Well we’ve all stood them everything from the standard Personnel
Inspection to Major Inspector General types. Most of them are a pain
in the ass, some are necessary, some serve a purpose and some are
just for busy work. Usually the higher the rank of the Inspecting
Officer the easier the Inspection. It’s all the pre-inspections that
are a pain in the ass. But looking back over the years there were
some funny incidents that took place during Inspections. Some of the
ones I remember are listed below, not in any order but as I remember
My BAR Inspection:
Me on the left as an Assistant BAR man with the "Bastard" Belt 1/2 M1 and 1/2 BAR magazines.
On the right I'm practicing the BAR Inspection with my Fire Team Leader.
BAR Inspection and layout from the Landing Party Manual.
Comes the Inspection. I’m ready. We’re in formation waiting, and waiting, and waiting. Then it’s our turn. Open Ranks and all that stuff. Finally the C.O.’s in front of me and I do my thing with the BAR. When I push the operating handle to the rear, he looks down and gets a funny look on his face. Looks at me and say’s “When did you last clean this weapon?” I say “This morning sir.” He looks over my shoulder, says nothing and moves on. Never even looked at my weapon. I can’t figure it out. When he is behind me inspecting the 3rd Squad he is really tearing someone a new ass about a dirty weapon. Well I found out later that while in formation earlier. The guy behind me in the 3rd Squad was putting anything that would fit in the flash hider of my BAR. During inspection, when I opened the bolt it fell out, some grass and a few pebbles. Good for me the C.O. wasn’t stupid. Well like we used to say “You can trust a Marine with your life, but not your lunch.”
Hoagie’s Junk on
Illustrations from the Landing Party Manual.
Well for this Inspection (either my 1st or 2nd) the wall lockers were arranged to form cubicles. PFC Hoagaboom (Hoagie) was one of the guys in the cubical across the Squad Bay from me. The night before the Inspection most of us are laying out our “stuff” ironing and polishing things, and are generally up almost all night. Hoagie goes on liberty.
A few minutes after Reveille, in staggers Hoagie. He takes a shower and then starts laying out his gear. An extra set of pre-ironed skivvies and sox comes out of his footlocker, as do some pre-folded uniforms. Laundry/Dry Cleaning chits appear for missing clothing. In less than an hour his rack is looking as good as the one’s we’ve been working on all night. After morning chow we get into our “Green’s” for the Inspection. As we are standing by I noticed Hoagie taking a few drinks from his “Rubbing Alcohol” bottle (we used it for spit shining our shoes and boots, his was Vodka) followed by some “Aqua Velva”. Finally we get “Attention on Deck!” We all snap to except for Hoagie, who keeps leaning on his wall locker. Then comes “Stand at ease until the Inspecting Officer comes in front of you”. Hoagie winks at me. He gets an outstanding on his Inspection and even a comment about his after-shave from the Battalion C.O. I start buying extra “Inspection Only” clothing and keep it in my footlocker. Never quite looked at Junk on the Bunk Inspections the same again.
Left the Machine Gun Model 1919A4. Right Laid out for inspection with a Guard.
Prior to one of our inspections one of the guns was left
unattended. Then during the C.O.’s Inspection he asked the
Squad Leader “Where is the barrel for this gun?” It seems
the spare barrels were laid out but no one noticed that the
barrel had been taken out of the gun. (This can be done
fairly fast by two 0331’s, removing the front barrel
bushing, pull the bolt back a little and unscrew the
barrel.) There was some severe ass chewing over this, but
also some laughing and ribbing. Except for the Squad Leader
that failed to have his gun guarded. . Well like we used to
say “You can trust a Marine with your life, but not your
Transport Pack Inspection:
Illustrations from the Landing Party Manual.
Well this Inspection was for the FMF Pacific Commander
(I think Krulak, but I’m not sure.). I was the assistant
gunner on a M1919A4 Machine Gun in Charlie One/ Four. We
had gone through all the pre-inspections from Platoon
leader all the way up to Regimental Commander.
Everything was fine. Between the final pre-inspection
and the big one, my gunner Wes (a Louisiana Cajun) had
gotten an electric razor (a rarity for those days) that
also ran on batteries (an even bigger rarity). Comes the
day of the big inspection and Wes decides to display his
new razor with his gear. Now normally the bigger the
inspection the easier they are, and by the time you get
to three stars all they do is walk the line. Well that’s
what was happening until the General got to Wes. He
stopped, did a left face, reached down and picked up the
razor. (Sharp eyes.) Say’s to Wes “What’s this Marine?”
Wes proudly “An electric razor sir.” General “And if you
were going to mount out where would you expect to plug
it in?” Wes “It runs on batteries sir.” General “Were
you planning on stealing Marine Corps batteries?” Wes,
retrieving razor from the General and putting it back on
his display, say’s “Sir if we were to mount out to any
where I wasn’t even planning on shaving.” General’s head
snaps left to
the Regimental C.O. (you could hear the necks snapping
as this went all the way down to our Platoon Leader).
Net result we laid out our gear four times that night
for inspection by flashlight. But each time we were
laughing and admiring the balls of one of our gunners.
My version of a "Field Transport Pack" and a real "Field Inspection".
5th Tanks JOB: