1. Cpl. Jason Dunham. First
Marine to receive the Medal of Honor since
Vietnam. If jumping on a grenade to save a buddy isn’t worth the top of
the list, nothing is.
2. Civilians have to find time to go to the gym. Marines get paid to go.
3. The National Museum of the Marine Corps. It’s like a Smithsonian of
4. There’s no such thing as an “ex” Marine.
5. Re-enlistment rates are higher IN the war zone.
6. Stink-proof socks. Well, almost. Systems Command is working on them.
7. Jalapeño cheese.
8. “Every Marine Into the Fight.”
9. Lump-sum re-enlistment bonuses up to $80,000. Many of you would
consider doing it for free.
10. New uniforms #1. Pixel-pattern cammies? Yeah, the Corps came up
12. Flexed arm hang is harder than it looks. We tried it.
13. Barracks parties on non-payday weekends.
14. Marine Gunners.
15. The Wounded Warrior Regiment.
16. MarAdmin 266/07: Letting 18-year-old Marines drink on base at this
year’s birthday ball.
17. No receipt necessary for travel claim expenses less than $75.
18. The lance corporal underground.
19. Fallujah II.
21. Archibald Henderson’s couch, re-upholstered, is still in the
commandant’s living room.
22. “No better friend, no worse enemy.”
23. Typhoons approaching Okinawa often spark islandwide beer runs.
25. Gen. James Jones, who followed his tour as commandant with
appointment as “supreme intergalactic overlord” (OK, it was Supreme
Allied Commander, Europe, but close).
26. 10 rounds from the 500-yard line.
27. Per diem.
28. To civilians, every Marine is recon.
29. Recruiting in Texas is like hunting at the zoo.
30. The “boat cloak.” Because every super hero needs a cape.
31. You can re-enlist in the IRR.
32. The wallet in your sock.
33. Motivating television commercials.
34. The “horse shoe” haircut, gone but not forgotten.
35. The global address list. Find your buddies and send them links to
Marine Corps Times.
36. Running cadences that mention napalm. And Eskimos.
37. Stories that begin with, “So there I was …”
38. Modified parade rest.
39. The transformation. Who you are when you join is not nearly as
important as who you become.
40. Lt. Gen. Jim Mattis getting a fourth star.
41. If you’ve been on liberty in Twentynine Palms, you’ve been on
liberty in Yuma and Barstow, too.
42. Grooming standards. Not only can you not act like a thug, you
cannot look like a thug.
43. It’s not the Army.
44. Women in Manhattan have all seen the Fleet Week episode of “Sex and
45. Combat shotguns.
46. Combat Action Ribbons. IEDs count now, and should have counted all
47. The occasional free beer. Wear your blues into a bar and see what
48. After decades of debate, there remains no resolution on whether
sand fleas trump “The Reaper.”
49. The Corps’ doesn’t call its officers, commissioned or not, “petty.”
50. Cpl. Gareth Hawkins, lying on a stretcher after an IED shattered
his leg, demanded re-enlistment before medical evacuation. And got it.
51. Whereas Army, Navy and Air Force jokes are funny, Marine jokes are
52. The occasional friendly debate. Refer to a Marine staff
Noncommissioned officer simply as “sergeant,” and see what happens.
53. That troublesome “10 percent,” making good Marines look great since
54. Everyone at a high school reunion is obliged to justify his last 10
years, except the guy wearing alphas.
55. As if ranks that include the words “master” and “gunnery” aren’t
intimidating enough on their own, the Corps uses them both. At once.
56. Soldiers have Hooah Bars. Marines have Ka-Bars. The second will
generally get you the first.
57. The dress code. You can wear your cammies to meet the commandant or
repair a tank.
58. From “Aliens” to “Doom,” the future vision of warfare almost always
includes Space Marines.
59. The Corps was formed in a bar.
60. Marines predicted the WWII campaigns in the Pacific years earlier
and prepared for the inevitable. So when a Marine says, “Hey, I’ve been
thinking.” perhaps you should take notes.
61. Give a Marine some free time, and he’ll rip down your dictator’s
62. If it ain’t raining, we ain’t training.
64. Duty station garden spots: Jacksonville, N.C.; Yuma, Ariz.;
Bridgeport, Calif.; Twentynine Palms, Calif. (Yes, we’re kidding.)
