Sgt Grit Newsletter - 25 APR 2012

In this issue:
• Presentation of the Flag
• Flame Tank
• Double Rations

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Just wondering if anyone out there has been in a flame tank or has even heard of one. I was in H&S company, 1st Tank Battalion, 2nd Tank Battalion, and 3rd Tank Battalion, assigned to Flame Platoon. As part of 3rd tanks, I went to Viet Nam in 1965 and we landed May 15,1965 in Chu Lai, which is on the coast, about 50 some miles south of Da Nang. Since it was so hot and humid most of the mixing of gas and napalm was done by hand because the mixer motor usually did not run. Maybe some of you older tankers may remember good old Flame Tanks.

The Flame Tanks were M-67A2's as I recall the 90MM gun tanks were M48A'3. It is the same tank except for the main gun, which in our case was a napalm flame which very accurate up to about 150 yards. We also had a 30 cal and a 50 cal machine guns. With new tank of today, I doubt if the flame tank even exists anymore. I proudly served on F-13 in all 3 battalion's. The men who served with me were the best. We were a small but very tight group of guys and along with our support folks we made quite a team. I am proud that I was a part of a unique group, Flame Platoon United States Marine Corps.

Semper Fi

Cpl. Steven Andre
US Marine Corps 1962-1966

KA-BAR Adventure Potbelly

In This Issue

9th Annual GriTogether! June 9th - Get Info Now

Here we go: knife wounds on his butt, sauce with ketchup, all over the bulkheads, slender young man, girlfriend began to picture Leavenworth, shaved today Lieutenant, I can actually answer, wait for the signal, someone was screaming.

Fair winds and following seas.
Sgt Grit


PFC Dalton Welsh presenting his great grandfather with the U.S. Flag This is a picture of PFC Dalton Welsh (24th Marines), United States Marine Corps, presenting the U.S. Flag at his grandfather's (Lonnie Welsh) funeral to his great grandfather (Homer Welsh), a World War II veteran of the U.S. Army. PFC Welsh's grandfather, a Vietnam era veteran of the U.S. Army, passed away unexpectedly on December 12, 2011.

There was a mix-up in getting the U.S. Army Honor Guard to the cemetery, and PFC Welsh stepped up and offered to do the flag presentation at the last minute. Having never done anything like this before, PFC Welsh was instructed on what to say and do, and he did it without missing a beat or blinking an eye.

Picture taken by Kim Dieker (friend of the family)
Picture submitted by Derek Welsh (father of PFC Dalton Welsh)

Thank you,
Derek W. Welsh

Shadow Box

Sgt. Grit,

You might remember that 2 or 3 weeks ago I sent in a story about Andy Goddard, retired Marine Gunny SDI pt'ing a fatbody recruit in the "Rose Garden" at Parris Island?

One of things I said was that "you oughta see his shadow box". In case you're still interested, here it is.

Display of Andy Goddard's shadow boxes I don't know about you, but I'm d-mn impressed with that. Just take a long look at that picture. That's a Marine, by God. An excellent Marine.

Mike Benfield
Just Another Old Marine

To the Line Shack

The "Hit the Skids" submission about guard duty at the motor pool reminded me of an episode on the HMM-265 flight line Spring of 1970 at LTA. The squadron had returned from Vietnam in November 1969 without aircraft and was rebuilding.

As Sgt in charge of night crew, I had secured the guys, changed into my jeans and T-shirt and had just finished safety wiring an electronic fuel control actuator on a CH-46 Super D helicopter while my girlfriend held the flashlight. That's when the L/Cpl on flight line guard yelled "Who goes there?" My girlfriend began to picture Leavenworth.

I put my ID on the deck and the guard escorted us to the line shack where he picked up his PRC-25 and called the OD. A few minutes later a jeep came roaring toward us with a loud voice screaming "What the f#% are you up to now Stafford?" I looked closer and saw my OIC, Lt Stoneking, from Vietnam driving the jeep. I yelled back "Hey Stony, haven't seen you since the Iwo Jima (LPH-2)."

All ended well. Stony and I stay in contact regularly and have gotten together at reunions and business trips back East.

Wayne Stafford
RVN 68-69

Pink Dozier Folding Hunter KaBar

Double Rations

Well, you have been asking for more stories well, I have read about the food at chow on several levels but, nobody Has said anything about being put on "Double rations".

I was a tall and needless to say slender young man as a senior in High school when I took the recruiter home to talk to Dad about signing the "papers" for DEP. I remember him saying,"Oh, don't worry they will fatten him up when they get him Down to Parris Island.

I was 6'3" and weighed 160 lbs. when I arrived at the Island. When they put me on this Double ration process at first it was great, everything that everyone else ate, I got two of. Nice when you are burning calories like wildfire. That is until you come across a dish that you don't like. They had a dish in which they sliced a tomato and poured cream of mushroom soup over it or a similar gravy .

Now the idea of eating one serving alone would choke me out but, to eat two would be too much. Using my new found skills of Improvising and adapting, I got the bright idea of putting all those tomato's in my now empty milk cartons. They always had a DI inspect my tray as I went to the scullery and the plan was working except they had just emptied the garbage cans and those milk cartons hit bottom with a "THUD".

That's right, busted. He made me dig them out and eat every one. They did not improve after being in the milk carton either. Making it clear that if I threw up , I was still going to eat it. It took a minute but, I ate every one. I still to this day cannot look at a tomato on a sandwich .

By the way, after all that I lost 7 lbs.

Note: I was 6'2" and 162lb when I hit MCRD-SD in May of '68. I left at 182 lbs. I was not put on double rations. With all the talk of DI's at the door, eat what you take, etc... I don't know how I managed this...
But I would stand at the exit door and grab uneaten rolls and other things as recruits exited. Within two weeks in Vietnam I was back down to 162lbs.
Sgt Grit

Ka-Bar Shifter

Ka-bar Shifter on Automatic Dodge 1500 Truck Ka-Bar shifter on Automatic Dodge 1500 Truck

Ka-Bar Shifter

Partially Filled With Water

In reading the "Iwakuni Dead Man" article by Capt. Mix, I was reminded of things we used to do in Iwakuni at the same time. I too was an aircraft mechanic in VMA-121 and we were a squadron of AD-6's. Out flight line was the first flight line you saw as you entered the "Marine Side" of the base.

All 24 of our planes were lined up and faced the same direction. A few yards behind our planes was part of a golf course and alongside of the course was a path that the Japanese civilian workers used to walk and bike to work on the base. As Plane Captains, we also had to start our aircraft and put them through their paces and then, if all checked out, we signed the "yellow sheet" to certify the plane ready for flight.

We knew what time the workers came down the path so we would all sit in the cockpits, at idle, and wait for the signal from one of the guys on the flight line. Once he gave the signal, we would all pull back on the stick, stand on the brakes, and push the throttle forward. The following prop blast would send walkers, bikes, and riders flying. After several such events we all caught h - - - - and had to knock it off.

My 3 years in Iwakuni were my best years in the Corps. When VMA-121 rotated back to the states, I re-enlisted and joined H&MS-12. For a month I was sent TAD to MARS to service aircraft. I had to stay in an old barracks on mainside that was used by the Japanese during the war. I remember it was 2 or 3 decks high and had a huge courtyard in the center. On the first deck was billeted the "grunts" who were guards and MP's. As Airwing guys we tended to be extremely lax compared to the "grunts".

