GREGOIRE, DAMIAN, Sgt

Infantry
 
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Current Service Status
USMC Veteran
Current/Last Rank
Sergeant
Current/Last Primary MOS
0311-Rifleman
Current/Last MOSGroup
Infantry
Primary Unit
2003-2004, 0311, 3rd Bn, 8th Marine Regiment (3/8)
Service Years
2000 - 2004

Sergeant

 
 

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Operation Secure Tomorrow (Haiti)
From Month/Year
February / 2004
To Month/Year
June / 2004

Description

On 23 February 2004 a team of 50 Marines departed the United States to beef up security for the US Embassy in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. The Marines were part of the Fleet Anti-terrorism Security Team out of Naval Base Norfolk, Va. The team was under the operational control of US Southern Command based in Miami. The team assist the Marine security detachment at the embassy. In addition, a Southern Command assessment team continued its work in Haiti. The four-man assessment team was in the country to check on the security of the embassy and its staff. The team and the FAST deployment was not a prelude to a noncombatant evacuation order, but was a prudent course, given the situation in the Caribbean nation.

Washington was being cautious, but a political solution may not be enough. President Bush was not able to completely ignore this kind of lawlessness in his own back yard. Critics claimed the US was washing its hands of this catastrophe, because Haiti does not matter to the US. After contributing to creating this situation, the US did not know how to neutralize it.

Haiti is a nightmare; a "crater rather than a country" and many have all but written off Haiti as a hopeless situation spiraling out of control. Given the ingredients for a rapid descent into murderous anarchy, it could be worse even than a coup. Many anticipated a new wave of desperate refugees and boat people heading for US coasts.

Many blamed President Aristide for the crisis, chagrined that the former "courageous reformer" and Haiti's "best hope" had fallen back on the thuggish forces and fear as the country's past despots. But some feared that as bad as Aristide might be, the rebel alternative was even worse.

A solution to Haiti's "desperate" situation could only come from the outside, but the commitment must not be a "charade" as in 1994, but a sustained occupation. What Haiti needs is a prolonged commitment instead of the long oblivion to which it has been subjected. Haiti calls for long-term supervision" to enable a culture of civic democracy" to take root.

On 29 February 2004 President Bush ordered US Marines into Haiti as part of an international stabilization force following the departure of President Jean-Bertrand Aristide. By one estimate, it would take about two days for the ships and troops to reach Haiti from Norfolk, Virginia. In fact, the Marines arrived no later than a few hours after the President's announcement.

The mission of the U.S. forces being deployed is to secure key sites in the Haitian capital of Port au Prince for the purposes of:

  • Contributing to a more secure and stable environment in the Haitian capital to help promote the constitutional political process;
  • Assisting as may be needed to facilitate the delivery of humanitarian assistance;
  • Protecting U.S. citizens as may be required.
  • Facilitating the repatriation of any Haitian migrants interdicted at sea;
  • Helping create the conditions for the anticipated arrival of a U.N. multinational force.

The initial contingent of US Marines arrived in the Haitian capital the evening of 29 February 2004. Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld ordered additional US forces to deploy as necessary over several days to fill out the US contribution to the Multinational Interim Force [MIF]. The MIF, which could include as many as 5,000 troops from several countries, would be in place for 90 days. The United States, working with the United Nations, the Organization of American States and the Caribbean Community, contacted a number of countries that have expressed a willingness to contribute forces that would stay until replaced by a UN peacekeeping force. The initial leadership of the multinational interim force was the United States.

By 05 March 2004 a total of 500 French troops, 160 Chileans, 100 Canadians and assorted other nationals had also deployed to Haiti. The UN authorized Multinational Interim Force [MIF] for three months, during which time Haiti's interim president, Supreme Court justice Boniface Alexandre, was to organize new elections.

The Chilean congress approved om March 2, 2004, the dispatch of a battalion composed of 306 soldiers and 30 officers for a renewable period of 90 days, as part of the Multinational Interim Force. This included an initial dispatch of 120 special forces soldiers.

