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Marine Corps Clearance

To Marine wife and mother,

I was a field wireman in 4th Plt. Hq. Co. 4th Marines, Kaneohe Bay 63/65. On a field problem, I was part of a detail providing EE8 field phones in offices of Reg't Hq. building.

As I entered one office, I saw this Major who was friendly although quiet. On his decorations and awards bars was the C.M.H. He had the incongruous name of Archibald Van Winkle.

Years later, in one of my military periodicals, was the death notice of the major. It described how, as a sergeant during the Korean Conflict, he had been the last survivor of a unit of Marines that had been decimated by Chicom infantry. He'd shot them until he ran out of ammo; he clubbed them with his rifle and finally hacked them with his E tool. He, in turn, had been shot, bayoneted, kicked, stomped and left for dead but had delayed the enemy until line had been bolstered.

I'll always remember this quiet, reserved, unassuming gentleman who I had the great fortune to meet.

Service # 1973677

In This Issue
Stories like the above are what the Corps is all about. God Bless us all. Tracs, Tracs, and more tracs. Two stories by WWII Marines, one insulted by "The Pacific"; the other noting the lack of attention to his unit's contribution. "One Of My Turds" is about success and advancement in the Corps.

And then we have one of the hottest issues in a long time. Some of the answers are titled: Booted, Nature's Flower and the Corps, Dilemma, Gunny's Son, BCD, GySgt with Dope Smoking Son, and more. You will find a few responses just below, more in the second half, and even more on the blog. The blog would be the best place to respond. Issues this big make it impossible to include all responses. I would estimate the response to be about 8 to 1.

If you have not been following us on Facebook you missed out on the 'cussing jar'.

Fair winds and following seas.
Sgt Grit

Jim Devine After 67 Years
After 67 years, I still tear up and get goose bumps for the HYMN and the National Anthem.

Semper Fi
Jim DeVine, Reading, Pa.

Secured Or Appropriated
I was a Combat Engineer Officer who worked out of VCB some of the time, but most of my time was spent on FSB Fuller (Dong Ha Mountain) renovating it. When we were at VCB it seemed that a few of my Marines had some down time and someone had a friend who worked at the ice house. Getting beer was not a problem, but getting cold beer was nearly impossible so we came up with a plan. We supplied a volunteer to help out at the ice house daily and in return we got all of the ice that we needed and believe me we needed lots. We had no problem getting a volunteer because everyone liked working in the much cooler icehouse.

Someone prior to me had secured or appropriated a horse trough and I have no idea as to why we even had or needed it and most of the time it sat empty, but now we had the trough and all of the ice we needed to have cold beer or soda. Initially we started by trading 2 warm beers or soda for 1 cold one, but in short order we didn't need to trade any more. Everyone who stopped by seemed to enjoy having anything cold to drink.

Larry D.Behle

Fire for Effect: Wayward Marine - Back to top

Gunny's Dilemma
For the Gunny with the "wayward son"...

In order to receive a BCD, there would have had to have been at least a conviction at a SPCM or a GCM to have been sentenced to a BCD. It appears that there is part of this story that's not being told, because unless things have drastically changed since I retired in 1987, popping positive during a random urinalysis did not warrant a Courts Martial unless there were other circumstances involved.

That being said, let's address the issue of the son's claim that he is still a Marine. He is not. The title of Marine was stripped from him when the military courts awarded him a Bad Conduct Discharge.

I can still remember standing in noon formations as a young trooper, while the Commanding Officer read the sentence of the Court, and then the discharged individual was stripped of his chevrons and buttons, and escorted to the gate, never to return again. This practice was commonly referred to as "being drummed out of the Corps".

Gunny, tell your son that he is your son for life, but he forfeited the title of "Marine" when the Corps discharged him with a BCD.

Jim Mackin
MGySgt USMC(Ret)
1964 -1987

Your son is 'flying under false colors'. Although he graduated from boot camp and received his EGA, he failed to live up to the standards of the Corps and was dismissed with a B.C.D.

His Facebook page allows visitors to infer honorable service as a Marine. He did not so serve.

