Marine Corps Short Rounds

“Don’t die for your country; make your enemy die for his”
Author Unknown
Submitted by: Sean Brauner Cpl USMC

Air Force vs. Elite Force

The following story circulated from a long forgotten source sometime during the extremely short 8 yrs, 9 mos, and 3 days of my enlistment: An Air Force Sergeant approached a Marine Sergeant outside an Enlisted Club to voice his disapproval after witnessing the seemingly harsh treatment the NCO had inflicted upon a young Lance Corporal. It seems the LCPL had over-indulged himself on beverages and had commenced a hands on demolition of the interior of the building before being hauled outside by the ear via one relatively large Marine Sergeant. Once outside, the SGT had apparently backhanded the LCPL in the back of his head/neck area, ordered him lock his drunken body at the position of attention , and proceeded to verbally reprimand the Devil-Pup in a manner befitting the behavior exhibited. When mission complete with the verbal full frontall assault, the SGT ordered the LCPL to return to the barracks and standby for the shock waves the following morning. Totally appalled by this public display, the Airman (with whom some credit should be given for having the fortitude to do so, however, the line between bravery and stupidity is reportedly very fine) approached the SGT and commented, “Hey Sergeant, don’t you think you were a little to harsh on that young man?” The SGT very calmly but firmly stated, “First of all, you’d better execute an about face and commence walking before you spring a leak, second of all, that’s exactly the kinda thing that makes men like me an ELITE FORCE and people like you, the Air Force.” Each party then silently parted, leaving with us yet another Corpsism which has been passed on from generation to generation. read more

Marine Fishing on Guard Duty?

Submitted by Cpl. Bill Hart, USMC.
ANGLICO, 3rd Battalion, 6th Marines, 2nd Mar. Div., 1953-56

This does not begin with ‘This is no shit…’ so it’s not a sea-story, it happened.

In late February 1954 I was a young Marine on my first deployment and aboard USS Olmsted, APA 188. We’d tied up for 4 days in San Juan, PR, before continuing to Vieques for a couple of months of living in squad tents, field problems, live-fire exercises and liberty in picturesque Isabela Segunda. On our first day in port I caught guard duty. It was my 18th birthday and my 365th day in the Corps. The post that I was assigned to, from 2000 to 2400, was the fantail of the ship and I was wearing typical guard uniform; utilities, steel helmet, cartridge belt with attached bayonet and my M-1 rifle. Most of the Marines and ship’s company, except for watch-standers, had gone ashore on liberty, so it was a quiet night on deck. The only other person I’d seen aboard was a guy fishing about 20 feet or so away. I’d been on watch for a little over an hour when the guy walked over to me. read more

Sergeant Major Jokes

The Sgt Major

Take One

Two Sergeant Majors were walking across campus when one said, “Where did you get such a great bike?” The second Sergeant Major replied, “Well, I was walking along yesterday, minding my own business, when a beautiful woman rode up on this bike. She threw the bike to the ground, took off all her clothes and said, “Take what you want.” The second Sergeant Major nodded approvingly, “Good choice; the clothes probably wouldn’t have fit.” read more

Humorous Marine Corps Story

Customs and Courtesies vs. Common Sense
Submitted by: Kyle R. Fix, Former SGT, USMC

The following exchange was witnessed when exiting an on-base barber shop at MCAS New River, NC.

An Army Second Lieutenant attempted to verbally reprimand a Marine Sergeant Major for not rendering a hand salute when they crossed paths. The Sergeant Major was wearing his Service Alpha uniform and of course had service stripes up to his elbow. Without even so much as breaking his stride the salty old SGTMAJ replied, ” Take a friggin’ walk on my hash marks, boy!” The embarrassed soldier had the common sense to remain silent and walk away, hopefully taking with him a valuable learning experience. read more

Marine Corps Anecdotes You Should Never Forget

Never Forget…
Submitted by: Glen F. “Smoke” Burgess, Col. USMC (Ret)

