EXPIRED: 06/04/10 – Chuck Taliano, 65, was better known as Sgt. Charles A. Taliano, or “Sgt. T” to those who grew to love him, had a face that epitomized the stereotypical drill instructor.
That’s cause he was one.
The muscles in his face get so tight that the veins pop out of his neck, all part of what was necessary to give the new recruit a little bit of “attitude readjustment” on his first day in the US Marines.
Even 42 years after leaving active duty, Taliano, the Marine in the infamous “We don’t promise you a rose garden” recruitment poster continues to inspire future generations of Marines. He’ll continue to do so from the great beyond.
Taliano said he was just assisting other drill instructors, awaiting an honorable discharge back in 1968, when a photographer took some pictures for a book about Marine Corps boot camp.
It wasn’t until 1971 that his father came across the snapshot in Newsweek that he even realized the recruitment poster existed.
The “Rose Garden” poster was the 1st in a series that carried the slogan, “The Marines are looking for a few good men,” a campaign that ran nearly 15 years.
Before succumbing to cancer, Taliano continued to search for the frightened recruit whose face is barely visible in the photograph that made him famous so long ago. While the internet helped make the search more public, he still came up short.
And you know what they say: you can retire, but you’re always a Marine.
“It was the best job I have ever had,” he once said. “The hours were long; the pressure was great; the rewards were many. But I would not trade the experience for anything.”
He liked being a Marine so much he stayed on as the manager of the gift store at the Parris Island Marine Museum, enjoying meeting new marines and their families and regaling them with stories of the good old days, signing autographs and posing for photos.
“As long as my health remains good … I’ll be here.”
Well, rest in peace Sgt. T., rest in peace.