The Christy Collection

Military Stories and Articles

Gen Lewis H. Wilson, U.S. Marine Corps (1941–1979) – Medal of Honor Recipient

Gen Lewis H. Wilson, U.S. Marine Corps (1941–1979) – Medal of Honor Recipient

There have been a few Commandants who had been recipients of the Medal of Honor, but Louis H. Wilson was the last. And given that the entire ranks of the modern Marine Corps are currently devoid of any officers with the nation's highest military honor it could be quite some time before the world would ever see it again. His tenure as the nation's top Marine from 1975 to 1979 would be one of remarkable transitions. The World War II generation had all but faded out, and the Commandant who...

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Once a Warrior by Jake Wood

Once a Warrior by Jake Wood

How One Veteran Found a New Mission Closer to Home By Jake Wood When Marine sniper Jake Wood arrived in the States after two bloody tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, he was not leaving war behind him - far from it. Ten years after returning home, Jake's unit lost more men to suicide than to enemy hands overseas.  He watched in horror as his best friend and fellow Marine, Clay Hunt, plunged into depression upon returning, stripped of his purpose, community, and sense of identity. Despite...

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Explaining U.S. Military Rank Structure

Explaining U.S. Military Rank Structure

Since the time of the Revolutionary War, the United States military has had a formal structure. Over time, that has helped it develop from a stoic collection of patriots with a cause to the world’s most powerful armed forces. Over time, new branches of the Armed Forces have been added to the United States Army and Navy, and its structure has been altered, but the tradition of proud service has not abated. Military Rank Charts This is a series of charts depicting the ranks and insignias for the...

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Vietnam War Veterans

Vietnam War Veterans

Frequently Asked Questions about Vietnam War Veterans There are several misconceptions and assumptions about Vietnam veterans. This collection of frequently asked questions may help to straighten out any confusion. Q: How Many Vietnam War Veterans are Still Alive? A: In 2020, there are fewer than 850,000 veterans who served in Vietnam still alive. This is down from the 2.7 million service members who were on active duty in Vietnam. Q: How Old are Vietnam War Veterans? A: In 2015, the US...

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The New United States Space Force

The New United States Space Force

United States Space Force Established to Defend American Space Interests The Space Force was signed into law on Dec. 20, 2019, as part of the 2020 National Defense Authorization Act. SpaceForce.mil went live shortly thereafter. On June 18, 2018, President Donald Trump directed the Pentagon to begin planning for a Space Force: a 6th independent military service branch to undertake missions and operations in the rapidly evolving space domain. December 20, 2019, Vice President, Mike Pence signed...

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Explaining Navy Basic Training (Boot Camp)

Explaining Navy Basic Training (Boot Camp)

If you were a sailor in the US Navy, you went through the Navy training program. Basic training (or boot camp) is how raw recruits are shaped into the foundation of the world’s most powerful navy. The Navy hasn’t always had a formalized training program, but things began to change after modernization began in the 1880s. Naval Station Great Lakes was built in Lake County, Illinois, between 1905 and 1911, the first (and since 1996, only) basic training facility for the US Navy. This proud naval...

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Explaining U.S. Marine Corps Basic Training (Boot Camp)

Explaining U.S. Marine Corps Basic Training (Boot Camp)

Many Marine veterans have said that the Marine Corps training they underwent on enlisting was the most challenging experience of their lives. Around the world, the reputation of Marines being the toughest fighting force is respected, and the statistics support it: Marine Corps boot camp recruits suffer more broken bones than any comparable boot camp! What Training Do Marines Go Through? Basic training, also known as boot camp, is a process that all United States Marines must go through to call...

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Explaining Marine Corps Units

Explaining Marine Corps Units

Marine Corps Unit Structure Marine Corps forces vary in the organization depending on the needs and manpower of a unit: Marines' smallest division is a fire team, which is three Marines and a team leader, usually a corporal.Three fire teams (12 Marines) comprise a squad led by a squad leader, usually a sergeant.Three squads (39 Marines) comprise a platoon with a leadership team of a platoon sergeant and platoon commander (usually a 1st or 2nd lieutenant). The platoon leadership also benefit...

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Understanding Military Job Codes

Understanding Military Job Codes

As the world’s largest employer, the United States Department of Defense has a complex system of military job codes to help manage employment in various military branches. However, each branch’s job code functions differently. Military Occupational Specialty Codes The United States Army and United States Marine Corps, the MOS code, or military occupational specialty code, is used to identify specific military jobs. This system is distinct from the standard occupational classification (SOC)...

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We’ll All Die As Marines by Colonel Jim Bathurst

We’ll All Die As Marines by Colonel Jim Bathurst

One Marine's Journey from Private to Colonel By Colonel Jim Bathurst For seventeen-year-old high school dropout Jim Bathurst, the Marine Corps reputation for making men out of boys was something he desperately needed when he enlisted in March of 1958. What began as a four-year hitch lasted nearly thirty-six years and included an interesting assortment of duty stations and assignments as both enlisted and officer. We'll All Die As Marines narrates a story about a young, free-spirited kid from...

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History of U.S. Military Rank Insignia

History of U.S. Military Rank Insignia

The military rank insignia of the United States military has a long and proud history. Many of the ranks adopted by the United States military at the start of the Revolutionary War in 1775 are still in use today. The early military took a lot of inspiration from the British and French forces. Over time, the military rank insignia has come to represent American valor. These emblems, worn on the uniform to denote rank, help people identify military personnel’s rank and pay-grade at a glance....

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