Sgt Grit Marine Corps Merchandise

Welcome to our Marine Corps Newsletter archives. Here you can find USMC articles and memories sent in to us by fellow Jarheads and their families. Enjoy!

Sgt Grit Marine Corps Newsletter - October 10, 2002

Marines, you've got to love them. As the poster says: "Tell it to the Marines." At the bottom of the poster, it should have been added: "Be careful what you tell them, you may not like the answer." Ooh-Rah! Steve

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I have Marines coming by the shop every day that are deploying to the various areas of the Middle East. I shake their hand and wish them good luck and Semper fi. Mixed emotions. I want to go with them, I don't, I get chocked up and misty, I want to say a prayer for them, I want to say something profound that will maybe help them. Holly I know how my Dad (WWII) felt when I got my Nam orders. Stay low, shot straight, and protect your buddy. God Bless you all. Sgt Grit


As a young PFC I was assigned at the Correctional Facility at Cherry Point. One morning I felt terrible and asked to go to sick call. My SGT explained to me that all personnel E-3 and below had to see Top before going to sick call. Now Top had a picture of Gen. Puller on the wall of his office and after entering and explaining my request, he went to the wall and pulled down that picture. Top had me sit in a seat and place my hand on the picture and then he yelled "HEAL" at the top of his lungs. Afterward he asked me if I felt any better. Being a bit slow that morning I said no and the whole process took place again. I had it figured out this time and told Top that I was beginning to feel much better when he asked. He explained to me that his door was always open to the sick and infirm and as you can guess, I did my darnedest to make Corporal as fast as I could.
Semper Fi and God Bless
Joe "RUG" Ruggiero
SSGT 75-88


I have always considered a Marine a Marine no matter what his or her MOS. Back in 84 through 87 I was assigned to recruiting duty with an east coast district. after I had been with the unit about a year we got a new CO. He was a Major (Ltcol Selectee) with a very impressive combat record, with a bunch of purple hearts. We all were pretty much in awe of him, until one day at one of our monthly meetings, the subject of marines and their jobs came up, and he announced in front of everyone that "If your not a grunt you ain't S**t." I'll never forget that as the day I lost all respect for that officer, and was never impressed by any officer without serving with them for a while first. What he did that day was drive a wedge between, the grunts in our district and the marines in other MOS's. He was not joking either, he made it clear that anyone in a combat mos got the best treatment.
James R. Holcomb
USMC '69-'90


Sgt. Grit, Love the newsletter and most of the comments. To all you Mom's and Dad's of our young Marines I salute you and your children who are putting themselves on the line for all of us.

When I was in Viet Nam I never had a problem calling on Puff or the New Jersey or some Army types in tanks when the need was there. The 2nd Korean Marine Brigade and the Americal Div came in handy some times. And I even got a kick out of the day the Seals came up the beach at Chu Lai with their Thompson machine guns on their hips. When I was a supply officer in Okinawa and had to come up with a lot of stuff that didn't even exist on the island, it was the small Navy fuel unit and their supply knowledge that helped me out. So, when we Marines begin to look a little down on our bother services we actually do it with the understanding that we are all there for each other when the going gets tough. I may have barked at the Army as their trucks rolled by when I was on gate MP duty at Chu Lai, but I was happy to see them when snipers ambushed my jeep on the Chu Lai to Da Nang run.

I am reading an interesting book about Desert Storm called Crusade and there are some very interesting parts in it about us. On several occasions General Schwarzkopf was not happy with the way some of his Army generals were handling their parts when setting up the plans for attack and he would yell at them "If you can't handle this I'll get the Marines to do it." Boy, do you think that must have frosted some of his Army generals or what. Also. when the Marines started their advance into Kuwait on Feb 24, and the Iraqi's were surrendering left and right, one of the Iraqi operations officers was brought before General William Keys of the 2nd Mar Div. The Iraqi told the General that things were not going well for them (just a slight understatement of the battle) and that the Marines were known to the Iraqi's as "the angels of death". The General found the term "immensely pleasing." When the next Iraqi war begins I hope someone passes on to Saddam and the rest of the fanatics over there that "the angels of death" are on their way.

