Sergeant Tony's Blog

William & Mary Won’t Do — Sgt. Tony Ludlow’s blog post for 3/13/2013

Wednesday, Mar. 13th 2013 8:12 PM

The other day a new friend asked me what I was reading. I don’t often hear that question. But I didn’t mind answering it.

I’d just finished “The Alchemist” by Paulo Coelho and had started “Into the Fire,” a memoir by Dakota Meyer, the Marine who was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for gallantry in Afghanistan. And I’d started rereading Jane Austen’s “Pride & Prejudice.” (That’s right, Jane Austen! Get over it!)

“Really? That’s quite a range,” my new friend said, with some measure of surprise, and maybe a hint of disbelief. I think he was being a little sarcastic when he asked that question, expecting, perhaps, that I didn’t read. I think he merely imagined that I was just a former active-duty-Marine-jock-turned-local fitness megalomaniac. (And I’m being terribly modest about that!)

For some reason, it made me think about education, particularly college education.

These days, there’s a lot of discussion, debate, and disagreement about going to college.

Who really needs a college degree these days?

There was a recent piece on the Today Show about the need for, and alleged value of, a college education. The person taking the “college not needed” stance pointed out successful non-college graduates, like Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerburg, and Bill Gates. All three, college drop-outs.

Part of the criticism of going to college today is that a university education is not necessary in order to get a good paying job or career. And that’s true.

Another criticism is that the odds of getting a job in the area of major study are unlikely after graduation for many. A lot of liberal arts majors, humanities majors, and the like, work at jobs after graduating from college that don’t require a college degree at all. And this is also true.

Added to that, recent college grads with “worthless” degrees are saddled with debt incurred from going to college. They have student loans to pay off, loans that on average take 10 years to reconcile.

So why go to college?

For me, joining the Marine Corps, getting a college degree, and becoming a runner are the three most personally rewarding things I did for myself before the age of 25. And all of these years later, those three things are still 1, 2, and 3. If I had it to do over again, I’d do it exactly the same way.

These days, college is often seen as a form of vocational training for white-collar jobs. Graduates who major in finance, accounting, business, pre-law, and other similar fields of study often graduate and get jobs in those fields or go on to graduate school to pursue terminal degrees in those fields of study. Pre-med, nursing, pre-dental, and other similar science graduates matriculate to medical/nursing/dental schools beyond their undergraduate study.

Obviously, people who pursue those degrees have clear-cut and particular career paths, and that’s fantastic! It makes sense. But it’s not the real reason to go to college at all.

Vocational training, and education at the college level that is designed to prepare someone for a specific career path, is similar to technical schools that train students in things like computer repair, nurse assistants, medical records specialists, auto mechanics, air conditioning and heating careers, plumbing, electrical and similar traditional trades.

These are all legitimate, practical, and cost effective post high school graduation education plans. But that’s not the reason to acquire a university degree.

I think the value of a liberal arts education, particularly those in the humanities, isn’t about money. Anyone getting a humanities degree probably shouldn’t be thinking about making money like a Wall Street banker.

The acquisition of knowledge beyond the superficial in critical thinking, literature, analytical reading, scholarly composition (research papers with footnotes and bibliographies), independent thinking, rhetoric, logic, philosophy, art, foreign language, music, and mathematics was the primary focus of university study for hundreds of years.

But over time, the number of credit hours required from the humanities was reduced for students majoring in non-humanities disciplines. For example, at the U of M, accounting majors are only required to take 9 hours of English, 9 hours from the humanities, 6 hours of history, and 6 hours from the social/behavioral sciences. That’s it. Everything else is accounting related. This shift in emphasis was seen as a good thing, allowing students to take more hours in their major course of study, making them more qualified for those careers.

It’s not a good thing from the perspective of education. But it makes perfect sense from the perspective of career preparation.

The unfortunate result is that today the number of college graduates who haven’t been exposed to the classics, and who can barely do basic research and writing, continues to increase at an alarming rate. More and more college graduates can’t write scholarly papers, can’t interact with opposing points of view, and have little, if any, analytical/philosophical thinking and presentation experience in their education.

But the real world requires mortgages to be paid and stuff to be bought. And those things will hardly be accomplished with a humanities degree.

Fair enough.

But what does that do to our citizenry, to our culture, to our country? We become a nation of money takers and deal makers. But we also become a nation that looks to others to do our critical and analytical thinking.

