General Robert E Cushman
General Robert E. Cushman
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Letter to the Commandant of the Marine Corps from Ambassador Martin

May 6, 1975

General Robert E. Cushman
Commandant of the Marine Corps
Headquarters, United States Marine Corps
Henderson Hall
Washington, D.C.

Dear General Cushman,

With the deepest feelings of pride and appreciation for the work of you Marines of Marine Security Guard Battalion and the Ninth Marine Amphibious Brigade, I solicit our consideration in the processing of awards for both heroic and meritorious achievement in connection with the final evacuation from the Republic of Vietnam. I have personally congratulated Major James H. Kean, the Commanding Officer of the Marine Security Guards in Saigon, and Brigadier General Z. E. Carey, Commanding General of Ninth MAB, and have requested that the prepare awards consistent with their after-action reports to be submitted through the appropriate channel.

During the course of the operation, the Marines were subject to hostile fire and rioting by both military and civilian units, the later resulting in the loss of two Marine Security Guards. The Marines remained at their post until all non-combatant in the evacuation sites at the Defense Attaché Compound near Tan Son Nhut Airfield and the actual Embassy compound were safely landed aboard aircraft. The Marines were the last to leave both sites, the Defense Attaché operation been completed at 2200 29 April 1975 and final eleven Marine Security Guards lead by Major Kean departing the Embassy roof-top at 0758H 30 April 1975.

Continuously threaten by incoming fire and intimate danger posed by the massive crowds, the Marines refrained from employing firearms relying only on non-lethal deterrents to accomplish their mission. In so doing, their achievements are living testimony to the discipline, pride and professionalism which are the hallmark of the United States Marine Corps and it through the Marines' judicious self-control that a firefight was avoided.

I ask your special consideration in the preparation of an appropriate award for Major Kean as Commander of the Ground Forces at the U.S. Embassy and Brigadier General Carey as Commander of the 9th MAB. Best personal regards.


Graham Martin
American Ambassador