Perhaps he should begin to restore his honor and integrity by clarifying the situation on his Facebook page by stating emphatically that "I made a mistake that the Marine Corps would not accept."
R.M. "Zeb" Zobenica
Capt. USMC (Ret)

I read with interest the fathers concern about his son who was discharged from the Marines for smoking grass. I am sorry, but I side with the dad. Marines are taught from day one to take responsibility for their actions. I to this day remember the response "No excuse, Sir!" when chastised by my Sergeant Instructor during OCS at Quantico, VA. That is the way it was and that is the way it should be. Hopefully the man's son has learned a very valuable lesson.
Jeff Cunningham
1st Lt

Sgt Grit,

This is in response to the GySgt who's son was dishonorably discharged from the Marine Corps for failing a drug test. First of all, I am surprised that any Service member in the USA would get a "Dishonorable" discharge for that. As we all know, drugs in the military have been there since Viet Nam or longer. I'm a little puzzled by it.

Assuming that that is all that he did, I have no problem calling him a brother. If there is anything that I learned in Vietnam was that when the "sh-t hits the fan" there is nothing that stands between Marines in action.

I have to question whether that was his choice instead of serving brig time. Even a "bad conduct" discharge would have been more appropriate.

Semper Fi,
Efrain "Go Go" Villagomez
USMC 1966-69

I spent 66-69 in USMC (Feb68/Nov69 in Nam), after that 20 years as a deputy sheriff. I think, if his son did a one-time offense with marijuana, and was given a BCD. He was treated too harshly. If he was a chronic user, than it's a different story. If he did it on duty, in combat, then it is a different story.

His son obviously used poor judgment, but if the circumstances were a one-time offense, than I think he should have been given a chance to clean up his act, with less harsh punishment. The Marines are losing a lot of good people by what I consider a minor drug offense.

I think he earned the title.

Bad Conduct (BCD)
Unlike an administrative discharge, a Bad Conduct Discharge (BCD) is a punitive discharge that can only be given by a court- martial (either Special or General) as punishment to an enlisted service-member. Bad conduct discharges are often preceded by a period of confinement in a military prison. The discharge itself is not executed until completion of both confinement and the appellate review process. Virtually all veterans' benefits are forfeited by a Bad Conduct Discharge. Also referred to as the "Big Chicken Dinner".

Individuals who are separated with less than 180 days of continuous active military service may be separated as an "Entry Level Separation." In these cases, there is no characterization of service at all.

Therefore so should the title United States Marine be forfeited.
GySgt.Hawkins U.S.M.C. Vietnam 69/70

Read more responses for the Wayward Marine

Fire for Effect: Reader Requests - Back to top

My Dad
Sgt. Grit,

My Dad was a US Marine during WWII. He was on the USS HUDSON, he was on Okinawa, Guam and Guadalcanal. I have ooodles of old photo's and no way to find out when or where or with whom they were taken. If any of your readers could help me out with names and places I would really appreciate it. My email is: slf1228 @ tx .rr .com (no spaces)

My Dad was Billy Gene Bell and he is the tank commander in one of these photos. Daddy did put first names one but where or when.

1262 Platoon San Diego 1942 Shirtless Marines during World War 2

Relaxed Marines posing in front of detachment during World War 2 Billy Gene Bell

I am putting together my ancestry for my children and grandchildren. I would like to include the story of my Dad in more detail.

Sherry Faulk
Dallas, TX

Really Disappointed
I surely enjoy your recent E Mail. There are two things that I strongly feel it should be added to the numerous videos on T.V. I hope that you can be of assistance with this history that has been overlooked. I wrote to the 2nd Marine Association about this but received no response

First am an 86 year Marine, I was with the landings on Saipan, Tinnian, Iheya Shima, Okinawa and was floating Reserve at Iwo Jima and occupation of Nagasaki Japan. I was attached to the 8th Marines, 2nd Marine Division.

I have watched numerous videos on T.V. of the Battle for Okinawa. No one ever mentioned the fact that Combat Team eight, consisting of the 8th Marines reinforced with artillery, mortars, tanks and all necessary units to make a complete combat team. Was involved in the Ryuka islands campaign.

