Sgt Grit Marine Corps Newsletter - August 30, 2002
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Sgt Grit Marine Corps Newsletter - August 30, 2002

What can you expect from a tanker! Instead of counting sheep in their sleep they count tanks, and instead of a pinup they have the latest model tank as their pinup...Geez! Semper Fi Gene G.

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Our "Remembrance Reunion" is on schedule for 8 November 2002, 1800 hours (6:00 PM) at the American Legion Post in Arlington, Va. A map to the post will be online soon but it's only a 6-7 minute drive from the Iwo Jima Memorial.  We expect a large turnout as indicated by my e-mails and entries in Sgt. Grit's Bulletin Board.  Please visit his website at:
He has all of our Operation: Arlington Ridge "Enduring Pride" merchandise and it's going fast as the birthday approaches.


My oldest friend (since 1950), Mike Silverman, joined the Corps about one month before me in 1966.  He was in Platoon 2027 at Parris Island while I was in 2037.  Coincidentally, we both won our Platoon's dress blue uniform award.  Mike went to Vietnam almost a year prior to me and was in the same platoon with Ron Kovacs.  Mike was wounded in Dec. 67. Before leaving the country in Jan, of 68', he found his way to where I was near the DMZ (New York street smarts at work).  Several months ago, a member of Platoon 2027, Jay Solis, attempted to find all those remaining and effect a reunion. He did a hell of a job and was pleasantly surprised to find that they had not lost a man in combat, which was truly remarkable given the time period. What remained for them was to locate their old drill instructor, Sergeant Albright.  They took a reunion picture and e-mailed it to someone they thought was the right man.

What follows is the response:

Sept. 5, 2002
To: Platoon 2027
I take my eyeballs off you pukes for a mere thirty six years,
and look at you !!! Wearing all different color clothes,
straggling to chow, growing hair, and some of you have obviously been going through the chow line for seconds! Dambrose, you still owe me 300 bends and thrusts! Silverman, that damned statement you wrote (college boy) on the injury report got me an ass chewing from regiment. Fishbaum, what are you doing wearing a cover indoors!? Solis, I was considering making you the Platoon scribe, but it took you two years to find me and you didn't even invite me to the reunion. I'd have you all down for push-ups, but you've probably forgotten how to do them.

Last week, I was up in Yellowstone camping and harassing
the critters.  When I got home, I checked my e-mail and saw ,"I hope you are the Marine" message. I thought it was a sales pitch and was going to delete but couldn't take the chance of ignoring another Marine. When I opened it and saw the dates and signature J. Solis, I knew it was for real.  What a great surprise! Thank you for your persistence Jay.

After reading the attachment and forwarded mail, I was
deeply touched but think you have given me far too much
credit. There is a story that Michelangelo was asked how
he could create a work as perfect as his statue
of David. Old Mike replied that David was always there
in the marble, and all he did was chip away the stuff that
didn't look like David.  Well, I think you guys always
had lion hearts, and all us drill instructors did was chip
away the shit that didn't look like Marines. Granted,
some of you took more chipping than others, but you all
had balls to start with and you chose the Corps. Boot camp
just weeds out the fakes and tunes out the lions. I salute
you all.

I make no apologies for treating you harshly, and I doubt
you expect any. When I had you guys, I had already been a
corporal in country with D/ 2/12 in Oct.-Nov. of 1963 when
"Big Minh" and some Viet Colonels killed President Ngo
Dinh Diem and I knew what a pile of crap you were getting
into. Solis, I thank you again for letting me know that
"not a single member died there." I thank God.

I lost contact with Ott and Washington after leaving the
drill field. I heard that Ott died of a heart attack, but
never confirmed same. The reunion pictures were great. I
look forward to hearing more about you guys.
I'm proud of all of you.
Semper Fi
Jim Albright
Sergeant Major USMC (ret)

Submitted by: PTB2929


Dear Sgt. Grit,
Reading your news letter today, one story reminded me of a particular time I had Duty NCO, during which part of my responsibilities was to visit the mess hall at mid-rats and ask the troops how they were doing and how was the chow.  One Marine looked up at me from his meal and said "S/Sgt. this is just like mama used to make.....except she didn't sh*t in hers".   I should mention it was a Navy mess hall.
Semper Fi and fly our colors,
Gary Patterson
S/Sgt., 67-77
Chu Lai 69-70


In reference to your question regarding what appears to be the star of David on the NCO sword:

I believe that is actually the star of Damascus. Damascus, Syria was renowned for its steel and swords (very secretive art to making this steel, the method & formula for which is still not fully known today).  The craftsmen formed a guild (sort of a union) of sword makers and their symbol was this six-pointed star, which became known as the star of Damascus.

