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Former Marine Celeb Chef John Besh Gives Back

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By Debbie Gregory.

Before “celebrity chef,” “TV personality,” “philanthropist,” “restaurateur” or “author” appeared before his name, Louisiana native John Besh served his nation as a United States Marine.

The son of a fighter pilot, Besh enlisted in the Marine Corps after graduating from high school, serving with the 1st Marine Division, the 4th Marine Division, and I Marine Expeditionary Force.

Besh credits the Marines Corps for his culinary expertise. In fact, many veteran entrepreneurs cite the military as a source of the qualities that make them successful in business: a sense of leadership, mission, focus, organization skills, and selfless service.

These attributes have served Besh well, and have become the hallmark of the Besh Restaurant Group. Combat also gave him perspective, allowing him to keep kitchen disasters in context by not sweating the small stuff.

Each November, Besh’s restaurant group hosts a free social gathering celebrating the Marine Corps birthday, and the brotherhood for which the military branch has become famous.

From the battlefield to the kitchen, this award-winning chef has dedicated his life to the service of others. Besh has been active with the Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation, the oldest and biggest donor of need-based scholarships for military students. He has also served the UDT-Seal Association, a Veterans Support Organization that offers scholarships to the children of fallen warriors.

Additionally, Besh has worked with the Delta Veterans Foundation, which helps wounded warriors transition back to civilian life. He has also worked with the Wounded Warrior Project and the USO’s Operation SAFE Return campaign to create family centers for the loved ones of wounded warriors as they get medical care.

Lastly, Besh is proud to have partnered with Baton Rouge-based emergency reconstruction specialists Arkel International, for which he creates high quality, ready-to-eat meals for distribution to thousands of emergency response teams and sustained strategic operations in the U.S. and around the world.

Military Connection salutes and proudly serves veterans and service members in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, Guard and Reserve,  and their families.

Marine General Says Put Down Your Cell Phone

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By Debbie Gregory.

Gen. Robert B. Neller, commandant of the Marines Corps, says it’s time that his troops to step away from their cell phones.

Neller said today’s Marines have gotten a little too soft with their mod cons, and they need to get back to the more stereotypical Marine, which will serve them better on the battlefield.

Additionally, Neller feels that using mobile devices could give away troop positions to their adversaries.

One example he provided involved a Marine Expeditionary Force (MEF), a large unit designed for front-line combat operations.

Neller said, “What do you think the largest electromagnetic signature in the entire MEF headquarters emanated from? The billeting area. Why? Because everybody had their phone on.

The Navy has already come up with plans to reduce its reliance on modern electronics to make its force harder to trace. One of those plans includes sailors re-learning to navigate using the stars instead of GPS.

For the Marines to get back to basics in the field, they will need to eliminate fixed bases and stay on the move.

“We’ve been operating out of fixed positions. We have not moved across the ground. We have not maneuvered. We have not lived off the land,” Neller said. “We’ve been eating in chow halls and drinking green bean coffee. That’s pretty nice.”

But in order to keep his Marines safe on the battlefield, Neller wants to see them go old school.

“You’re living out of your pack, you’re going to stop at night, you’re going to dig a hole, you’re going to camouflage, you’re going to turn off all your stuff, and you’re going to sit there, and you try to sleep,” he said. “And you’ve got to be careful to not make any noise, and you’re going to try to have absolutely no signature. Because if you can be seen, you will be attacked. That’s the difference, and that’s where we’ve got to get.”

Military Connection salutes and proudly serves veterans and service members in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, Guard and Reserve,  and their families.