View Full Version : Set Loose The Beast of Belleau Wood

07-11-04, 11:53 AM
Set Loose The Beast of Belleau Wood
July 11, 2004

by Bob Newman

History speaks to us of certain great fighting forces led by men upon whom legends are based. In American military history, there is no armed force equal to the band of seagoing savages known as the United States Marine Corps. Indeed, the very uttering by a hapless opponent of this force’s name has been known to cause instant panic followed by an undignified retreat, for to stand and face the descendants of the teufelhunden (German for “devil dog”) of Belleau Wood (where Marines defeated some Germans in France in a fierce battle) is to invite sure, graphic death. We’re going to kill you and that’s that.

The Corps’ celebrated history is filled with colorful characters with names like Smedley “Ol’ Gimlet Eye” Butler, Leland D. “Crow” Crawford, Dan Daly, John Quick, Gregory “Pappy” Boyington, Archibald Henderson, Leland “Lou” Diamond, “Manila John” Basilone, and the quasi-mythical Lewis B. “Chesty” Puller, the latter of whom won five Navy Crosses and to whom, every night at lights out in boot camp, Marine recruits say, “Good night, Chesty, wherever you are.” These men and innumerable other Marine heroes fought in such places as Iwo Jima, the Chosin Reservoir, Khe Sanh, Guadalcanal and Hue.

After Vietnam, the Corps’ foundation of non-commissioned and commissioned officers with combat experience slowly began to deteriorate for lack of a major war. The unfortunate fact is that between 1975 (the fall of Vietnam) and 1991 (the Gulf War), only a small percentage of the Corps was lucky enough to see combat in such engagements as Beirut, Grenada and Panama. In fact, the last time the Corps had a Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps who rated the Combat Action Ribbon was the summer of 1999. (It is troubling to many Marines to have privates with extensive combat time and a Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps with none.) The Gulf War, albeit short lived, helped the Corps’ leaders regain some of the vital seasoning that comes with punch-ups. Somalia and the Balkans came along, but again, comparatively few Marines saw action in those operations.

Then it was back to the “sandbox” in the spring of 2003, and the Marine Corps once again demonstrated why, in the end, it is always sheer folly to test one’s mettle against these men whose forefathers, from the island of New Providence in the Bahamas to and beyond the bloody streets of Mogadishu, taught bitter lessons to doomed enemies. (If you choose to go up against a unit like 3rd Battalion, 4th Marines, led by Lieutenant Colonel Bryan P. McCoy, you are a dead man, plain and simple. With very light casualties, this unit alone killed staggering numbers of Iraqi troops, guerrillas and terrorists in the march to Baghdad and Fallajuh.)

Now there’s talk about reinstating the draft. We need no draft, which can create major quality-control problems. What we need is a substantially larger Marine Corps. The Congress should immediately approve the Corps’ end strength to be increased to, say, 225,000 instead of the current strength of about 175,000. Training, equipping and assigning (not to mention eventually deploying) an extra 50,000 Marines would take some time and a lot of money, but failing to do so would cost us all the more in the long run. Or, better yet, activate the entire 4th Marine Division and 4th Marine Air Wing (the Marine Corps Reserve), which consist of Marines already trained and equipped, many of whom have combat experience.

The sooner we do this, the better, and the sooner the Corps can add streamers for Iran and Syria to its battle colors.

Bob Newman



Arlene Horton
07-11-04, 04:49 PM
Way to go! Only problem there is the knuckleheads in charge of military affairs are too chicken---- to bring up such a brilliant idea to the "powers that be". The Corps has a proud tradition of...

07-11-04, 05:42 PM
Give me an M60 that hasn't been circumcised, move out of the way and I'll write USMC on the forehead of those ragheads