Sgt. Grit Community
Submit Your Story


Served from May 1961 – May 1965 (went through Parris Island MCRD) – when the DI’s were allowed to swear and smack you around a little if you needed it – and run your ass off – all night an all day if THEY so Chose – loved every minute of it. There was even the “Fat Man” Platoon – but I’m sure you can’t say that now – or it would hurt someone’s feelings of a “weight-challenged” individual. Now all the bleeding heart liberals in Congress – most of who are a bunch of pussywimpass non-vet Cowards have banned all such behavior on the part of DI’s who are trying to prepare Boys to be Men and to possibly go into combat if needed. Hey – if a Marine now encounters the enemy swearing at them or calling them names – are they supposed to report the incident to some State Side Military Lawyer and wait for permission to fire their weapon? Happy Horseshit we use to call it. Good luck to all who now go through the politically correct restrained “babysitting” MCRD experience.

read more

The Motivation Platoon

In 1969 I was living in Minneapolis at the time the first draft lottery cam to be. For those who don’t know about this, it was 365 dates in a large fish bowl. This was news, and was covered by all the television stations at the time. Everyone who was eligible for the draft was watching because if they pulled your birthday you were guaranteed to be drafted and had a direct line to the Army or so I thought. Well I arrived at the induction center several weeks later. After we had been tested for a variety of things we were all gathered in a large room. A representative from the Air Force walked up to a podium in the room and asked for “volunteers” to serve two years in the Air Force since they had not reached their quota for the month. Everyone raised there hand, but only six people were actually chosen.
This same process continued through the Coast Guard, Navy and Marine Corps. When the Marine approached the podium he asked for three volunteers. No one raised their hand! The Marine asked again with the same response. The Marine then announced that he had other ways to get three volunteers. The Marine went on to remind us of the tests we had been taking for most of the day and said he had decided that the people who scored the highest, middle and lowest overall test scores were his choice. My name was one of the three and I was immediately moved to a Marine Corps van in front of the induction center for a short ride to the airport. I was taken away to the MCRD in San Diego. The first couple of days there were much like the person who wrote about “Motivation” article. Mass confusion, no sleep for close to two days and many berating encounters with the Drill Instructors. The next few weeks proceeded much like the first two days but we were allowed to sleep. One of the things we were required to do was “PT” physical training! Doing set ups, push ups, a variety of other things including running were part of the agenda. I was what would be called a nerd today and a weakling back then. I weighed 175 pounds and was six feet four inches tall and had never participated in sports of any kind. After a couple more weeks with me always being the last one to complete all the physical exercises I was move to a place called the “Motivation Platoon”! If I thought it was rough in regular boot camp the Motivation Platoon was ten times worse. There was never a minute of the day that we were idle except when we were studying the Marine Corps Manual, at Church, or sleeping. When awake were either doing exercises of some type or we were running. We ran and ran and ran, nine miles a day, rain or shine. Three miles before breakfast, three miles before lunch and three more before supper. The Motivation Platoon was originally formed to help recruits that were over weight to loose the weight and gain some muscle, then return to complete the rest of their boot camp experience. Since I was the skinny weakening I didn’t have any excess weight to loose, all I needed was muscle. When we went to the mess hall for chow the rest of my Motivation inductees ate greatly reduced rations, while I was forced to eat double rations. And I gained the weight, lots of it. I returned to a boot camp platoon weighing 250 mean lean pounds. Boot camp was a breeze and I also made the rank of Lance Corporal at he rifle range by shooting in the top five recruits. After that I was trained as a radio relay operator and was on my way to Viet Nam! The rest is a whole another story.

read more

SGT Reckless

The story of Reckless is not only remarkable – it is unusual.  And once you learn about her, you will see why the Marine Corps not only fell in love with her – but honored her and promoted her every chance they got.  And it wasn’t just the Marines that served with her in the trenches that honored her – her last promotion to Staff Sergeant was by Gen. Randolph McC Pate – the Commandant of the entire Marine Corps.  You can’t get higher than that in the Marines.

