"A Marine's wisdom and enthusiasm,
will overcome an insurgent's ignorance everytime."
SEMPER - FI
New - USMC Picture Caption Contest
If you can come up with a winning caption for the photo below, we'll send you a free poster with the picture and caption. When we start selling the poster, 10% of the sales will go to a Marine Corps related charity of our choice.
Give it your best shot, Marine!
United States Marine Corps Birthday message
MSGID/GENADMIN/CMC Washington DC//
SUBJ/United States Marine Corps Birthday Message - 10 November 2007//
POC/Sgt M. Bell/Admin Chief/CMC Staff Group/-/
Tel:(703) 614-2326// GENTEXT/Remarks/
1. Since the birth of our nation, our liberty has been purchased by valiant men and women of deep conviction, great courage, and bold action; the cost has often been in blood and tremendous sacrifice. As America's sentinels of freedom, United States Marines are counted among the finest legions in the chronicles of war. Since 1775, Marines have marched boldly to the sounds of the guns and have fought fiercely and honorably to defeat the scourge of tyranny and terror. We are Marines - that is what we do.
2. In the words of President John F. Kennedy: "In the long history of the world, only a few generations have been granted the role of defending freedom in its hour of maximum danger." Magnificent heroes fought in the wheat fields of Belleau Wood, in the snows of the Chosin, and on the streets of Hue City. Your generation bears this obligation now, and it is borne on mighty and capable shoulders. Just like the Marines at Belleau Wood - we are once again engaged in sustained operations ashore. Just like at Belleau Wood - the Marines have been given the toughest sector and have prevailed over a resilient and determined enemy - who has made us pay for our gains. Once again, as in any struggle, the road ahead is far from certain, but as Marines, we are not dissuaded by the challenges of war or the tough conditions of a warrior's life. Indeed, we don't just accept our destiny - we shape it.
3. On our 232nd Birthday, to every Marine - those still in uniform and those who have served honorably in the past - be proud of who you are and what you do. Know that your citizenship dues have been paid in full; you are part of this nation's elite warrior class. Cherish our families who offer marvelous support, abiding resolve, and steadfast patience. Remember those who have served and those who have fallen - their names are chiseled on the roll call of America's heroes. Those who have carried the battle colors of our Corps have forged our heritage, and today's generation of Leathernecks chart our future. Carry the colors with pride; carry them with honor.
4. Happy Birthday, Marines! Semper Fidelis, James T. Conway, General, U.S. Marine Corps, Commandant of the Marine Corps//
Difference in Fire Discipline
Just read the article about someone saying the best trained soldiers in the world were the airborne. My brother, now deceased, was stationed at Fort Bragg for nine years and was in Viet Nam as an Aero Evacuation medic. When we had a problem in Dominican Republic he was there. He was close to the Marines and commented the difference in fire discipline was startling. He said the Marines were very disciplined and the Airborne troops were very unruly. This did not surprise me, I know I am prejudiced, as a former Marine, but I was on Army bases many times, and the difference is glaring.
Cpl Bill McCarthy 1646214
I Asked Again
Dear Sgt. Grit,
I love this Marine Corps fraternity. There simply is nothing like it.
My Parris Island Platoon Graduation Book from August 1966 went missing. I wrote Leatherneck magazine to post an announcement to see if someone had a copy they'd sell me. A couple of months later, I got a call from a fellow who asked if I had placed the ad for the Platoon 3037 book. He said he was in Platoon 3037 and he had a book. I asked who was calling? No answer. I asked again, who was calling, and my question was again ignored. Eventually, the caller said his name was Ward. I asked if Ward was his first or last name? He said, "last." Without missing a beat, I said that the only guy named Ward in 3037 was our Senior Drill Instructor, SSGT. Ward. He said, "that's me!" Holey Moley! We had a rollicking good conversation that spanned the years including his own tremendous 27 year Marine career that included a commission. He also insisted that I call him Larry. Imagine calling your Senior DI by his first name. Even after 41 years, that's a hard thing to do!
Larry Ward filled me in on the whereabouts of his Junior DIs: one still in the South, one had died from cancer, one, location unknown. He also knew the names of all of his recruits who were killed in Vietnam. Larry cares about his charges.
Finally, Larry said, "you know, I have the platoon guidon. And I want you to have it." I said he should keep it but he insisted and last week it arrived in the mail - the very platoon flag I carried throughout boot camp 4 decades earlier. Along with it came a wonderfully touching handwritten note to me about where our platoon figured in Larry's heart. I'm planning to see him in Virginia next Spring and to take a picture of us with 3037's flag.
I recently pulled out the Platoon photo taken in the bleachers at PI. Out in front is a nineteen year old soon-to-be-Marine holding the guidon with all of the ribbons we won for excellence, except the one for the rifle range. Thanks to Larry Ward and all that he instilled in me, I'm still that nineteen year old Marine, and all things are possible! Semper Fidelis!
PI Platoon 3037
Captain's Orderly U.S.S. America CVA-66
Squad Leader, 2nd Plt. Charlie Co., 1st Bn. 1st Marines - RVN 1968
Last Weekend for
Customized Ammo Box Replica
Only available until Oct. 28... Store your USMC Memories in this
Customized Ammo Box Replica
Straight In The Eye
I was a FMF Corpsman in Vietnam in 1969.
A few months back I came out of a store and went over to my vehicle and a guy walks up to me. On the back of my vehicle I have a "few" stickers such as VFW, Eagle, Globe and Anchor, POW/MIA, Stars and Strips, etc., etc. He asks me if I was a veteran. I said I was and proud to have served in Vietnam in 1969. He says, oh so am I and I was a Corpsman in Vietnam in 1968. Now my ears are really open. This guy is now talking to a Corpsman that was there and has no idea of my history ! Please understand this guy does not look like he is 55-60+ years old. More like maybe early, mid 30's. . I asked him who was he with and he says the 6th Infantry. I said what was your specialty number (MOS) and he says something like 15467. Now my head is on fire. Corpsman numbers are in the 8400 range. Such as a FMF Corpsman is 8404. I looked him straight in the eye and said " you no good F**KING SOB" and drove away.
Now this guy much stronger and healthier than I am and could have decked me in one swing. I have cancer now as a result of crawling around in the areas north of DaNang that was sprayed with Agent Orange.
My question is why are all these fakes, impostors or what ever you want to call these SOB, coming from.? Why were they not around way back when and could have served their country and be proud like the rest of us ? Than again, I guess we would not really want this type of person serving next to the GOOD GUYS and WOMAN of today.
God Bless America.
Cortley F. Lottman
3/26 Mike Co.
I got this one while in Okinawa, I am quite proud of this one.
Joshua A Pendley
Yes, My Heart Bleeds
Sgt Grits, Once again a well done newsletter. At 75 and in failing health, I find my self reading every word of every line of the resonds, how so often I feel in line with them and more often than not, though am reported to be a tough old refusing to pass away old Marine.
Shed a tear, yes. There is a brotherhood of Marines and though has to have or to be one to know and understand. Very unfortunately the rest of the services just do not have it. And for a fact there are many good units in the other branches, but they just did not get a proper start as us Marines, at tun tavern on 10 nov 1775 and thus will never be able to catch up.
I am bashfully told by so many especially in doctors offices, by strangers, "I see your hat, thanks for your service" and then its always, they had a relative and now especially a son or son in iraq etc. My answer is always the same. "Your thanks is appreciated, but it was my honor to have give my life to the best of the best."
And yes my heart bleeds literally when I read of the needless deaths in this mess. Is there any difference between this one and Korea, Viet Nam and all the rest of southeast Asia.
I once heard the Marine General of Generals LtGen Victor Krulack Sr, ask of a fellow Marine general on a plane over flying proposed sits in Viet Nam...the question asked was "From where does our Corps get all these fine young men down there giving it their all", the generals answer was "and where did we come from, the wars will be fought in different climes and places, but there will always be the same Marines, from our youth that still and will always be proud to be able to say I was, I am a U S MARINE.
Semper Fi, NILE E WHITE
much regrettably retired now 37 and one half years.
Thirteen Months and a Wake Up
By Pete Ritch Â© 2006
Memories from Peter J. Ritch, USMC 1967- 1970. Viet Nam,
1968-1969 and a member of the USMCVTA.
Not That Anyone Would Dare
Sgt Maling, you are correct, the heavy overcoats could be a pain. We referred to them as "horse blankets". However, while standing duty on the two gates at Portsmouth NH Naval Shipyard between November 1 and April 1, they were a blessing. They definitely kept you warm. When the overcoat was the uniform of the day, you usually didn't have to worry about passing inspection, prior to going on watch. The overcoat covered a lot of "infractions". The deep pockets were handy to hold a sandwich, cigarettes, Zippo lighter etc. (Not that anyone would dare take anything like that out on the 12 am to 8 am watch, especially on the rear gate). SEMPER FI
PFC Floyd White (Whitey)
Really Stinks When Wet
Recalling the "Ike" or "Battle Jacket", we called it Battle Jacket. In fact I have the graduation photograph from PI in 1951 the platoon all had the jacket and the p*#ss cutter cover.
The comment by Sgt George Maling ';52 about the "Horse Blanket" overcoats, they were heavy but warm. Left the states by air, MATS (World Overseas Airlines) with the overcoat on, at one of the stops it was raining, had to walk to the terminal, that coat really stinks when wet.
Also recalled the NVA calling the Marines, soldiers with the canvas legs.
At PI our platoon has to live in tents. Remember Drill Instructor Sgt. John M Morse, later when stationed at (S***#! City) at the bus station when I walked out someone yelled my name I looked around the one person that caught my eye was a motorcycle cop, it was Morse, small world.
Then the rank of GySgt was TSgt.
DEW, SSgt. 1050-5
76 YO Marine
I have noted with interest the many letters regarding the clothing issued in the past. I enlisted in the Marines in August, 1948 and was assigned to Platoon 73 at San Diego MCRD. Our senior DI was Sgt. L. R. Lukecart with Cpl G.D. Fisher as his assistant. Our graduation picture was taken with all of us wearing the khaki uniform. We all wore the short jacket and as I recall we referred to it as an Ike jacket, not that we were emulating the Army but only in deference to General Eisenhower. I was then transferred to Camp Pendleton working for one year working in Supply. I was then transferred back to MCRD and assigned to Post Clothing.
