This story was submitted by Rebekah Kind, who was extremely motivated to earn the title of Marine as a means of both serving her country, and personally self-actualizing. At the end of this entry is a link to a news article written about her, and a specific Parris Island practice that I can personally attest to having been practiced in 2003. Following the events of September 11, 2001, I knew I wanted to serve my country. I was not looking for an easy path. The Marine Corps called my name even when I was a young teenager. When I was finally old enough to join, I told my parents, and they talked me out of it...for a time. In 2016 I realized it was my last chance to join. I was 28 and would only just make the age cutoff. So, against my family's wishes, I joined the DEP. I was about as motivated as a poolee could be. I went to PT sessions as often as possible, scored a 93 on the ASVAB, and looked forward to becoming an aviation mechanic for the Marines. To give you an idea of my state of mind, before I shipped off to boot camp a MEPS employee asked me where I wanted to be stationed. I answered, "Wherever the Marine Corps will have me, sir!" Not only was I as patriotic and motivated as could be, but I was honored to be given this incredible opportunity. That is, until I got to Parris Island. At boot camp I was taught that "Marines never lie, cheat, or steal," even as I witnessed said activity. I got there as a mentally and physically strong person, but soon after my arrival, began a descent into a shell of who I formerly was. I grew thin and sick, which was made even worse when I contracted pneumonia. Upon requesting to go to sick call for the first time - with pneumonia - I was mocked and berated. This was the worst part, I think - being torn down, then never built back up. In fact, when my dad saw me the day I left Parris Island, he immediately noticed the change. I had gone from being a tough tomboy to someone who was afraid to look people in the eye. Because, on Parris Island, the moment you look someone in the eye you're told not to "eyeball" them. Having adapted to the environment, it only took a couple months of being treated with no dignity for me to lose confidence in myself, or my ability to do anything right, including walk down the sidewalk and cross paths with someone, particularly if they had that funny hat/belt combo. I only wanted to serve my country as an aviation mechanic. I did not expect to be treated with disgrace and disgust at every turn. If I'd had leaders I could trust, I would have willingly run toward bullets. Instead, I was methodically shredded until there was nothing left to destroy. Frankly, this is all fairly humiliating, so you might wonder why I would risk telling this story. Why Am I Doing This? I have made my experience public in the hopes that other young patriotic recruits will not have to continue to undergo the sort of degradation that I did. I may not have earned the right to say "Semper Fi," but neither does anyone else, because that phrase does not describe the USMC accurately. Always faithful? The Marine Corps has a lot of work to do in order to live up to that ideal. I will write more about my experiences in boot camp as time permits. I have nothing but the greatest respect for Marines who live up to the Corps' motto.
“The measure of a man is what he does with power.” – Plato
My feet hit those adorable little yellow footprints in January of 2002, and from T-1 all the way up until my EAS in 2006, I heard “New Corps” at least five times a day. It always amused me to see 19 year old kids and 30 year old men complaining about how the world was going to shit because they couldn’t IT a 17 year old boy barely out of high school for forgetting to shave. I was issued “old school” woodlands which required heavy starching and ironing in order to make them look sweet. I was issued black leather boots that needed to be cleaned, buffed, and polished every night and touched up throughout the day. Most of us took a lot of pride in our uniforms and the hours of maintenance that came with them. When the spiffy new digital camouflage utilities emerged, nearly every Staff NCO, NCO, and Senior Lance began having meltdown after hilariously embarrassing meltdown, screeching and wailing like meth-addicted banshees about how ri-goddamned-diculous it was that they weren’t allowed to starch or iron them. And the boots! YOU CAN’T SPIT SHINE THEM?? WHAT THE FUCK?? MY MARINES WON’T HAVE SHINY FEET?? NOOOOO!!! All ending with violent fist shaking towards the heavens and a moon-shattering “DAMN YOUS NEW CORPS!! DAMN YOUS ALL TO HELL!!”
It, uh…It got intense.
Digital utilities and the new boots meant, in reality, less time spent on starching, ironing, and polishing and more effective camouflage. Marines who were not issued Marpat were so confounded by this change that many simply refused to wear them, until units began officially making them the uniform of the day, to try to preserve their status as “old school.” Boots were buying old utilities and jungles in attempt to fit in and be “Old Corps.” It was beautiful. [single tear forms before I force it back in like a man.]
Everything that was updated, changed or different was immediately terrible and was blamed on this “New Corps.”
Civilians running the Chow halls? Damn that New Corps! Drill Instructor gets removed for spraying a recruit in the face with windex? Damn that New Corps! Changing the way the Rifle Range is scored? Damn that New Corps! Getting rid of 5-tons so Motor T has to learn about 7-tons? Damn that New Corps! We have to sit through another Safety Brief/Stand Down? Damn that New Corps! Most often it was basically “Troop welfare is better than when I was that rank…FUCKING NEW CORPS!! UUUUGGGGHHHH!!” (with or without violent, childish tantrum-kicking.)
Many Marines never open their eyes enough to realize that at one point, this “New Corps” was blamed for making them trade in their trusty M-14 for a POS M-16, a musket with balls for a rifle with cartridges, and a horse for a tank. Speaking with WWII, Korean War, and Vietnam veterans will provide much insight into this, as they all will tell you about Marines who bitched about the “New Corps” or “Kinder, Gentler Marine Corps” when they served.
Point being: Progress and change in the Corps are viewed as dangerous, unnecessary, and coddling. When the AAV was originally scheduled to be replaced by the AAAV (aka EFV) nearly every 2141 and 1833 complained about the training that they would need if that happened. Instead of being excited about receiving a faster, safer, and overall better piece of equipment, they all blamed this new technology (which was never instated) for the decline of their beloved Corps. Their “logic” was: “Marines don’t need air-conditioning in a combat vehicle! Quick-disconnect parts are for bitches! That 25mm Bushmaster isn’t as cool as my m2 and mk19, I don’t care if it CAN hit a target in 6 foot swells from a longer distance, I don’t need no dang ole’ electronics helping me shoot! Going 35 knots isn’t much faster than 8, that’s a waste of power! These vehicles being easier to diagnose, repair, maintain, and operate will lead to my Marines becoming complacent and turning into shit bags!”