They had some poor dude stand in the courtyard and blow reveille every morning. This drove us nuts so some of the guys decided to discourage this activity. One morning a couple of guys placed a GI can partially filled with water next to the railing of the balcony directly above where the bugler would blow reveille. This poor soul got about 4 notes out when they dropped the garbage can which landed about 6 feet from him. I'm sure he had to change his skivvies after that and he also refused to blow reveille again. As far as I know, they never found out who the culprits were.

Sid Gerling
Sgt. of Marines


I see recent articles about chow and while on Okinawa I was in CommCo, HQBN, 3rd Mar Div as a radio repairmen (2771). While attached to an ANGLICO platoon we went to Subic Bay to qualify a Marine Air Wing and Navy guns on a ship I can't remember. The mess hall in Subic Bay was one of the best I ever ate in. There were "E's" for excellence plastered all over the bulkheads in the mess hall and they were well deserved. As I remember there were always three chow lines each serving a different meal.

Cpl Matt Dzubak
2/59 - 7/63


Sgt Grit

I don't know about the "great chow" at MCAS Miami (Opa Locka). I was stationed there in '57-'58 'till it closed and was shipped to Cherry Point. For about 6 mos or so we had "B" rations, I guess they were "C" rations except in a bigger can I think from WWII, (ham & lima beans mmmmm)

And when they served that, the cooks took all the peanut butter off the tables. Then there was "cold cuts" that couldn't be identified, and they made spaghetti sauce with ketchup! My grandfather was turning over in his grave.!

It wasn't all bad, we had T-bone steaks once a month and the Sunday brunch was good, but I must say, as I remember, the liver left a lot to be desired, but I wouldn't miss it for the world. And yes the liberty was great!

PFC Robert DiMartino 1584xxx

Trouble For Stuff

I wonder how many Marines now have to be silent about their funny stories for fear of receiving NJP or worse for hazing? With the proliferation of information and how quickly it spreads from a story among friends straight to the top, I am afraid to show many of the pictures I have and tell stories about the stunts we pulled. I don't want any buddies that are still active duty to get in trouble for stuff that we did almost 20 years ago now.

Anonymous CPL

Stay Warm

Sgt. Grit,

The mention of John Yancey brought back memories. I was in Lt. Yancey's platoon of E27. We were on Hill 1282 at the Chosin Reservoir when he was awarded his 2nd Navy Cross on 27-28 November 1950. I am here because he was there.

The reason I am writing this is to let everyone know a lot of other brave Marines of Easy Company were there that night.

Medal Of Honor Recipients:
Cpl. Lee H. Phillips 4 Nov. 1950 near Sudong KIA Hill 1282
S Sgt. Robert Kennemore WIA Hill 1282

Navy Cross Recipients:
Cpl. James P. Gallagher WIA Hill 1282
S Sgt. Daniel M. Murphy WIA Hill 1282
Capt. Walter D Phillips Easy Co. CO KIA Hill 1282
PFC Stanley S. Robinson 4 Nov. 1950 near Sudong Awarded Silver Star WIA Hill 1282
1st Lt. John Yancey WIA Hill 1282
1st Navy Cross-- Guadalcanal-- World War 2

Thanks for printing these brave men's names in your great Newsletter.

Stay warm,
Cpl. John (Jack) Kelly USMC Retired

Short Rounds

Sgt. Grit,

I know you must know the 12th general order:

"To walk my post from flank to flank and take no sh-t from any rank."

Jim Owen
Former SSgt. of Marines

Sgt Grit,
Another Marine has reported to the Lord this week. He is MGySgt Charles D. Hartzo, USMC (ret), who passed away on Wednesday, April 18th, in Atlanta, GA. When Top Hartzo was a SSgt he was my Senior Drill Instructor with Plt 201, Delta Co., 2nd Bn, 2nd RTR, Parris Island, SC., graduating April 3rd, 1973. We got to know each other personally many years later and got to spend some time with each other last year. A fine man and one fine Marine! Rest in Peace, Top. Ya done good!
Bob Tollison

Had a flicker of memory reading the stories about chow and mess halls. Mine is about boot camp in the '50s. I see to recall that liquids were served to us in metal bowls, i.e. coffee, etc. Thought this was somewhat of a tradition in the sea services. Any other old jarheads out there that can verify this or am I having a senior moment.

Bob Rader sgt usmc #140xxxx

Torn To Shreds

Sgt Grit

I did my boot in the summer of '94 at MCRD San Diego, Echo Co. Yep, a Hollywood Marine. Anyways, we had gone to Camp Pendleton for rifle and field training. When it came time for us to "camp" for several days, we recruits were instructed on how to set up, and align our hooches in proper Marine fashion. After a lot of setup and tear down, and Drill Instructor cussing and screaming, we finally had them in proper columns and rows. Each platoon had 2 rows with the hooches opening to the interior, and the head butting up to the head of the next platoon in the company.

The first night we were in the field, after lights out, my hooch mate and I were a little to try and wind down from the day. From outside our hooch, I heard someone say "Shut the F--- up!" Thinking that it was coming from a recruit in the platoon next to us, and being a recruit that wasn't going to take Sh-- from anyone, I promptly responded "You shut the F--- up!"

Next thing I remember was my hooch being torn to shreds while someone was screaming "Who the F--- said that? Who the F--- said that?" In a matter of seconds I was standing face to face with our Company Commander who just happened to be making his rounds that night and heard us talking. After a severe tongue lashing by the CO, my hooch mate and I were allowed to re-build and hit the rack.

I didn't sleep at all that night. Partly from all the laughing I heard from the other recruits, and partly from thinking of what was going to happen when the Drill Instructors got to me in the morning. I was certain that reveille was going to be the sound of me doing Side Straddle Hops (123.1, 123.2, 123.3, etc.), but that never happened. I just remember crawling out of the hooch the next morning seeing the CO with all of the company Drill Instructors. Every one of them was laughing, I'm sure it was at my expense.

I don't know why, but there was no real fallout. The only mention of it was when the Senior Drill Instructor, Sgt Steward, made a passing comment a few days later while addressing the platoon. Maybe he thought my fear was enough punishment.

Anyways, I really enjoy reading the newsletter. Keep it up.

Semper Fi
Russell Hawkins, Cpl, '94 - '98

Dead Brush

Sgt Grit,
I joined in 1953 and went to San Diego arriving Jan 3, 1954. Man, that was a long time ago!

My story involves the quality of food I got during my 3 years, although the dates are a little fuzzy by now.

While in boot camp we were assigned a week of mess duty for being so squared away. HA! I can't remember if it was before or after Camp Mathews but it makes no difference to what happened.

I was assigned the major cleaning of the huge coffee urns that must have held 50 gallons of coffee. (correct me if I'm wrong.) They were tall enough that I had to stand on a bench to see in and clean with a wooden handled brush. As I drained the urn I could see there was something in the bottom that shouldn't be there. It was a brush like the one I was going to use to scrub the bottom. It had been in there for a long time because of the crap that was stuck to it or growing on it. It smelled like the grease pit area if you remember that! I didn't tell anyone about the dead brush and finished up my assignment and fell in formation when called. I couldn't tell any difference in the coffee after that discovery.

My last year was spent traveling all over the Far East and Alaska stopping at bases of all the branches of service. The best of the best was breakfast in Adak, Alaska. They served eggs that had been frozen but were starting to thaw out. You could get them any way you wanted so I tried sunny side up and they were wonderful. This was where I learned to ask for sunny side up snotty so I would get them really loose! I like them that way today too, although not frozen!

Probably the best food was in Japan at one Army base. Local cooks and wait people and cloth table clothes. Good food but I can't remember the name of it. It wasn't Hardy Barracks because we all got gamma globulin shots after eating there. (Another story)

The worst food was at Treasure Island. Must have been Navy short timers training for their next job at McDonalds! Most of the small bases in the Pacific had decent food. Japan, Okinawa and Guam were OK.

I must mention the best EM clubs although it wasn't the food. Camp Smith in Hawaii has 35 cent drinks and you can walk home from there. You can't beat that with a stick! The best beer was in the Philippines. San Miguel for sure. Even though it was dated YESTERDAY, it was the best. You didn't buy it, you just rented it for about 6 hours. We did the plant tour. It was super clean until it went out into the warehouse. I could mention few more places, if I could recall them all.

Oh, the end of the story: After I finished the cleaning job on the coffee urn I couldn't find a place to put it! I rinsed it off and tossed it into the other urn that I wasn't assigned to. Good coffee, huh?

Vince Meyers,
Sgt of Marines

Standing Tall

One of my most embarrassing moments in the Corps was caused by my mother.

I was going through school at C&E Battalion in San Diego and I guess I was having too much fun on liberty to write home. My mother got concerned when she had not heard from me in over a month and wrote a letter to the CO of the schools battalion wondering why she had not heard from me and why he was not letting me write home.

Next thing I know I am standing tall in front of the Colonel along with the Gunny while he reads me the riot act. My punishment was to draft a letter once a week and present it to the Colonel's office to verify I had indeed written home for his approval.

My brothers also Marines and my dad sure thought it was funny.

Jim Grimes Sgt 69-72

The Gunny Paid Up


My memory is fuzzy on some things so give a little leniency. In reference to newsletter April 12, 2012

Entered Boot Camp at MCRDSD at o' dark thirty on August 19, 1968. Our training was during August 26, 1968 till October 24, 1968 . I believe the Corps deliberately brings as many in after dark as late as they can, to keep us disoriented. easier to control us during the first few days if our sense of direction is screwed up.

Remember being in the receiving Barracks for a few days before forming Platoon 1065 (honor Platoon) of 1st Recruit Battalion Company B.

I too remember the in processing of packing personal things to send home. I had good info from recruiter. Just your clothes on your back and a toothbrush for the trip there. No watches, rings, personal items needed or allowed. So was easy standing at the little dividers stripping and packing and putting on a pair of green wool socks, tennis shoes, skivvies, dungaree trousers, belt, and Yellow Marines sweat Shirt and cover

All while being yelled at. Then ordered back outside to the yellow footprints to wait.

Our Senior D.I. (Platoon Commander) Gunnery Sgt. R. J. Mederious. Our others SSgt. B. L. Nious and Cpl. H. E. Heater (the easiest going) SSgt. Nious was a Black Marine and at 18 years old with very limited exposure to Blacks he appeared huge and vicious and mean looking at the time. But in any situation such as this (boot camp) the leaders (captors) have to appear as such, to immediately take charge, so as to maintain control of a large group of recruits(captives / hostages) with as few people in command as possible.

Remember first being called into the hutch / office of the drill Instructors / First Sgt? How, gruesome, overbearing, demanding, gruff. they appeared to be, and remembering, you NEVER wanted to be called on the carpet again! Well I went back in 2008 after 40 years ([August 22] grad day for them).

Stopped in and saw the Base Sgt. Major, He was not the scary beast I remembered.

I was able to visit the recruit area as I possessed a civilian DOD base badge, and no training was going on, I did have to avoid the recruits.

Most all the Quonset huts were gone (a shame). Couldn't tell you if ours were there or not. Now the recruits are in multi- story concrete barracks, time moves on.

In some ways even the Corps is starting to get soft on the recruits. I'm sure I had it easier than earlier generation. And I wish the do gooders would keep their nose out of training.

During first few days it was hectic and scary not knowing what lay ahead. But then we were in a routine, and I observed all would be well. Just pay attention, do your best, work as a team (when allowed) and obey. After that things went easy. Although I remember a rifle butt to the head one day, when I wasn't paying enough attention. M-14 woodstock hurt, but I deserved it.

To the others complaining and raving about various meals provided. Apparently you never had to go hungry in your lives before the Corps. There were times we didn't have enough to eat growing up. And there were times Air Force friends of my parents, delivered C-Rats to us on the sly, so grew up with them. I found they all were equally --- good. when you're hungry you're hungry and anything is good, if you just put your mind to it! It's all about ATTITUDE!

I remember marching to chow at the old mess hall, lined up in front of it in columns of four. then we had to do this fancy in place drill to finally form two columns. we had two serving lines, both served the same food. Was this way through my time in the Corps even in DaNang and Marble Mountain. It was all good food and I remember the sign overhead, "Take all you want, But eat all you take". I hear now, the Air Force has as many as 5 or 6 chow lines at "dining" halls in the sandbox, with all kinds of assorted options to choose from. No wonder budgets are stretched thin.

We stood at attention until all were present waited the command, "ready sit" now we sat at attention, Recruit at head of table was selected to give a short prayer blessing our food. No "P.C" back then. when finished, immediately leave table, scrape any possible scraps into the garbage cans, swish our plates in a bucket of dishwater, then place in stacks. Form up in our designated area. We all carried our training notebooks inside the back of our shirts (blouses), we had to study them while waiting.

I NEVER had a bad meal all the time I was in the Corps, but some were better than others. I remember (at MCRDSD) going to the early morning meal (breakfast). Smelling the cool salt air and the pine trees and palms in the area.

To this day when hunting or just otherwise up and about early and outside, those smells (I'm landlocked now in Wyoming) still remind me of boot camp. And yes I am still up most every morning by 5:00 or 5:30 (if I feel lazy).

Referencing Gunny Foster from the April 12, 2012 newsletter:

OUR PLATOON (1065) went to Edson range for Marksmanship training. I had shot rifles most all my life, but I learned the Marine Corps way and it did make me a better shot and I still sight in the same way. Three inches high at a hundred and dead on at 300. We were in the new Concrete Barracks there. Remember hours on end standing, kneeling, sitting and prone, dry firing around a 55 gal barrel with bulls eye on it.

Then of course the long march to the range and the time on the line and of course in the butts pulling and marking targets and making new ones at end of our time for the next group. I don't remember my exact score on qualification day, But I did shoot sharpshooter.

My next rifle range was again at Camp Pendleton while I was with HML267 at the Air field (MCALF). Again don't remember my score but did get expert.

When I returned from Vietnam, I was at El Toro and MCAS Tustin (Santa Ana) with HMHT 301. Attended rifle range there. This time we had an option (imagine THAT!), M-14 or M16. I chose the M-16 as it was lighter to carry, and had less recoil. Dang that M-14 kicked like a mule and I hated the bruised shoulder. Being the M-16 was milder, I found I didn't anticipate and flinch and jerk.

Gunny behind me said I could never qualify with the M-16 on this range. Being a Brash Cpl at the time I made a bet with him I would qualify and with a higher score than him. I qualified with a 327 for expert. I maintained that score the next two times I qualified before I got out. And yes the Gunny paid up.

Back to my trip to Sunny South East Asia. Don't remember the exact Day we left the States but it was in Early July around the 10th or so of 1970.

We were delivered by cattle car to El Toro, boarded a civilian airline. We made it as far as Honolulu. A typhoon was blowing on Okinawa our destination. We spent about 5 days on the Island. The Airlines put us up free of charge in numerous top of the line hotels. Guess it was an act of patriotism on their part, knowing where we were all headed to and many would not return. Everything we needed was free. Food, Drinks, Rooms, access to the beaches etc.

I know a few missed the plane on the way out as they were suffering from SEVERE sunburn. As I understand it they were written up for missing a movement. But can't confirm it. We made it to Okinawa and on 20 July 1970 I was officially in Vietnam.

My apologies for being so long. Next time I will send some pics of places and people I served with. Maybe they will recognize themselves when they were younger!

Semper Fi!

Sgt of Marines (1978-1974)
RVN 1970-71)


63 to 67 platoon 323 MCRD San Diego California What, if any, is the meaning of the term "The Old Corps". I can actually answer this question and I don't give a rats azs if you agree or disagree with my answer.

The old Corps refers to those individuals who grew up when life was a b-tch and food was scarce as hens teeth. These were young kids that came from a life of poverty, abuse, court rooms and the school of hard knocks. They were trained by Marines who had PTSD big time. The abuse in boot camp was, in a way, no different than what they were used to at home. Many did not have a high school diploma.

The Marine Corps was only interested in a warm body and a social security number back then. These individuals became The Few, The Proud, The Marine that mom and dad and others they came in contact with, no longer recognized as the snot nosed kid that had only left some 12 or more weeks before. This was a young man whose life now had meaning and purpose.

As far as I was concerned, the food in the mess hall was better than what was on the table at home. There was milk, orange juice, chocolate milk, eggs, bacon and other delicacies that I never had when I grew up. Our meals were simple, oatmeal, vermicelli and peas, and what mom canned from her garden. Meat was rarely on the menu unless she made oxtail stew. Seven kids living on welfare in Montana was not the ideal life so I enlisted in The Marines at 17 and served 4 years. Looking back I now realize that life was excellent in the Corps compared to the abusive mother and my older brother that beat the stuffing out of me because he was mommas little darling.

Qityerbitchin at least you never went to bed hungry or wondering if breakfast might be water and flour pancakes if any.

Ted Marino


The family of a retired Marine Master Gunnery Sergeant with 37 years in the Corps reluctantly decided that at age 92, he needed more care than they could provide. The only decent place close to their home was a nursing home for retired soldiers. They approached the facility and were told that, while Army vets got first choice, they would take vets of the other services if there happened to be an opening; which, by good fortune, there was. A week after placing the retired Marine there, his sons came to visit.

"How do you like it here, Pop?" they asked.

"It's wonderful," said the old Jarhead. "Great chow, lots to do, and they treat everyone with great respect."

"How so, Pop?"

"Well, take Harry, across the hall, 88 and a retired Air Force flag officer. He hasn't worn the uniform in 30 years, but they still call him 'General.'

Then George, down the hall, used to lead the Army band. Hasn't conducted a note in 40 years, but they still call him 'Maestro!'.

And Bob used to be a surgeon in the Navy, he has not operated on anyone in 20 years, but they still call him 'Doctor' "

"That's fine for the other guys, Pop, but how do they treat you?"

"Me? They treat me with even more respect. I'm 92, haven't had s-x in 20 years, and they still call me, 'That F__king Marine.'"

OohRaaa! - Bob Christiansen

Shaved Today

When I reported to MCAS Beaufort in 1975, the Provost Sergeant was called the "Silver Fox" with reverence. He always meant what he said, and if you didn't do it, you would be on the carpet in front of him. There was a story circulating around that he originally had red hair, but that it turned white after being in a rubber raft for a few days. Don't know if it was true, but he sure had the whitest hair that I ever saw.

He also teased one of the Lawyers from JAG, who picked up their copy of the blotter. He'd say "shaved today Lieutenant?", because he looked like a kid and had no facial hair. The Lieutenant would turn beet red, get the blotter and leave. Thanks for the memory.

T.J. Gilreath
USMC 1975-1998

Family Of Marines

Sgt Grit... First of all, I want to thank you for a great newsletter. I really look for it every week like a little kid looking for Xmas. Sixty-one [61]years ago today I entered Parris Island SC. [plt 251 1st Bn]... I was in the NG for 3 yrs. before going into the Marines. My brother [Also my hero] was KIA on Saipan [B-1-2] ..My 2 cousins [Marines] were also KIA on Saipan. And my daughter married a Marine]!970-74] and my grandson kept up the tradition & joined the Marines [1992 -96]... When we get together the BS gets very deep about BOOT CAMP. [They both were Hollywood Marines]....I would like to hear from any Marines that were in any of my units or my brothers unit.

Semper Fi Cpl Roy Lively 1194255 [1951-54] W_2-2-2
[1951-53 H&S 2 Marines !(53-54]

My Old Eyes

On Okinawa in April of 1945, as a walking Injured I was being transferred to Saipan for Medical Treatment but a Typhoon was approaching and some ships were sent to Kerama Retta (a small island group off Okinawa) to ride out the wind. Next to our ship a Destroyer was tied up that had been hit by a Hari Kari, the ship was blown out like a can with a fire cracker, the bridge was separated, the front section was bent forward.

Sailors from our ship were helping the sailors on the destroyer clean up and bring out the dead. The Japanese pilots body was heaved over board, what was left of it. Anyway, gimping as I was I couldn't help out much but I was able to hobble over and walk around where I wouldn't be in any ones way. I went through the mess hall and saw the bowls of cereal with powder milk on the bottom and the water on top. The mess tables were high, they stood up to eat so they could move out when necessary.

My old eyes have seen a lot but that is one of the things I remember, how men act and re-act during battle, men as young as I was and younger, fighting off a plane destined to ram their ship.

I remember other scenes of battle in Korea and Vietnam, Marines, Soldiers and civilians torn in Battle and still trying to fight against over whelming odds. We, Marines, tend to look down our noses at our sister services but they have done as much and conquered what they had to. I read the story Ernie Pyle wrote about the landing at Omaha Beach, Normandy on 5 June 1944 and knowing what most of them were going through, but, never lasted an hour or more, showed me just how wrong we are.

And now I read the stories of our Marines, Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Coast Guardsmen and the Bravery they have shown in Battles in Iraq and Afghanistan. I see the accomplishments of Americans fighting with a Bravery unmatched by any suicidal soldier. What Our Military has done over the Ages of Our Existence as a Nation is truly remarkable, we've saved the World more than once.

With all that said, that's the reason John Wayne was so Proud to be an American and why we should all be ready to tell the World that we are Americans.

GySgt. F. L. Rousseau, USMC Retired

Quiet His Nerves

The chow hall stories made me remember one from Okinawa. I was at camp Foster/Sukeran (spelling?) back in 1973 and we had a chow hall in our barracks. The barracks had our company offices on the ground floor on one end and the chow hall on the ground floor on the other end. Upstairs were the two squad bays, with the Motor T platoon on the end above the chow hall and us "Remington Raiders" (computer guys) in the one above the company offices (Company office guys shared our squad bay).

