Evans, Michael Lee (Mike), 2nd Platoon

Evans, Michael Lee (Mike), 2nd Platoon

27 July 1945 – 16 March 2006
At rest: Evergreen Cemetery, Louisville, KY

Michael Lee Evans was born on 27 July 1945 to Paul A. Evans and Audrey Pauline Minyar. In a family of four, he grew up with two sisters and a brother: Brenda Parrish (Ed); Beverly Connors (Keith); Gary W. Evans (Mary).

Mike was a graduate of the University of Louisville. He served as a Captain in the Marine Corp for 12 years, serving two consecutive tours in Vietnam for which he received many high decorations. He was a retired civilian employee of the Department of Navy – Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command (SPAWAR) for 18 years in Crystal City, VA and a member of Iroquois Presbyterian Church in Louisville. Michael passed away on 16 March 2006 at the age of 60 at the Veterans Administration Hospital.

USMC Resume:
University of Louisville, KY NROTC Marine Option. Six week Bulldog PLC MCB Quantico – summer 1966.
The Basic School Class 1-68 Alpha Company, 2nd Platoon, Jun-Nov 1967
Vietnam: Two/Three tours: Force Logistics Command (FLC) on Red Beach.

Personal Reflections about Mike Evans:

From John Ames, 9 Apr 2015:: “Mike and I were NROTC students at the University of Louisville starting in September 1963. An excellent athlete in all sports, we played intramurals together for four years at UofL. Five of us took the Marine Option in ’65 “enjoying” OC in the same platoon in the summer of ’66. Mike bunked above me at the end of the squad bay on the second deck of the old white BOQ’s next to the railroad tracks near the air station. I could never figure out how I would get chits for my rack being out of line (and locker too) when Mike’s weren’t – they were attached! Then on to TBS in ’67.

Mike, along with Bob Hagan and Bob Waller, came back to Louisville over the long Labor Day weekend in 1967 to stand in the sword arch, for my wife, Janet’s, and my wedding, and to be a groomsman in the wedding party.

Mike was one of the few guys I ever met who actually gained weight during his three tours in Vietnam. He went to Force Logistics Command on Red Beach. He was everyone’s favorite because he had an inexhaustible supply of poncho liners for visiting VIP’s, and had an equally inexhaustible supply of paper bags to get donuts 24/7 from the bakery at FLC. The trick was to get the donuts in the bag, then get back to the jeep before the grease ate through the paper bag – How did our 21-24 year old stomachs stand it?

During Mike’s remaining years in the Corps and his time working in Virginia, we would keep in touch when he would come back to visit his family in Louisville. Ultimately, he returned to live here in the mid-nineties.

Mike had an irrepressible sense of humor and was always quick with a smile. Never once would you look to Mike for anything and not have it answered positively. RIP, Mike.”

Feltner, Jon (JPF), 2nd Platoon

Feltner, Jon (JPF), 2nd Platoon

I was commissioned a Second Lieutenant at Dartmouth College in June 1967, following 4 years in the NROTC program. My inspiration for military service was my father, who was an Army Medical Corps surgeon in World War II, serving in North Africa, France and Germany. While at Dartmouth, I joined the NROTC, and belonged to a fraternity where Marine service was a house tradition (5 of 6 Marine officers from Dartmouth in TBS 1–68 are fraternity brothers).

Following my graduation from TBS in December 1967, I flew from California with 40 other classmates over New Year’s Eve to our ultimate first tours in Vietnam – as 0302 infantry officers. After a brief stop in Okinawa, I reached my first rifle platoon in India Company, 3rd Battalion, 1st Marines, just in time for the 1968 Tet Offensive launched by the North Vietnamese Army (“NVA”).

When I arrived at my unit, our battalion was one of two designated Special Landing Forces (“SLF”), with the mission of insertion into any heavy combat zone. Our first mission was to interdict the NVA along the Cua Viet River, a prime entry point for the NVA coming south into Vietnam, less than 5 miles from the DMZ. I took over 3rd Platoon, my predecessor having been killed less than 24 hours earlier along with nearly half the platoon killed or wounded. My tour – during the height of the 1968 Tet Offensive – lasted not quite four months, because of two serious wounds, along with almost continuous combat operations.