65. Making morning PT on time.
66. Recruiters who promise everything EXCEPT a rose garden.
67. Mustangs #1. It’s easier to take crap from a CO who went to boot
69. Gen. Peter Pace, the first Marine chairman of the Joint Chiefs. He
left his four-star insignia with his fallen comrades at the Vietnam
Wall when he retired. Nice move.
70. The people zapper. Using microwave energy to disperse a crowd
sounds like fun. Semper fry, gunny.
71. Nothing says “Good morning” like a mouthful of Copenhagen and
72. Nothing says “I love you” like a welcome home sheet hanging on a
73. Bill Barnes. In June, the former Marine beat the crap out of a
27-year-old pickpocket who tried to make off with his dough. Oh yeah,
74. Leftwich Trophy. Heisman winners only think they know about leaving
it all on the field.
75. EOD. If you don’t know why this is on the list , defuse the next
76. Tax-free combat pay. Doing what you signed up for and not having to
give Uncle Sam a dime back.
77. Montford Point Marines. The first African-American Marines know a
little something about honor, courage and commitment.
78. Front toward enemy. It’s not just a visual reference on a Claymore
mine, it’s a Marine Corps way of life.
79. Mustangs #2. You know at least three Marines who drive them. It’s
like a Ford dealership exploded on base.
80. Fred Smith, founder of FedEx. Only a former Marine could truly
appreciate the value of getting your mail on time.
81. CMC: The tallest member of the Joints Chiefs. OK, so we haven’t
actually measured, but he looks the tallest anyway.
82. No more spit shining boots.
83. Chuck Norris was in the Air Force. Steve McQueen was a Marine.
84. The Crucible.
85. 1/9, 2/9 and 3/9. Welcome back, fellas.
86. The FROG uniform. You are now sweat-wickin’ AND flame-lickin’.
88. The M4. More rifles in the fight is generally a win-win.
89. MRAPs. Trucks straight out of Mad Max. We still love a good Humvee,
but we loved jeeps, too. Things change.
90. Arty guys who do civil affairs. They blow it up, then they fix it.
Circle of life.
91. Service Charlies. They look so good, the Navy’s copying ‘em.
92. Fake Marines. No one eats ‘em up faster than real Marines.
93. John Lovell. A 71-year-old former Marine is sitting in a Subway
restaurant when two armed men try to rob the place. Lovell grabs his
.45, kills one and wounds the other. No word on how Lovell’s sandwich
94. 3rd Battalion, 5th Marines. Six Navy Crosses so far. Six.
95. Staff Sgt. Lawrence Dean II, aka the “BadAss Marine.” He recites a
He gets uploaded to YouTube. Thousands get motivated.
96. Gen. James Conway takes over as the new commandant. Among his
demands: a new PT uniform, new tattoo regs, a plan to add dress blues
to the seabag, a change-up in medals and 22,000 more Marines. Someone’s
been thinking about taking over for a while, huh?
97. Body-fat standards. Everyone hates them, until they see a fat
98. “Jarhead.” Only a former Marine could write a war story about not
fighting anyone and make it last for 200 pages, then get Jamie Foxx to
star in the movie.
99. The Stumps. The Rock. The Sandbox. Oh, the places you’ll serve.
101. Tattoos #2. Getting a fallen friend’s name tattooed on your other
forearm, and knowing the same.
102. The new PT running suit. Sure, the Army had them first, but the
Army gets most things first.
103. Marine expeditionary units: The cheapest cruise you’ll ever take.
104. Camp Lejeune: The closest interstate and the nearest good shopping
mall are both at least an hour away.
105. Camp Pendleton: There are roads and malls, but try affording a
house near the main gate.
106. Tattoos #3. Meat tags. Getting your blood type and other info
inked on your ribcage isn’t necessarily a bad idea.
107. The Marine Corps is getting bigger. The Navy is getting smaller.
109. 30 days’ paid vacation, plus federal holidays off, is obscene by
110. Maj. Gen. Marion E. Carl, the Corps’ first fighter ace. First
Marine to fly a helicopter. Two Navy Crosses, five Distinguished Flying
Crosses, 14 air medals. In 1998, the 82-year-old was killed during a
home break-in when he jumped in front of a shotgun blast aimed at his
longtime wife, Edna.
