Old Corps Flame thrower operator... Caricature put on my seabag in 1956. Just got it on my arm 55yrs. later!
I received two complaints this week for 'editing'. I try to leave each story as you write it. But, I have to make certain changes. It is Corps with an 's', not Corp, Marine is ALWAYS capitalized. I don't care what Mr. Webster says or your high school English teacher. The Corps can't be responsible if the rest of the world is wrong on capitalization. To get past the PC police, web filters and other Gestapo types I have to adjust some of the more colorful words Marines use. Examples: sh!tbird, d-mn, etc... This is a Marine newsletter, not the Little Sister of the Poor Convent Newsletter.
Our Drill Instructors taught us how to talk to each other. I will continue to do what I can to get around the effete elite PC filters.
Definition of EFFETE
1: no longer fertile.
2a : having lost character, vitality, or strength.
2b : marked by weakness or decadence.
2c : soft or delicate from or as if from a pampered existence.
Not a problem we have as Marines.
Oh, I almost forgot, Parris Island has two r's. The boot camp rejects may go to Paris to sip tea with the elite artistic types. But Marines go to PaRRis Island.
Fair winds and following seas.
Injured Marine Semper Fi Fund
We want to thank all of our customers who gave to the Injured Marine Semper Fi Fund when placing an order with us from
1-Jan-13 to 31-Mar-13. You all gave a total of $5511.00.
These funds will go to help our Marine Corps heroes that are in need of specialized & adaptive equipment, adaptive housing, adaptive transportation, PTSD & TBI support and so much more.
Find out more about the Semper Fi Fund at:
May 2, Ron Sharetts asked if anyone remembered the sea bat. Aboard the Randolph, when there were a number of new boots aboard, they would announce over the 1MC that a sea bat had been captured, and was on display in the hangar bay. Usually a bunch of boots would show up and notice a large container surrounded by Sailors. As they came near to have a look, they would be batted, with brooms, by some old salts, thus receiving their sea bat! I forgot to mention that while these Navy boots were all duped by the sea bat, everyone in the Marine detachment was too smart to be taken in!
Put Together My Resume
Regards Ms. Boone wearing Corps gear. I have no problem Melanie as long as you obey "The Hats" two rules. But for the folks who think otherwise, maybe Grit could come up with a line of gear for supporters that would show their support, but not offend those who are not in favor of non-Marines wearing Corps gear. Just an idea.
Re. Cpl. Kunkle, we're all still a little dangerous, even if a little gray.
Re. Cpl. DeEmo and volunteering. After 9/11, I, like most Americans, was angry, confused, and hurt. I put together my resume, including a synopsis of my service and combat record and walked into the local recruiters' office and presented it to the SSgt. there knowing what the answer would be. (I was 58-years-old at the time). The SSgt. took my papers and carefully read them over and then quietly said, "Capt., let us take care of this one". It helped a little.
J. M. "Mike" Jeffries
Capt. USMC Ret.
I was a driver and gunner in an Amtrac company at White beach on Okinawa. In 1958 we gave our old C3-Amtracs left over from the Korean war to the Chinese nationals. We got these new P5-Amtracs. The Amtrac carried a squad of men from a ship to a beach and then inland. I am sure some old infantry men would remember taking a ride.
Report To The Well Deck
As they say, this is no sh-t. We were embarked aboard the USS PONCE (LPD-15) with BLT 2/8 in 1974. For some reason, the small arms and crew-served weapons of B-1/10 were stowed on an M35 "deuce-and-a-half", along with the other vehicles in the well deck. We maintained a guard watch armed with a M1911 .45 with five rounds.
One evening, we were in the Officer's Mess watching one of Clint Eastwood's Dirty Harry films. The film was interrupted when the OD came on the intercom and ordered all of the battery officers to report to the well deck.
The Private on guard had gotten bored and fired a couple rounds into a 1-and-1/2 ton trailer; fortunately not hitting any vehicle fuel tanks. Needless to say, this Private spent the rest of the deployment in the ships' brig, and there was suddenly room in the ship's armory to stow the weapons.
Expeditionary Forces, 1958
I remember it well. I was with I-3-10 in support of 1/8, we were on a routine Med cruise. I had just turned 18 and was able to go in Jan 1958. Sometime during May 1958 our ships were sent to the coast of Lebanon as a show of force. We floated around for 2 months off the coast and after that we were headed to Gibraltar to be relieved by the 6th Marines. I think it was the 2nd morning, I notice we were turned around and headed back towards the morning sun. Then we were told that we were going back to Lebanon to make a landing. We spent the day getting our individual combat load and loading the trucks with ammo for the 105's. I also remember sloping dull OD green paint on the trucks & 105's. Before that we would shine the brass plates on the 105 howitzers and wax the trucks. During the landing we were locked & loaded. After that it was just an everyday routine for a few months. What I remember most was the Gunny having me & Kirsch digging 2 latrines during our stay in Beirut, as the whole outfit had the Hershey squirts.
Upon my return to Lejeune I made Corporal and was assigned to Sea Duty. When I was leaving I-3-10, I asked the Gunny why he always picked me & Kirsch to dig the latrines in Lebanon, he told me it was because he knew we would do a good job. So it was a reward to dig the latrines. Hey, anyway we got to be first to use the new holes.
Popper D.A. 1608957
I read in your newsletter about everyone's adventures, travels and experiences they have had over the many years. We talk about our buddies in boot camp, our Drill Instructors, Platoon Sergeants, Squad Leaders, Company Commanders, etc. etc. etc. I think though we have left out someone very important in all our careers. Someone that kept us sharp and squared away all those years. From the time we arrived on Island or out in San Diego, to our last big oorah leaving the Corps. I would like to thank the very people that were there and have always been there that gave us our first haircut, then the one that motivated us right before graduation and all of those that kept us as drill instructors looking sharp as a tack on any given day. These are the unsung heroes of every base out there.
THE BARBERS. Thank you all for helping us as Marines to maintain an image like no other.
Robert R. Barnes
USMC 0311, 3533, 8511, 8921
Good morning Sgt,
Relating to the 03 and the M1 on the island, it is common knowledge to any person that has read WWII history that the Marines landed with 03s, bars and the M1919a3 machine gun. When the U.S. Army landed to help out they brought with them the wonderful M1 Garand. All people should know that you never take your eye off of your weapon, and the Army had a habit of not watching their rifles to closely. The Marines had many of the Army's M1s before they were issued to them. Some people said that they had stolen them, but when a Marine finds an unattended M1 he just assumes that the owner did not want it anymore, therefore he thought he could put it to good use. Now that everybody knows how the M1 got on the island, you may ask any 90 year old Marine and I am sure he will verify this.
J M Okel, MOS: 2536
So Many Fine Warriors
From Chet Nagle, a friend, author, former CIA agent and Naval Aviator.
This is from The College of the Ozarks, the mountainous land of the Scotch-Irish immigrants, and other fierce Americans, who gave the United States so many fine warriors in her defense. Because it is not about some ignorant, doper celebrity. I suspect that it will not go viral. That's okay, as long as Vietnam Vets see it, and as long as there are young Americans to say it.
Chet Nagel Video
Robert A. Hall
We Shall Never Forget
To GySgt P.A. Reis: this Memorial Day when you serve security guard at the "Dignity Moving Wall" in your hometown, you will feel a strong hand resting on your shoulder, it will be mine. We will be together to serve and protect. Keep a watchful eye. Who dare f-ck with our Wall? The "Wall of Vietnam Veterans", "Our Heroes" who answered the call. Gunny stand tall, wear your Sgt Grit Cover and Ribbons with Pride. Help our brothers who for the first time come trembling, walking wobbly, crying uncontrollably.
