Hank and Bar Girls

Updated: March 31, 2009

Complements of our friend Hank, over at Devil Dog Brew. Enjoy!


I wrote most of the following while drinking Sniper’s Brew German Chocolate Cake.

I was a Company Commander and then Battalion XO for the same Battalion. The back-story is I was enlisted for 9 years before I became an officer, so I often used some of my creative past to come up with unique solutions. Anyway, we had weekly meetings where our Commanding Officer would list out what he wanted done. As the Battalion XO, I was generally responsible for making sure we stayed on course with the CO’s intent. The CO wanted to plan a “Battalion Family Day” but unlike typical events he wanted to ensure that all the Marines of the Battalion, especially the single ones, enjoyed the event. This story doesn’t apply to the ladies of our Battalion so for clarification yes we had women in our Battalion but this story is specifically about the men.

We were in Okinawa, Japan. At the time, our Chaplain wasn’t nearly as engaged with the Marines of the Battalion as the CO or I would like and spent way too much time sitting at his desk and in my humble opinion neglecting his flock and his responsibilities. To make matters worse, I heard from our Battalion Surgeon that more than a few of our married Marines (most had families on the island) were spending time where it was ill advised for them, much less the single guys. Creative genius or not, I cooked up a scheme and prayed that I wouldn’t be sent straight to hell for my evil ways.

I told the CO that the Chaplain was taking the initiative for an outreach with the local population and would incorporate his efforts with our Battalion Family Day. The CO was ecstatic because he’d never seen the Chaplain get “so involved” and sometimes our relations with the local community were a bit strained. I told the CO we needed some funds for the event and he approved.

I then went to the Chaplain (who knew he wasn’t in very good standing with the CO) and told him I wanted him to take credit for an outreach program to coincide with the Battalion Family Day. I told him I’d do the work and keep him posted but he had to promise me he wouldn’t let the CO know I was his ’secret helper’. I told him I’d recruit some local support and this would fill one of his requirements for ‘local outreach’. My ‘new recruits’ would be more than willing to hear our Chaplain (of Southern Baptist persuasion) share his message. The Chaplain shook my hand, thanked me for looking out for him, and was as happy as a lark to let me do all the work. With a smile our chubby cherub, who couldn’t keep up on the shortest of our Battalion Humps, went back to his desk finishing his latest edition of Golfer’s Digest.

I went to a local Okinawan tailor, a man who’d made several suits for me and had since become a friend. I had him make Battalion cheerleader outfits, little pleated skirts which would be accompanied by t-shirts which had our Battalion logo, for seven “cheerleaders”. It cost me a couple of cases of Budweiser. He found me pompoms also (the most expensive part of my prank) and even went as far as getting matching pony tail holders and scrunchies. I wrote a few simple cheers for our soon to be christened (please don’t miss the irony) motivators.

I then recruited some girls from one of the ‘establishments’ that our Marines were rumored to regularly visit no more than a half mile outside the base gates. Actually, I first spoke with the mama-san (surprisingly cooperative) and explained to her the situation. This didn’t cost me a penny because I told her truthfully this was a charitable outreach to some of her best customers for a very special event. Better yet, it gave the girls something to do during the day. She helped me pick out some girls that fit the uniforms and spoke the best English. I gave the mama-san the cheers I had scripted and asked her and the girls to swear to an oath of secrecy. I was even invited back a few days later for an afternoon practice session where they had taken the initiative to do a little dance routine to music… this was going to be good and my fears of eternal damnation were being justified. Had I gone too far?

For the next several weeks leading up to the event I fed the Chaplain updates to give to the CO, never fully disclosing what I had cooked up. The Chaplain, true to his nature, was more than willing to report to the CO, “Sir, you’re really going to be impressed. We’re reaching out to the community and they’ll even be bringing local food and contributing to the event with a special performance.”

For the day of the event I had the Chaplain’s Assistant check out a van from our Motor Pool and go pick up our ‘locals’ for our Battalion Family Day. And along with the 7 cheerleaders, our fifteen passenger van was loaded with a total of around 20 girls to include the mama-san. A good plan doesn’t survive first contact but in rare occasions it becomes better. By the time they arrived at the field where we had set up our grills, food lines, tents, and bouncies for kids, we had been in full swing for about an hour.

The girls filed out of the van an approached the little area where earlier our CO had addressed the Battalion and their families. Some of our participants even prepared a few trays of lumpia and headed to the chow tent. The Chaplain was busy stuffing his face and didn’t even see the arrival. I made sure the mama-san knew that the Chaplain was the man to thank for the event and not to pay me much attention. Our now official ‘cheerleaders’ set up. Almost as quickly as they arrived they began to put on their show. To even my surprise they were accompanied by the rest of the girls who performed in their own variety of outfits and knew the routine and cheers as rehearsed. The single Marines reacted as if we had flown in the Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders.

To explain the aftermath is a bit complicated. Suffice it to say, more than a few married Marines had unique confrontations with their spouses as they were recognized by these girls and even the mama-san, smiling and greeting her top customers as the invited celebrity. To put it mildly, the Chaplain never had so much ‘involvement’ with the families and he never fully recovered from the event. I’m sure he’ll regret to his grave his tour with a particular one of Uncle Sam’s Misguided Children. Our now infamous Chaplain left our Battalion soon after. He was replaced by a dynamic and combat tested Chaplain we sorely needed and benefited from. The CO never asked me for an explanation though he had a unique smile when he mentioned a few weeks later that some of our “problem children” were spending more time with their families. Maybe I won’t go to hell after all.

Disclaimer: {I’ve taken a few liberties to protect the innocent, if there is a statue of limitations and any criminalities then all stories are a work of fiction. The characters do not exist except in the mind of the author and any resemblance to persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental. Truth is stranger than fiction and my lawyer advised me to include the above. For those that were there…, Semper Fi}

Used by permission Ranger Up © 2009 Sniper’s Brew All Rights Reserved.



One Comment

  1. Damon

    April 27, 2009 at 10:23 am

    Good to see you “finally” made the big time and got on the Rhino Den! Keep it up Marine. Heh.

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