To those of you on active duty, I'd give the left one to be going into the next fight with you. Keep alert, don't take anything for granted, do not underestimate a fanatic, keep your weapons cleaned as much as possible, smoke is easily seen in the desert, even low level noise travels far in the desert so keep your mouths shut, before you leave your jump off points find the right stars to get you back because there are few points of reference to navigate by in the desert, and never lose your John Wayne can opener. I still carry the one I got in 66. Make sure you have yours in 30 years also.
Stephen Eslin
Pvt to 1st Lt 1966-1978


It was August 1953 in Korea and the truce that had stopped the fighting was about a month old. In accordance with the truce agreement both sides had pulled back to form a demilitarized between them. The 1st Bn. 5th marines was left north of the Imjim River to provide security for the Division. On this particular day two of us from B/1/5 were standing post on the road leading to Panmunjom. I was a Cpl. with two years in the Corps and very conscious of my orders that no US Marines were to enter the area without a pass signed by my Bn. C.O. We were posted next to large guard shack manned by US Army Map's. They were gorgeous in spit shined boots, painted helmet liners and pressed khaki's with tin cans in the legs to present a perfect blouse effect. We, my Pfc. myself, did not present a presence anywhere near the blinding effect of the soldiers and we knew it. Our boots were worn out to the point where we were treading on the insoles and, believe me, the 'changey-changey' laundry system left us all looking like walking Irish pennants.. But, our weapons were spotless and we had our Marine Corps emblem on our chest and caps. We sneered at them and they laughed at us and got even for our sneering. Oh, yes they did. Operation '"operation big switch" was in full swing and each side was exchanging prisoners. They sent us our people that they had starved for years and we sent them back some of the best fed soldiers in Asia. It was not enough for them to get their people back. They had to do what communist governments always do and that is make "street theater" of the whole operation. We could hear them before we could see them. Singing and chanting, three dump trucks loaded with about fifty Chinese each, came around the bend from the South. They stopped about fifty yard short of the guard shack while the South Korean guards dropped off their weapons that were not allowed inside the DMZ. This being street theater all of the Chinese had thrown away the clothing we had given them and were clad only in skivvies. The trucks begin to move past our post and the Army Map's quickly ducked inside of the guard shack leaving we two Marines standing one on either side of the road. As the trucks drew abreast of and, passed us there were suddenly hundreds of missiles raining down. I ran for the rear OD the guard shack and the things bouncing off my head and shoulders did not hurt near as much as the raucous laughter from inside the shack. After the trucks had passed we went out on the road to see what they had thrown. What it was, was our beloved Marine Corps boondockers. Brand new boondockers without a speck of dirt on them. However, every one of them that we checked had had the sole slit and were useless. That was the day it rained boondockers on the road to Panmunjom. Perhaps someday I will tell you of Cpl. Carney and his experience with the Chinese on the road to Pammunjom. Also a bit about the First Marine Demilitarized Police Company. Oh, there are many stories to relate. Hope you enjoyed this one.
Bob Jennings
MSgt. USMCR [ret}


There was a U.S. Marine deployed in Afghanistan. While he was there, he received a letter from his girlfriend. In the letter she explained that she had slept with two guys while he had been gone and she wanted to break up AND she wants pictures of herself back. So the Marine does what any away Devil Dog would do. He went around to his buddies and collected all the unwanted photos of women he could find. He then mailed about 25 pictures to his girlfriend with the following note:

"I'm sorry but I can't remember which one you are but please take the one that belongs to you and send the rest back.

Thank you,
Your Marine Buddy"


Check out the pictures of tattoos sent to me and add to the BS Page.