Together it will be our hand, yours and mine, who will guide our Brothers thru the battle field of memories. To stop at the panels and share the stories and memories. We shall never forget our brothers, nor those who returned home. We will stand Tall as Marines. We will share our stories with the younger Generation, our families, our time of War. Seek Peace my friends.
Frank "Doc "Morelli
I have a problem with some of the stories that are being sent to you. First off, I have been a DI at both San Diego and PI. When I first became a DI, I had no idea how I was selected, but I guess it was because they knew about my ability to Drill and follow routine. I was assigned to a Senior DI who told me what he did and what he expected of me. I helped push a Boot Platoon through and then upon Re-Enlisting I went to Weapons School. After Korea I was transferred to MCRDSD again and was again assigned to become a DI. This time I had to go through a DI School which told me what I could do and couldn't do, AND, what would happen if I didn't follow the UCMJ. So after pushing a Recruit Platoon through about half way, I again Re-Enlisted and went to Recruiters' School. Upon Graduating from Recruiters' School, we were assigned to become DIs at PI (where Recruiters' school was) because they had an influx of Recruits and not enough DIs. I again went to DIs' School, this time more of a refresher course than the complete School.
We first went to the Psychiatrist who had us draw pictures of a human, then turn the page over and draw the opposite sex, then you went to your Psychological interview. Upon getting an OK from him we went to our UCMJ Class which again explained what would happen if we violated any rules and several cases were shown where a DI had violated a Recruits rights by hitting him, by calling him or his family names. Now this was shortly after integration into the Marine Corps, and we were told what we could or could not do. It all basically was the same, certain things we could say and certain things we could not, the same with Brutality and other Bullsh-t.
All this doesn't mean we didn't march the troops, keep them awake for hours, scream at those that lacked the intelligence to obey an order. Wake them at odd hours and hold Field Day. Years ago we followed the Navy system of Holy Stoning, which was a soft brick that you scrubbed the heads with on your hands and knees. Now Mail Call is Mail Call, and it is a Federal Offense to Violate a Man's right to his mail and/or to destroy or damage it in any way, whether a Marine Recruit or a civilian... you can tell him to pass it around. The Naval Prison has DI's serving sentences for violating the UCMJ, and the deck has been covered with more stripes than you can count from DI's that violated the UCMJ.
Ever since the Marine Corps had Boot Camp, Marines have been telling everybody just how bad their Boot Training was and how big the fangs were on their DI... they were lucky to make it out alive. But, they revered their DI's for making them eat mud and get slammed against their foot lockers until they almost lost conscious while the Jr, or Senior DI looked on with fire in their eyes, and it won't change ever because that's the nature of the beast. Isn't it funny a Marine will explain how badly he was tortured at Boot Camp, but finds it hard to talk about facing the enemy.
When I went to Boot Camp, we marched with buckets full of sand in the middle of the night, we dug fox holes deep enough for them to run light tanks over us (the holes had been dug so often you just about could dig them with your hands) and we shot Rifle Grenades and ran until our lungs cried for air and our muscles ached for relief, and then the DI ran us another hour. I remember guys jumping saying they were getting their second wind, H-ll, I never had a second wind and I thought I was going to die until the DI (who was running with us) ordered "Halt, Attention, Right Face, Forward March... Straighten up you look like a bunch of school kids!" Suddenly we were marching as we were told and when we finally reached our Platoon Area, "Halt" was called and "Fall Out". Wasn't it amazing how many of us didn't fall to the ground and moan. You can always tell the Do'ers and the "Just get by'ers" in Boot Camp and on the Battle Field.
GySgt. F. L. Rousseau, USMC Retired
I'm saddened to hear that all of the promotion traditions seem to have been abolished. I got my stripes pinned on at every promotion, but the only one that really hurt was when I got my blood stripe pinned on during my promotion to Corporal. I can remember that after the promotion ceremony all of the NCO's from my Platoon and many others from the Company lined up inside the barracks in two rows. The pinning line had around 5 - 10 Marines on each side. I walked the gauntlet getting simultaneously hit on the arm and kneed in the thigh. Of course, they got to do both sides so after getting hit once I would have to turn around and allow them to "pin" the other side. I was hurting, but holding up until I got to the Company Gunny at the end of the line. He had some bony knees, and when he drove them into me, I just crumpled. I could barely move and the Gunny gave me the rest of the day off. I went to my girlfriends (now my wife of 25 years) apartment and spent the day. When I took my uniform off, my thighs on both sides were a deep purple. For the rest of the week I was on light duty, and no PT as it healed up.
I have barely seen a mention of "wog day". For those who don't know, that's when you cross the equator on a United States Naval ship. If you have never done that before, you are a pollywog. As my drill instructor might fondly say, you are lower than whale sh-t. The ship stops on the equator and from sunup to sundown you are led around by Shellbacks as their pet wogs, crawling through refuse, getting beat with paddles (keep in mind, all of this on a burning hot topside deck) and the worst of all, having to get a cherry out of King Neptune's grease smeared belly. King Neptune happens to be the fattest nastiest Sailor on the ship. It's amazing how there's always one 350+ pound Sailor on every ship. Anyways, at the end of this, you are entered into the sacred order of the Shellback and given a certificate. It even gets entered into your record book (so you get to participate on the fun side the next time you cross the equator).
My question is this, for all of you younger Marines out there are you telling me that there is no more wog day? No Shellback ceremony? Is this time honored Naval tradition now a part of the history books? If it still exists, how is the ceremony done without what may now be termed as "hazing"?
In re to Shawn Kane's Shellback Ceremony submission. I was in from June 2000 to October 2007. I deployed with Combined Joint Task Force - Horn of Africa in October 2002 aboard the USS Mt Whitney. When we crossed the Equator there was a Shellback ceremony. Not as eventful as some of the Saltier experiences that I have heard of from Marines who served before me, but a ceremony nonetheless. Our ceremony consisted of something like going through Nickelodeon's old family game show "Double Dare". Once on the flight deck you were sprayed with sea water until you were drenched, then you had to go the a trough filled with vinegar, apples, and oranges and successfully grab one and put it into a basket before you could advance through the trials. Of course you wouldn't want to open your eyes, because it would burn like h-ll, so you would be directed over to a fountain to rinse them out. Unbeknownst to us wogs, the fountain was shooting out salt water from the body of water below, so our eyes got burned regardless.
Then we had to low-crawl about 40-yards down a super-sized slip-n'-slide that was filled with raw chicken quarters, grapes, oranges, onions, and pickles. Basically you just got up looking and smelling like sh-t. Then at the end of the trails we had to stand in front of King Neptune with his Criso'd up belly, (I don't know what the Navy regs were, but there is no way that he was within them, must have been on his way out), and we had to grab a cherry out of his navel with our teeth in order to complete the trials in order to be deemed Shellbacks.
I think that the ship's crew, our NCOs, Staff NCOs, and Officers arranged for the event to be "haze-proof" because we had Marines, Navy, Army, Air Force, foreign military, and civilian staff along with us for the ride.
If they had carried the ceremony out in any other way, I am sure that the politicians in Washington would have had a field day with all involved. CNN would probably still be running the story!
Sgt '00 - '07
Sgt Grit Staff
Suck It Up
From '89 to '95 we were still performing the initiations at New River. The blood stripes were the worst for a few people, as they had p-ssed off fellow senior Marines who were waiting for the opportunity to "PIN" the new NCO. The Crew Chiefs on the 46's also pinned the Aircrew wings on the new Crew Chiefs and Pilots (HACS) as well.
Dennis David walked the gauntlet when he was promoted to CPL, and the boys in Flight Line made sure he received his 'pinning' accordingly. Thankfully when I was promoted to CPL I did not receive the same amount of attention walking the gauntlet as others had. Yes, the arms and legs were sore for a few days, but as one of the Staff NCO's would say, suck it up, you're a MARINE. Need I really say more.
