Why would a salty Master Gunnery Sergeant gladly render a hand salute to a boot Second Lieutenant?


Because other Lieutenants have earned that respect by doing what Marine Officers have to do when the moment and duty dictate.


Man DownOur Jim Muir earned that salute for all of us in the DMZ one crappy day in 1968. A company of Marines was ambushed and were getting terribly mauled. They were unable to extract themselves, and it was getting worse. The call for help came to the nearby company of Marines where Jim was the XO. Promptly moving out to the sound of guns, Jim’s men came under repeated fire from a recoiless rifle that had them zeroed in. With each round, Jim’s Marines dove for cover. The rescue was stopped and the slaughter continued.

Then, like heroic Lieunetants before him, Jim did what he had sworn to do:

He stood up. And he led.

“Those Marines out there need us.” His men heard, and followed Jim.

They formed a skirmish line under fire and assaulted through the entrenched enemy lines. Their momentum routed the ambush and saved the trapped company.

In the attack, Jim was mortally wounded.

He died fulfilling a duty and an oath that we all hope we will never be called to confront. That time when Marine leaders have to stand up and lead from the front, in the face of incredible danger, chaos and fear.

Jim, we salute you.