The Philosophical Marine

You may remember one of my platoon sergeants, Staff Sergeant Hensley, from this photo. He considers himself somewhat of a deep thinker despite the fact he more physically resembles a leg breaking brute. He even has GRENDEL tattooed down his forearm.

Walking through the barracks one day I noticed a piece of paper tacked to the doors of some of his Marines. It was entitled Hensley’s Philosophy and I liked it enough to share with you today.


1. Remember that you did this to yourself.

2. Discipline leads to mastery.

3. In order to master your profession, you need to first master yourself (SELF DISCIPLINE).

 4. Increase your lethality every chance you get. EVERY DAY.

5.  If you won’t work on lethality, at least work on some form of self development.

 6. Become proficient in the things you DO NOT enjoy.

7. Accept that the basics ARE brilliant.

8. Remember that practice makes PERMANENT.

 9. Imagine that someone you respect is watching everything you do, ALL THE TIME.

 10. Know your limits.

 11. Constantly work to exceed your limits, SAFELY.

 12. Balance mental proficiency with physical proficiency. Balance physical capacity with mental capacity.

   13. Make time to rest.

 A little self assessment is always on point and with the concept of self improvement in mind I encourage everyone to take the time to craft their own philosophy.  No,  I don’t expect any little old ladies possibly reading this to necessarily increase their lethality. It would be cool if they did though!

Semper Fi,
America’s 1stSgt

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  1. Heh! Old Lady Lethality!
    My favourite quote is:

    When I’m old, I don’t want them to say of me,
    “She’s so charming.”
    I want them to say,
    “Be careful, I think she’s armed.”
    G. Stoddart

    And yay for the Grendel tattoo(although Tat of Grendel’s mum?!? – that would be even better :D)


  2. Just how many little old ladies read your blog? More than me? Hmmmmm? Are you telling me America’s 1stSgt is supported by a crew of tough old birds who can slay opponents with a glare and a shove of the shopping cart?

  3. Best set of philosophical principals you can have. I agree with them all the way. Just putting them into play is not so easy all of the time. But that’s probably why it is called “working on yourself” and not having some fun with yourself. x)
    But whom am i telling this?

    You know that Grendel’s mom was a “WATERDEAMON”, right? She definitely was “old lady lethality”!

  4. Okay, I’m one of your ‘little old ladies’.

    My brother is now trying to teach me about Black Powder Weapons and how to use them properly and care for them afterwards.

    Hope this helps in the classification of “Lethality”?

    half-blind, 2/3 deaf, very dangerous and quite deadly …. well …. maybe in my own mind

    Miss Em

  5. CI Roller, Granny isn’t messing around with what she no doubt refers to as the Big Ass Rifle.

    Kanani, I understand the mil support crowd can get be pretty tough. As well armed as some of these gals are I may have to rethink referring to anyone as “old”.

    Levant, careful what you say about Grendel’s mom. He might hear you.

    Miss Em, it’s why we invented gun powder in the first place, to level the playing field.

  6. “…I don’t expect any little old ladies possibly reading this to necessarily increase their lethality. It would be cool if they did though!”

    A coincidence that this happened mere days after your post? I think you’d better tell SSgt H that he’s spawned a new breed of lethal old ladies. Britain’s gun laws, however, mean it’s “lethality by handbag”:

    in case you can’t view the video outside the UK:

  7. I don’t know if I qualify for “little old lady” status (Definitely not a “lady”) but I am working on the Lethality part. I fell off the haystack last week…Oh, wait a minute, maybe you don’t mean lethal to myself….

  8. More little old ladies read your blog then you think. I being one of them with a loaded double barrel shot gun under my bed. Both of my sons qualify as lethal – favorite quote of son #2 (4th degree black belt in Kung Fu San Soo)is “if life hands me lemons I know 21 ways to kill with a lemon. I may have heard that from you in the first place but passed it on to him. #1 is in Military – what he does I leave to his privacy – but lethal non the less. All of us will fight for what is right and appreciate your Philosophical Marine. Do so love your blog and am always happy that you improve those that come over to “cheer you up”. Take good care.

  9. Magoo, nothing wrong with keeping a brick in your purse for emergencies.

    Leslie, the problem with becoming more lethal to yourself is you might actually get there one day.

    Wrexie, if we don’t tell the Marines that I would have machete fights in the barracks and they would claim they were merely “training”.

    Fargo, you know what they say about old age and treachery…

    Shay, your staff needs to toughen up. I say post it!

    Lorraine, I prefer to use lemon to wash the taste of blood out of my mouth.

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