Let’s talk about going UA

I think something that should be discussed is the lack of awareness of the high rate of UA’s in both the active and reserve component of the marine corps. And I mean A LOT. In my platoon alone at least 10 have gone UA and that is not accounting for those in the rest of the company.

One thing is for certain, when a person hates a place, you can not bind them to it regardless of the repercussions. I have witnessed friends use any means to get out, I have seen friends get hurt and be tossed under the rug and ridiculed and belittled as if they were the enemy. It’s sad the culture that has become the marine corps.

We’re told that it’s great from the beginning with it’s promises of camaraderie, leadership, integrity, all flew out the window the second one hits the fleet, active or reserves. The lack of informing applicants of their options because of recruiters wanting to meet their quotas, or fear being the recipient of the boot. Applicants days away from boot camp being dumped by their wives for another, recruits attempting suicide to get out, marines going UA, doing drugs, being injured, etc.

Whether it’d be intentional or not, it has always bothered me. But what has bothered me the most was the lack of care. The lack of care from the “leaders”, “fellows”, and attachments. I have had good friends do all of the above, and I won’t lie I have thought about it in the past as well.

I and the rest of the marines whom have had the bitter taste of reality come to the front so much that they have come to the point of wondering whether what we are doing is worth it or not.

The same leader one day who is “motivated” in the presence of leadership is the same person the next day laughing off people who are gone. I’m tired of the lack of professionalism, the lack of care, the deception, the THIEVERY, the back stabbing. If recruiting posters really showed the reality of the situation, every poster would have an asterisk attached and a brief description of what someone is to expect.

Now, as I get my rant out of the way, and as I reflect on the years that have passed and the people who have done the things they did to get out of the corpse, I don’t blame them. I truly do not blame them one bit. The marine corps sucks, and those who say otherwise are lying.

This branch has built up too much momentum in the direction it’s headed, and the generals and politicians have thrown money and powerpoints at this organization thinking it’ll be for the better but what they fail to see is that it hasn’t gotten any better for decades.

The best image that comes to my mind is that of a coin that is minted perfectly and once it’s damaged, rusted, and worn, can not be utilized anymore and is tossed out and condemned. God forbid you become injured or ill, because there will be no use for you.

I know I’m beating a dead horse but this is a great site that has been made to make the general public aware of the situation the marines find itself in, truly.

Submitted by: broman

Conscientious Objection

Good & evil

This is a topic I am sure most people have never heard of before.  Conscientious (Con-she-en-shus) Objection is when a person’s beliefs and morals will not allow their participation in war.

I am a Conscientious Objector.  I am opposed to war.  A book that I highly recommend reading is linked to on the home page of this website called, “War is a Racket”.  It is written by Major General Smedley Butler USMC.

For further information you can visit the GI Rights Hotline and The Center on Conscience and War I found the Center through the GI Rights Hotline.

Many Marines view this as a cowardly stance to have and it is often viewed in a negative light.  To understand it is an entirely different mindset.  You have to break free of the indoctrination this current generation is dealt on a daily basis.

I am like every other man, I love action movies.  I love seeing the explosions, guns, and violence, but I have learned a significant fact.  It is a fictional portrayal where no actual human being, no brother or sister in Christ, no soul is killed.  You may say, “Well no duh, that’s common sense!”

But, I ask you, is it really?  Do you take into consideration why you are fighting whomever you are sent to fight?  Do you consider the irreparable damage you would do or have to do to those people mentally, emotionally, physically?  I mean to real people, like you, me, your brother, sister, mom, and dad.

Let’s take a moment to turn the tables and use our imagination.  Imagine if Russia set up camp in Washington State.  They are tired of the US and its imperialistic behavior and come to suppress the military activity closest to its land.  So now they are kicking in doors, patrolling, and placing checkpoints everywhere.  They take firearms, arrest people everywhere, then torture and kidnap people they claim are terrorists who are fighting back.

How would these American fighters be viewed from America’s perspectives?  They would be patriots.  They would be heroes.  They would be the rallying cry of everyone tired of the Russian’s oppression on American land!

What is really different between that situation and the Middle East?

Now mind you, this is a mindset to bring you away from the “idea” of glory and warfare.  You have to bring yourself away from the mindset that glory and doing the right thing are one and the same.  I have my own delusions of grandeur all the time (being a war hero), but then I remember all the slaughter would not be helping anyone or have any positive cause.

Conscientious Objection is being an objector to war.  Objection to the pointless slaughter for whatever reason, religion or politics is not the key point here.  Smedley Butler said it best and helps us to understand why war is morally wrong; it is essentially trading blood for money.

I am often confronted with the statement that there will always be men who want to hurt others, and that is entirely true!  But why does no one stop them?  If I were the vice president and the president wanted to start a war because he was upset with another nation, I would do everything to stop the madness of sending men to kill and be killed who had nothing to do with the politics involved!

An example I can use would be Germany, what if Hitler’s generals told him no?  What if they refused and removed him based on moral grounds from slaughtering all the Jews?  What if they refused to ignite a war across the Continent?  WWII would have never happened.  This same idea can be used with every atrocity in history.  What if those below said no?

One Conscientious Objector said during WWII that he would gladly kill Hitler but he was not going to slaughter people to do so!

When going through the process of becoming classified as a Conscientious Objector it is not about what you believe about wars past and hypothetical future wars, it is about war as you know it.  War as we all know it in this current generation has unfolded before us for the last decade.  I am not specifically saying that because I am against the invasion of the Middle East I am an Objector, I am saying because of how war is waged I am a Conscientious Objector.

Take a second to understand my statement.

Where I was my ROEs were as open ended as they could be.  Here is an explanation:  If anyone, woman, child, man, made the motion to jump into the compound we were to shoot them, visibly armed or not.  There would be no attempt to detain in the event either.  This clicked in me showing the true value of life, that these were other humans with souls and they didn’t matter to these warmongers who led us.

This was during the building of the new embassy in Tripoli after the mission in Benghazi was assaulted.  The White House was still lying about the event having happened because of some protest that got out of hand.  We were under the impression that a riot could happen any day.

There are numerous examples of how little life means in the war culture!  It’s not just the USMC, it’s not just the US DoD, it is all militaries that are cruel and merciless.  You have the sheep getting its skull beat in by a soldier with a baseball bat, the honorable marine gleefully throwing a puppy off a cliff, the prisoners excessively abused, humiliated, and tortured.

Don’t forget Collateral Murder where the Apache pilots had a free for all gunning down a crowd of men, two children and cameramen.

Prior to this event I got to see places and things that most Christians never get to see.  The unit I was with travelled and went places all over the Mediterranean Sea even making a brief stop in Israel.  These places changed me and this was where my beliefs grew, I became a growing Christian again after having delved head first into the evil of being a worldly warmonger in my younger years.

Jesus said to turn the other cheek, God commanded “Thou Shalt not Kill”, and Proverbs 3:30-32 “Strive not with a man without cause, if he hath done thee no harm. Envy not thou the oppressor, and choose none of his ways…”  These are a few of the references I understand now, that I could not comprehend years ago.

I have learned the value of life, that each person and animal deserves the chance to live.  No person is born racist or willful to indiscriminately harm others.  “The idea that some lives are worth less is the root of all that is wrong in the world.”

Being a Conscientious Objector is not pacifism nor cowardly.  It is being able to understand reality and have a true moral compass away from the indoctrination of glorified slaughter.  You can look to the non-aggression principle for help in understanding oppression and slaughter are wrong.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IkIKDKtRQuY

Conscientious Objection does not mean you will stand by and be killed willingly; you do not have to deny yourself the right to defend yourself, loved ones, or any victim.  To kill to protect the lives of innocents who are being oppressed, assaulted, or harmed around you is far different than armies or organizations fighting over greed and resources.

“Then said he unto them, But now, he that hath a purse, let him take it, and likewise his scrip: and he that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one.” Luke 22:36

Conscientious Objection is an advocacy of peace and diplomatic action in place of violence.  To defend one’s self against aggression is well within being a Conscientious Objector and a Christian.

I am a Conscientious Objector, I never want to have to kill anyone, I believe war is unnecessary, and I know war is unnecessary.  I will be one of the few who take the step to tell the world that I will not participate in their wars.

 

Below I will outline the process.

1. Before doing anything, contact a Counselor at the Center on Conscience and War.

  • They will help you to understand your beliefs and mindset by asking you different questions.
  • If you are 100% sure you are and they can see that, they will be more than willing to help.  If you are still on the fence they will help you to figure out where you stand.  Obviously they are a peace advocating organization so don’t expect them to appeal to your warmongering side.
  • Per Marine Corps Order 1306.16F you have to answer a select set of questions in a paper for your Conscientious Objector Application. (Summary of changes since June 2013)
  • They will recommend you complete these questions and help you to understand what the questions are asking before telling your command.
  • A good point to remember is that it is not politically based; it is based on your beliefs and/or morals.  No political arguments, nothing about media, no blasting the Marine Corps for anything they did to piss you off.
  • You will also determine what classification you want; they are 1-0 and 1-A-0.
  • 1-0 is separation because you cannot participate in anything war related. 1-A-0 is to be moved to another job that is not combat oriented. (These are basic descriptions; pages 8 and 9 of MCO 1306.16F have the full descriptions.)

