Oregon Detachment recruiting efforts honored

Nine Marine Corps League Oregon Detachments achieved 100 percent or more in membership growth in 2022-2023.

According to Commandant Benjamin Quen, it was these efforts that resulted in the Department of Oregon receiving a Second-Place award from MCL National.  Overall, the Department grew at a rate of 114.83 percent.  This growth also propelled the NW Division to a Second-Place award as well.

Quen offers his “congratulations to those detachments for achieving such a great recognition.”

Of the 9 Detachments, two received National Awards:

  • Coquille River Detachment #1042 – 316.67.93% – Received National 2nd Place Plaque (Detachment Size 15-50), Certificate and 100% Ribbon
  • George C Leber Detachment #1481 – 269.23% – Received National 3rd Place Plaque (Detachment Size 15-50), Certificate and 100% Ribbon

The remaining will receive certificates and a 100 percent growth ribbon:

  • Rogue Valley Detachment #386 – 128.30%
  • Calvin E Murphy Detachment #578 – 128.13%
  • USS Oregon Detachment #470 – 112.07%
  • Emerald Empire Detachment #917 – 109.68%
  • Central Oregon Detachment #1308 – 107.41%
  • Daniel E Crockett Detachment #1228 – 103.70%
  • Crater Lake Detachment #373 – 102.93%

Happy Birthday

10 November 2023



             For 248 years, Marines have earned a reputation as the most disciplined and lethal warfighters in the world. This legacy of honor, courage, and commitment passed on to us was paid for in sweat, blood, and sacrifice. From Belleau Wood to Inchon and Tarawa to Sangin, Marines have stepped forward to defend our Constitution when others either could not or would not. Our history is filled with heroes like Chief Warrant Officer 4 Hershel “Woody” Williams, Private First Class Hector Cafferata Jr., Sergeant Major Dan Daly, and thousands of others who performed acts of bravery which went unseen in the heat of battle. We stand on the shoulders of these Marines, and we owe it to them to earn our title “Marine” each and every day.

             Marines have given, and have been willing to give, their lives for Country and Corps in every fight our Nation has entered. Our actions turned back the tide of tyranny in Europe during the Great War, defeated fascism in Asia during World War II, fought for democracy in Korea and Vietnam, and offered the hope of self-determination in the Middle East. We go to war whenever our Nation calls, and in the interwar periods we train, we prepare, and we innovate. We have chosen a life of service and sacrifice — an honorable life that has meaning. We sacrifice so our fellow citizens don’t have to, and we seek nothing in return but a chance to be first to fight. Most will never understand why we choose to attack when others do not, why we revel in being covered in mud, why we snap to attention when “The Marines’ Hymn” is played, or why we say, “Ooh Rah.” We understand it, and this message is for us, for the Marines.

             As Marines, we live on a war footing because someone must. This means that we ruthlessly adhere to our standards of excellence — Marine standards — as we know this will best prepare us for the wars of the future. Our high standards are a prerequisite of professional warfighting, and how we keep our honor clean in the cauldron of combat. They prepare us for the most difficult mission there is: fighting from and returning to the sea. Most importantly they shape our unique Marine culture which is respected at home and across the globe.

             Sergeant Major Ruiz and I are proud of all that you have done this past year to protect and enhance our reputation as America’s best warriors. We hope you know that we will be with you every step of the way as we prepare for the fights ahead. We ask that every Marine – active, reserve, and veteran – honor the legacy of those who went before us by continuing to uphold our high standards.

             Protect your fellow Marines and our shared legacy. Happy Birthday Marines!

CMC Correspondence Signature for Birthday Message

U.S. Congressman honors Sarah Callen

Sarah Callen
Sarah Callen

Sarah Callen, Oregon Department Sergeant at Arms, was recently honored for her continuous display of exemplary volunteerism and her ready support of her fellow veterans and the community of Klamath Falls with the presentation of a flag flown over the U.S. Capitol. Callen is a member and officer of Crater Lake Detachment #373.

The flag and award were presented at the request of the Honorable Cliff Bentz, Oregon’s Second District representative of Congress. The award was presented to Callen at the Veteran’s Advisory Board meeting, where Callen serves as the Marine Corps League representative, by Wyndess James, the veteran liaison for Congressman Bentz.

Specifically, Callen was recognized for her involvement with the Marine Corps League, Mission 22, the Veterans Advisory Council, the Non-Commissioned Officers Association, Toys for Tots, Marine Corps League Scholarship Foundation, WWII Memorial restorations and many other service groups.

Callen also provides holiday meals to elderly, homeless veterans and active duty servicemembers who are not able to provide for their families.

Honoring Gold Star families

The USS Oregon Detachment recently hosted Nancy Menagh from the Woody Williams Foundation to learn more about Gold Star Families Memorial Monument.

