Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Gadzooks--I've Been Drafted!!

Mail Call! My "marine-ness" is becoming more a reality every day. One of my combat artist associates sent me these uniform items in the mail, to welcome me aboard and help me get ready to report for duty.

It is like riding a bicycle, as they say, to put on the uniform again. It feels natural; almost like I never got out years ago. The uniforms and equipment have changed a bit since I last served, but the Marine Corps itself remains the same. That is a great thing.

The few changes I see are quite positive. It seems to me the Marine Corps is faster, stronger, and smarter than it was ten years ago. I'm sure it's got to do with the increase in technology, and the vast amount of warfighting experience accumulated since the beginning of the Global War on Terror.

It's good to be a part of it.


Anonymous said...

What do you mean you've been Drafted?! ;-) I thought being a VOLUNTEER is part of what made being a Marine so important.

Sorry, I couldn't resist. Good luck to you.

Bag Blog said...

A Marine named Battles - reminds me of the small town in NM where I use to live. The preacher was named Parson, the mailman was named Carrier, and the trash man (my husband) was named Baggett.

As life as a Marine becomes more real, keep us informed - thanks.

Kristopher Battles said...


Yep, it is truly my fault-- I actually signed up for it! (I'm sure I'll be wondering why when the first mortar round lands anywhere in my vicinity!)

I wish some of the anti-military crowd really understood what volunteering meant.


Anonymous said...

Sorry about that, I was in a hurry when I posted above, and failed to notice I could use "other".
They're wired wrong and are not able to understand, that is why they are anti-military. What we understand is that there comes a time when someone has to stand on a line and say "You Will Not Pass". Marines have traditionally been the first to stand on that line for America. This is what happened at the beginning of WWII, the British stood on the line and brought Nazi Germany to a dead stop.

Beverly said...

Bonsoua Kris,
M-byin kontan tande nouvel ou. M-ap prie pou ou shak jou.
How are you today? I know Creole spelling has changed since I was in Haiti, but I figure you can read it.
It is wonderful to hear the pride that you feel about the Marines...your post should be on the front page of newspapers.

Kristopher Battles said...


Mwen byen, gras a Dye! Sa fe-m' kontan, le-m' li yon mesaj Kreyol konsa. Epi, mwen pran kouraj, paske ou ap priye pou mwen. Se sa m' bezwen anpil!!

They did change the Creole spellings; it's called Nouveau Creole, and it's pretty easy and almost perfectly phonetic.

I hope I can learn Arabic as quickly as Creole. I'm sure it's harder, though.

Thanks for reading my posts.
Mesi anpil. Bondye beni ou.

Anonymous said...

Would it be possible, or appropriate, for you to give us some background on the process that brought you back into the Corps as an official artist?

As a former Marine myself, I am fascinated by this aspect of the Corps.

general questions currently plaguing my brain housing group:
Did you seek this assigment? or did the assigment come looking for you?
You are a retread? What was your former MOS? and will you be tasked with maintaining current training and function in that MOS as well? or is Combat Artist a completely seperate job slot?
Do you have to attend any training events to get "back up to speed"? physically?

That's the short list. Please Sgt, any info you can provide on this whole aspect of the maintanence of the Corps history and lore is most very interesting to many of us.

Kristopher Battles said...


I'll tell you what I can.

They didn't seek me, but I really wasn't looking for the position either-- we met in the middle, so to speak!

Here's how it happened:

Originally, I saw a link to "Fire and Ice" the blog of combat artist Warrant Officer Michael Fay (check it out at

I emailed him, asking him about his job, etc (as you did me). I mentioned I was an artist and a former marine (I was public relations and admin.). I gave him a link to my art website and emailed him some examples of my art.

He liked my work, and sent the examples to the curator of the Marine Corps Museum. Long story short, I was eventually interviewed and given the curator's endorsement (an honor and a half)!

After that I had to be approved by the Marine Corps to reenlist and had to pass the physical, swear in, etc... the rest is history. I will go to training soon to get up to speed, and then report for duty wherever they send me, to document the Corps' activity in the War on Terror.

It is a great job, and I am itching to get started. I'll keep you posted...

Here's a good definition of what a combat artist does, from Gunner Fay's website:

Anonymous said...

I understand re-training is never easy or slack, but if you happen to do any sketches while in training, I would love to see them. Gunner Fay and some really great stuff, and sketches of the training that lead up to what you do while deployed should be quite interesting from a historical standpoint.

Anonymous said...

Sgt Battles:

Thanks for that background info.
Too bad I cant do much more than scribble a fields of fire plan when it comes to the art stuff or else I'd give a try at joining back up.

Anonymous said...

If you're really interested in learning to draw and don't have time or money for formal training, try "Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain", it helped me a lot.

Anonymous said...

Ah, there's nothing like a man in uniform. UPS uniform doesn't count, so maybe it's the firearms ;)

Kristopher Battles said...

Good idea, Ray.

That's a classic book.

There's also no substitute for just drawing regularly. Get a cheap sketchpad and go out and draw things.

("How do ya get to Carnegie, hall? Practice, man, practice!")

With practice, You will develop an eye for drawing and your skills will naturally sharpen. I might add it is also really therapeutic, doing creative activities such as drawing.

Anonymous said...

I'll give it a try.

Anonymous said...

I had to do something, I wanted to make fun of the world and comics are the best way I know how (short of running for public office), anyhow I bought a book and started drawing. I still need LOTS AND LOTS AND LOTS (your probably getting the idea by now) of practice. I couldn't afford the time and money resources to take formal training, so I just decided to go the book route. These days my comics make fun of a Marine PFC fresh out of tech school and deployed to Iraq.

Anonymous said...

Welcome back to the active duty side, brother. I'm looking forward to updates! Semper Fi!