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Sgt Grit Newsletter - 12 NOV 2015

In this issue:
• Oldest And Youngest Marine
• DI's Have A Sense Of Humor
• Welcome To The Corps

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Sgt Grit and Staff would like to wish all of our veterans a very Happy Veterans Day! Thank you for your selflessness, your honorable service, and your unwavering devotion to duty!

Semper Fi

Veterans Day Message from the 37th CMC


Oldest And Youngest Marine

On 10 November 2015, Sgt Grit presented KA-BARs to the oldest and youngest Marine present at our Marine Corps Birthday event. The oldest Marine was MSgt. William Sherry who is 88 and served from 1945 to 1975. The youngest Marine was LCpl Greg Ufford who is 35 and served from 2001 to 2004. Semper Fi Marines!


170th And 176th USMC Birthday Menus

Here are two birthday menus that I still have. I got the first one from Marine Corps Recruit Depot, San Diego in 1945. The second I got from the Oriental Hotel in Kobe, Japan in 1951.

Happy Birthday Marines!

Semper Fi,
MSgt. William Sherry
1945-1975


DI's Have A Sense Of Humor

Yes, we know they might be strange at times.

We were in Platoon 281, 3rd Bn. at Parris Island in the fall of 1957. We were in the old Quonset Huts. On a Saturday night we were marched to the Head wearing the standard PT shorts and shower shoes. The large square shaped stalls had multiple shower heads on 3 walls with a wide opening on the 4th wall for entry. Our DI got up on the bench outside the shower stall where he could look down on his naked "Recruits". He then, while we stood at attention, gave the standard lecture, turn on the water, wet down, turn off the water, soap up, face the shower and turn on the water, rinse off, turn off the water, and get out and dry yourself with towels not much bigger than a hand towel by today's standard.

This time he decided right after soaping down and turn ON the water for the rinse off; while the water was still running; "LEFT FACE", "FORWARD MARCH". While marching around the community shower stall, CALLING CADENCE, hitting each shower head and smartly make left turns at each corner while we sang the Marines' Hymn; we were then halted in front of a shower, given a "RIGHT FACE", "TURN OFF THE SHOWERS", "FALL OUT".

Pete Kristall
'57-'61


But He Continued

I can't remember which drill instructor invoked the phrase "azzholes to bellybuttons" in the boot camp chow line, but he continued the phrase with "make the prive ahead of you smile!"

G.M. Button
MSgt USMC (Ret)
Plt 2018
MCRD Parris Island
10/72 - 01/73


Sgt Grit T-shirt At USMC Marathon

Attached is a photo of my custom t-shirt from Sgt. Grit's while I wait to start my 3rd Marine Corps Marathon 10K in Washington DC.

Sgt. Gary Jarboe
1969-1973


Filthy Maggot

Thanks to Gary Tryheart for the Camp Matthews photo. Instantly brought back memories from 1956. First week of snapping-in with M-1. In the right center of the photo are the tents and just below the lowest rank of tents you can just make out the sandy slope of a ravine running down towards the bottom of the photo. Vividly remember facing the slope during rifle inspection by our senior DI. "Filthy maggot!" And without looking, he would fling the rifle high over his shoulder to tumble down the hill or impale itself in the sand. Talk about motivation!

Cpl. Kenneth J. Mumford
USMCR 1955-63


Dates Must Be Off

Hey, Grit!

Like almost all the postings to my Wednesday night entertainment and enlightening, SSgt Clifford Jobes' story provided the usual good reading. However, his dates must be off when discussing his escapades with 1st LAAM Bn. at "the Stumps". CMC in 1965 was General Wallace Green, not David Shoup, who retired at the end of '63.

Gary Nash
Former 0302


Rearward Movement

In response to the last submission of Ddick the acronym describing the functioning of the rearward movement of the M1 is: I - Ignition, A - Action of the gas, M - Movement of the operating rod to the rear, U - Unlocking of the bolt, W - Withdrawal of the firing pin, E - Extraction, E - Ejection, C - Cocking of the hammer, A - Action of the follower, T - Termination of the rearward movement. But you all knew that, right?

Paul Gill
S/Sgt 1954-66


Welcome To The Corps

Sgt. Grit,

You requested stories about Parris Island to celebrate its anniversary – here are a few.

Welcome to the Corps. A prelude to Parris Island

Spring 1966, Receiving Center Fort Hamilton, Brooklyn, New York City.

