MarineBuddies RecklessReckless and her Marine buddies from the recoilless rifle platoon issue a challenge to Native Dancer for a race in the Paddy Derby.

Until this time Reckless had received a great deal of publicity, but no official recognition for her accomplishments. It was decided to remedy the situation at a company formation. The Marines worked hard to make it an impressive ceremony. After the company was paraded, Reckless was escorted to her assigned position and promoted to sergeant. Sgt. Reckless received her stripes from Major General Randolph McC. Pate, then commanding general of the 1st Marine Division and later 21st Commandant of the Marine Corps. Reckless had come a long way since her days at the racetrack in Seoul.

After months of coordination, arrangements were made for transporting Reckless to the United States for “duty” at Camp Pendleton, California. As Reckless was making her journey aboard the ‘freighter SS Pacific Transport, the Marine Corps received a telegram from Ed Sullivan requesting that Reckless appear on his TV show. Unfortunately, the ship was delayed by a storm and Reckless didn’t appear.

Pederson RecklessFirst Lt. Eric Pederson leads Reckless onto U.S. soil for the first time when the mare arrived in San Francisco. Pederson is the man who bought the horse from a racetrack in Seoul, Korea.When Reckless arrived in San Francisco, she was greeted by a horde of photographers and reporters. Appropriately, Pederson received the honor of leading her onto American soil for the first time. That evening Reckless was the guest of honor at a Marine Corps Birthday Ball at the Marines’ Memorial Club.

Finally, after a few days of limelight in San Francisco, Reckless was transported to her new home at Camp Pendleton. Special orders were drafted concerning her accommodations, maintenance of her personal appearance, and general well-being. She was promoted to staff sergeant and retired.

In 1955 Reckless’ adventures and life story were published in Reckless, Pride of the Marines, a book written by former Marine Andrew Geer, another of the Leathernecks who knew the little red mare in Korea.

Reckless also became a mother in 1955. Her first foal was a colt named Fearless. Fearless was eventually sold from the Base Stables and there is no record of what became of him. Reckless also had three other foals, two colts named Dauntless and Chesty and an unnamed filly who died shortly after being foaled in 1965. Chesty died in the mid-1970s.

The last remaining son of Reckless is a steel grey, part-Arabian horse named Dauntless. Once a bronc at many of Camp Pendleton’s rodeos, he later became a trail horse. Today, Dauntless is living out his old age in retirement at the Base Stables. While it is unknown if Dauntless is actually the last of Reckless’ line, the 25-yearold gelding is the only relation left at Camp Pendleton. Sadly, a proud tradition appears to be nearing its end.

Reckless died at the Base Stables in May 1968. In November 1971, the 1st Marine Division Association dedicated a monument to their former mascot. The memorial stands just outside the entrance of the Base Stables. A fitting tribute to a Marine and
friend. 


On October 26, 2016, a memorial created by Jocelyn Russel of Sergeant Reckless was dedicated at Camp Pendleton.

2016MonumentMonument of Sgt. Reckless at Camp Pendleton. Photo courtesy of sgtreckless.com

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