The Marines of Echo Company

Ready for a MOTO RUN

The Marines of Echo Company

Jan 27th 2011 MOTO RUN
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Who is Dakota Meyer?

The Marine Corps’ recent Medal of Honor recipient has been cited for his humility throughout his time in the public spotlight. Dakota Meyer and his friends and family talk about what makes Dakota tick.

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Navy Corpsmen: A Marine’s Best Friend

Here’s a great excerpt from ABOUT.COM regarding Marines and Navy Corpsmen. Photo courtesy of popasmoke.com
~Cpl. Beddoe

While Corpsmen are expected to be cure-alls for whatever ails a Marine, they know that their medical expertise only comes into play when it’s needed. Otherwise, they’re Marines in every sense of the word.

Navy Corpsman treats a Marine (Vietnam)

“Corpsmen need to know hand-to-hand combat skills because when they go out with Marines they might have to get down and dirty during a fire fight,” said Sgt. Michael Belliston. “They might have to fight their way to a hurt Marine, or fight his way out with that Marine.”

So the Corpsmen learn. They learn how to fight hand-to-hand, how to fire MK-19 grenade launchers, drive Humvees, rappel, take point on a patrol, etc. And they do it on the front lines, not just during training exercises back in the states.

The Sailors hold their own.

“I’ve always been impressed with the level of skills they possess from the relatively short amount of training they go through,” said Morse. “My Corpsmen can jump on any weapon out here and perform as well as any Marine. Heck, I’ve met some docs who could outshoot every Marine in his platoon.”

Still, the Marines would rather the Corpsmen not have to prove their battle readiness during a firefight.

“A good Corpsman will put rounds downrange if we need him to,” said Morse, “but we try to keep them in the rear so they are around to save us.”

Read the ENTIRE ARTICLE

CORPSMAN RANK
HR – Hospital Recruit (E-1)
HA – Hospital Apprentice (E-2)
HN – Hospitalman (E-3)
HM3 – Hospital Corpsman Third Class (E-4)
HM2 – Hospital Corpsman Second Class (E-5)
HM1 – Hospital Corpsman First Class (E-6)
HMC – Chief Hospital Corpsman (E-7)
HMCS – Senior Chief Hospital Corpsman (E-8)
HMCM – Master Chief Hospital Corpsman (E-9)

See also: http://www.usmc81.com/2010/12/casevac-corpsman-shannon-dittlinger/

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Happy New Year from Afghanistan

I really wish I was with them! Drive On!
~Cpl. Beddoe

Marines with 2nd MLG (FWD) perform “Auld Lang Syne” in tribute to the New Year and a wrap-up of 2011.

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Col Mike Lowe’s Mess Night Speech

Col. Lowe was invited to be a guest speaker at a formal “Dining In” at Basic School at Quantico and who took the time to actually compose a crowd-friendly, entertaining message. The following are the remarks of Col. Mike Lowe, the Commander of Marine Corps Base Quantico. These remarks are very much to the point and the Colonel held the absolute attention of everyone at the mess.

Colonel James M. Lowe, Commander Marine Corps Base Quantico.

Colonel James M. Lowe
Colonel James M. Lowe
“From that elegant introduction, you may or not have picked up on the fact that I have had 5 tours in Marine divisions, serving in all 4 divisions and 3d MarDiv twice. I have made 8 Marine expeditionary unit deployments, served with the special operations command and have been to every level of PME possible in order to hone my war fighting skills.

Utilizing your great deductive abilities, intellect and experience as Lieutenants, you should have questioned the Corps’ collective judgment when they decided to make me a Base Commander! I sure as hell did and I still do!

Look up “base” in the dictionary.

According to Mr. Webster: “lowest part or bottom. Having or showing little or no honor, courage or decency; mean; ignoble; contemptible; menial or degrading; inferior in quality; of comparative low worth”.

So… After 28 years of focusing on locating, closing with and destroying, I’ve got that going for me!

That’s ok! Go ahead and laugh! There is at least one future base commander sitting among you right now!

Seriously, I am honored to return to the Basic School as your guest, at this, one of our most time honored traditions. I have been asked to speak on my insights and experiences as a leader of Marines.

Basically, I was told to talk about what I have learned over the last 28 years of leading Marines. Well, I have only learned eight things, and it will only take me about 60 seconds to share them with you.

