Milinet: A Sea Story...
by Dick G (Login Dick Gaines)
MILINET: A Sea Story
By: Capt. Bob Capeci, USMC (Ret)
In 1961, I reported to the San Diego Recruit Depot for training at the Drill
Instructor (DI) School.
During that training period and afterward, Inoticed a wiry, elderly man constantly
sweeping the sidewalks, cleaning in and around the depot headquarters. He
was a long time fixture, and the common impression was that he was a member
of the janitor staff.
Each day about mid afternoon on the north end of the grinder, thisindividual would
go throughan exhaustive shadow boxing routine. It was obvious that he
was in excellent physical condition and was no stranger to boxing.
About 1962, General Victor Krulak (the father of the recent CMC) took
command as the depot CG and noticed the energetic janitor.
"Who is that," asked the General. When his adjutant responded with a
blank look, he was directed to find out.
The investigation discovered that the janitor was a retired Marine enlisted
(Sergeant, as I remember), and a former Atlantic Fleet boxing champ from
the 1930's. But there's more.
The subject was not on the Depot's payroll, held no position janitorial or
otherwise, and was apparently carrying out his daily duties without reimbursement.
"Why work without payment?" asked the investigator. "To earn my keep," he answered.
It seems that that theretired Sergeant had liberated a small room (more like a large
broom closet) just off the grinder, and outfitted it with a Marine bunk (tightly made),
and a wall and foot locker, all in regulation condition.
The adjutant gave the General his report and added that the Sergeant would
be promptly tossed off the depot.
"Hold it," said the General. After a moment he added; "Leave him be and put him
on the payroll."
I completed my DI tour and left the depot in 1963. How long afterwards the
Sergeant remained at the Depot, I do not know.
Posted on Jan 21, 2003, 9:03 AM
from IP address 22.214.171.124
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* Resps.. Dick G on Jan 22, 2003, 9:13 AM
MILINET: Resps "A Sea Story"
Anthony, a big magazine, like Life or Look, published a story about this Sergeant in the middle to late sixties. There were photos of him and even a photo of his rack and wall-locker. I recall he also looked like aÂ pugilist, nose, etc.,Â and was in good shape. It was great reading Bob's story.
Semper Fi. Bob Farmer
I remember him well. He was there when I was on the Drill Field as a series officer and recruit company commander in 1956 â8. I knew his name at one time, but cannot now remember. His room was a picture of squared away. I can still picture the one time I had a glimpse of it. General Wornham had the Depot then, and I am sure Olâ Tom knew about him. Jock
Posted on Jan 22, 2003, 9:13 AM
from IP address 126.96.36.199