(I worked on my paper for a month with 1 total revision before I had my beliefs organized in a sensible way.)

2. Once your paper is complete you will have to inform your chain of command you are a Conscientious Objector.

  • Be aware that you cannot claim this then go talking about war like it’s cool, participating in training concerning killing and training to kill in scenarios.  Continued participation will lead them to believe you are a liar and add an even more negative stigma to those like me.  DO NOT give in to peer-pressure!  Stand your ground!
  • This is often abused as an easy way out for reservists who are scared to deploy and that keeps a continued negative stigma going against those of us who believe this way.

3. Next they will set you up with an interview with a Chaplain so he can give an opinion of how sincere and deeply held your beliefs/morals appear.

  • Your counselor can prepare you with commonly asked questions.
  • The Chaplain is used because they tend to be one of the few guys who have a moral compass and can try to understand what you have to say.
  • This can happen fairly quickly, I had my interview a week after the initial claim of Conscientious Objector status.

4. You will be appointed an investigating officer (IO) to interview guys from your unit, your chain of command, and any other co-workers.

  • He will ask them about you, your attitude, any observable evidence etc.

5. The next step in the process is a Psych Evaluation.

  • This can be a relatively short interview.  He asks about how you feel, how your personal life is, and a range of other questions to determine if you’re ok mentally.
  • He is primarily looking for PTSD or something that would have a sudden trigger to cause you to want to be a Conscientious Objector.

6. Next you will be interviewed by your investigating officer.  He should be extremely thorough with the order so this process only needs to be completed once, it can be quite confusing and lengthy.

  • You will meet with him and he will ask you pointed questions.
  • You will need to remember that you don’t need to answer any political, hypothetical, or historical based questions.  You are to prove what you believe about war as YOU know it.
  • You will be allowed to bring in witnesses in person or even by phone and letters of support. Also, your counselor can listen by phone or be present.
  • My meeting was very informal.  It was the officer, my counselor on speaker phone, and we wore utilities.

7. After the interview he will type up his findings and submit it up the chain of command, Company CO, Battalion CO, Regimental CO, Division CO, G1, then HQUSMC will receive it, have a board for it, then decide what they think is best given what classification you have requested.

  • They cannot refuse 1-0 and give you 1-A-0 instead and vice versa.
  • The Commandant no longer has the authorization to deny you conscientious objector status, if he thinks you should be denied it is sent to the Secretary of the Navy for final review and determination.
  • As your package passes each CO they may choose to leave a letter of endorsement to say they agree or even disagree with you and what discharge they recommend for you.  It is also up to them to leave comments; if the endorsement letters are negative you should get the chance to write a rebuttal.
  • Discharge is based upon character of service, any NJPs, page 11s, etc.  These packages tend to be Honorable or General under Honorable.  In my case I have zero negative marks against myself and I would assume that guys who think like me have higher moral standards and stay out of trouble.  I received an Honorable classification.
  • When it comes to benefits the VA does not judge based on why you were discharged, they look at the type of discharge you receive.  (Be prepared to be degraded by peers, many people who are ignorant and do not want to understand will be very against you getting an honorable – because you didn’t finish the contract, not because of who you are in your heart, soul, and character.)

8. You must be persistent; you must constantly check in and find out where it is and its location.  Do not be annoying though, it can take two to three weeks at each level of command and you do not want to spotlight yourself for every working party and all menial tasks.

  • Get a copy of everything!  I have a few copies of the package all from different stages from corrections.  Anything that has to do with this application, GET A COPY!
  • DO NOT tell your command unless you are completely confident you have your ducks in a row and are ready to be interviewed.
  • One Conscientious Objector told his command before he had the questions answered and his thoughts sorted out and they had him to the Chaplain within the week unprepared.
  • Be ready for hiccups, something will be done wrong and it will have to have portions redone, it happened multiple times for me.
  • Be ready to be interrogated by higher-ups that see this.  Everyone in the battalion knew me and a few different sergeants and staff sergeants wanted to blindside me with a debate and try to catch me and twist my words (much like Jesus and Pharisees with their money and Caesar)
  • Be ready to be ridiculed by your peers.  You will be outcast and alone unless you have level headed guys that can understand some people believe differently than them.  Also be aware your chain of command may change the terminology they use when preparing for training by really indoctrinating that shooting back would be “self-defense” even though you would be the aggressor.
  • I have found that even combat vets agree with me to a certain extent and multiple combat vets blatantly told me they believe this decade of war in particular was pointless.  One vet even shook my hand and told me to keep at it.
  • While I am not a combat vet I learned from vets like the Iraq Vets against the War.  I take pride knowing that I can learn the lessons others had to learn through them – in other words, I never had to kill anyone to realize how wrong it is.
  • A question to ask is if your package is just for classification as a Conscientious Objector or if it includes the package for separation/job change or if your EAS date is just going to be changed once classification for 1-0 is determined.
  • This process has an average time from submittal to separation under 1-0 of 6 to 9 months

 

On a personal note what you can expect from your family depends on their character and love for you.

  • As a reawakened Christian actually following the teachings of Jesus Christ my mother is extremely proud of whom I have become, a complete 180 from the childish, selfish, immature, worldly warmonger I once was when I signed on.
  • Be prepared for negative opinions of any motivators/”government is god” types in your family and friends.  Many will not understand or even want to understand.
  • A common misconception for Christians is that in Romans it talks about governments are set in place by God.  This verse is often explained that all Christians should have unwavering loyalty.  The governments set in place by God are an enemy to evil and advocates for good.  I do not see a government following those standards in place over the United States or any other country.

 

This portion forward is more centered on my personal outlook.

If you are ok with war and want to go be some war hero but just hate the Marine Corps or military, do not abuse this and fake your way out, you will just be adding to the problem rather than fixing it.  When you are inevitably found out to be lying, your life will be that much worse off and you will help to ruin this for men like me.  If you have found a moral compass that tells you war is wrong and/or you found a religion you truly believe that advocates peace, then by all means go for it.  It’s a long rough path, but be strong.

For anyone who wants to still try to fake it through this consider other options first like the VEERP, early out for education, or just saving up a bunch of leave for terminal.  I don’t know how many types of separations there are because the manual for separations is apparently, from what I’ve heard, well hidden from the eyes of marines. (If you desperately need to see it talk to an IPAC/admin friend.)

This is a documentary on Conscientious Objectors in WW1 in Britain:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e43mHKNXEeA&feature=youtu.be

These are other Conscientious Objectors, American and Israeli:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iVPbkE_N9y0  (American)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4mk-pX4LIyU  (American)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WV_IPeKhShA  (Israel)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BBFd3R04w2k (Israel)

A page on facebook that has many horrifying pictures of what war is:

https://www.facebook.com/WARISARACKET

(For any Christians)

When dealing with dark times remember the Valley of the Shadow of Death and fearing no evil and how God led the Israelites out of Egypt, all the obstacles and hard times. If He sees you believe this in your heart, He will guide you on the path that will make you better. Also go to the Book of Daniel and read up on Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego or on Daniel trying to eat the different meal since the king’s food was corrupt.  (The Book of Daniel was what really showed me how I felt.)

You may agree; you may disagree; that is your right.  The Holy Ghost worked me into the decent and better man I am now and I am proud of who I have become.  This is information for anyone who feels they may be a Conscientious Objector and for anyone trying to figure out what Conscientious Objection even is.  It is also a good reference to anyone in a chain of command who may not have any idea what to do.

“To Hell with War”

-Major General Smedley Butler

 

Submitted by “Hooyut”

How to Prepare for the Marines

Filthy Little Hobbitses

Do you want to simulate your enlistment? Here’s what you have to do:

Go find yourself an incredibly insane hobo, the crazier the better. Pay this hobo with a bottle or two of some hard liquor, and have him chug both bottles before you begin. Now, have him scream unintelligible nonsense at the top of his lungs a few inches from your face, while you stand perfectly still. While standing still, scream “aye” at the top of your lungs, again and again and again and again, really, you can’t scream that word enough.

After this has gone on for a few hours, jump into the dumpster that hobo was living in and start scrubbing it “clean” with a toothbrush. Remember, that hobo should still be shouting in your face as you’re doing this, and you should still be screaming “aye” as quickly and as loudly as you can. Don’t be alarmed if that hobo starts screaming about how fat, lazy, stupid, or weak you are. We all know that he’s a tired old alcoholic with no future prospects and a past he
regrets, that just makes it that much more like the Marine Corps.

This should go on for a few days.

After the hobo kicks you out of his dumpster, calling you a bitch faggot as he does so, you should both take a breather by eating whatever food you can scrounge out of the discarded cans in the dumpster. Be sure to be very appreciative towards the hobo for giving you this time to eat. He’s such a nice guy after all, he only wants what’s best for you. Why do you make him yell at you like he does? You’re such a lowdown scumbag.

