Sgt Grit Newsletter - 17 MAR 2016

In this issue:
• The Electronic MOS
• Typical Krulak At Work
• Managed To Make Corporal Twice

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Marines Champion Vapor Polo Golf Shirt

Been reading the stories about the Pith Helmets. Here is a picture of me wearing a Marine issue rain hat when I was on a Med Cruise with India 3/2 in 1959. I believe we were on Sardinia.

Cpl (2 stripes) Patrick Arata

Cpl Arata in Sardinia in 1959

The Electronics MOS

I am writing to complement information by Sgt Grimes and to add more info to his story. I live in Rothschild, WI, and perhaps Sgt Grimes and I can connect one day. I live north of him. Our service period overlaps. I too was in radio repair but I was an Aviation Radio Repairman and I was a 2851. I went the same route in January 1971. I went to BES (Basic Electronics School) in San Diego followed by RFS (Radio Fundamentals School) at 29 Stumps. They moved the electronics schools battalion from San Diego to 29 Palms in the middle of my electronics training right after BES. After RFS you went to one of the following: Ground Radio Repair, Radio Relay, Telephone and Teletype or Air Radio as it was called or Aviation Radio in more formal terms, and finally the most complex repair training was called MTDS which was to learn to repair Multi Digital Guidance Systems.

Sgt E.J. Stark
USMC 1970-1973

Typical Krulak At Work

I was stationed at MCRD San Diego when Gen Krulak was the CG there and I remember watching him get out of his car and walk to a building where the sprinkler system was on and water was spraying into the street and not getting on the lawn. He walked through the water sprinklers and then into the building and he brought an officer out of the building and they stood in the middle of the grass being watered and he chewed the officers out and had him turn off the water. He then got back into his car and drove off. That was priceless but it was typical Krulak at work. I loved every minute of it. I worked for him later when he was CG of FMF PAC in Hawaii. You never knew what he would do at any given time.

Joe Blaile Sr.
MGYSGT forever!

Modified To Thank All

Sgt. Grit,

Was in the Corps from 1967 to 1967, was a 0311, came out as an E-5 Sgt. I am a supporter of MIA and POW Veterans from all branches and wars. Decided to have the Eagle, Globe & Anchor modified to thank all Marines that have served.

Ron Knight

Ron Knight Harley motorcycle fairing artwork

City In Motion Platoon

Re: your ending quotes, specifically "Lean back... dig 'em in... heels, heels, heels!"

Our platoon version (255, 1964, MCRDSD – The San Diego, City in Motion Platoon) was (and sounds better) : "Lean back... dig 'em in... Strut, Strut, Strut!"

Sworn in by our Congressman at the Civic Center, the Union-Tribune reporters followed our progress weekly, so the extra attention endeared us to our DIs to no end. So indeed, we learned to strut, even when not drilling.

We qualified 100% at Camp Matthews to the consternation of the other 3 platoons in our series, so along with the strut came puffed out chests. Indeed, San Diego was a City in Motion, as were we.

GySgt R. James Martin
USMC Veteran, 1964 – 1980
RVN: 10 Mar 1966 – 15 Aug 1968

The Yellow-Painted Footprints

I don't recall seeing yellow-painted footprints. I was a recruit at Parris Island (PISC) in September 1962 (Plt 168). I was a Drill Instructor at PISC 1967-1968 (3rd Battalion). Since it has been 47 years since I was at PISC, perhaps my memory has faded. Maybe they were there and I never used them. The only alleged evidence I've read is where someone stated they appeared in some graduation photos in the early 60's.

Recently, I have closely scanned the 81 page official document that tells the story of recruit training at PISC, during the early 60's. There are no pictures of footprints! The numerous photos begin with the mission of the Marine Corps, recruits arriving in a bus, and end with "Outposting". It's difficult to believe there are no photos of the footprints, if they existed at that time.

When time permits, I will contact Marine Corps historians. I will submit what I learn.

Tom Rutherford, Sr.
Capt USMC (Ret)
Director, Special Security, Space & Defense (Ret)

Basic Electronics

Sgt Grit,


I was sworn into the Marine Corps in Milwaukee on 8 July 1952 and went to boot camp at MCRD/San Diego. Upon completing ICT at Camp Pendleton I was sent to Treasure Island Naval Base for "Basic Electronics" which was taught by USMC personnel. On 4 May 1953, I was transferred to Signal School Battalion at MCRD/San Diego where I completed the course in Ground Radio Repair. Our certificate of completion stated we were qualified as "Radio Repairman" (MOS 2611). Upon completion of that course in August of 1953, four of my classmates were promoted to Corporal and sent back to Treasure Island to teach basic electronics.