Sgt. Grit,
I been reading your letter for a while now and I'd like to relate my tattoo story. I guess I never drank enough when I was in because I didn't get my first one until my oldest son Scott joined the Corps. I was 52. I have our enlistment dates under USMC and a bulldog on my right arm. Well wouldn't you know it my other son Ryan joined The Corps in 2001 and I had to get one for him. So, my left arm has the Eagle, Globe and Anchor under Semper Fi and over Marines. I also added his date to right arm. I so proud of my sons (men) and I never stop bragging about them or showing my "toos" and telling this story. I've joined the local Marine Corps League and I'm more Marine now then ever. Oh by the way Scott is stationed Hawaii, second enlistment, wants to stay for 20 and Ryan is at Camp LeJeune. Thanks for the great letter. Keep it up.
Semper Fi......... OOH RAH!!!!!!!!!
Don Grohowski, Sgt, USMC
('66 -'70)
Nam ('68-'69 VMFA-542 Flying Tigers) ..........

Oohrah Sgt Grit.
Just another tattoo story. While on my last pump serving as the PersO with the "Gunfighters" of HMLA-369, I was nearing my last year on active duty and finally decided to get a tattoo. It didn't take me long to decide what I wanted. You see, I was with the best bunch of Marines (officer or enlisted) anywhere, and chose the squadron emblem as a permanent reminder that "GUNFIGHTERS RULE" !! Thanks Marines, for the memories.
Chris Stemp
CWO-3 USMC (Ret.)

As an ol Marine, not as lean, nor as mean, but still a Marine, I got a chuckle out of all the b.s. about tattoos...I went in the Corp back in 1951 then after Boot Camp went to LeJeune for DUKW night a bunch of us went into J'ville and after too many beers I ended up with the Marine Corps Emblem on my left shoulder...that was a long time of my kids said one time she thought all Marines had to have tattoos like it....I joke with my nurse who gives me shots for allergies...every other week I tell her to stick it in South is a bit faded, but it has been a lotta miles...
McReynolds, David T.
1175014 Sgt USMC

I enlisted in the Marine Reserve in 1981 and eventually ended up with Weapons Co. 1/24, at Bayview Park Toledo Ohio in a newly forming Dragon Platoon. After 4 years with this outstanding platoon and company, (We won the Moss Award - best in the 4th Mar Div in 1984) I still hadn't found "THE" tattoo so never got one. I got out in 1987. In '94 I had a chat with a local tattoo artist and he told me to stop by his shop. He would see if he couldn't find something for me. He finally came up THE tat. A Chinese dragon with a flaming moon coming from the mouth and US Marines in script under the dragon with the "U" forming part of the outline of the dragon's neck. I wear it with pride, show it off whenever I can, and will never forget those days when I was privileged to serve with some of the best Marines in the Corps. (Weekend warriors or not - but that is another story)
Semper Fi
Jeff Mack
Former Sgt
Wpns 1/24

Sgt. Grit,
I got my tattoo on my right forearm in Oceanside, Ca while stationed with I/3/13/5 in June, 67, . It is an American Shield with the Bald Eagles' talons perched atop and to one side of it with its wings spread out protectively over it, with the Eagle protecting and daring any and all comers to attack, with the USMC letters above the whole design. It had faded out from its original glorious colors, over the space of 27 years, but was renewed at a place called "Electra Art" in Corpus Christi in 1994. I can guarantee I received some serious S*** from my 1st shirt about destruction of government property, to which I replied about being a proud Marine, and what was he going to do, shave my head and send me to Viet Nam? After his subsequent tirade that had me seriously wondering if I would survive my first year in the Corps, he sent me on 30 days mess duty, then 30 days guard duty, then 30 days extra police duty (EPD) you know scrubbing s***cans, whatever else they wanted, and restriction to quarters, no liberty, etc, I then got sent to Nam. Needless to say I was seriously scared of L/cpls and above from that point on, until I came home as a Cpl.

