Photo Information

U.S. Marines with 3rd Force Reconnaissance Company, 4th Marine Division pose for a picture at Fort Whiting National Guard Armory in Mobile, Alabama, Oct. 22, 2022. On Nov. 10, 2022, 3rd Force Reconnaissance Company will conduct parachute operations in their dress blue uniforms with help from Santa to raise awareness for the annual U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program. Marines' uniform were altered to meet safety requirements while wearing parachutes.

Photo by Lance Cpl. Juan Diaz

Media Advisory: Marines in Dress Blues to Jump Out of Airplane with Santa Clause Delivering Toys to Military Children in Support of Toys for Tots 75th Anniversary

10 Nov 2022 | Maj. Jeremy Wheeler Marine Corps Forces Reserves

U.S. Marines from 3rd Force Reconnaissance Company, Marine Forces Reserve will escort Santa Clause in their Dress Blues via parachute into the Auxiliary Airfield of Mississippi National Guard Base Camp Shelby and deliver toys to children awaiting on the ground on Thursday, Nov. 10 at approximately noon.

In honor of the Toys for Tots 75th Anniversary and in conjunction with the Marine Corps 247th Birthday, 3rd Force Reconnaissance Company is assisting Santa Clause in delivering toys to military children aboard Camp Shelby.

 “To this day, the Toys for Tots program, which includes about 147 of your Marine Forces Reserve units, has helped support and bring a smile to the precious lives of 272 million children..." Retired Lt. Gen. James Laster, Toys for Tots Foundation president and CEO

Media is invited to attend on Thursday, Nov. 10, from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. News teams can expect to capture video, imagery, and interviews of the following:

• Parachute operations from Marine Corps Reserve VMGR-234 C-130 transport aircraft.

• Two jumps: (5) Marines in dress blue uniforms conducting a static line jump;
Santa Clause and (6) Marines in dress blues with toy bags conducting a free fall.

• Toys will be delivered to children awaiting near the drop zone.

3rd Force Reconnaissance Marines are conducting this mission in concert with their family day (estimated attendance approx. 175 people: Marines and their families).

Toys for Tots, a 75-year national charitable program run by the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve, provides happiness and hope to less fortunate children during each Christmas holiday season. The toys, books, and other gifts collected and distributed by the Marines offer these children recognition and a positive memory for a lifetime.

In Forrest County alone last year, Toys for Tots distributed 6,592 toys and helped 3,166 children. Marine Forces Reserve and the Toys for Tots Foundation believe every child deserves as little Christmas and this event will bring light to this effort.

“To this day, the Toys for Tots program, which includes about 147 of your [Marine Forces Reserve] units, has helped support and bring a smile to the precious lives of 272 million children, less fortunate children, so that makes a difference…That's children that would have gone through a Christmas with nothing,” said U.S. Marine Corps Lt. Gen. (Ret.) James Laster, Toys for Tots Foundation president and CEO.

For more information or to RSVP for the event, please contact the Marine Forces Reserve Communication Strategy and Operations Office at jeremy.wheeler@usmc.mil and (504) 914-9312. Additionally, for media credentialing, and for base access, please see below:

Media Credentialing:

Media representatives planning to attend must RSVP by submitting FULL NAME, AFFILIATE, EMAIL, and PHONE NUMBER to Camp Shelby’s Public Affairs Specialist 2nd Lt. Desmond Jones at 769-823-3565 or desmond.j.jones5.mil@army.mil. Confirmed media must arrive at the Camp Shelby South Gate entrance (directions can be found here) no later than 9 a.m., Nov. 10, 2022, to receive media escort.

Prejump video and photos are available for download showing Santa and the Marines being fitting with their parachutes and prepping their gear for the big day.

Video Teaser:

Photo Album: