The Absolute Best of US Marine Corps Photography (Part 3)
The Absolute Best of US Marine Corps Photography (Part 3)
Marines with Marine Wing Support Squadron 171 shield their faces as sand is stirred up after the take-off of a CH-53E Super Stallion Helicopter at Range 800 at Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center, Twentynine Palms, Calif., Sept. 17, 2013. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. John Tran/Released)

Marines with Marine Wing Support Squadron 171 shield their faces as sand is stirred up after the take-off of a CH-53E Super Stallion Helicopter at Range 800 at Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center, Twentynine Palms, Calif., Sept. 17, 2013. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. John Tran/Released)

Marines with Marine Corps Special Operations Command conduct a Special Patrol Insertion/Extraction excercise on a CH-53E aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, N.C., Sept. 13, 2013. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Anthony Carter/Released)

Marines with Marine Corps Special Operations Command conduct a Special Patrol Insertion/Extraction excercise on a CH-53E aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, N.C., Sept. 13, 2013. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Anthony Carter/Released)

Marines with Weapons Platoon, Lima Company, 3rd Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, Marine Rotational Force - Darwin, fire a Shoulder-Launched, Multipurpose Assault Weapon as part of a movement-to-contact training evolution during Exercise Koolendong, Australia, Sept. 3, 2013. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Sarah Fiocco)

Marines with Weapons Platoon, Lima Company, 3rd Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, Marine Rotational Force - Darwin, fire a Shoulder-Launched, Multipurpose Assault Weapon as part of a movement-to-contact training evolution during Exercise Koolendong, Australia, Sept. 3, 2013. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Sarah Fiocco)

Three F-35B Lightning II Joint Strike Fighters with Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 121, 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing, fly in formation during fixed-wing aerial refueling training over eastern California, Aug. 27, 2013.  (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Raquel Barraza)

Three F-35B Lightning II Joint Strike Fighters with Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 121, 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing, fly in formation during fixed-wing aerial refueling training over eastern California, Aug. 27, 2013. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Raquel Barraza)

Sgt. Chesty XIII, official mascot of the U.S. Marine Corps, right, stares down his successor Recruit Chesty (L), during training at Marine Barracks Washington, D.C., March 20. (Official Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Dengrier Baez)

Sgt. Chesty XIII, official mascot of the U.S. Marine Corps, right, stares down his successor Recruit Chesty (L), during training at Marine Barracks Washington, D.C., March 20. (Official Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Dengrier Baez)

Marines serving with Echo Company, 2nd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, cool off after filling hundreds of sandbags to prepare targets and objectives for live-fire training on Range 800 at Camp Pendleton, Calif., Aug. 12, 2013. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Joseph Scanlan/Released)

Marines serving with Echo Company, 2nd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, cool off after filling hundreds of sandbags to prepare targets and objectives for live-fire training on Range 800 at Camp Pendleton, Calif., Aug. 12, 2013. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Joseph Scanlan/Released)

Lance Cpl. Pablo Ruiz, a rifleman serving with Echo Company, 2nd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, and native of Los Angeles, engages a target with an AT-4 light anti-armor weapon on Range 800 at Camp Pendleton, Calif., Aug 14, 2013. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Joseph Scanlan/Released)

Lance Cpl. Pablo Ruiz, a rifleman serving with Echo Company, 2nd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, and native of Los Angeles, engages a target with an AT-4 light anti-armor weapon on Range 800 at Camp Pendleton, Calif., Aug 14, 2013. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Joseph Scanlan/Released)

U.S. Marine Pfc. Michael Richardson, a heavy equipment operator with Engineer Company, Combat Logistics Regiment 2, Regional Command (Southwest), operates a 850JR John Deere Dozer at Camp Dwyer, Helmand province, Afghanistan, Aug. 7, 2013. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Anthony L. Ortiz / Released)

U.S. Marine Pfc. Michael Richardson, a heavy equipment operator with Engineer Company, Combat Logistics Regiment 2, Regional Command (Southwest), operates a 850JR John Deere Dozer at Camp Dwyer, Helmand province, Afghanistan, Aug. 7, 2013. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Anthony L. Ortiz / Released)

A 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit Maritime Raid Force Marine engages simulated hostile targets during an amphibious insertion for sustainment training in the U.S. 6th Fleet area of responsibility, Aug. 5, 2013. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Christopher Q. Stone/Released)

A 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit Maritime Raid Force Marine engages simulated hostile targets during an amphibious insertion for sustainment training in the U.S. 6th Fleet area of responsibility, Aug. 5, 2013. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Christopher Q. Stone/Released)

An AV-8B Harrier aircraft assigned to Attack Squadron 311, is staged at Camp Bastion, Helmand province, Afghanistan, Aug. 9, 2013. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Gabriela Garcia/Released)

