Clan Leatherneck History
In November of 1960, 14 Marines were selected from Sea School training to be assigned to the submarine refit ship, USS Proteus (AS19). In January of 1961, the Proteus was dispatched to Holy Loch, Scotland as a support base for the Polaris missile submarine fleet. This ship was the Navy base. Those 14 Marines were to provide security for the Polaris missiles aboard ship. In January of 1963, the Proteus returned to Charleston Navy Base and those Marines were assigned to other duties in the Corps.
- Fast forward to 1996 - The Celtic Games opened in Richmond, Va. in that year, and Cpl. Wayne Watkins got together many of the Marines who were aboard the Proteus to have a reunion and to celebrate their Scotish experiences. They also discovered that there was a Leatherneck tartan, and the Clan Leatherneck tent came about with the help of MSgt Wade Cogdill, Cpl. Jim Sheff, GySgt Roy Fleck, and Wayne's son, Sgt. Michael Watkins.
- Clan Leatherneck became a solid member of the Richmond Celtic Games, donating the Heavy Athletics trophy for a number of years. Also, a number of those original 14 Marines married Scotish lassies, including Wayne Watkins, who married Betsy, and Wade Cogdill, who married Jeanie.
- My name is Cpl. Donald Green, and I served with Hotel 3/14 (attached to 1/11) an M198 artillery battery in Desert Storm. I became interested in my Celtic heritage in the mid 90s and got my first kilt in the registered Clan Leatherneck tartan (there is also a registered USMC tartan - they are nearly identical, with just a slight thread shade difference in one color). I began meeting the Watkins family in their Clan Leatherneck tent at the Richmond, Va. Celtic Festival and Highland Games about 10 years ago. One of the highlights of my year is marching with Michael in the Parade of Clans at the games.
- I am honored that the Watkins family has entrusted me to take what they began and build a membership organization out of it. For the immediate future, the plan is simply to build membership (please visit the membership page to learn about the benefits) and invite members across the country to host their own Clan Leatherneck tents at their local Scottish festivals. As membership grows, I will dedicate a portion of the proceeds to helping Marines in need and veteran organizations. Eventually, I hope to branch off with a 501c(3) charitable foundation to really help as many needy or wounded Marines as possible.
- Please visit Clan Leatherneck often for photos, history, festival calendars, and other information.
The Clan Leatherneck Society is not limited to just Marines. We welcome all members who support the Marine Corps and the Clan.