33 Years Under The Green Blanket: Liberty Woes

Some Mondays are better than others if you are a 1stSgt or SgtMaj. The list of jackassery committed by troops over holiday weekends is long and too amazing to be fictional. Whenever I think my guys can’t get any dumber I often think of incidents my father had to deal with.

The phone call.

I recall a story my dad told me about a phone call he got one weekend about a fight in a local bar somewhere in San Diego. In those days talking trash wasn’t an end of itself. It was designed as an opening salvo in what was intended to end in a fist fight. For some, getting into fights in bars was the sole purpose of going out on the weekends.

Some of his Marines were enjoying an innocent beverage at the establishment when a bunch of football players swaggered in. A collision of testosterone was about to occur. 

Compared to the type of cro-magnon who excels at activities on the grid iron, Marines tend to be rather diminutive. This night a linebacker decided the smallest Marine in the bar would be the target of his ire and started in the little fella. The verbal back and forth went on until the football player made a remark about the Marine’s wife. This was the signal for hostilities to transition from verbal to physical.

Leaping from his bar stool, the compact Marine hurled himself at the robust frame of the linebacker like a spider monkey. Not only did a brawl wreck havoc on the furniture but the burly football player came away light one ear. It had been bitten clean off. 

So whenever I have to report to higher headquarters about the misconduct of any miscreants in my command, I’m glad I’ve never had to explain why my Marines felt the need to bit off people’s body parts.

Semper Fidelis!
America’s SgtMaj

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  1. You can appreciate the pain our first shirt felt reading the headline, “Adam Without His Leaf” in the Overseas Weekly (unofficial Stars and Stripes) knowing it was one of his problem children during Octoberfest in Munich.

  2. My very, very first OOD as a slightly brand-new 2nd lt, a wire ape from comm company took an axe off the fording gear on an M151 and cut several pieces out of another wire ape including, if I remember correctly, his nose.

    It was the start of what turned into a lively evening.

  3. Lin, many of us at one time have probably yelled into the phone: “He did WHAT?”

    Wells Seasoned One, it’s the kind of thing you just can’t make up on your own. At least that guy went big, so to speak.

    Shay, I always said that a boring night of duty was a good night.

  4. They told us not to kill people in bar fights, since that would be bad on the police record or law suit lawyer towns.

    Nobody said anything about crippling the eyes or fingers, however. I guess it’s one of those unwritten rules.

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