The Old Gunny and The Tech/Sgt

The Old Gunny and The Tech/Sgt

Joined: January 1st, 1970, 12:00 am

September 17th, 2003, 11:31 pm #1

The Old Gunny and The T/Sgt

Veteran Marines have probably seen the picture of
a knight in a suit of armor, sword and shield,
etc., and which is captioned, "If your 782 gear
doesn't look like this, then you are NOT Old

Reminds me of an incident of long ago (1952) involving
an old retired Marine gunnery sergeant and an
active-duty Marine technical sergeant.

I think the setting was a restaurant in
Oceanside, California--I was a boot Pfc not more
than 17, and so it could not have been a bar--but
I know it did occur in Oceanside.

The gist of the conversation between these two
had been generally the war in Korea,the
Old Corps, etc. At one point, the old gunny said to the T/Sgt,
something to the effect that, "if your gunny
chevrons don't look like this (he went on to
describe what his own GySgt insignia/chevrons had
been, with great pride and in detail) then don't speak to me of the Old Corps!" Or, words to that effect--it has been a long time!)

Whether his chevrons had been the three chevrons
and crossed/rifles w/bursting bomb, or the later
(same as above) but w/two rockers/arcs added, I
do not know. At that time, I had no idea what the
Gunny was talking about, and I did not develop,
until these many years later, sufficient interest
in the finer points and details of Marine Corps
history, when I finally
researched this topic thoroughly.

One more point--regarding the technical sergeant
above, from 1946 through 1958, the technical
sergeant was referred to as "gunny"--this was
because the rank of gunnery sergeant had been
abolished in 1946 and was not reinstated until
1959. Since the T/Sgt in 1946 then wore the old
insignia/chevrons (three-up/two rockers/arcs, and
formerly worn by the gunnery sergeant) he
sort of inherited the title of Gunny.

In any case, the topic of the history of Marine
Corps enlisted rank and insignia is an
interesting and varied study for those interested
in such things. For most others it would appear
to be of no interest whatever.

Semper Fidelis
Dick Gaines