Once you’ve had a few minutes to eat what you could, it’s time to train. Goody! That stuff that you saw in MW3 will soon be happening to you! I’ll bet you can’t wait to win the medal of honor and make your parents proud. So, go grab yourself about one hundred pounds worth of trash bags, and sling them over your back. Then, run about ten steps down the alley, dive to the ground and slam your knees as hard as you can into the pavement. Get into the prone, and then get back up and do it again. Do this for a few hours, while the hobo follows you with a trash bag full of pillows on this back and he calls you a weak bitch for being slower than him. He’s such a hard ass that hobo.

After this has all been done, dump out all the trash out of your trash bags, and start organizing that shit! Everything must be in its proper place. The banana peels must not touch the pizza boxes, the diapers must be neatly folded into five by five inch squares, and the toothbrush that you used to scrub out that dumpster had better not be used! After you’ve spent a few hours making it perfect, have the hobo come over and tell you to move everything over to the next alley. He should also be yelling at you to hurry up as you do this.

Eventually, everything is ready, and your hobo can now inspect your trash. Stand rigidly in pride by your neatly arranged trash, it’s a reflection of you after all! The hobo should then glance at the pile of trash, and demand to know why you’re so dirty. Respectfully tell him that respectfully, you were respectfully running around an alley with a respectful amount of trash on your respectful back. The hobo should then point out that HE was running with you, and He’s not so dirty. Then respectfully point out that the mr. gracious hobo sir had not gone directly from that to organizing a pile of trash. This will set off the hobo like you just slapped his sister in the face with your dick and didn’t call her back.

The hobo will then yell something about “enjay pees” and “sixtyone oh fives” for a little bit, and you should feel ashamed for how blatantly disrespectful your comment had been.

Hell, if you want hardship that badly, just keep doing this for about four years. Remember, you can’t defend yourself from that hobo, nor can you quit till those years are up, or you’ll have committed a felony. Don’t worry though, you can tell all your friends that you’re living the hard life, what do they know about hardship? And the hobo will let you wear his old denim suit when you go visit your family once a year or so, you’ll turn all the she-bums heads as you strut through the ghetto. Stick with it for twenty years or so and you too can be just like that hobo, and you too can treat some kid like shit for booze.

Submitted by: “freeatlastfreeatlast”

Underage Drinking Problems… What Can I Do?

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

Submitted by: PFC MOTO

NINJA_PUNCH’s Response:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Safety and Peace

NINJA_PUNCH

I was hazed, need advice

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

I’m curious to see what you all would do to fix this organization (other than disband it)?

As an NCO, my job is to enhance the effectiveness of the Marine Corps. However, I don’t see that happening when the following aren’t fixed:
1. Boot Camp (DIs and SDIs) needs to be able to weed people out more. I’m not talking about letting DIs abuse recruits. There are recruits who get through boot camp who has no business being a Marine. Some even want to drop out. Instead of discharging them and USMC decides to ‘punish’ them by recycling them, over and over, and over again even though it’s clear that they don’t want to be there. Guess what? You have to waste money and manpower going to a recruit or Marine that doesn’t want to be there and is gonna be liabilities later on. What are they? Well you see them mentioned here: buddy fuckers, they become bad leaders, incompetent Marines, mass punishments, etc. It doesn’t take much to see this compounds. Forcing them to go through by recycling isn’t doing anything. If you can’t handle 3 months of boot, what makes you think you can hack SOI, the operating forces or deployment? This is coming from my experiences and my conversation with a former Marine DI and recruiter. What kind of elite unit keeps undesirables who don’t even want to be in around? I do give some credit to some recruiters and Marines on RA who help poolees prepare for boot which contributed somewhat to lowering failure rates in boot camp.
2. Let Marines (active duty) choose their MOS- not just the field. I don’t get how the Marines generally wait until after boot camp to tell new Marines what their ‘exact’ MOS is and the reason for it is ‘the demands of the Marine Corps.’ This is an example of piss poor personnel management. While working Recruiters Assistance, I have seen several people turned away because they are not guaranteed to choose the exact MOS who had the potential to benefit the Marines.
3. Less advertisement. I swear I’m in an organization with attention whores. And you don’t even have to see the commercials (ie Katy Perry music video). If we are elite and cut down on the stupid BS by 25%, people will flock to join.

I’m curious to see what you all would do to fix this organization (other than disband it)?

Submitted by: dee dee dee

CivilianFirstClass USMC Advice – Prepare yourself for EAS NOW! Not later

Good morning, boys and girls! How the hell are we? You may be asking yourselves, “Who’s this douchebag and why does he sound so happy?” Well, I’ll tell you why. I recently separated from the Marine Corps with no ties with the organization (no IRR time left). This is going to be a bit long-winded so bear with me.

It was a bittersweet transition from being a man-baby who was coddled to a real adult. Before you motards start jumping on my back, I’ll ask you to think about it before you post. Marines aren’t allowed to take initiative or think for themselves. Ever hear “Good initiative, bad judgment” or “Who the hell told you to do that, Devil?!” Yeah, we’ve all been there. And that’s my point. Marines aren’t treated like adults, unless they’re SNCOs or officers. While in the Marine Corps everything is provided for you. You really didn’t have to worry about anything and money will be rolling in. Once you’re out you’ll have nothing but the things you work for. This is what I mean by bittersweet.

Well, I’ve been on this site a back and haven’t returned until now. Looks like there are a lot more
people since I last lurked through here. Which I think is great. Aside from the smoke pit, this is a wonderful medium for Marines to come and vent their anger and frustration. To the moderators/creators I say, keep up the great work. And to the Marines – come on here when you need to vent. Get it out of your system here and don’t lash out to those jerks around you (even though they may deserve it); don’t give them a reason to pick on you. Last time I was here, I replied to some troll that commented on the page. Looking through the anon boards, I don’t see too many trolls anymore. Although they are annoying, I do like it when they post. It’s fun to see Marines who’ve been mistreated or kept their anger bottled inside pounce on the troll. Because let’s face it, we couldn’t do that in real-life.

The main reason why I’m writing today is to try and impart some advice to Marines. The posts on
this board are loaded with sound advice so heed them. My advice is to milk the Marine Corps for all it’s worth. They’re going to get what they want from you so why not take what you can get? There are loads of things that can accomplish this without breaking the law. Tuition assistance is a MAJOR one. If you’re in right now, you’d be an idiot and not to take advantage of it. It’s free money. I can’t stress that enough. I started taking classes for three reasons: 1. Education 2. Milking the Marine Corps 3. Getting out of field day. I don’t mind cleaning my room because I’m a neat person by nature. But what I didn’t like was to clean after other Marines. Why should I clean the lounge if I don’t ever go in the lounge? Or clean the NCO deck if I’m not an NCO? So instead of getting black-out drunk, why not just take a class or two? It’ll make you’re time go by much faster and make you more marketable when you’re ready to transition.
Next thing you should do is go to medical to claim every ache and pain. I’m sure some of you have heard this before so just do it. If you have enough claims you may get money after you leave the service. This is simple and doesn’t take much time. And even if it does, it’ll get you out of work for a bit.

Lastly, my advice is to save money. This is very important especially if you are planning to get out. It’s never too early to start. A few hundred dollars a month will add up and will give you a good start when you’re out in the real world looking for a job. Or while you’re in school if you plan to go that route. With a good amount of savings to supplement your Post 9/11 GI Bill, you’ll be in a good position to start your new life semi-worry free. While you’re out, it’s amazing how much you have to pay for when you’re on your own and I just hope you’re properly prepared for it. It’s not easy but it sure is satisfying to know that you are on your own.

In no way am I saying you have listen to me because I’m a nobody, just a former cog in a huge machine which is the Marine Corps. But I genuinely do want Marines who gets out to succeed. On my way back to my home of record, I ran into a former Marine and started shooting the shit. He was bitter with his current situation and I asked what he did to prepare before he got out. I found out, he didn’t do much. He was so used to the security that the military provided that he didn’t properly prepare. I don’t want to be in the same situation and I don’t want to see you guys there either. So please prepare yourselves because it’ll make a world of difference once you’re out.

Nothing feels better than leaving with your DD214, Navy Comm (worthless in the real world), and a check for the leave days I sold back while driving off base for the last time. The feeling is invigorating and liberating. It’s the next chapter of your life so make sure that it’s going to be a
good one by doing what you need to do now. Don’t wait for later to get your shit together. Do it now.

A little about myself: I am a former NCO and was just an average Marine. I got out a few months
ago and now living a normal life. I didn’t do anything special while in the Marine Corps but I didn’t manage to get an associate’s degree (I wish I would’ve started right away so I would’ve gotten a bachelors). I am working for the government (not DoD) and planning to finish my schooling.

Again, I wish all of you the best of luck. I know your EAS seems like forever away but make the time in between count and do something meaningful that’ll prepare you for the real world. It’s going to be worth it in the end.

Submitted by: CivilianFirstClass

If I enlist (Infantry MOS) what will I really be getting?

Hey there, I’ve been thinking about joining for a long time now (I’m about to be a senior in High School) and I’m wondering why I shouldn’t. I read the novel Jarhead, and like Swofford, I think I’m afraid that in civilian life I’ll faulter, and I see the Marines as a way to gain access into maturity and manhood. My family’s become distant, and I feel like I’m not really close to friends I’ve had, so the brotherhood aspect is also appealing. I have always had a strong sense of national pride and I think joining would fill me with pride, but I’ve read a few horror stories on here, so if I enlist (Infantry MOS) what will I really be getting? Are the aspects of the Corps that appeal to me merely hype? Also, I’m sorry if this is redundant. I have read many posts, but I wanted to see if I could get some direct responses, thanks.

Submitted by: Johnny2X4

NINJA_PUNCH’s Response:
Hey, no need to apologize, that’s what this site exists for. I can understand the concept of wanting maturity and manhood out of the military, after all that’s how they advertise it. However, what you’re more likely to find are people who joined because they “want to go kill people”. A good friend of mine once said “the military is a great place for people who never want to grow up: You always have someone who outranks you to hold your hand and make sure you get everything done.” That really is how it is. Every NCO, or Staff NCO will tell you “you’re a grown man I’m not going to babysit you.” But it won’t take long before you’ll find yourself wishing that this was actually true. In reality, even something as simple as cleaning your room, or exercising will be micromanaged to death. You have to stretch out in a group, go do exercises in a group, go running in a single-file line, because all of these “grown men” can’t be trusted to exercise and stay in shape on their own. You need to have a day set aside where the people who outrank you will breath down your neck as you clean every last speck of dust from your room, because “grown men” can’t be trusted to not live in squalor.

Furthermore, most people in the military will turn a blind eye to underage drinking, so they keep having “High School parities” then they turn 21 and they don’t have to worry about getting caught so they want to show off how they can drink and not have to hide it, and it just never stops. Pretty soon you have a 30 year old alcoholic who wears his alcoholism like a badge of honor, and everyone younger than him thinks he’s just so cool because he’s drinks so much!

As far as the Infantry goes, I was attached to an infantry battalion for my deployment, and it’s as if these guys never leave boot camp. Their Sgts yelled and screamed over nothing every bit as much as Drill Instructors did, and the “Senior LCpls” were constantly on the search for new and inventive ways of circumventing hazing laws.

In conclusion, yes, the aspects of the marine corps that you find appealing are almost entirely recruiting propaganda. If you really feel the need to join the military out of fear of failing in the civilian world, I would recommend joining the any branch of the reserves or the National Guard, just so you have some kind of job security while you get yourself on your feet in Civilian life.

Safety and Peace

NINJA_PUNCH

My husband is trying to join the Marines.

My husband is trying to join the marines. First he wanted to join when I was pregnant and I was really supportive but now I’m just scared and don’t want to lose him. We just had our son, and I thought he would change his mind but he hasn’t.. he says all he wants to do in life is be a marine and blow peoples heads off, Everyone keeps saying that it is a decision that we both need to agree on but I know if I don’t let him he will hate me, but I really don’t think I’m strong enough to be the marine wife I thought I could be… I just want us to be together as a family and he doesn’t seem to understand my feelings. When he leaves I will have to sign a note saying that me and my two kids will be financially taken care of for 3 months while he’s in boot camp, and honestly, we wont be, I cannot find a babysitter so I can work and my parents cannot afford to support us.. I just don’t understand. And I’m not trying to sound like a pussy when it comes to me not being able to handle it, it’s just I really DONT think I can handle it as I am prone to severe depression/ postpartum depression.

Submitted by: scared_wife

 

BCP separation question

BCP question, I by no means am out of shape, the Navy personnel at the hospital were laughing their asses off when they saw me roll up with a Body Composition Paper to be signed to say my thyroid is ok. They straight up said, you don’t need to be on this program. I throw around 50 cals easy and I’m a SAW gunner, plus I love the gym and to swim. So here’s my questions.
Assuming i “fail” marine corp standards and get admin seperated, what is the discharge? After 6 months with a job does it change to an honorable discharge? If that is the case, and even if it isn’t will I still get the GI bill?
I only feel the need to explain what I look like because this needs to be a conversation about my questions, not some attack on my physical look because some motards think that Im bsing it to make myself look good online.

26yrs old, want to join infantry Marines, 1yr left in college. Advice?

Hello there sir, I’m 26yrs old I want to join the marines(infantry) thinking of taking asvab next month, I currently have 1year left college but the thing is I cant afford anymore…its 18,000 per semester. Anyhow benefits are not my main reason for enlisting, I just wanted to become respected marine eversince few years back and later become police officer. My question is are there gonna be big differences between with diploma and without diploma? And if I do enlist this year would I be able to see combat? probably not huh? it would suck if just stay in boots till end of contract.This may sound immature but thats how i feel yea so what are your recommendation? thankyou!!

Submitted by: dextterous

How to Get Out of the Marine Corps

how to get out of the marine corps

This information regarding how to smoothly Check Out of your unit and EAS from the marine corps was compiled at Camp Pendleton between February and June of 2012.  Be advised that the Transition Assistance Program (TAP) is a Dept of Labor course, and not subject to military orders, etc.  As such, while the procedures may vary slightly between locations, it should be fairly consistent.  If your experience is different from what I’ve described, please let me know in a comment so I can continue to provide accurate information.

 

Step one: Medical:  For most of us on this site, our enlistments have been spent getting injured in some way shape or form, and then getting a couple of Motrin from the corpsman and going back to training because going to the BAS is eternally frowned upon.  Your first step is to correct this.  Go to Medical, and get any little ache or pain you may feel documented, this will assist you in applying for VA Disability benefits.  It is not required to document a condition for you to claim it for VA benefits, but it is recommended.  If you do not have it documented, the VA may ask for a letter from a co-worker or the chain of command supporting your story.

Also, when they ask you to describe your pain on a scale of 0-10 (with 10 being the worst pain imaginable) DO NOT give any answer less than an 8.  They are asking you to assign a number to your pain, when the fact of the matter is you are either in pain or you are not, so hand out 8s, 9s, and 10s and make them take note. (This is the advice given to me by the TAP class instructor; I’m not just making this up)

Finally, there is a paper that should be in your Medical Record called the “Medical Surveillance Questionnaire” (If it’s not there, you need to get one).  This is your chance to SELF-REPORT any contact with hazardous materials (i.e. CLP, CS gas, OC spray if you’ve been pepper sprayed, mold, fumes and smoke from an Afghanistan burn pit, etc.).  You DO NOT need a corpsman to fill out the Medical Surveillance Questionnaire, you can do it all by yourself.  (Please note that any contact with hazardous materials should be filled out in PART III, which is on the backside of the sheet about halfway down.)

 

Step two: Final Physical:

The Final Physical can be done any time within 6 months of your EAS.  While it CAN be done after TAP class, it is recommended that you do it beforehand.  To make this go as smoothly as possible there are a few things you should make sure you have done.

The first thing you’re going to want to know is that they’re going to need to do a blood draw, and a urine sample.  For this blood draw they need you to have not eaten or drank anything (except water) for the past 12 hours.  Also, no tobacco products for the past 12 hours.  Note: The docs at my BAS informed me that they have a lot of marines who come in having not eaten for almost 18 hours, and they pass out during the blood draw just from not having eaten for so long and then having a portion of their blood removed.  To prevent this, it is recommended that you walk in the door to medical after 11 hours and 30 minutes of no eating or drinking, that way by the time the paperwork is done you’re right at 12 hours and your chance of passing out from the combination of hunger and blood loss is as minimal as possible.

[Update, Nov 27 2013: One commenter below has informed me that Medical is no longer requiring you to fast prior to the blood draw. If anyone reading this could confirm or deny this information I’d be very appreciative.]

Now, when you walk in the door at 11 hours and 30 minutes of no food, drink, or tobacco, one of the docs is going to take you into his office and ask some basic questions about your health while they go through and look at your medical record.  (This is a good time to bring up any little ache or pain that you may want documented for VA benefits)  The doc will also give you a packet of paper for you to fill out that asks more detailed questions about your health.

Note: This packet will also inform you that you will need to have an up to date Dental exam, Hearing conservation exam (audiogram), and Optometry exam (ONLY if you wear glasses).  Females also need to complete a Well Woman exam.  You will need to bring the paperwork packet with you to these appointments so that they can sign off that you’re healthy enough to EAS.

Once the packet is complete return to your BAS and they will schedule your Final Physical.  Getting the actual physical done is very quick; I was in and out in less than 20 minutes.  All you really need to remember is to be sure to bring the packet with you.  The doc is going to ask a couple of questions, check your pulse, check your blood pressure, etc, all the basic medical stuff that everyone knows about, and then they’ll sign your paperwork, and you’ll be done and on your way.  Once you’re done, look through the packet and find the “Memorandum For The Record” and ensure that both the “Medical Officer” and “Dental Officer” lines have been signed.  Ensure that you keep the “Memorandum For The Record” in a safe place, you will need to take it to IPAC when you EAS or go on Terminal Leave.

