Sunday, March 21, 2010


**Ooh Rah is a spirited cry common to United States Marines since the mid-20th century. It is most commonly used to respond to a verbal greeting or as an expression of enthusiasm.

I took pleasure in reading this letter from US Army General Odierno, United States Forces-Iraq, to General Conway, US Marine Corps Commandant, thanking the Marines for their integral and successful role in Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) over the past seven years.

I spent two tours in Iraq, totaling twenty months (2006 & 2008), in support of OIF and being part of history makes me perty darned proud. As I did last week, I will watch The Pacific this weekend and reflect on the my personal experiences in a combat zone - we didn't have it nearly as bad as our Leatherneck predecessors during past wars.

Semper Fidelis!

Fallujah, Al Anbar Province, Iraq
FROG Suits - "Dark Tower" Camp Al Taqqadum, Al Anbar Province, Iraq
Inside an MRAP (Mine Resistant, Ambush Protected) Vehicle En Route to Fallujah


"Dark Tower" - Brigadier General Ruark, 1st Marine Logistics Group Commanding General, promoting me to my current rank of Master Sergeant.

The General addressing the room prior to pinning

Reading of my promotion warrant.  I held the billet of Senior Watch Chief in the Combat Operations Center (COC) for my entire first tour and most of my second tour until I was moved up into the G-3 Operations Chief seat.  Obviously combat operations doesn't halt for promotions, so we had to "sanitize" the COC and replace images on the screens with ones allowing photographs to be taken in a secured area.

Taking the Oath


  1. Nice job and thank you! I like the useage of the term "hardcore" in the letter. Made me grin!