My Little Green Book: Page 2

Being an instructor had shown all the promise of independence that a NCO could hope for.  Most good NCOs crave the opportunity to take the initiative in their work, go above and beyond for the cause, and to prove they are a cut above the rest.  This was that opportunity, little did I know there were some SNCOs that had forgotten where they came from, and were not willing to improve upon the system that crushed their initiative and ambition.

As a leader I pride myself on keeping my word to the men under my charge.  I did not sugar-coat anything, and i did not hide the “behind the scenes” whispering that my superiors would do to get us to play games with them.  If my men had questions I answered them with brutal honesty, I remained professional, but as a teacher and a mentor they required a type of honesty that not only opened their eyes to the true nature of the corps, but gave them a reason to trust, or not trust me as their leader.  There was no demand for respect or reminder that “instant obedience to orders” was imperative.  This was teaching marines to be better men, and to think for themselves while giving them an example of how to be professional while telling the truth.

Page 2 is another sample of what everyone drools at the mouth for; someone else’s examples of Marine Corps stupidity and lack of vision.

May 5, 2010:  At the beginning of the training day one of my men is SIQ for the day, the duty instructor knew about this and passed it to our SNCOIC, Gunny Oblivious.  Later that morning while classes are being taught, the rest of the instructor group is hanging out waiting for the next training evolution for the day, when Gunny Oblivious comes into the instructor area, belittles the entire group, while not expressing the actual problem to us, and sends us all to the classroom to be “assistant instructors” for the two instructors teaching.

This became a normal occurrence for our instructor group with Gunny Oblivious, he would constantly come into our area and bitch at us for something, but he had a way of doing so that would never reveal what had happened and what he wanted us to do to correct it or prevent it in the future. These rants occurred every couple of days.

May 5, 2010:  The new Chief Instructor, newly promoted SSGT, leaves around 1654 while the rest of the instructor cadre are left waiting for word after completing the end of training day routine.

(Many times during a training cycle there is a ton of down time for instructors.  If you’re not scheduled for teaching a class or there is no PT for that day you could end up sitting around or literally searching for work to do.  Typically, our counterparts in other companies were allowed to do this, instructors would leave work once they were accounted for and they had no duties for that training day.  Needless to say our instructors never experienced this.  Waiting around for word gave us a constant reminder of our days as E-4 and below standing in a parking lot for hours on end.)

This billet is a leadership position, the supposed best of the instructors, instead the loud-mouthed chest thumper that was promoted to Staff Sergeant first was given the job.  The type of person that would call themselves a leader and then blatantly adopt hypocrisy by doing exactly what his predecessor did to make people despise him.  There is a clear lack of awareness of what leadership is in the Marine Corps as a whole.

May 6, 2010:  Gunny Oblivious orders all instructors to be in the classroom by 0645 on this day, if I recall correctly there was a PT event scheduled for this day.  Our fearless leader never showed for PT, and when he finally did arrive at around 1000 that morning, he was in civilian attire. Later he pulled all his “ones” in for a pow-wow, ones were the more senior instructors both sergeants and staff sergeants, and told them that the other instructors emulated them, and that their attitudes specifically affect morale.

The instructor group, who is responsible for the training schedule, is ordered to print BTRs from MOL for the Chief Instructor.  The Chief Instructor works in a cubicle with the SNCOIC and the OIC, both of which have access to all the staff BTRs.  The instructor staff (12) has one computer in their area.

The lengths that people in leadership positions will go to exercise their authority is amazing to me.  Notice how I worded that last sentence, and I will touch more on this later, “people in leadership positions” not leaders.  In my experience a rocker has a unexplainable affect on the human body’s ability to contain the brain tissue between the ears.  Once the rocker goes on, the brains quickly liquify, and ooze out of the ears of the promoted for a good two months or so.  There are of course lasting effects on the individual after the oozing stops because of the validation that comes from the many that have suddenly become best buds with the promoted.

May 7, 2010:  This day was a field day, a Sergeant Instructor was ordered to standby his room for a field day inspection.  During the training cycle with students on deck as an instructor, this is just a minor complaint, but the implications of treating men like children is monumental here, especially since the individual is a sergeant, instructor, and a person who is entrusted with some pretty serious responsibility.

For the students field day inspections, the other instructors are told to stand by for the Company Commander and 1st Sergeant to go through rooms, at 0800 the Company Gunny rolls through. This is one of those times when it is so obvious that my “leaders” lied to get what they wanted.  I cannot convey how much respect is lost when this happens, it’s catastrophic, I can never believe another word that comes out of your mouth.  Another shining example of bad leadership is to be late to your own appointment as a so-called leader.  When I was a resident college student, prior to my service, I attended a leadership conference for student government.  During this conference an accomplished educator, I do not recall his name, who was a Dean or President of a university told us that one of the worst ways to lose credibility as a leader, before ever stepping in front of a group of people is to keep them waiting.  As a military leader how is this not common sense?  Not only that, but half of the time they don’t even apologize for their blatant hypocrisy.

As a person who strives to conduct themselves as a professional, I have always strived for the next accolade as a Marine.  As a Corporal, I tried to behave as I would as a Sergeant, as a Sergeant I would try to handle myself as if I were a Staff Sergeant.  In this way I completed the next ranks MCI’s way ahead of time.  For example, when I end my service as a Staff Sergeant the required MCI’s to make Gunny were already completed, and I had started working on the next.  There are Gunnys out there who do not even have them yet.  Regardless I wish to quote something from the 8105 MCI titled, Leadership Credo.  “Although  the Marine Corps does not have a formal code of ethics, every Marine leader must have a strong sense of ethical behavior to be worthy of the name.  In combat, ethics are critical for success.”

I find it pointless at all to claim we live by a code of ethics as Marines when it clearly states here that our leaders ethics are as the individual perceives them.  Hopefully someone more intelligent and more articulate will take this and run with it.  My little green book has many other great fallacies of leadership, and just wait a modern day war hero is involved in some of my accounts, although I will not slander his name openly I will gladly share the experiences when we get there.

“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”  – Edmund Burke
Submitted by: “SSGT Samaritan”

My Little Green Book: Page 1

Hello everyone, I found this site early this morning and have lost several hours of sleep because of the excitement it brings me.  I recently ended my active service on May 19th of this year, please no applause. I did eight years as a LAV Crewman, 0313, and tried everyday to make the best of a bad situation.  My career as a Marine ended as the SNCOIC of separations platoon in Camp Pendleton.  I received orders to this unit after challenging the leadership ethics of my previous command, but we’ll get to that later.  Regardless of my decision to do what is right against the more popular road of shady brown nosing, favoritism, and blatant lack of respect for the rules, I still pinned on Staff Sergeant without anyones help.  In the 03 community this is not necessarily an easy feat, although the promotion system is still not based on merit or quality of work as a SNCO. I dropped out of college my senior year to fight in the war, and truly expected to do twenty years as an enlisted man.  It took less than two years for the corruption to rear its head and for my vision of Marine Corps leadership to change drastically.  I served my first three and then some in 29 Palms, enough said, then re-enlisted for those modest, yet useful bonuses in 2009, to be a Combat Instructor.  After Combat Instructor School and a handful of cycles I was really enjoying my time as a Marine for the first time.  This all began to change in less than a year, and my little green book was born.

Throughout college I attended leadership conferences, and participated in campus events and activities; always looking for opportunities to be a better leader.  I grew up by modest means and began working at the age of 13, so character, moral standards, and good ethics are important to me. This did not change when I chose to join the Marines.  Enticed by its world class marketing campaign, I bought into the tiles on the recruiters desk, and looked forward to playing “All-Marine Football”, which had not existed since 2003.  I pride myself on leadership, I jump at the opportunity to take the path less traveled when it comes to developing subordinates; and in the Marine Corps it is not hard to do for the average moral person.  My little green book was born on March 1, 2010, and has dozens of examples of documented leadership brain farts if you will.  There are tales of corruption, simple leadership mistakes with lessons never learned, and some run of the mill bitches, moans, and complaints.  This site is the perfect place for these discretions to be revealed.  The truth must be known.

Please note:  These short accounts began as an evaluation method for improving my leadership methods.

March 1, 2010:  The separation of our instructor cadre begins.  Our SNCOIC, we’ll call him “Gunny Oblivious”, pulls the newly promoted Staff Sergeant Instructors aside for a very exclusive conversation.  Shortly thereafter the Sergeant Instructors are treated differently than before. (Most of these accounts are from my experiences as a Combat Instructor, an individual special duty assignment.  In the course I taught there were only two billets for SNCO’s, all other SNCOs were instructors filling equal billets to Sergeants.)

April 27, 2010:  Pick-up day has arrived, 76 new students are on deck and the cadre begins issuing rooms immediately.  Gunny Oblivious orders the halt of forward progress for impending briefs from Company Commander, Company First Sergeant, OIC, and himself.  He then tells the instructor cadre that no instructor will leave until their students are packed for the field.  The briefs are not given and the instructors begin issuing rooms again; Gunny Oblivious stops this act of initiative and common sense once more.  At 1400 hours that day the room issuing is halted, the students are sent to get briefs, and the instructors are put on “gear watch” of the students gear.  The students return after evening chow, but have not been given any of their briefs and rooms are still not issued.

May 4, 2010:  A Sergeant Instructor is verbally reprimanded for going to his barracks briefly during a lull in training.  Shortly thereafter Gunny Oblivious has a secret meeting with his new SNCOs, and tells them that “Sergeants are not to be trusted; they will walk all over you.”

May 5, 2010:  All test materials are the responsibility of the Chief Instructor, a newly promoted Staff Sergeant, but all test during this week were graded by the instructor group, the Chief Instructor left work early.  One Sergeant instructor was pulled into the office during the entire training day with the Chief.

This is page one, of course these are minor hiccups in day to day life in the Corps, but anyone familiar with the lapse in judgement with MC leadership can see where this small handful of snow is going.  FYI:  At SOI West Standard Operating Procedure for a course is to have one individual who is trained and certified in Curriculum Development handle student test materials to prevent cheating on behalf of instructors who want to give their students an edge.  This makes instructors look better when their students score well, there were daily violations of these policies on behalf of the staff.  Later on you will see how two students answer for their lack of integrity, but company staff disregard integrity altogether.

