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Since I was one of those dreaded drill instructors, I decided to speak of our job of training men for their future role in the USMC as well as society. Did you ever stop to think how difficult our job was?
I say drill instructors were experts at finding ways to instill spirit of the Corps and loyalty to your fellow Marines without questions and to do it without questions from the top brass.
God bless those past and present drill instructors. Keep up this important work, as you are the ones that still make sense in this day and time.
From Sgt Charles D. Rathbone. Old PI DI.
By the way we must have done something right as I do have reunions with some of my past recruits.
In This Issue
There are some great responses to my request for "Best Day In The Corps". An interesting story about guard duty and the twelve disciples.
A good BAR story and an notable correction to an earlier BAR story. Something about a screaming sailor. A MGSgt sets the record straight on boot camp and DI's. The last story is a well written story about "Man's Best Friend" and it aint a Dog.
I was asked to preside over the Memorial Day portion of this past Sunday's service. I started with John 15 12-13 (look it up, a Bible won't bite you) and then asked each branch to stand to be recognized one branch at a time. Yes...I included the swabbies. I then asked anyone who had lost a family member or loved one to stand. I was surprised, about ten people stood. It really brings home the sacrifice people pay. Then I asked the rest of the congregation to stand; and from the back of the sanctuary a lone trumpet played Taps. I notice many people subtly monitoring their eye lubrication. It was one of the better Memorial Day ceremonies I have experienced.
Fair winds and following seas.
Also Took Out My Dad
First things first...I am a new subscriber to "Sgt Grit"..found out about you guys from another former Marine. A job well done..I look forward to the newsletters.
I get a kick out the many references to our very own Lt. Gen Lewis "Chesty" Puller... Well, here's another one, only on a more personal nature.
My father, Lt. Col. C. J. McCaffrey, served under General Puller on Guadalcanal and Peleliu... The mortar hit on Peleliu that wounded Puller also took out my Dad. Thus beginning a friendship that lasted the rest of their lives. I won't go into detail, suffice it to say that they kept in touch right up to his passing. To this day I can remember the awe he inspired by just being in his presence, yet he and my dad got along like 'frat' brothers.
I inherited some priceless memorabilia from my Dad, among which is an autographed copy of "Marine" and "The old Breed"...That in itself makes it priceless..but the comments and notes Chesty wrote on some of the pages of both books also makes it a little detrimental...his opinions of some of the high commands during WW II would knock your socks off.
Much later in my Dad's career, he was assigned to JAG as an appellate council. After the 'McKeon' incident (and his conviction) on Parris Island, it was General Puller that pulled a few strings to make sure that my Dad handled the man's appeal. That paid off considerably in the form of an extremely reduced sentence.
Enough said....Chesty Puller is and always will be an integral part of every man that ever wore Marine Corps green. Just a little more than that for me..
Keep up the good stuff..
(Former) Cpl Mike McCaffrey USMC
Photo submitted by: F. Scorsone
Traveling Throughout Our AO
Sgt Grit -
I forwarding this email that we received from our son almost two months after receipt. I just wasn't sure if submitting it was the right thing to do. But because I'm a Viet Nam Marine Vet (versus a very proud father), I wanted to share with my extended Marine family how today's Marines treat those that have given their all for their country.
This email was shared with the LCpl's family because we just happen to live in the same state, although my son did not know that at the time. Based on a response from the family, it brought a unique closer to a very difficult time.
