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To all Marines

Discussion in 'Off Topic Threads' started by Charles.F.Phillips, Oct 27, 2009.

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  1. Charles.F.Phillips

    Charles.F.Phillips TS Member

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    The Corps<br /><br />


    Courtesy of SgtMaj Dougherty

    The Marine Corps is the only branch of the U.S. Armed Forces that recruits people specifically to Fight.

    The Army emphasizes personal development (an Army of One), the Navy promises fun (let the journey begin), the Air Force offers security (its a great way of life).

    Missing from all the advertisements is the hard fact that a soldier's life is to suffer and perhaps to die for his people and take lives at the risk of his/her own.

    Even the thematic music of the services reflects this evasion. The Army's Caisson Song describes a pleasant country outing. Over hill and dale, lacking only a picnic basket. Anchors Aweigh the Navy's celebration of the joys of sailing could have been penned by Jimmy Buffet.

    The Air Force song is a lyric poem of blue skies and engine thrust. All is joyful, and invigorating, and safe. There are no land mines in the dales nor snipers behind the hills, no submarines or cruise missiles threaten the ocean jaunt, no bandits are lurking in the wild blue yonder.

    The Marines' Hymn, by contrast, is all combat. "We fight our Country's battles", "First to fight for right and freedom", "We have fought in every clime and place where we could take a gun", "In many a strife we have fought for life and never lost our nerve".

    The choice is made clear. You may join the Army to go to adventure training, or join the Navy to go to Bangkok , or join the Air Force to go to computer school. You join the Marine Corps to go to War! But the mere act of signing the enlistment contract confers no status in the Corps.

    The Army recruit is told from his first minute in uniform that "you're in the Army now, soldier". The Navy and Air Force enlistees are sailors or airmen as soon as they get off the bus at the training center.

    The new arrival at Marine Corps boot camp is called a recruit, or worse (a lot worse), but never a MARINE. Not yet, maybe never. He or she must earn the right to claim the title of UNITED STATES MARINE and failure returns you to civilian life without hesitation or ceremony.

    Recruit Platoon 2210 at San Diego , California trained from October through December of 1968. In Viet Nam the Marines were taking two hundred casualties a week and the major rainy season and Operation Meade River had not even begun, yet Drill Instructors had no qualms about winnowing out almost a quarter of their 112 recruits, graduating 81. Note that this was post-enlistment attrition. Every one of those 31 who were dropped had been passed by the recruiters as fit for service.. But they failed the test of Boot Camp! Not necessarily for physical reasons. At least two were outstanding high school athletes for whom the calisthenics and running were child's play. The cause of their failure was not in the biceps nor the legs, but in the spirit. They had lacked the will to endure the mental and emotional strain so they would not be Marines. Heavy commitments and high casualties not withstanding, the Corps reserves the right to pick and choose.

    History classes in boot camp? Stop a soldier on the street and ask him to name a battle of World War One. Pick a sailor at random and ask for a description of the epic fight of the Bon Homme Richard. Ask an airman who Major Thomas McGuire was and what is named after him. I am not carping and there is no sneer in this criticism. All of the services have glorious traditions, but no one teaches the young soldier, sailor or airman what his uniform means and why he should be proud of it.

    But...ask a Marine about World War One and you will hear of the wheat field at Belleau Wood and the courage of the Fourth Marine Brigade comprised of the Fifth and Sixth Marines.. Faced with an enemy of superior numbers entrenched in tangled forest undergrowth the Marines received an order to attack that even the charitable cannot call ill-advised. It was insane. Artillery support was absent and air support hadn't been invented yet. Even so the Brigade charged German machine guns with only bayonets, grenades, and an indomitable fighting spirit. A bandy-legged little barrel of a Gunnery Sergeant, Daniel J. Daly, rallied his company with a shout, "Come on you sons a bitches, do you want to live forever?" He took out three machine guns himself.

    French liaison-officers hardened though they were by four years of trench bound slaughter were shocked as the Marines charged across the open wheat field under a blazing sun directly into the teeth of enemy fire. Their action was so anachronistic on the twentieth-century field of battle that they might as well have been swinging cutlasses. But the enemy was only human. The Boche could not stand up to the onslaught.

    So the Marines took Belleau Wood . The Germans, those that survived, thereafter referred to the Marines as "Tuefel Hunden" (Devil Dogs) and the French in tribute renamed the woods "Bois de la Brigade de Marine" (Woods of the Brigade of Marines).

