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Why Is Camp Lejeune Pronounced With An R?

Quick Answer

The pronunciation of Camp Lejeune, a major Marine Corps base in North Carolina, has been a subject of debate. The family of Lt. Gen. John Lejeune, after whom the base is named, believes the correct pronunciation is “luh-JERN,” while many people have been saying “luh-JUNE” for years. Former Marines have started a movement to promote the correct pronunciation, but changing the habit has proven challenging. The Marine Corps is working to influence the correct pronunciation from the top down, hoping that over time, “luh-JERN” will become more widely adopted.


Camp Lejeune, located in North Carolina, is one of the largest and most important Marine Corps bases in the United States. Named after Lt. Gen. John Lejeune, a highly accomplished Marine who played a crucial role during World War I, this base holds great historical significance for both military personnel and their families.

However, there has been an ongoing debate surrounding the pronunciation of Camp Lejeune’s name. While many people pronounce it as “luh-JUNE,” others argue that it should be pronounced as “luh-JERN.” This discrepancy has sparked discussions among Marines and civilians alike about which pronunciation is correct.

In order to understand why this debate exists and how efforts are being made to address it, let us delve deeper into the history behind Camp Lejeune’s name pronunciations.

The Pronunciation Debate

The pronunciation of Camp Lejeune, one of the Marine Corps’ biggest bases in North Carolina, has been a subject of debate for many years. There are two different pronunciations commonly used: “luh-JERN” and “luh-JUNE.”

The Family’s Perspective

The family of Lt. Gen. John Lejeune, after whom the base was named, believes that the correct pronunciation should reflect their own last name – “luh-JERN.” General Lejeune was a highly accomplished Marine who fought in World War I and played a crucial role in rescuing the Marine Corps from losing its ability to fight on both land and at sea.

The Movement for Correct Pronunciation

Former Marines Patrick Brent and George Barros have taken up this cause as well by starting a movement to promote the correct pronunciation. They believe that over time, people stopped seeing or hearing the letter ‘R’ when saying Camp Lejeune’s name which led to mispronouncing it as “luh-JUNE.”

Brent and Barros have made efforts to raise awareness about this issue by talking with top brass within military circles regarding proper usage while also putting up billboards promoting accurate phonetics around areas near Camp Luh-jern (as they prefer calling it). Additionally, they even created ball caps emblazoned with “Camp Lujerne” printed across them so individuals can show support for using luh-juhrn instead.

Challenges in Changing Pronunciation

Despite these efforts, changing long-standing habits is challenging since many Marines and civilians alike may be accustomed to referring incorrectly due to familiarity developed over time. However, the hope remains strong among those advocating change, including former Marines like Brent and Barros themselves, that through respect and influence exerted by higher-ranking officials, the correct pronunciation will eventually stick, leading to widespread adoption throughout the community associated with Marine Corps installations nationwide.

Efforts to Correct the Pronunciation

Former Marines Patrick Brent and George Barros have been at the forefront of a movement aimed at correcting the pronunciation of Camp Lejeune. Recognizing that many people mispronounce it as “luh-JUNE,” they believe in honoring Lt. Gen. John Lejeune’s legacy by pronouncing it correctly as “luh-JERN.”

Initiating Conversations

To promote this correct pronunciation, Brent and Barros have taken various actions within their capacity. They initiated conversations with top brass officials, including those within the Marine Corps leadership, to raise awareness about the issue and advocate for change.

Billboards and Public Awareness

In addition to these discussions, they also took a more public approach by putting up billboards highlighting the proper pronunciation of Camp Lejeune as “luh-JERN.” These billboards serve not only as reminders but also spark curiosity among passersby who may be unaware or curious about why there is debate surrounding its name.

Promotional Items

Furthermore, Brent and Barros went beyond verbal communication by creating promotional items such as ball caps emblazoned with “Camp Luh-jern” on them. By distributing these caps amongst fellow Marines and civilians associated with Camp Lejeune community events or gatherings held both on-base and off-base settings like local festivals or parades -they aim to spread awareness while encouraging others to adopt this corrected way of saying its name.

However commendable their efforts are in promoting accurate phonetics regarding how one should pronounce ‘LeJeurne,’ changing long-standing habits can prove challenging—especially when an alternative has become ingrained over time due largely because General John A.Lejeneue himself did not emphasize his family’s preferred “Luh Jern” during his lifetime; thus leading some individuals today still habitually say ‘lujun’ instead.

Despite facing resistance from those accustomed to using incorrect diction throughout years past usage patterns persisting even after generations removed themselves further from the era when General Lejeune was alive, Brent and Barros remain steadfast in their mission to correct this mispronunciation. They believe that through continued efforts and education, they can eventually influence a shift towards adopting “luh-JERN” as the accepted pronunciation of Camp Lejeune.

While it may take time for these changes to fully manifest within the Marine Corps community at large due to deeply ingrained habits or lack of awareness about alternative pronunciations among newer Marines who have not been exposed extensively enough yet; there is hope that with respect for Lt. Gen John A.Lejeneue’s legacy combined alongside influential figures’ support -the proper phonetics will gradually become more widely adopted over time.

