If you are having trouble viewing this issue, see it on our website:

Sgt Grit Newsletter - 14 FEB 2013

In this issue:
• Called To The Chaplain's Office
• Sgt. "What-Cadence"
• Unconditional Love and Support

Online Store TShirts Men's Headgear Patches Women's

Flags   Family Member   Ka-Bars   Auto   Headgear  Jackets  ALL CATEGORIES  

Request a catalog
Facebook Twitter Sgt Grit Blog Sgt Grit's RSS Feeds

My customized Squire Stratocaster:

Hand painted Marine Corps Digital Woodland camouflage (MARPAT) on the pickguard, rank insignia and Eagle, Globe, and Anchor from Sgt. Grits... black pickups and knobs, painted the selector switch olive drab... ready to rock, or defend the base! Semper Fi!

Keep up the great work!

Bud Redding

Vehicle Air Freshener

Sgt. Grit,

Here are some aroma suggestions for the vehicle air freshener listed in your magazine:

O Dark Thirty
Morning Chow Hall
Rifle Range
Water Survival Pool
Gas Chamber
LSA oil
Cash Sales
Diesel Fumes
Jet Exhaust
Sick Bay
Below Deck
Spaghetti Night at the Club
Linseed oil
782 Gear
Heat tabs

Semper Fi,
Lionel Reed
SSgt. '71-'78

My Son

My Son Danny, Lance Corporal Gaffney, 2/8 Marines Fox Company, Ramadi, Iraq, 2007-2008.

Called To The Chaplain's Office

Sgt. Grit,

I was talking to a friend who had served during World War II in the Marine Corps. I told him of a situation that happened to me during Guam. He laughed and told me this story which I will relate to you, it was a common happening during WWII.

He enlisted at age seventeen with his parents signature. During Boot Camp he was told no Marine goes into battle until his 18th birthday. After Boot Camp he landed in Camp Elliot and received his infantry training and then was shipped overseas in a Replacement Battalion. He ended up in the 2nd Division filling the ranks after Guadalcanal. A few short months after he landed at Tarawa, he told me of the horrors, and that someone said get off the beach. He got off the beach and went over the wall and into a hole. After about 90 hours of fighting and earning a Purple Heart and Bronze Star with Combat "V" they left the island and returned to the island where again replacements came to allow their wounds heal.

Then one day he was called to the Chaplain's Office. The Chaplain said your mother has written your Commanding Officer and she complains she hasn't received a letter from you in months. He told me to sit at the table, write a letter to my mother, address it, hand it to him to be censored (all letters were censored during WWII) and the Chaplain would post it for him. He also, said he didn't want to have to call him again to write a letter to his mother.

Embarrassed he sat down and wrote the letter. It wasn't long before another, and then another young Marine sat down at the table to write a letter. This was what had happened to me at Guam over a year later and I remember it happening during Korea to some of the young lads that forgot or just didn't have time to write home. Oh, and by the way, he hadn't turned eighteen years old as of yet. I remember a young Marine was pulled from the Battle of Iwo Jima who was just 15 years old, his mother found he had faked his age and her signature and was wounded and earned a Bronze or Silver Star, if memory serves.

GySgt F. L. Rousseau,
USMC Retired

Senior Drill Instructor

I read Bob Adcock's article regarding his Senior Drill Instructor, Sgt Francis Xavier Muldowney. Bob, I couldn't agree more. He was my Senior two platoons after yours in January 1966 and I can still hear (and repeat but not duplicate) his cadence.

I also understand the influence he had on your life as he had the same effect on me and probably everyone else who ever came in contact with him. It was only about two months ago that I learned he died. Even though it happened almost 26 years ago, I had, and still have, a profound sense of loss. I never knew about his personal life but it turned out that I moved to his home town (Philadelphia) about three years before his death and worked about three or four miles from where he lived. To this day I regret not knowing about him and not having the chance to thank him.

Chuck Larkin Cpl

Sgt. "What-Cadence?"

Being a boot, 1st/squad leader in Plt. 320/Lima Co./3rd RTB/MCRD in Jan. of '68, my vivid recollections are of Plt. Cmdr. (now called SDIs) GySgt. R.D. Gallihugh. NOBODY EVER sang cadence like him! One of our assistant DIs (JDI) was so pathetic in his cadence that we sqd. leaders requested the Gunny take us out on the grinder rather trying to keep step with Sgt. "What-Cadence?".

When the Gunny drilled us we just felt so proud to be seen and heard with him that it could be seen in the way we marched. His cadence was actually melodious. When we drilled, though thankfully unbeknownst to him, we'd comment how great it was listening to him sing out our cadence. Talk about strut! I also distinctly recall the look in the Gunny's eyes whenever there was a recruit screw-up. It truly was that of a wild animal of which you never wanted to be the cause. I have and always will cherish those halcyon days of honor and pride!

Sincerely and Respectfully,
Tom Utech
Semper Fi!

Unconditional Love and Support

I am proud to say that the men in our family have served in the Corps since 1943. My dad was on Saipan and the first wave on Okinawa, I was in Da Nang and all over Southeast Asia, and my son was at An Nasiriyah, the second time in Iraq, the Sunni triangle.

