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Only a Marine

February 4th, 2009 by LT Ronald

No shit, there I was, FT Lewis Washington, college ROTC Advanced Camp. This was the last 6 week training that ROTC Cadets would get before being commissioned.

We had a former marine in our class who proves that lobotomies are given at Paris Island.

We were at the hand grenade range, and if you’ve never been to the hand grenade range at FT Lewis, its layout is a little different. The control tower is on the opposite side of the impact area and looks down on the impact area.

The range control NCOIC had a distinctive southern accent, so when he gave the command to pull the pin, aim, and throw the grenade at the “tire” (you attempt to throw the grenade into a truck tire for accuracy), in his southern drawl it came out sounding like “tywer”. To the former Marine it came out sounding like “tower”, to which he said “Tower, where’s the… oh there it is!”, and proceeded to throw his grenade at the range control tower, the grenade bounced off of the plexiglass, caught the lip of the tower, and exploded on the way down into the impact area, shaking the tower and causing everyone inside to “hit the deck”, the blast caused close to $1800.00 in damages, and a few sets of soiled pants.

All the former Marine could say, was he told me to throw it at the “Tywer”.

Last I heard this man was promoted to Major.

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32 Responses to “Only a Marine”

  1. Stickfodder Says:

    Well you’ve got to hand it to him he’s good at following directions. Now if only he could do something about his hearing.


  2. Morgrim Says:

    A grenade shook the tower while in mid air on the way down?

    Those things must have more punch than I thought they did. Or I’m misunderstanding what happened.


    Tim Covington reply on February 5th, 2009 6:34 am:

    Believe me, grenades have a LOT of power. Though, it sounds like they placed the tower to close to the range, or he has a heck of a throwing arm.


  3. Stonewolf Says:

    That’s awesome! I was afraid this would be one of those “Pull pin and throw!” stories ending with the pin being tossed with the grenade still held in hand ;)

    CAPTCHA Iron-Clads piled: At the bottom of the ocean?


  4. Mr. Infidel Says:

    Sounds like he might be a MAJ at USARCENT…


  5. Mr. Infidel Says:

    Sounds like he might be a MAJ at ARCENT…


  6. TheShadowCat Says:

    Is it just me or does it seem that the only place you can screw up and still get promoted is in the military?

    CAPTCHA – whitehorn numbe – What happened to my last ‘r’?


    Dorkus reply on February 5th, 2009 8:39 am:

    Well, you used to be able to do that on Wall Street.


    TheShadowCat reply on February 5th, 2009 8:49 am:

    That was before the economy went into the toilet.

    CAPTCHA – Brands Photo – opening near you


    GBlair reply on February 5th, 2009 10:32 am:

    It seems to happen in the British Governent alot as well.


    Minty reply on February 5th, 2009 1:24 pm:

    Oh, no, the corporate world still promotes screwups so long as said screwups are able to cover their asses appropriately.


    Signalist reply on September 10th, 2011 6:35 am:

    I think the right name for it is “failing upwards”


  7. Dave in NC Says:

    Better than the LT-to-be that at my father’s advance camp (who had never thrown a baseball in her life) who pitched her grenade downrange and instead landed it directly inside the pit next to hers.

    Next thing that candidate knows, his observing sergeant is throwing him out of the pit by his pants and following as fast as he can.

    captcha: Produita qualify? No, no she doesn’t


  8. Ozman Says:

    The military doesn’t always get it wrong. My old CO in the ROTC here at Texas A&M was a freaking moron. Thankfully people noticed and he lost his commission and had to go in as a private instead of as a LT.


    Dorkus reply on February 5th, 2009 8:42 am:

    How do you tell the moron apart from everyone else at TAMU?


    Caaptcha: countrymen yo-holla?


    Ozman reply on February 5th, 2009 8:53 am:

    There is a difference between us morons who have more fun and party harder than any tsip every could. And the morons who get people killed.

    Gig em


  9. JoAnn Says:

    They wouldn’t let me have a real grenade in Basic..my DI said “No way, you would kill some poor damn drill sergant the way you throw” So he gave me one of the practice dummy ones instead. Considering how close it landed to us…he was right.

    Pooh! Russian linguists sit in cubicles and dont NEED to throw grenades anyway!


  10. Seda Says:

    what u need is the grenades from the start of CoD2

    yes.. they were potatoes


  11. Speed Says:

    I haven’t touched a grenade since basic, but I was a grenadier for a few years. Every six months we’d go to the range at Bragg and shoot chalk filled rounds for a few days before we got the HE rounds. After the first 40 chalk rounds it got boring really fast, so you ended up with a firing line full of grenadiers hitting the sheet metal “building” just to hear it ring like a bell and to watch it sway back and forth. And range control telling us to “try to hit the window on the building.”


  12. pwiklund Says:

    That’s fucking phenomenal. And to think, this is who we’re entrusted to lead our Soldiers. Obviously, not all officers are like that cadet, but there are enough of them for one to realize that the Officer corps has got nothing on the Enlisted side. We each recruit morons equally.


    LT Ronald reply on February 9th, 2009 5:31 am:

    That is why I went Warrant Officer in 07. That is a Corps of true professionals. Sure we may be pros at slacking, or being able to be a ghost, but we are the best at it!


    JMireles reply on May 12th, 2009 9:51 pm:

    When my unit arrived in Iraq, we soon learned a dirty little secret about the unit we were replacing. Apparently their entire officer corps had been relieved and replaced TWICE, meaning by the time we got there, they were on their third set of officers. The primary cause of such a situation? Adultry and other prohibited relationships.


  13. Tim Covington Says:

    BTW, have I ever told you the stories of the time I spent in ROTC in college. I took it for PE credit. They made me guide-on bearer for my company so I could my company commander what to do as far as drill and ceremonies. I was also tutoring him in orienteering (map & compass).
    I dropped the class when I learned they would never promote me beyond pfc because I was not going for a commision.


    Billy reply on February 7th, 2009 9:40 pm:

    Those racist bastards!


  14. Grayson Says:

    Is there anyone out there, somewhere on this planet, who can possibly explain why the U.S. Army, in its infinitely questionable wisdom, can’t or won’t use ‘flash-bang’ type grenades, for training their recruits and officer candidates? Someone once told me that a typical flashbang (some Police agencies refer to them as ‘distraction devices’) actually costs more than a regular fragmentation grenade; even if that’s true, the safety factor alone more than makes up for the cost!
    I do know that the Brits have some really good training gear, including a ‘training’ grenade made by company called Schermuly, that not only duplicates the weight and function of an issue grenade, but can be reloaded and reused – about 20 to 30 times! A friend of mine, who spent some time as a Royal Marine, showed me a Schermuly ‘trainer’ that was no longer useable (due to being detonated about 40 times or so), and after he finished, he said, (quote): “You know what these are really good for? Identifying the fumble fingered bloody wankers in your unit, so that you can get rid of them quickly” (end quote).
    I think all training should involve flash-bangs where feasible; less chance of having to hold a funeral after a mishap, and things that go boom make training lessons nearly impossibe to forget – especially when your Sergeant says, ‘Now this is what you DON’T do!’


    CCO reply on February 6th, 2009 8:39 am:

    They do use training grenades (or did when I went through Basic) with the same fuse and pin and spoon as the M-67 fragmentation grenade. They pretty much were fragmentation grenades bodies with a hole in the bottom. Everybody also threw two live grenades.

    Why? Chip – Yung – Ri perhaps? That was the battle that the grenade range (or perhaps the firepower demonstration range) was named after at Fort Jackson. I would guess really that it’s so that you can do it and thereby know that you can do it if push comes to shove.


    CCO reply on February 9th, 2009 5:49 pm:

    Probably that’s suppose to be Chip’yong-ni, according to http://www.history.army.mil/brochures/kw-balance/balance.htm.


  15. David Says:

    One time, at band camp…


    skippy reply on February 6th, 2009 3:17 pm:

    One time, at boot camp…


  16. chila Says:

    OMG you were at MY FT LEWIS and i didnt know

    what crap is this!!!!


  17. John Says:

    This is a B.S. story. The tower on that range has always been behind the grenade throwing pits. Always. If the grenade had exploded as described, it would have killed or injured everyone in the throwing pits. No such incident or damage was reported at the grenade range between 1981 and this past summer. Someone is remembering something that did not happen, or that happened in the 1970s.


    LT Ronald reply on October 17th, 2009 8:05 am:

    First off, this is not a B.S. Story. It is an embellished story certainly, as I was not in the same firing line as the former marine in question, and cannot exactly remember where the tower was, but the bastard did throw the grenade at the tower, where ever it was in relation to the pit, and did blow the plexiglass loose from it’s morings and was called a Jackass for the rest of the course.

    It is called artistic license. I’ll never forget the dumbass trying to explain to the higher ups that the guy said “Tyer”, and them trying not to laugh because they were so pissed.


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