Category Archives: Marine Corps

Sergeant Major tears it up on the dance floor

This is all the proof you need that Marines slay it on the battlefield, and we slay it on the dance floor…

Keep in mind that that man in the white trousers is a Marine Corps Sergeant Major, the highest enlisted rank of this battalion.

It’s worth noting that usually Sergeant Majors are insanely reserved, strict, and someone you usually want to avoid. Officers are the leaders, and they usually have an encouraging word, a joke, something nice to say.

Senior Staff NCOs, such as this Sgt Major, are usually just looking for a good reason to rip you a new one. Their job is to enforce the highest state of discipline, and they do their jobs well…

Nice to see one loosening up and yet again setting the example that Marines should dance, and dance well. (At least once a year.)

Keep the faith,

Stan R. Mitchell

Oak Ridge, Tenn.

About me: I’m an action fiction author with books similar to Vince Flynn, Stephen Hunter, and Tom Clancy. I’m also a prior infantry Marine with Combat Action Ribbon, and a guy who spent 10+ years in the newspaper business. Please consider subscribing to my blog — I mostly post about things that either motivate you, inspire you, or make you laugh.

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Filed under Marine Corps

Hear the words of Marine Corps CPL Kyle Carpenter, and be inspired!

“The enemy killed me. I came back.”

These are the remarkable words of Medal of Honor recipient Corporal Kyle Carpenter.

He continues: “I ran a marathon. Completed a mud run. And jumped from a plane.

“I won’t ever quit. I am just getting started.”

Watch the video, be inspired, and be thankful for another generation of warriors like this.

Then think on what he said and tackle whatever problem (or problems) you have facing you.

Keep the faith,

Stan R. Mitchell

Oak Ridge, Tenn.

P.S. Please consider subscribing for email alerts of new posts.


 If you enjoy fast-paced books, you just might like my works. “Sold Out” tracks the life of a legendary Marine Sniper after a CIA unit decides to kill him for reasons of national security. “Little Man, and the Dixon County War” tells the uphill fight a young deputy faces after finding himself in the sights of a mighty cattle baron. And “Soldier On,” a short novel, follows the lives of several German soldiers in a depleted infantry company trying to make it through the final, miserable months of World War II.

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Filed under Marine Corps, Motivation

What’s with the Nazi “SS” symbol on Nick’s chest? And why is he so unlikable?

Sold Out” earned a great review the other day. See it here: http://twbarton.com/reviews.html.

And while we’re on the subject of “Sold Out,”I thought I’d address two recent complaints I’ve recently received about the book.

The first and most serious one concerned the Nazi “SS” symbol on Nick’s chest.

Well, the Nazi “SS” symbol isn’t something I made up. I had a buddy who I served with in 3rd Platoon, Alpha Company, 1st Battalion, 8th Marines, who later became a Scout Sniper two years after I met him and got to know him really well. (This was roughly in 1997.) One day, a bunch of my friends were circled around him following his completion of Scout Sniper training and I walked up to see what was causing the commotion. Turns out, he had a Nazi “SS” symbol burned into his chest, exactly like Nick Woods in the book. (Same location, same terrifying font.)

My friend told me it had been burned into his chest with a coat hanger just a couple of days earlier.

When I said, “Man, do you know what that symbol is?,” he answered me with pretty much the exact dialogue that you find in the book. (In short, that it was not about the Nazi connotation but about the strength, quality, and pride portrayed by the German Army in WW II.)

My friend also said that all Scout Snipers got one burned into their chest. (At least at that time.)

Furthermore, I know of several Marine Scout Snipers who have read this book and given me feedback who have served since 1999 (when I got out) and none of them have mentioned the Nazi “SS” symbol scene, so I’m assuming it still happens. (Otherwise, I’m certain these men who provided me feedback would have said, “Bro, no one burns a Nazi SS symbol into their chest anymore…”)

Finally, as further proof, remember this news story from only 2012?

“Marine scout snipers used Nazi SS logo:” http://www.marinecorpstimes.com/article/20120209/NEWS/202090327/Marine-scout-snipers-used-Nazi-SS-logo

I say all this just to provide some context and show where I’m coming from as the author. It’s not like I had some wild-haired fancy idea to put a very controversial thing into the book.

The burned “SS” symbol on Nick’s chest is like every other thing in the book. It’s part of either something I experienced while I served, learned from two of my best friends who went through Scout Sniper school, or researched and documented in the dozens of sniper books I’ve read over the past 15 years.

I’d also like to address why Nick is so unlikable.

Obviously, Nick really is jacked up in the head… He’s about as messed up as they come. Not only does he have PTSD, but he has higher than normal levels of paranoia because he was literally sold out by the government that he trusted.

And given that he’s killed a hundred plus guys in a series of missions he can’t talk about, he’s not your typical vet. He’s a dangerous animal that you don’t want to set off.

No, he’s not like some likable Hollywood character. Instead, he’s precisely like many vets you’ll meet in the real world.

And if I’m totally honest, I’d have to admit this: I wrote much of “Sold Out” right after my exit from the Marine Corps, when I was dealing with some serious paranoia and had spent the better part of four years fixated on the multitude of ways to kill people.

I was in a dark place, and I suppose the book reveals it.

Just as Nick Woods gets into a major fight with his wife over his paranoid thoughts and preparations for an attack on his home, I, too, dealt with that. Nick got caught with a gun under his sink and a secret journal full of suspected people following him.

I got into a major fight with my wife because I was unscrewing the electrical outlets in my home, convinced after a weird interaction at the mall — which I thought was with a CIA agent– that everything I said in the home was being listened to by the federal government. (This was in 1999 or 2000, way before the days of the NSA being in the news for listening and reading to every single thing that we say. Hi, NSA.)

