I fondly recall like Bruce Otis PI 57-60, doing close order drills with an M-1 or my footlocker. The DI would think nothing of enforcing his commands with a swat with a hand wearing a black leather glove. The number of repetitions required was always "Many, many, many of them. begin". Not much changer from 57 to 66.

Jim Kanavy
Platoon 321, PI, RSV 1966-68

Veteran's Day Special

Veteran's Day Special

Show your thanks for our veterans with these one of a kind, Sgt. Grit exclusive Veteran's Day shirts.

These great shirts are available only until September 30th.

Guess You Learned Something

Sgt Grit:
Just read yet, ANOTHER article about "abused" recruits. In reading it I was some what dismayed. Not dismayed by what the Drill Instructors did, more so that the "recruits" were weenie enough to say something about their training. I went through recruit training in 1969, was it easy..no, were my Drill Instructors tough, you bet you a*s they were. Did I appreciate what they put us through, at the time, no, but later I realized what it was for, to save my life and to take me from a momma's boy to a man, and to teach me that I was capable of doing ANYTHING I put my mind to. Years later, I saw one of my Drill Instructors, He was a retired Master Gunnery Sergeant, I was a retied Gunny. When I told him that I had retired, he looked at me shook his head and said something that made me laugh "GUESS YOU LEARNED SOMETHING". He now guards Heavens Gate I recently learned, to the toughest man I ever met, thanks Master Gunny, thanks for taking this green behind the ears BOY and making him a man, and giving him a send of values that have continued through his life. Thanks for the a*s whoopin's, thanks for the thump call, but more importantly thanks for being an example to me and the other 71 "turd merchants" you made US Marines.

GySgt Carter

Moved Me

Chief Warrant White
Salty Marine, Your words moved me. Your farewell is eloquent and true to the spirit of the Corps. You did your duty the Marine way. You covered for us until we got to the wall to take over for you. You honored all the Marines that came before you, they put their trust in you and now you prepare to join their ranks. Our DI s must stop feeding hamburgers to the new recruits if the are to take over where you then the rest of us left of. I am 61 years old and served My Corps and My Country in Nam 1965 to 1967 active duty. Gunny White was our Motor pool Chief with 11th Marines 1st Marine Div. just below Hill 35 West of Highway 1, Chu Lai area, any relation? I see how much you love the Corps and how proud you are.
John Basilone and Chesty Puller are waiting for all Marines.

Semper Fidelis,
Michael Valencia
Cpl of Marines
2198329 /0848
11th Marines 1st Marine Div.
Vietnam 66-67

Old Corps

Parking was the least of problems.

Troops couldn't afford cars.

You weren't married unless you could afford it.

Courts-martial orders were read in battalion formation.

A bum didn't have a BC more than once or twice before he actually got it.

We had "Rocks and Shoals".

Courts-martial were a rarity.

Marines receiving BC D's were drummed out the gate.

NCO's and officers were not required to be psychologists.



Read each and every newsletter. The Iwo Jima Sand I recently won was repackaged and given to two of my Food Pantry volunteers; one, and 82 year old Iwo Vet himself (his eyes glistened), and the other to a fourth generation Marine NCO (speechless). You do fine work. Keep it up. God Bless the United States Marine Corps and the USA.

Lt. Colonel Don 'MADDog' Belsey (Ret.) 1964-1996

Lasted About 3 Minutes

Yo Sgt Grit:

Really enjoy your website and you got it all!!

Noticed GySgt Gerald R. Miller 1864806 USMC reciting his chain of command...thought he might be interested in learning that his CoCmdr at MCRD SDiego became a LtCol and was my Battalion Commander (1stBn 9thMar) in 72-73. A fine gentleman and an outstanding Marine.

On another note...I wore the battle jacket while going through ITR in San Onfre in 1952...but I did hear some individuals refer to it as an "Ike" jacket. Some of you out there also remember that our dress shoes were brown and not black..also khakis were starched then and the crease lasted about 3 minutes! Neck scarves blew in the breeze cause there were no tie clasps at the time

Semper Fi and keep up the great work!

Don Rousseau
Korea 52-53
Vietnam 67-68
Pvt through SSgt E-6
WO through Capt

The End Result

To the Corporal who stated that everyone is not meant to be a Marine, I agree. I do take exception that just because a boot cried the Corporal would not trust him to cover his back. Boot Camp is where we make men out of boys. The transition is rough and it is meant to be. Those that cry and continue to cry will be weeded out. Those that cry and push on find that they have capabilities and resources that they never knew they had and become all the better for it. Each challenge that is put before them and met makes them stronger. The end result is a man worthy of the name "Marine." Col. D. R. "Duke" Stanton, USMC (Ret.)

Only Speak For Myself

There are as many opinions and thoughts of what it means to be a United States Marine. I of course, can only speak for myself and will make an attempt to define what it means to me.

Being a Marine means being born on 10 November and having the feeling that it was my destiny to serve in America’s best military unit. Being a Marine means enduring Boot Camp and having a Drill Instructor who makes SSgt. Hartman look like a Sunday school teacher. Being a Marine is also having this molder of men find out that your mother gave birth to me on this Holy Day. Being a Marine is having the same SSgt. on graduation day look you in the eye while shaking my hand and saying “congratulations Marine.” Being a Marine is enduring ITR, going to Viet Nam (3 times) and coming home to angry people who instead of comforting or welcoming me home, chose to throw tomatoes, eggs, spit on me and call me things like “baby killer,” “war monger,” and many curse words. Being a Marine is seeing the names of your closest friends etched on a black wall and feeling the guilt that my name isn’t on the wall and for some reason God in his wisdom chose to let me live. Being a Marine is being so thankful to have had the opportunity to serve my Country and stand in harms way in order that the ungrateful and lethargic civilians can enjoy the freedoms so plentiful in our Country. Being a Marine is feeling the tears stream down my cheeks when the Star Spangled Banner is played. Being a Marine is being so proud when I wear my uniform to Parades, July 4th Ceremonies, speaking engagements, and the Marine Corps Ball and having people genuinely tell you “thank you for all you did for me.” Being a Marine is standing at attention at the Marine Corps Ball and swelling with pride when the Marine’s Hymn is played and seeing the cake coming into the ball room. Being a Marine is at times crying when I hear “God Bless the USA,” “America the beautiful,” and of course our “National Anthem.” Being a Marine is something that very few people can ever know or understand. Being a United States Marine goes much deeper than wearing the sharpest uniform in the world, and having more honor, tradition and glory than any organization in our history, it’s being a small part of family that has stood the test of time and no doubt will be thriving long after I have passed from the face of this earth. Being a Marine is something the other branches will never understand or feel. Being a Marine is never meeting another Marine and not have a brotherhood regardless of when you served or how old or young you are. Being a Marine is something a person can’t understand until you become a Marine. Regardless of what life of destiny chooses to put in my path I will always know that “There are no obstacles to a United States Marine, there only opportunities to succeed.” Being a Marine is…………well

BEING A MARINE. What else can you say?

I thought I would share this with you Sgt. Grit. I’ve had this bouncing inside my head for quite a while and felt I had to write it down.

Paul Hout

Fox 1/10

MP Tattoo My son recently got this tattoo before he deploys. The design was a team effort of the MP's from Belle Chase, La they are now part of Fox company 1st bat. 10th Marine 2nd Marine Division which will deploys soon.

Terry M. Lobell

Troop And Stomp

Recent comments from folks like GySgt Gerald R Miller (1959-79) regarding uniforms etc. cause me to wonder about a few things. In 1952 at MCRD San Diego our drill instructors wore what we called pith helmets. I have since purchased one from the Sgt. Grit catalog. Does anyone know when they switched to the "campaign" hat or "smokey bear" hat? And, better yet, why?

Someone else commented on the field uniforms (dungarees?) with the grenade pockets. In July of 1952 when we were getting our boot issue some of us got those old uniforms, both jackets and / or trousers, depending upon ones size. They obviously were using up the old supply. Memory seems to tell me it was the bigger guys who got the old stuff. Us smaller feather merchants got the newer(?) style dungarees. A similar thing was going on with field boots. Some of us got the shorter rough suede leather boondockers while others got the higher boots with the smooth finish.

In 1952 we also got a mix of dress uniforms. Most of us got issued six sets of the old gunny sack khaki summer uniforms while a few got issued four sets and one set of the new and fancy gabardines. Again, it seemed to be based on ones size. We all got issued a green blouse and a green "Ike" jacket as well as two green wool shirts. We were told we could not wear the green shirts off of the base. In fact the only place I recall ever being allowed to wear them was while going to Navy electronics school at Treasure Island. We pulled a lot over on those Bosin's Mates when it came to the wearing of uniforms.

Most folks didn't like to wear the green blouse as it fit like a corset and even restricted ones arm movement when reaching above your head. When we packed up to leave Korea we were told to keep out one set of greens if we wanted to go on liberty promptly after arriving at Treasure Island. Most held out a set of greens with an Ike jacket. When we got to Treasure Island we were told a recent order out of Headquarters Marine Corps forbid the wearing of the Ike jacket off the base. The Colonel in charge quickly stated that an exception would be made for us for 48 hours to allow us to get our sea bags and our green blouses. I guess the order forbidding the wearing of the Ike jacket was issued about the same time as the one which said we had to polish our suede boondockers to a spit shine. They must have been dreamt up by the same brain surgeon.

What are Dress Blues? In three years I never got close to a set of Dress Blues, either my own or anyone I knew. The only ones who had them seemed to be the guys who went to sea school. I couldn't really say because we never saw anyone wearing any. Only in the pictures.

To give you some idea of time frame; during these years there were no Lance Corporals or Gunnery Sergeants in the Marine Corps. They just didn't exist. There were two grades of Warrant Officer, Commissioned and non-commissioned. And we never heard of anything like ooorah or whatever it is.

In Korea it puzzled me that Major Dickey used to address our Tech Sgt. as Gunny. He also used to refer to our CWO as "Mister" and seemed to do it with a special kind of respect in his voice. Major Dickey was an old timer and had supposedly gone to flight training as a buck private. Our CWO was an old timer as well and had been a private along with Colonel Kollmann who was our Squadron CO. They were old buddies.

I guess with all the strange uniform mixes and not having any Gunny's to straighten us out, we must have really been a bunch of rag tag Girenes. What topped it all off was the crazy new "troop and stomp" drill they came out with in 1955. It looked like a Chinese fire drill. Someone said it required a drill instructor to teach in excess of forty different movements. And they wondered why the re-enlistment rate was so poor.

Ah, for the good old days.
Terry Stewart, Sgt (E-4) 1952 - 1955

Marine Corporal Bryan Joseph Scripsick

Sgt. Grit:

For Marines who wish to attend, funeral services for Marine Corporal Bryan Joseph Scripsick will be held 10:00am Thursday, September 13th, at the First United Methodist Church, 401 N. Willow, Pauls Valley, OK. Internment will be at Mt. Olivet Cemetery south of Pauls Valley. Funeral arrangements are being handled by Stufflebean-Coffey Funeral Home, 500 N. Willow, Pauls Valley, OK.

Tiger's Tooth

Won A Heart ... Won A Mind "Won A Heart ... Won A Mind"
Hi Sarge,

A few months ago my eldest son, Greg, was going through the family archive of photographs and came up with enclosed. It was taken on Christmas day (1968) near the DMZ & outside a little Village called Cam Lo. My younger son, Tim, recently got it into my computer. Though it was snapped 39 years ago (And also about 39 lbs. ago), I thought you might get a kick out of seeing some of the guys (During their USMChay-day.) that yourself and your fine News-Letter have helped over the years. And like myself, remain grateful. About half of us in the picture have since located each other in the past two years and, thanks to cyberspace, half been enjoying a few laughs on a regular basis. To share a bit of a humorous account, I was leading a patrol one afternoon through a Village and toward the jungle when my point man noticed a pile of rocks outside the hut of one of the farmers. The point guy called me forward and we both agreed that the rocks were organized to form an "Arrow". And it was pointed toward our platoon C.P. (Command Post) about a hundred yards away. Obviously meant to guide North Vietnamese Regulars into an attack on our position. Probably in the middle of the night. To make a long story a bit longer, I went to the hut's doorway, called out some guy, brought him over to the rocks and politely asked him if he was Viet Cong (Which, obviously, he was.). The fellow flew into a complete panic and started screaming, "No VC...!, No VC...!" He literally thought I was going to shoot him. Anyway, we scattered the rocks, radioed the C.P. to give a warning and continued on our merry way into the jungle. The next morning, I was awakened (After standing guard all night on 100% alert with everyone else in anticipation of an NVA attack that never materialized.) by the platoon's interpreter. He had the old guy (Who was still razzed out.) with him from the previous day and asked if I was the guy who had called him out of his hut. After I acknowledged with a "Yea", he told me the farmer wanted to give me something. He then handed me a long tooth that he told through the interpreter he had removed from a tiger that he had killed during his younger days. I refused, but the poor old guy was persistent. I finally accepted, walked off and swiped a case of c-rations from platoon supply and gave it to him. He was happier then a pig in poop and for the remaining few days that we all stayed in the Village we became pals. May sound strange, but I kinda' miss the fella'. To, finally...!, make a long story short, you can see the tiger's tooth around my neck in the picture. Hope you post it. Continued Thanks for everything...

Semper Fi',

Upper Row (Left To Right)... Swink, Winterton, Costanza, Poncho, Brombaugh, Vaughn
Lower Row (Left To Right)... Clark, Williams, Amato, That funny lookin' Irish guy who could vanish into thin air when time arrived to off-load a chopper

Marked In Red

To the concerned sergeant
"Changes in our training"
I had problems with pull ups while at boot camp at MCRD in San Diego 1980. I was put into PCP after first phase and again after second phase for my lack of pull ups. I was also a diet private, which meant my name tag we wore was marked in red. So when ever I went to chow the guys serving chow would see my name tag marked in red so they gave me less, I was not allowed to have deserts or soda to drink, only juice. We had no Mc Donalds hamburgers in boot camp. I don't blame you for being concerned. These young men will most likely find themselves eating MRE's pretty soon.

LCpl Zamorano S.Y.
0311 1980 - 83

My Rule Of Thumb

Sgt Grit,

As a former SDI and JDI "Parris Island - 1990 - 1993 Lima Company), many times a pre-staged act would be set up in front of the recruits, whereas I would supposedly "Fire" all of my Drill Instructors for some infraction that I as the Senior was not going to "Tolerate", again this would be pre-staged and was in the interest of giving my JDI's some much deserved time off for a couple of days, then they would come back fresh and ready to go. Sometimes it would be un-planned and you would then take your "Hats" off to the side and discuss the problem out of earshot of the little nasties. Many Drill Instructors get themselves in trouble by not listening to the old heads and some of the old heads do not know what in the heck they are talking about, it's a two way street and you have split seconds to decide on what you are going to do. As for Rifle PT, you can still do it, but you have to be very smart about it, I put it like this, if you cannot explain it as a proper drill movement, then don't do it, if the recruit has the possibility of giving an answer when asked by an officer or depot inspector that might get you into trouble, then don't do it. The smartest thing to always do is try and wait for 1st phase to be over with before you take it to the next level, due to the fact they (the recruits) have no loyalty to anyone just yet and are still scared to death, especially if you have three or four maniacal hats running around creating havoc. My rule of thumb was to drop as many as I could before the rifle range, after we got to the range, then I tried to keep them all and go clean on the range, trust me it worked. Another trick is to have them all at the 500 and all the ones who could read the numbers step forward and all the rest I sent to sick call to get their vision checked, usually I was correct, some of the recruits were narcissistic and were embarrassed to wear port holes, but I could care less, I wanted that Range trophy!

Semper Fi,
GySgt Roman Williams, USMC (Ret)

Bucket Of Water

I went thru boot camp in spring of "51. When we went to Camp Matthews we were in tents.
If you had to see the Gunny you would walk up to the wooden door at his tent. Outside the door there was a bucket of water hanging there. Inside was a large rock. To gain entrance you had to reach into the bucket, pull out the rock and knock on the door with the rock in hand, put the rock back in the bucket and dry your hand off immediately before he called you into his tent.

You can guess that every enterprising young boot would look all over that area for a rock laying on the ground, to use to knock on the door. but no rocks were to be found. And when you walked thru the Gunny's door, your uniform better not have any wet spots where you tried to dry your hands off.

Don't you love the Marine Corps. I know that I do. Semper Fi.
Sgt. Jerry Linder
G-3-7 Korea


Lore of the Corps This is very grainy but it is certainly part of the Lore of the Corps.
It is 1/9 leaving Vietnam…the first combat unit to do so in 1969.
Coincidentally 1/9 was reactivated and are presently at Kaneohe on Oahu, Hawaii.

John Wear

Granny Glasses

I was reading about the Corpsman that met Gunny Kellog at FMF Training, Camp Delmar. I was selected to attend in 1971, as I had not been since Korea in 1951. Gunny Kellog was there at the time. One day several of us were at the Delmar SNCO Club, including Gunny Kellog. After a little relaxing with few rounds of giggle water, the sea stories began. By the way in those days Kellog wore pink tinted granny glasses and drove a chevvy corvair. When his turn came for the war stories he told us how he had been in a firefight in Nam and had rescued his platoon, subsequently being recommended for the MOH. He also told us about another firefight where he was again recommended for the MOH. I looked at the pink granny glasses and decided that it was a wild sea story. We all went along for the sake of peace(we were all feeling the giggle water). Turns out that the second recommend for the MOH was cut to a Navy Cross when the first one in the halls of HQ USMC was approved. I was proud to call Gunny Kellog friend for a few months while at Pendleton. Ron Wheeler HMC(AC)(FMF)USN RET

Can Make Do

Sgt Grit!
Reading down the news letter of Last of August and I see several Items that reminds me of My tour. I enlisted on the 13th of July 1953. Boot Camp at MCRD San Diego. Platoon 226. After basic training and advanced infantry training (with a short field problem at Pickle Meadows for cold weather training) I shipped out for Korea aboard the USS Monrose.Spent a week in Korea and then to Japan Attached to the Heavy Equipment Platoon, Headquarters Company, 3rd Engineer Battalion, 3rd Mar. Div.

I too went to Iwo, but the Engineers went six weeks before the rest of the troops. the purpose for us to be there ahead was to make water enough for the division and to clear the area that was to be use for the war games; of old forgotten munitions. On our knees and using our bayonets to probe for them. A lot were found and destroyed. also to keep injuries to a minimum. sealed off open tunnels. Some had the remains of Japanese ammo and supplies. All told, the 3rd Eng. spent about three months on the Island. Going back to Japan, lucky us, to be in a typhoon must of the way back. Aboard LST 827. THAT was an experience to remember.

As usual, the 3rd Eng's were first to go too Okinawa in preparation for the rest of the Division. Engineers were placed at Tengan. All the buildings were condemned by the army. That was alright, Marines can make do! Forgive this old man for not remembering exact date, but I often have fun when I relate to people how Orders came down from the President Pack up, Load the Equipment aboard LST's and store our seabags and stand by on White Beach ; drawing baker rations for three days waiting to be deployed to someplace I had never heard of,-----Viet Nam. Well we didn't have to go. ------------- THEN!

I've not noticed very many Who served in that era.

Semper Fi
Ray Norris, Sgt. 1953-1961


Impact Area Sgt Grit,

My name is Ken Johnson and I'm a former Marine. I served proudly from 1964-1968 and achieved the rank of Sgt E-5. I served in Vietnam from July of '65 thru August of '66 as an 0811. My home town is Kohler, Wisconsin.

While serving with "Echo" Battery, 2d Battalion, 12th Marines, I took this picture of the sign that appeared on our "4-holer". I just recently began scanning my collection of Vietnam pictures into my computer and I couldn't resist sending this to you. The sign means what it says, and on more than one occasion I left this 4-holer in a big hurry, with my trousers at half mast and clutching my M-14 in my hands!

I thought you might enjoy seeing it

Once a Marine, always a Marine.

Semper Fi,
Ken Johnson, USMC forever

ITS and 0351

This is in reply to Sgt. John M. Klein's letter and about Infantry Training School (ITS) and Camp Pendleton and being one of the last 0351's on the 106 recoilless rifle. I may have been a class or two behind him, I went to ITS at Pendleton from mid Oct. 78 first week of DEC. and I was a 0351 and did not have the 106. Funny how Marines view things. Sgt. Klein loved Pendleton and I hated it. We got issued field jackets with no liners, and don't let no one tell you Southern California doesn't get cold, because they are as crazy as h&ll, it was cold. I get to the 1st Marine Brigade at K-Bay and as a boot PFC I help crate up their 106's for shipment to a "friendly" government, Saudi .Started in H&S company, I then get training as a Dragon gunner and become a 0352. I believe the Dragon is now long gone too. That's about the time when Weapons Companies were formed. I was in the first weapons company 2nd Bn. 3rd Marines ever had. Then it was three West Pac's. what a great time, The Marine Corps showed a young man a world I had only seen on TV. Anyone that "survived" more than a 30 day tour in PI showed have gotten a ribbon. It could be brown and white, like the San Miguel bottles. 11 months in and out of the Indian Ocean, because of the Iran Hostages. One which by the way grew up about fives miles from me, Sgt. Persinger. Even that had a silver lining, it made Australia a port of call, and any Marine that has ever been to Perth knows what I am talking about. I would have loved to have fired the 106 one time thou. Simper FI.

J. T. Marvel
Wpns. Co. 2/3 78-82


To the Marine who said he never thought much of someone who cried in boot camp.

I entered the Marines the last week of July, 1955, MCRD and can't remember any yellow footprints there. Just a long white line.

One of my fellow recruits was just 17 at the time, and broke down crying, and begged to be sent home.

We had a great junior DI named Mendez who did a great job of screaming down his throat that he had volunteered to be there, and he was staying.

The man went on to become one of my best friends, and in Vietnam, he won the Navy Cross, wounded twice, and retired in 1975.

You can't always judge who one might be,, but its been my honor to know this Marine.

Semper Fi
J.N.Wade 1533271/1811

I Can Still Feel It



I Explained

Sgt. Grit,

way back in 1952 my mother and dad dropped me off at the train station to head toward Parris Island. As they were driving home they listened to Walter Winchell on the car radio. He announced that "if your son is going into the army, write to him, if he's going into the Marine Corps, pray for him.(Walter's nephew had died in a swamp accident at Parris Island.) My mother, of course, was very upset. Later on I explained to her what happened -- the nephew did not obey his D.I.'s caution in staying in marching orders and slipped into the swamp.

I remember telling people that Parris Island was the land that God forgot.

Semper Fi,
Ken Wyman

Cheap Shotting

Sgt. Grit
I love your newsletters and look forward to reading them from top to bottom. I served on active duty in the Marines from Sept.1957 to Sept.1960 and received my Honorable Discharge in 1963.I I love the Marine Corps and feel my time in the Corps was one of my life's most important and proudest accomplishments. One thing that bothers me is when Marine Vets and others make denigrating remarks when referring to other branches of the armed services. I know the Marine Corps are the BEST but " cheap shotting" the U.S Army when they are serving and dying in Iraq makes no sense to me. Keep up the good work.

Bob Lake

Was So Impressed

In 1956 I was a member of Saint Brigid's Catholic Church boy's choir in Ridgewood, Queens N.Y.C.

On this particular morning a young man from the neighborhood was being given a military funeral; his name was Donald O'Shea and he was one of the six Marine recruits who had drowned in the infamous Ribbon Creek punishment march at M.C.R.D. P.I.S.C.

I was so impressed at the appearance of the six pallbearers in full dress blues that I lived and breathed Marine Corps from then on.