The use of this symbol was revived by Wilkerson sword makers (though they weren't making actual Damascus steel) to symbolize excellence (i.e.-it was a marketing ploy). Other sword makers quickly copied the symbol on their own swords.

The original swords made bore this symbol so now I suppose it's a tradition. Long live traditions.
Sgt. Richard Allen
USMC Reserve, Public Affairs, 1993 - 1998
The answer to the Star of David on the NCO sword
is that it is not the Star of David.  It is the Star of
Damascus the symbol of world renowned steel and
sword craftsmen. These craftsmen used two triangles joined together as a sign of their sword making guild which became know as the Star of Damascus.  This symbol means the sword was fashioned with Damascus steel and over 1,000 years of craftsmanship.
Semper Fi
Gunny Dunc


On the evening of 10 September a business trip found me in Atlanta Airport.  With a long wait for my flight, I had ample opportunity to watch passengers come and go.  I first spotted a young sailor fresh out of basic.  The Navy enlisted uniform has never been my cup of tea, but he looked really squared away in his crisp, clean whites.  I then saw an airman.  Typically, his Air Force trousers were about two inches too short, but otherwise he looked good too.  I thought, "another fine representative of our military."
Some time later, I noticed two Marine privates, obviously fresh out of boot camp, most likely on their first leave home.  I went over to them and exchanged a brief handshake and "Semper Fi," and then left them on their way.  Still later, I spotted an Army E-3.  High and tight, clean well-pressed uniform and solid bearing.  Quite a credit to his service.

I was reflecting on times when we all wore our uniforms everywhere and airport terminals looked like the local USO.  As I was thinking how unusual it was anymore to see a representative from four major services in uniform at one time, I then spotted the two young privates again.  This time they had their green blouses draped over their arms, and one had his tie loosened and his collar undone!  And walking around Atlanta Airport in this fashion.  I started to go over and say something, but I was with a business group and I didn't think an airport terminal scene would have been well received on the eve of the 9/11 anniversary.  I could only hope that this character pulls this again and some active duty NCO or SNCO spots him and jumps all over him.

It was very disappointing to me that on the eve of one of the biggest tragedies in American history and when patriotic fervor, for however fleeting for some, was again in high pitch, that the one military member who discredited his uniform had to be the Marine.  To this nameless recruit (which I believe his still is), I would remind him of the intense pride he should feel in wearing the uniform which bears the eagle, globe and anchor; and remind him of the shame he should feel in the callous way he wore it.  I could only imagine what his Drill Instructors, whose care he probably left only hours before, would have thought!
Regards and Semper Fi,
Bob Allena
SSgt. USMC 1971-1978


Well Hell Grit
With everyone talking about body art, I got my first
USMC tattoo when I was about 13. It simply says, USMC
across my left deltoid. My entire life to that point
was USMC with my old man being a MSGT since '43 and on recruiting duty when I got the tat. My mother was not
real happy but let it slide.  Now at 66 I'm looking for a good tat parlor locally to get a globe and anchor on my right deltoid but it has to be a clean one.  I was a DI at San
Diego in 58/59.
Semper Fi
Rocky Kemp 1439323

     I have one tattoo on my arm, and it is a skull on the bottom of the ocean with a white hat, with U.S.N on top.  I was navy before going to the Corps as a Corpsman.  I want to get two more tattoos, one that says "Doc" under the skull, and an Eagle Globe and Anchor on the other. but I have a civilian wife, so no more tattoos (yet).
Semper  Fi. Anthony A. Burton, HM3, 10th Mar. Regt. 2nd MarDiv 1969-1972

Sgt Grit you can add this to the tattoo list.  We were in PhuBai in the fall of 67, I was in the 05 battery there.  We had a guy on our gun, we called "Squeaky", I cannot remember his real name.  They called a fire mission and "Squeaky" was going to be the loader.  The call was made for the mission with the command "Do Not Load".  The Squeaker stood there with the 05 round ready to go in the tube, and it got really heavy.  He laid it on his chest for a second, the pro joe shifted on the canister, caught the bulb of his nipple and pinched it off.  You can imagine what he was saying to the rest of us to get detached from the shell while we laughed.  I wonder how he explained how he got his Purple Heart to his Grandchildren.
Semper Fi Guys, Ron Shouse Bravo 1/13 Nam class of 67/68

Back in 1975, while on a WestPac tour, a muscular built, medium height Marine (now deceased) had a 1 inch rose tattooed on his chest.  A thin, slightly taller and younger Marine decided that was a good idea and decided to get one just a little bigger on his thin frame.  He arrived back at the unit with a rose the size of my your fist and a big stem coming right down the center of his chest.

As proud as he was of that "slightly bigger" rose, he almost passed out when he compared it to the other Marine's.  We had a PFT the next day too and he received all the appropriate ribbing, no pun intended.
Jim Doud,  Sgt., Marine since 1973.

Sgt. Grit,
I will never forget getting my Tattoo after ITR at Camp Geiger.  We all went down to J-Ville, better known as Jacksonville in those days.  I got the Marine Corps Eagle Globe & Anchor on my upper arm on Aug. 1956 at Aches Tattoo Parlor in Jacksonville. It's 46 years ago that I had it done and still young men come up to me and
Thank Me for serving our Country.
Cpl. Don Vaccaro  USMC  1956-----1960

On reading your news letter on tattoos, I am 77 and had the globe, anchor and eagle tattoo placed on my left forearm, anyone out there older than me have it done? Ski..6th division.
Stan W.

Sgt Grit - I got a Devil Dog Tattoo in Honolulu in 1944
The old Dog is getting wrinkled but still there.
Art Gaucher - USMC 1943-1946

Yo Sgt Grit I got my first two Tattoos in Oceanside Calif.on
my way to Nam. I was getting a little demon put over USMC when this old salt WO walks in. Says I want Viet 66 put here & the Philippines 65 put here on each elbow area, the only empty spots on his arms.  He had every place he'd ever been in the Corps tattooed. Talk about being one less salty Cpl when I left the parlor on to the NAM.   SGT C.T.TunoVet Nam 67-68 had to check arm for the dates-----

Sgt Grit:
I was in Platoon 2007 ("G" Co.) at MCRD San Diego in 1981.  During one of our early 'Health and Safety' inspections (standing on footlockers adorned only in skivvy shorts) the Senior DI noticed a recruit with a fresh USMC tattoo lettered on his shoulder.  Bummer.  After a lengthy tirade about first having to earn the right to be called a Marine, etc...the DI handed the recruit a laundry scrub brush and a supply of cleaning solvents with the explicit instruction to remove the offending tattoo within the next 15 minutes.  Or else, the DI would be happy to do it himself.  Well, the tattoo did not completely vanish-but it was a valiant effort by the stupid recruit.
Donald McKay,  Sgt. 81-85

Hiya Marines!
Tattoos are wonderful expressions of loyalty to the Corps, and there have been many stories of interactions between one Marine and another that have started because somebody was wearing the Eagle, Globe, and Anchor on their skin.  I won't say that the wearing of a tattoo is a bad thing, but I would caution our young hard-chargers who have recently won the title of Marine, and have not yet decided what they want to be when they grow up, (e.g.: Force Recon or any other possible Special Operations type billet): be
careful affixing anything permanent on your body that could identify you, or your remains, as American.  Having a tattoo could knock you out of the running for these really "high-speed, low-drag" opportunities.
Semper Fi,
Sgt. B.


Sgt Grit,
This is a reply to Brad Robinson's question in the Sept 12th
newsletter pertaining to the use of a "fouled anchor" in
Marine emblems.

Attached is a copy of the "History of the Eagle, Globe and Anchor" as written by Major Ralph S. Bates, USMC (Ret).

Ralph served for 26 years in our Corps, from the late 1950s to the early 1980s. He wrote this up for me in the early 1990s to print in a Marine Corps Ball program book I was editing .  Below is an excerpt from the attached file:

"After much discussion and the usual meetings of committees, the existing emblem began to emerge as the favorite of just about all Marines of that time. It consisted of the world globe revealing the western hemisphere because the British Royal Marines also had a globe but depicting the eastern hemisphere, their origin. Atop the globe sat an eagle with its wings outstretched. After often-bitter debate they settled on the crested eagle as opposed to the bald eagle. The bald eagle was found only in North America whereas the crested eagle was found throughout the world. This symbol reflects the Corps' worldwide mission. The anchor fostered even more debate as every Marine realized that the Corps was a land arm of the Navy it had not always been. After the War of 1812, the Corps briefly operated under the Army. The Corps wanted to show its attachment to the Navy but also to reflect that they were not sailors, but Marines.  Interestingly the idea of a fouled anchor came from the Navy who also used an anchor as its emblem. A sailor would never foul (letting the line inappropriately wrap around the anchor) an anchor. So the Corps adopted the fouled anchor to tacitly say, "We are Navy but not sailors, we are Marines"."
We, as Marine Corps Leaguers, have used this history document in several publications over the years including the program book for our Year 2000 Department of Florida (state) convention held in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.  I hope you find this worth passing on.
Semper Fidelis,
Mike LaBozzetta,  USMC 1964-1967
Past Commandant, Tamarac Detachment 755, Marine Corps League

Sgt Grit,
Brad Robinson inquired as to the source of the "Fouled Anchor."  Below are three explanations.  It seems that all three go back to British naval tradition in the 1500s.

Jim Dickson,
USN, CTG 116.2,
Nha Be', 1966

Fouled anchor
The fouled (rope- or chain-entwined) anchor so prevalent in our Navy's designs and insignia is a symbol at least 500 years old that has it origins in the British traditions adopted by our naval service.

The fouled anchor was adopted as the official seal of Lord High Admiral Charles Lord Howard of Effingham during the late 1500s.  A variation of the seal had been in use by the Lord High Admiral of Scotland about a century earlier.

The anchor (both with and without the entwined rope) is a traditional heraldic device used in ancient British coats of arms. As a heraldic device, it is a stylized representation used merely for its decorative effect.

FOULED ANCHOR- The foul anchor as a naval insignia got its start as the seal of the Lord Howard of Effingham. He was the Lord Admiral of England at the time of the defeat of the Spanish Armada in 1588.  During this period their personal seal of the great officer of state was adopted as the seal of his office. The fouled anchor still remains the official seal of the Lord High Admiral of Great Britain. When this office became part of the present Board of Admiralty, the seal was retained on buttons, official seals, and cap badges. The Navy's adoption of this symbol and many other customs can be directly attributed to the influence of the British Naval tradition. The fouled anchor is among one of them.

Fouled anchor
The fouled (rope- or chain-entwined) anchor so prevalent in our Navy's designs and insignia is a symbol at least 500 years old that has it or designs and insignia is a symbol at least 500 years old that has it origins in the British traditions adopted by our naval service. The fouled anchor was adopted as the official seal of Lord High Admiral Charles Lord Howard of Effingham during the late 1500s. A variation of the seal had bee The anchor (both
with and without the entwined rope) is a traditional heraldic
device used in ancient British coats of arms. As a heraldic
device, it is a stylized representation used merely for its
decorative effect.

Greetings Sgt Grit, I hope the following info will be
of help to the question asked by Brad Robinson in your
newsletter.  Marine Corps Emblem and Seal

The history of the Marine Corps emblem is a story
related to the history of the Corps itself. The emblem
of today traces its roots to the designs and ornaments
of early Continental Marines as well as British Royal
Marines. The emblem took its present form in 1868.
Before that time many devices, ornaments, and
distinguishing marks followed one another as official
marks of the Corps.

In 1776, the device consisted of a "foul anchor" of
silver or pewter. The foul anchor still forms a part
of the emblem today. (A foul anchor is an anchor which
has one or more turns of the chain around it). Changes
were made in 1798, 1821, and 1824. In 1834 it was
prescribed that a brass eagle be worn on the hat, the
eagle to measure 3 = inches from wingtip to wingtip.

During the early years numerous distinguishing marks
were prescribed, including "black cockades", "scarlet
plumes," and "yellow bands and tassels." In 1859 the
origin of the present color scheme for the officer's
dress uniform ornaments appeared on an elaborate
device of solid white metal and yellow metal. The
design included a United States shield, half wreath, a
bugle, and the letter "M."

In 1868, Brigadier General Commandant Jacob Zeilin
appointed a board "to decide and report upon the
various devices of cap ornaments of the Marine Corps."
On 13 November 1868, the board turned in its report.
It was approved by the Commandant four days later, and
on 19 November 1868 was signed by the Secretary of the

The emblem recommended by this board consists of a
globe (showing the Western Hemisphere) intersected by
a foul anchor, and surmounted by a spread eagle. On
the emblem itself, the device is topped by a ribbon
inscribed with the Latin motto "Semper Fidelis"
(Always Faithful). The uniform ornaments omit the
motto ribbon.

The general design of the emblem was probably derived
from the British Royal Marines' "Globe and Laurel."
The globe on the U.S. Marine emblem signifies service
in any part of the world. The eagle also indirectly
signifies service worldwide, although this may not
have been the intention of the designers in 1868. The
eagle which they selected for the Marine emblem is a
crested eagle, a type found all over the world. On the
other hand, the eagle pictured on the great seal and
the currency of the United States is the bald eagle,
strictly a North American variety. The anchor, whose
origin dates back to the founding of the Marine Corps
in 1775, indicates the amphibious nature of Marines'

On 22 June 1954, President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed
an Executive Order, which approved the design of an
official seal for the United States Marine Corps. The
new seal had been designed at the request of the
Commandant of the Marine Corps, General Lemuel C.
Shepherd, Jr.