By far, the most hilariously stupid use of New Corps Blaming was unleashed upon anyone mentioning the hazing policy. I came in several years after the original order was instated and there were still Marines who claimed to not fully understand it. It was a fairly simple order; Incentive Training was for recruits at MCRD’s only, no public humiliation, no physical assaults, no consenting to being hazed or abused, and punishments must make sense. For example: If he is late for formation, the Marine stays late that week or has to be in early the next week to write an essay so that he knows what he did wrong and how to fix it, instead of forcing him to PT which would only add to his exhaustion and teach him that he can fuck up all he wants as long as he can keep up with whoever is running him. If his uniform looks like dusty ass, he should stand several uniform inspections until he has proved that he is competent in that area of Devil Doggyness. If his room looks like six hobos held an epic fisting orgy overnight, he should lose his weekend to a proper Field Day (Chinese if there is mold or is an extreme case). If he is a fat body or cannot pass a PFT, extra PT should be used to fix those deficiencies, where an essay or uniform inspection could not.
There is often a good amount of debate between Marines as to what type of punishment fits each offense. A common misconception is that extra PT will solve any problem by teaching Marines that physical pain is the result of making a mistake. This is incorrect. It teaches him that he can get away with being a poor quality Marine as long as he can exercise well. Some argue that it is better to take a Marine out to the tree line and beat some sense into him than to “ruin his career with paperwork.” This does not teach him to correct his deficiencies, it teaches him that it is acceptable to assault someone when they make the wrong choice, there will be no official repercussion if he does, and that he can be a failure as a Marine but still stay in the Corps because he has a clean record.
Some types of hazing are fairly innocent, and like many Marines, I have no problem with those. Tasking a young devil with finding an eight pound bolt stretcher, some grid squares, blinker fluid, or 50 feet of shore-line is not humiliating, but it does show him that work can be sacrificed in order to play games. Inside jokes help form lasting bonds, every adult realizes that. Including the new guy in those inside jokes helps him acclimate to the environment and feel like part of the team, especially when he can include someone in the joke later on down the road. Pranks that don’t waste time and resources and do not result in someone being injured or humiliated are fine in my opinion, and I doubt many Marines would disagree with me on that.
Tradition is often cited as a reason for allowing hazing. A notable tradition being the NCO Blood Stripe ceremony. When a Marine is promoted to Corporal, he walks between two rows of senior NCO’s who each punch him in the shoulder to “make the rank stick” and knee him in the thigh, creating a line of bruises that are supposed to mimic the scarlet stripe on NCO and Officer dress blue trousers. Marines are taught in boot camp that the Corps uses the blood stripe to remember that 90% of all Officers and NCO’s were lost during the Battle of Chapultepec in 1847, and this ceremony is supposed to honor that. In reality, the losses were much less significant (7 out of 400-450 men) and the Marine Corps borrowed the blood stripe from the Army in 1840. Freshly promoted Corporals often have trouble walking for at least a day after this pointless, historically inaccurate ceremony, and a few have formed blood clots that have endangered their careers and lives. If we are going to have traditions, let us at the very least make sure that they don’t make us look like fools. If you want to congratulate your brother for being promoted, shake his hand like a man.
As for as the “tradition” argument; the Corps has never tolerated hazing. Before the current order was instated it was just called an Article 93 (Cruelty and Maltreatment). Putting a new name on and bringing attention to an old problem does not make the Corps weaker or softer, it helps address an existing issue so that future Marines can have a better Corps than you did. Children that were abused are more likely to abuse their own children, and the same goes for Marines. If we don’t work together and stop making the same mistakes our predecessors made, the Marine Corps will never be the elite organization that we all wanted it to be.
tl;dr – You are always boot to someone who thinks you are ruining their Corps. Don’t be a dick and ruin it for everyone who serves after you.
My goal here is to attempt explaining the Marine Corps Order regarding Hazing and provide some examples for context. There is often confusion as to what can be defined as hazing, as the Marines have a tendency to push the envelope as far as possible when it comes to this particular subject and fight it with every base-less logic they can come up with in order to keep each other out of trouble and save their unit’s reputation.
The Marine Corps Order on Hazing (MCO 1700.28B http://www.marines.mil/Portals/59/Publications/MCO 1700.28B.pdf) can be a Marine’s best friend. It is one of the few Orders that were written to increase the quality of life for everyone.
Not everyone clearly understands the Order, however. The examples used in many classes are only of an extreme nature, most pointing to the “blood-winging” video released in the 1990’s. Hazing can be much less violent and much more discrete than that, and the Order clearly states this fact.
According to Section 2 of the Order, hazing is “any conduct whereby a military member or members, regardless of Service or rank, without proper authority causes another military member or members, regardless of Service or rank, to suffer or be exposed to any activity which is cruel, abusive, humiliating, oppressive, demeaning, or harmful.” It goes further, stating that “soliciting or coercing another to perpetrate any such activity” is also considered hazing.
So what is considered hazing? Well, following the Order again, “hazing need not involve physical contact between military members; it can be verbal or psychological in nature.” What this means is that hazing is not just assaulting the new guy, it is also terrorizing him by ANY other means.
Specific examples in the Order are: “physically striking another to inflict pain outside of a supervised training exercise; piercing another’s skin in any manner (such as “pinning,” “tacking on,” or “blood wing(ing),”); verbally berating another for the sole purpose of belittling or humiliating; encouraging another to excessively consume alcohol or encouraging another to engage in illegal, harmful, or dangerous acts; playing abusive or ridiculous tricks; threatening or offering violence or bodily harm to another; branding; taping; tattooing; shaving; greasing; painting; requiring excessive physical exercise beyond what is required to meet standards; or the forced consumption of food, alcohol, drugs, or any other substance.”
Hazing is not always an NCO treating their Marines like shit. Section 2d states that hazing can also occur “between peers or involve actions toward senior military personnel by those junior in rank or grade to them.” Although rare, this does happen, usually to a young officer or NCO.
With such a broad description, many leaders question what is NOT considered hazing. To their question, refer to Section 2e: “Properly administered EMI…is not hazing; it provides a tool for small unit leaders to increase proficiency of the unit or individuals in assigned duties.” It also states that an EMI (Extra Military Instruction) is required to be applied logically and that and is not to be used as a punishment, but as a way to positively correct a carefully identified deficiency. An EMI may not last longer than two hours per day, must be held immediately prior to or following the work day (if conditions do not allow, the EMI must take place at a different REASONABLE time), may not last longer than it takes to correct the deficiency, should not be conducted on the member’s Sabbath, and may not be used to deprive someone of the normal liberty that they would be otherwise entitled (member can turn to liberty after completion of EMI.) Only the CO or OIC have the authority to assign EMI after normal working hours, but they also have the authority to delegate this power to officers and NCO’s whose duties include training.
The policy very clearly states in Section 3a that hazing is unlawful, prohibited, will not be tolerated in Marine units or detachments, will not be condoned or ignored, and that it is every Marine’s responsibility to ensure that it does not occur in any form on any level. Violating, attempting to violate, or persuading others to violate the Order are also prohibited. Marines found to be violating the Order may also be subject to other violations of the UCMJ such as Articles 80 (Attempts), 81 (conspiracy), 92 (violation of a lawful general order), 93 (cruelty and maltreatment), 124 (maiming), 128 (assault), 133 (conduct unbecoming an officer and gentleman), and 134 (general article).
Reprisals or revenge schemes that in any way come from hazing allegations are strictly prohibited. Victims of hazing are to report all incidents and evidence thereof to their CO immediately. Commanders are required to conduct a preliminary investigation into every report and all personnel are required to exhibit extreme caution and sensitivity throughout the proceedings to minimize re-victimization. Investigations are to be focused on the environment that fostered hazing while attempting to prevent future incidents. Commanders must provide advocacy services for their subordinates and closely monitor victims for stress reactions associated with physical and psychological abuse.
What does all of that mean? It means you should be able to perform your duties as a Marine without having to worry about being subjected to humiliating forms of torture for things such as being late to work or getting promoted to a higher rank. It means you don’t need to live in fear.
To put this into context, here are some examples that could be considered hazing by the current Order:
That SNCO that humiliated you in front of the entire company by telling you that you are a worthless piece of shit that doesn’t belong in his beloved Corps because you failed field day has hazed you.
Why is it hazing? Screaming that kind of vitriol at you was not constructive, did not correct a deficiency, was humiliating, and degraded your reputation in front of your peers.
You were five minutes late for PT formation so Sgt Motardovez woke you up at 0500 on Saturday and PT’d you for three hours.
Why is it hazing? Physical Training can not be used as a punishment, and running does not correct the problem of you being late.
A senior Lcpl instructed you to go to the tool room and request a boltstretcher, 50 feet of shore line, a can of A-I-R, bottle of blinker fluid, Prick E-5, or any other imaginary object.
Why is it hazing? Although hilarious and tame by Marine standards, they are purposely sending you on a “dummy” mission in order to humiliate you, and possibly get you a hardcore ass-chewing (if the tool room NCO is a Sergeant…)
You partied a little too hard and passed out…then your fellow Lcpls stripped you naked and drew penises all over you.
Why is it hazing? Once again, pointless humiliation, and Marines are supposed to be better than that.
You are a Cpl and your Sgt just told you to fail Pfc Bootballs and Lcpl BouttoEAS for field day because one is a boot and the other is a shitbag.
Why is it hazing? Conspiring to haze someone is still hazing.
Cpl Fuckface and Cpl Roidrage kick your door in and inform you that if you attempt to complain about Sgt Dickbrain’s hazing you, they will beat the bloody shit out of you.
Why is it hazing? They are intimidating you for speaking out, and that is an act of reprisal.
Cpl PFT thought you didn’t sound off enough, so he took you into one of the storage containers and IT’d you boot camp style.
Why is it hazing? Incentive Training (IT) is only authorized at Marine Corps Recruit Depots.
One of your SNCO’s referred to you as an extremely disrespectful derogatory term for someone of your background (race, religion, sex, orientation, etc.) in formation, during a class, or in public.
Why is it hazing? Not only is this humiliating, it is attempting to turn you into an outcast among your peers.
The following section is about hazing on social media sites and the internet.
Your NCO or another fellow Marine took pictures of you and posted them on the internet for the purpose of making fun of your appearance.
Why is it hazing? Posting pictures, even in an unofficial capacity, that may bring discredit upon the Marine Corps is in direct violation of the Marine Corps Policy on Social Media Guidance [http://www.marines.mil/News/SocialMedia/Guidance.aspx] and the Marines Social Media Handbook [http://www.marines.mil/Portals/59/Docs/Marines-Social-Media-Handbook.pdf]. Attempting to humiliate another service member is hazing.
A picture you posted of yourself ended up on another website and active duty Marines have posted offensive derogatory comments.
Why is it hazing? Quoting the Social Media Guidance document: “Marines should avoid offensive and inappropriate behavior that
could bring discredit upon themselves and the Marine Corps. This
behavior includes posting any defamatory, libelous, obscene, abusive,
threatening, racially or ethnically hateful, or otherwise offensive or
illegal information or material.” Also, this can be seen as an act of humiliation.
One of your pictures ended up on another website and one of your fellow Marines posted your name or other personal information.
Why is it hazing? From the Social Media Guide: “Marines should be extremely judicious when disclosing personal details
on the Internet, and should not release personal identifiable
information (PII) that could be used to distinguish their individual
identity or that of another Marine.” Giving out your personal information can open the door for criminals or anyone else to harass, defame, or humiliate you.
Another Marine created a fake social media profile, used your pictures, and is pretending to be you.
Why is it hazing? They are trying to defame or humiliate you and possibly sabotage your career. Social Media Guidance states that Marines “should not disguise, impersonate or otherwise misrepresent their identity or affiliation with the Marine Corps.”
There are too many possibilities to list, but pay attention because if you witness it you must report it. It IS your responsibility. Hazing is such a huge problem mainly because no one speaks out about it until it is too late. The best advice I can give is this: If you think you are the victim of hazing, research the Order and speak with a peer that you trust, then report and document EVERYTHING. How often you have barracks duty, the frequency of your addition to working parties, how often you fail field day, your work load increase, literally everything. Finding witnesses helps, if you can get them to man up and step forward with you. If someone threatens you to drop it or else, report them too. Whatever you do, do not let them think they can control you with fear, because that is how this shit spreads and sticks around. Some members of your unit will try that macho bravado brotherhood bullshit and call you a bitch or a pussy. Let them. Your SNCO’s and officers will let your NCO’s know not to fuck with you because you will, in fact, not stand up for that bullshit, and those NCO’s will comply whether they like it or not. If you get to a new unit, that reputation will follow you, but it won’t be bad. Most of the guys will understand the situation and give you respect for standing up for yourself like an adult.
