FRONT AND CENTER
Vol. 2, No 8, August, 2023
Honoring the legacy of Carolina Marines and Sailors, inspiring future generations
Message from SE0…
We are excited to announce that the Marine Corps has forwarded our site lease request to the Department of Navy for action! We are building a world-class museum!
Please see the following quote from the General Eric Smith, Assistant Commandant of the Marine Corps:
“I am proud of the work the state and local officials in North Carolina are doing to show the public the valiant and honorable history of our United States Marines through the Carolina Museum of the Marine. Camp Lejeune is fortunate to be a part of Jacksonville and the surrounding communities.”
Stay tuned for additional updates and a groundbreaking ceremony in the coming months.
BGen Kevin Stewart, USMC (Ret)
Chief Executive Officer
Carolina Museum of the Marine
on Track to Break Ground in 2024
Jacksonville, NC – Carolina Museum of the Marine received long awaited news today. “The Marine Corps has favorably endorsed our request for a lease at Lejeune Memorial Gardens for our proposed museum,” said the Museum’s CEO, retired Brigadier General Kevin Stewart. The next step is to negotiate a lease with the Department of the Navy (the owner of the land). This process is estimated to take six to twelve months and a groundbreaking ceremony will be scheduled as soon as possible.
“I am proud of the work the state and local officials in North Carolina are doing to show the public the valiant and honorable history of our United States Marines through the Carolina Museum of the Marine. Camp Lejeune is fortunate to be a part of Jacksonville and the surrounding communities,” said General Eric Smith, the Assistant Commandant of the Marine Corps.
Phase I of the organization’s construction project, “Reflection and Celebration Park” was completed in 2016, accepted as a gift by the Department of Navy in 2018, and is now dedicated to the public. It is the most Instagrammed site in Onslow County with thousands of visitors each year. Numerous reenlistment, promotion and retirement ceremonies take place in front of its Eagle Globe and Anchor statue, the largest in the world. The Park and its Freedom Walkway sit at the entrance to the proposed museum site, Phase II of the project.
Carolina Museum of the Marine received a $26M grant from the State of North Carolina in 2022 and continues to progress with all preconstruction activities. A well-organized construction team includes Museum staff, HICAPS construction management, CJMW Architecture, Samet Corporation as the general contractor, and exhibit designers Ralph Appelbaum Associates.
“We invite Marines, Sailors, Veterans, and friends to join us in this remarkable mission,” said the Museum’s Board Chair, retired Lieutenant General Mark Faulkner. “This marks a critical turning point in our mission to honor the legacy of Carolina Marines and Sailors.”
The Museum is scheduled to open in 2026 and will offer visitors an immersive look into “the Marine experience.” “We want visitors to meet the Marine and leave inspired,” said the Museum’s curator, CWO5 Lisa Potts, USMC (Ret). SgtMaj Joe Houle, USMC (Ret), who has been with the Museum since its beginning, has stayed the course, keeping the community involved every step of the way. “I thank the staff and the Marines and community members who have remained so solidly committed to this mission,” he said.
Contributions may be made online at www.MuseumoftheMarine.org.
Please join us in supporting the mission of
Carolina Museum of the Marine.
When you give to our annual campaign, you help to ensure that operations continue during construction and when the doors open!
Stand with us
as we stand up the Museum and Institute!
Copyright August 2023.
Carolina Museum of the Marine
2023-2024 Board of Directors
LtGen Mark Faulkner, USMC (Ret) – Chair
Col Bob Love, USMC (Ret) – Vice Chair
CAPT Pat Alford, USN (Ret) – Treasurer
Col Joe Atkins, USAF (Ret) – Secretary
Mr. Mark Cramer, JD – Executive Board Member
General Al Gray, USMC (Ret), 29th Commandant – Executive Board Member
MajGen Jim Kessler, USMC (Ret) – Executive Board Member
Col Grant Sparks, USMC (Ret) – Executive Board Member
BGen Kevin Stewart, USMC (Ret), CEO, Ex Officio Board Member
Col George “Bill” Ayers, USMC (Ret), Emeritus
Mr. Mike Bogdahn, US Marine Corps Veteran
Mr. Keith Byrd, US Marine Corps Veteran
MGySgt Osceola “Oats” Elliss, USMC (Ret)
Mr. Frank Guidara, US Army Veteran
Col Chuck Geiger, USMC (Ret)
Col Bruce Gombar, USMC (Ret)
LtCol Lynn “Kim” Kimball, USMC (Ret)
CWO4 Richard McIntosh, USMC (Ret)
LtGen Gary S. McKissock, USMC (Ret)
Col John B. Sollis, USMC (Ret)
GySgt Forest Spencer, USMC (Ret)
BGen Kevin Stewart, USMC (Ret), Chief Executive Officer
Ashley Danielson, Vice President of Development
SgtMaj Joe Houle, USMC (Ret), Operations and Artifacts Director
CWO5 Lisa Potts, USMC (Ret). Curator
Carolina Museum of the Marine is a nonprofit organization that is rigorously nonpartisan, independent and objective.