How to convince soldiers to do pull ups for the Marine Corps!

I was sent to Army Ranger School in the summer of 1980 when I was a Second Lieutenant. While we had about 10 Marine enlisted in the class, I was the only Marine officer. During the 2 1/2 week-long second phase of training, we were in the mountains of north Georgia near Dahlonega and were flown to and from our missions by a squadron of Marine helos. While at Ranger School, it was common for the helo and c-130 crews to give the students some gedunk while in the air as absolutely nothing other than the issued daily c-ration was otherwise allowed.
When not in the field, we ate at the chow hall, and before each meal were required to do pull-ups. Being the only Marine in my squad ( we removed all rank during the training) I, of course, was very loud when counting off my pull-ups – ‘Marine Corps’, ole Dan Daly’, ‘Semper Fi’ and one more for ‘Chesty !’. We had no liberty, ate one c-rat a day while on our multi-day patrols and were always rushed through the chow hall when not in the field.
We lived in hard-sided squad tents, when not in the field, and the pilots and crew chiefs were billeted across a field in another area. After lights out one night, I stayed in the shadows and made my way to the tents where the crew chiefs were staying, told them I was a Marine Lieutenant, and asked them to get me a few 6-packs of beer to share with my squadmates. A Marine Sergeant quickly said sure, made his way to the Camp club, and came back with the 2 six-packs. He didn’t want anything in return- Semper Fi!
A few minutes later, I re-entered our squad tent, held up the 6-packs to 11 wide-eyed Army soldiers. Of course, everyone grabbed for a beer but I told them that first, they had to agree to do pull-ups for the Marine Corps in the morning. After a slight delay, all agreed!
In the morning, before chow, we lined up at the bars while our instructors were milling around. I saw some hesitation and gave them each a look and to my surprise, each of the soldiers from the 75th Rangers, 82nd, and 101st Airborne jumped on the pull-up bars and cranked out pull-ups for the Marine Corps!
I was ecstatic, while the instructors screamed in disbelief at my squadmates! I don’t think anyone gave up the reason for doing pull-ups for the Corps – it’s amazing what beer can do!

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16 thoughts on “How to convince soldiers to do pull ups for the Marine Corps!”

  1. Hilarious!!! Regardless of how hard they try to make training, they should never under-estimate the ingenuity of a young Marine, officer or enlisted. Now that was am example of true leadership, Lieutenant! Semper Fi!!! Top Pro

  2. Impressive ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ Adapt ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ Overcome ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ
    Semper Fi

  3. LOVE this story. Went to Ft. Bragg, Army Special Warfare School in ’67 with a half dozen other Marines, but we don’t have any stories to match this one!

  4. Thinking outside the box. Great leadership! Always do something different to remember a special event.
    Semper Fi. Gunny Pederson

  5. I had a buddy that went to Ranger school, as a Marine he took a certain amount of abuse. During one of the obstacles he purposely fell in the water and stayed under holding his breath, the army instructors jumped in to โ€œrescueโ€ him; when he heard the splashes from them diving in and surfaced and shrugged asking why they were all wet.

  6. Outstanding Leadership Devil Dog. That’s just one of the many reasons that Marines are loyal to our officers. Semper Fi Till the Day We Die! 0331/8653, 66-72, 5th Recon

  7. They didnโ€™t do that for the beer, they did that to feel like Marines for a few minutes !! Semper Fi. We are Marine Corps !!๐Ÿ’ช๐Ÿ’ฏ

  8. as a 2nd anglico marine we went through army jump school. marines excelled in every phase. we were then scheduled to attend ranger school. the army cancelled our group of marines. we were later informed that ” too many marines in ranger school were affecting army morale !”

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