Marine Raiders

The Marine Raiders were elite units established by the United States Marine Corps during World War II to conduct special amphibious light infantry warfare in landing in rubber boats and operating behind the lines. "Edson's" Raiders of 1st Marine Raiders Battalion and "Carlson's" Raiders of 2nd Marine Raiders Battalion are said to be the first United States special operations forces to form and see combat in World War II. However, despite the original intent for Raiders to serve in a special operations capacity, most combat operations saw the Raiders employed as conventional infantry. This, combined with the resentment within the rest of the Marine Corps that the Raiders were an "elite force within an elite force", led to the eventual abandonment of the experiment. Four Raider battalions served operationally but all were disbanded on 8 January 1944 when the Corps made the doctrinal decision that the Raiders had outlived their original mission; the changing nature of the war in the Pacific, with many large-scale amphibious assaults to come against well-defended islands, negated the requirements for small light units that could strike deep into enemy territory.

On 1 February 1944, the 1st Raider Regiment was redesignated the 4th Marine Regiment, thus assuming the lineage of the regiment that had garrisoned Shanghai in the interwar years and fought so gallantly on Bataan and Corregidor. The 1st, 3rd, 4th Raider Battalions became the 1st, 3rd, 2nd Battalions of the 4th Marines; the 2nd Raider Battalion filled out the regimental weapons company. Personnel in the Raider Training Center transferred to the newly formed 5th Marine Division. Leavened with new men, the 4th Marines went on to earn additional distinctions in the assaults on Guam and Okinawa. At the close of the war, the regiment joined the occupation forces in Japan and participated in the release from POW compounds of the remaining members of the old 4th Marines. In 2014, the Marine Special Operations Regiment, serving under the United States Marine Corps Forces Special Operations Command, was renamed the Marine Raider Regiment; this change was implemented to better show that modern Marine special operations forces trace their lineage and heritage back to the World War II Raiders.

Individual Marines of the Marine Raider Regiment are once again called "Marine Raiders". One of the deficiencies of the Fleet Marine Force was a lack of fast transport ships that could keep up with a Naval fleet; until fast attack transports entered the Navy, either the fleet would have to keep its speed down to the speed of the transport ships, or the fleet would have to split in two components. With the start of World War II in 1939, a group was formed to come up with a solution that could be implemented; the group found a large number of destroyers built for the First World War that were in the mothball fleet. These destroyers had four boilers and four smoke stacks and were fast enough to keep up with the fleet; the group discovered that by removing two boilers and smoke stacks room could be found to quarter a company of 130 Marines who would be landed by inflatable boats. These high speed transports were named APDs by the Navy; the APDs had four Higgins boats attached to them. In February 1941 one company from each battalion of the formed 7th Marines were designated "Provisional Rubber Boat Companies" and participated in a Fleet Landing Exercises in 1941.

After the exercise, General Holland Smith assigned the APDs and rubber boat function to the 1st Battalion 5th Marines. With America thrust into the war, President Franklin D. Roosevelt became interested in creating an American counterpart to the British Commandos and the Marine Corps was the natural place for this organization. Indeed, the commanding general of the 2nd Marine Division proposed the name "Marine Commandos"; the Commandant of the Marine Corps, Major General Thomas Holcomb, was of the opinion, that "the term'Marine' is sufficient to indicate a man ready for duty at any time, the injection of a special name, such as'Commando,' would be undesirable and superfluous." General Holcomb redesignated the 1st Battalion 5th Marines as the "1st Separate Battalion" and created the 2nd Separate Battalion to be commanded by Carlson in response to pressure from the President. The debate over the creation of these elite units came to a climax when the new commander of the Pacific Fleet, Admiral Chester Nimitz, requested "commando units" for raids against defended Japanese-held islands.

The commandant created two battalions. The 1st Raider Battalion was activated on 16 February 1942, followed by the 2nd Raider Battalion on February 19. Carlson was given a promotion to Lieutenant Colonel and placed in command of the 2nd Raiders, Lt. Col. Merritt A. "Red Mike" Edson, command of the 1st. The Raiders were created by an order from President Roosevelt, acting on proposals from Colonel William J. Donovan and Major Evans F. Carlson. Carlson had been a soldier in the Punitive Expedition to capture Pancho Villa in Mexico and World War I, became a Marine officer during the American occupation of Nicaragua, served as an Intelligence Officer of the 4th Marines in China, he had seen the tactics and strategy of Communist Chinese irregulars, Zhū Dé and the Eighth Route Army in particular, as they fought the occupying Japanese and became enthralled with their version of guerrilla warfare. In 1933 Carlson had commanded the Marine Detachment at the Warm Springs, Georgia vacation retreat of President Roosevelt, where he formed a close friendship with both Franklin D. Roosevelt and his son James.