Now that I think of it, if I had been invited to speak to you the day Charlie Company formed up, I could have probably saved you six months of TBS training.

I thought I would get this structured portion out of the way up front so I could talk about anything I want to, so here goes.

1. Seek brilliance in the basics, always do the right thing, and have a plan to kill everyone you meet.

2. If you are riding at the head of the herd, look back every now and then and make sure it is still there.

3. Never enter an hour-long firefight with 5 minutes of ammo.

4. This one is really important for all of you born North of Washington, DC. Never, never kick a cow chip on a hot day.

5. If you’re not shooting, and I can see by your marksmanship badges that some of you are challenged in this area, you better be communicating or reloading for another Marine.

6. There are three types of leaders. Those who learn from reading, those who learn from observation, and those who still have to touch the electric fence to get the message.

7. Anything worth shooting is worth shooting twice. Ammo is cheap.

8. And finally, you might want to write this one down: Never slap a grown man who has a mouth full of chewing tobacco

Now that I’ve put that check in “proper military instruction” block, are there any questions? Of course not! What a stupid question to ask a bunch of Lieutenants so close to graduation! Now that I think of it, my TBS class stopped asking questions after the first two weeks.

I have a few minutes left; so let’s talk about something I like, Marines. Up front, let me tell you how much I admire you. Why is that? Unlike the vast majority of your fellow citizens, you stepped forward and committed yourself to a greater cause without concern for your personal safety or comfort. And you did it knowing that you would gain nothing in return. Except the honor and cherished privilege of earning the title of “Marine Officer”.

Individually, you are as different as apples and oranges, but you are linked for eternity by the title “Marine” and the fact that you are part of the finest fighting force that has ever existed in history.

If you haven’t picked up on it, I like being a Marine and I like being around Marines. Like most of you are probably thinking, I came into the Corps to do four years and four years only. But a strange thing happened. I was having so much fun that I simply forgot to get out. Hell, at this point, I am thinking seriously about making the Corps a career!

So what is it that I like about Marines? This is the easy part!

I like the fact that you always know where you stand with a Marine! With Marines, there is no middle ground or gray area. There are only missions, objectives and facts.

I like the fact that if you are a self-declared enemy of America, that running into a Marine outfit in combat is your worst nightmare, and that your health record is about to get a lot thicker or be closed out entirely!

I like the fact that Marines are steadfast and consistent in everything they do. Regardless of whether you agree with them or not; that Marines hold the term “politically correct” with nothing but pure disdain; that Marines stand tall and rigid in their actions, thoughts and deeds when others bend with the direction of the wind and are as confused as a dog looking at a ceiling fan!

I like the fact that each and every Marine considers the honor and legacy of the Corps as his personal and sacred trust to protect and defend.

I like the fact that most civilians don’t have a clue what makes us tick! And that’s not a bad thing. Because if they did, it would scare the hell out of them!

I like the fact that others say they want to be like us, but don’t have what it takes in the “pain-gain-pride” department to make it happen.

I like the fact that the Marines came into being in a bar, Tun Tavern, and that Marines still gather in pubs, bars and slop chutes to share sea stories and hot scoop.

I like our motto: Semper Fidelis, and the fact that we don’t shed it when the going gets tough, the battlefield gets deadly or when we hang up our uniform for the last time.

I like the fact that Marines take care of each other. In combat and in time of peace.

I like the fact that Marines consider the term “Marines take care of their own” as meaning we will give up our very life for our fellow Marines, if necessary.

I like the fact that Marines know the difference between “chicken salad” and “chicken shit” and aren’t afraid to call either for what it is!

I like the fact that Marines have never failed the people of America and that we don’t use the words “can’t”, “retreat”, or “lose”.

I like the fact that the people of America hold Marines in the highest esteem and that they know that they can count on us to locate, close with and destroy those who would harm them! I like Marines. And being around Marines.

I like the fact that a couple of years ago an elected member of congress felt compelled to publicly accuse the Marine Corps of being “radical and extreme”. I like the fact that our Commandant informed that member of congress that he was absolutely correct and that he passed on his thanks for the compliment.

I like the fact that Marine leaders — of every rank— know that issuing every man and woman a black beret — or polka-dotted boxer shorts for that matter— does absolutely nothing to promote morale, fighting spirit or combat effectiveness.

