Montford Point Marine Association Inc. National Update March 2006
Greetings supporters and members! What a successful Black History month for our Association! Many Chapters; to include Detroit, Louisville, Indianapolis, Quantico and Metro Missouri put on excellent, well-attended events that highlighted the service of the Original Montford Pointers. I was fortunate to attend a few of these events and I was extremely proud of the membership of this Association!
Membership:Our membership numbers are steadily climbing. Please encourage those supporters that have been sitting on the fence for far too long that now is the time to stand up and show you support to the Men who made it possible for so many of us to achieve success in the Marine Corps and in life. Please don’t hesitate another day, we need your membership now!
Please click on the below link for a super news clip put together by Marine Sergeant Jimmy Bention of the Navy Media Center. Special thanks to Sergeant Bention for going all out for the story! http://www.news.navy.mil/management/videodb/player/video.aspx?ID=6534
Chapter Events Quantico, Chapter #32. The Quantico Chapter will partner with the Quantico Chapter of the National Naval Officers Association (NNOA) for their Spring Golf Tournament. Tournament is scheduled for March 24 with an 8:00 AM shotgun start. Tournament will be held aboard MCB Quantico at the Medal of Honor Golf Course. Tourney fee is $60.00 and covers 18 holes, lunch, beverages, goodie bag and many raffles. To reserve a player/team slot, contact Mr Charles Latimer (MPMA) at 540-729-8401 or Lieutenant Colonel Tommy Scott (NNOA) at 703-432-1449.
Their special guest at their monthly General Body meeting was Original Montford Pointer, Past National President, retired Master Gunnery Sergeant and author of the Final Roll Call, Dr Herman Rhett. The Final Roll Call is a commemorative booklet that lists the names, photos, thoughts and comments of many of the living Original Marines that were trained at Montford Point Camp from 1942 through 1949. The booklet's purpose is to promote national recognition of the Montford Point Marines for their contribution and loyalty to our Country, and the United States Marine Corps The booklet contains a directory of names, addresses, and Marine Corps units served, and whenever possible, pictures are included. The Final Roll Call Commemorative booklet that was unveiled at the 2004 Annual National Convention held in Washington DC. This was also Dr Rhett’s birthday and the Quantico Chapter surprised him with gifts and treats at their meeting.
Louisville Chapter #22 Hosted their 2ND Annual Covington-Hagan Scholarship Banquet and Dinner Show on March 11th in honor of John T. Covington and John W. Hagas, founders of the Louisville Chapter of the MPMA. The guest speaker was Colonel Kenneth Dunn USMC retired a graduate of the United States Naval Academy. The Dinner Show entertainment was provided by International Jazz song stylist Ms. Janis Carter, both of whom are native Louisvillians. The event was a rousing success.
Chicago Chapter #2 the following event will take place the Chicago Chapter clubhouse at 7011 South Vincennes in Chicago on March 18th- Salute to Women in Defense of our Nation (ceremony and panel discussion) 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. Keynote Speaker will be Dr. Irene Trowell-Harris, R.N., Ed.D, Major General (Ret) Panelist include – Dr. Irene Trowell-Harris, R.N., Ed.D, Major General (Ret)Command Sergeant Major Michele S. Jones Dr. Jeanne Douglas, Oak Park Vet Dr. Janet M. Kamer, PhD, Colonel, US Air Force Lane Knox, Program Manager, IDES For more information, please contact Rochelle Crump at 312-814-2744.
The Central Region Chapters recently met and elected Anthony A. Chestang as their new Central Regional Vice President, Tony sends kudos to the Indianapolis Chapter for hosting a fantastic Central Regional meeting Saturday Feb. 24-25. Thanks to all who participated. There were five chapters represented from the region, Chicago, Detroit, Indianapolis, Louisville and St. Louis#13. Tony is also happy to announce that the Louisville Ladies Auxiliary has been reinstated. He wants to personally thank Past Central Regional Vice President Charles Stallard for the many contributions to MPMA and the central region while serving as Regional Vice President and Tony is looking forward to working with all of the chapters in the central region, to promote, preserve and protect the legacy of those whom serve before us.
Metro Missouri: The Metro Missouri Chapter will very soon retire its colors and merge with the St Louis Chapter #13. Tony Chestang will remain Chapter President of the St Louis Chapter #13 and is looking forward to working with the members who have come over from Metro Missouri. This action should be applauded throughout the Association for proving our motto that Working Together Works!!!!
