Gunny G: The First Gung Ho Marine ~ GUNG HO! ~ According To Evans F. Carlson

In short, they understood why the efforts of every single one of them was necessary to the whole Chinese people. That’s ethical indoctrination.

LtCol Evans Carlson, USMC, Carlson's Raiders a...

LtCol Evans Carlson, USMC, Carlson’s Raiders after the Makin Island Raid of World War II; photo from the Naval Historical Center (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

He explained carefully how out of ethical indoctrination men grow to have confidence in themselves and their officers; how when every man knows his efforts count, whether officer or cook, general or quartermaster coolie, no one thinks of himself or his job as being more or less important than anyone else or any one else’s job; and each man has respect for himself and confidence in himself and in the others. Out of this mutual respect and confidence, comes the ability of men to work together wholeheartedly, without fear or favor or envy or contempt.

He trembled a little inside him as he spoke, for if ethical indoctrination was the key of the Raiders, it was also the star by which he had finally come to steer his own life. This battalion, these thousand men, was the test of himself.

The Chinese have two words for ‘working together,’ he said. ‘Gung, meaning ‘work’; Ho meaning ‘harmony.’ Gung Ho! Work Together! That is the end result of ethical indoctrination.”

“He went on to explain that Gung Ho was important to all of them, because they were Americans–for it gave them the chance to practice the democracy they believed, where no man should have priviliges over another man and where discipline comes from knowledge….a confidence that creates initiative and daring in battle…greater damage to the enemy…lower cost in lives to themselves…We will strive for ethical indoctrination…I propose that Gung Ho be the spirit and slogan of our Raider Battalion…Let’s hear you say it, He raised his voice and shouted, ‘Gung Ho!’

There was a split-second of silence in the ranks…But the words came and the grove of eucalyptus trees in the middle of San Diego County heard a thousand voices say a strange and foreign phrase that, in the necessary coincidence of human history, was as American as it is Chinese.”

As I indicated earlier, Carlson knew that Gung Ho was not something that could just be simply accepted, either by himself or his Marines–indeed, it had to be lived and mastered. On the occasion of the first anniversary of the 2d Marine Raider Bn, Carlson told his men, “…Most important, though, was the development of what we call the Gung Ho spirit; our ability to cooperate–work together. Not only was it imperative to understand this spirit; it was even more imperative to apply it to daily actions no matter how unimportant they might seem. This called for self-discipline and implicit belief in the doctrine of helping the other fellow. Followed through to its ultimate end it would mean that each while helping the other fellow would in turn be helped by him.”

“It was in the matter of Gung Ho that we made our slowest progress, though progress we have made. We were handicapped by our native background, that background in which greed and rugged individualism predominated. Human beings are creatures of habit. Human nature does not change its coat without a struggle…The important thing was for each individual to have the desire to help the other fellow, the desire to achieve that mastery over his mind…This means tolerance of ideas, tolerance of personal eceenticities, the sweeping away of personal prejudices…Hand in hand with Gung Ho goes the willingness to endure hardship and pain in order that the hardest job may be accomplished as economically in terms of exterminating the enemy as possible…Finally, it was necessary to the success of of this military pattern of ours that the individual understand the reasons for which they fight and offer themselves for sacrifice…” states that this photo is of U... states that this photo is of U.S. Marine Lieutenant Colonel Evans Carlson poses for a photo with a native islander and Australian coastwatcher on Guadalcanal in November 1942. Peatross, Oscar F. ; John P. McCarthy and John Clayborne (editors) (1995). Bless ’em All: The Raider Marines of World War II. Review. ISBN 0965232506. , however, states that the photo is of Carlson, Jacob Vouza, and Australian Major John Mather. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

And, there was more, much more to Carlson’s teaching of the Gung Ho spirit. May this short discourse have served to emphasize to you, to some extent, the depth and significance of the Gung Ho teaching of Evans F. Carlson, the first Gung Ho Marine!


via GUNG HO! According To Evans F. Carlson.

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About Gunny G

GnySgt USMC (Ret.) 1952--'72 PC: History, Poly-Tiks, Military, Stories, Controversial, Unusual, Humorous, etc.... "Simplify...y'know!"
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3 Responses to Gunny G: The First Gung Ho Marine ~ GUNG HO! ~ According To Evans F. Carlson

  1. Pingback: Gunny G: The First Gung Ho Marine ~ GUNG HO! ~ According To Evans F. Carlson | BLOGGING BAD ~ DICK.G: AMERICAN ! | BLOGGING BAD ~ DICK.G: AMERICAN !

  2. Pingback: Gunny G: The First Gung Ho Marine ~ GUNG HO! ~ According To Evans F. Carlson | BLOGGING BAD w/Gunny G ~ “CLINGERS of AMERICA!” | BLOGGING BAD w/Gunny G ~ "CLINGERS of AMERICA!"

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