Sgt Grit Newsletter - 19 JAN 2012

In this issue:
• We Could Take This Place
• See His Bona Fides
• Kids Get Schooled

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While shopping at Wal-Mart in Oklahoma City I spotted an old guy wearing a USMC cap with Retired Tech Sergeant on it. I said "Semper Fi Marine". He asked "Are you a Marine"? I said "yes sir". He said 'My god you're the third Marine I've met in here today. I think we could take this place".
Edward Spence
'54 - '58

In This Issue

What a great job I have. I got my picture taken with 5 SgtMaj's and a Major this morning. When I was active I never saw a SgtMaj, could count on one hand my dealing with the rank of staff and above. These Marines were all trim, fit and in shape. Polite, well spoken, very professional. Then there was me! You can see more pictures on facebook. Did I mention 5 SgtMaj's. Five!

Here we go: older than dirt, I assured him, we have our today, I move my hand, pass the kids down, capful of Wisk, rather than, canteen cup of bitter thick coffee, WW11 diesel Submarine, nobody helped me, see his bona fides, not considered career- enhancing.

"swing with the wing, and don't sweat a thing... if it don't fly... f--k it... "

Sgt Grit


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Here are the photo contest winners! Congrats to Troy Grant, Jessica Yanke, and Cliff Hollon for submitting the winning photos. Your gift certificates are on the way!

Date Set for 2012 GriTogether!
Mark your calendars:
June 09, 2012 from 10-2pm
in Oklahoma City!

We've been hearing outstanding stories of Marines getting back in touch with old buddies! Make sure YOU can be found by those you served with. Create a FREE profile now (no strings attached!)

Filthy Maggots

In 1985 at MCRD San Diego our DI,s had us sound off with a loud and vigorous OOOOHRAH! as a confirmation of we filthy maggots understand and as a way to show our motivation.

Later, out in the FMF, in the real Corps, we used ooohrah, Semper FI, gung ho, Devil Dog, etc. whichever best fit the situation.

As for Mr. Walt 52-60... thinking we should go back to using old Corps phrases, sorry, it's how we were trained and honestly every Thursday morning when I sit down with my canteen cup of bitter thick coffee to read Sgt Grits newsletter, start to finish. A few uncontrolled OOOOOHRAHs can probably be heard from my office area.

Cpl Radtke TA 85-89 3531 2/6 2/8

Permanent Change

On January 12, 2012, Sgt. Rad H. Banning (Korea Era Veteran) received his permanent change of duty stations - Guarding the Streets of Heaven. Semper Fi, Dad.

Picture at Camp Pendleton, 1953.
S. C. Banning

See His Bona Fides

The gentleman who wrote that outward signs of Marine Service are not necessary is entitled to his opinion. If you feel ESP is going to get you contact... good luck. I wear a bright red hat with gold embroidery that says "Former Marine Member of the USS Wisconsin-BB64" I get from three to five Semper Fi's every time I go to town (Small town in north central Arizona)

I have met Veterans from I think every battle the Corps has fought in from Chapultepec forward... Met an 87 year Marine sniper from WW2, and got to sit with him and see his bona fides from his wallet. It was awesome.

Last Tuesday in the bank the Cashier asked while pointing at my hat "Is that you??" I laughed and said "Yes Mam' and she said "Thank you."

A couple of months ago I was in a super market I don't frequent and a young man in the produce gave me a Semper Fi... I walked over to shake his hand and give it back and he said "Oh, no sir I wasn't in the Corps then he pulled up his shirt sleeve and showed me a large Marine tat and said "It's for my dad whom we lost in Iraq."

These experiences give an old man much pleasure but if you want to do it with ESP... good luck... Semper Fi...