Black History Month Program: The Association sent representatives to HBCU Huston-Tillotson University in Austin, Texas on February 24th and 25th that were recognized by the Department of Defense and Huston-Tillotson University. Events included a reception where HBCU Presidents, Senior Department of Defense Leaders and elected officials like Major General Walter Gaskin and others mingled. Original Montford Pointers, Lieutenant Colonel ret Joseph Carpenter, 1stSgt retired Barnett Person, 1stSgt Ellis Cunningham, 1stSgt retired Jack McDowell, retired Master Gunnery Sergeant Robert Reid and myself were in attendance. Special thanks to Air Force Major Marvin R. Jordan, Deputy Director, Military Equal Opportunity, Office of the Deputy under Secretary of Defense for reaching out to the Association for participation. Also, special thanks to Connice Wilson who coordinated the logistics of getting us all to Austin for this event. Major Jordan will retire from the Air Force in Ceremonies at the Pentagon on 30 March 2006. We wish Major Jordan well in retirement and transition as he will make his new home in the Phoenix area. Please click on the below link for a super story by Rudi Williams, DOD Photojournalist. http://www.defenselink.mil/news/Feb2006/20060228_4347.html
San Antonio Black History Month Program: Colonel Herbert L. Brewer, one of the senior Officers to enlist and train at Montford Point, gave a very well received presentation at St Phillips College in San Antonio, Texas on February 13th. Colonel Brewer was the very first African American Colonel in the Marine Corps Reserve and is still very active in his community telling the story of the Montford Pointers. Thank you Colonel for being a one-person Chapter in the San Antonio area!!!
Quantico Black History Month Dinner Program: The sell-out Quantico Black History Month Program was a fantastic event. The Naval Academy Gospel Choir opened the event and Former President Clinton’s Personal Secretary, Mrs. Betty Currie, gave a very motivating and entertaining account of her years in the White House. The Howard University Drama Club performed a moving short play about recently deceased author and playwright, August Wilson. There were many MPMA Association members from Quantico, DC-6, Camp Lejeune Chapter #10 and the New York Chapter in attendance to support this event. Long time supporter Lieutenant Colonel Dawn Harrison became an official member of the Quantico Chapter that night. The Quantico Chapter is now boasting over 55 members in just in just four months after their reemergence. Congratulations to Bill Jones and his committee for again putting on the premier Black History Month program in the greater DC area!!!!!
Spring Council: The dates for the Spring Council have been set. The Council will be held in Jacksonville, North Carolina April 6th-9th 2006 with the 6th and the 9th being travel days. Hotel information: 22 rooms have been reserved at the Conference Suites. The number is 910-346-8900 and the room rate is $71.00 plus taxes.
Awards: Chapter Presidents have the Award Recommendation package sent out by Awards Committee Chairperson, Nat Hosea. Award recommendations are due in writing at the Spring Council. Please do not delay in ensuring the appropriate members are recommended for their outstanding work to our Association.
The Agenda for the Spring Council has been sent to Chapter Presidents by our National Recording Secretary. If there are any changes or recommendations to the agenda, please contact me directly.
Convention 2006: Convention 2006 will also be in Jacksonville, North Carolina. Dates are July 26th through the 30th with the 26th and 30th as travel days. National Convention Director and Past President Nathaniel James and the members of Chapter #10 are working hard to finalize events. Along with the Conference Suites, the Holiday Inn, 910-347-1900 $85.00 plus taxes and the Innkeeper, 910-938-0800 $71.00 plus taxes have been reserved. Please make your reservations for both early.
Museum Director, Finney Greggs has announced that the premier of the Montford Point Documentary Film will be on Saturday, 29 July. More details will follow as they are received. Finney will send a special letter to Chapter Presidents encouraging Original Montford Point Marines to attend this much anticipated premier.
Convention 2007: We are still looking for a Convention site for Convention 2007. Chapters are asked to work together for a possible joint convention and to also look into non-chapter sites. It is important to have a site locked down at the Spring Council. If your Chapter is interested, please be prepared to present to the National Executive Council at the Spring Council.
National Quartermaster: National Quartermaster, Elijah Abram has the brand new 51st and 52d Defense Battalion coins for sale now. Coins are only $8.00 plus shipping and handling. Abe also has the official MPMA patch that can be either worn or displayed. Patches are $10.00 each. Additionally, Abe has the pullover golf shirts for $35.00 plus lettering and shipping. Abe has reduced the price of previously issued coins to $5.00 each. Please contact Abe at 843-838-5475 or for more details. Coins make a great presentation to speakers and folks that have contributed to your Chapter’s mission.