Hopefully Helpful Links:
Marine Corps Order on Hazing http://www.marines.mil/Portals/59/Publications/MCO 1700.28B.pdf
Marines Social Media Guidance http://www.marines.mil/News/SocialMedia/Guidance.aspx
Marines Social Media Handbook http://www.marines.mil/Portals/59/Docs/Marines-Social-Media-Handbook.pdf
Submitted by: AAVPOG
I know my grammar might not be great but I’m not really worried about that right now. I spent 8 months in Boot Camp, watched my original platoon graduate without me, and it feels that I haven’t really moved on from boot camp.
I joined in 2006 and the first week of boot camp I don’t remember taking a shit, the first time I ever pissed in my bed while sleeping, and just felt terrorized. I got through the first say 3 weeks and I got sick with pneumonia and didn’t wake up with the rest of the platoon on time. The DI shoved me off the top rack and I hit the floor, went to the hospital, and got dropped and put into MRP. From then on I got sick multiple time with bronchitis and pneumonia back and forth because I was around it all the time. The 3rd month I was called to clean on the other side of the parade deck, and that’s where I got to watch my platoon and the company while cleaning the windows.
Shortly after I was placed in a company just before going Phase 2. I had gotten pneumonia again a couple weeks after being with that company. Dropped again, got better, and joined another. During our physical training I had touched my face and 4 DI’s came over and started screaming in my face, I couldn’t understand what they were saying at all, was being spit in my face by all of them, burning my eyes and dangling from my chin with pain in my inner ear from the volume. I remember after doing a run with our gear on I slipped and fell on the stairs, a DI grabbed me pulled me up to our barracks, and I was forced to drink water from a disgusting canteen over and over again. I couldn’t drink anymore and threw it up all over the place in the middle of the DI highway where I was. I had to clean it up and by that time the day was over, needless to say I had 3 night watches that night. I woke up and started getting dressed and a DI came over and slammed my head into the metal rack. I was punched in the gut I would say 3 or 4 times in my time there, I’m talking full punches with their arm swung back all the way.
Anyways I got through Phase 2 and got dropped again for bronchitis. I just didn’t have any will left, I was depressed and I just felt like I couldn’t got on anymore. Then I got a infected ingrown toenail and before lights out when the DI’s inspect you he saw it and put his heel on my toe and pushed down. He asked if that hurt and I said no with tears coming out of my eyes, I later was taken to the hospital where they put 3 shots in my toe to numb it before taking it out. The guy took some scissors and started cutting down the middle and I screamed with pain cuz I could still feel, after 3 more shots it was removed. I got back with another company and finished phase 3 without my blue’s because something was going on I don’t know I was never told. During the ceremony I never felt better, I never felt like I accomplished anything. I have never said Oorah because I just never wanted to, even when people say it to me nowadays. I regret ever going and I wish it never happened. My toe nail grows with a space in between the nail and it just reminds me of the pain everyday. I’m not saying that I got it worse or better, this is just what happened to me.
After boot camp the hazing never stopped and eventually I did a tour in Iraq. We returned to Iowa, and I never went back, I quit. I was given an Other than Honorable Discharge. I wrote this because someone got in my face yesterday and I just had a breakdown, so I had to get this out somehow. Thanks for reading and excusing my writing skills…
Submitted by “Michael Power”
I have to say by far my worst experience was in the Marine Corps was the training. All the way from basic to my job school, after that it was pretty chill once I hit the fleet but still had to deal with some stupid bullshit. I still have nightmares about my horrible experience at boot camp at the hands of other recruits, all because I got dropped for an injury and had to pick up with another platoon halfway through. From the first day I was bullied and later got jumped in the shower room after they wanted to “talk” because I didn’t get tasks done fast enough, after that me and others who had picked up with me (they experienced the same things I did) and did everything in our power to get the platoon fucked up on purpose until the drill instructors caught on to what we were doing and left us alone. At the end I personally told the ones I hated most that I hoped that if I ever saw them again they would pay.
At MCT I got my chance, while there one of the assholes that was in my basic platoon was in the same unit I was. I mostly avoided him the whole time but on the last hump he found me and started the same bullshit trying to bully me, I was too busy helping my friends to grind on to pay any attention to him. However on the cool down march the way back to the barracks he started making fun of the fact I was tired (who wasn’t after so many miles?). Finally I had had enough and unslung my rifle from my shoulder and slammed my rifle butt into his face knocking his ass to the ground, not caring who saw it. I was just happy with the fact I got my revenge but the best part was my sergeant saw and heard the whole thing. He separated us and told the other guy to pick himself up and that was the end of it. No NJP, no repercussions and I never saw that prick again but man it felt good!
Submitted by: TP
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”
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”
Today we would like to demonstrate typical behavior of marines when they are off duty. They get drunk and hurt each other, usually the weaker ones. Some may make the excuse that this “builds character”, or that it “makes you stronger”. That is bullshit.
What this does is piss someone off and make them resent you. Do you think the ones getting picked on will be just as likely to take a bullet for their bullies than their friends? This is not teamwork. This is not a team. This is a mess.
All that behavior like this does is reinforce the popular notion that “Enlisted marines are supposed to be scoundrels. That’s why you get a medal if you stay out of trouble for 3 years” (as my former LT once told me). Frankly, if the marine corps wants to be known as a safe haven for children who can’t control their adolescent impulses, who lack any semblance of self-control, self-restraint, or self-discipline, and who joined because they couldn’t make it anywhere else, then the marine corps is doing just fine. But if the marine corps wants to be known as an elite and highly professional fighting force, then it has a long way to go. – S_The_Mod and NINJA_PUNCH
Another fun story I have is from MOS school. I am a generator mechanic, so I went to Courthouse Bay for MOS school. Courthouse Bay is kind of known as a haven for alcoholic junior Marines, so it really sucked being there. My class was full of idiots who got drunk every Wednesday night (seriously, who the fuck gets drunk on a Wednesday?), even though students are not allowed to drink on weekdays, especially in the barracks. They would go around every Wednesday night (Thursday morning, technically) around 0200 and bang on everyone’s doors. They did this to my room way more often than any other room because they knew it bothered me. After this went on for a couple months, I told them that if they did it again, I would report them to the AOD. They thought I was just bullshitting them because I was known as the wet blanket of the class.