 

Step three: TAP Class:

Eligibility Requirements:  Less than 1 year remaining in Active Duty.  (Technically it is supposed to be done before you’re 90 days out, however they realized that some commands are run by idiots and will accept you regardless.)

Required Supplies:

TWO COPIES of DD Form 2648: The form must be filled out entirely (For pages 2-4, you can pretty much go down the line checking “yes” for everything.), you must sign and date Block 28A and 28B, and you must have your career planner sign Block 27 (DO NOT let him sign Block 28C and 28D.)

ONE COPY of your S.M.A.R.T.:  Click “Transcripts” across the top, then “Transcript” down the left side, right-click the document that shows up in the frame, and open it in a new window, this will give you a transcript that you can print. The UNOFFICIAL Transcript is the one you want.  DO NOT request an Official Transcript; that’s the one you would send to a college.

ONE COPY of your VMET:  You can log in on the right side with your MyPay information.  PRINTING INSTRUCTIONS:  MAC Users: Across the top of the page click “Request Document”, then click anywhere on the actual document itself (this is important).  Go to File, Print Current Frame.  PC Users: Across the top of the page click “Request Document”, then click anywhere on the actual document itself (this is important), then go to File, Print Preview, and make sure the second box from the right says “Only the frame selected”.  (In case I’ve confused you I’ve enclosed a picture for PC Users)

 

VMET PC
Printing Visual for PC Users

 

YOUR MEDICAL RECORD: Can be checked out from your BAS by filling out a small pink slip stating your name, the date you checked it out on, and where you’re taking it.  This can seriously be accomplished in 5 minutes or less, depending on how quickly the BAS finds your medical record.  You will need to make TWO COPIES of all of the paperwork in your medical record.  If you wish to make additional copies, that is advisable but not required.  (Your dental record is never specifically mentioned, but if you have had any sort of dental trauma – such as chipping a tooth, getting a tooth knocked out, etc – since you’ve been in the marine corps, bringing two copies of your dental record is also advisable.) Once you’re done making copies of your Medical/Dental records be sure to return them to your BAS.

YOUR SERVICE RECORD BOOK:  The marine corps has gone paperless with SRBs.  So now in order to get a physical copy of your SRB you must go to Marine Online. On the far right hand side click on the tab that says “My OMPF” and print all of the Image files contained therein.  (Image Below)  Be advised that this will most likely be in excess of 60 pages, so if you’re printing at a Learning Resource Center or on-base library where there’s a printing limit, it may take several trips to print all of it.

My OMPF
Locations of Image Files on My OMPF

 

Attending TAP:

[Update, April 12, 2014: One commenter has informed me that TAP is now requiring you to schedule with your Career Planner and your Company. He also says that it is possible to go back and attend TAP up to four times to attend different “pathways”. If another reader would confirm this, I’d be very grateful.]

First of all, let me make it clear, on Camp Pendleton, you DO NOT SIGN UP for TAP.  You show up at 0700 and hope you get a seat (Not as hopeless as it sounds, I got a seat on my first try, and if they turn you away they sign your DD 2648 guaranteeing you a spot at the next week’s class).  On Camp Pendleton, the location of the TAP classes moves.  It is usually at the Base Theater, however, to increase your chances of being at the right spot you can call: 760 725-6324 (Camp Pendleton ONLY!)

As I said before, show up (in cammies for the first day), with all of the above-mentioned paperwork at the appointed location at 0700.  It’s good to be a little early, just so you don’t get turned away for being late; however, admission is granted based on how close you are to your EAS (unless you were previously guaranteed a spot) so showing up several hours early doesn’t increase your chances of getting in.

Camp Pendleton’s TAP personnel allow the use of cell phones because of their camera function (You can take a photograph of the slides rather than having to copy the information), however using cell phones for games, Facebook, etc. is not tolerated, and it is still recommended that you brink a pen and paper for any information the instructors pass that is not on the slides.

 

Step Four: Filing a VA Disability Claim:

While you are attending TAP Class, you should at some point have your medical record screened by a representative from Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW), or Disabled American Veterans (DAV).  He will tell you that you need to make a copy of your medical record (Which you should already have since you’re reading this), fill out a couple of forms, and then go next door to one of the VA offices and tell them you need to file a claim.

 

Step Five: EAS Interview/Separations Worksheet:

The EAS interview is best done as soon as you reach your 6 month mark to make the Separations Worksheet go as smoothly as possible.  You will need to set up your EAS interview by going to your Career Planner, and getting the paperwork.  This paperwork should be pretty much entirely filled out for you, so no worries there.  Once you have the papers you need to go to the Company office, and arrange for the interview with the Company Commander (Not to insult your intelligence, but arrange the meeting with the clerks! Don’t go knocking on the Captain’s door, it’ll just get you yelled at).  The interview is pretty straightforward, the CO will ask what your plans are, where you’re going, what you plan to do for work, etc. etc.  He’ll jot down his notes on the interview sheet, then you’ll both sign it and you’ll be on your way.

Note: Before you let that paperwork out of your site, look a few lines above your signature for your “RE Code” (it may be on the bottom of the previous page if your career planner isn’t very good with computers).  If your RE Code is “1A”, no worries you don’t have to do anything special.  If it is anything OTHER than “1A” you will need to include your Page 11 entries when you fill out your Separations Worksheet.

 

The Separations Worksheet is the paper you need to apply for Terminal Leave, so needless to say, it’s an important document that no one will ever tell you about if you don’t ask for it specifically.  You should be able to retrieve this magnificent document from your unit’s S1 shop. The worksheet needs to be TURNED IN TO IPAC (For Camp Pendleton it’s Bldg 22162) WITH ALL applicable add-ons, at least 90 days PRIOR to the day you want to take Terminal, or if you’re not taking Terminal leave, it needs to be in at least 90 days prior to your EAS.  (In general if the worksheet asks for something that makes you say “How the hell would I know that?”, leave it blank, it’s probably for someone else to fill out. )  If you intend to take more than 30 days of Terminal Leave you will need the Battalion/Squadron Commander, and SgtMaj to sign off on it, otherwise the Company Commander and 1st Sgt, will suffice.

ADD-ONS TO THE SEPARATIONS WORKSHEET:

You will need to attach a copy of your EAS Interview; and if you’re reenlistment code is anything OTHER THAN “1A” you will need to attach a copy of  your Page 11.

Two less common add-ons to the Separations Worksheet are:  A letter from S1 if you are taking PDMRA/PTAD, and A RELMs message if you will be receiving Separations Pay.  Like I said, these two are less common and most likely won’t apply to you, so you don’t need to bother with them.

Note: NOT taking Terminal Leave is a foolish thing to do.  If you choose to sell back 30 days of leave, then you receive 30 days worth of BASIC PAY ONLY!  That pay then has taxes removed etc, leaving you with only a portion of 30 days of Basic Pay.  If you take 30 days of Terminal leave, then you receive BAH for those 30 days, which is NOT taxable.  So basically you’re receiving roughly the same amount of extra money one way or the other, but when you take Terminal leave, you don’t have to work for the extra money.

Note: Although you are supposed to have the Separations Worksheet turned in 90 days prior, IPAC understands that some commands are ran by imbeciles, so if you turn it in late, they will most likely understand.  I know a Marine who turned his in at 48 days prior to the start of his Terminal Leave, and IPAC accepted it, so take the sheet down to them regardless, and the odds are pretty good that you’ll be accepted as well.

 

Step Six: Checkout Sheet:

You should be able to retrieve your unit checkout sheet from either your Battalion S1, or your Company clerk, depending on your unit, I would recommend starting with the Clerk, just because staying out of Battalion is usually a very sound means of SKATE-ing.

CHECKING OUT OF THE BASE

Once you are in possession of this glorious document that will finally be paving your way to freedom, a good starting point would be the areas that are most likely not in your general area of Camp Pendleton (i.e. the library, Joint Education Center, navy and marine corps relief society, etc.)  Checking out of all of these places should realistically take you two to three hours.

