About Us

May 11, 2017


The First Marine Division Association, Southwest Florida Chapter (1stMarDivAssnSWFL Chapter) has been retired!

In its place, an unaffiliated social group of Marines, named “… Always A Marine” is now serving on active duty!

The transition from a chapter of the national First Marine Division Association to a less formal, less structured, more inclusive Marine group began last year with discussions re-garding diminishing membership, scope and purpose, exclusiveness of membership, and re-quirements of the national association. At the 1stMarDivAssnSWFL’s meeting in February of this year a motion was made and carried to begin a transition into a more general, less structured, Marine group/social organization open to all Marines and the US Navy personnel who served with Marine units.

According to H. Wells “Red” French, formerly President of the Southwest Florida Chapter of the 1stMarDivAssn and now heading up the new group, the new name comes from an old truism that all Marines know: “Once A Marine, Always a Marine.”

“… Always A Marine” meets at the American Legion Post 110, 3152 Harbor Blvd., in Port Charlotte at 1130 hours on the third Tuesday of the month for the immediate future meetings. They are luncheon meetings ordered off the menu if desired.

Next week’s meeting, (5/16/17) one of the group’s members, Larry Whitford will be the first speaker to address the “… Always A Marine” gatherings.

Larry Whitford is an avid collector of militaria, particularly Marine-oriented militaria. Because the US entered World War I one hundred years ago, in April 1917, he will focus on Marine participation in World War I and on the Battle of Belleau Wood in particular. French invites Marines who are interested, in both the presentation and coming on board the  “… Always A Marine” gathering, to attend  Tuesday ( 16 May).

For questions contact H. Wells “Red” French via email (Wellsholm@aol.com) or phone (941-979-6589).


1st Marine Corp Division Association of SW Florida

Founded in 2000, the 1st Marine Division Association of SW Florida is an Association where Marines and Sailors who now serve, or who have served, come together. We honor our past heros and salute the current generation that is writing history in Iraq and Afghanistan today and on unknown shores tomorrow.

Regrettably, we lack the several resources required to form, foster and maintain an outreach program directed towards the active duty Marine, Sailor and families during times of deployment and need. To do so would require a critical mass of volunteer leadership, membership support, funding, responsibilities and accountability. We do not enjoy these critical elements and thus our organization is a luncheon club.

We meet the  3rd Tuesday of the month from January thru October. Our luncheons are held at 12 Noon at American Legion Post #110, 3152 Harbor Blvd., Port Charlotte, FL

All Marines, spouses and significant others are welcome.

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