For three generations, the first time the men in my family left the country we had a rifle in our hands. My mother explained to us that she has witnessed 5 major wars in her lifetime since and including WWII and out of those 5, 3 of them she had a vested interest in it. Mothers/Wives are the real unsung heroes of our service men for unconditional love and support.

Semper Fi
Sgt Picou

Short Rounds

In my time, 1959 -1963, we heard the term "Lock and Load". Then I recently watched "Sands of Iwo Jima" and decided that is maybe where I heard it. Regardless, what does the "Lock" part of it mean? Anyone can understand "Load" but what are you supposed to be Locking?

Ken Schweim
1854XXX 1959 - 1963

Sgt Grit,

Since I went through boot camp in 1951 and was a PI DI '67-'69, the emblem has always been worn with the anchors pointing inboard and forward. On collars, inboard, caps forward. My 1957 tattoo is on my left arm with the anchor pointing forward, not to the rear like I see on some of your letters. Thanks for you service. Semper Fi!

Gunny Jack

The best cadence I ever heard would go to Sgt Williams. I arrived at MCRD S.D. in Sept '67 with Platoon 2073. He was also the most fair out of the 3. If anyone remembers him please sound off.

Phil Cope

My first Marine Corps birthday was with platoon 3043, Parris Island 1967. Our series had the only scheduled training on the Island that day. We were to have our final PRT. Needless to say we were proud maggots when we found out Chesty Puller would be there to watch us. That is the only thing I really remember about my first birthday.

Semper Fi
Cpl Ronnie Waldrup
USMC 1967-1971

re: J. J. Johnston, I knew it as 'Harry Truman's Police Action'.

Conner '51 - '54

Gentleman, Jack Corbett. E Co. 2nd Bn, Parris Island, SC, back in the day could call cadence that would make the hair stand up on the back of your neck. I was proud to serve with this great D.I. and he will always stand out in my mind as one of the 'Few Good Men'! Anyone remember him?

H. McKinley, MSgt Retired
Drill Field '68 - '73

I willfully signed on as 0311, was a grunt all six years. But to get there I distinctly remember going through ITS right after boot. Before ITS it was ITR. After ITS it was ITR again. Never understood why, but I d-mn sure know what the "I" stood for in every case. Maybe this grunt wouldn't have gotten the ticket.

T. Graf, '82-'88

I have the picture of my graduating boot platoon hanging on my bedroom wall. I looked at it closely yesterday morning and it dawned on me that my Platoon 3, Second Recruit Battalion, USMCSD graduation was first week of March, 1951. I wasn't feeling old until I did the math. It will be 63 years since I received my Globe and Anchor from my Senior DI, SSgt Dunn. Do I qualify for Old Corps?

Sgt. James Wallace

I was reading the weekly newsletter and saw the shout-out with regard to Charles "Rigor" Mortis. I simply Googled his name and a newspaper obit came up from Kepner Funeral Homes out of West Virginia. It seems we lost a great Marine on Feb. 11, 2011, at the age of 78.

Semper Fi to all my brothers and sisters
Sharon Clark Hill

Hey Sarge, after an all-night trip from Philly, (my first plane ride) and a bus trip from Beaufort to PI. Our first breakfast meal was a spoon full of peas on a metal plate.

Norm Spilleth
'60 - '64

No Plague or Rabies Were Found

Speaking of rats: I remember two stories, Chu Lai 1967 up against the hill just west of the Marine Airbase. One night the Navy Chief from our medical group came by our tent and set a couple of rat traps to check rats for rabies and plague fleas. I asked him if when the trap tripped should we reset it. He was reluctant but said OK if you don't touch the rats. Every time the trap snapped that evening I would cut a length of string and tie it to the tail of the rat and re-set the trap. By morning we had 6 rats tied to the tent anchor rope and two in the trap. You should have heard the Chief laugh when he saw this. Thankfully, no plague or rabies were found.

I used to receive care packages from home regularly (for Nam that is). That was when packages from the States were free if they were under 5 pounds. I would keep the wrapping paper folded and stored on top of my mosquito net for use later. One night I heard a rat walking around on the paper. I waited until it was directly overhead then smartly punched the spot where it was standing. It shot into the air, hit the small shelf over my rack then dropped back onto the net. It promptly disappeared and never came back. I never had another rat on my rack. Just goes to prove you "Don't mess with the Marine Corps".

Craig H.

Wall Street

Dear Sgt. Grit,

"Once a Marine always a Marine"! I worked in the financial center on Wall Street in the late 60's. First day at a Brokerage house, not my first job, had some experience in this field.

Was told to see a guy named Charlie (who was in charge of my group). I saw right away his starched shirt, with knife creases, a perfectly knotted tie, and shined shoes like the good old days. I was part of the yester-years! I asked him if he was ever in the service, and he ignored me and got down to business explaining to me how he wanted job done, no ifs, ands, or buts. It is my way, do you understand! (Found out later on he was in Vietnam and was in some serious situations). He turned out to be a great guy, and had a good rapport with him.

We had a guy named crazy Gus, drinker, mean, 5' 6" or so, swagger on him (take no prisoners attitude). Found out he was Force Recon Marine. Also had a rough time in Vietnam, and had some scary stories to tell as well!

