Okinawa Prison (Part 2)

Now let me get a little deep here of how bad it sucked in Okinawa. See, joining the military sucks pretty bad. Joining the Marine Corps sucks that much more. Being a Marine in Okinawa is downright painful. Now the Group I was with was even that much worse as the Brigadier General was a mustang that served in Vietnam. The Battalion I was with was even worse than the other Battalion’s that where in it as the Colonel (we called him Col. Maximus) was known for burning Marines to the stake with not 45 days restriction, but 60 day restrictions, reduction in rank and the max amount of money taken from you (1200 as a PFC). The Company I was with was downright atrocious as it was known as the Company that was always fucking up and getting in trouble (underage drinking, jumping the fence after midnight curfew, larceny etc).

There were a lot of Marines before me that pretty much fucked it up for the future Marines. They fucked shit up and then left after their 1 year tour came to an end. They would leave and dodge the bullet. I came in right in the wake of things. I came in when all the higher ups were like “fuck you all, now we are going to get serious” it was another one of these “punish you for what the ones before you did” kind of thing. I came to Oki when the tours of service were raised to two years for single Marines, three years for married Marines. Now let me paint a picture.

A while back, there were these group of jar heads that raped an Okinawa teenage girl in the 90’s (y’all pretty much heard of it) and the future retards would get punished as a result (another one of those being punished for others kind of thing). Let me read the list of what Marines couldn’t do in Okinawa. Let’s see, Marines couldn’t leave base by themselves, they needed a libo buddy. All the other branches could happily leave base and come back by themselves, but us Marines had to have a damn libbo buddy (makes it that much harder to get laid out in town). Us Marines had a libo card system, red meant that you had to be back by midnight or you risked getting NJP’d. Yellow meant that you could go off base by yourself. But, the only way you could get it was if you were and NCO and ran above a 285 PFT (figures, make it harder for dumbasses) and even then some NCO’s were not permitted to have a yellow libo card cause some dumb fuck came in late a couple of nights ago (again getting punished for others). Other branches, regardless of rank could drive a vehicle on base. Now you could imagine how us retards felt when we would see E-2 Sailors, Soldiers, and Airmen driving their cool Japanese cars bumping their music and us dumbasses had to march in formation like recruits and the only music that was bumping for us was the Sgt’s cadence.

Now, I know it sucked being a Marine, but what really pissed me off was how all the other branches could drink at twenty years of age and buy as many cases of beer they wanted. Us idiots were not allowed to drink until age 21. And those that were 21 could only buy a six pack for the whole day if you were E-3 and below. This really bothered me because I felt discriminated (kind of like Jews in Europe when the Germans were taking over). And no I don’t buy the “were Marines and were held to a higher standard” bullshit because that was downright stupid and I knew it was a way to micro manage Marines into not drinking. I did not get this, I would ask myself “don’t we serve the same country? Don’t we serve the same Department of Defense? Aren’t we all in this together? Doesn’t the USMC need the Navy as much as the Navy works with the Army as much as we all use the AirForce’s airplanes?” I felt very offended at this. For the first time I felt discriminated for the uniform I wore. I soon started to see my digital cammies as an orange prison jump suit. Marines that would get questioned off base by the Shore Patrol (higher up Marines in civvies out to burn Marines in town) would lie about being in the Army, Navy or AirForce out of survival’s sake, and they would still get burned and put on blast that they claimed another branch. This is when I really hated the USMC. I felt that I was being punished for no fucking reason at all, I really did not commit a crime but it was kind of like being the son of a slave in ancient Rome and automatically becoming a slave. I did not understand this.

