3rd FSR

By: Charles E. Struble

Okinawa, 3rd FSR, 1969.
Time for requalification at the rifle range. They bussed us there and dropped us off. As the day wore on, we were informed that when it was over, we were to walk a few miles to a given location where we would be picked up.
As we clomped along, no formation, no cadence, just clomping, guy next to me and I started shooting the bull. For some reason we remembered that movie: Bridge over the River Kwai. So we were trying to remember that whisted song. One of us came up with it so we both started whistling it. Then a couple other guys joined in. Then more and more and eventually, we all fell into formation, whistling that song. You remember when ya had it right how it felt like two gigantic boots marching?
Yeah, it was that. Plus 30 or 40 guys whistling that song. People we passed stopped and looked and a few even saluted. (We had no officers with us). Cool experience. And by the way, I shot Sharp Shooter that day…

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4 comments


  • Ray Burrington PI 3rdBlt 398 ‘68

    (POG) Hey, I was there, not for the march, tho. PI – I shot 5 Expert and 1 Sharpshooter for the DI ribbon – guess which badge was “mine” = SS! They did give me the High-shooter guide on. On M14, could really use the stock as a weapon (came in 2nd on Pugil, which means the 1st guy beat the cr** out of me). Fast forward to Oki in 69, as a computer opt POG had to do annual re-qual, bus from Foster up to Hansen … and they hand me the Mattel Toy .. no Fam whatsoever (had qual’d in AFROTC Expert @100 yds but that was a joke 2 yrs earlier).
    Then they put me on the line with a Dog target, never saw before, and despite a yr no trigger time, I put a nice grouping right about the “head” thingy! What do you mean I “failed” ??? They let me reshoot, after explaining that I had to shoot the goo* in the head. I requal’d and saved POG pride everywhere!!!


  • Angelo E. Palazzo

    Your right but, when I enlisted in 1956, it was around the time that Parris Island was in the newspapers for hosting a boot camp atrocity in the way of a boot platoon being marched through the swamps at 5:00am by an over zealous Drill Instructor resulting in one of the boots drowning. All of our Drill Instructors were hardened combat NCO’s who served in the Pacific campaigns of WW2 and were determined to make us poggy bait city boys feel what it was like to suffer under extreme conditions. And they did. But I never regretted my time in the Corps and enlisting at 17 yrs. old because I went on to live with the knowledge and pride of belonging to a special group of accomplished men called the US Marine Corps. Semper Fi Sgt. A.E.Palazzo, 3Rd. Tank Bn., 3Rd. Marine Div., Okinawa (2533)


  • Chuck Baker

    Cpl Fred I joined the Corps in Oct 1973. Seems like the “Old School Marines” remind everyone, it was tougher when they were in the Corps. I agree we are not old school or new school Marines, we are Marines. Semper Fi, Sgt CP Baker 73-77


  • Cpl. Fred Romero

    Great story and only another Marine would understand and enjoy it. I was only 17 when I enlisted in ‘62 but I embraced the Corps wholeheartedly, and truth be known I’d do it all over again just for the honor of wearing the uniform. Old school new school same school!


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