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.

The Boston Marathon bombing last week rocked the whole country, killing three people and turning dozens of others into amputees. Over and over again, the lower-leg injuries sustained were compared to those that U.S. forces seen after stepping on improvised explosive devices overseas. It stands to reason, then, that few people could offer more credible words of encouragement to the new amputees in Boston than a wounded warrior who lost limbs serving in the military. This video is making the rounds online today, including on the blog Blackfive: [HTML1] The YouTube page for the video points viewers to the Celeste…

Commandant Gen. Jim Amos made headlines last week when he challenged me in a letter to the editor published in Marine Corps Times to attend the service’s difficult Infantry Officer Course as a participant. The invitation was issued after he took umbrage with a recent story I wrote that had a headline saying two female volunteers for the course “flunked” IOC last month as part of ongoing research into which roles service members can fill in combat. I met with the commandant Monday morning at the Pentagon to discuss the issue. By mutual agreement, we decided that it would be…

Commandant Gen. Jim Amos said Thursday in a video released by the Marine Corps that the Marine Corps has enough money to continue training through the rest of the year, but is still working to prevent furloughs to its civilian employees. The video was released one day after the Defense Department’s budget for fiscal 2014 was released amid a federal financial crisis. As laid out here, the new Marine Corps budget calls for $323 million less in military construction spending next fiscal year, affecting some planned modernization and maintenance not directly associated with operational readiness. Amos said in the video…

We’re playing catch up on this a little bit, but the odds are there that you’ll want to see this video. It shows a Marine fighter pilot delivering the best man speech for his brother’s wedding — while in the cockpit of a Harrier flying over Afghanistan. [HTML1] The Marine is Capt Matthew Krivohlavy with Marine Attack Squadron 231, according to the British Daily Mail newspaper. The pilot’s brother, Brandon, married Mandy Takacs of Austin, Texas, the newspaper added.

If you follow sports on the Internet, you’ve likely heard of Matt Ufford. The Marine veteran has turned his quick wit into a writing career on sites like Kissing Suzy Kolber, With Leather and SB Nation, churning out both analysis and off-color humor from his lair in Brooklyn, N.Y. Ufford has touched on his military service on occasion in the past. Still, his new piece on GQ.com will probably resonate with the many readers here who were involved in the initial invasion of Iraq 10 years ago this week. Ufford was a platoon commander with 1st Tank Battalion, out of…

Like no other officer in a generation, Gen. James Mattis has inspired those around him with his wisdom, candor and appreciation for rank-and-file U.S. service members. Now, he’s planning to retire, wrapping up a 41-year career in which he led Task Force 58 during the 2001 invasion of Afghanistan and 1st Marine Division during the 2003 invasion of Iraq. I examine Mattis’ place in history in Marine Corps Times’ cover story this week. The story is currently available online on Marine Corps Times Prime. Since 2010, the general known by the call sign “Chaos” has run U.S. Central Command, overseeing…

Ten years ago, more than 100,000 U.S. forces sat poised in the Kuwait desert, waiting for a breakneck push over the Iraqi border to Baghdad. The U.S. invasion began March 20, 2003. Given the sheer scope and costs of the subsequent war in Iraq, it only seemed appropriate that the Military Times newspaper chain would mark the anniversary of the invasion. To that end, we’ve launched “10 Years After the Invasion,” a four-part series. The series, published online here, includes interviews with many of the planners who designed the initial takedown of Baghdad. Consider these comments in Part 2 of…

The elite operators of Marine Corps Forces Special Operations Command are celebrating the organization’s seventh birthday this year, and decided to hold a Warrior Challenge last week to honor it. MARSOC reports on its Facebook page that the event included a stamina course, a fitness and marksmanship challenge, and a soccer tournament. Marine Special Operations School won the challenge, leading one of its Marines to don the Spartan helmet you see in the photograph above. Clearly, even special operators get to have a little fun from time to time. Maj. Gen. Mark Clark, MARSOC’s commander, laid out his vision for…

The announcement yesterday that Marine Gen. John Allen will retire instead of becoming the supreme allied commander of NATO immediately raises a question: Who will head to Brussels instead? Foreign Policy reported on its E-Ring blog that names being floated for the NATO job include Marine Gen. Gen. Jim Amos, commandant of the Marine Corps. The Daily Beast had a similar report last week, before Allen’s decision to retire was announced. Could Amos really move on, though? A shift like that would be a shock in the Corps, which Amos has led since October 2010 through a time filled with…

For years, Marine Corps Forces Special Operations Command has received attention mostly for its actions in Afghanistan. It’s far from the only theater the elite force has teams in, however. From Africa to the Pacific, Marine special operators have deployed across the globe to work, mostly in the shadows. This week’s Marine Corps Times cover story takes a look at those missions, focusing closely on one high-speed rescue in the Philippines. I caught wind of the rescue recently during a dinner in Washington, D.C., and MARSOC provided enough details afterward to make it clear how dangerous special operations can be,…

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