This isn’t a new problem. Even in the days of Greek’s Golden Age, the ancient historian, Thucydides, said: “Most people, in fact, will not take the trouble in finding out the truth, but are much more inclined to accept the first story they hear.”

This debate isn’t going to be settled in this little essay. It’s been a debate for centuries.

But here’s the thing, never in the history of the world have our current set of circumstances existed. Today, in the information age, the internet, social media, and 24 hour talk television and radio, everyone has a voice. Everyone with a computer, or smart phone, and an internet connection can broadcast to the world. Qualified and unqualified voices fill the blogosphere, internet websites, talk television programs, and talk radio programs. And mostly those voices are unqualified. Dangerously unqualified.

For example, what qualifies people like Rachel Maddow, Sarah Palin, Bill Maher, Bill O’Reilly, Rush Limbaugh, or Jon Stewart to inform our minds about politics? What is their education? What did they study? What are their personal prejudices, biases, and agendas? What’s in it for them? These questions are rhetorical for the sake of this essay, so you need not write me with your support and enthusiasm for any of the above, please! This requirement and these questions apply to everyone who informs you.

Today is National Registered Dietitian Day – March is National Nutrition Month. Outside of politics and religion, nutrition is possibly the subject attacked most by unqualified hucksters, shysters, charlatans, and frauds. There’s no end to the amount of bad information, pseudo-science, and misdirection found in the discussion about food and nutrition in this country. Attractive young skinny chicks, blessed with great genetics (and maybe a little – or a lot – of cosmetic surgical enhancements) — but no formal education in the subject — lecture, publish, blog, and become spokespeople for exercise, diet, and nutrition. Portrayed as experts with advanced degrees.

Multilevel marketing companies sell over-priced nutritionals that have more marketing than science behind their products. Diet and nutrition is a multi-billion dollar a year business with new companies popping up every day. And with no FDA oversight, the number of new products will only grow exponentially.

Here’s my point: we must qualify those who lead us, who inform us, who seek to form our opinions and give us guidance on the most pressing issues of our time: what effects our minds, our souls, and our bodies; our finances, our families, and the future of our country hang in the balance.

We must ask ourselves what gives the talking head on television and the person standing in the pulpit, the right to be there, the right to speak to my mind. Are they simply attractive people with nice sounding voices, or just loud bullies, making up for what they lack in education with volume and aggression? Our political leaders must be held to the same kind of high standard. Where did they go to college? What did they study? What is their experience? Why is their opinion sound? What is their agenda?

We often put forth more effort, and go to greater lengths, to qualify the person who cuts our hair than we do the people who speak to our belief systems. And that’s just crazy.

Be a life long learner. Require the people who inform you, who guide you, who teach you, who preach to you, who require something from you, who ask for your time, money, and energy to be qualified. Don’t let others do your thinking for you. Become qualified yourself. And if your studies in school didn’t include much in the way of critical thinking and analysis, you can get a good education for “a dollar fifty in late charges from the Public Library.”

— 30 —


“A nation that makes a great distinction between its scholars and its warriors, will have its laws made by cowards and its wars fought by fools.” ~ Thucydides



Corporal Ashley Hofeditz, RD LDN, talked about the ten common food and nutrition mistakes. Today we cover the next two, numbers 4 and 5.

Continuing the theme of 10 common food mistakes:

4. Assuming that a fat free food is really fat free. Actually, if a food has less than a half a gram of fat per serving the Food and Drug Administration says that the food manufacturer can round down the amount on the label to zero. But if you eat four servings, you are actually getting 2 grams of fat NOT zero. If the ingredient label lists words like oil, then it does contain some fat!

5. Eating more calories than you realize. If you think that the bowl of ice cream has only 150 calories and that bowl of cereal is only 120 calories, you may be sorely mistaken. The calories listed on the Nutrition Facts panel are for one serving. But are you only eating one serving, or are you eating two, or maybe even three? If you didn’t measure how much you put in your bowl or on your plate, you could be consuming a lot more calories than you think.

Thank you, Ashley! It was very informative, as always.

And Happy National Registered Dietitian Day!


Today’s new friend is tomorrow’s family.



The evening class has returned to the 5:45pm start time for Monday – Thursday, and 5:30pm on Friday.




We’ll meet at 7:00am on Sunday, March 17, in front of the Visitor’s Center at Shelby Farms. We’ll be going 2hr 10min.




