The Black Rifle

Sgt Grit,

Several stories have been posted recently about the Stoner rifles. Here's a little more info:

Eugene Stoner developed this rifle, and it had several variations. Most notably, the M16. He was the father of the M16. To fully understand the development and Vietnam problems with the M16, read the book "The Black Rifle", it's very informative. I met him once while working for Colt Firearms in the early 90's. He was also a WWII USMC Veteran.

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Crossed Rifles

In reply to Brown Side Out, Green Side Out.

When I went into the Marines (Sept. 1959) the new rank structure was just getting started.

We had the M1 and BAR, hence the crossed rifles on the new chevrons. Since then we have gone through the M14 (I was on the Troop Test Program for this), the M16 (that got a lot of Marines killed in Vietnam), and a lot of new shooting irons since then that I can't keep up with. And there will be more to come.

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How many battalions were at Parris Island

I am a Viet Nam era Marine 1963 to 1969. I was talking to a son of a Marine that was in the Corps before me. He then pulled out a graduation book to show me his fathers pictures. First thing I noticed was in the front of the book there was no picture of the present Commandant or anything referencing any dates at all. What it did say was that there were 5 battalions at Parris Island. I knew of 3 battalions were for the men and the 4th is for women, but I hadn't heard of 5 battalions. Does anybody know what the fifth battalion was designated to, and any idea what time period this all took place. All I could surmise was that the amount of troops that were going through at the time must have demanded another battalion. Thanks. Botch (Sgt of Marines)

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Brown Side Out, Green Side Out

This is how you do it. On August 8th, the US Marine Corps Uniform Board released a survey seeking input about three proposed uniform changes for active duty and reserve Marines. The three changes are:

Altering the color of enlisted rank insignia from black to brushed brass for Woodland MARPAT utilities.

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Favorite Marine SNCO Story

Another inspection at Marine Barracks, Naha… the inspecting officer is Lt.Gen Alan Shapely, at the time the CG, FMF PAC. On December 7th, 1941, he was aboard the USS Arizona, as a Major, and had just been relieved the previous day as the CO of Arizona's Marine Detachment. He had stayed aboard, as his Marines were scheduled to play in a championship baseball game that Sunday. He was aloft, with a cup of coffee, when the Japanese struck. He was blown, naked, into the water… and helped others swim ashore on Ford Island. Note, if you can see the detail, that those are brass claws, just above my left hand… meaning that we had leather slings… field marching pack, one canteen…

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IOD Sites

Here is your intrepid editor standing watch at one of the IOD sites 40+ years ago. I don't remember which one. Actually I don't remember the names of any of them. I visited all of them over a 4 week period to help with comm issues. Does anyone remember the names of these hills with the IODs. There would be 8-10 grunts, a Sgt or SSgt and a Lt. Usually a couple of 60's and a .50 Cal., that was it.

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Deep Sixed

Ddick: Once again Ddick has become my Muse regarding Amtrack operations off an LST. The one part of the launch he doesn't mention (because it's not apparent to those riding inside is the "deep six" portion which involves the tractor accelerating down the ramp and actually going 5 or 6 feet under water before bobbing to the surface (hopefully) and heading for the rendezvous circle. This is a little intimidating the first couple of times its done, but being Marines we would see how deep we could go. I think I've related this story before but here it is again. A second LT. platoon leader pulled me aside and asked where the driest place was inside when we launched because the cargo doors on top of the tractor weren't water tight and became a torrent while getting off the ship. I assured him that the driest place would be sitting on the machine gun platform in the front. Just above the platform was the machine gun turret with the gun taken out, it was rotated to the rear and a redwood plug was inserted where the barrel went. I told my crewman to rotate the turret to the front and remove the plug. As we "deep sixed" off the ramp a solid stream of cold seawater shot from the hole into the chest of the 2nd. LT. I kept my eyes glued to my vision block but snuck a peep to see how it went. He was staring at me with fire in his eyes but I'm sure he never asked to be kept dry while part of his platoon was getting wet. Ya gotta love 'em!

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