CHECKING OUT OF CIF/IIF

From there, the next logical choice would be CIF/IIF (They recently changed their name).  We’ve all heard the horror stories about IIF, but I’ve personally never had any real issues with them.  Here’s a few pointers:

I know every unit has a ban on washing your IIF gear in the washing machines: Ignore that.  If anyone really believes that putting your magazine pouches in the wash will damage either the machine or the pouch more than washing a pair of blue jeans, they’re on drugs and you should probably turn them in to the SACO.  Now, if you’re going to wash your gear in the washing machines, there are a few helpful tips to make sure you don’t get caught by some motivator who happens to be walking around at that exact moment:

  1. Button all of the Buttons!  The buttons on the end of loose straps on the magazine pouches will clink and clank in a dryer so loud that people on the next deck will be complaining.  So button them all down, and they won’t make nearly as much noise.
  2. Remove all of the Buckles!  Same thing with the plastic buckles, they’re nice and quiet in the washing machine while there’s water swishing all around them, but once they go in the drier it’s gonna sound like someone’s lobbing mortars inside that drier, so remove all of the plastic buckles and you’ll have a nice quiet load of laundry that won’t draw unwanted attention.
  3. Remove the Ballistics from your Flak Jacket.  Really, what good is it going to do to clean the ballistic panels anyway?  Just wipe them down with a wet paper towel if you feel the need.  Plus, they’re heavy, heavy things make noise in driers, noise in driers attract motarded NCOs who would love the opportunity to yell at you for washing your gear in the washers.  Don’t attract motarded NCOs, take out the ballistic panels.
  4. Don’t use your laundry bag, use your sleeping bag!  The tag on the sleeping bag specifically says to machine wash it.  So when transporting your gear from your room to the laundry room and back, throw it all in to your sleeping bag.
  5. Keep track of time.  If you’re in a unit with either some nasty gear thieves or a terrible lack of washing machines (which I’m sure you all are), I’m sure the last thing you want is someone to see a washer that’s not running, open it up, and discover all of your IIF gear loaded into a washer.  So set an alarm, try to be back in the laundry room a good 5 minutes before your laundry is done, that’ll give you some time to get it all back into the sleeping bag and out of the room before anyone shows up to “tactically acquire” your gear.
Now, there’s also gear that, for obvious reasons, just can’t be washed. (i.e. Kevlar, Waterproof sacks, and that tarp.)  These are some pretty simple fixes.
  1. The Kevlar: Remove the pads (if you have a lightweight, if not, just remove whatever you can) run some water over it (your sink should be just fine) use a scuz brush if you have any problems.  Job done.
  2. The Tarp: The best way to clean this thing is to take a shower with it, and scrub it down in the shower.  Once that’s done, it’s generally a good idea to find a place where you can hang it up to dry.  If you discover any spots you missed, then get a sponge or some wet paper towels and take care of little spots.
  3. The Waterproof Sacks:  For starters, turn them inside out and take a shower with them.  If you used them to store dirty laundry in the field (and I’m sure a lot of you did) and they still smell (which I’m sure they do) scrub them down with 409 (or your cleaning agent of choice) and a scuz brush.  When you’re done, leave them inside out to dry.  If they still smell, flip them right side in, and put a couple of drier sheets in them.  Don’t worry too much if they still smell a little, when I turned mine in they didn’t stop to smell the insides, so as long as it’s not an overpowering odor you should be just fine.

Finally, once you have an item that is clean, put it into a clean waterproof sack so that it doesn’t get dirty again!  If you follow these steps, checking out of IIF should not be that big of a deal for you.  It should be a fairly simple “in and out” process.

NOTE: You will be getting TWO stamps from IIF. One is for your Gas Mask, the other is for all of the rest of your gear. Some units do one stamp and then place two signatures by it, instead of stamping it twice. Whichever system your IIF uses, MAKE SURE that your sheet has been marked to state that you turned in your Gas Mask, and the rest of your IIF issued gear.

CHECKING OUT OF YOUR UNIT

At this point everything left on your checkout sheet should be in the general area you work in.  Supply should be just signing out of a log book.  Armory, clean your rifle really well (or slip your buddy in the armory a $20 and have him clean it really well), tell the career planner that you hate the marine corps so he won’t try to get you to reenlist, go say hi to the Chaplain, go say hi to the FRO, etc etc.  The only thing that will slow this process down is if you have a unit where certain people (especially the FRO) just don’t feel like coming to work most days.  This will most likely become annoying, but once you find this person, it’ll probably be about 2 minutes and it’s done so try not to get too worked up.

Realistically speaking, getting your checkout sheet fully signed on Camp Pendleton can be accomplished in as little as 2 to 3 weeks.  For those of you who have PCS-ed from Okinawa before (myself included) this will come as a huge surprise, and you’ll most likely be wanting to check out several months in advance, but you need to remember that you are back in the U.S. this time around, and you’re no longer at the mercy of the Green Line’s ridiculous bus schedules.  In all reality, 2 to 3 weeks is sufficient.

 

Step Seven: DD 214:

On the day of your EAS/Terminal Leave, you’re going to need to go back to IPAC Outbound (Bldg. 22162) at or before 0730.  (Showing up early is a good idea to help you avoid the rush.)

You will need:

  • Memorandum for the Record (The Medical and Dental Officers should have signed it after your final physical/dental)
  • TAP class paperwork
  • Unit Checkout Sheet (With 2 CIF/IIF Stamps & Pro Con Marks for Cpl. and below)
  • Meal Card (If applicable)

[Update, Jan 15 2014: Prior to Jan 01 2014 you also had to bring your Medical/Dental records to IPAC in order to get your DD-214. I’ve been informed that this is no longer the case.]

Once you have all of these things in your possession, and you’ve sat through the endless lines of IPAC, you’ll receive a large packet of papers from one of the IPAC clerks.  They’ll walk you through it, but for the most part it’s just making sure you’re name Social Security Number, and other personal data is correct, and then signing and dating the appropriate blocks.  Once this has all been done (15 minutes, maximum) They’ll collect all of the paperwork I listed above, give you your copies of the DD-214 and you’ll be free to go.
NOTE: If you submitted a VA Disability claim (which I truly hope you did)  You’ll need to get a Certified True Copy of your DD-214.  This is a fairly simple process, you just need to wait in IPAC a little longer while they get the proper authorities to sign and date the Forms, and then make a copy or two for you.  Once you have your copies, you’ll need to drop off one of the copies with the VA (Bldg 13150) prior to leaving Camp Pendleton for good.

 

Step Eight: Enjoy Your Life!

You are now done with the marine corps for good!  Get off base and enjoy your life!

 

If you just need to find all of this info for yourself and have the sheer will power to sift through the 534 page Marine Corps Order on the subject to find the information that is relevant to you,  check out MCO P1900.16F W/ Ch1 & 2.

 

Safety and Peace

i want out asap how do i do it

That’s kind of a difficult question.  If all you want is out, there are a number of illegal things you can do that will get you kicked out, but you risk a lot of benefits, and you also risk making finding employment more difficult because of your discharge.

If you’re in the first 180 days of your contract you’re eligible for an entry level discharge, where basically you just quit (If you qualify let me know and I’ll explain further).If you somehow manage to become injured badly you can get a medical discharge (It’s pretty hard to fake this one, it seems like if you try to injure yourself you won’t get discharged out of spite.)

There’s also such a thing as a “hardship discharge”.  One example of this would be say, if you’re family were to suffer some tragic accident leaving you as the only person to care for your 5 year old brother.  Because this hardship didn’t exist prior to joining, and can’t reasonably be resolved while you’re in the marines, the corps could choose to release you from your contract to allow you to care for your brother.  This one is also near impossible to fake, but should (God forbid) such a thing befall you, I would like you to know it exists.

Short of all of these things, the main way out is to finish your contract, and try to convince anyone you know back home who may be interested, not to join.  I hope this has been helpful.

Safety and Peace

NINJA_PUNCH

Serious advice for those considering to join

Serious Advice for those considering to join. This is coming from my experience in both the USMC (EAS 3 days ago and now a reservist) and civilian world. When you join, know that you will have to put up with some bullshit (if you are unlucky, you’re S.O.L). Don’t expect things to be handed to you just because you were in the military. Yes you do get some benefits but it is up to you to research them and use them. Get your education on your free time while in the USMC and prepare for the civilian world while you’re in. As my 1st Sgt says, ‘Once you leave the USMC, the USMC won’t give two shits about you.’
Don’t be the dumbass that tells a recruiter ‘I want to be a Marine first’ and go into some random MOS. If you do, then you will hate life. Lastly, joining the USMC is like playing Russian Roulette, you may go into a shitty unit with shitty leaders or you may get lucky. Don’t count on the best scenarios to happen.

Submitted by: Alajdljfkajldfj

Looking for some insight

Looking for some insight gents, My friend from back home has been in almost 3 years stationed in the asshole of the Marine Corps Okinawa, Japan. He’s within my 2-3 month window of PCS’ing and was involved in a alcohol incident out in town, mainly just breaking the libo policy. He got NJP’d for that and following the thing out in town his command got him for being UA because he was late to work a couple months prior. He has some sort of a sleeping problem but medical hasn’t been able to find out what it is, now they’re trying to AdSep him for a pattern of misconduct with an OTH. When he was late he was put on 24hr post every Saturday for 2 months, technically hazing right?(Duty can’t be used as a punishment, and there has been some other shady shit too) He told me he is writing a letter to his Congressman and Senator and is requesting mast to the CG. What is the likely hood that he will stay in? The unit he is with has gone on a rampage and have had like 10 NJP’s in 2 months 6 or more pending AdSep’s and is in my mind fucking him sideways. Any advice?

