Gidget Fuentes

About Gidget Fuentes

Gidget Fuentes is a freelance writer based in San Diego, Calif. She has spent more than 20 years reporting extensively on the Marine Corps and the Navy, including West Coast commands and Pacific regional issues, and most recently was a senior writer and the San Diego bureau chief for Marine Corps Times and Navy Times.


Recent Posts By the Author


First Female Nuclear Carrier CO Will Command USS Abraham Lincoln

First Female Nuclear Carrier CO Will Command USS Abraham Lincoln

Capt. Amy N. Bauernschmidt, then commanding officer of USS San Diego (LPD-22), met with Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy Russel Smith during MCPON’s visit to the ship in 2019. US Navy Photo

Capt. Amy Bauernschmidt, a veteran pilot, will take the helm of the Nimitz-class USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72), becoming the first woman to command an aircraft carrier, the Navy announced Wednesday. Read More

Marine Infantry Training Shifts From 'Automaton' to Thinkers, as School Adds Chess to the Curriculum

Marine Infantry Training Shifts From ‘Automaton’ to Thinkers, as School Adds Chess to the Curriculum

Infantry Training Battalion instructors play chess in their instructor ready room at School of Infantry-West at Camp Pendleton, Calif. US Marine Corps photo.

The Marine Corps is about to revolutionize infantry training, more than doubling the length of initial training for enlisted infantry Marines and weighing consolidation of its core grunt specialties into a single, all-around infantry warfighter. Read More

Marines Demonstrate Ability to Include Carrier-Based F-35Cs in Expeditionary Base Plans

Marines Demonstrate Ability to Include Carrier-Based F-35Cs in Expeditionary Base Plans

U.S. Marines with Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 314 and Marine Aerial Refueler Transport Squadron 352, Marine Aircraft Group 11, 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing, conduct a new expeditionary landing demonstration with M-31 arresting gear Interim Flight Clearance (IFC), on Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms, Calif., on Dec. 3, 2020. US Marine Corps Photo

SAN DIEGO, Calif., – The Marine Corps’ first carrier-capable F-35C Lightning II squadron demonstrated, for the first time, the capability to quickly rearm and refuel at expeditionary land bases, a mission key for future island-hopping operations that top leaders envision the U.S. military will face. Read More

First Marine Corps Carrier-Capable F-35C Squadron Now Ready to Deploy

First Marine Corps Carrier-Capable F-35C Squadron Now Ready to Deploy

U.S. Marines with Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 314, Marine Aircraft Group 11, 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing, gain the capability of conducting a hot-load of ordnance on an F-35C Lightning II, while being validated at south combat aircraft loading area, during the Weapons and Tactics Instructor (WTI) course 1-21, at Marine Corps Air Station Yuma, Ariz., on Oct. 6, 2020. US Marine Corps Photo

The Marine Corps’ first carrier-capable squadron of F-35C Lightning II jets reached initial operational capability on Tuesday, a key certification ahead of its first deployment on an aircraft carrier, 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing officials announced. Read More

This Sailor is Working on New Rating: Chess Master

This Sailor is Working on New Rating: Chess Master

IT2 Andrew Peraino after winning the 2020 Armed Forces Chess Championship. Andrew Peraino Photo

When Information Systems Technician 2nd Class Andrew Peraino was a Navy recruit, tucked away in his eyeglasses case was a set of paper pieces he had fashioned into a miniature chess board set. Read More

Marines, Sailors 'Put Stamp On' Marine Corps Support for Wildland Fire Missions in California

Marines, Sailors ‘Put Stamp On’ Marine Corps Support for Wildland Fire Missions in California

U.S. Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Jesus Hernandez-Aylala assigned to the 7th Engineer Support Battalion, 1st Marine Logistics Group, holds a fire line while conducting wildland fire fighting operations with National Interagency Fire Center personnel near the Sierra National Forest, Calif., Sep. 24, 2020. Approximately 250 Marines from 7th ESB are going to help fight the Creek Fire in Central California. US Marine Corps photo.

CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. – A platoon of Marines, just weeks out of the wildland firefighting training they received here at Camp Pendleton, recently were able to tackle a critical mission not typically given to military units less familiar with battling the raging California wildfires: with flames threatening a critical helicopter landing zone needed for firefighting efforts and evacuations, the Marines were told to create a fireline and save the helo pad. Read More

'Red Patch' is Back As Reactivated Landing Support Battalions Rejoin Fleet Marine Forces

‘Red Patch’ is Back As Reactivated Landing Support Battalions Rejoin Fleet Marine Forces

U.S. Marine Lt. Col. Jonathan Peterson, commanding officer, 1st Landing Support Battalion, Combat Logistics Regiment 1, 1st Marine Logistics Group, I Marine Expeditionary Force, and Sergeant Major Sara Lopez, sergeant major, 1st LSB, CLR-1, 1st MLG, I MEF dawn the colors for 1st LSB to signify the unit’s activation on Camp Pendleton Calif., 15 Oct. 2020. U.S. Marine Corps Photo

CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. – With expeditionary sea base operations and island-hopping campaigns as likely future missions, especially across the vast Indo-Pacific region, the Marine Corps has revived its battalion-level units to bolster logistical support for Fleet Marine Forces landing ashore. Read More

Infantry Battalion CO Relieved after Fatal July AAV Sinking; Investigations Continue

Infantry Battalion CO Relieved after Fatal July AAV Sinking; Investigations Continue

Marines with Bravo Company, Battalion Landing Team 1/4, 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit, operate AAV-P7/A1 assault amphibious vehicles while embarking the amphibious landing dock USS Somerset (LPD-25) on July 27, 2020. US Navy Photo

The commander of a Marine battalion landing team that lost nine men when an AAV sunk off San Clemente Island, Calif., during a training exercise in July, I Marine Expeditionary Force announced late Tuesday. Read More

NCIS Investigating Death of USS Theodore Roosevelt Sailor

NCIS Investigating Death of USS Theodore Roosevelt Sailor

USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71) returns to San Diego, Calif., on July 9, 2020. US Navy Photo

This post has been updated to include the identity of the sailor who died.

The Naval Criminal Investigative Service is investigating the death of a sailor who allegedly shot himself Tuesday morning while on security duty at Naval Air Station North Island, Calif., USNI News has learned. Read More