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Thread: BUTTER (finger) BARS
08-21-02, 11:46 PM #1
BUTTER (finger) BARS
OK folks, had an idea in chat tonight......
Yhea, well we'll see if it's a good one !!
Since 'Boot Camp Stories' is going on, and we had a SOON TO BE LOUIE' drop in, I thought some 'O1' tales may be in order...[ get it .... in ORDER ] lol [at myself]
So, here goes
It's Okinawa, Northern Training Area, about March '77. We've got this NEW mustang Butter Bar for a Platoon Commander.
Now, I know an 81mm mortar Plt. is mobile. But DAMN.
Were on this mission, get from point A to point B, without being observed, yada, yada, yada. He gets this bright idea to go around the objective area, and come in from the flank. Mortars and all. We knew it was longer, but should be able to travel faster, since we did'nt have to be 'stealthy' YHEA RIGHT !!!
So we take off for this ridge line, that skirts around NTA. This is supposed to take about 3-4 hours. So, at dusk, we are crossing this Fcuk'n RAVINE, using trip flares to see with, mortars and all. Couple of hours AFTER dark, we stop in some creek bed WITH NO CHOW. we were supposed to eat when we got there.
The next morning, we hump it up to the top of this ridge, and Comm. unit with us sets one of those 25 -30 ft antenna's up [that THEY been humpin], and were on our last radio battery. They finally get a Helo, that was off on the horizon [line of sight], and a few hours later we get picked up.
WE WERE IN FCUKING JAPAN !!!! Off the map. Whole damn Platoon listed as missing. That Helo, was looking for us !!!
So, when I make jokes about an Officer, with a map and compass......
08-22-02, 03:31 PM #2
Sombody's GOT to be able to top this.....
LL, I bet you had a run in with an Officer (or 2), that everyone would just LOVE to hear about.
Maybe pics TOO
08-23-02, 11:59 AM #3
Vietnam Lima 3/3 Hill 22 March 1966
3rd Plt was on stand by, we had been on hill 22 for about a month and our mission was to sit in reserve and wait for someone to get into trouble. When to sh!t hit the fan, we would get on choppers and go in as a reserve force. Most of our action at this time was in and around hill 81.
We had just been assigned a new platoon leader fresh out of OCS. This guy was green, mint green – not OD.
Approximately 3 days after he was assigned to our Plt, we were called out on a mission. Seems that a day patrol had run into a large VC force and needed support. So off we went on a short chopper ride.
The choppers set down in the middle of a rice paddy, the LZ was not hot. The Lt formed us up in a line with about 20 feet between each man and we began to march across this rice field to the village area where to firefight was.
As we neared the small village we came under fire, and what this 2nd Lt did next, still amazes me today.
As we were taking cover positions behind a dyke, the LT went to the front, ordered us to stand, fix bayonets and charge the village.:rambo:
Here we go, an entire reinforced rifle platoon mortars and all, charging on a dead run, through the rice paddy’s about 300 yards to this small village, all of us yelling the classic Marine Growl as loud as we could with the LT up front leading the charge. Short of training exercises, I’ve never seen anything like before or after.
Half way across, we tripped a couple of booby traps, but fortunately for those who tripped them off, we were moving so fast that when they exploded, we were far enough ahead of the blast that no one got hurt. This did however slow us down enough for the Plt SGT have a word with the LT.
Instead of attacking the village head on, as was the LT’s plan, we encircled it, took cover, and sent out a recon patrol to eyeball the unit who had called us in. As it was, they were safe, seems while we were charging the village, they had slipped back to a defensive position, outside the village.
Now the LT wants to continue our attack on the damn village, so he and the Plt SGT argue a little about sound military tactics. The Plt SGT won the toss and we called in a 155 strike and sat back and watched the fireworks.
After the artillery strike, we went in and counted only 8 VC bodies but found several tunnels that we quickly destroyed with C-4.
No Americans were killed and there was only one WIA with a minor gunshot wound.