We sailed to Okinawa and made a fake landing on the eastern beach in order to make the Japanese think that we were going to land there, and move their troops to the east beach in order to intercept the landing forces. The fake landing was a success. Not ONE VIDEO gives us credit for this action. We then went north with our small convoy to draw the Japanese fleet out of hiding. That is when the last enemy battle ship was sunk. Next we landed and secured an island, Iheya Shima, in the Okinawa group. We left there and relieved units of the first Division on Okinawa. We were the first to reach the southern shore. General Buckner was in our command post when he was killed by either artillery or mortar fire.

I am REALLY DISAPPOINTED that combat team has never been given credit for its action on this campaign. I have never been able to contact anyone about this. I hope that you can.


Memorial Day Special

One Of My Turds
Sgt Grit:

The 82nd Officer Candidate Course convened at the beginning of 1973. I was reporting in to MCDEC, and was met at the airport by a gnarled veteran Gunnery Sergeant in Service Dress Alpha.

"Do I know you, candidate?" he asked, in the salty voice of an experienced drill instructor.

"Gunny, you met me at the yellow footprints aboard Parris Island about three years ago."

"They'll let anybody into OCS these days, won't they?"

After a drive down I-95, he deposited me at the top floor of Delta Company, and continued on his way back to HQ.

There were several members of our platoon who were part of the Enlisted Commissioning Program. We waited while the rest of the class reported in. At length, another salty voice cut through the soft undercurrent of voices. The delivery was Parris-Island- perfect. A tall, muscular Staff sergeant of Marines welcomed us to Quantico on behalf of the President of the United States, the Secretary of the Navy, the Commandant of the Marine Corps, and the remainder of the chain of command. his monologue was nearly identical to what all of us ECP's heard at our respective recruit depots. We were of course unaware that nearly 40% of the platoon was prior service.

About the time the Staff Sergeant explained that he would be our mother, father, etc., a giggle-fit beset the prior service Marines. "Right-faces, ladies, 'til I get tired of looking at you." I guess bends and thrusts were out of the question. We finally settled down, and the Staff Sergeant put his face in mine and asked the obvious. "Do I know you, candidate?"

"I was the Sergeant Instructor's runner for two weeks at Motivation Platoon, sir."

"Don't call me 'sir', I know who both my parents are."

"Aye, Aye, Sergeant Instructor."

Needless to say, the next three months proved interesting. The weather turned from arctic to balmy, and all of us candidates got a renewed taste of Boot Camp with the exception being that we had to put up with each other's leadership.

We graduated about half of those who began, and we actually had one candidate DOR in the final week.

Some went to Pensacola, the rest went to The Basic School. As is usual with a group of competitively-selected physically-fit twenty-some-year-olds, we were nearly uncontrollable. That's another story.

At the end of March, 1974, being assigned to Bravo One-Four, I was in the last night of lock-on training in the Central Training Area on Okinawa before boarding the transports at Blue Beach. My platoon was leading a simulated unsupported night attack on a fortified position. We were in staggered column either side of a muddy road. A more apt description would be a river of mud masquerading as a road. Our deuce gear was muffled, and there were no man-made sounds coming from either side of the other than an occasional gasp, and the incessant "schloop" of Marines pulling their feet out of the muck.

"Close it up, Alvarez, or I'll ampertate yer G** D***** leg!" The voice cut through the Okinawa night like Ron Popiel's Ginsu knife through a ripe tomato. This was the platoon sergeant of the BLT's Recon Platoon, and you guessed it, The same sergeant instructor/drill instructor from Quantico.

"Staff Sergeant, I heard I was to be summarily stuffed in a wall locker and thrown to the bottom of the South China Sea!" My voice was a nearly perfect imitation of his.

"Candidate Brown!, I mean Lieutenant Brown! How the h-ll are you. Is this Second Platoon?"

"You got it, Staff Sergeant, seen Ron Castle lately?"

"You mean ol' Fat-Body Castle from PI?"

"My Senior Drill instructor."

"He took over from me at Motivation Platoon; he's back at Rantoul now teaching Aerology, any of the rest of you ladies here on the rock?"

"Just me, catch you later in Subic." The Recon Platoon disappeared swift, newly silent, and always deadly into the Okinawa mist with a parting: "Waddah ya know, one of my TURDS made good!"

It really was a small Corps.

OOHRAA 1 Marine Corps Tribute Bike
I built this bike in Honor of those who have served. 2005 Harley Davidson Road King. Mini gun Tail-gunner exhaust, chain link 223 feeding from sides, 50 Cal's on windshield, and frag grenades. plus all the Marine items they make for the bike or I could make.

Semper fi Cpl. Conley (AKA MONGO)

Closeup of skull and cross bones embroidered bag Marine Corps tribute bike

Marine Corps tribute bike - Iwo Jima art full side view of Marine Corps tribute bike

Fire for Effect: The Pacific - Back to top

"The Pacific" Is An Insult
The TV Series "Pacific" is an Insult to the Marine Corps, particularly to the Marines that served in World War II. I served in World War II and I feel Insulted at the portrayal of the Marines that fought so Hard for Guadalcanal. In the first place the heat was about the worse Marines felt in most of their campaigns. At least forty Marines were hospitalized with Heat exhaustion, that's the ones that went to the hospital, how many were treated on line by the Corpsmen?

They didn't portray Medal of Honor Winner John Basilone with much respect. When the battles were over, the Marines didn't sit there and gaze at the havoc they had wrought, The Gunny wouldn't have allowed that, they went to work immediately to rebuild defenses, repair weapons, care for the wounded and dead. War is Chaos and the Sergeants and Officers turn chaos into orderly confusion, by rallying their men after each battle, prepare for the next one. They feed their troops, make sure they have the weapons and ammunition to continue.

John Basilone had a Machine gun section, he kept the guns firing by rallying his troops, fixing the machine guns when they stopped firing. He went through open fields of fire to go back and bring ammo to the Machine Gunners. He helped fire the guns when the Marines were killed or wounded until the guns were red Hot. How about Platoon sergeant Mitchell Page who held a red hot machine gun in his arms and fired into the attacking enemy until they stopped. He had a blister from shoulder to wrist.

My favorite Marine Hero of Guadalcanal didn't get the Medal of Honor, only a Navy Cross, during the battle of Tenaru River his 1917A1 Water Cooled machine gun nest was hit by a grenade, his loader was wounded and couldn't use his arms, Al Schmidt was blinded, the loader told him to shoot the gun and he would tell him where to shoot. They even made a movie about him starring John Garfield and named; "Pride of the Marines". There were a total of Twenty Medal of Honor Winners at Guadalcanal, twelve of those were Marines and Marine Corpsmen.

Before the Series started Tom Hanks went on TV to announce that World War II was a Racist War like the War in Iraq.

No one told him about the "Rap- of Nanking" the capital of China in 1937, or the brutality that was the worse the world had ever seen, in some instances worse than anything the Nazis did.

No one told him about the 75,000 Thousands of American and Filipino troops captured at Bataan and marched sixty (60) miles without food or drink. Men that tried to get a drink of muddy water alongside the road were bayoneted of decapitated by samari swords, Filipino citizens who tried to give them water and food were summarily shot or bayoneted regardless of whether they were a man, woman or child. Only 54,000 of the marchers survived the march, only to go into a Prison Camp guarded by sadistic Japanese soldiers.

There were several instances of kind Japanese Soldiers who dared treat the prisoners decent, for if they had been caught they, too, would have been killed. Read this story to see just how badly they have researched.

What I have told about in the first few lines was only the beginning, there were three more years to go of Island Hoping, of terrible heat and dug in Japanese. When we went into Okinawa the Japanese started their full blown Suicide planes, boats, swimmers and human bombers, ask any Marine, Soldier, Sailor or Airman that went into Japan at the end of the war, even up to the Korean War you could still see the tunnels that had held Suicide Boats., Hundreds of tunnels. The Japanese has 5,000 planes ready to Hari Kari the American/Allied Fleet when it was preparing to invade Japan, read about the suicide plane attacks at Okinawa... then multiply that by a few thousand more.