The heads and showers were in between the squad bays, in the middle of the building. These were "open" squad bays that we created sleeping "cubicles" using wall lockers for walls. There were about 40 guys in each squad bay (Oh the memories of stereo wars, and bottle rocket battles between squad bays, but that is another set of stories).

At any rate, in the evenings, we could go into the chow hall until 2300 to get a sandwich. There were always two "messmen" on duty in the evenings to be sure that there was bread, meat, cheese and condiments available. This mess duty was rotated just like guard duty, between the members of the company (E4 and below).

This evening chow session was a great deal when we would come in from the ville with a bad case of the "munchies", as long as we got in before 2300. As you might imagine, there would occasionally be one or two (less than sober) individuals who would show up just at 2300! But, our First Shirt was adamant that we close up right on time, since the night mess men had to be up early to get to work, just like everyone else.

One night, I had the duty with another guy from my shop, and we had closed the door about 5 minutes before. We were busy in the kitchen, cleaning up the pans that the meat and cheeses were served on, as this was part of the duty. There came a rather insistent banging on the chow hall door. As was the usual response to this fairly regular occurrence, we ignored it for a while. This would usually persuade the drunks to just go up to bed.

But, this time, it just was not working as the banging just kept getting louder. Since we did not want the guys upstairs to be bothered by the noise (Motor T guys get testy when you disturb their sleep), we decided to answer the noise and tell the drunks to go to bed. As it turned out, it was just one drunk, and he was not really receptive to our instructions. He was also, as it turned out, not even a member of our company. So, the two of us stepped out and added some "physical persuasion" to our instructions. This appeared to work well as the drunk ceased to bang on the door and left.

We went back and were just finishing up our clean up, when we turned from the sinks to find the drunk had come in the back door and was now pointing a 45 at my partner's face. He stated, quite simply "I was hungry", and pulled the trigger! That "click" sounded as loud as a shotgun to the two of us!

We were so stunned that he had time to turn around and run before we could react. Then we were after him like a shot! He ran up the hill from our barracks, and my partner caught him on the front lawn of the NIS office at the top of the hill. We both then commenced to thrashing the fool who screamed loud enough to wake the agents inside. They came running out and pulled the two of us off of him. After we explained why we were thrashing him, they arrested him. Then they checked the 45 that he had dropped when we caught him.

To everyone's surprise, it was completely loaded, including a round in the chamber! When they checked the round in the chamber, they found that it has a dent right in the center, where it should have. They then put that round back into it and fired it into a sand barrel, and it went off as it should have. My partner turned as white as a ghost when that happened! The agents just looked at us and said "Guess it just wasn't his time". Needless to say, I felt that it was my duty to take my partner out to the ville to help him quiet his nerves. And the following afternoon, when we went before the First Shirt for not showing up to work that morning, he agreed and did not even charge us with a UA!

Phil "Akabu" Coffman
Sgt '72 - '82

My Truck

Hey Grit: I ordered all my stickers last fall but my License plate just got here a couple weeks ago. What do ya think. I didn't want there to be any confusion about what is important in my life.

Herbert's Marine Corps truck In Wisconsin you have to send a copy of your 214 to get these issued to weed out the posers. Nice job Wisconsin. No one knows what the Navy Marine Corps Medal means out here but I sure do see a lot of people looking at the back of my truck. And there sure are a lot of people that blow their horn and some that even salute when they pass me.

Herbert McNeely

Still Tied To Pier

Around April 1960 transferred to Okinawa. Staged at Camp Pendleton shipped out of San Diego aboard U.S.S. Bexar APA (???) Generally referred to as " The Bear " Bear shipped out with around 11/1200 hundred USMC. 6/700 of them BRAND NEW USMC. 10/12 brand new USMC sea sick aboard cattle cars enroute to San Diego from Pendleton. Another 100 or so sea sick aboard the Bear. Bear still tied to pier. Rest went down (along with a few old salts) Smell! before Bear reached 3 mile limit.

Long way to Hawaii. Chow aboard Bexar real treat. Most time spent in chow line. Eat standing up. Now seats in mess deck. After a while at sea noon chow Roast beef and pork n beans. Evening chow pork n beans and roast beef. Pretty standard for loaded APA at the time. Same on USS Olmstead

D. M. Brantley. USMC (Ret) Semper Fi

And Perhaps A

In the early 60's during my tour with 2nd Amtracs, I worked in Battalion HQ with primary MOS was 0231. The oxymoron MOS, military intelligence. The S2 Lt and I were dispatched to Viegues, hitch hiking of sorts with a platoon of Amtracs in support of some reservists training. That is they were going to hit the beach.

After we arrived, I was billeted with the tractor rats in one of the tents while the Lt kind of went missing for a few days (another one of those stories). So I had squat to do, as de facto my job was to wait for him to show up so we could do our intelligence thing. I had some books, and if I recall someone in a previous story mentioned sewing name tags on socks. I seem to recall spending a lot of time doing that.

Regardless, it made for an incredibly boring day. Time crawled with me on standby waiting for my S2/Lt to pull my chain.

The only person with me was the LCpl pulling guard duty. Nothing formal, just to pragmatically have someone stick around the tents and keep an eye on things.

If you're thinking I could have done that instead of sitting on my azs all day, there were two problems with that. One being the above mentioned chain ready to be yanked at some totally unpredictable time and an exception to the guard duty rule.

Given the choice of working at the Tractor park in a really really hot Viegues sun, or hanging around in an only really hot, but shaded tent with little expected of you but keeping eyes peeled, in this case guard duty was considered good duty, not to be awarded to some H&S puke attached to your unit like a wart on a log.

We'd shoot the sh-t a bit, I'd read or work on my socks, and periodically he'd get up, unpeel his eyelids and walk around checking things out to make sure everything was as it should be. Sometimes he'd be right back and sometimes he'd be gone awhile. If his awhile trips took him out of sight of our area, he'd ask me to keep an eye on things.

This went on all freakin day, and I'm not sure, perhaps into the next day.

Everything was quiet and peaceful... until all H-ll broke loose. Shouting, sounds of troops running hither and yon. Then we had visitors.

It seems that not too far from us is where those aforementioned reservists set up camp. And it seems sometime during the day the H-ll broke loose, one of them lost a rifle. Or better put, it went missing.

So our visitors were, reservist NCO's, an officer or two, our NCO's and our CO all popping in very twitterpated, wanting to know if we "saw anything". All I saw was my book and my socks. My trusty guard companion, confirmed that he didn't see anything unusual either. It wasn't lost on us that in going the rounds visiting our tents, that while they were talking they were looking.

The rifle never did turn up. Strange.

After things settled down my guard tent mate philosophized about it all. He noticed unlike we regular Marines... the reservists hadn't posted a guard. Tsk Tsk very careless. He also expressed his opinion that padlocking your rifle to a chain wasn't a bad idea..but wrapping the chain around the tent's center post... wasn't. Why anyone could walk in and with a little effort just lift the center post up and there goes your rifle and chain. He was just thinking out loud, as I noted he said he didn't see anyone suspicious hanging around. I took that as a compliment. And, I knew he was very diligent in the performance of his guard duty. In summing it up he felt that the guy would never see his rifle again. He'd have to get another one.

He talked a bit about some of the floats he'd been on. And the neat stuff the tractor rats brought back without bothering the Customs folks. Amtracs are made to float, and like boats, water can get in..which goes into a bilge area under the floor plates, where a bilge pump gets rid of the water. Most of the non Amtracers don't know that and civilians certainly don't. Well packed bottles of booze, beer, can fit in there...and perhaps a rifle.

Don Harkness


Sgt Grit,

Regarding that bag of sh-t poser Staff Sgt. So many issues with the uniform are evident that it truly amazes me that these jerks think they will get away with it and dare to take the chance that they will run into one of us!

To start he has three purple heart ribbons instead of one ribbon with stars. He has a rifle expert and rifle sharpshooter medal instead of a pistol sharpshooter medal. He has hash marks on both sleeves and two different sets of hashmarks stitched on the sleeves. His belt buckle is not centered and the belt line button is showing.

Looks like he lined his ribbons up after having too many brewskis. His cover looks like it would fit my fat head, but it surely does not fit him properly. There probably are a number of other uniform issues but when I zoom in on the picture it was too grainy to see more details but I am checking this out on my phone and not the computer so that is probably why. These bast- rds sicken me and I hope they all get caught!

Semper FI
Mike Kunkel
Cpl. 0331
Lima 3/8 Weapons Plt

The poser who is in a dress uniform cannot be real. First off, he has two sets of four hash marks. Does that mean he spent thirty two years in? Jeez, and already a gunny. His collar emblems are backwards. I cannot believe that he has the three Purple Heart ribbons. I cannot believe that his precedence has the Combat Action Ribbon and what appears to be a National Defense ribbon higher than a Silver Star ! If he wasn't so stupid, he could have gone on your web page and clicked on the precedence chart and got it right. Check out the cover, Is that an Officers EGA? What kind of shooter was he? an expert or a sharpshooter? He is wearing both. Military alignment? Has he ever heard of it?
This cannot be real... nobody is that stupid.

Marine Corps Precedence Chart and Ribbon Builder

I'm not one to say anything about someone that I do not know too much about but hearing about this lower than maggot crap guy for what he has done not only to our Corps let alone himself as a person and to all that represent the Corps by wearing the Eagle, Globe and Anchor, dishonor that honor and he also dishonored all those that came before him you and me why would a guy likes this try and pass himself off as a hero with all those ribbons on his uniform that he has now disgraced I should not have referred to the uniform as his I wonder how this guy can look at himself well I guess I've said enough or not
Vic DeLeon
Cpl. USMC 2146xxx

I notice that the Phony hero (pictured in the 4/11/12 newsletter) is wearing a NAVY SEAL BADGE? Now, to the puke in the 04/19/12 newsletter. That scumbag is wearing two sets of 16 year service stripes sewn on top of each other to try to convince people he served 32 years in our beloved Corps. Not to mention they're on the wrong sleeves due to the wrong slant. Wearing what looks like 3 purple hearts and no NDSM even though he's wearing sand box ribbons. Not to mention he's wearing an expert and a sharpshooters rifle badge next to each other. The Eagle, globe an anchors on his collar are reversed and the button just above his belt buckle is blue and would never be shown like that. Plus, he's wearing the officer's emblem on his cover. I'm not going to mention anything else because he has pis-ed me the f'ck off!

Julian Etheridge
SSgt 1974 - 1985

re: the LATEST phony... geez ! is there anything RIGHT with that uniform ? I meet them all the time... usually send them creeping back under a rock, but not as well as my daughter (meanest BAM that ever survived the 2nd) who is so "in your face" that they RUN for cover. Keep finding them and we'll keep stomping on their warped egos.

"Sneaky Pete" Dahlstrom '68-'74

Feel A Kinship

To my fellow Marines and Countrymen,

I recently purchased a stainless steel wristband (it is listed under bracelets on the Sgt. Grit store). I encourage all to get one. When I ordered it, I had no idea whose name would be honored on it. Mine came with the name Cpl. Roger C. Gaughan. I will let you research what happened to him like I did. Suffice to say that he was a twenty year old man at the time of his demise. I have no compunction about calling a twenty year old a man. He was a Marine, therefore a man, and is currently guarding the streets of heaven.

The point I am trying to make here, is that as a result of wearing this steel wristband, I feel a kinship towards a man that I have never met. Importantly though, it gets civilians to ask questions about the nature of this steel wristband. For a few minutes, at least, I can get them to forget about the Kardashian's, Brangelina, and Paris Hilton and think of the world's finest men and women who are out there right now defending this great country of ours. To think of the men and women who are putting their lives on the line at this very moment for us.

I believe I read this on the Sgt. Grit newsletter, 'The reason you sleep safely in your bed is because rough men stand ready in the night, prepared to do violence upon those who would try and harm you.'

Get a wristband and get people to think, if only for a few minutes, about the world's finest men and women who stand ready in the night for us.

Semper Fidelis,

PFC, LCPL, PFC Robert Wiser.

POW/MIA/KIA Bracelet

Boot Camp - Parris Island

You Can't make this Up!

We had a guy in our platoon who had a really nervous tic, (he would jerk has head up and down when he showed fear in front of the Senior D.I.). The D. I. would go off on him, and he would really get worse. The next day the D. I. had a clipboard- when the guy jerked his head - the D. I. would smack him in the head with the clipboard- after we graduated he had no more tic- he was cured- his mother approached the D. I.- and said, "Thank You so much for helping my son." The D. I. had told the recruit , " If you tell your momma how I cured you- I'll slit your throat."

The rest of the story is every time he smacked the recruit - I laughed, and had to do 50 or so push-ups, or maybe 10 or 15 chin-ups each time the guy was swatted - I had a stomach like a brick, and strong arms to boot.

While this is not funny- Boot Camp is an experience that we all do strange things to compensate our own shortcomings.

Next story is really a riot- we had a recruit who was maybe 5' 1" or so with a big nose, and really skinny- who had problems with excessive p.t.- he could not have the stamina of us others and got yelled at all the time- one day he snapped and stomped his foot- and balled up his fists and told the junior D. I. that, "you crossed the line and finally p-ssed me off." First the Jr D. I. laughed in his face and bounced him of the wall, and told him to calm down- we all laughed and then the Jr D. I. said." Bender give me 100 push-ups".

I had a problem with disassembling and reassembling the rifle- one recruit who was a slow book learner and we helped each other- he showed me a way to do it so I could do it blind folded, ( A really easy method- that helped me a lot- and I mentored him in memorizing things we were required to know.) It seem we were always trying to help each other as we all were punished for the slow learners.

One recruit could not get up the rope- every time he faltered the D. I. would jab him in the butt with as bayonet- he finally got up the rope one day -and he went to sick bay and the doctor called the series commander to report the knife wounds on his butt- the recruit said he did not know how he got them. The D. I.'s could beat the h-ll out of us- we were scared and learned that we existed by a set of rules- and you did not cross the line.

I do not think that the newer method of keeping hands off recruits is really a better way of training someone- the bottom line lives are at stake- and In 1963 then D. I.'s could knock the heck out of us- and I still respect the methods used then as opposed to now!

