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James S. Chase_


Boot camp:   Parris Island

Dates of Service:   12 Sept. 1958 - 11 Dec 1968

M.O.S. :  0141 - Admin | 8511 - Drill Instructor | 8156 - Marine Security Guard

Duty Stations:     Parris Island | Camp Lejeune | HQMC Henderson Hall Arlington, Va. (embassy duty school) | Warsaw Poland | Frankfurt-AM-Main - West Germany | Camp Pendleton | Vietnam |Parris Island (D.I. school and the drill field).

Memorable events:  2½ years Embassy duty in Europe | 2 years on the drill field as a D.I.


Comments:         Fresh off the farm [literally). I joined the USMC on 12 Sept 1958 and made the traditional train trip to beautiful Yemassee, SC. After 3 months of total and complete culture shock, I pinned the EGA emblems on my greens and made a bus trip to Camp Geiger, NC to learn how to be a basic rifleman. After a month or so of infantry tactics, I was reassigned to Headquarters Company, 8th Marine Regiment for duty as an administrative man, participating in 2 cruises to the Caribbean Sea, both times enjoying the warmth and hospitality of gorgeous Vieques Island. I was rapidly
promoted, and became one of very few "slick sleeve" (no hash mark) sergeants in the peacetime Marine Corps. Contrary to recommended procedure, I volunteered for Embassy Duty, or Special Foreign Duty with the Department of State. I spent a year in Warsaw, Poland and 1½ years in Frankfurt-am-Main, Germany, carrying an Official passport, which is nominally between a diplomatic passport and a tourist passport. While in Poland, I shipped over, requesting Camp Pendleton CA as a new duty station upon completion of my embassy duty tour. After leaving Germany, I arrived at Camp Pendleton in August 1964 and was assigned to Headquarters and Service Company, 1st Motor Transport Battalion. When I checked in, 1stSgt Jack Huddleston was typing the unit diary. When I told him who I was, he pushed back from the desk and said, "I just forgot how to type."  I never saw him touch one again. In 1965, then-President Lyndon Johnson decided that my services were crucial to the best interests of the USMC, and requested that I help the war effort of the 1st Marine Division in Viet Nam. To back up a little bit, shortly after leaving Parris Island I realized that my Senior Drill Instructor, then-Technical Sergeant Herbert J. Werner had made such an influence on me that I established a goal of becoming a Drill Instructor. It took me approximately 8 years to realize that goal, and reported to Parris Island from Viet Nam in September 1966 to attend Drill Instructor School. After DI School my next two years as a serving Drill Instructor in the 1st Recruit Training Battalion were somewhat of a blur, because the recruit training cycle had been reduced to 8 weeks, and I was involved with the training of 10 recruit platoons, 5 as a Junior Drill Instructor and 5 as a Senior Drill instructor, before being reassigned as Battalion Administrative Chief, where I spent my last two  months prior to discharge on 11 Dec 1968. At that time, Drill Instructors worked somewhere between 90-100 hours a week, all for the privileges of wearing a Smokey Bear cover, free dry cleaning and earning an additional $30 per month of proficiency pay. If I had to do my service all over again, I wouldn't change a thing, because I learned something from every experience and contact.


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