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Topic: Back before the war - stateside
Replies: 18   Last Post: Jun 13, 2021, 8:34 PM by: clover65®
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Replies: 18  

Back before the war - stateside

emoji_events [11]
Jun 13, 2021, 8:08 AM
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I was lucky to have three good Drill Sergeants- the one in Basic Training that our platoon bought his favorite Johnny Walker bottle at the end of the cycle, the one in Advanced Infantry Training who had the rabbit, camo, and tree drills, and the third in Noncommissioned Officers School. That last guy had some fun behaviors as well. One of the last things each Company did before graduating with sergeant stripes was to have a weeklong field exercise in the woods around Ft. Benning to simulate war tactics. When that happened, the entire set of Company barracks were empty for the week with no security to speak of. Our sergeant introduced us to the term "Midnight Requisitioning" in which we would raid the other Company's barracks when they were gone for the week. We would sneak into their buildings in the middle of the night and acquire government issue materials such as toilet paper, light bulbs, and any other items our Company had in short supply from the unoccupied buildings in the middle of the night. We would even unscrew the light bulbs that were in use and take them, so the other people had to find bulbs when they returned. The only rule was to never bother personal possessions, making it necessary for the Sarge to pick the guys he considered to have "honesty" as a strong personality trait as he didn't consider this type of behavior as dishonest since all the other units would do the same when our turn came to be in the Georgia woods for our week. (BTW - I did get to participate and was scared to death that we would somehow be caught and get some sort of punishment).

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YES, DRILL SERGEANT!

[3]
Jun 13, 2021, 8:13 AM
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I'm sure you could probably relate to this scene.

https://youtu.be/Kn7W4cFbZlA

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Re: YES, DRILL SERGEANT!

[2]
Jun 13, 2021, 9:21 AM
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Great scene in Forrest Gump! I had a good friend that retired as a Sergeant Major in the Marine Corps. He told me one of the problems they had even years ago was finding enough young people to blindly and unquestionably follow orders. Gump likewise would have made an outstanding Marine!

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In the Navy it was called 'comshawing'

emoji_events [5]
Jun 13, 2021, 8:41 AM
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but worked the same way. When deployed, anything that was U.S. issue and not watched, was claimed for the 'shop'. While that was really stealing, it wasn't considered that. Gallon cans of peaches was my favorite target.

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monter le cheval de fer
A coot will usually blink when hit in the head with a ball-peen hammer


Re: Back before the war - stateside

[3]
Jun 13, 2021, 12:28 PM
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I could write a book about Midnight Requisitioning during my year in Korea during that "Police Action". Let's just say the largest item that I recall was a mobil diesel generator. Some of those activities actually occurred in broad day light. Supply management regulations were somewhat loose at that time.

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Re: Back before the war - stateside

[4]
Jun 13, 2021, 12:37 PM
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This happened to me after the war, but along those same lines. I was a Combat Engineer officer and when we returned to the States the Marine Corps tried to place us in a station closest to our homes, so for me that was Beaufort at the Air Station. When I got to Beaufort the entire station only needed one engineer and they already had one so they made me the "Material Officer" (Supply), which I knew absolutely nothing about. After about a week of being there I had to sign for all of the material and supplies in our warehouse along with all of the equipment in our squadron ..... fork lifts, tractors, vehicles, etc. Accounting for all of the vehicles was easy, but when I saw a mount-out box in the warehouse that had printed on it "1,832 Suspender Straps", or "586 Wool Blankets", I wasn't about to count them, so I just signed the account cards.

About three or four months later we did not have much to do, so I told my Marines that we should take the boxes down and actually count all of the items printed on each box. So we did. Yep, 963 suspender straps, 492 blankets, 31 fewer gas masks, 120 fewer knapsacks, etc. ..... you get the picture. It turned out that a year or so before I got there all of the Marines on base no longer were required to keep all of their 782 gear (items that were in the boxes) and were required to turn it in. I can see it now that when a Marine was missing something he just appealed to his buddy that was checking the items off the checklist who said "don't worry about it". Thus a significant shortage.

I reported it to my Squadron Commander who was due for a promotion, so he didn't want me to say an anything about it. I didn't, but I started "surveying" (turning in for replacement) damaged items (some of which actually were) and getting credit for them. We would take a blanket with a tear or hole and further tear it into four pieces and turn each piece in as a damaged blanket. Six months later we were back up to snuff. The plan was devised by my Gunnery and Staff Sergeants who were probably mostly responsible for the situation in the first place. If my Gunny had spent as much time in our shop as he did as Rosies Cantina, the bar just outside the gates, it probably would have never been a problem.

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I think the Army gave heavy guys


Jun 13, 2021, 6:37 PM
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Uniforms that were too tight and the skinny guys clothes that were loose- planning to make them fit later

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Re: Back before the war - stateside

[4]
Jun 13, 2021, 12:49 PM
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"Midnight Requisitioning" was part of our basic training during WW2. Near our location in France was a huge Quartermaster Corp warehouse area. In one of the buildings it looked like a boatload of Jacob Rupert beer. The beer was a low priority item for the front lines so it sat in the warehouse for quite awhile. A couple of our guys prepared a fake requisition and managed to get a truck load of beer. We made Jacob Rupert an honorary member of out company.

In Korea, a couple of our guys "found" enough apples to fill up a truck. We ate apples and we ate apples and also made some Applejack.

