Author Dan Lamothe

I'm a senior writer with Marine Corps Times, covering ground warfare, manpower, weapons acquisition and other beats. I embedded in Afghanistan in spring 2010, and plan to return at least once in 2011.

A viral video sensation has taken hold over the last few weeks in which people break it down to the “Harlem Shake,” a rowdy song by Baauer, an American producer and DJ. Not surprisingly, Marines jumped in on this quickly. A quick search this morning shows there are numerous Marine Corps-themed “Harlem Shake” videos, some of which can definitely get a person with a reasonable sense of humor laughing. I present the following without judgment, and with the disclaimer that there may be some suggestive dance moves in here. Still, they’ll definitely live on in Bored Marine Video lore: [youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s6o0F9BnouI[/youtube]…

For all their saltiness, most Marines love dogs. That statement is backed by nothing other than five years of experience covering the Marine Corps and the war in Afghanistan. Still, I’ll go out on a limb and say new photographs released by Marine Barracks Washington, D.C., will be a hit. Depicted in them is Chesty, a 9-week-old English bulldog who will soon take over as the Marine Corps mascot, serving at a variety of ceremonies and functions in the region, officials said. First, however, the puppy must attend obedience school and “recruit training.” I can only assume the drill instructors…

When in doubt, expect a child to steal the show. That eternal truth was on display again Monday at the White House, as the son of former Army Staff Sgt. Clinton Romesha wandered on stage before his father’s Medal of Honor ceremony. The Associated Press video here captures it best: [youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BpUPuE1Kg4E&feature=youtu.be[/youtube] You’ve got to love the Marine captain ushering little Colin off the stage without incident. For more coverage of today’s ceremony, check out Army Times’ story.

Rapper 50 Cent has taken criticism before for wearing Marine Corps uniforms even though he never served — but he probably didn’t expected to hear from Cpl. Matthew B. Schafer. Someone using that name posted on 50 Cent’s Facebook page on Monday, ripping the rapper for wearing dress blues in the screen grab posted above. Said Schafer: My Name Is Cpl Schafer Matthew B United States Marine Corps And The Reason I Am Writing This Is To Ask You What The F— You Think Your Doing Disgracing My Uniform We All Damn Well Know You NEVER Served In My Corps…

Qualifying to use the pistol is about to get a lot more complicated for Marines. The service has adopted the new Combat Pistol Program, which replaces the longtime Entry-Level Pistol Program in marksmanship. Tens of thousands of Marines will be required to qualify with it each year. In this week’s Marine Corps Times cover story, we outline what the program includes and how it compares to the legacy pistol qual, table by table. Officials with Weapons Training Battalion, out of Quantico, Va., explain how the rollout of the new program will occur, and when. This week’s story also expands on…

The Special Inspector General for Afghan Reconstruction released a mixed report to Congress today, highlighting gains in security in some regions while pointing out lagging, expensive development projects. The quarterly report, posted here, outlines some positives in Helmand province, where thousands of Marines remain deployed. Here’s the security outlook as SIGAR sees it: The Afghan government’s authority in Helmand remained relatively stable this quarter, according to State. With solid connections established between the provincial capital and district centers in central and southern Helmand, local officials are able to operate effectively. In these areas, Afghan government officials are able to provide…

Earlier this week, Politico reported that the media embed process would be led by Afghanistan’s Ministry of Defense within a matter of months. Turns out, that’s partly true. As my colleague Jeff Schogol reports this morning, the International Security Assistance Force will continue to oversee the embed process for reporters wishing to work alongside U.S. and coalition forces downrange. The MOD will be put in charge of embeds this spring — but only for journalists wishing to embed directly with Afghan forces. That’s no small distinction. While the war in Afghanistan has shifted to put Afghan National Security Forces in…

Pentagon leaders announced last week that they were rescinding the 1994 Combat Exclusion Policy that kept women out of ground combat units, raising a host of questions about what will change for rank-and-file service members. This week, Marine Corps Times addresses many of those concerns. Our cover story is splashed across four pages inside the magazine, and includes interviews with Lt. Gen. Robert Milstead, deputy commandant for manpower and reserve affairs, Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps Mike Barrett, and other senior leaders. By now, it seems safe to assume that nearly all of our readers are aware of the…

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Gen. Martin Dempsey announced yesterday that they were lifting the 1994 Combat Exclusion Policy that bans women from serving directly in the infantry and other ground combat units. The move has been greeted with mixed reaction, with some hailing it as a victory for equal rights and others saying it will weaken the U.S. military. I’ve spent most of the last 24 hours working on a full-length cover story that will be published soon addressing what the change means for Marines. In particular, Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps Mike…

It’s now widely reported that Defense Secretary Leon Panetta will announce today that he is lifting the Pentagon’s ban on women being assigned to combat units. A briefing will be held with the media this afternoon, with Panetta and Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs, taking questions from the press. Make no mistake, women have served in combat for years. They’ve earned valor awards, led convoys through hostile countryside and given their lives at times in service to our nation. Still, there’s a variety of questions that must be addressed as the Pentagon and the individual branches of…

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