Well, they decided to do the same shit the next week. I sat there in bed listening to them smack on the door and yell for a good ten minutes before I opened the door and bitched them out. I gave them one final ultimatum: go away, and I won’t tell the AOD. They didn’t go away. So, I marched my ass down to the duty hut, called the AOD, and had them all reported. Now, because my training company had gotten in so much trouble recently with underage drinking and drinking in the barracks, the AOD worked with our company CO to keep this under wraps. Our CO decided that a fair punishment for these idiots would be a week of duty and restriction for all of them. Oh, but here’s the kicker, I also got the same punishment. Why did I get punished, you ask? Because I “snitched” on my fellow Marines, which decreases unit morale. Yeah, that’s right. Apparently I decreased unit morale by reporting a bunch of underage drinking jackasses who were violating the UCMJ. That’s what’s wrong with the Marine Corps. You have a bunch of rank chasing higher ups who really don’t give a shit about unit morale, or anything like that, but are only concerned with their own fitness reports.
Submitted by: “No, Thanks”
When I started watching this video, and I saw the warning that “images may be disturbing to some viewers”, I initially thought “Whatever. I have thick skin, I’ll be fine.” Needless to say I was not prepared for this video at all. Initially, I was ok, wondering why the kid’s face was blurred out, and why he looked like he was crying. As the screen zoomed out, I noticed the tire around his shoulders, and the female instructor shouting at him. At this point I was still ok. I figured it was some kind of mini boot camp, and he just looked like he was crying because he’d been training hard and was nearing exhaustion. But then the camera zoomed out further and I saw the three other instructors shouting various commands at him and screaming at him from only inches away from his face. Just as I was beginning to think, “Ok, this is getting excessive,” the kid let out a scream that ought to make any decent human being’s blood run cold; but the instructors didn’t let up, and actually got a bit louder to shout over the kid’s screams. The kid fell to the ground and still the instructors didn’t let up. Eventually he gets back up, and takes a couple of steps, and lets out a series of screams that are just a blood curdling as the first, and that continue until the end of the clip.
I opened up this window, and then sat there for a solid twenty minutes as I vainly tried to wrap my mind around what I had just watched. Surely I saw similar things on a fairly regular basis during boot camp, but seeing this happen to a child of only 13 or 14 years of age, and in this context, was different. In an actual boot camp, there is the excuse that inducing stress in this manner is essential to training because it simulates the stress of combat. Whether or not this excuse is actually a justification for this sort of behavior in boot camp is a topic for another paper; however, it is clearly not a justification in this context. Consider for a moment where they are: this is a physical fitness camp for children and teens. How does ordering this kid to say “I love my sergeant” or “aye aye sir” or any of that help him become more fit? In fact, how does trying to induce this kind of stress in any manner help this kid become more physically fit?
Sure if you watch the TV show “The Biggest Loser” Jillian Michaels can be a bit over the top, but if you notice, she tends to be constructive in her criticisms. She tries to inspire the contestants to keep going in order to improve themselves. Swarming this kid and ordering him to say, “I love my sergeant” etc. etc. and continuing to apply psychological pressure long after the kid has obviously broken, has less in common with “The Biggest Loser” than it has with the abuses at Abu Ghraib in 2003 and 2004.
Despite all this, what really struck me about this video was not so much the obvious psychological distress that this kid was being placed under, as it was the realization that none of the instructors had any sort of compassion or showed any remorse when the kid finally broke down. This is the very essence of dehumanization in the military; the dehumanization doesn’t stop with turning the “enemy” into a subhuman caricature, but continues on and spills over to render military subordinates, recruits, and apparently even children, as being less than human and undeserving of even basic human regard.
To sum up I will quote Charlie Chaplin in the movie “The Great Dictator”:
- “More than machinery we need humanity. More than cleverness we need kindness and gentleness. Without these qualities, life will be violent and all will be lost… Soldiers! Don’t give yourselves to brutes! Men who despise you, enslave you, who regiment your lives, tell you what to do, what to think and what to feel! Who drill you, diet you, treat you like cattle, use you as cannon fodder! Don’t give yourselves to these unnatural men – machine men with machine minds and machine hearts! You are not machines! You are not cattle! You are men! You have the love of humanity in your hearts. You don’t hate! Only the unloved hate – the unloved and the unnatural!”
This is the message that all troops need to hear. All of the hardness and toughness in the world is worth nothing if you have no love of humanity. All of the fighting for some abstract concept of a “country” is meaningless if you’re willing to torment the people who make up the country that you’re trying to defend.
Safety and Peace
So when I came in the guys in charge of us hazed us, now my peers are Team leaders and when they hazed their boots the boots did the right thing and snitched on them for lack of a better term. Now they are all butthurt because they got njp’d, demoted, put on restriction and are getting treated like shit and being made an example of, while the boots are picking up and filling their spots. The funniest thing is that my peers’ original teamleaders who deem themselves all high and mighty don’t give a shit about my peers and are not doing jack shit to help out their marines. Instead they are being lazy, sitting in their rooms either sleeping or playing COD all day and skating out of everything while they check out of the marine corps. Great way to set the example, semper fucks!
Submitted by: Eff emm ell
I am getting fucked by my command I was doing grate in the corps I was a Cpl reenlisted and made Sgt when my command njp’d me for correcting three of my piers and a Ssgt for the treatment of our marines they where hazing and I wasent going to stand for it I spoke up expecting the problem to be solved it wasent and I got busted down to Lcpl and when I got busted down they hazed me harder than I’ve ever seen them haze anyone I took it up the chain of command (Coc) three time’s I took it to the Chaplan several times it didnt matter nobody cared so I am currently facing court martial where I will bring to light all of the wrongs that have been comitted
Submitted by: ninja kick
My command is bullshit, I’m with the MEU and I got hazed twice, but I spoke up for myself and got them reprimanded and they’re on deployment now so I still got a couple months before they get back. A couple of buddies I know got word of them saying because of what happened now my life is going to be hell and I just want to get out of this unit but I’m scared if I request mass nothing will be done about it based off of what I seen. I just want to keep my record clean and do my 4 years with my head held high and get the FUCK OUT. I see the Corps for what it is and only the ass-kissers truly make it up the ranks so I’m getting out. Please help me; I want to leave this unit and they drove me to see a Psychiatrist cause’ I’m always getting picked on and singled out. I don’t know what to do but I can’t stay here because the slightest fuck up and they’re definitely going to charge my ass. What can I do? Thanks!
