Harry Bruce "Retreat Hell" Award

Harry Bruce served in the Marine Corps from 1948 to 1961 – having made the Inchon Landing on Sept. 15, 1950, participating in the liberation of Seoul, South Korea, and the Chosin Reservoir Campaign from Oct. 26 to Dec. 15, 1950.

In addition to his military service, Harry was a charter member and later Commandant of the local Eastex Detachment of the Marine Corps League and was indirectly responsible for some of the detachment's numerous awards on the State and National level. He served the MCL two years as State Commandant and later as Southern Division Vice Commandant (Okla., Ark. and TX.) Harry was instrumental in establishing the Montgomery County USMCR Toys for Tots program.

He was a life member of the Marine Corps League, the Military Order of Devil Dogs, VFW and 1st Marine Division. He also was a member of the American Legion, Korean War Veterans Association, The Chosin Few (veterans of the Chosin Reservoir Korea campaign 1950) and Sons of the American Revolution (SAR).


In his honor, BVMCL presents the Harry Bruce “Retreat Hell” Award – a Mameluke sword – to the most outstanding Texas A&M student pursuing a commission in the United States Marine Corps. Mrs. Dottie Bruce (Harry's widowed wife) often attends to present the sword.

The award name was inspired by the Korean War, of which Harry Bruce was a decorated veteran. Faced with tough fighting between the blocking Chinese divisions and the withdrawing Marines at the Chosin Reservoir in Korea, Major General Oliver P. Smith, commander of the 1st Marine Division, remarked: "Retreat, hell! We're not retreating, we're just advancing in a different direction."


(Each recipient was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in the U.S. Marine Corps.)

Staff Sergeant Mark Green


Master Sergeant Nick Romer


Midshipman Michael Russell


Midshipman Travis Knapp


Midshipman Nicolas Severance


Midshipman Eric Krieger spacerletters