An AV-8B Harrier aircraft assigned to Attack Squadron 311, is staged at Camp Bastion, Helmand province, Afghanistan, Aug. 9, 2013. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Gabriela Garcia/Released)

Lance Cpl. Joseph Nunez from Burbank, Calif., and Viky, an improvised explosive device detection dog, both attached to Fox Company, 2nd Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment, search a compound for hidden threats during Operation Grizzly in Helmand province, Afghanistan, July 18, 2013. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Alejandro Pena/Released)

Lance Cpl. Joseph Nunez from Burbank, Calif., and Viky, an improvised explosive device detection dog, both attached to Fox Company, 2nd Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment, search a compound for hidden threats during Operation Grizzly in Helmand province, Afghanistan, July 18, 2013. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Alejandro Pena/Released)

An AV-8B Harrier assigned to Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron (VMM) 266 (Reinforced), 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU), takes off of the flight deck of the USS Kearsarge (LHD 3), at sea, July 13, 2013. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Kyle N. Runnels/Released)

An AV-8B Harrier assigned to Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron (VMM) 266 (Reinforced), 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU), takes off of the flight deck of the USS Kearsarge (LHD 3), at sea, July 13, 2013. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Kyle N. Runnels/Released)

An AV-8B Harrier assigned to Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadon 266, (Reinforced), descends onto the flight deck of the USS Kearsarge as an MV-22B Osprey prepares to takeoff, at sea, May 27, 2013. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Christopher Q. Stone/Released)

An AV-8B Harrier assigned to Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadon 266, (Reinforced), descends onto the flight deck of the USS Kearsarge as an MV-22B Osprey prepares to takeoff, at sea, May 27, 2013. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Christopher Q. Stone/Released)

Capt. Christopher Prout with Marine Fighter Attack Squadron (VMFA) 232, Marine Aircraft Group 11, 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing shoots an AIM-7 Sparrow missile from an F/A-18C Hornet airplane while participating in a deployment for training (DFT) near Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla., May 16, 2013. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Capt. Christopher Prout)

Capt. Christopher Prout with Marine Fighter Attack Squadron (VMFA) 232, Marine Aircraft Group 11, 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing shoots an AIM-7 Sparrow missile from an F/A-18C Hornet airplane while participating in a deployment for training (DFT) near Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla., May 16, 2013. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Capt. Christopher Prout)

M1A1 Abrams main battle tanks, AAVP7 RAM/RS amphibious assault vehicles, and an M88A1 Hercules from the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) train during an exercise in the 5th Fleet area of responsibility, April 23, 2013. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Staff Sgt. Edward Guevara/Released)

M1A1 Abrams main battle tanks, AAVP7 RAM/RS amphibious assault vehicles, and an M88A1 Hercules from the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) train during an exercise in the 5th Fleet area of responsibility, April 23, 2013. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Staff Sgt. Edward Guevara/Released)

A U.S. Marine Corps MV-22B Osprey tiltrotor aircraft assigned to Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron (VMM) 266 flies at U.S. Army Garrison Stuttgart, Germany, March 28, 2013. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Staff Sgt. Matthew Lyman)

A U.S. Marine Corps MV-22B Osprey tiltrotor aircraft assigned to Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron (VMM) 266 flies at U.S. Army Garrison Stuttgart, Germany, March 28, 2013. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Staff Sgt. Matthew Lyman)

Cpl. Wilkins Vidal crosses the monkey crawl obstacle of the endurance course March 21 at the Jungle Warfare Training Center on Camp Gonsalves during the Headquarters and Service Battalion, Marine Corps Base Camp Smedley D. Butler corporals’ course. (U.S. Marine Corps by Lance Cpl. Donald T. Peterson)

Cpl. Wilkins Vidal crosses the monkey crawl obstacle of the endurance course March 21 at the Jungle Warfare Training Center on Camp Gonsalves during the Headquarters and Service Battalion, Marine Corps Base Camp Smedley D. Butler corporals’ course. (U.S. Marine Corps by Lance Cpl. Donald T. Peterson)

A Sabot round goes down range at the Combat Center’s Range 500 during Company A, 1st Tank Battalion’s annual gunnery qualification, Feb. 17, 2013, aboard Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms, Calif. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Sarah Dietz)

A Sabot round goes down range at the Combat Center’s Range 500 during Company A, 1st Tank Battalion’s annual gunnery qualification, Feb. 17, 2013, aboard Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms, Calif. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Sarah Dietz)

An MV-22B Osprey assigned to Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron (VMM) 266 (Reinforced), 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU), prepares to takeoff during flight operations aboard the USS Kearsarge (LHD 3), while sailing off the coast of Onslow Beach, N.C., Jan. 29, 2013. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Christopher Q. Stone)

An MV-22B Osprey assigned to Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron (VMM) 266 (Reinforced), 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU), prepares to takeoff during flight operations aboard the USS Kearsarge (LHD 3), while sailing off the coast of Onslow Beach, N.C., Jan. 29, 2013. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Christopher Q. Stone)

Marines From Recruiting Station Lansing, Recruiting Sub-Stations Grand Rapids North and South, participate in the opening ceremony for the Grand Rapids Pond Hockey Classic, Jan 25. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Kevin Maynard)

Marines From Recruiting Station Lansing, Recruiting Sub-Stations Grand Rapids North and South, participate in the opening ceremony for the Grand Rapids Pond Hockey Classic, Jan 25. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Kevin Maynard)

Marines from Company C, 1st Tank Battalion, prepare their tank for the day’s attack on Range 210 aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, Calif., Dec. 11, 2012, during Steel Knight 13. (U.S. Marine Corps photo)

Marines from Company C, 1st Tank Battalion, prepare their tank for the day’s attack on Range 210 aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, Calif., Dec. 11, 2012, during Steel Knight 13. (U.S. Marine Corps photo)

Carved pumpkins of a Marine Corps drill instructor greeting pumpkin recruits. (United States Marine Corps Official Page)

Carved pumpkins of a Marine Corps drill instructor greeting pumpkin recruits. (United States Marine Corps Official Page)

Lance Cpl. Tyler Langford, anti-tank missileman, 3rd Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, leads his pack mule during a hike at Marine Corps Mountain Warfare Training Center Bridgeport, Calif., Oct. 13, 2012. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Ali Azimi)

Lance Cpl. Tyler Langford, anti-tank missileman, 3rd Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, leads his pack mule during a hike at Marine Corps Mountain Warfare Training Center Bridgeport, Calif., Oct. 13, 2012. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Ali Azimi)

Sgt. Christopher R. Young, administration clerk with Headquarters Marine Cryptologic Support Battalion, finds himself on the bottom of the heap during a Marine Corps Martial Arts grappling session as part of physical training at Fort Meade, Md. Sept. 26, 2012. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Chelsea Flowers Anderson)

Sgt. Christopher R. Young, administration clerk with Headquarters Marine Cryptologic Support Battalion, finds himself on the bottom of the heap during a Marine Corps Martial Arts grappling session as part of physical training at Fort Meade, Md. Sept. 26, 2012. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Chelsea Flowers Anderson)

I have to admit, browsing through the archives of U.S. Marine Corps photographers, I had to raise my standard for what constitutes a good picture. I’ve already put together two selections, as you can check here and here, and I wanted the third one to stand out.

Whether I succeeded you can judge for yourself.

Bit of Trivia

I’ve already noted some basic stats and historical background of the Marine Corps in my previous galleries, so let’s take a look at some more fun facts this time.

You may have heard Marines being called “leathernecks.” Well, that’s because they actually used to wear leather collars during the 19th century as a protection against neck sword wounds.

You may have also heard the nickname “Devil Dogs.” Allegedly, German soldiers addressed Marines as such during the World War I. It is also possible, however, that the nickname was more popular among American media than within the German military.

Ironically, the most modern nickname of all is also the most unclear. Yes, the “jarheads.” Not only I couldn’t pinpoint the exact time when this moniker surfaced, I also discovered a notable body of explanations as to its original meaning.

The most common one refers to the “high and tight” haircut of Marines that, supposedly, makes their heads look like jars. I have to say though I can’t see much similarity there.

An article on mantelligence.com offers a rather original explanation: “The sailors claimed that the stiff neck of the dress uniform made it look like the Marine’s head was sticking out of a Mason jar.”

Yet, I couldn’t easily corroborate this avenue of thought.

The UrbanDictionary.com presents a whole series of rationalizations. For example, during the World War II “some steel helmets were made by the Mason jar company,” hence Marines wearing them would be called jarheads.

Another suggests the nickname refers to the old Marine Corps hats.

Yet another talks about a “resemblance of Marine Corps dress blue uniform to a mason jar.”

Well, let me know what you think.

But there’s another explanation out there. Marines are called “jarheads” for following orders to the point of having no individual thoughts, i.e. having no brain inside their heads.

There the meaning would be two-pronged.

On one hand, it would be a compliment to Marines’ willingness to fulfill their orders beyond doubt or concern for personal safety.

On the other, it would be an attempt at an insult, saying the drills beat all sense out of the men.

As I don’t know any Marines personally, I can’t really make a judgement call on this account.

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