Origins of 'Gung Ho!'

(1m 42s) tv-pg l

In a Mail Call video, R. Lee Ermey answers a question from Charlie in Georgia who wants to know just where the term gung ho comes from; many leatherneck historians disagree about just when and how this term entered the Marine Corps vocabulary. Some historians think that Marines picked it up in the year 1900 when they were fighting in China during the Boxer Rebellion. Historians strongest theory pins the word on Lt. Col. Evans Carlson who in 1937, was a Marine observer in China studying the Chinese army. Carlson was impressed by how the Chinese troops worked together using a system of cooperation they called gung ho, which means work together. Carlson introduced this phrase to his own Marine troops but it didnt really catch on until 1943 when Randolph Scott portrayed a Marine in a movie called Gung Ho! After that, gung ho became a household word and a Marines highest compliment.

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