by Cpl. Robert Lin Cook
Jan 1942–Sep 1945

Have you noticed how a corporal
who has a job to do
will bust his butt to do it
and always follow through?

He's a lowly corporal,
the beginning of the line,
to get himself another stripe
will take a lot of time.

He's willing and respectful,
he keeps his squad in line,
he keeps himself resplendent 
from belt to spit-shine.

He's bound to duty,
he knows no other way,
his response to orders
is only to obey.

He puts himself in jeopardy,
he's closest to his men,
when orders come down
they all end up with him.

For he's a lowly corporal,
a do-or-die Marine,
a member of the greatest Corps,
he keeps his honor clean.

*     *     *
The author: Robert Lin Cook served with Regimental Weapons Co. (2d-2d) from 1942–44, at Guadalcanal and Tarawa during a 33-month overseas tour.

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Corporals