I want Marine NCO's and officers who know how to think....and in war, who know how to conceptualize an engagement, a battle and a campaign and then execute the concept. General Alfred M. Gray, USMC Ret. 29th Commandant of the Marine Corps
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MARINE TAKE CARE OF THEIR OWN................................
DEAR SERGEANT GRIT -
THIS IS ANY OPEN LETTER TO SGT. GRIT AND HIS EMPLOYEES AND HIS FRIENDS WHO SENT EMAILS AND CARDS TO ME WHILE I WAS LAID UP IN THE HOSPITAL DURING MY ILLNESS. I WAS CAUGHT WITH A BAD CASE OF CONGESTIVE HEART FAILURE AS ANY PERSON EVER HAD AND PULLED THROUGH. I LOST 76 POUNDS AND I AM STILL VERY WEAK AND AT PRESENT TIED TO A OXYGEN MACHINE. BUT YOU KNOW WHAT, I WILL LICK THIS THING AS I HAVE DONE WITH SO MANY OTHER THINGS IN MY LIFE.
UP TO THE POINT OF RECEIVING ALL YOUR GET WELL WISHES, I NEVER BELIEVED THAT A OLD GUNNY COULD STILL BE REMEMBERED AND LOVED BY SO MANY. MOST OF MY OLD FRIENDS FROM WWII HAVE GONE TO THE HAPPY HUNTING GROUNDS AND IT IS STRANGE THAT I DID GET AN E-MAIL FROM ANY OF THE OTHERS, BECAUSE IT FLOORED ME ON THE NUMBER I DID GET. I RECEIVED WELL OVER ONE-HUNDRED FIFTY GREETING FROM ALL OVER THE WORLD. I GOT ONE FROM ENGLAND, ONE FROM ALASKA, AND EVEN ONE FROM THE EMBASSY MARINE SECURITY GUARD STATION AT ESTONIA PLUS OTHERS FROM MOST OF THE STATES IN THIS GREAT COUNTRY. THE AGES FROM THOSE THAT TOLD ME, VARIED FROM 20 TO 82 LEAVING ME IN REALLY BELIEVING IN THE CORPS' SAYING THAT "ONCE A MARINE ALWAYS A MARINE". I ALWAYS FELT THAT WAY AND I LET THE PUBLIC KNOW BY THE STICKERS ON MY CAR, AND ON MY HOUSE. I FLY THE FLAG OF OUR COUNTRY PLUS TWO MARINE CORPS FLAGS EVERY DAY OF THE YEAR.
GOD BLESS SGT. GRIT WHOEVER YOU MAY BE AND ALL YOUR MARINE CORPS FRIENDS -- FROM A THANKFUL MARINE OF THE PAST WHO NOW KNOWS THAT HE HAS NOT BEEN FORGOTTEN.
MARLIN J. MILLER - USMC
1309 HARTRANFT AVE
FORT WASHINGTON, PA 19034
email@example.com (daughters email at work)
PARRIS ISLAND IS ALIVE AND WELL..........................................
Sgt. Grit Just wanted to inform all Marines out there that
Parris Island is alive and well. My family and I just returned to visit
our son's graduation. Having graduated on that same parade deck some 30 years ago, I was amazed how our Corps has stayed the same in some many ways. Sure I, like so many, thought the new Corps had soften, and the training had diminished from years past, but boy was I wrong. The barracks are new, but hell...wood can only stay together so long! To see my new Marine son out there with a PFC stripe on his sleeve (squad leader, perfect 300 PFT,
Expert marksman, and 1st Class combat swimmer), I felt so proud knowing that our Corps is in good hands with these fine new Marines on deck. Just listening to the DI's bark out commands sent chills down my back. After meeting my son's senior DI afterwards, and finding out my son asked to take a cortisone shot prior the "Crucible" because of a badly turned ankle which happen on his final PFT, and that his guide (and best friend throughout
boot camp) completed the entire 12 weeks of training with a fractured leg, my perspective of today's Marine Corps changed dramatically. Both my son and his platoon guide are shooting for Recon after SOI, and I'm laying odds that the both make it with flying colors. I can sleep soundly at night knowing that we have Marines watching our perimeters like this two fine young Marines and the Marines of Delta Co. 1st Batt. Platoon 1028.
