The Marines Corps will turn 238 years old on Sunday. As usual, members of the Marines Corps League Santiam Detachment 374 will celebrate with a social hour and a no host bar and dinner Saturday night.
There will be the typical posting of colors and cake cutting, but this year the league’s focus is on past, present and future Marines, and service members will be honored to represent the different eras.
Tim Beach, along with other prior service and retired Marines, make up the past. Capt. Jeff Price, the Marines Officer Instructor for the Naval ROTC program at Oregon State University, will represent the present Marines. He will also be the guest speaker.
Representing the future of the Marines is 2nd Lt. Nicholle Miller who was commissioned on Sept. 6, after completing the Naval ROTC program at OSU.
Beach, the senior vice commandant for the Marine Corps League, served from June 2, 1972, to May 30, 1975.
“I went in at 17 with permission from my parents,” Beach said. “Three days out of high school, at 17, I left for boot camp.”
He served his four years as a 0331, also known as an M60 machine gunner.
He was assigned to Echo Company, 2nd Battalion, 6th Marines Division in Camp Lejeune, N.C.
In 1973 he went on a peace keeping float in the Mediterranean.
While there, the Yom Kippur War broke out when Egypt sent tanks across the Israeli border.
“We ended up being a readiness force right off the coast of Egypt and Israel,” he said. “Though we never saw combat, it was enough to get Egypt back across its border with the tanks.”
Beach left the Marine Corps as a corporal. He later joined the Army and retired after 20 years of service.
Price enlisted in the Marine Corps on June 19, 1996. He first served with the 3rd Battalion, 12th Marines in Okinawa, Japan, where he participated in several joint operations on mainland Japan, and was meritoriously promoted to corporal in September of 1997.
In January of 1998, he began serving with the 11th Marine Regiment at Camp Pendleton, and in November of that year he was meritoriously promoted to sergeant. He attended drill instructor school in San Diego, and served with Hotel Company, 2nd Recruit Training Battalion as a drill instructor, senior drill instructor and chief drill instructor. He went on to drill instructor school until June of 2005.
As a staff sergeant, Price participated in the Marine Enlisted Commissioning Education Program where he earned a bachelor’s degree in applied mathematics.
As an officer he served as a scout platoon commander, tank platoon commander and tank company executive officer, and deployed to Afghanistan for Operation Enduring Freedom.
In January of this year he took a position at the Marine Officer Instructor at Oregon State University where he will finish out his 20 years and retire.
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“I have spent half of my entire life in the Marine Corps. The camaraderie is something you cannot find anywhere else, and I would say in any other branch of service,” he said. “It’s a special brotherhood and special breed in the Marine Corps.”
Miller said the ROTC program provided her the opportunity to stay focused, adding, “If I didn’t get my school work and classes done, I wouldn’t get my degree and wouldn’t graduate.”
She said the ROTC program gave her opportunities to develop a leadership style and learn how different people work together.
“It also gave me the opportunity to find out if the Marine Corps was right for me and what would be expected of me as a commissioned officer,” she said.
She graduated from Officer Candidate School (OCS) on Aug. 17 in Quantico, Va.
She further explained by saying that the instructors there taught her and guided her, but that she also had to come up with many solutions on her own or with a group of people.
After she completes her masters program at OSU, Miller will continue her training before reportings to her duty station.
“Right now I am not sure if I am going to go career,” she said. “I will follow the philosophy of stay in until you stop having fun.”
She has been told by many other fellow Marines that everything done after the Marine Corps will be compared to her experience in the Marine Corps.
She has looked into intelligence and communication, but is not dead set on any particular MOS.
“Only time will tell what I do.”
IF YOU GO
What: 238th Marine Corps Birthday
When: Saturday, Nov. 9. A no host bar and social hour will begin at 6 p.m. Dinner will be served at 7 p.m. The main course will be prime rib and/or baked salmon.
Where: American Legion Pot 10, 1215 Pacific Blvd. S.E., Albany.
Cost: $30 per person or $55 for two. Tickets can be purchased from Robert Griffin, 541-619-0520; Don Austin, 541-367-9822; or Art Seavy, 541-619-7654.