Chuck Benson, Sgt, USMC
I'm sorry I wasn't able to email you the past few days. I was traveling throughout our AO (area of operations). I was able to fly to where Joe is and spent the afternoon with him. On our way back to Camp Leatherneck we got stuck at a FOB (forward operating base) for a few hours due to flight cancelations. When we finally landed at Bastion (right next to Leatherneck, our air field) we couldn't go back to base right away because there was an angel flight leaving 20 min after we landed. An angel flight is a flight returning fallen Marines to the U.S. We formed up along with about 200 other Marines to pay our final respects as the flag draped caskets passed before us and were loaded onto the plane. It was one of the most powerful experiences I have ever been a part of. Every Marine, no matter their rank, saluted the casket as it passed by being carried by Marines in their unit. We had everyone from a PFC (private first class) to the General out there. The whole air field came to a complete halt before the casket was brought from the holding hanger. Every airplane engine shut down, every helicopter silenced, every radio turned off, and every Marine unspoken. In a war zone, but the night fell silent. One at a time the caskets were carried from the hanger to the C-130 plane. Marine pilots carrying the Marines on their final journey home to friends and family. I stayed there after the ceremony and prayed for their families and for God to welcome them into Heaven's gates. Two more Marines now standing watch on the streets above us. A Sgt (Sergeant) and a LCpl (Lance Corporal), two of the Marine Corps finest.
Things are going well here for me. The days are long, yet eventful. My Marines are getting settled and are anxious to join the battalions in the fight. I will be sending them out shortly. Keep them in your prayers as they venture out to tell the story of the Marines on the ground. They have an important job, they are ready for the challenge.
It is progressively getting hotter here. The wind and dust storms make life just that much more enjoyable.
I have to run now. I love you all.
Noticed the foto of Don Griffith's graduation foto. I graduated May 9th, 1958 , Platoon 225. Could you print this and find out if that is the same Griffith I knew? He was with Recon Bn in RVN '68/69.
Joseph E. Bock
SgtMaj USMC (Ret.)
Don Griffith sends the following response:
Howdy Sgt Grit/SgtMaj Bock; I was initially assigned to ReconBn Apr 22, 1969 and transferred to 1stForReconCo, May 1969. Lt Champe was our PltLdr. My older brother was in ReconBn out of Chu Lai...that was in 65-66. Here's a picture of my brother.
My brother Jim on Right and insert
Me at Camp Reasoner painting up our qtrs
Semper Fi, Don Griffith
Fire for Effect: Best Days - Back to top
Best Days In The Corps
Sgt Grit, My best day in the Corps took place in late '71. At the time I was in 2/8 in Gitmo as Ground Defense Force for the Base. One day the Battalion Commander had the whole battalion out for a 20 mile forced march on the sides of the roads in staggered columns. It was a two day march and halfway through the second day we were moving through the Naval dependents housing area on our way back to Camp Bulkeley. Everyone was dead tired with full packs in that terrible heat-bent over, exhausted, but still pushing on- when all of a sudden a little 5 yr old boy came out on his porch, saw the Marines in full combat gear going past his house- he let out a yell to his Mom- "Look MA, GRUNTS!" as he pointed at all the Marines- you should have seen what happened next- that whole Battalion of exhausted Marines straightened up, found an inner strength, and marched down his road as if it was the first mile, instead of the 15th. Everyone walked with a new found purpose, for that youngster- we were U.S. Marines and proud of it.
I will never forget this event for the rest of my life. It is a true testament to what a Marine can accomplish and overcome with the right spirit and motivation- anything he puts his mind or body to. --- "Look Ma, GRUNTS ! " motivated an entire battalion of exhausted Marines to stand tall and march with pride.
Thank you, Ed Thueme 70-72 Cpl.
Vietnam 71 2nd CAG Rifleman/Radioman
Gitmo 71-72, H&S Co. 2/8 2nd Mar Div,
106 Recoilless Rifle Platoon
My seven years in the Corps were the best (1950 - 1957). Served in Panama, Korea & Cherry Point, NC.
Just after the cease fire in Korea I was given the chance to transfer from E-2-5 (BARman) to Batt Supply and ended up changing my MOS from 0311 to 3011 (Unit Warehouse) Prior to being transferred I was promoted to CPL. When I arrived at Cherry Point I was assigned as a one fingered typist. The 1st Sgt's comment was since I had 3 years remaining on my enlistment, I'd learn to type. In the office that I was assigned to was a Captain, a 1st Sgt, a Tech Sgt and 2 Cpl's.
Each morning and weekly "Field Days" myself and the other Cpl emptied the trash, cleaned the desks, and swept the floors. The following year I was promoted to Sgt. The office staff was reduced to a Captain, 1st Sgt and one lonely Buck Sgt (me). I now had the responsibly to empty the trash, clean the desks and sweep the floor. My finale year in the Corps I was promoted to S/Sgt. You guessed it. The office staff was again reduced. One Captain, and one S/Sgt. (me). I can honestly say that I was a professional office cleaner. I never did learn to type.
John "Jack" Nolan 1131869
My best day in the Corps was in 1974, at the Cubi Point Naval Air Station Officers' Club, Subic Bay Naval Base, Republic of the Philippines. The Commandant of the Marine Corps, General Louis H. Wilson(CMH) was touring the Pacific Marine commands, and I got to shake his hand, speak to him briefly, and give him my Dad's best regards.
I am a "Mustang" Marine, as was my father before me, both of us graduates of Parris Island and Quantico, and both former sergeants. At the time I was a 1st lieutenant assigned as a Security Officer to Separate Guard Company, Marine Barracks, Subic Bay Naval Base, R.P., having come there from a tour with 3rd Tank Battalion, 3d MarDiv, on Okinawa.
In the 1950's, when General Wilson was a lieutenant colonel commanding the Marine Reserve District at 90 Church Street, NYC, my Dad was a Marine major, and his ExO. When they came in to work a half-day Saturdays to catch up on paperwork Dad would bring me along and Louie would bounce me on his knee and give me "horsey rides". It was a pretty emotional reunion, and a meeting I will never forget. General Wilson was a VMI graduate, a Marine legend, and a fine southern Christian gentleman.
LTC, Armor, AUS(Ret.)
...and former Sgt. & "Mustang"
Cpt. of Marines
First, thanks for the great newsletter! I always look forward its arrival.
With regard to "Best Day In the Corps": I experienced three, that stand out more than any others! The first was my graduation from boot camp...Plt. 307, MCRDSD, Apr '54. What a proud day, to finally be called Marine!
The second was when my oldest son graduated from recruit training, MCRDSD, 1979, followed the very next day by my third "best day" when my other son graduated from the same place!
The CG at that time was Maj. Gen. C.G. Cooper, who had previously been my CO at MB 8th and I. Somehow, the General had heard of my presence there, and a runner gave me the word that the General would like the pleasure of our company just after the second graduation. So, with my wife and two brand-new Marines in tow, we arrived at the General's office, had coffee, and received congratulations all around, with conversation centered on my two Marines who, by the way, were somewhat dumbstruck! Gen. Cooper was a very gracious man and put everyone at ease. What a wonderful day!
I had many other experiences worthy of mention, but those three days stand at the top!
CWO Gary Losey, USMC (Ret)
P.S. When my sons are asked how long they were in the Corps, they can honestly say, "All my life!"
Read More "Best Days" stories
On The Grinder Longer
I recently ran across a story from G.K. Chesterton about the argument between Parris Island and "Hollywood" Marines. The stories about SSgt Haycock were great to read. He was a great drill instructor and a great Dad too. Even though I spent a lot of time at MCRD San Diego as a kid, I never saw my dad with his recruits. I've heard a lot of stories about him from Mom and friends of the family, but none from a recruit of his. It's great to hear he was so influential in other's lives as he was in mine.
I remember MCRD San Diego very well from the time I spent there as a kid and as a Marine Boot. Funny how the only things that really changed were the Quonset huts were gone and replaced by 3 tier barracks. I didn't dare tell my D.I. that I was probably on the "grinder" a lot longer than he has been. Great memories!
Dad passed away in 1996 and is truly missed. He was a hard man to understand and even harder to get any stories from him about his time in the Marine Corps. After 3 tours in Viet Nam, he pretty much shut down on conversations about his time in the Corps so hearing stories about his time in are exciting.
Sgt. Grit, thanks for sharing stories like this. Very funny and inspirational all in one.
USMC 1984 - 1988
I know that Okinawa is the traditional "Rock", but ask any Marine who did a two year tour on Oahu's K-Bay and he will say he did his time on the rock.
Firstly let me say that lackanookie is a real Hawaiian affliction and were we ever glad to see Diamond Head sink into the horizon.
