Thurs. Nov. 10th, 2011 was the 236th Birthday of the US Marine Corps. The U.S. Marine Corps is one year older than the United States of America.
[On November 10, 1775, the 1st Continental Congress commissioned Samuel Nicholas, a Quaker innkeeper, to raise two battalions of marines in Philadelphia. The tavern’s manager, Robert Mullan acted as marine recruiter. Prospective volunteers came to Tun Tavern, most importantly, to serve the country by joining the corps, and secondly, for cold beer. The first Continental U.S. Marine unit was made up of one hundred Rhode Islanders commanded by Captain Nicholas. Thank you wikipedia, I made a donation and changed a few words.]
[Now called the Officer’s Candidates Course, it is currently a ten-month program located then and now at Quantico, Virginia where my sister, Gina was born. By the way, she was a $6 baby. It includes the legendary Marine Corps Boot Camp from which the common term “boot camp” is borrowed, an umbrella term encompassing any kind of grueling physical test. I’m confident any other “boot camp” pales in comparison to the real thing.]
This class has had numerous reunions over the years because this class had four United States Generals. Everyone commissioned a second lieutenant has to go through Officer’s Basic School.
This picture is from the cookbook that my mother made for me with recipes of my family and friends when I was married. It is in a section entitled “Marine Corps Cooks.” I don’t have it with me to see her words exactly, but I am remembering that they included a few of the following points:
- The Marine Corps told the men the first day that they were married first to the Marine Corps and second to their wives. [I’m sure this for some was reason enough to join]
- My mom felt that as a Marine Corps Wife (at that time) that she had plenty of time on her hands. She said, one of the things that they did was cook. She includes at least two delicious recipes that I remember in this section. They are for a concoction called “Pooh Punch” and for “Quantico Clam Dip.” She would have to tell you the story(ies) but I’m recollecting that the two in excessive amounts could be quite deadly to this group.
- She also noted that on the base, the competition among wives consisted of being the first one to get the laundry on the clothesline in the morning. And, the competition of who could get pregnant first. I don’t imagine that my mother won the first one, but I’m certain that she did the second; she has always been a high achiever.
- I do remember her saying that upon graduating from KU and after her marriage June 6th, her parents drove her to Virginia to move her in. I am not sure where my father was stationed or why her parents had this responsibility, but I am assuming it was as she said, the wedding with the USMC was held before hers.
From here on my notetaking and comprehension break down because it was getting too detailed to write. I should not talk about or relay things I don’t know about but this is what is written:
- Candidate School
- ROTC class
- Basic school class (4 or more each year)
- 3rd Basic School class for 1957. 600 (3 companies of 200), each company is 4 platoons, 45 in a platooon.
- Carl Mundy-4 star General Commandant
- Joe Hoar-4 star General, replaced Schwarzkopf (army officer) as Central Command (commanding officer for marines, air force and army for all forces on the eastern United States). All a chain of command thing. Chairman of the joint chiefs of staff rotates around between the three branches of service. The marine corps is part of the naval establishment, but has their own Commandant.
- 40 people in a platoon. my dad, Joe Hoar and Jim Joy are all in the same platoon. Hollis Davison is another 3 star general. Another 5th?
[Dad, please post corrections. I didn’t google for checking]
That’s really the end of my notes from dad’s story by phone on the Eve of the USMC Birthday. The marines I met at the Candle Club in Wichita confirmed what he must have said, which is that after Officer’s Training he was then sent to Camp LeJeune, “Home of Expeditionary Forces in Readiness.” That is, he was assigned to a mission which he would lead and Camp LeJeune was the base where he was prepared for this duty.
I do remember asking my father what he thought at that time when he was on the boat to the Phillippines. With the humor and self-deprecating smile that anyone who knows my father can imagine, he said something to the effect of,
“Man! I might just die over here!”
And, I’m sure that is what any or at least many honest Marines say to themselves so often when they go to work each day and serve our Country when on a mission. But they go to work anyway, because they have taken it on as their duty to serve and protect our country.
So with whatever you choose
to be your mission in life
and from the child of a marine,
born at Camp LeJeune