I like the fact that Marines are Marines first. Regardless of age, race, creed, color, sex, national origin or how long they served or what goals they achieve in life!

Let me give you one example: a young man enlists in the Navy in WWI. When the war is over, he ships over and joins the Army.

He next enlisted in the Marine Corps and served from 1920-1922. There was no Air Force back then, so I guess he felt he had put all the checks in the block! When he served out his time in the Corps, he went after an education: receiving various degrees in engineering, history and political science from UCLA and Montana State University. He entered politics and served for 11 years in the House of Representatives. Next, he tackled the Senate where he served for 24 years, as both the Democratic whip and later as the Senate majority leader. He was then appointed as the ambassador to Japan where he served for 11 years.

This gentleman went from snuffy to national and international prominence. And when he passed away in 2001, he was rightly buried in Arlington. If you want to visit his grave, don’t look for him near the Kennedy Eternal Flame where so many politicians are laid to rest. Look for a small, common marker shared by the majority of our heroes. Look for the marker that says “Michael J. Mansfield, PFC, U.S. Marine Corps.

You see, Senator Mike Mansfield, like each of us gathered here tonight was prouder of being a Marine than anything else in his incredible life of national service.

Here is one thing I have learned for sure over the last 28 years. The years fly by, names change, the weapons and the gear change, political leaders and agendas change, national priorities and budgets change, the threats to our nation change. But through it all, there is one abiding constant —- the basic issue, do-or-die Marine.

He or she will do damn near anything asked, under terrible conditions, with better results and fewer complaints than any civilized human being should have reason to expect. And we, who have the privilege of serving them and leading them, make our plans and execute crucial missions based primarily on one fact of life. That the basic Marine will not fail his country, his Corps and his fellow Marines. That they will overcome any threat. If allowed to do so.

Think about that and remember that for 228 years it has worked and it has kept the wolf away from America’s door. I like Marines, because being a Marine is serious business. We’re not a social club or a fraternal organization and we don’t pretend to be. We’re a brotherhood of “warriors” — nothing more, nothing less, pure and simple.

We are in the ass-kicking business, and unfortunately, these days business is good. But don’t worry about that. What you need to remember is that the mere association of the word “Marine” with a crisis is an automatic source of confidence to America, and encouragement to all nations who stand with us. As Marines, our message to our foes has always been essentially the same. “We own this side of the street! Threaten my country or our allies and we will come over to your side of the street, burn your hut down, and whisper in your ear “can you hear me now?” And then secure your heartbeat.

Now I must tell you that I had an opportunity to review your MOS assignments. I remember that time in my life well as a real group tightener! Regardless of what MOS you now have, if you don’t already know it, being a leader of Marines is about as much fun as you can legally have with your clothes on! And that’s true regardless if you are a grunt, datadink, sparkchaser, stewburner, wiredog, buttplate, remington raider, rotorhead, legal beagle, fast stick, cannon cocker, track head, skivvie stacker, dual fool or a boxkicker. And if you don’t believe it you will! Trust me!

Why is that? Because each of us fought to gain the coveted title “Marine”, it wasn’t given to us. We earned it. And on the day we finally became Marines, an eternal flame of devotion and fierce pride was ignited in our souls.

Charlie Company, let’s not fool ourselves. You know it and I know it. You have some challenging times and emotional events ahead of you. I am not talking about tomorrow morning’s headache. I am talking about the fact that the world is a dangerous place and as leaders of Marines, you will be walking point on world events.

Make sure you keep that flame that I mentioned earlier burning brightly. It will keep you warm when times are hard. It will provide light in the darkest of nights. Use it and draw strength from it, as generations of leathernecks have done since our beginning.

Before PCS’ing to Quantico, I completed a 24-month tour with the 31st MEU aboard the USS Essex. Some of the Marines here tonight were with me. The Essex is a great ship and one of six to bear that name in defense of our nation.

In 1813, the first Essex was commanded by a tough skipper named Capt. David Porter. By all accounts, Capt Porter was the type man you did not want to see at Captain’s Mast. He was tough, but he was a true warrior. On one particular mission, the Essex was ordered to sail alone to the Pacific and attack Great Britain’s Pacific whaling fleet.

Obviously, Captain Porter knew the fleet was well-guarded by British men-of-war and he knew his job would be a tough one and that he would be severely out gunned in his task.

