Sgt Grit Newsletter - 21 FEB 2013

In this issue:
• Uncontrolled Hysteria
• All Done By My Hands
• Boot Camp Time

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GySgt Goddard

GySgt Goddard

Sgt Grit,

This is my friend GySgt A. L. Goddard. Twenty years in the Crotch, a Bronze Star with V for Valor, and 3 Purple Hearts. He was also a Senior DI at PI and as you can tell, he ain't no Hollywood Marine.

You might also enjoy seeing his shed.

Thanks and Semper Fi,
Mike Benfield

Uncontrolled Hysteria

When my buddies back in the United States were studying for their mid-terms, I was walking point for the first platoon of Bravo Company in the tropical jungles of Vietnam. Unlike the many occasions students are afforded leisure time - it was a rare day in Vietnam when we were given time off to relax and have fun. Therefore it was a marvelous treat when, one day, we were given the opportunity to spend a couple of hours swimming in a muddy river. We placed guards on either side of the river for security and the rest of us went swimming in our birthday suits.

The tranquility of the afternoon was rudely interrupted by some of the most horrible shrieking we had ever heard. We had been in the Nam for a long time and seen a lot of wounded men who didn't make as much noise as this Marine was making. His yelling sent everybody into action. We thought he was yelling attack or get back, but he was so frantic we weren't sure just what the problem was but knew it had to be something awful - maybe he stepped on a booby trap or he saw we were about to be ambushed. We weren't going to take any chances so we all ran out of the water and got our weapons ready and notified the rest of the platoon to stand-by.

When the distraught Marine finally got to shore, he was as white as a ghost and screaming for a match. He had a ten inch leech hanging from part of his body that normally would have been covered by a bathing suit. He needed a match so he could burn the leech which would force the parasite to drop off.

Unfortunately for him, we thought it was most hilarious sight we had seen in a long time. It took us a while to regain our composure to a point where we could be of any assistance. After several minutes of uncontrolled hysteria we finally were able to start looking for the match.

Jeff Hiers
B Co. 1/26 Marines
1969 -1970

Moving Experience For A Young PFC

Sgt Grit,

I too attended my first Marine Corps Birthday in Nov. 1967 at P.I. Cpl Waldrup was correct, the guest of honor was General Puller. I was a brand new PFC working at Receiving Barracks. We worked 7 to 7 and alternating one week with days and next with nights.

During this week, I worked the night shift. After being relieved in the morning... I put on my Alpha Uniform and attended the Cake Cutting Ceremony at the Football Field. I was sitting next to a First Sergeant who was wearing his dress blues.

Gen Puller was escorted by MajGen R. Mc. Tompkins the CG... When Gen Puller spoke the First Sgt next to me begin to cry! It was a moving experience for a young PFC at his first Marine Corps Birthday Ceremony! Thank you Cpl Waldrup for bringing back such a great memory!

M.A. Einsidler
Col USMC(Ret)

All Done By My Hands


This Ka-Bar holder I made for retired Major Larry Carmon. Who was a DI in Diego when I was in, which was back in '78. The two of us went to high school together, and we were also in ROTC in school. The EGA is hand carved... well it is all done by my hands, down to the tree I cut down.

Mark Bristow

USMC American Legend KA-BAR

Funny How You Never Forget

Early 1967, I arrived at the An Hoa Combat Base from FLC (Fork Lift Command) at Red Beach, attached to the LSU (Logistic Support Unit). One of the first nights there, I attended the outdoor movies that were famous, or infamous, for showing war movies especially from the TV series "Combat". There I sat watching the make-believe combat scenes on the movie screen while just a few hundred yards outside the perimeter real-life fire fights were taking place. We'd watch as our tracers crisscrossed with theirs. Strangest thing, the grunts sitting on the ground watching the war movies would break out in cheers when our tracers (I think) would engage the bad guys.

I'd been in-country nearly 5 months, but make no mistake, I was the FNG that night. The absurdity and strangeness of that first night (and there would be many, many more) always stayed with me.

Just an addendum to the preceding story. April 2004, nearly 37 years later, I arrived in Iraq as an Army CWO4. The C-130 corkscrewing in for a landing at BIAP (Baghdad International Airport) was exactly like the C-130 corkscrew landings in Viet Nam to avoid ground fire. We debarked and were still standing on the tarmac when, WHAM! Two incoming rounds land on the runway. Of all those standing there, only two immediately hit the deck, me and the other CWO4 who had been a Huey pilot in Viet Nam. All the FNGs were standing up looking around completely oblivious to the "loud noises". He and I looked at each other and almost immediately said in unison, "Funny how you never forget".

Cpl, LSU 2/5, An Hoa, 1967
CWO5, US Army Retired

Boot Camp Time

L/Cpl Ward stated that he remembered going into the 9th or 10th week as a Hollywood Marine, as he had entered in the summer of '66. I entered P.I. in mid Jan. '66, and only did 8 weeks. Did the Corps change the Boot Camp time 1/2 way through the year, or did it take the Hollywood Marines more time than the P.I. Marines... to become a Marine.

L/Cpl Mark Gallant
Nam '68

Note: It may take extra weeks to get a proper even tan.

Sgt Grit

Short rounds

Platoon 3002, Jan 1989, Yes a newer Marine, not the Old Corps. Senior Drill Instructor SSGT Wheeler, had a h-ll of a voice, SGT Schuh was the motivator, SGT Casperson was the bull dog you had to watch out for at all times and the new D.I. SGT Adams was still learning his new craft. He would call us "prives" where the others had few better more colorful descriptive names for us. LT Khan was about the fastest runner I ever ran into for a PFT. Memories of boot camp, San Diego style.

