How can two Marines find common ground on an uncommon product?
The smell of coffee and paper wafted through the train car. A business class interior permitted the tired passengers to experience some semblance of comfort. To ease their minds they watched on demand videos and read books or worked on projects on their tablets, phones, and laptops. Their weariness did not prevent them from completing tasks. The strong scent permeated through the car as if the coffee had been brewing the whole time right there instead of the train’s galley.
Major Glen Galford leaned back in his chair. He rubbed his face. Some stubble clung to his chin. The scratchiness made him a bit uneasy. He rose from his seat and grabbed his bag with his hygiene kit. He looked at his brand new cover. He had just been promoted to major a few weeks ago and now earned the right to wear this esteemed headwear. The peaked head covering displayed a white top, a silver and gold Eagle, Globe, and Anchor in the center and oak leaf embellishments that looked like scrambled eggs. The decoration had been approved to be modified. The oak leaf pattern actually held flecks of real gold fashioned by his grandmother. The gold adornment represented the years of smart work that Galford had put into his nearly eleven years in the Corps. After a brief search, he found his kit and replaced his bag. After journeying to the restroom to clear up his developing beard, Galford took the cover in his hand and made his way past the other passengers.
With a stare into the mirror, he checked himself and his cover for any Irish pennants, or untidy threads in his uniform. The black jacket and blue trousers, complete with the blood stripe, looked pristine. His six foot four inch frame almost escaped the mirror. He could still see. He proceeded to shave. Somehow, Galford’s blue black skin never needed cream, lotion, or aftershave. And he never got bumps. He peered at his cover once more and left the restroom with his cover in his hand.
Upon arriving back at his seat, he noticed that a gentleman propped himself up in his space.
“Can I help you, sir? I’m Major Galford and this is my seat.” Galford said. A look of concern crawled its way across his face.
“Sir? I should be calling you sir.” The man, a hearty-almond colored man, stood about five feet ten inches. "I’m Sergeant Major Henson, retired. It’s great to see another Devil aboard. Where are you headed?”
“To my seat if it’s alright with you, Sergeant Major.”
“Oh, of course. Pardon me, sir. But I had just gotten done reading this book on Chesty and–”
“Pardon me, Sergeant Major, but I must return to my seat now,” Galford said.
“Yes, that’s my fault. Hey, let me drop you my number.” The sergeant major proceeded to give Galford his information via WiFi. I’ll just slide back into my own chair. Man, it was good to see another Marine on this thing. Ooh-rah!”
“Semper Fidelis, Smaj.”
As Sergeant Major Henson got up from the chair, Galford smiled as he passed to have a seat.
Galford tried to get a few moments of sleep but he had reached his destination. The motion of the train expired on arrival. The major collected his gear and headed towards the door back to his home in Wilmington, Delaware. He leapt onto the platform with verve. He looked about as the train started to gain momentum.
He clutched his cover in hand and then positioned it upon his waves and regulation low fade as an earned crown. The cover completed a Marine’s uniform when under arms, on duty, or in Galford’s case, outside.
He dialed Henson’s number.
“This is Chet Henson. If you’ve called to find the Motivator, leave your name, number, and I’ll get back–” Galford ended the answering service.
Galford had some moments to spare, so he found a bench to rest.
His phone rang. He reached for his pocket in hopes that he would be connected to the sergeant major. He looked at the caller ID. It read, “Dad.”
“Hey, there son!”
“I just wanted to make sure that you were still on leave for two weeks, is it?”
“Yes. I’ve got to get back to you, I’ll be there in a few hours.”
“A few hours, I–”
“I’ll explain later, Pop.”
“Is everything alright?”
“It’s going to be. I’ll see you soon.”
The phone buzzed just as soon as Galford canceled the call from his father. It was Henson.
“Hey, sir! I hope you enjoy Delaware. I saw you get off at the station. What’s up? Did you check out my website?”
“I was calling to see if you can do me a favor.”
"I was wondering if we can go into business together. Your Motivator site intrigued me."
“Thank you. I think we'll make great partners.”
Major Galford grinned. "You know this cover is tailor made."
"It's got real gold in it."
Sergeant Major Henson's voice lowered. "The scrambled eggs?"
Galford picked up on the change in tone.
"Yes. We can be selling them on your website. We can set the price at $1,000 each."
"But that's the uniform."
"I'm telling you that I was granted upon my promotion to major the opportunity to get the pieces woven into the fabric. If we make it allowed across the board, then we might have something to boost sales."
"I'm from the Old Breed, sir. I think that we'll be headed down a briar patch with this idea."
"That old saw 'if the Corps had wanted me to have... you fill in the blank... they would've issued me one' never really rung true. Now, we must remember that they want us to buy our insignia, alterations, and have are uniforms cleaned and starched out of our pockets. Not to mention all of the other gear that goes into being a Leatherneck. It's time that we cash in on something that will be a boon to both of us."
The sergeant major swished the thought in his head a bit. "The idea is novel but I think that it can revolutionize the the uniform for your grade and above. I'm thinking about how the Commandant's cover would shine in the sun during ceremonies."
"Exactly!" exclaimed Major Galford. He moved from the platform into the station.
"I'll discuss this with my team and get back to you, sir," Sergeant Major Henson said.
"I think that we may have something of worth, yet."