The Marine Corps’ Role

The Marine Corps plays a crucial role in the ongoing debate about the pronunciation of Camp Lejeune. Recognizing the importance of honoring Lt. Gen. John Lejeune, after whom the base is named, efforts have been made to promote and establish the correct pronunciation as “luh-JERN.”

Efforts to Promote Correct Pronunciation

From top officials down to enlisted personnel, there has been a concerted effort within the Marine Corps to change how Camp Lejeune is pronounced. This initiative aims not only to pay tribute to General Lejeune but also ensure accuracy and respect for his legacy.

Through various channels such as training programs, official communications, and internal campaigns, Marines are being encouraged and educated on pronouncing it correctly as “luh-JERN.” By emphasizing this proper pronunciation at all levels of command structure within their ranks, they hope that over time it will become more widely adopted throughout both military circles and civilian communities associated with Camp Lejeune.

Challenges and Commitment

While changing long-standing habits can be challenging due to familiarity with saying “luh-JUNE,” these efforts by high-ranking officials demonstrate their commitment towards promoting accurate name usage across all platforms related to Camp Lejeune.

By leading through example themselves while encouraging others around them – including veterans who may still use an older version or those new recruits unfamiliar with its history altogether – influential figures aim for widespread acceptance among current service members regarding this corrected way of addressing one’s heritage site properly known today simply because we owe our gratitude toward him/her too!

Preserving Historical Integrity

In conclusion, the Marine Corps recognizes its responsibility in preserving historical integrity when referring specifically to Camp Lejeune, which was established honorably under General John Lejeune’s leadership during the World War I era where he saved Marines from losing the ability to fight land and sea battles simultaneously. Therefore, ensuring future generations understand and pronounce accurately reflects the true essence behind the naming convention itself.


The pronunciation of Camp Lejeune has been a subject of debate for many years. While the base is named after Lt. Gen. John Lejeune, his family pronounces it as “luh-JERN,” which differs from the commonly used pronunciation of “luh-JUNE.” This discrepancy has sparked discussions and efforts to promote the correct pronunciation.

Advocacy for the Correct Pronunciation

Former Marines Patrick Brent and George Barros have taken up the cause to rectify this mispronunciation by advocating for “luh-JERN” as the proper way to say Camp Lejeune’s name. They have engaged with top brass, erected billboards, and even created promotional items in their quest to spread awareness about this issue.

Challenges in Changing Habits

However, changing long-standing habits can be challenging. Many individuals who are accustomed to saying “luh-JUNE” may find it difficult at first to adopt the new pronunciation proposed by Brent and Barros.

Hope for Progress

Nonetheless, there is hope that through respect and influence from top officials within Marine Corps leadership circles, progress will be made towards adopting the accurate rendition of General Lejeune’s last name – pronounced as “luh-JERN.”

Frequently Asked Questions

FAQ 1: Why is there a debate about the pronunciation of Camp Lejeune?

The debate about the pronunciation of Camp Lejeune stems from different interpretations and historical factors. The base was named after Lt. Gen. John Lejeune, but his family pronounces it as “luh-JERN” instead of “luh-JUNE.” This has led to confusion and differing opinions on how to correctly pronounce the name.

FAQ 2: What is the correct pronunciation of Camp Lejeune?

According to General Lejeune’s family, who believe that their last name should be reflected in its proper form, the correct pronunciation is “luh-JERN.” However, many people have become accustomed to saying “luh-JUNE,” which has been widely accepted for years.

FAQ 3: Who started the movement to promote the correct pronunciation?

Former Marines Patrick Brent and George Barros initiated a movement aimed at correcting mispronunciations by promoting awareness around using “Camp Luh-jern” rather than “Camp Luh-joon.” They have engaged with top brass officials within military circles while also utilizing billboards and creating promotional items like ball caps advocating for this change.

FAQ 4: How is Marine Corps working towards changing this habit?

The Marine Corps recognizes that changing long-standing habits can be challenging; however, they are making efforts from a top-down approach through respect and influence from high-ranking officials. They hope that over time, the promotion of the accurate pronunciation will eventually stick among both current and future generations serving at or associated with the camp.

FAQ 5: How long will it take for the correct pronunciation to become widely adopted?

It is difficult to predict exactly how long it will take for the widespread adoption of the correct pronunciation. However, the Marine Corps remains committed to their goal of promoting the correct pronunciation and hopes that through respect and influence from top officials, over time, the correct pronunciation of “luh-JERN” will become more widely adopted. Changing long-standing habits and linguistic conventions can take time, but with continued efforts, it is possible to see a shift in the way Camp Lejeune’s name is pronounced by both Marines and civilians alike.


  1. https://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=128572001
  2. https://www.wunc.org/military/2014-02-03/why-does-wunc-pronounce-camp-lejeune-with-an-r
  3. https://www.wect.com/story/30660586/why-we-pronounce-camp-lejeune-as-camp-luh-jern/