The new seal consisted of the traditional Marine Corps
emblem in bronze; however, an American bald eagle
replaced the crested eagle depicted on the 1868
emblem, and is depicted with wings displayed, standing
upon the western hemisphere of the terrestrial globe,
and holding in his beak a scroll inscribed with the
Marine Corps motto "Semper Fidelis" (Ever Faithful)
with the hemisphere superimposed on a foul anchor. The
seal is displayed on a scarlet background encircled
with a Navy blue band edged in a gold rope rim and
inscribed "Department of the Navy, United States
Marine Corps" in gold letters. Coincident with the
approval of this seal by the President, the emblem
centered on the seal was adopted in 1955 as the
official Marine Corps Emblem.

Reference Section
History and Museums Division

Submitted by: DC

Sgt Grit,
In response to the Marine who asked what the "fouled anchor" meant:  I remember being told in Boot Camp that the anchor represented our naval heritage, and the rope fouling meant we make lousy sailors.  You'll notice, though, that the Navy's anchor is also fouled.  Does that mean they make lousy sailors, too?
Sgt Rob Hamilton


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


It was explained to me that the six-pointed star on the Marine NCO Sword is the Star of Damascus, not the Star of David.  Apparently, Damascus swords had a reputation of  very high quality.  Later, sword manufacturers simply
started placing this same star on their swords; thus the original meaning has been obscured over time.
Semper Fi,
Steve Wilke, SGT, USMC ('74-'80)


For those of you that don't know what OOHRAH stands
for, well, I really don't know either.  I DO know that
"uhra" is Turkish for kill.  Maybe it started as a way
to make fun of the Army's "HOOAH"  but who knows.  I
think the OOHRAH is just another one of the added
words to the language known as Jarhead.  So, if it
will make you feel better, just think that someone is
yelling out "KILL!"  next time you hear and OOHRAH.
Semper Fi, LCpl Brobst

I'm not sure what Iron Mike's problem is regarding a Marine bellowing "Ooorah". I've met young Marines under many circumstances, some have given this old Marine an "Ooorah" and I felt complimented by it. Hey, if an
"Ooorah" helps inspire our young Marines as much as "Gung Ho" did for us old-timers, let 'em have at it, I say!. . . . . I'd still like to know what it means, though!

I went through basic training in June- Aug 1984 in San Diego and the bayonet training instructor explained it best.
" OOH-RAH (pronounced correctly) is the last sound that commie bastard hears as you shove your bayonet in his gut"
Semper Fi, Mark W.Matthews
Former Corporal of Marines 84 - 88


In reference to Mr. J.S. Elliot, USMC.  I also am a GySgt. Disabled after 16 years Active Duty.  Let me enlighten you lad.  Article 15 of the Uniformed Code of Military Justice is Non-Judicial Punishment, better know as "Office Hours" or aboard ship "Captain's Mast".  Destruction of Government Property falls under Article 137 in most cases.  Self inflicted injuries are covered under the Article for malingering.  In part you are correct as each of these individuals certainly informed you the result of improper actions would result in an Article 15.  The CHARGE would be destruction of government property, the PUNISHMENT would be handled through Article 15.  I assume you are a one tour Marine, before you jump a career Marine's knowledge or advice and shoot off your mouth.  Make dang sure your brain is loaded.

You OWE Gunnery Sergeant H. USMC Ret. an deep apology.

Semper Fi
Grady Rainbow
GySgt USMC (disabled)

GySgt. H. Please read Art # 15......
Semper Fi
GySgt Roy Fleck USMC




Yes I do remember the M-! thumb.  It only happened to me once, though.  That's when you don't get your thumb out fast enough when putting another clip in the M-1 Garand Rifle.  The 8 shell clip is loaded into the rifle with the thumb.
Believe me, it is no pleasure.
Al Ruggiero - class of '43 - Parris Island

In reference to Rhys Talbot's question in the Sept. 12 newsletter asking if anyone remembers getting "M-1 Thumb", I do. Although I personally never got "M-1 Thumb" a few fellow marines I was with did. And also take note to details -- If you go to see the movie "Saving Private Ryan", keep your eyes peeled at the beginning of the film, during the landing & you will note that a few Marines in the movie DO have "M-1 Thumb".
Ron Golec
U.S.M.C. '55 - '59

This is for Rhys Talbot.  M-1 thumb?  I have so many of them that my arthritis in my hands is now permanent.
Bill Haney, USMC-Ret, 1953-1974

Marine Rhys Talbot, no need to fear "dating yourself"; there are enough geezers (like me) to remember "M-1 Thumb". Generally, it took only one lesson -- painful as it was -- to bring home the fact that you must keep the heel of your hand against the operating rod handle after inserting a clip of eight rounds.