Anyone in my draft ('63-'64) will bear me out on this little vignette. The night before we departed Pearl Harbor and we were topside smokin' and jokin' there erupted great tumult on port side hull amidships.
Search lights were aimed at commotion and a sailor was seen treading water and screaming : " Some fvcking jarhead threw me over the side "; snorts and giggles.
Also, the Army says stationed; Marines say posted.
L/Cpl Rapuano A.M. serv.# 1973677 Plt. 150 Jul./Sept. 1962
And His Twelve Disciples
Any Marines, on inactive duty, from the early 60's MCRD San Diego with memories of Camp Matthews? For some unknown reason I had a flash back to "Big & Little Agony" and the platoon runs up and down both of them. Once the Matthews memories were back in focus, I had to remember the wooden floored tents, rolled up sides, and the outdoor TV area, where we watched "The Lieutenant" (a butter bar Marine) whenever we got a chance -- remember that program?
The various ranges at Matthews we among the darkest places on earth I've ever pulled guard duty. On more than one occasion I challenged movement in the dark (Halt, who goes there?") only to be informed that it was Jesus Christ and His 12 disciples -- having no idea what to expect, I instructed Jesus Christ and His 12 disciples to "advance and be recognized." I've never known anyone, other than that sergeant of the guard, who had such a personal relationship with the Almighty.
Just a memory of times past, my father was killed as a member of the USAAF (A26 Invader) in the closing days of WWII, and my childhood dream was to enter the military and serve as a Marine, representing my father's memory, with honor. I hope I succeeded.
I'd like to wish all members past and present of the US Military, honors this Memorial Day. And to my fellow Marines -- Semper Fi.
Sergeant B. James (Dutch) Naberhuis, Jr.
7th Communications Battalion, 1st Marine Division
Fire for Effect: Short Rounds - Back to top
I just saw your last letter and there was a story in there about a little light went off. Ravenel's Raiders USMC 6/68-6/70. As I was with him in Plt 2028, and remember all the DI's especially the head DI S/Sgt Wilson. Who when he first addressed us told us he would not help us win a pennant like most of the other DI's were prone to do. We had to do it all on our own. And we can be proud of the fact that in all the ribbons that you could win. The other platoons had to have so much help that we would only lose by one point usually. Very seldom 2.
I was saddened to hear of Chuck Taliano's battle with cancer (Sgt Grit Newsletter). Then Cpl Charles Taliano was one of my drill instructors in 1966 (Plt 2010) along with Sgt Peliter and SSgt Mosser. I remember Chuck Taliano as being the lesser of three evils during that summer in beautiful MCRD PI SC. No less tough on us Massachusetts recruits than the other two, but as I look back he was the one with a heart. Chuck if you read this I want you to know I have you in my prayers.
"Semper Fi" Rusty DeRoma, Sgt, 2289900, 1966-1969
Spooky! My first email from you has pictures of Camp Del Mar where I was stationed in 1972. Third Amtracs.
That was a long time ago. Whew!
Awhile back your feature was getting input on euphemism's for Marine chow; well, I seem to recall that in the C-Rat's; probably B-3's, was a tin of peanut butter, which we referred to as as-hole putty.
Saw the pictures from Camp Del Mar, CA which reminded me of when I went through Wire School/Telephone School there in 1948-49. Where did that and the Radio Operators School go to? Enjoy the Newsletters. Keep 'em comin'!
When dawn breaks it will be May 20th Carlos Hathcock's birthday. He was born May 20, 1942 in Little Rock, Arkansas. He is greatly missed by all Marines since his passing. His actions which saved the lives of Amtracers and Marines on those tracs in 1969 will never be forgotten. God bless Gunny Hathcock and God bless the United States Marine Corps.
Former Staff Sergeant of Marines
3rd Amtrac Battalion, RVN 67-68
Very moving. Great tribute to veterans and memorials to Amazing Grace.
The True Meaning of Memorial day (video)
A couple newsletters back when I told about the 1st Mar Div COMBAT Patch on the RIGHT shoulder, this was an Army thing in the early 80s....I have never seen anything like it when I was in the Corps in the late 60s. I don't know if the Army still does it...the Army loves to festoon their uniform with so many bangles.
When I was in the Army 80-83...the unit you were in while in Nam was the combat patch you wore on your RIGHT shoulder...your LEFT shoulder had the patch of the unit you were currently in.
A tough newsletter to read this morning, being that we are coming up to Memorial Day. I remember PFC Domingo Arroyo, KIA 1-12-93, Mogadishu. May he rest in peace. His memory lives with those of us we served with him and were with him until the final day.
0861, USMC 89 -93
Sgt Grit, my best day in the Corps was in June 1963 while stationed at Henderson Hall. I got to meet Lou Lowery the Marine Combat Photographer that took the "First Flag Raising" photo on Iwo Jima. I considered it an outstanding gift when Mr. Lowery gave me a autographed copy of his photo. I have since that time passed out copies to hundreds of Marines.
Not as Mean,
Not as Lean,
But still a Marine.
If it wasn't for saki&jo-San I would have froze. got out in 1956, went to the navy(ss) that's subs. Retired cop(ss) 34 years ago. Would have took better care if I knew I was going to put this many miles. I really have to thank Parris Island. the rest was gravy.
McNair able battery 1954
"Reunion to Post"
1985/ 88 India 3rd bn 4th Marines and attachments, are back at it again to have a reunion ...Tentative date are is June 2, 2011 at Camp Lejeune , Please contact me at
twinfin40 @ chartermi .net or 1-906-779-5402
. The Marine Corps Drill Instructors are, and always will be a God send to all civilian pukes that need their sorry asses squared away.
They took a dumb a-s like me and turned my world upside down and inside out.
Best thing that ever happened to me.
God Bless Em' All...
LCpl Tank Commander
Dear Sgt. Grit,
I was in Vietnam in 68-69 with Bravo Company, 5th Tank Bn. 27th Marines 1st MAR DIV. We made the beach landing in Mar. 68. I was first in my class in Amtrak repairman school in Del Mar. We were put on full alert (Feb. 68) and sent to a tank company, (27th Marines) Camp Pendleton.
We spent 21 days on an LSD, with the whole 27th regimental landing team sailing to Vietnam, with one 6 hour stop in Guam. When we arrived in Vietnam we drove our tanks from the LSD onto 'U' boats and landed on a beach around Da Nang. In that 21 day period all the Amtrak repairmen were trained to load, drive, fire and operate all the functions of the M48A3, 52 ton monster.
I was the gunner on 'B14", just a month in country when our tank hit a 100 lb box mine, our tank commander was wounded and was placed on a Huey and sent back to Da Nang hospital. I then became (as I was told) the first L/Cpl to become a tank commander and light section leader. I had been in the Corps just 10 months. My crew and I were a team that had to be dealt with.
We came thru the ordeal together and returned home safely. I wish I could hear from some of my Marine comrades, to see if they are on earth or in Marine heaven.
Thanks for the work you are doing; you are a special Marine Sgt.
Frank Dufur Cpl 2345018
5 TH Tanks 68/69 Vietnam
"For there is no greater love than for a man to give his life for his friends"
India 3/7 on Hill 10
I just read the article on The 1st Mar Div Patch History. It reminded me of the time while serving with India 3/7 on Hill 10 they gave us the new utilities they had been promising us. I was down to one set and my right cheek was hanging out of them. As it turned out our so called new utilities were Army discards and we had to cut off the Army patches ( Big Red 1, 1st Cav and Screaming Eagle, etc) in order for us to wear them we were not happy campers. We were also not surprised the AR-15's and M-16's we got were old Army issue.
And I remember going over there on my first tour in March of 1967 we left San Diego on a Merchant Marine ship with 400 soldiers who all had brand new M-15's or M-16's don't recall which. When I got to my outfit Hotel 2/7 they issued us M-14's which I was grateful for because when I pulled the trigger it worked. I went back in 1968 to India 3/7 and would not take an M-16 so then SSgt O'Neil let me have a M-14 even though he gave me Starlight scope to go along with it. Did not like the idea of having it on my rifle so somebody made me a bag and I carried it in that, it sure came in handy.
