Elon Musk Special Speaker to Elite Marines


By Debbie Gregory.

By all accounts, billionaire inventor Elon Musk appeared to be nervous when he took elite Marines by surprise.

Musk was warmly welcomed at the 1st Marine Raider Battalion Ball where he rubbed shoulders with elite Marines under the command of Marine Corps Special Operations Command (MARSOC), the Marine Corps’ expeditionary force.

Musk shared some lessons from Silicon Valley, among them was to question authority…which perhaps was a lesson that didn’t resonate with this particular crowd.

“You’re in the wrong room for that, sir,” one Marine in attendance joked.

The SpaceX  and Tesla founder was honored with the first piece of birthday cake, which reportedly was served to Musk from the end of the commanding officer’s sword.

As the guest of honor, Musk delivered the opening statement.

“I wanted to come and speak to this group because whenever there’s danger in the world, you all are the first to go and die.”

Musk’s companies are very involved in the veteran community, and have veteran hiring initiatives, as well as great support for their veteran employees.

MARSOC, a relatively new command compared to other special operations groups, was founded in 2006 to integrate Marines into the special operations community. MARSOC’S stated mission is to recruit, train, sustain, and deploy scalable, expeditionary forces worldwide to accomplish special operations missions assigned by U.S. Special Operations Command.

MARSOC equips and trains Marines to succeed in austere conditions against a wide range of adversaries, and executes complex, distributed operations in uncertain environments, achieving silent success and strategic impact.

MARSOC Raiders are a proven special operations force.  Approximately 120 applicants graduate from its individual training course each year.

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.

U.S. Soldier Killed in ISIS Raid


By Debbie Gregory.

A U.S. service member was fatally wounded during an Iraq mission to rescue about 70 hostages from the Islamic State (known as IS, ISIS, and ISIL) in Iraq and Syria.

Master Sgt. Joshua Wheeler is the first U.S. servicemember who has died in Iraq during combat since the United States began its campaign against IS terrorists in 2014

Although there have been nine previous U.S. deaths as part of Operation Inherent Resolve, all of them occurred in non-hostile situations.

Wheeler, of Roland, Oklahoma, was a highly-decorated soldier and father of four. He rushed into action when he heard sounds of gunfire coming from a prison in Iraq, the location where approximately 70 ISIS-held hostages were being kept.

Defense Secretary Ash Carter said that although not part of the rescue plan, Wheeler’s actions were critical to the mission’s success. Carter said the freed hostages explained what they had experienced after the rescue, including the graves that had been dug for them next to the compound.

The Special Operations Forces mission was in support of an Iraqi Peshmerga operation to rescue the hostages, after information was received that the hostages were facing a mass execution. U.S. helicopters provided air support for the operation, as U.S. forces accompanied Peshmerga forces to the compound.

Of the some 70 hostages rescued, more than 20 of them were members of the Iraqi Security Forces. Five ISIS terrorists were detained by the Iraqis, and a number of terrorists were killed. The U.S. also recovered important intelligence about ISIS.

The mission was authorized consistent with counter-ISIS efforts to train, advise and assist Iraqi forces.

During his military career, Wheeler was deployed at least 17 times — most of those in support of combat operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, according to the Army.

Our heartfelt condolences go out to the loved ones of Master Sgt. Wheeler.

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.