Semper Fi, James Anderson, Cpl. 71-73 (plt 2010 Parris Island)
Dear Sgt. Grit,
We have been reading your letters faithfully for the past 2 years and I always forward them to my mom and dad. I am so thankful to see the support and to hear of different views from the real people. We are so very proud of all in the US armed services. I wish that they would let me enter. Our son joined the USMC on a deferred enlistment . He hooked up with this recruiter in Hudson, Florida and I thank the lord every day for it. Shawn finished high school and was very motivated, something that he lacked from us. He is currently overseas and we can't wait for him to get home. He has matured so much . I truly believe that the corp. made a man out of him. In you last issue you had 2 corps members who wrote in that are stationed on the USS. Ogden which is the ship that my son is also on. The support for these people is unbelievable. There isn't a day that goes by without someone asking if we have heard from our son, and how very proud of them they are. I hope that everyone
keeps up the support. I also did not have any bumper stickers on my cars but I do now and they all have the corps. written all over them. Thank you all for doing such a good job. Thank you for keeping the family informed.
Theresa and Steven Stillman
proud parents of LCPL S.Stillman
RUB SHOULDERS WITH GIANTS........................................
Grit.....great newsletter again, wouldn't miss it for the world! Just back from the Drill Instructor's Reunion at Parris Island (18-21 Apr.) What a privilege it is to rub shoulders with giants!!!! Iwo Jima Survivors were there too.....what a great weekend! Hard to describe what it's like to have a beer and get to talk with the likes of SgtMaj. "Iron Mike" Mervosh......... Tried to e-mail both morons, Cynthia McKinney and Nancy Steele....(both were returned).......However, Cynthia and Nancy, if you can read..... repeat after me........"SILENCE IS THE ONLY SUCCESSFUL SUBSTITUTE FOR BRAINS"
Semper Fi, T.C. Kelly
DANANG AIR BASE............................................................
I do not have a photograph to submit, but I would like to submit a
short story. I served with the lst Marine Aircraft Wing from Feb 14,
67 to Mar 6, 68. The large air base at DaNang was occupied on one side of the strip by the Air Force and Marine Air had the other side of the strip. On the Marine side, was located the large reception center that received all new Marines in country through DaNang. Technically, I was assigned to H&HS-1, but I worked at Wing G-4 in the headquarters compound. On July 15, l967, the DaNang Air Base was subject to several rocket attacks on the strip and surrounding areas. I was on perimeter guard at the time (shortly after midnight). This is when I learned that there is no "in the rear with the gear and the beer". On perimeter guard, we witnessed a Phantom (F-4) take a direct hit as it was sitting pre-flight; nothing but the biggest orange mushroom I ever saw.Our chow hall was set up for a field med center and we went back and forth to our helopad to take in casualties. I am in hopes of possibly hearing from some of the men I served with there, per se, Sgt Ed Nichols, Cpl John Shumbo, Cpt Brian Redmond, Lt Don Brady, SSgt George Patterson, Sgt Tom Ehrbright, Cpl John Schmoldt, Sgt Larry Ramsey or any others that served with Wing headquarters.
I guess in summarization I could say that us guys were not "in the
heat of it" like a lot of my fellow Marines, but we worked our butt
off. I'm sorry that I have possibly offended a hard corps infantryman
or related fields that were in the bush, but I only served where I was
sent. I spent two weeks up at Khe Sanh in Mar 67 and I witnessed
first hand how hard our field Marines had it. Also, in closing, I would like to hear from any Marines that were with Captain Ed Hughes (from White Plains, NY) who was KIA in Quang Tri Province on May 7, 1968. He was a good friend and was my commander in 65-66 at Force Troops G-4 at Camp Lejeune, NC. Thanks for listening to me..........George Blake, former SSgt USMC, now a retired city police detective, retired with a on duty disability.
AND ONE FOR THE CORPS...............................................
I served as a platoon commander with 3/8 from 1971-72 (total service 1970-74) and whenever I'd be gone on a cruise or field exercise, my wife would tell our relatives that "we" were doing well serving in the Corps. I would always respond, "What's with this 'we'? Have you joined now, too?" She would then laugh it off and tell me it was a habit since she listened to my stories so much and associated with so many Marine friends.
