Sergeant Chesty

Dog Days

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” (

“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!”

At Guadalcanal,
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.)

Chosin Reservoir:
“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!”

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One Response to Sergeant Chesty

  1. Aridog says:

    Yes, good guess that a piece about Private Chesty XIV and Sergeant Chesty XIII would cheer me up. We lost one of our dogs recently, rather suddenly. He was the joyous boy shown in my avatar…e.g., the real Ari the Dog. I’m not sure who it hurt the most Judi or me, likely both of us…he was a very unusual Germans Shepherd above and beyond his Collie like long hair coat [no longer considered a flaw by German SV, WUSV, or USCA]…he was utterly reliable and protective without being offensive or noisy, and aloof though he was, he had his moments when he’d place his head in your lap and just stare up at you. He protected his companion dog “Dera” and now she’s had to grow up fast after 8 years of being the Omega…she’s plainly misses “Ari” but I try to fill in where I can….however, forget running as fast as either of them in chase games.

    I’m torn, at my age, if I/we should get another Shepherd youngster, because it takes a fair amount of strength and agility to properly train new dog in obedience, tracking, and protection…even if you skip tracking [boring]. As I type this I am getting ready to call a rescue group locally who found German Shepherd Mix of undetermined age (looks like about 5-6 in his picture), along railroad tracks (where feral dogs congregate) who needs an adoptive home, and seems to have had domestic living in his background (knows commands)…not sure that’s the way to go, but it seems like it might be a pay back to dogs per se for all the joy they’ve given me over the years…and it would be less physical work than training a boisterous new pup or adolescent…which is about 3 hours per day minimum. Anyway, before I ask Judi, I’m going to see if “Lonnie” is still available and go to see him if he is… 🙂

    Glad to hear you are okay. I understand you discomfort with “meanness” and I just ignore all of the ad hominem folk at Althouse. I always felt you commented in good faith and that’s all I ask, plus some of your ideas appeal to me as the way forward. I am not terribly fond of the ticket punching system, as we talked about before, in the military today. LTG Burwood “Chesty” Puller would never have condoned such an idea.

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