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!


  • Cpl John Hughes

    Semper FI. Marines!?

  • James Kanavy, Cpl 0311/0231

    Semper Fi Marine! I too was in An Hoa summer and early fall of 67 during Union 1 and 2. I notice your sevice number is close to mine 2244XXX

  • Robert H Bliss, 0341

    I served with Golf 2/5 out of AnHoa just three years later. Why didn’t you guys build better heads with running water and maybe a pond with fish and air conditioners in the tents? I understand, when would you have a chance to make the place more like home. Three days in AnHoa was never enough time to do anything—right? Anyways, the E.M. club was nice.

  • George A. Craig Jr. Cpl. 79-84

    I always say there are only two types of Marines, active and inactive. Once a Marine always a Marine.

Leave a comment