Newsletters & Information > National Update June 2006
National Update June 2006

Jun 13, 2006

Montford Point Marine Association Inc. National Update June
Greetings fellow members, supporters,

Convention 2006 is less than 50 days away! If you are
planning on attending part or all of the convention, please
send your registration package in very soon. Rooms and
tickets are going extremely fast and we want all to be able
to attend the events of your choice.

Sergeant Major James McCargo was buried with full military
honors on May 20th 2006. The Sergeant Major was only the
second African American to attain the rank of Sergeant
Major as we know it today. An original Montford Pointer,
Sergeant Major McCargo served in World War II, Korea and
Vietnam. Major General J. Gary Cooper
recently sent this to me in an email:
Sergeant Major McCargo ---A Great Marine!!! I am sad today
to read of the passing of Jim McCargo. He was my First
Sergeant in the Marine Detachment on the USS Chicago
(CG-11) in 1964. Our time together could be a case study of
how an experienced Montford Point Marine helped guide and
teach a young Captain how to become a better Officer. I
will always be grateful to those of you who led the way.
Semper Fi!!!! J. Gary Cooper MajGen USMCR (ret)
Our National Vice President, Mike Johnson, led a contingent
of Montford Point Marine Association members to the
service. Mike, along with Original Montford Pointer Master
Gunnery Sergeant retired Robert Reid, National Special
Projects Officer, George Herring and Robert Stevenson
served as Pall Bearers. San Diego Chapter member and
Original Montford Pointer Sergeant Major William “Movin”
Vann and his wife Evanglia, also attended. The Sergeant
Major will be widely remembered as a person who constantly
and eloquently promoted the story of the Men from Montford
Point. He will be greatly missed………………

Captain Frederick C. Branch honor: I recently attended
dedication ceremonies at Dobbins High School in North
Philadelphia were the Science Wing was named in honor of
Captain Branch, the first African American Marine Officer.
Also in attendance were National Financial Secretary, David
Fortune, Original Montford Pointer and 1st National Special
Projects Officer, John “Zeke” Clouser and Original Montford
Pointer Al Brown. We would like to thank Dobbins Alumni
President and Philadelphia “Teacher of The Year” Carolyn
Monson, for her efforts spearheading this event. Carolyn
is an awesome educator and we are fortunate for the effort
she put in making this dedication possible.

Convention 2006: Convention Host Chapter and Camp Lejeune
Chapter President, Nat James is reminding all to make your
hotel reservations IMMEDIATELY. The hotel is quickly
running out of rooms. Dates for our 41st Annual Convention
are 26-30 July 2006 with the 26th and the 30th being travel
days. Camp Lejeune is hard at work to make our 41st
Convention a successful event! Registration packages have
been sent out to Chapters detailing the events and cost.

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. Convention
information should arrive in the mail very shortly. One of
the delays was that we do not have an accurate mailing list
because chapters have not provided our National Recording
Secretary with the most current information.

Please visit at Please visit often
to learn the absolute latest information on Convention 2006
and what’s happening with Chapter #10

All vendors at the site of the Convention MUST get
permission from the National Quartermaster, Elijah Abram.
An associated fee, as proposed by the National Financial
Secretary, and the National Convention Director, shall be
adhered to for all vendors. For more information, please
contact Mr. Abram at 843-838-5475 or

The Quartermaster has 6 ounce Champagne glasses. Glasses
are $15.00 each and two for $25.00. MPMA Car Decals are
$6.00 each and MPMA Mugs are $10.00 each.

Mr. Abram will also have the latest 51st and 52nd Defense
Battalion coins for sale at the convention. This coin
sells for $10.00 and was beautifully designed by Past
National Public Relations Officer, Master Gunnery Gilbert
Taylor. Coins will sell out at the convention. Please
contact Mr. Abram to reserve yours.

Election of National Officers: During the National
Convention we will have elections for the following
National Officers; Public Relations, Special Projects,
Veterans Affairs, Sergeant-at-Arms and the Scholarship
Director. If you are running for either election or
re-election, please contact our Voting Committee Chair
Charles Paige at 760-415-7950 so that he may prepare the

National Recording Secretary: We are asking all chapters to
make sure our National Recording Secretary, Regina
Lawrence, has a current chapter list of paid up members.
Please forward your most current chapter list to Regina
immediately at: or 804-763-3592.

National Sergeant-at-Arms, Racine (Tree) Wilson is
reminding all Chapters to bring their Chapter Colors (Flags
and Banners) with them to Convention Chicago. Banners and
flags will be displayed in meeting rooms and at the
National Banquet. Flags make a great backdrop for the
events and for pictures. Chapters must bear the cost in
bringing or shipping these flags. For further information,
please contact Racine at; or at

National Chaplain: Reverend James Moore is asking Chapter
Presidents or representatives to ensure that he has an
accurate list of the members who have passed in the last
year so he may begin planning the memorial portion of the
National Banquet. Please do not assume that members that
have past have been submitted. Reverend Moore would prefer
to have the names submitted twice than not at all.
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:

Convention Journal: The date for Journal submission was 10
June. Journal Director Reuben McNair has extended this
date until only 23 June. Ads run from $500.00 (Outside
back cover) to $60.00 (One Quarter Page). All ads should
be camera ready. If there are any questions concerning the
Journal, please direct them to Southern Regional Vice
President, Reuben McNair. Rueben can be reached at
202-529-0845. Please mail Journal Items to Rueben at 2617
24th Street NE, Washington, DC 20018. Reuben is planning
on making extra copies of the Journal available to members
for a nominal fee. Please contact Rueben for your order.