Initially, our combat assignment was to engage the NVA on, around, or near the Cua Viet River as it emptied into the South China Sea and the Marines and the NVA battled continuously for 3 months. After several battles in various hamlets and towns, I was wounded in the town of Mai Xi Thi (West) (now known as “Mai Xa Chan”) in a significant battle where 27 Marines were killed. I had been shot in the right hand, resulting in partial amputation of one of my fingers.

I was medevaced to Cam Ranh Bay Hospital and, after 3 weeks, returned to my unit, now located along Route 9 heading for Khe Sanh. This whole area was a major staging area for NVA troops headed south along the “Ho Chi Minh” Trail. My platoon was stationed on Hill 512, a lonely outpost, high above the jungle area next to Route 9, patrolling an area where the NVA significantly outnumbered Marine forces. I was wounded a second time, with serious rocket shrapnel wounds to my right leg.

Returning to the United States, I was assigned to Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, where I served two and one half years in 3rd Battalion, 8th Marines as an Assistant Operation Officer and two time Company Commander, with two Mediterranean deployments and one Caribbean deployment.

My next assignment was to be the Officer Selection Officer in Raleigh, North Carolina where I met my wife, Carol, a nursing graduate student at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She had previously served as a Captain in the United States Army Nursing Corps, where she was assigned to a neurosurgery/plastic surgery ward at Walter Reed Hospital in Washington, D.C. During her career, while I had been in combat, she had taken care of far more servicemen with gruesome injuries resulting from Vietnam than I had encountered. My time as an OSO was both interesting and challenging. While I thoroughly enjoyed recruiting quality young men to be Officer Candidates, this effort was continuously challenged by the then significant anti-war movement sweeping college campuses.

I followed OSO duty with an assignment to AWS in Quantico, ultimately leading to a second tour in Southeast Asia, this time with 1st Battalion, 4th Marines in Okinawa. Ostensibly, our mission was to provide a Far East expeditionary force. This somewhat routine tour was dramatically altered in 1975, as the NVA advanced south in full force and South Vietnam collapsed. Our battalion was charged with recovering South Vietnamese “boat people” trying to escape from Vietnam, as well as support for the dramatic evacuations of Phnom Penh, Cambodia and Saigon, Vietnam in April 1975.

I finished my active duty in June 1976 at Headquarters Marine Corps, ironically as the head of the office in charge of the Officers’ Career Planning Office. I joined the Marine Reserves and became part of a reserve Mobilization Training Unit in Boston, which was assigned various tasks, most notably, the training of reserve marines in cold weather operations and skiing. Apparently, the “cold weather training” made me a prime candidate for recall to active duty during Operation Desert Storm in 1991, a war that ended quickly and without my participation. I then retired.

Following the end of my active duty career in 1976, I became a lawyer in Boston after graduating from Boston University School of Law in 1979. I first worked for a major law firm in Boston (along with TBS 1-68 graduates Bierne Lovely and Drew Ley) and later became the Chief Trial Counsel for the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority, where I have remained for the past 29 years. In many ways, my job at the 5th largest transportation authority in the United States has been an interesting parallel with the Marine Corps as the MBTA is the major legal entity sued in Massachusetts because of its role in carrying 400 million riders annually and the numerous personal injury lawsuits arising from that effort. In short, we are involved in “legal combat” nearly every day.

My life in Boston has been influenced by my Marine Corps career, as reflected by ongoing Marine Corps events and Marine friends. (One of my Marine Corps high points was my selection as Guest of Honor at the Fox Company TBS Mess Night in 2007). Indeed, in my personal family life, I recreated my early Marine Corps training, as my three daughters and I climbed all 48 mountains in New Hampshire over 4000 feet. Each climb was a “military operation”, including maps, routes carefully designated, specific assignments for each climber, and a summit photo on each peak, complete with American flag.

One final biographical note of interest. In 2010, I returned to Vietnam for a 3 week vacation. As part of my vacation, I returned to the two places where I was wounded in Vietnam. I was involved in a very moving memorial ceremony in Mai Xa Chan, the small hamlet on the Cua Viet River, where I received my first wound and where 27 Marines had been killed in combat. In ultimate irony, in searching for the general location of the battle site, I was assisted by one Vietnamese villager who had been in the same battle, serving as a Vietcong soldier on the other side. Accordingly, we made the memorial service a tribute to all who died in that place in 1968.

My life has been shaped indelibly by my Marine Corps career, starting with my core experience at Quantico in TBS Class 1-68. I have always relished the TBS experience and its lessons for me. And, I can say, that I have never been with a group of (then) young men who were more inspiring, courageous and wonderful examples for the rest of the country to emulate – then and, most especially, now.

