MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. --
More than 200 members of a local, non-profit organization took part in the unveiling of a monument honoring Maj. Gen. Merrit “Red Mike” Edson during a ceremony at Edson Range, Oct. 25.
During the dedication, Col. James B. Seaton III, commanding officer, Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, and Col. Patrick G. Looney, commanding officer, Weapons and Field Training Battalion, joined E Clampus Vitus, Squibob Chapter, men’s fraternal organization dedicated to the study and preservation of Western heritage to honor Edson’s legacy.
Edson was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the Marine Corps in 1917.
During his time in service, he led the Marine Corps’ rifle team, earned the Distinguished Rifleman Badge in 1927 and captained the Marine Corps shooting teams to national champions. He also helped develop the basis for marksmanship training for all Marines.
Throughout his career, Edson stressed the importance of marksmanship as a foundation of being a Marine.
In 1964, part of Camp Pendleton’s Stuart Mesa area was dedicated as Edson Range in his honor.
The range was used as a replacement rifle range for Camp Matthews in La Jolla and for recruits training on Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego.
The chapter has built more than 80 monuments honoring important people and events in Western history since it was formed in 1962.
This newest monument was built as a chapter effort using rocks and recycled stripper clips and brass shells in the cement of the monument from throughout Edson Range, as a way to pay tribute to the importance of marksmanship to Edson.
“Using those artifacts is a touching way to honor Maj. Gen. Edson and is very fitting of Edson Range,” Looney said. “It’s an incredible monument with a personal touch.”
Looney also said the new monument should be an inspiration to all Marines because of Edson’s dedication and combat prowess as a Marine.