The Military Advisor is a Former Marine by the name of Captain Dale Dye who fought in Vietnam, I am assuming he read some books about the battles in the Pacific War but he either allowed the Producer to rewrite actual events to please himself.... or he did as he was instructed, gave information of Racist Marines, American Soldiers, British, Canadian, ANZAC, and other Allied fighting Men to make the Americans and their Allies seam as Racist rather than Fighters of Freedom who had been forced into a War the Japanese had been fighting for several years.

You can watch the "Pacific" Series if you want and watch the degradation of the American Fighting Man, I prefer not to allow a Hollywood Billionaire to drag my Life through the Mud he calls movies. I would like to see Captain Dale Dye Apologize to all Marines for getting involved in a Production that calls Americans "Racist" because they fought against the people who bombed Pearl Harbor, who Tortured and killed our men and other peoples.

If you are of a Mind, read; "The Rap& of Nanking: The Forgotten Holocaust of World War II. by Iris Chang.

GySgt. F. L. Rousseau, USMC Retired

Note: I apologize for having to respell Rap-, but some of the politically correct filters will not deliver emails with this word. So to get your stories deliver I have a list of 25 words that I camouflage to get through the filters.
Sgt Grit

Short Rounds
I was one of the last Marines assigned to 1st Amtrac Bn. at Cua Viet in Vietnam. I was only there for about a month before we boarded LST 1077 Park County back to Okinawa in June 1969. I was in Bn. Supply helping the unit pack things up. Thank God for the internet and many sites like this which helped me reconnect with a few guys I knew back then. Love the stories here. Welcome Home Guys!
L/Cpl Pete Freeland 3051

Ice and clean socks, we don't need no stinkin Ice and Clean Socks! H&ll, we drank out of cans that were so old they had rust, only the REMFs had alum cans. MAC-SOGs only had the good duty at the Mtn. One other thing, there is no such thing as an Ex-Marine, unless you got a Dishonorable Discharge! The rest of us are just on "in-active duty" All of you returning Marines, THANKS you all have done us proud! Welcome home, thanks

Woody Austin GySgt "in-active duty"

I had a similar experience at MCRD San Diego while in Plt 2009 Oct 57 to Jan 58. I had broken my regular glasses in boot and had to wear "shades" until my GI issue were ready.

I remember standing in the chow line (AH to belly button) and seeing the OOD give my Drill Instructor, SSGT Staham, a very quizzical look. SSGT Staham just shrugged. I was selected as the Platoon and Series Honorman, Leatherneck Mag Dress Blues award winner and my "yearbook" picture was in blues with the shades on!

Cpl Dennis M. DeEmp
1687184 10/57 to 9/60

Sgt. Grit, I enjoyed the recent articles on tanks. In 1955,56, I was on Okinawa with the 3rd tank battalion, 3rd. Division as a tank commander on B33. I can certainly appreciate what these Marines have gone through over the years. Changing track, engines, CD 850 trans., etc in the M48 was no picnic. Over the years, I have lost contact with those who served with 3rd. tanks on Okinawa and if anyone reads this, I would surely like to hear from you. Thanks for the space.
Sgt. Bill Riley, USMC, 1953-1957

WOW! This was a newsy sgtgritnews!
Semper Fi,
Dave (from beautiful, sunny, southwest Florida)

Sgt. Grit, I was sitting in my jeep, decked out with devil dog license plates, a Marine Corps tire cover etc. when another employee came out and said I was wondering who owned that jeep. she then stated that she had a close friend in Nebraska who was a former Marine. I replied that there was no such thing as a former Marine, once a Marine, always a Marine. she then said " I have been corrected on that numerous times as she climbed into her vehicle and drove away.
joseph mish cpl of Marines 63-67

Sgt Grit,
My appreciation to the respondents concerning my inquiry as to the where about of the Saigon Embassy Flag. It appears that Dr. Murphy, Cpl. Fisher, and Mr. Crouse have applied enough historical evidence to satisfy my putting an end to this scuttlebutt once and for all. As usual, Sgt. Grit is on the leading edge of stopping all Marine Corps B.S. Carry on! Semper Fi.

