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No Exceptions! A Marine by Any Other Name Should Still be a Marine.

Orlando shootings an act of war

Flabbergasted might be the appropriate word to describe the feeling I had when I read this week the Marine Corps is considering letting high-tech capable citizens skip boot camp and just lateral over to their job in the Marine Corps.  As in a top notch programmer from Facebook decides it would be cool to be a Marine and so they apply, get lateraled in as a Sergeant and voila, instant Marine.  This is not a joke, this is not a Duffleblog article, this is serious policy being considered by our beloved Corps and I pray to Saint Mattis that it is never to be. It was 20 years ago nearly to the month I stepped on the yellow footprints as a baby-faced 17-year-old with nary a pube of which to speak.  Platoon 1107 on June 2nd 1997 was the cocoon from which this Marine was birthed.  But now you are telling me that this coveted title could be given out, rank imputed on the man, and charge given to lead Marines?  May it never be!  I feel we who’ve earned the title have been hoodwinked and bamboozled.  We didn’t land on Iwo Jima Rock, Iwo Jima Rock landed on us.  Look, I know we need nerds to fight modern warfare, but let’s give them their appropriate title rather than dilute that of Marine.  Take it away Ogre, Neerrrrrddddddddsss!  Because a Marine by any other name should still be a Marine and nothing else.

C’mon Guys, Boot Camp Aint That Hard

Now it’s true, at the time a young man steps on the yellow footprints Marine Corps Recruit Training will likely be the toughest thing they have ever done in their lives.  And yes, when we get home we do our bootest duty to make it sound like we descended into the bowels of Hell and tangoed with three devils wearing big round hats.  But the truth is guys, boot camp ain’t that bad.  Certainly not in light of what Marines do on active duty following it and certainly not in light of a deployment to war.  There are the occasional people who through medical, mental health, or just poor decisions don’t make it through boot camp.  But just about everyone can make it if they wanted.  It’s not that bad people.

Which is why it perplexes me that we would go so far out of our way to exempt the latest generation of high tech nerds from it?  For while it is not that bad, it is transformative process which unites every Marine past, present, and future.  I absolutely would not want to be the one Marine in the room who never actually earned the title.  You think the Grunt versus POG debate is bad, wait till you throw in the POMs into the mix.  That’s persons other than Marines.

There is one road that leads to earning the title Marine and it is not broad and paved with easy rank.  Rather, its narrow and paved with history, hazing, and homoerotic formations of men in tight green shorts.  There simply is no other way.  What exactly is the point of joining the Marine Corps if you don’t get to become a Marine?  And make no mistake about it my little nerdy friends, you will never be a Marine unless you earn that title the right way.  I don’t care if you blow up nuclear silos by hacking into North Korean computers, or if you can predict the exact location of an enemy ambush because you are Rain Man with numbers and probabilities.  You want to be called a Marine then earn it.

Every Marine a Rifleman

That’s more than a mantra POGs repeat as they cry themselves to sleep at night.  Every Marine has a certain portion of the reputation and legacy of our beloved Corps to fulfill.  That’s why I refuse to trust my life in combat to the “Marine” next to me who has never had to sword fight his cock to be one of 3 or 4 using the same urinal at the same time.  How do I know you have my back if I’ve never felt your little chub on my backside when the Dis line us up A to B?  Yeah, I told you bootcamp was pretty homoerotic.

Chattanooga Marines

The point is that there is base standard from which we can draw a certain amount of trust. Throwing on the uniform and rank simply doesn’t automatically impute that upon you.  Rather it dilutes what Marines can come to expect from their fellow Marines.  Moreover, if the Marine Corps needs your high-tech skills that bad you should be negotiating way better pay than enlisted bread crumbs.  Be a civilian contractor, put on your white shirts with pocket protects and make the big bucks.  Don’t throw your fat fragile bodies into a set of Dress Blues and try to act the part.