Next was a guy 6' 6" and had to be 260 or more, like Paul Bunyan, and he was ex- Special Forces, and had spent 2 tours behind enemy lines all over Asia.

Then there was the clown that liked to annoy the. Not realizing you do not stir a hornets' nest if you are sane. We were told not to use the back entrance to the building after dark, as a few employees were mugged and beaten by unknown dudes.

Gus returned from dinner with his shirt ripped and a bruised cheek. We asked if he was okay and he shrugged it off. The morning paper had a story that 5 guys were in the hospital and said they were attacked by a crazy midget for no reason at all. When we asked Gus if he knew about it the next day he pulled out 2 switch blades and a pair of brass knuckles that these sorry clowns tried to use on him.

Big Chuck just wanted to be left alone and the clown kept in up. One day Chuck gets up and walks behind the clown and asked him to stop bothering him. The clown says it is America, a free country, and he can do what he wants. Wrong Answer! Chuck got him in a sleeper hold and put him out for a short nap. Naturally the clown never bothered him again.

Charlie was always grumpy and was usually sarcastic in his demeanor. He knew I had a daughter around 5 years old and one night he went to a Yankee game and the next day he gave me a Yankee banner and a Yankee doll for my daughter. He wouldn't accept money from me and told me if I told anyone about this he would have me fired!

This is before PTSD, and we had to merge back into society in our own way. I had some nightmares as well as rough patches to overcome. Some of us were stronger than others and I thank the one above for assimilating me back in the main stream.

Naturally, I lost touch with them but stories need to be told. Charlie was the warrior with a heart of gold, Gus was the warrior who was like the Marine who looked after the good, and took out the bad, and Chuck was a great friend who was having trouble adjusting after a rough 6 to 8 years in the H-ll Holes of the World they sent us to!

Respectfully Submitted,

Bruce Bender
The Old Corps '63-'67

Little Brown Towel

Speaking of rats. Vietnam left me with some quirky sleeping habits that unfortunately drove my wife crazy. One was that I just had to have the blankets and sheets snug against my body with my feet and arms always under them. It was instinctive and I would do this self-wrapping during my sleep. She learned to grudgingly accept this quirk, but despite my occasional attempts to explain, I could not get her to understand what it was like trying to sleep and what was crawling around up in those jungle mountains.

The second was, I have to sleep with a small towel wrapped around my neck or face. This one really drove my wife nuts. Many a night I would wake her up while I fished around the bed looking for my lost towel. I know she thought I was crazy, maybe I am, but again how do you explain how important a small little brown towel can be to a Marine on a patrol or on a long range operation. That little brown towel had a million uses, it was used from the obvious wiping sweat and dirt from your face and arms to cleaning weapons.

Many a night I used that towel to shield my face and ears from the rain, rats, bugs, snakes and the clouds of mosquitoes. When in a war, and for that matter the Marine Corps, you're bound to pick up some behaviors that become a part of you and never go away.

Pvt. PT

Hot Boring Daytime Job

On March 9, 1969, after two weeks relaxing on Okinawa, I began my participation in operations against the communist insurgent forces, in the vicinity of DaNang, Republic of Vietnam. I was assigned to First Platoon, Bravo Company, 1/26 Marines, Battalion Landing Team (B.L.T.). I started my warrior career as a squad riflemen and through a rigorous apprentice program worked my way up to the platoon's radio operator.

While my friends back in the world copied each-others homework I was spending my first month in Vietnam at Hai Van Pass providing security for truck convoys that would travel between Hue and DaNang.

My bunker was located on the side of an incredibly beautiful green mountain that featured many sparkling streams and tumbling waterfalls. Approximately one-half-mile below me, lush green jungle ended at the shore of the South China Sea. At night the rhythmic sound of breakers crashing onto the beach, coupled with a cool sea breeze would help lull me to sleep.

However, providing security for the convoys was a hot boring daytime job and because I was the new guy I was always assigned guard duty during the hottest part of the day.

On one particularly torrid day I decided to liven things up a little and get even with the platoon for consistently giving me the worst guard times. So I emptied the charge out of a hand grenade and staged a brief but compelling scene of post-traumatic stress syndrome outside the bunker where four of my squad members were playing cards. The scene concluded with "I can't take this heat anymore! I'm gonna end this for all of us!" I then yanked the pin on the grenade and threw it into the bunker sending everyone flying. "Just kidding, guys!" I said as they picked themselves up out of the mud.

After that everybody took their own turns sweltering on guard duty.

Jeff Hiers
Vietnam 1969/70

Lady I Have Never Met

Sgt. Grit,

I have been reading and posting on your newsletter for a while now and I believe when I first started posting I made a comment about thanking you, your staff, and all of those who have served this great Country. Well that was a while back and I felt it was time again to remember to say thank you. Thank you for your service and welcome home. To you Sir, not only for your military service but also for the service you provide with this newsletter. To your staff and very helpful and friendly group. Your customer service has put up with my questions and always answers my questions with respect and a thank you. A while back I ordered some items from your store online. When my items arrived there was a handwritten note from one of your customer service ladies. She thanked me for me order and she thanked me for my service. A lady I have never met, never spoken with, and never seen touched me with "Thank you for your Service" comment. She took a minute to make a difference.