Sgt DR George

Does anyone recall the dude at the Cherry Point Motor Pool back in the late 50's who used to answer the phone: " This is the Cherry Point Motor Pool. We have 2 bys, 4 bys, and 6bys and those cool MF that go Choo Choo Choo"? Haven't remembered that until the 25 March letter.

Olson 165.... ya I use mine for my code too!

Sgt. Grits and all Marines, now and past, My Marine serial # in World War II was 457703. I was lucky enough to survive that war, to benefit lifelong from the GI Bill, and to write a book about those days a lifetime ago. The title of the book is USMC 457703. My name is Gene Blank. I enlisted in the Marine Corps 9/3/1942 and was discharged 12/17/1945. A revised 2nd edition of USMC 457703 will be available from Amazon and, I hope, also in Kindle version soon.
Gene Blank

I am recommending the book "Braving the Fear - The True Story of Rowdy US Marines in the Gulf War" written by Douglas Foster. Great book. I just finished it and plan to keep it. It is certainly one of the best books about Marines I have ever read. I recommend it for your catalog.
Kevin Poling
Semper Fi

I have had my food bill picked at least 3 times when being recognized as having served in the Corps I wear my forever Marine cap every day I thank GOD for my Marine experience. I appreciate your news letter so very much.
Chris Lumley

Sgt Grit,
Reference David Kramer and the Agerholm-Gross Marine Corps League Det. #346 float: I remember seeing it as a kid in the late 50s-early 60s in parades in Racine. Remember being amazed when all the re-enactors suddenly took a break and relaxed from their assigned poses. The statues live! Semper Fi.
Jeff Howards

All of the readers are correct that Marines do not steal. However, we do S.T.E.A.L. Note the difference. You see, STEAL is yet another famed Marine Corps acronym, standing for "Systematic Transport of Equipment to Another Location."

So technically, we do STEAL, just not steal. Be advised, and carry out the plan of the day.
Gregory Dennis

Catch Myself Wondering
Sgt Grit, In response to the below Sgt Grit story, the fall of the American Embassy Saigon is one of the many days, events, embedded in my memory. I was a young Cpl stationed at MSGBn, Henderson Hall, when the embassy fell. As fate would have it, I was on duty that night, and it was chaotic at BnHq, trying to stay abreast of what was happening, I can only imagine the situation at the embassy itself.

Anyway, the point of this email is that the last 2 Marines we lost in VietNam were MSG's. McMahon and Judge, 2 names I will never forget. I sometimes catch myself wondering about their families, one from the New England area and the other from Ohio. I was fortunate to view the travelling wall and located/traced the names of both Marines.

Cy Hatch, GySgt, USMC (Ret.)

Fire for Effect: Cockroach - Back to top

This Cockroach Story
I take exception to the story submitted by "TG-CPL, USMC, 1969-1971" in which he stated the Senior Drill Instructor spat a cockroach into the face of an African-American Recruit! That Drill Instructor apparently did not read and/or was not aware of a memorandum circulated by the Commandant Of the Marine Corps (1961) regarding treatment of African-American Marine Recruits after integration into the force from Montfort Point (training base for all African-American Recruits); The memo stated in part that ALL NCO's and Officers will refrain from ANY verbal and/or physical abuse of African-American Marines and will conduct training designed to improve and support racial tolerance throughout the service..!

As an African-American Marine stationed with the 2nd Bn, 3rd Mar Regt on Okinawa, (1963) I had an experience during which I was attacked by three White Marines outside the Enlisted Club on Camp Swab; The Sergeant and two Lance Corporals were Marines and members of a White Supremacy group that is considered an unacceptable organization according to Federal Law and the Marine Corps.

A few days after the attack, I was told to report to the JAG Office (Judge Advocate General) for an interview with an Investigator and prosecutor. They asked me if I wanted to sign a statement pressing charges and I said NO because I wanted to exact my revenge with the help of a few other African-American Marines stationed with my unit.

