07-18-02, 06:37 AM
This was sent to me by GyBill........ <br />
It is long but a Good One..... <br />
Everyone asks, "How the heck do the marines get that way? What is it that makes them such good troops?" <br />
I tried to find...
07-18-02, 06:46 AM
A Leatherneck approached me, "I beg your pardon, sir, this club is for privates and noncoms only."
"Hey!" I said, "I just heard that funds for enlisted recreational projects were being reduced. How did you Marines wangle Congress out of the appropriations for this club? It must have cost $200,000."
"Wangle Congress out of it, my foot!" he said. "We raised the money and built it ourselves."
I asked: "Is it legal to build private buildings of this nature on government reservations?"
He replied: "In the Marine Corps, anything which improves the fighting qualities and morale of the Corps is legitimate."
A fighting man must use extreme initiative to get along. If the idea appears too radical you test it by (1) Will it help win battles? (2) Will it help the Corps' morale and efficiency?
The story goes that in Korea a company of Marines was temporarily assigned to the Army Quartermaster Corps. The Leathernecks were griping because they didn't like Army food and they didn't like the idea of carrying stores.
They wanted to go to the front. One day a carton they were carrying broke open. Onto the ground spilled certain pieces of clothing equipment assigned to a Philippine Army general
The Leathernecks had an idea. They debated whether or not it would help win battles or improve Marine morale and efficiency. They decided that it would come under the latter. They dressed one of their South Korean helpers in
the uniform of a Philippine Army general and named him General Gonzales. Taking him over to the Army Quartermaster depot, the Marines told the Army that the Filipino general, who came from Zamboango and spoke Chabacano, was observing the Marines, and the he desired a jeep of his own and a flag officer's mess.
The Marines enjoyed their "general's" food for about a week. Then a note came from the Army. "Lieutenant General ----------, USA, will visit here in a couple of days. He has spent many years in Zamboanga and speaks Chabacano.
He would enjoy very much having lunch with General Gonzales."
General Gonzales suddenly decided it was time to observe the Marines at the front.
Because of their continued success in battle and out, the Leathernecks have developed a self-confidence, which sometimes is offensive to other units of the service. A social-relations professor, trying an experiment in morale
for the Navy, asked permission to interview some Marines. His first contact was a rifleman who had just come off watch as a sentry.
"I'd like to ask you a question," said the professor, "about Marine officers."
"Be happy to help you, sir."
"Suppose a Marine officer gave you an order, and then left the immediate area. Later, the officer realized he had made a mistake. He had given you a wrong order. What would most Marine officers do in such a case? Would they say nothing and let you carry out a wrong order--or would they come back and admit to an enlisted man that they had made a mistake?"
"Sir," replied the private, "what you asked me is what we call a hypothetical question."
"How so?" said the professor, whipping out his notebook.
"Well, sir, no Marine officer ever makes a mistake!"
Which is like the time an Army three-star general was making a courtesy inspection of a Marine artillery battery in Korea. Inspecting down the ranks, he found a USMC private who was a shell passer. "Private," the general said, "suppose you were in a cold climate and the
hydraulic-recoil mechanism on your howitzer froze. How would you fire the piece?"
"Why, General, sir, a Marine would never let his equipment freeze. That's impossible."
"But suppose you were way north and it did freeze. How would you then fire your weapon?"
"General," said the private, shaking his head, "you just don't understand Marines. That mechanism wouldn't dare freeze! Unless all of us was dead first."
During the breakout from the freezing Changjin Reservoir area in Korea, the Marines were in a mountainous terrain totally devoid of airstrips. They knew that if the badly wounded didn't get air evacuation, they might not get out
at all. Military experts were pessimistic. They perhaps didn't recognize that all Marine aviators, enlisted and officers alike, in tactical units must qualify in carrier-deck landings.
The Leathernecks found a small piece of stony ground about the size of a couple of tennis courts. "If we can land on a flattop, we can land on that," they decided.
A carrier flight-officer got down there with his flags and wigwagged the marine planes to their landings. As many as ten wounded men were crammed in a torpedo bomber. The plane's wings were held until the props had revvedup, and then released for high-speed take-off--carrying the wounded to safety.
A newspaperman said that it was a heroic performance . . .
"Nuts!" said a Marine. "It was routine. The only guy who really was on the ball was O'Malley. He flew in eight five-gallon gasoline cans in the back of his plane."
"You needed gas on the March?"
"And how! That was the best drinking gasoline we ever tasted."
A tenet of the Leathernecks is that they are prepared for any emergencies and must always practice for them . . .
During the peacetime years, there was a Marine general who had put on too much weight. So he took up riding. He would drive his car from his quarters to the stables which were outside the post. There he changed to riding clothes, got on the horse, and cantered back to his quarters. After a
drink he rode back to the stables, showered, and then came home by auto . . .