Online Military Community

If you want to serve your country with your high tech skills then great.  You will likely kill more bad guys with your death ray fired from the moon than the average grunt.  But you still don’t get to become a Marine because someone said you were.  Or just go join the Coast Guard because no one cares about them anyway.  Negotiate for those higher salaries, be the contractor and then buy the Marines a round of beers at the end of the day.  At least then you will have our respect.  But throw on that Eagle, Globe, and Anchor simply because momma bought you your first computer when you were 8?  I don’t think so buddy.  A Marine by any other name better be a Marine.  We might need nerds to win the next war, but your tattoo better say Lambda Lambda Lambda and not USMC.  Even Bea Arthur earned the title my friends and her panties are none too happy at the current news.  Don’t be the first “Marine” not to earn the title.  I promise you, that’s not the guy you want to be and it’s not what a Marine would do.

If You Think the Title of Marine Should Be Earned Like the Unprecedented Mediocrity Facebook Page Below.  Otherwise you are a Nerd.

Jeff Edwards

8 Comments

  1. I had the exact same argument online yesterday. In the end let them be contractors. or let them take the walk into the yellow footprints. the simple facts are Marines have a certain respect for each other regardless of MOS….Yes the Grunts are the rockstars, and the POGS/Wingers are what they are. but at the end of the day, they all walked that walk (more like ran) into the yellow footprints and became Marines the only way you can. Fuck even the air force/army/navy make their computer nerds go through their respective bootcamps prior to assignment in their jobs. This is an example of some Obama protege trying to weaken the services by suggesting sweet nothings into some POG Generals Ear. On another note Why do we even have anybody above the rank of Colonel outside fo the Infantry or actual Flight operators of the wing? It is a waste of good money to have someone as a general in charge of supply, or any other non direct warfighting billet. (FWIW I was a POG)

  2. Hi from across the pond again Jeff. I can’t speak for the UK Armed Forces, but the same kind of shit goes on in the various Police forces around the UK. Every Police officer has to undergo the same training before passing out as a Constable. University graduates however, can be put on a fast track for promotion. This results in some achieving Inspector rank without much ground experience as a Constable, or even as a sergeant. They’re encouraged to atttend many courses run at vast expense by very politically correct organisations, such as ” Common Purpose “. Google them, they’re scary, especially when you find out the level of influence they have, not just in the UK & Europe, but probably in the US too.They make the Bilderbergers look normal!
    The drip drip of left/liberal/pc thinking into every level of authority or decision/policy making body, whether it be national of local is something everyone should be very concerned about.

    As for someone not going through Boot Camp and still being able to call themselves a Marine, here’s a bit of an extreme example of a guy who wanted to do it the right way. An English documentary maker called Chris Terrell wanted to make a documentary about Royal Marines Commandos, starting on their first day at Commando training school, up to, and including their first deployment to Afghanistan after their 32 weeks of basic training.
    To his credit, he insisted on going through their entire 32 week training program as if he was a raw recruit just like them. There was however a bit of a difference between him and them…he was 55 years old! He was old enough to be a grandfather to some of them!
    He was in great shape for his age as he was already an endurance athlete and attended a London boxing gym at weekends, so not youraverage 55 YO. As he was going to be a non combatant, the only different piece of kit he carried was a camera tripod of the same weight as an SA80 rifle. Otherwise everything was the same. I defy anyone to watch this YT video without getting a lump in their throat at the end.
    https://youtu.be/5O4BzTKFv84

    I’d be interested in your thoughts on this Jeff.

    • Awe, Kevin. Poor POG got his fat booty chapped because someone made a POG joke. What’s it like to be so weak that mere words can hurt you?

  3. Old Sailor here, I remember my first day of Boot Camp way back in 1966, we had just got off the train and were waiting for the bus to take us to the base at San Diego. A flat bed truck with a group of Marine recruits on the back arrived and started loading some packages onto the truck bed all to the sound of a whistle being blown by the DI very rapidly and the Marines took a step with each sound this was all done in double time then they loaded back onto the truck and left. The thing I remember most about this is when the truck stopped and started the Marines never moved not even a flinch, I have had great respect for you guys since then and don’t know anybody that does not

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