D.K. Wenker, CPL
MOS 6322
Phrog Avionics

Correction To Terminology

I would like to offer a correction to a phrase used by SSgt. Joseph E. Whimple in his "Done The Same" submission last newsletter. I agree 110 percent to all he stated regarding 'ground pounder,' 'grunt' etc... However, I must offer my personal experience with the phrase "Fox Hole", whereby, I was taught by WWII and Korean war Vets that the correct term is "FIGHTING HOLE..." Only 'dogface Soldiers' used the term 'foxhole'.

E/4 Robert L. Hammershoy
H&S 1/5 1st MarDiv FMFPAC
1957 - 1960

Semper Fi Sgt Grit and oohrah to all you Devil Dogs standing tall in cyber formation... Mr. Lorenz... ddick will have your tail walking fire watch 'til h-ll freezes over for referring to a campaign Cover as a hat... and I believe lock and load refers to the action of locking the bolt to the rear then inserting the magazine, usually heard on the firing line at the range just before ready on the right... ready on the left... shooters may commence firing when your dawg target appears... I know ddick had to of helped write the handbook for Marines. Gonna pull mine out and look for his name in the back... OOHRAH!

Cpl Radtke '85-'89

Jachlyn Lucas enlisted at age 14. Received the Medal Of Honor at the battle of Iwo Jima at age 17.

Semper Fi
Joe Ross
8th & I

About Chuck Reardon's coin; FSSG came to be around 1975 to 1976. I was in 3rd FSSG and we were changing all vehicle markings from FSR to FSSG. FSR is Force Service Regiment. FSSG is Force Service Support Group. 4th FSSG is the Marine Reserve. It seems you have a 4th FSSG Motor T coin that covers quite a few units. I don't recall ever seeing one of those the whole time I served. '75-'86, Motor T. Well done!

Rex Young
Sgt '75-'86

Sgt. Grit,

Gunny Kirk, my platoon commander in boot camp was not known for his cadence but I did love his morning sick call. "Give me my sick, lame, lazy and crazy."

Now Cpl. Brown, one of our troop handlers at ITR, would give us his baby cadence; "left-o right –o, left-o right-o leffft". I saw Cpl. Brown at LZ Baldy in the Nam a few months later. He had been promoted to Sgt. by then. I wonder if the change of duty stations was part of the perks that went with the promotion.

Dan Buchanan
Ancient 2531

Sergeant Grit,

In my Marine Corps a Sergeant is a Sergeant not a sarge... I notice some of the respect lacking... so much for the correcting. In answer to Ken Schwein 1854---, 1959-1963, the bolt on a M1 Garand had to be locked in order to insert a clip of ammo. This is not required on the later weapons or the BAR hence the Lock and Load...

CPL Karl F, Schubert
1928--- 1962-1968

Thank you for the great newsletter. I can't wait to read the next e-mail...

Truman's Police Action.

It was one h-lluva fight. If your M1 froze you always had your KA-BAR. If you didn't have that you had your bayonet. Also your personal weapon from home, I had my riot (12-Guage 00 Buck Shotgun). It was a life saver.

GySgt J.J. Johnston (RET)

Navy says "Anchors Aweigh", that's why Marines wear them "in" on the collar!

Cpl Ray Burrington '68-'70, Plt 398 MCRDPI,
MOS's 4001-4035 (computers!)
Hqtrs Bn - MCRDSD & Camp Foster Okinawa
MCL 781 Hardware City Detach, MFH detail


Sgt. Grit,

Recently a letter commented on a Cop who awarded a man a ticket, who said he was in the USMC and he was Infantry. After that letter, there has been a couple others saying "Right On" to the Cop. Where in H-ll do they get this stuff? First Off, where do you go after Boot Camp? "ITR". I won't even explain what ITR means. And another thing, get THIS! "Occupational Field 03 INFANTRY. Look it up.

Now anyone who has had a Spec # of 745 during World War II, or MOS 03 knew he was a Rifleman who was going to get in the mud and slug it out with the enemy, hole to hole, tree to tree, and house to house until he kicked their azs, and that he was in the INFANTRY. You can't call it anything else. I've had it happen to me, a person asked what I did in the Corps and if I said Rifleman, he went away not knowing I slept in Mud and Blood and cr-pped in a slit trench.

And another thing you don't know. Two or more Corps makes an ARMY. Guess what? We had the 3rd Amphibious Corps and the 5th Amphibious Corps during World War II. How does that Grab you? You wouldn't believe how many times I have said I am retired and even Marines ask, "What outfit were you in?" Now those guys need a ticket or a brain scan!

The Point to all this is, if you were a Marine, You are a Marine, MOS 03, 02, 21 or whatever, you ARE A MARINE. Don't lord it over the others, they know you are what you are, a MARINE!

GySgt. F. L. Rousseau,
USMC Retired

Felt Like A Boot

This is in reply to Bob Adcock's cadence calling of F.X. Muldowney. If you went through PI, he was the best. He was our Senior Drill Instructor, Plt. 2003 in May 1966. I believe he was from Altoona, PA. He was one tough and mean SOB and never played "Good DI". Many recruits, including myself, tried getting over on him, but he had eyes behind his head and knew all the tricks.

When I returned from Nam, I was assigned to the base brig at CLNC as indoctrination NCO. While walking down the sidewalk at the Force Troops area in September 1968, I practically walked right into him. I turned around and said, "SSGT. Muldowney?" He turns around and says, "Were you one of my turds?" I was a Sgt. at the time and still felt like a boot! I replied, "2003, May 1966." He says, "You did pretty good, making E-5 so fast." I was speechless and we went on our separate ways.