111. Tattoos #4. Reaction to the new policy: Conway says sleeves are
going away, Marines run for the chair. Tattoo parlors never saw so much
113. Guaranteed pay raises.
114. Marine Security Guard #1. Duty in the Bahamas.
115. Having a WWII Marine say he’s proud of you
116. Drew Carey used to be in the Marine Corps Reserve. Now, he’s the
host of “The Price is Right.”
117. Combatant diver pins. No more of that Navy crap.
118. A Red Stripe is a beer, mon. A Blood Stripe is a symbol of pride.
119. NMCI, if only they would remove the “MC.”
120. You watched “300,” and it reminded you of your unit.
121. The “Det One” .45 pistol. Designed by Marines, for Marines.
122. Combat marksmanship. You are creeping death. And you get graded on
123. Never lost six nukes on a plane.
124. CamelBaks. Water tastes like water again.
125. Give a Marine enough free time, and he’ll marry your Bahraini
126. Go to YouTube. Type in “bored Marines.” Enjoy.
127. When the president gets on a helicopter, it’s not called “Army
128. The opposite of the Peace Corps.
129. Camouflage. You can camouflage anything and make it cool.
130. No Fear #1. Marines aren’t scared of anything. Except apricots.
131. Combat optics on M16s. Leave the iron sights, just in case.
132. “Combat loss” amnesty for missing gear. It’s like pleading the
133. Riding a chartered Continental Airlines flight home from the war
zone with assault weapons stuffed in all the overhead compartments.
134. In combat, the division band becomes a heavy-machine-gun platoon.
135. What do headaches, broken bones, infectious diseases, missing
limbs and hurt feelings all have in common? Motrin. Thanks, Doc.
137. Global instability equals job security.
138. When NMCI goes down, and it will, it’s like having the day off.
139. The honor, privilege and responsibility of leading, mentoring and
caring for junior Marines.
140. Gunnery sergeants. Don’t know the answer? Ask the gunny. Need
something? Ask the gunny. In trouble? Avoid the gunny.
141. Because gunny said so.
142. The line to get “tazed” at a military gear expo. Marines will do
anything for a free T-shirt.
143. Deployment reunions. Like reliving your wedding night. Sweet!
144. Gig lines. Even in khakis and a polo shirt.
145. Eight-point covers. Even the uniform stands at attention.
146. Marine Security Guards #2. They’re not cute and cuddly, but when
they greet you at the door, it’s like getting a great big hug from the
United States of America, no matter where you are.
147. The Mameluke sword. Distinctive.
148. The NCO sword. Earned, never given.
149. The World Famous Mud Run. Thousands of people pay good money to
run through 10 clicks of muck every year at Camp Pendleton.
150. John Philip Sousa. A Marine, the nation’s March King and composer
of “The Stars and Stripes Forever.” Ooh-rah.
151. MRE crackers. Hard as Milk Bones but much tastier. You can almost
feel your teeth getting cleaner as you eat ‘em.
152. Jane Wayne Day. She’ll never ask about work again.
153. Shirt stays. Or garters. Whatever you call them, they’re a triple
whammy, keeping your shirt tucked, your socks up and removing all that
unwanted leg hair.
154. The slogans: “The Few, The Proud, The Marines.” “We’re Looking For
a Few Good Men,” “Once a Marine, always a Marine,” “Tell that to the
Marines.” If they could only purchase the rights to Hallmark’s “When
You Care Enough to Send the Very Best.”
155. Speaking of slogans, “The Few, The Proud, The Marines” beat out
such notables as Nike’s “Just Do It” and Burger King’s “Have It Your
Way” for a 2007 spot on the advertising Walk of Fame. Better luck next
157. Real duty station garden spots you can go an entire career without
being assigned to: Southern California; Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii; Okinawa,
158. Rear-party Marines. God bless them. Whatever reason they stay
behind – injury, impending retirement or being volun-told – they are
indispensable. They deserve medals for what they have to deal with
while a unit is deployed.
159. While field-grade officers are at the company office,
company-grade officers are in the field.
160. Colonels who can take a joke.
161. Free flu shots. And smallpox shots and anthrax shots .
162. Former Sgt. Chris Everhart. While camping with his three sons in
June 2007, a bear snatched their cooler and made a play for his
6-year-old. Everhart threw an 18-inch log at the bear’s head,
cracking its skull before it could attack and killing it instantly.
Then, the park ranger gave him a ticket for leaving the cooler where
the bear could get it.
163. Standards. The Corps doesn’t lower the bar when recruiting gets
164. Jim Nabors. “Gomer Pyle” becomes an honorary Marine in 2001 and
makes Lance Corporal. It takes him six years to pin on corporal. Talk
about art imitating life.
165. Vincent D’Onofrio. The other “Private Pyle” is doing pretty well
on “Law and Order: Criminal Intent.” He’s still weird, though.
166. If you ambush Capt. Brian Chontosh’s boys, he’s going to take off
his Navy Cross and kill you. Then, he’s going to pick up your rifle and
kill your buddies. Then, he’s going to pick up your buddy’s rifle and
kill your buddy’s buddies. Then, he’s going to pick up a
rocket-propelled grenade launcher
167. Speaking of the Navy Cross, a combat award second only to the
Medal of Honor, Marines have earned 15 so far in Iraq, plus one in
Afghanistan. Of the six awarded to sailors for those combat zones, five
went to SEALs, and one went to a corpsman who exposed himself
repeatedly to enemy fire to evacuate and treat wounded Marines. Along
with Chontosh, the other recipients include:
168. Gunnery Sgt. Justin D. Lehew.
169. Lance Cpl. Joseph B. Perez.
170. Sgt. Scott C. Montoya.
171. Cpl. Marco A. Martinez.
172. Sgt. Willie L. Copeland.
173. Capt. Brent Morel (posthumous).
174. Sgt. Anthony L. Viggiani.
175. 1st Sgt. Bradley A. Kasal.
176. Cpl. Robert J. Mitchell.
177. Cpl. Dominic Esquibel.
178. Sgt. Jarrett A. Kraft.
179. Cpl. Jeremiah W. Workman.
180. Cpl. Todd Corbin.
181. Sgt. Aubrey L. McDade Jr.
182. Pfc. Christopher Adlesperger (posthumous).
183. Hospital Corpsman 3rd Class Louis E. Fonseca.
184. Iwo JIMA. Japan might have changed the name to Iwo To, but that
doesn’t mean you have to acknowledge it.
185. Col. John Ripley. Received the Navy Cross for the destruction of
the Dong Ha bridge in Vietnam. The Corps takes care of its own. In
2002, with Ripley near death, doctors finally found a donated liver for
his much-needed transplant. So the Marine Corps sent helicopters and
Marines to Philadelphia to retrieve it, and they personally rushed it
back to Washington in time to save his life.
186. Marine Corps Times isn’t a version of Navy Times anymore. How many
careers get their own newspaper?
188. Gatorade bottles wrapped in green, 100 mph tape so as not to
offend the sailors in the room.
189. Camaraderie. Marines will hook you up with their sisters, then
punch you in the mouth for doing what they knew would happen the whole
190. Ingenuity. MRE bombs, 101 uses for cleaning rods and iPods wired
into field radio speakers.
191. Getting off the ship.
192. Getting back on the ship.
193. No beach? No problem. Marines inserted 400 miles into landlocked
Afghanistan and created Camp Rhino using CH-53 Sea Stallions. Imagine
what you can invade with the Osprey.
194. Cases and cases of bottled water mean never having to stand behind
a water bull.
195. Race as a non-issue. It wasn’t always the case, but three black
sergeants major of the Marine Corps in a row show that the Corps has
only one color: green.
196. Every day in the Corps is another reason to celebrate. That’s why
they call them working “parties.”
197. Riddick Bowe had what it took to be boxing’s undisputed
heavyweight champ. He did not have what it took to be a Marine.
198. The U.S. Army Band is called “Pershing’s Own.” The U.S. Marine
Corps Band is called “The President’s Own.”
