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Army & Navy – MARINES: Diamond Jubilee

2 minute read

Master Gunnery Sergeant Leland Stanford Diamond, the Marine’s Marine and the Corp’s most famed mortar expert (TIME, July 5), is back from the wars. He is running the Hygienic Unit (local name—delousing plant) at Marine Barracks, Parris Island, S.C.

Malaria and shock from Guadalcanal, where he won Lieut. General A. A. Vandegrift’s citation of “an ideal Marine,” dictated Lou Diamond’s more pedestrian assignment.

But Parris Island is as good a backdrop as any for Diamond’s fabulous personality. In his new job he greets recruits with a wounded-bull roar, shoves them through an assembly line of showers, haircuts, lice inspection and clothing issues at the rate of 200 an hour. He bawls countless lectures at awed recruits (and quaking second lieutenants), lectures he has learned by heart in 26 years of professional soldiering.

Every dog on the post has become his friend and follows him like an aide-de-camp. Lou’s barbers have been terrorized into a new record for a Marine haircut—six seconds flat. And each night there are two to three cases of cool beer on hand to be shared with a veteran M.P. sergeant who can almost keep up with Lou at cribbage.

Last week Lou Diamond’s peaceful, foamy world was threatened: the post-exchange staff was taking off its first day in months for a picnic, and no beer would be sold at Parris Island for a whole day. Lou’s roars of outraged thirst reverberated through the battalions, reached the post exchange just in time. Eventually the picnic went off swimmingly with endless free beer. Special last-minute guest: Master Gunnery Sergeant Diamond.

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