This site has kept me up all night, I love it.  Now its time for homework and job applications, I cannot wait to hop back on later.

Submitted by: “SSGT Samaritan”.

Berated For Getting Injured, Threatened For Seeing A Doctor

I joined the Marine Corps at the age of 20 after flunking out of college and getting dumped by my girlfriend of two years. Shit was going down the drain real fast and I thought joining the military would solve all my problems. I shipped off to MCRD San Diego in February of 2012. I wasn’t in the best shape in boot camp, as far as running is concerned, and I really didn’t know why. I was a stud on the pull-ups, sit-ups, and every other PT thing you can think of, but I couldn’t run to save my life. This was my drill instructors’ cue to haze the fuck out of me for three months. From the time I picked up with my training company to the time I graduated, I had two hours of fire watch every single night. I was IT’d many times while on fire watch. I was IT’d about six times a day. It didn’t take me long to realize that the reason I was having so much trouble with running was because I had an injury. I went to medical early in first phase and they told me there was nothing wrong with my foot, as they couldn’t see anything on the x-ray. This, obviously, made me an even bigger target for my DIs. They thought I was just weak and didn’t want to put out on runs, so they ramped up my IT sessions even more. It got to the point where I was probably spending more time on the quarterdeck than I was on the drill deck. But, through all of this, I made it through boot camp and became a Marine.

Moving on to MCT, my foot injury got even worse, but there isn’t a whole lot of running at MCT, so I was able to push through it without too much trouble. I didn’t even bother going to medical while at MCT, because I knew the idiot corpsmen couldn’t tell me anything I hadn’t already been told.

Going on to MOS school, my foot became an even worse problem, as my SSgt. liked nothing more than running six miles everyday for PT. I spent a good three months of the 4.5 months I was in MOS school on light duty for what the corpsmen described as a “fracture of my right fibula”. I knew that wasn’t what was wrong with me, so I tried to go to a civilian doctor to get a professional’s opinion on the matter. My SSgt. caught wind of this and told me that if I saw a doctor, he would make my life a living hell. Out of fear for my own safety, I opted not to see a doctor.

As a reservist, I got to go home after MOS school and check into my duty station. I saw a civilian podiatrist for my foot shortly after arriving back home. He diagnosed me with plantar fasciitis. My doctor said he couldn’t put any PT restrictions on me without doing an MRI on my foot, and since I had horrible health insurance at the time, that was out of the question.

I then failed a PFT in April of this year and was chastised by everyone from my platoon sergeant, to company commander for being an out-of-shape bag of ass. I had about reached my breaking point with this whole situation. It was at this point I decided to buy some better health insurance and get that MRI done that my doctor suggested. I got it done and my doctor described my plantar fascia as irreparably damaged. If I had gotten my foot treated from the outset in boot camp, I would be fine today. But, since I was threatened by my superiors multiple times and never given adequate medical attention by the Naval staff on base, my foot is now permanently messed up. I didn’t think I could use this to get out of the Marine Corps, for whatever reason, so I just told our company corpsman about it and she put me on TNPQ. It was at this point that my company commander called me during the off-time between drills to let me know how much of a bitch I am for not being able to pass a simple PFT with a little old foot injury, when there are Afghanistan veterans with prosthetic legs who can pass it no problem. Breaking point: reached.

I gathered up all the resources I could and found out I could in fact get medical separation for my injury. I never would have known this had I not done my own research, as our Doc didn’t feel that was pertinent information for me. I’m now in the process of being medically separated. I hate the Marine Corps.

Submitted by: “No, Thanks”

“I Am Sorry That It Has Come to This”: A Soldier’s Last Words

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Daniel Somers was a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom. He was part of Task Force Lightning, an intelligence unit. In 2004-2005, he was mainly assigned to a Tactical Human-Intelligence Team (THT) in Baghdad, Iraq, where he ran more than 400 combat missions as a machine gunner in the turret of a Humvee, interviewed countless Iraqis ranging from concerned citizens to community leaders and and government officials, and interrogated dozens of insurgents and terrorist suspects. In 2006-2007, Daniel worked with Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) through his former unit in Mosul where he ran the Northern Iraq Intelligence Center. His official role was as a senior analyst for the Levant (Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Israel, and part of Turkey). Daniel suffered greatly from PTSD and had been diagnosed with traumatic brain injury and several other war-related conditions. On June 10, 2013, Daniel wrote the following letter to his family before taking his life. Daniel was 30 years old. His wife and family have given permission to publish it.

I am sorry that it has come to this.

The fact is, for as long as I can remember my motivation for getting up every day has been so that you would not have to bury me. As things have continued to get worse, it has become clear that this alone is not a sufficient reason to carry on. The fact is, I am not getting better, I am not going to get better, and I will most certainly deteriorate further as time goes on. From a logical standpoint, it is better to simply end things quickly and let any repercussions from that play out in the short term than to drag things out into the long term.