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Re: Back before the war - stateside

[1]
Jun 13, 2021, 2:02 PM
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I had never heard of this activity and the title of your mission! Clover,I know you might grow weary of hearing this, but I sincerely thank you for making it possible, through your sacrifice, for me to go to Clemson and have a blast. I can't imagine what you went through. You, sir, are one of my heroes!

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Re: Back before the war - stateside

[1]
Jun 13, 2021, 2:51 PM
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That’s pretty wild my Dad trained at FT. Benning in Ga. I was about a year old. What time frame where you at FT Benning? My Dad was offered a bonus to re-enlist which meant he would have possibly had to serve in Vietnam. My mom talked him out of it. He loved the military. But at that time I don’t think combat troops were serving in Nam. I believe it was mostly advisors. I have always wondered if we would have gotten so involved in Vietnam in JFK had lived.

My Dad was a Sergeant who taught explosives. Maybe that’s why he loved to burn trash all the time. He got a rush when my mom would accidentally put an aerosol can in the trash. That sucker would scare the hick out of us when it would blow up.

clover65 I really like your stories. I hope you will write a book or keep posting your stories.

Thank you Sir for your service to our country.


Message was edited by: wueagle86®


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Re: Back before the war - stateside

[1]
Jun 13, 2021, 3:17 PM
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Important Military Lessons

1. Keep your mouth shut during basic training…..especially early on.
2. When you get to your unit, be absolutely certain you become friends with the supply clerk….supply Sargent, even better.

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I was at Benning during the


Jun 13, 2021, 4:07 PM
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Summer and Fall of 1969 for NCO (Shake and Bake) School and a month of Airborne training . My first jump was only the second time I got on a plane.

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Re: Back before the war - stateside

[1]
Jun 13, 2021, 3:19 PM
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At Ft Bragg in the 60's basic training was kinda hard. The food was great. No booze allowed. As I could drill (thanks to Tiger ROTC) was given some temp corporal stripes while still E-1. A buddy and I snuck out after taps to the NCO club for beer, and I got busted back a week later.

As Basic neared end, we were thirsty. A couple spec 4 on base dropped by and said they would sneak us in some liquor for the last weekend to celebrate. A couple dozen of us kicked in a couple hundred dollars. The booze never arrived and we were all shipped out. I guess they pulled that stunt on a lot of classes.

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.... how many trombones led the big parade ?


Food was great???? I was at Bragg in Early ‘69

[1]
Jun 13, 2021, 4:17 PM
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And the food in our Company mess hall was usually awful. I think a few guys thanked me for spilling almost half of our lunch I was delivering in a deuce& a half truck I drove out to a training site. (Just kidding- I did spill it but we were usually so hungry we would eat anything they gave us).

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Re: Food was great???? I was at Bragg in Early ‘69

[1]
Jun 13, 2021, 5:08 PM
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Any food is great if you have less.
The food at Clemson was seen as good to me. In fact, it was very good including all the fresh milk you could drink.

At Ft Bragg the food was good. I always ate well in the Army.

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.... how many trombones led the big parade ?


Re: Food was great???? I was at Bragg in Early ‘69

[1]
Jun 13, 2021, 5:49 PM
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At Quantico I could not eat enough food to keep my weight up. I went from 195 to 175 in about 5 weeks eating like a horse at every meal. Food was good. Of course the weight I lost was fat even though I thought I was in good shape when I went there. I avoided being put in the “fat boy” platoon which meant you had to do extra PT after we finished up for the day. We were measured for our uniforms a couple of weeks before we graduated from OCS and we were in the best shape of our lives. I think they only fit properly for the next couple of weeks after graduation. The bad part is that we had to go $500 in debt to pay for our uniforms …… $500 allowance for $1000 worth of uniforms …… plus our pay was $383 a month.

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Re: Food was great???? I was at Bragg in Early ‘69

[1]
Jun 13, 2021, 6:52 PM
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I grew up as a proud but skinny "mill hill" kid.
I gained weight in Basic.
Officers have to pay for uniforms. To help, on day one at OCS they are made E-5 as to pay grade.
They never see the money as Uncle takes it.

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.... how many trombones led the big parade ?


Re: Food was great???? I was at Bragg in Early ‘69

[1]
Jun 13, 2021, 6:59 PM
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Tell me about it! I can't remember what we were paid when we were in OCS, but it wasn't much ..... maybe E5 pay, but of course as a 2nd Lt. making $383 a month wasn't exactly striking it rich. With Combat pay, I saved up $5,000 for my year in Viet Nam, half of which was a 2nd. Lt. and half as a 1st Lt. $5k was enough to buy a new Jag XKE, Porsche 911, or Corvette. I blew mine on a trip to Europe where I bought a motorcycle and traveled around a bit ..... sold it in England when I was finished and bought another one to ship home.

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You are exactly right about $5,000 buying a Vette


Jun 13, 2021, 8:34 PM
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but it took me as an E-5 to save that amount while getting combat pay and the extra 11 months in Walter Reed . When I got home, my dad drove me to City Chevrolet in Charlotte and a blue Corvette was in the showroom and I drove it away for $5100 and later got a $300 rebate because of some excise tax reduction or something like that. It was a 1971 model - one of the last without catalytic converters and reduced HP. Wish I had held onto it instead of trading it for a '73- would be worth more than $5000 now.

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