OOPS!!!

Discussion in 'The VMBB True Story Tellers' started by Guest, Feb 27, 2003.

  1. Guest

    Guest Guest

    Mithrandir
    V.I.P. Member
    Posts: 352
    (11/1/02 12:26:26 pm)
    | Edit | Del All OOPS!!!
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    Many of you have served in different units before, and know that, sometimes, making the adjustment from one units SOP to the new units SOP can be a problem. If not a serious pain in the butt…It can be worse, when all is said and done, when you are silly/stupid/dumb (pick your own word here) enough to join a unit in another branch of service. A cross-service move is where the pain comes in.

    Allow me to “Set-the-stage” here……….

    Back in ’75, I had been out for awhile, but I was “antsy”… My work wasn’t enough for me, I had a daughter on the way, I needed more education to advance in my career field……and……..I seriously missed the camaraderie of others of my ilk.

    I had a lapse of my mental state……….I joined the Reserves……….

    The Marine Reserves……

    The 7th F.A.S.C. 4th F.M.F.

    Ok non-jarheads…….that is the 7th Force Automated Services Corp, 4th Fleet Marine Force… a computer shop!!

    I was an Assembler/PL-1/Autocoder programmer … but I needed COBOL to advance my career. And this little unit would do it for me.

    My new job started out as a trainee in a unit that had about thirty of us…..and only six prior service Marines!… Everyone else was either first tour reserve Marines (NO active duty training) or all prior service active duty from other services. 15 of us were Army,, 2 AF, 3 Navy… only the Commander, the XO & the Senior WO were prior service Marines.

    Needless to say, one of our units “schizoid” problems was that, as a reserve unit, all the duties of Personnel/payroll and so forth were staffed by the HQ element in another building .. and each of them had absolutely no respect for the unit nor the personnel staffing the unit.

    In other words……..THEY HATED US!!!!!

    “They are not full timers” (Yeah… that’s why its called “Reserve” duty)

    “They are Shit-Birds” (A reserve Marine who will not or cannot go active duty for ANY reason)

    “They aren’t “Professionals”” (professional what? As prostitution seemed well out of my reach at least!)

    “They are book-worms who can’t pass the PT test”…(untrue.. we whipped them every time for two years)

    “They can’t shoot!” ( also untrue…. None of us every scored less than Expert on the pop-ups and all of us that were VN vets always maxed the “Dog” targets too!)

    “They smell funny!”….(Well….Ok…. I will give them that one)

    These full-timers constantly gripped about us…

    “We didn’t train with them”… (yeah… we were located in a different building ten miles away)

    “We didn’t go to the field with them… (yeah… we were located in a different building ten miles away)

    “We didn’t eat with them… “ (yeah… we were loc….HEY… this is getting repetitive!!)

    “We drank too much”…(Ok… I will give them that one too!)

    You get the picture………..

    This little unit was ALWAYS on the short end of the stick… for doing nothing…and, I am told, that this has been the situation since 1968…..because this is a Reserve unit, every one who wanted to avoid VN duty came here….we even had three guys who wore WIGS fer crips sake!!….. no haircuts for them…and they weren’t even hippies!!!! TWO of these guys became officers!!…….go figure….

    Now………………I only served two years with this unit, so I don’t have very many stories….this story is about one of the LAST adventures I had with them before I left the unit.

    No…..this won’t take long…. I just had to “Set-the-stage” first….

    My last summer camp with these guys took place in Oh… maybe June 1977…. We had been sent to Twenty-nine palms… and nice, large, sprawling base. We, of course, as a “Reserve” unit were afforded only the “best” accommodations that the base could provide…..

    Provided you actually needed to go somewhere!!….

    Twenty miles or so from our work areas……which were in.. San Diego!! How’s that for distance to work!!!

    We were placed into a WWII series of old buildings slated for demolition, condemnation and general “God please don’t light a match or we will burn down” kind of hooch’s….

    However, I suppose that this is all kinda off the subject…

    Anyway….our XO had set up the training schedule for us, and most of the training was really fun…. Rifle range, gas chamber etc…… and we were to take part in.

    Are you ready for this?????…

    A LANDING EXERCISE!!!!…

    Yup…. He had us scheduled for two days of training on board a small ship (type unknown) and then we were to take part in an actual amphibious landing!!….. on an actual beach!!

