Addressing a Senior Officer

During 1869/1970, as a Captain I served as the Aide de Camp to the Commanding General of the 1st Marine Division, Danang, Vietnam.
I always greeted the General with Good Morning General.
As during his entire career, WW2, Korea, and Vietnam earlier as a Colonel and Regimental Commander, he had been addressed as Sir. He has 30 years of being called Sir.
We have few Generals in the Corps, and to achieve the rank of General, it just seemed appropriate to me to call him General. My greeting was always returned with a smile.
Thank You Major General Edwin B Wheeler, you were all that, and much more. Semper Fi

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Dignity

While not a Salute story, it does involve something akin to behavior that some might salute; or not. While stationed at Marine Barracks, U. S. Naval Ammunition Depot, Hingham, MA, (1956-1957)and serving as a Sergeant of Marines, the CO asked me to deliver a parcel to his quarters on board the Depot, and instructed me to use the back door. Some background: Sometime during the first month there, I walked into town to cash my paycheck (we got paychecks!) and on the way, a female with children stopped and asked me if I wanted a ride, I did, and she asked me how long I had been stationed at the MB, etc.,(I was in uniform) and I politely answered and let it go at that. I did not use the back door; I thought it was not within the dignity of a Marine Sergeant to do. The CO’s wife answered in a nightgown and robe; at 0930. I delivered the parcel and beat feet out of there.
At the time, I had no intention of re enlisting in the Marine Corps. I took my release from active duty, but later re enlisted, visited the MB, Hingham, and I asked my OIC why I had been given such low Conduct and Proficiency marks which were the life blood of Composite Scores in those times. He stated that I had performed at the 4.8 level, but that the CO demanded the SRB entries of: 4.5, 3.8; 4.0, 3.5; 4.5, 4.0. My pro&con marks prior to being stationed at the MB were consistently at the 4.5 to 4.7 range. My next duty station was at the Marine Barracks, U. S. Naval Shipyard, Portsmouth, NH where for two years my average pro&con marks were 4.9, 5.0 for two years! And later at 2ndBn., 6th Marines, (4.7, 4.7) The problem: my OIC told me that the the CO’s wife told him that while she was giving me a ride to town to cash my check that I was LEERING at her. Hard to believe, even though I lived through it. Many years later I met that CO, he was a colonel and I was a warrant officer, he acted like I was one of his long lost best friends. I had to bite my tongue, almost clean in half. Semper Fi

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MARINE OF THE WEEK // Led men from three countries through a five hour firefight

MARINE OF THE WEEK // Led men from three countries through a five hour firefight

Gunnery Sgt. Richard Jibson
1st Marine Division
Operation Enduring Freedom, Afghanistan
Award: Navy Cross

On 28 May 2012 Gunnery Sergeant Jibson was advising a 53-man coalition force of Georgian, Afghan, and United States personnel during the clearing of an Afghan village. When some Marines who were reducing an improvised explosive device came under small arms fire, Gunnery Sergeant Jibson unhesitatingly placed himself between the Marines and the enemy, returning fire and allowing them to safely reach cover. Throughout the multiple engagements over the ensuing five hours, he bravely left covered positions and crossed open terrain many times under withering small arms and machine gun fire to provide suppressive fire, inspire his comrades, and direct the fire and maneuver of the entire coalition force. When a fellow Marine was shot in the head by an enemy sniper, Gunnery Sergeant Jibson fearlessly charged into a hail of enemy machine gun fire, pulled the exposed wounded Marine to cover, and then assisted a corpsman in rendering emergency measures to stabilize him. Amid the chaos, he arranged for reinforcements, casualty evacuation, and close air support. His courageous leadership, composure under fire, and tactical expertise led to successful extraction of the force with minimal loss of life. By his bold and decisive actions, undaunted courage, and complete dedication to duty, Gunnery Sergeant Jobson reflected great credit upon himself and upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service.

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Saluting Officers in Official Sedans

I graduated from MCRD San Diego in November of 1959. I was selected as the Honor Man of my Platoon 156. At the graduation ceremony I was presented my certificate by Col R. W. Boyd, Commanding Officer Recruit Training Command. After graduation and ITR at Camp Pendleton I received my orders to go to MCB 29 Palms. After 1 year one of my buddies Cpl Kosloski who was the driver for Col Boyd was being discharged in about a month.
Col. Boyd asked him to find a new driver. Cpl Kosloski asked me if I wanted the job. At first I was hesitant because as a young marine I kind of feared Officers and this was a Col. that I would be driving for. Kosloski told me that Col Boyd was a great man to drive for and that driving the Col would be my only job. I would carry my liberty card with me and when the Col was off, I was off. Hearing this I went to an interview with the Col. Kosloski and I entered the Col’s office and Kosloski introduced me to the Col. The Col asked me if Potocki is a Polish name and I said yes sir. The Col then thanked Kosloski for bringing him another Polish marine and further stated that if I was as good as he was I would be his new driver. I drove along with Kosloski until he was discharged so I could learn the ropes.