You will perhaps be sad for a time, but over time you will forget and begin to carry on. Far better that than to inflict my growing misery upon you for years and decades to come, dragging you down with me. It is because I love you that I can not do this to you. You will come to see that it is a far better thing as one day after another passes during which you do not have to worry about me or even give me a second thought. You will find that your world is better without me in it.

I really have been trying to hang on, for more than a decade now. Each day has been a testament to the extent to which I cared, suffering unspeakable horror as quietly as possible so that you could feel as though I was still here for you. In truth, I was nothing more than a prop, filling space so that my absence would not be noted. In truth, I have already been absent for a long, long time.

My body has become nothing but a cage, a source of pain and constant problems. The illness I have has caused me pain that not even the strongest medicines could dull, and there is no cure. All day, every day a screaming agony in every nerve ending in my body. It is nothing short of torture. My mind is a wasteland, filled with visions of incredible horror, unceasing depression, and crippling anxiety, even with all of the medications the doctors dare give. Simple things that everyone else takes for granted are nearly impossible for me. I can not laugh or cry. I can barely leave the house. I derive no pleasure from any activity. Everything simply comes down to passing time until I can sleep again. Now, to sleep forever seems to be the most merciful thing.

You must not blame yourself. The simple truth is this: During my first deployment, I was made to participate in things, the enormity of which is hard to describe. War crimes, crimes against humanity. Though I did not participate willingly, and made what I thought was my best effort to stop these events, there are some things that a person simply can not come back from. I take some pride in that, actually, as to move on in life after being part of such a thing would be the mark of a sociopath in my mind. These things go far beyond what most are even aware of.

To force me to do these things and then participate in the ensuing coverup is more than any government has the right to demand. Then, the same government has turned around and abandoned me. They offer no help, and actively block the pursuit of gaining outside help via their corrupt agents at the DEA. Any blame rests with them.

Beyond that, there are the host of physical illnesses that have struck me down again and again, for which they also offer no help. There might be some progress by now if they had not spent nearly twenty years denying the illness that I and so many others were exposed to. Further complicating matters is the repeated and severe brain injuries to which I was subjected, which they also seem to be expending no effort into understanding. What is known is that each of these should have been cause enough for immediate medical attention, which was not rendered.

Lastly, the DEA enters the picture again as they have now managed to create such a culture of fear in the medical community that doctors are too scared to even take the necessary steps to control the symptoms. All under the guise of a completely manufactured “overprescribing epidemic,” which stands in stark relief to all of the legitimate research, which shows the opposite to be true. Perhaps, with the right medication at the right doses, I could have bought a couple of decent years, but even that is too much to ask from a regime built upon the idea that suffering is noble and relief is just for the weak.

However, when the challenges facing a person are already so great that all but the weakest would give up, these extra factors are enough to push a person over the edge.

Is it any wonder then that the latest figures show 22 veterans killing themselves each day? That is more veterans than children killed at Sandy Hook, every single day. Where are the huge policy initiatives? Why isn’t the president standing with those families at the state of the union? Perhaps because we were not killed by a single lunatic, but rather by his own system of dehumanization, neglect, and indifference.

It leaves us to where all we have to look forward to is constant pain, misery, poverty, and dishonor. I assure you that, when the numbers do finally drop, it will merely be because those who were pushed the farthest are all already dead.

And for what? Bush’s religious lunacy? Cheney’s ever growing fortune and that of his corporate friends? Is this what we destroy lives for

Since then, I have tried everything to fill the void. I tried to move into a position of greater power and influence to try and right some of the wrongs. I deployed again, where I put a huge emphasis on saving lives. The fact of the matter, though, is that any new lives saved do not replace those who were murdered. It is an exercise in futility.

Then, I pursued replacing destruction with creation. For a time this provided a distraction, but it could not last. The fact is that any kind of ordinary life is an insult to those who died at my hand. How can I possibly go around like everyone else while the widows and orphans I created continue to struggle? If they could see me sitting here in suburbia, in my comfortable home working on some music project they would be outraged, and rightfully so.

I thought perhaps I could make some headway with this film project, maybe even directly appealing to those I had wronged and exposing a greater truth, but that is also now being taken away from me. I fear that, just as with everything else that requires the involvement of people who can not understand by virtue of never having been there, it is going to fall apart as careers get in the way.

The last thought that has occurred to me is one of some kind of final mission. It is true that I have found that I am capable of finding some kind of reprieve by doing things that are worthwhile on the scale of life and death. While it is a nice thought to consider doing some good with my skills, experience, and killer instinct, the truth is that it isn’t realistic. First, there are the logistics of financing and equipping my own operation, then there is the near certainty of a grisly death, international incidents, and being branded a terrorist in the media that would follow. What is really stopping me, though, is that I simply am too sick to be effective in the field anymore. That, too, has been taken from me.