It is my recollection that, as recruits, we learned to do this on the drill field, as the final sequence of "Inspection Arms". The command "Port Arms" was given in two parts, part one allowing the heel of the hand to disengage the operating rod from the operating rod catch -- "Port"; at the sound of part two--"Arms" the hand was released, allowing the operating rod to travel forward to seat the bolt.

All this was great until the inevitable day on the Rifle Range when, in the excitement of actual live fire, the recruit failed to recognize that the bolt was going to move forward as soon as the clip (of two, or eight) was inserted. Result -- "M-1 Thumb".  As with most lessons involving pain, usually one was sufficient.
Semper Fidelis.


Hidy, hidy, hidy, ho
To the Combat Zone is where we go
Hidy, hidy, hidy, hey
We're going to have some fun today

Hidy, hidy, hidy, ho
"One shot, one kill" is our motto
Hidy, hidy, hidy, hey
We're going to shed some blood today

Hidy, hidy, hidy, ho
We're almost there, now lock and load
Hidy, hidy, hidy, hey
"Semper Fi" is what we say



Our JDI took us out one night - to the exercise field - we had to be 8 or 9 weeks into our training - close to graduation. He put us at rest and lit the smoking lamp - that was the FIRST time it had been lit for more than ONE cigarette. So we are all standing there and he tells us to look around at the hills that encircle Dago. He looks around, and in true DI fashion says, "I want you maggots to think about something - I want you to think about how many people up there are having sex! And you are NOT." I think that night most of us would have killed him had we had the chance. It was not funny then, but I tell the story now, and people do laugh. Take care and be safe out there...Semper Fi.
Marine6243 (from the bulletin board)

Your story about sex brought back a memory of the single biggest laugh I had during boot camp. Since I had some college education they put me in charge of the store while our platoon was on mess duty for a week. I was on the back deck checking in some supplies when two busloads of WM recruits were unloaded. There was a corporal and lance corporal with me. This very large and obviously very old corps WM Gunnery Sergeant started marching up and
down the scraggly lines they formed upon her orders and bellowed at them:  "Look around you girls, there are a thousand swinging ***** on this island, and you aren't going to see a one of them!!!!" Thanks God my DIs weren't around and those two Marines with me didn't report me (they were laughing too hard to notice).
Danny S.  (from the bulletin board)

It must have been tough watching the planes go overhead, however, we PI Marines, especially in 1st Bat. had it pretty tough. Behind our barracks, across the swamp, you could hear and see (on a clear day) the beach goers at Hilton Head Island. Our SDI would take us back there to hear and see them just before he put use in the pit, or better known as his beach.
D. S. Prater

I arrived at MCRD PISC on 21 Sep 1961 and was assigned to Plt. 384 - 6'-2" and 225 pounds of baby fat. Failed initial strength test at week 2 and was shipped off to the fat man's platoon at the STU for special torture. Lost weight and was able score well enough after 2 weeks to return to training and joined Plt. 389, with whom I graduated weighing 168 pounds (you figure it out). After ITR, we got a "boot leave" and I got off the plane and walked right past my mother, who had stared right into my face, and failed to
recognize me.

That was easily the most life-changing experience I had, influencing most of what I did afterward.

How many of you can say you have located your D.I. and are in touch? The most squared-away, name taking and ass kicking of our group of 3 was a Jr. D.I. Sgt. W. M. Hemlepp, who retired some 19 years later as Maj. Hemlepp and who even shows up here from time to time... right, Mike?
Semper fi,
Gabe K.  (from the bulletin board)

We too had one "Good DI" and one "Bad DI"...
...The "bad" one would march us back from taking a three minute shower and make us do PT in the sand pit wearing our shower shoes and with towel wrapped around our waists. Then we'd hit the rack with wet sand all over our bodies. What a sadistic SOB he was!!! But it still was one of the best things that ever happened to me in my entire lifetime.
Semper Fidelis...John  (from the bulletin board)

Roy, when I was at PI in latter 1952, they did have female DIs. I remember marching out to the rifle range and passing the WM grinder while they were drilling. We all clearly heard the WM DI tell her recruits, "there goes one mile of d*ck and you can't have one inch of it!" By then, since we had been there about two months, we were feeling salty enough to get a visible chuckle out of that remark without our DI giving us hell.
Chris V.   (you guessed it...bulletin board)


As a former Marine it sickens me to know the Marine Corp has to stoop low enough. To threaten young recruits with the punishment of a fine or imprisonment.  I they don't tell all of their past sins.  Since when does the Marine Corp have the right to consider themselves about God.  If God can forgive you of your past sins.  Where does the Marine Corp have the right to use the UCMJ as a threat to punish a recruit? The UCMJ is the very guidelines the Marine Corp is supposed to follow.  Never is a recruit given his
rights under the UCMJ.  This is pure fraud in every since of the word.  This is what the Marine Corp calls improving the quality of recruits it receives. Pure unfiltered Cramp!!!!
When A Marine was a Marine!
66-69 RVN 26th Marines,  Bullard P.


