Sgt Grit Newsletter - 02 JAN 2014

In this issue:
• Support Our Marines
• Realistic Training In The Air Wing
• God Bless America

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G'day Sarge,

Just a quick note to wish you and your loved ones a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

Cheers... Chris

a.k.a. NORAD Santa


Support Our Marines

Sgt. Grit,

Since it's the holidays, and people are in good spirits, I thought of something to relate to our Marines of something that happened to me. I was working as a security guard at a high profile facility. Usually checking I.D.'s and screening people who entered one area. I had a cloth case that I carried every day, and wore a suit with my various Marine Corps Lapel Pins (proudly displayed for all to see, most of the time I was considered like a column or statue as people pass by, and ignored me, but I did my job.) A few engaged me in conversation on the way in or out. My bag was ripped and I was planning on buying a new one in the near future. One day, one of the people at this facility hands me a package as he leaves for the day! When I get home and unwrap it, it is a cloth like briefcase with the Marine Corps Emblem on the front, and huge United States Marine Corps on the front of the flap. The next day, I told the gentleman that I couldn't accept it as I hardly knew him, and couldn't accept gifts. He said if I can serve my country, than I could accept this from someone who is more than happy to support our "Marines".

Do not work there anymore - but I use this cloth briefcase - cloth bag daily, and display it proudly. It is nice to be remembered and I still wear my Lapel Pins proudly. It happened about 3 years ago around Christmas.

A Happy New Year to all of you out there.

Bruce Bender
1963-1967 Cpl.

Realistic Training In The Air Wing

After three years in the Corps two of which was on "The Rock" (Hawaii), I finally rotated back to the land of the big PX. In my case, that meant MCAS Cherry Point, North Carolina. My MOS was jet mechanic and I got assigned to VMGR-252 which was just transitioning to C-130s. After three years in the Air Wing, I was pretty salty. So, whenever things like rifle inspections or junk on the bunks were scheduled, the general attitude of us old salts was that it was a grand waste of time.

In the fall of 1963, a month before Kennedy was assassinated; our CO thought it would be a great idea if all the enlisted men in the squadron get re-trained in the gas chamber. After the gas chamber, we were to assemble, for more training to demonstrate what a patrol would encounter in the bush. This was led by instructors with whistles that they blew when we were supposed to perform some function or other, such as hit the dirt.

The bush in North Carolina was the woods around the base. Since it was in the fall, the leaves were mostly off the trees and very dry. After leaving the gas chamber, with all the discomfort we remembered from boot camp, and carrying our gas masks on our web belt, we were marched off, single file down a path in the woods. The instructors informed us that somewhere along the path, probably at a bend, a machine gun would open up on us. When we heard the instructor's whistle we would obediently hit the dirt on both sides of the path. We also had M-14s and three rounds of blanks apiece.

After a few minutes, we heard the machine gun and whistles. Three of our instructors had set up a light machine gun (with blanks) and were firing bursts in our direction. We were directed to lie there and wait for orders while these guerilla wannabes would have been chopping us up if they had real bullets. The thought occurred to me to put a stop to this mickey mouse sh-t and get back in time for liberty. I was on a hillside, around a bend just out of eyesight of the machine gunners. I put a round in the chamber and crawled around the hill so as to come up in back of them. There they were, three of them manning the machine gun, looking down the path towards the rest of the troops they were shooting at. I crawled to about twenty yards up to them, rose up and cranked off my first round at the gunner. This is when I wish we had been using live rounds. Gas operated weapons like the M14 do not operate on semi-auto so I had to hand crank another round before shooting the next guy. At this point, all three rose up to face me, including the guy I just killed, and commenced to chew my azs out for not following the program! At that same time there was a pop at my feet, and white smoke rose up to envelop me. In no time I was on my knees, gasping for air and clawing for my mask. The guy I had just "killed" had popped off a tear gas grenade at my feet. The grenade also started a fire in the dry leaves. The gunner and his cronies had the foresight to don their own masks before attacking me. The NCO in charge of the operation then ordered me to stamp out the fire even though I was still writhing on the forest floor from effects of the gas. I ruined their little show and tell and now had to pay for it. If I had real bullets for my weapon I'd have saved our patrol and probably been awarded a medal. So much for realistic training in the Air Wing.

