I came home from work one day to find my wife, obviously in a tiff about something, arms crossed on the living couch. "You need to go talk to your son," she says, so naturally I ask why. "He got in trouble at school today; he's waiting in his room."

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So I amble down the hallway to his room to find him sitting, head hung low, and lower lip trembling (he was in elementary school at the time of this story). I ask him "What happened at school today?" "I got in a fight," he whimpered back. I asked him, "What about?" "I was standing in line at lunch talking with Johnny (can't remember the kid's real name) about Marines and he says that his dad is in the Army and Marines suck........so I punched him."

At this point I am trying to keep the proud look off my face and I ask, "Did you make him cry?" "Yes," came the sniffled reply. My only response could only be, "Good, let's go get some ice cream." Needless to say I spent the night on the couch, but it was worth it.

GySgt Daniel DeVine

This Thanksgiving let's all be thankful that we have Marines to protect us from the barbarians at the gate.
God Bless the Marine Corps!

Semper Fidelis
Sgt Grit

Best Office I Served With

Thank you, Lt. Capers wherever you are, Happy 232nd Birthday and Semper Fi....Sir!

My MOS was motor transport; I completed my first Vietnam (VN) tour in 1967 with Whisky-1-13 a 4/Duce mortar unit. I was looking to do something different. I volunteered for a security post not really knowing what it was all about. I filled out all the paperwork and did not hear anything for a long time. Figuring I was rejected, I continued my duties with 8th Com BN at Camp LeJeune NC as a mechanic. Then in March of 1968, I was assigned to Marine Barracks (MB) Fort Mead, MD. During this period the MB provided physical security for the National Security Agency.

I met Lt. Jim Capers shortly after my arrival. My first impression was, (where did they find this guy)? His uniform was impeccable. He carried himself with the most military bearing I have ever seen. He was a soft spoken Marine who commanded respect by his mere presence without saying a word. His over all knowledge of the security program was extremely impressive. Like most officers an enlisted man does not get to know much about them directly. I spent about three years with Lt. Capers. During that time I found out that he was from the enlisted ranks and was given a commission for his actions in VN. He was awarded the Bronze Star and a Purple Heart. According to rumor, Lt. Capers did not have to do the physical fitness test (PFT) due to severe leg wounds from a machine gun. I can remember struggling during the PFT and there was Lt. Capers trotting right past you, giving you a word of encouragement as he passed and giving the impression he could run forever effortlessly. You never knew that or if this man had any physical issues.

Ask A Marine Poster The one thing I will always remember the most about him is his leadership by example. I have a copy of the Marine Corps Leadership Traits in my office as a reminder of how a leader should conduct business. When I read them I think of Jim Capers. I retired from the Corps in 1985 and finished my career in aviation electronics with HMA 369. Some of you old timers may remember Lt. Capers on a recruiting poster in the late sixties (Ask a Marine). I believe to this day, my contact with this one Marine officer in my early years was a major influence in my decision to stay in the Corps.

I found out today that Jim Caper is a retired Major. If anyone has his E-mail please forward this to him.

Joe Orlandi

Just for You Marine!

Here are a few cool gifts ideas for the athlete or the motorhead!

Dress Blues Sweatshirt
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Dress Blues Sweatpants
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Vest Extender with Pewter Emblem
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Vest Extender with Pewter Eagle, Globe, and Anchor
Vest Extender with Pewter Eagle, Globe, and Anchor

Remember Those Days

To all my Marine friends, HAPPY BIRTHDAY! May this email find you in good health and God's hands. To some, the road continues. To others, as we journey through life and remember those days of guard duty, police call, Ft. Pickett, Parris Island, 29 Palms, Operation Purple Star, SSgt. Donald May, GSRA, shrimp fest at North Topsail, weekend trips to Myrtle Beach, Battalion runs, Fleet Week, ocean storms with waves bigger than the ship, fire on the tank on the beach, the M1A1 turned submarine, so cold on December rifle range it snowed, warmed up turned to rain and the sun came out all in a matter of 30 minutes, hurricane Fran and Bertha, Morehead City's Shrimp Fest, and all those Marines that have gone before us and their sacrifices.

Although I may not get a chance to share a beer and a cheer with you in person, here's to you Marines. A job well done. Thanks for your friendship, your sacrifices and your patriotism. May our paths cross again someday with the wind in our sails. Happy Birthday, be safe and God Bless you, your families and America!

Semper Fi,
Kenneth Parkhurst, Jr.

Camp J.J. Carroll

Sgt. Grit, In your last letter, Gysgt John D. Foster wrote:

"In late 1967, our platoon (Echo 2/9) was returning to Camp Carroll after a long op in the bush."

I don't know if the Gunny, knows where Camp J.J. Carroll got it's name, but the timing of his letter could not be better. (Happy Birthday Marines) The hill was know to us who operated out of there earlier as The Artillery Plateau. It was renamed and dedicated to Captain Carroll on the Marine Corps Birthday in 1966 following Operation Prairie. The attached photo may be hard to read, so I'll type it so all can know the history.