To all the Flight Line, Hydraulics, Metal Shop, Flight Equipment, and fellow Avionics TRON GODS, of HMM-162 and 263 from my time in the Corps, I salute you all. Semper Fi to all.
CPL and Avionics TRON GOD
Jan '89 to '95
Sacrifices The Old Timers Made
I want to pass along this short letter for the new Marines to read;
After reading several letters referencing Korea and the Chosin Reservoir I would like to bring to the attention of new Marines not to forget all the sacrifices the "old timers" made.
My friend's name was Herman Crook, and he has gone to the final duty station. He was involved in the battle at the "Frozen Chosin" and was awarded a "Battlefield Commission" for his efforts. He rarely talked about those terrible days that the Marines suffered.
He was a good old Tennessee boy who did well in civilian life down here in Florida after being discharged at the end of the so called "Police Action".
Some of us are still left to pass along stories of former days and guys that served with honor.
Nam 65/66 EOD unit
Do You Know?
Do you know who the Once a Marine Always a Marine is? I know where that picture was taken at Chicago Sam's in Cromwell, CT 06416, and I do believe I've seen him riding horseback around town. I stopped by that bar after work today and talked with a manager there and gave him a printed copy of his poster and $10 only to pass it on to him and say Semper Fi from one Marine to another.
Sgt. Fadziewicz, Joseph M
Iwo Jima Medal of Honor Recipient
Dear Sgt. Grit,
Here is a picture of myself and the last surviving Battle of Iwo Jima Medal of Honor recipient, Cpl. Hershel W. Williams. I had the great honor of meeting Mr. Williams at the Tulsa Medal of Honor Day ceremony, Saturday, April 27th 2013. He is 89 years young and still sharp as a tack. As I was standing next to him some guy had said he had spent 13 years in the Army. Mr. Williams said, "you know what the Army stands for?" "It means Ain't Ready for the Marines Yet!" We all chuckled and the Army guy even said he had never heard that one before. It was really a great day.
Also to T.G. in last week's newsletter, I was on the USS Tripoli LPH-10 in 1985 when the Sailor jumped overboard. It was quite the excitement, with everyone running to get counted in the proper areas and running back up to the deck to see what was happening. I remember a Sea Knight helicopter throwing flares down in the water to mark this guy for the boat that was going out there to get him. It looked like he was at least a quarter mile or more away as our ship and others with us started to circle around. They didn't seem to be in too much of a hurry to get this guy, (they probably figured out pretty quick who he was) because we watched a good while before they even picked him up. Must have been good at treading water. They marched him right in front of us after they got him out of the water, and he looked like a drenched rat. Heard that he also would be charged for interfering with a military exercise.
Thanks for the newsletter every week. Always look forward to it.
Cpl. Clay 0351
Big Treat Tomorrow
October 1965, I was assigned to the 3rd MAF Comm Center, on call 24 hours a day, as I had a Top Secret Clearance and had to handle all top secret messages - acknowledgement, delivery, etc. All the headquarters personnel ate at the same messhall, along with the officers assigned to 3rd MAF headquarters. I guess that the brass had been complaining about the constant breakfast menu of canned bacon (so salty as to be almost inedible), scrambled eggs made from dehydrated eggs (no further explanation needed), and canned sausage patties that had been preserved in grease. (later, after being transferred to the 3rd Mar Div, and going on some operations with Infantry Battalions, I realized how well we were being fed at 3rd MAF hdqtrs). Anyway, at evening chow one day, all the messmen had big grins on their faces. They told everybody "big treat tomorrow for breakfast", but refused to give any details. So, the next morning, more people showed up for breakfast than ever before. I had an early chow pass because of my clearance, so I was 2nd or 3rd in line. The chow opened, we went in, and were greeted by the cook with a large case of fresh eggs next to him and his large flat top stove. He said "fresh eggs, boys, any way you want them!" The first guy in line said, "two over easy!" The cook broke two eggs over the cook top and out came an almost fully formed chick, followed by one that was just a bloody mess. You can imagine the smell when they hit the red hot grease on the cook top. The first guy in line took his tray and ran out of the mess hall. The cook said, "they can't all be bad", and started breaking eggs and dropping them in the grease. I'd say about 90 percent of the first 10 he broke were REALLY rotten. By this time, hungry Marines, suddenly no longer hungry, were leaving the chow line in a hurry. As I left, the cook was scraping the bloody, stinking messes off his stove and still breaking eggs, saying, "What's wrong with you guys? There's bound to be some good ones in here somewhere." It was some time before the smell left that mess hall.
I NEVER heard another complaint about breakfast again from anyone who had been there for "the 3rd MAF breakfast treat".
Sgt. John Stevenson,
RVN July 1965 - Sept. 1966.
My son, Adam Federman, has been awarded his fourth consecutive college scholarship by the Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation. This is the foundation's mission, taken from its website:
"Since 1775, Marines have selflessly served America, and for nearly 50 years the Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation has honored this service by educating their children. The privately-funded, 501(c)(3) non-profit organization provides scholarships for post-high school education and career training to deserving sons and daughters of Marines, and Navy Corpsmen with particular attention given to children whose parent has been killed or wounded in action. Additionally, the Scholarship Foundation's Heroes Tribute for the children of the Fallen Fund provides up to $30,000 over four years to every child of a Marine, or Navy Corpsman serving with Marines, who has been killed in combat since September 11, 2001."
This outstanding organization has helped to make it possible for my son to attend the college of his choice, which is Kenyon College in Gambier, Ohio, one of the Country's finest liberal arts colleges. My wife and I will be forever grateful to the foundation for its support and we urge everyone to donate generously so that others may benefit as we have. Besides its monetary support, the Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation has let my son, and my wife, get to know actual Marines, which is far more impressive to them than listening to me bore them with stories of my time in the Corps during peace and war.
I served with 1st MarDiv HQ and III MAF HQ in Vietnam in 1970-71. For my son to receive these generous scholarships, all I had to do was to get shot at a couple of times, dodge a few mortars, get soaked with Agent Orange and undergo some special care and handling when I got home. Seems like a fair trade to me. I know Marines who had it a lot worse.
Thank you, Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation.
Sgt. Bill Federman
Clean The Swabs
I wasn't a "Winger" and don't know squat about airplanes, but I did do a stint on MCAS Cherry Point and I seem to remember the Marine Corps designation for the C-130 / KC-130 was GV-1. Is there any support for that memory.
On another chicken, I seldom see any mention of Operation Steel Pike in the newsletter. Operation Steel Pike was the largest peacetime amphibious landing exercise in history. Conducted by the United States Navy and Marine Corps. It took place on the coast of Spain, near Rota, in October to November 1964. One battery of HAWK missiles was involved; 'B' Battery 3rd LAAM Bn. We floated to Spain and back on the MSTS General R.M. Blatchford (AP-153) with a stop on the way back, in the Canary Islands, for four days liberty. (The Blatchford carried troops to VN in '65 & '66). I had mess duty on the way over and head duty on the way back (Thank you S/Sgt Gehrdes, you d-ck). I never got sea sick. Much of the battery had gotten really drunk the night before we left, and I felt a little urpy that first morning at sea (I was serving on the chow line) but, some Sailor told me to eat soda crackers (saltines for you Yankees) and that worked. While on mess duty, I would volunteer to clean the swabs. For those who have never been aboard a ship, that entailed throwing a few half hitches around the handle of the swab with a long length of line and pitching the swab in the ocean to be dragged in the wake of the ship. Cool. We hit a bad storm on the way back to the states and I slept like a baby. Fell in love with being on aboard ship during that trip.