Sgt Don Wackerly 53-56

Living Proof


Ref: "It Didn't Matter" from ddick in 12Jan12 Newsletter,

"We hadn't given it a thought... didn't have any reason to... and it didn't matter. To this day, even though I have a fairly complete roster, I would have to stop and think about which of those Marines were white, brown, or black... could probably tell you which squad they were in, maybe a little more... and could recognize them from behind, in the dark, by the way they walked... just the way it was... "

Living proof that many of us saw our fellow man by the "quality of their character rather than the color of their skin" long before it was cool.


"A man who is good enough to shed his blood for his country is good enough to be given a square deal afterwards"
--President Theodore Roosevelt
(this goes for women too these days)


A comment of Jeff Cunningham - 1st Lt. USMC...
"The Marine Corps did not have its own artillery school so we attended the Army Artillery School at Fort sill"

This is not correct - At least for enlisted - I attended the artillery school at Camp Pendleton "late" 1967, and got out just before Christmas of that year, just in time to go to "Staging" then RVN, in time for Tet of 1968.

I wonder if the "Officers" went to Fort Sill..?

As a side note..
The 3rd 8inch How Btty will be having their 8th REUNION September 6-9, 2012 San Diego Get details:

Semper Fi
(We Did Not Use Ohraaah)
Paul D. Smigowski
Sgt 3rd 8in How Btty
RVN 1968-70

Pass The Kids Down

Hi, Sgt,

I have been reading the various past-duty activities that were submitted by fellow Marines. Here's one of mine.

While stationed at the Navy Air Station at Norfolk in the late 1940's, the barracks there served several different outfits. I was with the CinCLant. Each outfit occupied separate quarters in the building although everybody ate in the same mess hall. I was lucky in one sense. My bunk was on the 3rd floor, next to the landing approach of the aircraft to the field, not next to the take-off side (much noisier). We saw each other almost every day, but the occupants were not 'close'.

There was a common bulletin board for general information. One day, a notice appeared that announced a trip to the circus that was coming to town. Volunteers were solicited... to escort children from a local orphanage. (That was before the 'Foster Care' system had come into being.) Each volunteer was to be responsible for one child. A bus would be provided (free) , but each volunteer would be responsible for the costs incurred for the child and himself, i.e., admission, snacks. The date, time and place to meet the bus was posted.

The bus was only half full until we picked up the children that day. Then, it was full of enlisted Marines and children, about five or six years old (less than teenage). We managed to get bleacher seats all together. We all enjoyed the acts and the snacks for about an hour. Then, at the ringside nearest where we were seated, a small electric generator started to spit sparks and smoke. Suddenly, a voice from one of our group shouted, "Form a fire brigade, and pass the kids down. Then head for the bus. Let's move!"

We didn't look to see who gave the order, we all seemed to know what a fire brigade was. We just moved ! The 'line' reached from the top row, all the way down. The children were either passed from hand-to-hand or helped across the steps to the bottom. Then we took our 'charges' by the hand directly to the bus. (I must note here, the children were all very well behaved and never questioned what was happening.) All children were returned without injury to the place where we picked them up.

The next morning, there was no mention about the circus fire or the incident in the local newspaper, or from any place else.

Just goes to show that we were well trained to act without question, in times of need.

Not all decisive action occurs on the battlefield.

Semper Fi,
Chris Savas

Marine Corps Birthday Relay

Cpl S. Weston Liggett of the U.S. Marine Corps, who now teaches at Wilson Primary Center in South Bend, IN, celebrated the 236th birthday of the Marine Corps in 2011 with his Kindergarten students and a few other participants such as the principal and even a Marine Vietnam veteran in attendance.

Cpl Liggett has often shared information with his students about life in the Marine Corps, namely that Marines must be intelligent as well as good readers and listeners. His students love to see his Recruit Knowledge and School of Infantry Field Handbook which each Marine must memorize before reaching the fleet. For this special day, Cpl. Liggett set up a Marine scenario so that his kids could practice reading and following directions, just like real Marines. We at Sgt Grit were more than happy to provide the class with some supplies for their Marine extravaganza.