When the Korean War started in June of 1950 business in Post Clothing picked up with a rush. We issued clothing to as many as 3,000 men per month, both recruits and reserves. The cost of that clothing issue was up to $400,000 per month. The wartime issue of clothing was different then peace time. Dress blues were not issued; one pair of dress shoes instead of two were issued. Each man received three pairs of dungarees instead of two and he received six pairs of khakis instead of eight. The only organizations issued blues on a wartime allowance were sea school and the band. In these organizations each man received two sets. Other men could purchase a set of blues at a cost of $35.00, plus accessories. We issued green Ike jackets and green trousers with no back pockets. I don't recall being issuing the long blouse, but my memory is a little hazy on that. I know my brother, who was a Marine during WW II, came home wearing a blouse.
The hardest man to fit, that I can remember, was a former circus strongman. He was about 5 Foot 6 or 7 inches and had shoulders and arms that any NFL lineman would be proud to have. The only thing we had to fit his chest and shoulders was the largest size dungarees, and the arms on them hung down to about his knees. All other uniforms had to be special made by a civilian tailor who was present at every clothing issue.
It was 1950 or 51 that Women Marines were assigned to the base. I was assigned to set up their issues room and stock the shelves with the appropriate items. I knew I had it made because I just knew that I would be assigned to the job of issuing clothing to the women. However, no such luck. As soon as I had everything set up, I was told to go back to the men's section.
Same Parade Deck
Sgt.Grit, Thought I'd put my 2cents worth in. MCRD/SD ( Plt. 2116) SDI S/Sgt Cockman, DI S/Sgt Secrest, DI Sgt Williams, What a wake-up call that was in Dec.80! I can only figure/ hope that their names and faces will never fade! And 25 yrs. later, I got to revel in my son graduating on the same parade deck! I DO NOT question whether or not our Corps is in good hands, I KNOW IT IS.
And FYI, Yes Corpsman are in my opinion, Marines. PERIOD!
(I'll not take any more questions on the subject)
God Bless Our Troops !
We should all strive to be as Noble, Honorable, Giving as they.
L/CPL Post 80-84
Mar-Det USS INDY
Gco 2/6 2nd MarDiv
! 0331 !
Not a Peace Corps Veteran
I spotted this while driving down a rural road in Central Texas near Center Point.
We can assume the driver was not a Peace Corps veteran.
Sgt. K. Kotula
Hit The Stitches
This is in response to WW's request in the 10-11-07 newsletter for some swagger stick stories. During the summer of 71 I was a member of platoon 1062 MCRD SD, we graduated 9-8-71. Our Drill Instructors were SSGT. Watson and Kielyta and SGT. Dix. Watson was replaced by GYSGT. Sloane during third. Watson moved over to Motivation Platoon so he stated, (where he belonged). Watson at times would carry a swagger stick. I never got a good look at it but one of our platoon members got a closeup view while at the rifle range. Recruit Mike Farry was a nice guy from Oshkosh Wisc., hope your doing well Mike, he had a run in with the mattress airing racks that where in front of the wash racks in the 1st Batt. area by the airport. As the platoon came to a halt in front of the racks the drill instructor, I don't remember which one, but probably Watson, threatened the last recruit to the wash rack with some kind of terrible punishment. As Watson used to say, "Squat thrust until the ambulance comes". The platoon split in two with half of us going one way around the racks and half the other. Mike tried to beat us all by ducking down and running under the racks. He came up to fast and hit the last rack with his head and cut it wide open. The corpsmen came took him to sick bay and he returned later with a small freshly shaved spot on the top of his head and a few stitches to keep the cut closed.
Jump ahead to second phase and the rifle range. We are now in squad bays and not the quonset huts we had at the depot. We are having an evening lecture by SSGT. Watson. He is standing behind three stacked foot lockers and explaining the many virtues of the Corps. All of a sudden he calls Farry up to the front and Mike jumps forward and gets at attention. Watson tells Mike to lower his head and he begins to hit the stitches with his swagger stick until blood runs down Mike's forehead. As the blood runs down Watson would swab it up with his finger and then lick it off while all the time talking to us. If the blood coagulated Watson would hit the wound area with the swagger stick until more blood came forth. Watson did this for awhile until he told Mike to sit down until he got some fresh blood.
We had tuff Drill Instructors and it was not uncommon to be choked, hit or knocked to the dirt. The most painful punishment being PT. I don't know the stories of all my platoon mates but I had worked construction and played sports all through high school. More than once I had been in a fight I did not win. But so goes life. It was necessary for us to be ready to meet the enemy and the minor things that were done to us would be nothing compared to Vietnam, Desert Storm or Iraq and Afghanistan.
My father and his brother where in the Pacific during WWII, my cousin was KIA RVN in 69, all Marines who would have laughed at me if I would have complained about Boot Camp. Semper Fi Marines, keep up the good work, know that your duty to your country is one of the most admirable things you can do.
Former Sergeant of Marines
Here is one for the Tattoo pages
CWO2 Scott "Hunter" Hunt
Base Ordnance Officer
ASP MCB Hawaii
A Little Grabazz Session
I'll put in my 1 cent worth about the Drill Instructors and the training of our Marines.
When I was on the Drill Field back in the early to mid seventies and later went on to my primary MOS I too heard about the stress cards. Let me assure you that it was all a SNOW JOB dreamed up by someone who knew NOT what they were talking about.