If this is the same Drill Instructor, I am saddened to hear he has passed on. We graduated Honor Platoon in the series and I'm sure we weren't his first or last. RIP to a Marine I will never forget.

Joseph Alvino

Best Drill Instructor Cadence

Best Drill Instructor cadence was by Gunny Williams, Plt 1109, MCRD San Diego 1969.

I placed my hand upon her toe, yo ho, yo ho;
I placed my hand upon her toe, yo ho, yo ho;
She said, "Marine you're mighty low..."

Use your imagination for the rest. Singin' Proud, Marchin' Proud, Lookin' Proud.

Frank Fillebeck
Sgt 1969 - 1973

Dear George Letter

Dear Sgt. Grit,

I served in the Corps, active duty from 1965-'69. During this time I obtained some really funny articles about Marines, and how they really, really think. Articles on applications for dates with Marines, poems, etc. Some I can share, others, well sorry, I can't, at least not in this forum.

We have all heard about the "Dear John" letters. However, one really good "letter" I obtained was called "Dear George". A letter from a best friend and I. Would like to share it with you and your fellow readers. It goes like this.

Dear George,

We were reading your letters during a party at your house the other night and all of us drank a toast to you and the great job you're doing over there in Vietnam. Martha apologized for your letters being a little mushy, and I guess they were, but we all know how you feel over there being a Solider in the Marines. You'd be amazed at how well Martha's holding up during you absence. She's busting with personality and she is always the life of the party.

As a matter of fact, she had a party the other night and your brother-in-law, Horace, was there wearing that expensive brown suit you bought just before you left. Martha figured she would give it to him since it would be out of style by the time you got back home. He brought a really good bottle of Scotch, but Martha insisted he take it home since there was plenty of your booze in the house. Maybe she figured your booze would go out of style too (ha, ha). Guess she wrote you that she sold your golf clubs to one of the guys at the party for 25 bucks. That's more than she got for your movie camera and projector. Don't know how much she got for your stereo system.

We all figured Martha would be shaken up by the accident last week with your new Corvette. You'd never believe it but she was in a head-on collision and completely wrecked the car. That girl has a lot of courage, considering the other guy's in the hospital and threatening to sue... and her forgetting to pay the insurance and all that. I think they have already settled. It really took a lot of guts for her to mortgage your house to pay the settlement. Really lucky you gave her the power of attorney before you left.

By the way, Martha did her imitation of Gypsy Rose Lee at the party, you'd think she didn't have a worry in the world. She was still going strong when we said good night to her and Claude, you know, the new roomer who's staying at your house.

Nothing much else new around here, except that my wife got another raise to $125 a week. So now we're doing okay, especially with the extra money I'm getting since I took over your old job at the office.

Well, it's getting late now, so I better sigh off. I can see Martha and Claude through my window over on your porch. They're having a nightcap, I guess. Martha keeps dropping something and Claude, being a really nice guy, keeps picking it up from her lap. I think he is wearing that nice smoking jacket that you really like.

Well, old buddy, I sure wish I could be over there with you. Lucky Guy! Give those commies h-ll.

Your Pal,

P.S. Pay no attention the rumor that Martha is pregnant. She isn't. She still takes the "pill", I know, because I picked up her prescription from the drugstore for her the other day. Also, they haven't seen your dog, Gunny, for a couple of months."

M.B. "Bunky" Carew, Sgt.
1965-'67 A/1/8, Camp Lejeune (Med. Cruise & Cuba)
1967-'68 Vietnam (FLC & Marine Liaison)
1968-'69 HQ., Serv. Battalion, Quantico, Va.

Attitude Is Everything My Friend

From D.Dick - 2/14 Newsletter:

"Shiny, except for Blues wear, used to be a no-no... recall the itty-bitty bottle with the paint brush?...

"EM-Nu" - little square bottle, black cap w/incorporated brush. one each.

Ooo-Rah, and Amen to that! PI, Platoon 203, 1958... (A tiny speck or brass shining through a single boot-speed-lace-hook) "Are you trying to blind me, Maggot? Trying to look like and old salt? You won't live long enough! Everybody down! On your bellies! Give me a hundred! One, Two... Fifty-Three... Private so-and-so is tired... Start over! Make it Two Hundred! One... Sound familar? Nothing shined then... not even belt buckles and tabs. Only Marines were allowed to shine... maggots were putrid green splotches.

"Have somewhere in a box a p-sscutter emblem that was a gift from an old-timer... has no fouled line on the anchor..."

I also have a c-cap emblem that was given to me by an old Okinawa Invasion (from day 1 to day last) Marine... no banner, no fouled line. He's been guarding the Pearly Gates now for nearly five-years, and I still wear his emblem, proudly, on my "boonie". It's amazing, at least to me, how displaying that EGA on one's person makes us (or should) stand a bit taller. Y'all might find this to be interesting: Thirty-two days ago, I had one of my old worn out hips replaced (It held up pretty well: 'bout a million squat-jumps, duck-walks, and 55-years of other abuse. :-) ). To be honest, I would rather have faced 6 Old Corps DI's, but I checked into the hospital with my Khaki, Sgt. Grit cover on my head. They made me take it off when they wheeled me into the O.R., but when I woke up in Recovery, it was back on my head. The Surgeon's Assistant is a retired, 6' 5" Navy Doc who had spent his entire career with the Marine Corps. The nurses and nursing assistants were constantly asking: "On a scale of 1 to 10, what's your pain level?" I kept telling them "Pain is only weakness leaving the body... Zero". Later that night, Big Ron, the Doc, stopped by the room to see how I was doing, and I overheard the nurse asking him outside the door, "What's with the hat, he won't take it off, and what's with the no pain thing with this guy? That's impossible?" Doc chuckled and said, "Don't ask, you wouldn't understand, it's a Marine thing. They're all a bit nuts, but better people there aren't. And, by the way, don't touch the hat if you value your hand."