While in Spain, our position was back off the beach far enough we couldn't see or hear the water, but it was still sand. We had to check our racks each night at lights out to make sure a scorpion hadn't taken up residence during work hours, and we stashed our boots, upside down on sticks stuck in the sand for the same reason. Our entertainment was flipping quarters, torturing scorpions, and drinking the only beer available, National Bohemian (the red can, if I remember correctly). We returned to Cherry Point the Monday before Thanksgiving and the entire battery was given a 96 over Thanksgiving weekend.
Hey Harry! Are you sorry now that you fired MacArthur?
Your statement concerning the terms used by the Corps and other services is a common issue. Many of the terms used, methods of training, and many other issues seem to be changed or watered down as time goes on. I know in 1972, I shipped over for 6. However I did hear Marines at this time refer to it as they re-upped! As far as I am concerned in the Corps you ship over.
In training as a recruit in boot camp the DI's wore us out. And, you had better hope you knew how to pray, and pray fast if you really stepped on it because then it was almost certain death. P.T. was done at any time without regard to the heat index or number of reps done as well as how close it was to chow call. This was in 1970. Then in 1975 as a "recruit" in DI school, we were given the S.I. and P.T. cards that had the heat index on them, and the appropriate number of reps per exercise. The recruits were advised that the D.I.'s had limits on the P.T. they could have them do, that when a certain flag was flown that showed the heat index, P.T. was limited. DI's had some boundaries as to what they could call recruits, and finally if the D.I. touched the recruit then his stripes as well as his career were gone.
I am not saying that recruits should be mistreated and abused, however, as a DI you have a job to do and that is to prepare, train, and graduate a basically qualified Marine from boot camp. Some may disagree, but part of preparing is giving them an understanding of what can happen to them in any given situation. Teaching them all of the required issues in the training manual and sending out to the FMF one well-trained ready for service (and additional training) United States Marine. I know after I graduated from boot I had the opportunity to continue my training in ITR and BITS, so when I reported to my first duty station I was a basically qualified Marine grunt. I was not however, a fully trained grunt, and I doubt that I would have ever been a 100 percent fully trained grunt even after 20 years because once you think you know it all, you will learn very quickly you do not, and hopefully you will live to remember the lesson you learned.
Things change in the Corps. Even through many of the terms, methods for training, and many other issues remain the same, many do not. Each generation of Marines keep the traditions and add a few new ones as they move through their careers in the Corps. That is how it should be as our Corps continues to be the best darn service there is. Each generation puts their own stamp on being a United States Marine. Hopefully each time there is change it will be for the better, and the Corps grows to be even better. First to fight. When the shâ€”t hits the fan, the President calls one group to go in a flush the sh-tter, thereby fixing the problem The Few The Proud The United States Marines.
SSgt Joseph Whimple
U.S.M.C. 2-70 / 12-76
At Parris Island in August of 1960, when we still had the REAL rifles (M1s) with stacking swivels. The stacking swivel actually had two very important uses. Number one was to enable the weapon to be stored in the upright position when hooked to two other rifles in a "teepee". The second was as a motivator as in "All right girls, gettum' out by the stacking swivels". Which was used by our Drill Instructors when somebody was out of step in the platoon. On this command we had to hold the 9.5 pound weapon straight out from the body by the stacking swivel between the thumb and forefingers of both hands. On a hot August Parris Island grinder, it wasn't long before the strongest among us was in serious pain trying to stay in an upright position. The stacking swivel was indeed a very important part of Marine Corps lore and source of sea stories. Hate to see it go.
Communicate Directly With God
From the day I first arrived in Vietnam until I boarded the freedom bird for my trip back to the world, I was fascinated by the extensive tactical radio network that connected all ground troops to some invisible authoritative force. I thought it was the equivalent of being able to communicate directly with God.
Marines could speak a few words into their radio headsets and as if by magic planes, helicopters, or artillery shells would appear. In the platoon hierarchy I realized that being the head radio operator held the most power, and therefore I set my sights on earning that job. To become head radio operator I first needed experience as a squad radio man followed by an apprenticeship as assistant head radio operator. It would normally require a new man in the country about eight or nine months to reach a level of proficiency to hold this most prestigious and responsible job. Because of rotation schedules, casualties, and some luck I was able to obtain the job in less than four months.
Shortly after acquiring my new status as the head radio man, one of my platoon members came down with malaria and went into convulsions. Our new Platoon Sergeant, Mackie, yelled over to me, "Hiers! Get a chopper in here right now!" "Are you going to call it in, Sergeant?" I asked. "I don't even know where we are." "Hiers, do I look like the head radio operator? You call it in and you call it in now!" he yelled. At that point he threw me the map and pointed to a spot on a ridge line. "We're right here. Now get busy."
I knew I was trained sufficiently for the advancement, but at that moment, radio man was the last thing I wanted to be. By accepting the head radio operator's position I had become the teacher, because now I had an assistant radio man learning from me. As the sweat of nervousness poured out, all I was thinking about was how nice it would be if I could be the assistant radio operator again. That thought quickly passed because long before I moved into this new job I knew I was ready. "Bravo, Bravo, this is Bravo One, Over." I said into the radio. "Bravo One, this is Bravo, Over." "Roger Bravo, request permission to leave the net and contact Little Abner [battalion] to coordinate emergency medical evacuation of one case of malaria." I said. "Roger, Bravo One, permission granted. Inform us when you are back on the net. Bravo out."
It was now or never for me, and by changing the radio frequency dial on the radio to the Battalion's frequency I was heading into the big time. Now I was able to talk directly with the pilots of jets and helicopters flying in the vicinity. In less than two minutes from the time Sergeant Mackie told me to get a helicopter, I was talking to one and reading him our grid coordinates. After the medivac was completed I knew I had really graduated into the head radio operator's job. As terrifying as it was talking to the helicopter, I couldn't wait to call in my first napalm strike.
B Co. 1/26 Marines
I served from 1960-1980. I'm a little confused on how to respond when someone thanks me for my service. That's not the type of comment I got during and after my service, until recently. "You're welcome", "Thank you" seem inadequate. "Thank you for giving me a chance to serve" seems more appropriate. Some of those that thank me are younger then my own children. They would be confused by the tears in my eyes, if they saw me shortly afterwards, and I had a thought of those I served with that would never hear that thanks (I feel obligated to accept the thanks for them, not me, I survived intact).
Anyone got a better/more appropriate response?
hoogie 1960-1980 retired Capt/GySgt.
I have a story about pogie bait that was shipped to Viet Nam. I had become very good friends with my hooch mates. There was Fuller, Gugliotta, and one that became a best friend, D-n Whitt-n. I don't want to embarrass him so I have concealed his name.
His family were such great people and his sister and I would write often. His birthday was coming up and his sister wanted to send a cake. She asked me if she could send it to me. I could then frost it and put "happy birthday" on it. She said that everything would be in the package that she would send. Of course I said yes.
A few weeks later I got a package. The box had been dropped a time or two... or four or five... OK it was basically beat to h-ll. When D-n Whitt-n (I don't want to embarrass him) was on watch in the FDC, I opened the package. The largest piece of the cake was about 2" x 4" and was slightly stale. I also found a can of icing and a package of sugar letters for spelling out "Happy Birthday". As with the rest of the box, the letters were either broken or missing.
When D-n came back after his watch, I had skillfully glued the cake back together using the icing as glue and proudly put the words "Hupy Bthda" on the top. I really enjoyed the cake and the good laugh we had, I do wish the beer we had to wash it down with had been a little colder.
SSgt DJ Huntsinger
In response to "No Regrets".
