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NCO SWORD STAR

Sgt Grit: I recently looked up the subject of the Star of David
on the NCO Sword.You have two choices as to why it is there.  1. The Star of David is also known as the Star of Damascus.  In ancient times Damascus Syria was known as the fine metals capitol of the world and their trademark was the Star of Damascus aka Star of David.
2. One definition of the Star of David is “Leader of Men”
Take your pick I could not find any official reference
as to why it is there.
Semper Fi
Sgt Ronald (Bud) Albright
USMC 55-60

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THE CO. GUNNY AND THE RADIO WORM

Its a short story about Fox Co. , 2 Bn, 9th Mar, 3rd Mar Div, Okinawa in 1974.
In 1974, I was a LCpl on my first tour overseas and ended up the BN Radio Operator for Fox Co. 2/9. My CO was Capt Shawn Leach. Toward the end of my tour, we went on a training mission to the Northern Training Area (NTA). We were supposed to be on alert all night long and the radios were to be manned all night. I had taken a redheaded LCpl from the battalion HQ radio platoon. He had never been assigned to a grunt company and didn’t know sh*t about us or the way we worked. He was senior to me in rank by a month or so and kept trying to pull it the whole time. I had been with Fox Company through an entire 6 month WESTPAC float. Some where along the way I must have gained the respect of the CO and Company Gunny, because every time ol’ Red tried to run me down, they backed me up.

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NEW WORDS

I arrived at MCRD San Diego, 18 years old from the midwest and we were gathered together and issued a sweat shirt and a cover (hat) fitted to our head with a full head of hair, a pail and a brush. Then we went to the barber shop and all our hair was cut off, the cover became to large for our heads, but went down over our ears. Our DI’s shouted out the word “Shit Bird” I had never heard that word before, but I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt I was one standing there at attention, cover over my ears, a pail, a brush and a sweat shirt, still in civilian pants and shoes. Not sure of the timing, but we were marched to the quanset hut where we would spend 3 months and with the pail and brushes we scrubbed everything from top to bottom, in the meantime being sprayed by water type fire extinguishers by the DI’s, who were shouting some brand new words that I had never heard before…I had not been a prissy person, but I was shocked at some of the new words we heard and learned.

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Boot Camp & A bit after

When I first arrived at MCRDSD at 2330 hours, on 16 Nov. 1961, I can remember one thing. Two other recruits and I arrived and we were told to “take off everything that you were not born with and …” put our clothes into a locker and put the key, on a shoe lace, around our necks. We stood there. I was naked and the other two guys still had on their underwear. A Marine yelled at them and their underwear just disappeared. They did not take them off, their underwear just disappeared.

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In Response to “Never Volunteer”

In 1963, we were fresh out of Parris Island,and transported up to NC to Camp Gieger for training at ITR.
It was much better than PI, and everything was going smoothly. Then with about three weeks left, dozens Of us were stricken with some sort of pneumonia like illness, and transported to the Naval Hospital at Camp
Lejune in cattle cars ,I was in the Cattle Car with a boatload of sick Marines with temperatures of about 103* When we arrived, they put us in a large ward, and told us the treatment would consist of bed rest and gallons of fruit juice. Didn’t sound too bad to a bunch of young Marines.About three weeks later they discharged us, and we started to worry about repeating training,the SNCO was pretty good, and said he would put us in companies that were as far as we were at when we left. Well, it was soon realized by the bunch of us that everything was EXACTLY the same ,the sea stories,war stories,and humor ,all repeated verbatim by the instructors. We came to the infamous machine gun course, and we knew what to expect, there were six of us “Veterans” the instructor started with a line about NEVER VOLUNTEER for anything,he said in our short time
In the Corps we had learned that. Then as expected,he asked for a VOLUNTEER! Well all six of us were ready,and up our hands went !! The instructor picked me, and I knew I had made it. After he selected me, he said this Marine will be happy he volunteered for once,because he will be feeding the ammo to the Machine Gun instead of crawling through the course ! It felt so great to have pulled off a little victory over our beloved Corps , and I was happy as could be for the rest of the day. I didn’t volunteer for much for a few years,OOORAH !!

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The Hat From Hell

He was a North Vietnamese Regular. HE CAME FAST AND FURIOUS. HE HAD SKILLS. MAD SKILLS. I Had ” THE HAT FROM HELL” . I’m here to tell the story because that HAT, RAN, PUSHED, SCREAMED. ADJUSTED AND YES MAN HANDELED BOYS, NERVOUS TERRIFIED BOYS WHO WERE GOING OFF TO WAR. Unknown to us at the time he had Two Silver Stars And a Bronze , Purple Heart. He would sneak around at night and choke you till you couldn’t breathe ” Because That’s when they will come” THE HAT FROM HELL”

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47 years ago

Mike 4/11, 1st Mar Div, Hill 65 & An Hoa Vietnam Jan 1969 till Feb 1970. Having served as a 19 yr old marine in Vietnam one realizes time does not sharpen the memories of that place, unfotunately we also push aside the names and faces of those that you served with because you just look to forget. One evening Recently I received a telephone call from a person who said he was Mike Paul from our battery of Mike 4/11 in 1969. To my embarrassment I didn’t remember the name until he said he was called “Top” because his father was a Master Sargeant in the Corps. After I picked myself up from the floor we talked for hours, leaving off with agreeing to meet in Florida this year. To sum this reunion up, we consumed beer and over served ourselves with bourbon, we laughed, we thought about some of the guys that have passed and finally agreed not to allow 47 yrs to go between visits. A Dec cruise is being planned.

