MARINE OF THE WEEK // THE CIGAR MARINE:

MARINE OF THE WEEK // THE CIGAR MARINE:

GySgt. Nick Popaditch
1st Tank Battalion, Iraq, April 2004
Award: Silver Star

On April 6-7, 2004, Gunnery Sgt. Popaditch was serving as a Tank Platoon Sergeant in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom in Fallujah, Iraq. The Marines of Fox Company, 2nd Battalion, 1st Marines came under heavy enemy fire and without hesitation, GySgt. Popaditch surged his two tanks into the city to support the Marines under fire, drawing enemy fire away from the beleaguered Marines and enabling Fox Company to evacuate a critically wounded Marine. For several hours, enemy forces engaged his tank section with withering rocket-propelled grenade fire until they were destroyed by accurate machine gun fire. Acting as the forward observer for a AC-130 gunship, GySgt. Popaditch directed fire onto enemy targets, effecting their annihilation. With complete disregard for his personal safety, he moved his tank forward to draw the enemy from their covered and concealed positions and allowing the AC-130 to engage them. On the morning of April 7, GySgt. Popaditch was severely wounded by an enemy rocket-propelled grenade blast. Blinded and deafened by the blast, he remained calm and ordered his crew to a medical evacuation site. By his bold leadership, wise judgment, and complete dedication to duty, GySgt. Popaditch was awarded the Marine Corps’ third highest award for valor, the Silver Star.

read more

MARINE OF THE WEEK:

Sgt. Clifford M. Wooldridge
3rd Battalion, 7th Marines
Helmand, Afghanistan, June 18, 2010
Award: Navy Cross

While deployed to Afghanistan’s Helmand province, then-Cpl.
Wooldridge’s mounted patrol came under intense enemy fire. Cpl.
Wooldridge and his squad dismounted and maneuvered on the suspected enemy location. Spotting a group of fifteen enemy fighters preparing an ambush, Cpl. Wooldridge led one of his fire teams across open ground to flank the enemy, killing or wounding at least eight and
forcing the rest to scatter. As he held security alone to cover his
fire team’s withdrawal, he heard voices from behind an adjacent wall.
Boldly rushing around the corner, he came face-to-face with two enemy
fighters at close range, killing both of them with his M-249 Squad
Automatic Weapon. As he crouched back behind the wall to reload, he
saw the barrel of an enemy machine gun appear from around the wall.
Without hesitation, he dropped his empty weapon and seized the machine gun barrel. He overwhelmed the enemy fighter in hand-to-hand combat, killing him with several blows to the head with the enemy’s own machine gun. His audacious and fearless actions thwarted the enemy attack on his platoon. (U.S. Marine Corps photos by Cpl. Sarah Anderson)

read more

Dress Blues for Marrying College Sweetheart

In December of 1964, while I was stationed in Quantico,Va., I married Emma, my college sweetheart .
One year later I was in Vietnam with the Second Battalion ,Third Marines. Emma was seven months pregnant. Before I left for Vietnam, I went to ask Colonel Jonas M.Platt if I could stay in Quantico just two more months to be with Emma when our first child was born. Col.Platt simply said,”Do you think you are the only Marine whose wife is pregnant?”
Today, we have four children and eleven grandchildren. Mike, our firstborn, is 55 years old.
The first time I picked him up was in November 1966. Today, we should never forget the commitment of Marines serving around the globe and their families who make a special sacrifice during times of separation. We are especially thankful and indebted to those who make the ultimate sacrifice and never have the chance to be reunited with their loved ones.

read more

Dress Blues & Mess Dress

I know that the request was for dress blues pictures but I couldn’t resist also sending a picture of my favorite dress uniform.

The first picture in dress blues was taken at the 1980 Officers Commissioning Ceremony for RS Hartford Ct. With me is 2d Lt Lynn Adams, University of Connecticut, whom I had recruited. She was assigned as a Personnel Officer at Camp Pendleton.

read more

The salute…loss of words.

02:25 11OCT21
While on duty at MCRD Paris Island…I was passing a young boot in the chow line outside…after inspecting the mess hall. He immediately snapped to…as he shouted out “attention!” So far, so good I observed…until I was confronted by the figure of the boot in a “double-handed” salute. Exasperated and puzzled after returning his salute, I got down to the bottom of his behavior expeditiously! His equally expeditious reply: “Sir, I know a two bar Lieutenant when I see one, Sir”…left me pretty much speechless…and at a loss for words. A direct order to drop and give me twenty push-ups (remedial training), was about all I could get out…after informing him that my collar insignia was that of a “Captain” of Marines. “Railroad tracks” maybe…but NEVER a “two bar Lieutenant!” His D.I. looked me up later during my OOD tour of duty…it was a very informative exchange of information and “laughter was the best medicine” to close out our very interesting experiences of the day!
“Good night Chesty”… wherever you are! Semper Fi

read more

Every Love story is Beautiful but our is my Favorite

The year was May 21, 1976 while waiting for orders to go to Okinawa on a drunken night after they had told him not to drink, and if he did not to go out of the Base. Because if he did, he was going to wake up married. Well, he got drunk and he went out of the Base. He didn’t wake up married but instead, he met the woman he was going to be married to. Even though when we met, he told me that he was not there looking for anybody and that he didn’t want to get serious with anybody because he was leaving to Okinawa for a year and he didn’t want to hurt anybody. After a short introduction and a short conversation by the end of that evening, this Marine was in deeply love. After a couple of dates and a year of separation we were married exactly a year and two days later. On May 23, 1977. We were happily married short of 41 years when God called him for Guard duty in Heaven on April 29, 2018
Semper Fi
Our dress blues photo

read more

Two black eye’s

First night at MCRD San Diego. We were all upstairs in a circle, had just stripped down and boxed all our cloths to send home. The marine who was giving us orders had just informed us that our drill instructor was about to enter the room. He told us to look at the floor and not look up and our eyes were not to see his. Well when G/Sgt. C. M. Renfrow walked by me I had to look. I do remember what happened next!!! I caught a clip board right between the eye’s, woke up the next morning with two black eye’s. Semper Fi 66-69

read more

MARINE OF THE WEEK

Gen. James “Mad Dog” Mattis
Hometown: Richland, WA

Retired Marine Gen. Mattis is our modern day “Chesty” Puller. The “Warrior Monk” led Marines in combat in three different wars — the Persian Gulf War, Operation Iraqi Freedom (Iraq) and Operation Enduring Freedom (Afghanistan). On Christmas Day 1998, his boss, Commandant of the Marine Corps Gen. Charles Krulak, was visiting duty posts in the Washington D.C. area. Krulak asked the duty who the officer of the day was and the Marine replied, “Sir, it’s Brigadier General Mattis.” Krulak peeked into the duty hut and saw two cots — one for the OOD and one for the duty. He asked, “Who was the officer who slept in that bed last night?” The duty replied, “Sir, Brigadier General Mattis.” Krulak asked Mattis why he — a general officer — was standing duty, to which Mattis replied, “Sir, I looked at the duty roster for today and there was a young major who had it who is married and had a family; and so I’m a bachelor, I thought why should the major miss out on the fun of having Christmas with his family, and so I took the duty for him.” Always leading by example. Semper Fi, sir! (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Mallory Vanderschans)

read more

Back in the Blues again

When I was discharged from the Corps 24 years ago I set out to stay in Dress Blues shape figuring I’d be healthy so long as I was able to fit in them. The notoriously unforgiving form fitting wool coat would not allow an inch of excess flab and in order to get that cruel metal neck clasp fastened, I’d have to remain lean and mean.

read more