Norm Spilleth
Cpl. 1960-1964

Wounded Marine Banner

Bless Their Hearts

I too spent Christmas at Parris Island in 1979, Platoon 1091. Of course we were told to write home and tell all family members, 'Do Not Send' any gifts as they would be confiscated until we graduated. Guess what, Mom & Dad, bless their hearts sent me, of all things an Electric Razor. Can't even remember how many push-ups I had to do that night. 30 years later, I still have that Electric Razor (for the memories). Boot Camp always stays with you.

Semper Fi
Preston Engle

P.S. - Also got Guard Duty Christmas Night around the Little Gas Station at the Entrance.

PFC A Second Time

Sgt. Grit,

Just read the letters from the Marines re their Christmas times in the Corps.

I graduated Boot Camp MCRD SD I think the 22nd of Dec 1956 and our herd was immediately if not sooner loaded onto the bus so kindly provided by the Marine Corps, and trucked to Camp Pendleton MCRD and deposited. They had not expected us and had no staff or a place to put us so we were sent on "Boot Leave". This was the start to my time in the Corps. Made PFC and got my USMC tattoo; planning on buying dress blues when I made Cpl. Blues without the Blood Stripe was a pretty ugly item in my opinion. But I made PFC a second time so did not ever get my Blues.

My basic contribution to the Corps was to keep a billet open for a real Marine coming in after me. But I had fun and learned a lot during my enlistment, and truly enjoy reading of the exploits of those real Marines.

Welcome Home!

Semper Fi,
Larry Hudgens
Class of 1956

Lifted Spirits A Bit

Christmas, 1968, was spent on hill 55 playing Regimental Air Officer to the 7th Marines. About midnight, Christmas eve, someone popped off a flare. In a minute or so, every hill and outpost in the DaNang area was popping off flares and illumes of every color available. It looked like the Fourth of July. They must have popped a Million dollars' worth of ordinance. We got a msg. from division the next day stating in no uncertain terms that there 'Would Not Be A Recurrence Of Such'. Sure made for a pretty Christmas though and lifted spirits a bit.

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

God Bless America

Amen, and God Bless America & all our troops near and far active or retired.

It is my #1 prayer that all our troops come home soon safely to be reunited with their families, loved ones, and countries.

It is because these honorable men and women that we as Americans enjoy our freedom, and live in the home of the brave.

It is with the most humble gratitude and recognition I give to all our military each and every day!

Thank you Sgt. Grit and all your employees for doing a fantastic job, please keep up the great work.

Wishing everyone everywhere a safe, healthy, happy and prosperous New Year in 2014, and throughout every year thereafter.

Priscilla Delgado & Proud US Marine Family

You're Right On Time

When I joined the Corps in Sept. 1951 needless to say I did not make it home for Christmas that year. I then went to Cherry Point and served with the Air Wing until I volunteered for Duty across the Seas (Korea). Orders came through and after some additional training we embarked on the MSTS General Meigs and were at sea for that Christmas. Arrived in Korea Jan. 1953. In late Nov. 1953 received orders back to the states.

After a time at Itami air base in Japan we were awaiting orders and I was sure that as almost all of us were with the Air Wing we would be flying home. How foolish. We were standing in formation and names started being read by our Captain. My name came up and some 60 plus of us were advised that we were going to be the guard company on dependent ship the MSTS Sultan. Some 12-14 days later we arrived in San Francisco and then to Treasure Island. More physicals and processing and new uniforms and the clock was ticking. Could I get home before Christmas? Orders finally came through and I was to go to Camp Lejeune after 7 days leave. Now how do I get to Boston, MA? Hundreds of troops up and down the coast were trying to get home. Finally 1-1/2 days later, got a ride to LA and got a plane to Buffalo NY. Then hours later a flight to Boston. Arrived at 2:30 PM the day before Christmas.

The story is not over. Orders were to report to Lejeune New Year's Eve. Due to (travel?) problems did not make it until the next evening. As I approached the main gate I was immediately taken by the Corporal of the guard to the OD's office. Lo & behold, he had been one of my officers when in Korea. He looked at me and said, "you're right on time so get the H-ll out of my sight." Sure had a lot of luck that December.

Cpl. L. A. Whalen, USMCR

Short Graduation Party

Marines of Ground Radio Repair School 1971

In April of 1971 I finished Ground Radio Repair School at 29 Palms. I believe my class was the first to graduate after the school moved to the Palms. There were 9 of us. LCPL Britt received a meritorious promotion to Corporal and remained at the school as an instructor. The graduates got to pick their next duty station in order of class standing. There was not much choice. There were 3 sets of orders for Camp Lejeune and the rest were for, you guessed it 29 Palms.