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Pleasant Memories of Key West

S/Sgt Hites’s photo of the Truman Annex brought back memories of how I ended up in the Corps.
I was born and raised in Key West and I’m a 5th generation “Conch” (Native Islander). My mothers’ family where a long line of fisherman, shrimpers, sponge divers and so on. If it came from the ocean they did it.
My Dad was from Dennison, Texas and enlisted it the Corps to get off of the farm. Dad was wounded at Guadalcanal and latter at Tarawa. His wounds from Tarawa would send him to the Naval Hospital at Key West where he met my Mom who was working as a nurse. When my Dad’s wounds healed he was sent to the Marine Barracks where he stood guard duty until the war ended.
As a little kid my friends and I would follow the Marines running in formation along the island perimeter but they were too fast for us to last very long. As I got older we would stay with them a few steps behind the formation and we would tell ourselves that we would someday become Marines.
One morning my brother and I got up early to run with the formation and we were told by Marine sentry’s that the beach was off limits, it was the first day of the Cuban missile crisis.
As time went on we would bring the Marines on duty fresh coconuts, conch fritters and boletes.
The year 1965 would change my life forever. The draft board was breathing down my neck and I wasn’t about to go into the Army or any other branch of the service, not so much because my Dad was a Marine, but because of what I had seen and done thru the years at the Marine Barracks.
Major Black did my enlistment since the nearest recruiting office was 250 miles away in Miami, Florida.
A few days latter I was a young maggot on is way to Paris Island and the next twenty- five years would be an adventure of a lifetime.
Today I am an old retired Marine, retired high school teacher living in Amarillo Texas… how things change.

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The History Behind These Flags

My name is Gene Crabtree. Retired GySgt (pictured on left). Recently I was asked by Jimmy Dupuy (pictured on right), if I could assist him with folding these two flags. I told him it would be an honor and I would be proud to assist him. He began to tell me the history of these flags. He found these flags in a box that he received after his mother passed away, they were not folded and he wanted to put them in Shadow Boxes. The flag I am holding is his Great-Grandfather’s William Curry Chisolm’s flag. He served in WWI. This flag has 48 stars, his Great-Grandfather passed away in 1926. The flag that Jimmy is holding is for his Father, Joseph Steven Dupuy. Mr. Jimmy served in the U.S. Marine Corps from ’65-’69. I can’t tell you the honor that this gave me and the sense of pride to assist in this Flag Folding.

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The Salute And Marine Corps Policy

After reading Cpl Bill Reed and LCpl Art Monterari’s failed salute stories, I wanted to share mine. While stationed at Camp LeJune I was a warehouse supply clerk. There was a LT that worked in the office in my warehouse. Every morning when she would get to work, I would see her drive up and go over to the dock to wait for her to walk by. One morning my OIC was walking in with her, and I said the same thing I did every day, Good Morning Lieutenant. My OIC said how about Good Morning Sir? I then said one of the dumbest things I ever said on active duty, She outranks you so I was not talking to you. I actually stated the Marine Corps policy states when addressing a group of officers, you only address the senior officer, but I could see on his face he heard the first way. To which she said he is correct. Needless to say I was on his sh-t list after that until I left to go to Desert Shield with CSSD-40. I never once in the 2-1/2 years that I worked with her called her ma’am, always Lieutenant. That was one of the most beautiful women I ever met in the Corps.

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Pirate Hunting Fleet In 1823

Earlier this month while vacationing in Key West, FL and wearing my new ‘Semper Fi Fund’ shirt my wife and I came upon the Truman Annex and Naval Air Station. The plaque on the wall to my right reads:

SEMPER FIDELIS
October 1, 1977

The first United States Marines arrived in Key West with Commodore David Porter’s Pirate Hunting Fleet in 1823.

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Haloween on the bayonette course

Parris Island, October 31st, 1969
It was 3rd Battalion, Platoon 3061’s turn for guard duty on the Bayonet course. For some reason I was chosen for 1am-2am walk, It was chilly, but not too bad in South Carolina that evening, and I was taken to the point where I would meet my predecessor on this post. After a few minutes, the other private arrived, and together we walked the course. Many of you may remember the Bayonet Course. You went down and around a series of somewhat wooded paths, and every so often you would meet the “Enemy.” The enemy being life sized, dark green dummies that we were to “stab,” or butt with the rifles, as we ran by. Kind of a fun time, right?
Well on October 31st at 1am it was a slightly different story. To begin with there was a full moon. And then there was the partly cloudy sky that made it the perfect Halloween sky. Finally, the partly wooded paths cast perfect Halloween shadows on the paths.
The private who has preceded me, and who led me around the course that I was to walk seemed overly nervous for some reason. I think all he really said was, “This place is spooky.” With the two of us supporting each other I didn’t see the problem, but after a turn I was on my own. Hey, I was a Marine Recruit, I can take on anything. But in the eerie shadows of the path things were different. I turned a corned and my heart skipped a beat when someone was unexpectedly standing there in the shadows facing me! It only took only a moment to realize it was a bayonet dummy and I breathed a sigh of relief. —until I turned another corner and repeated the experience.
I know, I know these were inanimate structures and nothing to be frightened of. But on a creepy night, by the light of a partly obscured full moon, your mind forgot all of that, and nearly each time I came across one of the shadowy green bodies in the shadowy, I had a similar experience. I was both embarrassed and ashamed of myself for reacting this way, but on and on it went. I did perhaps ten to fifteen circuits during my hour. And even got to mentally counting out the amount of time for each circuit, both in an attempt to calm myself, and to figure out how much time I had left in this “House of Horrors.” Finally I came to the end/beginning and there was my relief. Never has that word, “Relief,” meant so much! I took a turn with this next victim, and tried to warn him as best I could, knowing that nothing would really help.
Years later, when reflecting on this, the thought came to me that they should make a late night charge though the Bayonet field a regular experience for recruits, but I though the better of it as the experience could not be the same with other comrades so nearby! It was the loneliness that heightened the fear. I have also wondered how many who walked that route in the late night has the same reaction. I know that everyone that walked it that night did, although we rarely talked about it openly after that.
S/Sgt Shuttleworth USMC
1969-1972/1975-1980.

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