I went on to serve a year with the Headquarters Squadron of the First Marine Air Wing in Korea. In the Spring of 1955 while serving at Base Electronics at El Toro MCAS, I was promoted to Sergeant (E4) and my promotion document lists me as having an MOS of 2771. To this day I have never seen any official document indicating the title for MOS 2771.

In those days (early fifties) the Basic Electronics course at Treasure Island graduated a class every two weeks. A similar Basic Electronics class taught by USMC personnel was conducted at Great Lakes Naval Training Station. Those who completed either basic course all went to Signal Battalion in San Diego with the students alternating between Radio Repair and Radar Repair.

The commanding officer of Signal School Battalion in 1953 was Colonel C. R. Nelson. Col. Nelson wore wings and when asked why, responded that he was a pilot who had been grounded one too many times. He claimed the last time was when he and a buddy flew their Corsairs through one of the blimp hangers at Tustin LTA. I later saw just how big those hangers are. Prior to that he said they had both been grounded for flying under a bridge in Long Beach. That conversation took place after some beer at the Signal Battalion picnic held in San Diego County Park in July of 1953. All that and he was still a full Colonel!

The Signal School Battalion picnic was a one of a kind event. It was mandatory one Sunday. We were transported in semi truck type buses(?) to a rural park north of San Diego. Food and beer were trucked in from MCRD. A Staff Sergeant was in charge of entertainment (organized grab azz). Being a typical Marine one of his first events was to challenge a bunch of mostly "eighteen year old" Marines to see who could drink a 12oz bottle of beer the fastest. Yeah, sure! The catch was all the beer bottles had baby bottle nipples on them. The rules said you could shake the bottle but no biting nor hole making of any kind was allowed. It soon became apparent that if one shook the bottle too much the pressure built up to the point where the nipple blew off. I do not recall who won nor what the prize was. The result was some messy looking Marines in summer khaki uniforms. A good thing we were in a desolate county park with no public watching.

View the official history of the USMC Communications Schools

The only thing still missing are the descriptions of the many historic MOS numbers.

Semper Fi!
T. W. Stewart
Sgt. USMC 1952 - 1955

The DI's Responsibility

The reference to Officers training recruits in boot camp was taken out of context. Boot Camp training is for and by the Drill Instructors. It is the DI's responsibility to train and instruct the recruits day by day until graduation. What I was referring to was the type of leadership that the DI's can instill in recruits and take it into the battlefield as Major Wells did on Iwo Jima with his platoon. Marines are taught to take command as leaders are stricken down until the last Marine standing is in charge of the platoon. Sorry for the confusion.

Sgt Ted Shimono

We Called Him Pegleg

Sgt Grit,

Seeing those letters from Gunny K and Glenn Talbot brought back a memory of some of my time at MCRD in C&E SCOLS BN. I was assigned to C&E SCOLS Bn in October 1969 after leaving the fun of Parris Island and Camp Geiger. Where I caught Mess Duty at PI and 5 weeks of Mess Duty waiting for our company to form at Geiger. Arrived on site at MCRD SD for Telephone-Teletype Repair School. We had to finish the Basic Electronics Course prior to heading there though. Unfortunately, my class hadn't formed yet. So what do young Marines awaiting school do? Why mess duty of course. Thirty days later, we were permitted to start our schooling. As I remember, when one attended Basic Electronics, you were assigned to D Company. When that course was completed, the class was assigned to A Company where you were once again the junior class awaiting your class to form. Once again, between classes, most of us caught Mess Duty once again: three weeks this time. There was a pattern forming here with which I wasn't thrilled. Especially after I finished the Teletype-Telephone course. Again, while we waited on the Digital Logics class to form, we caught a week of Mess duty. Only two weeks this time before our class formed. I'll always remember the way the seagulls sat on top the mess hall. They seemed to always be there. I don't know if they left between meals or not but every time I ate, they were there. Of course, since the landfill at the end of the airport runway was so close to the school and mess hall that might have had something to do with their location. There was one particular seagull that stuck out in everyone's memory at the time. We called him "Pegleg" because he only had half a leg on one side. No one knew what happened to the lower part of his leg but it was a matter of conjecture.

One day, as my class marched over for noon chow it was a strange sight. There were no seagulls anywhere to be seen. I don't think anyone had ever seen that before because it was the talk of the Mess deck that day. Turns out the mess hall was serving fried chicken for that meal. I don't think anyone thought anything about it until one Marine received his chicken: a chicken leg with the lower part of the drumstick missing. The Marine getting the leg just screamed "PEGLEG!" and showed it to all those around him. He had the attention of just about all of us on that side of the mess hall and quite a few left early that day. A couple days later, all the seagulls returned and Pegleg was there. So I guess it really was chicken. (I hope that eases your mind SSGT Talbot.)

Before I left MCRD SD, I caught Mess duty one more time, awaiting orders for three more weeks as I waited for Crypto School at Mare Island. When that was finished I was awaiting orders once again. At least there I got to work with the Police Sergeant at the Marine Barracks. He was a Khe Sanh veteran and had some fantastic stories of the siege. My orders finally came in to report to Maintenance Co. 1st Service Bn. 5th Marine Amphibious Brigade (I guess they are called MEB now.) Once again I won the lottery. As the FNG right out of school, I was fully qualified for 30 days of MESS Duty. That was almost the end of it. I caught another 30 days just before I picked up Corporal. Anybody else have 120 days of mess duty in their first two years?

I sure do miss those days of day on stay on with the best people with whom I ever worked! Thanks for this great newsletter that constantly brings those days back into focus.

Richard McCauley
1969 – 1975 USMC, SSgt
1977 – 1989 USMCR, GySgt

Managed To Make Corporal Twice

For Verle Randolph (9 March newsletter)... off by a year on the beginning of the nine enlisted pay grades... Lance Corporal (along with Master Gunnery Sergeant) came into being on 1 January 1959, not 1960. My DOR as Cpl (E-3) was dated 29 December 1958. Long story goes with that, including a request mast with the CO of 1st Anti-Tank Bn... was really disappointed to learn that while I had become an NCO, it was going to take another stripe and a rocker before rating the right to carry a NCO Saber...

Have always had fun with asking Marines of that era how I managed to make Corporal twice, never being busted, and having straight time. Shipped over the first time at TI as a Corporal with the correct chevrons... shortage of new chevrons at the time I made Cpl E-4 meant that some of us got to wear the old Sgt chevrons for a while... which got MacPherson, who really was a Sgt E-4, and me, an invite to the Sergeant's mess at the British Army Barracks in Kowloon when we (2/1/9) were in Hong Kong for a week in May of 1960.


Comm School At San Diego

Concerning the move of BES from Hollywood to the Stumps, and the different MOS given, I had to go down stairs to the "filing room" to get some info. Between Certificates and my DD214, I came up with some info that was/is fairly close. Boot Camp started in March of '66, ITR at Pendleton, leave, and back to Dago for BES as a Private. Made PFC during Basic Electronics, jumped up to LCpl. after fundamentals and at the end of the program the whole class made Cpl. as a school promotion. Basic Electronics was 15 weeks, Radio Fundamentals was 6 weeks, Radio Repair was 12 weeks. Tubed a couple of those in the process but picked up on it and whizzed through in good style. MOS went from 2800 to 2841, then they asked if some of us would like to go to another class they were putting together. They called it FDLC [Fundamental Digital Logic Computer] and if they got enough volunteers we would start in a week. Lots of Casual Company time stuck in there as so many were there for different MOS, things were screwed up to say the least.

A month of FDLC with an instructor who would finish his morning coffee out of a small Styrofoam cup then bite off bits of the cup, chew on them, them swallow the stuff. Weird to say the least. All the guys in the class had scored high enough to get into that class, and the idea was to send them to Ft. Monmouth in New Jersey to TSec Ky8 school for two months. FDLC was in half of on old WW2 Quonset hut where we kind of made our own rules. Stopped by Indiana on the way to take some leave coupled with travel time, and then spent 2 months in the "cage" learning that Secret stuff with a new Secret clearance. Spent time at NAD Earle barracks with a MOS of 2841 doing nothing much except getting money taken out of my wallet by a permanent personnel while I was in the shower. After Crypto school as a 2847, more leave time before going to Pendleton for Staging Battalion. No one knew we were coming and had to fend for ourselves getting a barracks open, chow hall passes and such for almost a week before Gunny showed up and took charge. Nothing like sleeping until 0900 and having some guys with personal cars to run errands off base for things. Got orders and away we went to Vietnam. Got to Nam in late Sept. of '67 and was due to rotate out of MAG-12 Comm at Chu Lai by the sea in Oct. of '69, but took advantage of a new 3 month extension plan for an extra R&R which gave me only two months to do on my enlistment. Had to have a lot more time to keep me in so I got an "early out" and left the now defunct El Toro to head home to the 1st Civvie Divve.

Danny East
Cpl. E-4
MAG-12 Comm
Repair Shop

Veterans Day Tribute At Chick-fil-A

POW - MIA display at Chick-fil-A in Georgia

Article by
Bill Callen
Top Right News

Man walks into Chick-fil-A and is completely blown away when he say this for Vets.