E, 2/23, 82-88
It's nice to know there's a Marine out there who knows how to spell and compose a paragraph. I enjoyed your essay very much, T.G.
I love your six examples of "complexes" and offer my own personal perspective:
- I was a grunt but not full-time. I was also an office poge and a security guard. So what?
- I "retired" with an honorable discharge after four years of service.
- I most definitely was a regular, whatever that is.
- I'm not a combat veteran, but I came close during the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962. I would've done my best and that's all that counts.
- I didn't go to boot camp in Hollywood.
- (This is my favorite) I only made PFC during 4 years in the Crotch. We were told rank was "frozen". However, I did notice that a few brown-nosers were being promoted.
- My only medal was a Good Conduct Medal, and I'm still proud of it.
That mostly covers my complexes and I also want to say I enjoyed your sea story. I survived 7 months on a troop ship and sometimes wanted to jump off, too. Just kidding, it was great.
H&S, 2/6/2, '59-'63
You were in the same area as me. The pass, Esso Plant, Namo Valley, Black Bridge. We secured The Pass in several positions along the Pass. This was Sept '68-Sept '69. Stayed around the DaNang area during my tour. Ran operations off the USS Iwo Jima, Barrier Is. Saw a lot of things a 19 year old should not have to see. Now I'm proud I served the Corps, and it makes my life worthwhile. I still remember all my fellow Bros, and I keep in contact with a few of them. One being my Platoon Commander. Lost some of my Bros, but that goes along with what we went through.
I'm sure you share the same thoughts. Love your site and what you have accomplished since your tour in the Corps. Keep up the good work to honor our Bros... living and fallen.
From a Brother in Arms, SF,
Cpl. Larry Allen
BLT 1/26 Marines
I love getting your newsletters and wanted to weigh-in on a civilian (me) wearing a Marines T-shirt. My grandfather, father, father-in-law, and brother were all Marines. I wear the t-shirt with pride, and when asked if I served I always say "My Father and Brother" were Marines. If we talk longer than just a second I'll give more info, but I've never had any Marine be offended by me wearing the shirt. Just my two cents.
Thank you all for your service.
In response to the letter titled "Joe Civilian" (25 April 2013), if the writer, Peter Wierenga wants to support and help his Marine friends and the Corps, he might want to contact the local Marine Corps League Detachment in his area and become an Associate Member. It appears he has the willingness to help and get involved with the Corps. As an Associate Member of the Marine Corps League he will have all sorts of opportunities to be an active participant in Detachment programs and work together with Marines to achieve their goals. This is a great way to show his support while at the same time satisfying his desire to be a member of a truly great Marine based organization. Yes, there are uniforms for both the Regular and Associate Members if that is one of his questions. Hope this helps.
Bob Applegarth, SGT, 1965 - 1971
Life Member, Marine Corps League
If I see you wearing any part of our uniform, I might have to take you out. If I see you trying to pass yourself off as a Marine, I will take you out. If you are wearing, displaying, or carrying something in support of Marines then I will either give you a OOH RAH or a Semper Fi. But, you better know how to respond back. I bought my 14 yr. old daughter a Hoodie with USMC and my beloved Eagle, Globe and Anchor displayed on it from Sgt Grit, and she knows that if she gets a Semper Fi, she better respond with a OOH RAH, or vise versa.
Brenner Robert N
Cpl USMC '85-'89 / '90-'91
Mar Det USS Hunley (AS-31)
Mar Det USS Coral Sea (CV-43)
Wpns Co 1/5 81 Plt
Delta Co 2/23 1st Plt
Study Abroad Program
This past weekend my son came home from a seven month "study abroad program" hosted by the University of Afghanistan â€“ Helmand Campus. During his course of study he & his fellow fraternity brothers got to visit all the satellite campuses the Marine Corps has to offer for their area of operation, in addition to many of the local cities & towns. To my understanding, think this experience has earned him enough credits for a unique dual degree in International Relations & Route Clearance, with a minor in Muslim Studies.
He's got a lot of interesting stories regarding the challenges of getting from one campus to the next & the numerous obstacles they'd encounter. In addition to how pranksters would plant gifts, of various poundage, for them outside the front entrance of some the campuses main entrances & the bus routes they would have to take.
He did say the dorm & cafeteria on his main campus was awesome â€“ but did not get much time there & the accommodations at the other campuses were either closed for renovations, or not available. Thus leaving them to sleep in or on top of the over-crowded, armed & armored buses that got them around. Additionally, the nights spent off campus were more interesting than the ones spent on.
Since Ryan's been back, Momi has noticed how his behavior & awareness has changed when in public places. Feeling that this very normal & anticipate this actions will dissipate as time progresses.
It was GREAT to have him home for a few days & very much look forward to his return for his regular leave.
It is important to note that the deployment did not go without incident & would like to ask for thoughts & prayers for the families that suffered loss & injury.
Semper Fi & God Bless
An Inspiration To All
In response to Sgt. Robert H. Bliss's letter entitled "Lucky Charm" on 25 Apr 2013.
The name of that Chaplain was Lieutenant Bernard J. Grochowski who was the Battalion Chaplain for the 2nd Battalion, 5th Marines in 1970. He was a Roman Catholic Priest from Massachusetts. I first met him in May/June 1970 when Fox 2/5 was providing security for Liberty Bridge. I remember him well as we let him fire all our weapons including the 81mm mortar and the 106mm recoilless rifle which was located on the south end of the bridge. He would always conduct religious services for us, and even pass out the hymnals which he carried in his pack so we could all sing hymns. He spent much of his time in the bush with the rifle companies and would visit us one more time when we were conducting operations in the LeBac area.
We were always happy to see him and a few of the Marines would help him fix-up his Chapel Tent when the company was in the rear at An Hoa. He was a great guy to have around and an inspiration to all.
Robert F. Kane
Fox 2/5 - 1970
As I opened this week's newsletter, I almost immediately found SSgt Reed's description of the volleyball games his unit played in the '70's. That brought back memories of what we called "Jungle Rules on the Net". When I joined India 3/11 down in the Chu Lai area at the start of my 'Nam tour in December of '66: elbows through the net, stepping on feet to prevent spiking the ball, etc. Later, back in "ConUS" (Continental United States--do they still use that term?), at old Camp Elmore (no longer in existence) just south of Norfolk Naval Base, I acquired two trophies... one for second place and one for first. As a member of the officers' team in two tournaments during my Jan68 to 31May69 assignment as Asst. S-4/EmbarkO for HQ Battalion, FMFLant, before my release from active duty. There, we played more by-the-book games.
As Bob Hope used to sing at the end of his radio and TV programs, "Thanks for the memories."
Once a captain, USMCR; always a Marine
[for pay purposes: PLC Officer Candidate, summers of '63 and '65; TBS officer student, Class 4-66, Mar-Aug66; two months of Artillery School at Fort Sill; Vietnam-4Dec66-18Dec67: (almost six months as FO for Lima 3/7, before FDC duty with India, then at 3rd-8-Inch Howitzers from 1Aug-18Dec; Corpus Christi, TX, Reserve unit, Aug69-Oct75: (XO of C and CO of D Companies, 4th Recon Bn, later combined and re-designated as C-1/23 (XO, then CO, then XO again, when a major joined); Inactive Reserve until 1Jul76]
It's The Little Things In Life
One day as I headed off to the Chalmers P. Wylie, VA Outpatient Clinic (757), I grabbed a few old copies of my Sgt Grit Magazines that I had collected. I took them into the clinic and distributed them to different areas on my way up to my primary care appointment. As I dropped one off, a jarhead stopped me and said, "May I keep this and take it with me?". I said yes and explained to him how I got them. He told me that he was homeless and saw one of the magazines a long time back, but could never get a hold of a copy for himself. Of course I showed him all of the free beanies we have and how to take advantage of them, and then offered my guidance. Basically this leatherneck was so pleased to finally get his own copy he could barely contain his self.