To all the Veterans of all branches of the United States Military and especially to all of the Marines who have served, Thank you for your service and Welcome Home. In case you did not know it, your service is seen and I for one am thankful that you stepped up and served our Great Country. To all of our active duty Military and especially to our Marines, Thank You and keep up the great work. Carry on our traditions with Pride.

Remember, serve with honor, live with honor because you represent the proudest unit of military in this Country. You are a member of a great family, the United States Marines. When I see a person who appears to be a Veteran, I attempt to thank him for his or her service. All who served during Nam I feel closest to because that was my time as well, and for many we came home to a lot of people who really did not like us and showed it. They, for the most part, did not even really know why or what they were really protesting. Most were just following the crowd. All in all, we did our jobs as Marines and most came home. So when I say thank you for your service and welcome home, I mean it and I hope you get a lift from it as I have each time someone tells that to me.

Semper Fi!

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


Speaking of RATS as big as CATS...

Our Counter-Mortar Radar (CMR-11th Marines) was deployed with 2nd Battalion, 1st Marines at a firebase near Monkey Mountain north of DaNang, South Viet Nam during January of 1969. I was a Corporal of Marines, MOS 5931, Ground Radar Technician. The tent I was in housed eight Marines. We slept on canvas folding cots above hollow wood pallet flooring. Our few amenities included a small refrigerator. We had a generator to power the radar so we snaked a couple of cables over to our tent for lights and to keep the adult beverages cold.

We did our best to keep the fridge stocked with soda and beer. Mostly beer. Usually Pabst Blue Ribbon, Bud, or Lucky Lager. Lucky Lager got me in big trouble one day when I was bartending at the 11th Marines "O" Club, but that is a story for another day.

Our beer came in steel cans, not the lightweight soft aluminum containers you can crush like a man. A church key was needed to pop it open or you used your John Wayne. We'd eat our C-Rats in the tent and, being Marines, we were not too choosy about where the leftover food went after chowing down. Remnants of crackers, beef with spiced sauce, and Ham n' Muthers ended up on top of the pallet floor. Some of it fell through the slats and wound up on the ground underneath. Big mistake!

About a week after we pitched our tent, a Marine woke up screaming around 0200. We thought we were getting hit, so everyone grabbed their flak jackets and helmets and started to run out of the tent to our assigned defensive positions. Then we heard, "There's a fr--king (not the word he used, but close) raccoon in my rack!" WTF?

Looking around, we found nothing. Eventually, everybody hit the rack again, only to be awakened an hour later by another guy yelling about something running across his chest. Flashlights were broken out and we started investigating. One Marine found droppings under his rack that looked like dog crap. Then it dawned on us, we were rat infested. And whoever the infester was, he was one big son-of-a-b-tch!

The next few nights rustling and squeaking was heard beneath the tent floor. Not a good sign!

Supply gave us hefty rat traps and we placed them around the tent to no avail. They'd go off with a loud snap in the middle of the night. When examined in the morning, all the bait (C-Rat cheese) was licked clean and the springs were completely sprung. This rat was no fool. He was laughing at us!

The following day everyone was out burning cr-ppers and filling sandbags, except for a lone Lance Corporal left in the tent by himself on sick call. Suddenly, we heard at least ten rounds go off inside the tent! He'd seen something big and furry running under the floorboards and opened up on it. He missed.

In seconds, three officers and a Gunny ran up to our tent yelling stuff like, "Who fired? I'll have your azs for this, etc., etc."

I was senior man. They all looked at me, so I had to do some quick talking. I explained the shooter had a rat phobia since he was born in a shack in Kentucky, he was paranoid about rabies, had a deprived childhood, rats took his baby-sister's food, blah, blah, blah..." The brass bought my lame story and went away primarily because no one was actually injured by the rat inspired M-16 discharge.

I didn't want to lose my pending promotion to Sergeant, so I knew we had to escalate the situation and take out whatever was living under our floor. Since we had some serious 220 Volt power topping out at 20 Amps in the tent, I figured we'd just electrocute the sucker. We're Marines, we adapt and overcome... right? By now we had dubbed the tent intruder "KING RAT" and we wanted him DRT (Dead Right There).

I flattened out a steel beer can and soldered a wire to it. Then I took a 2x4 and tacked it to the edge of the flattened out beer can. I ran another line up the wood, stapled it to the top, then dangled the edge over the top of the metal beer can plate. After stripping the end, I took a glob of the best rat bait we had (peanut butter) and stuck it around the bare copper wire conductor.

The plan: KING RAT smells peanut butter. KING RAT stands on flattened metal can. KING RAT bites on peanut butter completing the circuit. Zap! KING RAT is KIA!

We set the evil device in the center of the tent, plugged it into our 220V power bus and turned out the lights. All eight Marines got in their racks and settled down for KING RAT to make his move. Nothing happened until 0300. Most, if not all of us were dead asleep by then when BAM! A huge ball of white fire appeared in the center of the tent. A couple of guys screamed and ran outside (p-ssies) and the rest of us fumbled for flashlights.