LCPLs Harold Berg, John Weyl, and Jim Grimes were going to North Carolina. I only had 7 days leave left on the books, but if I went by POV I knew I could get 5 days travel time instead of 1 day if I flew. Berg did not want to drive the entire way alone so I volunteered so I could get 4 more days of leave. He would drop me off in St. Joseph, Missouri, and then continue on to Bellows Falls, Vermont.

We had a small short graduation party at a picnic table near the ball fields before we left. It was there I saw another Marine from my hometown, PFC Bob Starr. He had been there for months and I had not ran into him until the day I left, go figure.

LCPL Berg and I finally left sometime around 2-3 PM California time. I cannot remember exactly what model of car he had, only that it was a two door Pontiac V6 4 speed stick shift on the floor, Convertible. We left the main gate and headed east across the desert on a two lane blacktop going 90 miles an hour. We both stayed awake the first 4-5 hours and as I recall it soon got dark. I remember seeing lots of deer or antelope along the road and wondered why we had not hit one.

Keep in mind there were no interstates in that part of the country and I do not remember driving on an Interstate highway until we reached the east side of Denver. We cut across the corner of Arizona and then drove through Las Vegas and reached Grand Junction sometime around midnight. I remember driving alongside a river in Colorado wondering where the cars on the other side were going only to cross a bridge and make a U-turn and drive down the opposite side of the same river.

There were no all-night gas stations in the mountains, but we did stop and get gas at a self-service gas station. You slid a dollar in a slot and got a dollar's worth of gas which was about 3 gallons in those days. The insulation around the steering column was gone and there was a nice breeze coming through that kept you cool. It was not too bad while we were in the desert, but it was quite chilly in the mountains.

I slept for a few hours while Harold drove and vice versa. I woke up as we came screaming down the highway into Denver. Once again keep in mind at that time it was only two lanes. We ate a good breakfast in Strasburg and then hit the road again. I am not sure what the speed limit was on Interstate 70 in those days but I know it was not 85 or 90 which is what we were doing. We passed several Highway Patrolmen, but I think they saw our uniforms and just indicated for us to slow down a bit which we did for a while or until they were out of site.

We stopped in Abilene, Kansas to see the Eisenhower Presidential Library only to find it was closed for some reason. Back in the car we discovered we no longer had 1st gear. No big deal we continued on using the 3 remaining gears.

We took some road out of Topeka and headed toward Atchison, Kansas. To this day I cannot remember which highway it was. We reached Atchison okay, but could not find the bridge to cross the Missouri River. Worse yet we lost 2nd gear. Nursing the car in just two gears we finally found our way across the bridge and finished the trip to St. Joseph arriving at my parent's house sometime around 3 PM.

MapQuest says the trip is 1,648 miles and should take 24-1/2 hours. Keep in mind in 1970 the interstates were not completed until we got to Denver. The trip was closer to 1,800 miles in those days. We made the trip in just over 22 hours and averaged about 85 miles an hour, and lost two gears partway through the trip.

Berg stayed one day and my dad fixed the linkage and then he was on his way to Vermont. I ended up with 2nd Amtracs at Court House Bay and Harold ended up with 2nd Tanks. We saw each other a few times before I got orders to MCAS Kaneohe, Hawaii. I saw him once while on a business trip to Vermont several years ago.

John Weyl got out when his enlistment was up but re-enlisted a few years later. He was a SSGT when he was killed in the Beirut Bombing.

I am sure other Marines have made similar trips in their efforts to get home and see loved ones, but this one was mine and it makes for a great memory.

Sitting left to right:

Bill Bradley from Fullerton, California
Britt from Buffalo, NY
John Weyl deceased
Reid Hohnholt from Wheatland, WY

Standing left to right:

Gary Depue from Columbus, Ohio
Pekaar not sure
Jim Grimes Wathena, KS
Krych from Philadelphia

I am not sure of some of the first names. I have spoken with Reid Hohnholt several times and he now lives in Washington. I had dinner once with Gary Depue in Columbus, Ohio several years ago. Harold Berg lives in Florida. I would love to hear from anyone of these Marines.