Sometimes it's the little things in life... A short time later, I showed him my address on the mag and gave him my number, but sadly I have yet to hear from him. Having been homeless myself, I know how it is hard to reach out to far for fear of someone taking away what little you do have.
They may have been old copies, but they are still good for something besides collecting dust. I challenge all who get these magazines in the mail. Please take them to your local VA Clinic and/or give them to someone who can. Share your old copies with those whom otherwise do not know of SGT GRIT for many reasons. I gave and old one to a Korean War leatherneck. He thanks me regularly and he has gotten hooked, buying and wearing various Eagle, Globe, and Anchor's and such daily. It is great what we are doing for our younger brothers-in-arms, isn't this the least we can do for our old salts?
David E Swiger
Sgt USMC Semper Fi
If God be for us, who can be against us?
If we teach our children by example, then we have only ourselves to blame for what they become.
Igor's First Helicopter
Good Afternoon Sgt Grit,
This note is in response to Major Dale Williams and the question that I posed in previous offering of the article that I write entitled The Flight Line. The Major indicated the when he sat beside Igor Sikorshy's son Sergei at a gathering at Ft. Lee, Va. he posed the question that many have pondered over the years and got the following answer. The son stated that his dad Igor learned to fly in the right seat so when he invented the helicopter that's where the pilot ended up.
Well, that sounds logical but, let's just think about this for a minute. It is fact that Igor Sikorsky was awarded in Connectcut Helicopter license #1 in 1940. So who was his instructor? It should also be noted that helicopters are numbered in numerical order as they are accepted and patented. The first production helicopter was the R-4 and we're up to the S-76 and beyond.
Igor's first helicopter was the XR-4 which was delivered to the Army Air Force by flight from Bridgeport to Dayton, Ohio which was the first cross country by a helicopter in the U.S., and that happened in 1942. The R-4 later became the world's first production helicopter. The CORPS had a number of very dependable models which included the H-19, H-34, H-37, H-53 and a number of others that I won't mention that came from the Sikorsky Company.
Let's think about the seating and control arraingement in a helicopter for a minute. Early designs did not have a two seat arraingement side by side like most of todays helicopters do. True, some are fore and aft seating, but not many. It was a single seat and that required the collective to be on the left hand side, and the cyclic to be between the pilots legs. Also, remember that the Engineering of years gone by did not include a lot of bell-cranks and trick contol hook ups and routing. It was very simple and straight forward and somewhat primative, but it worked. I should add, most of the time. The advent of tecnology and experimentation later was to include electrical input and hydralic output features that would marvel the common man.
I could more then likely ramble on and on about helicopter controls and why I think they are positioned as such, but this is not a technical paper and I don't want to take up the time or the space. My goal here was to stir the pot and have guys start thinking about it. I personally think that Sergei was just funning the Major or Capt. at the time. Remember that no one taught Wilbur or Orville Wright to fly. I don't believe that someone taught Igor to fly either. I believe that he was a self made man. After all, "who taught his instructor"?
Now, I also see that the Major was a 6511, AO in his career and I was a fledging 2336 back in 1956, plus I later had approx. 10 total MOS's from time to time. I had a wonderful career from 1954 to 1974 and then with the State of Wash. Aviation Unit and later with Boeing in QA engineering, R/D in Navy Systems Div. Been totally retired since 1992. SEMPER FI Major and THANKS for your service.
The Ole Gunny
German Air Force, Pickle The Load
NATO Exercise, Bold Guard, mid-'78, I was NCOIC of Metal shop with VMFA-333. We landed at the NATO airfield in Vandal, Denmark after a very long flight on a C-141. We stopped in Newfoundland, but that seemed like days ago by now. Our first task was to setup tent city. We were given meal chits for a civilian place outside the gate until the Mess tent became operational. The locals said it was still summer there, but in my opinion it was COLD. Walking around with sleet coming down and needing to use the sleeping bag is not my idea of warm. With all the F-4J Phantoms secured, we settled in for the sorties to come.
Near the end of the deployment one of our birds had a problem and requested an emergency landing at Leck Air Base near Flensburg, Germany. The crew needed to catch the cable with their tail hook. The German Arresting Crew set the cable for the wrong weight aircraft. When our crew caught the cable, there was too much slack which whipped up and around one side of the stabilator pinching about one half of it off. It's like whipping a garden hose or rope stretched out on the ground, the loop formed travels along the length. The stabilator is the complete unit that produces pitch (nose up and down).
Myself, one Hydraulics man from 333 and one metal smith from H&MS boarded a C-130 with a new stabilator unit and headed south. One of the German F-4 squadrons lent us hanger space and access to tools and equipment for the repairs. The base had nice facilities and the local brew in Flensburg wasn't bad either. The German Air Force provided an Australian civilian employee to us as guide and interpreter. This was a major repair and it took the better part of a week to finish.
The Air Crew was flown in to turn up, test repairs, and return the bird to Denmark. We had to let the German host Squadron Ordinance crew test the ordinance system. That was the only test the three of us knew nothing about. All of a sudden there is a loud boom and both wing pods smash to the ground. Luckily the external fuel tanks had been removed for maneuvers. I found out later, when the ordinance test is performed on a bird with wing pods attached, the systems are tested with the exception of not actually hitting the "pickle the load" button. Their birds were reconnaissance only (RF-4J) and never were equipped with wing pods, so when they did the test they would hit the "button" because nothing would happen. They followed their check list correctly. We were fortunate that none of us were close to the pods when they blew off.
We secured a forklift, skid and strapping material for the mangled pods. After watching our bird take off, do it's Fly Over, it disappeared from sight heading north. We got the pods and damaged stabilator and ourselves loaded into the C-130 that ferried our pilots. Flying back to Denmark we thought this adventure was over, wrong!
After landing at Vandal we discover that Tent City, along with most of 333 was gone, our personal gear was in one of the bomb- proof hangers. When the F-4 we fixed had returned, it was fitted with wing pods and drop tanks, refueled and left for the Azores to catch up with the rest of the flight back to South Carolina. Along with the skeleton crew, we waited several days until a C-5 Galaxy (That's One Big Bird!) showed up. The flight back was long and uneventful except for the emergency landing at Dover, Delaware which turned out to be a false alarm. Except for being about two weeks late it was nice to step foot on MCAS Beaufort again. I can't remember what happen to the skids with the damaged stabilator and pods. Last time I saw them they were on the tarmac in Denmark. They may still be sitting there?
VMFA-333, also known as the "Shamrocks" or "Trip Trey" was deactivated March 31, 1992.
SSgt L.K. Reed
One Of His Great Talents
Marine Thomas Sowell, PhD, served during the Korean War, but was not in Korea. His autobiography, "A Personal Odyssey", is inspiring. He grew up in a poor black family in NC, without electricity, hot water or an indoor head, and supported himself from age 17 on. After the Corps, he worked his way through Harvard, a Masters at Columbia, and to a PhD in Economic Thought at University of Chicago. I recommend any of his dozens of books. I learned more from his "Basic Economics" than any other book I have ever read, and I had a fair grounding in the subject. His "Race and Culture: A World View" is also terrific. I'm pretty smart, but my intellect is far below Sowell's. Thankfully, he writes clearly for the average reader; one of his great talents.
Also, in response to Joe Civilian, I would not recommend wearing a USMC cover or t-shirt, as people will think you are claiming to be a Marine. I recall a young fellow in a Marine tee in a cafe. When I asked when he served, he mumbled that he didn't, just liked the shirt. End of conversation. Look of contempt. "Well," the waitress said, "That friendship died fast!"