In the center of the tent we found a large blackened circle. Two pallets looked like something monstrous had burrowed between the slats and pushed them aside. Nothing was left of the improvised death machine except burned wires and scorched beer can metal. We searched around looking for a body for about an hour, but came up empty-handed. Everyone went back to sleep and that was it. The tent was quiet and we slept like babies for the next two nights. Three days later someone said something stinks. As soon as he did, we all picked up on a truly disgusting stench. It got so bad I ordered FIELD DAY!

We took everything out of the tent. Weapons, ammo, grenades, laaws, guitars, 782 gear, C-Rat boxes, stroke mags, racks and unwashed utilities. We pulled up all the flooring pallets. Lying on the dirt sub-floor in the farthest corner from where we emplaced the FSN Mark I Electric Rat Eliminator, we discovered the mortal remains of the biggest d-mn rodent I had ever seen. KING RAT was curled up peacefully decaying after receiving his jolt of Marine Corps justice.

With a pair of pliers, one of our guys lifted up the corpse. KING RAT weighed at least fifteen pounds and the brave Marine ("Sonny" was his name) carried KING RAT outside dangling by his tail. That's when I took his picture.


It was suggested the body of KING RAT should be taken to officer's country and thrown on the floor of the CO's sh-tter. I passed on that idea as I still wanted to make Sergeant. Instead, we threw the carcass into a p-ss tube hole and shoveled in dirt to cover him up. No memorial service was held. Osama bin Ladin had a better funeral.

Semper Fi!

Sgt. Jim Hackett, USMC
RVN 1968-70


I earned my HM at Balboa N.H. training facility in early '64 and my 8404 at Pendleton immediately thereafter. Like you I always felt "less than", until I heard "Corpsman Up".

No Marine that I have ever met has treated me as "less than". In fact while I was treated as an equal at Bethesda N H, and Main Navy Dispensary, my stateside duty stations, I can tell you as a fact "DOC" means a level of respect that you will only get from MARINES and that I will always give to my KIN!

Your story brought tears to my eyes, like when my son returned from the middle east and got married in his dress blues.

Where are you located, and what can we do?

With Respect,
from an old Doc
Wes FMF '63-'68

Career Going Up In Smoke

Dear Sgt. Grit,

I enlisted in the Marine Corps in 1958. (MCRDSD, Plt. 1019). Our Senior D.I. had a favorite punishment he loved, the "Duck Walk". He would make the Plt. squat down with our rifles over head and waddle around and quack like a duck.

One morning we were marching out to the grinder and made a detour to the Battalion H.Q. S/Sgt. Coulter (our Senior) put our Right Guide in charge, while he went inside. We started to be smart azs to the R.G. (He was still just a recruit and we didn't give him any respect) He called the platoon to attention and had us Duck Walking right out in front of the Battalion H.Q. All of a sudden the H.Q. hatch flew open and out ran Senior. He looked like someone had taken a shot at him. The guide got his azs ripped and we double-timed to the grinder.

We later found out that Duck Walking as a punishment had been frowned upon by Headquarters Marine Corps, and was not to be used again. I guess Senior, when he saw this exhibition, saw his career going up in smoke. As far as any of us knew there were no repercussions.

Chuck Wilson
L/Cpl. 0811
'58 / '62

Should Be With A Marine

SGT. Grit,

Can someone identify the following coin?

1-1/2" diameter, 1/8" thick, smooth thin edge, rope type fluting on both flat edges.

Top Side has a Gold Eagle, Globe, and Anchor on a red background, 1-1/8", surrounded by a black ring with United States (from 10 to 2 positions), Marine Corps (from 8 to 4 positions) with a star at 3 and 9 positions in gold.

Bottom Side has a red 6 slightly over center, rest of back in Gold with embossing / relief / shading. Above the 6 from 10 to 2 Motor Transport Battalion in a circular ring at 4 and 8 positions are collar type insignia w/ anchors pointed in, and a streamer above the wings. Below the 6 is 4TH FSSG in a level line. Around the outer ring, starting at 9 position: Providence, Red Bank, Lubbock, Texarkana, Las Vegas, Orlando, New Haven.

Both Top and Bottom are covered with a clear Poly-Urethane type material.

This coin was seen at a garage sale by an Air Force S.O. friend of mine. He gave it to me saying "It should be with a Marine". He wouldn't tell me what they were charging for it, just asked that I take care of it. I'd like to find out its history, unit origin, etc. I'm guessing it may date to WWII or Korea. It may have a personal meaning to one of my brother Marines.

Thank you,
Chuck Reardon
Sgt. of Marines
'64 - '68
RVN '65 and '66

Freebies and Discounts

Carl Conkling put in the newsletter for Veteran Driver's license in TX. Georgia will give an Honorably Discharged Veteran that served in Wartime a free license, and Lowes gives Veterans with a Veterans I.D. card a 10 percent discount on purchases.

A.J. Goodrich
U.S.M.C. 78 - 83

Sgt. Grit,

In reading about the different discounts offered from different states and companies. I would like to pass this a long to all Veterans who live in Nevada. If you take your DD-214 to your County Assessor's Office, they will put you in the system as a Veteran. The result is every year you will receive a notice from the Assessor's Office asking if you want to use your Veterans reduction for a percentage off of your property taxes or for a reduction on your vehicle registration.

The registration reduction removes all of the costs the County adds on to the registration. It is a really good thing for the Veterans and saves you a little chunk of change each year.