It's now 2001 and my 56 year old wife needs a hip replacement due to degenerative arthritis from an old hip fracture. Although walking with pain, she had gained a blue belt in Tae Kwon Do, lifted weights, swam a mile twice a week, walked an hour on the transport and went horseback riding and hiking with me. She was a tough lady, more fit than most women 20 years younger.
On Day 1 after her hip replacement surgery, she had to walk to physical therapy using a walker for support and take part in an hour of leg exercises with 10 other patients who had either hip or knee replacement surgery. There were a couple of former military guys in the group, one Navy and one Army. I brought my wife the Sgt. Grit t-shirt bought earlier, which said, "Pain is Temporary, Pride is Forever, USMC". She wore it to her twice daily physical therapy sessions and whenever the physical therapist would
ask the group to do 10 repetitions of an exercise, I would say to my wife at the end of rep 10, "And one more for the Corps!", which she'd do. Our Navy and Army buddies barely made the 10 reps and were not happy with me or my wife.
The physical therapist was quite impressed and asked where she could get a t-shirt like this. I told her that all she had to do was serve a tour of active duty in the Corps, either as the Marine or as the Marine spouse! I no longer question her "service tour" and am proud to call her "Marine Wife".
Former Captain, USMCR
"Roses and Thorns", A handbook for Marine Corps enlisted wives.
Page 108...social etiquette will come easier if you have some
idea of what you're getting into. Knowing what to expect and
what is expected provides confidence in any situation,
particularly those social situations that are unique to
the Marine Corps. 152 pages, paperback, #BK420, $5.95,
"A Marine Named Mitch", page170
That night was a nightmare as the Japanese fleet came in and
blasted the airport and all the ridges around it, including
Edson's Ridge, where we were dug in. In my opinion, the most
frightening thing in combat is to be on the receiving end of
naval gunfire. Artillery is the same when massed.
236 pages, paperback, #BK430, $14.95, http://www.grunt.com/books3.asp
"Moon Dash Warrior", The story of an American Indian in Vietnam,
A Marine from the land of the Lumbee. page 117 As we moved through the wire, Fox Company was coming in carrying their dead. "They had two dead Marines wrapped in ponchos that they carried on their shoulders. Some Marines were cursing, but most were just staring straight ahead. No one spoke as we passed. 266 pages, #BK418, hardback, $22.00 http://www.grunt.com/books5.asp
Yea, I know, I slipped in a little commercial.
Re: Joseph S.
August 18, 1965 is the date Starlight went down. The first day was a tough go. Starlight was the first big fight the Corps had with a â€œMain Forceâ€ Viet Cong regiment. This was also the â€˜meeting engagementâ€™ between the two forces. Our winning this battle was significant as it set the tone future engagements with this enemy.
The battle was fought about ten miles south of Chu Lai, near the Phuoc Thuan Peninsula. The assault force was the under the command of Colonel Oscar Peatross, Commanding Officer of the 7th Marines. The assault Battalions were 3rd Battalion, Third Marines, 2nd Battalion Fourth Marines and 3rd Battalion Seventh Marines. If this task organization seems a bit weird, give me a shout at: firstname.lastname@example.org <mailto:email@example.com>, and I will tell the rest of the story.
Hugh W. Davis
First Sergeant of
Amazing! Responses I got from every direction ran about 3 to 1 for
"Sir, Yes Sir" over just "Yes Sir". I think we can put the issue to
bed, because what we all said was whatever the hell we were told to say! I didn't have my feet on the yellow footprints of MCRD San Diego for 30 seconds when a Cpl. walked up to me and asked where I was from. I told him, and he brought my butt into contact with that grinder, screaming, "You say 'Sir' when you talk to me you $%#&%%!" I said, "Yes sir!" and he didn't hit me again, so I suppose just one "Sir" pacified him. I have to admit, though, I'm glad I went through with "Yes sir" D.I.'s...."Sir! Yes sir!" sounds just a tad redundant!
IF YOU CAN STAND ONE MORE "SIR,YES SIR" STORY. I JUST
RETURNED FROM PARRIS ISLAND AND A REUNION OF K. CO 2ND BTLN.MCRD(WE GRADUATED IN APRIL '59).I HADN'T SEEN MY SR.DRILL INSTRUCTOR IN 43 YEARS.WHEN I WENT INTO THE ROOM AT THE HOTEL TO MEET HIM HE SAID...ARE YOU LYNCH?? AND THE FIRST WORDS OUT OF MY MOUTH WERE ..SIR,YES SIR.SOME THINGS YOU LEARN ARE WITH YOU FOR LIFE. MY D.I. CAPT. WILLIAM C. KOHLER USMC RET.WAS THE BEST D.I. ANY RECRUIT COULD EVER HAVE.
WILLIAM F. LYNCH
Back in 1967 I was a rifleman with Kilo 3/7 SW of Danang in the
''rocket belt''. After more than six months in the bush my buddy
''Mac'' and I got a days liberty to Danang. With rifles,helmets and
flak jackets we hitched a ride on a six -by into town. Just outside
the large base exchange, we noticed two army REMFS in bright fatigues parking a jeep nearby. They removed their new style flak jackets,left them in the open jeep and disappeared into the BX. Seeing a golden opportunity, we quickly shed our filthy,ragged battle worn flak jackets ,threw them in the jeep,and grabbed the new ones. I would have given anything to see the expression on those doggies faces when they discovered our ''swap''! Cpl ''Jake'' Jackovich
SOME FELT CHEATED................................................
I was in Boot Camp in Nov. 1963. We were marching on the parade deck getting ready to graduate. We were practicing for our final field, when over the P.A. they announced that all activities will cease, the President of the United States has been shot. We left P.I. without a final field. The day we were supposed to have our final field was the national day of mourning for President Kennedy. We all left for Camp Geiger a little empty and confused. At the time some of us felt relieved that we didn't have to stand final field, but later on some of us felt cheated that we missed our final inspection and our one day of base liberty on Paris Island. I was a member of Plt.270. Is there anyone else out there who can relate?
A,J. ST. JACQUES
RUBBING THEM WITH SADDLE SOAP.......................................
In response to Reserve LCpl Hackworth's appraisal of the new field uniform, I am far from being an expert on the subject, but the more things change, the more they stay the same. As a PLC (Platoon Leader's Class) officer candidate in my first six-weeks training session, my initial uniform issue in the summer of 1963 included two pairs of rough-out black leather boots. I spent my share of time rubbing them with saddle soap and brushing them with a hard bristle brush. As for spit shining, our two sergeants (called Platoon Sergeant and Sergeant Instructor, not Drill Instructor--but they were the same caliber of people) confiscated the black shoe polish we were required to purchase at the PX. However, by the time I returned to Quantico for my second summer
(1965), policy had changed, and we were stuffing black polish into that rough leather and trying to obtain a spit shine. My only concern about the new rough-out boots is that I hope they are made of synthetic material. Our leather boots rotted in the damp conditions we experienced in Vietnam. That's why the jungle boot was developed.
I can understand the young Marine's reluctance to wear any uniform that doesn't look sharp on the parade deck. But from a practical sense, sun reflecting off a shined boot (or detected by other means) can get people killed. In addition, the new "digital" utilities have two things going for them: (1) they distinguish Marines from all other branches -- except Navy personnel attached to Marine units, and (2) they blend better with their surroundings--which is the whole purpose behind camouflaged clothing--again keeping Marines alive. Hopefully, nobody will suggest starching them, which again may look sharp on the parade deck, but which
can cause heat casualties, as well as degrading the effectiveness of any camouflage pattern.
Take heart, LCpl Hackworth: at least you don't have to tuck your utility jacket inside your trousers.
Once a captain, USMCR; always a Marine
(1963-'76, Vietnam '66-'67)
JUDGE MILLS LANE................................................
