1st Recon Bn. August Update       Provided by LtCol. Higgins

C.O.’s Message:



Sgt. Major’s Message:
Football season is finally upon us. I know all the Marines in the Battalion are Green Bay Packers fans so we are ALL!!!!! Looking forward to a great season and a run for the playoffs. A special shout out to my Packer buddy Liz Higgins! I guess my tirade from the last news letter worked we now have 4 Marines who wear the pants in their family’s and four new Harley owners. Hootie Whoo! Congratulations to all the men! It is official the Battalion will have a new SgtMaj in Nov lucky for us he is a very familiar face. SgtMaj Lehew will assume the post of 1st Reconnaissance Battalion, SgtMaj sometime in mid November -- from all of us over here congratulations. The Battalion’s Marines have operated at peak performance for 5 months now and their performance has been and will continue to be amazing. Well done Recon Marines! Keep the cards, letters, and emails flowing. I’m a Cubs fan and Bud man, Cubs Win! Cubs Win! How bout an ice cold Budweiser.


Kudos once again to Corporal Amish Smith, last time I wrote he was selected as the Battalion’s Non-Commissioned Officer of the Quarter, since then he went on to compete at the next level, Regimental Combat Team-6, and won there too! Corporal Smith was also promoted to the rank of Sergeant via a combat meritorious promotion and Lance Corporal Foltermann was awarded a combat meritorious promotion to Cpl!


Greetings from the hot sands of Iraq, the Marines and Sailors of Bravo Company are doing well and continue to do great things. Your moto-mail, mail, emails, and packages are much appreciated. I want to once again thank our KVN and RBE back at Camp Pendleton for all their hard work and taking care of us. Last time I wrote, we had just gotten Captain Taranta and GySgt Turner’s platoon back. I must tell you, it did not take long for those two and their platoon to pick up where they left off and provide some of their ‘witty’ and ‘insightful’ comments, nonetheless, we are delighted to have them back. Gunny Turner and Gunny Stahl’s continue to hone their skillful craft in the in the art of ‘respectful belligerence’, their present victim (and favorite of course) is Captain Nichols, but they may be spreading the love and discord to the MEU staff. Victims are often found in a state of confusion, trying to figure out if they should cry or laugh. All in a day’s work for the two “Old Guy” Muppet Characters up in the balcony. They told me that as children they had two dreams, one was to be a Recon Marine, the other to run away and join the circus, while with the MEU they get to do both. The temperature is really heating up, we have hit over 130+, but are doing the best we can to stay cool. Speaking of heating up, how about the Sox, they still continue to have the best record on MLB!
Lieutenant Baker was promoted to Captain (below left) and continues to rave about the infantry company that he and his Marines have the pleasure of working with. He is constantly singing their praises, much like a new parents showing off their newborn. I must admit, his passion for this particular unit is contagious. Corporal Seaver has new found love appreciation for his throat protector; it is his American Express, in that he will not leave home without it. Congratulations are also in order for Master Sergeant Sid “Hans’ Gruber on his promotion and ‘shipping over’ for four more years in our beloved Corps! Congratulations (I think) to Sergeant Peter “Hot Rod” Rodriguez on his selection to the Enlisted Commissioning Program, he will be going to Officer Candidate School in Quantico during September and be commissioned a Second Lieutenant in December. We all hate to see a good enlisted Marine go over to the ‘dark side’, but some guys will do anything to get to swim in the good pool on base, know what I mean? Something good may come out of this, Captain Nichols and I will attempt to finagle (persuade, coerce, bribe) the Battalion Commanding Officer for a boondoggle, I mean an Official Command Visit to his Commissioning in Quantico in early December. As you probably heard, the majority of B Company left the friendly confines of Camp Fallujah; some people took this really hard, particularly 1stSgt Smith (former B Co 1stSgt) and attempted to assault our fearless leader and beloved CO, Captain Nichols by hitting him in the head with a coke can. His futile attempt was thwarted, but not before he drew ‘first blood’ – we informed him that ‘pay back is medivac’ - but he did not seem too worried about it. He just has not been the same guy since he quit dipping! We want the old grumpy guy back; we may have to sabotage his air conditioner unit in his office that is set at a temperature that you could hang meat in! I will keep you posted as this situation develops and on the level of revenge we inflict on him. We told Captain Nichols that his wound (scratch) does not rate a Purple Heart (or an early flight home) – that is unless he aspirers to be a Massachusetts Senator and a future Presidential candidate. We have heard a rumor that the PX at Camp Pendleton is selling pink T-shirts that say “Half my Heart is in Iraq-but all His Paycheck is Here!” - I am not married, but if I was -and-“I aint saying, but I’m saying” - I would encourage my wife to wear one of these shirts and to spend as much money as her heart desires. So, be a bargain hunter, take advantage of the Labor Day and post Labor Day Sales, you will feel much better after you spend some money! Take care and Happy Shopping! As always, please feel to contact me, First Sergeant Carlo Gaita, at carlo.gaita@gcemnf-wiraq.usmc.mil if you need anything from our end.


