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Fitzgerald crew’s ‘heroic efforts’ saved their ship from sinking, admiral says

A top Navy admiral acknowledged Sunday that the destroyer Fitzgerald was in danger of sinking after a catastrophic collision off the coast of Japan Saturday and was saved by the “heroic efforts” of her crew that “had to fight very hard to keep the ship afloat.”

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Platoon Commander aka Senior Drill Instructor

If you’ve never heard of a Platoon Commander while in Boot Camp, it’s not my fault. I didn’t write the book, I didn’t publish the book. I simply purchased the book sometime during my internment at MCRD San Diego. The Marine Corps, or the Navy, recorded my experience for me during those two plus months. I was much too busy to take pictures. My book clearly shows the Senior Drill Instructor listed as “Platoon Commander”. I don’t recall the Senior DI wearing a different style belt than the other Drill Instructors except while drilling toward the end of training, preparing for “final drill”. Then he wore a black leather belt with scabbard, otherwise it was the standard canvas cartridge belt with first aid pouch. SF

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In reply to “D.I. Motivation And Inspiration”

The night before graduation, we were getting ready, spit shining shoes, cleaning M-14’s, getting the last of the speeches from our senior Drill Instructor. He looked at all of us with a look we had never seen on his face before. “You’re all going to Vietnam. Do you think you’re tough after what we put you through here? You’ll know how tough you are if and when you hear these five words-“Gentleman, prepare to defend yourselves”. When it actually happened to me,my blood ran cold. Tell that to some 21 year old kid today-they don’t have a fucking clue! I can’t believe that in 3 months it will be 50 years ago-half a century!

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Finding your bunk fun

I got to MCRD, Parris Island, 2nd Battalion, platoon 37, on April 27, 1955. True, the DI’s were tough and not as restricted as they are today. They were inclined to use some rather rough language and a physical reminder for emphasis. One of the fun things to do when it was time for lights out, was to have all the maggots march around the squad bay with the lights out, singing the Marine Corps hymn. Then came the order to get in the rack. What a madhouse it was, in the dark, trying to figure out where you were in the squad bay and to find your rack before the lights went on again. Some bumps and bloody noses were taken into the rack those nights. Fun and games, but all good memories. Semper Fi!

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MARINE OF THE WEEK // RAIDER LEADER:

During a combat operation in Afghanistan, Master Sgt. Torian’s unit came under heavy machine gun and underslung grenade-launcher fire. Maneuvering across open terrain, Torian exposed himself to enemy fire in order to establish better satellite communications and observe the enemy’s maneuvers. He then effectively coordinated multiple rotary-wing close air support missions with rockets, guns, and a hellfire missile. Two weeks later, he was killed in action. “What I admire most about Aaron was his relentless, competitive spirit; unrivaled work capacity and zest for life, family and friends,” said Charlie Goodyear, a long-time friend. “All these things made him an incredible Marine, friend, husband, and father to his family.”

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OUT WITH THE OLD, IN WITH THE NEW: MARINES TEST NEW GRENADE LAUNCHER MODULE

Marines with Bravo Company, 2nd Combat Engineer Battalion practiced handling and firing the M320 grenade launcher module at Camp Lejeune, N.C., June 6.

2nd CEB is one of the first Marine Corps units to be issued the M320, which has already been in use by the U.S. Army.

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USMC constant uniform spending and up-keep vs. times worn.

What really sucks is the hundreds of dollars spent at cash sales, multiple bullsh*t games put up with during inspections be it Company, CG or the oh so loved ‘dog & pony’ show for a visiting (my personal favorite, haha) dignitary.
Fact is being in WPNS Co 1/7 1st Mar Div all 4yrs active duty only wore my dress uniforms a handful of times and even had my Blues tailor made in 89’ Okinawa.

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Kids today vs. generations prior

I joined the US Marines Corps at 17 in 88’ with my mother’s signature… as I entered boot camp swore I would not come home if didn’t earn that EGA in the end. Two years later at 20yrs old in 91’ with WPNS Co 1/7 1st Mar Div Task Force Ripper fought and destroyed the 4th largest Army in the world with (then) Lt Col. Mattis as our Battalion Commander.
I know our war compares not to those fought by brave American’s in the past… but one thing holds true, there are still young men/women within our citizenry willing to lay down their lives if necessary in defense of the greatest nation on this planet.

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Scrap Lumber & Vodka

Had a few drinks in the back yard this past Sunday. I was staring at a stack of boards behind the shack and had an idea for some folk art to embellish my tool shed. The metal USMC seal was purchased several years ago from grunt.com and adorned the front of the shed for years. This started out as a standard American Flag, but spacing the 50 stars was just too difficult after happy hour. A little bit of white spray paint and voila! I really like that it irritates my Air Force neighbor. It’s approximately 8′ x 5′ and be seen from far below the hill my house sets on. Semper Fi!

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DI Inspiration

Sgt. Grit, I can’t necessarily think of one action or one saying that my three DI’s said to me to motivate or inspire me, because they inspired me every day. I was obviously intimidated by them, and yet I admired them because they set the standard for the Marine that we were trying to become. To me they represented every Marine in the Corps. However, what does inspire me the most when I think of them is the military bearing that they maintained throughout the entire three months on the island. Through the heat, the humidity and mental strain on their own person and having to deal with 70+ knuckleheads each and every day, they held firm to the standard of being a United States Marine. I know there were a few turds in my platoon and some that might have even washed out once they got into the FMF, but when you consider the overall success rate and the emotional strain those guys went through (even the unmarried DI’s), it just amazes me that day in and day out they delivered their best to us. I won’t ever forget them – they helped to shape me into the Marine and the man that I am today. Thank You SSgt. Krause, Sgt. Ishmail and Sgt. Mazenko. Mike Kunkel, Platoon 2063 Cpl 0331, Lima 3/8 Weapons Platoon 81-85

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