re-named Reckless. Private 1st Class Monroe Coleman (from Utah), who knew horses, would be the primary companion for Reckless. Pedersen ordered a bunker built for Reckless, as well as sufficient feed, and training for combat, which was referred to as "Hoof Camp".
Reckless loved the attention from the Marines; she had never known so many wonderful comforts and company. She was brought into a Marine's tent to sleep by a stove during the hellishly cold Korean winter nights. Reckless was even given full rein of the camp, just like a Marine, and her favorite stop was the galley tent (mess hall). The Marines quickly became Reckless' herd.
Reckless was also trained to "hit the deck" when under enemy fire (she also learned to do so when she heard "Incoming"). She also had to be trained to be calm when the Recoilless Rifles were fired, as well as never going behind the guns. Reckless was trained to head to her bunker when enemy shells hit near camp, but there were times when she thought that the Marines' bunker was more convenient. After experimentation, the 5th Marine Recoilless Rifle Platoon found that Reckless could safely/easily carry six rounds of shells in canisters, and if absolutely necessary, 8 to 10 canisters.
When the fighting was fierce, Marines used their flak jackets to cover Reckless from head to tail, since she had become incredibly special to the other members of her herd. Reckless made friends wherever she went, which was incredibly handy in that Reckless would often be supporting more than just her platoon. Reckless would serve the Marines on Hill 120, which was a brute of a hill, but she was losing weight since she was eating C-rations because there wasn't enough available winter feed. So Marines were put on "Grass Duty" in order to make sure that Reckless ate normally, and she was also given antibiotics (which she hated), but in a week, Reckless was at 100%.
Reckless' job was to make sure that those that were providing covering fire had their ammunition. On 24 January 1953 the firing raids started, and on 31 January 1953 came "Raid Tex". What was different about "Tex" was that Reckless would be delivering ammunition from daybreak to sunset. The distance from her pasture to the ammunition loading site was an easy 1/5 of a mile, but from the loading site to the location of the guns was very difficult, in that it was very treacherous for Reckless and her guide to navigate.
The most daunting challenge was the narrow, twisting trail that rose at a grade of 45 degrees. Reckless preferred to meet the intimidating incline with a running head start, and the ammunition canisters were thrown around on her back as she galloped. Reckless' guide just dropped the reins and let her go; each time Reckless would make the ridge on the strength of a final urgent lunge.
Over the next month, Reckless supported ten smaller but still very dangerous firing raids. On 25 February 1953, "Operation Charlie" was put into effect. This firing raid needed 5 rehearsals and careful planning, and it would be a far-more difficult assignment for Reckless in terms of the sheer volume of ammunition she would carry-and-deliver from dawn to dusk. Reckless made 24 trips during "Operation Charlie", covering 20 miles and delivering 3500 pounds of explosives. Reckless needed to make two runs to the top of the ridge on her last delivery . . . after that last run, Reckless' head was hung low as she returned to the safety of her bunker, utterly exhausted, not even nuzzling fellow Marines for attention.
Pedersen was finally notified at daybreak when the shelling stopped, and after that nighttime experience, Reckless would never be that adventurous again, since she would have plenty of work. During March 1953, Reckless and her squad participated in 18 firing raids over 13 days, but it would be the Battle for Outpost Vegas in late-March that would make Reckless a legend . . .
Below: a retrospective of Sgt. Reckless' heroic actions in the Korean War