Tuesday, November 09, 2010

41 years old? What the ...

Terminal Lance: All That Salt.

Check this out: a herd of 18 and 19 year old brand new Marines are being introduced to their platoon sergeant at Infantry Training School (ITS).  Like Max's fictional Gunner Quigley the man looked old.  Wrinkled, leathery skin, grizzled hair, shot through with grey.  Dude looked weathered, man.

I am Staff Sergeant Mason.  I am twenty-eight years old. I have spent the last ten years in the Fleet.  You all will look like me in a decade.

Mason was a darn good boss.  Knew his stuff, knew how to lead [1].  Didn't believe in head games: Charlie (Kickback Charlie, thank-you-very-much) Company got base liberty when we were in garrison.  By contrast, Weapons company upstairs got to spend their nights cleaning their area over .. and over .. and over again.

Still ... dude looked old the first time we met him, ya know?

[1] Also, Staff Sergeant Mason was responsible for my first nickname that didn't include the words 'shit head'.  Humping out to the range early one morning I found myself near the head of the column, stepping out lively [2].  He said, 'Hey, you, Dunbar, look at you steppin' out like a big ol' damn bird.  We gonna call you Big Bird.'

[2] Marines on the march scoot along at a clip most of us would describe as 'running'.  You want to idle along, see the sights, join the Boy Scouts.

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