It's not likely that Judge Mills Lane is intimidated by many people
who come before his television courtroom. He's a former Marine and NCAA Welterweight Boxing Champion. As a boxing referee, he oversaw 101 championship matches. He was the referee that disqualified Mike Tyson in his heavyweight championship match for biting the ear of Evander Holyfield. After joining the Marines he won the welterweight championship before being honorably discharged. In 1960 he won the NCAA championship and barely missed the Olympic team. His amateur record was 60-4. Now Judge Mills Lane is a patient at Burke Rehabilitation Center in White Plains, NY where he is recovering from surgery and unable to speak as a result of complications. The Marine Corps League of Westchester County will be paying him a visit this Saturday afternoon, after confirming it with his wife Kaye. His spirits are at an all time low and I request that anyone who has the time to do so to please send him some words of encouragement. Any emails with his name in the SUBJECT box will be brought to him. If you don't know what to say to him, just let him know who you are, and where you are from and wish him a speedy recovery. Anyone wanting to send letters or cards can send them to:
Judge Mills Lane
C/O: Taras Szczur
15 Frederic Place
Yonkers, NY 10703
Emails can be sent to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you for your time, and I wish you all good health and happiness even if you don't pass it on to someone else. Any emails or letters received after our visit will also be brought to him.
SGT USMC 1980-1986
JUST REMEMBER FIRST OF ALL........................................
Sir. As a Marine from the WW II time frame, I'd like to put a couple of things in perspective. My Boot was at PI. (where the sand is 18 inches deep and the sun is scorching hot). As I recall ( and this 77 year old guy does have mental lapses) our response to the DI and his assistants was always, and in a very loud voice "Sir, Yes Sir". Even when a one on one was indicated, the response was the
same. Now we come to WMs. I was stationed at Cherry Point, NC, when I first encountered a Woman Marine. If ANYONE ever heard one of us calling them BAMs, we were subject to Latrine Duty, Mess duty, etc. First of all, we were told, the uniform is the same, whether it be for male or female. Second of all, just remember first of all. I met and dated a number of WR's when stationed at Cherry Point, and they were all ladies to the nth degree. Just had to get this off my chest, (what's left of it). Semper Fi and great work.
Albert Ruggiero, PFC Discharged June 1946.
WHEN I WAS AT THE ISLAND..........................................
Far be it from me to disagree with MGySgt Wank from the 4/27 newsletter, but when I was at the "Island," Parris, type one each, in June 1956 -- when the "nomenclature" was wrong, we were taught:
This is my rifle,
This is my gun;
This one's for fighting;
This one's for fun.
One other short comment to my fellow men and women Marines: What's this
"Former-Marine" and "Ex-Marine" stuff? I'm a Marine who's just been on permanent civilian duty since 1962! Semper Fi!!!
Keep 'em coming Sgt Grit.
Sgt L. D. Downs, USMC --formerly, MAG-31(REIN), MCAS North Miami,FL
YOU HAVE ENOUGH POINTS..............................................
I went through MCRD in July, 1965. When we went to Edison Range for M14 training, I believe the course of fire was kneeling at the 200 yd line. Then sitting at the 300 yd line (battle sight dope) and prone at the 500 yd line. Its been some time so I'm not quite sure.
What I do remember is that the day prior to final qualification, I did
have a perfect score. I really felt good and was sure I could do it
again the next day.
That night I was called in to the hooch and told that as soon as I
had enough points for my expert rifle badge that at the 500 yd line I
would be instructed to fire on other target numbers that would be
called out to me in a discreet manor from our DI.
What I soon realized was that there was a great deal of competition between DIs for total quals.
Sure enough, the next day, back on the 500 yd line I was told,
"Griswold, you have enough points, put 2 on 34". The guys in the
pits must have thought something was funny when whoever was on 34 had several misses and then 2 pinwheels. I put the remainder of my rounds on some other targets as instructed and that was all
that was ever said.
I did get my Expert Rifle and later my Expert Pistol.
I still shoot competition today but those were some great
times that I'll always remember.
Glen Griswold, Sgt. 2168507. '65 - '69
HQ. Co. 3rd Mar Regt, 3rd Mar Div.
SILENT DRILL TEAM...............................................
Semper Fi Marines. NOW HEAR THIS! NOW HEAR THIS! On 8 June 2002 The Marine Corps Silent Drill Team will be at Roger State College in Claremore,Ok. They will be performing on the Soccer Field for the former Oklahoma Military Academy Cadets at their annual reunion. I'm proud to say that I was in the last graduating Class of 1971 and from there into the Marines for 22 years. The school has invited the public to experience the Finest Military Dill team in the World,the 8th & I Marine Corps Silent Drill Team. Sergeant Grit I wish that you would post this in the Newsletter and American Courage newsletter also.
