Newsletter Issue 1 2016


MCTA Reunion 2016
Fort Benning, Georgia

President's Message

Our reunion in Hawaii was enjoyed by all who participated, but location and cost restricted many from attending. This year’s reunion is in the center of our great country and at a location where costs are less for all items. The Marine Corps Detachment at Fort Benning has done some exceptional legwork to make our introduction to the new home of armor all inclusive but not too exhausting. I cannot encourage our membership enough to strive and make this event.

Your board of directors continues to attempt to provide both oversight and direction to our Association. Our finances remain strong, and we continue to fund our scholarship endeavors as our flagship effort. It is most uplifting to the scholarship selection committee to see the children and grandchildren of our Marine Corps tanker community consistently rise to the top of their respective high schools and universities. I thank the membership for continuing to support this effort.

In addition to our normal reunion agenda, it will be our honor to attend the Memorialization of the Marine Detachment Headquarters and Barracks building for our tanker Medal of Honor recipients, Gunnery Sergeant McCard and Sergeant Timmerman. Lieutenant Colonel Ruben Martinez has scheduled this event so our Association members can participate. We will be part of the official relocation of our Marine Corps armor home.

We continue to ask for the assistance of members volunteering to either chair or assist with various committees. Many on the executive staff are aging and need younger and more robust members to help or assume the reins. If we all do a little, no member has to do a lot.

In closing, I encourage all to provide feedback to myself, the vice president, executive secretary or any director with suggestions or concerns. This is YOUR Association and YOUR input is needed to keep it moving forward.

Diggs sends

From the Secretary’s Desk – George Rose

I am looking forward to our reunion in Georgia this coming October. I was last there in 1986. That was a CENTCOM exercise that involved troops around the world. I’m looking forward to seeing you all again. I do hope you are well. Many of our brothers have been permanently transferred to Sky 6 and take with them our prayers. One of our Directors, Tom Roberts also passed. New members are joining because of the webpage and by showing the colors at large events. You can download an application from our webpage at We are willing to give you support and information about our activities – please call:

I have sent out 157 dues reminders. Please support the MCTA admin by keeping current with your dues.

2016 Reunion in Fort Benning

With the moving of armor from Fort Knox, Fort Benning, the “Maneuver Center of Excellence” has become our home. Tank training for both the U. S Army and our Marines is conducted here. Marines fresh out of recruit training, through staff noncommissioned officers going through advanced operator and maintenance training, are now trained at Fort Benning. Tank officers also attend basic and advanced training here, along with Marine infantry going through advanced training. All airborne courses are also taught aboard Fort Benning.

LtCol Ruben Martinez and his staff will take us from “A to Z” on how the Detachment does so much with so few in training our Marine tankers. They have planned a schedule that can be as robust as one chooses or have scheduled periods of rest and relaxation.

Attendees can choose the events they desire to attend.

The schedule provided is a DRAFT. The dates and most events are in concrete but contracts with the hotel have not been firmed. Tentative hotel prices are $109.00 per night. And registration fees estimated at $125.00. I realize that a hospitality room is a priority for our group, and LtCol Martinez has assured that one will be provided.

I do have a word of caution for all procrastinators. The hotel will guarantee us rooms in blocks of twenty-five. As they fill, another block will be allocated. Due to the location and the setting, I expect rooms to fill up rather quickly. We might not be able to accommodate late arrivals. Your executive secretary cautions me on soliciting too early as members put the package down and then forget about it. I assured him this will not be the case this year due to what the Detachment has planned.


Columbus Metropolitan Airport is about 15 minutes from our hotel. Atlanta’s Hartsfield Jackson International Airport is a 1.5 hour drive. Reasonably priced shuttle service can be arranged by contacting Groome Transportation at (706) 324-3939 or on the web at

The reunion does need assistance in Columbus. We are looking for a hotel liaison, a transportation chief and a hospitality room coordinator. I welcome any and all assistance.