    Every Marine knows this story and dozens more. We are taught them in boot camp as a regular part of the curriculum. Every Marine will always be taught them! You can learn to don a gas mask anytime, even on the plane in route to the war zone, but before you can wear the Eagle, Globe and Anchor and claim the title United States Marine you must first know about the Marines who made that emblem and title meaningful. So long as you can march and shoot and revere the legacy of the Corps you can take your place in line. And that line is as unified in spirit as in purpose.

    A soldier wears branch service insignia on his collar, metal shoulder pins and cloth sleeve patches to identify his unit, and far too many look like they belong in a band.

    Sailors wear a rating badge that identifies what they do for the Navy.

    Airmen have all kinds of badges and get medals for finishing schools and showing up for work.

    Marines wear only the Eagle, Globe and Anchor together with personal ribbons and their CHERISHED marksmanship badges. They know why the uniforms are the colors they are and what each color means. There is nothing on a Marine's uniform to indicate what he or she does nor what unit the Marine belongs to. You cannot tell by looking at a Marine whether you are seeing a truck driver, a computer programmer or a machine gunner or a cook or a baker. The Marine is amorphous, even anonymous, by conscious design.

    The Marine is a Marine. Every Marine is a rifleman first and foremost, a Marine first, last and Always! You may serve a four-year enlistment or even a twenty plus year career without seeing action, but if the word is given you'll charge across that Wheatfield! Whether a Marine has been schooled in automated supply or automotive mechanics or aviation electronics or whatever is immaterial. Those things are secondary - the Corps does them because it must. The modern battle requires the technical appliances and since the enemy has them so do we. But no Marine boasts mastery of them.

    Our pride is in our marksmanship, our discipline, and our membership in a fraternity of courage and sacrifice. "For the honor of the fallen, for the glory of the dead", Edgar Guest wrote of Belleau Wood . "The living line of courage kept the faith and moved ahead." They are all gone now, those Marines who made a French farmer's little Wheatfield into one of the most enduring of Marine Corps legends. Many of them did not survive the day and eight long decades have claimed the rest. But their actions are immortal. The Corps remembers them and honors what they did and so they live forever. Dan Daly's shouted challenge takes on its true meaning - if you lie in the trenches you may survive for now, but someday you may die and no one will care. If you charge the guns you may die in the next two minutes, but you will be one of the immortals.

    All Marines die in either the red flash of battle or the white cold of the nursing home. In the vigor of youth or the infirmity of age all will eventually die, but the Marine Corps lives on. Every Marine who ever lived is living still, in the Marines who claim the title today. It is that sense of belonging to something that will outlive our own mortality, which gives people a light to live by, and a flame to mark their passing.<br /><br />


    Passed on to a Marine from another Marine!
     
  2. gdbabin

    gdbabin TS Member

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    I'm glad you are proud of your chosen branch Charles. I respect Marines too.



    There are a ton of Marines who deeply respect Navy Corpsman--the Docs who saved many of your asses.


    Check the list of CMH heroes... All services are represented.


    Your posting has several errors and misrepresentations.


    Be proud, but be respectful my friend. Remember that Honor is a Marine core value




    V/R

    Guy Babin

    USN, RET
     
  3. Charles.F.Phillips

    Charles.F.Phillips TS Member

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    Guy,

    I think the world of Corpsmen - in fact one Corpsman saved one of our shooters at Quantico from bleeding to death just a few short months ago. Also, my oldest son is an FC 2nd Class on the Blue Ridge.

    If something was in error or misrepresented, please point it out specifically and I shall correct it.

    Thanks!

    R/s,<br />
    Charlie

    "The Dude Abides..."
     
  4. gdbabin

    gdbabin TS Member

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    As an institution the Marines do kick ass with their sense of history, focus on fighting wars and pride in belonging.


    The Navy has learned some of these lessons over the years and has improved by including naval history into boot camp, Petty Officer Indoc, and Chief's initiation.


    I'll pull back from my several errors and misrepresentations. The errors are trivial and unimportant. The misrepresentation part stems from the implication that the other services are lacking in their commitment to their mission. I am a proud career Squid, I took it to personally.


    One of my friends has a son who I dearly love and consider my own. A couple of years ago, as he graduated high school, he told me he wanted to join the Army to be an MP. I implored him to check out other options including all of the other services. I told him if he wants to be on patrol with a weapon, he needs to be a Marine. He did reconsider and thankfully enlisted in the Corps. He's in the avionics field, doing well and we are very proud of him.


    The Marines' Hymn is awesome--the oldest of all the military services. While our football rivalry-based Anchor's Aweigh pales in comparison, it did give me a sense of pride and goose bumps when we sang it in loud unison during Chief's initiation.


