The Few. The Proud. The Rad.

Lords of Devil Dogtown

Blackanthem Military News has a short piece on Marines who skateboard called “Lords of Devil Dogtown.” They don’t really make a connection with “devil” and “Dogtown” in the article, so I’m assuming “Devil Dog” has some special significance to Marines or military persons in general. Blackanthem.com seems to be geared for and staffed by U.S. servicemen and women, but the disclaimer at the bottom of the page says they are “not affiliated, endorsed, authorized, or associated in any way with any government, military or country.” OK, sure. Skateboarding in the U.S. military is nothing new. In the eighties I used to skate with a lot of guys from a nearby Air Force base in Rantoul Illinois. A couple of them became good friends for a while. heck, I’ just had the good fortune to get back in touch with one of them. I imagine there were lots of skaters serving during the 70’s as well. Some military bases even have skateboarding facilities on site, although ostensibly they were for the families of servicemen. I remember a few of those 80’s servicemen told me that skateboarding was frowned upon at the base, and they could find themselves in hot water if they got injured skating because it would interfere with their duties. Cut to the new millennium, skateboarding seems to be accepted in the military. There’s guys on the news skateboarding in Iraq, for cryin’ out loud. [Photos: Lance Cpl. Kyle Davis, Cpl. Raymond Peterson III and Lance Cpl. Kyle Davis by Cpl. Brandon L. Roach]

4 Comments

  1. orezona on June 20, 2007 - Reply

    DEVIL DOG(s):
    “The exact origin of the term is unknown. According to tradition in the United States Marine Corps, it was given by German soldiers to U.S. Marines who fought in the Belleau Wood in 1918. This was reported by American media at the time; however, no evidence has been found of this usage in German records of the time” source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Devil_Dog

    I’m surprised the military has “eased” it’s stance on skateboarding. I always thought that if you hurt yourself doing ANYTHING that wasn’t while you were on duty or an order or whatever, it could be constituted as “Destruction of U.S. Government Property”… I’m sure Sarge would be plenty pissed if you broke your wrist skateboarding and then couldn’t fire your AR-15…

  2. I believe it is also a registered trademark of the Little Debbie corporation.

  3. Roach on June 22, 2007 - Reply

    Well considering I wrote this story and shot the photos I would like to let you all know something. The Term Devil Dog is a translation for the word “Teffelhunden” meaning just that “Devil Dog.” As far as skating on base goes, there is no area’s set for Marines to skate, however it is a mode of transportation like any other for Marines. They don’t have to spend money on gas if they skate. However, if they are out doing tricks and stuff on base, they will be picked up by military police. Hence, the San Diego skate park tie in. I am also sure that service members have been skating since the 70’s, but guess what, I am the first person to write about it. Nothing special just telling the story. Have a good day Bloggers.

  4. Roach on June 22, 2007 - Reply

    Oh and Blackanthem.com is not a military site. They support the military. Big difference. They are a totally civilian run independent company who picks up stories written by journalists about military issues and personalities.

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