Day out at ROK Marine Corps HQ

Republic of Korea Marine Corps HQ Photos

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2-14.jpg After our greeting with the band and the CMC, we observed the ROKMC Silent Drill Team.  WOW! They are great!! They did many of the moves I have seen else where.  They had fixed bayonets throughout their show. They exchanged rifles while marching and twirled the rifles in the air.  BUT at the end of the show they fired their weapons which were loaded the whole time!!! Great show! True professionals!! ROKMC2-01.jpg
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ROKMC2-07.jpg We got a great briefing on ROKMC history and current activities in the HQs conference room.  Mr. Yang, Chul Woo, President of  District 354-A Lions Club presented to the CMC the gifts from Lions Club. (11 million won, and 50 TV&VCRs.) The CMC gave Lions Club a plaque.  The entrance to HQ building has digital modern display of all aspects of the weather.  An interesting addition to a military HQ.  ROKMC2-08.jpg
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ROKMC2-14.jpg Then it was time for lunch, and a trip to the mess hall.  It was fun to see how the young Marines got to eat... the old metal trays. They were very functional for Korean cuisine and the meal was great!  I got a chance to talk to both CMC LtGen Kim and the Assistant CMC MG Bae who speaks English better then myself.  He is a graduate of USMC TBS, and the USMC Amphibious Warfare School.  He as also served a tour of duty as the Naval Attaché in Washington DC.  This summer is the rotation for the CMC and MG Bae may be the next CMC.  Both CMC and ACMC look like poster Marines.  They have military bearing and you could never forget they were a Marine.  The next commandant has to go thru a selection process similar to USMC CMC, with ROK CMC getting selected and endorsed by CNO, Ministry of National Defense and the President of Korea.


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ROKMC2-23.jpg After lunch we went to the ROK 2d Marine Division up near the DMZ.  They have a large area of the DMZ to guard.  They have tours but it is different from the US run Panmunjon tours.  Also, it is a high hill overlooking the water into nKorea.  The terrain is set perfect for teaching map reading class!  The trip up there was escorted by ROKMC MPs.  With a beautiful battle hand-off from HQMC MPs to 2d Marine Division MPs after the toll road.  These guys are professionals.  ROKMC2-24.jpg
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ROKMC2-30.jpg We first visited the Amphibian Tractor Battalion for 2d Marine Division.  (The LVTP7 is home here with a ROK manufatured version of the LVTP7,  just as Court House Bay, Camp Lejuene NC is home for 2MARDIV Amtracs.)  They had a display set up and showed a crew drill on how quick they can get in and ready.  The are some serious Marines.  They were also wearing a Camy Beret which I thought was interesting in light of the US Army head gear controversy. After the viewing they told us to climb in... then they took us to where the buses would drive us to our next spot.  It was a clean Amtrac that was loud and bumpy....brought back some old memories! The ROKMC Amtrac'ers of 2d Marine Division are in artillery range of most nKorean Arty.  Their crew drills are done with a seriousness we in the US have not had to worry about. Getting their tracks moving under fire from their garrison is something we in the US have been lucky to not have to experience. ROKMC2-31.jpg
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ROKMC2-39.jpg Next we went to the DMZ that is under the control of the ROKMC at Eagi Pong on the west coast of Korea. What sight.  You can easily see into nKorea. You can also see that nKorea has chopped all the trees down from the border to 25 km in land.  The reason, for fuel and protect against defectors having cover to escape.  You can also see a few towns.  When you look thru the binoculars, you will notice that there are no people in the towns.  Buildings without people.  We did see one Outpost (or in Korean GP) that had nKoreans in it.  Not a lot of people close to the border. ROKMC2-40.jpg
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What an exciting fun day.  For Marines, it was a once and a life time event. For civilians, it was a chance to see how their country has dedicated people putting it on the line for their fellow citizens.  I was the only American, and received great hospitality.  Later, I will set something up for my military unit to go to visit ROK 2d Marine Div. Definitely, a good visit to see some motivated professionals.

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Webmaster:  JRL, former US Marine

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