The Marine Experience and Civic Institute
"The Draft" Newsletter Vol. 1, No. 12 November 2020
The Marine Experience and Civic Institute

We understand the importance of preserving the legacy of Carolina Marines and Sailors and are excited to enhance that mission with The Civic Institute - an educational component founded by General Al Gray, 29th Commandant - that will teach citizens of all ages about the core values of our founding fathers as so ably demonstrated by Marines since 1775. Courses will be offered on location at schools and businesses, online and - when the museum is completed - onsite.
Honoring the legacy, sustaining the ideals,
keeping the flame burning brightly
for future generations.
Famous Civilian Leaders
who served as Marines

Donald P. Bellisario
Writer, Producer, Philanthropist... Marine
Donald Paul Bellisario (born August 8, 1935 and pictured left at U.S. Naval Institute) is an American television producer and screenwriter who created and sometimes wrote episodes for the TV series Magnum, P.I. (1980), Tales of the Gold Monkey (1982), Airwolf (1984), Quantum Leap (1989), JAG (1995), and NCIS (2003). He has often included military veterans as characters.
He served in the U.S. Marine Corps from 1955 to 1959, and attained the rank of Sergeant.
After working under such television producers as Glen A. Larson and Stephen J. Cannell, Bellisario adopted some of their production techniques, for example, using a small pool of actors for his many productions. He created or co-created the TV series Magnum, P.I.AirwolfQuantum Leap,[5] JAG, and NCIS. He was a writer and producer on Black Sheep Squadron and the original Battlestar Galactica. He wrote and directed the 1988 feature film Last Rites.[6]
Many of Bellisario's protagonists are current or former members of the United States armed forcesTom Selleck's character in Magnum, P.I. was a United States Naval Academy graduate, former Naval Intelligence officer and Vietnam veteran; Jan-Michael Vincent's character in Airwolf was a Vietnam veteran; Commander Harmon "Harm" Rabb, Jr., the main character of JAG, was a Naval Academy graduate and former Naval Aviator; and NCIS's main character, Leroy Jethro Gibbs, is a retired Marine Corps Gunnery Sergeant and Scout Sniper;[7] Jake Cutter (Stephen Collins) from Tales of the Gold Monkey was a former Flying Tigers pilot; and Albert "Al" Calavicci in Quantum Leap was a former Naval Aviator, Vietnam prisoner of war and Rear Admiral. Several of his main characters share August 8 as their birthday.
Bellisario received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2004, which was shown in
a Season 9 JAG episode, "Trojan Horse". (Wikipedia).

In an interview with Variety, the question was asked if Bellasario has patriotism intentionally involved in "JAG" and Bellisario said, "Are we a patriotic show? Yes, we have always been." In the article, "I'm Constantly Surprised How the Corps has Stayed with Me," written by Bellisario and published in the "U.S. Naval Institute Proceedings," Bellisario states, "I thought a lot about the Corps and was surprised at the pride I felt in having been a Marine." Within this same interview, Bellisario said "I rely heavily on incidents I either experienced or heard of while a Marine and my experience in the Corps has given me an uncanny ability to anticipate military events."

Photo below: Don and Viv Bellisario named 2018 Philanthropists of the Year. Penn State News.
Battle of Tarawa
Nov 20 to 23,1943

November 20-23, 2020 marks the 77th anniversary of the Battle of Tarawa. As part of the Central Pacific Campaign, the Gilbert Islands and the Tarawa Atoll became the first targets.
The Tarawa Atoll had been seized by Japanese forces in December 1941. Located 2500 miles southwest of Hawaii, the largest island in the Tarawa Atoll was Betio.

Code-named Operation Galvanic, elements of the 2d Marine Division under the command of Major General Julian Smith conducted an amphibious assault against heavily fortified Japanese forces (4500 troops). Measuring around 2 miles long and a half mile wide (the approximate size of
Central Park in New York City), Betio was crisscrossed with 100 pillboxes and extensive trench systems.Colonel David Shoup, CO, 2nd Marines, commanded

Important Dates
in U.S. History
November 5, 1911 - Aviator C.P. Snow completed the first transcontinental flight across America, landing at Pasadena, California. He had taken off from Sheepshead Bay, New York, on September 17th and flew a distance of 3,417 miles.

November 6, 1860 - Abraham Lincoln was elected as the 16th U.S. President and the first Republican. He received 180 of 303 possible electoral votes and 40 percent of the popular vote.

November 10, 1775 - The U.S. Marine Corps was established as part of the U.S. Navy. It became a separate unit on July 11, 1789.

November 11th - Celebrated in the U.S. as Veterans Day (formerly called Armistice Day) with parades and military memorial ceremonies.

November 11, 1938 - Irving Berlin's God Bless America was first performed. He had written the song especially for radio entertainer Kate Smith who sang it during her regular radio broadcast. It soon became a patriotic favorite of Americans and was one of Smith's most requested songs.

