Sergeant Tony's Blog

The Better Angels of Our Nature — Sgt. Tony Ludlow’s blog post for 8/28/2013

Wednesday, Aug. 28th 2013 8:09 PM

“What do you know about it?” said the mother of one of my black students. The indignant tone of “Mrs. Smith’s” voice said that she was sure that I didn’t know anything about it.

The “it” was racism.

This was said to me one year during a conversation I had conducting parent/teacher conferences when I taught school. I met one-on-one with the parents of my students, going over their 11th grader’s work and behavior in my US History class.

One of the white parents, we’ll call her “Mrs. Jones,” had, earlier that evening, suggested that I gave preferential treatment to my black students, especially the black athletes. (I was the Athletic Director and coached several sports.) I’m not sure what her point was, as her daughter was failing my class.

The conversation with Mrs. Smith – where she accused me of giving preferential treatment to white students — occurred about 20 minutes after Mrs. Jones accused me of reverse racism. I wanted to suggest that maybe Mrs. Jones could go find Mrs. Smith and perhaps the two of them could determine which I was, a racist or a reverse racist, and then once they were satisfied, they could report back to me.

While talking to Mrs. Smith, I casually suggested that I might have some understanding of racism. That’s when she looked at me as if I had insulted her — as if I had inappropriately applied my “white man’s privilege” — and rhetorically asked what could I possibly know about racism.

Today is the 50th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech during the march on Washington. During February – Black History Month – I always had my class watch the video of that speech. That speech, given in 1963, was a part of the movement that lead to my elementary school becoming integrated and me making my first black friend when I was in the third grade in 1965. That first day of third grade, the black students had already been taken to their classrooms and had been alphabetically seated, leaving the white students to fill in the gaps as the teacher read the roll and gave us our seating assignments. I sat down next to Ronnie and the two of us looked at one another with curious amusement. Ronnie and I would become friends. It turns out that I was Ronnie’s first white friend.

When my father died 35 years later, Ronnie was one of the few friends of mine who came to the funeral home to pay his respects. I hadn’t seen Ronnie since we’d graduated from high school. I was more than just a little touched by his visit. I embraced him and fought hard to hold back the tears.

I’ve been privileged to have many black friends ever since. My last roommate in the Marine Corps was my friend, Carl, a black man. My son’s best friend and the Godfather of my grandson is a black man. But having black friends doesn’t really give me much right to claim any kind of knowledge of racism.

But it turns out that Mrs. Smith racially profiled me.

See, this is what she saw: I was a white male teacher at a private school in the South. “White privilege” had given me opportunity and insulated me from any knowledge of racism. Since I was a teacher, I had to have, at the least, a college degree. And probably I’d had parents to pay for my education and had acquired the degree easily through my white privilege. Everyone knows that white professors always give white students good grades. (Even though none of my professors until my junior year in college even knew my name.) She probably imagined that I grew up going to the country club and skiing in Colorado during Christmas break. She could picture me growing up in an atmosphere of abundance with social and professional ties that would pave the way for my success. Daddy’s money and connections would ensure that I didn’t have to struggle.


I had absolutely none of that, quite the opposite, in fact. When I was in the 10th grade, my family and I lived in a low-income housing project where we were the only white family living there. All of our neighbors were black. I got my first job when I was 8 years old – I checked out sports equipment in the locker-room at the Boy’s Club and cleaned up the locker-room and swept the gym floor – and have been working ever since. When I was 12 years old, I received the last money of any kind from either of my parents; mom gave me $20 to buy school clothes for 7th grade. After that, I worked for everything I had.

This isn’t a woe is me story. And far from being ashamed or embarrassed by my hardscrabble upbringing, I’m proud of it! In an atmosphere of scarcity, it taught me to appreciate everything I had. Imagine my pride when at 14 I bought my first road bike with my own money. Or at 17 when I bought my first car! Or at 22 when I bought my first house! Or when I paid my college tuition myself … and paid for grad school with no student loans to pay back! I wouldn’t trade any of that scarcity and want for abundance and entitlement. I was taught that the world didn’t owe me a thing and if I was to ever have anything, I’d have to work for it.