Secondly, I have a brother-in-law that lost his right leg below the knee while serving with 2/5 in Korea. He has an old Eagle, Globe, and Anchor hat emblem that he wore while he was in from 1950 to 1958 that has an un-fouled anchor. As I am the only quote relative that has earned the honor to be called Marine he has stated that I will receive this sacred treasure upon his death John R. Wright,


This is for Sgt Travers, with DI orders. You about to become a recruit again. Start running, if you do not do a perfect PFT, work on it. Get some extra items for your uniforms, Trousers, belts buckles, etc. you are going be inspect constantly. Learn to yell, but no it can be heard and understood 75-100 ft away. Not everyone can be a Marine. Not every Marine can be a drill instructor. You will have an awesome responsibility, take a civilian and turn him into a US Marine. Once you are one, the pride you feel, even after you have left the street, when one of your pups sees you or gets in contact with you.....
Semper Fi.
Richard N. King , GySgt USMC (ret)


I graduated Boot Camp Sept 6, 1968, our Jr DI was Sgt Ben Greenway. He was the "bad guy." I ran into him three year later in Iwakuni Japan, He was still a Sgt, I was a Cpl. Ran into him in Beaufort, SC, a few years after that, he was a GySgt, I was a SSgt. He asked me if I was trying to catch up, told him my goal was to pass him. I ran into him a short time later, he was a MSgt, I was a GySgt, not quite there yet.

I moved back to CPNC after a tour overseas, and just finishing Warrant Officer's Basic course in down the street from me....Turns out, it was MSgt Ben Greenway. In uniform, on the way home from the Gym, I saw him in his I stopped, before I got out of the car, I threw my green towel around my neck and covered my collars with my shiny new WO1 Bars. I went over and spoke to him, we exchanged pleasantries, and he asked me what I was doing these days..... I proudly whipped the towel off, and announced...I am the Avionics Officer at VMA(AW)-224. He replied without hesitation... Cox, you will always be a turd to me!

He let the wind right out of my little ego inflated sail! So every time I get to feeling just a little too proud...I remind myself, (Even though I have been retired 4 year), that I am just a turd to Greenway, so don't go feeling too uppity!

So it just goes to show, those that have never been there, will never realize the life time impact the Corps, especially boot camp in the Corps, and our Drill Instructors specifically have on an individual.

Proud, but humble...
Semper Fi
Jerry Cox
Major (LDO) ' 68-' 98


I have never responded to any letters before so forgive me if I ramble. The Sept. 26 letter had a piece about two young Marines in Atlanta airport looking like dirt bags. I think it is our God given right to correct any Marine we see looking and acting inappropriate. I was in enlisted from 95-99 which was not too long ago. My father instilled in me the ways of the Old Corps. He was a F-4 Phantom mechanic during Vietnam. Too many great men have died for that beautiful EGA to have some little snot nose punk run around acting like it is his tux for prom. I still live near J-ville and go there often. I have lots of friends still there. I correct anything that is inappropriate. If they do not like it we will go around back and I will put an *ss whipping on him for all the Old Corps War Vets. We owe them that much. I know that I was in during the time of what some call the new corps but my heart is always with those that were in during the Old Corps. I will always remain faithful to the Corps and will do anything to protect its reputation. Thank you to all who have fought in war so that my family could sleep easy. I will make sure that the past does not fade. I will pass it on to my 4 year old and make sure it continues.
Semper Fi
Chris Morgan Cpl 95-99


Sgt. Grunt:
M-1 Thumb. How about M-1 nose? In the fall of 1956 we were practicing inspection arms in the old 5th Bn. area at PI (Remember the Nissan huts?). The guy next to me missed when he tried to slam back the receiver on his M-1. The bolt slammed shut as the DI was thrusting his arm forward to grab the weapon. Needless to say, the DI was not pleased. The punishment: The offender had to hold the bolt halfway open with his nose. After a couple of minutes I heard the guy's nose break with an audible snap. Blood flowed. No big deal. One other thought. In the mid-to-late 50s the Corps instituted a 2-year-enlistment. My understanding was that the birth rate was so low in the late 1930s _ 17 to 20 years earlier and thus encompassing what then was the recruiting pool _ that they really had no choice. And the Corps, at least in my platoon, got some guys who likely would have been rejected even by the Army, I was asthmatic ( I got a doctor to lie that I had only mild hay fever). We had one kid with no trigger finger, a couple others with various pieces of metal in place of bone, and, to be quite honest, we looked more like the Dead End kids than the sharp young Marines you see at PI graduations today. But what those recruits lacked in looks and anatomy, they made up in heart. The were good Marines.
J. Fisher(1642432 _ 56-58)


