Standing online in the squad bay as a 17-year-old recruit from a small town in Tennessee, the daunting site of 80 men with their skivvy shirts tucked into their whitey tighty underwear was a strange welcome to the Marine Corps. I mean, at least in Full Metal Jacket they got to wear boxers. I can still remember the recruit chaplain for platoon 1107 reading scripture to us all in his underwear. Three Marines to a urinal while trying make a platoon head call took a little getting used as even in most high school sports locker rooms a little personal space is afforded. Dancing in and out of the shower trees among multiple naked men treading carefully so as not to accidentally bump uglies during speed showers was certainly a task. I’m a straight man and have been from birth, but I’d submit the Marine Corps has submitted me to more male genitalia than all the statues of ancient Greece or Rome combined. The Marine Corps and its war fighting culture makes it one of the most prominent representations of human masculinity on the planet. Were it for that, the Marine Corps would by far be the most homo-erotic strange sight to behold with how they conduct recruit training. What was not present at all during these days was Eros. With days of Mattis’ departure, the Marine Corps is going to do what Mattis warned against. They are integrating Eros, the Greek god of love, with the trenches at Marine Corps Recruit Depot at Parris Island. Will it end with a non-erotic co-ed shower scene like Starship Troopers or will Eros make its play and win the day over a more lethal military. Only time will tell, but let’s hash out a few real concerns first.
Teens Like to Do It
The details are a little sketchy at this point, but it appears that a group of 50 female recruits will join the 3rd Battalion training cycle and live in the barracks with the male Marines. It does not appear at this point that the female Marines will be living in the same squad bay, but they will be in the same building in their own platoon and still led by female Drill Instructors. So to the young recruit thinking that shower time is going to be a lot more fun, you best calm yourselves as you will simply be dodging the inadvertent penile slap like the rest of us. Moreover, recruits are so heavily supervised it would be unlikely that a potential rendez-vous within the battalion could happen easily. However, none of that changes the fact that Eros has entered the building and its effects on a culture dominated by Ares cannot be ignored. Teenagers since the first man and woman hit puberty like to do it. They are reckless about it and it is often the foremost thought on their minds. I submit none of that changes for teens entering recruit training.
Yes, I know that’s not actually Eros and Ares above, but I’m banking on my Art History following being quite small so just roll with it. Society likes to view the United States Marine Corps as the consummate professional warfighter and that is a perception we heartily embrace. What society needs to understand is that whereas we embrace perception the reality of what goes on in the field and on deployment is typically a little more gritty. More still, all those civilians who applauded those polite Marines in Dress Blues collecting toys for tots might be a little shocked to see those same Marines in the barracks later that Friday night. Regardless, none of that matters because none of those being subjected to this gender integrated training are Marines. They are recruits which is about as low a form of human life you can be. Don’t believe me, just ask Gunny Hartman in the clip below and ear muffs for the kids. Despite being the lowest form of life on the planet what these recruits most certainly are, as science and culture tells, mostly horny teenagers. They are not professionals and they are not Marines and it will be fascinating to see how Eros makes its play here.
What #MeToo Tells Us About Human Nature
Mattis was staunchly opposed to the integration of Eros into the trenches because, in his view, it simply didn’t make us a more lethal force. None of that is to say that you can’t find a woman who can do the pull ups or even make good decisions under duress. Rather, both Eros and violence are two of the most primal forces of humankind and mixing the two is likely to have effects beyond our control. If you have any doubt, just look at the revelations that have come out of the #MeToo movement and you will see that uncontrolled sexual impulses have etched its way into every aspect of our society. Politicians couldn’t control themselves. Movie Stars couldn’t control themselves. Tech executives couldn’t control themselves. Religious leaders could not control themselves and I’m going to submit to you that recruits are not any less sexual than the rest of adult humanity. The above is just the abusive end of the spectrum.
If you have any doubt about the consensual aspect of the sexual spectrum just look at the first female infantry Marine to join the fleet. She is being kicked out of the Marines after, wait for it, sleeping with a subordinate Marine. Now, by all accounts this was consensual and I even read that they got Married. Good for them and neither need to apologize for the circumstances that led them to their potential life partner. That being said, what they did wasn’t good for the Marine Corps and certainly in the trenches of real combat could have wreaked the havoc that Mattis warned us about. I don’t know that the male recruits are going to find an opportunity get busy with their sister platoon, but I know they are definitely going to want to do so. Co-ed dorms exist in colleges throughout this nation, but so does rampant sexual acts of both a consensual nature and abuse. Eros will not be denied its opportunity if history tells us anything. Our human DNA isn’t any different than the Biblical King David’s when he looked down upon Bathsheba and he wanted her. Throwing Eros into the mix of horny recruits is sure to have an effect as to how much we can only speculate. Men will do ridiculous things for a shot at Eros and in fact, at least a third of all Marines join because they think the Dress Blues will give them a leg up in the game.
Mattis’ More Lethal Military
Despite the ever present effect of Eros on mankind, to live in a civil society we must learn to restrain and moderate its effect. Just ask any high school kid who’s ever had to put a textbook in front of him as he is walking down the hall so as to hide his instant erection or the kid who wears three pairs of underwear during the slow dance so the lady friend doesn’t feel the bulge. In the workplace we find ourselves around attractive members of the opposite sex all the time and yet, we must maintain our professionalism to get the job done. Adultery is still frowned upon and if someone acts without consent the long arm of the law should get them. This is what it takes as our goal is to build a civil and more advanced society. The Marine Corps has no such goal. There goal is to find an enemy’s society and destroy it by closing with and killing the military aged males within it. Mattis’ goal was singular and that was to make the United States military more lethal. It remains to be seen as to the effects of this integration but I do have a hard time seeing as to how the injection of Eros makes the Marine Corps more lethal.
I’m not even going to get into the effectiveness of women in combat from strength to endurance and beyond. Though if there is an office pool I’m going to tell you which platoon not to put your money on when it comes the pugil stick training competitions. I also find it odd that in an age where it seems every other NFL star is getting suspended for hitting women that we are sending our women against foreign men to get hit and worse. I’m just going to submit to a nation willing to hear it that teenagers like to do it. They like do it often, recklessly and quite often even by themselves if they’ve got the spare time. Love it or hate it, Eros has entered the building ladies and gentlemen and it will make its play. Mattis’ warning wasn’t one of conjecture but one based on decades of military experience. It is one thing that for when recruit training has given birth to a Marine that integrated job roles may be required. After all, as Gunny Hartman said “If you ladies leave my island, if you survive recruit training, you will be a weapon. You will be a minister of death praying for war.” It is something altogether different to throw Eros when “But until that that day, you are pukes. You are the lowest form of life on Earth. You are not even human F*%^# beings. You are nothing but unorganized grab-ass-tic pieces of amphibian sh*!” With Mattis gone Eros has entered the trenches and we can but wait and see if would have been wise to heed his warnings.