Given the way that Mrs. Smith talked to me and seemed disgusted with my suggestion that I might know something about racism, she had profiled me. And she was wrong.

But my rough and rowdy past and my accumulation of black friends didn’t qualify me to imply that I knew something of racism.

Ten years in Japan did.

I love Japan. I always have. Some of my dearest and most cherished friendships have been with Japanese people. Even today I’m still homesick for Japan. All things being equal, I’d still be living there. That said, let me tell you about the dark side of Japan. The Japanese are one of the most xenophobic and racist people on earth.

As a non-Japanese person living in Japan – I was not in the Marines during that time and was living in a community with no other foreigners — I was subjected to the kind of treatment reminiscent of the segregated South in the 50s and 60s. What kind of treatment, you ask. I was denied tables in restaurants because I wasn’t Japanese, with the proprietor showing me the door; I was not allowed to join certain clubs and organizations because I was white; some housing companies would not rent to me because I wasn’t Japanese; many taxi drivers refused to pick me up or even allow me into their cabs; I was stared at daily, pointed at, and laughed at; and when my ability to speak Japanese was not strong enough to adequately state my case, I was ridiculed and made to feel like an idiot. On elevators, mothers would pull their children close, shielding them from me. I was often looked at with suspicion, contempt, and derision. Medical and dental care were withheld on more than one occasion. Almost daily, someone would call me the equivalent of the “n” word. And my children were physically assaulted on a number of occasions because they were white non-Japanese. On one occasion, my oldest was jumped by 6 boys who also stole his bicycle. This was all because we were foreigners.

I don’t know everything there is to know about racism. But one thing was certain, I knew more about racism than Mrs. Smith thought I knew. Usually I don’t mind being underestimated. I’m amused when I meet a new person and they “Jethro” me. That is, they think of me only as some sort of hayseed, redneck, dumb-jock military guy. A cross between the Dukes of Hazard and the boys from Duck Dynasty. But Mrs. Smith’s condescension bothered me.

Dr. King said that his dream was to see people judged by the content of their character and not the color of their skin. I couldn’t agree more. Mrs. Smith and Mrs. Jones had one thing in common; they both had children whose character wasn’t up to standard. Oh, and they both had children failing my class. And both parents blamed their children’s failure on me. They both played the race card and blamed me. Oddly, my other students — black, white, Asian, and Hispanic — were doing pretty well.

Today, I have more in common with Senator John Lewis than Senator Ted Cruz. On a cross-country flight, I’d rather sit next to Bishop T. D. Jakes than Rev. Pat Robertson. Give me a book by Fredrick Douglas over Glen Beck any day. But I’d rather sit next to Representative Paul Ryan than former Congressman Harold Ford Jr. because Paul Ryan is so ripped AND he ran a sub 4 hour marathon, which I’ve never been able to do, so I’d like to pick his brain and get some workout advice and running tips.

Would that we were all color blind, but character sensitive. Would that we could all agree to be annoyed and angered by stupidity, ignorance, intolerance, prejudice, arrogance, dishonesty, and self-righteousness irrespective of race! Would that we all supported and endorsed anyone who advanced our community and our country forward, no matter what their color.

I try to be mindful of what it’s like to be judged by the color of my skin and not the content of my character. Everyday I try to remember how it felt to be discriminated against simply because of my race.

Today, in celebration of the 50th anniversary of Dr. King’s speech, wouldn’t it be fitting if we recommitted ourselves to discovering new ways to focus on the person and not the color?

“We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline. We must not allow our creative protest to degenerate into physical violence. Again and again, we must rise to the majestic heights of meeting physical force with soul force. The marvelous new militancy which has engulfed the Negro community must not lead us to distrust of all white people, for many of our white brothers, as evidenced by their presence here today, have come to realize that their destiny is tied up with our destiny. They have come to realize that their freedom is inextricably bound to our freedom. We cannot walk alone.” ~ Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., August 28, 1963.

We are one, and undivided.

