Sgt. Grit Community
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My non stop attitude.

I was a boot Marine on my first Combined Arms Exercise in Twenty nine Palms California Oct of 1988 CAX 8-88, we had been training for our 30 plus days in the dirt and we were on our way to the rear to head back to Hawaii. I was a artillery man on a M198 towed howitzer. I was told where I was to sit in the truck as all the good seat were taken by higher ranking Marines so I sat on the floor against the tailgate. We were traveling at a good 40 plus mph in the desert so it was very a very rough ride. I had my back against the tailgate when it falls open at this speed. I was able to flip over onto my stomach and hole onto the tailgate for awhile but eventually was thrown off, striking my head on the cannon, receiving a head and brain injury and then my right leg was run over by the cannon cause only soft tissue damage but closing the artery in the leg. I was medivaced via helicopter to Mainside then to Balboa in San Diego. I fought hard to recover and carry on with little to no help from the Corps, I had problems both physically and mentally do to this horrible accident but was able to recover enough to finish my enlistment and serve honorably in Desert Storm as a assistant section chief on my own gun. I made a driver after the accident, I guess the Corps figured hell he cant fall out if he is driving. I was the gun truck driver, as well as the plugger and A-Chief on the gun. We fought in the artillery raids before the war and in Khafji during the Air War, we were attached to task force ripper for the ground war. I received the many medals and ribbons for my service. I am proud that I was able to regroup enough to finish my enlistment and not taking a medical which is what I think everybody thought I would do. Thats defines the spirit of the Corps. I may of fell back on runs and humps when I returned but I never fell out.

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My Summer of 1969

DISCLAIMER Recruit training in the Marine Corps has historically had a reputation for the use of obscene language and the physical abuse of recruits. What I am telling is what I saw and experienced. Another Marine of my generation or earlier would concur with what I re-live here. Some would say that what I tell has been overblown over time. All I can say is that I can’t make this up! For me, recruit training was the most stress filled experience of my life.
MAKING THE RACK
That mental videotape machine of mine did not record every minute I was at the recruit depot, just the moments that made an impression on me. And there were a lot of them.
I remember it was getting near dusk. The DI’s gathered the platoon together to show us how to make our bunks (rack) military style. After they demonstrated how to do it, they undid the bunk and then had a couple of recruits get in front of the platoon to try and do it. What a joke. They immediately began to screw it up and the DI’s start screaming at them.
One of these fellows starts to cry. I remember our Platoon Commander going over to this kid and acting like he was consoling him, when suddenly, he slaps him across the face! There was an immediate “gasp” that came from all of the recruits. I had heard that this sort of thing could/would happen, but to see it, that’s another thing. Then, our assistant DI, a thin wiry staff sergeant whose name I never cared to remember , looks at us with this evil grin and says “you ain’t seen anything yet! After your physicals, the real beatings begin.”
It’s time for lights out. After many attempts of jumping into our rack in a timely way to satisfy the DI’s demand for precision, they finely turn out the lights. I’m in a top bunk. I’d never slept in one before.

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BLT 3/5 as a SLF aboard LPH-5 USS Princeton (‘Nam 1966)

BLT 3/5 as a SLF aboard LPH-5 USS Princeton (‘Nam 1966)

It was sometime in mid-1966, somewhere off the Vietnam coast, we were returning to our ship after a search and destroy operation. As I stepped onto the deck, and knowing most of the deck crew from my helicopter guard duty while on the ship, I could see the startled expression on a swabbie’s face.
Not knowing if it was the aroma from fifteen days of sweat, gunpowder, insect repellent and rice paddy mud or the unshaven face, I just grinned. Recognizing me, he said “Hey Jarhead, what did you do, scare ’em to death?” I replied “Yeah, VC number ten.” He then said “I’ve got the latest scuttlebutt.” I replied dryly “What’s that, some chicken shit inspection?” He laughed and said “No, we’re floating back to Subic to confuse enemy observers for a few days and having liberty call instead of training.”
Ski, our wireman, said he knew the perfect place for us to go and unwind.