About the rewarding of McD's etc for a job well done. I did make a bet with one of my Plt's that if they came in any place other than last on final drill comp that I would buy each and every one of them a soda. Lo and behold I lost that one and to try to save face and even the score I made it a double or nothing if they came in other than 1st place on Final Inspection. Well I lost that one too. On final drill comp they placed 2nd and only lost by 2 points from being 1st place. On Final Inspection they placed 1st and by over 20 points ahead of the nearest plt. Well they got their 2 soda's and I also informed the Co. Cmdr ( A Mustang) as to what had happened. All the C.O. said was " Don't get caught by the Regimental Inspectors or others". A guard was posted at each hatch and all was fine. There were only 3 platoons in that series.
Another experience I had was with an AIR FORCE Lt.Col whom had a son in my Plt. He was from New Jersey and came to the Island thinking he was the cock of the walk and couldn't be touched. He was a member of some gang while in High School and thought he was BBAADD. It didn't take long for him to realize he wasn't as great as he thought he was after my 2 assistant Drill Instructors and myself finished with him. Well his dad started calling me about every week to check on his son and as to his progress in training. I always informed him that the training was on schedule and all was well. Just before graduation his dad calls me to inform me that he would be flying into Beaufort Air Station on the evening before graduation. While I knew he was going to be there, I never told the recruit of his father's arrival. I had the platoon outside for a little grabazz session on that evening when I saw a military vehicle pull up and the Col disembark. I approached the Col with a salute and introduced myself. I then called the recruit to report. When he reported he did not salute his father or the rank so I promptly asked if he had forgotten anything. He informed me he had not to which I replied "I think you forgot to salute the Silver Oak Leaf'" He turned and sharply saluted his dad. The Col wanted to take the son to the O Club for dinner that evening so I informed him that I could not authorize it but the OOD could so we proceeded across the 3rd Bn parade deck to see the OOD. On the way I informed the Col that his son had been THUMPED Etc as we all did it back then. The Col said "If it helped square him away and make a man out of him then I have no problems with it. I can tell that you have done more for him in 7 weeks of training that I did in 18 years as his dad". Well the OOD authorized him to take his son to the O Club so I informed the Col that he had to have the son back by a certain time so that he could finish his packing and get ready for departure after graduation and that his son was not to have any alcoholic beverages while at the club. Well the Col brought the son back about an hour late and had also give his son some alcohol while at the club. I could see then why his son was the way he thought he was when reporting to boot camp.
For all those that think training a Marine is so easy and the Drill Instructors are badazzes, the Drill Instructors are the last thing the recruit sees at night and the first thing they see when they awake. It is a very hard job for anyone and especially if they are married and have children. A very rewarding job though when you stand in front of the Platoon at Graduation and think back to what they looked like when you first saw them at receiving and how well they progressed through training up to graduation. As long as they were trained to the best of your ability then there is nothing more you can do.
I trained 14 platoons at PI (and sometimes 2 platoons at a time up to 10 days) and went on to OCS and trained OC's, PLC's, and OC/PLC Combined as well as Staff NCO's at STAFF ACADEMY in Quantico and I'm proud of every one that I may have had an influence on their life.
SEMPER FI and OOOORAHH
Bill Russell MGYSGT Retd but still a MARINE
1962- 1985 NAM 67-68
He Optioned Out
I was with Charlie Co. 2nd Recon Bn. stationed on Onslow Beach 1980-1983 and lost many brothers on 23 Oct 83 in Beirut. I did two Med floats. The 1st as an 0311 with Echo 2/8 in 81, the 2nd as an 0311/0321 attached to 3/8 in 82. I was out to dinner with friends the other night and immediately noticed a "Marine major" sitting with a group wearing dress blues. When I passed this person to use the head something caught my eye as I said "SEMPER FI". When I returned to my table my wife knew something was bothering me as she was asking me what was wrong I excused myself and walked up to this "Major".
"Pardon the interruption folks" I said to the table. "Hello major" I said "when were you in" "I'm on leave" was his reply. He must have had 8 rows of ribbons jump wings the whole shebang. "When were you enlisted" I asked him. "Out of college" was his reply "I was always an officer never an enlisted man" he added. I motioned to the waiter to come over and whispered in his ear to call the police he looked at me funny, but as he has seen me in his restaurant before and the look that I gave him he turned and went to the back of the eatery.
I can imagine that there must have been smoke coming out of my ears by now. I let this guy have it! "Halloween is still a couple of weeks away pal" I said. The women he was with gasped, the other guy with him said something I can't remember what I did not care either way. "The police will be here in 5 minutes take that uniform off and deal with them or don't and deal with me" I said. To make a long story short he took off the uniform and as I pointed out to his guests as he left.
#1 he was wearing good conduct ribbons, both USMC and USN which are only awarded to enlisted, #2 he had on army major rank USMC major has a thick center leaf almost looks like a spoon! His ribbons were not in order and he had enlisted collar emblems on not to mention you see the color difference from dry cleaning were there was arm rank although he did have on an officers top (no red piping) I could not figure that one out! But the thing that infuriated me was the purple heart ribbon (that was in front of his bronze star ribbon) when I said "That's for combat wounded, would you like to earn it now" he optioned out!
I just might go to the Marine Corps ball this year (if I can still fit in my blues) I felt like I was twenty years old again after this week end!
Former Sgt. B. Smittle
C.Co.2nd Recon bn.
I have a new tattoo I would like to have you post on your page. It's the soldiers memorial. I am a Corpsman getting ready to transfer to camp Pendleton here within the year.
