Tag Archives: usmc

“Root Step” and Command Pronunciation

When we give commands to a formation, the words and your voice need to have several different attributes (click here for complete information on the command voice).

One of the attributes that is never addressed is how to pronounce certain words. The two words that are constantly butchered by cadets and members of the military are Route and Oblique.

command_voice_fig_2_2The Root of the Issue
While anyone can get their, “kicks on Route 66,” that version of the word is usually pronounced “root.” When one is calling the command, Route Step, MARCH, this time it is pronounced “Rowt.” By the way, the “Harch” in the image is how Air Force members can call, “March”. All other services say, “March”. The image is from the AFMAN 36-2203 which began back in the late 1940s as AFR 50-14.

“I like Oblike”
The ObliqueA flank turns a formation to the right or left at 90-degrees, and an oblique pronounced “oh-bleek,” turns a formation to the right or left at a 45-degree angle. From the MCOP5060.20: “The word oblique is pronounced to rhyme with strike. ”

So, if you march in a Marine, Navy or Coast Guard unit, pronounce it the way the MCOP dictates. The rest of us can click here and listen to the pronunciation of oblique at m-w.com.

Now you know!

The Marine Corps’ Silver Bands

Marine Corps Color Guard













If you see the Marine Corps Color Guard based at the Marine Barracks in Washington D.C., you will notice something a little different about the flagstaff of the Marine Battle Colors (the MC flag that has the Corps’ battle streamers hanging from it). Look at the picture at right.

The silver bands on the darker staff are historical. Each band is inscribed with the name of a battle (an Army tradition which was disconinued in 1961). Eventually, the flagstaff was changed (the services adopted the standardized light ash wood, two-piece staff) and the Marine corps went to streamers only.

From MCO 10520.3 (6 Nov 13)

Silver Bands
Silver bands were authorized for use for the Marine Corps on November 139. They were displayed on the staff of the battle color, organization color, or Marine Corps color to augment battle streamers and inscribed showing battle participation, campaign, expedition, etc Because of the problem created by the change in the flag staff, the fixed dimension of the silver bands, the large number of bands some organizations were authorized, and the fact that the bands were a duplication of battle streamers, the awarding of silver bands to units was discontinued on 27 March 1961 and requisitioning of bands is no longer authorized.

Marine Barracks 8th and I, as the caretaker of the Marine Corps Battle Standard, is the only Marine Corps organization entitled, and authorized to display silver bands.

Regarding the rifle guards’ opposite positions: the Navy Ceremonial Guard and Marine Corps Honor Guard are the only teams authorized to execute these positions for their services.

Lying, Stolen Valor and the Cost

Stolen Valor DirtbagThree percent of the American populace has served in the military. Just three percent. Men and women have died for America. Many of our Three Percent have either made the ultimate sacrifice or have returned from a conflict with some sort of disability

Disabled Veterans
I am a disabled vet. I retired from the USAF in 2005 after 20 years and have a disability rating from the Veteran’s Administration that is relatively high. I am embarrassed at that rating when I see other disabled veterans, who are blind, missing limbs or more. I would never dare to pretend to be more than I am by even wearing another ribbon or badge on my Air Force uniform that I did not earn.

I am amazed at how some people can play dress-up, receive accolades from the military-loving public and then either run and hide or try to justify their actions when they are caught. The young man in the picture, the “CPL-SGT-1LT”, above has everything wrong with his uniform. It is not necessary to point out everything line-by-line. Maybe the young lady has been duped by him or maybe she is complicit, that is not what matters, what matters is the damage that is done.

I could go off on a tangent of calling these people dirt bags and much more, but that has already been done by countless other veterans. These pretenders are stealing each minute that they keep up the charade. It is truly pathetic.

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stolen-valor-SF-phonyThe Cost
There is a cost associated with lying like this. I have a short story to tell you to help relate the meaning of what this cost is. I have a friend who has a serious condition that has rendered him disabled. It is a private matter for him and he does not discuss it with strangers or even acquaintences, only close friends of which I am one. He was once approached by another and asked what he does for a living. My friend replied that he is disabled and the other man asked if it was military related. My friend affirmed that it was even though he has never been in the military. His thinking was that the subject would be dropped and he would not have to explain any more than that. He was wrong. The lie went deeper and my friend was truly embarrassed and then confessed the lie to me. He said that he never meant to lie, just try to avoid a delicate topic which went completely in the wrong direction. In confessing to me he said he didn’t understand why he felt such a strong desire to tell me even though he was mortified in doing so. I told him why he needed to do it, besides that fact that he is a man of God and needed to confess, he also needed to know that each time someone lies about military service, even those who have served who then wear more rank or “cool” badges, each lie does personal damage to veterans. It cheapens our sacrifice. Military service is a sacrifice, though the level of sacrifice differs between service members of each branch.

