Camp Gilbert H. Johnson
|Montford Point Camp|
|Jacksonville, North Carolina, U.S.|
|Controlled by||United States Marine Corps|
Camp Gilbert H. Johnson is a satellite camp of Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune and home to the Marine Corps Combat Service Support Schools (MCCSSS), where various support military occupational specialties such as administration, supply, logistics, finance, and motor transport maintenance are trained. Camp Johnson is situated on Montford Point, the site of recruit training for the first African Americans to serve in the Marine Corps, known as "Montford Point Marines".
The purpose of the camp is to conduct formal resident training for officers and enlisted personnel in the occupational fields of logistics, motor transport, personnel administration, supply, and financial management ( accounting and disbursing), as well as to conduct instructional management and combat water survival swim training. In addition to training Marines, Camp Johnson also houses the Field Medical Training Battalion, which trains corpsmen and religious program specialists of the Navy. The commanding officer of MCCSSS also serves as the area commander of Camp Johnson, and provides administrative support to various tenant commands.
When Franklin D. Roosevelt signed Executive Order 8802, blacks were, for the first time, permitted to join the Marine Corps. One of the first African Americans to enlist in the United States Marine Corps was Gilbert "Hashmark" Johnson, who became a drill instructor. Between 1942 and 1949, the camp at Montford Point was a recruit depot for black recruits, training 20,000 African Americans during that period.
In 1948, by Executive Order 9981, President Harry S. Truman ordered the military to integrate. In 1974, Montford Point was renamed Camp Gilbert H. Johnson in honor of the late Sergeant Major Gilbert H. "Hashmark" Johnson. A Montford Point drill instructor, he served during World War II and the Korean War. Camp Johnson became the home of the Marine Corps Combat Service Support Schools.
In 2007, a documentary entitled The Montford Point Marine Project was released, honoring the black Marines who trained at Montford Point.
Camp Johnson is home to the Montford Point Museum. The museum houses items and pictures of the camp during its years as a boot camp. Outside the gate of Camp Johnson stands a tribute to marines, soldiers and sailors who gave their lives trying to keep the peace in Lebanon. The Beirut Memorial is the site of an annual commemoration of the October 1983 Beirut barracks bombing, when 241 marines, sailors, and soldiers were killed.
This area is also home to a "9/11" memorial, and a Vietnam War memorial. The "9/11" memorial features a beam salvaged from the tower wreckage. The memorial area is well maintained and is used for many ceremonies, from promotions to retirements. The recently built Vietnam Memorial consists of many thick glass panes erected from the ground in a circular shape. Each pane of glass is etched with the names of all the service men and women who gave their lives during the Vietnam war. In the center of the memorial is a large water fountain.
Directly across the street is the North Carolina Veterans Cemetery. This cemetery is the resting place to many of Marine veterans. Funerals with "Military Honors" are done on site. Funeral details are provided by the personnel of MCCSSS, Camp Johnson, and neighboring units.
- Desegregation in the United States Marine Corps
- Montford Point Marine Association
- List of United States Marine Corps installations
- Military history of African Americans
- Frederick C. Branch
- "Who's Who in Marine Corps History - Sgt Maj Gilbert Johnson, USMC (Deceased)". United States Marine Corps History Division. Retrieved 2008-04-19. "On 19 April 1974, the Montford Point facility at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, was dedicated as Camp Gilbert H. Johnson, Montford Point, Camp Lejeune, in honor of this outstanding Marine."
- "Camp Johnson's official website". Retrieved 2007-11-21.
- "Montford Point Marine Association". Retrieved 2006-12-30.
- "News article on documentary". Retrieved 2007-03-09.
- Bernard C. Nalty (1995). "Face-to-Face with Segregation". The Right to Fight: African-American Marines in World War II. Marines in World War II Commemorative Series (United States Marine Corps). Retrieved 2006-12-29.
- Melton McLaurin. "Montford Point Marines". University of North Carolina Wilmington. Retrieved 2006-12-30.