So to make a long story short, I was in the darkest of the darkest of the darkest units that could possibly exist in the USMC. I was worse off than the guys in the Brig because all they did was eat, sleep, watch tv. We did not even get to enjoy those luxuries. We were constantly getting hazed and fucked with. Not to mention the Sgt. I mentioned before would love to spread bad news to us, he would always belittle us and remind us on a daily basis how shitty we had it. He would always stand in front of us and say “you motherfuckers are not going anywhere this weekend, you motherfuckers will not drink this weekend, you mother fuckers will not ride honchos (Japanese taxis) for this week, and guess what, when you motherfuckers get back to the barracks, we are going to have a Charlie, fuck that, and Alpha formation tonight at 2200 after fielday (we fieldayed every day).” I seriously started to hate the USMC because I felt that I was being discriminated for no fucking reason at all. I would sometimes sit on my rack at night and punch the shit out of the wall with tears coming down my face (not being a pussy but I felt like I was being raped and treated unfairly for no fucking reason). This really hit home for me, I was very angry at the decisions I made and I soon started to seriously hate the USMC. I have been in jail before but guess what, it was not even a fraction as shitty as the unit I was with as I had better chow and got to sleep my eight hours and I was not constantly getting fucked with. The excuse that the higher ups would say that the reason for our mistreatment was shit like “we’re the best, we’re held to a higher standard, Chesty Puller believed in hardship, hardship makes better Marines, Semper Fi do or die, we have been doing this for 232 years etc.) this really ticked me off as I felt as the higher ups were doing a mockery of our bullshit existence. It really hit me, when we were voluntold to fill sand bags and make fighting holes for a mock exercise for a Company that we were not even associated with. Our CO got along with the other CO and said “fuck it, make my Marines do it” it really started to dawn on me when I was out in the 100+ degree weather with 95% humidity at 1200 out in the hot ass sun that it was going to be a long two years of my life. I could remember filling those sand bags that were 55lbs each and carrying two of them atop of both my shoulders and carrying it up hill for 200+ yards and looking at the sky and seeing a jet fly in the horizon. It was a jet that was from Kadena Air Force base and it was doing an exercise. I could so vividly remember that I would do anything, ANYTHING to be that motherfucker as he was an Airman and atop of that he was an officer. That is like having a double win win situation. I remember thinking “you lucky, lucky motherfucker!”

Stay tuned for part 3 of my Okinawa Prison experience. This is the tip of the ice berg.

Submitted by “free_bird”

Okinawa Prison (Part 1)

I got a story for you all. When I was unhappily locked up in Okinawa, Camp Kinser (sausage fest) I felt the oppression, depression, and imprisonment unlike most Marines in the USMC. I’m talking about we had to march to the chow hall, march to work etc. If we had to go to the PX the Sgt. would literally make us walk in fire teams, like the grunts do in echelons, with the “supposed” rifle man, fire team leader and machine gunner. We would look stupid going to get haircuts, etc. in fire team formations.

We would then form it up to form it up right out side barracks 1224 for 45+ minutes with the fat drop (Forrest Gump) style kind of rain. The Sgt. would then make us get in a straight line and police call the football field. We were ordered to pick up all the white daisy flowers. But it was not your average police call, we had to stand at attention, forward march one step, stop, bend over, and pick up a white daisy. We went from goal post to goal post for, let’s say, 600 yards back and forth. We were then ordered to field day our rooms. The Chinese way. Note that we lived on the fourth deck and had to carry all of our shit out to the parking lot. The Sgt. (with a beer in his hand and his Japanese girlfriend waiting in his room) would order us to skuz brush the deck like recruits do in bootcamp. We would do this for, let’s see, till 0330 or something. It did not matter how clean we made our rooms because the Sgt. would just “find” dirt somewhere and tell us to clean. This Sgt. would make sure he PT’d us for a very long time, so that when we came back to our barracks, showered, shit, shaved we barely had enough time for chow and if we were a minute late, the Sgt. would be waiting with a charge sheet.

At work, we would be ordered to move shit to one corner, then another corner, then another corner etc. On the way back to the barracks we would always be ordered to type a 1000 word essay on stuff like “why I love the USMC, why was Chesty Puller great, what does it mean to have Espirit de Corps etc.” and would be ordered to take it to the Sgt’s room at 0000 sharp. Mind we had to get up at 0430, to form it up at 0445, so the Sgt. can take us on a run at 0545, come back and be at work by 0730 sharp or else. We would constantly get harrassed with this beer holding Sgt., mind that we were not allowed to drink at all but the Sgt. would chug his beers in front of us while we were getting our asses chewed in the common lounge. The Sgt. would later order us to have our rooms uniformed, even though he had a couch, big screen tv, two racks put together to make a kind size bed, but we had to be “uniform” because that is what Marines do.

This is when it hit me. This is when I realized that this Sgt. did not fuck with us cause we fucked up, he fucked with us because he was cynical and the higher ups did not give a damn at all. This is when I realized that I made a big mistake coming to Okinawa prison. I soon hated putting on the uniform. I soon hated the Eagle Globe and Anchor because I thought that it was full of cannibals that enjoyed hurting their own. That is when me and a couple of other Marines became “shit bags” but in reality we just stopped caring about “Espirit de Corps.” This unit was so bad that Marines in Iraq would porpusefully extend so that they wouldn’t have to deal with garrison bull shit. This is the tip of the ice berg and I will soon write part 2 of my Okinawa experience.

Submitted by: “free_bird”

Why I didn’t join the Marine Corps.

Now, I know what you might be thinking. “Oh, here we go with another Air Force elitist.” But alas, that is not the case. I hold no discrimination specifically against the Marine Corps, actually. I hate all of the branches equally. With that said, let me help put into perspective my experiences when it came to joining the Marine Corps, and why I quit.