  • Once you are in the fight, it is way too late to wonder if this is a good idea.
  • Helicopters are cool!
  • It is a fact that helicopter tail rotors are instinctively drawn toward trees, stumps, rocks, etc. While it may be possible to ward off this natural event some of the time, it cannot, despite the best efforts of the crew, always be prevented. It’s just what they do.
  • NEVER get into a fight without more ammunition than the other guy.
  • The engine RPM, and the rotor RPM, must BOTH be kept in the GREEN. Failure to heed this commandment can affect the morale of the crew.
  • A billfold in your hip pocket can numb your leg and be a real pain in the ass.
  • Cover your Buddy, so he can be around to cover you.
  • Letters from home are not always great.
  • The madness of war can extract a heavy toll. Please have exact change.
  • Share everything. Even the Pound Cake.
  • Decisions made by someone over your head will seldom be in your best interest.
  • The terms “Protective Armor” and “Helicopter” are mutually exclusive.
  • The further away you are from your friends, the less likely it is that they can help you when you really need them the most.
  • Sometimes, being good and lucky still was not enough. There is always payback.
  • “Chicken Plates” are not something you order in a restaurant.
  • If everything is as clear as a bell, and everything is going exactly as planned, you’re about to be surprised.
  • The BSR (Bang Stare Read) Theory states that the louder the sudden bang in the helicopter, the quicker your eyes will be drawn to the gauges.
  • The longer you stare at the gauges, the less time it takes them to move from green to red.
  • It does too get cold in Vietnam.
  • No matter what you do, the bullet with your name on it will get you. So too can the ones addressed “To Whom It May Concern”.
  • Gravity: It may not be fair, but it is the law.
  • If the rear echelon troops are really happy, the front line troops probably do not have what they need.
  • If you are wearing body armor, the incoming will probably miss that part.
  • It hurts less to die with a uniform on than to die in a hospital bed.
  • Happiness is a belt-fed weapon.
  • If something hasn’t broken on your helicopter, it’s about to.
  • Eat when you can. Sleep when you can. Visit the head when you can. The next opportunity may not come around for a long time. If ever.
  • Combat pay is a flawed concept.
  • Having all your body parts intact and functioning at the end of the day beats the alternative.
  • Air superiority is NOT a luxury.
  • If you are allergic to lead it is best to avoid a war zone.
  • It is a bad thing to run out of airspeed, altitude, and ideas all at the same time.
  • Nothing is as useless as altitude above you and runway behind you.
  • While the rest of the crew may be in the same predicament, it’s almost always the pilot’s job to arrive at the crash site first.
  • When you shoot your gun, clean it the first chance you get.
  • Loud sudden noises in a helicopter WILL get your undivided attention.
  • Hot garrison chow is better than hot C-rations, which, in turn is better than cold C-rations, which is better than no food at all. All of these, however, are preferable to cold rice balls (given to you by guards) even if they do have the little pieces of fish in them.
  • WHAT is often more important than WHY.
  • Boxes of cookies from home must be shared.
  • Girlfriends are fair game. Wives are not.
  • Everybody’s a hero on the ground in the club after the fourth drink.
  • There is no such thing as a small firefight.
  • A free-fire zone has nothing to do with economics.
  • The farther you fly into the mountains, the louder the strange engine noises become.
  • Medals are OK, but having your body and all your friends in one piece at the end of the day is better.
  • The only medal you really want to be awarded is the Longevity Medal.
  • Being shot hurts.
  • Thousands of Vietnam Veterans earned medals for bravery every day. A few were even awarded.
  • Running out of pedal, fore or aft cyclic, or collective are all bad ideas. Any combination of these can be deadly.
  • Nomex is NOT fire proof.
  • There is only one rule in war: When you win, you get to make up the Rules.
  • Living and dying can both hurt a lot.
  • While a Super Bomb could be considered one of the four essential building blocks of life, powdered eggs cannot.
  • C-4 can make a dull day fun.
  • Cocoa Powder is neither.
  • There is no such thing as a fair fight, only ones where you win or lose.
  • If you win the battle you are entitled to the spoils. If you lose you don’t care.
  • Nobody cares what you did yesterday or what you are going to do tomorrow. What is important is what you are doing NOW to solve our problem.
  • If you have extra, share it quickly.
  • Always make sure someone has a P-38.
  • A sucking chest wound may be God’s way of telling you it’s time to go home.
  • Prayer may not help . . . but it can’t hurt.
  • Flying is better than walking. Walking is better than running. Running is better than crawling. All of these however, are better than extraction by a Med-Evac, even if this is technically a form of flying.
  • If everyone does not come home none of the rest of us can ever fully come home either.
  • Do not fear the enemy, for your enemy can only take your life. It is far better that you fear the media, for they will steal your HONOR.
  • A grunt is the true reason for the existence of the helicopter. Every helicopter flying in Vietnam had one real purpose: To help the grunt. It is unfortunate that many helicopters never had the opportunity to fulfill their one true mission in life simply because someone forgot this fact.
  • “You have the right to remain silent” is always EXCELLENT advice.
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    Murphy’s Laws of Combat

    Murphy’s Laws of Combat
    Recommended by: Jim Cook

  • Recoiless rifles…aren’t.
  • Suppressive fire…..won’t.
  • Friendly fire…..isn’t.
  • Automatic weapons….aren’t.
  • Incoming fire has right-of-way.
  • If the enemy is in range, so are you.
  • When in doubt, empty the magazine.
  • A sucking chest wound is nature’s way of telling you it’s time to slow down.
  • Never draw fire, it irritates everyone around you.
  • Anything you do can get you shot…including doing nothing.
  • Make it tough enough for the enemy to get in and you won’t be able to get out.
  • Never share a foxhole with anyone braver than yourself.
  • Professionals are predictable, amateurs are dangerous.
  • The easy way is always mined.
  • Try to look unimportant, they may be low on ammo.
  • No battle plan ever survives contact with the enemy.
  • If you’re short of everything but the enemy, you’re in a combat zone.
  • If your attack is going really well, it’s an ambush.
  • No combat-ready unit ever passed inspection.
  • No inspection-ready unit ever passed combat.
  • Communications will always fail the moment you need air or artillery support.
  • If it’s stupid but works, it isn’t stupid.
  • You are not Superman. (Freshly graduated recruits from Marine boot camp and all fighter pilots, especially, take note.)
  • Never forget that your weapon was made by the lowest bidder.
  • When both sides are convinced that they are about to lose; they are both right.
  • Don’t look conspicuous, it draws fire (This is why aircraft carriers are called bomb magnets.
  • All five-second grenade fuses will brun down in three seconds.
  • If you are forward of your position, the artillery will fall short
  • The enemy diversion you are ignoring is the main attack.
  • The important things are always simple
  • The simple things are always hard
  • When you have secured an area, don’t forget to tell the enemy.
  • If the enemy are in range, SO ARE YOU.
  • Beer math is: Two beers times 37 men equal 49 cases.
  • Body count math is: Two guerrillas plus one portable plus two pigs equal 37 enemy KIA
  • Things that must be together to work, usually can’t be shipped together.
  • Tracers work BOTH ways.
  • The only thing more accurate than incoming enemy fire is incoming friendly fire.
  • If you take more than your fair share of objectives, you will have more than your fair share of objectives to take
  • Professional soldiers are predictable, but the world is full of amateurs
  • Murphy was a grunt.
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