Sgt. Grit,
     I wanted to respond to Captain Downey's note about pogues.  I found it funny that he didn't call anyone pogues in the Corps except with limited exceptions.  I was a pogue (S-2) in a grunt battalion, 2/4.  Whenever I went to higher HQ (8th Marines in garrison or the MEU's when we floated or were attached), I would always refer to them as pogues.  It really did go up the chain, whoever was further from being a field Marine than you was a pogue.  If you were at MEF HQ, I'm sure HQMC personnel would be pogues
to you.  It was all in good fun and I'm very surprised that Marines could be so hyper-sensitive about it.  Heck, I used to laugh it off whenever the line company guys would call me a pogue, it wasn't really a negative thing.  I guess my point is, get over it, if you were a pogue, you were a pogue.  Who really gave a damn?  You served a purpose and you served a grunt somewhere, somehow.  I was happy serving my line companies and my battalion commander as his intel analyst.

   The second part of the pogue thing was the Captain's note about a pogue being a fish.  I looked it up online at (Merriam-Webster online) and it is an Abenaki (native tribe, part of the Iroquois nation) term that means the same as the Algonquin term for menhaden.  The definition is a marine fish (Brevoortia tyrannus) of the herring family abundant along the Atlantic coast of the U.S. where it is used for bait or converted into oil and fertilizer; also : any of several congeneric fishes.  So, there ya' go, sir, there's your
definition.  Good eye.  That's all for me for now, but I thought
it funny and wanted to relay it to the Captain.
Dave Remington, Cpl, 2/4 H&S (S-2 Pogue and proud of it)


I enjoyed your letters, however my LCPL son just came home from 4yrs of active duty, all spent at camp LeJeune a 2171 Elect. Op Repair.  He has a bad taste in his mouth about the time spent there.  So he doesn't like it when I talk about Marine issues I've read.  He has started a new job with company Building Bomb detection equipment for airports (learned from his MARINE CORPS training).  HOWEVER, you'll like this.  Some of his friends still Active are being sent overseas.  (Unknown reason to me) He got himself a ticket back to N.C. Which shocks his mother and I because he said he hated it there.   asked him if he was going to reenlisted, He just smiled at me and said ya right. I said, look, you just started a good job,. let it go and get on with you life. He said, those are my buddys, they can't go before I get down there.

I now know that he didn't like his assignment or his duty station.  But the MARINE in him can never be separated from the team of MARINES he served his time with.
Tim Leonard Sr.


Dear Sgt. Grit , My name is Robert Bumbard. I served in the
Marines from 84-88. I am wanting to start a Marine Corp League Det. in Smith county. Which is in East Texas. I am hoping that you will bless me with using your newsletter to get the word out. I am in need of  20 plus hard charging Marines who what to become charter members of this det.
              Semper Fi
              Robert Bumbard
              Cpl. 84-88 USMC


Re Environmentalists and foxholes
  First time I said the word "foxhole" someone almost ripped off my head. Marines use fighting holes. . .when we use them.  I still remember the half-joking remark, "Don't shoot that silhouette on the ridgeline, it's probably a Marine."    We couldn't dig holes in Japan or Okinawa, either. Every inch of land is either for crops, housing or . . .bars wherever there are Marines.

Not as lean,
Not as mean,
But still a Marine,
Kent Mitchell


Sgt Grit,
I am an active duty SSgt of Marines, I write to you today because I read a lot of whining about being called a pouge.  I did my first enlistment as an 0311, And we called everyone not pulling a trigger a pouge. Why, because we could..There is no harm in it nor is there any ill will meant by it.  I am now an Intel Marine, And yes a pouge. Does it hurt my feelings when someone calls me one, NO I am .  As a matter of fact when I tell grunts who I am I usually introduce myself as an Intel fag. They seem to relate to me better. So in conclusion, if it hurts your feeling being called a pouge, let the grunt know and I am sure he can find something more colorful to call you. Or maybe it hurts your feelings because of something inside you??
Thanks SSgt Eversole Intel WIENIE.