Camp J. J. Carroll Carroll Sign

Dedicated 10 November 1966 In Honor Of

Captain James Joseph Carroll. USMC

Company K 3D Battalion, 4th Marines

Who Heroically Led His Company In Combat Against The Enemy

During Operation Prairie From 17 September Until 5 October

1966 When He Was Killed In Action In The Attack On Hill 484

5 Miles West Of This Site

He Died As He Lived - A Gallant Leatherneck

I took this picture shortly after the sign was erected, and have many other photos of the mud, tanks on the perimeter, the Army's 175MM cannons and the Marines 105's and 155's. I don't know how long the sign "Survived", but I thought all who served there, like the Gunny, would like to see it for the first time, or one more time. We all have memories November 10th from over the years, but this one stands out for me.

S/Sgt T.B. Dudley 1993818 RVN 1963-66-67

Forget Everything

While my wife was preparing a ham dinner in honor of our grandson who just graduated boot camp the other night, I heard my daughter-in-law tell her, "Jeremy will only grunt when I ask him a question. But he is in there talking up a storm with Bob (me)." My wife replied "It's two Marines talking."

He was telling me that when they started rifle training, they were told to forget everything they ever had learned about shooting. To listen and learn the Marine Corps way. He said "But Papa, they didn't teach me anything I didn't already know." I asked him, "Who taught you how to shoot?" He said "You and Dad." Then I asked "Who taught your Dad?" He said "You." Then I asked "Who do you think taught Me?" He grinned and said "The Marine Corps." I just shrugged and spread my hands. PFC Young, R. C. , USMC 1956, Plt 3039 MCRD

Smilin_Bob Young

Active Duty Traditions

Dear Sgt. Grit:

November 10th is always a day to reflect on your second family. You can take joy and comfort in the fact that they can be there for you when you most need it and least expect it.

Can some of you active duty Marines submit stories about active duty traditions? I was in the Marine Reserves and we occasionally got people coming off of active duty who would mention some tradition they had and they were always interesting. There were a lot of these active duty fleet traditions out there (or so it seemed) and it felt like we were missing out on some of these important things being in the reserve component. We were activated for Desert Storm but only got as far as three months in area 52 at Pendleton for MCT and SOI. They talked about putting us on a float, possibly WESTPAC, but it never happened.

Finally, I'd like to hear from anyone who has been out for a while and reenlisted. I am doing so on my birthday in January and hope to hook up with a reserve unit that is slated to go to Iraq or Afghanistan.

Sean Foley
Fort Worth, Texas
0311 and 2536
1st. Plt. - B. Co., 1st. Bn., 23rd. Marines, 4th MARDIV
Comm. Plt. - HQ Btry., 2nd. Bn., 14th Marines, 4th MARDIV

P.S. Cpl. J.C. Williams wherever you are if you read this I still remember the day a million years ago when we discussed that despite Mr. Eli Whitney's contributions to the industry of mass production, bolts are not interchangeable.

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Thanks From Iraq

Hey! This is LCpl Fitzpatrick Sean C. With a thanks from Iraq. I received the package yesterday and I really appreciate it. That book is awesome, the cards I gave one to each Marine in my section to write their family, the Marine Corps flag is hanging up in our room, and I gave the stocking to my Plt Sgt to send to his wife. It all worked out great! thank you sooo much again! anytime I need something Marine Ill always go to Sgt Grit! -out

264 lbs 6' 6" Tight End

Sgt Grit - I was crewing for a major sports network. Over the previous week a key member of the local college football team suffered a sudden and unfortunate death in the family. That same weekend at the stadium, a long-time member of our own crew experiences a serious seizure and later diagnosed with a life- threatening illness. When it rains it pours I guess?

The following weekend, Saturday Nov 10th the home team suffers a stunning defeat. Things are not at all upbeat. At the end of the game the team solemnly heads back toward the student section area to join them in singing their alma mater. I was nearby coiling up a cable. A young, 264 lbs 6' 6" tight end with an exhausted, serious look on his face passed by, looked at me and quietly said, Happy Birthday. He had obviously noticed the embroidered USMC ball cap I wearing and knew the significance of the day. The kid and his fellow teammates had just lost on their home turf in front of thousands and thousands of fans and yet he acknowledged our Corps. I was impressed. I like this new generation of Americans! God bless them and our Corps! By the way, the cap is one of your great products.

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Window Shade

I purchased a window shade a couple of months ago. I finally got the time to have it installed and took pictures for you. Marine Motor Head Now I didn't know how it would work since I had a sliding glass rear window, however I think it speaks for itself.

Thanks for providing quality products!

Semper Fi!
Sgt Tim Mowery


Sgt. Grit:
I enjoyed L/Cpl Joseph's mention that while in Gitmo, there were never fights with Seabees (Sgt Grit 8 Nov 2007)

My respect for the Seabees is the similar. Going overseas on board the USS Gen. Wm. Mitchell to Okinawa in January '62, I caught firewatch many times in the Seabees compartment.

We were less than a week out from San Diego, when a Seabee chief comes up to me with a coffee cup with a light liquid in it: "Hey, sarge," he said (I was a 17-year-old PFC at the time, some 4 mouths out of Boot Camp and ITR), "Try this." It was some sort of hooch they had brewed up. To make sure it wasn't a trick, I traded him cups and drank from his, and he drank mine, and it was, well... better than water and it made firewatch much more interesting! He told me he'd leave a cup where we were, along with a smoke burning in the ashtray, so that when I made my rounds, I could enjoy a brief break. Whoever made up our duty roster probably wondered why I never complained about pulling firewatch duty, particularly when the time changed every now and then as we made our way East, adding an hour each time to my watch.