DID YOU START USMC FITNESS BOOT CAMP LAST FEBRUARY OR MARCH 2012? Let me know, ASAP!! I want to get your rank t-shirt made ASAP!



Anytime the “Feels like” temperature on The Weather Channel – I’ll be using the TWC app for iPhone — drops to 30 or below, we’ll go inside. The 0530 and 0645 classes use the “blue gym” on those days. During basketball season, the evening class will use the exercise room off the main gym.

If the Memphis City Schools close for ice or snow, we will also stand down. If they start, but then dismiss classes early, the evening class will stand down.



What you get out of the workouts is determined by you.

How much do you work? How much effort you put into trying to do all of the repetitions with proper form and how much weight you’re using will determine what you get out of each workout.

It’s time for you to go up in weights … that’s what I’m thinking!






When you check-in on Facebook, be sure to check-in on our OFFICIAL PAGE. That would be “USMC Fitness Boot Camp” and it has my picture on the page and boot camp is two words. The other pages are those that other people created without looking for the OFFICIAL PAGE and are duplicates. Those pages refer to us, but aren’t the authorized page.

Thanks, all!



Members of the Sub-7 Club are Boot Campers who’ve run the mile in under 7 minutes under my observation and timing.

Congratulations to the following members of the Sub Seven Club:

Lance Corporal Lee Chase,
Lance Corporal Chris McLelland,
Staff Sergeant Patrick Moore,
Staff Sergeant Rob Johnston,
Staff Sergeant Andrew Stolnicki,
Gunnery Sergeant Bart Thomas,
Staff Sergeant Dory Sellers,
Gunnery Sergeant Henry Kenworthy,
Master Sergeant John Winford,
First Sergeant Matt Green,
And Sergeant Major Andrew Forsdick.



Your rank insignia t-shirts look AWESOME on you! (Don’t forget to wear yours EVERY WEDNESDAY AND/OR THURSDAY, T-SHIRT DAY!

And please go to

And enter your boot camp anniversary date. If that information is already there and correct, you’re good to go.

Every Wednesday is our Official BOOT CAMP T-SHIRT DAY! You can wear your rank insignia shirt anytime you‘d like, of course, but always every Wednesday!

The Rank Structure of the Quarterdeck:

Under 6 months is a Private
Six months to 1 year is a Private First Class.

Over 1 year is a Lance Corporal
– Rachel Phillips 2/2012
– Amber Jackson 4/2011
– Sherri Thompson 4/2011
– Carrie Schule 5/2011
– Mary Bauer 6/2011
– Randal Rhea 4/2011
– Cindy King 4/2011
– Bevan Lee 5/2011
– Melissa Thompson 5/2011
– Wayne Henderson 1/2011 *
– Michelle Moss 5/2011
– Lee Chase 7/2011
– JD Dombroski 8/2011
– Lindsey Stanfill 9/2011
– ShaWanda Upshaw 10/2011
– Tara Ingram 11/2011
– Pam Torres – meritoriously promoted 12/2012
– Tait Keller 12/2012
– Kitty Keller 12/2012

Over 2 years is a Corporal
– Robin Scott 3/2011
– Chris McLelland 3/2011
– Courtney Phillips 2/2011
– Emily Melonas 6/2010
– Beth Mills 5/2010
– Ashley Hofeditz 4/2010
– Anne Marie Wyatt 4/2010
– Jenni Harris 8/2010
– Tim Romanow 8/2010
– Ashley McClure 8/2010
– Wendy Shea 4/2008*
– Jeremy Harris 1/2009*
– Falana Scott 7/2010
– Paul Bauer 11/2010

Over 3 years is a Sergeant
– Cecelia DeLacy 2/2010
– Teresa Faulk 6/2009
– Meg Cannon 3/2009
– Cameron Mosley 11/2009
– Karen Massey 11/2009
– Paul Tronsor 3/2009
– Jonathan Phillips 10/2008
– Sarah Vickers 8/2009
– Shena Clemons 10/2008
– Robert Hunt 8/2009
– Albo Carruthers 8/2008
– Kim Wamble 8/2008*
– Scott Plunkett 10/2008

Over 4 years is a Staff Sergeant
– Jessie Flanders 1/2009
– Andrew Stolnicki 1/2009
– Ben Killerlain 1/2009
– Buddy Daves 5/2008
– Dory Sellers 6/2006*
– Patrick Moore 9/2008
– Anne Kenworthy 8/2008
– Alan Schaeffer 4/2008
– Rob Johnston 4/2008
– Patty Dougherty 3/2008
– Oscar Adams 3/2008