O.K.  I have been reading your page for a while now, and I must admit that my motivation swelled way up after the first one.  My wife really noticed my "attitude change" after I started reading this post.  I had the Marine "attitude " before, but now it is even worse.  At work I have been told that I am not in the Corps anymore.
(They will NEVER understand).  Anyway, last night my wife was out with a friend and they drove past the recruiter's station.  My wife said, "Stop!"  Her friend asked why.  My wife said, "I need to go in there and tell them that my husband 'was' a Marine, and thinks that he STILL is a Marine, and I need to know what I must do to de-program him."  Her friend didn't stop.  Of course my dear wife really knows what they would have said.  And, of course my dear wife really, deep down, knows the truth of the matter....
Cpl. Russell, John Paul, 2nd Mar. Div. 81-85


Sgt. Grit
The M-1 Garand. 1952, Camp Matthews, rifle range.  We had completed qualifying, and were to go back to MCRD the following day.  12 of my platoon were chosen for a special ceremony.  We marched to the parade ground where we were met by a Brand New 2/nd. Lt.  who immediately held a rifle inspection.  He had to be New, as when he finished inspecting a Marines rifle, he Threw it back at him.  When he got to my friend next to me, and he came to inspection arms but was a little shook up and the bolt hung up on the follower. The 2/nd. Lt. promptly stuck his thumb into the rifle receiver yelling "What's This". Why?  I will never know, but my friend slammed shut the bolt.  The Lt's. eyes got very big and all he did was kept repeating OH, OH. My friend opened the bolt allowing the Lt. to remove his thumb. My DI just stood there trying to
keep a straight face and shaking his head.  The last seen of the Lt. was him going across the parade field holding his thumb and going OH, OH OH. My DI came over to my friend, looked at him, shook his head and didn't say a word. We continued with the ceremony.
Semper Fi, Gary L. Jacobs Sgt. 1297305 52-55


I enjoyed L/Cpl W.R. Reed's song, "Boot Camp Marine" as he learned it at MCRD San Diego. I thought he might enjoy the version we sang at MCRD Parris Island. Semper Fi, Brother!

You can have your Army khaki, you can have your Navy blue, for I've a different uniform to introduce to you.  This uniform ins different, the greatest ever seen, the Germans called us Devil Dogs, the real name is Marine, Marine, Marine.

We were born on Parris Island, the land that God forgot,
the sand was eighteen inches deep, the sun was blazing hot.  We got up every morning, way before the sun.
We'd run a hundred miles and more, before the day was done. Marine, Marine, Marine.

Now listen to me ladies, to what I have to say,
find yourself a good Marine for each and every day.
He'll love you and he'll kiss you, he'll never be untrue.
There's nothing in this whole wide world,
a Marine cannot do. Marine, Marine, Marine.

And when I get to heaven, St. Peter I will tell,
"Another marine reporting ,sir, I've served my time in hell."
And when I look around me, ohhh, what I see!
A hundred thousand more Marines,
standing next to me. Marine, Marine, Marine.


I would like to bring a sad note to my fellow readers, Jack Middleton who served during WWII passed away on Sept. 8th in Tulsa, OK.  Jack was on the working party after the war that built Lake O'Neal on Camp Pendleton so the CG could have a trout lake near his quarters.  I know Jack is with our many brothers who have passed before and standing his tour of duty guarding the streets of heaven.
Semper fi,
GySgt Bryan Bandy USMC 11/80 to 12/01, 0369 forever

I have always been told that "POG" was an acronym for
"Personnel Other than Grunt".  Sgt Grit, keep'em coming!
Semper Fi
Sgt H

My dad past away on 8-6-02. He was a Marine on the canal in 1942.  He is missed by everyone. Just thought you would like to know that  another Marine has passed to a better world.  I was with Hotel 2/5  .  In country on Feb. 1968 to Dec. 1968.
Left the Nam WIA on Meade River.
 Semper  Fi, Harry McKay


My husband Michael was a Corporal in the United States Marine Corps. He was with VMFA-542, MAG-13, 1st MAW FPO SFRAN. He served in VietNam. He was proud to be a Marine. He won the battle in Viet Nam but he could win the battle with cancer. He passed away on September 10, 2002 after a fourteen month battle with cancer.  I was only married to Michael for 11 years but as proud as he was to be a Marine, I was just as proud to be his wife. He will be buried on September 18, 2002 in Fort Custer National Cemetery in Augusta, Michigan.
Darlene O'Meara, wife of a proud Marine

Hi Sgt. Grit!
I will spend the rest of my limited hours on this earth, announcing to the WORLD! (as I have in the past!), how HIGHLY HONORED I am for having been privileged to serve alongside the NOBLEST of WARRIORS: (those FEISTY U.S. MARINES!!) -- HM1 USN(Ret) -- Guadalcanal ('42) -- Cape Gloucester ('43-'44) -- Korea ('50) -- 1stMarDivFMF -- "Welcome Home" Brothers & Sisters!! -- SEMPER FI!! - GOD BLESS AMERICA!!!

Get some!
Semper fi
Sgt Grit

God Bless America!!
Semper fi!!
Sgt Grit

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