We're in a large drill hall where separate groups of potential recruits from all branches of the services are awaiting instructions. A Marine Sergeant comes out of an office with a clip board in hand, stands in the center of the hall and yells:

"When I call out your name answer up and fall in next to me." He then proceeds to call out names from the list on his clip board. When he finishes he brings them over to where my group is and tells them "You're in the Marines," and walks off. You can see the deer in the headlights shock in their eyes. (At the time the Marine Corps was required to accept draftees.)

We are soon led to a room filled with school chairs and told to take a seat. A Marine Corporal enters, sadly looks us over and states "This is your last chance to get out" (I don't know if anyone actually understood what he meant). No one moves. An officer enters and we are then ordered to stand raise our right hand and were given the oath of induction. We are eventually loaded onto a gray Navy bus and taken to the airport put aboard a plane and flown to Beaufort, SC, where we pick up additions to our group. Apparently these guys have been partying and are feeling little pain (yet).

We are then loaded onto a civilian bus for the trip to Parris Island. The sun was setting and it seemed like we drove for hours and hours through desolate swamp land. It was dark when we finally reached our destination. There was this bright spot in the darkness and we arrived at an ornate red brick wall emblazoned with a huge Eagle Globe and Anchor and the words:

"United States Marine Corps,
Recruit Training Center,
Parris Island South Carolina."

The driver spoke briefly with the Marine on duty, passed some papers to him, and then proceeded on thru. People were now scrambling to get their stuff together when the brakes gave their last hiss and the door opened.

Like a chainsaw cutting thru sheet metal came this voice from the front of the bus "Who told you people to get out of your seats?"

Everyone froze; absolute silence and then from the back of the bus came the most pitiful wail I have ever heard in my life, "Oh My G-d!"

You all know the rest of the story.

R. Stephens
Sgt. USMC
1966 - 1970


Happy 240th Birthday To The U.S. Marines

Madison Rising, America's most patriotic rock band, and The Young Marines national youth organization salute the United States Marine Corps on their 240th birthday. Special thanks to R. Lee Ermey, the producers of The Hornet's Nest and the Dept. of Defense. Semper Fi!

Happy 240th Birthday to the United States Marines


Pink ID

I have been reading the back and forth on proving ones Marine Veteran status. Believe it or not, I still carry my PINK ID that I was issued in 1970 when I was released from active duty. I have never been called out, but if and when I am I'll just open my wallet and show that. If that does not work I also have my 1st Mar Div Assoc. ID, MOPH ID, and/or VA ID.

On somewhat related subject, here in Pennsylvania you can get a driver license showing your a veteran, but you do not have to prove it, just check the box on the application "Veteran" and PRESTO! You are a POSER with an ID.

Happy Marine Corps Birthday and Veterans Day Everyone!

CPL. H.W. "Snakefighter"


Lights! Action! Camera?

Parris Island, Spring 1966, 3rd Battalion, Platoon 362.

We had been practicing extensive close order drill for the upcoming Battalion competition. On the march, left shoulder arms to right shoulder arms was one we did again and again as well as maintaining alignment during left obliques and right obliques. One evening after chow one of our Junior Drill Instructors, Sgt. Truell, had us fall out for more close order drill without rifles. It was already dark as we approached the grinder (drill field) which was now illuminated by overhead lights. We could see the clouds of insects already shrouding the lights. As we stepped out we became the targets of a merciless onslaught by every gnat, mosquito and flying critter in the area. We didn't flinch (much) but after some time as we were marching Sgt Truell commented:

"Those bugs are really getting to you aren't they?"
To which we all replied "Yes Sir".
"You would really like to get them wouldn't you?"
"Yes Sir".
"Alright – Platoon Halt. Now listen up.
When I tell you to get them you get them, understand?"
"Yes Sir".
"When I tell you to get them down you get your hands down – understand?"
"Yes Sir".
"All right – get them!"

In an instant 112 recruits began to beat themselves furiously about the head, neck and face in a vain attempt to annihilate every flying creature within reach. This kept up for about a minute and a half when the order came. "All right – get them down, get them down." We all snapped to attention. Then came the command "Forward march" and off we went into the night.

I remember thinking then, as I still do every time I recall this incident, if only someone had been there with a camera to record this. It must have been absolutely hysterical to see. I'm sure it would get a million hits on YouTube.

R. Stephens
Sgt. USMC
1966 - 1970

P.S. We won the competition.


