This is in reference to the recent article on Fox news re: USMC Scout-Snipers and the SS flag.
My name is Kent Gooch. I was a USMC scout-sniper and Scout-sniper instructor from 1979-1989 as well as a US Army National Guard sniper instructor from 1995-1998. I have also written articles on the subject for multiple US magazines, co-wrote a book “The Military and Police Sniper” and conducted Police and Military competitions and training here in the US and Austria.
I am writing to tell you that the Shutzstaffel “SS” symbol has a deeper meaning than the USMC is aware of. The USMC spokesmen at Camp Pendleton have no idea of what they are talking about and the Marines that are using it aren’t probably even aware of the history of the “SS” usage, particularly with the 1st Marine Division Scout –Snipers, which is where it started.
This whole thing started with the Neo-Nazis led by Tom and John Metzger of Fallbrook, California in the 80’s. There were a few Marines at 1st Reconnaissance Battalion who were active with the neo-nazi’s. One of them was pretty well known as a recruiter. I heard of this Marine from a friend of mine who was a fellow scout-sniper instructor with me at the USMC Scout-sniper instructor school (SSIS) in Quantico, Virginia from 1982-1986. My friend was stationed at 1st Recon before coming to the SSIS and mentioned this Marine in passing when talking about weird characters we had met over the years. Believe me, this “nazi” Marine wasn’t well looked upon. (I actually ran into the neo-nazi Marine while stationed at Marine Corps Security Forces, Pacific in 1992 or so. He had been assigned as a student at MCSF and I was the Officer in Charge of weapons training. I noticed a Nazi “Blood and Honor” tattoo on his arm and asked him if he was ever in 1st Recon Bn. He replied he had been. I then asked him if he was still a Nazi and he kind of turned pale and replied “No Sir, I gave it up for Lent”. I turned him in to the unit commander and he had his security clearance revoked and was assigned to other duties.)
Back to SSIS. About 1984 a SSgt was assigned to SSIS who had been the head instructor at Camp Pendletons scout-sniper school. He brought out patches and drawings that were being popularized at the 1st Mar Div school and units. They included skull and crossbone designs and the “SS” symbols. The skull and crossbone design was exactly the same as the one used by the White Aryan Resistance (WAR) crew out of Fallbrook. These designs caught on with the mentally challenged and less mature element of the scout-sniper community. Some of the guys event went so far are to getting a version of the “SS” tattooed on their calves, so as not to attract attention, unless of course they were at physical training wearing shorts… it was all very stupid. And apparently the mentality of some of the scout-sniper community hasn’t improved much since then.
The “SS” even made it to the Army National Guard sniper program. In 1995 some of the Army National Guard snipers developed a challenge coin that had the “SS” on one side. A soldier was “caught” with one, at a bar of all places and an official US Army investigation ensued and a directive went out that the “SS” symbol was not allowed. I still have one of the coins.
Having said all of this I am positive that there is no dark “Marathon Man-ish” conspiracy within the USMC scout-sniper program. I imagine if the community were interviewed they would almost all show a deep respect for Israel and the IDF. But there also may be a “respect” of sorts for the dedication of the “SS” soldier but most of them probably don’t understand the whole history of the Waffen and the holocaust as most of American society get their history lessons from MTV these days.
What you DO have is a bunch of boys that can shave, showing their stupidity and ignorance by carrying on this unauthorized and shameful tradition and the Marine Corps spokesmen don’t have a clue to the history of this “SS” stuff and its connections to the Neo-Nazis in Fallbrook.
I would suggest a look at the book series “DEATH FROM AFAR” by Rocky Chandler. You’ll find a ton of evidence in those books.
I hope this helps.
“May the L—d bless you and keep you..”
CWO2, US Army (retired)