read more

Grandson of USMC 3rd 21st WW2 Veteran Eugene V Burch

As a child from the age of seven to 14 or so Grandpa Gene was bulletproof ,and as a kid we knew his handshake would crush your hand. I remember him telling me stories of World War 2 of the Japanese digging tunnels and pulling his buddies underground, but as a child my brain did not believe. He passed away in 1996 when I was 16 from cancer, and I never knew what he had been through. One day in the summer of 2010 I decided to watch Flags Of Our Father, and HBO’s “The Pacific” and it gave me a good kick in the pants. I have never felt like such a fool in my life, and was so oblivious to what he and all of you go through for me. How could my education not show this to me? WHY didn’t we cherish all of you more?

read more

Duc Pho Good Friday of ” 67″

I’ve heard different stories about the hit on 3/7 on Good Friday of 67 at Duc Pho. My recollection we started taking incoming about o200hrs.I was w/H&S Co We were at the base of the hill and about the middle just above the J4 fuel dump.We were taking small arms, rockets and some 57 recoilless rifle. What hit the fuel dump I don’t know, but let me tell you that was a sight to behold. Best fireworks display I’ve ever seen. I talk to some Marines later at Chu Lai said they could see the flames from their. I was about 75 meters from the dump. Does any other Marine remember being their that night. Semper Fi , my friends

read more

Thank You to My DI

This past October I went on a 3-day bus tour of Parris Island sponsored by the Marine Corps League, Sgt Jason M. Ileo Detachment 1147 of Centerville, MD, along with a few other detachments from Maryland. There were about 40 Marines who went on the trip. We had a great time seeing first-hand all the training the recruits undergo in becoming Marines. It brought back a lot of memories for me. One of the proudest moments for me was seeing 509 Marines graduate. This really reinforced my belief that the Corps is in good hands.

read more

Full Circle

Soon it will be 50 years since I took the oath to become a Marine.10 Oct 1967 I walked down the sidewalk of my home,got into my Dads car and left for the Federal Building in downtown Pittsburgh and ,along with four other recruits was sworn in.That same afternoon we were on a plane headed south.The first stop was the airport in Charlotte NC. While there we met a Marine that just finished 0311 training and,was heading home on leave then on to WestPac.We went to a bar in the airport and had a few beers while listening to his stories and advice about bootcamp. Some of the stories turned out to be true some not so true.Our next stop was the airport at Charleston SC. We were sent to a kind of staging area of some sort. There we met up with a bus load of other recruits and headed for Parris Island.On the way,someone started passing around a couple bottles of Jack or Jim can’t recall which.By the time we reached “The Island” I had a pretty good buzz.When the,I think,the driver announced that we were approaching gate the bus became a little quieter.Everything after that is a little fuzzy I do remember getting off the bus and standing in some sort of formation,Were there the “Yellow Footprints” maybe I can’t really remember.

read more

New recruit motivation 1966

One of my fathers favorite stories to share was about being a DI at MCRD in 1966. The story goes that the new recruits were brought to an assembly area close to the fence facing the San Diego Airport. All the new recruits had their ill-fitting utilities on and shaved heads so everybody looked the same on day one. Mixed in with the recruits was another DI wearing utilities. One of the DI’s was telling the new recruits that going AWOL would get them shot for desertion during a time of War (Viet Nam was going hot and heavy at the time). Well the fake recruit gets up, says he can’t take it anymore and runs for the airport fence. One of the DI’s happens to have an M14 locked and loaded (with blanks) during the desertion speech. The fake recruit starts climbing the fence. The DI with the M14 yells a warning and then Bang Bang, that was the end of that recruit because he falls to the ground and a life changing impression was made on all of these future Marines. S/Sgt Roger D. Marsh (Ret) is now guarding the gates of Heaven. God Bless America and the US Marine Corps.

read more

Bushido Warrior Mentality

Sgt. Grit,

I was USMCR ’57 to ’63, a Cold War Marine, later I served as a Los Angeles Co. Sheriff’s Deputy with my last 24 years assigned to SEB/ESD, Special Weapons Team and Paramedic Air Rescue.

My youngest son, Mike, told me when he was 15 y/o, that he wanted what I had, the camaraderie and the brotherhood. (That’s pretty much what he grew up with, the Marine Corps and a SWAT Team). He joined the Marines right out of high school and made it into 3rd ANGLICO, spending six weeks with the SEALs in Coronado to get his MOS and then LASD when he was 19. He went to Iraq with 150 other deputies from the department in January 2003.

read more