For Marine who urinated on dead Taliban, a hero’s burial at Arlington

- Washington Post – His three combat tours in Afghanistan had been boiled down to a 38-second video clip, played and replayed on YouTube more than a million times. In it, Rob Richards and three other Marine Corps snipers are seen urinating on the bodies of Taliban fighters they had just killed. “Total dismay” were the words then-Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton used to describe the video when it surfaced on the Internet in January 2012. “Utterly deplorable,” agreed then-Defense Secretary Leon Panetta. Richards’s career in the military was finished. More than two years later — long after the rest of the country had moved on to other scandals — Richards, 28, died at home and alone from an accidental painkiller overdose.

Hornets to deploy with Corps’ Middle East crisis response unit

- Marine Corps Times – The second rotation of the Marines’ crisis response force in the Middle East will include a new squadron of fighter aircraft. Special Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force-Crisis Response-Central Command is swapping out its AV-8B Harriers for a squadron of F/A-18 Hornets from Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 232 out of Miramar.

U.S. Marines Prepare for Central American Emergencies

- War is Boring – While most of the Pentagon’s attention remains focused on the Middle East, the U.S. Marine Corps is expanding its presence in Central America. A new task force – Special Purpose Marine Air Ground Task Force-Crisis Response-Southern Command – will soon be ready to help out American allies during disasters and other crises.

Special Purpose Marine Air Ground Task Force-Crisis Response-Southern Command

US Marines – Marines Shift F-35 Deployment Plans

- Aviation Week – The US Marine Corps is changing the way it plans to use its Lockheed Martin F-35B short take-off, vertical landing fighters. Briefly, the new concept of operations envisages the use of mobile forward arming and refueling points (M-Farps) to support groups of F-35Bs, which would return to U.S. Navy amphbious warfare ships, allied carriers (special mention to the British Queen Elizabeth class) or even regional land bases for routine maintenance.

US Marines – Don’t call me ‘POG': The push to end the Corps’ most damaging divide

- Marine Corps Times – The service rivalry between infantry Marines, or grunts, and support Marines, sometimes called “persons other than grunts” or “POGs” for short, is a ubiquitous part of Marine Corps culture. It’s fed by grunts’ pride in their elite training and dangerous work — and the perception that support Marines enjoy better living conditions and easier work, particularly when deployed to combat zones.

US Marines – Corps fills key role in Ebola mission

- Marine Corps Times – Marines with a Spain-based task force were some of the first U.S. troops dispatched to West Africa to help combat the spread of Ebola, and since arriving in early October they’ve been kept busy laying the foundation for what’s expected to become a large-scale, long-term humanitarian mission. The Marine Corps force in Liberia numbers about 100 personnel and includes four MV-22B Ospreys and two KC-130J Super Hercules cargo airplanes. They’re being used primarily for aerial site surveys, reconnaissance and to transport senior U.S and African officials.

US Marines – Marine Corps Modernization Challenge: How To Get Ashore In The Future

- Forbes – When General Joseph F. Dunford became the 36th Commandant of the U.S. Marine Corps at a ceremony in Washington last week, he inherited a dilemma that predecessor James Amos struggled with throughout his four-year tenure. Superficially, it’s a question about what kind of amphibious combat vehicles the service should be buying. In reality, it’s a debate about the future of the Marine Corps. Having organized its combat units for rapid response and forcible entry from the sea, the Corps faces a growing challenge in sustaining its core amphibious-warfare mission due to shrinking budgets and the increasingly sophisticated defenses of littoral adversaries.

US Marines – Exercise Bold Alligator Kicks Off With Marines Taking On The Unknown

- FoxtrotAlpha – The USMC’s biggest exercise of the year is underway off the coast of Virginia. Bold Alligator ’14 brings together a wide array of Marine and Naval capabilities, along with those of other services and international partners. But this year’s exercise is unlike 2012’s; instead of a traditional beach assault, players will be stepping into the unknown.