Sgt. Jim Grimes

Kiss On The Forehead

It was Christmas Eve Day, Dec 24, 1950 when we landed in San Francisco on a C-54 Stretcher Ambulance plane. All of us Marines that were unloaded were wounded and frost-bitten veterans evacuated from the Chosin Reservoir battle, and were some of the very first to arrive back in the U.S. We were held for a day or two at some hospital before being shipped out to military hospitals all over southern California. As they unloaded the plane, we could see that there were several hundred people who had come to the airport to welcome us home. As they carried our stretchers through the crowd, many of those kind folks laid small gift wrapped presents on our stretchers and welcomed us home with tears in their eyes. Some of the military men in uniform also assisted in carrying the stretchers into the hospital which I believe was at Fairfield-Suisan air base. We were placed in several fairly large wards, into beds with white sheets and warm blankets. They told us that telephones would be brought into the Ward, a few at a time, so that each one of us could make a 10 minute call home.

It was early afternoon, and as we were laying there feeling so good that we were finally home, we heard a commotion outside in the hallway; music and singing and a laugh that came from that famous old comedian of the times who went by the name, "Giltersleeve". If you'd ever heard him laugh, you'd never forget it – he was known for it. This group of entertainers burst into our ward with musicians, singers, show girls and were singing Christmas carols, etc. One lady, who was about 17 at the time, that later became a famous actress was none other than Debbie Debbie Reynolds. She welcomed all of us and held each guys hand as she wished all of us a Merry Christmas. Then she climbed up and sat on the side of my bed and sang a beautiful love song and pretending it was just for me. The music was beautiful, her voice was awesome and when she ended the song, she leaned over and kissed me on the forehead. She jumped down as all the guys were cheering and again made her way to each bed and shook hands with each guy. Then this wonderful group left our ward and made their way to other areas of the hospital. I had never forgotten that special moment and as she rose to become a movie star, I always made sure I saw all her movies.

Then in 1985, (35 years later) my wife and I were vacationing in Tahiti, and one day there as I was strolling down the beach, I noticed two ladies sitting on the front porch of a thatched roof beach house at the Hotel where we were staying. I knew immediately that one of them was Debbie Reynolds. I went over and introduced myself and told Debbie that back in 1950 she had climbed up on my bed and had given me a kiss on the forehead, She was definitely surprised and asked, "Where in the heck was that?" I told her about the hospital back in San Francisco and she hugged me and seemed so surprised that I remembered that time so long ago. We became fast friends with her and her manager as we continued our vacation at the Tahitian resort, went to dinner together, and sightseeing, etc. and spent several days together. We still correspond with each other. What a great lady, tender hearted, friendly with everyone and very down to earth. She certainly touched my life and gave this old Marine a Christmas I'll never forget.

Chuck Hitchborn, CW3 Retired
Wpns. Co, 2nd Btn. 5th Marines
1st Prov. Marine Brigade - Korea

Thank You

Thank You

This week's most popular post on the Sgt Grit Facebook page featured an image of a three Marines walking with their weapons over their shoulders. The text around the image reads "For All Of Those Serving And Those Who Have Served On Christmas Day... THANK YOU!"

Below are some of the comments received in reference to this post.

Jon Sackerson - The monsoon started and six V.C. violated the Christmas truce by assaulting a hill our patrol was occupying Dec. 25, 1966. It ended badly for them thanks to a trip flare and a well placed M-60. The monsoon cut us off from our patrol base because the rivers and streams all flooded. It took us weeks to get back. Nothing was flying. I never went on another patrol without a stout rope again. OOHRAA!

Lee Phillips - Stay safe and sight alignment sight picture. Semper Fi!

Chas Roberts - Spent 3 Christmas's in Southeast Asia, one in the field, one at base camp & one in DaNang Airport getting ready to go back to Phillippines. Best one was the one in the field, don't know why but it holds better memories than any other.

Brett O'Berry - We learned Christmas Eve that we were being deployed to Operation Desert Shield. It was 4 days before my 20th birthday.

Steve Phillips - There is never enough THANK YOU that goes out to the the Men and Women who serve our Country. All I can say THANK YOU!

Read more of the 116 comments made about this post on the Sgt Grit Facebook Page.