They are Real and They are the Best
Hey Sgt. Grit
You are doing a great job of putting out this newsletter and the great products that you have in your inventory. Keep up the good work. Since our newsletters have been about poor recruits getting there b-hinds kicked, as they should, I recall a story about being at Edson Range in our second week of snapping in, those of you who have no idea where Edson Range is, it is on the beautiful west coast of this wonderful country. We were in a circle paired up in twos and I was next to the poor s.o.b. that told his partner "hey you take it easy on me and I'll take it easy on you."
The partner answered him back in the affirmative because the Drill Instructor Troutman was listening, also unbeknownst to the guy in the snapping in position for the sitting sequence of shooting. Well Drill Instructor "Instructed" the listening private to move away from his partner and proceeded to step up on the other private's back and commence to use him like a springboard to do a 2 & 1/2 gainer.
The private on the ground starting yelling "hey man what the h&ll, do you think you are doing and then craned his neck around to see S/Sgt Troutman and the Campaign hat and just put his head in the dirt. Meanwhile the Drill Instructor proceeded to give us a lesson on "not taking it easy on our brothers because one of us might not make it out of a tough situation" Boy did we learn and later laugh from that instance. There are many things and happenings that I do not remember from MCRD/San Diego but I will never forget S/sgt's Herron and Troutman, Sgt Johnson and Sgt Cunningham. You soon to be Mom's of Marines will hear many stories of these men that wear the campaign hats and you will picture them in your minds, they are real and they are the best.
"The more you train in peace the less you bleed in War"
Once a Marine always a Marine
Former Sgt of Marines
John A. Alvarado
PLT 1091 Honor Platoon
VMFA 232 and 334: Chu Lai RVN
HMS 33 El Toro;
VMFA 451; Beaufort, So Carolina
God Bless You Father
In a response to R.Y. Booker, in the Oct. 10th Sgt. Grit was great. I thought my D.I's were from h&ll. I was in college in 1966 and I and could have care less. Uncle Sam changed this for me. When I stepped on the "Yellow Foot Prints" I began to grow up....quick. We were disciplined and began to see "h&ll".
We had butt whippings, one young man had his jaw broke for not saluting the O.D. correctly, I received all I deserved. Didn't use the head quick enough...well we know the out come of that. I live about two hours from P.I. so my parents came down to see at the Island one Sunday. I knocked on the DI's hatch and ask permission to leave or what ever but my error was to say "YOU to my DI. I'm not an oue(sheep) so I got my butt kicked again. When I got to their vehicle my mother nutted up about the way I looked. My father, who passed away this Jan., told me son "you joined this elite branch, so take it like a man" This has always stayed with me. God bless you father. He was a WW11 Army vet.
About our DI's. S/Sgt H.D. Robinson, and the meanest sob I new, Sgt.B.R. Devane, Sgt. R.J. Seymour, Sgt.S.L. Shivers. and a Sgt. Browning, who's brother was my room mate at college. My nephew was a DI at the same time I was there and later he told me that they picked one of the DI's to be a tougher guy. Don't know if this is true or not, but you received this award. What I'm saying to everyone about our DI's is THANK YOU for kicking our butts and making us Marines. You Marines DI's helped bring me home from Nam. To the cry babies mom's and dad's keep your son's or daughter's out of our beloved Marine Corps. We don't need or want cry babies....we want men and women that will cover our backs.
Bill Nix Plt. 3112
Old Sgt. Thank you, my DI's
Back Into The Navy
I am a former FMF Corpsman and feel that my time with the Corps is the best part of my service to my country. The experience changed my life at the very early age of 19 and I became a man and did a man's work. Taking care of Marines (the word should always be Capitalized!) is the most important job in the Navy. Non FMF Corpsmen are looked down upon by FMF Corpsmen as not being quite as good. That statement will get me in a fight I'm sure, but I'll have my Marines watching my back. But I remember it being such a letdown to be transferred back into the Navy after duty the the Corps.
It was a comfort in combat to know that my back was covered when I went forward to administer aid. That was 40 years ago, but I still feel the pride when someone, usually a Marine, calls me Doc. Am I a Marine? Not really, but then I wasn't a doctor either. Do I like being called a Marine? It is as important to me as being called Doc, and I'll answer to it just as readily. To be accepted by Marines as a brother Marine is the greatest honor that can be bestowed on a sailor. It still means something to me to be called Doc.
Because of the nature of the Navy personnel structure, Corpsmen have always been a part of the Marine Corps. I hope this never changes. One last thing...I think it is a real insult that the FMF badge is not retroactive to all who served with the Corps. The army has had a Combat Medic Badge for all who served in nam, but the navy seems to think the only was you rate a Combat Badge is to take a test for it. Just my opinion.
Joseph "Doc Jeep" Boatman
India Company, 3rd Bn, 7th Marines
You may want to include the info about Gen Pace within one of your forthcoming news letters.
Michael S. GRAY
From: Winsor Whiton
Sent: Friday, October 12, 2007 1:50 PM
Subject: Speaks volumes
A friend sent the attachments to me with the below note. VR, Winsor
I wanted to share with you what we saw in Washington DC last week. After the mid-term brief we toured the Mall and made the usual stops at the WWII Memorial, the Wall, Lincoln Memorial, etc. At the Vietnam Wall we saw something unbelievable. We noticed three small index cards at the base of the Wall. I knelt down for a closer look and noticed that a 4-star general's rank was pinned to each card. The cards were personally addressed and said something like:
These are Yours- not mine!
