I’d prefer to spend somewhat little bit of time in right this moment’s weblog telling you a few Marine Brother who I spent the weekend remembering.
I met Chris within the spring of 2009 once I grew to become the Commanding Officer (CO) of Battery M, 3d Battalion, 14th Marine Regiment. As background, an artillery battery sometimes has two platoons. One of many two platoons is named “Weapons Platoon” and it’s the platoon with all the males who man the six M777 155mm cannons (Disclosure – there aren’t any ladies in Artillery Batteries). They’re a grand lot of males – unforgiving, fiercely aggressive and feisty robust. They’re a gaggle of males who usually are not for the faint of coronary heart or for these with delicate ears – they’re equally relaxed slinging 100 pound projectiles over their shoulders as they’re stringing collectively a strand of expletives that makes The Wolf of Wall Road appear as tame because the film Frozen. And that’s when issues are going easily… you need to see them when they’re mad.
Chris led these males for me, which brings me to my story. For these of you who know me, there’s all the time a narrative, however this one is particular.
Once I arrived to take command of the battery (generally known as “Mike Battery” by most, however as “Mike Battalion” by just a few who’re in on the joke) there was quite a lot of turnover of personnel as a consequence of pure attrition after getting back from a fight tour in Iraq. There was additionally the truth that I needed to let some senior individuals go. By the point the weekend ended and we had our roster of who was staying, Weapons Platoon had nobody above the rank of Corporal, of which there have been 9. To place that into perspective, a platoon is led by BOTH an officer and a senior non-commissioned officer who often has about ten years of expertise, of which I had neither remaining. It’s remarkable for a Corporal to be answerable for a Weapons Platoon.
I used to be the brand new CO. The primary couple of days after taking command are pivotal – nobody is aware of you and everyone seems to be judging. As a result of Marines don’t like change and a brand new CO nearly all the time brings change, issues are dicey. After reviewing the standing of the remaining platoon, I walked out to the place they had been gathered working to go over the choices. The seems of the boys all conveyed the plain, “Oh man, right here comes the brand new CO, this may’t be something good…” and that was in all probability the clear model.
They work in an space referred to as a Gun Park. This can be a place the place on the finish of the day, the boys are all the time soiled and the gear is all the time glistening. It was round 1630 in Marine language, 4:30pm to most everybody else. I gathered up the 9 Corporals and mentioned “I simply fired your Workers Sergeant and your Sergeant checked out, that leaves you 9 Corporals because the senior males within the platoon. Which of you is essentially the most senior?”
From the again row, a grimy greasy arm went into the air and Chris answered “I’m sir.”
Chris turned to the remaining eight Corporals and, in a means solely an artillery Corporal can string collectively a sentence (in all probability ten whole phrases in size with seven F-bombs), instructed all of them to get again to work.
From that second on, Chris, with barely 4 years of expertise led over 60 of the hardest males you possibly can ever think about via the remaining time of my command. I by no means changed him with a senior Marine. To a person, the boys he led had been utterly unforgiving – errors on the gunline kill within the blink of an eye fixed. One oversight on his half would have led to horrible penalties. There’s a video beneath the place you’ll be able to see among the howitzers in motion. You will note what I imply.
For the complete 2 ½ years that I had the glory of main the Marines of Mike Battery, Chris was there. One 12 months, our battery gained a coveted High Gun Award for the most effective battery within the Battalion. It’s solely given out annually. Pictured is Chris and I with the High Gun plaque we gained when he led Weapons Platoon to victory that 12 months. He was by no means and not using a huge dip of Copenhagen as you’ll be able to see within the image. It was after the image was taken he turned and instructed me “Sir, that is the proudest second of my life.”
It was for me too, Chris.
Mike Battery legend has it that the High Gun award was stolen underneath the duvet of darkness from the headquarters constructing and was positioned in his coffin, held in his arms. It was all the time his award, so I’m glad that the opposite Corporals he led made that daring raid on the headquarters constructing to make sure it will all the time stick with him. Main your friends who share the identical rank is the toughest activity given to any Marine, and so they revered him for his successes.
Chris left us on March sixteenth of 2012, and I take into consideration him day by day.
Whereas the language is nowhere close to that of The Wolf of Wall Road, there are some “XYZ-bombs” within the hyperlink beneath, however you probably have 5 minutes to spare to look at a video of the boys of Mike Battery, please see the hyperlink beneath. Chris and I may be seen at 3:55.
Should you acknowledge the man plugging his ears at 2:55…properly, yeah, I’m in there too. Bonus breakdancing is seen at 3:28. All the boys you see on this video miss Chris very a lot.
As for a weblog concerning the market, properly, I believe everybody who learn this far will perceive I simply don’t really feel like writing about that right this moment.
I hope you remembered somebody this weekend and for those who care to boost one later this week to my buddy Chris, he gained’t thoughts it being somewhat late, I promise.
Semper Fidelis, Chris. Wherever you’re, inform them you’re The King of Battle – Rounds Full, EOM, Ok.