Respectfully Submitted

Bruce Bender
1963-1967 CPL

SSgt In 18 Months

Sgt. Grit, I have been reading all these wonderful accounts that took place while in active duty in the greatest fighting force in the world! The United States Marines. I am now eighty years old and I attended the USA & Marine War College. I was introduced to five Marine Col's who had just returned from Deployment in Iraq.

One of the Col's was from my old Squadron HMR-161.We were the first helicopter SQ. to perfect Vertical Invellopment. We were assigned to First Marine Division as T.A.D. Due to that every Marine Div. now has a helicopter squadron organic to Division. I served In Korea with HMR.161 in 1952.I attended First Marine Division NCO. School at the Divisions forward command post .I was Marine Air Wing assigned to Line Co. for 30 days. My rank was Sgt. when I volunteered for Div. NCO. School. Due to that training I was promoted to S/Sgt. I made S/Sgt in 18 months so I never had a hash mark on my sleeve.

Respectfully Submitted.
Former S/Sgt George S. Archie
Korea 1951 - 1954

Kaman HOK-1

Kaman HOK A former U.S. Marine Corps Kaman HOK-1 Huskie helicopter (BuNo 139974) at the Pima Air and Space Museum, Tucson, Arizona (USA), in 2006. The HOK-1 was redesignated OH-43D in 1962. It wears the markings of Marine Helicopter Squadron One (HMX-1), nicknamed "The Nighthawks", based at Marine Corps Air Facility Quantico, Virginia (USA). The squadron was and is responsible for the helicopter transportation of the president of the United States, vice president, cabinet members and VIPs.

James H. Macklin

The chopper is a Kaman HOK-1, it's parked on the slab at the Hanger at the south end of the landing strip at Futema MCAS. I was probably there when this picture was taken. Our Squadron was VMO-2. One of the best duty stations I had.
Cpl. J. Bradshaw, 1895xxx

To LCpl. Wilson. The picture of a chopper is called the Kaman HH43 Huskie. AKA the eggbeater because of the configuration of the two main rotor blades.
Jeffrey A. Ashman
Sgt. E-5 USMC 1971 TO 1977

This chopper is a Kaman HOK-1.
I was w/ the 3rd MAW in Okinawa when we got these aircraft in. Our company put them together. They were used for emergency evacuations, cargo and observation. This was a very interesting aircraft.

Sgt Richard Hotchkiss
3rd MAW

In reply to LCpl Wilson's query about info on his pictured helicopter is the following from Wikipedia:

"The Kaman (Model 600) HH-43 Huskie was a helicopter used by the United States Air Force, the United States Navy and the United States Marine Corps from the 1950s until the 1970s. It was primarily used for aircraft firefighting and rescue in the close vicinity of air bases, but was later utilized as a short range overland search and rescue aircraft during the Vietnam War. Under the U.S. Navy's pre-1962 aircraft designation system, U.S. Navy and U.S. Marine Corps versions were originally designated as the HTK, HOK or HUK, contingent upon their use as training, observation or utility aircraft."

If you spent any time around Air Stations, you'd see this little booger with a little red ball fire extinguisher slung below, hovering close by any time there was an aircraft emergency.

I first saw one at Camp Pendleton in the summer of 1963, enjoying my (successful) Marine Corps indoctrination as a Devil Pup. I could see by the way the pilot demonstrated the H-43 capabilities that the Red Baron had been fully reincarnated. All the yanking and banking in a small radius rivaled the most severe carnival ride in up-chuck potential.

To borrow a phrase from author Tom Clancy, "...helicopters don't fly, they just vibrate until the earth rejects them."

GySgt R. James Martin (USMC veteran) 1964-1980
RVN: 10 Mar 1966 - 15 Aug 1968

I believe L/CPS Wilson's photo shows a bird from VMO-2, but this was significantly before my time, and I can't swear to it.

Again, unless I'm mistaken, the Kaman Company is still in business today, offering their services as Kaman Aero, and incidentally selling small guitar amplifiers. Guess that last statement belongs in Ripley's Believe it or Not.

Semper Fi and thanks for the newsletter!
Earl Needham, CPL, USMCO (out)

LCpl Wilsons' picture of a Helicopter in Oki in 60-61 is an HOK. Later designated as an H-43, I think. They were an observation Helo and flown by the VMO squadrons. Grew quite familiar with them at the Pendleton MCALF in the same time frame.
R/S Pat Farmer MSgt(ret.)

LCpl Wilson's picture is of a HOK, called the Hooky Took. It was the light helo that preceded the venerable HUEY. It had fiberglass covered balsa wood blades and you couldn't fly it in the rain.

J. M. "Mike" Jeffries
Capt. USMC Ret.

To your reader inquiring about the helicopter in Okinawa around '60-61... These were mostly used as short hop rescue helos near bases in 'Nam. They served other purposes.

Semper Fi Comrades!

The helo in the article by L/Cpl Wilson is a Kaman UH-43 Husky. In Nam the were used for SAR (Search and Air Rescue); along with fire rescue. They were a true "egg beater" since the rotor pylons were only about 4 feet apart and the rotor blades intermeshed under power. Never saw any blades hit, but it sure looked like they would all the time.

The rotor disks were tilted to what looked to be about 20°. Very stable bird in the air, great work horse in ‘Nam.

"In Vietnam, the Huskie was deployed in 1964 for Search & Rescue where it flew more SAR missions than all other aircraft combined - with the best safety record of any U.S. military aircraft.

A Huskie on rescue alert could be airborne in approximately one minute. It carried two rescue men/fire-fighters and could mount a fire suppression kit slung beneath the craft. It often reached crashed airplanes before ground vehicles arrived. Foam from the kit plus the powerful downwash air from the rotors were used to open a path to trapped crash victims to permit their rescue.

As a Marine Corps Observation Helicopter the HH-43 was designated HOK-1. The U.S. Navy Utility Helicopter designation was HUK-1."

Bill Wilson (no relation)
Ky Ha & Phu Bai, RVN

LCpl Wilson asked about the pictured helicopter, it was called an HOK (sometimes referred to as a Helicopter Officer Killer). It had two side by side, counter rotating blades and sounded different than any other helo I have ever heard. One time while in the field at Camp Pendleton (in 60-61), the CG dropped by in one of the HOK's and I was close enough to see that it had no room for cargo and only seats for four. It didn't stick around the Corps very long.
L. H. Marshall

'64-'65... Edson range was fairly new... on Camp Pendleton, but used only for recruit marksmanship training, Camp Matthews having been closed (most of Matthews is now, and has been for quite a few years, under a college campus)... on record day (Friday), DI's who were between platoons, or otherwise unemployed, would be sent up from MCRD San Diego, to act as 'Line Verifier' NCO's... each having 3-4 firing points to supervise, both for safety and honesty purposes (e.g., once heard of a recruit, who was one h-ll of a shot with an M-14, who told a senior officer that he was really enjoying the range, but was getting a little tired, as it was his third time on the 500 yard line... seems he had been changing shooting jackets (with name tape) with other recruits in his platoon... who were not likely to have qualified...