I recalled how the old salts told me how the Seabees fought side-by-side with the Marines on Guadalcanal as Henderson Field was being constructed, and while my experience with the Seabees was much easier, I still remember them with respect and thanks. S/Sgt D.A. Williams
USMC '61-64
USMCR '65-70

Take A Look

Marine Lt. Colonel Jeffrey Chessani to Be Arraigned Friday, November 16, 2007

ROK Marines

I was in the Corps from 91-98, and in '03 I joined the Army Reserve, and in '05, I went active duty Army and got shipped off to Korea. Well, I'm out of the Army now due to a torn up knee, but I really miss the "good ol' days." They didn't have digital cameras when I was in Okinawa, but I didn't blow my chance when I got to Korea. I knew the tight relationship and history between the USMC and the ROK Marine Corps, and when our KATUSA's (Korean Augmentation To U. S. Army) learned that I had served in the Corps, I got a lot of attention. I learned that even though the Korean people are peace-minded and tend to shy away from military actions, they have an intense pride in the ROK Marines. There's ROKMC souvenir stores everywhere, and every one I visited had ROKMC veterans hanging around swapping stories. Sound familiar? OP Dora

Anyway, I went on a DMZ tour and toured the Korean War Museum while I was there, and I have probably over a thousnd pics on my computer from my year there. Here's three that I like a lot. The first one is at OP Dora, overlooking the DMZ and into North Korea. The other two are in the Korean War Museum in the ROKMC Memorial Room.

Just as a bit of info, military service in South Korea is mandatory, but they have a choice as to where they want to go. Most young men just want to do their two years in the ROK Army and go back to college. But service in the ROK Marine Corps is strictly voluntary, and their boot camp is as tough as Parris Island (only 5 times colder in the winter). Another thing: ROK Marines consider US Marines their brothers...they also celebrate November 10th. Must be a Marine thing...

Robert Johns Jr.

Wife Wasn't Too Happy

USMC Tattoo While in New Orleans for one of my friends wedding, also a Marine, we decided to get our tattoos. His wife's cousin in Houma LA, has a tattoo shop called the Ink Pad did the work. Wife wasn't too happy but I sure am, Semper Fi Marines!

Cpl Mikel Walker
I 3/12 (1992-1995)

Best Officer...

Here's my favorite story about my favorite officer. I have to start this off with where this happened, it was MCAS Iwakuni, VMA 332, and I was a L/Cpl at the time.

Major Cole was a Mustang pilot, he looked to be about fifty and about as crusty as a Marine can get. Talk was he could and did fly just about anything, from piston pounders to the hottest jets in the Marine Corps.

One weekend, it was a Saturday afternoon, when I was on the duty section, that I went to get the mail. When I picked it up I separated it into three stacks, officers, staff NCO's, and NCO's and below.

I stopped at the BOQ (Bachelor Officers Quarters) first because they were the first quarters I came to. Major Cole was the squadron OD (Officer of the Day). I thought that funny, a Major as OD. Not many captains stood OD.

Well when I got to his quarters, to deliver the mail, I knocked on his door. When he opened the door I saluted and said "Mail, Major Cole". He said, "Corporal come on in and have a drink, what will you have, I've got everything". I said "Major, I'm on duty, I can't have a drink while on duty". He said again "Corporal come on in, and have a drink", almost like a command. He said again "what'll you have, ice". I said, "Yes, bourbon would be fine". Expecting something in a shot glass Major Cole gave me an almost full highball glass, with one small ice cube. Major Cole said "Let's talk, this OD stuff is crap". I'm not sure what else we talked about. I finally said Major I have to go and deliver the rest of the mail. He said something like "Get outa here". Then I finally got out of there to deliver the rest of the mail my head started to swim.

When I got to the staff NCO quarters, the staff no that took the mail, looked at me kind of funny, I guess he could smell the alcohol on my breath. He asked who the OD was and when I told him it was Major Cole he just said "Get out here", it was okay.

You know picking out just one pilot as my favorite was really hard because all of our pilots were really good guys from our C.O. on down to our lowest 2nd Lt.

I later got the impression that Major Cole was just thinking back on when he was enlisted.

There is just one thing I have to disagree with and that is the sticker that says "Screw Jane Fonda". I wouldn't screw her with my worst enemies (for lack of a better word) equipment.

Bob R.
Corporal of Marines - Jan 60-Dec 63
Semper Fi

Guests Of Honor

This year's "Guests of Honor" at our Ball was fourteen Veterans of Iwo Jima. They represented all the major command elements that took part in the campaign, the 3rd, 4th and 5th Marine Divisions. We had a Corpsman and an Army Air Corp P51 Mustang Mechanic. For many it was their first Marine Corps Ball and they thoroughly enjoyed it.

What a privilege it was to have these men and their families attend. Each one expressed their gratitude and thanked me for the invitation. But it was my honor to be in their presence. They went willing into harm's way to fight and protect our liberties and freedom. They represent all the core values we hold dear, honor, courage and commitment.