Maybe Sgt. Grit could make a t-shirt that said, "I honor the US Marines and all who have served." That would make it clear.
A few years ago, I saw a young hippy type with his girl coming out of a movie, wearing a USMC Green Blouse over his jeans. My wife prevented a confrontation, probably as well at my age, though I doubt he could have taken a hit. I still regret letting her talk me out of setting him straight.
Robert A. Hall
"To Whom It May Concern"
Dear Sgt. Grit,
It seems that many Marines out there have the same story to tell in different words and different angles. I served from 1963 to 1967 and was not in Vietnam. I was prepared to go if sent, and do the right thing for my Country and the Marine Corps. One Sergeant who I had at Camp Geiger for training had a statement he repeated over and over for us going in "Harms Way". I guess the statement was around for a long time before I was in the Corps? He said to us, "If a bullet has your name on it, you are f-cked. But you have to be alert to the bullet that says, To Whom It May Concern. These are the ones to be careful of?"
I have seen a lot - If our number is up - you cannot do anything to prevent it. Once saw a car accident, where an old Volkswagen Beetle in the 1950's rolled over and went into a ditch... driver killed instantly, passenger was fine and lost a shoe?
You as a Marine - either have to take life a day at a time, or make the best of it! People influence you from the day you are born - some good and some not so good. You respect some people who deserve respect from you. You may salute an officer who is senior to you - but you do not have to respect him - it is earned.
Got into the civilian role in the 60's - had a slew of aszes I worked for - but only a few I respected?
To my fellow Marines out there - I found a fellow Marine who was a good friend - and now Sgt. Grit reunited us - his last e-mail to me stated that he looks for my e-mails in the morning, as I do his to me. It helps to see the "forest from the trees".
My buddy is in Thailand - part of the area is still a hotbed in the outlying areas.
What happened in Boston was a terrible thing - we must be strong and go forward - now one step at a time - and recover and continue our existence! It is always darker at first to forge ahead and get stronger after a setback like this.
I am proud to be a Marine and to have serve my country, even though it was a long, long time ago. You still have Marine expressions that you use today - and Lo and Behold I am friendly with a Bouncer that I started to say, Good Night to as I left to go home after work, on my way to my bus stop. I started talking to him a few weeks ago. He is also a Marine, younger than me of course. We sometimes chat if I have a minute on my way to my bus stop.
Yesterday something at work upset me - he said "What's Wrong Bruce? I said - unthinkingly- that my boss need a "Blanket Party. Big Time"! He and I looked at each other and started laughing our aszes off in the street - people stared at us and thought we were nuts, as it was Midnight in New York City. And the "Crazies"are out there in our Fair City at that time.
I feel better already - and I have to wrap it up to get ready to return to the Asylum where I work". The inmates are running the asylum naturally.
As we said in Boot Camp when the lights went out - at attention in our racks...
"GOD Bless Mommy and Daddy and the Marine Corps!"
Sgt grit, in your newsletter dated 31-Jan-2013 a Sgt Bob Adcock wrote about Sgt Francis X. Muldowney, Plt 235. I was with Bob and our SDI Muldowney.
Thank you Sgt Grit.
Sgt Mike Lopez
PI Plt 235
Leadership and Reflection
I am a Former recruiter out of OkSouth/Norman and have been back in the Fleet Marine Force for over a year now since leaving Oklahoma. If there is one thing you could ask me that I have missed about Oklahoma I'd say it would be Oklahoma Football and the Sgt Grit Staff... Nowhere in my career have I met such a wonderful extended family, whom are so dedicated to taking care of the Marines and our Beloved Corps values. I have been on deployment overseas now for 5 months and just received a package from Sgt Grit... It was not only packed absolutely perfectly, but filled with shirts, coins and a few other things that have been passed out to the locals in the country and our Marines. The package has boosted Morale and the Marines have enjoyed the things you have sent to us all. The package not only proved how much the Sgt Grit crew cares about the Corps and it's Marines, it proved that the spirit of being a Marine is alive and well in Sgt "Don" Grit himself. We like to say that Marines are a direct reflection of their Leadership... Well, the Sgt Grit Family has obviously gotten Leadership and reflection right the first time. I will follow Sgt Grit to the end! Thank you all for the wonderful packages that you have provided to the ones that Serve you!
Marching Cadence From OCS 1970
Gather around you young Marines,
I have a story to tell.
About how we fought the wars,
and how we won them well.
In 1776, the wars had just begun,
they picked the finest fighting men,
and we were the ones.
You can have you Al-Qeada,
You can have your Taliban too,
I have a different fighting man,
I'll introduce to you.
They wear their uniform proudly,
as proudly as can be,
the Germans called them Devil Dogs,
their title is Marine!
They wake up in the morning,
in front of their racks they stand,
in thru the hatchway walk a giant
of a man.
His brass shines like rays of sun,
his eyes are cold as steel,
he says, men I am your Platoon Sergeant,
and I am for real.
I'll make your lives as miserable,
as miserable as can be,
but when you leave this training camp,
a fighting man you'll be.
You will be a rifle expert,
you will know your weapon well,
and when you get to combat,
you'll send their souls to h-ll.
Well now you've got the picture,
I am sure you are impressed,
the United States Marine Corps is the very best!
Gunny Walker, our Drill Instructor at Officers' Candidate School, Quantico, Virginia, used this cadence. He would say a few lines, and each time we repeated what he said. When I was assigned to B.I.T. BN. at Camp Pendleton, I used this cadence to motivate the troops. The B.I.T. BN. Commander, COL. Watterson, loved it, and we made sure we yelled it when going by his hootch!
The FLIGHT LINE
Submitted by: MARINE Jim McCallum (the ole gunny)
Vol. #4, #12, (DEC, 2014)
In September, 1965 the VMO Squadrons were assigned a priority mission of a 24 hour med-evac standby with a UH-1E med-evac "Slick", (a UH-1E gunship) and crew of four Pilots, 2 Corpsmen, and 2 Crew Chiefs, and 2 door gunners.
Remember back in Vol. # 4, #10, when I had a "Mind Fart" and couldn't remember the reasoning behind why pilots flew from two different locations (seats) in the two different types of A/C. I also said that I'd let you know as soon as I remembered why. Now, I know that it's not common knowledge, but pilots fly helicopter's from the right side and the fixed wing pilots fly from the left side (seat). Well, I called on a good friend and former MARINE Pilot that still had his mind working properly, and he said that it was because the passenger loading door was on that side. Now, that makes sense to me. That way they could check out the "pretty girls" when they were getting on and off the aircraft, whether it was a fixed wing or a loose wing (helicopter). Those Engineers will think of any thing to help sell an airplane or a helicopter. And, nice for the pilots, but the crew got to look at them for the whole flight. Just another unwritten benefit. Damn, they just keep coming, Don't they?
So, keeping that info in the front of my mind, I went off in another direction to see if there was another line of thought. Well, there is, and I'll include it here so you can discuss it with your buddies. The other source says it depends on the type and make of the helicopter, but I don't remember that being the case. They also indicate that there is no "shared collective" per say. That's the "Stick looking thing with the twist grip" that controls the helicopter for going up and down. I hope this isn't too technical for you. Just kidding! Anyway, the control that allows pitch, roll, forward and reverse flight is called the cyclic, and one sits between both the pilot's and the co-pilot's legs. Movement of this control in any direction will move the helicopter in that direction. There is also a set of pedals on either side. Depressing either one will cause the A/C to turn in that direction. Now, on the collective, (there is one at each position) is a motorcycle like twist grip which controls the speed of the Engine.