I wouldn't miss a chance to travel to the Brooklyn Navy Yard when there would be an open house to board ships of the fleet but I always looked for the sea going Marines to admire their strack appearance and ask questions about the Corps.

A fond childhood memory.

late of 4th Marines
' 63 ' 64 tour
service # 1973677

I Thought So

In my office atop a bookcase there is a snap shot of me and a buddy with the Ike Jacket on. The picture was taken in the late winter at Millington, TN 1954. I look at it every day. Makes a man proud.

S/Sgt. Jim Reed I hate to disagree with your assessment of Pres. Eisenhower and his dislike for Marines. I was a Rhode Island state trooper and was assigned to an honor guard at the Univ. of Rhode Island when the president gave an address. Upon leaving his motorcade passed within three feet of me. The Lincoln convertible stopped right in front of me. I was at parade rest when I heard this voice say "where you in the army son?" I replied "No Sir Mr. President, United State Marines." He smiled and said "I thought so" and his car moved on. I will never forget that. He knew there was a difference.

Cpl. Harv Simmons
1953 - 1955


Impact Area I'm a former Scout/Sniper from STA 1/8 and STA 2/8.

Got this tat on my back recently.

Hard To Believe

Just recently started reading Sgt Grit News. I guess I am considered one of the old salts. Hard to believe it's been this long. Enlisted @ 17 1/2 Jan 11 1960 Platoon 305 PISC. When we went to Camp Gieger ITR I was the only one in my company that could not be served a beer. The one time we were allowed a to go to the club I had soda. Not a bad thing I guess.

My MOS was 1141 Electrician and I've been one ever since .I served 4 years active 2 inactive reserve.

Never regretted it. Being a former Marine I love reading the News.

Brings back old memories and some things I've even forgotten.

Lately in the past few years a group of us that joined around the same time get together at a local Legion or VFW and relive the old days.

We try to make it on November 10th or close to it.

Semper Fi

Calling Them Out

Sgt Grit, I can definitely relate....have spotted a few phony brave types...claiming to be Marines, decorated and spooks, very hush hush groups ...nudge nudge wink wink. I normally go yeah right and just walk away. Now I am only an HM1 (Retired after 20plus years with Marines) but these guys just torque my jaws. They are a disgrace..most of them could not even do a basic Marine pull-up let alone a force march and yet they claim to be decorated combat types (EVEN HAD ONE claiming he served in DS1 at the dustup in Khafji and yet he did not know any of the c/m who were there.

How likely is it that a Marine would not know his own platoon Corpsman? It infuriates me when some wannabe tries to pass as a been there done that but so far I have just bitten my tongue but no longer when I see them or hear them I am calling them out
Dennis J Herdina, aka Old Doc, HM1 1968 to 1994 retired

Iwo Sand

Sands of Iwo Jima Sgt. Grit, just wanted to thank you for the opportunity to own a little bit of the sacred sand of Iwo Jima. It took me a little while to find how I wanted to present this peace of Marine Corps history but I finally figured it out. I have attached a picture and hope all will enjoy.

It will always be displayed proudly. Semper Fi

Rick Anthony
CWO-4, USMC, Retired

No One Was Issued Ammo

I enlisted in the Navy Reserve in February of 1964. Having spent the prior two years majoring in Pabst and Party at the local college, I found myself starring down at a cancelled educational deferment and I needed to move fast to avoid the Army.

Little did I realize, that by the end of one year's time, I would attend San Diego NTC, then up to Balboa Naval Hospital as a Corpsman Striker. The most dreaded topic between myself and the other Corpsman was the MOS designator 8404: Field Medical Service Technician (FMF). Well, my orders came through and I was chaperoned to Camp Delmar. Our DI was a SSgt Ybarra and he quickly put the rubber on the roadway. Ybarra was strict and didn't tolerate any BS. And another note about Ybarra, he loved to run - morning, noon and night. He never faded even when running with a potential Olympic champion (A Marine on the base). We soon learned that bad unit performance meant extended runs, which provided a strong lesson regarding team work.

The week before graduation our training company received our Marine uniforms, Dress Greens, fatigues, new covers and other Marine Corps items. We had learned: how to function among Marines; fire and clean the M-14 and the 1911A1, A Corpsman's TO weapon, yes I can still field strip one with a blindfold over my eyes; how to transport wounded Marines in several different vehicles and became very good runners. Later in my tour, I would silently thank Ybarra for the knowledge that would save my life. The Trip: Delmar to San Diego, boarded the USNS Barrett and sailed to Hawaii, Japan and finally Okinawa. Between Hawaii and Japan we ran into the remnants of a typhoon, the Barrett stayed in one spot on the ocean for over 24 hours. The ship's decks were cleared and no one was allowed outside the watertight hatches. When looking out a small porthole in the hatch, one second you would see nothing but sky and the entire ship would shutter and shack as the screws came out of the water, the next second all you could see out of the porthole was water and you could watch the water sweep the deck. With rough weather comes Sea Sickness, I am not sure how many hundreds of Marines were aboard the Barrett, but I can speculate that probably 80% were very sick. The urinals in the Head were filled with YUK and the decks were covered with the same. Thank God for floor drains, they were opened and a fire hose was used to clean up the mess.

