Steve Sheppard Photography Blog

Marine Corps Diary

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That’s me with the 2nd Battalion 6th Marines First Sergeant Reifinger at Mount Fuji, Japan.

The first sergeant was born-again hard. He had been in the Marines for about 20 years by the time I met him. Not long after I hit the fleet as a semi-young second lieutenant – I was 24-years-old when I graduated from college, and 26 in this photo – I needed a haircut. The first sergeant volunteered to cut my hair.

Being the trusting soul that I was and having the butter bars on my shoulders, I didn’t want to make the first sergeant mad. Let’s face it, I out ranked him but not really. Who would you want to follow into battle, a crusty first sergeant or a 2nd Lt.? Check out all the ribbons. He had been around for a while. I had none. Lt. Hugh Kitzrow, another 2nd Lt. in the 2nd Battalion, 6th Marines, and I agreed to let him cut our hair.

I was the first victim. The first cut began at my forehead and ended at the back of my neck with a double-00 razor. With that first cut, his dirty deed was done. The rest of my head had to be shaved. I looked like I did the morning after I arrived at Officer Candidate’s School. I normally wore a high and tight. That was shaved on the sides and a little longer on top. Sometimes I would get an LZ. That was shaved on the sides and down the middle short of the forehead that created a horseshoe shape on the top of the head. It was called an LZ for landing zone.

When he finished, he just laughed and said, “Now that’s how a lieutenant should look.” I smiled and thanked him for the cut. Lt. Kitzrow, having watched in horror, sat down and got his dues. As an aside, Lt. Kitzrow make coffee every morning and threw in coffee grounds after the coffee brewed. It would definitely wake you up. I loved the first sergeant because when he came to you and started a conversation with, “lieutenant”, he was giving you a piece of advice that you had better listen to. He kept my -you know what- out of a sling a number of times.


Written by stevesheppardphotography

June 2, 2011 at 8:52 pm

Posted in Marine Corps Diary

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One Response

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  1. Thanks for reminding us to never forget! Your pictures are so amazing of the everyday life that we sometimes take forgranted.


    June 10, 2011 at 9:44 pm

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