About Mustang

Marine Corps SealFollowing my retirement from the United States Marine Corps, I obtained a secondary teaching certification and taught high school for fifteen years.  I subsequently worked as a test developer and project director for a major testing development company on behalf of several states, including California, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Ohio, and Texas.  After full retirement, I worked as a free-lance test writer for three testing development companies.

Throughout my three-decades long military career, I was privileged to work for and with some of the finest Marines ever to don the uniform.  Were I to mention them all here, it would take several long pages.  Many of these Marines were very senior World War II and Korean War veterans.  A few of them became Marines even before the outbreak of war in 1941.  They were all good teachers and I am indebted to them, each and every one. Including one with whom I served at Camp Pendleton who I am sure will comment here from time to time, Lieutenant Colonel William C. Curtis–himself a mustang, who served from 1958 to 1990.  I can never repay his friendship or his mentorship.  And he has the negatives, so I can’t forget that.

My oldest and dearest internet friend blogs at Always on Watch; we “met” in 2004.  Since then, I have been writing steadily (more or less) and presently author Fix Bayonets and Old West Tales.  I occasionally post on matters of politics and society at Bunkerville.  I encourage my readers to comment, but I must insist on civility.

13 thoughts on “About Mustang”

    1. My cousin was one that came up with design Hell In A helmet while serving G/Sgt Bobby Hubbard.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. My grandfather was the uniformed marine who posed for the poster for the western mail guard. His name was George C Thomas based out of Oakland, CA.

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  2. If possible would you forward my contact information to Lt. Col. Curtis. My son is preparing for his marine corps journey and as he was looking through my memorabilia photos, questions arose of how I was promoted to corporal by a Lt. Col. He had such a profound impact on my character. I would enjoy contacting him to express my gratitude.

    Troy

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  3. Regarding Rbt. G. Fuller of Newburyport and his book “Danger, Marines at Work,” he was a friend of mine, a close friend and supposedly the book was basis for McHale’s Navy series. Bob was a great man who made no qualms of being intelligent, but also never complained of his time and trials on Guadalcanal, Gavutu or Tulagi. He met his wife (who was a WAV) sometime during that period. Stand up people. I miss them both greatly. Thanks for honoring him. He was an original.

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  4. Have you ever heard of Major Art Causer, another friend of mine beyond Bob Fuller? While Bob was a ground pounder like moi (though trained to jump unlike me), Art was a USMC fighter pilot and I believed served in WWII AND Korea. Great guy and like Bob, he’s passed.

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    1. Sir, I have not heard of Art Causer but unless you served in that community at the time, it is unlikely that one would know Major Causer. Thank you very much for your commentary. Semper Fidelis …

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  5. Sir, I enjoy your writing and especially the nonchalant, matter-of-fact and yet factual way you write. I served in VMA-311, (now only a memory) back when the Tomcats flew the A-4M Skyhawk in the 1st and 3rd MAW. Our best pilots and best leaders, (teachers as you called them) were mustangs such as yourself. All were at a minimum Vietnam veterans and while that was a problem from time to time, we didn’t begrudge them. It seems to me there is a cycle that plays out. The Corps is meant to fight and its ethos is shaped that way. We were always looking for a fight and we were just mechanics. If the grunts couldn’t find other services to pound on they came looking for us like older brothers punching their siblings. But the Corps was re-inventing itself after Vietnam, much as it is today. I was so restless with what seemed like chaos in the Corps. During those times, idealists such as myself lose heart and wander. I was impatient with the process because I didn’t understand it. It has always haunted me. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve had a great career as a fireman and certainly do not regret it. But it has always been with a pang in my heart, wishing I hadn’t turned down OCS and the opportunity to follow in such footsteps (I had two offers). Once I was sitting at a bar stool with an older Marine vet. I asked him, “does the Corps ever leave your head and your heart alone? He smiled, took a sip, and said, “Well, it is not as bad as it used to be, but it’s still there”. He had served in the Corps ’66, the year I was born.

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    1. You are very kind, sir. Thank you for taking the time to comment here. Whether (or not) the Corps met our expectations must depend upon our thinking when we joined, how we felt upon graduation from boot camp, our memories of active service, and on that day when we propelled ourselves out the gate with separation papers in hand. For me, it was a long journey (three-decades-long), but as I recall them now, those days, weeks, and years were not long enough. I miss our Corps every day, and I’ve been retired now as long as I served. The question is, what do I miss? Not the ass hat, surely — and there were a few, but then, too few to mention. The stress? Partly, yes. But I miss most the camaraderie and the sense of esprit de corps alongside those who shared my values. MOS didn’t matter to me then, and it doesn’t matter to me now — although, what can you say about Marines who do not blouse their boots? No matter what the grunts say, being on time and on target made those field Marines love their aviators and everyone who made those birds fly. Concluding now, we both know this: there are only two kinds of Marines — live ones and dead ones. The Corps will be with you for all eternity, and nothing on the earth is better than that. Semper Fi … and thanks again for your comment.

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