Autovon

Like most people I had no idea what Autovon was. I live in Wathena, Kansas which is in the Northeast corner near the Missouri River and St. Joseph, Missouri. I worked for the telephone company and knew all about Autovon lines because the Rosecrans MOANG base had several tied into their PBX system. It wasn't until the mid-1980s I learned about Fairview, Kansas. There is not much in Fairview, it's just a little town at the junction of US Highways 36 and 75. Just south of the town you will drive by what looks like a large potato cellar. On top of the nearby hill is a long garage with several doors and a rather unobtrusive little building. Most people drive by and have no idea of the significance these two buildings have concerning the Cold War.

In the early 1960s AT&T in conjunction with the Military placed lead shielded coaxial cable coast to coast. I suspect it was lead shielded to keep out EMPs from nuclear bombs from damaging the communication. The small unobtrusive building on the hill has a door which upon entering leads to a flight of stairs. At the bottom of the stairs is a hugh blast door. Inside were racks of equipment mounted on springs in case of a bomb hit nearby. There were cots and survival food inside for many years for use if there was ever a nuclear attack. Even the toilets were set up to survive a blast.

This however was not the autovon site. It seems AT&Ts grand vision of controlling this switching system ran afoul of the franchise rights of the local telephone company. The building that looked like a potato cellar was where I believe the entire switching center for autovon was located for over 40 years. AT&T still had the coast to coast cables but the switch was not theirs.

The underground building on the hill was however a "Looking Glass" site which was SACs airborne command center for almost 50 years. I was told at one time there were antennas that the overhead command center could make contact with and even set off the nuclear missiles from remote control. Whether or not this is true no longer matters because "Looking Glass" went out of service several years back.

I no longer work for AT&T so I am not sure what is in the underground building anymore except I do know many fiber optic lines go through there. The potato cellar is owned by a construction company as Autovon is now extinct.

There was an underground building about every 100 miles. Going east from Fairview there is another in Polo, Missouri. If you follow the old cable routes you might see what looks like a large metal outhouse about every 4 miles. Inside each was a manhole and the repeaters for the old digital radio signals carried by the lead shielded cables are located there. Most are gone and even the cable was pulled up for salvage several years ago.

The entire system is a relic from the cold war.

The attached file shows the facilities at Fairview.

AT&T Fairview, Kansas

A once very important AT&T hardened main station & AUTOVON switching center, near Fairview Kansas. The Fairview complex also had an adjacent hardened facility that was a Ground Entry Point station, one of numerous in a network that provided US airborne command post ('Looking Glass,' et al) and Special Air Missions aircraft (like Air Force One) with civil and military (AUTOVON/DSN) telephone communications access via a wideband FM multiplexed UHF radio circuit. This comms system is still in use, though most of the old Cold War era GEPs have been shut-down & replaced with new sites located on select military installations across the country.

Jim Grimes


Lost And Found

Looking for an old friend. He came from Mass, and was in Hq Bn, 2nd Mar Div, Camp Lejeune in 1965. His wife was named Fran. Any help would be appreciated.

Don D.


Happy Birthday! I was part of the 1959 or 1960 birthday in Quantico. It took place in Washington, D. C., but I can't recall the date... too many years have gone by. I represented the Marines in Korea. Anyone out there that was part of this, let me know please.

Cpl Gerrish


Short Rounds

I never heard "with a clip and two 'loose' rounds." I think it was assumed two rounds would be loose.

Jim Connor


In Basic Electronic School, MCRD, 1965, we learned BBROYGBVGW to determine the strength of resistors in the radios. I'm sure they have come up with something else, as it was very politically incorrect!

Semper Fidelis
Robert A. Hall
51 years a Marine as of November 3, 2015, Plt 273 PI.


Platoon 179, San Diego, CA 1953.

Happy Birthday to all my old salt's on our Marine Corps Birthday.

W.J. Pittman


Quotes

"Adversity introduces a man to himself."
--Albert Einstein


"And once by God, I was a Marine!"
--Actor Lee Marvin, circa 1967, about serving in WWII


"The moment the idea is admitted into society that property is not as sacred as the laws of God, and that there is not a force of law and public justice to protect it, anarchy and tyranny commence."
--John Adams, 1787


"The same prudence which in private life would forbid our paying our own money for unexplained projects, forbids it in the dispensation of the public moneys."
--Thomas Jefferson, 1808


"If you were not there, you could not understand. If you were there, it is impossible to explain."
--Unknown


"Rise and shine, another day to serve the Corps!"

"There is the right way, the wrong way, and the Marine Corps way."

"Arrogance, My Azs, It's Pride, USMC."

Semper Fi, Mac!
Sgt Grit

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