Battle for the Punchbowl: The U. S. 1st Marine Division 1951 Fall Offensive of the Korean War Page: 37
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MOVEMENT TO CONTACT
This is my rifle. There are many like it, but this one is
mine. It is my life. I must master it as I must master my life.
Without me, my rifle is useless. Without my rifle, I am
useless. I must fire my rifle true. I must shoot straighter than
the enemy who is trying to kill me. I must shoot him before
he shoots me. I will.
My rifle and I know that what counts in war is not the
rounds we fire, the noise of our burst, or the smoke we
make. We know that it is the hits that count. We will hit.
My rifle is human, even as I am human, because it is
my life. Thus, I will learn it as a brother. I will learn its
weaknesses, its strengths, its parts, its accessories, its
sights, and its barrel. I will keep my rifle clean and ready,
even as I am clean and ready. We will become part of each
Before God I swear this creed. My rifle and I are the
defenders of my country. We are the masters of our enemy.
We are the saviors of my life.
So be it, until victory is America's, and there is no
--The Marine Rifleman's Creed
The Division had lost experienced men other than casualties by late summer
1951. Many had "rotated" home. "By September of 1951 there were only 4,713 enlisted
men remaining in the Division who landed at Inchon the preceding year." Among the
replacements added to the division was a high number of Staff NCOs, since the division
had a shortage of these. Many of them were veterans of World War II. Between June
and October 1951, the 1st Mar Div lost 14,721 men to casualties or rotation. This breaks
down as: 11,637 rotation losses, 4,241 battle casualties, and 5,549 nonbattle casualties.
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Montandon, Joshua W. Battle for the Punchbowl: The U. S. 1st Marine Division 1951 Fall Offensive of the Korean War, thesis, August 2007; Denton, Texas. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc3938/m1/52/?rotate=90: accessed March 24, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .