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Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation Honors Legacy of Highest-Sacrificing Marine Unit in Afghanistan

132 Scholarships Valued at a Total of $400,000 Pay Tribute to 3rd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment

In honor of Memorial Day,the Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation, the nation’s oldest and largest provider of need-based scholarships to military children, today announced the establishment of the 3rd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment (3/5) Memorial Scholarship.

In the fall of 2010, while deployed to Sangin District of Helmand Province in Afghanistan, the Battalion, nicknamed “Dark Horse,” endured devastating losses: 25 killed and over 200 wounded, marking the highest sacrifice of any Marine unit in the war in Afghanistan. For the 2013-2014 academic year, the Scholarship Foundation has awarded 132 recipients the 3/5 Memorial Scholarship in remembrance of those Marines who made the ultimate sacrifice and their Marine comrades who served with them.

“The 3/5 Memorial Scholarship is a lasting testament to the perseverance, grit, and determination of every warrior that has served the Battalion,” said Margaret B. Davis, President and Chief Executive Officer, Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation. “The overwhelming support of our investors will ensure the legacy of Dark Horse is recognized and the enormity of their sacrifice is honored with a long-lasting gift of education to hundreds of aspiring college students.”

Karen Kelly, mother of 1st Lt Robert Kelly USMC–who lost his life while serving with Dark Horse in Afghanistan—and wife of Marine General John F. Kelly, Commander, United Southern Command, will announce the 3/5 Memorial Scholarship among families and supporters at the 16th annual City of Laguna Hills, CA, Memorial Day Half Marathon Honoring the Dark Horse Battalion on May 26th.

“Robert and his fellow Marines we lost in Sangin will never come home, but through this scholarship we can tell the Battalion’s story of strife and success,” said Kelly, a volunteer board member at the Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation. “As I meet the recipients of the 3/5 Memorial Scholarship, I’m overcome with emotion and pride. These students are resilient, determined and deserving – just like our country’s Marines.”

The 132 Memorial Scholarship students are among 2,042 recipients the Scholarship Foundation is supporting for the 2013-2014 academic year.  The Scholarship Foundation will continue to raise funds to memorialize Dark Horse. Donations can be made at my.mcsf.org/2014/darkhorse.


About the Scholarship Foundation: The Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation is the nation’s oldest and largest provider of need-based scholarships to military children. Since its inception in 1962, the Scholarship Foundation has provided more than 30,000 scholarships valued at over $80 million to Marine Corps children whose parents have been killed or wounded in combat or have demonstrated financial need. For more information on the Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation, please visit https://www.mcsf.org/.

David McCallum

In Memoriam, David McCallum, 1933-2023

David McCallum was one of the Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation’s greatest champions. His brother-in-law, Marine Corporal George Whitney Carpenter, was killed in Vietnam in 1967. Determined to keep George’s legacy alive, David and his wife, Katherine, established a scholarship through MCSF in his name to directly benefit the children of Marines. We fondly recall David weaving MCSF into the script of NCIS episodes and thrilling the audience when he served as the Master of Ceremonies for the New York Leatherneck Ball. Thank you to all those who have contributed in David’s honor. We invite everyone to watch the NCIS episode dedicated to David which will air on CBS on Monday, February 19. To make a contribution in David’s memory, please visit mcsf.org/david.

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