Dear Sgt. Grit
I love the newsletter, and I have wrote once before. I had to sound off again. I am a Police Officer in my small hometown. On Sept. 11th this town held a memorial service to honor all those who gave their lives at the World Trade Center. I was honored to be picked by my department to participate in this ceremony, and the reason why I was picked to lower the flag to half mast was the fact that I am a Marine. My Sgt told me he picked me because I was the only Marine on my department and he knew I was the only one who could march. I stood tall and proud at the base of that flagpole as all the names of the Firefighters and Police Officers who died that day was read off. It just goes to show ya that even the civilian turn to the Marines to get things done, and they all know who the squared away ones are.

I also just wanted to put in a few thoughts about Navy Corpsman. I was honored to have known a Doc Farnham when I was active duty. This Doc went Marine Regs. He wore our dress greens with his navy rank on it, and did all the pt and rifle quals that we jarheads did. He was and is in my mind a Marine, and boy did he get pissed when the Navy guys got on him about hanging around the jarheads. Of course none of them teased him when his Brothers were around. He took care of us and we took care of him. Doc taught a few of us guys about starting ivs and such stuff, all because he knew if he was hit someone would have to take care of him. I taught him how to use a 203 and a SAW. Pretty fair trade off.

Well enough from me, I could sound off for awhile more but I want to leave room in the next letter for someone else to. SEMPER FI Sgt. Tracy Long Bravo Co. 1/2 88-92, Desert Storm Vet Not as lean, JUST as mean, and still a Marine


Sgt. Grit.
First off, I commend you in your newsletter. It is a great way to see the past lives of my fellow Marines
"Semper Fi".

While I was stationed at MCAS Iwakuni, one afternoon a fellow Marine and I were on our way back to the barracks from getting our regular high and tights, a 2nd Lt. passed us while riding his bicycle. Not wanting to distract him, dismissed the notion of saluting. This Boot Lt. came back around and chew us out for not rendering the proper salute, we tried to explain the situation but he was insistent. We snapped too and render the salute, he said no, hold on. This Lt. road up a few feet and turn around and expected us to salute while he was in motion on the bike, to please him we saluted. As he returned the salute while riding the bike, he lost control and crashed into the hedges. We laughed our a-- off, but we tried to explain this to him when he confronted. We got the last laugh. We know and respect officers and know our place in rendering salutes, but we did not think this was the appropriate time.. Keep up the good job.
"Semper Fi"
Cpl. M.L."Grumpy" Rios, 82-86


Sgt. Grit,
Please post this as motivation for this poolee who feels he has been spited by the Corps. R.W. Hey dog, don't get so frustrated. The first objective of the Marine Corps is mission accomplishment. Don't get discouraged because you have been delayed or because you think you are better than the poolees taking your spot. If your heart is in it, YOU WILL BECOME A MARINE. Plans change by the minute, that's life in the Corps. Think of this as more time to train for boot camp. Nothing can prepare you for what you are about to go through, but keep working. The more the better. I don't know everything about recruiting, but I do know that there are quotas and deadlines and all that fun admin stuff. Don't be discouraged. You will get there, and you will do what you want to do. We are equal, don't think that just cause they got in trouble or had problems that you are better than them. What I am trying to say is that there is a reason for everything and that there is no reason to get all pissed off because the plan changed, that's what Marines are known for, adapting and overcoming, and if you really want to learn the title, you will do the same. Just do your best and it will pay off. Just stand by and keep working hard and it will pay off. By the way, have fun in the Intel world. It's my field as well and I can tell you that there is a lot to look forward to. STAY MOTIVATED!!! Semper Fi, LCpl Brobst




