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Marine Aviation Training Support Group 21 (MATSG-21) Headquarters Marines

With the critical support of the Marine Corps University Foundation, Marine Aviation Training Support Group 21 (MATSG- 21) Headquarters Marines traveled to New Orleans for two days in order to build esprit de corps and develop Marines’ understanding of the tactical and operational challenges of their predecessors throughout history. Among the activities from 10–11 December, Marines toured the National World War II Museum and conducted a battlefield study on the Battle of New Orleans; both events provided unique lessons for every level of command, from generals to the individual rifleman.

46 Marines participated in the trip. They spent the afternoon at the WWII Museum viewing aircraft, vehicles, and other artifacts

from the war,

experiencing the hardship, innovation, and triumphs of the “greatest generation” through the eyes of those fighting men and women who were there. The museum—the largest WWII museum in the nation—displays its hundreds of exhibits in three buildings, each focusing on a central theme of the war. Marines had the opportunity to meet a Marine veteran of the Pacific Theater; many also found their way into “Beyond all Boundaries,” an eye-opening “4-D” documentary on the war.

After staying the night in Jackson Barracks in New Orleans, Marines enjoyed a hot breakfast provided by MCUF. They visited Chalmette Battlefield, where Andrew Jackson’s small militia coalition successfully defended New Orleans from an invasion force of over 10,000 experienced soldiers in the War of 1812. Several Staff Noncommissioned Officers and Officers had been assigned various topics which they researched and presented to MATSG-21 Marines during a tour of the battlefield. Through these lessons, Marines gained an appreciation of the invaluable ability of General Andrew Jackson to rally one of the most diverse groups ever fight for America, despite language, cultural, and religious barriers. This is a critical skill when leading diverse Marines and fostering relations with our allies around the world. MCUF also funded chow for the Marines at Chalmette Battlefield, which was a critical component enabling the battlefield study to take place.

MATSG-21 group in front of Chalmette Battlefield Memorial

Without the support of the Marine Corps University Foundation, the battlefield study and museum PME would certainly not have been possible. MATSG-21 Marines—at every level of leadership—came away from this unique experience with a greater understanding of the tactical, strategic, and leadership lessons gained from the Battle of New Orleans and World War II—lessons which are every bit as relevant today as they were then.

Fort Leavenworth PME Program

On behalf of all my Marines, thank you very much for supporting our PME program here at Fort Leavenworth to discuss one of our Corps forgotten heroes, General Thomas Holcomb. Dr. Ulbrich’s timely discussion on General Holcomb tied in with our Command and General Staff College (CGSC) student’s curriculum as they were studying amphibious doctrine development during the inter-war years leading up to World War II. This will also set the conditions as they study the maturation of amphibious doctrine and warfare during major operations of the Pacific War from 1942–45.

Dr. Ulbrich also signed a copy of his book entitled Preparing for Victory: Thomas Holcomb and the Making of the Modern Marine Corps, 1936–1943 for each of our Marines who attended the PME. Thanks to the Foundation, which was able to purchase and make available the books for the students. This was a special touch for our Marines and will continue to allow General Holcomb’s story to be shared across our Corps.

Dr. Ulbrich was instrumental in helping us put together a nomination package on General Holcomb to be considered for the Fort Leavenworth Hall of Fame. Once again, thanks for the tremendous support provided by our Marine Corps University Foundation.

Sincerely, Colonel J. E. Johnson Dr. Ulbrich speaking at Fort Leavenworth 7

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