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Only woman you can trust

I was a member of Series 3100 (honor platoon), graduating 10 November 1966. Senior DI Panach(?) during each night’s “free time” repeatedly told us that the only woman we should write letters to was our mother. One night after mail call, he call the entire platoon to attention, then told us to open that letter we just received from our girlfriends, “Rosie Rotten…..” and look up at the upper right corner of the letter. He said to call out every letter that had been written on a Friday or Saturday night. Not one called out. He then concluded the lesson by explaining that Rosie didn’t write on a weekend because she was out bangin’ some draft dodging Joe College (of course there are an few more descriptive terms). BUT your mother wrote regardless of what day of the week it was. “She was the only woman you can trust”.

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Messes up your dope huh ?

While on rifle range guard duty at Paris Island in 1965, my sling slipped and my M14 fell muzzle first to the ground. Thinking this may effect my marksmanship qualifying efforts, I mentioned this unfortunate event to my junior drill instructor thinking he may have some sound advice. He took my weapon and asked me to show him how it fell. My confusion was answered by him instructing me to fall exactly like my rifle did. At that point in my stay at PI,my instilled blind obedience took over and I fell over but used my hands to cushion the impact. he barked “no maggot, your weapon does not have hands, do it again.” The second time was without hands and it did in fact “mess up my dope”. Lesson Learned !!

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Slide for life

In September 1962, we were on the confidence course, the DI had us in formation, and had us count off by fours. I was a four, and he told us every “4” would come to attention when we were coming down the slide. Now truthfully,I thought “good” because it looked impossible to to . So I get going,and I changed a couple of the moves,and I thought , shit I can do this. Well I heard the DI call me to attention, but I kept going, because now I knew I could finish. When I got down ,the DI called me over,and asked for an explanation. Well I gave him a lame ass excuse, ” Sir ! The recruit didn’t hear the Drill Instructor Sir”. I foolishly thought that was it. We Returned to the barracks, and lined up for a head call. About ten recruits ahead of me was passing a hatchway and a fist came out at blinding speed,and hit him square up side the head,and knocked him across the passageway. Now I knew what awaited me for my disobedience. But for better or maybe worse I knew what was coming! I got up to the Hatch,and the fist came out, and also knocked me across the Passageway a lesson learned, but I was glad I had completed the slide anyway !

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NEW WEARABLE TECHNOLOGY TO LIGHTEN LOAD FOR MARINES

Marine Corps Systems Command’s Marine Expeditionary Rifle Squad Team has partnered with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Lincoln Laboratory to create a boot insert prototype to help improve the performance of Marines.

The Mobility and Biomechanics Insert for Load Evaluation, or MoBILE, technology is hand-made by the bioengineering staff members at Lincoln Labs with the Marine in mind. MoBILE helps detect changes in mobility and agility, which will help MCSC make informed decisions on material composition and format of athletic and protective gear.

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Corpsmen Never Forget

Every time I hear news on the television that one of our servicemen was killed overseas it brings to mind my time when I served as a corpsman with 2nd Bn 5th Marines in 66 and 67 in Vietnam. Our Battalion had lots of Marines killed and wounded and I personally was involved with providing medical care to many of them either in Hotel Company or while at the Bn Aid Station. The Marines depended on their corpsmen to perform their duty when the time came. Far too often, many of the wounded had horrific wounds from mines or other high intensity explosions and our best was not good enough to save their lives.

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Nick Names

In the early 60’s at P.I. the battalion nick names were:

1st batt.—“Dodge City”
2nd batt.—“The Twilight Zone”
3rd batt.—“Disneyland” (the new brick buildings)

I have no idea when these nick names started or if they have been changed over the years only other Marines can answer that so all you alumni from P.I and S.D. from the “Old School” to today send in the nick names they were using when you were in boot and list either P.I. or S.D.

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Most Riky Tik

I was sitting outside my hooch, at Marble Mountain, late 1968 or early 69. I had a clear view down towards the showers and out- houses ( the polite name ). A Marine was going to the showers, wearing only a towel, and stopped off at the out-house to do his business. What he was doing was fairly clear since the door and upper half of the walls were just screens. I could not hear what happened, but from his actions I can guess. He lifted the lid, turned and ran through the door, fell and did a high crawl at high speed. He had gotten about twenty feet from the door when green smoke billowed out of the out-house causing myself, and others with me, to nearly die laughing. Tough humor for tough times.

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