Submitted By: MARINE Jim McCallum (the ole gunny)
Vol. #7, #8 (Aug., 2017)

The date is April 7th and the place is Marana Regional Airport, Marana Arizona and as usual the weather is pleasant and the sun is shining nice and bright. For those that do not know Marana airport is located about 80 mile south of Phoenix and about 200 miles East of Yuma and just North of Tucson and to the West of Interstate #10.

One only has to wonder why all the people are gathered here. There's a mix of men in there Fire Dept uniforms, civilians and members of the Marine Corps, both former and current.

I'm sure that a lot of you may not remember this particular event but, back on the 8th of April, 2000, a military aircraft crash was reported on a number of the local and National news channels in the Arizona area. The populace were informed that a MARINE Tilt rotor aircraft had crashed at the Marana Regional Airport and 19 MARINE lives were lost in this tragic event. The aircraft was flying in tandem with another V-22 which were both from MARINE Tilt Rotor Training Squadron-204 based at NAS Patuxent River, MD. Reports indicate the Aircraft were part of, and in support of, an Operational Evaluation or OPEVAL when the incident occurred.

According to reports the 2 Aircraft had taken off from MCAS Yuma and were bound for Marana Regional A/P, The mission was to load passengers at Yuma – a simulation of a rescue from, say, an overseas embassy - and fly them to safety.

Various sources indicated that the lead Osprey approached Marana Regional about 2000ft. to high, but rather than circle to shed altitude, the pilot decided to land. He descended dangerously fast, hitting the runway hard. The second Aircraft, with a crew of 4 and 15 fully outfitted MARINES on board followed the lead Aircraft and came down even faster, more than 2000 feet per minute, going just under 45 miles per hour. At 245 feet above the ground the Osprey lost lift in it's right rotor, stalled, rolled over and, before it could issue a "MAYDAY", crashed and exploded, killing everyone on board.

Fourteen MARINES were from the 3rd. Battalion, 5th MARINES, 1st MARINE Div. One MARINE from MARINE Wing Communications Squadron 38. Three were from MARINE Helicopter Squadron #1, and one from MARINE Tilt Rotor Training Squadron 204.

This annual Memorial Service will be conducted at 1000 on the 7th of April, 2012 and is hosted by the Nighthawk 72 Detachment of the Marine Corps League. Family members, first responders, MARINES, former MARINES and guests are welcome.

Pop Eye

Reveille, Reveille, a voice was screaming thru the loud speaker. Suddenly the lights turned on. I rubbed my eyes and looked toward the entrance door. Standing and holding what appeared to be two garbage can lids - a large man who later I laughed about - looked like "pop eye" the Sailor man.

I glanced at my watch, I couldn't believe it was 5 a.m. Rise and Shine maggots pop eye screamed as he walked thru the room. Welcome to your first day in the Navy. You have ten minutes to fall out, form a single file line and we will march to the chow hall so you can experience the finest breakfast food you have ever had. Our chefs have been up early preparing their specialties just for you.

Within minutes every man was up dressed & standing in "formation", our new word of the day. We marched single file, following our leader. I had forgotten how brutal the Chicago Winters were. The sky was still dark, no sign of a moon. Snow banks on both sides of the walk way. As we got closer we could smell the food. Now I realized how hungry I was. As we neared the entry way, we were suddenly stopped. What is the problem somebody asked? We had to wait our turn - the word was passed down the line. My teeth began to chatter as I now was to the point of frozen. Finally the line began to move. Then stopped again. Someone yelled something about moving closer together as we waited in line. We were taking up space. We did learn later the terminology he used in directing us to "get friendly" with the guy in front of you.

Ten minutes have gone by and "pop eye" had originally told us we would have 30 minutes since it was our first day. Again the line moved. Finally I neared the entrance. The chow hall was well lit, men were sitting at long tables. No one was talking. I made it thru the door. Servers in white Chef hats and jackets awaited us. At least it was warm in the old wooden building. I picked up a tray and headed down the line. The server grinned as he slapped a scoop of eggs on a plate. I moved quickly toward the next specialty... something that looked like a meat with cream on it on top of a piece of bread. "SOS" the server said. Wow with minutes to spare I found a seat, gobbled my food. Pop Eye was standing in the doorway arms folded again with that grin. "Fallout" he said. I looked back and some of the guys had never made it in.