Carlson resigned from the Marines to speak to American businessmen to warn them against providing materi

Potomac Creek

Potomac Creek is a 16.7-mile-long tidal tributary of the Potomac River in King George and Stafford counties, Virginia. Potomac Creek's source lies between Paynes Corner in Stafford County, it empties into the Potomac River at Marlboro Point. Potomac Creek forms as a dam to form Abel Lake. Tributary streams are listed from source to mouth. Long Branch Beaverdam Run Swamp Branch Accokeek Creek Potomac Creek Bridge Crow's Nest Natural Area Preserve List of rivers of Virginia

Dorylus laevigatus

Dorylus laevigatus is a member of the army ant genus Dorylus, or Old World army ants. More known as "driver ants", the genus Dorylus is abundant throughout Africa and stretches into tropical Asia, where D. laevigatus is found. They are a eusocial colony-forming species, which live underground venturing to the surface for any reason. D. laevigatus colonies are small for army ants, estimated averages falling between 30,000 and 1,000,000 individuals. Dorylus laevigatus shares the typical morphological characteristics common of all ants, including three body segments known as tagmata, a slim waist joining the second and third tagmata called the petiole, mandibulate mouth parts located on the head for holding and breaking down food. Characteristic of their genus, D. laevigatus is blind, possessing no eyes and communicating through pheromones. As a holometabolous insect, D. laevigatus larvae differ from the mature adults resembling white maggots. D. Laevigatus has a high degree of caste polymorphism, meaning that individuals within the species have radically different morphological characteristics, depending on which role they play in the colony.

Males have only one caste, the drone, a reproductive caste and is not present in the colony. Males average 2.5 centimetres in length, possess a pair of wings, are covered in short hairs. They live apart from the colonies and resemble the night wasp Provespa nocturna, which deters predators afraid of receiving a painful sting. Females are divided up into three castes. Large workers are colloquially known as soldiers and do most of the colony defense and incapacitation of large prey; the soldier caste is a centimeter in length, with an enlarged head to house powerful serrated mandibles. The smallest workers are three times smaller than the soldiers, only reaching an average length of 2.5mm. They lack the large protruding jaws; the queen is the sole fertile female in the colony. Her abdomen is enlarged, she has an average length of just under three centimeters; the last leg segments of queens are mutilated and reduced, which hinders their ability to locomote without assistance from workers. Assessing characteristic larvae size between castes is difficult, as larvae size is influenced by both developmental stage and their caste.

Differentiating between caste and developmental stage of an unpupated larvae is impossible. D. laevigatus is one of only five species of genus Dorylus. D. laevigatus is found on both the main continent of the Indonesian archipelago. It is abundant within West Malaysia and in Borneo. Within these areas, D. laevigatus can inhabit a fair range of habitats, due to the homeostatic conditions present below ground. Each nest occupies its own territory within the ants' forest habitats Within its foraging area, D. laevigatus is omnipresent, with foraging ants scattered across the habitat. This deviates from the traditional hyper-localized and temporary presence of studied army ants in their foraging areas. Like most members of genus Dorylus, D. laevigatus constructs subterranean nests. The nests leave no visible indications of their location. D. laevigatus colonies are small for army ant colonies, ranging from 30,000 to 1,000,000 individuals. Because the colonies prefer long-term food exploitation and stable column foraging systems to massive raids, there is little pressure for the colonies to expand and support the massive numbers of individuals common in surface-hunting driver and army ants.

Additionally, the gigantic amounts of foraging ants typical of other Dorylus species would be of little value in the small foraging tunnels of D. laevigatus. These colonies are low in non-ant guest species compared to terrestrial driver ant species; when constructing their colony, D. laevigatus will vary the chambers based on environmental conditions. Large chambers are preferred in dry conditions, but chronic wet weather prompts the ants to reform their nests into smaller, more numerous collections of chambers which are less vulnerable to flooding. Within these chambers, the ants form the true structures of their colonies: living chambers of ants linked together suspended within the cavity called bivoacs; the workers link together in an orderly fashion via legs and mandibles to form a living sac to protect the eggs and queen. When the colony decides that several chambers better suits the environment, the bivoac is broken up into however many clusters are required to fit the new chambers; the colony occupies the nest for a few weeks ranging to a few months before the local supply of food wanes.

When this occurs, the colony will evacuate the nest and spend 20–40 hours migrating to a new suitable location. These emigrations occur below ground, with workers shifting soil around in the same strata so as to leave no surface indication of subterranean events. D. Laevigatus is not without its own predators falling prey to other colonies of ants within its habitat; each of the five most common ant species in a Malaysian study of D. laevigatus managed to avoid, kill, or prey on the smaller D. laevigatus workers. Only when confronted with ants which occupy the same swarming army niche do they behave aggressively when dealing with D. vishnui, a similar species of driver ant with which it shares habitat. Two colonies of D. laevigatus attacking each other has not been obs