24 April 2000

"Outstanding Inspection"

George "GT" Sunde 
Master Sergeant, United States Marine Corps, (Retired)

When I was the senior SNCO at the Marine Detachment at Lowry AFB, Denver, Colorado in 1978/9, we had an IG Inspection by no less than the IG of the Marine Corps.  Now for a small unit like this to have the General himself conducting the inspection was unusual....however the skiing in Colorado Mountains is unsurpassed.  Anyway, at the same time the SgtMaj of the Marine Corps was also passing through the area.  As the SgtMaj and myself were old acquaintances from our time together on the Drill Field I asked him to participate in the personnel inspection as most young Marines never get to see/talk to a General Officer and/or the SgtMaj of the Marine Corps.  

We were in the first rank, I preceding the General, who was followed by the SgtMaj and then the scribe, taking notes.  As the General came in front of a tall black Marine he asked "Is Top Sunde prejudiced against blacks?".  Without hesitation, the young Marine replied "NO SIR, TOP SUNDE FUCKS WITH EVERYONE."  As I had known the General long before he became a general, I wondered what he would make of the young Marine's statement.  The General turned to the SgtMaj and asked if he had seen all that he needed to see to which the SgtMaj indicated he had.  The General then turned to the scribe, asked for the notes, tore them up, and turned to me and said "Top, outstanding inspection, let's get some coffee."  

The moral of the story is that you need to take your rewards wherever you get them.  The young Marine unknowingly gave me the best compliment one could get in the area of how I treated all Marines equally.