To replicate the Marine Corps experience, Cpl Liggett split his class into two teams giving each team directions that led to various uniform items that he had hidden around the room. The kids used their relative position vocabulary and reading strategies to decode the directions. Once the students located all of the uniform items, they engaged in a dress-up relay race. Each team member had to take turns quickly dressing up the uniform, giving a salute, and then removing the uniform before passing it to the next team member.

After the games, the oldest and youngest students indulged in the first pieces of Marine Corps birthday cake, while the Marines' Hymn played proudly in the classroom, oorah!

Not Considered Career-Enhancing

"Take ten... expect five... get three... on your feet, outta the shade and into the heat... saddle up, move out!" (before running became all the rage, Marines hiked... grunts more than other units, but that was seen as the way to toughen troops... some of the more memorable/longer ones are still talked about today by those old enough to have participated... 'around the horn' (pretty much the perimeter of Camp Pendleton)... to, or from, 29 Palms for Pendleton units... spent only 23 days in Lejeune in 24 years, but suspect there will similar long hikes on that side of the country as well. Gen Graham, as CG at 29 Palms, would take HqCo Force troops out for 25-milers... with deep squats at the turn-around point, no sitting ... and he did it with Port and Starboard halves of the company, so that work went on...

"Reveille, Reveille... heave out and trice up, clean sweepdown fore and aft, carry all trash to the fan tail, the smoking lamp is lit in all authorized smoking spaces, stand clear of the mess decks until pipe-down" (never did figure out, or hear, any bosun's call that piped us down to chow... and only a squid would put tomatoes in SOS)

On the phone: "motor pool... two-bys, four-bys, six-bys, and big ones that bend in the middle and go pshew!... if you can't truck it...

"Hey diddle-diddle, straight up the middle"

On longevity: 'I've surveyed more sea bags than you've surveyed socks" (to 'survey', in the day, meant to turn in a worn-out item for a (hopefully. new) like item 'my first office hours was for buffalo sh-t on my spear'... 'is that your service (or serial) number... or the national debt?. 'When the Lord said let there be light, I was the firewatch '(who turned them on). 'I've used more ink signing payrolls than you've drunk coffee in the mess hall'

Morning formation: "two dead, one in the head, and I wouldn't be here if I could get special liberty... all present and accounted for... "
'Fall in, alphabetically, by rank"
"Smmeeedly! " (DI's cry for the recruit messman who waited on DI's at recruit messhalls... tough job... )

Maybe some of these will generate more... and stories to go with them... have sort of realized that for many of the VN generation, the time may have been bootcamp, ITR, VN, maybe barracks duty and an early out, with no time riding around with the gator navy... and then there are those sayings that belong to the aviation side.

Marines leaving Pendleton for a tour with the Wing up at El Toro would be advised that wing-wiper 782 gear consisted of a pair of boots with elastic sides (supposedly a safety item for those working around liquid oxygen). a long rubber comb (carried sticking out of the right hip pocket) and a pair of earmuffs (noise attenuation)... covers, especially utility, were considered optional... (having a cover sucked into the intake of a jet engine was not considered career-enhancing?)


Roger Baby

I was reading about the Christmas in Viet Nam and saw a post about China Beach Party from Torres, R. F. (AKA Roger Baby) I sent back to Grit and told him I would give my left nut to be put in touch with that Marine. Grit made it happen.

Torres called me sometime around Christmas 2011 and we talked for one hour. The last item we saw or heard from each other was 2 April 1968 when we left Okie to go back to the World. Thanks Big Time Sgt Grit for putting us in touch.