On March 22, 2004 the Department of Defense named the multinational operation in Haiti "Operation Secure Tomorrow." By March 22, the U.S.-led multinational interim force has about 3,300 personnel from the United States, France, Chile and Canada deployed to Haiti in accordance with U.N. Security Council Resolution 1529. Operation Secure Tomorrow began Feb. 29, when multinational forces began arriving in Haiti to quell civil unrest throughout Port-au-Prince. Since then, the security situation in Port-au-Prince and throughout the country has steadily improved, providing the citizens of Haiti the promise of a stable, democratic government. Other objectives of Operation Secure Tomorrow include supporting the continuation of a peaceful and constitutional political process and preparing the environment for the arrival of a follow-on U.N. stabilization force.

By late April 2004 about 3,800 service members from four countries were in the Multinational Interim Force. The United States had about 2,000 service members in Haiti, France had more than 900, Canada had more than 500 and Chile had more than 300. The US contingent had expanded into Les Cayes in the south and Hinche in the central plateau. The French continued to expand the security zone in the northern part of the country. The Multinational Interim Force in Haiti had begun planning for a follow-on force by 01 June 2004. The follow-on force would have about 6,700 military personnel and would be in place to relieve the US led interim force.

   
My Participation in This Battle or Operation
From Month/Year
February / 2004
To Month/Year
June / 2004
 
Last Updated:
Mar 16, 2020
   
Personal Memories
   
Units Participated in Operation

3rd Bn, 8th Marine Regiment (3/8)

2nd Marine Division

2nd Engineer Bn

 
My Photos From This Battle or Operation
No Available Photos

  231 Also There at This Battle:
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  • Aguilar, Jovan, GySgt, (2001-Present)
  • Albers, Aaron, Sgt, (1999-2007)
  • Allen, Jermaine, Sgt, (2001-Present)
  • Allison, Jared, GySgt, (1996-2007)
  • Andersen, Scott, Maj, (2001-Present)
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  • Baugher, Robertson, SSgt, (1994-2006)
  • Beattie, Edward, SSgt, (2000-Present)
  • Beyler, Juliet, Maj, (1985-2008)
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  • Bradley, Buck, Capt, (2000-Present)
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  • Brown, Alice, SSgt, (2000-2008)
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  • Burgos, Andres, Sgt, (1999-2007)
  • Cain, Jason, 1stSgt, (1993-Present)
  • Caires, Leonard, MSgt, (1985-2009)
  • Cale, Matthew, SSgt, (2001-Present)
  • Calkins, Erick, Sgt, (2003-2007)
  • Camisa, John, Cpl, (2003-2007)
  • Casey, Chad, Cpl, (2001-2005)
  • Castiello, Dominic, Sgt, (2002-2006)
  • Childree, Robert, Capt, (2001-Present)
  • Clark, Aaron, Sgt, (2002-2008)
  • Clonts, Allen, HMC, (1998-2020)
  • Collette, Brandie, Cpl, (2002-2006)
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  • Dixon, Daniel, MGySgt, (1982-2008)
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  • Duvall, Robert, CWO3, (1986-2011)
  • Ellis, Meikos, SSgt, (2000-2008)
  • England, Richard, MGySgt, (1989-2013)
  • English, Charles, Sgt, (2003-Present)
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  • Eunice, Matthew, CWO2, (1998-Present)
  • Falcicchio, Justin, Cpl, (2001-2006)
  • Fish, Jonathan, Cpl, (2000-2004)
  • Flores, Victor, SSgt, (2001-2008)
  • Folkis, Fernando, LCpl, (2001-2005)
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  • Fuhrman, Randy, HM1, (2001-Present)
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  • Grey, Jason, Sgt, (2001-2008)
  • Griffin, George, MSgt, (1991-Present)
  • Guest, Andrew, Sgt, (2001-2005)
  • Haddle, Mike, SSgt, (1998-2006)
  • Hardin, Mark, GySgt, (1992-2008)
  • Harris, Jason, MSgt, (2001-Present)
  • Heddings, James, Sgt, (2000-2004)
  • Heidelman, Eric, SSgt, (2003-Present)
  • Hernandez, Christian, SSgt, (2002-Present)
  • Hilton, David, Cpl, (2003-2008)
  • Hogan, Jeanette, SSgt, (1997-Present)
  • Hotchkiss, Donald, Maj, (1996-Present)
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