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young butter bar (Second Lieutenant) had arrived at his first assignment out of The Basic School. It was in a desert environment. In the process of setting up the bivouac area, his commanding officer gave him an order to set up a flagpole in front of the battalion Command Post. Anyone who has been in a desert knows that it is difficult to find a piece of wood, much less a tree, that would fit the requirements to be utilized as a flagpole. Nor were there any piping or similar materials within battalion's supplies, which would allow a flagpole to be constructed. Quandary, to say the least. The lieutenant pondered over a strategy.

The next day the colonel came by and called for the lieutenant. The colonel congratulated the lieutenant on the fine job he had accomplished with the flagpole being raised with the good old "Stars and Stripes" flying proudly. Being astute, the colonel said, "Lieutenant, I not only congratulate you, but I have one burning question. Just how in the hell did you find the materials to raise this flag pole?" The lieutenant's reply was a Marine Corps classic. "Sir, credit must be given to the First Sergeant, ... for it was he I gave the order to have your wishes fulfilled." The colonel asked the lieutenant for clarification. His reply was, "Sir, being a Mustang, there is one thing I have learned, ... there isn't a damn thing in the world you can think of that a Sergeant Major or a First Sergeant of Marines cannot do."

I believe this story originated from a question asked in Basic School at Quantico. Be it true or not, the gist of the story is a truism if ever there was one.

Semper Fi!

Editor's note: The correct answer to the question at TBS is, "Gunny, ... put up the flagpole." We need look no further than the famous Joe Rosenthal photograph taken on top of Mt. Suribachi to know that this story is true. Thank you, George, for reminding us of our great heritage.

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