Thus, I am left with basically nothing. Too trapped in a war to be at peace, too damaged to be at war. Abandoned by those who would take the easy route, and a liability to those who stick it out—and thus deserve better. So you see, not only am I better off dead, but the world is better without me in it

This is what brought me to my actual final mission. Not suicide, but a mercy killing. I know how to kill, and I know how to do it so that there is no pain whatsoever. It was quick, and I did not suffer. And above all, now I am free. I feel no more pain. I have no more nightmares or flashbacks or hallucinations. I am no longer constantly depressed or afraid or worried

I am free.

I ask that you be happy for me for that. It is perhaps the best break I could have hoped for. Please accept this and be glad for me.

Daniel Somers

[Photo via Gettypremium]

Source: Gawker.com

Underage Drinking Problems… What Can I Do?

I’m a 19 year old PFC, I never had a drinking problem before until now. I’ve been in for around a year and my drinking habit increased from drinking just beers to liquor. I drink every day. How can I solve my drinking problem without getting fucked…

Submitted by: PFC MOTO

NINJA_PUNCH’s Response:

This is honestly one of the trickiest situations I’ve come across. Let me say right off the bat that I looked over the relevant orders, and they tend to be very vague when it comes to underage drinking.

That being said, you made a smart move by coming here and asking for advice. Acknowledging that you have a problem, and asking for help are two huge steps, and the fact that were willing to do those by yourself tells me that you probably have the wherewithal to handle this problem without needing formal “Alcoholic’s Anonymous” style counseling. My advice to you is to start by trying to overcome this problem yourself, without involving your command. If you can get it under control without involving the command, then what they don’t know won’t hurt them.

Without knowing anything about you or your situation, here are a few methods I would recommend using to attempt to control your drinking:

  1. Make some new friends: Try to either meet some people off base, or maybe even try to find a non-drinker on base who you can hang out with. They can help you find things that you can do that don’t involve drinking.
  2. Go for a walk at night: It can be just around your area, or you can pick a road and just start walking until you feel like turning around. You can put in your iPod and listen to some tunes while you walk. You could easily spend over an hour walking around, discovering new parts of the base that you might’ve walked past a hundred times and I never notice before. On top of that, just getting away from the barracks and all of the people you work with, and just going for a walk by yourself can be a good way to relieve stress.
  3. Go to the movies: If you’re already spending $10-$20, why not take that money, and go get a bunch of candy at the movies and spend 2-3 hours there instead of getting drunk? Plus going to the movies is also a good way of unwinding, so you may not want to drink as much.
  4. Turn Sobriety into a Game: Keep a record of how long you go in between drinks, and how many drinks you have if you do drink. Then set a goal for how long you want to go without a drink, or how few drinks you want to have. When you meet that goal set another one. Repeat for as long as is necessary.
  • Note: If you do keep a record – whether it’s in a book or on your computer – DO NOT put any alcohol related words anywhere in the record. The last thing you need is to accidentally leave the book out or the computer open, and have the wrong person see it, and suddenly you’re getting busted for trying to improve yourself.

Granted this isn’t a comprehensive list – and I’m sure you can come up with more ways to stay sober – but those are a few ideas to get you started. If you give these an honest effort and you’re still struggling, I’d recommend trying to go to either Mental Health or SACO. Unfortunately I can’t guarantee that you won’t get burned for going to Mental Health or SACO with underage drinking. If I had to pick one, I’d try Mental Health first. They’re run by the Navy instead of the marine corps, and most of the employees are civilians so there’s less of a chance of getting burned for it than if you went to the SACO. However, going to the SACO and saying that you have a problem, is still going to be better than if you have an “alcohol-related incident” and then go see the SACO.

I hope this is helpful to you, and if you have any other questions please feel free to ask.

Safety and Peace

NINJA_PUNCH

How To Get Out Of Boot Camp (And MCT/SOI)

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Here at iHateTheUSMC.com, we’ve fairly commonly had the parents, spouses, girlfriends/boyfriends, etc. of a Recruit that is currently in Boot Camp come on the site asking something to the effect of: “My [Family Member/Significant Other] went to boot camp, but something happened and now he or she really just wants out. Is there anything he or she can do to get out of boot camp and the marine corps and come home?” My answer to the Recruits who want out of the marine corps is “Yes. You most likely still qualify for an Entry-Level Separation.” That being said, getting an Entry-Level Separation isn’t quite as easy or convenient as it would’ve been if you had decided to withdraw from the Delayed Entry Program (DEP) instead.

[NOTE: The advice given in this article is geared specifically to marine corps recruits. Please note that – while marines in MCT/SOI may still be in Entry Level Status – there is no provision that guarantees an Entry Level Separation for marines in MCT/SOI. That being said, the worst type of discharge that could be received for refusal to train would be an Other Than Honorable (OTH) Discharge. An OTH will have virtually no impact on your civilian life, except that an OTH may make it more difficult for you to get a job with the federal government.]

First of all, before we get too deep into discussion, it’s important to determine whether or not you actually qualify for an Entry-Level Separation. Paragraph 6002, Section 7, of the Marine Corps Separations Manual  lays out the qualifications for “Entry-Level Status” in the Marine Corps as follows:

  • For Active Duty, “a member qualifies for entry-level status during the first 180 days of continuous active military service”. This means that, from the day a recruit arrives at boot camp, he or she is in “Entry-Level Status” for the next 180 days.
  • For Reservists, entry-level status is slightly more complicated, but in general it terminates after being called to Active Duty “for one continuous period of 180 days or more”.

