Corporal with 73 years Time in Grade finally gets promoted to Sergeant

| August 20, 2018

There may be hope for some of you people.

Marine vet finally promoted to sergeant 73 years later

 Cpl. Edgar Harrell floated in the shark-infested Pacific Ocean for four-and-a-half days.

He swam aimlessly in the salt water — mixed heavily with black oil and blood — with a group of 80 other men who had jumped off the fiery USS Indianapolis after it has been torpedoed by the Japanese during the closing months of World War II.

It was July 30, 1945, and it was 110 degrees. They had no water. Dehydration left their lips covered with sores and their tongues swollen.

By the afternoon of the third day, the group dwindled to just 17 men. Shark fins and the torsos of those they had killed surrounded them. One would scream each time as they were pulled under, just for unrecognizable parts to bob back to the surface. Harrell prayed continually.

A video of him explaining some of his experiences made 4 Years ago.

“We have a saying that once a Marine, always a Marine. We might be a little late with this one,” Maj. Gen. Paul Kennedy said in the quick but emotional ceremony. “The Marines have been inspired by the legacy of (Harrell).”

And in a moment not too soon, the three chevrons were at last pinned to Harrell’s jacket. The now sergeant turned to look at the group who stood and clapped for him.

“Stay faithful,” he said simply, touching on his faith that he credits to have saved him at sea.

I got no problem with him being promoted to Sergeant or any other rank for that matter,  Semper Fidelis Sergeant Harrell.


Category: Military issues

Comments (31)

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  1. Ex-PH2 says:

    Semper Fie, Sergeant. Live long and prosper. You have so far!

  2. 5th/77thFA says:

    We can’t even imagine the true horror of all of this that he and his shipmates went through. Didn’t see in the picture his comfort critter, blanket, coloring book, safe space, ect (sarc). No problem with any rank either, hell oughta at least give him retroactive back pay too. Semper Fie Sgt Harrell.

  3. 26Limabeans says:

    Rank? The man is beyond rank.

  4. Jay says:

    Looking at his pic, he has a Navy and Marine Corps Medal, Purple Heart, and Combat Action Ribbon. There are men, and then there are MEN. Welcome home SERGEANT Harrell, that is one well earned promotion.

  5. FuzeVT says:

    Good job, Sgt Harrell. Well done.

    Hmmm… who knows. In 28 years maybe I could get promoted to light colonel!

  6. Comm Center Rat says:

    Sergeant Harrell is one tough Marine NCO! Glad to see the Corps recognize this old warrior with a well earned and deserved promotion. It’s called the “greatest generation” because of men like him.

  7. 2/17 Air Cav says:

    Here’s a “Together We Served” piece that is excellent and it has a photo of him as a 20-year old Marine. Said Harrell in 2010, “As I reflect upon those bittersweet years of blood, sweat and tears mingled with the joys of family, friends and faith, I must confess that I wish our country could go back to those times and recapture the core values upon which our nation was founded.” (Man, I hope the link stays inside the cmt box. If not, if someone can tell me how to keep the link in the box, I would appreciate it.

    • Skidmark says:

      Wow…Just wow.

    • MustangCryppie says:

      He’s quite the writer. He should write his memoirs.

    • Eden says:

      What a story (both there and at! I would love to read his book. What a shame that it took so long to present Sgt Harrell with his promotion, and an even greater shame the way the Navy treated his ship’s captain, CAPT McVay.

  8. 2/17 Air Cav says:

    I think the promotion should come with 70 years of back pay.

  9. mr.sharkman says:

    Powerful stuff.

    Thanks & BZ, Dave Hardin.

  10. Wilted Willy says:

    This man is a true hero, I’m sorry we don’t have more like him! BZ Dave!

  11. Cpl/Major Mike says:

    I will happily relinquish my title as CplMajor of the Marine Corps

  12. BlueCord Dad says:

    OOOOORAH!!! Congratulations Sergeant 🇺🇸 Semper Fi!!

  13. SFC D says:

    The E4 mafia lost a helluva man with this promotion. I salute you, SGT Harrell!

  14. Club Manager, USA ret. says:

    WAR STORY ALERT: Almost like the Air Force Air Police E-4’s with ten years in grade for E-5 we had in 59′ and 60′.

  15. HMC Ret says:

    In his 90s and his mind is sharp as a tack. I hope I’m anywhere near as sharp when I am his age.

    BZ, Sgt. The horror you went through is beyond my understanding.

  16. 11B-Mailclerk says:

    Seventy years? That man has a -brutal- cutting score for his MOS.

  17. Old 1SG, US Army (retired) says:

    Nice gesture…

  18. NR Pax says:

    Congratulations, Sergeant. By the way, you have duty this weekend.

  19. jonp says:

    Why now? What is there to gain?

    • Hack Stone says:

      Being promoted to Sergeant, the Navy Relief Representative will be able to squeeze a few more bucks out of him.

    • OWB says:

      Sometimes making things right is just the thing to do. Because it is right.

      Nobody “gains” anything. Good that it was done anyway.

  20. Dave Jones says:

    the number of survivors is incorrect. there were 317 men who survived the sinking.