Sgt Maj R. Edwards 1966-1996 Semper Fi

Note: Now what do I do with a 'left nut'.
Sgt Grit

My 5 Inch

One of these nights I will become a harassing element of the "Old Salts" and punch out a few of the 49 to 53 happenings I took part in. As a matter of fact one of my most memorable is what my squadron called walking guard duty in the Punch Bowel area on a Wintry night. I challenged the O.D. and advanced him for recognition. He asked if I thought I could drop my rifle from my shoulder and get the drop on him if he turned out to be an infiltrator. I moved my hand from close to my chest so he could see my 5 inch Smith and Wesson which was pointed at him even at that time. "Carry on, Sarg.", was his comment as he walked the line the other way.

Someday I'll just break down and buy my "Good Humor Ribbon".
Semper Fidelis,

Short Rounds

Sgt. Grit: I've got a question for Marines who've served aboard our Navy's fighting ships. When the PA announces "General Quarters - all hands man their battle stations," where do the ship's Marines report? Thanks for all the good news and personal pieces. Love reading about Marines.
Be well and Semper Fi.
R. G. West, Cpl., MSG, Saigon, '62 - '64

Sgt Grit
I was in China with Capt Puller. 1939) Capt left for States, I was captured by Japan in surrender of the Philippines. Captain was great Marine. I hope he is watching over us now. Thank you for picture.

Sergeant Major Kenneth V. Rice USMC (Ret)
Old Serial Number 271366.

I may have missed it but in the early 70's (I wonder why), we used to hear USMC = Uncle Sam's Marijuana Club.

Loyd Potter
73-77 and 79-92
Gunny of Marines

Re: Private Timex by R.A. Kiser. The silver bus that took us into J'ville And back was called the "Vomit Comet"

C.B. Tubbs 2029681 2nd Tanks 1963-1966

Great to see Chesty in photograph again. Served under him in 1950.
Pat C.

Scouting and Patroling - Marine Guidebook 1963

Submitted by: Sgt Hughes

I was always told by Black Marines that the term "SPLIB" that they used to refer to themselves and that others used to refer to Black Marines meant "Superior People Living in Bondage".

WL Jackson
Oct 65 - Dec 91

I have been waiting for hours to think of how to show my disgust over this morning's news, that a Marine sniper squad will be investigated over the video of them piszin on the dead bodies of the Taliban. I could go on for hours about the atrocities committed on dead Marines, since 1942 till this date. You know as well as I so there is no sense of repeating them. The SgtMaj of the Marine Corps should speak up now, as it seems that the Commandant will not. This crap started on Makin Island in 42. These Marines should have done more than pizs on them...
Jerry Cpl 57 60

Sgt Grit,

I would like to take this opportunity and use this forum to wish a Happy and Healthy Birthday to Marine Jacob "Joe" Mirsky of Boca Raton Florida. Joe will celebrate his 90th birthday on February 25th 2012.
Happy Birthday and Semper Fidelis Marine!
Mike LaB. Cpl 1964-67

Good to Know!
In reference to J P Cawthon's letters from 11/24/11 and 07/10/10 re: S.Sgt. R.S. Winston
It is good to know that my senior drill instructor S.Sgt. R.S. Winston got to throttle your (Cawthon) Adams Apple and that you benefited from his vast knowledge of instruction.
Being on the Drill Field at Parris Island and Quantico earned him much respect. Sgt Charles A. Taliano (Rose Garden D.I.) and myself were shipmates in Sgt. Winston's PLT. 218 Feb-May 1964. They both are now guarding the gates of heaven.
Semper Fidelis
Thomas S.W. Siegfried

Cookies from Home + A capfull of Wisk + Canteen of Hot Water + Bends and Thrusts = Mess on the Squadbay Deck. Thanks Sgt. A.J. Mitchell, Cpl. R. F. Starbuck (K.I.A. RVN 67). and Cpl. McFadden. Plt 250 Parris Island 67

J.T. QUIRK 2096341 64-68

Sgt. Grit... saw this on an article Col. North wrote for 'Town Hall Daily'. "I don't miss the Marine Corps, I miss Marines."
Kirk Hogan

Sgt Grit to the rescue (article in Sun-Times)

It was 1965 straight out of ITR, I was sent to 1st Recon battalion just before they got Johnson's marching orders. I was assigned to an amphib recon school being run by 1st Force. That was my initial exposure to OOH-RAH as we double-timed up and down San Onofre Beach. The "ooh-rah" was always followed by an AIRBORNE-SCUBA exclamation. I can still hear those grunt yells today.
Rick Payne

Sgt Grit,

Regarding the comments about Quonset huts.