I came home from the hospital two days after the surgery (Most of the others who had surgery the same day, stayed 1-2 days longer); lost the walker two days later, and the cane which replaced it, three days after that. When I walked into the surgeons waiting room walker-less and cane-less for my two-week check-up, one of the other guys, 20-years my younger and still with walker, was there and told me that the hospital staff had been calling me "Mr. No-Pain". He wanted to know how it was possible that I had no pain, when he was still having pain and was still eating the Vicodin (I had only taken two of the d-mned things, and those only because I'm a side-sleeper, and I couldn't get to sleep on my back the two nights in the hospital.) I just smiled at him and said: "Attitude is Everything my friend."

I've had some successes in my life, and I've had some hard times too. I was proud when I received my college degree, and when I completed graduate school. I've felt pride at many things, but nothing, NOTHING, has made me prouder than the day I first pinned on the Eagle, Globe, and Anchor, and Gunny Corey said to me: "Well PFC, you're one of us. You're a Marine." And, nothing, absolutely nothing, has served me as well through my life thus far, as that title, and the responsibility that goes with it. I suppose we are all "a bit nuts", but I wouldn't trade it for whatever sanity is. Be PROUD my brothers and sisters. Be very proud, and when you display the EGA on your person—whether while on active duty, or after you get out—remember that you represent each and every MARINE who has gone before. Stand taller and look smarter. It will serve us well when nothing else does.

Semper Fi,

Nervous In The Service

I had written this some time ago and after Ddicks submission to the newsletter decided to give this account: (Dog Days of Summer) In the summer of '63 we had of a company of Army Amtrac's from Washington State. They had come down without their tractors (I can now see why) to train on shipboard operations with our Platoon. They had taken over the first deck of the barracks.

L/CPL Walsh, my driver, told me "Cpl. Selders, you have to come and see this." We went down to the first deck and the first thing I noticed was that we weren't challenged by anyone going into their quarters. We walked through the squad bay and noticed that all their 782 gear (web gear for any Doggie reading this) was brand new and the rifle racks were empty. We asked about the rifles and were told that the ARMY hadn't issued them rifles! The first week was taken up with school, teaching them about shipboard terminology, dogging and undogging (no pun intended) the tractors, getting on and off the ship and general safety considerations. Each of the ten tractors had its regular Marine Crew Chief (Cpls) but were otherwise manned by an Army crew. We just had to sit back and make sure they weren't killed or the tractor wasn't destroyed.

Getting on the ship (LST) for the first time was very interesting and once aboard the Army was a little afraid of the Sailors, but then I think the Sailors were kind of taken aback by the Doggies. The last two nights were spent on the beach, was always the same routine, after chow the Army would show up with beer and we, of course, helped them drink it. Since they were in the Army their drinking capacity was limited and they faded away pretty fast. The last night of the operation, we (Marines) were sitting around the fire on our 5 gal. cans of GAA grease each tractor carried, drinking Army beer and roasting potatoes.

Out of the darkness our 2nd Lt., MR. W comes up and wants to know what the h-ll is going on. Cpl. R asks him, "Sir, would you like to sit down and have a roasted potato and drink an Army beer?" He looks over his shoulder and takes the beer offered to him. As he's roasting his potato and drinking his beer he asks, "Where the h-ll did these potatoes come from?" Cpl. D tells him that it came from the ship we were just on and that he had a lot more in his tractor. "What the h-ll are you doing with potatoes in your tractor"? Cpl D explained that his tractor just happened to be parked under 5 or 6 sacks of potatoes on a walkway in the tank deck of the ship so he told his Doggies to open the cargo hatches while he kicked a 50-pound sack in! "Why the h-ll did you do that?" Mr. W asked him and D says, "aw it was easy sir". Everyone was laughing but you could see that Mr. W was getting little "nervous in the service", maybe because he was eating (and enjoying) Navy property, or maybe because he was drinking Army beer or maybe the Ol' Man might show up and catch him "fratin" with the troops. He soon left and told us to wrap it up.

After this incident on the beach we all treated Mr. W with a little more respect. Oh ya, the Doggies probably ought to stick to humping and leave the Amtracs to the Marines.

Cpl. E4 Selders

Sin City of the World

I graduated from Boot Camp November 1950, Plt 123. Received my orders for Rodman Canal Zone and left Brooklyn Naval Yard on December 10th 1951. Shipped out on the USS General Hodge. Assigned to Guard Det., 15th Naval District. Transferred to Summit Radio Station. Volunteered for Korea 1952.

I remember the photo in Life Magazine of the recruits having his foot stomped on by the DI. I had that magazine for several years. Panama City was considered, at that time, as the Sin City of the World. Never been away from home and ending up in Panama was great. I have 7 tattoos that I hid from my parents until I got home.

I have lost contact with my fellow Marines and really miss them. After spending 7 years in the Marines we became a close nit family.

Semper Fi

John "Jack" Nolan

Reunited After 48 Years

Plt 142

Sgt Grit,

Seven members of MCRD San Diego's Platoon 142 (known as the W-tBack Platoon) from the summer of 1960 Reunited after 48 years on the summer of 2008.