Please fill out this form, fold it to fit in an envelope and mail to:

2016 Marine Corps Tankers Association Registration Form
P. O. Box 20761 El Cajon, CA 92021

Registration Form

  • Please answer questions or indicate events you plan to attend

RSVP by 15 July to National Headquarters at the above address with your payment enclosed. Rooms will be parceled out Twenty-five at a time. Reserve your rooms as soon as possible to guarantee availability

Hampton Inn Columbus/South-Fort Benning
2870 South Lumpkin Rd
Columbus, Georgia 31903
(706) 660-5550
Registration Code: MCT

Wednesday, 12 October
1800-2000“Ice Breaker” Social
2000-2200Hospitality suite open
Thursday, 13 October
0730-0830Residual registration
830Fort Benning muster
0900-1100MCoE & Airborne Tour
1100-1200Command Brief with MarDet
1200-1330Lunch with staff and students
1330-1630R & R or Museum Tours
1700-2000MarDet MOH Building Memorialization
2000-2200Hospitality suite open
Friday, 14 October
0830 (adventurers)Fort Benning Muster
0900-1400Tank restoration and trng obs
0830 (Columbus)Historical tour muster
0900-1200Tour Columbus
1300-1700R & R or Museum tours
1900-2200Hospitality suite open
Evening meal on your own 
Saturday 15 October
800Reveille and form for PT
0900-1100General Meeting
1130-1300Board of Director’s Meeting
1330-1630Rest and relaxation
1730-2100Reunion banquet
2100-2300Hospitality suite open
Sunday 16 October
NLT 1100Farewells and departures

2016 Marine Corps Tankers Scholarship Program

Our Marine Corps Tanker Association Scholarship Program continues as one of the core activities of our Association. The 2016 MCTA First Lieutenant Michael LiCalzi Memorial Scholarship and the John Cornelius, Max English Memorial Scholarship attracted 14 exceptional young men and women. The number of applicants was slightly less than the previous year but the quality of the applicants was outstanding.  This year as in the past three, the exceptional generosity of The LiCalzi Family and the Ace in the Hole Foundation enabled the award of 8 scholarships in memory of 1stLt Michael LiCalzi. Lt LiCalzi heroically gave his life in combat in Iraq, along with the crew of his M1A1 tank.  Mr. Greg LiCalzi, Michael’s twin brother established the scholarship in his brother’s memory. As it has been since 2014, the 1stLt Michael LiCalzi Memorial Scholarship provides a $3000 dollar stipend to exceptionally well qualified college and university students who are dependents of Marine tankers. Three 2015 applicants were continued in the John Cornelius-Max English Memorial Scholarship and one new selection.  Each will receive a $2000 scholarship stipend.

Here is a short introduction of our 2016 MCTA Scholarship winners.

First Lieutenant Michael LiCalzi Memorial Scholarship

Zachary A. Ziegler is completing his second year at the University of Denver with a Business major. Selected for the 1st Lt Michael LiCalzi Memorial Scholarship in 2015 his performance continued to improve, his GPA improving from 3.0 to 3.5. He is an All American nominee on the University Rugby Team and is on the Executive Committee of the Pi Kappa Pi fraternity. Prior to his entrance at UD, Zachary completed an enlistment in the Marine Corps, Honorably Discharged as a Sergeant. The son of a Marine Tank Officer, he plans to either return to the Corps as a commissioned officer, or apply to the Foreign Service, Department of State. He is an outstanding young man.

Micailya Mattson was first selected for the 1st Lt Michael LiCalzi Memorial Scholarship in 2015. The daughter of a Marine Tank Officer, she is in her second year at the College of William and Mary. During her studies she has improved her 3.94 GPA to a 4.0. In addition to her academic excellence, she is active in gymnastic and gives freely of her time in community events including the Special Olympics and volunteering in her university electrophysiology hearing loss lab often assisting service men with hearing loss returning from deployment. She is an exceptional student with limitless potential and a credit to the MCTA Scholarship Program.