We finally reached Okinawa, my orders sent me to 3rd FSR at Sukrian. I would be there for about 2 months and was then transferred to Camp Hansen where I joined Alpha Company, 1st Battalion, 9th Marines. This was in late April of 1965. During May my company was trained at the Amphibious Raider School, shortly after this training, A/1/9 and other Marine outfits were transported aboard the US Okanogan to DaNang. A WWII landing with us climbing down cargo nets into landing craft was undertaken on June 14, 1965. Interestingly, no one was issued ammo for 2 weeks. We laid around in tents to acclimatize our bodies to the intense heat. Then with ammo pouches finally loaded, we embarked on short range patrols around the DaNang Airbase. Our Company was move to the southwestern corner of the airbase runaway, the first week there witnessed a couple of sappers get through the wire and throw satchel charges into a couple C130s. About a month later we moved to the northern area of Marble Mountain, nothing was there. Just open acres of sand - The Seabees came and constructed wooden tent frames and 1/9 Battalion Area was formed. My platoon moved south trough a tiny hamlet and located operations at The Water Point. Amtrak's and Tanks moved in with us and provide very good security. Later we moved south again, close to a Leper Hospital. We conducted sweeps, ambushes and patrols around the clock and for 1 weekend every month we got liberty in DaNang, hot showers and three hots with clean cots

Over the last 40 years I have been told by some Marines that I wasn't a Marine. At one time, I would set them straight, today I simply say "Your Right". Then I have flashbacks enter my mind and I can see the Marines that I had taken care of. Last year, the Navy issued a FMF Corpsman Device, a really nice jester for us old Docs, I have one in my display case along with the many Unit Awards that 1/9 received. I am extremely proud of my service with Marines and hold the entire experience in a very special place in my heart and mind.

Semper Fi Marines
Doc Scott


Sgt. Grit

I just wanted to add my Dollar and a half in on the statement of " No In Country Pictures , you were not there" comment. I don't have any of me or any of my fellow brother/sister Marines in country, does this mean I wasn't there in the RVN from February to July of 1969, when I was injured in an explosion and was medevac to DaNang then to Japan then to Charleston Naval Hospital,SC . I don't have any Tats either, even after 19yrs 7mths in the beloved Corps. The injury from July 1969 got worse and knocked me out of my career in the Marine Corps in February 1988. My career was over at 39 yrs old. Still no pictures of me L/Cpl John V. Farley Jr. in country. I mustered out as a MSGT of Marines in February 1988. My working MOS was a 3500. I do hope he knows what a 3500 MOS is or maybe I wasn't in the Corps either !

The only thing I do agree with him on is his deduction of this person he was speaking with, not being in our beloved Corps, due to answers received. There is always going to be a "want-a-be" or a "have done" in life, just don't put someone in that category because this person cannot come up with pictures.

Just a foot note here, all of my military and personal belongings I had in country and in Oky were lost, do to mishandling while in transit to me. I had to get a complete re-issue of work and dress uniforms after being released from the Charleston Naval Hospital,SC, but no pictures or personal belongings were ever re-issued.

So in closing I have a easy quiz question for y'all, do you remember what a "Housewife" is in the Corps ? Ponder on that one ! Semper-Fi

MSgt John V. Farley Jr - Medically Retired
USMC 1968 - 1988
MCRD,Parris Island - Platoon 3019, H company, 3rd Battalion

School Of Infantry

Sgt Grit,

Just had a response for the Sgt asking about the Infantry Training below and a response to another comment made. What use to be called Infantry Training School is now the School of Infantry and it is made up of 4 battalions- Infantry Training Battalion (MOS 03XX), Marine Combat Training (All non 03XX MOSs) and the Advanced Infantry Training Battalion (not sure on name-visit usmc.mil to find out for sure). They are still apart of MCB Camp Pendleton, and are located still at Camp San Onfre.

As far as the plea to find out if boot camp has eased up in standards, hate to say it but it has changed a lot. I was there practically yesterday (one year ago) and it has gotten almost to the ARMY boot camp standards. Stress cards, being able to step out of formation to hydrate, and best of all CAMEL BACKS, no canteens.

And to the person who did not like the doc wearing the Marines Hat, Corpsman are Navy but they get the Corps from saving Marines. Some FMF Corpsman should have the same title as Marines. Corpsman deserve to be held to the same title as we (Marines) do. Some Marines might complain about Corpsman wearing Marine gear but they wont complain when they needed help and they yell "Corpsman Up" or "Doc" and one comes flying out of no were to help them.

Semper Fi Marines/Docs.
LCpl K. Orbinati, USMC
MCB Camp Pendleton Postal

Never Had To Pay

Re: Marine John Klein's question regarding the name for infantry training after boot camp. In 1967, on the East coast, infantry training was at Camp Geiger adjacent to Camp Lejeune. It was called Infantry Training Regiment back then. I had "O" Company from about August to December 1967. O Company was infantry training for non-03 types. Every Marine is not only a rifleman but at least back then also had fired and handled most of the weapons organic to an infantry battalion. I had a standing offer of a case of beer to anyone who threw a hand grenade further than me. I never had to pay up.

Larry Malby, RVN 1968.

RE code 4

Hey Sgt Grit
I am a former Marine 80-84 active , never saw combat but was more than willing to give back to those who took the lives of my brothers in Lebanon. I wasn't a model Marine ( not many were then ) in fact I was court marshaled out of the Corps ( Honorable discharge But RE code 4 ) . At my court marshal all my office hours were shown to the panel and all my punishments , The witnesses that made statements on my behalf all said the same thing only in different words . " In the field or if it was a wartime situation , Pvt Turkington is the one they would want backing them . In garrison Pvt Turkington needs to learn to control his aggression " . I believe in honor and being honest so I won't lie an say that the only reason I was giving the honorable discharge was how good I was in the field , But the fact that the Navy Commander in charge of the panel had giving me a letter of accommodation only 2 weeks prior . I believe the only reason is it would have looked bad to the Commander to boot me dishonorably right after the letter 2 weeks prior. All that said I still love the Corps an what it stands for and I always will . I feel honored to have done the full 4 years active that I had signed up for ( just didn't get to do the 2 inactive ) . To this day I still have brother Marines yell out Semper Fi to me an I respond with a resounding OOOOORAH . Maybe other Marines may not consider me being booted from Corps as still being a Marine but I feel that I did what very few can say or did . To all my brothers in the Corps active or not Semper Fidelis .

Once a Marine always a Marine
Keith Turkington

Glad I Waited

Eagle, Globe, and Anchor Tattoo Sgt. Grit.

I came upon your site and thought I'd share my tattoo so that it can be added to your collection. Although I didn't get it until I was out for a few years, I'm glad I waited to be sure it was something I'd be proud of.

