You can’t cook a steak
in a new-fangled helmet
but it soaks tootsies!
The chair-warmers want always
to ditch what works for flowers!*
- (Given enough time I am sure 03-dum-dums – aka O311 Infantry Marines or 4-11-Bravos – same-same Army – could turn poseys into punjii pits with a bayonet mount and an auto-select switch. The old Bloop Gun – the M-79 40 millimeter grenade launcher is a classic case in point. At one time every Marine rifle squad had an assistant squad leader totin’ one of those mini-moarters or grenade launchers which might double as a big bad-assed shotgun or a tear-gas or white phosphorus – willie peter – close-in delivery system. The new boys ditched the Blooper and later tried to sling the “gun” as a breech-fed underslung M-16 rifle attachment that made reloading a bitch. Instead of the old BAR 30-06 rifle cartridge that could chew bricks or trees at half a mile as a fire team-employed automatic rifle, the M-14 replacement – with at auto-select addition called the M-14E2 lasted less than half-a-war before those newfangled M-16’s without chromed receiver groups, detarded rates of fire and no cleaning kits came out to replace the whole M-14 .308 caliber heavy round that kept SEALS happy for decades following and one or two could be found in ‘most every Marine rifle platoon in Th’Nam long after the ’16’ got un-loved and turned into a non-Marine-killing weapon. Some of my boot camp platoon assigned to infantry training at Infantry Training Regiment – don’t ask, it’s a military oxy-moron, which means a particularly dumb cow in charge – went to Panama to try the new cleaning kits, the new chromed chambers, AND the new purpose built cleaning rods, brushes and patch-holders whose lack killed many a soldier or Marine during the early stages of the 1968 Tet Offensive…oops, not so many soldiers as they got priority on the new 16s. Marines were using AK-47s, same .308 round but with a shortened length-of-bullet 39mm vice 54(or is it 51)mm which means more oomph at the terminal end. Then, there’s the kelvar German-style helmet to replace the venerable steel pot, also a German throwback, some say, that could cook a C-Ration stew, a purloined enemy chicken caught spying in the wire, or soak some sorely troubled tootsies which spent too much time inside old, cold all-leather boots. The new jungle boots, though, were A Good Thing. An alloy full plate to retard enemy punjii stakes, hardcore nylon sides and drainage holes that helped the new boots not rot like the old all-leathers. Only problem: the new boots just had too little leather to spit-shine so the lifers unliked them a lot, especially back in The World. ‘Scse the rant. I feel better now.)