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

5 Year License Plate for your Vehicle. I read how they put Veteran on your Driver License in Texas that is great. In Michigan if you are a Disabled Veteran over 60 percent you are considered Unemployable. You get paid at the 100 percent rate and you can go to DMV with your award letter and get your license plate for your vehicle for a 5 year period.

The first time you go down to get your new plates the charge is 10 dollars, after that when you renew you plate you get a 5 year plate at no charge. You can register one vehicle per household this way.

Oorah and Semper Fi!

David Church
USMC Retired
1971 to 2001

Sgt. Grit,

Virginia also has a state issued Veterans card with your driver's license picture on it. The cost is 10 dollars and it's good for life.

Semper Fi,
Harold Jinkins
Sgt 1948-1951

Campaign Hats

I am looking for some information, and maybe you, or a reader can help. My question is: When did DI's start to wear campaign hats? I know they were wearing them in 1961 when I went to Boot Camp at PI, but last night I pulled out an old movie from the 50's "Battle Cry". You probably know the story, a squad of Marines goes to Boot Camp in San Diego and ship out to the South Pacific, but while they are training at MCRD San Diego none of the Drill Instructors are wearing a campaign hat. All are wearing overseas caps or barracks caps.

I looked up the movie on IMDB to see if this was listed in the Trivia or Error section and it is not. I cannot believe that the director and producer would let this slip. Leon Uris wrote the book and he was in the Marines in WWII.

Just curious about this. Does anyone know?

John Lorenz


Sgt. Grit,

I'd like to take this opportunity to clarify a couple of issues I've read about here and also in the "Leatherneck". First, the stories about the Selective Service (Draft) during WWII. Males, age 18 and up had to register. On 1 Sep. '42, as it was explained to me, the gov't. closed enlistments to those 18 and up because too many men were choosing this service or that and the armed forces were becoming unbalanced. That is too many in the Army Air Corps or some other branch and not enough in the branches where the need for men was greater.

I had started school at Geo. Washington Univ. in D.C. in Aug '42 and worked in the FBI Lab as a laboratory asst. (I washed the test tubes, beakers, etc. and generally did odd jobs). I turned 18 on 2 Sep. '42. I wanted to enlist in the Navy to become a Naval Aviator. Since I had registered for the draft on my birthday, I was advised that I'd have to get permission from my draft board. I went back to the draft board and was granted permission to try the Navy. They found that I had faulty color vision and wouldn't accept me. I went to an opthamologist in D.C who thought he may be able to cure color vision. After working with me for a couple of months he gave up. No cure. I went back to the draft board and asked if I could try the Marine Corps and they granted my request.

On 12 Feb. '43, I held up my right hand and became a boot. A group of us boarded a train out of D.C. and headed south. At Yemmassee, we changed to the Eastern Carolina and Atlantic RR and headed for Port Royal where we had our first meeting with DI's. We boarded a flatbed trailer with racks (the infamous cattle cars) and made it to P.I. We're herded off the cattle cars, formed in two ranks and like a gaggle of geese went to the chow hall. Now this is where we come to the second issue I mentioned above. Our first meal at 0-dark-30 on 13 Feb. '43 was a cold baked potato that was washed down with a glass of water. Welcome to the USMC!

In spite of all of that, we survived and became United States Marines. SEMPER FI!

Dan Anslinger, Jr.
Former Sgt. '43-'45 and '48-'52

With Both Knives

Sgt Grit,

Regarding my original Ka-bar, I was issued it in July 1966 just before leaving with G/2/26 and made it through 2/26 and 1/9 until I returned in Sept 1967! My Father was a Raider in '42 and had a "Bowie Knife" made for me at the same time and both made it back!

In April of 1968, I extended to go back and arrived in May of the same year with both knifes! I was sent home in January of '69 because of the three heart rule, but still with both knifes!

However my best friend asked to borrow the Ka-bar for a camping trip and he was killed in a hit and run accident while on his motorcycle! This after he had survived Hue city with 5th Marines! I was a pallbearer at his funeral but never asked about the K-bar! I still have my bowie knife and memories of Rick and that whoever killed him paid in spades!

Semper FI,
Clyde E. Salley JR
USMC 1964-69


Sgt Grit,

In reply to all the postings about Marines and the word Infantry. I was an 0331, Machine Gunner from 1981 to 1985 and was trained on Camp Geiger at what was then called ITS (Infantry Training School). Yes, we all called ourselves grunts... this will p-ss some guys off, but we referred to the 0311's as rocks – not my word guys – don't shoot the messenger.

But, anyway, I heard the term "infantry" used from time to time. Just not as much as grunts... or rocks! LOL!

Semper Fi – I love all you guys and gals!

Mike Kunkel
Cpl – 0331
Lima 3/8, Weapons Platoon

Pivot On the One That Hurts

Good Afternoon Sgt Grit,

I have been reading all these letters about whose D.I. had the best cadence, don't know if my Sr. D.I. had the best cadence or not but he got himself on the cover of Life Magazine in 1951. He was stomping on a recruit's foot and said to pivot on the one that hurts.