Celestino Mora Jr.
Honor Man of Plt. 142
Cpl. 1960 - 1964

Enough of the Stench

We had a Marine (I can't remember his name) come to our base, Marble Mountain Vietnam, in December of 1969 from the Third Mar Div. This man was a little off and did not take showers. My good friend Don Lambert was in the same hootch as him. Don had enough of the stench so he forced him to take a shower. I remember seeing them walk to the shower with Don gripping his neck. The man then went to the CO (a brand new 2nd Lt.) and complained. He told him that he will kill Don for this.

The CO said, "Get out of here with your idle threats." (the office pogue told me this conversation took place). The man went back to his hootch, loaded his M-16 and shot Don Lambert dead. This death could have been avoided if the Lt. didn't turn a blind eye. I still think of Don daily to this day.

Ken Kruger
USMC 1968 to 1970
Zulu Co.

Campaign Hat

In reply to the question about when DI's started wearing campaign hats. I was at PI with Plt 166 Jun to Aug 1957. That's when the DI started wearing the campaign hats. Also, I just gave my grandson my Ka-Bar that I carried when I was with India Co 3/2 at Camp Lejeune in '58/'59.

Patrick Arata
Cpl (2 stripe)
Jun 56 - Dec 59

In 1956, we and the Drill Instructor wore utility covers.


When did Drill Instructors start wearing green campaign hats with dress blues? I am sorry but this looks tacky. In some old photos I have seen band members and MPs wearing the white cover on their barracks caps which does not look too bad but green on blue just doesn't look right.

Maybe the Corps should come up with a campaign hat in blue that matches the uniform.

Jim Grimes Sgt 1969-72

All Marines wore the campaign hat prior to and during WWI and abandoned it shortly thereafter. After the Ribbon Creek incident in 1955, an investigation into the role of Drill Instructors resulted in some changes in the way they were recognized. In addition to distinctive headgear, they also received a greater uniform issue and free laundry and dry cleaning.

There was also a second Junior Drill Instructor added to the staff to give them more home/off duty time. Before this time, Drill Instructor billets were regarded as just another duty and the new "perks" were designed to recognize the dedication required to turn kids into Marines.

Gene S.

Re: John Lorenz's question about campaign hats: I entered boot camp at MCRDSD in February 1957. At the time, DI's wore the dress cover with the uniform of the day, a green cravat (Google cravat), and a duty belt. About late March or early April, when we fell out for morning chow, our Senior DI (whose name shall not be mentioned to protect the guilty), appeared in his "Smokey Hat," tie (the cravat was gone), the uniform of the day, and duty belt. He had a pretty good "beer gut". (Yes, there were fat Sergeants, and Majors, in the Cold War years.) We all let out a low, guttural chuckle on seeing him. I think we ran more that day than any other day during boot camp!

Semper Fi!

Sgt. Grit:

In 1956, Staff Sergeant Matthew McKeon, marched 74 recruits, into Ribbon Creek, at MCRD, at Parris Island. Some of the recruits could not swim and six drowned during the incident. This tragic incident led to changes in Marine Corps recruit training and in the training and qualification of future Drill Instructors.

Thereafter, Drill Instructors were more rigorously selected. The Lesson Plan and content of Drill Instructor training was totally upgraded. The number of Drill Instructors assigned to each recruit training platoon was expanded to three, rather than two, and the role of the Drill Instructor was drastically redefined. Henceforth, the Campaign Cover was introduced as a distinctive part of the USMC Drill Instructor's dress. This symbol was, in part to recognize the professionalism, which was expected of all Drill Instructors.

Respectfully yours,
Thomas Gray, Corporal of Marines

Lock And Load

Sgt. Grit,

One explanation of the phrase "Lock and load" comes from the actions needed to prepare a flintlock rifle for firing. The manual of arms for loading a rifle of this type, it was necessary to position the firing mechanism in a locked position, after which the gun powder and ball could be safely loaded into the rifle barrel. So this may go back to the beginning of our Corps.

Mark H.
Sgt. '77-'83

Hi Sgt Grit,

In your Short Rounds, 14Feb13, Ken Schwein ask the question about "Lock" in "Lock and Load." In 1958 while at Camp Matthews for weapons qualification and having been issued the M1 Garand while in San Diego, excellent weapon, I always remember the command on the fire line, "With a clip of eight rounds, Lock and Load." "Lock is when you pull your receiver back and put it in the "lock" position and "load" was when you put your clip into the receiver and it would automatically slide forward and load the first round in the clip.

If you were not quick enough, you would end up with an "M1 Thumb" which was painful. That's what I remember about "Lock and Load".

Bob Gordon

In answer to Ken Schwein's question about what the lock in lock and load means. The lock refers to the bolt rotating and the bolt locking lugs being locked to the breech. The term is actually the reverse of what happens since the round is loaded first, then the bolt locked. But lock and load is what we all know.

O. Gonzalez, SgtMaj (Ret)

Regarding Ken Schweim's query. D-mn son, the "lock" in "Lock and Load" was moving the safety rearward where it would be inside the trigger guard on the beloved M1.

The safety has a hole in it whereas it could be secured with a rod (in the armory) or a padlock. So "Lock and Load" was moving the safety (lock) before the eight-round clip was inserted (load).

Semper Fi!
Mumford, Kenneth J. 155----, 0311


Your question on the term lock and load, our SDI S/Sgt Mills of Hotel Co, Plt 206 informed us hogs that it meant to insert a magazine into your rifle so that it was seated and locked into position and to load you released the bolt chambering a round. A rifle with a magazine inserted and locked into place but no round in the chamber is not loaded. I'm sure other DI's explained it differently. You only locked and loaded when you intended to fire the weapon otherwise you were in for an azs kicking if you were caught with a round in the chamber.

