Monday, February 28, 2011

And St. David!

For your Professional Military Education today we will commemorate the annual tradition whereby the Marine Corps and the Royal Welch Fusiliers exchange the message "And St. David" every St. David's Day (March 1st) in honor of the RWF regiment and the patron Saint of Wales.

"Why in the world do you guys do that 1stSgt?"

I'm glad you asked.

Long ago we had this little incident in China we refer to as the Boxer Rebellion. British and American forces fought side by side with other nations to defend the legation against the Boxers and managed to hold out until a relief column arrived. Historical Marine Corps notables such as Dan Daly and Smedley Butler took part in this famous battle. Much more detailed info on the incident can be read in depth in a separate article here.

It is widely regarded that British and American forces forged a close bond that continues today. John Philip Sousa even wrote a march, "The Royal Welch Fusiliers" in dedication to the RWF.

So take the time to check out the links above and expand your Marine Corps historical knowledge.

And Saint David!

America's Quon-Fay.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Florida Marlins VS Hair Clippers!

Part II of our visit from the Florida Marlins started some time after everyone recovered from our light body maintenance session. Around 0900 the Marlins returned with the Marlins Mermaids in tow. The Mermaids arrived in full regalia to put on their first official performance of 2011.

Marlins Mermaids Naty, Ashlee, and Kim in blatant disregard of my posted signs.
Logan Morrison,  a Marlins outfielder, foolishly mentioned something about getting a haircut while visiting the Marines and we were more than happy to oblige.

Unwittingly, Logan had volunteered for what we in the Corps refer to as a "barracks cut". This is a haircut normally received by knuckleheads late Sunday night because they either forgot or were too lazy to get it professionally done. In mortal fear for their souls, young Marines beg their buddies to cut their hair so the platoon sergeant doesn't destroy them Monday morning. The barracks cut is usually such an ugly, unprofessional mess it causes barbers and hairstylists worldwide to shriek in abject horror. Due to its offensive nature 1stSgts have outlawed the barracks cut while in garrison.  However, with the number of deployments Marines have undergone there are those who have acquired the skill cut a passable head of hair or are even licensed barbers. You can usually find a Marine willing to buzz someone's head whether or not they have any talent for it.

SSgt Reed goes to work with the consent of America's 1stSgt.
John Sulser of Fox Sports Media and John Buck ensure the moment is recorded for posterity.
John Buck admires SSgt Reed's work while the Mermaids discuss their preference for gentlemen with close cropped hair.
As it just so happens...
The finished product. Looking dapper there fella!
The Marlins hung out with us for so long they were late for their next stop. Sorry Navy! It was a pleasure to host such a great group. Later on they bought a stack of FAST Company t-shirts and hoodies. We appreciate the support guys!

For more photo galleries of the Marlins Far East Tour click here.  You will also be able to find video and a blog of their experiences while on the tour.  You will note in one of the videos Hall of Famer Andre Dawson sporting a FAST Company t-shirt, marking him as  man with impeccable taste.

Semper Fidelis!

America's 1stSgt

Friday, February 11, 2011

Florida Marlins VS FAST Company!

Earlier this week the Florida Marlins paid us a visit as part of their USO tour.  Jeff Conine, John Buck, Logan Morrison,  Hall of Famer Andre Dawson, as well as team president David Samson brought a few of the Marlin's Mermaids with them around the AO.  I had received a phone call last week asking  if the World's Finest were interested in participating in a little PT session with the Marlins.  I had just the right man for the job.

So at 0600 in the morning the Marlin's contingent arrived at FAST Company for a little light body maintenance and who was awaiting them? None other than my very own SSgt Hensley, the Blaster of Bahrain. The good SSgt set up what we call an LZ Drill in the softball field and had at them.

An LZ Drill is a combat conditioning exercise comprised of physical training and martial arts techniques. Participants conduct bag drills, exercises, and other soul destroying activities for a set amount of time then proceed to the next station via bear crawl, lunge, forward roll, or low crawl through broken glass.

Logan Morrison hammering in some knee strikes. Unlike baseball, in the Marine Corps strikes are a good thing.

This is not quite what it looks like. No really.
John Buck lunging his way across the LZ.
Logan Morrison with a new appreciation of his chosen profession.
More good things.

Jeff Conine squat jumping and reminding himself there is no crying in baseball.

Logan Morrison elbow striking his frustrations away.

Spring training was never like this.

Dave Samson considers unleashing SSgt Hensley on the rest of the Florida Marlins who are safely back home.

John Buck wondering if that new contract was really worth it.

"I wish I could just hit something with a bat!" Don't we all?

There is some debate whether this is a picture involving a lost lunch or lost contact lens.
Some video of our LZ drill can be found here. I must warn you, it is graphic, bloody, and may not be suitable for all viewers.

Suffice it to say the Marlins left our morning session with a deeper appreciation of our physical capacity.  Later they returned to the Company Office for a meet and greet with the rest of the Marines and brought some of the Marlins Mermaids with them.

Stay tuned for Part II and Logan Morrison getting a haircut!

Semper Fi,
America's 1stSgt

Friday, February 4, 2011

The Philosophical Marine

You may remember one of my platoon sergeants, Staff Sergeant Hensley, from this photo. He considers himself somewhat of a deep thinker despite the fact he more physically resembles a leg breaking brute. He even has GRENDEL tattooed down his forearm.

Walking through the barracks one day I noticed a piece of paper tacked to the doors of some of his Marines. It was entitled Hensley's Philosophy and I liked it enough to share with you today.


1. Remember that you did this to yourself.

2. Discipline leads to mastery.

3. In order to master your profession, you need to first master yourself (SELF DISCIPLINE).

 4. Increase your lethality every chance you get. EVERY DAY.

5.  If you won’t work on lethality, at least work on some form of self development.

 6. Become proficient in the things you DO NOT enjoy.

7. Accept that the basics ARE brilliant.

8. Remember that practice makes PERMANENT.

 9. Imagine that someone you respect is watching everything you do, ALL THE TIME.

 10. Know your limits.

 11. Constantly work to exceed your limits, SAFELY.

 12. Balance mental proficiency with physical proficiency. Balance physical capacity with mental capacity.

   13. Make time to rest.

 A little self assessment is always on point and with the concept of self improvement in mind I encourage everyone to take the time to craft their own philosophy.  No,  I don't expect any little old ladies possibly reading this to necessarily increase their lethality. It would be cool if they did though!

Semper Fi,
America's 1stSgt