If you’ve been in for longer than 180 days, unfortunately you no longer qualify for Entry-Level Separation. At this point the best advice I can give is to tell you to try to make it through your enlistment as best you can, come visit the Anonymous Discussion page at iHateTheUSMC.com whenever you need to vent, never be afraid to contact mental health if need be, and claim every benefit you deserve when you finally do get out.

Now then, if you have NOT yet been in for 180 days, then you still have hope for an Entry-Level Separation. Paragraph 6205 (Pages 187 – 188) of the Separations Manual states that “A member may be separated while in an entry level status, if the member is unqualified for further service by reason of entry level performance and/or conduct, as evidenced by incapability, lack of reasonable effort, failure to adapt to the Marine Corps environment, or minor disciplinary infractions.” The order goes on to state that “all personnel administratively separated from recruit training will be processed under this reason except in those limited cases where processing under a more serious basis is appropriate and where discharge characterization under other than honorable conditions is warranted.” This effectively means that, if you’re separated from boot camp, you will receive an Entry-Level Separation, so long as you don’t do anything that causes significant injury to another person (i.e. start a fist-fight with another Recruit in an effort to get kicked out).

Note: A fuller list of situations that warrant an “Other Than Honorable” (OTH) Discharge can be found on Page 25 of the Separations Manual. However, it’s important to note that almost NONE of the listed situations could possibly apply to a Recruit.

 

Alright, now that we’ve gotten past all of the paperwork, it’s time to get to the real question: How does this affect me? How do I use this to get out of Boot Camp?

Quite contrary to what you and every recruit since the dawn of boot camp has been told, You Can Quit. It’s not quite as easy as quitting the DEP, and it requires some commitment, but if you’re serious about getting out of boot camp and the Marine Corps, a few days of hardship should be worth getting 4 years of your life back. The following is a very basic outline of how to go about quitting. Bear in mind that individual experiences may vary, and you may need to adapt your approach to meet your current situation.

Step 1: Get in the proper mindset. Odds are you’ve spent the past few weeks referring to yourself as “This Recruit”, doing anything and everything that you’re told out of fear of being screamed at, being taken for “Incentive Training” (I.T.) or (the ultimate Drill Instructor threat) being “dropped” or “recycled” to a different recruit company to repeat some aspect of training. The first thing you need to do is get out of that mindset.

  1. Remember that these Drill Instructors (D.I.s) are just people, just like you. They’re not anything special. Look them in the eye when you speak to them, refer to yourself in the first person, and don’t call them “sir/ma’am” or acknowledge their rank in any way. These things will take away your D.I.s sense of control over you.
  2. When your D.I.s start yelling and screaming, take a moment to realize just how stupid they look. Odds are, they look like a complete idiot and – in the correct mindset – you may find it very hard not to laugh at your D.I.s.
  3. Realize that you don’t need to be worried about I.T. If you don’t want to be taken for I.T. all you have to do is not go. If your D.I. says “get on the Quarterdeck!” All you have to do is smile and say is “No, I don’t really feel like it right now, but thank you for the offer.” What are they gonna do? Scream? Threaten you with I.T.? If you’re in the correct mindset, all of their threats are completely empty.
  4. Sure you might get dropped back in training (It’s actually very unlikely, but it’s still possible) but really, if you’re in a mindset where you’ve rendered all of the D.I.s threats to be completely harmless, what can they do? About the only thing they can really do is drop you into the Recruit Separation Platoon (RSP), which is where you want to be anyway.

Step 2: When you have made up your mind, and you’ve reached the mindset where the D.I.s have nothing to threaten you with, take a seat on your footlocker, put your feet up, and relax. Of course your D.I.s won’t take kindly to this, they’ll likely start out by screaming, just look them in the eye, and smile. If their screaming becomes annoying, you may choose to taunt them, saying something like “Come on! Is that all the louder you can scream? My Grandmother yells louder than that!” Taunts of this nature should be used in moderation, but when used skillfully, they will not only show the D.I.s that their screams are ineffective, but will also put you in a position of control as the D.I.s have to decide to either stop screaming or to give in to your taunts and scream louder on your command. Either way, you win.

From here, your D.I.s will likely try to figure out why you’re doing what you’re doing. They’ll still be shouting, but they’ll ask “What are you doing?” or some similar question. Simply tell them “I quit. I don’t want to be a marine anymore, so I quit”. They’ll tell you “You can’t quit! You signed the contract… etc. etc.” respond “Too bad, I already quit.” Stand your ground, don’t let them intimidate you with their empty threats, and you will eventually win.