Guest of Honor I have attached a photo of the Iwo Veterans who attended our Ball.

Lt Col Charles Haislip
Indianapolis, IN


The memories of our senior drill instructor are still there from so many years ago. I'm sure every MARINE has a similar experience from boot camp. Mine was the special introduction from a gravel-voiced lean GYSGT Mortis. "Do you know what Morte means in Latin" he asked us. "Dead", "that's what it means". This, of course, scared the ever-loving you-know-what out of the entire platoon 353. He had the toughness that was worth emulating. When he called cadence, you knew that your were listening to one the masters. By graduation day on the parade deck at Parris Island, we all knew that were MARINES made PROUD by Mortis. Thank you Gunny!

Semper Fi to MARINES Everywhere

David Charbonneau
SGT (1966-1970) PLT 353 Parris Island, SC

Church Pennant Thing

A bunch of us old duffers were sitting around talking the other day and the (trivia?) question came up; "When is the only time you don't have to stand at attention and salute as the American Flag is being raised aboard a military base?" Supposedly the answer was when (usually on Sunday morning) the flag is lowered to remove the church pennant and then is immediately re-raised.

Now we hear that the government has their skivvies in a wad over a religious passage in the funeral rites for military personnel. So we have two questions, 1) Do they still fly the church pennant? 2) If so, is the above statement regarding saluting true? I know that unlike when the colors are first raised or lowered, there was no bugle call sounded.

This church pennant thing reminds me of the time in 1954 at the K-3 Marine Air Base in Korea I was the NCO in charge of posting the colors one Sunday morning. When directed later in the morning, I took a two man crew, marched over to the flag pole a few blocks away, lowered the flag, removed the church pennant, re-raised the flag and marched back to the MAG-33 Guard shack. What could be more simple? As we neared the Guard Shack, the Sgt. of the Guard came running out spouting a bunch of expletives and ordered us to go back immediately as we had the flag flying up side down. As we rounded the corner headed for the flag pole, we noticed the flag was flying properly. The flag and flag pole were not visible from the guard shack. I later found out from a Navy Hospital Corpsman that when we re- raised the flag it must have gotten tangled on one of the two clips or rings used for the church pennant so it (for a very brief moment or so) flew up side down. He said someone from Sick Bay, right across the street from the flag pole, immediately called the guard shack but failed to call back when the breeze caused the flag to clear itself and fly properly. He also said the flag was not truly flying up side down, but was tangled and someone thought it was upside down. Either way it needed to be cleared, but the breeze did it for us. Screwing up is one thing, but screwing up the flag raising on a Marine Base is not a good career move.

Sgt (E4) T. Stewart 1318421

782 Gear

Nile E. White, this for you... In answer to your curiosity expressed in the Nov. 8, 2007 Sgt. Grit Newsletter as to where the term "782 Gear" came from. The definition comes from "Answers.Com". Hope it helps and Thanks for your service. Especially as a Drill Instructor, representing that incredible breed of Marine of which I shall remain eternally grateful...

Originally, "782 Gear" was the individual equipment owned by a unit and issued to a Marine while assigned to that unit. In boot camp that included a bucket, cleaning equipment, a poncho and a shelter half. The name is derived from the number of the "782 Form" on which it was originally issued. Present use refers to the Load Bearing Vest, cartridge belt and the equipment attached to the belt as well as other field equipment.

Semper Fi',
Mike Regan


Iwo Jima Tattoo Hey.. I got this one done about 2 months ago.
Ooh Rahh and Happy Birthday Marines!

Douglas Stidham
Mason, Ohio
USMC, 1988-1992

Boot Camp Insult

When we got our gear issue we were told to stamp our ID Mark on our clothing consistent with regulations....

Well when my DI came around to check he grabbed my utility jacket and started yelling about my ancestry and various other standard verbal insults when he ended with "this stupid sh!t stamped ID MARK on his gear instead of his name...

"My name is Irving Daniel Mark which in turn is in fact, ID MARK....

MCRD San Diego Plt.350 ITR and right back to MCRD with the send off of being told I was going back to MCRD to repeat boot camp over......C&E School Bn Dec 1961-July 1965


Semper Fidelis Tattoo Figured it was about time I got my tat.

Cpl Jeppesen

Look At The Bottom

It's called "782 Gear" because the paper and carbon copy paper form used to sign for the gear was a Form 782. In the fall of 1982, I was a high school freshman attending a USMCR drill with a friend. We went to supply to get some gear, and as I was filling out the form, I asked the supply Marine "Why is it called 782 gear?" "Look at the bottom of the form, numbnuts." There in big black block numbers was "782."

LtCol Jefferson L. Kaster, USMC

Guam 1944

Sgt. Grit It was on Guam late in 1944 and three of us were taking showers in a rigged showering facility. As we were scrubbing the dirt off us we heard somebody giggling nearby. We looked out and saw several young girls watching us shower. Not only were we caught "with our pants down" but we hand no clothing nearby. I will never forget the remark made as one of us ran for cover. He shouted, "If they've seen it before, it won't hurt them to see it again and if they haven't, they won't know what it is!"