Went through PI in 54. Plt 311, 5tth Recruit Training Bn. We were in what was called Nissen huts. What's the difference between them and Quonset huts? Never could understand except they seemed smaller. If I remember we were located near the intersection where the road went to the rifle range.

Semper Fi
Sam 1496048

When You Go Home

Gang -

Ran across this saying posted by unknown Marine at the temporary cemetery on Iwo Jima, following the capture of the island...

"When you go home,
Tell them for us & say,
For your tomorrow,
We gave our today"

I sent this to all my friends & acquaintances, to honor our veterans, past & present.

A former "leatherneck," and member of 2nd Marine Battalion to land in Viet-Nam (1965).

john Schimkola

Legend Has It

SIR... In reply to some of the questions about where the word Ooorah may have originated... After a lot of research this explanation seems to be very good possibility... If anyone reads this and knows these facts not to be true please feel free to correct me...

It seems 1st Amphibious Recon can be credited with introduction of Ooorah sometime around 1953... Shortly after the Korean War Recon. Marines were serving aboard the USS Perch, a WW11 diesel Submarine retrofitted to carry Navy UDT and Recon Marines... Whenever the Sub was to dive the 1MC would announce "Dive Dive" followed by the AHUGA-AHUGA of the ships diving horns...

In 1953 or 54 while on a conditioning run Sgt. Major John R. Massaro serving with the 1st Amphibious Recon Battalion simulated the AHUGA as part of the cadence... Legend has it he took it with him when he went to serve as Instructor at Drill Instructor School at San Diego, there he passed it on to the student D.I.s who in turn passed it on to their recruits where it eventually became part of Recon cadence...

Overtime the AHUGA sound morphed into OOORAH... Today the Official Marine Corps Reference Manual on the history of the Corps is titled... AHUGA...

Howard W.Kennedy USMC 1956 1962

I Assured Him

I have a P I Bootcamp story the opposite of the Christmas news letter concerning recruits receiving cookies at Christmas. I too was a house mouse in platoon #197 from November 1961 to February 1962. Our DI's were Gy Sgt R.L Craig and JDI's Cpl (later Col) E F Riley Sgt R C Dickert.

I also received a coffee can of cookies while in Boot Camp which was immediately taken over by the DIs. They made a mistake by putting them in their closet to which I had unlimited access to due to taking care of their uniforms.

A couple of weeks later the SDI came to me and asked If I had seen any mice in the closet. I assured him I had not seen any mice. He said he was sure that there was a rat in his house as the cookies were disappearing. I assured him I had not personally seen any rats or mice.

O L Klump, 1961- 1967


The name leatherneck came from the very early years of the United states Marines service on board Naval ships. The I" strip of leather worn around the neck provided safety for the Marines fighting to protect the ship from those boarding it. The leather protected the neck from the sword slashes from the enemy. Without the leather the slashes would have most likely killed the Marines immediately. So from a great part of our very early history we are called leathernecks.

During this time we also started another great tradition and that is having Marines serving on board as a detachment to protect the ships C.O. and other important sections of the ship. We also operated the ships brig when necessary and we housed sailors and Marines. When we shipped out on the Naval ships to sail around the waters of Nam we would open the brig as we had at least two Marines housed there during the whole time at sea.

As many know that the Marines are a Department of the Navy and as many if not all of you know that the Marines are the MENS Department of the Navy. We have a long and fight filled history with our brothers in the Navy. The best protected member of our squad was the "Doc" assigned to us. We knew that without him to patch us up we could be in serious trouble even with all Marines having a very good knowledge of first aid.

