The Flight Line

I was in MAG-24 at Cherry Point as a newbie- on my first day the Staff NCO ( who was I later found out a great leader ) also, liked to have fun with the New Guy- I was told to go to all of our squadrons and give them each an emergency requisition in a sealed envelope addressed to various Staff NCO’s in each squadron. I took the envelopes and distributed them as ordered. I was handing them envelopes with the letter ( I found out later ) for a request for 50 yards of flight line? We all had a good laugh on me, and in a week or 2 we had some fun with another Marine- all in fun- and all part of OUR BROTHERHOOD- Most went along with getting their leg pulled- and some were sore- but we were a team and for most part pulled together. Some of the guys ran out at quitting time without asking if the work was done- and some of us asked if anything had to still be done for that day. The Staff NCO’s knew who were good Marines and who were s**tbirds- at times a muster was called for added assignments or problems to be addressed- roll was called- and the usual suspects were MIA- we had a Gunny who was terse- but a squared away Marine- he was looking for one screw-up who always did everything wrong – and called me over and told me to go to the head- and pull his sorry butt out of one of the stalls where he always hid from doing work? nothing got by them – and like Santa – they knew who was bad or good- I can honestly say I disliked one Gunny- who was not squared away- and was about to be asked to retire as I found out even with Vietnam- they did not want him in any capacity. Met hundreds of NCO and Staff NCO’s and Hey I was an NCO as I got out. Miss the ethic or working together- or going to the NCO Club for a drink- or dinner- sometimes one Marine would mope around the Squad Bay- and you would ask him if he wanted to go to the club- after work- or if he would go with you to chow- and they would perk up and be thankful- as all Marines were different- and some were loners. Now in 2017 our world is still crazy- and we face problems as well. One day maybe we will live in peace – but we learn from the past- and plan for the future- and a I hope that our Marines will be kept out of harms way overseas!! Amen!
Sgt Grit wants to hear from you! Leave your comments below or submit your own story!


  • H.L. Young L/Cpl

    L/cpl H.L. Young, Viet Nam 65/66/69. You Airdales are cool, but try being on your first Med Cruise(H 2/8) and told to go topside during a storm in the Atlantic for Mail bouy watch… Or on LPH 47 (Operation SteelPike) and told to to get 6 feet of flight line…. Nothing like being a boot… Semper Fi..

  • Cpl. Chacon

    Looking for a few Marines stationed at Atsugi, Japan…….Marine Corps Barracks 1969 to 1971. Also Nam 1968 to 1969 Da nang 1st Communication Battallion 1st Marines.

  • David S. Martinez

    Got to MCAS El Toro in Spring of ’69 for 6 months of ojt before going to staging at Camp Pendleton. I was a radar tech in VMFAT-101, an F4 Phantom training squadron. As a newbie, I was a “go for” under some Vietnam Nam vets training us and flight crews to ship out to ‘Nam. On one of my first days there and after walking waaay down the long flight line to work on one of the Phantoms, the E5 with me asks me for the ignition key to the jet. He said I was supposed to have gotten it from the maintenance gunny. “Well, run back to the hanger and tell the gunny you ‘f..ked up’ and forgot the key!” “RUN!” I got him back later when he was Sgt. of the Guard and I was walking guard duty one night! All I did was cock my .45 1911 after he had passed by my hiding spot late one night!

  • Cpl. Biggs 92′-97′

    Almost forgot the BA1100N with an ST ring!

  • Cpl. Biggs 92′-97′

    At MALS-16 in the early 90’s breaking in our newbies also included getting from supply a gallon of pneumatic fluid, or a box of level bubbles. If the Gunny was in a good mood you would send the new guy to him for a PRC-E7.

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