Art Holiday a newscaster and documentary filmmaker in St
Louis, is working on a documentary on the life of Original
Montford Pointer and Rock and Roll Hall-of-Fame member
Johnnie Johnson ( . Art was the
Master of Ceremonies for the recent St Louis Chosen Few
Banquet and is interested in hearing from Montford Pointers
who served with or knew Johnnie Johnson. Please contact
Art directly at or at 314-968-3900.
We are hopeful that Art will make the National Convention
to personally talk to folks that knew Johnnie.

Convention 2007: We are still looking for a Convention
site for Convention 2007. We have received an official
proposal from the Jacksonville, Florida Chapter. All
interested Chapters will be asked to present their proposal
at the convention. 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 very soon. If your Chapter is interested, please be
contact me, the National Convention Director, Nat James or
the National Vice President immediately.

Marine Corps Ball Celebrations: Chapters are reminded to
submit request for guest speakers for their annual
balls/banquets and events early to ensure you get your
speaker of choice. Requests should be submitted to the
speaker in writing detailing all the particulars about the
event. Request for National Officers should include
whether the Chapter is reimbursing travel, etc… For those
Chapters having events, please let our National Public
Relations Officer Carmen Cordoba know as soon as possible
the dates, times, place, etc.. So that she may post this
information on the web. Again, the Ball season is an
excellent opportunity to educated Marines and others about
the Montford Pointers. For those located near Marine
Commands, request special recognition be given to the
Montford Pointers during these events.

Chapter Happenings: The Metro Missouri Chapter of the
Montford Point Marine Association officially stood down on
1 June 2006. The chapter members have agreed to merge with
St Louis Chapter #13 and are confident that the legacy of
their “Chosen Few” Banquet will continue to be one the
Central Region’s signature events. Congratulations to
former Chapter President, Dr. Robert L. Hawthorn II, for
his leadership and vision to ensure the Montford Point
Marine Association has a continued presence in the St.
Louis area.

New York Chapter President James Carr reports that MPMA
Hall of Fame member and 1943 Montford Pointer Ernie
Richardson (Final Roll Call Page 56) is currently
hospitalized and recovering from heart by-pass surgery NY
Hospital (NYC) he remains in ICU with potential kidney
issues as well. His wife Olive has been by his side daily
and we are all hoping for the best. The New York Chapter
members will continue to give us updates to Ernie’s health.

National Naval Officers Association (NNOA) The Quantico
Chapter of the NNOA will be the host chapter for the 34th
Annual National Professional Development and Training
Conference 17-21 July at the Marine Corps Base Quantico.
The Quantico Chapter has worked very closely with the
Quantico Montford Point Marine Chapter with their events
since that chapter stood back up in October. For the
latest information, please visit their website at;

Queens Tickets: Chapters are reminded not to mail the
raffle stubs to National Special Projects Officer,
George Herring, but to bring them with you to the
convention. Also, if your last report is not in the mail
to George by 1 July, please bring that with you so that
reports are not caught up in the mail and everyone who has
bought a ticket will have their stub in the drawing box.
Please give one good last push for this National
Fundraiser. 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.

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.

High Honor: Original Montford Pointer and MPMA Hall of
Fame member (posthumously) James Stewart Sr. will have a
preview of his vast collection of letters and memorabilia
presented by the Oklahoma Historical Society Board of
Directors on Friday, the eighteenth of August, Two thousand
and six from 2:00 PM until 5:00 PM. The address is: 2401
North Laird Street Oklahoma City, Oklahoma program starts
at 3:00 PM. For more information, please contact his son,
Maryland Chapter President James Stewart Jr. at; or 5708 Chris Mar Ave Clinton, Maryland
20735, home 301-877-7610, cell 240-535-5580. James Stewart
Jr. is constantly updating his web site with information
that his late father left him. Please visit this link and the
website at for some great information and

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

General Officer Happenings:

Major General Walter Gaskin will assume command of the 2d
Marine Division on Friday the 16th of June. This will be
the very first time that an African American has commanded
a Marine Division! Ceremony will begin at 8:00 AM at the
Julian C. Smith Hall Building H-1. For more information
and RSVP, please call 910-451-8000.
Congratulations to General Gaskin as he assumes this vast

Retired Major General Charles Bolden: This email note was
received from Major General retired Charles Bolden upon his
recent induction in the NASA Hall-of-Fame “Joe and All MPMA
Members, Thank you very much for the kind words of
congratulations on my recent induction into the Astronaut
Hall of Fame. This was quite an honor, as you might expect,
and I was privileged to represent all of you in accepting
this honor. Semper Fi! Charlie B”.

Brigadier General Ronald L. Bailey very first assignment as
a General Officer will be the Deputy Director, National
Military Command Center, Joints Chiefs of Staff, Washington
DC. We congratulate and wish General Bailey success in
this new billet!!!

Thanks! My very special thanks to those members who
continue to assist me in the many mailings that I send. I
have recently received “stamp support” from National
Veterans Affairs Officer Leo Taylor and Credential
Committee Chair Gus Willis, Sergeant Major “Movin” Vann and
others. Your assistance helps to keep the cost of these
mailings down.

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 610-495-3619



Historical advisor Byron Stewart PhD


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