Semper Fi,
Cpl J.E. Curra
USMC 1968-71

Morning Sgt,

Please pass this along to Marine Ken Schweim who wrote about the phrase "Lock and Load". It refers to the necessity of locking the bolt open, and pushing a clip of 8-rounds into the magazine. Failure to do so leads up to the phrase "M-1 Thumb". I'm proud to say that I still have my scar, even though I am now 73 years old, and "Still a Marine".

James Bradshaw,
Plt 302, India Co, MCRD San Diego, 1960
SEMPER FI brothers.

To the Marine, Ken Schueim, who wanted to know what lock and load meant. When loading the M1 Grand, you push the slide back that locks and allows you to load a 9-round clip into the rifle, then the slide would come forward taking the top round into the chamber ready to fire.

Were you a cook? Ha Ha! Just kidding.

Pfc Nate Bocchino
1st Batt Alpha Co,3rd Plt,9th Marines
3rd Marine Div.

Boxing coach for 9th Marines on Okinawa '57.
My guys won everything there.

In reply to Ken Schweim's question about the origin of Lock and Load; I was taught that it originally came from the order for loading a flintlock musket. Lock the hammer in the half c-ck position, then load the powder, patch, and ball. Open the frizzen, add primer powder, and close frizzen. Full c-ck and then fire.

Also heard it when referring to lock a magazine in the rifle and load a round by releasing the bolt. Worked also for the M-1 when you locked the clip in with 2 or 8 rounds for the course of fire, then popped the bolt forward to load the round.

Bill Wilson '64-'70
Swing with the Wing!

This is for Ken Schweim: "Lock and Load" should be quite obvious to anyone who every carried a rifle! Load is to put the bullets in the weapon. Lock is to put the weapon on safe. Doh! You lock the safety!

J. L. Murphy Pvt to SSgt to WO1, WO2, retired as Major.

Set a range record at the Mateo range, Camp Pendleton: 247/250.

The origin of the phrase "lock and load" is not entirely clear, as there are two similar, yet distinct, explanations for its origin. Regardless of its exact origin, the phrase has come to relate to any activity in which preparations have to be made for an immediate action.

One explanation of the phrase comes from the actions needed to prepare a flint lock rifle for firing. In order to safely load a rifle of this type it was necessary to position the firing mechanism in a locked position, after which the gun powder and ball could be safely loaded into the rifle barrel without any chance of the rifle misfiring.

The second explanation is that the phrase (as "load and lock") originated during World War II to describe the preparations required to fire an M1 Garand rifle. After an ammunition clip was loaded into the rifle the bolt automatically moved forward in order to "lock" a round into the chamber.

Now, Lock and Load, is lock the bolt to the rear, load a magazine. Prepare to fire is, bolt forward, safety off. This is the standard procedure for firing on the line. Load open bolt, which means you pull the charging handle/bolt of the (30-06, M4/M16, .50cal, .60cal etc.) to the rear and "Lock" it in place. You then "Load" the magazine/rounds in the magazine well/chamber allow the bolt to release "loading" a round; take the weapon off safe. "Lock and Load, ready to fire".

Notes: Some viewers of Saving Private Ryan have mistakenly heard this phrase as "rock and roll", which was not popularized until the early 1950's, and would not have been used by Soldiers in World War II. In the 1949 film, Sands of Iwo Jima, John Wayne uses the phrase "lock and load".

Anthony Morace Jr.
NRA Instructor
NRA Chief Range Safety Officer

Back in the day (1954) when I had the honor of graduating from Boot Camp, USMC PI, lock and load instructed you to lock your M1 in the open breach position before you could insert an ammo clip and make ready to fire.

The M1 lock position also applied to "inspection arms".

Karl Henry
Cpl. 148XXXX
Semper Fi

Note: I received many more lock and load responses. Above is a good representation of what was sent in. I apologize if your story did not get in. Just too many to include all.

Sgt Grit


Been reading about all the Drill Instructors with great cadence calling. I went thru boot camp in a platoon of revolving DI's. We had a total of six in 12 weeks. The one that we kept all the way thru had the dullest cadence calling any one could imagine. 1-2-3-4-left, right, left. It could almost put you to sleep (Sgt W. W. Axxxxx).

Newsletter of 2/13/2013, For Ken Schweim... remember that little gadget with a hole in it in front of the trigger guard? Pull it (the safety) to the rear and the M-1 was "locked", slip in an eight round clip, let the bolt go forward and it was "loaded". I later shot on a pistol team (using the M-1911A1) and the command was "load and lock" because the pistol could not be loaded with the safety on.

L. H. Marshall

(Since Ken and I enlisted together with three others, our serial numbers are within a digit or two of each other.)

In March 1970, I was a proud member of Platoon 237, 2nd battalion, PI. The cadence "sang" by the DI's was spectacular. It made you lean back, set them on down, and march from the waist down. During a recent visit back to PI after 41 years I watched my great nephew graduate. It was so noticeable that the era of great cadence in our Corps has passed. The cadence now sounds like something from the Army. Truly this is disappointing to all Marines who have gone first. I salute my senior DI, Staff Sergeant Samuel Mishau.

Semper Fi
SSgt Bruce E. Brown

Though it's been over 50 years ago the cadence stories bring back some memories. I went through PI at the end of 1961 finishing in Platoon 383 (I was set back which is another story). My Senior DI was Staff Sgt CF Taylor, the CDI GySgt GN McIntyre and the JDI was Sgt RA Chagnon. I don't think any called award winning cadence. They did OK.