I’ll say one thing positive about this 2nd LT. He had Balls! Unfortunately, he was KIA in early 67.
I’ll never understand how the brass figure it’s ok to take a college boy, run him through 90 days of OCS and then send him right into a war zone and place him in charge of 30 + combat troops. This practice was responsible for many unnecessary combat casualties.
In 11 months of Combat, this was the only time we were actually ordered to fixed bayonets. What would we have done without 2nd Lieutenants?
08-23-02, 10:52 PM #4
How about some Double polished bars?
This happened about a month after Charles S. Robb, Lyndon B. Johnson son-in-law became India 3/7 Company Commander. the story is included in my book, “Dreams of Glory” ©
Aggie (tired aggie), had gotten a game of monopoly from the states and while he, I and Ira Rahm were playing a game aggie got a bright idea that we should take the Monopoly play money down the vill to Mama-son and use the play money to buy some goods from her.
"Hey," Aggie argued, "she charges us a dollar for that watered down soda, and charges us a lot for a bar of soap or other things."
All three of us went down there and we bought all sorts of stuff, with the money. At first mama-son, said the money was no. 10 (bad money), but we convinced her that it was new MPC money (Military payment certificates,) and the same, same as US Paper money.
Well she finally allowed us to use the money but she wanted our names, so Rahm wrote them down for her on a piece of paper and she kept that.
About an hour after we had gotten back to Hill 65, we heard that Mama-son was at the CP complaining to the Co, which was Captain Robb.
One of the lieutenants went around the Hill with mama-son trying to find the Marines that had done it, but he was unsuccessful.
The word was passed for the Marines to fess up, and nothing would be done, they just wanted Mama-son reimbursed. Of course no one went forward.
After awhile, Captain Robb, decided that he would take care of the matter and called for everyone on the hill to muster into formation, including artillery, mortars and engineers assigned to Hill 65.
As everyone fell into formation, of course Rahm, Aggie and I were hiding in our bunker, where we could see everything that was going on.
Mama-son, the captain and a lieutenant then went down the formation looking for the Marines that had done that, but Mama-son couldn’t find the Marines that used Monopoly money instead of MPC, or Vietnamese currency.
Just about the time, they were ready to give up; Mama-son remembered she had the names written down on a piece of paper. She gave it to the lieutenant, but Robb quickly took it away from him and said, loud enough for everyone to hear.
"Alright, since none of you came forward, and did what was right. I want these Marines to step forward and I assure you, you will be held accountable.” Robb head held high then began to read the names Rahm had written down for Mama-son.
"Daniel Boone, Davy Crockett," he never finished reading John Wayne’s name, before the whole formation had busted out in laughter.
Mama-son was escorted off the hill, and nothing more was ever said.
08-24-02, 02:51 AM #5
No rank insignia! Must be a sh!tbird Private!
For a while there at HMT-301, a pilot training squadron, every work center would get stuck with an "OIC". One of the butter-bars trying to become a Marine Corps helicopter pilot. Ya always got the usual suspects, too. Some'd try to take charge, and didn't know nothin'. Took awhile to get those sorts straightened out. Every so often ya got a good one. When one'd finish the course one way or the other, we'd get stuck with another one! Once in awhile we'd get two of them! Hydraulics T/O was 26, if I remember right. Had a Captain as our real OIC. He was smart enough to stay outta our way. Never saw him unless ya screwed up. T/O for the squadron was somewhere around three hundred. We always had about eighty officers runnin' aound! I guess they hadda do somethin' with them when they weren't flyin'!
I remember one day walkin' to a bird on the flightline, I met a new guy. Clean coveralls, and polished safety shoes. Didn't have to worry about LOX on helcopters, so polish was OK. Well, the Marine wasn't wearin any insignia. I figured him for a downwardly mobile type of guy, and I sked him, "What work center do ya belong to, Private?" He responded, " I'm with flightline, Sergeant." I said "Good deal, welcome to the squadron. Watch out for the Gunny in yer shop. He's good Marine, but he don't put up with any ****!"
