And the rotation policy, too, did not seem to diminish combat effectiveness
among the Marines. Rather, quite the opposite was true (so claimed the 1st Mar Div
anyway). "[The rotation policy] has been successful and is a most important factor in
maintaining morale and efficiency. . . ." In fact, the rotation program was such a success
in the division's eyes that it elected not to participate in EUSAK's Rest and
Rehabilitation Program that rotated personnel to Japan for leave. (Marines usually
stayed in the division for about nine months).4
There was one caveat to this. The rotation policy did not apply to the KMC
Regiment. Their only rotation, at least for the enlisted personnel, was on a stretcher.5
For the 7th Marines at least, the rotation policy led to unit pride in one respect.
"We didn't do much but sleep and eat the first few days and then we heard the 13th draft
would be coming in to replace our losses. I heard someone say, 'That's what the
Chinese call the 7th Regiment the Ghost Regiment. They think they have killed most of
us off two or three times, but we keep coming back with new Marine replacements.' The
7th Marines also carried the flag for the First Marine Division since they had fought the
rear echelon against several Chinese divisions in the Chosin Reservoir pull back. We
had a lot of pride to live up to for the men who went before us."6
Several problems existed concerning the 1 Mar Div. One problem, according to
MajGen Frank E. Lowe, USAR (an advisor and close friend of President Truman who
was sent on an evaluation trip to Korea in late 1950 through early 1951), was that
whereas in the Army there was an abundance of specialists and few fighters, the 1st
4 U. S. Pacific Fleet, "Third Interim Evaluation Report," 15-3 to 15-27.
s Interview with Colonel KIM Yun Gun, Historical Branch, Headquarters Marine Corps, 22 December,
1958, in file labeled "transcripts," Marine Corps Korean War document collection, CD #14, page 5.
6 Oral memoir of Jon Charles Genrich.
Montandon, Joshua W. Battle for the Punchbowl: The U. S. 1st Marine Division 1951 Fall Offensive of the Korean War. Denton, Texas. UNT Digital Library. http://digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc3938/. Accessed April 24, 2014.