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Corpmen

There is no higher respect to be given than that to a CORP MAN. As this is typed there are still tears in my eyes from reading what a CORP MAN wrote about Viet Nam and going to ” The Wall ” with his daughter with recommendations that others who haven’t been need to go. It’ been said MARINES guard heavens gates. What’s not been said is: ” Behind every MARINE is a CORP MAN in case he’s needed. MARINES may carry a lot of memories about combat and etc. but NO ONE knows what a CORP MAN carries……for he carried MARINES in his heart and soul. DOC, YOU ARE MY BROTHER. Semper Fidelis

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Never Volunteer!

I was stationed at MB , NWS ,Concord CA from April 1966 until September 1967 assigned to the first guard platoon.Google Port Chicago Explosion for some background on the base. All we did was security,gates, tower, walking posts , and truck patrols. We also did escort duty back and forth to all the Navy bases in the Bay Area usually in pick ups or tractor trailers. At that time we were day on/day off weekend on/weekend off.We caught the demonstrators from UCAL Berkeley from time to time, but mostly we stood guard.One day on an off weekend we get a call from the captain that they need 4 Marines to go to Oklahoma City for something. Sounded different than standing post so 4 of us volunteered and went to the guard house in greens with our rifles. Once we hit the guard house we got a ride in a pick up truck and we thought we were off to get on a munitions train for a run to Oklahoma City, we had trains loading and unloading at Concord on a daily basis so that was why e expected a train run,anything is better than standing the same old posts everyday we left Concord and arrived a short time later at Mare Island Naval Shipyard where we thought we would get our train to Oklahoma City we drove around the base for awhile and pulled up next to a guided missile cruiser. When we saw the ship we realized that by now the Captain was really laughing at the trick he pulled on us! The ship was the Oklahoma City and there would be no train ride for us! We were then instructed to board the ship and met a GySgt from the Marine Detachment on the Oklahoma City. He then told us why we were here and what we were going to do next! We did at least get a good cup of coffee! We were then taken to the side of the ship and shown a barge (lighter) in the water (screw the nautical terminology for side). A Navy officer explained that each one of us was to stand on a corner of the barge as it was being towed from Mare Island to Concord Naval Weapons Station.Weapons from the cruiser had been offload and we going to be taken to Concord. The Oklahoma City had just returned from service off Vietnam.The weather gets a little chilly in the Bay Area especially if you’re traveling standing on a corner of a barge. The Navy officer agreed that we could be security from the deck of the tug, two on the deck by the stack and the other two could sit in the galley to stay warm.

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Got disciplined…JUSTIFIED…This S**T is SERIOUS!!!!

I started USMC Recruit Training April 29, 2002 with 2ND Battalion, Golf Company… I received discipline during Week 7(Rifle Week) of USMC Boot Camp Parris Island while practicing marching. Senior Drill Instructor sent me to the side after I made an incorrect motion, and I found myself in front of a extremely energized DI who was about to teach me the consequences of incorrect actions in presence of the SDI…ordering myself and several other recruits who messed up as well to begin exercising in full battle gear, oh it hurt…At the end of punishment exercises the DI ordered us to “port arms” with the M16A4…I obviously was not holding the rifle tight enough, because as the DI smacked the rifle while still in the “port arms” position the rifle swung back and struck my face causing my eyebrow to bleed, which was obviously noticable…I know that it was my mistake that caused this whole situation anyways…there were no options to fix this situation, way too much blood…The battalion was ordered to return to the barracks, the SDI staring at me all the while I took a quick glance at him as I ran past…while in formation a short while, the SDI pulled me aside to a private area one on one…I was questioned about incident and I stuck to the facts, just the facts…nothing was ever said or brought up concerning this incident as well nothing should have…bottom line is USMC Recruit Training is the MOST SERIOUS military training anyone can receive in order to keep our beloved America safe, day in and day out…Many recruits are not built to handle a career in the US Marine Corps…filtering these recruits by such discipline saves US Marines lives everyday whether on the battlefield or on duty on base…God Bless the US Marine Corps it’s Marines…Recruit Training is what gives each Marine his foundation on what a Marine is…The proof is in the final product…There is no “basic” military training in the world produces any finer product than a US MARINE…OOHRAH!…SEMPER FIDELIS! Love ya’ll…

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