Katherine Slaughter is a second year student at the University of Alabama where she maintains a GPA of 4.0. Her major is Elementary Education. She is member of the Delta Gama fraternity where she is Director of Social Awareness. She also participates in Baptist Campus Ministries. In addition to her studies, she is a volunteer swim teacher and coach for the YMCA. In 2015 she was named to the University of Alabama’s President’s List for academic excellence. She was a University’s Lamp of Knowledge Recipient for her perfect GPA and was nominated for the Order of Omega which honors the Universities’ outstanding freshman. Katherine is an outstanding young woman, worthy of the 1st Lt Michael LiCalzi Memorial Scholarship

Aimee Shere is the granddaughter of a career Marine Tanker. A freshman at Illinois State University, she maintains a 3.2 GPA. Having grown up with personal experience with autism and “Down Syndrome”, Aimee continues to be an active volunteer in Special Olympic and athlete programs for persons with disabilities. She is an active volunteer with her community VFW, Am Vets and the St Jude Society. She is particularly active within her community for programs serving underprivileged and disabled children. Aimee is an exceptional young woman who demonstrated commitment, determination and potential. She is a worthy recipient of the 1st Lt Michael LiCalzi Memorial Scholarship.

Megan Martindelcampo is the daughter of a Marine Tanker NCO. She is a sophomore at the University of Redlands where she maintains a GPA of 3.4. She is majoring in Visual Media Studies and plans to pursue her lifelong dream of working for the Disney Corporation. She is a 2015 member of the University of Redlands Dean’s List. In addition to academics, she is the Marketing Director for the Redlands campus radio station KDAWG, volunteer for the “Big Buddies” a mentoring program to provide positive role models to children ages 6 to 14, and volunteers regularly for Habitat for Humanity. She continues a history of consistent excellence and achievement that began in high school. She is an exceptional young woman, worthy of the 1st Lt Michael LiCalzi Memorial Scholarship.

Allison DeCicco is truly an exceptional high school senior. She will graduate in June 2016 and will attend either George Washington University or Villanova University. Her 4.0 cumulative HS GPA is 5.16 when weighted for Advanced Placement, which includes chemistry, calculus, literature, history, geography, biology, micro-economics, statistics and German. She is Captain and All State member of the water polo team, House Leader in the National Honor Society, Academic All American USA Water Polo and Southeast Team Member, USA Water Polo Olympic Team development program. She is a member of the National Honor Society for academics, Advanced Placement District Scholar and the Quill and Scroll Honor Society and many more. She is a volunteer lifeguard and children’s swimming teacher at the YMCA, regularly volunteers for the Runway to Hope and tutors mathematics. She is pursuing her degree in mathematics and plans to earn her PhD. Allison is an outstanding achievement oriented young woman with limitless potential. She is well worthy of the 1st Lt Michael LiCalzi Memorial Scholarship.

Jacob McCulloh, the son of a Marine Tank Officer, graduated high school with a cumulative GPA of 3.88. While in high school, he was the student Flight Leader (commander) of the Air Force Junior ROTC unit, was Captain of the boys’ hockey team and was inducted into the National Honor Society. He was accepted to San Diego State University where his academic excellence continues with his first semester 3.75 GPA. He made the Dean’s List first semester and continued with ice hockey. Jacob is exceptionally active in his church and plans to seek a commission as a military chaplain following graduation. He is a member of the Methodist Youth Fellowship and National Honor Society, and is a member of the Methodist Youth Fellowship Council. The City of San Marcos California selected Jacob as a Youth Ambassador. Jacob is an achievement oriented young man with limitless potential in university and beyond. He is worthy of the 1st Lt Michael LiCalzi Memorial Scholarship.

