No matter that this recruit is named for the Marines’ greatest hero, USMC Gen. Lewis Burwell “Chesty” Puller–Sergeant Chesty XIII has no problem showing him who is boss. “Sergeant Chesty” is the official Marine Corps mascot.
Gen. Chesty Puller earned five Navy Crosses while serving in World War II and the Korean War. One description of him comes from “Badass of the Week” (http://www.badassoftheweek.com/puller.html):
“Lewis Puller, nicknamed “Chesty” because of his perfect posture and the fact that his torso somewhat resembled a full-size beer keg full of lead bricks, raw muscle and horse steroids, was a hard-as-shit motherfucker who is almost universally-recognized as the most badass dude to ever wear the uniform of the United States Marine Corps. Not bad, considering that being revered as the pinnacle of toughness by the USMC is kind of like being King of the Vikings or the toughest Klingon to ever set foot on the planet Kronos. In his thirty-seven years of service to the Corps, Puller would rise through the ranks from Private to General, kick more asses than Juan Valdez on an insane bender, and become the most decorated Marine in American history.”
Gen. Chesty Puller is no less famous for his quotations.
At the battle of Chosin Reservoir in Korea, he told his Marines,
“We’ve been looking for the enemy for some time now.
“We’ve finally found him. We’re surrounded.
“That simplifies our problem of getting to these people and killing them.”
When surrounded by 8 enemy divisions during WW2,
“They are in front of us, behind us, and we are flanked on both sides by an enemy that outnumbers us 29:1. They can’t get away from us now!”
There had been last-minute reinforcements, a battalion of U.S. Army troops which fought its way through the enemy with heavy losses. Its colonel reported to Puller for orders.
“Take your position along those hills and have your men dig in.”
“Yes sir. Now where’s my line of retreat?”
Puller’s voice became slow and hard: “I’m glad you asked me that. Now I know where you stand. Wait one minute.” He took a field telephone and called his tank commander. The Army officer listened to the Marine order:
“I’ve got a new outfit,” Puller said. He gave its position in detail. “If they start to pull back from that line, even one foot, I want you to open fire on them.” He hung up the telephone and turned to the Army officer:
“Does that answer your question?” (From The Book of Military Quotations, edited by Peter Tsouras.)
“Remember, you are the 1st Marines! Not all the Communists in Hell can overrun you!” And to the North Koreans he bellowed, “Alright you bastards, try and shoot me!”
After defending at Chosin for two weeks, Puller was visiting a hospital tent when a messenger came:
“Sir, do you know they’ve cut us off? We’re entirely surrounded.”
“Those poor bastards ,” Puller said. “They’ve got us right where we want ’em. We can shoot in every direction now.”
Upon seeing a flamethrower for the first time, he asked,
“Where do you put the bayonet?”
Recruits at Marine Corps Recruit Depot, Parris Island, where Puller received his training, traditionally end their day with
“Good night, Chesty, wherever you are!”