Ferguson, Michael Jeromy (Mike), 2nd Platoon

Ferguson, Michael Jeromy (Mike), 2nd Platoon

11 August 1945 – 25 January 2002
Dallas Ft Worth National Cemetery, TX 75211

Lieutenant Colonel Michael J. Ferguson of Lakewood, California and later Dallas, Texas was with the Marine Corps from June 7, 1967 until June 30, 1989. Mike was married to Cheryl L. Sears, 26 Nov 1967, right after TBS. He passed away on January 25, 2002.

Michael J. Ferguson was born on August 11, 1945 in Bedford, England. His father was a radio gunner on a B-17 Flying Fortress, and his mother was an English citizen. They married and she & Mike came to the USA on the RMS Queen Mary through Ellis Island. Mike grew up in Lakewood, CA. He received an NROTC scholarship and chose to attend USC for his college education. Mike met Cheryl in Lakewood, who was a friend of his sister. A few days after basic school graduation, they married in Long Beach, CA.

Mike served in the USMC for 22 years and retired a LtCol in 1989. His military career took him to 5th Tanks, Camp Pendleton, Vietnam on the USS Ranger, MCRD San Diego, Ft Knox Armor School, 2nd Tanks Camp LeJeune, Supply Depot Albany, GA; Israel & Egypt as a UN Sinai Observer, CO of 3rd Tanks Twenty-nine Palms, CA; I & I Rochester NY, IG Hdqrts, USMC, and lastly the senior Marine commander over the Armor School at Ft Knox. The highlight of his career was taking over as CO of 3rd Tank Battalion at the MCAGCC. He also enjoyed travelling the world with the IG team.

When the gulf war began after Mike’s retirement, he wrote the Commandant asking to return to service, but he was denied his request because they were using the reserves. Upon his retirement he relocated to Long Beach, CA and worked for Iron Mountain Data Security as Branch Manager & General Manager. Mike and Cheryl have two daughters, 4 grandchildren and one on the way. He relocated to Lewisville, TX in 1999, when triplet grandchildren were born.

Mike died at the age of 56 after a valiant fight with cancer. After Mike’s passing, many of his previous tank school students and fellow tankers wrote to our family telling of his professionalism and the training they’d received had helped them in battle. It was a privilege to hear how Mike had impacted the lives of others. He was a man of integrity, honor and outstanding character. He amazed our family with his wisdom and sense of humor in all situations throughout life.

USMC Resume:
USC (Trojan) NROTC Marine Corps option,
The Basic School Class 1-68 Alpha Company, 2nd Platoon, Jun-Nov 1967,
5th Tanks, Camp Pendleton,
Vietnam on the USS Ranger,
MCRD San Diego,
Ft Knox Armor School,
2nd Tanks Camp LeJeune,
Supply Depot Albany, GA;
Israel & Egypt as a UN Sinai Observer,
CO of 3rd Tanks Twenty-nine Palms, CA,
I & I Rochester NY,
IG Hdqrts, USMC,
Senior Marine commander over the Armor School at Ft Knox.
Awarded the Meritorious Service Medal.

Finneran, Pat (PJF Jr), 2nd Platoon

Finneran, Pat (PJF Jr), 2nd Platoon

Pat was commissioned as a United States Marine Corps officer through the NROTC program at the University of Notre Dame. In 1969 he was designated a Naval Flight Officer (Honor Graduate). He served 1970 to 1971 in Vietnam as an A6 bombardier/navigator in combat operations with VMA (AW) 225. There he was assigned as the aide to the Commanding General 1st MAW and continued to fly unit VMA (AW) 225. Also flew administrative and operational missions as observer/co-pilot in the UH1E with HML 167. During the retrograde operations from Vietnam, Pat served as the aide to CG 3rd MAB.

Instructor, Training Squadron 10, NAS Pensacola. 1974 to 1975- AWS (Honor Graduate) 1975 to 1976- Instructor VMA T (AW) 202,A6 Training Squadron 1976 to 1978- S1/S3 for VMA (AW) 332, including a unit deployment to WESPAC 1978 to 1979- Deployed in USS Mt. Whitney, as the Air Officer for the 4th MAB to northern Europe with General Alfred M. Gray. 1979 to 1980- U.S. Air Force Command and Staff College ( Distinguished Graduate) 1980 to 1984- Fixed Wing Aviation Plans Officer, Headquarters, Marine Corps.