Submitted by: Tactfully belligerent
Hello everyone i am a pfc in the marines corps ive been in the fleet now for about 6 months im a 0331 machine gunner long story short my unit got back from afgahanistan immediatly after i gt to the fleet i was hazed for about 2 months untilll finally after an incedent getting physically assaulted i turned it in since then there has been an investigation to where marines are supposedly getting held accountable njp and i also have been severly depressed because of this horrible enviorment im constantly tormented especially after doing the right thing and reporting hazing now im that bitch who cryed hazing so ive been reccomended by a navy medical officer to get admin seperation due to my depression and anxiety of being here and they told me i was on my way out now my co and bc are saying they want me to stay and think im salvagble i want nothing to do with the corps i hate this place im tired of constantly playing this my dicks bigger competition im almost being forced now to go ua
Submitted by: jones0331
Update on my case:
I didn’t want everyone to think I’d jumped ship. I am still around and reading the posts and stories…quietly observing.
After my interview with the Lt. Colonel (2nd and Congressional Investigation) a couple of weeks ago, I requested and recieved BOTH investigation reports. Meaning the investigation that occurred while I was still on the island and the current one.
I had already been informed by the LtCol during the current investigation that many/most of my fellow recruits (whom of course have now graduated), had either denied or minimized the abuse I reported.
So I wasn’t exactly blindsided with anything earth-shattering however, I still found it quite disappointing again.
The good news is that many of the ‘denials’ are conflicting in themselves. Of course, the main offending DI adamantly denied he’d ever stuck anyone with anything OR used profanity whatsoever. Achem! Seriously? He claimed that in regards to the clipboard incident in the head that he might have accidently “brushed” someone with the clipboard when he turned while giving the instruction. Really?
The even better news is that a Gunny (recruiter) heard rumors about the abuse in my platoon and sat down with his 3 recruits to question them. He said all 3 immediately dropped their heads and refused to make further eye contact with him. He said said their body language said a lot and that it was the reaction of someone who has been abused and is ashamed.
It took a some time but he finally got them to start talking. All 3 wrote detailed reports of the abuse they either observed or experienced personally. Most of what they wrote about was after my departure. All 3 admitted they had been or observed fellow recruits being hit, drop-kicked, kicked and other forms of abuse. All 3 were still terrified of retribution.
When asked why they had not reported this the first time or sooner, all 3 said the SDI had warned them that what happened in the squad bay stayed in the squad bay. They were afraid of retaliation in the form of physical and/or mental abuse as well as possibly being kept from graduating. One even said that since everyone else was getting hit, kicked or abused in some fashion, he thought it was “normal” and that this was the “way it was in the MOVIES”.
These 3 guys can truly say they ARE the Few and the Proud. Even if their validations of my allegations came too late for me, they still found the courage to come through at the end of the day.
It is my hope that more will come forward and do the right thing but I really don’t look for that to happen since the LtCol told each one of them that NOW was the time to tell the truth and their prior statements would not be hald against them. Now, I suppose they could be charged with perjury.
I have not received any notice of the actions to be taken, yet. I will update everyone as soon as I know anything further.
I also want to especially thank those of you who have been supportive and even those who have not. Everyone counts in my book.
Submitted by: iHateDIs
UPDATE – 5/2/12
Just dropping by to let everyone know I am STILL waiting on the final outcome/decision on my allegations. I do know that Washington, DC is now in possession of that decision and is said to be ‘sorting’ through over 300 pages of investigative reports, etc.
I also know, because I have copies of the investigation, that several more recruits, now Marines, have come forward and told the truth about the abuse delivered by the hands of the DI’s.
Once again, I want to thank those of you how have supported me during this time.
Submitted by: iHateDIs
I’m the guy who doesn’t like to get pushed around. I’m the guy that likes to stand for what he believes in. I’m the guy that doesn’t follow the crowd. I’m the guy that has morals, that believes belittling someone is not only wrong, but is an example of horrible leadership. I’m a shit bag.
Yesterday, a fellow Lance Corporal of mine, and a very good friend, caught his rifle on his trouser pocket during the middle of drill and ended up dropping it. Of course, every person there went straight to drill instructor mode after seeing it. “Push, bitch! Push!!” “Follow it.” “Oh good mother fucker. Just drop your fuckin rifle, too,” as if he meant to do it on purpose. So today, our dumb ass SNCOIC decided it would be a great idea for him to carry one of those rubber rifles around all day to “make sure he can properly handle a rifle like a man.” As soon as I saw this, I went up to my buddy and mentioned that he should probably say something considering this could very well be a case of hazing. He didn’t think he should bring it up because of the ramifications that that particular word would bring up. I decided if he wasn’t gonna bring it up then I was gonna help out a friend and talk to his Corporal, which by the way is an easy going person. She listened to me and was unsure if she should bring it up, mainly because she doesn’t have a set of kohonas (spell chk). If she wasn’t gonna do anything then I was gonna go to a buddy of mine that was just recently promoted to Corporal (Notice I’m going to nobody at all in my immediate chain of command). He believed the same thing I did about the lance and decided to go talk to his NCOs, something I wish I could do only this whole rank thing was the difference in me being a child and an adult. As good of a lance as I am, I of course eavesdropped on them. His Sgt went on saying that he believed that he was being hazed as well but was gonna wait until the next work day to say something, which makes no sense to me at all. He also went on saying that what he was afraid of was that if it was in fact brought up to their SNCO that he would find some loophole sayin that it was “extra military instruction.” So nothing came of that until about 20 mins later. I passed his SNCO in the hall and he stopped me and proceded to call me every name in the book because I am getting the idea of hazing in the head of his Lance Corporal. He then asked me if I even knew the order on hazing. Of course I told him the correct order, which in essence caught him off guard. Once he gathered himself, he then went on asking how I knew it and I told him that I looked it up earlier on my phone. He took that and ran with it, saying that I never do anything at all but play on my phone yadda yadda yadda. I knew I had him beat and it felt great. He then told me that I need to go check out a rifle at supply as well (notice he didn’t say what I needed it for, though we all knew). Of course I did cause it was a lawful order to check it out. I couldn’t wait to get back to the shop so the second he told me that I needed to carry it around all day, I could request mast on his ass in a heartbeat. Unfortunately, I really didn’t see him the rest of the day, considering at this point it was closing time.