Kira Chambers is the daughter of a Marine Tank NCO. In high school she achieved a cumulative 3.76 GPA and was on the Honor Roll all four years. She enrolled in Penn State University where she is majoring in Aerospace Engineering and maintains a 3.4 GPA. Her plans include either a commission in the US Air Force or new airline design. She is Secretary of the Penn State Science Club, and volunteers with the VFW Lady’s Auxiliary. Kira’s essay described her commitment to earn her education and insure she and others profit from it. She is a dedicated, persistent young woman, wise beyond her years. She is a worthy recipient of the 1st Lt Michael LiCalzi Memorial Scholarship.

John Cornelius – Max English Scholarship

Emily McLain is a 2015 scholarship winner whose academic achievement and drive to improve continues. She is the daughter of a career Marine Tanker. She is in her second year at North Carolina Wesleyan University and is majoring in Psychology and Criminal Justice. She maintains a 3.4 Grade Point Average. A standout volleyball and basketball player in high school, she is continuing her athletic achievement in collegiate volleyball. In addition to her academics, she remains active in Onslow County community service where she volunteers in the community Soup Kitchen for the less fortunate.

Alexa Stopa is the daughter of an active duty Tanker. Earning a 3.7 grade point average in her senior year in high school, she was selected for a 2015 scholarship. She is completing her first year at East Carolina University where she has earned a 2.93 grade point average in a very demanding curriculum. She remains active in school athletics and serves as a volunteer for the USO and a lifeguard. Her goals is to obtain her university degree and become an elementary school teacher for the Department of Defense.

Kaitlynn McCulloh is the daughter of a career Tanker. She was first awarded a scholarship in 2015 and has been selected to continue during 2016. She is pursuing her degree in Public Administration at the University of California, Riverside, CA where she maintains a 2.97 grade point average. She plan to pursue a career in Public Service. Kaitlynn is exceptionally active with her church community and community service. She has been recognized national as a Methodist Youth Counselor. She has studied abroad in London and completed a 2015 summer fellowship program with the California Department of Social Services.

Ty Kudo is the grandson of a career Marine Tanker. He had an outstanding academic performance at Vista CA High School where he earned a cumulative 3.75 grade point average. In his first year at Boston University, he has earned a 2.85 grade point average majoring in Business. Ty’s application revealed an exceptionally motivated young man who is determined to give his total effort to his studies and achieve his career goals.

Applicants – Academic Year 2017

For eligible and qualified dependents of Marine Corps Tankers and dependents of military member who served in a Marine Corps Tank Battalion, it’s time to apply for Academic Year 2017. Dependents include spouses, children and up to the grand son or daughter of a Marine Tanker. Applicants must be a graduating high school senior or a full time student, with at least 12 units in an accredited junior college, college or university. The application process is detailed and all interested applicants should begin now. The process including an application form, an essay, evaluation of full time student status, Grade Point Average, Letters of Recommendation, extracurricular/school activities and “need” are evaluated by the committee. Scholarship winners and notification of award will be sent during April and May 2017.

Applicants receiving 2016 MCTA Scholarships may apply for continuation for 2017. Recipients may apply for up to four years of scholarships. Each year requires all basic qualifications and a complete reapplication.

The MCTA Scholarships represent a significant financial benefit. Applicants are encouraged to compile the best application possible. Accuracy, legibility and composition that reflect the merit of the applicant are important in the evaluation process. The application forms and all program eligibility requirements can be down loaded from Marine Corps Tankers Association Scholarships website, Complete applications must be received by Steve Chambers, Chairman, MCTA Scholarship Committee no later than March 15, 2017. Application packages can be mailed to 1922 Freeman St., Oceanside, CA, 92054 or emailed as an attachment to Be sure to provide complete contact information with mailing address, best telephone number and an email address for receipt of your application.