Prior to sailing, Capt Porter addressed the assembled crew of sailors and Marines on the deck and explained the task at hand. He asked for volunteers only and told his men to “take seven steps forward” if they would willingly go in harm’s way with him. He then turned his back and waited.

After a few moments, he turned to face his crew and noticed no holes in the ranks. The ranks looked just as they had and not a single Marine or sailor stood to the front of the formation. It is reported that he went on a tirade and screamed, “What is this? Not a single volunteer among you?” With this, an aide leaned over and whispered in Porter’s ear, “Sir, the whole line has stepped forward 7 paces.”

I think of this story often. And when I do, I think of Marines like you. Charlie Company, on behalf of the generations of Marine lieutenants who have gone before you, thank you for taking the “7 steps forward”, thank you for your love of country, thank you for your life-long commitment as a United States Marine.

For those of you who are wondering, “Am I up to it?” forget it. You will be magnificent, just as Marine officers always have been. I realize that many of your young Marines are going to be “been there, done that” warriors and that they will wear the decorations to prove it. But you need to know, that they respect you and admire you. You need to know that they want and need your leadership. All you have to do is never fail them in this regard and everything will turn out great. Hold up your end of the bargain and they will not fail.

I am pretty sure I can speak for the entire group of distinguished guests here tonight when I say, “We admire you and would trade places with you in a minute to do it all over again.” Sooooo, if you’re interested in giving up a platoon in order to be a base commander, see me at the bar!

One last thing. When you check into your first unit and start the fantastic voyage that only Marines will ever know, kick some serious ass. Because it is a full time job and there is a lot of that activity that must occur for America and her allies to survive.

“Long live the United States. And success to the Marine Corps!””

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Rules for Dating a Marine’s Daughter

If you pull into my driveway and honk you’d better be delivering a package, because you’re sure not picking anything up.

Remove your hat when entering my humble abode. I may think you have something terrible under it and will do my best to exterminate it quickly, efficiently, and fatally.

You do not touch my daughter in front of me. You may glance at her, so long as you do not peer at anything below her neck. If you cannot keep your eyes or hands off of my daughter’s body, I will remove them.

Rules for dating a Marine's Daughter
If you make her cry, I will make you cry.

I am aware that it is considered fashionable for boys of your age to wear their trousers so loosely that they appear to be falling off their hips. Please don’t take this as an insult, but you and all of your friends are complete idiots. Still, I want to be fair and open minded about this issue, so I propose this compromise: You may come to the door with your underwear showing and your pants ten sizes too big, and I will not object. However, In order to ensure that your clothes do not, in fact, come off during the course of your date with my daughter, I will take my electric nail gun and fasten your trousers securely in place to your waist.

I’m sure you’ve been told that in today’s world, sex without utilizing a “barrier method” of some kind can kill you. Let me elaborate, when it comes to sex, I am the barrier, and I will kill you.

In order for us to get to know each other, we should talk about sports, politics, and other issues of the day. Please do not do this. The only information I require from you is an indication of when you expect to have my daughter safely back at my house, and the only word I need from you on this subject is “early.”

I have no doubt you are a popular fellow, with many opportunities to date other girls. This is fine with me as long as it is okay with my daughter. Otherwise, once you have gone out with my little girl, you will continue to date no one but her until she is finished with you. If you make her cry, I will make you cry.

As you stand in my front hallway, waiting for my daughter to appear, and more than an hour goes by, do not sigh and fidget. If you want to be on time for the movie, you should not be dating. My daughter is putting on her makeup, a process that can take longer than painting the Golden Gate Bridge. Instead of just standing there, why don’t you do something useful, like changing the oil in my car?

The following places are not appropriate for a date with my daughter: Places where there are beds, sofas, or anything softer than a wooden stool. Places where there are no parents, policemen, or nuns within eyesight. Places where there is darkness. Places where there is dancing, holding hands, or happiness. Places where the ambient temperature is warm enough to induce my daughter to wear shorts, tank tops, midriff T-shirts, or anything other than overalls, a sweater, and a goose down parka zipped up to her throat. Movies with a strong romantic or sexual theme are to be avoided; movies which features chain saws are okay. Hockey games are okay. Old folks homes are better.