Helicopter pilots always fly with the collective in the left hand and the cyclic in the right. Regardless of which seat their sitting in. Now, it stands to reason that if you release your hold on either of the controls that you will loose control of the A/C and it would be all over the place. However, occasionally you must let go of something to change radios or adjust any of the other Flight/Navigation aids located in either the forward center instrument pedestal or the overhead electrical panel. Therefore, it is much easier to let go of the collective because letting go of that control will have less impact on the aircraft's flight. The advantage of sitting in the left seat also comes from carrying loads underneath the aircraft. In order to see the load you must lean over and out. Hence the advantage of adding a "blow out" co-pilot's side window. Now, let the discussions begin! Remember we didn't want to get real technical here!
Zappers and Sappers
Bliss... despite the best efforts of SSGT Peniston, Sgt Cablay, and myself... the fact that Chaplains, God bless them, are Navy Officers, has escaped your brain housing group... although I've never known one who would object to being called Marine... gonna cut you some slack on that, considering it's been an even fifty years, come 30 May, since Plt 317 got on the cattle cars, destination 2nd ITR/Camp San Onofre. At the time G/2/5 was guarding Liberty Bridge, I was at An Hoa, as the OIC of LSU-1... purveyors of C-Rats and ammo... Zappers and Sappers, have a lot in common... and it was also common that some of the A-rations (fresh chow... cold, maybe, or frozen) on the daily convoy from DaNang to An Hoa, didn't always make the whole trip... even if in chained/locked Conex boxes on the back of 5-ton six by sixes... improvised re-distribution occurred as the convoy crept through the bridge position. I don't recall the 2/5 Chaplain's name, but do recall the young Regimental Surgeon, who would come into the Officer's Mess (bunker) every night, and hold up his hands, exclaiming "Look at these... the greatest hands in the surgical world!... and where the F-ck are they?... An Hoa!" He would bring a cardboard tube from a roll of toilet paper with him, and during the movie would practice tying surgical knots in three-aught silk with one hand... two fingers and a thumb inside the roll. He may have not been far off on his assessment of his skills...
The Old Gunny's tale of AvGas brought to mind a specific day at An Hoa... or maybe I'm conflating two different days, but it was either incoming rockets, or a blade strike involving two Phrogs at the refuel area... either way, it was one of those moments when it seemed most appropriate to seek cover in the most expeditious manner... and I went to ground, most ricky-tick, under the nearest large object at hand... only to learn, when I came out from my place of safety, that I had chosen to dive under a 5,000 gallon semi-tanker... full of AvGas, kept there for the few Company (read CIA/USAID, whatever) planes that used it. On top of which, I had managed to starch a cover for the day, which was to involve an over-night hop on a C-130 to Bangkok, and back to DaNang... the starched cover was crushed, but after an 'all clear', I managed to get a ride on a CH-46 going to DaNang... equipped with a .45, two spare magazines, and a somewhat converted tanker's shoulder holster (no canteen (s)), it should have been a brief scenic ride up to DaNang... and it was... until the pilots got a 'chip detector' light on in the cockpit, and put the thing down in a big rice paddy... this was not too much of a confidence builder, nor was the crew's decision that maybe it was a bogus chip detection in the aft transmission... but we went on to DaNang... where I learned that the MARLOG C-130 had come in from Okinawa with a failing electrical generator... and the Bangkok run was scrubbed... just one of those days... hitched a ride up to Fork Lift Command up at Camp Books, rode the convoy back to An Hoa the next day.
Just got my 3x5 embroidered USMC flag... second one of this type, and have to say, it is the way to go for a 7/24/365 (illuminated, of course) flagpole... have had the pole up since 2005, we get a fair amount of wind on top of this hill in TN, and this kind has outlasted any other kind by quite a few months/windstorms... the brass clips included in the package are also useful (don't need them on my halyard rig)... I give them to the local ambulance crews, who use them to hang their blood glucose meters on the webbing at the side entrance to the ambulance... we always know where to reach for the glucometer. (and remember to tell the patient... "little stick, now", NOT..." you're going to feel a little prick"... can get some interesting responses to that...)
Get this Marine Corps Double Sided Embroidered 3'x5' Nylon Flag at:
Marine Corps Double Sided Embroidered 3'x5' Nylon Flag
Hi Sgt. Grit,
To SSGT Reed, we also played no rules football and volleyball, but we called it "JUNGLE RULES". God help the poor referee.
SSGT Moore, John C 2389599
2861 USMC 1967/1977
This is in response to Pete Hoeft's post in the 02May13 newsletter. He referenced the condition of roughed out boots and their lack of cleanliness.
I remember in Boot Camp, Plt 369 in March '66; a couple recruits with size 13 feet, were issued pairs of roughed out boots from a former era of the Marine Corps. They were required to polish the toes and heels of the boots, 'til they would shine like a mirror. No need for today's Marines to look like the U.S. Army.
Cpl LeRoy Townsend
Hey Sargento Grit, always good to read the news. I usually get a charge out of the stories from "Back In The Day". A smile, a hearty laugh, or I downright fall off my chair just laughing my azs off! A great read.
J.A. VELAR, WW2 grunt.
I take issue with calling someone who was in the Corps during the Vietnam War as a "Vietnam Veteran". They should be referred to as a "Vietnam Era Veteran" and not a "Vietnam Veteran". To be a Veteran of any war, one should have actually served in the theatre otherwise they should be an Era Veteran. One signifies having been there while the other signifies being in the service during that period of time... big difference!
Khe Sanh, Vietnam
I would like to wish all the mothers a Happy Mother's day, and may God bless. And, to all the Veterans too... I'm proud of all of them.
Dear Sgt Grit,
I know the Naval Annex was torn down in Arlington, Virginia, and I guess Henderson Hall, Virginia was relocated as it was next to Arlington Cemetery, and I looked at a map which shows a different location? What happened to the living quarters for the enlisted Marines?, are they at the new Henderson Hall.
Words cannot express the memories you stir up, thanks for keeping them alive. I know it's not you, but those of us reading your newsletter.
Just got through reading about the '58 landing at Beirut. Anyone take part in the "Inland sea cruise". The opening of the St. Lawrence Seaway. When I got to Lejeune in "62, there were some tales.
Semper Fi to all
SSgt Leonard, Ret.
If you were prior service Navy, Army, Air Force or Coast Guard and you "crossed over" into the Marine Corps, please tell us about your Marine Corps indoctrination or experience.
Sgt USMC '00-'07
Sgt Grit Staff
Golf 2/7 Vietnam Veterans Association Reunion
For any who served with or were attached to Golf Company from 1965-1970.
When: August 14-18, 2013.
Where: Kansas City, MO. Westin Hotel.
Website: Golf 2/7 Reunion
Contact: Ron Myers at (916) 723-7324
"Our Country won't go on forever, if we stay soft as we are now. There won't be any AMERICA because some foreign soldiery will invade us and take our women and breed a hardier race!"
--LtGen. Lewis "CHESTY" Puller, USMC
"The more corrupt the state, the more numerous the laws."
"A virtuous and industrious people may be cheaply governed."
"Panic sweeps my men when they are facing the AMERICAN MARINES."
-Captured North Korean Major
"[America's] glory is not dominion, but liberty. Her march is the march of the mind. She has a spear and a shield: but the motto upon her shield is Freedom, Independence, Peace. This has been her declaration: this has been, as far as her necessary intercourse with the rest of mankind would permit, her practice."
--John Adams, 1821
"Some people spend an entire lifetime wondering if they made a difference. The Marines don't have that problem."
--President Ronald Reagan, 1985
"Bends and mothers until you change the rotation of the earth!"
"Private, how much rent are you collecting from the visitors living in the bore?"
"Attack! Attack! Attack!"
"The best part about being a Marine is that all the siss!es are weeded out."