TIme with the grunts

As a new 2nd Lt with the 12th Marines at Mt Fuji, I was assigned to an infantry company as an forward observer. I asked my senior Lts in the battery what should I being doing with the grunts. They told me just to stay close to the Captain and he will let you know what he wants. I stayed with the captain for about 5 miles into a hike when he turned to me and asked “Lt where are we “? My answer was “I don’t know I am following you”. After that I always knew where we were…….

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15 thoughts on “TIme with the grunts”

  1. 2nd Lts are not required nor expected to know where they are,where they are going or where they have been! Ask the Gunny!

    1. On Mount Fugi in desert camo here’s another acronym for ya – AFUBAR
      Compliments to your photo shopper. Can he squeeze in the pyramids next to old Smokey?

      1. Yeah bc that’s the uniforms Marines wear. Why the hell would we wear anything different? You think mount Fuji is all green huh. Shows what you don’t know. Haters.,

  2. SFMF meaning. I remember FMF is Fleet Marine Force. Is SFMS abbreviation for SEMPER FI MOTHER F%%K^R. Many thanks. Robert USMC 1976-79.

  3. As a 0849 in Vietnam in 1966-1967 I served as a NGF Spotter with 1/7 , 1/5 and 1st Recon Bn. both 1/7 and 1/5 were constantly asking me where we were. At first I thought they were checking me out but I eventually learned they depended on me for an accurate position report. They must of had artillery folks as instructors at the Basic School.

    1. First trip to RVN I reverted to my original MOS 0849, and was 3rd Div NGF Chief. I was a little rusty as a Radio Chief. Luckily I had a really sharp Sgt as a team leader and he didn’t hesitate to correct me. I took him with me every where.

  4. These are the things that instructors at TBS strive to teach, along with the actual 1500 hours of the universe of material that a leader of Marines may need to have “hip pocketed’ in the deep recesses of his or her brain when he or she, quite suddenly, becomes , e.g., a battalion S-4 nine months out of the Basic School. And TBS does it well. But then comes the Fleet…..

    This is also the sort of thing they need to hear. “Always know your location.” It is so basic. But in a classroom, with tests, exercises, leadership billets, and a syllabus and a training schedule that crams the time demands of fours in college into 23 weeks. Then there is the routine Marine Corps stuff–haircuts, uniform fittings, cleaning weapons after the exercises are over, and the myriad demands of life. It may be easy to miss that little aside….and more than one.

    After 10 years as an 0302 and 3 years as a judge advocate, I found myself right back at TBS. I taught there for two of the best years of a career that included 35 straight months of company command, the goal of every officer of Marines. I found that most lieutenants are very good at learning the important things a leader of Marines–no matter what MOS–needs to know.

    But there is much more.

    I used sea stories as learning aids. “Always know your location” becomes real when Lt Harold Schmidle’s simple whisper from a Marine Corps in a galaxy far, far away puts a name and face on it. In my day, instructors at TBS were the subject of “Instructor Rating Forms” completed by 2 or 3 lieutenants at random. The Old Man once asked me as we finished some business or other, “Judge, what’s this about your classes. I’ve seen a couple that mention ‘sea stories.’ What are you teaching them?”

    I started to mention that Jesus taught, using parables, but figured that that was a bit ……a bit of a stretch. “Every one of them has a learning point, Sir. When the reams of manuals and outlines are safely stowed away somewhere, I hope they will remember that ‘jeeze, this is just like that story Colonel McCarty mentioned about actually having to use a rally point for the first time.'”

    So, keep these coming. I hope someone TBS follows this blog.

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