We were allowed to have our laundry done by the native girls but there were restrictions. We could give them one half bar of P&G Laundry soap and all the clothes we could stuff into one pair of trousers. The girl who did my laundry told me she had an accident and one of my shirts got carried away by the current in the river. A few days later I saw a local man walking down the road wearing a shirt with my name stamped across the back. I said nothing and chalked it up to 'giving the shirt off your back' syndrome. Anyhow, laundry girls were not easy to come by. This was the only contact we were allowed to have with the local Guam people as they were considered to be Americans also.

StfSgt Bob Gaston
384564, USMCR

A Little Faded

Just thought I would submit a photo of my tattoo, a little faded, but still good. EGA and Marine Tattoo

Jay W. Howe

Bride Of Over 59 Years

I will soon be 81 years old. (I hope) Have had a quadruple by pass five years ago.

Bought a treadmill for my 79th birthday and most days do thirty minutes, three miles on it. (That's six mph.)

Why a treadmill? Just walking causes me pain from a spinal problem. The handles on the treadmill helps by giving me relief from the pain . NEVER GIVE UP!

Walked over 1,000 miles at that rate.

My bride of over 59 years replying to my question as to why HQMC had not called me back to active duty: "Hah! If they assigned you to duty with troops, you would forget where you put them."

Henry T. (Tom) Cook
Lt. Col., USMC (Ret.)

The Big Build Up

My first Marine Corps birthday did not exist for me. I had gone through boot camp, ITR and radio operator school to find myself getting on a plane for Vietnam, via Okinawa. I left on November 9, crossed the International Date Line, and landed on November 11, 1967! The big build up for months on end to my first birthday was literally a big nothing. But I've celebrated every year since for the last 40 years now!

Former Sgt. Dennis Reynolds
USMC 1967-71
RVN 1967-70

Slight Modification

Eagle and Flag Tattoo Oorah, and Happy Birthday Sgt. Grit!

I got this latest tattoo because I'm just absolutely in love with the Corps, and can't find enough ways to show it. It's a slight modification from a WWII recruiting poster I found, and I think it turned out GREAT! Here's to another 232 years of being the best!

-LCpl Braach

Chest Candy

There is a very distinct difference between the Bronze Star Medal and the Bronze Star Medal with Combat"V", officially called the combat distinguishing device.

Rest assured Corporal Francis that you have the real deal. Prior to Vietnam, some Marine Corps commands awarded the Bronze Star Medal to individuals for meritorious service. The more appropriate award should have been the Navy Achievement Medal, now the Navy-Marine Corps Achievement Medal, which also can be awarded with the combat distinguishing device.

Compared to the other branches of service, the Marine Corps has always been "stingy" in handing out awards. In my opinion, handing out prestigious "fruit salad," only compromises the integrity of the award.

If you were in the US Army during WWII and rated either the Infantry Rifleman's Badge or Medic Badge, you also were authorized to wear the Bronze Star Medal (No "V" Device). What about the other soldiers fighting alongside them who didn't wear one of these badges? Did they do less of a job in accomplishing the mission? I don't think so.

Presently, soldiers who fought in Korea are petitioning to obtain the Bronze Star Medal as their predecessors from WWII. The Marine Corps doesn't have that problem. An Army recruit graduates with more "chest candy" that doesn't amount to much, but looks good to someone who doesn't know what it's all about. Simplicity is the essence of good taste.

Keep it right, Semper Fi!
Sgt. J. Alvino, 66-72

It Was Then That I

Best officer?......never knew his name, saw him only briefly, have never forgotten him!....

As briefly as possible.....it was 1959, during a PHIBLEX (division size exercise) at Pendleton in January......cold, rainy from about day one.

We were an Ontos platoon, positioned on a ridge overlooking the San Clemente golf course.....quasi-pogues that we were, we had a PC (3/4 ton truck..with trailer) that was the Plt support vehicle. The truck had a tarp, and being track rats, we had a small gasoline stove for each Ontos....

(I was OC of C-22).....those not on watch were huddled in the back of the truck, with the stove going, and brewing C-ration cocoa. We heard the unmistakable sound (slosh, jingle, slosh) of a company of grunts approaching in column on the road next to our (somewhat camouflaged) position.

The Skipper decided to check us out....we were a little startled to see the back flap open to reveal a very wet, cold, and muddy Captain.....not being total fools, we immediately offered the Captain some of our cocoa........He said "you got enough in there for my whole company?", to which, of course, we replied in the negative. At that, the Captain said "well, then, I'll have to pass, but thank you".....and went on his muddy, slippery way to catch up with the head of his column. I think it was then that I truly began to understand what leadership means........
"Dick" Dickerson.....'57-'81.

I Am Stunned

Sgt Grit, Marines, Death Cheaters, Blue Star Parents, and all concerned parties:

I arrived at MCRD San Diego in August of 1967. I was introduced to several of the finest men ever to put on a set of green dungarees. GySgt Michael, SDI, who was not there to see us graduate, as he had an invitation to help out in a place known to us as RVN. He left to save other Marines from harm in his regular capacity as an 03 leader. GySgt Smith, a southern gentleman who took over as SDI. And SSgt Drummond, yes, he was known as "Bulldog".

During the course of the next nine weeks, abbreviated because there was a war on, I was taught how to be a Marine.