    Hey… for land-locked marines… we were very excited about this……. None of us had ever done this before.. and the two of us that were airborne looked forward to it….

    We dug out our TA gear, cleaned off the rust and mold, fitted everything correctly (had to teach the AF and Navy dude how to put the gear together though…none of them had ever seen the stuff…..) checked out or gasmasks & weapons and made sure that they would pass muster.. and generally drooled waiting for the time to disembark….

    The training on board the ship was hot…cramped and somewhat boring, well, at least to the prior service guys… but you know how military training is… always directed at the less common denominator. and we did have two of them….. numb & skull….. joined at the hip….. reservists only… oh yeah… two of our WIG wearers!!!

    We practiced going down the rope ladders first while on land… then on a ship that was docked….

    Hey… this doesn’t seem to tough!…..

    The big day comes…… as we jump out of our deuce & a half and form up…. I can see that today is, indeed, the big day…

    MAN!!! Look at that!! hundreds and hundreds of Marines all over the place… they start forming huge mass formations….. thirty guys wide and hundreds deep!!!

    And we are in the front!!!!!!!

    Our XO come up, reports to the Major (our units commander was a pretty neat guy… I may talk about him someday… Major Custer…….no relation) The XO turns to us as says..

    “OK guys…. We are going onboard soon….. stay together… the ride will be about four or five hours long… we are going to circle the bay once or twice so that the Navy can form up and then the Beachmasters will take over and direct us in…… when you get into the boat (we actually got to go in a WWII LST…. man….I was high on this!!) move forward and sit down…. When I give the signal.. stand up…… when the door drops… just follow me”….

    I had visions….

    When I was growing up.. the guy up the street was a WWII infantryman who landed at Omaha beach…. He had shown me all of his pictures and talked about how he felt… My high school ROTC instructor also had been at Omaha…… as a OSS/Ranger….. he was one of the few who survived the climb of the cliffs..His stories were running in my head too!

    I honestly don’t know how you real Marines kept from overdosing on adrenaline before landing… SHIT!! It’s bad enough getting reading to jump!!!!

    At least we were not going to get shot at!!!

    Ok… we were called to attention…….. A…..BOUT……FACE!!

    Err. What?……

    We about face and find ourselves facing the backs of all the others…….

    BY THREE’S……………….FORWARD MARCH..

    That puts us…. the little strap-hangers from the 7th FASC on the back end of this formation….

    Then it hits me….

    OH SHIT!!… that means WE are going to disembark FIRST!!!!…

    Oh hell… what if we screw up?… they will never let us live it down…..

    The XO is grinning… I think he knows what I am thinking….

    Too late…. up the ramps we go… and are directed by a bunch of small angry looking boys in ice cream suits(oh… Navy guys)…..… ………..into the ships bowels..

    er…. holding areas…..

    er… staging area…

    er….. oh the hell with it……

    the big wide space down below!!!!

    We spend the next hour just waiting for the stupid ship to move…. Other then up-and-down or side-to-side.. that is..

    Our prior service AF and Army guys are all turning green…. “never been on a ship be…barf!!!”
    “here…eat this”

    Barf…barf…. Etc.

    A guy in an ice cream suit comes by and tosses them bags to puke in.. ”You’re gonna havta clean that up you know!!” one yells… all the while smiling to himself…..I know what he is thinking.. ”Gotcha ya frikkin grunts!!!”

    Ok… we are moving now…….

    The only memory I have of that ship besides the smell…..is……. Damn.. this is going to be a mess to clean up for somebody… I’M damn well not doing it!!”

    Wind waifs across us and eases the motion sickness of our guys… we can see over the gunwale so we know that we are moving….

    Another hour or so and we are circling….

    Orders come to stand up and face the ramps…. We do…

    Now we are moving up the ramps towards the disembarking stations….

    Damn!!! I was right!! we are the first ones up on deck!!!

    MAN WHAT A SIGHT!!! Must be fifteen or twenty ships or all types….. however .. I can see that only four of us are troop ships…..this one seems to be the oldest… by it shape and design….

    We are all getting high on this shit…..

    The ships on-board Marines will go over first… they have already positioned themselves and are swinging over the side now…. These are they guys that will steady the ropes….

    And we are going to need it!!… the ocean is beginning to develop swells now… the ship is beginning to pitch and roll….

