Around DoD: 10 things to know in April
April 18, 2014
1. The 30th Commandant of the Marine Corps, retired Gen. Carl E. Mundy, 78, died April 2. He will be laid to rest April 19 in North Carolina, his native state. During his distinguished career, Mundy commanded at all levels, including staff assignments, a tour in Vietnam as operations and executive officer of the 3rd Battalion, 26th Marines. He served as commandant from 1991-1995. According to his obituary, Mundy was known as a "Marine for all seasons."
2. Medical first responders who responded to the April 2 shooting at Fort Hood, Texas, that left four dead and 16 wounded said that the 2009 shooting there served valuable lessons that enabled responders to save lives. From a Fort Hood Sentinel article published April 10: Frederick Reed, the Fort Hood Emergency Medical Services chief, said that six ambulances rushed to the scene carrying teams of two or three medical technicians, every one of them a veteran of the Nov. 5, 2009, shootings that left 13 dead and 32 wounded.
3. On April 2, U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel pledged to continue providing U.S. assistance for the search for missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370. Speaking at a press conference aboard USS Anchorage in Honolulu, Hagel told reporters that the U.S. has complied with "every request made by the Malaysian government" to assist in the search in the last several weeks. The search for MH370 continues.
4. The Marine Corps' top enlisted man, Sgt. Maj. of the Marine Corps Micheal P. Barrett, received some backlash via social media after a Military Times report quoted Barrett's April 9 comments before a Senate Armed Services Committee that lowering pay and trimming benefits will "make Marines less wasteful and more disciplined." Barrett wrote an open letter to all Marines to clarify his comments, but did not refute the need to slow military compensation and benefits spending. Barrett's-and all the service top enlisted chiefs'-testimony can be read in full online at: www.armed-services.senate.gov/hearings/14-04-09-active-guard-reserve-and-civilian-personnel-programs.
5. The Air Force Special Victims' Counsel received the Federal Service Award in Washington, D.C., April 9, during a ceremony at the Department of Justice, honoring agencies and individuals who have made breakthroughs for victims of crime. The SVC program began in January 2013, with the objectives of providing advice to victims. The program also aims to develop victims' understanding of the investigative and military justice processes, to provide advocacy, to protect the rights afforded to victims in the military justice system and to empower victims by removing barriers to their full participation in the military justice process.
6. More than 1,000 Sailors, spouses and guests celebrated the 114th birthday of the Navy's submarine force in Virginia Beach, Va., April 12. The event paid tribute to servicemembers serving the submarine force, their families and all of those who came before them to take on the difficult task of undersea warfare that began when John Holland sold the submersible that would be commissioned USS Holland (SS-1) to the U.S. Navy, April 11, 1900.
7. The United States Navy Memorial hosted the 23rd Annual Blessing of the Fleet ceremony, which was hosted by The United States Navy Memorial at the memorial in Washington, D.C., April 14. The ceremony followed the annual Cherry Blossom Festival parade and featured The U.S. Navy Band and Ceremonial Guard. The blessing of the fleet was created in Europe hundreds of years ago and is common practice by Sailors and navies worldwide as a means to guard ships and crews from the hazards of the sea.
8. April 15 marked the first anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombings. Tributes trended on social media with #BostonStrong #RememberBoston, etc. A remembrance ceremony honoring the victims of the 2013 bombings was held at the marathon's finish line and at 2:49 p.m., a moment of silence was observed to honor those killed, marking the exact time of the first explosion. Read about how three Massachusetts National Guardsmen helped save lives that day at Boston: www.army.mil/article/123977/National_Guard_Soldiers_remember_Boston_Marathon.
9. The White House announced April 15 that President Barack Obama will award the Medal of Honor to former active duty Sgt. Kyle J. White in a May 13 ceremony at the White House. White will be awarded for "conspicuous gallantry while serving in Afghanistan's Nuristan province Nov. 9, 2007." White will become the seventh living Medal of Honor recipient for heroic actions in Iraq or Afghanistan.
10. Starting in May 2014, Arlington National Cemetery will host a series of events to commemorate the cemetery's 150th anniversary, starting with a wreath-laying ceremony at the grave site of Army Pvt. William Christman, the first military burial at the cemetery. The commemorations will conclude with a wreath-laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier June 16-the day after Arlington was established as a national cemetery.