“We are not enemies, but friends. We must not be enemies. Though passion may have strained it must not break our bonds of affection. The mystic chords of memory, stretching from every battlefield and patriot grave to every living heart and hearthstone all over this broad land, will yet swell the chorus of the Union, when again touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature.” ~ President Abraham Lincoln, March 4, 1861.

We must be one, and undivided.

— 30 —


BOGGING (– one part boot camp, one part running/jogging/power walking.) FOR ALL CLASSES TOMORROW!


Monday is Labor Day and we’ll have ONE WORKOUT that day at 7am!


Our Anniversary Month is almost over! – and it also will bring our Bring a Friend to Boot Camp month campaign to a close as well. It’s not too late to win!

For every friend you bring you get 1 point; if that friend also joins, you get 3 additional points. The Boot Camper who has the most points at the end of the month gets $100!!!


by Sergeant Ashley Hofeditz, RD LDN,
(An Registered Dietitian has a BS in Food Science, followed by a one year internship through an accredited university, and then with the recommendation of the internship program’s supervisor, a national examination is required. After that, an RD must have continuing education units annually in order to remain active and registered. An RD is an expert, not a hobbyist or a “food enthusiast.”)

The Devil’s in the Details, Details, DETAILS!

Details! Details! Details!

When it comes to your diet, it’s all in the details. Sure, you can be eating healthy throughout the day, but it may be the bites here and there that are steering you off track. With a few easy tips and some extra awareness, you can save several hundred calories during the day and even lose a few unwanted pounds! Looking at a breakdown of the day, there are some common habits that are easily fixable. Do any of these look familiar?


•Adding toppings: Toppings may seem to make everything better — except your waistline. If you add granola to your yogurt for breakfast can easily cost you about 300 calories, and drizzling maple syrup on pancakes will set you back 200 calories. Instead try sprinkling fresh fruit and sliced almonds on your yogurt, and try a thin smear of peanut butter with sliced banana on your pancakes less calories and more nutrition.

•Choosing the “fancy” coffee: If you like your coffee black, then you’re in the clear. But if you add several packets of sugar, plus cream or whipped cream, then beware. You could easily be taking in an extra 130 calories with that caffeine fix. And liquid calories aren’t filling, so more than likely, you won’t eat less later to compensate for these extra calories.

•Having a glass of juice: Juice may seem like a nutritious choice but you can do better. Although it is tasty, one cup of orange juice has 100 calories but no fiber. You’re better off eating the real deal.


•Hitting the break room at work: It’s great when co-workers bring homemade treats and snacks, but trying them (even just a bite) can add up. Grabbing that birthday cupcake or that homemade cookie will run you 100 to 200 calories or more — and that’s if you stop at one. Try to indulge in these types of treats and baked goods only on occasion, and when you do, savor them.

•Stopping at the candy dish: We all know who keeps a candy dish at work. And it is so tempting to stop by and say hello at least once a day as you head to a meeting. But that quick little rest stop can cost you. Just one small handful of M&M’s is about 176 calories. If you stop by every work day, this habit could set you back about 880 calories a week!

•Loading up on condiments and extras: A low calorie sandwich can quickly become a high calorie one if you aren’t paying close attention. Adding mayonnaise, extra cheese or meat, and having your sandwich on a croissant instead of whole wheat bread can up the calorie count. Salad dressing can also be tricky. By adding just 2 additional tablespoons can add over 100 high fat calories, easily dooming a healthy salad. Try ordering the dressing on the side or opting for a simple vinegar and oil dressing.


•Free samples: Who doesn’t want to try out the new crackers and cheese at Costco? And it is so hard to pass up a free cookie at the bakery. But if you’re watching your diet, then a few samples could set you back. Just a few samples can add up in calories. And because you aren’t really enjoying the food while pushing a cart, it’s not necessarily worth the extra calories.

•Small bites while cooking: The next time you go to cook up a good meal, be mindful of the bites you take during preparation. A few bites of bread, spoonfuls of alfredo sauce, and slices of cheese could turn into their own meal. Try chewing gum while you cook to avoid those “mindless” tastes!

