Great article. Thanks, KB.
And by the way, Semper Fi!
The Associated Press Lt. Gen. Lewis B. “Chesty” Puller
By Joe Bush - Staff writer
Posted : Thursday Nov 20, 2008 11:21:36 EST
Nothing stays the same forever. In 233 historic years, the Corps has evolved through technological revolutions, societal upheaval and changing attitudes. Nicknames came and went. So did weapons and bases, customs and procedures. Every generation has had an Old Corps vs. New.
Not that it always mattered.
“Old breed? New breed?” Chesty Puller famously pondered. “There’s not a damn bit of difference, so long as it’s the Marine breed.”
Lt. Gen. Lewis B. “Chesty” Puller needs no introduction to Marines. From Haiti to the South Pacific to the Chosin Reservoir, Puller is the stuff of legend. Most of the time, you can’t go to bed at Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island, S.C., or MCRD San Diego, Calif., without sounding off, “Good night, Chesty, wherever you are.”
His lore defines for many what it means to be a Marine. Which brings to mind the question: What would Chesty do if he were alive today? How would he tackle the sticky questions that trip up Marines from Afghanistan to Okinawa?
So listen up, Marines. We’ve applied Puller logic to the great questions of today.
Here’s what Chesty would do.
COULD CHESTY FIND OSAMA BIN LADEN?
Maybe not, but he would have torn apart al-Qaida and the Taliban looking for him.
Chesty was a master at limited warfare and guerrilla tactics, which he displayed in Nicaragua. He conducted patrols deep within the jungle in enemy territory to root out rebel fighters, away from any support, often outmanned and outgunned.
Chesty and his platoon of Nicaraguan Guardia slaughtered the Sandinistas and their top leaders, rendering them ineffective. Unfortunately, he never caught the leader, Sandino.
“It would take a guy like Puller, thrashing around through the back country, to catch him,” Hoffman said.
According to his second Navy Cross citation, Puller was serving as a first lieutenant in the Guardia when his patrol drove deep into isolated and mountainous bandit territory nearly 100 miles from the nearest friendly base camp. His small patrol was ambushed by more than 150 rebels, armed with automatic weapons and various small arms, and well supplied with ammo.
Puller lost two men and had four wounded, but the patrol managed to defeat the larger force. “This single victory in jungle country, with no lines of communication and a hundred miles from any supporting force, was largely due to the indomitable courage and persistence of the patrol commander.”
WOULD CHESTY PASS THE COMBAT FITNESS TEST?
As one of the greatest combat leaders in the Corps, Chesty stayed in peak physical condition. He didn’t need a test to remind him of why it was important.
While under fire from the Sandinistas in Nicaragua, for instance, Puller dashed across railroad tracks to the opposite flank to prepare his men for a coordinated counterattack, then dashed back across to his own lines. The move wasn’t all that different from the CFT’s 880-yard sprint, and it was during this fight that Chesty earned his second Navy Cross.
In another display of physical prowess, during the battle for Guadalcanal, Chesty came under enemy fire again.
“The colonel fell to the ground, rolled over, and was up on his feet again, like a rubber man,” said a fellow Marine officer. “He kept that up for several minutes: hit the deck, roll. Stand and bellow orders
Great article. Thanks, KB.
And by the way, Semper Fi!
Thanks for posting this, pretty good article!
Good night Chesty!
Chesty Puller was pure bada$$ and nothing less
Good ole Chesty, no one else quite like him... Makes me sad really...
Chesty > Patton + Eisenhower + MacArthur + Superman
Timer set and counting for the inevitable Chuck Norris crap to start.
nothing but respect to Lt. Gen. Lewis B. “Chesty” Puller.
Chesty Puller & Dan Daly, two of the greats. I always wonder how they would fair in this day and age.
Didn't know about his son. RIP Marine.Lewis B. Puller, Jr.
The general's son Lewis Burwell Puller, Jr. (generally known as Lewis Puller), followed his father into the Marine Corps and lost both legs and parts of his hands in Vietnam while serving with 2nd Battalion, 1st Marines, the regiment formerly commanded by his father. Lewis Puller ran an unsuccessful campaign for Congress, later writing an autobiography titled Fortunate Son that won the Pulitzer Prize in 1992. He committed suicide on May 11, 1994.
His wife said at the time "To the list of names of victims of the Vietnam War, add the name of Lewis Puller ... He suffered terrible wounds that never really healed."
I know you all havent forgotten about "the fighting Quaker"
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smedley_ButlerSmedley Darlington Butler (July 30, 1881 – June 21, 1940), nicknamed "The Fighting Quaker" and "Old Gimlet Eye", was a Major General in the U.S. Marine Corps and, at the time of his death, the most decorated Marine in U.S. history.
During his 34 years of Marine Corps service, Butler was awarded numerous medals for heroism including the Marine Corps Brevet Medal (the highest Marine medal at its time for officers), and subsequently the Medal of Honor twice. Notably, he is one of only 19 people to be twice awarded the Medal of Honor, and one of only three to be awarded a Marine Corps Brevet Medal and a Medal of Honor, and the only person to be awarded a Marine Corps Brevet Medal and a Medal of Honor for two different actions.
China, Honduras, Nicanagura, Varacruz, Haiti, etc.
...this Marine also cut his teeth in limited warfare and gurrilla tactics
I don't think anyone can question the warriorship of old soldiers and Marines like Puller and Patton, et al., but I wonder in this politically charged era if they would have a) even been promoted (or choose to stay in that long), b)been harangued and demonized by both press and Congressional inquiries for their lack of political correctness.
Laconian, I agree with you in regards to the "Old School" warriors surviving in today's political climate. I saw the same thing in law enforcement, when everyone was more concerned with being politically correct and protecting themselves from lawsuits, rather than making the streets safe.
The era of Patton, Butler, Chesty, Diamond, and Daly was definitely different.