The number of scholarships to be awarded in 2017 will be based on Marine Corps Tankers Foundation revenues and sustaining contributions. MCTA members and parties interested in sustaining or obtaining more information about the MCTA Scholarship Program are invited to contact Steve Chambers, Chairman, of the Scholarship Program at the email address provided. Congratulations to our 2016 scholarship winners. Be sure to renew your application; succeed in school and keep in touch. Finally, all Marine Tankers extend our heartfelt thank you to the Mr. Greg LiCalzi, and the “Ace in the Hole” Foundation for their generous, sustained support of the MCTA Scholarship Program.

Board of Directors Meeting
12 MARCH 2016
4TH Tank Battalion

Warning order issued per bylaws

Attendance: Buster Diggs, George Rose, John Studenka, Steve Chambers, John Pierce, Harold Meeks and Stan Smith

Electronic Attendance: Casey, Rich Hine, and Allen “Hobie” Hobart

CFO Report:

  • Distributed profit and loss statement
  • Association: $101,905
  • Foundation: $199,874
  • Funds now clearly separated between 501 C 3 and 501 C 18
  • Recommendation: Liquidate some of the mutual funds to have ready cash to meet daily expenses.
  • There was a reimbursable from Foundation to Association for share of fixed administrative costs in 2013. There is also a potential likewise reimbursement of $5100 in 2014.
  • Review conducted of transactions to date found no discrepancies.
  • Hawaii reunion overspent by $6100 not including receipts form raffle and auction. Recommendation: Reduce top raffle winnings to $550.00 to preclude need for IRS form 1099.
  • Motion: Moved by director Pierce and seconded by vice president Studenka. Passed Motion: Moved by director Pierce to sell 20K of Association bonds to bring ready cash up to 10K. Seconded by director Studenka. Approved
  • FT-17 model tanks bought for sale as fundraiser now distributed as gifts as needed. Miscellaneous reports: Our data base custodian needs to be replaced due to health issues. Moved by vice president Studenka and seconded by director Meeks that President Diggs and executive secretary take for action. Start with local junior colleges and university. Approved
  • Progress report on new and larger banner plus challenge coins.

Scholarship Chairman Report:

Steve Chambers reports seven new applicants and moving right along with challenges of old Website still showing incorrect mailing address.

Newsletter: Expensive but last issue very well done. Discussion on how to reduce costs. Vice president Studenka states many members don’t have email, so hardcopy newsletter must continue. Motions to also publish newsletter on Website seconded and approved. Next issue in April.

Museum: Stan Smith: Gave detailed report on ongoing liaison with a British organization to recover M-4 off Tarawa.

Question coming to president Diggs on book, Frozen Chosin. Was warned by past president Casey that inquiries like these would come up from time to time.


  • Reunion costs not a total loss when donations, raffle and auction factored in. Additional discussion and gifts and giveaways by president Diggs on FT-17’s already a sunk cost.
  • Rich Hine working on new posters with correct contact information
  • Discussion on recruitment and gifts. Hats are generally the most effective giveaway and already purchased. New members wear them to show our organization.
  • Website now linked in a search with: ”Together We Served.”
  • President Diggs floated the idea of a joint reunion with VTA 17, September, 2017 in St. Louis, Missouri.
  • Reconnaissance to Fort Benning pending to secure a “ladies day.”

Association 2016 reunion first or third week in October.


Silver Sprocket

I am sorry to report that our “Silver Sprocket” holder, Roy B, Peters of Chula Vista, California, passed away 1 May, 2016. Roy held the position for two years as our eldest Association member. Now we will need to select a replacement. All interested members that want to apply should send proof of date of birth to our executive secretary, George , “Smoke Pole 6,” Rose at your earliest convenience. For a point of reference, a brand new life member, Fred Lillian of Kirkland, Washington was born June 4, 1931. Yes, I will verify the date.


PERALES, John P. husband of Sam left us March 2016
ROBERTS, Thomas G. left us March 2016
PETERS, Roy B. left us 1 May 2016
BROWN, Richard D. husband of Martha left us 16 May 2016