A couple days later, I saw this same Private on the flightline, not wearin any ear protection, safety shoes untied, and leavin' a fire extinguisher out in the taxi area where a returnin' helicopter might hit it or where it might get smacked by a piece of GSE gear. Well I called that Private over, called him to, and proceeded to ream his a$$ out in proper Marine NCO fashion. I listed all of his offenses one by one, questioned his heritage and whether his mother would ever have any pride in her Marine son, and other words of comfort along the same vein. His only response when I was done was to sound off, "Yes, Sergeant, I'll do my best not to let it happen again."
Two days later, during our weekly inspection formation, I noticed that Private standing in the officers ranks wearin butter bars! Seems he was on the flightline on his own time in order to learn more intimately the aircraft he would soon be qualified to fly.
I never asked him about the butt chewing I gave him and I never apologised. I never caught any flack over it either! A few weeks later the CO learned that some of his pilot trainees were doing this and put a halt to it. However.....if yer ever on a flight line and don't see insignia on a Marines uniform of the day......if yer not careful, ya might not end up as lucky as I was! LOL
08-24-02, 10:55 AM #6
... what I was hoping to get going in here.
You get some Officers that are TRUE 90 day wonders (you wonder what they did in 90 days), and you get some that will be OUt-Fn-STANDING Mairnes, AND Officers.
I wanted to start this thread, so Russ, (LongLegs' son) adn others going into the officers Corps, may get an insight on WHY troops respect some Officers (not just the rank), and not others (even with the rank). The point is, I had too many PC's, with a big head, that didn't knoiw sh!t from shinola. The only reason I'd have followed him into harms way, was if he was following Gunny's instructions !!
You young bucks, Russ and others, yur trops will be more than your responsibility, they will be your DUTY. They will cover your azz, or hang it out to dry.
As for me, as a Fleet LCPL, then Cpl, Then LCpl, I respected RESPECT. I followed orders, but I did a better job, a little more pride in the job, when I respected the Orders, and the Marine that issued them. Some where, in a stash, I've got a Captians Bars (I got one, my bro got one), from a Co. CO. we didn't respect. Watching him walk around one day on the rifle range, FUMING, and looking like a Pvt..... truely a Mastercard moment.
So com-on, give us your stories.... good AND bad. Who knows, we may start a new Marine tradition...... SMART OFFICERS !!
Scasry thought..... hugh !!!!
08-24-02, 03:58 PM #7LadyLeatherneckGuest Free Member
Good stories everyone
Mrbsox your first post was hilarious. Well wish I had some
LT stories but we were prohibited to talk to them by our
Chief Warrant Officer. Only LT I remember was an LT by
the last name of Love, and I ain't kidding. I think he was
our Bn. Adjudant if I remember correctly, Lieutenant Love!
08-26-02, 05:16 PM #8
Another butter bar story
First, a little background. In Jan66, 3/4 was pulled back to Okinawa (from RVN) for re-outfitting and reinforcements. Several hundred of we boot Pvts/PFCs were assigned to 3/4, after completing a month of jungle training. In Feb66, 3/4 boarded 3 ships (I was on the APA Paul Revere) and steamed down to the coast of RVN, off the coast of Hue. A typhoon hit as we arrived and we all had an E ticket ride for 3 days. That's another story. After we had been in country four months, 3d Platoon was assigned a brand spanking new platoon commander, 2dLt Mullins. His troops immediately nicknamed him Moon Mullins, after an old comic strip character. Moon was a real trip. Right away, he decided the platoon needed to regain its military bearing and ordered haircuts, shined boots, etc. We were back at Phu Bai at the time, so there was minimal *****in' and moanin'. A couple of weeks later, we headed back up North. Moon volunteered 3dPlt for the first patrol, and the first couple of hours were a walk in the park. Then Moon decided some small unit tactics practice was a good idea. So here's a platoon of Marines practicing fire team rushes in the middle of Indian country. The *****in' and moanin' was no longer minimal. When Moon decided the plt had practiced enough, the patrol continued. One problem, though. Moon was lost, and the plt wandered aimlessly for a couple more hours before Moon admitted he had no clue. SSgt Hartmann (no not THAT Hartman from FMJ) finally got Moon pointed in the right direction. Nothin more dangerous than a 2dLt with a map & compass. A few weeks later, as we were disembarking from choppers on Operation something or other, Moon had to be medevaced - he got sand in his contact lenses.