I was at MARINE BARRACKS Rodman NOB in the Panama Canal Zone and that poor soul with the stomped foot was in our section in 1st Guard Co. and if you had met this one, you would have known why the foot work was done. SGT William Trope was SR DI and PFC Yarnell was JR DI. The last I heard, SGT Trope retired as a SGT MAJ haven't heard about PFC Yarnell. Some of the young folks there were CPL and PFC DIs. I was in PLT 176, Charlie Co., 1st RCT. We graduated 4 DEC '50. Keep up the good work!

Semper Fi

Cannot Hear You

When I was in boot camp, Oct 1954 Parris Island, the DI called out count cadence count. We would sing out 1-2-3-4 left, right, left, right, we love The Marine Corps. We would do this over and over because the DI would say I cannot hear you! After boot camp we had other ones that we would use. We had earned our EGA and could do salty cadence.

Frank Sanclementi
Sgt of Marines
1954 to 1957
Sgt at Arms
USMCL Detachment 744


Submitted by: MARINE Jim McCallum (the ole gunny)
Vol. #3, #12, (Dec., 2013)

I don't remember when this happened exactly, but we had been supporting the Korean White Horse Division in the area of Tuy Hoa south of Qui Nhon. We were taking more then our share of hits when one of our Co-pilots was hit. It wasn't a bad hit, but you just don't ever want to second guess the circumstances. I recall Col. Kew flying the lead and Lt. Murphy was hit and was needing to get to the base aid station as soon as we could. On the return trip to Qui Nhon it was observed that the Armys 1st Cav. helicopters were all over the sky and we were asked by the tower to orbit off station to allow the Army to do their fly over. To which, Col Kew. responded, "get those frigging helicopters out of my way, I have wounded on board and this is not an airshow." If I remembered correctly, there were words to the effect that we would shoot them down if they didn't get out of the way.

Well, the Col's request was promptly executed and there were 1st Cav. helicopters all over the sky. We landed and the wounded Co-Pilot (Lt Murphy) was extracted from the left seat and transported to the aid station at the base on Qui Nhon. After we fueled up and replaced some of the ammo that we had expended, we fired up again and went back South to Tua Hoa to continue with our mission. It seemed that I remember that we picked up some very large kettles of Kim She (spelling) at one of the Korean Base Camps and flew it down to the area where the operation had established a small base camp. OK, what the h-ll is Kim She? Well it's kinda hard to describe, but you can tell it will heal anything you've got just by the smell. I had a h-ll of a time getting the putrid smell out of my aircraft after it sloshed and was absorbed in the already, dirty cracks, between the floor panels in the belly of the aircraft. There's another story here about our rice crop, but I'll cover that later. Now, it was going to take a couple of days of washing the floor with a water bucket and a scrub brush to get the residual Kim She out of the cracks. I remember one of the guys in my crew saying that he had trained to do this in Boot Camp. When asked how did the DI's know that they would be scrubbing floors on their hands and knees after they were in combat? He just said his DI knew everything. Ya, Right! End of conversation!

I might as well just jump right in at this point and explain about the rice crop that I mentioned before. Everybody knows that Vietnam was the biggest rice growing country next to China and almost every day I loaded more bags of rice that were from Arkansas or somewhere in the states. After a while, you get to wondering, what the h-ll am I doing, if this country's one of the biggest rice providers in the world. If I remember correctly, part of the reason for this whole war was because someone wanted the rice from the other country and they said "NO" and then it came to blows. At least that was a part of it, I think, but then again I could be wrong.

So now we're carrying and providing rice for folks living in the World's Rice bowl. But I digress! While we were loading these burlap bags of rice into the aircraft it was not uncommon for an occasional bag to receive a tear or spring a leak and the previously captured rice would find it's way out of the sack and into the cracks between the floor panels in the aircraft where all the dirt was waiting to provide a new home for the newly escaped grains of rice. Now, all it needed was some water and we would have a very healthy crop. Well, our next mission would normally be 5 gal cans of water and they loved to spill out on the freshly entrenched rice grains. GUESS WHAT? We had rice growing in the belly of the birds.

Neither Levi's As Libert Apparel

Summer of '58... "21 Area" (Del Mar) at Pendleton, home to 3rd Amphibian Tractor Bn, (never did quite figure out why 3rd tracks were with 1st Division, and vice-versa, but that's the way it was) and also Field Med, Force Recon Co, Tracked Vehicle Schools, etc. The LVT P-5 was relatively new, having gone into service only around 1955, and there were older models, including WWII armored versions, some with radial aircraft engines, some C-3's etc. parked around the boat basin area and the school buildings (school's still there...) And then, of all people, the U.S. Army... acquired about twenty spankin' new P-5's... reportedly for some sort of Engineer outfit out of Ft. Lewis, WA. It was insulting enough that DOD would let a branch with more Jeeps than the Corps have PFC's encroach on our salt-water-to-sand trade union turf, and have some of OUR equipment, but being the marginally disciplined mob that they were, they were allowed to paint nicknames on their tractors. (And then be smart enough to send them to the experts for training) We were shocked... shocked! I say... to frame a reference for you youngsters, the Corps at the time was a bit more conservative... e.g., neither Levi's as liberty apparel, nor motorcycles as transportation were allowed on Camp Pendleton. To be honest, we were secretly more than a bit jealous of the name thing, because that painting thing was not about to happen in the 1958 U.S Marine Corps.

