|Megan M. McClung|
Then-Captain McClung in undated USMC photo
April 14, 1972|
|Died||December 6, 2006
KIA in Ramadi, Iraq
|Allegiance||United States of America|
|Service/branch||United States Marine Corps|
|Years of service||1995-2006|
|Unit||I Marine Expeditionary Force|
Hawaii Medal of Honor
Megan Malia Leilani McClung (April 14, 1972–December 6, 2006) was the first female United States Marine Corps officer killed in combat during the Iraq War. Major McClung was serving as a public affairs officer in Al Anbar Province, Iraq when she was killed.
Early life; education; family
Megan Malia Leilani McClung was born on April 14, 1972 in Honolulu, Hawaii to Mike and Re McClung. She was raised in Orange County, California and graduated from Mission Viejo High School, Mission Viejo, CA in 1990. Megan became one of the first women to attend Admiral Farragut Academy in New Jersey.
Her family had a history of military service. Her paternal grandfather served in the United States Army during World War II, and her father was a U.S. Marine Corps infantry officer who served in Vietnam, seeing combat in the Tet Offensive. Her maternal grandfather was a U.S. Navy officer and pilot. She attended the United States Naval Academy, graduating and receiving her officer's commission in 1995.
Marine Corps career; Death in Iraq
McClung was commissioned an officer in the Marine Corps in 1995 and served on active duty until 2004, when she entered the Reserves. In 2004, she joined Kellogg, Brown, and Root, an American engineering and construction company and went to Iraq as a private contractor.
In 2006, she returned to active duty with the Marines and in January 2006, she was deployed to Iraq as a public affairs officer with the I Marine Expeditionary Force (I MEF). She was promoted to the rank of Major in June. In December 2006, she was in the final month of a year long deployment to Iraq. On December 6, 2006, McClung was serving with the I Marine Expeditionary Force as the Marine Corps head of public affairs for Al Anbar Province, in charge of embedded journalists. Earlier in the day, she had been accompanying Oliver North with his Fox News camera crew in Ramadi. She subsequently was escorting Newsweek journalists into downtown Ramadi. A massive improvised explosive device (IED) destroyed McClung's Humvee, instantly killing McClung and the other two occupants. The Newsweek journalists were not injured.
McClung was the first female Marine officer to be killed in the Iraq war, as well as the first female graduate of the United States Naval Academy to be killed in action since the school was founded in 1845.
McClung was a triathlete (having competed in six Ironman competitions) and a marathoner. In October 2006, she organized and ran in the Marine Corps Marathon's satellite competition, Marine Corps Marathon Forward in Iraq.
McClung was posthumously honored at Boston University's Metropolitan College 2007 commencement ceremonies with the 2006 “Excellence in Graduate Study in Criminal Justice”, which was presented by Dr. Daniel LeClair.
In 2008, the first Major Megan M. McClung Memorial Scholarship will be awarded to a college student by her parents, Drs. Re and Michael and the Women Marines Association.
In Iraq, Army General Ray Odierno was responsible for building a state of the art broadcast studio, which allowed live interviews as well as numerous press events, and he dedicated the studio to Major McClung.
The Defense Information School, the United States Department of Defense's training school for photojournalists and other public affairs personnel, presents the Maj. Megan McClung Leadership Award to one graduating member of each Public Affairs Qualification Course.
- Barbara Dulinsky, first female Marine to serve in a combat zone
A half-marathon was run at Al Asad Air Base in Iraq on 15 August 2009. The race was named the Major McClung Memorial Half Marathon and had 400 runners and over 100 volunteers.
- Elizabeth A. Okoreeh-Baah, Marine Captain, first female to pilot the V-22 Osprey tiltrotor aircraft.
- NBC4, December 11, 2006.
- Rivenburg, Los Angeles Times, December 14, 2006.
- Barber, Mike (May 26, 2008). "After Megan died, parents learned about the Marine their little girl became". Seattle Post-Intelligencer.
- Ritchie, Orange County Register, December 12, 2006.
- "Megan Malia Leilani McClung, Major, United States Marine Corps". ArlingtonCemetery.net.
- Mitchell, Editor & Publisher, December 12, 2006.
- Strupp, Editor & Publisher, December 18, 2006.
- Fumento, American Spectator, December 27, 2006.
- "Sponsored athletes". Synflex America.
- "Marine Corps Marathon to Run in Iraq". News Blaze. 2006.
- "Remarks as Prepared for Delivery: Lt. Gen. Carol Mutter (USMC - Ret.)". GOP Convention 2008. September 4, 2008. Retrieved December 17, 2008. "But tonight I want to talk to you about another woman who earned a unique and honored distinction in our nation's history... The daughter of another Marine I served with more than 25 years ago, Major Megan McClung."
- American Forces Press Service (December 11, 2006). "Roadside Bombs Kills Four Soldiers; DoD Identifies Previous Casualties". DefenseLink News (U.S. Department of Defense). Retrieved 2006-12-31.
- "Female USMC Officer Raised In OC Killed In Iraq Combat". Los Angeles - NBC4. December 11, 2006. Archived from the original on 2006-12-27. Retrieved 2006-12-31.
- Fumento, Michael (December 27, 2006). "In Memoriam:Farewell to Maj. Megan McClung, USMC". The American Spectator. Retrieved 2006-12-31.
- "Megan M. McClung, Major, United States Marine Corps". Arlington National Cemetery. December 19, 2006. Retrieved 2006-12-31.
- Mitchell, Greg (December 12, 2006). "Marine Officer in Iraq Killed — While Escorting Journalists". Editor & Publisher. Retrieved 2006-12-31.
- Ritchie, Erika I. (December 12, 2006). "O.C. native dies in Iraq; The Mission Viejo graduate is the first female Marine officer killed in the war.". The Orange County Register. Retrieved 2007-01-06.
- Rivenburg,, Roy (December 14, 2006). "Marine died backing her beliefs; Maj. Megan McClung, proud to be in Iraq, was a public affairs officer known for her enthusiasm and athletic prowess. She was killed by a roadside bomb December 6.". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved December 17, 2008.
- Strupp, Joe (December 18, 2006). "Marine Officer Who Died In Iraq Had Been Escorting Oliver North and 'Newsweek' Journalist". Editor & Publisher. Retrieved 2006-12-31.[dead link]
- Zimmerman, Beth (December 12, 2006). "First female leatherneck officer killed in Iraq, Public affairs major was ‘Marine’s Marine’". Marine Corps Times. Retrieved 2006-12-31.
- "First Female Marine Officer Killed In Iraq: Maj. Megan M. McClung, A Marine Corps Spokeswoman, Dies While Escorting Media". CBS News. December 13, 2006. Retrieved 2006-12-31.
- Major Megan McClung Memorial Run