•High calorie preparation: You may be making healthy dinner selections of lean beef, fresh fish, and brown rice, but how you prepare it also matters. By frying your healthy selections in oil, or sautéing it in butter can add calories that you didn’t think of. Adding whole milk, sour cream, and butter to naturally low in calorie mashed potatoes adds extra fast and calories that you may not even want. Be sure to cook and prepare foods with awareness so that you can honestly see where those extra calories are coming from.

Thank you, Ashley!


If you run with music, turn it down or use only one earbud. I recently bought an excellent single earbud (XDU Noise Isolating Earbud) from Far End Gear



College football is BACK!!! Halleluiah!

Every Friday during football season is game day t-shirt day! Wear your alma mater’s colors and parafinalia on Fridays. If your school doesn’t have a football team or you didn’t make it to college, feel free to adopt any school you like!




Invite your friends to “like” our USMC Fitness BOOT CAMP Facebook page. You can do that directly from our boot camp page. Just go to the page and you’ll see a section on the right that will allow you to easily invite your friends to like the page. In particular, your Memphis friends!

This may be the first seed to sow in helping a friend get back into exercise and fitness! They can get exposed to what goes on, they’ll be more likely to make a change and maybe even join you on The Quarterdeck!

Encourage your friends and family to “Like” the page! It might motivate your friends and family to take charge of their lives!

Keep on checking in! Keep on tagging your friends!
Thanks, everyone!



I am asking you veterans to fill out a card – I have them – with your name, number of years of service, and preferred t-shirt size!


MAKE A $&(#&@^#!*% FACE!!!!



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!







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:

Corporal Lee Chase,
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
– Megan Collins 6/2012
– Maria Wyatt 6/2012
– Chris Kelley 6/2102
– Steve Havard 5/2012
– Susye Clark 7/2012
– Ema Cyrstal 5/2012
– Lora Gubanov 8/2012
– Shelia Johnson 8/2012
– Alan Compton 4/2012
– Rachel Phillips 2/2012
– Amber Jackson 4/2011
– Carrie Schule 5/2011
– Bevan Lee 5/2011
– Melissa Thompson 5/2011
– Wayne Henderson 1/2011 *
– Michelle Moss 5/2011
– 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
– Mary Bauer 6/2011
– JD Dombroski 4/2011
– Lee Chase 7/2011
– Randal Rhea 4/2011
– Cindy King 4/2011
– Sherri Thompson 4/2011
– Robin Scott 3/2011
– Chris McLelland 3/2011
– Courtney Phillips 2/2011
– Jenni Harris 8/2010
– Tim Romanow 8/2010
– Wendy Shea 4/2008*
– Jeremy Harris 1/2009*
– Falana Scott 7/2010
– Paul Bauer 11/2010

Over 3 years is a Sergeant
– Beth Mills 5/2010
– Malinda Miller 3/2010
– Ashley McClure 7/2010
– Emily Melonas 6/2010
– Anne Marie Wyatt 8/2010
– Ashley Hofeditz 4/2010
– Cecelia DeLacy 2/2010
– 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
– Meg Cannon 3/2009
– Teresa Faulk 6/2009
– 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
– Rob Johnston 4/2008
– Patty Dougherty 3/2008
– Oscar Adams 3/2008

Over 5 years is a Gunnery Sergeant
– Alan Schaeffer 4/2008
– Mike Ryan 5/2006*
– Leslie Garey 6/2007
– Michelle Dunn 3/2007
– Frank Jemison /2007
– Bart Thomas /2007
– Matt Prince /2007
– Beth Rehrig 7/2007

Over 6 years is a Master Sergeant
– Henry Kenworthy 5/2007
– George Rose /2007
– Anne Mead 2/2005*
– Kay Ryan 10/2006
– Rob Norcross 8/2006
– Jeff Lee 1/2006
– Ralph Braden 9/2006

Over 7 years is a First Sergeant
– Leesa Jensen 5/2006
– Megan Warr 8/2006
– 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
– Mike Barta 6/2005*
– Anne Emmerth 6/2005*
– 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

5:45 PM: Monday through Thursday, 5:30 on 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!



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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