by: MCRD Parris Island
Story Identification #: 20062238934
Story by Cpl. Jennifer Brofer
PARRIS ISLAND, S.C. (Feb. 21, 2006) -- The menacing look on
the drill instructor's face says it all.
salty DI glares up at a new recruit at receiving - the muscles
in his face so tight the veins are popping out of his neck -
in order to give the recruit a bit of what he calls "attitude
readjustment" on his first day in recruit training.
Marine in the infamous "We don't promise you a rose garden"
poster is none other than former Sgt. Charles A. "Sgt.
T" Taliano, who, even after 38 years removed from active
duty, continues to inspire future generations of Marines.
who currently serves as the manager for Alexander Ship's Store
located in the Parris Island Museum, said he was just assisting
other drill instructors with a platoon pick-up on that fateful
day in 1968 when a photographer snapped the photo that would
transform him into a Marine icon.
was a Marine reservist who was an author and photographer, and
he was writing a book about Marine Corps boot camp," said
Taliano, who said he was on outpost awaiting an honorable discharge
from the Marine Corps on the day the photo was taken. "It
was titled 'Marine Machine: the Making of the United States
wasn't until three years later when his father called him up
and told him of the photograph that appeared in Newsweek Magazine
that he realized the poster even existed, he said.
went down to the local newsstand, I paged through it, and there
was an article in there about the Marine Corps, and I saw that
a picture of the poster was in the magazine," said Taliano,
of the article that was published Nov. 29, 1971. "That's
the first I was aware of the poster."
"Rose Garden" poster was the first in a series of
posters with a slogan that read, "The Marines are looking
for a few good men," a recruiting campaign that ran from
late 1971 until mid-1984, said Taliano.
one point in the 1990s, the Marine Corps Association even had
a jigsaw puzzle of the image, which was later discontinued,
to this day, Taliano said he still gets recognized, and often
gets requests to autograph copies of the campaign poster, which
are sold at the museum gift shop.
few years ago when Taliano began attending the drill instructor
reunions at Parris Island, he held a poster signing and remembered
a line of customers out the door, and the
store sold about 500 posters within a two-day period, he said.
"[Of] the Marines that were in line, many of them that
were buying multiple posters for other Marines who had to be
at work," he said.
continues to hold poster signings across the country, and all
of the proceeds go toward funding the Parris Island Museum and
scholarships for the Women Marines Association, he said.
received recognition for the past three decades, Taliano can't
help but wonder what happened to the frightened recruit whose
face is barely visible in the photograph that made him famous
so long ago.
have been a few attempts to find him over the years," said
Taliano. [I] guess I would ask him about his time in the Marine
Corps ... if life was good to him."
a poster signing, a gunnery sergeant told him the recruit in
the poster was a sergeant major who had retired, but without
the name of the gunnery sergeant or the sergeant major the information
would be impossible to verify, he said.
if he ever saw his former recruit again, he would want to have
a reunion since [the alleged sergeant major] now "outranks"
him, he said.
he indeed retired as a sergeant major as I was told, that would
be a historical reunion," he said.
he has been off the drill field nearly 40 years, Taliano credits
much of his success in life to his tour as a drill instructor.
was the best job I have ever had," he said. The hours were
long; the pressure was great; the rewards were many. I would
not trade the experience for anything. Being a drill instructor
has changed my life. It certainly helped me in my civilian career."
continues to stay close to the Marine Corps by working at the
Parris Island Museum, where he enjoys seeing new Marines on
Family Day, he said.
having a lot of fun, and it's fun being surrounded by Marines,"
said the Cleveland native.
long as he is in good health, Taliano said he will continue
to work for the Parris Island Museum, and, of course, sign autographs
long as my health remains good ... I'll be here."