My Father, Joseph A.Litzler, passed away at a very early age for both of us. He was a career Marine. A Drill instructor. The best way to explain to people what he did was to say Think of Lou Gossett Jr in an Officer and a Gentleman or better yet, Clint Eastwood in Heart Break Ridge. Seems like someone else uses the same analogy. It’s nice that while my father passed before the internet came to be that he has made his way there. Anyway here’s the quote i found about him.
Sounds like an experience I had at NAS Pensacola in 1969, only I was the hapless ‘boot’ in charge of marching the rest of AOC/NAOC Class 3869.
The drill instructor was there, grading me, as I marched my guys into an 8′ chain link fence adjacent to the parade ground. My Drill Instructor, Gunny Litzler…well, I was going to say he “took command” from me because he felt sorry for me – NOT. In his gutteral voice I think he muttered something very insulting designed to estimate your worth just shy of a Sand Flea.
I withstood a lot of abuse and humiliation during those two weeks of Boot and sixteen weeks overall and after commissioning, I think I stared at my new uniform (Working Khaki’s and the Naval Officer’s crest on my piss-cutter) for about two hours before I hit the sack.
I still remember Gunny Litzler the most (we had about three other Drill Instructors)because he was about the meanest looking guy I had ever seen, and a true Marine Professional. He looked about 100 years old and yet, you realized he could break you in two in a fair or dirty fight. At all of 5 feet 7 inches of him, I realized that the Gunny was the kind of man that kept America safe all these years. He may have been lewd, crude, and socially unacceptable, and dispised the ground I walked on, but I loved him for what he taught me – taught all of us – during that very challenging 16 weeks. I never knew how long I could hold an M-14 with outstretched arms, until September 16, 1969, but under Gunny Litzler, it was a lot longer than I’d ever expected. Think of a short Clint Eastwood in Heartbreak Ridge, or Jack Webb in the “DI”. That was Gunny Litzler.
Forty-two years ago…and I can still see his face.
Hand slute…Ready two!