I Informed the Commandant

I Informed the Commandant

“A Marine is a Marine… There’s no such thing as a former Marine.”
–General James F. Amos, 35th Commandant of the Marine Corps

Iraq, 2004

Commandant of the Marine Corps, Gen. Hagee, visited his Marines in Iraq for some photo ops at the Al Faw Palace in Baghdad. Marines stood in line to have their picture taken with the Commandant. At the end of the line stood an Army CW04 (me). I informed the Commandant that I served in the Marine Corps in Viet Nam with 2/5 at An Hoa in 1967. I then asked if a former Marine could have his picture taken with the Marine Commandant.

He replied, “Stand next to me, there are no former Marines!”

Mark Smith
CW05 US Army, Retired

Cpl., USMC

Sgt Grit wants to hear from you! Leave your comments below or submit your own story!


  • Jesse Griffin VSM CAR CIB

    YAAAY! Another DOUBLE JEOPARDY VETERAN in the ranks. Methinks we’re few and far between, though. Are there any other double jeopardy vets out there? Any two or more branches of the armed services you served with, give a shout out, especially if you were in combat.

  • Fred Seth

    Semper Fi, CWO5 Smith. All of us vets need to pull together. I am also a RVN vet and was primarily at Chu Lai during ’67 – ’68. Former Commandant James Amos is an old friend and a great Marine. Fred D. Seth, Jr. USMC, Lt Col (ret)

  • Vst101010

    THank you!

  • Sgt.W.J.Vaughn

    I am a United States Marine who dedicated my training to the enemy of my country so they may have the op to die for theirs. 2nd Marines 2nd Marine Division. 1971- 1975

  • Charles Bryson

    I too was at An Hoa in ’68, for my 2nd tour.

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