Returning to our room (barracks) Pop Eye introduced himself as our Company Commander. He would be our mother for the duration. Our Co number was 33. His "lucky number he said. He stated his name and his rank First Class Petty Officer. He pointed to the red stripes on His sleeve indicated his rank and his insignia. "Boatsman Mate" he said. Further down his sleeve a series of red stripes "hash marks". We counted four representing a total of sixteen years. He said he served aboard a ship & recently been on his Fourth Med cruise to Italy, Spain etc. With nearing the end of retirement he requested to be a "drill instructor" so he could teach new Sailors all he knew. "Pass on the word, Welcome To The Navy".

Dec 21, 1965, we were directed to a class room in another old wooden building. Here we signed some papers, repeated the "Oath" and had our first lesson in Navy protocol etc. We would be here for eight weeks barring illness or other un-foreseen events. We soon found out from our new found "Mother" that most base facilities were closed including Uniform Supply and the Barber shop, no haircuts.

So for the next two weeks we wore the same civilian clothes, found some old Navy PeaCoats Without Buttons, Tied ropes around to the waist to hold the coats closed.

I had enlisted in the Navy for a four year term. The Navy Recruiter promised me to see the World, Sail the High Seas, and a girl in every port. Since I had passed my physical and was destined for the Army Basic and Infantry Training if I signed today he would have me underway before my draft date which was the first week of January. So I gave up Christmas in exchange avoided The Army and VietNam. I would be a Sailor or a "squid".

Fast forward, Dec of 1966, I reported aboard Camp Pendleton Marine Corps Base. For training in Field Medical & Combat Training; a four week Course. Upon Completion, after my graduation I was issued Marine Dress Greens and transferred to Okinawa, Japan, for staging with my ultimate destination being the Republic of VietNam. Assigned to the 3rd Marine Division for further assignments.

Note: The papers I had signed early on called "dream sheet", I listed "Hospital Corpsman" as my last choice per suggestion of "pop eye".

Christmas of 1966, one year later I now was in the Marines. Christmas of 1967, two years later I was in the thick Christmas. Christmas of 1968, I made it back to the "World". Christmas of 1969 I was discharged.

Became engaged to the girl I met in port. (Naval Hospital Orlando). Here I took another Oath, a lifetime enlistment 43 years now.

Semper Fi,
"Doc" Frank Morelli

Jog Your Brain Housing Group

These will jog your brain housing group:

Code of Conduct:

Article I: I am an American, fighting in the armed forces which guard my country and our way of life. I am prepared to give my life in their defense.

Article II: I will never surrender of my own free will. If in command I will never surrender the members of my command while they still have the means to resist.

Article III: If I am captured, I will continue to resist by all means available. I will make every effort to escape and aid others to escape. I will accept neither parole nor special favors from the enemy.

Article IV: If I become a prisoner of war, I will keep faith with my fellow prisoners. I will give no information nor take part in any action which might be harmful to my comrades. If I am senior, I will take command. If not, I will obey the lawful orders of those appointed over me and will back them up in every way.

Article V: When questioned, should I become a prisoner of war, I am required to give name, rank, service, number, and date of birth. I will evade answering further questions to the utmost of my ability. I will make no oral or written statements disloyal to my country and its allies or harmful to their cause.

Article VI: I will never forget that I am an American, responsible for my actions, and dedicated to the principles which made my country free. I will trust in my God and in the United States of America.

11 General Orders:

1. To take charge of this post and all government property in view.

2. To walk my post in a military manner, keeping always on the alert and observing everything that takes place within sight or hearing.

3. To report all violations of orders I am instructed to enforce.

4. To repeat all calls from posts more distant from the guardhouse than my own.

5. To quit my post only when properly relieved.

6. To receive, obey, and pass on the sentry who relieves me, all orders from the commanding officer, officer of the day, and officers and noncommissioned officers of the guard only.

7. To talk to no one except in line of duty.

8. To give the alarm in case of fire or disorder.

9. To call the corporal of the guard in any case not covered by instructions.

10. To salute all officers and all colors and standards not cased.

11. To be especially watchful at night and, during the time for challenging, to challenge all persons on or near my post and to allow no one to pass without proper authority.

The Marine's Prayer:

Almighty Father, whose command is over all and whose love never fails, make me aware of Thy presence and obedient to Thy will. Keep me true to my best self, guarding me against dishonesty in purpose and deed and helping me to live so that I can face my fellow Marines, my loved ones, and Thee without shame or fear. Protect my family.