The time hasn't been announced at this time on the performance and I will pass it on to you when I get a update. OMA has had it share of Marines also, we have had Marines in WWII, Korea, and VietNam and Desert Storm (Myself).
GySgt Ray Lancaster, 71-94 USMC (ret)
MARINE MP's....GET SOME..........................................
Here's a little Oorah for your day. In case ya'll missed this on the news because I'm not sure if it was on CNN or anything. But the other day a car broke down outside of Camp Pendleton and the guy calls for a tow truck. Well this tow truck that wasn't even called to the place shows up just to help and the guy opens fire on the tow man. A LCpl heard the shots, runs up and over onto the freeway shoulder, pulls the tow truck guy out of his seat and carries him to safety. well while he's doin that the crazy guy with the gun runs off onto the base (now we see how stupid people really are) well
obviously he didn't want to stop and he had a gun so our MP's just unloaded on the guy, dropped him quick fast and in a hurry in the intersection. One MP is said to have unloaded 9 rounds and the other MP 5 rounds. The LCpl is being given the Navy, Marine Corps medal for valor in noncombat situations. you can find the article http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/northcounty/20020504-9999_1mc4marine.html and just remember its the newspaper, so they say law enforcement officials when it was the MP's. but how's that for a brave guy? Oorah and Semper Fi :)
Christina aka Shortround
MARINE CORPS LEAGUE................................................
Some of your readers have suggested Marines join VFW and American Legion. I say - join the Marine Corps League. If there is not a Detachment in your locale - START ONE. It only takes 20 Marines, or former Marines to get a charter. I am a life time member of VFW and American Legion however, last year we started a local MCL Detachment and are now at 108 members. The MCL has over 50,000 members. There is a lot more camaraderie and Gung Ho spirit in an MCL Det. To find out about MCL, log on to www.mcleague.org.. There may already be a Detachment near you.
Semper Fi. Don Tancredi, Sr. Vice Commandant, Cape Fear Detachment 1070
Why in hell can't the Army do it if the Marines can. They are the same kind of men; why can't they be like Marines. [Gen. John J. "Black Jack" Pershing, USArmy; 12 February 1918]
Some members of the Marine Detachment USS Curtiss (AV-4) AEC Security Guards for the Atomic tests held in the Marshall Islands 1948 - 1957, will be getting together in Laughlin NV for a mini reunion May 6 to 10. One of our honored own will be attending for the first time. Harold "Tashawa" Washington servered 37 years from a Pvt in Carlson Raiders in WWII at the age of 19. As a Sgt in Korea was pulled out of a fox hole and sent to OCS. Was Commanding Officer of the Marine Detachment aboard the Curtiss in 1955 and served on there until 1957. We also had a Medal of Honor winner that served in this detachment. Ed Franklin (1953-1956)
Marines I see as two breeds, Rottweilers or Dobermans, because Marines come in two varieties, big and mean, or skinny and mean. They're aggressive on the attack and tenacious on defense. They've got really short hair and they always go for the throat.
[RAdm. "Jay" R. Stark, US Navy; 10 November 1995]
Sgt. Grit ....thanks for your newsletter....I retired after 20, and 2 tours
on the field have not see the subject of "Smedley"...Mess Duty of course, had them in '59 when I joined and 68-71 & 74-75 at San Diego...I am sure a lot of the readers will recall this mess assignment.
John Presnall 1891221, GySgt. USMC, Retd
Don't you forget that you're First Marines! Not all the communists in Hell can overrun you! [Col. Lewis B. "Chesty" Puller, USMC; rallying his First Marine Regiment near Chosin Reservoir, Korea, December 1950]
I wanted to thank you for putting my request in
your newsletter. I got so many responses it was
almost overwhelming. I want to thank everybody for
their input. I hope this mess night will be
successful. I'll keep you posted on how it turns out.
Thanx again Marines!
Marines die, that's what we're here for. But the Marine Corps lives
forever. And that means YOU live forever. [the mythical GySgt. Hartman, USMC; portrayed by GySgt. R. Lee Ermey, a Marine Corps Drill Instructor using his own choice of words in Full Metal Jacket, 1987]
Marines the name, war is the game, fight, kick butt, take names,
and when we kill all we feel is recoil. Semper Fi. Your brother in
green Gunny Howard. Stay off the skyline keep your powder dry.
God Bless America!!