    Semper Fi


    Guy
     
  5. cubancigar2000

    cubancigar2000 Well-Known Member

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    I am very proud to be a former Marine. However I have never thought less of the other branch's that also serve our country. God bless all of them. Nov 10th is the Marines birthday and I have been to many Marine Corp Ball events and all of them had other branch Officers and NCO's attending. We all fought for the same country
     
  6. Charles.F.Phillips

    Charles.F.Phillips TS Member

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    Guy,

    <i>"The misrepresentation part stems from the implication that the other services are lacking in their commitment to their mission."</i>

    I apologize for any offense this has unintentionally given.

    I think the author went out of his way to point out the glorious history of all of the other services and his point was only that recruits are not indoctrinated in that history, not that they are any less dedicated to their mission. I do think it's fair to say that none of the other services have recruit training that imposes anywhere near the mental stress that one endures at MCRD Parris Island and MCRD San Diego. My platoon started with 80 recruits, but only graduated about 60 Marines.

    Also, when I joined the Corps, the other services were recruiting based on the educational opportunities they had to offer. I asked the Marine recruiter what the Marine Corps had to offer and his response was, "Not a damn thing - what do you have to offer the Marine Corps?"

    My youngest son is a Specialist in the Army and while I am quite proud of him and of the Army itself, I bet that I know more history of the Army than he does. I think I can say the same of my young Sailor as well.

    As my eldest is in the Navy, we frequently gang up on my youngest in fun. Hey, the Naval services have to stick together, right? :)

    My Soldier is now on his second tour in Iraq and my Sailor was a prison guard in Gitmo (a job which at times was just as dangerous as being in Iraq).

    I am supremely fortunate because from 1975 to 1999, I never had to dodge a bullet. Vietnam was evacuated six months before I went to bootcamp and the war was over, so it was easy to join. I am constantly in awe of our young people who join today when they know full well they will go to war.

    R/s,<br />
    Charlie

    "The Dude Abides..."
     
  7. cubancigar2000

    cubancigar2000 Well-Known Member

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    Charlie, what year were you at P.I. - I was there in 1962. Don't take offense to him, he rarely ever post's anything positive about anybody. Besides - if you were not in the Corp, you simply would not understand the committment it takes to be a Marine.

    Semper Fi
     
  8. Charles.F.Phillips

    Charles.F.Phillips TS Member

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    cubancigar2000,

    Long after you - I signed the delayed entry papers in September 1975 and stepped onto the little yellow footprints on 4 Nov 1975.

    R/s,<br />
    Charlie

    "The Dude Abides..."
     
  9. Old Texas Marine

    Old Texas Marine Member

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    Gunny,

    Thank you for posting.

    HBT

    '65-'71
     
  10. Charles.F.Phillips

    Charles.F.Phillips TS Member

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    HBT,

    My pleasure, sir!

    R/s,<br />
    Charlie

    "The Dude Abides..."
     
  11. Big Heap

    Big Heap TS Member

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    Received from an old friend who is retired army - USMA '52







    AWESOME!!! Read below pic before making judgment on 'The Finger' gesture and you'll understand....
    > THIS NEEDS TO KEEP GOING.

    >
    > Leading the fight is U S Marine Gunnery Sgt. Michael Burghardt, known as 'Iron Mike' or just 'Gunny'. He is on his third tour in Iraq . He had become a legend in the bomb disposal world after winning the Bronze Star for disabling 64 IEDs and destroying 1,548 pieces of ordnance during his second tour.

    > Then, on September 19, he got blown up. He had arrived at a chaotic scene after a bomb had killed four US Marines. He chose not to wear the bulky bomb protection suit. 'You can't react to any sniper fire and you get tunnel-vision,' he explains. So, protected by just a helmet and standard-issue flak jacket, he began what bomb disposal officers term 'the longest walk', stepping gingerly into a 5 foot deep and 8 foot wide crater.

    > The earth shifted slightly and he saw a Senao base station with a wire leading from it. He cut the wire and used his 7 inch knife to probe the ground. 'I found a piece of red detonating cord between my legs,' he says. 'That's when I knew I was screwed.' Realizing he had been sucked into a trap, Sgt Burghardt, 35, yelled at everyone to stay back. At that moment, an insurgent, probably watching through binoculars, pressed a button on his mobile phone to detonate the secondary device below the sergeant's feet 'A chill went up the back of my neck and then the bomb exploded,' he recalls. 'As I was in the air I remember thinking, 'I don't believe they got me...' I was just ticked off they were able to do it. Then I was lying on the road, not able to feel anything from the waist down.'