Give me the will to do the work of a Marine and to accept my share of responsibilities with vigor and enthusiasm. Grant me the courage to be proficient in my daily performance. Keep me loyal and faithful to my superiors and to the duties my Country and the Marine Corps have entrusted to me. Help me to wear my uniform with dignity, and let it remind me daily of the traditions which I must uphold.

If I am inclined to doubt, steady my faith; if I am tempted, make me strong to resist; if I should miss the mark, give me courage to try again.

Guide me with the light of truth and grant me wisdom by which I may understand the answer to my prayer.

NCO Creed:

I am an NCO dedicated to training new Marines and influencing the old. I am forever conscious of each Marine under my charge, and by example will inspire him to the highest standards possible. I will strive to be patient, understanding, just, and firm. I will commend the deserving and encourage the wayward.

I will never forget that I am responsible to my Commanding Officer for the morale, discipline, and efficiency of my men. Their performance will reflect an image of me.

Marine Corps Rifleman's Creed:

This is my rifle. There are many like it, but this one is mine. It is my life. I must master it as I must master my life. Without me my rifle is useless. Without my rifle, I am useless. I must fire my rifle true. I must shoot straighter than the enemy who is trying to kill me. I must shoot him before he shoots me. I will. My rifle and I know that what counts in war is not the rounds we fire, the noise of our burst, or the smoke we make. We know that it is the hits that count. We will hit.

My rifle is human, even as I am human, because it is my life. Thus, I will learn it as a brother. I will learn its weaknesses, its strengths, its parts, its accessories, its sights and its barrel. I will keep my rifle clean and ready, even as I am clean and ready. We will become part of each other.

Before God I swear this creed. My rifle and I are the defenders of my country. We are the masters of our enemy. We are the saviors of my life.

So be it, until victory is America's and there is no enemy.

Drill Instructor's Creed:

These are my recruits. I will train them to the best of my ability. I will develop them into smartly disciplined, physically fit, basically trained Marines, thoroughly indoctrinated in love of Corps and country. I will demand of them, and demonstrate by my own example, the highest standards of personal conduct, morality, and professional skill.

Corps Values: Honor, Courage, and Commitment

Honor: Honor requires each Marine to exemplify the ultimate standard in ethical and moral conduct. Honor is many things; honor requires many things. A U.S. Marine must never lie, never cheat, never steal, but that is not enough. Much more is required. Each Marine must cling to an uncompromising code of personal integrity, accountable for his actions and holding others accountable for theirs. And, above all, honor mandates that a Marine never sully the reputation of his Corps.

Courage: Simply stated, courage is honor in action -- and more. Courage is moral strength, the will to heed the inner voice of conscience, the will to do what is right regardless of the conduct of others. It is mental discipline, an adherence to a higher standard. Courage means willingness to take a stand for what is right in spite of adverse consequences. This courage, throughout the history of the Corps, has sustained Marines during the chaos, perils, and hardships of combat. And each day, it enables each Marine to look in the mirror -- and smile.

Commitment: Total dedication to Corps and Country. Gung-ho Marine teamwork. All for one, one for all. By whatever name or cliché, commitment is a combination of (1) selfless determination and (2) a relentless dedication to excellence. Marines never give up, never give in, never willingly accept second best. Excellence is always the goal. And, when their active duty days are over, Marines remain reserve Marines, retired Marines, or Marine veterans. There is no such thing as an ex-Marine or former-Marine. Once a Marine, always a Marine. Commitment never dies.

Staff NCO Creed:

I am a Staff Noncommissioned Officer in the United States Marine Corps. As such, I am a member of the most unique group of professional military practitioners in the world. I am bound by duty to God, Country, and my fellow Marines to execute the demands of my position to and beyond what I believe to be the limits of my capabilities.

I realize I am the mainstay of Marine Corps discipline, and I carry myself with military grace, unbowed by the weight of command, unflinching in the execution lawful orders, and unswerving in my dedication to the most complete success of my assigned mission.

Both my professional and personal demeanor shall be such that I may take pride if my juniors emulate me, and knowing perfection to lie beyond the grasp of any mortal hand, I shall yet strive to attain perfection that I may ever be aware of my needs and capabilities to improve myself. I shall be fair in my personal relations, just in the enforcement of discipline, true to myself and my fellow Marines, and equitable in my dealing with every man.


