Friday, May 28, 2010

Weekend Zombie Fun!

Since this weekend wraps up Zombie Awareness Month I figured that I would share this with everyone and have a little fun. Kanani over at the Kitchen Dispatch posted this gem in my honor recently: THE ROAD TO MOLOCH.

In the past I have commented on why Marines tend to sneer at Hollywood due to their general misrepresentation of the military and the Marine Corps in particular. Although The Road To Moloch was kind of fun to watch my critical 1stSgt's eye still blazed at the various instances of wrongness portrayed by the "Marines" in the film.

Close up view of my critical 1stSgt's Eye.

So go ahead and watch the short film first then read on as I hack away at it because I can. I'll be standing by.

I said click on the link above! Stop reading and watch the film already!

Done? Okay.

If America's 1stSgt were in the movie certain things would have gone differently. Never mind the Marines would have been crucified by me for not having any eye protection, no gloves, driving around in a single vehicle convoy (no one does that!), with the ballistic windows down, (do you want to die?), or wearing those goofy shoulder pads that Marines do not wear. By the way, if seven U.S. servicemen went missing in a span of two days the entire AO would have come to a screeching halt as every unit would've conducted an account of where all their personnel were. Call me a nit picker, it's my job.

Shepard's loose pony tail dangling outside her helmet would have forced me to grab her by the hair and throw her over the horizon. Frazer would have had his eyelids sawed off with the ace of spades card right after I plucked it off his helmet. Hey Marines, what good are the optics mounted on your rifles if you go on patrol with the protective caps on? Really? Do I need to kill you with my bare hands?

I have never once in 18 years heard anyone say the words: "Now that's an order!" Seriously, can we have a military movie where no one says that line? My other favorite piece of dialog: "I said ooh-rah!" My desire to cause someone physical pain nearly overwhelms me just for having heard it.

By the way, the last time anyone abandoned their HMMWV in Iraq to go spelunking it ended up looking like this when they came back.

This is why the zombie was walking through the desert at the end of the movie!

Lastly, let me point out something nearly everyone seems to forget about U.S. Marines. We are successful because we do everything together. It may sound trite but we win because we are a team. Marine fire teams do not enter demon possessed zombie caves all alone. We roll deeper than that. Marine NCOs don't hang out chasing zombies down insurgent caverns by themselves. They say: "Let's get the %&$# out of here!" Then call all their friends in the nearest Regimental Combat Team to kick the crap out of the entire mountain range.

I could go on and on here gang.

Next time you need zombies or other demonic creatures dealt with just contact me, please?

Semper Fi,
America's 1stSgt

Sunday, May 23, 2010

On Professionalism...

The following is an abject lesson loosely based on events that may or may not have happened.


Or not.

The inevitable side effect of having rules, regulations, and standard operating procedures is that somewhere, someone will feel these things do not apply to them. Take for example the sad tale of Lieutenant Navel Lint. This Navy O-3 was a fireball of scholarly and gentlemanly pursuits with a job to do. Unfortunately Lt Navel Lint failed to follow proper procedure and was not listed on any access roster given to FAST Company Marines charged with port security in support of various goings on in the AO. Thus the fine Lt and his vehicles were vigorously searched by intrepid young Marines intent on executing their duties because if they didn't their 1stSgt would have flayed the living flesh from their bodies.

These laborious activities always occur in ideal weather. The events (that may or may not have happened) recorded here (allegedly) took place during a time of year conservatively described as hot. Of course "hot" and "The sun is touching me!" are both subject to interpretation. Scientists have proven the Kingdom of Bahrain is the geographically closest Middle Eastern country to the Sun. Westerners may scoff, but they are usually convinced the first time they nearly lose their head ducking the odd geyser of plasma. In addition, the port was constructed of a material that somehow conducted magma right up through the soles of the boots directly into the brain.

Lt Navel Lint (who was not once seen in anything resembling a uniform) felt he was special and demanded to know why he couldn't enter, why he had to turn away from his vehicle, why he had to be wanded with a metal detector, and why he was being treated this way. He's a Navy O-3! He shouldn't be treated like a recruit! Having skipped proper procedure, tact, or any common sense, Lt Navel Lint continued to go with blustering and bullying Lance Corporals in an attempt to have his way. He soundly failed every time.
Here's an example:

Lance Corporal Belt Buckle, a fine American on all counts, was standing post at the port security mission. He was manning a position at a waist high gap in the barrier surrounding the portion of the facility where U.S. Naval vessels were anchored. The opening is there to give the Marine an open line of sight along his left and right lateral limits.