Staff assignments included HQMC as the fixed wing aviation plans officer. He was also given a special assignment as the Aide to the Honorable Donald J. Regan, Secretary of the Treasury during the 1981 Presidential Inauguration.

1985 to 1987- MAG 14 Plans Officer, MAG 40 Executive Officer/Acting Commanding Officer. He was also Commander 4th MAB (Rear) during retrograde operations reporting to B.Gen. Carl Mundy, CG 4th MAB During his final two years of active duty, Pat led the planning and deployment of MAG40 ACE to NATO operations in northern Norway, serving as the plans officer, executive officer, and acting commanding officer. 1987- Pat retired as a Lieutenant Colonel.

2011-Present, Pat is the President of Accelerated Performance Solutions LLC, a sole-proprietor consulting company whose focus is on leadership development and operational performance improvement. Pat also serves as the Chief of Staff for the Aerospace and Defense Group of The Highland Group. He is also a Board Member of the Jura Corporation, a privately held corporation; the Chairman Emeritus of the Board of the Naval Aviation Museum Foundation; member of the University of Notre Dame Advisory Council for Graduate Studies and Research; director of the Marine Corps Law Enforcement Foundation, and trustee of the Lord Foundation of North Carolina.

2009-2011, Pat was the President and Chief Executive Officer of Sabreliner Corporation, and a member of the Sabreliner Board.

1987-2009, Pat served in a variety of executive leadership positions with the McDonnell Douglas Corporation and, subsequent to the merger, with the Boeing Company. Pat was elected Officer of the McDonnell Douglas Corporation. Key assignments with MDC and Boeing included:

-Vice President/General Manager of the AV8B, Harrier program
-Vice President/General Manager F/A-18 Programs to include the development, test, and fleet introduction of the F/A-18 E/F SUPERHORNET. His team was awarded the prestigious Collier Trophy for the on-cost, on-schedule introduction of the F/A-18 E/F.
-Vice President/General Manager Naval Aircraft Programs. In this position, Pat was responsible for all Navy, Coast Guard, and Marine Corps programs. During this period, Boeing won the competition for the Navy Multi-Mission Aircraft, which became the P8 Poseidon. The team also successfully introduced the V22 into combat operations.
-President, Boeing Support Systems. In this position, Pat was responsible for all Boeing aftermarket business with DOD and international customers, as well as other US government agencies.

Military Decorations
Legion of Merit
Meritorious Service Medal With Gold Star
Air Medal
Navy Commendation Medal With Gold Star and Combat V
Navy Achievement Medal

B.A. Notre Dame
M.S. East Carolina
Honorary Doctor of Engineering, University of Notre Dame
Honors • Navy League Fleet Admiral Chester Nimitz Award for Significant Contributions to Maritime Defense (2004)
Marine Corps Law Enforcement Foundation Most Distinguished American Award (2008)
Fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society (2007)
University Of Notre Dame William Corby award for Service to the United States (2013) Pat’s TBS classmate, John Lancaster, was also given this honor

Pat is the proud father to four children and grandfather to six. His oldest son is a Federal law enforcement agent, his second is a Lieutenant Colonel in the United States Marine Corps, and his youngest is a junior in college who has been accepted to the USMC PLC program. His daughter is married to a former Marine.

Fogg, Foggy (JRF), 2nd Platoon

Fogg, Foggy (JRF), 2nd Platoon

-Designated Mayor Emeritus, City of Pensacola January 12, 2009
-Mayor City of Pensacola, July 29, 1994 to January 12, 2009
-Charter Member, Board of Directors, Florida League of Mayors
-Past Ex-Officio Member of the Pensacola Chamber of Commerce for 14 Years
-Member, Board of Directors, Covenant Hospice Foundation of Northwest Florida
-Past Member, Board of Directors, Fiesta of Five Flags
-Past Member, Community Maritime Park and Associates Board
-Past Mayor Pro Tem, City of Pensacola
-Council Member, City of Pensacola June 1989 through September 1994
-Past Chairman, Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO)
-Past Chairman, Citizen’s Advisory Committee for the Pensacola RegionalAirport Master Plan Update and FAR Part 150 Noise Study
-Past Member, Tourism and Convention Committee (TACC)
-2002 Recipient, God in Government Award
-Past Member, State of Florida Faith-Based & Community Advisory Council
-Member, Advisory Council, State of Florida Operation Home Front
-Past Co-Chairman, American Heart Association Heart Walk
-Past Chairman, United Way Loaned Executive Program
-Past Member, Board of Directors Gulf Coast Economics Club
-Past Commodore, Pensacola Yacht Club
-Member, Pensacola Yacht Club Long Range Planning Committee
-Charter Member and President, Florida Commodores Association
-Past President, Foundation for Excellence in Education
-Past Vice President and Trustee, Naval Aviation Museum Foundation
-Charter Member, Naval Aviation Museum Foundation
-Member, Fiesta of Five Flags, 1991 Court of DeLuna