Family and friends of Company C, 1st Reconnaissance Battalion, your Marines and Sailors continue to perform magnificently and remain at the point of the regimental spear. The company continues to be employed throughout the regimental area of operation conducting the full spectrum of reconnaissance missions and your Marines and Sailors continue to impress all who they come in contact with. Their hard work and dedication to mission accomplishment is truly impressive and I can’t tell you how proud Capt Rose and I are of their efforts. I also want to send out our heart felt thanks to all the family members and friends who continue to send the many packages and mail your Marines and Sailors receive. We seem to have been adopted by church and civic groups from across the United States and I am amazed by the effort that family members and these groups put forth to support our Marines’; last month alone we received over one thousand pairs of socks and I can tell you with the heat and operational tempo those sock and other items sent by you and these other organizations have really made a world of difference.

In the month of July the mercury continued to rise and we have had consistent temperatures in the 120-130 degree range and the Marines continue to work and live in these conditions without complaint. We have instituted a new diet program here in the company (The Iraqi Diet Plan) all of the Marines are on it and have lost a considerable amount of weight to include our intrepid Communications Chief, SSgt Evans or as we affectionately call him Vinny, who since arriving has been unable to maintain his work-out regime and has lost about 30lbs. Some how though I don’t think this very effective diet will catch on with or socially conscious and upwardly mobile types; it’s a simple plain when you break it down.
Step one: Throw on 50 to 75 pounds of body armor, weapons, water and ammunition.
Step two: Walk, run and ride several miles daily.
Step three: Eat one tasty MRE (Meal Ready to Eat) (try the vegetarian meal it’s the best!) per day with multiple bottles of 120 degree water.
If you follow these three easy steps in no time you will be fit slim and ready to hit the clubs.

On a serious note I would like to take the time to thank the Marines from throughout the Battalion who have been supporting Company C in our efforts. We have attached 65 Marines and Sailors from Headquarters and Service Company (H&S) as well as numerous other units such as the Tank Company from Camp Fallujah with their beautiful M1A1s’; CLB-6 who keep us well supplied and come to assist us whenever our vehicles break down, and of course we will be forever thankful for the Marines from the Explosive Ordinance Disposal detachment. However, the persons whom I really want to focus on are the Marines of H&S Company. We could not do the things we do here without these unsung hero’s of the battalion. In the last month the 65 Marines and Sailor that have attached to our company have repeatedly gone above and beyond what is considered their normal duties. These Marines have risen to every challenge offered and answered in kind.

SSgt Evans (AKA Vinny) enjoying a little R&R

Many of the Marines in H&S Company are standing post, protecting the perimeter of an Observation Post (OP) for Company C, so they can effectively patrol the area and interact with the Iraqis that live near by. Recently several members of the battalion staff went to visit with them and promote some of the Marines to Corporal and Sergeant. Their new duties are challenging but after talking to them all are motivated and enjoying the change of pace.
There are some rumors flying around saying that I have quit chewing, well yes its true and I am sure no one is more happy about that than my wife Cathy. (Only seven years late). As far as that having anything to do with an assault on a commissioned officer, I don’t think so, he deserved what he got. (sorry Jeanette, you can barely tell that he had stitches so don’t let him milk it for sympathy).

I would like to add a special note to a couple of my good friends, GySgt “Big Davey” Lind (BDL) and Master Sergeant Larry “Buck” Doyle. BDL is pictured (below bottom) at the Marine Memorial in D.C. I saw your platoon recently and they are doing great. Stay motivated and keep up all of the hard work during your recovery process. Buck, congrats on your promotion to Master Sergeant (below right). I am happy to see your recovering well. Take care, we are all thinking of you and can’t wait to see you in October.







Sailor of the issue: