Looking Back At The Old Corps
Submitted by: Ron “Tank” Rotunno
In 1965, one special career Marine had excelled as a leader of men. Yes, he had claimed membership in “the few, the proud”, but more than that, he was gung-ho, a hard-charger, a member of the “Old Corps”. At age 37, Sgt. J.R. Mickel was senior D.I. of Platoon #135 Company, 1st Recruit Battalion. To most raw recruits at Parris Island, he might as well been God Himself. He not only commanded their respect; he led them beyond the call of duty. As an 0300 infantryman, he’d earned the Silver Star for bravery in Korea, with combat stars for time of actual enemy encounter. The recruits knew all of this, although he, himself, never told them.