And then, one fine sunny Southern California day, about two hundred yards off the beach, and in line with where the RV area is today... the U.S. Army Castle Kids managed to sink a brand new P-5! A matter of absent hull plugs and non-functioning bilge pumps. Unconfirmed, but we heard that the four hydraulic pumps clustered on the back of the CD-850 transmission to drive the corner bilge pumps it had been assembled without removing the preservative paper between the pump halves... so much for quality control and pre-op system checks. And the best part... proudly painted across the bow above the ramp was this tractor's name... "Lady Luck". A Marine swimmer with SCUBA gear (probably from Recon) was rumored to have received a Navy Commendation Medal (fairly rare at the time) for successfully hooking up the cable from the tank retriever used to pull Lady Luck ashore. Other than 'face', there were no losses on this one.

For Howard Hada's (23 Jan Newsletter) question... first off, referring to things that are worn on collars and lapels as 'brass'... is Army talk. To this ambulatory antique, 'brass', to a Marine, is that which is worn on or with a belt... or is policed up, before moving back to the 300 or 500 yard (meter) line. What you have there are Emblems... which got to be called EGA (Eagle Globe and Anchor) for a while there, starting around the 1990's... the banner in the Eagle's beak can be found in two versions. Other than the one in your picture, there are older versions where the banner extended both ways from the Eagle. I'm guessing that what you may have there in the picture is a small emblem, worn on the left side of the ah, 'Cap, Garrison'... used to have those in three different materials... khaki (starched), wool, tropical (for 'Trops') and green... and had those in three different materials too... kersey (wool) back in the day, some sort of synthetic when the 'lightweight greens' came out, and in woolen gabardine for the Officer version. Have somewhere in a box a p-sscutter emblem that was a gift from an old-timer... has no fouled line on the anchor... and I don't recall any wearable emblems that had the banner... of either kind... those were seen mostly on colors, printed materials, etc. Left and Right emblems, in whatever media, are probably the most abused, in that the custom is that a single emblem, where used alone, is to be where the anchor top is to the viewer's right. Remember that the collar anchors are to point inboard... once had to fix that for a Reserve Lt.Col fixin' to have his promotion board photo taken in Greens (he made Col too, BTW...) Shiny, except for Blues wear, used to be a no-no... recall the itty-bitty bottle with the paint brush?... some retired Gunny, out of San Clemente, CA, probably made enough off that stuff to retire again...

BTW... even though they don't match... you still got'em bass-akwards in your picture... so you will be on the twelve to four for the next month, and will have brow watch during any and all liberty events...



Hi Sgt. Grit,

It's a note to report that the CORPS lost another outstanding MARINE last week and that was Larry "Pops" Powell. Larry was a good friend that I've known since just prior to the Vietnam conflict. He was a member of HMM-363 where he served as the Flight Line Chief and after retirement he was involved in the organization of some of the units reunions/gatherings, over the past years.

He was well liked and will be sorely missed. I'll drink one to the memory of you, Larry! Our condolences to his wife Sheila. Semper Fi My Old Friend!

Jim McCallum
the ole gunny

Sgt. Grit:

It is with sadness that I write that another proud Marine has reported for his final duty, guarding the streets of heaven. Due to hurricane Sandy, his burial was delayed, and my wife's uncle, Vincent P. Ilaria, a "China Marine" (circa 1946) was laid to rest 10 November 2012! Having successfully completed Junior and Senior PLC, I took the option not to accept my commission in 1973. However, "Uncle Vinnie" always accepted me as a brother Marine. We all miss him greatly, but I know heaven's streets will forever be safer.

Nick Del Bueno


"In today's world, everything is either prohibited or mandated."
--Jorge Quiroga (former president of Bolivia)

"The deadliest weapon in the world is a Marine and his rifle."
--Gen. John "Black Jack" Pershing, U.S. Army, Commander of American Forces in World War I

"More permanent and genuine happiness is to be found in the sequestered walks of connubial life than in the giddy rounds of promiscuous pleasure."
--George Washington

"The more MARINES I have around the better I like it!"
--GEN. Mark Clark, U.S. ARMY

"I regret, as much as any member, the unavoidable weight and duration of the burdens to be imposed; having never been a proselyte to the doctrine, that public debts are public benefits. consider them, on the contrary, as evils which ought to be removed as fast as honor and justice will permit."
--James Madison, 1790

"If I had one more division like this First Marine Division I could win this war."
--General of the Armies Douglas McArthur in Korea, overheard and reported by Marine Staff Sergeant Bill Houghton, Weapons/2/5

"Mother Green!"

"Pvt Sh-t stain if u don't get squared away, I'm gonna recycle your azs back to the block, and you'll be suckin fartz outta hospital sheets for a living."

"I'm so short I'm sleeping in a match box using a rifle patch for a blanket."

Sgt Grit

©2012 Sgt Grit Inc
7100 SW 44th Street
Oklahoma City, OK 73179
You are receiving Sgt Grit's weekly newsletter.
Unsubscribe from just the newsletter ...OR...
Unsubscribe from all Sgt Grit Emails
To Submit a story - Email info@grunt.com.
Subscribe to this newsletter.