Thanks for the memories, JD Gwiazdon
1st FSR (Force Service Regiment)
This was my unit, Motor Transport Company, Maintenance Battalion, 1st Force Service Regiment, Force Logistics Command, 1st Marine Division.
FORCE LOGISTICS COMMAND (photos by Ronnie D. Foster)
We were based on the southwest side of Da Nang, and part of our responsibility was the security of the southwest perimeter of the Air Base. When the VC weren't actually shooting rockets at us, we caught plenty of rounds that were meant for the air base but fell short. I can't remember the names of all the guys in the pictures; if anybody can fill in the blanks, please do.
More Vietnam pictures by Ronnie D. Foster
Fire for Effect: There's Always One - Back to top
I was just reading the latest newsletter and a story I read reminded me of one of my own.
I'm sure every platoon had one. That one guy that couldn't seem to do anything right. Platoon 1029, Bravo Co, Graduation 31 March, 2000, had Recruit S. Perfectly ironed uniforms hung crooked off his frame. Gig-lines managed to twist themselves out of place seconds after being straightened. A medium cover would fall down over his melon while a small one sat too high and would blow off. Boots looked like Hershey bars regardless of how much time he put into them. Recruit S. wound up with Fire Watch nearly every night on principle alone, never mind when he managed to draw attention to himself.
It was one afternoon after chow, sometime late into the first phase but before we went "Up North" to Camp Pendleton for Snap- In week and Qual week, etc. Recruit S. had managed to leave the chow hall to make a head call, and he failed to take a shadow with him. While the rest of the platoon was made to do COD, Recruit S. was having a jolly time off by himself. During a moment of rest, Recruit Abel, even then, a leader amongst us all, requested permission to speak with Drill Instructor Staff Sergeant Mack. In his gravelly voice, DI SSgt. Mack replied "What?" "Sir, when these recruits go Up North, will Recruit S. be receiving live ammunition, sir?"
This set off a chorus of chuckles and snickers up and down each squad, and drew a snort and a smile from the ever-present scowl of the Drill Instructor. DI SSgt. Mack was, as all DI's were/are, very big about maintaining bearing and discipline, and this breach of that demeanor was humorous indeed. SSgt. Mack lowered his head. Looking down, he grumbled "Shut up..." However, upon looking back up at the platoon, the chuckling and laughing started again. This went on for several minutes, shortly after which, the wayward recruit returned. Needless to say, Recruit S. spent a good long time up on the quarterdeck, getting strong.
More stories to follow.
Anybody from 1029, please feel free to contact me.
Robert Awe Jr.
Echo Co. 2/24
2000 - 2007
Sight To Behold!
After seeing many forums on opinions about BAR data, I'm sending my two cents worth.
I was in 1st Amphibious Recon Co.Korea,51-52. The BAR was my personal choice of many carry weapons. We had privy to all weapons at that time.M-1,30-Carbine,45-Cal Grease gun,M1A1 sniper rifles, 45 Cal.1911 side arms and even though we heard it was not legal, 12 Ga. sawed off shotguns! Our rolling stock had two M2,50 cal. Machine guns and a number of 30 Cal. light air cooled machine guns.
I read about someone saying we carried 4 magazines for the BAR. The true carry was a vest with six pockets of two mag.'s each and one in the weapon. My Assistant BARman carried in a vest, 8 Mag.s, with pockets for 4, M-1 reloads for his M-1. After a few Patrols I got him a full BAR Vest so he could carry 12 Mag.'s also. He would carry 2-4 Bandoleers of M-1 reloads over his shoulder.
If memory does not fail me I think the BAR weighed 16 pounds loaded with Bi-pods. I liked the bi pods because I could extend the legs over my shoulders, and carry the BAR on my back in long high speed foot insertion patrols. I also carried 4 Frag grenades! A book about our unit is now sold at Leatherneck Magazine.( Title "Elite" USMC First Reconnaissance Company of the Korean War 1950-1953 ".) Hope this helps clarify some of the misconceptions of the " OLD CORPS "!