Lt Navel Lint: "I'm coming through."

Lance Corporal: "No sir, everyone has to go through the Entry Control Point (ECP) around the corner."

Lt Navel Lint: "But my tent is right there." Pointing to his tent and equipment staged on the pier.

Lance Corporal: "Everyone has to enter through the ECP around the corner, sir."
Lt Navel Lint: "I'm coming through anyway." Begins to climb over waist high barrier.

Lance Corporal raises his open hand: "Sir, if you attempt to enter through here force will be used against you."

At this point Lt Navel Lint showed a glimmer of rational thought and grudgingly went around to the ECP where he was searched again. If a U.S. Marine with a loaded weapon recommends you do something, it is generally considered wise to do it.

After standing six hour posts in the 116 degree sun wearing full body armor, young Marines continued to endure the verbal abuse of Lt Navel Lint. Marine officers working logistical matters on the pier, not even in the FAST Company chain of command, became uncontrollably outraged at the Lt.

One one occasion Navel Lint was behaving so badly in the Vehicle Check Point (VCP) that a Marine Captain, who had patiently endured being ID'd, checked, wanded, etc, like everyone else, completely snapped. He vaulted the barrier separating the VCP from the ECP and invited Lt Naval Lint to participate in various acts of violence best not described in mixed company. It was reported the Captain, who forever will be thought of kindly by FAST Company's 1stSgt, actually thrust his entire head and shoulders into the driver's side window of Navel Lint's vehicle to ensure he was heard correctly.

Not long after, when Lt Navel Lint was allowed on to the pier with his vehicle, a logistical type Marine was ground guiding the Lt's vehicle. Because Navel Lint was a Navy O-3 he felt no reason to be constrained by the slow pace of a ground guide and kept attempting to go around him. The Marine kept stepping in front of the vehicle (because ground guides walk in front of vehicles). This stupid game kept on until Lt Navel Lint clipped the Marine's leg with the bumper. Insane with fury Marine logistical officers began to head butt each other and excommunicated Lt Navel Lint from the pier.

The next day Lt Navel Lint discovered he was persona non grata and began another tirade of asinine, tackless behavior. Failing to grasp the concept that higher authorities had approved his banishment, he stubbornly refused to move his vehicle out of the VCP.

Lt Naval Lint: "Fine, I'm not moving and you can wait all day in the hot sun while I wait in my air conditioned vehicle."

Corporal of the Guard in full kit: "Sir, that's ok with us, we stand around in the sun all the time. It's our job."

Firm, courteous, and tactful. Seriously, how could you get mad at these guys?

During this entire debacle Lt Navel Lint would threaten anyone and everyone by claiming he was going to call his Commodore and let him know what was going on and how he wasn't allowed to do his job. It was just another sign of his narrow vision considering the FAST Company Commander worked for a Vice Admiral and was guarding a port in support of a Marine Expeditionary Unit commanded by a full bird Colonel. [As a side note, Lt Navel Lint is invited to play poker with the FAST Company 1stSgt any time.]

The next morning Lt Navel Lint was seen entering the office of the FAST Company Commander with his apology. The FAST CO accepted his presence calmly, unlike the FAST 1stSgt who had to be locked into his office where he impotently strangled a sea bag full of dirty laundry while more diplomatic minds orchestrated events. Lt Navel Lint was informed officers are given special trust and confidence, that his actions were rather unprofessional to say the least, and he did not owe an apology to the FAST CO but rather to the young Lance Corporals who were sweating their guts out all over the pier. Suffice it to say that apology never manifested itself. Navy O-3s do not apologize for their behavior after all, no matter how despicable.

Not long after, Lt Navel Lint disappeared under a dark cloud. His final fate remains unknown but certainly isn't enviable. The Marines on the pier were lauded for their quiet professionalism, particularly for not butt stroking Lt Navel Lint right into a dentist's chair. Personally no one would have blamed them if they had. FAST Company's reputation as a disciplined, squared away outfit was only enhanced and everyone who secured the pier received a letter of appreciation.

I present the above merely to say this:
If you do what is right, maintain your bearing, and remain a professional you will come out on top no matter how badly some clown is taking a dump on you.

Write that one down.
Semper Fi,
America's 1stSgt

Friday, May 21, 2010


A few more pictures to placate everyone until real writing occurs.

Rehearsals and training before the big show!

Hard chargers still ready to whoop it on after ten days in the scorching sand.