Semper Fidelis, Frank
08-28-02, 01:45 PM #9
In all Fairness to those poor 2nd Louies out there.
To be a 2nd Lt. has to be one of the hardest jobs in the Corps.
A Boot with rank and authority can be a very dangerous combination.
Fortunately for the Corps and us Poor Enlisted, most of them know this, respect their office and their Sr. NCO's
09-03-02, 12:39 AM #10
... at the airport this evening. 2nd Lt. Jerrnigan I beleive it was. Gave the web site and an 'Old Corps' pep talk.
Seems he was on his way back to Quantico, and still in schools, has yet to receive his MOS. It dawned on me as we were flying, I was probably doing bends and muthers, when he was born.
But..... I was less than enthused by his 'presentation' of himself. He was neat, clean, high and tight, straight. But, I was left looking for a little more. I let him know I was 'grunt', and asked him about how he did in Land Nav. I'll leave that alone......
If the Lt. gets on line and finds this post (I told him about it), I want him to be able to take something back to his classmates, that will remind them of JUST WHO THE FCUK THEY ARE FIXING TO BE LEADING. If they are going to lead the best, they HAVE to be better than the best, TO BE FOLLOWED.
If you've got some words of encouragement, some tales, something that will enable our future Captians, Colonels, and the like to be BETTER THAN THE BEST, that's what I wanted out of this thread. They know that the Sgts, and SSgts, RUN the Corps, but do they realize that they know it ??
NO, it's not my place to try and train ANY Officer (or Enlisted) for duty. But I do think it's my place (and everybodies) to support, encourage, and strive for a better CORPS. No matter whos leading the charge.
If I'm out of line..... tell me.
09-03-02, 01:18 AM #11
SOX! My MAN!
That boy got ya a little fired up didn't he! LOL.
Well, soon to be lieutenants in our Marine Corps. Just off the top of my head, I can think of two things ya need to keep in mind. Well, maybe four or five, but I'll stick to two...maybe.
ONE. That Corporal has more time on active duty in the fleet than you do. Respect his experience if nothing else. If you are a younger officer, please keep in mind that all your knowledge hasn't been tested by you in the real world as of yet, and that Staff NCO has been down the road. He knows wht really works and he knows his people down to how soon they'll need to get new skivvies. When he's makin' recommendations, be aware of these things.
TWO. Take care of your men. If you learn to do that and do it well, they will go to hell for you and on the way they'll make sure your a$$ is covered. One precept. Treat a cat like a dog, he'll act like a dog. Treat him like a man, he'll act like a man. Do these things and do them well, and your people will never disappoint you. The mission will always be accomplished. Make sure your Staff NCO's know what's going on. They'll know who to tell what to and when with their people.
Third. Train then. Train them. Train them.
These are only precepts. What worked for me as an NCO. My men always got more done with less than any other similiar unit. If it came down to it, I carried their chow to them with my own hands. I made absolutely sure they got the credit and all of the credit when they did a good job. I covered their a$$es at all times. I made sure they got promoted and NOW when they had it coming. I made sure they got to sick bay when they needed to, whether they wanted to go or not. I made sure they got a chance to get a haircut when they needed it. I trained them at all times. Everything I did was some form of training and instruction. When there was time, I explained everything to them. In return, they jumped when I said boo. They worked their butts off for me. When I spoke, they listened. The mission was always accomplished.
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