Marine Corps Experience
-200 Combat Air Missions Vietnam
-Recipient, 14 Air Medals with Combat “V”
-Marine Representative and Demonstration Pilot, Blue Angels
-Graduate, Navy Fighter Weapons School, “Top Gun”
-Commanding Officer, Marine Fighter Squadron VMFA 122
-Retired Lieutenant Colonel, 20 Years Service
-Awarded Meritorious Service Medal upon Retirement

-Master of Public Administration Degree, Troy University
-Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, Butler University
-Certified by the Naval Post Graduate School as Aircraft Mishap Investigator
-Airline Transport Rated Pilot
-F.A.A. Single/Multi Engine/Instrument Flight Instructor
-Inducted into the Greensburg High School Graduate Hall of Fame 2015 Class

Professional Associations
-Past President, Northwest Florida Chapter of the National Society of Fund-raising Executives
-Member, Five Flags Rotary Club
-Member, Retired Officers Association
-Member and Past Officer, Blue Angels Association

-Married for 40 years to the former Pat Massey, Pensacola native and artist
-Member Saint Christopher’s Episcopal Church

Foresman, Jim (JLF), 2nd Platoon

Foresman, Jim (JLF), 2nd Platoon

24 Aug 1945 – 7 Jun 2018
Kissimmee, FL

James L. Foresman (Jim),  class of 1967 at the Naval Academy, died in his sleep on June 7, 2018 as the result of incurable bone disease. Jim was a career aviator and flew CH-46’s in Vietnam and throughout his 20 year Marine career with numerous peacetime ship borne deployments. He earned an MS in Aeronautical Engineering at the USN Post Graduate school and flew a variety of aircraft at the USN Test Pilot School in Patuxent River, Md.  After retiring from active duty, Jim held a number of executive positions in the energy and financial management field. He finally settled down in Kissimmee, Florida with his wife Bernardette. He and Bernardette had 4 children between them and 8 grandchildren.

Franzen, Rick (FRF), 2nd Platoon

Franzen, Rick (FRF), 2nd Platoon

After TBS I went to Ft Sill, Oklahoma for artillery training and then to Vietnam. After Vietnam, I was stationed in the Panama Canal Zone. In June 1971 I was released from active duty at the 1st Field Artillery Group (FMF), 29 Palms, CA.

From 1972 to 1979 I attended graduate school and subsequently taught Latin American history. I explored and developed means of using the computer to carry out various kinds of research. In June 1979 I entered the federal workforce, first in computer operations for the 1980 census and later as a Defense Logistics Agency contract specialist in San Diego, CA.

From July 1982 to July 2007 – Managed software development for AT&T in the San Francisco, CA bay area.

June 1971 – Married Amelia Blanco with whom we have a son and daughter along with 3 lively granddaughters.

Freiherr, Steve (SPF), 2nd Platoon

Freiherr, Steve (SPF), 2nd Platoon

Growing up near the ocean in New Jersey and spending summers in Conn., I spent lots of time boating, sailing, and fishing. The NROTC program was a natural for me. Since both parents graduated from Purdue, I was not allowed a second choice for college. From day one of my freshman year at Purdue in the NROTC Program, I wanted to be a Marine. Upon graduation from Purdue, I received my Marine Corps commission.

Meeting and training with fellow, idealistic, and eager 2/LTs at TBS was an experience. I attended the Ft. Sill Artillery Basic Course and then to RVN where I served as an Artillery Forward Observer supporting 2/3 in and around Khe Sanh. My tour was cut short after 8 months while trying to isolate NVA mortar positions and forgot to duck. A one year stint at Camp Pendleton in artillery (3/13) was followed by attending Aerial Observation School and back to RVN. I had a rewarding tour as an Aerial Observer supporting the 1st MarDiv for 6 months and as CO of “A” 1/11 at the mouth of Happy Valley for the remainder of my tour.