Over 5 years is a Gunnery Sergeant
– Mike Ryan 5/2006*
– Leslie Garey 6/2007
– Henry Kenworthy 5/2007
– Michelle Dunn 3/2007
– Frank Jemison /2007
– Bart Thomas /2007
– Matt Prince /2007
– Beth Rehrig 7/2007
– George Rose /2007

Over 6 years is a Master Sergeant
– Anne Mead 2/2005*
– Kay Ryan 10/2006
– Megan Warr 8/2006
– Leesa Jensen 5/2006
– Rob Norcross 8/2006
– Mike Barta 6/2005*
– Anne Emmerth 6/2005*
– Jeff Lee 1/2006
– Ralph Braden 9/2006

Over 7 years is a First Sergeant
– John Winford 2/2006
– Kay Shelton 1/2006
– Louis Glazer 3/2005
– Matt Green 5/2005
– Gary Thompson 10/2005
– Scot Bearup 10/2005

Over 8 years is a Sergeant Major
– Melissa Moore 2/2005
– Hank Brown 3/2004
– Teri Trotter 4/2004
– Andrew Forsdick 9/2004

Over 9 years is a Warrant Officer 1
– David Townsend 1/2004
– Peter Pettit 5/2003
– Buddy Flinn 7/2003
– Amy Singer 9/2003

Over 10 years is a Chief Warrant Officer 2
– Pat McGhee 1/2003
– John Whittemore 1/2003

Battalion Executive Officer
Major Richard Bourland

* broken time



We should be!


You should totally do that!



If you set up an automatic payment at your bank (Boot Camp mailing address is 4888 Southern, Memphis 38117) you can subtract $10 off your fee! That’s right, instead of $75, you can pay $65!

(This is not an automatic bank draft that I set up with a voided check. This an automatic payment that you yourself set up.)



0530 Monday through Friday
(First and second Tuesday of the month are M-16 Workouts at CUMC. Third and fourth Tuesdays are Mt. Fuji Workouts at the U of M)

0645 M-F

5:30 PM: Monday through Friday.



First of all, find me on Facebook and make me your friend. (Also, be sure to “like” USMC Fitness BOOT CAMP on Facebook.)

Here’s how the discount works!

It’s simple: make a Facebook status update and get a discount!

For every status update that you make that references:
“USMC Fitness Boot Camp,”
“Sgt. Tony’s Boot Camp,”
“Tony’s Boot Camp,”
or something similar, (there are fake boot camps out there) you can take $2.50 off your next reenlistment fee for each update!

You can take up to $20 off for any given month!

Your status update has to be a specific reference to USMC Fitness BOOT CAMP or to me specifically by name.


You can do the same thing by “checking in” at USMC Fitness Boot Camp either by using Facebook “places,” Foursquare, or any of the other “check in” apps that show up on your Facebook News Feed.

So log on and start getting your discounts now!



Remember that when one of your family or friends joins the program at full price because of your recruiting efforts, YOU get a free month of Boot Camp!



A calendar has been added to the official USMC Fitness BOOT CAMP website.

For you visual learners, you’ll find this an easy way to glance at the week or month and see where the workouts will be, if there’s a venue change.


Q. How can I get up in the morning on a consistent basis?
A. Contrary to what many think, I am NOT a morning person. I have to be “dynamited” out of the bed! Here are some tips to help you get going in the morning:
1. Use two alarm clocks. I have a snooze alarm that starts going off several minutes before I intend to get up. Then I have a “Last Call” alarm clock that is located across the room. This alarm clock is set to go off when I MUST get up.
2. Once the last call alarm goes off, the bed become OFF LIMITS! Get moving!
3. Get out of bed, turn off the alarm clock, and start turning on lights all through the house. Turn on the TV.
4. Lay out your clothes the night before. Don’t go wandering around the house in the morning trying to find your left shoe and your favorite shorts. So, have things ready the night before.

What would you do if money was not an issue, fear was not a factor, and failure was not an option?

To your optimum health and fitness!



Sergeant Major Tony Ludlow

USMC Fitness BOOT CAMP, Commanding
Mailing address: 4888 Southern Ave., Memphis, TN 38117
Cell Phone: 901-644-0145

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