Growing up, I loved war movies. After watching them I would always get so inspired to go and fight for my country. I would go and do research on the Marine Corps and the Army for hours on end. Finding out about how to join, what the jobs were, and pretty much everything I could find. The most recent of which, was after I had gone on an 81 mile march with some marines in honor of the (approximately) 81 marines who died in the second battle of Fallujah. One of the marines who joined us during this walk was a marine who had been in for around 29 years. After going on this adventure, it was the thing that finally got me serious about talking to a recruiter in joining the military. Initially, actually, I had gone to the National Guard recruiter and scheduled a meeting with an Air Force recruiter, but after requesting information online for the Marine Corps, they had contacted me and had me come into the recruiting station to meet with me. After that… I was hooked.

I started going through the process, my recruiter being extremely helpful and understanding, making sure that I had all of the requirements needed in order to join the Marine Corps. Now, when we had gotten to allergies, I thought I told him that I think I’m allergic to cats. After telling him this, we stepped outside and he told me that I will have to put that on certain documentation and that it could lead to me being disqualified. He talked about how he had never seen a cat in all of his 10+ years of being in the Marine Corps, and the chance of me seeing one would be slim to none, so I had the choice to not say anything about it if I didn’t want to. If I did this however, I would have to make sure that I was consistent in saying this with telling my senior recruiter, MEPS, and the documentation. I took his advice, under the impression that he was thinking about my best interest, when in reality he just wanted to make sure he didn’t lose another potential recruit. Although it can be argued that he didn’t want something small like that to stop me from “living my dream” of being a marine, it was later on in and after the enlistment process that I found out what my recruiter was really like as a person.

After finishing up everything at MEPS, I had become a poolee. Now, later on in being in the DEP, I had decided that I wanted to go Active Duty. After telling my recruiter this, he pretty much just laughed at me. Although I was passing my IST, I wasn’t getting 20 pull-ups or 9 minute run times, which apparently was his standard for what anyone going Infantry should have. At PT (which we have 4 times throughout the week) he would mock me for my scores not being as high as he wanted them to be. “And you want to be  infantry?” He would say. In addition to this, he, along with the other recruiters, would humiliate me along with any of the other poolees whenever they could. Claiming that they were doing this to prepare us for boot camp, it was not what we needed. They would try to trick me into a joke, and if I didn’t take the bait and ignored them they would just mock me even more. I know that it’s worse actually being in, but I was not a marine. I was a poolee. They told us to completely trust them, after making some kind of joke about how we were stupid or something of that sort.

One time, a week before a Pool function (and Winter break) I had gotten sick. It was only a cold, but nevertheless I was sick. I had actually gotten sick from another poolee. I knew that people were shipping soon, so I told my recruiter that I didn’t want to go to the pool function because I knew there was no way I was going to be able to do the IST in this condition. He told me to just suck it up, once again mocking me for the fact that I wanted to be infantry. I knew that if I was in a situation, such as a combat situation where if I would have to fight, I would, but I didn’t want to risk the poolees shipping soon to get sick. I ended up showing up for 15 minutes to sign the paper to show that I signed up, then went back home to get some sleep. Not only that, but literally the night before I had found this website, and after reading articles all night, was extremely unmotivated to do anything involving the Marine Corps at the time. The next time I was at the station for PT, I explained to him that I did not want to get the other poolees sick, and that is the main reason why I did not show up that day. He then told me that he did not care if I had gotten the other poolees sick, as long as I showed up.

It was then, that I realized he did not have our interests or safety in mind whatsoever. He was only interested in what he could benefit from.

This, in concordance with what I had found out about many of the NCOs in the Marine Corps, I found out that my recruiter was another one of the sergeants that would treat their junior enlisted horribly and for no good reason. I’m not saying I found out any  information about his past to confirm this, but his personality fit the profile perfectly.

After signing my contract, I had to go and meet the “Commanding Officer” or whoever at the reserve station I would have been serving at. In meeting him, I learned more about the current situation with the Marine Corps than I did from any of the recruiters. You know how recruiters will tell you that you can go reserve, and then switch to active duty if you want to? Technically this is true. But the CO made it very clear to me. “If you are going in as a reservist initially, there is an extremely small chance that you will ever be an active duty marine. It just makes no sense for us to pay for an older marine with little actual training or experience to become an active duty marine when we can just get a new,  stronger person to come in initially as an active duty marine and fill that spot anyway.” Is what he said to me. Although I knew that recruiters would bend the truth to get me to believe things, this was a real life example that affirmed it for me.

So, after all of these experiences, my recruiters mocked me, lied to me, and showed that they didn’t care about me or any of the other poolees as long as we became their meal ticket.