With Love and Respect,
Your Platoon Leader,
The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs had laid down his rank for his boys who died in Nam just the day before! I later found out that 1 Oct was also the same day he stepped down as chairman.
FYI - Winsor Whiton is a retired Navy Rear Admiral
The family of a retired Marine Sergeant Major, with 42 years in the Corps, reluctantly decided that at, age 92, he needed more care than they could provide.
The only decent place close to their home was a nursing home for retired soldiers. They approached the facility and were told that, while Army vets got first choice, they would take vets of the other services if there happened to be an opening; which, by good fortune, there was.
A week after placing the retired Marine there, his sons came to visit. "How do you like it here, Pop?" they asked.
"It's wonderful," said the old Jarhead. "Great chow, lots to do, and they treat everyone with great respect."
"How so, Pop?"
"Well, take Harry, across the hall. 88, hasn't worn the uniform in 30 years, but they still call him 'General.' And then George, down the hall. Used to lead the Army band. Hasn't conducted a note in 40 years, but they still call him 'Maestro!'"
"That's fine for the solders, Pop, but how do they treat you?"
"Me? They treat me with even more respect. I'm 92, haven't had s-ex in 10 years, and they still call me 'That F-----g Marine!'"
Tim Mc Carthy
Well He Decided
Dear SGT Grit,
I went to boot camp at MCRD San Diego. I can still remember my DI's names. SDI Sgt Embelton, Sgt Sabo, and Sgt See. Sgt See was a small Texan that always had a dip and would spit into a coffee can. One day in phase 3 during mail call this one recruit received a big box of snickers bars. He was given the option of sharing with the entire platoon or keeping them for himself. Well he decided to keep them. Sgt See told him to "start eating". He tried to change his mind, but no luck. He ended up eating more than half of the box of candy. The rest of the platoon ended up getting a bite of the snickers. The recruit that had received the candy was sitting there green at the gills. Sgt See called his name and when he looked up Sgt See took a big swig from his coffee can spittoon. The recruit vomited all over the area.
That was the only time we even saw candy.
To Impress People
Sgt Grit: I went through bootcamp at Parris Island February, March and April. My senior D. I. was a PFC, WWII veteran and his two junior D. I.s were corporals both WWII vets. Not once did I see nor was I ever punched, kicked, jabbed, poked by any of the D. I.s.
They did the old arms outstretched with the M-1 for what seemed like an hour and we had foot locker drills too. And they could make one feel real dumb sometimes when we screwed up.
In 1956 and 1957 I was a Drill Instructor at MCRD San Diego. In the two years on the field I heard of only one case of a recruit being maltreated. I can swear on the bible that I never laid a hand on any recruit although I scared a few sometimes.
Consequently I think some of the stories of D. I.s slugging, kicking, and smashing faces is a bunch of bull. Perhaps a few stories made up to impress people how "rough" it was in boot camp.
Able 1/7 Ist Mar Div Korea 52-53
Father Son Debate
I served in our beloved Corps 30 yrs. after my father. We both arrived at Parris Island. I arrived to receiving in a huge Greyhound.... and stepped off onto "foot prints". My father arrived in a Cattle car in 1961 and he said there were "NO" foot prints at the time. We both are huge Marine junkies and share great stories of our experiences in the corps... and I never have doubted a story he's ever told me of his days...To settle this one with Dad....can someone give us the true dates when the foot print was introduce at MCRD Parris Island.... Semper fi
Cpl. Richard Domster
8th/9th Motors 91-95
Love your newsletters always gets one to think of the Lore of the "Corps". Alot of times while I read your newsletter, i'll play a CD. Wednesday night I was listening to "Songs of the Marines" and I got to thinking of Ditties I heard as a young Pvt. and PFC.
Like singing the Marines Hymn to the tune of "Ghost Riders in the Sky". And to the tune of "The Battle Hymn of the Republic." "Mine eyes have seen Devil on the shores of Tripoli. He wears the Globe and Anchor just the same as you and me. He is a Master Sgt. with a hash mark on his sleeve".
Don't remember the rest of the words to "Dashing through the sand with an M-1 in my hand". And from Korea "Burp Gun Boogie".
Anyone remember these or any others? I would like to hear from you.
I've run into a few "Wanna be's". My answer is - you are full of S*&#. Someone would think that there was four Divisions of Force Recon in Country.
SSgt Ret. Cannoncocker
My Father Spent
First off, thanks for the newsletter. I've had the great pleasure of meeting several Marines who served during WWII. There is no doubt they were, undoubtedly, the greatest generation.
But that is not why I write. I grew up a Navy brat. My mother was a Marine and my father a Navy Corpsman. They met when my father was stationed at PI and my mother was on the General's staff at Camp Lejuene. Don't ask why she was there, but she was in a car accident and my father happened to be on duty.
