2013 Marine Corps Birthday Bash Wrap Up!

Been a little busy lately orchestrating the festivities surrounding the celebration of the 238th birthday of the World’s Finest, United States Marine Corps.

This year our Guest of Honor was none other than the 4th Marine Division SgtMaj, SgtMaj Brad Kasal. You may remember him from my heady days as a young Marine at the School of Infantry.  In the early 90’s then Sgt Kasal was the terror of Infantry Training Battalion. Twenty odd years after I graduated SOI I ran into him as a SgtMaj. He, of course, had no memory of silly, inept America’s  PFC. This is probably a good thing as he knows me only in my capacity as a SgtMaj in his division.

Yeah, he’d be the one on the right.

I can remember Sgt Kasal training us in the proper comportment of Marine grunts. We would be standing in formation in front of our barracks before going to chow.  As Marines from other MOS schools marched by he instructed us to address them in a fashion fit only for infantrymen.

“POGUES!” We bellowed as they slithered past, no doubt on their way to execute their inferior non-infantry tasks.

“Did you see that?” Sgt Kasal broke out in a burst of laughter at his fellow instructors. “My students just called them all pogues! Bwah-ha-ha-ha!” This was about as close to praise any of us would ever receive from him publicly.

Some may remember an add campaign from the late 80’s and early 90’s regaling cola drinkers as the Pepsi Generation. Among Marines this became a term of derision used to describe all the new boots considered weaker than the generations of those who had preceded them. Sgt Kasal was particularly vocal in his assessment of us. 

“You $#*%@&! aren’t even the Pepsi Generation,” he would growl through perpetually tightened jaws. “You’re the Ho-Ho generation!” It could have been worse, at least we were delicious.

At the ball the other night I finally had an opportunity to present SgtMaj Kasal with a token of my esteem.

 And good times were had by all!

If you have the opportunity to attend a Marine Corps Ball this year, I highly recommend it.

Semper Fidelis!
America’s SgtMaj

/ / / /


  1. Happy Birthday, Marine Corps!

    Thank you, SgtMaj. Thank you for the use of pogue and not pog.

    That pog thing pisses me off.
    Marines who can’t even speak Marine. Heck, the numbsters even pronounce it with a short vowel now. Can you frickin’ believe that?

    – Grimmy

  2. Mrs. Salad, sadly, the cake didn’t last long enough for me to get a shot of it.

    Mark, thanks! And you too.

    Grimmy, yeah, not sure where the POG thing came from. Then again, spelling isn’t what we do.

  3. SgtMaj:

    I have it on good authority, well, kinda… but mostly just guessing…

    The pog thing came from them that couldn’t be bothered to actually study USMC history and learn the tribal lingo, then got promoted to SNCO and had to pull an answer out of their tail pipe when a showershoe asked him what pogue meant.

    Not having a clue himself, said SNCO (or maybe NCO, but probably SNCO due to how the thing is now set in stone) the numbster yanked hard on his Emergency Answer to Common Question line and got “umm.. yeah… um… it means, People Other than Grunt. You know, POG.”

    Said showershoe then askes, in all honest innocence, “but that’d be POTG, not POG”. SNCO says “shut up, you’ve got 00 to 04 firewatch for the next week for being a smart arse!”

    And that’s how it started. I wouldn’t put my hand on the Bible to affirm the story, but wouldn’t have any issues Sea Story-ing some heathen at the tavern.

  4. 1. Happy birthday.
    2. Have the photo of, then, 1st SGT Kasal and LCPLs Marquez and Shaffer.MCA put it out as a poster.
    3. Had it framed and put on my wall.
    4. Everyone who sees it gets it.
    5. Look at the photo of the two of you. Do you see what I see?
    V/R JWest

  5. The Bradley Kasal of photo fame? Wow! And on top of that, you guys got to dance (not with each other, of course). I am green, bright green, brilliant forest green with envy about your bash.

    Let’s just say that, in my line of work, I neither get to meet heroes of my generation (as opposed to the many heroes of my parents’ generation whom I’ve been honored to meet) nor do I get to dance. In my next life, I’m going to get an infusion of courage and come back as a Marine.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

you may like this post