    HEY.!!!!…. THIS IS SUPPOSTED TO BE AN EASY TRAINING EXERCISE!!!!

    The Xo & Major look back and say…almost as one “Surprise…surprise…surprise”… with that now famous Gomer Pyle voice…. And then go over the side….

    These guys knew it all the time!!!….

    Ok… our turn and I swing over and place by foot on the closest rung of the rope……now the rest of me and I can see that our guys have all gone over together, in unison…. I start down..

    And find myself looking straight down at the ocean….were the hell is the ship??…

    BANG….

    I am thrown against the side of the ship…Oh… there it is…..

    And I continue.. down….I think….. at least my mind says that it is down……I look down to see how far I have to go…. And the damn boat rises up pushes me up two or three rungs!..

    I let go and go down with boat…

    BOOM… I drop heavily to the bottom of the boat… I am not hurt… just rather surprised that this is NOT FRIKKIN EASY…. I WANNA USE AN AIRPLANE NEXT TIME OK!!!…..a Marine helps me up and points to where I am to park my butt…

    I am not the only one that dropped… the whole group went when they saw me drop….frikkin lemmings!!!

    It is not two minutes and our whole unit is in the boat… five more minutes and the boat is full…. And moving away from the ship….

    I can see the ship and the small boats alongside of it pitching up and down, left and right…If D-Day was like this… there must have been a whole LOT of sick dudes in those boats…..

    Geez I am nauseous…….

    The boat moves off and joins a long line forming out to sea…

    THIS… is supposed to be FUN!!??? I think to myself…. But.. as I look around…. Everyone else is grinning.. ear-to-ear…. Yeah…. It IS fun…….as long as we don’t get shot at!! And that won’t happen unless the people in San Diego suddenly go nuts….which… sometimes … could be a distinct possibility….

    We cruise for about an hour and then the XO informs us that we are going in.. we were the first ones onto the boats but we will be the last ones to land… something about us “Just being Reserves and all”…..

    Fine by me …. I suppose….

    XO says Stand up….and I can see the beach….but…….

    “Hey…XO….. why are there people on the beach… and where are the other boats…

    He points to our right….OH… the others are landing just beyond the little jetty to our right… we must be going to land on the far left flank….. well… OK… we are not really part of the major exercise anyway….

    “They must be the boats that were in front of us” he shouts over the noise….

    I can hear the Bowson (SP?) rev the engine higher and start a fast approach…..

    “BRACE YOURSELVES” the XO shouts…..

    and with a loud THUMP BUMP BUMP SPASH…..the boat is on the sand and door drops…

    We are out like a shot… and since those of us in the front we VN guys…

    We charge in and run at full speed up the beach and into the dry dunes and then drop into position……

    And… as I aim my rifle out into the pretend enemy that I know MUST be there……

    I can see BOTH the Major & the XO standing to the right of me, pistols drawn out…. with the stupidest looks upon their faces … slack jawed, drooling fool type of looks…..

    I turn to see what they are gawking at… and get a really really big grin on my face…..and quit possibly a …

    well..

    You can imagine what you want….

    Everyone on the beach…. Men, women.. children…were looking at us like we were aliens..which, I suppose, we were to them…..

    Were………….


    Well………..


    NUDE!!!!!..


    I start laughing and stand up…..

    The navy guys dropped us and two other boats on the wrong beach….

    This wasn’t the target beach…

    This was the public beach….

    BLACK’S BEACH…..

    A NUDIST BEACH!!!…


    I made some “good friends” that day…. because it took the Navy & Marines four hours before they came a got us….

    And that…. as I have said before……….

    Is another story……



    Out….

    Esse Quam Videri

    Edited by: Mithrandir at: 11/1/02 11:16:50 pm
  2. Salvage33

    Salvage33 New Member

    Joined:
    May 15, 2004
    Messages:
    477
    Location:
    Shreveport, LA why leave the USA to visit a 3rd wo
    Mith...helluva story!!! And a lot more interesting than what it reminded me of! LOL

    John
  3. berto64

    berto64 Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2001
    Messages:
    7,505
    Location:
    Owyhee County, Idaho
    I can see the headlines now!

    ASSAULT ON BLACK'S BEACH!

    No charges filed against perpertrators.
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2005

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