← BACK TO VBC BLOG Why Didn't Marines Wear Helmet Bands in Vietnam? The Army called it "Band, Helmet, Camouflage, US" and issued it to soldiers in Vietnam. The USMC didn't. Why? Left: 17-year-old USMC Private Richard Coggins waits on the beach during the Marine landing at Da Nang, 1965. Right: Army Sergeant
. . Bob landed at Parris Island at a hard time for the Marines. The Corps was so short of manpower that the teenage Bob soon became a drill instructor, barking orders at recruits a dozen years older than he.By 1944, Bob had transferred to the new 24th Marine Regiment,
. . Regis Wessell of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania wanted to be a marine, like his uncle who served in WWI, but the recruiter didn’t think the young lad had the right stuff. “Go join the Boy Scouts,” the gruff Sgt. barked, belittling Regis for his small stature. Besides, he was only seventeen.
. . Perhaps it was in war when humans first encountered the failure of language to convey the enormity of experience. After 70 years, Marine Corps veteran Jack Watson still struggles with that gap between word and meaning. Jack Watson joined the Marines in 1942 because he liked the Marine Corps