What about the DrillMaster’s Uniform?
This is a logical question and I appreciate it. My work is unusual, there isn’t a precedent of what I do: training JROTC units and other cadet programs along with first responder (police, fire and EMS) honor guard units. These roles require a uniform and I created a service uniform and wear the ACU (Army Combat Uniform) and also a blue fatigue uniform. For more information on the uniforms I wear, click here.

stolen valor thief

The Stolen Valor Act of 2013

Below is a summary of the Act, the text is here.

Stolen Valor Act of 2013 – Amends the federal criminal code to rewrite provisions relating to fraudulent claims about military service to subject to a fine, imprisonment for not more than one year, or both an individual who, with intent to obtain money, property, or other tangible benefit, fraudulently holds himself or herself out to be a recipient of:

  • a Congressional Medal of Honor,
  • a distinguished-service cross,
  • a Navy cross,
  • an Air Force cross,
  • a silver star,
  • a Purple Heart,
  • a Combat Infantryman’s Badge,
  • a Combat Action Badge,
  • a Combat Medical Badge,
  • a Combat Action Ribbon,
  • a Combat Action Medal, or
  • any replacement or duplicate medal for such medal as authorized by law.

A little bit of comedic relief:

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Lying, Stolen Valor, air force, military, army, navy, marine corps, marines, coast guard, usaf, usmc, usn, uscg

Silent Drill Platoon 2013 Performance

Silent Drill Platoon 2013 Performance
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Silent Drill Platoon 2013 Performance, exhibition drill, fancy drill, precision drill, usmc, honor guard, drill team, drill team training

The Cadet Series: American Military Cadets

A little-known program, but quickly gaining more and more exposure, is the American Military Cadet Corps (AMCC). It is just like US Navy Sea Cadets or Civil Air Patrol, but for the Army and like Sea Cadets, USAC offers hands-on real-world training just like Soldiers get. Pardon the expression but, USAC is Army JROTC on steroids.

Strength and Honor!
This motto is introduced to every cadet and adult volunteer, and they men it. Unlike the other non-JROTC cadet programs, AMCC cadre (adult volunteers) are brought on board as officers OR enlisted. At the time of this writing, I happen to be a AMCC Staff Sergeant (SSG). Why go the enlisted route? It’s up to the individual. Many who are already retired enlisted, choose to remain enlisted since that is where they can make the biggest impact- working day-to-day with the cadets. That is not to say that AMCC officers do not have an impact, but the enlisted side is usually more hands-on on a daily basis.

A Navy History?
Yes, AMCC, (formerly Army Cadets or USAC) actually began as a Navy-based program and then became the American Cadet Alliance which had Navy, Marines and Army cadets.

From the AMCC website:

The American Military Cadet Corps (AMCC) traces its heritage to the early days of the 20th century, making us the oldest nationwide Cadet program still existing today.  Our history and culture are steeped in the oldest traditions of Cadetting.  In those days, a group of veterans chose to create a military-style youth organization to give the young men of their community a chance for adventure.  The program was Navy based and taught boys good citizenship and patriotism.  This idea was the foundation of both the Boy Scouts of America and the American Cadet Alliance (ACA), the predecessor to the AMCC.

The American Cadet Alliance was founded as Colonel Cody’s Boy Scouts, by CAPT James H.C. Smyth on April 10, 1909, at the First Presbyterian Church in Manhattan, NY. April 10 is celebrated as the birthday of the Corps.

In 1911, the organization split into two organizations:  the Boy Scouts of America and the American Naval and Marine Scouts.  On Aug. 16, 1927, the American Naval and Marine Scouts was incorporated in New York state as the New York Junior Naval Militia.  Early in 1929, the organization split and Commodore Smyth and a number of senior officers left and on Feb. 19, 1929, incorporated the Junior Naval Reserve.

A Unique Situation
Unlike Sea Cadets, Young Marines and the CAP, AMCC is also part of Forest Hill Military Academy a full-time boarding and day school located in Millersburg, KY. Read more here.

