A vignette featuring Legionnaires.

The rousing tales of time spent as an embassy guard are as numerous as they are various. The rock star status embassy duty bestows on a Marine is one of the best kept secrets of the Corps. Not everyone is so easily impressed by a high and tight haircut though. What follows is an incident between a buddy of mine and some French Foreign Legionnaires one night in N’Djamena, Chad. I have never been to Chad so stop speculating about my involvement.

 Sgt P (as we’ll refer to our hero), with a few Marines from the embassy detachment, was patronizing a local club. Also in attendance was an entire platoon of Legionnaires. Denim overalls and flannel was Sgt P’s idea of proper attire, dress blues being about the upper limit of his fashion sense. It was a distinct look which no doubt caught the attention of the largest Legionnaire present who decided to brace the goofy looking jarhead he saw at the bar. 

The massive Legionnaire was, by all reports, built like an arch. In comparison, the Marines were somewhat diminutive. His shaved head shone down on Sgt P’s mere five foot eleven inch, 200lb frame. The Arch directed pointed statements at him concerning his questionable pedigree and the generally low regard Legionnaires held for Marines and Sgt P in particular. Mon Dieu! Anyone who’d ever met Sgt P would know he was slow to anger. I can imagine him shrugging his shoulders with a frown, indicating his complete disinterest in the Arch’s opinions. Despite this, Sgt P was under no delusions  on where the conversation was headed.

The arithmetic surrounding Marine logic makes it a peculiar science. Sgt P’s math went along the lines of: “Well, if I’m gonna take a whooping’ I might as well throw the first punch.” He punctuated this thought by firmly planting his fist on the Arch’s temple. Sacre bleu! The entire platoon leapt to their feet as the Arch hit the deck like a sea bag full of wet laundry and cannon balls.

It would not be unreasonable to assume the night ended in an orgy of shattered glass and broken furniture. But again, the logic of fighting men isn’t the same as the average person. Though we’ve been told violence never solved anything, in this instance peace was achieved in one blow. From then on Marines and Legionnaires were fast friends and drinking buddies. Go figure.

Semper Fidelis!
America’s SgtMaj

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  1. I think you may be the only person in the whole of the Intertubes not using “vignette” to describe an arrangement of vases and goat antlers on a bookcase featured on Pinterest. I knew i could count on you to maintain proper standards!

    Sticking to the subject matter (for a change) this post illustrates to me yet again that “machismo”-type argy-bargy often ends happily, and with beer. It must be fun to be a fella 😛

  2. Miss Em, we take a lot of $#!t, trust me.

    Magoo, we are all about standards here. It’s fun being a fella until they want you to sit in a drum circle and talk about “feelings.” Whatever those are.

  3. America’s SgtMaj:

    Feelings are that thing we have in our feet at the end of a 20 mile hump, aint it?

    – Grimmy

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