Sgt Grit Newsletter - 24 AUG 2016

In this issue:
• A Change Is A Comin'
• Boot Camp Derogatory Terms
• Marines Back In The 20's And 30's

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A Change Is A Comin'

Newsletter Subscriber,

The Sgt Grit Newsletter will start being sent out on Sunday's versus Wednesday's beginning with the Sept. 4th, 2016 issue. We will still be providing you with great Marine Corps stories submitted by Salty Marines and Corpsmen who served during your time and since. Thanks for your continued submissions and readership.

Semper Fi,
Sgt Grit

A Marine F-150 Truck

Marine f150 passenger side view sanderson

Showing off my Marine Corps pride!

Jim Sanderson

50th Anniversary Of Arriving In DaNang

vietnam travel voucher kanavy

Sgt. Grit,

I arrived in DaNang on Aug 26, 1966, 3 months shy of my 20th birthday. I still remember the flight from Okinawa and looking at my fellow Marines and wondering which one of us was coming home. Fortunately, most of us made it. I found this travel voucher from October 1966. I was originally scheduled to go to Viet Nam from Camp Pendleton to the Third Marine Division on June 1, 1966 but 63 of us were diverted to 12 weeks of Vietnamese Language School at the Presidio of Monterey. Upon completion of language school my new orders were to the First Marine Division. I ended up as an Intelligence scout/assistant with the S-2 Section, Hq Company, 1st Marine Regiment south of DaNang along the Song Tu Bon river. The only major operation was Union 1 and 2 from April to September 1967. I know of two of my classmates who were killed in action during that operation, Bruce Parmalee and Glen E. Sanders. John Wayne Jarrell died earlier. In all, five of the 63 language school graduates were killed.

Semper Fi,
J Kanavy
0311 Cpl USMC

New Marine Toys

VVA model motorcycle left side front Scaduto

My new Marine Corps toys.

John Scaduto

Boot Camp Derogatory Terms

Hi Sgt. Grit,

A couple of issues ago, you were requesting humorous boot camp stories. Here are 2 of my favorites. From my understanding, for the last 20 years or so, Drill Instructors have supposedly been restricted in the use of derogatory terms for their recruits. Not so for those of us who went through in earlier times (Platoon 3018, PI, Sept-Nov 6, 1968). We were quite used to such monikers as "ladies", "maggots", etc. One day, SSgt Smith, one of our ADI's, yelled out, "All of you Mackerel Snappers get up here!" One of our Jewish recruits ran up with with the others, not understanding the term. SSgt Smith yelled at him, "Are you Catholic?!". "No Sir" was the reply. "Then get the h-ll back in ranks!" Fortunately, I had heard the term before, otherwise, I probably would have run up to the desk too!

The other incident was during our second week at the rifle range, when SSgt Smith was marching us to the mess hall for the evening meal. It had rained heavily a little earlier, and there was a very large puddle of water next to the mess hall. While we were waiting for our turn to march in, a platoon from another battalion marched up, and was halted next to the puddle. They obviously hadn't done well on the range, as their Drill Instructor was very displeased. He told them, "Alright girls, don't forget to wash your handsies and facies", upon which they all stopped down to wash in the puddle. Next, "Now put your covers on backwards, put your hands in your pockets, and start whistling!" We were struggling very hard to keep from laughing. The most hilarious part was no two recruits were whistling the same tune!

Ron Goodrich, Sgt., 1968-72

U.S. Marines Edinburgh Scotland 1958

Marines in Edinburgh, Scotland 1958

Sgt. Grit,

As I was going through some "old stuff", I ran across something that might be of interest to those that are pictured here. The only name I have is that of a Pvt. Moroni who took a bayonet to the back of his neck while the drill team came to "Present Arms" in a very close quartered situation. Also included is a picture of the Color Guard from 8th & I Marine Barracks that was also in Edinburgh for the "Military Tattoo". This article appeared in the Scottish Daily Mail newspaper on Aug.21, 1958.

As I was present in Edinburgh as a member of the "Commandants Own" (The U.S. Marine Drum & Bugle Corps. Wash. D.C.) I was able to obtain this newspaper. After keeping this newspaper all these years, I thought it would be a good idea if it could somehow end up in the hands of those involved. Perhaps if you could display these articles in your Sgt. Grit newspaper we may find some of the ones in these pictures. I only have one copy of this paper, but if there are more than one request, I would be happy to have others copied from the original.

Bill Marshall, Sgt.
USMC '56 – '59 160XXXX

Marines back in the 20's and 30's

Marines from the 20s and 30s

Sgt. Grit,

Last month my brother-in-law, retired Navy CPO Don DiRienzo, passed away. Before he passed, he mentioned that his father was a Marine back in the 20's and 30's, and had fought in the Banana Wars in Nicaragua and elsewhere. After his discharge he became very active in the Marine Corps League. The enclosed picture of his MCL detachment, the Theodore Roosevelt Detachment in Boston, taken in the 1930's, shows some Old-Old Corps Marines. Sgt. Michael DiRienzo is second from left, front row. Note the man on his left wears the fourragere over the arm, signifying that he was actually at Belleau Wood when the French awarded it. The rule is, over the arm, you were there. Under the arm, you are authorized to wear it, but were not there. I have been trying to research Sgt. DiRienzo, but have been unsuccessful. I was informed that the detachment does not exist any more. Anyone knowing anything about him or the detachment is asked to contact me here, through Sgt. Grit.

Semper Fi,
Paul Lindner Cpl. 1959-1963

Rendering Of A Hand Salute

Sgt Grit,

I really enjoy your news letter, it makes my Thursday's a whole lot better. I wanted to add my two cents on the rendering of a hand salute... I vaguely remember something from the Commandant when this was passed so I did some searching...

