Medal of Honor recipient and current University of South Carolina sophomore Kyle Carpenter led the traditional “Game! … Cocks!” cheer prior to last night’s season opener against Texas A&M. The Afghanistan vet had said prior to the game that he was nervous to get in front of the crowd of 80,000, but as you can see below, his execution and showmanship were on point. Carpenter’s performance might have been the highlight of the evening for Gamecock fans, as their 9th-ranked squad was beaten 52-28 by the 21st-ranked Aggies.

Shots fired. The Marine Corps’ seven Marine Expeditionary Units are designed to deploy at a moment’s notice for combat or emergency response, but it seems two of the MEUs have been waging a war a little closer to home. The 15th MEU, out of Camp Pendleton, Calif., has had an official account on Twitter for over a year, tweeting a regular stream of Marine Corps news and photos. But when its neighboring 13th MEU joined Twitter in July, things started heating up. On Aug. 23, the 13th MEU account issued a friendly shout-out to all the MEUs on Twitter. [HTML1]…

Looks like America’s cuddliest Marine is getting a promotion. The official Marine Barracks Washington Facebook page is announcing that Chesty XIV, an English bulldog who is the official mascot of the Marine Corps will pin on a second chevron Friday. That event will coincide with the weekly evening parade at 8th and I, a public demonstration of Marine Corps pomp and circumstance that typically includes a chance for Chesty to greet his adoring fans. Chesty should remember to keep his nose clean, though. His equally jowly predecessor, Sgt. Chesty XIII, once received a demotion for snapping at then-Defense Secretary Leon Panetta’s…

Adam Driver has done quite well for himself in his second career. Driver was disappointed to find himself a civilian again just three years after he became a Marine after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. He was forced out of the Corps as a lance corporal following injuries he sustained during a mountain biking accident. But Driver’s post-Corps career has been anything but unsuccessful. He’s now a professional actor, with roles in “Girls” and the new “Star Wars” movie. He’s also appearing on the cover of the September edition of GQ magazine. In the cover story Driver, who was a mortarman with…

It’s on now. If you’re on Facebook and don’t live underneath a rock, you’ve probably heard of the Ice Bucket Challenge fad sweeping the nation. It reportedly started in Boston with former Boston College baseball star Peter Frates, who was diagnosed with the degenerative disease ALS in 2012. The concept is simple: if you’re challenged, you have 24 hours to film yourself dumping ice water on your head for ALS awareness, or donate $100 to ALS research. Or, preferably, both. Then you get to challenge another handful of people. Well, this morning Maximilian Uriarte, creator of the wildly popular web…

It’s undeniable that Marines built the Church of the Silkie. Even though the super-short shorty-short that doesn’t do much to cover up the body’s lower half isn’t technically a part of the uniform, the garment holds a cult-like status within the Corps. Like many religions, there are sacred texts. The Church of the Silkie, I recently learned, is no exception. While researching this week’s cover story, I found a solemn devotion to the shorts written in an Amazon.com review by a Marine stationed in Cairo. I kind of felt like Indiana Jones finding the Ark or the Holy Grail when…

[HTML1] Today marks two years since former Marine Austin Tice disappeared while working as a freelance journalist in Syria. Debra and Marc Tice have written a letter to their son published by McClatchy in the hopes that somehow their words can reach him, wherever he is. “From hard tips about your possible whereabouts to simple prayers for your well-being, we have received an overwhelming show of support from every continent on the planet,” they wrote. “We are eternally grateful to every person who has reached out – and we fully expect even more people to come forward in the coming…

Six years ago on Sunday, Sgt. Michael Ferschke Jr. was killed in Iraq. And since then, Mikey, the son he never had the chance to meet, pays tribute to his father. With a couple of markers and the blocky handwriting of a youngster learning to write, Mikey scrawls a love note to dad on a bunch of balloons before releasing them into the sky, completing an annual memorial to keep his father in mind. Gunnery Sgt. Jimmy Stare captured this personal tribute in a quick video. [HTML1] Ferschke was a radio operator and was fatally shot while storming a building…

Those who assumed only a “terminal lance” would have the gall to list his barracks room on Craigslist might be surprised to learn who was really behind the stunt. A staff sergeant hoping to carry out a career in the Corps was behind the entertaining Craigslist advertisement. He said he has a “penchant for shaking things up when it comes to having to conform to the Marine Corps way.” The Battle Rattle post about his ad was viewed nearly 380,000 times. He described a 225 square-foot barracks room as a lovely space in a gated community with wake-up calls and “motivation specialists.” The…

A Russian farmer caught on video commanding a bunch of ducks to get in line and follow him into a barn might make the most effective Marine drill instructor ever. The video shows a man emerging from his barn, shirtless. He then crouches down, screams, and gets an entire flock of ducks into line in seconds before leading them into a barn. Total time: 30 seconds. [HTML1] If he can lead waterfowl like that, imagine what he could do with recruits. Compare the king of the ducks to new recruits at Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego. It takes three Marines…

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