Semper fi
SSgt Joseph Whimple
U.S.M.C. 2/70 - 12/76

Re-appropriated Beer

To Cpl DeLeon: I believe the "camp you can't remember..." outside DaNang near red beach was "Camp Books". I remember that when I saw the two poles high in the air with blinking red lights... I thought the same thing... aiming stakes for the d- nks ! ... Why the h-ll they were there was beyond me ! There wasn't anything that tall in the entire country! And to make matters worse... between the 'aiming stakes' was just about the center of the camp... it took a real chucklehead to come up with that idea...!

I spent a wonderful evening traveling up highway 1 (I think that was highway 1) in a jeep or/mighty mite... to Camp Books for the PMO to try and find out who stole a truckload of beer left unattended near the camp slop chute... wtf ? ... Personally I stated to some of the Marines I interviewed that I would have been highly disappointed had an unguarded truck load of beer at a Marine base did not go missing!

Then a "clutch" patrol seemed to get into a firefight about 2 clicks outside the wire. I was told that they were overdue for an assault on the wire... and I could stay the night as Hwy 1 was too dangerous after dark... I looked at those "aiming stakes" and opted for Hwy 1... made it back okay ... (I was actually stopped by an MP on base for running a stop sign! I showed him my PMO credentials and he let me go... a ticket... what ?) Never found those heroic Marines that 're-appropriated' the beer... never really tried... hope they enjoyed it !

Now for Cpl Lichners on "Oki" and "Vieques" : on Oki... You forgot those fuzzy little creatures that brushed by your legs when the lights were out during the movie! While on a date with an Oki girl (a base office worker) we went to the movies" I kept feeling this movement near my ankles... When the lights went on I saw "rats !" She seemed unaffected by the "revelation"... When the lights went back down I spent the remainder of the time with my legs crossed under me on the seat or propped up on the back of the seat in front of me...!

As far as San Juan ?... I was TAD to Viegues for 30 days... hopped the ferry to San Juan... got drunk and lost my money gambling before about midnight or so... Spent the night in an empty barracks rack at "Rosie Roads" ... ferried back the next day... Spent the rest of my off duty time drinking in Isabella Segunda after that...

oh, yeah... Remember those ice cold showers you had to walk to from the wooden barracks dodging the cows and chickens ? Even in 90% weather those things froze your butt off ! (this was around 1967) Didn't see San Juan again until I was a civilian years later while working security for a company's sales conference held on the island... Then I was too busy making sure the attendees were safe and sound to even see much outside of the hotel compound and scheduled restaurants they were going to... At least the showers were warm and no cattle to dodge...

Raymond l. Mirabile ... Sgt. Usmc ... 2067671

Answer on Pres. Ford

Aloha Sgt Grit,
In your 1/12/2012 email, Roger Brooks stated that President Ford served in the Marine Corps. Incorrect. President Ford received a commission in the Navy Reserve on April 13, 1942. Read his story in Wikipedia and you will learn that he was a true hero. When his ship was engulfed in flames, Ford took a party of men into the ship and put the fire out after several hours of "iffy" attempts.

He was also the only president who never was elected to the office of vice president or president. When Spiro Agnew had to leave office in disgrace, Gerald Ford was appointed by President Nixon as the first vice president to be selected under the Twenty-fifth Amendment.

Read his article in Wikipedia and you will see that Gerald Ford, like John Kennedy was a true military hero.

Semper Fidelis... Bob Talmadge, MGySgt, Retired

Honoring His Buddies

Again, many thanks for the great job that you guys did for my Marine Corps running suit. I cannot wait to start wearing it. I will also contact you next week to talk to you about my son's shadow box. I have enclosed a picture of a tattoo my son got in the past 2 weeks honoring his buddies that were killed in Afghanistan. Again, thank you and the staff at Sgt. Grit for all your help!