And to coin an old adage "We were young once and truly "Swift, Silent & Deadly" When we unleashed all the Auto weapons fire it was a sight to behold !
As always, IN HIM
Sgt. Vern Hughes #1152476 a proud wearer of the old Herringbone !
I read that one of our old FDC Watch Officers visited you and the "Okie Platoon" at your store. You had asked for the details of the four elephant fire mission. Well, I have it!
I want to explain to your readers first how I have this information. You, me, Goog (L/CPL Gugliotta), and Fuller (L/Cpl Fuller) were in the FDC and were good friends as we are now, some 42 years later. Goog and Fuller were watch partners as were you and I. During that time we started a log book for ourselves and the other radio operators. It was an unofficial log book that we named the BS Book. I still have that log book. Below is the "official" explanation of that fire mission.
At approx 111903H, Goog, Fulsie, and 4/11 K killed 4 elephants. Top that you #*^$#$%! who call yourselves operators.
Fulsie and Goog killed 4 elephants, is that right. I can just see Fulsies kids ask him: what did you do in the war Daddy and he will say: I killed 4 elephants with 55's. It was a tough battle, there they were... four elephants, and all I had was a battery of 55's.
I skip a few pages
120925H, Capt Kasold just returned from his morning flight and he could not find any elephants. Are you sure you killed 4 elephants Fulsie or are you on the noble juice.
That's the official story of the elephant fire mission. I have pages of stuff about you too Grit. For a few shirts I can hide certain facts
SSgt Dan Huntsinger
Fire for Effect: Airdales - Back to top
The Corps had me assigned to Platoon 175, 1st Battalion at Diego. We began Boot with 70 recruits from Indiana and Texas and, by graduation, had 61. Of that number, I was the only boot that was assigned to aviation while the rest were "03's or some other ground-pounding unit. Following the graduation ceremony, our DI's gathered us to announce the assignments for Camp Pendleton but I was heading for NavCad indoctrination at El Toro. My DI didn't even call my name. The JDI later told me he didn't think "airdales" were a part of his Corps.
We were then taken to the "grinder" where the bus was waiting for those going to San Onofre and all those he considered Marines were to get aboard. They took off and I was left standing, alone with just my seabag and M1. The DI walked off the field without so much as a glance. As I stood there, in front of the theater, I noticed an automobile with Corps markings and a Corporal leaning against the front fender. He took out a piece of paper, looked at it, looked at me and yelled my name. The car was for me and the ride to El Toro was rather nice.
It was then, about a year later, I was being staged into the 1st Wing at Iwakuni and was sent back through El Toro. While coming out of the PX, I looked right into the face of my former DI who passed me with his stripes no longer on his sleeve. I then watched for him and followed him back to a building he entered, then approached him in a room marked "Typewriter Repair". I spoke to him, he recognized me, was respectful of rank but didn't want to discuss his being busted to Private. The satisfaction was, after all that occurred, prior, he was assigned to a base full of "airdales".
Gene Bone, Carmel, Indiana - Still an "airdale" at heart.
I am a Marine, a Devil Dog. I ended my active service in March of 2005 and served with my brothers and sisters in Iraq. To this day I still feel I am a Sergeant of Marines. The Marine Corps is a society in itself and with open arms we accept those who are up to the challenge of becoming a Marine. For centuries we Marines have upheld our core values and with relentless service have protect the people of the United States and other nations.
This issue of some being called Devil Dog and being taken in some derogatory way is saddening and depressing. I see the most nonsensical traits of our unfortunately declining society further impacting my Marine Corps. Drill Instructors are being forced to have a lighter hand in boot camp. Because of this I feel it is becoming more difficult to weed out those who wouldn't normally be able to call themselves a Marine or Devil Dog. The floodgates of nonsense are slowly opening and our officers and enlisted Marines, including our veterans and Marine families need to demand a stop to this.