Moral of the story, don’t be afraid of standing up to some washed up, stick-in-their-ass SNCO’s because they might yell at you. If you believe that you are in the right and they are in the wrong, go for it. The way I looked at it, if for some reason this were to back fire on me, it wouldn’t phase me for two reasons: 1) He had way more to lose than I did and 2) I’m not making the same mistake twice. Remember, friends don’t let friends reenlist.
Submitted by: Shitbag
The Few The Assaulted
One day a high school gym teacher walks in to the locker room to see about 35 students showering after class, He checks behind him to see if any of the other teachers are around and sees no one. He then proceeds to have the students scream at the top of their lungs while keeping their lips sealed so that no one will hear them. He then forces the students to run back and forth touching each wall of the shower. He then tells them that they will all touch a single 2″ x 2″ square tile in the corner…at the same time. The gym teacher starts laughing at the students as they continue to scream as loud as possible with their lips sealed, all the while having to almost climb on each other until every finger is touching the tile…What do you think should happen to the gym teacher? What if I said that instead of a teacher it was actually a Marine Corps Drill Instructor, and the students were actually new recruits wanting to serve their country? I guess that’s just different…
Submitted by: bspicy251
Good evening everyone. I am swizzlestik’s son. First of all, thank you for being there for my mom. You really helped her through a lot of grief and pain.
When I joined the Corps, I went in with all the spirit, confidence and committment anyone could muster. I was not fresh out of high school but I was fresh out of college. I had high expectations of myself and of the Marine Corps. I saw them just as they portray themselves, a tough yet honorable organization.
I expected their training to consist of yelling, screaming, stupid mind games and other BS but I never expected to see and experience and hear of the things that happened.
Through receiving week, it was pretty much was I was told to expect. I was nervous and homesick just like every other recruit. But when training day one hit and all the rest of the training days therafter, the shit hit the fan in a big way.
This was when stuff that I didn’t expect started to occur. Those things included but are not limited to:
1. A recruit was spartan kicked in the chest into his rack.
2. A recruit touched his own face and the DI hit him in the face with his campaign cover and it drew quite a bit of blood.
3. Another recruit touched his face and was hit in the face with a clipboard.
4. The guide’s rifle carrying handle fell off because it was loose so the DI held it like brass knuckles and hit him in the back of the head with it really hard.
5. I was folding a blanket with another recruit and apparently the DI felt I was in his ‘way’ so he kicked me hard in the rear striking my upper back thigh.
6. I was in the process of trying to quit and I refused to move. So 2 DI’s ran up to me and proceeded to rips my undershirt to shreds from my body. They threatened to continue to IT the whole platoon if I didn’t participate so I IT’ed so they would stop messing with everyone.
7. Numerous times we were denied head calls and so many of the recruits unrinated on themselves.
8. In chow hall, the DI’s would come over for no reason and yell so they could spit in your food in the process. One took his hands and mushed all the food on my tray together with his nasty bare hands because he didn’t feel I yelled ‘Good afternoon, Sir’ to him loud enough.
I’ll continue later. But the list goes on and on. They did learn somehow that it was me who reported the abuse through my mom. Also when I was in RSP, the other recruits were telling me of things that were a lot worse and there are many there who had been injured by the DI’s both mentally and physically. It was the first time I had actually seen someone who had cracked and was truly crazy from all the mind-screwing and abuse.
I was given a 3P for a re-enlistment code and told that none of this would follow me. The Lt. Col. told my mother the same thing but I am hearing a different story. Does anyone know how this works? For example, if I wanted to join the Army or Air Force. According to the Corps, it won’t affect that.
I am so down right now. I feel lost and not sure what to do. My mom is here with me and she is a very strong lady. She is trying to help me get through this. Right now, I need all the help and advice I can get.
I didn’t pussy out guys. I just figured out all too quickly what the deal was and refused to be a part of this dishonor and abuse. I think that what I did was more honorable than just settling for whatever bullshit they dished out to me. I’m not stupid and they could not brainwash me. So really, they lost the war with me.
I do feel guilt about leaving my fellow recruits behind. Over half of them wanted to come with me. I will write more later but right now my brain feels like scrambled eggs. I need to get things sorted out. I just hope I can.
Submitted By: ihateDIs89
Written by PunkJohnnyCash on Jul 9, 2010
“FIVE! FOUR! TWO! ONE! STOP! You’re done! Get your nasty hands off!” The drill instructor belted out in his guttural scratchy faux voice. “I said you’re done!” He screamed as he got into a recruits face. Everyone was frozen. “Get On Line!” The recruits left their ALICE packs lay and jumped to attention on the little yellow lines painted on the concrete ground in front the racks.
“Sir, Yes Sir!” the recruits chanted in unison. The drill instructor continued to berate the recruit, spit flying in his face and finger extended barely an inch from his eyeball. Fatigued and thrown into chaos the recruits listened to the drill instructor belittle every action they had made. The drill instructor would have them dump everything out of their ALICE packs and start the impossible task again while he counted down. This task would be repeated over and over until the recruits understood they were incompetent.
That was not a one time occurrence. It became every day and night for thirteen weeks. There was plenty of punishment. The recruits would understand that not only did they not have an identity outside of recruit but they would understand that their actions and attempts were never worthy until the recruit had become a Marine. The old self was worthless. The Marine was something of pride and honor. The state had to create people whose humanity had been denied so they would lay down their lives without question for the cause of the state.
As a Marine I saw an institution that was structured not too different than an abusive relationship. I saw that to maintain the power they held over myself and others abusive behaviors were embraced. This is essential for the state to maintain it’s power and effectiveness in carrying out it’s main objective in killing those that would oppose the authority and desires of the state. The police must dehumanize the citizen, the soldier or Marine must dehumanize the enemy combatant. They must be dehumanized to be capable of dehumanizing other people. This can be as simple as the language used to replace the humanity of the victim such as “perpetrator”, “enemy” or “combatant”.
The Marine or Soldier will resent the truth that they have been brainwashed. This process of brainwashing is essential to maintaining any militarized force from the U.S.M.C. to a police force or army. The solider, police officer or Marine will resent the fact that the same process used to control an abused spouse in domestic violence situations is used on them. The militarized mind will grow angry and deny this reality when it confronts them. The apologetics they use are often ingrained in their minds during the process.
