In July 1973 I was invited, along with a handful of other Recon Marines, under the direct command of Major K. H. Hutzler, from 3rd Recon Bn., Okinawa, to spend about three months in the Philippines training the Philippine Recon Marines. The whole thing was under the general supervision of the JUSMAG in Manila. We had many activities that were simply fun with some training hidden in the good times. Night ambushes, IBS and surveys are a couple examples. Then there were other activities that required more attention to detail and rules. Demolition's and live fire are a couple examples.
The whole ordeal was a great adventure. We spent five days in Jungle Survival School. Many people don't look back on Jungle Survival School as a great outdoor adventure, but when you are in this school with a company of Philippine Recon Marines, well, it just don't get much better than this. We, the teachers, learned about cooking rice in bamboo, adding freshly caught ell and it was great!
Then my big day when I was to teach demolition's. It was interesting. These Marines were respectful and paid attention. There was, however, one teeny little problem. Only one person in the demolition's class spoke English. That would be me. There was a body of individuals who spoke only Tagolog. That would be them. A time or two I used rapid and meaningful sign language. When you are signing, stop means stop in English or Tagolog. We made it through and I hoped they had an understanding of demolition's and how to destroy booby traps when we were through.
The unit did what Recon Marines do and decided to jump out of an airplane that had a perfectly good motor together. There were 7 or 8 free fallers so they decided to hot dog and go up to 9,000 feet and free fall.
The total course consisted of map work, mountain repel, jungle survival, IBS work, Beach Survey, demolition's, ambush and night ambush, LRRP's and dozens of other things this old brain will not lock on to. We were the teachers, but I'm sure they taught us every bit as much as we taught them.
The last day we had a graduation celebration and besides passing out the certificates we inducted each other into our Marine Corps. Because of that warm welcome into the Philippine Recon Marines by these honorable men I, to this day, consider myself an honorary member of the Philippine Recon Marines. In fact, I have a set of Philippine Marine collar emblems in my awards case.
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