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TBS Staff

Colonel Thomas P. Angus USMC (9906)

Retired 1987 as Chief of Staff MCLB, Albany, GA

Officers of BC1-68 and their lovely ladies.

I feel privileged to have been asked to put together a few words to be read at your reunion. I would have rather been here in person but personal circumstances have prevented that. You have a very high turn out. That’s something that takes a lot of work. Hats off to the planners.

Now, back to BC 1-68: I was a tactics instructor when informed I would be assuming command of 1-68. I had heard some of the Company Commanders complaining about various problems they were having mainly with motivation .So it was with a certain amount of trepidation that I took Command. I quickly found out that each and every one of you was highly motivated to be the best Platoon commander there was!

I know you nicknamed me Major Anguish and you were right. I did have a lot of anguish over how much information we had to input to you and how little time we had to do it. VN was running red hot at the time.  It was with great pride that I watched you graduate with honors. From what I have gathered you did yourselves proud and distinguished yourselves in VN. As for me I re-cycled and picked up F company,soon to be known far and wide as “F Troop”, if you remember that old TV series. Even the CO of TBS called us F Troop! Many were the times I longed for the halcyon days of 1-68!

Now I’ll leave you with a few words I have taken from an anonymous author and Para-phrased:  “When you become a Marine you make a check out to” The United States of America” for the amount of up to and including your life”

Officers of BC 1-68 I salute you for outstanding service to Country and Corps. SEMPER FI

MARINE OFFICERS OF BASIC  SCHOOL , CLASS  1- 68

“ONCE A MARINE, ALWAYS A MARINE”

It’s hard to believe that 47 years have passed since the Basic School Class 1-68 graduated. I had the distinct pleasure of working for Major Angus and leading one of his platoons through the six months of training. I had served a tour in Vietnam and wanted to help train and prepare lieutenants for what they might encounter on a similar tour.  When I first reported to MCS Quantico, I was asked to be the junior aide to the Commanding General of the Base. I politely declined and told the General that I thought I could best serve the Marine Corps by helping to prepare lieutenants for service in Vietnam.  Fortunately, he agreed and I went to the Basic School where I thoroughly enjoyed leading a total of four platoons through their training.

In 1968 General Leonard Chapman became the 24th Commandant of the Marine Corps and worked hard to build the Marine Corps to a total of 289,000 Marines.  The year 1968 was the year of the TET Offensive including the battles of Khe Sanh and Hue City.

Today Joseph Dunford is the 36th Commandant of the Marine Corps. Under his command the Corps is forward deployed and engaged in the Pacific, South America, Africa, Europe and the Middle East. Recently the Corps has responded to crises in the Philippines, South Sudan, Libya and Iraq.

Today there are Enduring Principles that all Marines endeavor to follow.

  1. Marines are focused on combat. Every Marine is a rifleman.
  2. Marines are ready, relevant and forward deployed.
  3. Marines are innovative, adaptable and versatile; Marines win.
  4. Marines do what is right for the Nation
  5. Marines keep their honor clean
  6. Marines take care of their own
  7. The Marine Corps is a naval expeditionary force.
  8.  The Marine Corps is an integrated combined arms organization of complementary air, ground and logistics components.
  9. The Marine Corps is a good steward of the Nation’s resources.

When we examine these principles and whether or not we made a career of the Marine Corps, there are principles here that we all can follow in our daily lives.

I personally chose to return to the civilian world after I completed my five years of active service.  As “Once a Marine, Always a Marine”, I would like to believe that I have followed those principles that apply to the individual throughout my business career and personal life.

Today, I am actively retired in the Tucson, Arizona area. I participate as a study group leader for OLLI, which is affiliated with the University of Arizona and I have served on the Board of the Southern Arizona Chapter of the Naval Academy Alumni Association. I am married with an adult son and daughter. I am proud to say that my daughter is a Foreign Service Officer currently on a two year assignment in Kabul Afghanistan.

I wish you all the very best. Enjoy your reunion. Semper Fi!

Leonard Eaton

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