Though I mentioned in an earlier note that when he was of a mind to, Sgt Chagnon called cadence to the Marine Corps hymn. That was cool. We liked to march to it, and when he invoked it, it meant he wasn't p-ssed off. And I liked the story about the silent cadence. We did some of that, but no one put a name to it. The duty DI would just let us march for a long haul without saying a word. It's hard to describe how satisfying it was. You knew and you could feel and hear that you were in the groove, all on the same page. Though none of this happened until we passed the "herd" stage. If we were marching at our best, and our best met their standards, then the DI's would offer their best.

While they may not have won awards for calling cadence vs. their peers, we knew it was a form of recognition on their part, and for that point in time, we proudly strutted our stuff. But they didn't cast pearls to swine so to speak. Screw up, hold back, drag azs, and you didn't get any DI music. In retrospect, I think the best marching time was at night, off the parade ground. They just be moving us from one place to another. At night things were quieter and his cadence and our marching would slide into the night air just right.

I don't know if it was standard practice, but our senior would do it, and it was agony of sorts. He could, if he wanted to be heard pretty far away, but he liked to do what I call quiet cadence. He would get us out on the parade field, which in PI is huge. Do some drill where he'd be up close and personal. Be helpful where needed... e.g. "Pvt Harkness! Get in step! (I cleaned that up).

When we began to march like a unit to his satisfaction, he'd head us forward... but he'd stay put. We'd get further and further away... and further and further. Now you'd think that he compensated for distance with volume. No. No. He never changed it. He'd plant himself and just keep calling cadence without any change on volume and it became harder and harder to hear him and the commands, especially with all the marching feet. And woe betide you if you screwed up. This was extra fun when there were some other platoons on the field whose DI's could and would belt it out. You'd listen with all your might. Then eventually he'd march you back. In thinking about it, I assume that he wanted a vantage point where he could see the platoon as a platoon, how we flowed, how we looked as a unit, which only counts when the platoon can really march.

When you think upon it, recall that we were lined up in our squads by height. The tall guys up front and the shortest in the rear. I was about 5' 7" in those days which put me about in the middle. So as we developed as a marching platoon, we all had our little box we lived in. Your place. Your little piece of obscurity and security as long as you didn't screw up. Which suited me fine as my objective was to get through boot camp and if I was just one of 80 green men, that blended in, that was fine with me.

But one day to my shock and dismay the SDI asked/commanded me to be the Right Guide. If I recall, they were trying out, and shifting squad leaders and guide around, looking for improvement, looking for the right look, looking to develop leaders, looking for something better. I thought for the guide, they were looking for a poster Marine given some of their choices. Why me? Beats the heck out of me as I looked like a constipated seal beamed accountant and having lost some weight. My utilities didn't help the image either. I think I was up front for several days or a week. That's when I developed a healthy respect for the lot of the squad leaders & guides. It's not the same marching up front. D-mn! I was yanked out of my safe little box and stuck right up front which as far as I was concerned, took all the fun out of marching. I couldn't guide by the guys in front or to the sides of me. Because I was the front guy and they were guiding by me. And it's not easy to walk in a straight line in a vacuum. But the squad leader behind me would say, "you're drifting, or move a little to your right, to your left, and man..." when he'd send us out into wilderness. I only thought it was a b-tch trying to hear him. I had to hear him and get it right. I'd listen so hard I'd sweat.

But sadly my days basking in the glory of Right Guide were numbered. Eventually he decided there was room for improvement and continued the hunt for THE guide and eventually found him. That was fine by me.

Don Harkness

Well Done

Sgt Grit:

As a long-time subscriber, I've chuckled, cried, strode taller, and done all the rest that is invoked by reading the submissions from The Brotherhood, but I can't remember laughing as hard as I did this morning while reading "King Rat" from Sgt. Jim Hackett, USMC RVN 1968-70. Just wanted to pass along a "Well Done."

Also, another suggestion for naming the fragrance for the car air freshener: Dial Soap. Still can't use it, because of the odor.

Mike Gollihur
Former Sgt of Marines, '65-'69
Beautiful Chu Lai By The Sea, '67-'68


Submitted by: MARINE Jim McCallum (the ole gunny)
Vol. #4, #1, (JAN., 2014)

As I start to think about what topic or incident, I want to reflect for this installment. I have to look back on where we've been and what we've accomplished in the short period of time that we've been in country (Vietnam). We've transported so many people that I can't remember, but we sure made ourselves known in a number of different ways. Getting food to the hungry, transporting the sick and wounded, and last, but not least, providing some sort of hope for those that had NO HOPE before. I wish I had the words to express the looks on the Vietnamese women and children faces when a helicopter arrived with much needed food or medical supplies in a village. I know there were several occasions when it was hard to restrain myself, but part of being a MARINE is the ability to restrain yourself in unfavorable conditions. So let's buck up!

In the last installment of the FLIGHT LINE I talked about our (HMM-161 and later HMM-363's) support of the Korean's White Horse Div. down at Tuy Hoa. Well, from that involvement came some different stories that were more than not uncommon, but they are certainly noteworthy enough to include here. So, I'm going to fill you in on what I call the "Korean Quirks".

