Mastery – Semper Fi

Happy 234th Birthday to the United States Marine Corps!

A big thank you to those who have served and those who will serve. Bob Parsons, the Chief Nutty-Nut at creates a rousing tribute to the Marine Corps each year in celebration of the evening at Tun Tavern in Philadelphia, November 10, 1775.

The Few, The Proud.

semperfiI had the great fortune of being invited to play on the Marine Corps obstacle course while at Texas A&M. I was out there for fun, but everyone else was there to train. Some were enlisted, some were officers, but the course was always full of soon-to-be-soldiers preparing themselves for their eventual commission. I had one of my first teaching gigs on that obstacle course. The Gunnery Sergeant, Gunny Tolliver, asked me to train a few female enlisted through the skills course. Apparently I had a “unique” way of navigating the course borne out of my negligible upper body strength. I will never forget climbing that 3-story rope at the end of the course…. AMAZING**.


The Marines are considered the most cost effective branch of our armed services with cash outlay $20,000 less than that for soldiers in the other branches…. The Marines intense focus on discipline and precision is unmatched by the other branches at large. They swim, shoot and now even have their own Martial Arts program. USMC knows no bounds when it comes to kicking ass and taking names.

Go hug a Soldier past present future.

**Incidentally, climbing that rope after a few beers was SIGNIFICANTLY more difficult. We tried that one night after quality time at the bird. Not successful on that attempt.

5 thoughts on “Mastery – Semper Fi”

  1. I might have tried the rope in younger days but now I’m pretty sure my upper body would cry.

    I watch those in the service move up as each step gives them new emblems/patches each level. You guessed it I sew them on. What an honor.


  2. Hi Kate:

    Thank you for your message. USMC, Viet Nam 1967,1968, 1969.

    Looking back on that Viet Nam experience I grow in admiration of those who take up arms in the service of our country. It’s an experience, especially in combat, where the individual has to grow in the virtues of steadfastness, endurance, reliability, dependability, loyalty, ingenuity, selflessness, love, humor, understanding, compassion, competence, gratitude, honor and I’m sure there’s more I’m not thinking of right now.

    There have been many years since my active service in the Marine Corps and I have a larger life context to place life’s experiences and as do I grow in my admiration of our fighting men and women.

    As my admiration grows for those on the line my contempt for those who send these men and women into combat also grows. The incompetence, ignorance, callousness, stupidity, and gross venality revealed in those politicians in the Capital and decision makers in the Pentagon is disgusting and infuriating.

    As a last thought, the video is inspiring as we see and listen to some of our finest.

    I want to note that our men and women in the military who know what’s going on contributed more to Ron Paul’s presidential campaign, which promised an end to armed empire building, than to the other presidential candidates combined.

    As Kevin might say, there’s the reality behind the showboating.

    Nice graphic.

    My best wishes to all who take up arms for their country and to those who support them.


    Martin O’Connor

  3. How marvelous that the Marines have been so faithfully and diligently serving and protecting our country for OH so many years!

    Happy Dating and Relationships,

    April Braswell

  4. Ropes are tough! I’ve always liked the look of an obstacle course but then never had to complete it within a time frame. Once as kids we did the course on the base we lived on as part of a team. There was one part in particular – a high wall with a rope. Even holding the rope was difficult. Looks easy when you watch the troops rapidly going through.

    Keri Eagan

  5. Thanks to all the armed forces who have served and/or will be serving, putting their lives at risk on the front line.

    Your climbing a rope after a few drinks reminded me of rock climbing after a few drinks – 50% braver, 50% less able!!

Comments are closed.