But that's not why I write either. My father spent a good portion of his 23 years in the Navy with the Marines. At PI, at El Tor (Air/Sea Rescue) and in Viet Nam, to name a few. In Viet Nam, he flew combat medivac and patrolled with Recon units. While there, he was shot down twice while on a medivac runs. In fact, he spent New Year's day, 1969 in Happy Valley after being shot down picking up a Marine head casualty. He was at Hue City and he was also the Corpsman who pulled Chesty Puller's son, Lewis Puller, out of the bush. By all accounts, Puller should have died there. He was a triple amputee with a severe head casualty. They flew him back to Da Nang and Chesty himself happened to be in country at the time. The plan was to medivac Lt. Puller to the Repose hospital ship. Chesty would have none of it and told the staff that his son would ride the bus with the rest of the Marines. Tough dude... Anyway, my father was ordered to accompany Lt. Puller with very specific orders from the hospital staff to "keep him alive until you get there."
Well, my father was married to a Marine. He knew damn well who Chesty Puller was. I don't think that affected the level of care Lt. Puller received one bit. Well, they got there and dropped the Lt. off and my father went on another medivac run. Later, my father received a personal letter from Chesty. The letter was in a lockbox that was stolen during one of our many moves. Lewis Puller went on to become a successful attorney, wrote a book and, later, committed suicide.
Anyway, the point is, Navy Corpsman are just as much a part of us as any Marine. My father PFT'd with his unit, humped with them, fought with them, and went into harm's way to pull them out of the bush. I'm happy to say that every Marine he runs into has shown him the utmost respect and treated him as the brother he is. I don't think there was any prouder moment for me or my father than the day we stood in Dress Blues the day I graduated from PI as a Marine.
Semper Fi, Marines and Corpsman!
Sergeant of Marines 83 - 87
We Hardly Snapped
I really enjoy the recruit training stories; thought I would send you one of mine. I was at MCRD in July-September of 1964 (it was tough, we were not issued our sun glasses and suntan oil until our 11th week).
My DIs were SSgt O'Conner and Sgt. Ware. These two Marines really worked hard at turning us into something resembling Marines (especially Sgt. Ware), since there was only the two of them. By the way, we were only hit if we did something really wrong, we all thought that was fair (only 3 of 84 recruits were not hit at least once in those three months). Anyhow, a week or so after we got back from the rifle range we were surprised one morning by a new DI, a corporal (don't remember his name). Must have been just out of DI school and he took over the platoon for a few days. Needless to say we were a little apprehensive since we were not told anything other than he was to take over for a few days. This corporal apparently thought he had a platoon just off the yellow footprints. He had us doing various punishments for perceived infractions that we had not done for weeks. We, after all, were not new boots; heck our trousers were bloused.
After a day of his stuff, we got tired of it. I remember two incidents that, looking back, could have gotten us in real deep doo-doo. He ordered us to run into the quonset and get one pillowcase; then one sheet, etc.; until, of course, we had everything off our racks. But, all 84 of use simply turned and slowly walked and got each item, and slowly walked back out to the platoon street. Man, I don't think I have ever seen someone turn as red in the face as that corporal. He had smoke coming out of his ears. Of course, for punishment he ordered us to hit the deck (for pushups). All 84 of us slowly went to one knee, then the other and stretched out our arms to the pushup position. The really strange thing is that we did not decide as a group to do this, each one of use simply decided to obey as slowly as possible. We did not actually disobey, but we hardly snapped to at his commands. The rest of the time he was with us, we just drove him crazy. This corporal completely lost control the platoon, and he certainly knew it. I don't know what would have happened it he had hit any of us; good thing we did not find out. Well, we figured we could be in big trouble when Sgt. Ware showed up, so we decided to be extra careful to do exactly what Sgt. Ware ordered, and do it snappy.
Someone must have been watching the corporal. When Sgt. Ware came back on duty, not a word was said about what had happened while the corporal was in charge. In fact, we never heard a word about him. It was a though the whole thing never happened and was a dream. The platoon had this strange ownership thing towards our DIs. We respected them and this corporal did not have the ability to understand that, nor did he understand that we were not brand new boots. Often wondered what happen to him.
Well there is one of my stories. One thing I learned from it is that leadership and respect are not things you can be given; you must earn it. I have a few other stories, but they can wait.
Joe A. Bell
Retired Economics Professor,
once a Sgt, but still a Marine
That alone should suffice
Since my release from active duty in September of 1971, I have encountered countless phonies or wannabes. This dilemma will never end and has been going on after every major engagement this great nation has been involved in. For the first several years after leaving my beloved Corps, I took stories from wannabes very seriously and even had to straighten a few out in a physical manner when they challenged me to the point of no return. I had become furious and incensed with the outrageous stories spewed from the mouths these individuals. These people just cannot help themselves. It's an illness. They are vermin, the lowest form of amphibious s#$t, etc, etc. What really bothered me then and still does today, are active duty and veteran phonies, especially Marines. We all know what and who I'm talking about. If it isn't in your SRB, mostly likely it won't be on your DD-214. If you feel strongly enough that you are entitled to a certain award(s) or decorations(s), just do the right thing. Either complete a DOD Form 149 or a Standard Form 180. These forms can be obtained online, from the Dept. of Veterans Affairs, or from a service officer of a veterans service organization, such as the DAV, VFW, etc. You earned the title, MARINE! That alone should suffice, so why enamor oneself with ribbons and medals you didn't earn. Napoleon once said young men hunger for decorations and he was right. Be proud of whatever capacity you served in as a Marine, for the end result was the accomplishment of the mission at hand. God bless all Marines, Past, Present and Future.