Cpl. Barron
Low Altitude Air Defense Battalion

Dress Blues for Enlisted Marines

Armed Forces News Issue
Friday, September 7, 2007

Marines are known for their traditional dress blue uniforms, but most enlisted Marines who wanted to wear blues have had to buy them. This will change Oct.
1, 2007, when the Marine Corps will start issuing dress blues to all enlisted Marines as part of their initial uniform issues. Those who entered the Marine Corps before Oct. 1 and did not receive dress blues during recruit training

will begin receiving an increase to their annual clothing replacement allowance beginning Oct. 1. Because the increase will take four years to equal the cost of a dress blue uniform, the mandatory possession date for all enlisted Marines will be Oct. 1, 2011. For more information, see MarAdmin504/07 of Aug. 23, 2007.

A Little Flash Back

Semper Fi. i'am a vietnam era Marine 3rd .battalion 5th Marines, 3/5 get some 81 motor f/o just like to say welcome home to all my brother's that made it. (some gave all and all gave some) . to all you 3rd,bn. 5th. Marine's ( oh 3/5 oh 3/5 is a h&ll of a place , this organization, a f--king disgrace, for the captain's and major's and lt. col. too with hand's in their pockets with nothing to do, but in the rice paddies, they scream and they shout about many thing's they know nothing about for the good that they do, they might as well bs shoveling sh!t in the south china, sea so ring a ding ding and blow it out your *ss better day's are coming bye and bye bull sh!t, you'll wonder where the yellow went when (na palm) hits the orient ) just a little flash back for ya GET SOME sgt.

nick yankanich 3rd. bn. 5th. Marine's h/s co. 81 mortor's 68/69 i love youall semper fi.

He Slowed Down Enough

With respect to people who pretend that they are Marines, let me offer my own story.

About 20 or so years ago, I ran into this kid that told me he had just recently gotten out of the Corps. I immediately knew he was bull sh*tting me, but I played along. He went on to tell me that he had been in Force Recon. I asked him where he had been stationed. He went on to tell me that he had been at Camp Pendleton, and he even knew enough to tell me that he had been at Camp Talega. So, I asked him what company he was in...He told me Bravo company.

So, I said really -- we must have chewed up a lot of the same ground together. The kid was till not tracking, so I let him dig a bit deeper. Who was your first sergeant? He made up some bull sh!t name. What squad were you in?

3d squad...Who was your squad leader...etc....

Finally, he slowed down enough to ask me what I had done in the Corps. I was in Bravo Company, 1st Recon Battalion. It was definitely not Force Recon, but Battalion Recon -- and the first sergeant was Gunnery Sergeant Jarrell, I don't know the name you mentioned. I don't remember you...When were you there? How many Marines were in Bravo Company, maybe we just missed each other? (Wink, wink, poke, poke, nod, nod).

Oh, I don't know, a couple hundred. I was there in 1980-1981.

Well, when I was there in 1980-1981, there weren't a couple of hundred. You must be pulling my chain--I don't recall there being 200 Marines in the 1st battalion...

He gave me a bunch of attitude for letting him go on for 10 minutes if I knew he wasn't telling the truth. I let him know that it is obvious to everyone who knows that he is not a Marine and that he is only diminishing himself by pretending. I suggested that he either see if he has what it takes to become a Marine, or go find something else to be proud of instead. That way he won't have to continue wasting his and everyone else's time with bull sh*t.

Mark Lurtsema
USMC Rifleman

She Writes

Pink Racer Back Tank Top Picture of a friend Howdy Grit.
This is a pic of a friend of mine that supports the Corps. She writes to a Marine L/Cpl in-country that she has never met and sends him packages regularly. It's great that we have people in this country that will do that. I sent her one of your items that I think she looks marvelous in.

Semper Fidelis.
Ed Johnson LtCol USMC (Ret)

1911-A1 Stuck In Your Belt

Sgt Grit,

According to my 1954 copy of the Marine Corps Manual, the short, bloused jacket (similar to the Army "Ike" jacket) was called the "Battle Jacket". In those days if you were off Base in Utilities, (what we called our work dungarees), you were out of Uniform! With the battle jacket and green trousers, you could put on a helmet, leggings, and cartridge belt, and you were ready for any thing. With the bloused waist, you could easily carry a 1911-A1 stuck in your belt. Can you believe? it was legal then. A 1911-A1 cost $ 20.00 in those days.

Jim Reed S/Sgt, platoon 101, 1948 service 1948-1952 and 1954-55

Well. I Ran In

Hey, Sgt. Grit!

Got another story about these frauds who like to brag about being in the Corps. I was wearing one of your great polo shirts, “Quantico Alumni.” This guy at the gym says “I was an officer in the Marines.” Now I don’t know any jarhead who would start a conversation that way so I replied, “Oh, what was your MOS?” When he said “What?” I just shook my head and said “You weren’t in the Corps.” He then said (can you believe this?) “Well, I ran in the Quantico Relays.” He never looked me in the eye again even though we saw each other regularly at the gym!

Gary Nash
Former 0302

3 Up, Six Down

Thought you might get a kick out of this.


I spent 4 years in the Corps. and now work at a state prison down here in Florida. I am very proud of my Corps. and have multiple Marine Corps. tattoos and my truck is decorated with highly opinionated stickers from you. Well, back in July of 2007 I came across an inmate in his early 30's that had the misspelled words Semper Fidelis very badly tattooed across the top of his back in old English script. I spotted it and while keeping a professional officer to inmate barrier I confronted the inmate and greeted him with an oorah before asking him where he had served. He stated that he was a gunny with the 3rd MARINES out of Okinawa from 1980 to 1984. My eyebrows raised as he went on about his tour. I, like any other true Devil Dog asked more questions and paid close attention to the times and places he stated he had been. I guess he had noticed my tattoo's and was possibly trying to manipulate me or the other correctional officer/Marines that work with me for who knows what. Maybe because even though we are all out of service, new and old, the Marine/officers that I work with and I have retained that brotherhood mentality and he was trying to tap into it. I was surprised and caught on. His answers were incredibly wrong. First, I asked him about his rank. He again stated that he was a Gunny. I said what did the rank look like back then. He said 3 up, 6 down, with a diamond in the center for excellence...lol. I played along and went on to ask him if he had ever visited the birthplace of the Corps., he said yes and that it was in Texas. I was struggling to keep a straight face by this point. Now for the best part, I closed the conversation with saying "have a good day Tufelhunden"....while still giving the benefit of the doubt that prison might have jarred his memory. He turned and looked at me kinda strange and yelled WHAT DID YOU JUST CALL ME?! As I walked away he said he didn't speak Spanish. I hope you enjoy this letter. I laughed about it for days.