Got Training?
They have training! Take a look at the summer 2015 training schedule: (contact me for special “DrillMaster Reduced Fees”!)

Troop Handlers Course ……………………………………. Jun 14-20
Basic Cadet Training – Session 1……………………… Jun 21- Jul 4
Basic Cadet Training – Session 2 …………………….. Jul 5 – 18
Basic Leaders Course …………………………………………Jul 5 – 18
Cadet Combat Engineers Course …………………… Jul 5 – 25
Cadet Ranger Challenge ………………………………….. Jul 5-25
Cadet Ranger School ………………………………………… Jul 26 – Aug 16
Tactical Leaders Course …………………………………… Jul 19 – Aug 2
Cadet Equestrian Program (NEW!!) ……………… July 26 – Aug 2
Cadet Military Police Academy……………………….. Aug 2 – 16
Cadet Joint Service Honor Guard Academy …. Aug 2 – 16
Cadet Military Combatives Program ……………… Aug 2 – 8
Cadet Medic School (NEW!!) …………………………… Aug 2 – 8
Cadet Airborne Jump School (NEW!!) …………… Aug 9-15

Cadet Airborne School. Watch the AMCC site for updates!

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The Silent Drill Platoon: One of the 24

The USMC Silent Drill Platoon has 24 members. That’s it. And they are hand picked to be on the team. There are always other Marines waiting on the sidelines, practicing to take a spot one day.

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The US Marine Corps’ Birthday

Gathered from different Wikipedia Articles: Captain Samuel Nicholas formed two battalions of Continental Marines on 10 November 1775 in Philadelphia as naval infantry to serve as an infantry unit aboard naval vessels and was responsible for the security of the ship and its crew by conducting offensive and defensive combat during boarding actions and defending the ship’s officers from mutiny. During naval engagements Marine sharpshooters were stationed in the fighting tops of the ships’ masts, and were supposed to shoot the opponent’s officers, naval gunners, and helmsmen. The Continental Marines were the Marine force of the American Colonies during the American Revolutionary War. Formed by the Continental Congress at the above date, they were disbanded in 1783.

In all, there were 131 Colonial Marine officers and probably no more than 2,000 enlisted Colonial Marines. Though individual Marines were enlisted for the few American naval vessels, the organization would not be re-created until 1798. Despite the gap between the disbanding of the Continental Marines and the current organization, the United States Marine Corps celebrates November 10, 1775 as its birthday.

The Origin of the Marine Corps Ball
From usmcpress.com: The 13th Commandant of the Marine Corps, Gen. John A. On November 1, 1921 Lejeune issued Marine Corps Order No. 47, (Series 1921). This order summarized the history, mission, and tradition of the Corps.  It further directed that the order be read to all Marines on 10 November of each year to honor the founding of the Marine Corps.

Soon, some Marine commands began to not only honor the birthday, but celebrate it. In 1923 the Marine Barracks at Ft. Mifflin, Pennsylvania, staged a formal dance. The Marines at the Washington Navy Yard arranged a mock battle on the parade ground.  At Quantanamo Bay, Cuba, the Marine baseball team played a Cuban team and won, 9 to 8.

The first “formal” Birthday Ball took place on Philadelphia in 1925. Guests included the Commandant, the Secretary of War, and a host of statesmen and elected officials.  Prior to the Ball, Gen. Lejeune unveiled a memorial plaque at Tun Tavern. Then the entourage headed for the Benjamin Franklin Hotel and an evening of festivities and frolicking.

Over the years the annual Birthday Ball grew and grew, taking on a life of its own. In 1952 the Commandant, Gen. Lemuel C. Shepherd Jr., formalized the cake-cutting ceremony and other traditional observances. For example, Marine Corps policy now mandates that the first piece of cake must be presented to the oldest U.S. Marine present. The second piece goes to the youngest Marine.  Among the many such mandates is a solemn reading of the Commandant’s birthday message to the Corps.

The POW/MIA Ceremony
There is no Marine-specific ceremony of part of the ceremony. There is only the National League of Families Fallen Comrade script, table setup and ceremony. For complete details, click here. And click here for other relevant POW/MIA information.

2012-Specific Information/Support: http://www.marines.mil/News/Messages/MessagesDisplay/tabid/13286/Article/128045/2012-marine-corps-birthday-celebration-support.aspx