1908 JULIE DR.
MOORE, OK 73160


Sgt Grit-
I would like to respond to J Ferguson's mention of August 7, 1942. If he hit Talagi on that date, he was most likely a member of Col. "Red Mike" Edson's First Raider Battalion that served under Major General Alexander A. Vandergrift in the Solomons from August to December, 1942. My dad served with the same outfit (first as a machine gunner, and later as Platoon Sgt), and I'd been an avid listener, since before I can remember, to his harrowing experiences in the South Pacific Theater of Operations: New Georgia, Savo, Iron Bottom Bay, Bloody Ridge, Henderson Field....... My dad has since been called to guard the streets of Heaven, 12/30/2000. If Mr. Furguson would like to contact me, my Email is: Thanks, Ron Morse (Sgt USMC 69-75)


Sgt Grit,
In the newsletter about a soon-to-be recruit having problems with his parents not being supportive of his decision, I would like to add something that may help. To the parents of that future recruit, the Marine Corps is more than just a bunch of grunts learning how to shoot and kill. It's an ELITE military organization that teaches DEDICATION, LOYALTY and love towards country, God and one's self. It's an ELITE military branch that teaches discipline of every degree, teamwork during easy times AND stressful times and pride in EVERYTHING we do from the smallest task to the largest. The Marine Corps teaches us to make decisions and stick with them regardless if they're good or bad simply because we NEED to make bad decisions from time to time to gain experience from our mistakes. The Marine Corps teaches us how to overcome our mistakes and go on NOT making the same mistake TWICE. The Marine Corps teaches us how to stand up for what we believe in and fight for it.........even if we have to die for it. At least we died Honorably for what we believed in. But above all, for those who choose to get out when they served their time, they WILL have what it takes to go out into the real world and make it simply because they joined an ELITE military branch that demanded emotional AND physical discipline and responsibility that the real world WILL demand in it's own way. If you agree with anything I said, use it to your advantage.
Semper Fi
J.S. Elliott


I am not completely sure but I was always led to believe the true pronunciation was IIRRAAHH. This was a tribute to the late IRA Hayes. It is projected from deep down in the throat and diaphragm in a barking manner when ever a Marine is making a killing motion with a bayonet, much like a karate fighter in battle. Somewhere along the line the pronunciation has been bastardized to sound like OOHRAH.
Semper Fi
Johnny Jander
Sgt USMC 80-86


One more about WM's at PI. We were on the drill field getting ready for a Graduation. It was the first time we saw WM's. Our DI was marching us on one side, the girls on the other side. Then our Di stopped us facing the WM's. The WM DI stopped her Plt facing us. The girls started cracking up. The WM DI, said there are 10 miles of C--- on this Island and you're not getting an inch. We started to crack up also. Our DI then said get down and give me 25. John Amorim Plt 156 USMC 63-67 Sgt VN 66/67 2/12


Sgt. Grit,
Just a word of thanks to Cpl. Dave Remington, the "proud S-2 Pogue" from H&S 2/4, for researching the meaning of the word. It's been my experience, on more than one occasion, that NCO's (especially "pogues") generally know, or know where to find, the answers to the questions that puzzle us officers.
Semper fi!
Tom Downey
Once a captain, USMCR; always a Marine.


In the Sept 26, 2002 newsletter, D.S. Prater states that he could see and hear the beachgoers on Hilton Head behind 1st Bn, PISC. Sorry Marine, but you can't see Hilton Head from behind 1st Bn. The beach you saw was actually "The Sands" on Port Royal Island, a popular spot for off duty Marines from PISC and MCAS Beaufort. While you can see Hilton Head Island from PISC, it's across from Elliott's Beach, not 1st Bn and there's no beach on that end of Hilton Head Island.
JB Sigmon
Gysgt USMC Ret.

