Newsletters & Information > MPMA National Update March 2006
MPMA National Update March 2006

Mar 17, 2006

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!

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

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
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

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:

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

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 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
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
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;

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 . Please also check chapter
sites at: , and

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

Semper Fidelis!

Joe Geeter
Master Gunnery Sergeant (retired)
National President, Montford Point Marine Association
27 Red Tail Court Limerick, PA 19468



Historical advisor Byron Stewart PhD


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