Sgt Grit Newsletter August 24, 2011


Old Corps

Hi Sarge,
I’d like to comment and agree with GySgt. Edwin Tate’s letter concerning the House Mouse. In our Boot Camp we had no House Mouse either and the only time we smoked was when the “smoking lamp is lit”. Also we had to destroy the cigarette butts and spread the tobacco into the sand. We had two weeks at Camp Mathews, for rifle qualification, and our Platoon 609 had top qualification and marched into the chow hall first while the other platoons stood at attention.

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American troops in Afghanistan through the eyes of a French OMLT infantryman

The US often hears echoes of worldwide hostility against the application of its foreign policy, but seldom are they reached by the voices of those who experience first hand how close we are to the USA. In spite of contextual political differences and conflicting interests that generate friction, we do share the same fundamental values – and when push comes to shove that is what really counts. Through the eyes of that French OMLT (Operational Mentoring Liaison Teams) infantryman you can see how strong the bond is on the ground. In contrast with the Americans, the French soldiers don’t seem to write much online – or maybe the proportion is the same but we just have less people deployed. Whatever the reason, this is a rare and moving testimony which is why I decided to translate it into English, so that American people can catch a glimpse of the way European soldiers see them. Not much high philosophy here, just the first hand impressions of a soldier in contact – but that only makes it more authentic.

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Company of U.S. Marines comes to Israel for month of intensive training with IDF

The narrow streets and tall cement buildings of theworld-renowned IDF Urban Warfare Training Center echoed with shouts in flawless English asUS Marines delve into another close-quarters-battle drill.

As part of theongoing cooperation between the Israeli Defense Forces and the US Armed Forces stationed in Europe, a company of US Marines came to Israel for a month of intensive training at IDF facilities and alongside IDF soldiers. Dividing their time between the Adam Base in central Israel and the Tze'elim Base in the south, the soldiers trained in urban and cautious warfare, reconnaissance, and at various shooting ranges.

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Heroes of the Vietnam Generation, by James Webb

Heroes of the Vietnam Generation, by James Webb


The rapidly disappearing cohort of Americans that endured the Great Depression and then fought World War II is receiving quite a send-off from the leading lights of the so-called 60s generation. Tom Brokaw has published two oral histories of “The Greatest Generation” that feature ordinary people doing their duty and suggest that such conduct was historically unique.

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 The Old Corps       

Submitted by, Jim Almeida                                          

When We Were Young, They Talked About “The Old Corps.”                  

Now We Are The “Old Corps!”                                   

Remember when…                                   

Everyone was issued dress blues.                  

You kept your rifle in the barracks.                  

Your 782 gear did not wear out.                  

Mess halls were mess halls (NOT dining facilities).                  

No vandalism wrecked the barracks.                                   

Everyone was a Marine and his ethnic background was unimportant.                  

We had heroes.                  

Chaplains didn't teach leadership to the experts.                  

Getting high meant getting drunk.                  

Beer was 25 cents at the slopchute.                                   

Skivvies had tie-ties.                  

We starched our khakis and looked like hell after sitting down the first time.                  

We wore the short green battle jacket with the winter uniform.                  

We wore Sam Browne belts and sharpened one edge of the buckle for the bad fights.                  

We kept our packs made up and hanging on the edge of the rack.                                   

We spit shined shoes.                  

Brownbaggers' first concern was the Marine Corps.                  

Generals cussed.                  

Generals paid more attention to the Marine Corps than to politics.                  

UA meant being a few minutes late from a great liberty, and only happened             

once per career.                                   

Brigs were truly “correctional” facilities.                  

Sergeants were gods.                  

The tips of the index and middle fingers of one hand were constantly black                 

from Kiwi shoe polish.                  

We scrubbed the wooden decks of the barracks with creosol.                                   

We had wooden barracks.                  

Privates made less than $100.00 a month.                  

Privates always had money.                  

You weren't transported to war by Trans World or Pan American airlines.        

Barracks violence was a fight between two buddies who were buddies        

when it was over.                                   

Larceny was a civilian crime.                  

Every Marine had all his gear.                  

Marines had more uniforms than civilian clothes.                  

Country and western music did not start race riots in the clubs.            

We had no race riots because we had no recognition of races.                 

Marine Corps birthdays were celebrated on 10 November no matter what day        

of the week it may have been (except Sunday).                  

Support units supported.                  

The supply tail did not wag the maintenance dog.                  

The 734 form was the only supply document.                  

You did your own laundry, including ironing.                                   

You aired bedding.                  

Daily police of outside areas was held although they were always clean.                  

Field stripping of cigarette butts was required.                  

Everyone helped at field day.                  

A tour as Duty NCO was an honor.                                  

Everyone got up at reveille.                  

We had live bugle calls inside the barrack, sometimes at the foot of your rack.                  

Movies were free.                  

PX items were bargains.                  

Parking was the least of problems because troops couldn't afford cars.                                   

You weren't married unless you could afford it.                  

Courts-martial orders were read in battalion formations.                  

A bum didn't have a BCD awarded more than once before he actually got it.         

We had the “Rocks and Shoals.”                  

Courts-martial were a rarity.                                   

People receiving BCD’s were drummed out the gate.                  

NCOs and officers were not required to be psychologists.                  

The mission was the most important thing.                  

Marines could shoot.                  

Marines had a decent rifle.                                   

The BAR was the mainstay of the fire team.                  

Machine gunnery was an art.        

Maggie's drawers meant a miss and was considered demeaning as hell to        

 the dignity of the shooter.                  

Carbide lamps blackened sights.                  

We wore leggings and herringbone utilities.                                   

We had machine gun carts.                  

We mixed target paste in the butts.        

We had to take and pass promotion tests to get promoted, plus have the        

required cutting score.                  

We really had equal opportunity.                  

Sickbays gave APCs for all ailments.                                   

We had short-arm inspections.                  

The flame tank was in the arsenal of weapons.                  

We had unit parties overseas with warm beer and no drugs.                  

Marines got haircuts.                  

Non-judicial punishment was non-judicial.                                   

The squad bay rich guy was the only one with a radio.       

If a Marine couldn't make it on a hike, his buddies carried his gear and helped        

him stumble along so that he wouldn't have to fall out.                  

The base legal section was one or two clerks and a lawyer.                  

We had oval dog tags.                  

Marines wore dog tags all the time.                          

We spit shined shoes and BRUSH shined boots.                  

We wore boondockers.                 

 We starched field scarves.                  

We worked a five and one half day week.                  

Everyone attended unit parties.                                    

In the field we used straddle trenches instead of “Porta-Potties.”                  

Hitchhiking was an offense.                  

We used Morse Code for difficult transmissions.                  

The oil burning tent stove was the center of social activity in the tent.                  

We had unit mail call.                                   

We carried swagger sticks.                  

We had Chesty Puller.                  

Greater privileges for NCOs were not a “right.”                  

EM Clubs were where you felt at home — and safe.                  

We sailed on troop ships and we rode troop trains.                                   

Sentries had some authority.                  

Warrant Officers were not in their teens.                  

Mess hall “Southern cooking” was not called “soul food.”                  

Marines went to chapel on Sundays.                  

Weekend liberty to a distant place was a rarity.                                   

The color of a Marine's skin was of no consequence.                  

The Marine Corps was a big team made up of thousands of little teams.        

We debarked from ship by means of nets over the side, landed in LCVPs and        

always got wet.                  

We had platoon virgins.                  

We had parades.                                   

We had pride.                  

We had Esprit de Corps.             

Why I Joined The Marine Corps


This is why I joined the Marine Corps. This picture was taken on Nov 8, 1955 when I was 5 years old in downtown Baltimore, Md. It was published on Nov 10, 1955 in the Baltimore Sun newspaper celebrating the Marine Corps birthday. From that point on I knew that I wanted to be a Marine. I fulfilled that dream in June 68 and served four glorious years. I was able to find the Marine Staff Sergeant pictured with me in October 2001. He is Retired Sergeant Major Francis C. Rohrs. Hope you enjoy.   Semper Fi   Kevin W. Lowe Sgt USMC

One of many great stories submitted to – Submit your own Marine Corps story

Generals’ Meeting

There was a brief meeting of several Generals and an Admiral. The Air Force General said, “I think I have finally found a way to show you true guts. Airman, come here!”

The airman trotted over and came to attention with a brisk, “Yes, sir?”

The Air force General said, “Airman, climb to the top of that flag pole”.

“Yes, Sir,” came the quick response and up the pole he went.

When the airman reached the top, the General told him to jump. The airman shouted, “Yes, Sir,” and dropped to his death.

The General turned to his peers and said, “Now that is guts.”

The Army General did the same and the Admiral did too, with the same results as the Air Force poor airman. The Marine General told them they were all full of shit and called a Marine Private over. “Private, climb that flag pole!”

“Sir, yes, Sir!” was the quick response and up the pole he went. The Marine General than told him to jump. The Marine Private's response was, “Sir, no, Sir!”. The General than turned to his peers and said, “now that's guts.”

Though you might like this one, if you haven't heard it yet.

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