About Us

Welcome to Clan Leatherneck Society & Foundation

 Welcome to the website for the Clan Leatherneck Society & Foundation.  We started from humble beginnings as an informal group of Marines stationed in Holy Loch, Scotland in the early 1960s and have grown to an incorporated non-profit charity.  Like our beloved Marine Corps, we have improvised, adapted, and overcome to become a national program.  We are currently restructuring and are not a 501(c)3 at the moment, but expect to have that status back soon.

Our mission:
To provide monetary aid to Marines in need while celebrating Celtic Heritage and Marine Corps Tradition.

What we do:

  • We provide small, one-time grants to Marines (includes Marine family members/survivors, and Corpsmen who served with Marine units).
  • We raise the funds to provide aid through donations and the sale of Clan Leatherneck logo coins, stickers, patches, shirts, and other items.
  • We raise awareness of Clan Leatherneck through attendance and participation at Celtic Festivals, Highland Games, Irish Festivals, parades, military appreciation and recognition events, and in the media.
  • We live by the motto, Semper Fidelis!

None of the officers or board of directors of the Clan Leatherneck Society & Foundation accept any pay or financial benefit. 

Kilted Warriors


Clan Leatherneck at the 2016 Central Virginia 

Celtic Festival and Highland Games

Parade of Clans


Clan Leatherneck representing our Corps and our Heritage

Our History

In November of 1960, 14 Marines were selected from Sea School training to be assigned to the submarine refit ship, USS Proteus (AS19).  In January of 1961, the Proteus was dispatched to Holy Loch, Scotland as a support base for the Polaris missile submarine fleet.  Those 14 Marines were to provide security for the Polaris missiles aboard ship.  In January of 1963, the Proteus returned to Charleston Navy Base and those Marines were assigned to other duties in the Corps. 

  • Fast forward to 1996 - The Richmond, Virginia Highland Games & Celtic Festival started, and Cpl. Wayne Watkins got together many of the Marines who were aboard the Proteus to have a reunion and to celebrate their Scottish experiences.  They also discovered that there was a Leatherneck tartan, and the Clan Leatherneck tent came about with the help of MSgt Wade Cogdill, Cpl. Jim Sheff, GySgt Roy Fleck, and Wayne's son, Sgt. Michael Watkins.
  • Clan Leatherneck became a solid member of the Richmond Celtic Games, donating the Heavy Athletics trophy for a number of years.  Also, a number of those original 14 Marines married Scottish lassies, including Wayne Watkins, who married Betsy, and Wade Cogdill, who married Jeanie.
  • In 2012, the Watkins family passed Clan Leatherneck on to Cpl. Donald Green, a Marine artillery veteran of Desert Storm, who took their beginning efforts and began bringing in members to raise money to cover expanded expenses and make some donations to Marines in need.
  • In June of 2017, the IRS approved Clan Leatherneck Society & Foundation Inc. as a 501(c)3 charity.  Our future is wide open, and we hope to aid as many Marines in need as possible.​  Due to inexperience we lost the 501(c)3 status, but are working to restructure our incorporation and regain the status.