Georgia. We are close to having on of their chapters named in honor of Sergeant Major Roundtree because one of their members (Robert “Moon” Mullins) is also a member of Montford Point and served with the Sergeant Major.
This update continues to grow in scope and information and I encourage all to continue to feed me and our National Public Relations Officer information on what’s happening in your area.
Please continue to do all that you do to Preserve the Legacy of our heroes!