The techniques used in training set up a hierarchical culture that is perpetuated through ones’ military career. This leads to the abusive power over individuals in their time in service. It also alters their perception and is often carried out to the civilian world with abusive tendencies. No, that does not mean the Marine is necessarily beating the spouse always, but it can lead to many abusive power structures in relationships with other individuals.
What does this process look like?
Many different models of brainwashing can be found. The majority of them hold much in common with militarization of the individual. Biderman’s Chart of Coercion highlights: Isolation, Monopolization of perception, Induced Debility & Exhaustion, Threats, Occasional Indulgences, Demonstrating “Omnipotence”, Enforcing Trivial Demands and Degradation.
Isolation I saw even within the platoon I was a part of. Not only were we taken to an isolated Island but the recruits were forbidden to interact the majority of the time. Human interaction was forbidden.
Monopolization of Perception became a way of life for those thirteen months in boot camp. Your perception and attention was in constant devotion to what was often trivial matters. They would be repeated over and over and constantly the message was that they were not good enough so the tasks would repeat.
Induced Debility & Exhaustion were also a daily reality. The recruits were run ragged daily. by the time you hit the rack you were out. The final task was “The Crucible” where the exhaustion was even more extreme. The physical tasks were often used to break one down to the point where they could no longer function at full capacity.
Threats were a constant. The threats often went hand in hand with punitive action through getting IT’d or what they like to call “Initiative Training” or in the “pit” or on the “quarterdeck” This was the screaming of “PUSH!” “FASTER!” as one was always unable to reach the intended goal. Often threats came in other forms. Recruits were told they would not graduate and certain dooms of being dropped and staying at Parris Island or “not becoming Marines” were some common threats.
Occasional Indulgences were rare. Often they were such small things that most would be shocked that a human being would become excited over them. This was mostly in the rare occasions recruits were aloud a “Power Bar” or a “Gatorade” for reward of a job well done. This was an uncommon reward that recruits would just about kill for.
Demonstrating “Omnipotence” The recruits knew that no action was unobserved or would go unpunished. The fear was put in each recruit to the point where any act of individuality or rebellion was not even considered. The fear of the existing power structure followed each recruit to the point where there was no question the recruits would do as they were told no matter how absurd the demands were.
Enforcing Trivial Demands was also a thing that was a constant. If it was the way one showered or how they were to sit there were trivial demands constantly made on the recruits. The recruits were often degraded by these trivial demands.
Degradation and humiliation became a way of life. Using the restroom was just one way they used to humiliate the recruits. I still recall being forced four to one Porto-john. Three would use the main hole with the smaller one standing on the toilet itself, his genitals hanging in the other recruits faces as all urinated simultaneously and the lucky fourth recruit would get the side urinal free from his privates in another man’s face or another man’s privates in his face.
One could write a novel pointing each of those elements out on a day to day basis in “Recruit Training” but I am not going to take that much time up. I do want to look at some more elements such as those writen about by Dick Sutphen which is summarized here:
1. Isolation: the meeting or training takes place in a place where participants are cut off from the outside world. This often involves making a public commitment to stay during the training. When training takes place in isolation like this, there is usually a quick follow-up session to ensure that the technique has really taken hold.
2. Fatigue: a schedule is maintained that ensures physical and mental fatigue. This means long hours, few breaks, and very little time for relaxing or reflection.
3. Tension: techniques are used to increase tension in the group. For example, perhaps there are a few truisms thrown around that might make you feel like you are doing something wrong. Or that you are a sinner, or depressed, or generally unhappy.
4. Uncertainty: people are randomly put on the spot. Forced to withdraw into anger, fear, or awe. Revivalist churches and human-potential seminars include asking people to come on stage and talk about humiliating or weak moments in their lives. This withdrawn, fearful, state, makes you many times more susceptible to suggestions as your guard is down and you are looking for safety and reassurance in whatever form it takes.
5. Jargon: new language to talk about what’s going on. It could help label the “enemy”, whether it be ignorant people, people who aren’t yet enlightened, or evil people. Also, new language to talk about people who are “fixed”: either enlightened, saved, or healed.
6. Humorlessness: there’s no humor involved until the process is complete. The humor then serves as a way to celebrate and seal the deal.
A couple other techniques can be used in addition to help the effects become more pronounced. These three steps are called the “decognition process” as they help slow down and eventually stop thinking altogether.
1. Alertness Reduction: one part of this is to force participants to keep a poor diet: either lots of sugar, or very bland foods. Sugar throws your nervous system off. A very bland diet (usually fruits and vegetables and no dairy or meat) will make you more spacey. Another part is inadequate sleep after long hours of intense discomfort or strenuous physical activity.
2. Programmed Confusion: a deluge of new information, combined with questions, discussion groups, and one-to-one create a sense of jumbled-ness that make it easier to insert crazy ideas.
3. Thought Stopping: most of these brainwashing techniques encourage stopping your thoughts in one of three ways. All three processes can be very helpful if you are controlling the process. The only danger comes when you allow someone else who you don’t fully know the motives of to take you through these steps and slowly alter deep beliefs about yourself and the world.
1. Marching to a beat, usually at around 1 or 1.5 steps per second, is particularly useful. Both the military and Hitler used this to great effect. The beat puts you in a slightly altered state of awareness that is close to hypnosis and makes you more susceptible to suggestions.
2. Meditation is the second form of thought stopping. An hour to an hour and a half of meditation a day for several weeks is enough to keep you in a constant “slow” state that is more focused and susceptible to suggestions (both good and bad).
3. Chanting is the third form of thought stopping, and has the same general technique as marching. The beat helps put you in a slightly different state of awareness.
The reason we must continue to look at boot camp in the criticism of the system is that this is the foundation of all to come. This determines the ethics and mindset of the Marine. The mindset to belittle and minimize others is birthed from this. The new being that is formed through the brainwashing is the being that the state must have to insure it’s power. The state requires it’s killers to maintain it’s very existence and here we see how human beings are programmed to do something destructive and often counter to their nature. This is essential to maintain a system where mass murder is the justifies authority over other human beings.
I was led to believe violence, murder and aggression were honorable. They were ‘sacrifices’. The ‘good guy kills’. Honor, Courage and Commitment were synonyms for Subservient Devotion to a Power Structure, Willingness to die or kill for that State & Power Structure and commitment to this State & those who demand authority over others.