As construction continues on the U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Pacific headquarters building, history was revealed through four new glass murals in the main lobby Aug. 12.
The murals portray historical conflicts such as World War II, the Korean War, Vietnam, Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom, signifying key campaigns where MARFORPAC units were utilized.
“The main purpose of reconstructing the lobby is very simple,” said Col. Cosmas Spofford, Headquarters and Service Battalion’s commanding officer. “Lt. Gen. John F. Goodman, former MARFORPAC commanding general, recognized the lobby was inadequate.”
Spofford said the lobby didn’t set the proper tone and essentially it was the lobby of a hospital, which it was from 1941-1955.
“What we were trying to do in the lobby was create some impact,” Spofford said. “Specifically, we wanted people to get a sense of the size and magnitude of U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Pacific and some of the history.”
Spofford said the murals are a way to convey to visitors MARFORPAC’s history.
“Gen. Goodman got the idea and thought the murals were a way to capture the history of the four major campaigns that MARFORPAC was involved,” Spofford said. “We’re very proud of our history and it’s important to know where you’ve been if you’re going to figure out where you want to go.”
The murals haven’t only caught the visitors’ eyes, but also the Marines that work in the building.
“It’s very motivating!” exclaimed Pfc. Scott A. James, customer service liaison for G-6. “I think they’re a great representation of what the Marine Corps has accomplished over the years and looking at them makes me very proud to be a Marine. It makes me realize what many men and women have done to protect this country and our great military.”
Starting in June 2007, Sgt. Jesse Alwin, combat production specialist, and his team of Combat Camera Marines collaborated to designed the mural faces and the events that took place.
“It was the actual layout and design of the theaters of responsibilities,” Alwin said. “We drew maps and force movements and had to research the current logos of the units.”
Alwin said once the vectors were drawn, they were applied to the maps and then revised to make sure the information was historically correct.
“We wanted to do it in a subtle way and chose glass murals vice something else because we know this headquarters building won’t last forever,” Spofford said, in regard to the new MARFORPAC headquarters building planning to be constructed. “If we were going to invest into glass murals, we wanted to have something that we could move to a new headquarters sometime in the future because history doesn’t change.”
The murals depict units at the division, wing and force level, showing viewers their locations and the major thrusts in the battles.
There will also be an extra addition to the lobby entrance coming shortly, according to Spofford. The piece on the way is an old cannon that represents a more symbolic look rather than having a historical significance, and should arrive in a few weeks. The piece will be modeled after the cannons on the USS Constitution and will have a Fleet Marine Force, Pacific logo with thunderbolts on the side. It will be placed on the left-hand side of the entrance.
“This was Gen. Goodman’s vision,” Spofford said. “He made it happen.”