As requested,
my name is LCPL W. Woolley
MOS: 0311

Snot Locker

Am glad you are still on the backs of the wantabe, being 75 and still 6 3 and two hundred, do not do as i did, a young former Marine rode his record to death, when I challenged him, he said it was his constitutional right to claim to be whom he choose to be, well at 75 a karate chop at six o'clock to the snot locker did me a lot of good and i hope improved his looks, wife said you could get arrested, i said nope for our chief of police did his twenty also, may be old and fading but sure aint dead yet, n e white cwo 50 to 70 yep 37 years of retirement and would like to ship for an other 20, still lean and mean and would love to take the place of any young Marine in Iraq or where ever, semper fi to all Marines and to you sgt grit, do believe I'll try to get you nominated for the PULITZER PRIZE FOR THIS YEAR, FOR YOU ARE FOR REAL, KEEP YOUR NOSE TO THE WIND AND THE HECK OFF THE SKY LINE.

Nile White

Live Their Life

Dear Sgt. Grit,

I have a fairly simple solution to the Iraq mess, one that might tie up a couple of political loose ends and get the Viet. Vets the honor and glory that they so richly deserve. First the government allows us "old guys" under sixty five to get back in action and show these newbies how it is done. No holds barred and no white gloves to protect these cowards that hide behind women and children. Let us Vietnam veterans take on these insurgents and give them what they deserve, a massive house cleansing. Let us do what we were trained to do in Parris Island and San Diego in the 1960's. Start a job and finish a job! Granted this is probably a non-reality, but I for one would like to go over there and just let one of those kids come home to live their life as fully as I have. No parades or welcome home for us back then but we were still just as proud when we crossed that jet ramp at El Toro to get home. I know that there are alot of Vets who might and would jump at a chance to clean up the mess that our leaders left behind so long ago and 58,000 of our fallen brothers would appreciate a job well done and mission accomplished.

Chris Reaves, USMC 1964-1968
Da Nang Class of 1965, MAG-11,1stMAW

No Clandestine Ops

A note about phonies...
I have noticed that most of them were black ops, or "Phoenix", and cannot talk about it.
Or were Rambos, who took on the whole VC by themselves.
Medals all over surplus jackets, and vests.
Pictures are a good retort, but not a sure thing. Mine were all lost in a house fire. SO?
I was a former Gunny. 17 years in the service of mine country.
Parris Island to Quantico, Nam to Beirut, Somalia, to Columbia.
But, I was always a grunt. No "night", work, no clandestine ops, just a mud Marine.
333 tdy to every place Uncle Sam could imagine.
I feel sorry for those who think that the, "killing of fellow human beings", is something to brag about. Me? I did what I was told, hoped to h&ll I would live through it, and was scared to death most of the time.
Being a Marine is, and was the greatest experience in the world.
But at 17, I must have been insane.
Gunny Hawk FGormer USMC mud Marine mos 0311

I Scored A Possible

I joined the Corps on 20 September 1956 and was assigned to Platoon 1054 at MCRD. Parris Island was closed because of the deaths of some of S/Sgt Mckeon's recruits earlier that fall. We had some many DIs (11, I think) because of all of the inspections and subsequent dismissals. As I recall, since I was a smart *ss with and irrepressible sense of humor, I received a tad more than my share of "discipline". It did not leave a physical mark but it sure did make a lasting mental impression! :-)

We were issued the green wool blouse, battle jacket, two sets of trousers, c__t cap and barracks cover along with khaki and tropical shirts. The MarCor brown shoes were H&ll to polish. We had one guy in Comm School who polished his black. He got time in the brig for that when we stood inspection in the sun on the MCRD grinder! My feet were so small that I didn't get boots until half way through Boot Camp. I wore my boondockers all of the time. Later, at Pickle Meadows, I was issued green wool shirts. We had our chevrons sewn on to them. They were great sh!ts but, similar to my other uniforms, they seem to have "shrunk" over the years! :-)

After graduation, I went to ITR in Pendleton where I got double pneumonia and pleurisy and ended in the Naval Hospital. When I was cured, they sent me directly to Comm school so I never completed ITR.

I scored a "possible" on the A/NGCT so I went to Comm School at MCRD and became a 2533, I never again carried a rifle but had a .45 in a shoulder holster. Then, I became a 2572 and so I sometimes had a .38 in a hip holster.

My son is a serving Captain that was with 2/5 during the Iraq invasion and is going back in October for another tour. He tells me that I was in a "different" Marine Corps and was a Marine so long ago that I am not really a Marine anymore. :-)

Although I was supposed to have been fairly bright, I have a mimeographed sheet stored in my Boot Camp graduation book that reminds me that, on occasion, I am dumb as a post. It is a copy of my "Extension for the good of the service". My MOS was rare so I was convinced by some senior Marines to extend for a little "excursion" the Corps had in mind. Boy was I dumb and impressionable! :-)

Semper Fidelis;
William H. "Bill" Sills III
1634435 USMC
father of Captain William H. Sills IV

Still Laughing

To answer the question by Sgt. J.M.Klein, back in 1973, it was called ITS. I remember I was sent in 73, STC-ITS. Special Training Company-Infantry Training School. I grew up in Orange County and when I would go on liberty, I remember telling my Parents how I was assigned to "Special Training Company". My father who was a Korean Veteran knew better. He told me that if I ever had a chance to volunteer for communications to jump on it. I would get to ride on the jeep and operate the radio. I did volunteer for it first chance