1963-'76 (Vietnam '66-'67)


Shortly before the Korean War the main gate sentries were posted for the 1600-2400 watch at the El Toro Air Station near Tustin. California fog can be BAD and as the hour hand approached midnight sentries standing in the guard shack (located between the incoming and outgoing lanes) could barely see the illuminated light on the lamp post just the other side of the incoming lanes. As I was relieved by the 0000-4000 watch I jokingly told said, "Look out for incoming traffic!!" The next morning I was to take the detail from the main gate to the station flag pole for colors. The guard shack had been LEVELED by, as I remember, a big, four-door Oldsmobile or Buick sedan. The offending vehicle was resting exactly on top of the splintered remains of the once-substantial guard shack. Both sentries reported they heard the ominous sound of a car approaching at a ridiculously high rate of speed. Both jumped clear just in time and neither sustained injury. Even the driver and passengers of the offending auto were not hurt physically...only their pride took a beating!!! Does any reader remember this?
S/Sgt. Norman C. Reddick P.S. Does anyone know if my serial number, 1091106, means there were


I was just watching Making of Marines on Discovery, and I am disappointed. They show women and say they go through the exact Boot camp training as the men. Also, a woman Marine giving orders to male Marines. I also see Boots talking to each other, and to top it off, DI's, talking to the men as to not to offend them or hurt their feelings. My marine Corps wasn't anything like that, and thank God it wasn't. I didn't talk to my Bunkie, not a peep until graduation day. As for the women Marines, I didn't see much of them at Parris Island. When my DI's were done with us, I knew I could take anything the enemy handed to me--mentally and physically. They didn't say a civil word to us until after graduation. And then, it was brief at that. I'll never forget those guys. As for women Marines giving our guy orders--well, I DON'T THINK SO. I'm embarrassed just having people watch this stuff, and hearing the new recruits sniveling on live TV. I don't like it and don't want to associated with it. I joined our Corps to be the best, which I know we were. WHAT'S THE CORPS COMING TO? The army where the DI's and the recruits are buddy-buddy? Don't get me wrong--I do respect any Marine, no matter when he was in. But I'm gravely disappointed as to what has become of the Corps. GOD BLESS IT.


Sgt Travers:
Congratulations on being selected for DI School. One word of advice and one word of encouragement from me... Be hard on them. In combat they will thank you. I thank God every night SSgt Liddy and Sgt Tremper (King of Pain) were hard on Plt 1096 in 1984. I came home in one piece as did my fellow Marines because of the training we received beginning in boot camp. Be fair. Be a Marine. If you give all you've got, then you'll be training future leaders in our Corps. That's all you can do. Keep charging hard!!!
Semper Fi
M. Infanzon
1/4, 3d LAV, 1/7

Sgt. Travers,
I am a former DI and retired. Dedicate yourself to nothing but the job. Beginning with school. Lights to lights for the first pickup to outpost. Stand by. The two years seems to last forever then it's over before you know it. Get a copy of the drill manual now and memorize it. That's right, memorize every word. Also a copy of the Recruit training SOP would be invaluable. Learn it too. Run,run,run. Also upper body strength. When you get to the steet, listen to the Senior and the heavy. Know were you stand. Do your best to keep your hands to yourself. It will be tough. Don't talk to the pigs. No jokes or b*llsh*tting. High stress, yell,yell,yell. Never talk while you are the third hat. Dig the pigs every chance you can. It will pay off in final pft scores, keep them on their arms(bends and thrusts, push ups, mountain climbers etc.) Corrections in drill. Constant corrections. Stay hard devil dog. The kids you train today are the ones that will be on the line after you retire.
Semper fi
Calvin Ballew
2nd bn, F co, MCRD PISC 86-89, Retired 1994


Sgt. Grit,
The 1st Lt. Patrick Barnes is the son of a fellow Marine; L/Cpl. Patrick 'Barney' Barnes who served with me in 3rd Bridge Company. At one time I believe Barney laid claim to being the Senior L/Cpl in the Corps. But a better fighting Marine I would be hard pressed to find, a Squad leader who put his men's well being first. I am positive his son will carry on in that tradition. It is a tough spot to be in, for both his Dad and the Son.

