What Is a Marine?
by Adrian ‘Yobi’ P. Blumberg, Comms Offcr./Adjutant/Web Sergeant
With The East Bay’s Marine Corps League, Lt. Frank Reasoner Detachment 919, San Leandro Veteran’s Memorial Building, Californias
We Marines have been graced with a crystal clear understanding of the motivation of service. It is imbued deep, through centuries worth of hard-tackling by battalions of drill instructors to create a well-honed, visceral crucible that breaks down the resistance of recruits, through squeezing, stressing, and pressing, so that within the Marines who emerge from graduation, that ingot of service has been transformed into a bonding agent we call “Espirit d’ Corps“.
This Spirit of the Corps. What is it? In its modern expression, it is an entirely unique assertion of brother and sisterhood among those who have prepared to share mud, blood, and dirt, going further still together to shared injury, pain, and death. The Corps has often been the 1st of the military to face the conflicts that threaten or call to us. It is within those conflicts, when finding ourselves before the gate of the final experience, stripped down of all prejudice, every experience past, all desires, dreams, and goals filled and unfilled, we find a truth known to those who have passed on before us, that all will pass through that final gate. What we have before then, is each other.
We will assist our brother and sister Marines. We will leave none on any of the battlefields of life if we are able. Politics, position, and religion are ever present in life, and noticeably absent from our Mission. All freely given aid from citizens is very welcome, but not required. Anything that will hinder us, or compromise the faithful execution of our Mission, should be set aside.
We have a Mission, and through it, we will honor the title of United States Marine!
Traditionally, Detachments add the name of a Marine whose service, actions, and/or sacrifice distinguishes him/her among the ranks, and confers special honor upon him/herself, the Marine Corps, and the United States. The chosen Marine’s service should serve as an example to all Marines that from those who have been entrusted with a sacred duty, many will need our aid, much will be expected, commitment to our brother and sister Marines is required, and all may and has been given when answering the call of a Marine.
We have chosen FIRST LIEUTENANT FRANK S. REASONER, who served with special distinction during the Vietnam conflict, and whose actions earned him and his family the Medal of Honor, while costing him his life. Read below for a brief history of his life and service.
Presidential Citation Awarding the Medal of Honor to Lt. Frank Reasoner:
“The President of the United States, in the name of The Congress takes pride in presenting the MEDAL OF HONOR posthumously to
FIRST LIEUTENANT FRANK S. REASONER
UNITED STATES MARINE CORPS
for service as set forth in the following
For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. The reconnaissance patrol led by 1st Lt. Reasoner had deeply penetrated heavily controlled enemy territory when it came under extremely heavy fire from an estimated 50 to 100 Viet Cong insurgents. Accompanying the advance party and the point that consisted of 5 men, he immediately deployed his men for an assault after the Viet Cong had opened fire from numerous concealed positions. Boldly shouting encouragement, and virtually isolated from the main body, he organized a base of fire for an assault on the enemy positions. The slashing fury of the Viet Cong machinegun and automatic weapons fire made it impossible for the main body to move forward. Repeatedly exposing himself to the devastating attack he skillfully provided covering fire, killing at least 2 Viet Cong and effectively silencing an automatic weapons position in a valiant attempt to effect evacuation of a wounded man. As casualties began to mount his radio operator was wounded and 1st Lt. Reasoner immediately moved to his side and tended his wounds. When the radio operator was hit a second time while attempting to reach a covered position, 1st Lt. Reasoner courageously running to his aid through the grazing machinegun fire fell mortally wounded. His indomitable fighting spirit, valiant leadership and unflinching devotion to duty provided the inspiration that was to enable the patrol to complete its mission without further casualties. In the face of almost certain death he gallantly gave his life in the service of his country. His actions upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the U.S. Naval Service.”