With probably more than 300 kills during the Vietnam War, Carlos Hathcock is the most famous sniper in United States History. The North Vietnamese put a $30,000 bounty on his head and called him "Long Trang" or White Feather. Hathcock was once accredited with hitting a NVA at 2,500 yards with a special scope-adapted .50 caliber machine gun converted to single shot operation.
The year before going to Vietnam, Carlos won top honors at the National Rifle matches at Camp Perry Ohio,including the prestigious Wimbledon cup-long-range shooting's most prestigious prize-in 1965! Hathcock began honing his rifle skills at an early age bringing home food for the family table in rural Arkansas.
Late in his life, he was awarded a Silver Star, the third-highest military honor, for an incident that happened nearly 30 years earlier, Hathcock's career as a sniper came to sudden end outside Queson in 1969, when the amphibious tractor he was riding on was ambushed and hit a 500-pound box mine. Hathcock pulled seven marines off the flame-engulfed vehicle before jumping to safety. As was his way, he rejected any commendation for his bravery
Although he was unable to return to Vietnam, he put his efforts into establishing the Scout/Sniper school at Quantico Virginia. Here, Hathcock spoke against the "John Wayne" mentality of many soldiers, always emphasising skill and quiet deliberate thought as essential to be an effective sniper.
The Carlos Hathcock Award is presented annually to the Marine who does the most to promote marksmanship. And there is a sniper range named for Hathcock at Camp Lejeune, NC. Sadly, what the North Vietnamese couldn't do, was finally done by the slow debilitating disease of multiple sclerosis at the age of 57,Carlos Hathcock died quietly.
The most decorated Marine of all time being awarded 52 ribbons and medals
- he was awarded the Navy Cross an amazing FIVE TIMES - the Navy Cross is the second highest award a Marine can be awarded, it is only outranked by the Medal of Honor
Navy Cross w/4 Stars----Army Distinguished Service Cross
Silver Star----Legion of Merit w/1 Star
Bronze Star----Air Medal w/2 Stars
Purple Heart----Presidential Unit Citation w/5 Stars
Good Conduct Medal w/1 Star----World War I Victory Medal w/1 Star
Haitian Campaign Medal----Nicaraguan Campaign Medal
Marine Corps Expeditionary Medal w/1 Star----China Service Medal
American Defense Medal w/1 Star----American Campaign Medal
Asiatic Pacific Campaign Medal w/4 Stars----World War II Victory Medal
National Defense Service Medal----Korean Service Medal w/5 Stars
United Nations Service Medal----Haitian Military Medal
Nicaraguan Presidential Medal of Merit w/1 Star----Nicaraguan Cross of Valor
Korean Presidential Unit Citation----Korean Ulghi Medal w/1 Palm
Chinese Cloud and Banner
Lieutenant Colonel William Ward Burrows
officially appointed the first Commandant on July 12, 1798.
Brigadier General Archibald Henderson (1785-1859)
First general officer of the Marine Corps; 5th Commandant of the Marine Corps, he held that position from 1820 until 1859
- a span of over 38 years (longer than any other Commandant), during which he served under 11 different Presidents. He had a total of 53 years of service beginning in 1806. He is known as the "Grand Old Man of the Corps"
Brigadier General Jacob Zeilin
Commandant who adopted The Marines' Hymn and the current Marine Corps emblem and officer's evening dress as well as bringing back the Mameluke Sword for officers in 1875.
Lieutenant Colonel Robert W. Huntington
landed his battalion at Guantanamo Bay on June 7, 1898 to become the first U.S. troops to establish a beachhead on Cuban soil.
Lieutenant Alfred A. Cunningham
became the first Marine aviator in 1912. He was designated Naval Aviator Number 5.
Major General John Archer Lejeune (1867-1942)
first Marine officer to ever command an Army division in combat - 13th Commandant who officially made scarlet and gold the Marine Corps colors; superintendent of the Virginia Military Institute from 1929-1937
General Lemuel C. Shepherd, Jr.
20th Commandant who also designed the Marine Corps seal
General Alexander A. Vandegrift (1887-1973)
led the U.S. offensive against the Japanese on Guadalcanal in the Solomon Islands during WWII. First Marine to be awarded both the Navy Cross and the Medal of Honor. 18th Commandant from 1944-1948. First Marine to hold the rank of 4-star General while still on active duty.
Major Gregory R. "Pappy" Boyington (1912-1988)
Medal of Honor; commanded the VMF-214 also known as the "Black Sheep Squadron" and was the Marine Corps' top ranking ace of WWII with 28 victories; a television series was created about him and his squadron
Major Smedley Darlington Butler (1881-1940)
the only Marine officer to be awarded the Medal of Honor TWICE - one in Vera Cruz in 1914 and the other in Haiti in 1915. Known as "Old Gimlet Eye"
Gunnery Sergeant Daniel J. Daly
the only enlisted Marine to be awarded the Medal of Honor TWICE - one in the Boxer Rebellion in 1900 and the other in Haiti in 1915.
Master Gunnery Sergeant Leland "Lou" Diamond
Served in France with the famous 6th Marines in World War I and with H Company, 2nd Battallion, 5th Marines, 1st Division on Guadalcanal and Tulagi at the age of 52 in World War II. Among the many fables concerning his service on Guadalcanal is the tale that he lobbed a mortar shell down the smoke stack of an off-shore Japanese cruiser. It is considered a fact, however, that he single-handedly drove the cruiser from the bay with his harassing near-misses. He was known as "Mr. Marine" and "Mr. Leatherneck".
Sergeant Chuck Mawhinney
Marine sniper with the highest number of confirmed kills (103) - he is still alive and in September 1999 was invited to speak at the Scout/Sniper school on Camp Pendleton
Lieutenant General Carol A. Mutter
as a colonel, she was the first woman to gain qualification as a Space Director; as a brigadier general, she was the first woman of general/flag officer rank to command a major deployable tactical command, the 3D FSSG, III MEF, U.S. Marine Forces Pacific; In June of 1994, she became the first woman to attain the rank of Major General in the Marine Corps and she became the senior woman on active duty in the armed services; On 1 Sep 1996, she became the second woman in the history of the armed services and the first woman Marine to wear three stars. She retired on January 1, 1999 after more than 30 years of service starting in 1967.
Major General Charles F. Bolden, Jr.
as pilot of the Space Shuttle Discovery in 1990, Major General Bolden and crew successfully deployed the Hubble Space Telescope while orbiting the earth from a record setting altitude of 400 miles - commander of STS-60, the 1994 Space Shuttle Discovery flight, the first joint U.S./Russian Space Shuttle mission - more than 680 logged space hours - currently Deputy Commander, U.S. Forces, Japan
Sergeant Major Wilbur Bestwick
He was the first Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps, holding that billet from May 23, 1957 through Aug. 31, 1959.
Colonel John Herschel Glenn, Jr. (b.1921)
Served in the Corps from 1943-1964. He flew 59 missions in WWII and 90 missions in Korea. He was a test pilot from 1954-1959. He became the first American to orbit the earth in his space capsule Friendship 7 in 1962.
first black Marine selected to the Naval Academy Prep School to go on and graduate from the Naval Academy. He served on board the USS Sampson during the U.S. invasion of Grenada. His awards include the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, two Navy Expeditionary Medals, two Humanitarian Service Medals, a Navy Achievement Medal, two Navy Commendation Medals and two Meritorious Service Awards.