I was assigned as Guard Officer, Marine Barracks, Naval Ammunition Depot Earle in New Jersey where I met and married Gail Cuthbert from Bricktown, NJ. I then attended AWS, was assigned as a tactics instructor and then a platoon commander at TBS, and back to Okinawa as CO of ‘G” 3/12. It was a perfect tour in Okinawa, 10 months off the “Rock.” During my time with the BLT, we had several joint operations in Korean and Australia and spent a memorable Birthday Ball in Sydney with our BLT Commander, then-Col Cheatham.

Several days before departing Okinawa, my original orders to MB, Puerto Rico were changed to MB, 8th & I. I spent one year as the Adjutant and 2 years as a Parade Commander. Besides the parades, funerals, and White House duties, the highlight of my tour was serving as the Parade Commander for the Camp David and Friday Evening parades for Israeli Prime Minister Begin, Egyptian President Sadat, and President Carter.

I could not escape Washington and was assigned to the HQMC Manpower Department, followed by my twilight tour as Head of the Firepower Section the Marine Corps Operational Test and Evaluation Activity in Quantico.

I served as a Military Aide to the George Bush family for the 1980 and 1984 Inaugurals and as a Bush family staff member for the 1988 Inaugural.

Upon retiring from the Marine Corps in 1987, I worked for several small business “beltway bandits” on contracts at BMDO (formerly StarWars), NGA (formerly NIMA), DoD, and other Federal agencies. I moved to Knoxville, TN, after commuting for 4 months from Northern Virginia, as General Manager for a small IT/information management company with contracts primarily at DOE activities in Oak Ridge and Washington, D.C.

I am nearing the end of my phased retirement plan. On a part-time and as-needed basis, I continue to conduct ISO quality assurance and IT internal audits and assist with proposal technical writing. I plan to retire completely during late summer 2015.

Our two daughters were born at Quantico. They were both CPAs and now an Operations Manager for a business consulting company and a Comptroller for an energy insurance and risk management company. We have 2 grandchildren located here in Knoxville.

Gail and I spend time helping out with the grandchildren as our daughter works from home and our son-in-law works in Oak Ridge. I play golf as much as I can and Gail is a serious photographer and gardener. In retirement, we hope to spend time with the grandchildren, and do some traveling and cruising.

Friese, Bill (WPF), 2nd Platoon

Friese, Bill (WPF), 2nd Platoon

After Basic School, I went to Flight School in Pensacola and then on the jets at Meridian, MS. Honestly, I felt that flying a jet was not fun. No flying upside down, no loops, no spins and I realized I would owe the Marine Corps 5 years instead of 4 years. It was April 1968 and I dropped on request and asked for 03 WesPac. They wanted me to keep flying, but I wanted to test my skills as a grunt. They psychologically tested me and found, that I was a typical Marine Officer (slightly opinionated and slightly crazy).

I had 20 days delay, 5 days on Treasure Island, San Francisco, 12 hours on Okinawa and from there joined India Co, 3rd Battalion 26”‘ Marines as a Platoon Commander. My Company Commander was Richard Foley who was XO to Bill Dabney on Hill 881 S at Khe Sanh. I was in the field for 10 months and spent the last 3 months guarding Da Nang, I remember that I went from a solid 165 lbs down to 115 lbs. I hated C-Rats and only tolerated long rats.

I was Platoon Commander for India 4 initially and then was transferred to Mike 1 after 3 ‘/2 months. Most of you remember that they did that so you wouldn’t get too tight with your platoon. The 1st op that India 4 went out on after the change (Meade River), the Lt. that replaced me was killed by a sniper. A big teddy bear named SSgt. Karl Taylor took over the platoon, lost a bunch of guys and died saving the rest of the platoon. I consider it an honor that I helped write up his posthumous Medal of Honor. I also was damn lucky it wasn’t me as the Platoon Commander.

After 7 months in the field I became H&S Company Commander. We were overrun twice, once in the field and once at An Hoa when the V.C. blew up the Ammo Dump.

At the end, I had the additional duty as Battalion Legal Officer. A great experience. I had an excellent Battalion Commander in Lt. Colonel Snelling. What a gentleman.