Submitted by: alcoholism101

1 Year Lance With a Question

I’m a Lcpl, almost about to hit my 1st year mark out of 5. I’ve come to this site a few times and it’s helped greatly. At times, I feel that the MC is actually the the institution I was looking for when I see some Marines that are actually great leaders, who don’t fuck with you and actually cares what you think. Other times we have the usual motard, or marine that just fucks others or fucks with others. I joined for the brotherhood, self-improvement, and overall experience of being “A Marine.” but all I got was petty chores, a narcissistic leader, and no freedom. Why is this?

Submitted by: Essence501

I Have Medical Problems in the Corps. What should I do?

Well shit, I don’t know if this is the place to put this or not, but I’ve gotta get it out somewhere, might as well be here right? I joined this disgusting disorganization around a year ago. I was a stupid, motivated(aka retarded) and signed my life away to the corps for the next 6 years of my life. Yes I’m a reservist. I was motivated and ready to serve my country. So far, I haven’t done jack shit. I would hardly call any “Training ops” we do credible. We go to a camp in the middle of Cali, set up tents, and patrol them for two to three days. Yeah, way to serve and protect right? What a waste of taxpayers hard earned dollars! Hell, I haven’t been paid for this bullshit for the last three months, and when i DO get paid, It’s a VERY small amount! It takes me three hours to get to my unit, so I have to fill up my tank twice to get there and back, which takes up all of my drill pay anyways. This last October, right before the Marine corps ball, they asked us who was planning on not going. I raised my hand, explaining that I had no money to go ( i was borrowing money from my dad at that point just to GET to drill) and also had an important interview that I had to go to that could not be rescheduled. They said that was all good to go and what not. Then, the next time I see them at drill, my Ssgt starts spewing all this shit about how I HAVE to go, that it’s required and that I never told him shit about not going. Well I tried to be tactful and explain to him that this was already resolved during last drill, but he wasn’t having any of it. So I got to spend the whole drill being called a shitbag marine, getting extra pt, rifle duty, etc, all because I didn’t have a job and couldn’t afford to go to this stupid ball. Then when we’re all in formation, he starts telling the platoon that he doesn’t care if we’re underage, EVERYONE ill drink at the ball, and have sex. Well I was the only person who raised my hand and said. “Excuse me Ssgt, but I respectfully refuse to partake in either of those activities.” Well apparently standing up for your morals is a huge no no in the corps, as I was once again screamed at like I was a recruit, given extra duty, and was mistreated for talking back to an SNCOIC. This is only the start though ladies and gents. Ever since I’ve been in the corps, I’ve developed chronic depression and anxiety disorder. I’ve NEVER had these symptoms before last year! I went to my doc and am still currently getting help for them both. My unit doc has been helpful, taking me to a military health facility to get checked on and such. But this is the part where I have some questions for anyone who’s ever been in a similar situation. If I do get discharged, what kind of discharge will I get? I’ve been reading up some and from what I can gather, If i get a medical discharge for psychiatric problems, that’s a kiss goodbye to ever getting a job in the civilian world, as well as not allowing me to purchase weapons ever again. (I do love my guns) Is there a way out of this? I’m getting pretty deseperate at this point.

Submitted by: ScarheadtheJarhead

Your Corps VS. My Core

[This was submitted to me by my dear friend Hazel the Newt.  I hope you enjoy!]

 

My dearest readers, oh, beloved readers of mine… OOH, my dear bretheran.  Let me approach you for a moment in solemn sincerity, not as a writer, nor a blogger.  Nay, I am appealing to you today not as a brother or equal, or even a
fellow human being… but as something more ominous and narcisistic.  Consider me the echo of a voice from beyond the grave, as it were, a wailing and gnashing of teeth; today I am your Ghost of Christmas Future, and you are my Scrooge… for today, oh my little children, I speak to you not as a man, but as a U.S. Marine.

YES!  I know how it sounds.  I can imagine your horrified gasps of horror, confusion, shock, horror, and even disgust.  But this revelation must come my beloved worshipers.  Some of you are youngsters or, even fairly oldsters, lacking direction and ambition in life.  Maybe your father is pressuring you to “do something with your life” whatever that means, and he wants you to follow in his footsteps by selling yourself into indentured servitude to the U.S. Department of Defense for the next 20-40 years of your life.
Maybe your friends all moved on in life, or joined the military.  They have left home to serve, fight, and die for this great nation… in boot camp.  You are bored and lonely hanging out in your parent’s basement.  You realize you were a follower of the crowd with no real self-awareness or individual identity… and you want for that to continue.  You long for that same pride of belonging that you can only earn by letting other people make your decisions and determine your personality for you.  Or maybe your friends all got good jobs in the Army and Air force, and you want to show them up one and be seen as the tough guy, so you will join the Marine Corps.  You will allow your body to be abused and destroyed and aged before it’s time.  You will apply for the 6th crappiest job on earth, get screwed, and end up with one of two jobs so crappy they didn’t make the list.  Your idea of “professional behavior” will be yelling random sounds and such things as “kill babies” at you boss when he talks to you; running in your underwear with other men in matching underwear, in the dead of night while loudly chanting strange obscenities.

Mayhaps, oh my dear little brothers and sisters, you have a girlfriend.  Whether you have dated for 4 months or 4 years, her new name will be Suzie Rottencrotch, and you will tremble in excitement as you tell her you will be enlisting.  She will be so excited for you.  She loves a man in uniform, she says.  If only you knew just how much.  However she will express certain concerns.  But you will tell each other you are in love and it will be ok.  Then you will go to boot camp and write her every day.  You will recieve two letters from her, then not again for several weeks.  Then you will get a letter from her.  Your name will be spelled wrong, and she will melodramatically confess to you that she was soooo worried about you that she had to talk to your recruiter about what was going on, and he was there to comfort her.  Long story short, for the past few weeks, instead of writing you, she has been banging your recruiter.  And the other marines that work in the recruiting office.  At the same time.  And the Army staff sergeant next door when they were out.  Now she is so overcome with guilt that she must say goodbye.
“Thank you for your continued interest.
Yours faithfully, Suzie R.”
It’s ok.  It could be worse.  Sometimes Suzie never even tells you she did anything like that while you were gone.

Fear not, young padewog.  Eventually you will marry.  She will be the most beautiful bride imagineable, hourglass figure, lips like flowerpetals… 2 years later, this amazing woman will have 3 kids, with another on the way (a feat in itself considering that none of the children are twins… they won’t even be all the same color!  What an amazing woman you will have married), and she will weigh in at a whopping 480 lbs, unable to leave the bedroom without the assistance of a crane.  This and her supernatural abilities to suck your bank accounts dry no matter what will help her live up perfectly to her new title of “military dependant.”

Just imagine all the things you will do that you never thought you would.  Like become an alcoholic.  Get chased by ladyboys in a third world country, or learn that prostitutes in the philippines cost less than $50 (usd) and decide to get three consecutively or at once.  Maybe you will kill a family’s livestock or pet goat in Afghanistan, or learn where the U.S. Governments true priorities lie, or loose your sight or legs.  There are SOOO many possibilities in the Marine Corps.  It will take all your time to explore them.  Like all night “field days,” exploring all the places trace amounts of dust can hide in your room.  Maybe you can work your way up to Staff Non Commissioned Officer, at which point you will have the esteemed role of being on call at all times to do the bidding of simple-minded officers; working late, answering endless requests and filling out endless paperwork, and taking responsibiloty for every mistake or hiccup that anyone below you has made ever in history.   Essentially by the time you have risen to the proud rank of Staff Sergeant, you have attained the covetted billet of “office para-bitch”  or “assistant to the main office-bitch in charge of paperclips.”

People will ask you if you will re-enlist, and you will say you don’t know yet.  You will be thinking about how much you hate your life.  They will chuckle and wide-eyed, they will say, “If you’re going to do four years, you might as well re-enlist, just to see if you really like it or not.   And if you do 8 years, you might as well do twenty, and why stop there.  Just another twenty years and you have full retirement benefits.”   You will nod and squint thoughtfully, thinking about what to eat for lunch and how to avoid your sergeant for the rest of the morning.  The words that person spoke will seem logical to you, even though the real question is:  why stay in longer than you must?!

To summarize, dear esteemed reader… there comes a time in a man’s life when he must look to some group or organization to give him a solid hand of guidance.  If that time comes for you, and it must be four letters, before you consider USMC, you should consider YMCA.

 

Read more from Hazel the Newt (or just stare at some pictures of hot Asian Chicks) at http://hazelnewt.blogspot.com/

I Read the Site, Learned the Truth. Should I Still Join?