DI's with "a 100% platoon" were 'water-walkers"... anything under 95% was not career-enhancing.) Anyway... my turn, had a couple targets close to the center of the line. The recruit on one of 'my' firing points had had a great day... word had gone up and down the line that there was a shooter in one of the relays who might set a new range record (250 possible). He was somewhere around a 240... had no rounds left in his 10-round board ammo holder... and was having a problem with his M-14. I held my hand up for recognition by the center of the line, and was granted permission to go up on the firing point. The youngster was trying to get the bolt closed... which wasn't gonna happen. I cleared the weapon, handed his last round back to him, and advised "the pointy end goes toward the target"... Am sure he shot a far better score than I ever did in 24 years, but at that point, he was just a little bit excited... 'score board fever' will do that to ya...

The M-1 rifle, commonly referred to as 'the Garand', or, the U.S. Rifle, Caliber .30, M1, being a gas-operated weapon, has to have some way for the gas to get to the working end of the operating rod... which is accomplished by means of a small hole... about 4" from the muzzle. and at the 6 o'clock position, The condition of the rifle bore was duly noted, at the time of issue, after visual inspection by an officer, on page 20 of the enlisted service record book. ('digital calculators', or 'digital computers' at the time would have been somebody from the sticks, and a laptop was where you hoped you could get your date to sit (would have said West Virginia, but lots of those guys know how to use dynamite....) and who counted on their fingers/toes....and don't ask them to count higher than 20... you could get arrested.

The inspection was accomplished with the means of a 'borescope'... rare piece of equipment, resided either in the Bn Armorer's tool box, or maybe the 1stSgt's safe... but an item that could strike fear into the heart of anyone who was not totally confident of the condition of the bore of his rifle. (the borescope is inserted into the chamber, has a mirror that reflects light up the bore) "Page 20 inspection... fall out with your rifles"... those were always, and intentionally, a surprise... and could cause frantic swabbing of bores with all sorts of prohibited items... steel wool, silicone cloth, commercial solvent (Hoppe's #9??)

Being found with a 'pit' in the bore that was not there when the rifle was issued, was good for office hours (Article 15), if not something more severe. I have seen strong men blanch when a 2ndLt, trying to be funny, would call out to the Gunny with the clipboard, "deep pit, 6'O'clock... four inches from the muzzle". From memory, there is a wonderful passage in Martin Russ's book about Korea, 'The Last Parallel' about what he dreamed about doing with his M1... it involves setting on top of a mound of cigarette butts with his rifle... and micturating (lookit up) down the barrel...

Chemistry lesson:... knew it was spotless, just knew it... had even had the trigger housing group apart (a no-no) to really, really clean that rifle... shoes/cover shined to a fare-thee- well, emblems M'nu'd, brass glistening... and in the bright sunlight, there, on the side of the trigger, where it passed into the base of the trigger housing group, was... a spot... not a defect in the bluing... not a spot made with PL Special oil... but a RED spot... not real big, but a RED spot!

OHMAHGAWD... I'm going to the brig!... have no idea how I could have missed it, how it got there, etc... but it was a RED spot. The inspecting officer, apparently satisfied with the uniform, the shine on the leather, the cleanliness of the bore, the manual of arms, and all that, noticed the RED spot, and asked "Corporal Dickerson... is that RUST I see on your trigger?"... "Nosir... that's ferrous oxide". He bought it... in the sense that he knew... and I knew that he knew, and that he knew that I knew that he knew... in my book, that's leadership... so, if the former Lt. Rafel Becerra of C Co, 1st AT Bn happens to see this... I owe you...


Definition at end of newsletter. It will make you laugh if you haven't already guessed it.
Sgt Grit


Finest Fraternity in the world
Submitted by Louis Weaver

Finest Fraternity In the World

See more USMC Tattoos

Upcoming Reunions

7th Engineer Battalion Vietnam Veterans Association Reunion

Dear Sgt. Grit,
Would you please announce the 14th Annual 7th Engineer Battalion Vietnam Veterans Association Reunion in your publication, website and/or newsletter?

"Welcome Home Reunion", Branson, MO - September 20 - 23, 2012

The United States Marine Corps 7th Engineer Battalion Vietnam Veterans Association will be holding its 14th annual reunion at the Radisson Hotel Branson located on the "strip" in Branson, MO.

For registration information, visit and look under REUNIONS on Home Page or contact Norm Johnson @ 989-635-6653, Doug McMackin @ 623-466-0545 or Jim Taranto @ 518-567-4267.

Thank you,
Harry Dill, Secretary
7th Engineer Battalion Vietnam Veterans Association
704-708-9865 or

See More Reunions


"The Marines have landed and the situation is well in hand."
--Attributed to Richard Harding Davis (1864-1916)

"For their happiness such a government willingly labors, but it chooses to be the sole agent and the only arbiter of that happiness; it provides for their security, foresees and supplies their necessities, facilitates their pleasures, manages their principal concerns, directs their industry, regulates the descent of property, and subdivides their inheritances: what remains, but to spare them all the care of thinking and all the trouble of living?"
--Alexis de Tocqueville, 1835

"The Marines I have seen around the world have the cleanest bodies, the filthiest minds, the highest morale, and the lowest morals of any group of animals I have ever seen. Thank God for the United States Marine Corps!"
-- Eleanor Roosevelt, First Lady of the United States, 1945

"They're on our right, they're on our left, they're in front of us, they're behind us; they can't get away from us this time."
--Chesty Puller, USMC, Chosin Reservoir, Korean War

"The tree of liberty requires watering from time to time with the blood of tyrants and patriots."
--Thomas Jefferson

"They (Women Marines) don't have a nickname, and they don't need one. They get their basic training in a Marine atmosphere, at a Marine Post. They inherit the traditions of the Marines. They are Marines."
--LtGen Thomas Holcomb, USMC Commandant of the Marine Corps, 1943

"Let us therefore rely upon the goodness of the Cause, and the aid of the supreme Being, in whose hands Victory is, to animate and encourage us to great and noble Actions -- The Eyes of all our Countrymen are now upon us. ... Let us therefore animate and encourage each other, and shew the whole world, that a Freeman contending for Liberty on his own ground is superior to any slavish mercenary on earth."
--George Washington, 1776

"My father gave me the greatest gift anyone could give another person, he believed in me."
--Robert Rossi

"Controversy equalizes fools and wise men - and the fools know it."
-- Oliver Wendell Holmes

"A politician is a fellow who will lay down your life for his country."
--Texas Guinan

"The people think the Constitution protects their rights: Government sees an obstacle to be over-come."

"I want the people of America to be able to work less for the government and more for themselves. I want them to have the rewards of their own industry. This is the chief meaning of freedom. Until we can reestablish a condition under which the earnings of the people can be kept by the people, we are bound to suffer a very severe and distinct curtailment of our liberty."
--President Calvin Coolidge (1872-1933)

"It is only when you are able to do things that other people don't approve that you are free."
--Thomas Sowell

"A Ship without Marines is like a garment without buttons."
--Adm. David Dixon Porter, USN in a letter to Colonel Commandant John Harris, USMC, 1863

Definition of MICTURATE

intransitive verb
: urinate
- mic*tu*ri*tion ?mik-ch?-'ri-sh?n, ?mik-t?- noun

Latin micturire to desire to urinate, from meiere to urinate; akin to Old English migan to urinate, Greek omeichein First Known Use: 1842

"I have more flight time jumping out of the back of six-bys, than you have in the Marine Corps."

Marines show their pride. We were in the Marine Corps, not "the service."

Semper Fi
Sgt Grit

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