"What? Are you saying that when some dip-shit lieutenant disobeys orders and puts his men at unnecessary risk, he is being heroic? You officer-types might think that way, but that's not what us Snuffies think. We understand the accomplish the mission thing. But, we also think an officer's job is to make sure we get back to The World; and, if there is anything we don't need, it's somebody who wants to trade in our Dog Tags for a hero medal."—The Butter-Cutter
                                                                                       COMBAT  Magazine, "Verbal Shrapnel," October 2004


In those bygone years of my active Marine Corps service, the butter cutter occupied the last position on the Chow Line in the Mess Hall. His official duty was to dole out two pats of butter from a bowl of ice water he maintained to each hungry Marine who passed by. Since cutting free the pats from a large block of butter frequently took a few extra seconds, Marines tended to congregate and “shoot the breeze” at his station. Their observations, thoughts, and opinions on everything that affected Marines then became his composite wisdom. Enthusiastically, he embraced the unofficial duty of dolling out that wisdom with the attitude of a private who was not happy with being on Mess Duty and in a language unencumbered by the politically correct. As his reputation grew, Marines, when questioned about the source of the “hot scoop” they were trying to pass on, would answer: “The butter cutter told me.” In that memory, I regularly visit a virtual Marine Mess Hall in search of the candid views captured by "The Butter-Cutter, USMCV" from those Marines currently at the “pointy-end-of-the-spear.” If you are of a mind to witness our exchange, don a helmet and flak jacket, click on LATEST, and join us in The Butter-Cutter’s "VERBAL SHRAPNEL" RICH DOMAIN. If you survive that experience, click on TBC ARCHIVES and join me in dodging The Butter-Cutter's shrapnel from previous encounters.


Semper The Butter-Cutter,

Anthony F. Milavic

Major USMC (Ret.)



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