My point is that the Nick Woods in “Sold Out” is far more real than you probably ever want to imagine.

We prefer images of soldiers and Marines returning home with a smile, hugging wives and kids and wrapped in the flag. We don’t want to think about those same men taking different routes to work, being startled in their sleep and seizing their wives neck, or nearly taking a dude out in the mall who approaches them twice with some weird comments.

But the veterans who have actually been through a lot are like that. They have wire triggers, they’re alert, and you don’t want to startle them. (Just ask one of my friends.)

And while many of you will say, “But, Stan, you’re so nice. This is all hard to believe,” you need to know that the Stan you see now is not the Stan you would have seen right after I got out. (And the Stan you see now is still half-crazy, lol!)

Love you guys. Thanks for all the support. Both of books continue to sell better and better and I owe each and every one of you greatly. (And, yes, “Mexican Heat” is still in final edits and get closer and closer to being published every day!)

Keep the faith,

Stan R. Mitchell

Oak Ridge, Tenn.

P.S. Please consider subscribing for email alerts of new posts.


 If you enjoy fast-paced books, you just might like my works. “Sold Out” tracks the life of a legendary Marine Sniper after a CIA unit decides to kill him for reasons of national security. “Little Man, and the Dixon County War” tells the uphill fight a young deputy faces after finding himself in the sights of a mighty cattle baron. And “Soldier On,” a short novel, follows the lives of several German soldiers in a depleted infantry company trying to make it through the final, miserable months of World War II.

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Filed under Marine Corps, Stories about my life

A Marine veteran of Iraq shares his views of the current situation

As the ISIS moves closer and closer to Baghdad, Iraq descends faster and faster toward all-out civil war.

There have been lots of opinions (or takes) on the situation. From some wanting America to being airstrikes against the ISIS to others wanting us to stay out of it, the rhetoric has been hot and wide-ranging.

I wanted to share parts of a Marine’s perspective on it. (Keep in mind, this Marine served two tours in Iraq…)

“I’ve had my share of anger and disillusionment over the events that have unfolded in Iraq this week. There’s so much to be said about it that I don’t really even know how to express it. I never went to Afghanistan, but between my two deployments, I spent a year of my life in Iraq. Like many Marines and Soldiers that found themselves in that tumultuous little country over the last decade, a small piece of me will forever remain there.”

“I’ve seen a lot of Iraq veterans express remorse over their lost brethren in the country, given the current state of affairs. Many of them feel like it was all for naught at this point.”

“It was the bad war. It was the war that no one wants to take credit for. It’s the war everyone tries to forget.

“Yet myself and thousands of others were there, and we can’t forget.

“I feel disappointment on many levels in these recent events. On one hand, I want to blame ourselves for pulling out too early. On the other, the country of Iraq has simply been mismanaged. It also disturbs me that the Iraqi army and security forces are simply laying down their arms, tossing their uniforms and giving up. It’s a troubling situation all around. Still, at the end of the day and politics aside, it is really the people that are suffering. The ISIS forces have been brutal, and up to 500,000 Iraqis have been displaced from their homes in Mosul alone.”

“… the President just announced that we will not be putting any boots on the ground. More than likely for the best.”

You can read his full thoughts on the matter at: Terminal Lance “Operation Iraqi Shitstorm.”

Keep the faith,

Stan R. Mitchell

Oak Ridge, Tenn.

P.S. Please consider subscribing for email alerts of new posts.


 If you enjoy fast-paced books, you just might like my works. “Sold Out” tracks the life of a legendary Marine Sniper after a CIA unit decides to kill him for reasons of national security. “Little Man, and the Dixon County War” tells the uphill fight a young deputy faces after finding himself in the sights of a mighty cattle baron. And “Soldier On,” a short novel, follows the lives of several German soldiers in a depleted infantry company trying to make it through the final, miserable months of World War II.

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Filed under Marine Corps, National security

Sgt Major of Parris Island resigns following altercation with protester

Dear faithful members of Mitchell’s Militia,

This entire story makes me sad: Sergeant Major of Parris Island recruit depot resigns following altercation with protester.

I can remember getting pissed at Staff NCOs when I was in, who were enforcing — at times — ridiculous civilian attire standards even while off base.

But it breaks my heart to know this Sgt Major will soon no longer have a Corps to serve. And having myself gone through the brutal adjustment required to become a civilian, I can assure you that this man is headed for at least two to five years of serious pain and hell. (And honestly, I believe people who serve 20+ years and make a career of it have it even harder making that adjustment.)

Sergeant Major, thank you for your years of incredible service. You may have over-reacted, as even some Marines are saying, but your passion and love for the Corps motivate me to no end. And if that were my base and someone had been doing the same thing right out front of it — especially after I called them at their home the night prior — I would have done the same thing or much worse.

I might be wrong — I frequently am — but I’ll bet you in ten or fifteen years, that former DI feels bad about this entire episode. I understand why he was protesting the trade made by Obama, and I’ll bet he’s still super angry at the Sgt Major, but with about ten years and some distance from the event, I’m betting he’ll wish things had gone down differently.

Keep the faith,

Stan R. Mitchell

Oak Ridge, Tenn.

P.S. Please consider subscribing for email alerts of new posts.


 If you enjoy fast-paced books, you just might like my works. “Sold Out” tracks the life of a legendary Marine Sniper after a CIA unit decides to kill him for reasons of national security. “Little Man, and the Dixon County War” tells the uphill fight a young deputy faces after finding himself in the sights of a mighty cattle baron. And “Soldier On,” a short novel, follows the lives of several German soldiers in a depleted infantry company trying to make it through the final, miserable months of World War II.

4 Comments

Filed under Marine Corps