The next thing I knew, my body was "locked" at full attention in front of the Regimental Commander ( White Colonel) who "dressed me down" (to put it mildly) because he stated he would not have this type of behavior in his unit and, he would Court-Martial and send to the Brig, any Marine that cannot show respect to another Marine, regardless of skin color. He went on to point out that any kind of racial incident within the ranks would destroy the Marine Corps and he was not going to let that happen. He then told me how upset he was with the behavior of all Marines involved, yelled at me for a few more minutes and abruptly abandoned all ceremonial discipline by loudly telling me to get out of his office!

After leaving the Colonel's office, I realized the ramifications of what he had outlined in his office and the subsequent repercussions the incident could have throughout the Marine Corps. Some have said the Colonel was "saving his career" by taking the action he did but I like to think, and still believe, he did it for the Marine Corps.

The next day the JAG Officer told me the three White Marines that attacked me had been sent 'stateside' and they would be Court-Martialed. I was given a choice of remaining with my unit or transferring to another so, I decided to stay! There were no other racial incidents on Okinawa during that tour and, throughout my 31 year affiliation with the Marine Corps, I witnessed fewer and fewer incidents that may be construed as discriminatory or biased.

The Corporal is right about one thing: Becoming a Marine is an emotional experience that has no equal; That graduation parade on the "grinder" at MCRD, San Diego was THE premiere achievement! The only thing I can think of that is more fulfilling is the appointment of an African-American as Sergeants-Major of the Marine Corps.

I was subjected to much disciplinary "misuse and abuse" while in recruit training and quite frankly, I would have been insulted if a Drill Instructor had spat in my face. The Drill Instructors I had administered the same "treatment" to all recruits; where punishment for failure was involved, my Drill Instructors were indeed, equal opportunity gentlemen and I shall remember them fondly for the rest of my days..!

RC-MGYSGT (Retired) (1962-2004)
Active Duty and Reserve

This cockroach story sounds phony to me. I was at PI in 1941 when Pearl Harbor was bombed. I never witnessed such low life, crass humor. This story is an insult to the Corps in my opinion. As a Guadalcanal Marine, August 7, 1942, I resent it. There is nothing funny about it that I can see.

Cpl. Jim Soggs

TG-CPL USMC 1969-1971;

Your story regarding the DI, Recruit, and cockroach was interesting but I didn't see the importance of mentioning the racial identification of the recruit. It added nothing to the story except for those who are racist. All Marines should be seen as Green and not by their skin color.

Raymond Eugene Hill
Corporal of Marines

Fire for Effect: Comic Relief - Back to top

And Guess What?
A quick story from Plt 388, Kilo Co., 3rd Bn, MCRD Parris Is., sometime in October 1972: Our Sr DI had gotten tired of some maggot not flushing his turds down the sh-tter, so he had the house mouse go and fish the turd out with his bare hand. Then he called us to attention and said, "Since one of you ladies can't figure out how to flush the sh-tter, we're going to play a little game that is designed to help whichever of you maggots doesn't know how to flush the sh-tter, learn to do so. It's called 'Pass the Turd.' I think you'll find it interesting! Ready ... BEGIN!" And so the turd was passed from hand to hand around the squad bay, seriatim. And guess what? After that, there was never another unflushed turd in the sh-tter.

You probably can't print this, but I thought you might get a personal chuckle out of it. I guess we were "Old Corps," eh?

Semper Fi,
Cpl. RO, USMC, 1972-1976

Give Me Your Thumb
Sgt Grit

I try to read your newsletters every time I get one, and sometimes I sit here in tears. But sometimes, it makes my day.

I was a member of Plt 294, (Series & Bn Honor platoon) back in the summer of 1968. During the last couple days of "snap in" week at the range, with the nice brick barracks, we were beginning to feel more comfortable with ourselves as a unit.

During this one day, the House Mouse was caught filling up his canteen at the DI's scuttlebutt. This of course was like robbing a bank to a Drill Instructor.

Our Senior DI, SSgt A. Robinson, told the Mouse to fill up his canteen from the scuttlebutt, over and over again, forcing him to drink the canteen dry each time. I'm not real sure but I think it was 7 times he filled the canteen.

After this drinking binge, the Senior told him to give him some jumping jacks, which followed with squat motha's, after which in only a few minutes, the mouse begin to throw up his newly found water ration. At this point the Senior made him roll around in the vomit screaming "I'm a sh-tbird - I'm a sh-tbird" over and over.