November 11, 1972 - The U.S. turned over its military base at Long Binh to the South Vietnamese, symbolizing the end of direct American military participation in the Vietnam War.

November 13, 1956 - The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that racial segregation on public buses was unconstitutional.

November 15, 1777 - The Articles of Confederation were adopted by Continental Congress.

the 18,000 Marines ashore. He was wounded on Nov 20.

The new amphtracs carrying 20 troops were used to land the Marines. Many of the assault vehicles got hung on the reefs because of the tides and many of the Marines had to wade ashore under withering machine gun fire.
Casualties were high.

---997 marines and 30 sailors were killed
---88 were missing in action and presumed dead
---2233 marines and sailors wounded in action
Total casualties were 3407 in 76 hours of combat.

To this day, 3d Battalion, 2d Marines is known as the Betio Battalion
November 17, 1800 - The U.S. Congress met for the first time in the new capital at Washington, D.C. President John Adams then became the first occupant of the Executive Mansion, later renamed the White House.

November 20, 1789 - New Jersey became the first state to ratify the Bill of Rights.

November 20, 1943 - The Battle of Tarawa began in the Pacific War as American troops attacked the Japanese on the heavily fortified Gilbert Islands. It took eight days for the 5th Amphibious Corps, 2nd Marine Division and the 27th Infantry Division to take Tarawa and the Makin Islands. Over 1,000 Americans were killed with 2,311 wounded. The Japanese lost 4,700 men.

November 26, 1789 - The first American holiday occurred, proclaimed by President George Washington to be Thanksgiving Day, a day of prayer and public thanksgiving in gratitude for the successful establishment of the new American republic.

November 30, 1782 - A provisional peace treaty was signed between Great Britain and the United States heralding the end of America's War of Independence. The final treaty was signed in Paris on September 3, 1783. It declared the U.S. " be free, sovereign and independent states..." and that the British Crown "...relinquishes all claims to the government, propriety and territorial rights of the same, and every part thereof."
How Much Do you Know...
about the United States
Marine Corps?
Leadership Traits:

United States Marines adhere to three core values: honor, courage and commitment.
Marines demonstrate these core values with key leadership traits and principles:
This month, we feature one of the 14 leadership traits:


Justice, Judgment, Dependability, Initiative, Decisiveness, Tact, Integrity, Endurance, Bearing, Unselfishness, Courage, Knowledge, Loyalty, & Enthusiasm

Definition: Bearing
is the way you conduct and carry yourself. Your manner should reflect alertness, competence, confidence, and control.
LtCol Lynn "Kim" Kimball, USMC (Ret)

Carolina Marines added another laurel to their proud history by their important contributions to our nation’s manned space flight programs, beginning in 1959 with the Mercury program and continuing through the Gemini and Apollo programs, including all the lunar landings, until the final launch, Apollo 17 in 1972.
The Genesis of manned space flight began at the Wallops Island Flight Facility in Virginia with the launching of various experimental rockets and unmanned Mercury capsules to test, among other preliminary concerns, a viable means to successfully separate the capsule from the launch vehicle, with the astronaut’s survival a principle issue, in the case of a launch failure. The Marine Corps was tasked with recovering the test rockets and capsules from the Chesapeake Bay for evaluation, a mission undertaken by Marine Corps Air Station New River’s Marine Aircraft Group 26, specifically Marine Helicopter Transport Squadrons (HMR) -262 and 461.

With the success of this phase of the program, Cape Canaveral became the launch site for the subsequent

Thank you for coming out!
10th Annual Golf Classic
presented by Coastal Enterprises
30 October 2020**
Jacksonville Country Club
Thank you, Terry Branton,
Golf Committee Chairman
and our sponsors:
Coastal Enterprises
Golden Corral
Modern Woodmen Fraternal Financial
Coastal Beverage
Click on the Eagle, Globe and Anchor above for our project update.

2020-2021 Board of Directors

Executive Committee
BGen Dick Vercauteren, USMC (Ret) - Chairman
Mr. Mark Cramer, JD - Vice Chairman
CAPT Pat Alford, USN (Ret) - Treasurer
Col Joe Atkins, USAF (Ret) - Secretary
Col John B. Sollis, USMC (Ret) - Immediate Past Chairman
General Al Gray, USMC (Ret), 29th Commandant - At-Large Member
LtGen Gary S. McKissock, USMC (Ret) - At-Large Member

Mr. Terry Branton
Mr. Tom DeSanctis
MyGySgt Osceola Elliss, USMC (Ret)
Col Chuck Geiger, USMC (Ret)
Col Bruce Gombar, USMC (Ret)
LtCol Lynn "Kim" Kimball, USMC (Ret)
CWO4 Richard McIntosh, USMC (Ret)
CWO5 Lisa Potts, USMC (Ret)
Col Grant Sparks, USMC (Ret)
GySgt Forest Spencer, USMC (Ret)