Joseph Alvino, Sgt., USMC
The Line To Request Mast
As stated in November 1959 by then the CG of the First Marine Division, Camp Joseph H Pendleton, ''The Jungle Jim'' Masters LtGen, CG of the First Marine Division at Camp Joseph H Pendleton, and yes his younger brother Brig Gen Masters was CG of the base, he sent a memo and it was read to all hands both the First Div and base personnel,
''''''it has come to the attention of the undersigned that no one ''including you Gen Bill, is paying any attention to the undersigned, and as of now that is corrected, for all gates are closed and all liberty for all hands one rank below me and all others that until I get an immediate response to any and all orders issued by me, the above negligence has terminated and the line to request mast starts at the parade ground in front of the Div Hq and ends at the San Onfree gate, ''by the way I'll be playing golf, with the Chaplain. ////signed Jungle Jim Masters the //HNINC/
///new// This actually happened and I was there and my OINC Major Carl Johanseen the Adj of the Div, said now there is a Gen of Generals, wow did things shape up in a hurry. Mainly because so many wives b1tched to Gen Jim's wife. //new//
They were still issuing those in the summer of '62 at MCRD San Diego. I don't recall ever being instructed on the appropriate time and/or way to wear the scarf.
It stayed folded up in my sea bag for four years, two months and twelve days, only coming out for a junk on the bunk. I still had it up until last year but never knew what to do with it.
On another subject, I recently returned from a trip through North and South Carolina. I visited with friends that I was in Viet Nam with and stopped at Parris Island for my first, ever visit. For all of you Pleasure Island graduates, your Grinder is nowhere near as large as the one we have in San Diego. I can, however, see where the humidity might be just a scosh higher in your little corner of paradise during the summer. What a beautiful base. Manicured, spic and span to a fare-thee-well, the Marine Corps has a right to be proud of that facility. I had an opportunity to take some pictures and briefly chat with some Drill Instructors while they took a smoke break. Their maggots were apparently in the theater for some reason. I was and still am impressed with the behavior of the Marines on the Island. Taking pictures of Iron Mike and other landmarks sometimes required me to be across the street from the subject. Cars driven by Marines would stop, though there was no stop sign, while I took a picture. When I finished they would drive on. Ya just don't see that kind of consideration anywhere else these days. Wow!
The purpose of my trip was a reunion of LAAM Bn Marines from Cherry Point and Da Nang, '64-'66. Since those attending had all been stationed at Cherry Point before we shipped to Viet Nam in '65, we decided to have the get together in the Morehead City NC area.
The highlight of the weekend was a Friday tour of Cherry Point, arranged by the fella that planned the reunion, former Cpl Jim Walters. The Marine Corps picked us up in a bus at the Community Center in Havelock NC and bussed us to the base. Our guide for the tour was Cpl. Poole. She was very patient with that bakers dozen of old Marines. She listened to our "remember when" and "how it was then" stories as though she were enjoying it all as much as we were.
Holy smokes! Things have sure changed in 42 years. We went to the flight line and visited a shop, where we were given the royal treatment by SgtMaj Devaney and a young First Lieutenant. They showed us their plane and answered our questions with an enthusiasm I didn't expect.
Next we were taken to the mess hall where we had lunch with the active duty Marines. No more metal trays! A salad bar that would make any restaurant proud! Chairs and tables with the Eagle, Globe and Anchor cut into the back of every heavy steel chair! Nutritional values on a card in front of every dish available on the chow line! It was all so different, almost. This is not meant as a criticism but the chow didn't taste a whole lot different than I remembered. Thank God for consistency.
Our old barracks burned down in the early '70s but we were able to locate where it stood because the neighboring geedunk building is still there. We visited a LAAD Bn and were privileged to receive a short lecture on their organizational chart and mission statement. It was all very well presented by a S/Sgt who answered our questions with knowledge and confidence that were 100% Marine Corps. We were given a demonstration of the missile in their simulator room and even though it's not a HAWK Missile, it's a h&ll of a weapon.
We saw several other things and felt like we had been treated to a great tour. All our thanks, to the Marine Corps and the Command at MCAS Cherry Point NC, for their hospitality.
Dennis Peterman, Jim Walters, Mike Catino, Terry Ferraro, Dennis Hollis, Fred Goetz, S.L. Walden, Jerry Stickley, Rick Murphey, Bill Talbot, Matt Kokoska, Jerry Downen, Lane Eby.
Marines once. Marines always. We all enjoyed ourselves tremendously.
The Few. The Proud.
Far Be It
Far be it from me, as an enlisted Marine from "64-71" to question or dispute a statement made from a former mustanger in my Marine Corps.
I am intrigued by the letter submitted by Marine Capt/CWO4,,fmr enlisted, Leonard C. Long III in the October 11, 2007 newsletter.
I say intrigued because of his statement: "as we were the first Battalion of Marines into the Da Nang area, there was a lot to do."
Going by his letter he wrote that they pulled into Naha, Okinawa in Apr 65, and they trained as weapons plt "B" Co 1/9 at NTA Okinawa.
I also trained there in "64" with "A" Co 3rdEngrBn, 1stPlt, 3rdMarDiv.....We trained with the 3Bn3rd Marines....That is where we mastered our demolition and dismantling booby traps techniques...
On the night of 6Mar65 part of our Plt went to Camp Schwaab and teamed up with 3rd Marines and departed to Kadena AFB, and boarded C-130's, for DaNang SVN. They arrived there 4 or 5 hrs later and set up a perimeter