I recall two occasions when I received instruction that included actual physical contact from one of the Drill Instructors. Why, you might ask? BECAUSE I Screwed UP! On both occasions I was sure our DI's couldn't possibly see how I was doing something I shouldn't do, the B@#$^ards really do have sixty or more pair of eyes. Today I laugh about both incidents. Why, because I never made that same mistake again! I learned what the Hats were teaching, How to BE A MARINE!

I just read of the verdict handed down to SSgt Glass. I am stunned. Our beloved Corps is writhing on the floor with its precious blood pouring from a wound the finest FMF Corpsman cannot fix.

The only Marines I read about in this tragic incident are the other Drill Instructors who refused to testify in this Politically Correct Kangaroo Court. Don't we teach about the Esprit de Corps that has sustained us for 232 years any more?

I would lay my life on the line for those "Hats" who taught me the values necessary for me to proclaim to the world that I am a UNITED STATES MARINE, no longer on active duty.

Can we trust those who testified against SSgt Glass to cover the six of those now serving in harm's way? Would I? I can't say I would want them with me in a bar fight, let alone where some one is shooting at me in anger.

My son is currently preparing for his second deployment to Iraq. He is my Hero. He is an 0351. I am ashamed to say I must advise him not to reenlist.

Michael A. Olsa, Sgt of Marines

Chosin Tattoo

Chosin Tattoo Cpl. George H. Tsegeletos
I-3-1 Korea 1950 Chosin Reservoir


August 20, 1969, MCRD San Diego. Yellow Footprints with "blood splatters?". Platoon 2155. About 2-3 days, transition from tents to Quonset Huts to new brick barracks, the bomb drops, courtesy of our two twin recruit brothers. Loud knock on DI bulkhead, entry approved, and then, "Sir, privates so and so, request transfer to the Navy".

One head went flying this way, another rear end went scooting along the floor. For next week, we "marched?" with the twins duck walking behind formation "quacking".

I figured then that these DI's might be serious. GySgt. Waddely, SSgt. Ceasar and SSgt. Donellin. Jim Beck
Sgt. 1969-1972

One Of The Best

Sgt. Grit,

I had ordered two packages for Marines in Iraq, about a month ago, I Got a reply back from MNCI JOC Chaplain Andrew Wade, who told me he received the two packages I ordered and passed them on to two Marines who get little if any mail, and told me of the smiles and happiness they had in receiving them. Chaplain Wade also told me he had been a Marine for 6 years and have now served 5 tours with Marines as a Navy Chaplain. He must be one of the best Chaplains to serve Marines since he was and still is one of us.

Many Thanks, and Semper Fi, Jim Murrell

Someone I Admired

Sgt Grit, The best officer I have ever worked with is Major Greg C. Clare, Retired. Greg was a Mustang who had made it to Staff NCO before becoming an officer. He leads by example, provided outstanding mentoring, and was someone I admired, respected, and tried to model myself after.

I first met Major Clare at III MEF in Okinawa when he was a Captain. We were both Intel and I was one of his team leads. Greg challenged me from the git-go. I was later fortunate to have Major Clare request for me to work with him standing up MarForLant's G-2 Operations shop when they relocated the Headquarters from Norfolk to Camp Lejeune in the early 90's.

Greg retired around 1994 and the Corps lost an outstanding leader. It's too bad that Greg did not stay around the Corps long enough to become a General. I would have gladly served with and under him.

Semper Fidelis,
Pete Hoeft
GySgt, Ret.

Couldn't Hit A D*mn Thing

My thoughts go back to Desert Storm our rear area. Waiting for water to bathe in our Col. (Gangle) had issued orders that "water was to be used for drinking & shaving". After leaving LST 1198 Babour County and running ricky tic flat out convoy with our grunts and heavy guns n mortars in 5 tons. Going break neck speed literally running over the Republican Guard in the process. Doing several HOT REFUELS in the process. wondering why these guys (IRAQIS) couldn't hit a d*mn thing I'm 6' 3" and 240 at the time.

Getting to our rear area after the "Cease fire". Spent time bartering for batteries, tray packs, hot chow, generator for our hooch and (APPROPRIATING) several boxes of personal items from Division Supply and distributing them throughout our rear area (anything for the moral). Remembering my Major (Bedworth) wondering what and how did I get these items, telling the Maj. not to worry about it. How long did it take us to finally bathe???? By the time all this was done????? about 44 Days. Going back Stateside trembling as I hugged my Mom and Sis literally savoring every bite of my favorite meal (enchiladas). Watching the colors being flown and knowing exactly what it takes to defend my country. I would not trade that experience for anything in the world ever! SEMPER FI To All and GODSPEED To Those OVERSEAS.


Dehydrated Meals

Writing this e-mail in response to a letter from SSgt D.J. Huntsinger. I do believe I served with First Sgt. Lackey in Nam in 68 and 69 . He was a gunny then, fresh off the drill field. I had just been sent to First Shore party (from 1st Engineers) to go afloat with 3rd Bn 26th Marines. Gunny was a very cool guy to say the lease, he took me and made me his driver while we were still in Da nang, the stories I could tell! Fast forward a few months later, we were in the bush on the side of a mountain in the Ashau (misspelled) valley clearing some ground for a temp firebase and LZ called Rattlesnake A CH46 comes swooping in , and there was the Gunny in the hatch, he motions me over, then threw me two boxes of what I thought were c-rats, they were dehydrated meals, we had never seen these before, add water, heat tab and we thought were in a heaven, where he got them we never found out, but we ate good for awhile the four of us. Gunny looked after us in the bush best he could, and I have never forgot him. Semper Fi when you speak to him again, Thanks CPL Benny Devoes USMC Happy Birthday to all my Jarhead Brothers past and Present

Breaks Wind

Sgt. Grit,
I am writing this letter to thank the men that helped mold my life. I reflect on the time I spent with them and am truly grateful for all they taught me. These men taught me to be a man. I went to PISC on 27Aug1979. I got off that bus, stood on those yellow footprints and embarked on the journey that not only lasted thru graduation on 12Dec1979, but for a lifetime. I remember in processing, we spent about 5 days.

I was a recruit (we had not earned the name private yet) in 3rd Bn I co. Platoon 3076. My SDI was Staff Sgt Bethley, he was assisted by Sgt Cooper, Sgt Robinson, and Sgt Norfleet. Sgt. Norfleet was the meanest SOB I had I ever dealt with. One day on a marsh, the recruit in front of me broke wind, Norfleet thought I did it, he told me if I did it again I was going to the oven when we got back. Anyone that has gone thru PI successfully, knows that you don't tell a DI they were wrong, otherwise you are calling him a liar. Of course that recruit did it again, and that night, I spent about an hour in the oven for breaking wind. Many times after boot camp, Mike Degnan and I would laugh reminiscing of what we had to do.

Semper Fi,
Manuel Zaldivar
Aug 79 - Eternity

They'll Never Think

Hi. Sgt. Grit.

Nine years after leaving the Corps in 1968, while I was a Massachusetts state senator, I decided to rejoin the reserves, and served from 1977 to 1983. Soon after I joined HQ, 25th Marines in Worcester, we were told a new colonel was coming on board, Col. John Studt. We were told by one of the junior officers that he had served with the incoming Colonel in Hawaii, and, "The man's a military fanatic." Colonel Studt is all of that. He's also the best officer I ever served under. If I had to go into combat today, I'd want to go under his command. (Not that I'd want him deciding if we should go!) Studt might get you killed, but not needlessly, and the enemy would pay dearly for the privilege.

He was at Khe Sanh after I was, during the siege, and commanded one of the battalions of the 26th Marines. I read an account of an attack his unit made on one of the hills, clearing out the NVA who held it. One of his enlisted men was quoted as saying, "Colonel Studt made a believer of me that day." A great tribute to a fine Marine.

Studt is also a funny phrasemaker. I asked him what he thought of the war that had broken out between Iraq and Iran. "It's wonderful, Sergeant Hall," he said. "Think of it. The world's two worst armies locked in mortal combat!" They pretty much proved him right.

On a field problem at Fort Drum, NY, somebody didn't get the word, and we set up the command post in an exposed position in front of our lines. Studt came storming in. "Well, it may be okay," he growled, "They'll never think we'd be stupid enough to set up here!" On that problem, we passed the Marine Corps Combat Readiness test, very good for a reserve unit. Studt called the company together. "I'm so d*mn proud of you guys," He said. "Now all we need is a war!" On the convoy back to Massachusetts, it was noted that Studt's jeep was missing. Speculation among the troops was that he had gone to Washington to throw rocks at the Soviet embassy, to try to start a war.

At Fort Drum, we'd received strict orders from the Comm Chief that we weren't to pass on messages—radio chatter—that weren't in standard message format, with a date-time group, call-signs and so on. The first day, the guy on the other end of my radio net said, "The problem has started." Since it wasn't in format, I didn't pass it on. A couple hours later, Studt stormed in, wanting to know who had failed to pass on his message. I owned up, and got chewed out, but never admitted I was just following orders. Studt's a "no excuses" kind of leader. I should have ignored the instructions and passed the message.

Studt made me the Regimental Public Affairs officer, though I was only a sergeant. I think he figured that I might not be much of a field Marine, but as a politician, I did know about getting publicity. And we started to get much better coverage. But the best coverage came from an idea of Studt's that he had me organize. I researched the names of Worcester County Marines who had died in action in WWI, WWII, Korea and Vietnam. We held a formation in the center of Worcester on Memorial Day. Studt would call out the name of the deceased Marine. From the ranks, a Marine would answer, "Died, Sir, on the Field of Honor," and give the date and the battle, before plunging his bayoneted- rifle into the ground and topping it with his helmet. There wasn't a dry eye in the house.

Colonel Studt was a mustang officer, having come up through the ranks, starting as a private in the Korean War. He was an innovative guy, an early proponent of the new doctrine of maneuver warfare who had helped popularize board war-gaming in the Corps. I thought he should be a general, but he was too blunt. Maybe if he'd had a politician like me as a full-time aide, to smooth out the rough edges of the truth before he told it? He's retired now, living in Maine, and re-fighting WWII in his attic on a giant map, with every unit and capital ship from that conflict. A few years ago, he told me to call him "John," instead of "Sir" or "Colonel." Boy, that was hard.