Well Mister Barney, Top and foremost in my mind was AMMO, never run out of ammo. Whatever your basic weapon is, carry extra ammo. I could haul 800 rounds of M-60 ammo, six grenades and a couple of pounds of C-4.

I also never ditched my Gas Mask, and in Hue City in 68 during the Tet Offensive, the our Phantoms (jets) dropped a double belly tank of tear gas across the Perfume River, you should have seen our Plt. Leader dipping his hackerchief in that foul water and covering his face with it. Not a pretty site, funny but not pretty.

Your headed into a possible highly probable area for Biological and Chemical use. Don't ditch yours, or let your men ditch theirs. If you even think there is a possibility of a Biological/Chemical attack, it probably is. Be aware of your surroundings, no time for daydreaming, or ratchet jawing.

Three or four pairs of Extra socks; long johns; tops and bottoms, or at least a wool sweater, (gets cold at night in the desert) at least one set of extra BDU's. Couple extra battle dressings, ones not enough. Couple smoke grenades, so you can have some cover in case your pinned down and absolutely have to move.

I will tell you something a Korean Vet Marine GySgt. told me when I volunteered for Nam. He was back from Nam, having brought over the original 'ear hunters' "2/3" and was in charge of the patrol when the first two Marines were KIA's in country.

"Only one way out of an ambush, you have to shoot straighter, you have to shoot faster then them. You have just a few seconds to turn the tide. The enemy never stops, they don't have a day off, not an hour off. You best remember that, there is no down time, even when everyone else thinks there is."

I understand your in Recon, so if you do it right, Silent and Swift, they won't ever know your there. Don't leave no cigarette butts so they can tell were you have been. Don't smoke at night, even if it's under ten blankets. Use some chew, better yet quite now.

The worse part about going into Harm's way is the nagging questions, can I do the job. Let me assure you, as a Marine you have had the very BEST training in the world. Trust it, from day one in OCS you have been learning to do the job. You'll do well.

God's speed to you, and your men.

Semper Fidelis,
3rd Bridge Company


Sgt. Grit,
In going back through your newsletter of 12Sep02 (when it came in I was too busy to finish reading it), I came across J.S. Elliott's very definite comments regarding Article 15 of the UCMJ. Granted, it's been at least twenty-eight years since I last held Office Hours under that article (and Office Hours does not only apply to UA), so just to be sure my memory wasn't playing tricks on me, I did an internet search and hit pay dirt at the following webpage: The heading for that page is "ART. 15. COMMANDING OFFICER'S NON-JUDICIAL PUNISHMENT" (not "destruction of government property.") Office Hours is not just for UA (unauthorized absence)--it's the CO's way of handling all sorts of minor infractions of military discipline without resorting to court martial.

Tom Downey
1963-'76 (Vietnam, '66-'67)
Once a captain, USMCR, always a Marine
former CO of "D"/4th Recon ('71-'72),
which was resignated as "C"1/23 ('73-'74), USMCR,
aboard NAS Corpus Christi, TX

P. S. I'm surprised no first sergeants have written in to set the recordstraight long before this.


Don't understand his problem. When I went through "Boot" in '43 the DI threw the M-1 back after inspecting and as a DI in '51, I slammed (read threw) the weapon back at the boot after inspecting it and God help the boot that dropped it.
Sgt. Dodd '43-46, '49-'53 ..........

Congratulations to SgtMaj Ron Himsworth for taking over the 2nd Marine Division. SgtMaj Himsworth and I served together on the drill field in 88-89 then ran into one another at his son's Parris Island graduation a couple of weeks ago.
Gunny .........

Hi Sergeant Grit;
About these environmentalists who think that digging "fox holes" (Marines call them FIGHTING HOLES) at Camp Pendleton -- I would simply fill up the hole when I was finished with it, like all Marines do.... DUH.
D. Dye, 8652, U.S.M.C. - SGT,
1966-1970 - 1972-1976 ..........

Semper fi Sgt Grit

God Bless America!!
Semper fi!!
Sgt Grit

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