I am a college counselor who specifically assist military students and military families. I spoke to a perspective student today, a Marine, A Devil Dog, who stated that Page 11s are being given to Marines who call other Marines Devil Dog. What!? The name Devil Dog is a highly respected and honorable name given to Marines. If I was a PFC and was Devil Dog'd by a senior Marine, even if I was being squared away, I would take it as a sign that I am still respected as a Marine (then square myself away).
This is sad and I hope those who are behind this idiotic idea will soon come to see their stupidity. What's next? Are new Marines going to be issued tutus instead of cammies. How about our Marines go to war yielding the dreaded fairy wand. Let me do our people in Washington a favor. I found these great wands at Amazon. Threaten our enemies with this and they will surrender!
I just read my short note about the weight of the BAR in the last issue. I must correct myself. I think I must have had a brain fart brought on by nearly 78 years of wandering old Terra Firma. The weight of the BAR of course could be dependent on which model you were in possession of:
1918 Unloaded 16lb. (loaded box Magazine 1lb 10 oz.)
1918A1 Unloaded 18.5 lbs.
1918A2 Unloaded 19.4 lbs.
How in the h&ll I came up with 14.5lbs unloaded must lie in the dregs of whatever I may have been sniffing at the time. Forgive an old man...
Just read the 20 May 2010 Newsletter and I have to make a comment on Cpl. R. C. ODOM's comment about boot camp was 13 weeks when he graduated on 20 November 1972 at PI. He may have been recycled during his training but boot camp was only 9 weeks during that period of time. I was the Senior DI of Plt 3010 and that Plt commenced training on 16 Oct and graduated on 29 Dec 1972 (which was during the period he mentioned). So I say to him "Get your facts straight before inserting foot in mouth or fingers to keyboard."
Also I find it ironic that while looking in my Plt Graduation pictures that the letter that followed his letter was from Rev. Ray Allmond whom had graduated from Plt 3018 in 1970. I was the Senior DI of Plt 3018 which graduated 23 Jan 1973.
Your are probably asking now as to how I could Graduate 2 plt's so close together. Simple! After graduating Plt 3010 I was assigned to Plt 3018 after the Senior DI got relieved for SOP Violations. I only had about 3 weeks to whip them into a plt as they hardly knew their left from right when I went into the Plt and there were only 3 plt's in that series. I well remember that they finished 2nd in final drill comp and 1st in Final command inspection.
I would have to say my best days in the Corps was upon graduation day of each of the 11 platoons that I put thru boot camp in 27 months on the field and the plts that I trained at OCS Combined and PLC Senior course at Quantico and final company of WM's I trained from Women Officer School. This all from Jan 1970 to Nov 1975
MGYSGT B.J. Russell Ret'd 1985
Fire for Effect: Young and Disrespectful - Back to top
The Young Sgt Informed Me
Dear Sgt Grit,
Below is a copy of a letter I sent to the SgtMajor of Our Beloved Corps. I have always taken pride in the fact that I am a United States Marine. It was a dream of mine as a young man that I almost missed out on. Fortunately, a severe auto accident and a broken jaw helped me to lose the weight I needed to join. I ask you the same question as I asked the SgtMajor.
From: Jerry L Johnson, The American Legion, MEB/PEB Representative, Former SSGT USMC
To: The SgtMajor of The United States Marine Corps
I work for one of the largest Veterans organizations in the world, and even though there are a few others throughout the organization, I take great pride in being a Marine. Since I work at the national level here is Washington I have found that I may be the only person at this location that served in our "beloved Corps"
Due to the nature of my work, my office is located on Walter Reed Army Medical Center. Every military person on this base knows my feelings about the Corps and I make no effort to hide it. My wall clock plays the Marine Corps Hymn every hour. I have a picture of Chesty Puller behind my desk, accompanied by autographed photos of Paul Ison crossing "Death Valley" on Okinawa, and myself with Cpl Richard Bush, and Corpsman Robert Bush, (Both MOH), on Okinawa. Along with a small statuette of the flag raising on Iwo Jima, I have a copy of the 7th War Bond poster, a prin