This entire experience along with what I saw from the articles on this website showed that this was not the right place for me. Not only that, but I realized that the military in itself is a deception. We are constantly bombarded with shows, movies, news, etc. about how great our military is, but once you get into the roots of it, you find out how corrupt it is.

This has nothing to do with the fact that I wouldn’t fight. If there is a war and I truly believe in the cause of one of the sides, I would gladly fight. But to do so with an organization that is going to constantly tear me down and punish me unless I conform to the rigged system would be against everything I believe in.

I wanted to be the marine that I saw on TV, not the kind of marine I would actually become going into the Marine Corps.

In conclusion, if you are thinking about joining the Marine Corps, please take great consideration into what it’s actually about. You will be fighting for your country, but will you be fighting for the right reasons? Because you will get no say in the matter. Wherever the guys in the suits in ties who sleep comfortably in their nice suburban homes/small mansions will be the ones who decide who you fight and why. Not you. Amongst many other things, which this site brings to light.

Although these weren’t the only reasons I decided to do something different, they were strong motivators to run away as fast as possible.

If you are doing this because you need a job, or you need an education, or anything like that… Please don’t do it. Do what makes you happy in life. Even if it means you won’t make a lot of money, or won’t get an education (Not saying you would make a lot of money in the Marine Corps… you know what I mean).

Please be careful with this decision. You are risking 4-8 of your best years on this decision. Making the wrong one could mean dealing with regret for the rest of your life.

Submitted by: Home Alone

The Sand Castle Blues, Part 1- Headed to the Citadel

[Pictured above: An inmate-run sand castle prison masquerading as a place of higher learning. Not Pictured: surrounding low income  neighborhood behind the camera]

This blog series is about my life and times at a place that defined who I am today, a place called the Citadel, the Military College of South Carolina.  A place that had a radical effect on me as a person and how I saw the world, though opposite of the way it was intended.

Like many awkward, insecure teens, I grew up idealizing and worshiping that most American of cults, that of the man at arms, particularly the Marine.  My time spent at poolee functions with recruiters made me want to enlist, which my college educated parents wouldn’t tolerate. Thank God, I took their advice, and since I was good in school and more into reading about the great military minds and campaigns, I agreed to go in as an officer at a good college.

I picked the Citadel because normal colleges weren’t military enough, and because the service academies struck the enlisted recruiters and older friends who influenced me as snobbish. I wanted a challenge in  a good military and educational setting unplagued by the supposed ills of regular colleges. Things like apathy, drug use, rampant drinking. Hah. We’ll get to that.

The Citadel seemed to have it all: pretty good ranking,  it was in the deep south and had a lot of history,  all 4 branches of ROTC and a particularly large portion of their midshipman  were in the so called “Marine Contingent”, along with more MECEPS than at any other school. On paper it looked as though it had just as much pedigree for building leaders of character as West Point or Annapolis, plus a more macho image to boot. Honor, Duty, Respect were the core values, and the school’s mission was to “Build leaders for all walks of life” or something similar.

I competed for a four year all tuition paid scholarship via the USMC, and was picked as one of 8 freshmen to the Citadel class of 2015. I expected to find a place where I could shine and be molded by good leaders.What I found out instead was that the place was a mad frathouse run by alcoholic, bitterly angry upperclassmen with little supervision, and even less real military experience.  I was exposed to various forms of abuse and violations of regulations regarding our treatment.

I learned that the Fourth Class system for freshmen, the “Knob Year” is an 8 month long hazing session devoid of value as military  or ethical training. It serves to make you a prick and tool for all walks of life. Cadets and their families from all over the South are not only aware of this, but firmly embrace it. Anyone outside the circle like myself, and most of you reading, had no indication of how bad this place really is or in how much self righteous denial people are about it, much like the services.

In any news articles or youtube videos, especially regarding hazing or treatment of women, legions of alums and current toolbags rush to the defense of the Corp’s practices and “traditions”.  Not a lot of ex cadets are willing to step up and fight them back or vent about the utter nonsense of the Ashley River’s biggest frat.

I have the chance to do something about it. I’m going to expose The Citadel’s many troubling aspects in this series, in scathing, amused detail. I’m going to cover Knob year, describe the stupid mentalities, dissect the bad blood between the Corps of Cadets various cliques, talk about NROTC, and much more. It is my strongest hope that one day, motarded toolbags all over greater Charleston will blow a gasket for calling out their bullshit. This is my Sand Castle Blues, hope you enjoy the song.

[For more from me and other ex cadets, check out http://brokengrayline.tumblr.com   a blog inspired by ihatetheusmc, made special for El Cid’s misfit rejects.]