Author Andrew deGrandpre

Appearing before members of Britain’s Parliament on Tuesday, a top British general disputed assertions that his forces are to blame for the security failures that led to last year’s deadly Taliban attack on a coalition airfield in southwestern Afghanistan. Lt. Gen. David Capewell, who oversees the planning for British military operations abroad, told lawmakers that even though the Brits were in charge of security for Camp Bastion at the time of the attack, they are not responsible for the deaths of two Marines gunned down after 15 insurgents breached the base perimeter in September 2012. His testimony before Parliament’s Defence…

Something wonderfully awesome happened last night in San Francisco. In case you don’t recognize the guys in this photo, they are: * Paul Szoldra, an infantry Marine who left the Corps as a sergeant a few years ago and went on the create The Duffel Blog, a satirical website that pokes fun at the absurdities within military culture. * Retired Sgt. Maj. Carlton Kent, the 16th Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps and top enlisted adviser to two commandants. * Max Uriarte, also an infantry Marine, and the original terminal lance corporal who created the popular Terminal Lance cartoon series.…

One of the great privileges I’ve had as Marine Corps Times’ managing editor was attending the Marine Corps Heritage Foundation’s 2011 awards ceremony along with our former senior writer Dan Lamothe, whose work a year prior while on assignment in Afghanistan was recognized with the foundation’s first ever Major Megan McClung Award for dispatch reporting. McClung was working as a public affairs officer in 2006 when she was killed by a roadside bomb blast near Ramadi, Iraq. The night of the ceremony, Dan and I sat with Megan’s parents, Mike and Re. It’s with that context that I’m delighted to…

The remains of two Marines missing since World War II will be laid to rest Friday at Arlington National Cemetery, according to this Defense Department news release. Capt. Henry White and Staff Sgt. Thomas Meek were in a SBD-4 Dauntless dive-bomber that crashed July 21, 1943, on Mavea Island. (The Americans stationed there during the war referred to it as Mafia Island, according to report on the crash compiled in 2012.) If you’ve never of heard of the place, join the club. Mavea Island is a lonely sliver of earth in the South Pacific, not terribly far from Australia —…

[HTML1] There’s a retirement ceremony Wednesday in Washington for Lt. Gen. Willie Williams, who is director of the Marine Corps staff — the service’s No. 3 general. Marine Corps Times reported this back in April, when I profiled him, but the video above was released earlier today and is well worth sharing here. Watching it brought to mind my few interactions with Williams going back to summer 2010, when we met at a reception for D.C. media hosted by then-Commandant Gen. James T. Conway. There was a  lot of brass at the CMC’s house that evening — deputy commandants and…

If you’ve never had a lousy boss, consider yourself lucky. The sad fact is that at some point in our professional lives, most of us — military and civilian alike — will encounter a superior who is an absolute pain to deal with. Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, is taking aim at so-called “toxic leaders” by encouraging each of the services to adopt 360-degree evaluations, a process in which commanders are reviewed by their peers and subordinates in addition to the officers who oversee them. The objective is to identify bad apples early, before they’re…

Regular readers of Marine Corps Times will remember Pauline Nordin, whom we put on our cover last year when the Corps expressed interest in forming a partnership with the former body builder. Well, starting soon the 30-year-old fitness guru will begin producing a series of instructional videos for Battle Rattle’s sister blog PT365. Get the lowdown on this new project here.

If you scroll through the list of categories on the right-hand side of the page, you’ll see that since launching this blog in early 2010, we have written hundreds of posts about a variety of subjects relevant to the Corps and the lives of Marines. Leadership. MEU operations. Fitness. Afghanistan. … Yes, even the popular web comic Terminal Lance. Missing from the list, until now, was a category dedicated to one of the Corps’ most iconic and enduring missions: embassy security. An oversight? Most definitely. And there’s no time like the present to make amends. Unfortunately, we don’t yet have…

It’s Tuesday, so we’re opening the vault once more to bring you another exclusive “Terminal Lance” strip, published heretofore only in the pages of Marine Corps Times. “Dismay,” one of my all-time favorites, appeared in the issue dated Feb. 27, 2012. Seeing this, I imagine that First Sergeant’s a real close-talker — the sort of guy whose breath you have to smell every time he barks at you. And given his proclivity for java, as Max has depicted here, I’ve got to think First Sergeant’s breath has its own pulse. Ugh. That said, coffee in the workplace is a serious…

First, our apologies for the two-week hiatus. Now, here’s this week’s installment of “Terminal Lance” Tuesdays, newly released from the Marine Corps Times archive. “Anatomy of a New-Join” first appeared in the March 7, 2011, issue. When the strip’s creator, Max Uriarte, submitted this strip for publication, he prefaced it — as he frequently does — with a disclaimer. “The original title was ‘Anatomy of a Boot,’ but I figured ‘New-Join’ might be more socially acceptable for the newspaper,” he warned me. “At least I remember when I was in, they wouldn’t let us call them ‘boots’ anymore.” I’ll say…

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