Chick-fil-A, the same fast-food outlet has once again proved a positive to the world. This time it did so by unveiling an amazing Veterans Day tribute that left Georgia resident Eric Comfort in complete shock.

According to a Facebook post he published on Monday, when he walked into a local Chick-fil-A, Comfort discovered a "Missing Man Table" that contained a single rose, a Bible & a folded American flag, as well as a plaque w/in which was the following explanation: "This table is reserved to honor our missing comrades in arms. The tablecloth is white — symbolizing the purity of their motives when answering the call of duty.

The single red rose, displayed in a vase, reminds us of the life of each of the missing and their loved ones and friends of these Americans who keep the faith, awaiting answers. The vase is tied with a red ribbon, symbol of our continued determination to account for our missing. A pinch of salt symbolizes the tears endured by those missing and their families who seek answers. The Bible represents the strength gained through faith to sustain those lost from our country, founded as one nation under God. The glass is inverted — to symbolize their inability to share this evening's toast.

The chair is empty — they are missing."

After the story went viral, the store manager, Alex Korchan, explained to WSB that his team members had set up the table because they "wanted to honor veterans." Furthermore, he offered free meals to all veterans and their family members on Veterans Day. Korchan also put up a poster so that customers could write in the names of loved ones who they have lost. "We've had a lot of people who have come in and seen it and been touched by it," Korchan continued. "It's been special to see."

Short Rounds

Sgt Grit,

Glenn Talbott and I were stationed at MCAS Iwakuni (Station Electronics) during the same period in the mid-60's... I would like to get hold of him again to try and locate a few of the other guys from our shop at the time... Can you please pass this on to him for me... Thanx, Grit!

BTW, the ARC(?) unit that Glenn was talking about was the AN/ARC-55 uhf AM R/T unit that was part of the AN/MRC-87 jeep configuration along with the TRC-75 hf AM/SSB R/T - w/o the ARC-55, the jeep configuration was known as AN/MRC-83 (TRC-75 only).

Jim Mackin
MGySgt - USMC (Ret)
1964 - 1987

Sgt. Grit,

In response to Sgt. O about Gen. Chesty Puller, I was in the brig at Portsmith, New Hampshire in 1955 and Chesty Puller visited us. He said that any Marine that spends time in the brig makes a good Marine...

Pfc Ron Dougherty
Plt. 255, 1953

To Matt Dzubak, 1959-1963, 1841XXX

I was a MOS 2771 completing Great Lakes 16 week electronics training in November 1959 and Ground Radio Repair Course at MCRD San Diego completed in August 1960 as a two stripe Corporal. From there I was transferred to 2nd Amtracs, (Courthouse Bay) H&S and on to A company as Comm Chief still a 2771 until my discharge in February 1963. I believe Matt Dzubak and I were in the same two school classes and served together in 2nd Amtracs. Hello Dzubak!

Cpl E-4 Vince Fischelli

Best quote ever: Parris Island 1977

We were late getting to the Chow hall for lunch one beautiful day in August with the sand fleas buzzing in our ears. We double timed up to the front door of the Chow hall and the Drill Instructor stop us in our tracks.

He said, "OK Maggots! We are having... Duck, Turkey and s-x for lunch... We are going to... Duck in, Gobble it down and get the f-ck out"

It was all we could do to keep from laughing... Just those little things that keep you sane in all that chaos.

Walt McGill
Semper Fi

For SSgt Huntsinger

Nice posting. The 'former grunt' owner of the shop, Bob Parsons, is the billionaire founder of Go Daddy. He 'bleeds Marine green' and produces an annual USMC birthday video honoring Marines and all who served.

His staff obviously reflects his leadership style.

Semper Fi
R.M. 'Zeb' Zobenica
Capt. USMC (Ret)


"I have never been bewildered for long in any fight with our enemies – I was Armed with Insight."
--Gen. James "Mad Dog" 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

"You can take a man out of the Marine Corps; you will never take the Marine Corps out of the man."

"Some people spend an entire lifetime wondering if they made a difference in the world. But the Marines don't have that problem."
--Ronald Reagan, President of the United States; 1985

"The Army and the Navy are run like traditional military services. The Air Force is run like a corporation. But the Marine Corps is a religion."
--Navy Admiral

"I was summoned by my country, whose voice I can never hear but with veneration and love."
--George Washington (1789)

"Still rockin' 'n rollin', kickin' azz and takin' names."

"May God Bless All Marines. Those That Were, Those That Are And Those That Will Be."

"Private, you are about as squared away as a soup sandwich!"

"A warrior of the Jarhead Tribe."

Fair winds and following seas!
Sgt Grit

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