Robert A. Hall
Cpl, USMC, 1964-68
Vietnam, 1967
SSgt. USMCR, 1977-83
Massachusetts Senate, 1973-82.

Norwegian Spirit

Honolulu Veteran Marines Sgt Grit,
Just wanted to send a photo of our impromptu USMC Birthday Celebration.

We were sailing on the Norwegian Spirit on its 15 day repositioning cruise from New York to New Orleans. I had asked the Hotel Director for a 20 person cake and the Cruise Director if he could schedule a Veterans get together. We had the get together on Nov 9th, 2007 and had over 70 veterans show up to include 8 Marines. After we all had a BS session, the Cruise Director says he has my cake over in the corner.

I call the Marines over and we are shocked at the size and beauty of the cake they made for us. After a stirring rendition of the Marines Hymn and the reading of the Commandant's messages, we then cut into the cake. Most of us are saddened because as we are enjoying our time onboard the ship, there are many of our brethren in harm's way.

I only got a few of the guys names in the photo but they are Chuck Whaley, Pat Eanniello, Greg Durocher, Gene Poole, Guz Perez and David Thomas (I am the young one in the photo).

David Thomas-Sgt
USMC '80-86

Short Rounds

By 1945 68% of all Marine personnel were Reservists. 75% of the 500,000 Marines who fought in the Pacific were members of the Reserve. Almost all of the 10,000 Marine aviators were Reservists.

1stSgt Michael W. Davis, 4th MarDiv
Iraq Vet

I went to Parris Island 2 Dec 68, I was in Platoon 1062. My Drill Instructors were GySgt. Taylor SDI, SSgt. Branscome ADI, Sgt. Kiss ADI. They made me a MARINE, I just wanted them to know I made it back from NAM 69-70, but still am fighting a war 38 yrs ago. I will never forget them! Thank-you

Rick Sweigart

Sgt. Grit, My comments on this article might not be welcomed, but I'm going to say/send them period. What the h*ll happened to the Corps that I grew up around?! I felt my father (Chosin Few) turn over in his grave while I was reading THIS......

~Cindy Crook~
Raised by the Old Corps and d*mned proud of it!

I am seventy-two, and awaiting orders. I can still shoot expert with my M1 and with all the positions. I do this monthly.
A. Haggett, Cpl. USMC. 1329470

Back at P.I. in Aug "57", our Senior D.I. Tech Sgt Leowy explained that the term "782 Gear" came from the form that Marines had to sign when they were issued the gear. While doing some research on the Civil War Marine Corps , I discovered that even then the gear such as overcoats, bayonets, packs, etc. were the property of the Unit.

Neat HUH??
"Doc" Ryan #1697772

For those of you that will be reading the names from the Viet Nam Wall, Bumed says that there are 776 names of Navy Corpsmen on that wall. We have sadly kept up our heritage as the highest killed rate in the Navy.
CHARLES F. STARK Hospital Corps US NAVY 58-64
Riviera Beach, FL.

Remember Eighty Six. S__t Can.

From the Marine Dictionary on Answers.com: 86
1. To throw away
2. To dispose of
(origin) Form number used to delete item(s) from supply stock

The best officer that I have ever served with was a brand new Captain in 1958...His name was Alfred M Gray...A small communication outfit The 1st special Communications Platoon...It was do your job and keep out of trouble and no one bothered you...No Liberty card check. He trusted his Marines. Probably the best time of my young life. I still have some papers with his signature 49 years later. He went a long way in the Corps.

J M Okel

Hi Sgt Grit,
I am a Vietnam Vet, I had a Let. General of the Air Force who flew B52 over Nam, and he said to me about a new name for the Vietnam Memorial. he called it the wall of tears, I thought about this and it seems so right, for when I visit the wall I do shed tears like so many of us vets. Thought I would pass this onto you.

S/Sgt Sangrey

Re: Cosmoline encased rifles. Take your weapon to the mess hall where there is pressurized steam. In a few minutes (not hours) the M-1 is ready for linseed oil stock rub-down. Improvise!
C.P. Murchland, Cpl. '54-'57

Happy Birthday. And I don't feel a day over 180!

MSgt. Willis USMC Ret.

Most people have heard the Marine Corps motto semper fidelis from the latin meaning always faithful. possibly fewer have heard gung ho from the chinese for working together which we interpret as team work. in my day, 1973-1978, we said GOD Country Corps. i meant it then and i mean it now. if only the powers that be would just give me a call. being 52 would not stop me.

"Corpsman Up"
Outstanding book, take a look.

U.S. Marine Corps born again hard.
Some major Mo To here!

Sgt Roberto Ituarte Elementary School
Dedicated Nov. 8th, 2007
Killed, Operation Harvest Moon, 1965 A-1-4 and E-2-7

Sgt. Grit,
Being an artillery "muzzle monkey" we used to have the boots go look for "Gun Line","Muzzel Blast" or any number of things. This was just our way of making the boots fell at home with their new family.

John Truslow
Fox Battery 2/10, 87-92

Patriotic Dissent Is a Luxury of Those Protected By Better Men Than They
Patriotic Dissent Is a Luxury of Those Protected By Better Men Than They


Welcome Home Marine, Job Well Done!
Semper Fidelis
Sgt Grit

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