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DIA remembers the legacy of the United States Marine Corps on its 245th birthday

By DIA Public Affairs

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In honor of the 245th birthday of the United States Marine Corps, the Defense Intelligence Agency remembers the legacy of its first officers—World War II heroes Lt. Gen. Leo John Dulacki and Lt. Col. Edward Martin Guell.

Dulacki worked at DIA from Jan. 2, 1962 until May 1964. He joined the United States Marine Corps in 1941, serving for almost 32 years and attended Basic School for Marine Officers at the Philadelphia Navy Yard. He attended the Naval War College in Newport, Rhode Island, earned a master's degree in International Affairs from George Washington University and studied at the Strategic Intelligence School. Dulacki arrived at DIA with extensive land and sea combat experience, intelligence training and attache experience.

Upon graduation from Basic School for Marine Officers, he was transferred to the Marine Detachment USS HORNET where he served as an executive officer and conducted fleet exercises off the coast of Virginia. Dulacki was onboard the HORNET during Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941. In April of the following year, he witnessed the first offensive operation of the war against mainland Japan.

Throughout his career, Dulacki witnessed some of the heaviest naval combat of the war, including: Tarawa; Wake Island; the Gilbert Islands; seizure of Kwajalein and Majuro Atolls, Marshall Islands; Truk raid and Saipan-Tinian-Rota-Guam raids.

Dulacki served as assistant naval attache at the American Embassy in Helsinki, Finland where he was promoted to the rank of lieutenant colonel in January 1951.

A year and a half later, Dulacki was ordered to assist in Korean War where he assumed the role of commander of the 1st Battalion, 7th Marines, and 1st Marine Division. During this time, it was reported that, “Dulacki took advantage of a lull to inspect the defenses, only to be knocked down by the concussion from an enemy shell. He escaped with bruises and abrasions and continued his rounds.”

As peace talks began, Dulacki joined the Korean truce negotiations team and participated in the Panmunjom Truce talks. He then served as the assistant naval attaché to the Soviet Union. After this post, he joined DIA in January 1962 and served for two and a half years.

In 1965, Dulacki deployed to South Vietnam as the assistant chief of staff for intelligence at the 3rd Marine Amphibious Force. In this role, he provided intelligence in Operation Starlite, Operation Piranha and Operation Harvest Moon.

Dulacki received several awards and recognitions throughout his career, including:

  • Attache Hall of Fame of the Defense Attache System of the Defense Intelligence Agency
  • Navy Distinguished Service Medal, awarded for actions during Vietnam War
  • Navy Distinguished Service Medal, awarded for actions during peace time
  • Legion of Merit, awarded for actions during Cold War
  • Legion of Merit, awarded for actions during Vietnam War
  • Legion of Merit, awarded for actions during Vietnam War
  • Legion of Merit as commanding general, 5th Marine Division.

Guell is the first Marine officer to serve at DIA when it was founded in October 1961. He earned a bachelor’s degree in history and economics from the University of Maryland, attended Harvard University, then joined the United States Marine Corps in 1947, becoming a naval aviator.

He served in the USMC for several years, earned multiple wings and commission awards, and his final role was an executive officer stationed at the USMC Air Station in Yuma in 1970.

The Defense Intelligence Agency honors the hard work and accomplishments of the United States Marine Corps in protecting the nation and wishes them a happy 245th birthday.