Standing at attention directly across from this action was I, who began to laugh as our mouse rolled on the floor in his own watery grave.

After completion of the mouse's task of rolling he was back at attention, and our Senior gave the platoon a small sermon on why Marines don't do what he did, water conservation in the jungle, etc.

Coming up the squad bay the Senior turned and squared off directly in front of me and said "Give me your thumb" I stuck up my hand with my thumb jetting skyward and the Senior took it in his mouth and it bit it so hard I almost thought I "might" need to hit him...After he released my thumb he said 'Private, was THAT funny?" I said "No Sir Senior Drill Instructor" and with that he said "If I see something funny, I will tell you when to laugh" and walked off....

RC Trussell
68-70 India 3/26 (1969)

Marines NEVER Steal
As one of my DI's told us in June of '84: Marines never lie, Marines never cheat and Marines NEVER Steal.

After Giving us that look to ensure the information had sunk in he then continued with these words of wisdom.

Marines never lie, they bend the truth!
Marines never cheat, they cause the odds to be more in their favor.
Marines NEVER steal, but on occasion we borrow for extended periods of time.

Sgt Miles Arnspiger
RIF'ed but still a Marine.

When I Want That
I have been reading excerpts of many fellow Marines and their experiences at Parris Island. I remember one incident when as you know the DI would rattle the trash can and before the lights were at full brilliance, you were standing in front of your rack at attention. Well, one morning the DI took his usual walk with his swagger stick and this one kid had a hard on. Well, the DI yells, when I want that at attention, I'll tell you and gave it a whack. Well, we all cracked up and then of course he said give me 20.

Platoon 182 Aug-Nov 1958

"Borrowed" A Kilt
Read the article about the S/Sgt pulling the leg of a Pvt. in H/3/2 back in 56 aboard the CAMBRIA PA36. I was also on board that ship in 4.2's Wpns. Co. 3/2. Could that S/Sgt. have possibly been the one who "borrowed" a kilt from one of the Scots stationed at Gibraltar and wore it on liberty the short while we were there? I do know when we got to Izmir Turkey all Marines were restricted as that was our next port of call and I'm sure that had something to do with it. That was quite a cruise as we got to the Gaza Strip for a few days. Too bad this cruise didn't have a cruise book which most had.

C. Kwiatkowski
Olean NY
4.2's 2d Marines 55-57

Had To Be Nam Vets
As a former D.I. at the M.C.R.D. San Diego I can tell you that not one recruit in my platoons ever wore sunglasses. If the recruit pictured in this famous picture would have been in one of my platoons I can ensure that the sunglasses would have still been on the recruit however, not in the normal manner of wearing them. I was with 1stRTB, 1975/1976. Going to D.I. school was much like being a recruit again and that was hard to handle as a Sgt. on the list for S/Sgt. I completed D.I. school in the middle of '75 and immediately picked up my first herd.

At the time all D.I.'s had to be Nam vets. Do they still have the requirement of being a vet from a war zone to be a D.I.? I still have my original Smokey in the original cover block that was issued to me when I graduated D.I. school.

Semper Fi to all you new blood Marines that are doing a great job representing our beloved Corps. Stay strong and continue to kick butt in the sand box and everywhere they send you. Keep our traditions living and strong.

S/Sgt Joseph Whimple
U.S.M.C. 2-1970 12-1976
Nam 1971
D.I. 1975 through 1976

Marine Reserve, Nashville, TN
Sgt. Grit,
There have been a couple of reports from personnel that belonged to the Marine Reserve here in Nashville, TN. The unit is now called "India Co", they called it "C Co", and I remember it as "3rd Rifle Co'. Now, I agree, my memory is getting shorter as my years get longer.

So, regardless of what the unit is/was called, there will be a reunion of ALL members. It is in the planning stages and the Co. would like all who can make it to contact them with their personal info. A notice will be sent in sufficient time for personal schedules.

Send your contact info to: Gary.L.Jacobs @ USMC .MIL (no spaces)
He will add you to the list and send you dates and times.

Hope to see you there. Hamberger, 1332220, '53-'59