Note: It is possible that your D.I.s may try to punish other Recruits in an attempt to break you. They may start to I.T. a group of Recruits and tell them that the I.T. session will not end until you join in. This approach is particularly useful to D.I.s because it allows them to make you feel responsible for the suffering of other Recruits who didn’t do anything to deserve punishment. Your D.I.s will almost definitely allow the other Recruits to yell at you, pleading with you to join in the I.T. session so that it will stop. Continue to resist. Remind the Recruits that you’re not forcing them to do anything, and that if they want the session to stop, all they have to do is get up and leave. If you can successfully resist this tactic, it will work to your advantage in a couple of ways:

  1. It will reinforce to your D.I.s that you are determined to not continue with boot camp, and they cannot break you.
  2. The MCRD San Diego I.T. Card specifically states that “IT will never be assigned to a unit as a result of one recruit’s actions”, and the MCRD Parris Island I.T. Card states that “S.D.I.s may IT the whole platoon only as a response to the deficiencies of the platoon as a whole.” Thus,  by assigning I.T. to a group as a result of your actions, your D.I.s are in violation of a direct order and you will be able to use this as ammunition against them when your D.I.s send you to talk to your Company or Series Commander.

Step 3: After a day or two of continuous resistance, your D.I.s will most likely send you to speak to either your Company or Series Commander. It’s important that you keep up your mindset, don’t stand at attention, don’t salute, don’t address the Commander as sir or ma’am. That being said, if your Commander speaks to you in a courteous, respectful manner, then speak to your Commander with similar courtesy. Your Commander will probably ask you why you’re behaving as you are, why you don’t want to be a marine anymore, and may even offer to make some changes if you will resume training. Decline his or her offers, and continue to resist. Within a few days after this meeting you will most likely be dropped to Recruit Separations Platoon (RSP).

Once you’ve made it to RSP you can afford to relax a little bit. At this point you know you’re being processed for discharge, so you can afford to act like a “good recruit” and say your “yes sirs” etc. just to make your life a little bit easier. You can expect to spend at least 2 weeks in RSP, and possibly quite a bit longer, but once you get out you will be out of the marine corps for good, so the few weeks of RSP should be well worth it.

 

If you wish to verify this answer for yourself, the relevant information regarding Entry-Level Separation can be found on pages 172, 187, and 188 of Marine Corps Order (MCO) P1900.16F.

Additional information on Entry-Level Separation from the marine corps can be found at the “GI Rights Hotline” Website.

Safety and Peace

NINJA_PUNCH

United States Marine Corps’ Recruit Separation Platoon

I walked into Recruit Separation Platoon on October 23rd 2009. As always I barely had any idea of what was going on while being at Parris Island. RSP consists of a Squad bay in the main receiving building on Parris Island. When you enter RSP you hand over most of your military equipment because you don’t need it anymore. I turned in all my digital camouflage. I was assigned to rack 89 which was right next to the drill instructor house. I was given a pair of dull green sweatpants and matching sweat shirt. I was also given a glow strap and war belt. (belt that holds two canteens). I then filled out paperwork at the tables next to the scribe desk. I filled out general information about myself and where the closest Greyhound bus station was to my house. Still being somewhat new to Parris Island I was shaky on all the rules and proper way to act. When you are in RSP you are still considered a recruit and you need to conduct yourself as such. Many new recruits who enter RSP don’t comprehend this very well.

The Standard day in RSP consists of waking up at 5:00 AM. We all then line up in front of our racks and count off. If we mess up we start over. We are then instructed to start “hygiene”. Morning hygiene is supposed to consist of brushing your teeth and shaving. However many recruits would skip the shave because while I was at RSP for my two and a half weeks we only had hygiene inspection twice. Racks are also supposed to be made “tight” in the morning. This means you need to make your bed in the marine fashion. 45 degree corners on the sheets at the head of the bed and 45 degree corners at the end of the rack on the green wool blanket. Lastly the sheet needs to be folded down from the head 18 inches. My rack looked like crap for the first few days and then I started to get the hang of it. After everyone finishes hygiene and making their racks we line up for chow. Everyone puts on their war belt and glow strap ( yellow reflective strap that goes from left shoulder to right hip.) Then we go next door to line up at the back hatch in the PEB (Physical Evaluation Board) squad bay. PEB recruits are recruits who become seriously injured and are also working on getting home except their paperwork goes to D.C. and takes them about 2-4 months (guess) to get home. We line up in columns of two in front of that hatch on average there was about 90 to 100 recruits at one time including PEB recruits. (80 RSP – 20 PEB) We would wait for a bus or two to come pick us up to bring us to chow hall. The Waiting factor in RSP is what makes you crazy and feel like you are there for an eternity. My guess is that we would be waiting in line for up 30 – 45 minutes. We all then would get on the Bus and “crush it”. crushing it consists of interlocking legs and pushing down towards the end of the bus in order to fit the most recruits possible. The busses had Plexiglas windows that were very scratched. They also had benches in the middle and edges that were parallel to the bus.