I never met John Cornish personally... he lived in the Midwest and I live on the West Coast... A few years ago, I used Sgt Grit to inquire about "The Making of a Marine"... it was a 78RPM record that was made about the time I got out of MCRDSD in the early '60s... I had damaged my record and was asking if anyone had one that they would part with or sell to me... John Cornish answered me... he had one and made a CD that me mailed to me... Since then, we have been corresponding via email. In his last update on his health, John told me that he was going to be "away for 30 days" while he was administered an experimental chemotherapy drug... John has now moved on to his new duty station... Square away those guarding the gates to Heaven, John! Semper Fi... I will miss your friendship!

Howard Hada
Sea Going
USS Princeton LPH5

Short Rounds

Bob Hope Show Da Nang 1967 distant view

Bob Hope Show Da Nang 1967 close up

I caught the Bob Hope Show in Da Nang 1967.

Michael Lopez

Hey Sgt,

Just wanted to tell ya that on Friday the 13th of Dec. 2013, it has been 56 years since I left the island! It has been a lucky day for me ever since!

B. OTIS, '57/'60

Sgt. Grit,

I greatly enjoy your newsletter and reading the stories about the "old Corps", I myself am not a Marine yet, but with my grandfather serving during Vietnam and my father serving during the 1980's, I will join as soon as I'm eligible. Reading all these stories, and hearing the ones from my grandfather truly is an inspiration to join The Marine Corps, the stories and Marines in your newsletter are a living piece of history. I read every one, hoping to remember as many as I can. God bless all current serving and past serving Marines.

Robert Clement II

Hi Sgt [and team],

I never cared too much for "Sgt's, until you [and my own in Korea], but my best wishes to you [and team] - for the Holidays!

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas Sgt. Grit & Staff,

As I mentioned before, the government saw fit to pull the Marine Reserve unit out of Stead, NV. just north of Reno. So, the Battle born Det. #672 of the Marine Corps League was tasked with carrying out the Toys For Tots program here in Reno. The reserve unit collected 27,000 toys last year so we set 30,000 toys for our objective goal. I am happy to report that we have exceeded our goal this year.

Semper Fi
William Reed

I was in Vietnam on Christmas of 1969, but could not go to the Bob Hope show at Freedom Hill. I had perimeter guard duty (day watch). My buddies went and told me it was a great show. We had a little tree (bush) decorated with whatever we could find in our hootch. It was lonely at Christmas being so far from home, but me and my brothers had as good a time as we could.

Ken Kruger

Really now... I served in My Corps from April 1951 to Jun 1971. Never issued or owned a set of Dress Blues. Even did a tour at the Sixth Marine Corps Recruitment District in Atlanta, Ga. from 1959-1961... no blues. Retired at Parris Island still no blues; and I still was not blue (sad). I always felt being a MARINE came from the heart, not from what one wore.

With all due respect for all those that served, In Blues, Greens, or Utilities.

Ed Hayes, Gunnery Sergeant USMC Retired

The water used to 'sprinkle' the grass parade deck at 29 is re-claimed water... tends at times to have a visible greenish hue due to harmless algae, and widely believed to actually be dye to green up the (mostly) Bermuda. Running gag of many years at the treatment plant when visited by a new CG is to offer a glass of greenish water... the Facilities Maintenance Civil Serpents are proud of their product... and one of them will chug the whole glass if the CG declines...



"You go into Afghanistan, you got guys who slap women around for five years because they didn't wear a veil. You know, guys like that ain't got no manhood left anyway. So it's a h-ll of a lot of fun to shoot them. Actually it's quite fun to fight them, you know. It's a h-ll of a hoot. It's fun to shoot some people. I'll be right up there with you. I like brawling."
--Gen. James Mattis

"I come in peace. I didn't bring artillery. But I'm pleading with you, with tears in my eyes: If you f-ck with me, I'll kill you all."
--Gen. James Mattis

"There are only two kinds of people that understand Marines: Marines and the enemy. Everyone else has a second-hand opinion."
--Gen. William Thornson, U.S. Army

"Freedom is not free, but the U.S. Marine Corps will pay most of your share."
--Ned Dolan

"Still wandering around on the DMZ every night!"

I'm here to finish a job no one ever started..."

"I came here to chew gum, take names, and kick azs... I'm outta gum, and my pencil's broke..."

"Don't get p-ssed; re-enlist!"

Semper Fi Mac!
Sgt Grit

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Oklahoma City, OK 73179
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