National Chaplain: Reverend James Moore is asking Chapter Presidents or representatives to bring with them a list of members who have passed since our last Convention to the Spring Council so he may begin planning the memorial portion of the National Banquet. Reverend Moore also would like to remind us to contact him immediately after the death or serious illness of members so that he may provide prompt communication with the family. Reverend Moore may be reached at 843-846-0881 or email at: firstname.lastname@example.org
National Recording Secretary: Regina Lawrence would like to remind Chapters to submit update rosters at a minimum of twice a year or when there are significant changes, especially after local elections. In order to save on postage, we need current addresses. Additionally it is requested that all requests for membership cards go through your local Chapter President to prevent duplicate mailings.
Queens Tickets: Please see your chapter representative for your Queens Tickets. The Queens Contest is the National Office’s premier fundraiser for the year and funds our scholarship efforts as well as our operating costs. It is also an excellent opportunity for the local Chapters to raise money for their local initiatives. Just a few years ago Camp Lejeune Chapter #10 took home over $4,000.00 in rebates!!! Chapters are required by our National by-laws to raise a minimum of $500.00 to remain financial and to keep their voting rights at the National Convention. Tickets sale for $1.00 each or $25.00 for a book of 25. The raffle takes place at the National Convention and the winners need not be present. My offer to fill out the raffle tickets for those who purchase through me still stands.
NAACP National Convention: Will be held from 15-20 July 2006 in Washington, DC at the Washington Convention Center. More information will be passed as it is received. We scheduled our National Convention purposely not to conflict with the NAACP. To receive a registration for the Convention call 410-580-5780 and leave your full name and complete mailing address. Please visit www.naacp.org for the latest information with the NAACP.
2d Annual Black Marine Reunion. The Second Annual Black Marine Reunion will take place June 8th-10th in the Quantico Virginia area. Reunion will include a tour of Quantico and a visit to the Marine Barracks for a Sunset Parade. For more information and prices, please contact Ms. Ella Washington at 252-466-2172.
12th Annual Cherry Point Black Marine Retirees Reunion will be held August 18th-20th in Orlando Florida. The host hotel will be the Holiday Inn in Altamonte Springs, FL 407-862-4455. Please contact John Veney Sr, at 407-358-9550 for more information
In Search Of: Sam Dolan, a Producer with Flight 33 Television, is looking for veterans from the 5th Pioneer Battalion who served on Iwo Jima in 1945 and who participated in the March 25th-26th defense of the airfields during the major Japanese assault on the island. Mr. Dolan is producing a History Channel program on Iwo Jima and can be reached at 661-644-6430 or email@example.com Mr. Dolan is rapidly approaching his deadline so please contact him ASAP if you con contribute to his documentary!
General Officer Happenings; Major General Walter Gaskin will take Command of the 3d Marine Division on 16 June 2006. This marks the very first time an African American has lead a Marine Division! Brigadier General Ronald Coleman was recently selected to Major General. General Coleman is the first African American Officer to lead a Regiment in Combat as he did recently in Iraq. Colonel Ronald L. Bailey, Commanding Officer, Expeditionary Warfare School, Quantico, VA., was recently selected to Brigadier General and is awaiting his next assignment for HQMC Major General Cornell, Wilson, General Gaskin, Brigadier General select Bailey and many others from MPE branch and HQMC participated in this year’s CIAA Basketball Tournament in Charlotte, NC. Please click on the below link for the full story; http://www.marines.mil/marinelink/mcn2000.nsf/main5/75A367C5A9F7E2E08525712B00733291?opendocument
Life member and the year 2000 recipient of the NAACP Roy Wilkins award, Lieutenant Colonel Don Thanars will retire from the Marine Corps on March 31st in ceremonies at Marine Forces Reserve Headquarters New Orleans. The Colonel was an active member of the Beaufort Chapter and we wish him and his family well as they transition from the Active ranks!
As always, please continue to check our official website for more information throughout the Association at www.montfordpointmarines.com . Please also check chapter sites at: www.mpma28.com , http://www.mpmanyc.com and www.montfordpointchicagochapter2.org
Please continue to do all that you do to Preserve the Legacy of our heroes!
Joe Geeter Master Gunnery Sergeant (retired) National President, Montford Point Marine Association 27 Red Tail Court Limerick, PA 19468 firstname.lastname@example.org 610-495-3619