May 26, 2011
JINSA New York and Long Island Cabinet Members visit Marine Corps Base Quantico
On May 23-24, 2011, a JINSA delegation from the New York area led by JINSA Advisory Board Member Major General Larry Taylor, USMCR (ret.) was hosted by the Marine Corps Combat Development Command (MCCDC) at Marine Corps Base Quantico in Quantico, Virginia.
The program began with a dinner at the Officers’ Club attended by senior officers including Brigadier General John Bullard, Deputy Commanding General, MCCDC. The JINSA group had ample time to interact and engage with our Marine hosts to discuss issues as they relate to Marine Corps operations around the world.
JINSA was honored to present Gen. Bullard with a donation to the Injured Marine Semper Fi Fund. For the past seven years, JINSA’s Holiday Appeal on behalf of “Deserving Soldiers” has allowed the organization to support young service persons recovering from catastrophic injuries.
The evening concluded with a briefing by the Director of MCCDC’s Seabasing Integration Division, Colonel Jim Strock, USMC (ret.), on the requirements and strategy of Marine Corps Seabasing, the ability to conduct selected functions and tasks at sea without reliance on traditional infrastructure, such as naval bases and airfields.
The following day, the JINSA delegation was briefed on how the Marines fight, as well as on current operations. Their contributions to ongoing operations under various military commands only enhanced the delegation’s appreciation and respect for these servicemen and women. The media’s focus on military engagements in Iraq and Afghanistan only tells a portion of the contributions of the Marines elsewhere in the globe: from NORTHCOM to SOUTHCOM, EUCOM, AFRICOM, PACOM and of course CENTCOM, the Marines are everywhere defending our country.
Next, the Weapons Training Battalion (WTB) briefed the JINSA delegation. The WTB schedules, coordinates and executes rifle and pistol qualifications for newly commissioned Marine officers, as well as re-qualification for all Quantico Marines. Furthermore, the unit also is the parent organization of the United States Marine Corps Shooting Teams, encompassing the rifle, pistol, and international teams. Additionally, the battalion is the home of the Marine Corps Scout Sniper Instructor courses and houses a weapons manufacturing and testing facility that builds and maintains the M40A1 and M40A3 sniper rifles, various Marine Expeditionary Unit (special operations capable) weapons and all the competition rifles and pistols in the Marine Corps and Marine Corps Reserve.
A lunch with enlisted Marines added a personal connection to the program as the JINSA delegation had the opportunity to hear first-hand about their training and experiences overseas.
The program concluded with a visit to the Driver Training Facility at Camp Upshur for a demonstration in how the Marines train to survive Humvee rollovers.
The JINSA delegation also had the opportunity to participate in a convoy simulator used to train Marines to repel attacks while safeguarding civilian lives. The simulator is a key training tool for Marines preparing to deploy in Iraq and Afghanistan.
“The visit exceeded all of our expectations. The primary value, the critically unique experience was the frequent opportunities to interact directly with Marine generals, mid-level officers and NCO's in the most candid, and intimate contexts. We were blown away at the intelligence, worldliness, commitment and dedication of the Marine warriors that we met. The comradeship of our fellow JINSA members was delightful.” Norman and Elaine Hecht, JINSA Long Island Cabinet
“Our visit to Quantico only re-affirmed my high regard for the commitment, intelligence, and motivation of the people defending our country. This extended from the enlisted personnel to the Generals that we met. It felt good to know that JINSA supports them in their mission, and that my time and resources have contributed to their effort.” Michael Salzhauer, Chairman of the JINSA New York Cabinet
“A key takeaway was the overwhelming feeling of a deep rooted connection to Israel from almost every Marine I encountered. Either through their personal experiences abroad or just admiration for the IDF and what they deal with in their backyard. These are points that should not be overlooked as they will be the ones in the future helping to determine future relationships. This is where JINSA thrives and brings incredible value and relevance to the relationships between the two countries.” Bruce Goodman, JINSA New York Cabinet
“Amazing! I don't know any group out there that has such close relations with the U.S. military.” Jonathan Burkan, JINSA New York Cabinet
"I would like to add my words of appreciation for giving us a chance to interact with those that sacrifice so much to keep the war far away from home. Having the opportunity to thank our military for their service is an honor, but I am most grateful that as an organization we had the opportunity to contribute to their Semper Fi charity to help comfort our returning wounded warriors. " Jay Lifton, JINSA New York Cabinet
“Before yesterday I was sure that I knew everything about the Marine Corps that I needed to, since as a kid I watched "The Sands of Iwo Jima" about 25 times. But what an amazing, educational experience. All the officers and enlisted men we met were incredibly intelligent and well spoken. If any them would want to sell real estate, I would hire them in a minute. Luckily, they would rather defend our country from our enemies and assist humanitarian efforts worldwide. Terrific trip. Bravo JINSA.” Eric M. Anton, JINSA New York Cabinet
“The opportunity to spend time with individuals at all levels of the USMC (and them representing just one of the many military and law enforcement groups that we touch as part of our mission) was unique and rewarding. Seeing so many who care so deeply for our country and democracy is something more Americans should be able to do.” Jeffrey Hirschfeld, JINSA New York Cabinet
"I hope that my presence will reinforce the commitment of the Indian American community (and more broadly of Indians) to the security of not only the United States but of Israel also. We firmly understand that the security of one democracy is the the security of all democracies. " Manish Thakur, JINSA New York Cabinet
“The whole day was fantastic, but I think the most memorable and moving part was watching the soon to be shipped-out marines training on the roll-over model vehicles. It seemed to me to put an exclamation point on the courage and fortitude our fighting forces have in the face of grave danger and life-threatening risk.” Lee and Soraya Rudofsky, JINSA Young Leadership Council.