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Marine Aviation


Marine Aviation

Headquarters Marine Corps

Washington, DC
For nearly 100 years, Marine Aviation has demonstrated the adaptability, agility and unique ethos that come with the title “Marine.” Supporting our ground and logistics brothers and sisters, Marine Aviation has forged a lasting legacy of professionalism, innovation and transformation. The centennial of Marine Aviation provides us a unique opportunity to reflect on this legacy of success as we turn our eyes to the future.”
— General James F. Amos,
35th Commandant of the Marine Corps
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Marine Corps Roadmap for the Centennials of Naval Aviation & Marine Aviation

This document provides guidance for planning and executing events to commemorate and celebrate the Centennials of Naval and, specifically, Marine Aviation.

On 08 May 1911, Captain Washington Irving Chambers, U.S. Navy, Officer-In-Charge of Aviation, prepared the requisition for the Navy's first aircraft to be purchased from aviator and inventor Glenn H. Curtiss, marking the birth of Naval Aviation. On May 22, 1912, Marine Corps First Lieutenant Alfred A. Cunningham reported to Annapolis, Maryland, for flight training, marking the birth of Marine Corps Aviation. The operation of aircraft from Navy ships was a revolutionary step in U.S. military history which set the stage for innovations such as the inclusion of aviation in the combined arms concept, the utilization of the helicopter for troop transport, and the development of an all- Short Takeoff/Vertical Landing aviation force.
Beginning January, 2011, the Marine Corps will celebrate the 100th anniversary of Naval Aviation in concert with the U.S. Navy and the U.S. Coast Guard. The celebration will continue throughout 2011 and extend into 2012 - the 100th anniversary year of Marine Aviation. This momentous occasion is an opportunity to celebrate the Marine Corps' naval character side by side with our Nation's other naval services. It is also an opportunity to celebrate the contributions of the Marine Corps and Marine Aviation to our Nation's defense.
As we move forward in planning events to commemorate and celebrate, it is important to understand and communicate the role of the Marine Corps and its unique contribution to our Nation's defense. We are a unique organization comprised of warfighting elements that, when joined together as the Marine Air-Ground Task Force (MAGTF), is significantly more efficient and effective than the sum of the parts. The close integration of Marine Aviation into the MAGTF is one of the ways in which the Marine Corps is unique. The combined arms operations and expeditionary capabilities pioneered by our earliest Naval aviators and refined over the years have served to make the Marine Corps a lethal force that can strike from virtually anywhere in the world at any time.
The Centennial of Naval Aviation celebration will afford the Naval service many opportunities to build and maintain public support for Naval Aviation, Marine Aviation and the MAGTF as a whole. It is our responsibility to seize the moment, and invite the public to celebrate with us on reaching such a historical milestone.

From 2011 to 2012, the Marine Corps will honor through various venues a century of Naval and Marine Aviation, and their roles in the defense of the Nation, in order to build and maintain public support for the Marine Corps and the role of its Aviation Combat Element (ACE).

Using this roadmap as a guide, the Marine Corps will celebrate the Centennial of Naval Aviation through a synchronization of efforts in support of Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard celebrations, while building and maintaining public support for Naval Aviation, Marine Corps Aviation and the Marine Corps as a whole.

Commander's Intent: To capitalize on enduring relationships and recurring events that the Marine Corps enjoys. A positive and valued reflection of the Marine Corps and its ACE will be the end state of our efforts.

The enclosed planning guide (enclosure 1) will assist Centennial Celebration planners at all levels regarding key elements, themes, and key audiences. Efforts should focus on one or more of the key audiences and incorporate the key elements and themes to ensure unity of effort and set the conditions for mission accomplishment.
Enclosure 2 outlines annexes to this plan. Each annex will be written and submitted to the Department of Aviation (ASM) by the command or agency with primary responsibility as a way of building and maintaining awareness across the Marine Corps. The annexes are intended as a forum to publish the organization's plans to support the Centennial Celebration. Updates to the annexes as well as information on the Centennials will be accessible through the Headquarters Marine Corps Department of Aviation website.

In conjunction with the Chief of Naval Air Forces, who has the overall Department of the Navy lead, the Deputy Commandant for Aviation is the lead Marine Corps planner for the Centennial of Naval and Marine Aviation. All other organizations and commands are supporting for this effort.
Force Commanders will provide oversight and serve as the final authority to determine whether a proposed Centennial Celebration event is supportable. The Commanding Generals, 2d Marine Aircraft Wing and Marine Corps Installations-East, will lead the planning and execution of events in the eastern half of the United States; the Commanding Generals, 3d Marine Aircraft Wing and Marine Corps Installations-West, will lead the planning and execution of events in the western half. The Commanding General, 4th Marine Aircraft Wing, will be in support of each effort, where required. The Commanding Generals, 1st Marine Aircraft Wing and Marine Corps Bases Japan, will participate as appropriate and will be kept informed by the Deputy Commandant for Aviation.


Enclosure 1 - Planning Guide

Enclosure 2 - Annexes

Annex A: HQMC, Department of Aviation?
Annex B: HQMC, Division of Public Affairs
Annex C: HQMC, Office of Legislative Affairs?
Annex D: Marine Corps Recruiting Command?
Annex E: Marine Corps University, History Division
Annex F: Eastern Region (2d Marine Aircraft Wing & Marine Corps Installations-East)
Annex G: Western Region (3d Marine Aircraft Wing & Marine Corps Installations-West)?

Headquarters Marine Corps Department of Aviation is responsible for building and maintaining awareness across the Marine Corps for all events related to the Marine Aviation Centennial. As we move forward in planning events to commemorate and celebrate this milestone in Marine Corps history, we welcome you to share your stories and photographs with us, and we will share those on this website as we build out new features and sections over the next year leading up to the Marine Aviation Centennial in 2012. Please feel free to submit those stories via mail or e-mail by submitting them to the following addresses.

Marine Aviation Centennial
United States Marine Corps
Department of Aviation (ASM)
3000 Marine Corps Pentagon, Rm 5E527
Washington, DC 20350-3000

Office: (703) 614-1244

E-mail: Click here to contact us via e-mail.
Centennial of Naval Aviation