Do not lie to me. I may appear to be a potbellied, balding, middle-aged, dimwitted has-been. But on issues relating to my daughter, I am the all-knowing, merciless god of your universe. If I ask you where you are going and with whom, you have one chance to tell me the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. I have a shotgun, a shovel, and five acres behind the house.
Do not trifle with me. Be afraid. Be very afraid. It takes very little for me to mistake the sound of your car in the driveway for a chopper coming in over a rice paddy outside of Chu Lai. When my Agent Orange or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) starts acting up, the voices in my head frequently tell me to clean the guns as I wait for you to bring my daughter home.

As soon as you pull into the driveway you should exit your car with both hands in plain sight. Speak the perimeter password, announce in a clear voice that you have brought my daughter home safely and early, then return to your car.

There is no need for you to come inside.

The camouflaged face at the window is mine.

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Boot Camp Hindsight

Marines,

What’s one thing you wish you would have known before arriving at MCRD boot camp or OCS?

Post your response as a comment below.

Semper Fidelis!

Photo: http://www.life.com
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Marines lip to Britney’s “Hold It Against Me” in Afghanistan

You may have seen this video of the VMM-266 Marines lip-syncing to Britney Spears’ “Hold It Against Me” while over in Afghanistan…  Gotta love how we jarheads entertain ourselves…  Man, I miss it!

Semper Fi!

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USMC: Life as a Marine

Good-to-Go video series with a look into Marine Corps Life.

Semper Fidelis!

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Marine General Al Gray

Al Gray enlisted in the Marine Corps in 1950. The closest recruiting office to his Point Pleasant Beach, NJ, home was in New York City, and the recruiting officer was then Major Louis Wilson. In 1976, the 26th Commandant of the Marine Corps, the same Louis Wilson, promoted Al Gray to Brigadier General; General Wilson quipped that he was promoting Al Gray in order to prove that some Marine recruits turned out to be okay.

Photo source: http://leadingmarines.com
Old-timers may recall that in the late 1970s, several senior Marine generals were southerners: General Wilson was from Mississippi; the Assistant Commandant, Robert Barrow, was from Louisiana, and John Miller, who was General Gray’s boss at the time, was from Texas.

Sometime after the promotion ceremony, Brigadier General Gray was part of a panel at Quantico; he was asked to what he attributed his rise through the ranks from enlisted man all the way to general officer? Gray pondered the question for a few seconds and then replied, “Well, my career really took off when I realized that I was from Southern New Jersey.”

General Gray’s sense of humor is one of his finest traits. There are many examples of how he used humor to convey his message.

When he was the Commanding General of the 2nd Marine Division, he once limped into a meeting with his staff and senior commanders. Everyone was concerned about the General’s apparent discomfort as he massaged his shin.

Someone asked, “How did you hurt yourself, General?”

Gray continued to massage his leg and finally answered, “I tripped over some of those weeds near the 2nd Marines’ barracks”

Needless to say, all the lawn mowers at Camp Lejeune were checked out immediately as subordinate commanders made sure their areas were shipshape. Gray’s use of humor to get his point across was much more effective than yelling and screaming would have been, and it maintained the existing high morale of the division.

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“OOH-RAH” is most popular spelling

In a month-long poll on USMC81.COM, over 1,100 voted for their preferred spelling of the USMC spirited battle cry. OOH-RAH was the favorite spelling with over 29% of the votes. Coming in a close second with 22% of the votes was OORAH.

OOH-RAH! Carry on!

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Remember The Brave

Received via e-mail.. Worth viewing again if you’ve seen it before.

Very moving video. NOBODY does it better than the USMC…

The event was a dinner given at the Marine Corps Museum (Quantico, Virginia) for families who lost loved ones in combat. Click on the image.

http://www.jensensutta.com/slideshows/RTB/

Semper Fidelis

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AND ALL THE TIME, I HAVE LOVED THEM

I HAVE GROWN TO LOOK UPON MARINES AS SOMETHING SACRED;

I HAVE LAUGHED WITH THEM AND CRIED WITH THEM;

CURSED THEM AND PRAYED FOR THEM;

SHIVERED AND SWELTERED WITH THEM;

SUFFERED WITH THEM;

FOUGHT WITH THEM, BLED WITH THEM, AND HELD THEM IN MY ARMS WHILE THEY DIED.

I HAVE BURIED THEM.

AND ALL THE TIME, I HAVE LOVED THEM.

~Maj Gene Duncan, USMC (ret)

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