Initially the Foundation’s goal was to establish a Gold Star Families Memorial Monument in Woody’s home state of West Virginia. Once that monument was complete, a new mission became clear to Woody and those at the Woody Williams Foundation to establish these monuments in as many communities as possible in all 50 states and U.S. territories. Today, Oregon is the only state without a memorial.

Gold Star Families Memorial Monuments are a two-sided tribute made of black granite. One side bears the words: Gold Star Families Memorial Monument, a tribute to Gold Star Families and Relatives who sacrificed a Loved One for our Freedom.

The other side tells a story through the four granite panels: Homeland, Family, Patriot, and Sacrifice. At the center of this tribute, is a silhouette of a saluting service member which represents the Legacy of the Loved Ones who have paid the ultimate sacrifice for our Freedom. Together, these features tell each community’s unique story based upon the Pillars of the Foundation.

Hershel Woody Williams — the last living WWII Medal of Honor recipient — passed away in 2022 at age 99.  Woody received his MOH for actions at Iwo Jima and devoted his life to building Gold Star Families Memorial across the United States. To date, Woody’s foundation is responsible for establishing 130 Gold Star Families Memorial Monuments across the United States with more than 64 additional monuments underway in 50 states and 1 U.S. Territory. The Foundation continues to grow its reach by being involved in multiple initiatives across the country.

Nancy along with American Gold Star Mothers, Gold Star Wives of America, and Blue Star Mothers have joined together to build Oregon’s first Woody Williams Foundation Gold Star Families Memorial. The Memorial will be placed at Willamette National Cemetary once the group raises the final $10,000; they have raised $60,000 to date.  You can learn more about or donate money to the Foundation at Woody Williams Foundation.

MCL launches free mobile app

MCL – Apps on Google Play

App Store – Apple

The Marine Corps League now has a mobile app in the
Apple Store and Google Play Store. The app is free. This
exciting advancement is long-overdue, and we are so
happy to finally make it available to our membership.

We have been working to continuously improve and enhance the
app. We hope you find it interesting and helpful. The news feed comes
directly from the Department of Defense as well as Department of
Veterans Affairs. This avoids using news feeds and getting information
directly from the sources we need.

Oregon receives National recognition

The Department of Oregon was recently awarded a Second Place Plaque and Citation for exceeding our previous year’s membership by 114.38 percent.  The award was presented at the recent Marine Corps League National Convention.  As Department Commandant Benjamin Quen noted, “this award could not have been achieved without the efforts of each of the state’s Detachments. So, congratulations to all Oregon MCL Detachments.

Quen further noted that this second-place award helped the NW Division achieve a second-place award as well.

USS Oregon honored as Detachment of the Year

MCL USS Oregon #470 has been named Detachment of the Year.

The Detachment has participated in a diversity of activities befitting the community at large. To name a few, the Detachment supports the Tualatin Valley Young Marines, Portland Honor Flights, Quilts of Valor, Veterans Home, NROTC at Oregon State University, and the Marine Corps Coordinating Council. The Detachment participates in several standing community events and makes it a point to recognize First Responders, presenting Certificates of Appreciation for their service to the Community.

USS Oregon’s contributions and conduct reflect favorably on and brings credit to the Department, the Marine Corps League and the United States Marine Corps.

Department Commandant Benjamin Quen (L) presents the Detachment of the Year to MCL USS Oregon to Andre Wood who accepted the award on behalf of the Detachment.

Distinguished Citizen Sump honored

James Joling (R) accepts the Distinguished Citizen Award for William “Bulldog” Sump from Department Commandant Benjamin Quen.

William “Bulldog” Sump, George C. Leber Detachment #1481, has been the driving force behind many Detachment and community events in Lincoln City and has been named the Department of Oregon’s Distinguished Citizen at the Department’s Summer Convention.

Sump efforts range from MCL National programs to Flags of Honor, to Outreach and other activities that benefit the community. Sump was also instrumental in standing up a new Devil Dog Pound in Lincoln City.

Sump’s leadership and outstanding contributions reflect favorably on and bring credit to the Marine Corps League, the Department and the United States of America.

Morello named Associate of the Year

Frank Morello (L) accepts the Associate of the Year Award on behalf of Anthony Morello for Department Commandant Benjamin Quen.

Anthony Morello, Crater Lake Detachment #373, has consistently dedicated countless hours of service to the many programs and projects of the Crater Lake Detachment and has earned him the title of Associate of the Year at the Department of Oregon’s Summer Convention.

His company, Morello Construction, has donated thousands of dollars of materials, equipment operation and man hours in support of the Detachment’s many community projects. Specifically, Morello has been the driving force behind the patio upgrades to the Leatherneck Club and the vast upgrades to the Marine Corps Barracks Memorial.  He has also been the creative mind and provider of equipment for the Detachment’s participation in several of the city’s parades.

Morello’s actions reflect great credit upon himself and are in the highest keeping with the traditions of the United States Marine Corps and Marine Corps League.