782 Gear

I was assigned to the Fleet Marine Office on board the Flag Ship USS Little Rock back in July 1973-75. The Fleet Marine Officer at the time was Colonel Frank McLendon. Three of us worked in a small office office a top of the double ladder way on the second level. The Fleet Marine Operations Officer at the time was LtCol. P.L. Cacace. Col Mac used to have a Viking warrior hanging from his overhead lamp over his desk. The warrior had a horned helmet, a round shield and a broad sword and a scowl on it’s face. Beneath the warrior hung a small sign one had to squint to read, it said “If your 782 gear doesn’t look like this, don’t talk to me about the “old Corps.” Col Mac flew as an enlisted pilot in Korea and was one of President Kennedy’s “Marine One” pilots. He could be tough as nails or like your Dad and listen as needed. It was Marines like Col Mac and LtCol Cacace that led me to stay in the Corps as long as I did. They walked the talk every day!
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