When we arrive at the chow hall we get off the bus and get into a formation of 4 columns with the 4 squad leaders at the front facing their line. We then will file ourselves off one column at a time into the chow hall. We then would usually wait in line at the chow hall for 15- 40 minutes for chow to be ready. The etiquette for getting chow is pretty simple. The guide will instruct the next 3 rows (6 recruits) to detach out ever 2 minutes or so. You will then get chow and place it at a table. Then you go up and get your drink. After chow we will head back to the squad bay and count off again. The drill instructor would then instruct us to “turn to cleanup” cleanup consists of all the RSP recruits getting cleaning equipment ( brooms, scuzz brushes, metal polish, cleaning spray, dust pans, and others.) The recruits then split up making sure they all have their war belt and glow strap on. Recruits can leave the squad bay and clean around the whole building. Cleaning will take anywhere from 15 minutes to and hour. After we finished cleaning we would head back to the RSP squad bay and sit on our foot lockers. If we have been following the rules then we will “turn to free time” If not we sit on the quarterdeck. During free time we were allowed to read, write letters, and talk quietly. During my first few days I would talk to recruits to figure out what was going on and what was going to happen. Here is what I learned

The recruit who enters RSP is only supposed to be in RSP for 7 to 10 business days once they have been cleared by medical.

A “sleep over” is a recruit in RSP who cannot go down to be cleared by medical because his medical records have not reached the medical building yet.

I was a sleep over for one week. I got cleared by medical on November 2nd. After you get cleared by medical you can try to calm down because you are pretty much going to be going home no later than 2 weeks.

After morning free time the whole process starts over again. We go to chow, come back, clean, free time, go to chow, clean , and have free time again.

About an hour before we go to bed we will do evening hygiene. Evening hygiene consists of brushing teeth, shaving and taking a shower. We would then count off and hit the rack at 8 pm as the 5 fire watch recruits are called.

One of the most depressing things about being in RSP is fire watch. I hated being woken up at 11 or 1 in the morning to stand at a post with a flashlight for an hour. You simply stand there and think “Wow it really sucks to be waiting around here like this”. We then will wake up at 5 am and the day starts over again.

I left on November 10th I was pretty relieved to finally put my civilian clothes on after wearing sweat pants for two and a half weeks.

There is barely any information on the Recruit Separation Platoon online. I am hoping this information helps anyone who is thinking about enlisting who wishes to get the most information they can about the US Marine corps .

 

Source: James Douglas

How To Get Out Of The DEP (Delayed Entry Program)

how to get out of the dep

One of our most frequently asked questions here at iHateTheUSMC.com has been “I signed the contract, and now I’ve decided that that was a bad idea, is there some way that I can back out?” The quick answer to your question is “Yes”. You can still quit, and not go to boot camp, without any negative consequences.

Technically, the contract you signed is legally binding, and the Marine Corps and Dept. of Defense could force you to fulfill the terms of your enlistment; however, current DoD policy (as prescribed in DoD Directive 1332.14) is to allow any person in the Delayed Entry Program to drop out of the DEP on request.

To drop out of the DEP, all you have to do is simply not show up on your ship-out date . You do not need to fill out any paperwork to be separated from the DEP, and you do not need to contact your recruiter if you don’t wish to. However, it is recommended that you contact your recruiter simply out of courtesy, and let him/her know that you no longer intend to join the marine corps.

If you do chose to call your recruiter, your recruiter is obligated by Marine Corps Order (MCO) P1100.72C to interview you, to “counsel” you about fulfilling your contract, and to remind you that your contract is legally binding. In the course of this interview your recruiter may try to tell you that “you can’t back out”, that “it’s illegal for you to break your contract”, that “you’ll receive a Dishonorable Discharge”, or make some similar threat. These threats are Absolutely Not True.  MCO P1100.72C states that “If the interview and counseling session fails, and the individual insists on being released from the enlistment, the individual will be discharged as soon as possible”  (Page 273). The order also states that the discharge will be an “uncharacterized entry-level separation” NOT a Dishonorable Discharge (Page 274). This “Entry-Level Separation” will NOT show up on any civilian employment record, and will have absolutely no impact on your future employment. The only potential negative consequence of withdrawing from the DEP is that recruiters (including recruiters from other military branches) may be less willing to work with you, should you try to enlist again at a later date.

If your recruiter tries to threaten you with any sort of negative consequence, simply tell your recruiter that, according to DoD Directive 1332.14, “A person who is in the Delayed Entry Program may be separated… upon his or her request when authorized by the Secretary concerned.”, and/or that you’re aware that MCO P1100.72C states that your recruiter has to interview you, but that it also states that your recruiter has to discharge you on request.

When dealing with your recruiter, I would personally recommend having a copy of the DoD Directive (or at least pages 17-18) and/or MCO P1100.72C (or at least pages 273-274) so that you can directly quote the Directive or Order. This way you will be able to show your recruiter that you’ve done your research, and that you won’t be intimidated by his threats.

 

If you wish to verify this answer, the relevant information can be found on pages 17-18 of  DoD Directive 1332.14 under the heading “Separation from the Delayed Entry Program”, and pages 273-274 of MCO P1100.72C under the headings:  “Desire for Release or Intent Not To Report” (Page 273) and “Procedures for Discharge of Members of the DEP/SMCR Prior to IADT” (Page 274).

Additional information on withdrawing from the DEP can be found at the “GI Rights Hotline” Website.

Safety and Peace

NINJA_PUNCH