And finally, the vehicle America's 1stSgt will be seen in the moment Zombies invade the Kingdom of Bahrain. I will, of course, convert the water cannons into flame throwers.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Sand dunes, guns, and Marines. Oh my!


During the past couple of weeks FAST Company has been waist deep in multiple exercises, missions, operations, maiden rescuing and such. These include exercise Native Fury and Eagle Resolve. Both of these events involve bilateral training with Bahrain and Kuwaiti armed forces . In our case we get to sweat out in the desert with the Bahrain and Kuwait Marine Corps.

The MOUT training facility in southern Bahrain. Not a bad joint to train in.

Nothing like tent living in the 116 degree heat. Ahhh...paradise!

Because a day on the range is never time wasted.

During the night shoot portion a wall of sand blew in knocking over porta-johns and blasting the Bahrain Marines tent right into the ground. Some the Marines are still digging sand out of their ears.

During all this we still are conducting our port security missions. Why? Because evil doers need to be reminded that there are better ways to spend their time, that's why.

I'll try to post something with more flavor later on in the week. Someone I know said you all might forgive my tardiness in the interests of national security.
Definitely will have more pictures later.

Semper Fi!
America's 1stSgt

Saturday, May 8, 2010

On Mother's Day...

A really sharp friend of mine once told me that you should always take the time to tip your hat to the women in your life who are good mothers.

Ladies, a very happy Mother's Day to you all.

Semper Fidelis,
America's 1stSgt

Friday, May 7, 2010

FAST in the news!!

Here at FAST we are some globe trotting, gun slinging, ninja warlords. Below is an article by Cpl Michael Stevens saying as much. The original article is here but I have reprinted it for your viewing pleasure.

BEIRUT - U.S. Marines assigned to the Fleet Anti-Terrorism Security Team, U.S. Central Command, recently headed to Lebanon to participate in a familiarization and information-sharing engagement with soldiers in the Lebanese Armed Forces, 1st Intervention Regiment.

Of course, America's 1stSgt looks at this photo and asks the platoon sgt: "How come one Marine has a boonie cover and the other a garrison cover? Why aren't they the same?" We 1stSgt's have this thing about "uniformity" when in uniform. Go figure.

The cooperative engagement, coordinated by Marines from Marine Corps Forces Central Command, familiarized and refreshed marksmanship skills and tactics for operations in urban environments for approximately 30 LAF soldiers. The event was designed to enhance the LAF unit's capability to internally staff and conduct training programs.

"These cooperative engagements assist our partner nations in establishing and supporting comprehensive training programs within their organizations," said Lt. Col. Clarence Edmonds, a planner for the Lebanon engagement. "These engagements not only strengthen the armed forces of our partners, but also enhance our knowledge of the forces we may serve alongside in a coalition operation."

The FAST Marines brought expertise in an array of combat skills, honed during deployments to Afghanistan and Iraq, to the training evolution. After providing subject matter expertise in urban terrain operations and combat marksmanship, the Marines observed the LAF soldiers in live-fire and practical application drills.

"The Lebanese soldiers had a strong foundation of knowledge going into this event and were very motivated to build on that foundation," said Edmonds.

Brig. Gen. Ronald Baczkowski, deputy commanding general, Marine Corps Forces Central Command, supported the engagement by heading to Lebanon where he met with LAF senior leaders and provided a presentation on joint operations to the LAF Fouad Shehab Staff and Command College. His presentation and the follow-on open forum discussion highlighted the benefits of information sharing and cooperative engagements for partner nations and Marine Corps forces.

"These cooperative engagements are key elements to the success in maintaining stability and in enhancing our ability to serve alongside partner nations," said Baczkowski. "I've seen the positive outcome of our cooperative efforts and am appreciative of the continued support and assistance of the Lebanese government and military as we strive to achieve our common goals."

Okay, so maybe the article didn't mention ninja warlords but still....

Monday, May 3, 2010

Only you can prevent the Zombie Apocalypse!

In an effort to educate communities and individuals on the proper elimination of the ravenous undead hordes and mitigating the spread of infectious zombie viruses, May has been designated as Zombie Awareness Month.

As America's 1stSgt, it is my duty to protect the free world and keep it safe for democracy. For you to remain uninformed of this growing threat would be irresponsible of me and I am not one to shirk my duties.

So spread the word! Remain vigilant for indicators of the impeding zombie pandemic coming soon to a neighborhood near you! Remember, shoot them in the head and they stay dead.

This has been a public service announcement brought to you by:
America's 1stSgt