Mike Chambers

Private Salem, Private Kool or Private Camel

Sgt. Grit:
As I was reading through the letters and short notes I came across the term "Private Timex". Boy talk about a quick trip back through time to May of 1968 when I was in San Diego with several other privates from Utah, none of whom smoked, but who got 'volunteered' for special duty when the smoking lamp got lit.

I was named Private Winston because the Senior DI smoked Winston filtered cigarettes and I had to carry his in my pack or on my person when we were out of the company area. Then depending on who had the duty I was Private Salem, Private Kool or Private Camel. Private Butt Kitt was whoever happened to be on the DI's sh-tlist that day, he had to carry a coffee can partially filled with sand and the field stripped remnants of the smoking lamp breaks. Thanks for the memories

Sid Lawrence
Sgt. 1968-1976
San Diego
Plt. 190.
May through July 1968

Retirement ceremony

We were honored to attend the retirement ceremony of SgtMaj Bruce Cowperthwaite who was the RS SgtMaj for recruiting district eight here in Oklahoma City. These ceremonies are always a toss between happy and sad. You are happy to see this Marine go off on another adventure where he can finally devote time to family but you are also sad to see this Marine go. He was wonderful to work with and a great friend during his time here in Okc. I cannot possibly write about how moving his ceremony was with the wonderful slide presentation his unit put together for him but it was a great add on and I recommend it for all retirement ceremonies.

From the staff here at Sgt Grit, we want to say that we truly love this Marine and were always happy to see him walk through our front door. He always has a smile on his face and was just a fun guy to be around. He is going to be dearly missed! SgtMaj Cowperthwaite, Report to your next assignment! That would be lounging in Florida. Oorah and Semper Fidelis.

The Sgt Grit Staff

Older Than Dirt

Try some of these with those with total recall (full disclosure... some of these are older than dirt...)

(Five paragraph order; Situation, Mission, Execution, Administration, Command (and control)... or, another oldie:

"Camp Pendleton Schools Make Fighting Infantrymen Smart."... (steps for a patrol... circa 1958)

Contact... adjacent and supporting unit leaders

Plan... a reconnaissance

Select... a vantage point (for the reconnaissance)

Make... the reconnaissance

Formulate... a plan

Issue... the order


Old question for a Sgt promotion board:... Marine... you have a pole, ten inches in diameter, and eighteen feet long. You are responsible for getting this pole erected and plumb. You already have a hole 12 inches in diameter, six feet deep, a block and tackle. two long-handled shovels, a tamping bar, and a working party consisting of one Corporal, and four PFCs... how do you accomplish this mission??

Never mind the calculations, the trigonometry, the angle of the dangle, etc... the only correct answer was : "Corporal... get that pole erected. I will be back in an hour to inspect"

The following will only apply to the wizened gray beards who learned the U.S. Rifle, Caliber .30, M1 (also known as 'the Garrand')

What does the mnemonic "IAMUWEECAT" describe, in relation to this fine weapon? Super-duper extra points if you can correctly identify what each of the letters stand for...

This menemic was used to recall the ten steps of the rearward movement when a round is fired...

Ignition of the cartridge
Action of the gas
Movement of the operating rod to the rear
Unlocking of the bolt
Withdrawal of the firing pin
Extraction (of the expended brass)
Ejection (see above)
Cocking of the hammer
Action of the follower
Termination of the rearward movement.

There was also a shorter one, for the forward motion... which will be left to someone with a better memory for lessons learned 54 years ago.

To this day, even though I frequently find myself speaking on an EMS radio, cannot bring myself to use the word 'repeat'... because it is (or at least was, before more modern communications) reserved for use in artillery fire missions... all non-cannon cockers are to use the term "say again", or "say again, all after (whatever)'' "Repeat" meant (means?)... whatever you just shot, e.g. battery six... do it again!