    > His fellow Marines cut off his trousers to see how badly he was hurt. None could believe his legs were still there 'My dad's a Vietnam vet who's paralyzed from the waist down,' says Sgt Burghardt.... 'I was lying there thinking I didn't want to be in a wheelchair next to my dad and for him to see me like that. They started to cut away my pants and I felt a real sharp pain and blood trickling down. Then I wiggled my toes and I thought, 'Good, I'm in business.' As a stretcher was brought over, adrenaline and anger kicked in. 'I decided to walk to the helicopter. I wasn't going to let my team-mates see me being carried away on a stretcher.' He stood and gave the insurgents who had blown him up a one-fingered salute.. 'I flipped them one.. It was like, 'OK, I lost that round but I'll be back next week.
    '
    > Copies of a photograph depicting his defiance, taken by Jeff Bundy for the Omaha World-Herald, adorn the walls of homes across America and that of Col John Gronski, the brigade commander in Ramadi, who has hailed the image as an exemplar of the warrior spirit.

    > Sgt Burghardt's injuries - burns and wounds to his legs and buttocks - kept him off duty for nearly a month and could have earned him a ticket home. But, like his father - who was awarded a Bronze Star and three Purple Hearts for being wounded in action in Vietnam - he stayed in Ramadi to engage in the battle against insurgents who are forever coming up with more ingenious ways of killing Americans.
     
  12. 635 G

    635 G Well-Known Member

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    Marines are best, but the next best is a submarine, people ask me was I in the NAVY I so NO, I was in the Submarine Force. We had a Corpsman on one of the old diesel boats I was on, who was assigned to the Marines in Korea. He told us about afunny incident in a firefight, yes funny in a firefight. A marine was sure he was hit. He yelled for the corpsman & said I,
    ' ve got red all over me I've gotta been hit some place. Yea, you're hit in the canteen which was filled with tomato juice. The corpsman was hit a bit later in that action. He referred to his purple heart as a "chinese sharpooting medal."

    Phil Berkowitz ICC(SS) USNR -Ret.
     
  13. cubancigar2000

    cubancigar2000 Well-Known Member

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    Thx Phil but I think anybody brave enough to go in a submarine has a lot of balls. Thx for your service as well as all service men and woman
     
  14. Sky Buster

    Sky Buster Sky Buster TS Supporters

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    Charles:

    Awesome post. There is no question that the Marines are different
    from the other services. And I mean no disrespect to the other branches.
    I've always thought of the Marines as a "cult". It all starts in boot camp.
    History and tradition is ingrained in every Marines. The Marines are known
    for the saying, "the change lasts forever". How true!
     
  15. BIGDON

    BIGDON Well-Known Member

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    Marine, a friend for life and an enemy you don't want. I forgot who said it but it fits.

    Don
     
  16. shot410ga

    shot410ga Well-Known Member

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    As the Marine Gunny recruting Sgt. explained to me: You can be a serviceman or you can be a Marine. I chose the Marines. I wanted to be a Marine. I became a Marine. I will always be a Marine. Everytime I see a young Marine, I see myself. Perhaps, I will never die.

    USMC, Vietnam 2/1 1965-1966.
     
  17. dog easy

    dog easy TS Member

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    Don't ever forget, one of the men on the Iwo Jima memorial is a Navy Corpsman! John Bradley.

    Semper Fi, John
     
  18. 635 G

    635 G Well-Known Member

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    Also, the Hospital @ Cherry Point ,NC is named after a Navy Corsman, Hallyburton who received the medal of honor, postumously.

    Phil Berkowitz
     
  19. Hollywood Marine

    Hollywood Marine TS Member

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    I don't know why some people have to have animosity toward the services other than the one they served in. I am, and always will be proud to be a Marine, but though I recognize a little rivalry between us is a good thing, I still recognize the dedicaion and patriotism of my brothers and sisters who serve or served in the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Coast Guard. It,s the same flag, the same great nation, and the same wonderful people that we fight/fought for. God Bless America!
    Doug Humble
     
  20. Charles.F.Phillips

    Charles.F.Phillips TS Member

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    Hollywood Marine,

    <i>"I don't know why some people have to have animosity toward the services"</i>

    I don't think anyone has shown any animosity. BTW, do you still have your beach towel and sunglasses? Kidding! You can keep Mount MF - I'll take my swamps and sandfleas any day! :)<br /><br />


    Phil,

    My youngest son (an Army soldier on his second tour in Iraq) was born in that clinic (they downgraded it from a hospital many years ago). Obviously, I was a brownbagger then, but my unit barracks was right across the street.

    Subs - that's freakin' awesome, though I think I would lose my mind in one. I saw in another thread that it was a boomer - that's the ultimate in projection of power.

    R/s,
    Charlie

    "The Dude Abides..."
     
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