Dec. 30, 2016

Pride of the Marines

Pride of the Marines

We continue the story of Reckless, a native Korean mare who became a United States Marine.

Apple Podcasts podcast player badge
Google Podcasts podcast player badge
Spotify podcast player badge
RSS Feed podcast player badge

This episode goes to the core of this extraordinary mare's life with her "herd" of Marines. The first part of the story is told in Episode 2, Flame of the Morning.

How is it possible that a horse would so selflessly sacrifice her own safety and comfort, often working alone (and astoundingly hard) under enemy fire and out of sheer bondedness with her fellow Marines? Unlike them, she couldn't grasp the ideology of anti-communism, the belief in American freedom, or the struggle for territorial control, and yet you have to wonder if it isn't the same bond that fuels bravery and heroism among humans in battle as well. 

It is a horse's nature to act to save the herd, because there is safety in numbers. Like the men, she knew she was part of a team, and she did what she could to save her buddies' skin. Follow our story about this little red mare, the size of a pony, with a heart as deep as the ones of national legends like Man o’ War or Secretariat. Like them, she gave it her all.

Listen as Abby tells the story of how this young horse became a centerpiece of the Marines' efforts to prevail in the midst of a brutal war.

Sources for this episode


Barrett, J. (2013). They Called Her Reckless -- A True Story of War, Love And One Extraordinary Horse. Tall Cedar Books, Chester, CT. Available in print and Kindle versions from

Clavin, T. (2015). Reckless: The Racehorse Who Became a Marine Corps Hero. Penguin, New York, NY. Available in print and Kindle versions from

Geer, A. (1955). Reckless, Pride of the Marines. E.P. Dutton & Co., Inc., N.Y. Available in print and Kindle versions from, as well as a free pdf download from

Hutton, R. (2014) Sgt. Reckless: America’s War Horse. Regnery Publishing, Washington, D.C. Available from to read in print or Kindle format, or as an audiobook in Audible format

Documents retrieved from the Internet:

Walt, L. (1953). Korean War Project Record: USMC-2249 CD: 22 (United States Marine Corps Unit Name: 1st Marine Division Records Group: RG 127) United States Marine Corps History Division, National Archives and Records Administration, College Park, Maryland. Retrieved through Korean War Project (Hal Barker, Ed.) Dallas, TX on 17 November 2016

General link to the Marine Corps command diaries:
(n.d.). Retrieved November 29, 2016, from

More specifically, Reckless is mentioned in the Command Diaries of March 1953:
Barker, H. (n.d.). Command Diaries March 1953. Retrieved December 29, 2016, from

On the effect of weight carrying in riding horses:
Powell, D.M., et al (2008). Evaluation of indicators of weight carrying ability of light riding horses. Journal of Equine Veterinary Science. 28(1): 28-33 DOI:

Photo credits:

Department of Defense images, unless otherwise noted, are in the public domain.


Ricky Bloxsom, Visual Design and Website Development
Lanin's Southern Serenaders, "Shake It and Break It", Antique Phonograph Recording
Christian Gundermann, Show Notes
Beth Linnetz, Quality Review
Janet Barrett, Historical Details

Content critique team:

Ali Bloxsom
Anna Bloxsom
Amanda Winer