Brig. Gen. Martin F. Rockmore:
World War II Hero in the Pacific and founder of the Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation
by Seymour “Sy” Brody
Brig. Gen. Martin F. Rockmore was a decorated hero of World War II in the Pacific Theater of Operations. He was the key founder of the Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation.
Rockmore was born on September 5, 1917, in Brooklyn, where he went to James Madison High School and graduated in 1934. He earned a BA degree in economics from Saint Lawrence University, Canton, New York, in 1939.
A month after graduation, he enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve and was commissioned a second lieutenant and assigned to Company D, 3rd Battalion.
On November 8, 1940, he became a company officer of Company I, 3rd Battalion, 7thMarines and served in Cuba. In 1942, he was reassigned as CO of Company E, 2nd Battalion, 1st Marine Division.
He was in the invasion of Guadalcanal, August 7, 1942. He was in many battles and received a promotion to Major. He received the Silver Star for his heroism for seizure and occupation of Cape Gloucester, New Britain Islands.
Rockmore returned to the United States, in June 1944, and he became an Instructor, Tactical Section. Reserve Officer’s School. He resigned as a major in 1945.
He was reappointed from the reserve and promoted to lieutenant colonel, February 1, 1950, to colonel, July 1, 1958. Upon being retired on November1, 1959, Rockmore was promoted to brigadier general for having been specially commended in combat.
In 1962, Rockmore read a newspaper article that a Marine Medal of Honor recipient had fallen on hard times and couldn’t afford to send his child to college. He organized his friends and they started the Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation to help financially poor Marines send their child to college
Since the foundation was organized, they have provided more than 21,000 scholarships that were valued at more than 22 million dollars. General Rockmore and his wife, Ruth, have been the key movers in making this foundation a success.
Brigadier General Martin F. Rockmore died on June 27, 1992. Jewish services were held at Temple Shaare Emeth Temple and he is buried in Arlington National Cemetery.
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