199. “8th and I.” Ten bucks says you have no idea where the Army chief
of staff lives. Commandants don’t hide.
200. MRE “rat boxes.” How grunts trick-or-treat.
201. The poncho liner. It’s a blanket, it’s a tent, it’s a keeper.
202. Combat fit-reps. People say they’re equal to regular fit-reps.
203. The “E-tool lean.” Sailors don’t know how good they have it.
204. Navy Lt. Vincent Capodanno, Medal of Honor recipient. If Marines
have a hot line to heaven, Father Capodanno – aka the Grunt Padre –
would take the call. His body peppered by shrapnel, his right hand
nearly severed, the Navy chaplain and priest crisscrossed a Vietnam
battlefield Sept. 4, 1967, to render last rites to his fallen Marines
and corpsmen with 3rd Battalion, 5th Marines, until 27 rounds from an
enemy machine gun took his life. Last year, the Vatican declared him a
“servant of God.” Next step, sainthood?
206. Amphibious warfare means always being near the beach.
207. No Fear #2. Talk about the AV-8B Harrier’s troubled past all you
like, but brave jump jet pilots are flying missions in Iraq.
208. New Uniforms #2. Wash-and-wear combat uniforms mean no more
starch, no more dry cleaning.
209. Marine air-ground task force. Nothing like controlling the air and
210. Slapping an eagle, globe and anchor on the back of your car and
knowing it’ll get you out of at least one speeding ticket.
211. The Navy wants to put Marines back on warships. It seems that
Tomahawk cruise missiles can’t do everything.
212. Liberty in Thailand.
213. Liberty in Australia.
214. Liberty, well, anywhere.
215. The Navy’s mascot is a goat. The Corps’ mascot is a bulldog. You
don’t need Michael Vick to tell you who wins that fight.
216. If you need another occupying land force, you can use the Marine
Corps. If you need another rapidly deployable, sea-based,
front-door-kicking, air-ground team, you can’t use the Army.
217. 1775 Rum Punch. Four parts dark rum, two parts lime juice, one
part pure maple syrup, grenadine to taste.
218. “It’s fun to shoot some people,” said Lt. Gen. Jim Mattis. He says
what he thinks.
219. The Beirut Memorial Wall. If you ever forget what you’re fighting
for, pay a visit.
221. “Son, we live in a world that has walls, and those walls have to
be guarded by men with guns. Who’s gonna do it? You? You, Lieutenant
Weinburg? I have a greater responsibility than you could possibly
fathom. You weep for Santiago, and you curse the Marines. You have that
luxury. You have the luxury of not knowing what I know. That Santiago’s
death, while tragic, probably saved lives. And my existence, while
grotesque and incomprehensible to you, saves lives. You don’t want the
truth because deep down, in places you don’t talk about at parties, you
want me on that wall. You need me on that wall. We use words like
honor, code, loyalty. We use these words as the backbone of a life
spent defending something. You use them as a punch line. I have neither
the time nor the inclination to explain myself to a man who rises and
sleeps under the blanket of the very freedom that I provide, and then
questions the manner in which I provide it. I would rather you just
said thank you, and went on your way. Otherwise, I suggest you pick up
a weapon and stand a post. Either way, I don’t give a damn what you
think you are entitled to.” Jack Nicholson, “A Few Good Men.”
222. Maj. Meghan McClung, Marine public affairs officer, killed by a
roadside bomb in Iraq while escorting media. The PAO is more than just
223. Sgt. Rafael Peralta. Like Dunham, he hugged a grenade to save his
buddies in Iraq. No Medal of Honor . yet.
224. Hearing an accidental discharge into the clearing barrel, then
waiting for the lieutenant to walk inside.
225. Call signs like “Spider” and “Assassin,” and these guys were
227. Buttered noodles for breakfast.
228. “Every Marine should look like a Marine. But a Marine looks like a
Marine when he’s got a bayonet stuck in the enemy’s chest.” Gen. Robert
Magnus, assistant commandant, discussing body-fat standards.
229. “Infantry” is the easiest job for recruiters to sell.
230. Being the youngest Marine at the ball.
231. Being the oldest Marine at the ball.
232. Marine Corps Times appreciates all you do. Happy birthday,