We had an ongoing daily commitment to pickup a Korean Doctor or at least someone that represented their Medical Dept. and take him around to the many different base camps that they had established just to the south of the base at Qui Nhon. We had a regular route whereas we would land in the middle of this large circle of troops that were assembled at the landing pad. The Doctor would get out after we shut down and started shaking hands with everyone assembled in the circle. When he had completed his rounds he would get back in the aircraft and we would fire up and before we took off someone would run out to the aircraft and load a case of "Crown Beer". This would happen at every base that we went to and we would end up with enough beer to help support our habit. Now, this happened every day at every Landing Zone that we held the morning Medical Call in. The only thing that we could figure out was if you couldn't shake the Doctor's hand or if the shake wasn't strong enough, then, you were sick! I have to say that the discipline in the Korean Military was something else. Their bases were manicured and their troops were always cleaning up in the area plus the VC were definitely scared of them. We of course were glad to have them on our side.

I'm going to relate a little story that happened just to the north of the base at Qui Nhon and it was kind of comical after it was found out what happened. We had been on a strike about 20 klicks (Kilometers) and we came back in to the landing zone area after dumping off the Troops. We landed on a dike out in a rice paddy and just settled down when my gunner that day stood up and aiming his machinegun straight down fired a string of fire and then abruptly sat back down like nothing had happened. I keyed my mike and just said, "Did ya Get Him?" To which he answered, "Yea," and nothing else. Well, we continued to unload what we had on board and took off again. It was then and only then that I had the time to ask my gunner what had happened. I thought that a VC had been hidden next to the dike and that Bert had seen him and "Made his Day", but believe it or not Bert did a water buffalo in that had been submerged in the rice paddy and stood up when we disturbed his rest with our landing. "Well, excuse us!"

Micturition Contest

For Chuck Reardon... 'challenge coins', one of which y'all got there, are a fairly new thing... dating from the 1990's or so at the earliest... and I have long had this sneaking suspicion that the coin thing started in one of the sister services... can't prove it, can probably start a major micturition contest in which you will hear from the guy who "invented" it... 4th FSSG is Fourth Service Support Group, or the logistical arm intended to provide most of the log support for the 4th MarDiv and 4thMAW (Reserve organizations)... I think if you run it down, you will find that those cities listed on the coin are sites where different Reserve Motor T units are based. The first I knew of the challenge coin was the opportunity to acquire one... at a reunion, involving among others, K/3/5. The deal is this... if you and others of your ilk (an 'ilk' being any Marine group of half a fire team or more) are gathered in a place where adult beverages are served... somebody's going to slap his unit coin down on the bar... which obliges all others present and qualified to carry such a coin, to also slap theirs down... woe be unto he who is either last... or worse yet, does not have his with him to slap down... because... he WILL pay for a round! If you had read your NOLAD reference carefully, you would have noted that Grit has FOUR PAGES (FOUR!) devoted to such coins in his catalog... or at least in volume 38... the one here on my desk...

For Ken Schweim on the campaign hats (covers... whatever... mine's a 'cover') becoming DI trademarks... I'm guessing here, but I think the pre-WWI campaign cover was resurrected for DI wear in 1956 or so... and partially as a result of the Ribbon Creek Incident... which was also the impetus for the Jack Webb movie. I hit receiving barracks (SD) 23 July of 1957... and the receiving barracks people (I only recall one SSGT and one CPL) did not wear campaign covers, but brain buckets (frame caps)... there may or may not have been yellow footprints there at the time (KRAFT disease, sometimes). Range personnel also wore campaign covers. In the day, ('62 to '66 for me) we were issued one (and one only... and it wasn't necessarily new, either) at graduation from DI school. When it got dirty, sweat-stained, etc., it was traded in at the recruit armory for another that had just come from the hat cleaning/blocking service in town. Stetson brand had a certain cachet'... but sometimes, all that was available was a Hamilton... (not good ju-ju... not at all). Today, I understand, the issue is three. If you survived the tour, you got to keep your cover... and you couldn't print enough money to buy mine...

Always thought the best job in the Corps would be to be a CWO-4, Bursting Bomb 'Gunner' Range Officer... Campaign Cover, with Officer braid hat cord, leather flight jacket, stainless steel quart Thermos... start work just before dawn, home to take the wife to the commissary by 1300... "Gunny... get'em on the firing line..." Or... take your match grade 1911 and some match ammo to burn at the pistol range... there are compensations for seeing so many dawns...

"Grunt"... came into common use early VN era... before that, we infantry types might refer to ourselves as 'ground-pounders', 'gravel-crunchers', etc... bear in mind here I was out of the FMF loop for those years at MCRD.


Lost and Found

I was in C-1-9, 3rd Mar Div... 1964. Anyone know or hear of 1st Lt. Brunner from Texas? Would like to thank him for being a great XO.

Cpl James Dickson
Ocala, FL


"Casualties many; Percentage of dead not known; Combat efficiency: we are winning!"
--Col. David M. Shoup, USMC

"Little else is required to carry a state to the highest degree of opulence but peace, easy taxes, and a tolerable administration of justice."
--Adam Smith

"If everyone enjoyed the unrestricted use of his faculties and the free disposition of the fruits of his labor, social progress would be ceaseless, uninterrupted, and unfailing."
--Frederic Bastiat, "The Law" (1850)

"I can never again see a United States Marine without experiencing a feeling of reverence."
--GEN. Johnson, US ARMY

"A virtuous and industrious people may be cheaply governed."
--Benjamin Franklin

"Among deprivations of rights, none is so effective in cowing a population, crushing the spirit of the individual and putting terror in every heart."
--Supreme Court Justice Robert Jackson

"The MARINES have landed and have the situation well in hand!"
--Richard Harding Davis

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

"Bends and mothers until you change the rotation of the earth!"

"Private how much rent are you collecting from the visitors living in that bore?"

God Bless The American Dream!

Sgt Grit

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