One afternoon as he rode into the post, a Marine private, with his carbine set at the ready position, stepped out from behind a hedge.
"Dismount, advance, and be recognized!" he ordered.
The general smiled. "I'm General -------------------."
The sentry cocked his rifle. "Dismount, advance, and be recognized!" he repeated.
The general stopped smiling and dismounted.
"Show your identification card", said the sentry.
The general didn't have it. "It was back at the stables.
"Then you can't enter here!"
The general didn't argue; he mounted his horse and returned to the stable.
Picking up his card, he rode back to the same entrance. Once more the sentry stepped from behind the bush. "Dismount, advance, and be recognized!"
Again the general dismounted, advanced, respectfully displayed his identification care.
"Proceed in, sir."
The general entered the post. Then he reined in the horse.
"This is peacetime. Who gave you orders to challenge everyone coming through this gate?"
"No one, sir. I was just practicing. My sergeant said that's the only way to become a professional."
That word professional comes up all the time. The Leathernecks operate like a ball club--doing everything neatly and taking advantage of all breaks.
A Corps news release tells of a company of Marines which had lost its light machine gun to the Korean Reds in a night raid.
"Let's get it back," a squad leader told his men. They moved out with the sergeant, away from the defense perimeter, soon sighted 25 Reds lugging the weapon along.
"I'll throw a grenade," volunteered one rifleman.
"No, you might damage the gun!" replied the sergeant. "Pick 'em off with your rifles."
Whenever you see Marines, you see professionals taking care of themselves.
Another story about them goes like this:
An isolated company was surrounded by Reds in the mountains close to Koto-Ri. Marine planes dropped them supplies. One of the drops, containing most of the food for the company, was caught in an air current just as the parachutes opened, and the drop crew could do nothing but gaze sorrowfully
back as the packets dropped into communist-held territory.
Next day the drop crew met one of the riflemen who had broken through.
"Gees, we were sorry to see that food drop go over into the Red lines," the sergeant apologized to the grizzled front-line veteran who was all of 23 years. "I suppose you went hungry last night."
"We did like hell! The company commander broke us out of our holes and made us capture that sector so we could get the chow back . . . we all ate!"
That's the way the Leathernecks operate. You can't explain them. But from the Marine concoction of self-ridicule, horseplay, pride, and fierce training comes the old Marine magic. It has a unique glow to it, a quality which is lyrical and intangible. The Leathernecks call it esprit de
Marines somehow usually manage to win. When the Panama Canal was opened, the ships of the U. S. Fleet were lined up to be the first vessels to steam through the world's newest wonder.
As the fleet entered the channel, it was learned that two Marines had started earlier that day and already had paddled the length of the canal in a dugout.
Although the Leathernecks won't breathe a word about it in Public, they give the impression that in performance a Marine rifleman is the most effective military man alive--fully equal to a Navy lieutenant, an Army major, or an Air Force colonel. In other words, the Marine rifleman is somewhat like a king. It is he who gets the honors and the privileges.
The officers feel the same way about it. Col. Sam Moore, a Marine aviator, described himself as "a rifleman who at present is flying a plane."
The old Marine witchery has been boiling for more than 200 Years of United States history. The Marines accept it as normal procedure. It's like the sergeant who won a Medal of Honor in the Pacific for single-handedly holding back a Japanese attack all night . . .
"Hell's fire!" he said, "if I had been on the ball and hadn't lost my pistol in the lagoon, I'd have brought back the whole damn company of them Japs as prisoners."
"The colonel must be crazy recommending me for a Medal of Honor. The dumb knucklehead should have court-martialed me for losing my equipment!"
07-18-02, 10:02 AM
Our sense of humor and dedication is often transferred to those around us.
Doc Mac, the Navy Corpsman assigned to our platoon (July 67-Jan 68), was with us during Operation Foster.
Most Corpsman carried a sidearm, out in the field. A .45 pistol or something but some didn't carry a weapon. Doc Mac wanted to carry a shotgun, on account he felt he wasn't very good with the .45 and he had seen the M-16 malfunction in combat.
After some hesitation, our Lieutenant allowed him to check out a shotgun from the armory but cautioned the Corpsman that he had better keep the weapon Marine Corps clean.
During the Operation we were drenched for days and had been in close combat with the enemy for three days. Doc Mac had been busy identifying the dead and patching up wounded Marines, during this time.
On one of those days a Marine major visited us in the field and Doc Mac was frantic. Something was really worrying him.
When the Major stopped in front of the Corpsman, Doc Mac was very nervous and sweating. The major said a couple of words to him then moved on.
Later our lieutenant asked Doc Mac what was worrying him so.
"My weapon," Doc Mac answered.
"It's got some rust on it and I was afraid the Major would see it."
Doc Mac on the left side and Dumont, weapons section leader. Picture taken October 9th, 1967 right after we were hit by a typhoon.
After all, would Marines ever lie or tell tall tales?? :D