In December 2008, in ALMAR 052/08, Commandant of the Marine Corps, General James T. Conway wrote:

"...A recent change to the law has authorized active duty and retired servicemembers to salute the National Colors, whether covered or uncovered, indoors or out. By custom and tradition, Marines do not render the hand salute when out of uniform or when uncovered. Let there be no confusion; that has not changed.

During the playing of the National Anthem, or the raising, lowering, or passing of the National Flag, Marines will continue to follow Naval traditions and the policy/procedures contained in reference (a) {the Marine Corps Drill and Ceremonies Manual}.

Specifically, Marines not in uniform will face the flag, stand at attention, and place the right hand over the heart. If covered, Marines not in uniform will remove their headgear with the right hand and place their right hand over the heart. When the flag is not present, Marines will act in the same manner while facing in the direction of the music. In cases such as indoor ceremonies, when Marines are in uniform and uncovered, they will face the flag, or the direction of the music when the flag is not present, and stand at attention."

S Weeks
Sgt '72-'76

December 24th, 1968

Vietnam Marines and Groucho

I found this picture that was taken on Dec. 24th, 1968. We were along the border with Laos. I'm the one in the center with glasses. I used to be called Groucho because I smoked cigars. The other guys in the picture are Mike on the left Bill next to me and Tom in the hooch. We were In Alpha Co 1/3. I lost touch with most everyone over the years. The picture brings back a lot of memories.

Some good,some bad.

Semper Fi Till I Die,

Saluting Indoors, Uncovered

Fort Gordon, CID School, 1973/1974, CWO-4 informs me that the Col. wants to see me and he is upset (why? not relevant). He and I went to the Col.'s office and I marched in, came to attention and reported like I just got out of Boot Camp, "Sir SSgt Millette reporting as ordered, Sir." He looked up at me and said, "And?" I stood there confused and said, "Sir, the SSgt does not understand." He then asked, "Don't you Marines salute when reporting to an officer?" I knew that the Army saluted indoors but I was in civilian clothing (coat and tie) and did not know that they saluted in civilian clothing. I advised the Col. that Marines do not salute in civilian clothing. Still at attention I held a salute and reported again. After our conversation, still at attention he told me to return to class. I responded, "Yes sir," rendered a hand salute did an about face and marched out and never again saluted without being covered.



On August 12, 2016, at 0300, Sgt. Lawrence A. (Sonny) Smith reported for guard duty at the Pearly Gates. He served in Korea, during his enlistment 1952-1955. A fine gentleman, proud Marine and great friend.


Lost And Found

Seeking platoon graduation book for PLT 3005, May-Aug 1968, San Diego, CA. I will pay top dollar for a copy or an original. Email me at e.hamson[at]comcast[dot]net.

John Fellows

Short Rounds

Share with us some of the funny and tasteful monikers and sayings that you remember your Drill Instructors or other Marines that you served with using during your time in the Corps.

Sgt Grit

I may need to be corrected, but, I was always told that TAPs were sounded, not played.

Earl Herrington
Cpl 1958-61

In December 2008 (ALMAR 052/08) the Commandant of the Marine Corps, General James T. Conway, made it very clear that the above does not apply to Marines! (Ref: saluting the flag).

Just curious, anyone else think the general may have forgotten the chain of command? Last I heard, the Commander-in-Chief makes the rules and the rest of us click our heels, salute, and say "Yes, Sir!".

Mark Smith

In re to Ram Two comment:

Item (c)... "when ordered by a VA representative present." When did you ever see a VA representative present at a funeral. My fellow brother Marine on the RNC Honor Guard, tells me he has never seen a VA rep at ANY military funeral. Just getting the facts straight.

Sgt Ted Shimono USMC ('59-'68)

Thank you for the interesting articles on saluting! I know the Marines in my American Legion salute when we are at an event and not wearing our caps. After a few minutes of reflection I realized that Ron did not salute when not in uniform, and I did/do. I had never really thought about that before!


In re to HE Inman:

Amigo, knowing what we do now and being "old salts" your response should have been... not his virginity, right?

You'd still be doing pushups.

David Almendarez

Hey Sgt Grit,

After the DOD regulation changed in 2009, allowing all military personnel in civvies to salute, the then Commandant of the Marine Corps immediately issued his own clarification stating, "Marines will continue to render their honors as they have done for the past ____ years by saluting, when in uniform, and placing their hands over their hearts, when in civilian attire."

MSgt Ronald Jacobson
USMC Retired


Best of Chesty:

"You're the First Marine Division-and don't your forget it. We're the greatest military outfit that ever walked on this earth. Not all the Communists in h-ll can stop you. We'll go down to the sea at our own pace and nothing is going to get in our way. If it does, we'll blow h-ll out of it."
--Marine: The Life of Chesty Puller, page 3

"Gentlemen, you will permit me to put on my spectacles, for I have grown not only gray, but almost blind in the service of my country."
--George Washington (1783)

"How did mankind ever come by the idea of liberty? What a grand thought it was!"
--G. C. Lichtenberg, Reflections [1799]

"We can ignore reality, but we cannot ignore the consequences of ignoring reality."
--Ayn Rand

"The more numerous the laws, the more corrupt the nation."
--Tacitus (56-117 AD)

"[A] good moral character is the first essential in a man, and that the habits contracted at your age are generally indelible, and your conduct here may stamp your character through life. It is therefore highly important that you should endeavor not only to be learned but virtuous."
--George Washington (1790)

"15 minutes prior to 15 minutes prior."

"Breaking it down Barney-style."

"Hurry up and wait."

Standing By To Standby,
Sgt Grit

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