Back in the states (Pendleton as a CO preparing kids for RVN) it was no fun so I called my monitor in Washington. I told him I knew it was a dumb call but if the Marine Corps wanted me they would give me what I wanted and if they didn’t I would be told to go back to the field and “pound sand.”

NO OSO officer on a college campus where I could look good and flirt with the girls was available. My monitor offered XO and then CO when I made Captain of a Marine Detachment on an aircraft carrier. I took the Hancock out of San Francisco. I spent 3 months at Hunter’s Point in dry dock then back to Vietnam off Yankee Station for 6 months and then in dry dock at Alameda . Imagine me a Captain, a Lt, a 1st Sgt, a SSgt and 55 squared away Marines. Life was “good” and ”easy”.

From there, I ended my career working for the Base Commander at Quantico. The Chief of Staff would come into the office every Wednesday and say “Captain, meet me at the golf course at noon in your civies.” I said ”yes sir!”

When I got out I was going to go to the U of Chicago for an MBA. Girls and beer got in the way, and I took a job in the Textile Industry so I could make money for more girls and more beer. After moving to New York, I was V.P. and General Manager of a couple of large Textile Companies. I decided at 29 that marriage was needed (peer pressure) and so began a 5 year ”Practice Marriage.”

Shortly after moving to California (Newport Beach), she left me and we got divorced. I dated again at 34 (as many as I could fit in a hectic business schedule) and met my wife of 35 years. She was and is still perfect and she tolerates me. Norma and I have 3 wonderful children Brienne, Caitlin and Jared. Brienne is married and is a high school dance teacher. Caitlin is married and is an Assistant Director of Nursing. This past August she blessed us with our first grandchild, a beautiful baby girl. Our son Jared graduated from Vanderbilt University with honors and a double major. He works in Santa Monica as a Software Consultant.

I bought in to a start-up Textile Manufacturing business (Fabtex Inc) in 1988. I ran the west coast factory, took it to $50 million and sold it the first of February 2015. I’m still working because I love what I’m doing. It feels great to know I can hang it up at any time without a care in the world.

I can’t wait to see you guys again even though we’ll need name tags after 45 years. Semper Fi Bill

Fuchs, Len (LRF Jr), 2nd Platoon

Fuchs, Len (LRF Jr), 2nd Platoon

A native of Belleville, Illinois, Colonel Fuchs graduated from Southern Illinois University and was commissioned through the Platoon Leaders Class in 1967. His first assignment after completion of The Basic School in November 1967 was as the Executive Officer of Guard Company, Service Battalion, Quantico, VA.

Colonel Fuchs was then assigned as a student at Pensacola and received his wings in May 1969. He has served as an aviation officer at all levels, including command of a Squadron in Yuma, Arizona.

His combat assignments included Vietnam, with an F-4 squadron and as a Forward Air Controller (FAC) with the Korean Marines. Panama during Operations JUST CAUSE and PROMOTE LIBERTY. Saudi Arabia, Persian Gulf War, Operations DESERT SHIELD/STORM.

His Joint assignment was served as a Program Manager, GPS, with the United States Air Force. This was followed by an assignment as the U.S. Government “Drug Czar” in South and Central America.

Colonel Fuchs is a Distinguished Graduate of the Marine Amphibious Warfare School, Marine Corps Command and Staff College, and the Naval War College. He holds a Master’s Degree in National Security Studies from the Naval War College.

Colonel Fuchs military decorations include the Legion of Merit, Defense Superior Service Medal, Air Medals, Combat Action Ribbon, in addition to campaign ribbons.

I’ve concluded there were only two things that were significant during active duty: Have the privilege to lead Marines and being led by Marines. Everything else was interesting happenings during the journey.

Post Marine Corps:
Senior VP Franklin Covey – 1994-1998

Owner and CEO of an international strategic planning and executive leadership training organization – 1998 – Present.

Editor of weekly leadership email with 186,000+ subscribers

Author of two books on leadership with sales of over 450,000+

Have been married to MaryAnn for 48 years. Four children and six grandchildren.


United States Marine Corps 1967-1993, Retired as a Colonel.

Squadrons: VMFAs-201, 513, 115, 312, 251, 101, Instructor VT-10.

Vietnam: VMFA-115 Chu Lai and DaNang; 1st BN, ROC Marine Corps (FAC)

Other assignments:
Development Center, Quantico GPS Program Manager – Joint Air Force Tour U.S. Government “Drug Czar” in South and Central America

Participant in U.S. Government adventures in Panama and Saudi Arabia.