According to an acquaintance, who was a SR-71 'Blackbird' pilot... the plane was referred to as a 'spy plane' ... mostly only because nobody could reliably spell 'reconnaissance' ( For the Corps, this would include most of the closely cropped, extremely fit, boot-knife toting members of the 'ahoogah' school... )


Did I Do Enough

Just completed writing my memoir of 33 years in the good old USMC (May 41-May 74), service in WW II (Guadalcanal & Tarawa), Korea and Vietnam. Enlisted as 16 year old out of Fair Park Hi in Shreveport, La., was a MSgt at outbreak of Korea and commissioned a 2ndLt in summer 1950, retired as a Colonel in 1974. A great career, lucky all the way, would do it again in a heartbeat. Doubt they could use an 87 year old, however! Memoir entitled "Did I Do Enough?" is available.

Had an e-mail recently from one Chuck Bell, who was a Corporal under me at Camp Pendleton in 1951 when I was a First Lieutenant (Radio Platoon Commander). He had obtained my memoir and located me through my book. Would enjoy hearing from other Marines I have served with over the years...

Regards Elwin "Al" Hart (E-mail waazhart45 @ comcast .net)

Teetering Back

Landed at P.I. 29 July 1967, sent to 1st Bn. Plt 1016. The other platoons in the series,('17,'18, and '19), were used as suitable adversaries in pugil sticks, rifle range, drill, (I don't want to hear them ladies, said the D.I.), and other happy horses--T.

While enjoying the amenities at the confidence course one hot afternoon, a pvt. from 1018 (I think), named Walsh had the misfortune to be on the "monkey bridge" when his D.I. yelled out "Walsh, ten-shun!" Pvt. Walsh did just that. At attention, 'thumbs along the seam of your trousers', as SSGT Thomas taught us. Standing at attention, on a single rope, teetering back and forth, but at attention.

All was well until his D.I. said 'parade rest!' Walsh completed this movement, and fell back into the cold, slimy, muddy crap that passed for water under the obstacle. Both D.I.'s had a good laugh. We were 'at ease' so I walked over to help him out of the muck. My D.I. exploded and asked WTF did I think I was doing. My response was "Sir the recruit is only helping another Marine out of a jam Sir. He told me about face, forward march, right into the muck.

Nobody helped me out I can assure you. Pvt. Walsh, Semper Fi where ever you may be.

David Goodman
Plt 1016, Graduated Oct 12
Honors Platoon


"I am convinced that there is no smarter, handier, or more adaptable body of troops in the world."
--Prime Minister of Britain, Sir Winston Churchhill

"Government is instituted for the common good; for the protection, safety, prosperity, and happiness of the people; and not for profit, honor, or private interest of any one man, family, or class of men; therefore, the people alone have an incontestable, unalienable, and indefeasible right to institute government; and to reform, alter, or totally change the same, when their protection, safety, prosperity, and happiness require it."
--John Adams

"It is error alone which needs the support of government. Truth can stand by itself."
--Thomas Jefferson

"The Marines I have seen around the world have the cleanest bodies, the filthiest minds, the highest morale, and the lowest morals of any group of animals I have ever seen. Thank God for the United States Marine Corps!"
--Eleanor Roosevelt, First Lady of the United States, 1945

"It is only when you are able to do things that other people don't approve that you are free."
--Thomas Sowell

"It is important, likewise, that the habits of thinking in a free country should inspire caution in those entrusted with its administration, to confine themselves within their respective constitutional spheres, avoiding in the exercise of the powers of one department to encroach upon another. The spirit of encroachment tends to consolidate the powers of all the departments in one, and thus to create, whatever the form of government, a real despotism."
--George Washington

"Some people spend an entire lifetime wondering if they made a difference in the world. But, the Marines don't have that problem."
--Ronald Reagan, President of the United States; 1985

Our enlistment has a start and finish date. The 'Oath' does not.
Gung Ho!
Sgt Grit

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