Well Ive been reading the website and at first I didn’t like it because it seemed like all thebguys commenting were complaining and not taking respnsibility for the decision that they have made. I’m turning 19 soon and i dint believe your site at first nor the stories. Come to find out U guys were telling the truth!  ESPECIALLY about the bootcamp story. My moms bf was in the Marines and Fought in Beruit. As you can tell that was SOME time ago! When i told him that i was thinking about joining the Marines he told me ” Well it’s gonna be hard”. He told me whilein bootcamp he had gotten out of his bunk during the time he and the other recruits were supposed to be sleeping. So as he got up he looked outside the window. THEN that’s when his D.I caught.him punched him in the face causing his nose to bleed, but out of all of thatim for surehe could handle the hardships better than others. Now he never tried to say anything to me to keep me from joining but im now very confused. I told him thought about Airfoce and he saidvthats good. He told me he didn’t want me to join the marines. He also told me while he wasin that he had fun. He also, said after his four years were up he got out. I believe im a good person, smart also. and im well aware the propoganda etc. But of all of that i still feel the erge to join. Am i wrong for that?? Is serving worthid?? I know it truly my decision but did you even have anything about the corps you enjoyed?? I knowbthat no branch is perfect etc. I just feel like i’ll regret not joinglater down the road. This is for The enlisted Marines and the ones who are out. Did you guys feel the same way?

Submitted By: Terrell Thompson

Feels Pretty Good to Say It

Well everyone I know you haven’t heard from me in a while but being a civilian has been everything I ever dreamed and more. Everything from owning a car and not having to worry about liberty cards or liberty buddies, seeing my family on the holidays, growing out my hair and facial hair, getting to be around WOMEN for a change, to some unexpected pleasures like the fact that I can own a gun and not leave it in an armory. Yes my friends I no longer have to hear any shit for forgetting to salute someone, or maybe that I didn’t feel like shaving. I get to cook my own meals instead of eating shit at the chow hall, and I’m not working 16 hour days 7 days a week anymore. I no longer hate the motards that used to make my life a living hell, I pity them. I hope they can wake up one day and see that their lives are pointless and turn over a new leaf. Hopefully it happens for them soon before they waste too much of their lives. As for those of you still in just know that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. I made it through 5 years and got out with an honorable. It can be done. Finally Scott, thank you again so much for this website, because without it I don’t know if I could have made it. It made for a safe place to vent my frustrations that the marine corp bestowed upon me, and being the fascist organization that it is I needed this venue to do it lest I be hung at the cross by motards. So again thank you.

This website has been insanely
Therapeutic.

My name is Dan Birnstihl, and I hated the Marine Corps!
Feels pretty good to say it.

Finish your time and get out

All you can do is do your time and get the hell out. I totally agree with what you say. SNCO’s mostly care for themselves. Im sure once upon a time when they were junior marines they told themselves they would never treat their marines the way they were treated. Bottom line once you pick up staff your work ethics and overall knowledge of what it is to be a socially acceptable considerate supervisor drastically decreases to the point of openly embarrasing their marines and doing paperwork on them for the same shit they did once before. I am a reservist. I have deployed several times. I can tell you this. Doing your one time enlistment and getting out before you make a huge mistake and re-up is the best chance that you have at making it in the real world. Think about it. You stay in..you pick up ssgt..then gy..then all the way up the ranks you go. Then you retire. For the last decade or so your avg work day has consisted of you sitting on your ass playing on fb and talking old corps antics to the guy next to you who is most likely only listening because he thinks that by doing so he has a better chance at getting that next rank which is probably true. Then you embark on your civilian life finally..where you now must try and fathom that if you call your co-worker a fat ass or a fucking retard you will likely be terminated. Not to mention..like I said..for the past decade you have been sitting on your ass barking orders that make absolutely no sense whatsoever. Therfore when you are approached by a 24 year old boss man who ask’s you to perform a simple task you then automatically assume that you must be given respect for being a retired lazy SNCO. I could go on and on. Bottom line..get out..go to college. Then look back on your 4 or 6 years in the shittiest branch of service and go yeah I use to be a retard. But now I have a degree..I am ethically and morally strong. The end.

 

Submitted By: MrJellyBeanMan

LesterBurnham

I’ll admit that I’m a bit drunk right now, but with my divergent thoughts I think this might be the best moment to truly articulate my opinion about the USMC. I can’t lie right now, the truth is coming right out of my pores. Devil Pups, read and learn. Yesterday officially marked the last day of my 8 year contract, and I am no longer a marine in any sense of the word. I’m not even a former marine. I tell people I was in the military, and no more. Not because I didn’t serve honorably, or do well. I did both. And not because I’m particularly ashamed of the USMC. But because it doesn’t really matter all that much.
Why do you think the Marine Corps attrition rate is so high? Because we breed a nation of weak men who don’t want to serve their country? No. Because the bulk of our young men have enough sense to realize that this is not real patriotism. It’s an overhyped advertisement, and we are the poster boys for America. So they leave ASAP.
I am drunk right now. But I have yet to meet a loyal AND sober marine. Those attributes are mutually exclusive. In fact, I could arrive on any base as drunk as I am right now, and would still have the presence of mind to instantly realize that I was in the presence of a gaggle of overly pious but ineffectual fanatics. They’re all possessed with a strange sort of insanity, a singular but misguided premise that the Marine Corps Manual will conquer all. If they don’t believe this, then they’re not real marines.
The Corps, in its theoretical sense, ain’t all that bad. But in reality, it can be a bonafide nightmare. Young people: there are better ways to demonstrate your love for this country. Would I recommend joining the USMC? Perhaps. I got my GI Bill from it and made some good friends, some of whom I still talk to today. So in this sense, I think I made some progress. But in terms of analogy, you could also visit your local mental institution and make some really neat friends there as well. You just won’t get paid for it.

Submitted by: LesterBurnham

F M L

The Marine Corps really is like a huge shit sandwich… some recruiters might tell you a little about the shit but definetely not too much. Yes, they acknowledge the shit is there, but what they do is they try to cover it up, they talk about benefits, country, school, steady paycheck, medical care, duty to something greater than yourself, all this moto, psuedo-patriotic, and at times, self-interested bullshit.. But really what they’re really doing is trying to cover up the shit , basically, if you read between the lines,  they’re saying ” Yes, I know it’s a shit sandwich, but check it out, we put some tomatoes on it, some pickles, some ranch, some onions, some bacon, a little ketchup and mustard.. it can’t taste that bad after all this awesome stuff that comes with it..” and then, you sign the contract and there you are, just eating this disgusting shit sandwich, and all the topping’s in the world can’t and won’t make this shit sandwich taste better, I’d give it all back just to be a civilian.. If you’re reading this and intend to enlist/re-enlist.. don’t, just don’t, go, live a normal life..

The Perfect Scapegoat

To Semper Huh and ExMotard, I and most likely many others appreciate your candor. I’ve been out for four years now, and still remember my “epiphany.” I realized after about the two-year mark that greatness comes from within and the Corps, quite simply, was a monstrous impediment to my social, mental, emotional, and intellectual health. While this may seem melodramatic, consider the alternative: relying on another person or institution to extract virtues that already exist isn’t always successful.

Don’t get me wrong- tutoring, mentoring, and instruction are great things. But the institutional logic that exists within the Corps reinforces the identity of the Marine without truly making him better. Unless you were some kind of social reject, orphan, or juvenile delinquent, the Corps can’t offer much with regard to basic life skills. The training is rudimentary, while the drudgery of what I call the “existential upkeep” that Marines are expected to do is just too much for a normal, well-adjusted person to accept. I also noticed that the reason the USMC fosters such a zealous atmosphere is because its morale hangs by a thread on a daily basis. Incessant talks about motivation aren’t necessary if a unit is already motivated. It’s also important to note that Marine officers live very different lives from the enlisted. I would venture to say that the observations made on this site would come as quite a surprise to officers. I don’t blame officers for feeling this way, and I’m sure most of the hostility enlisted Marines have for them stems from plain, good old-fashioned envy. Hate them all you want, but officers were smart enough not to enlist. They get better pay, more freedom, and have more resources and training invested into them.

Now for the good news. I used to be a bit embarrassed to say I was a Marine, and it’s not because I failed at it. If anything, it failed me. I did a 4 year contract, served a year in Iraq, earned my Bachelors while I was in, and honorably discharged as a Sgt.  But I am fairly nonchalant about my service. It’s really no big deal because civilians work hard every day and don’t expect to be adored just for wiping their asses. And now that I’m out, I wouldn’t discourage someone from joining as long as they understood that they themselves are responsible for their own contract, conduct and decisions. If they know there is NOTHING in the world they can do to change the madness, they may come out of it okay. I’m still reaping the VA and GI Bill benefits, so it was a good decision for me. But I have serious doubts about the mental stability, moral grounding and competence of enlisted lifers. They aren’t bad people. They’re just a product of their environment.

Most Marines are basically “tourists”. They stroll around base for 3 1/2 years just to get a feel for the military culture. So I recommend that if you join the Corps, you do so within the context of a bizarre sociological experiment. I entered boot camp with a very serious and solemn tone because I really wanted to improve myself and excel. But I left the front gates at Lejeune laughing my ass off because everything I did in the Corps I could have done on my own. Tourists have the luxury of grabbing the proverbial bag of popcorn and just watching the show. I didn’t do that, unfortunately. I believed that the Corps would eventually deliver on its pledge to cultivating me into a better person. It never did. I recommend young people to just mind their own business and do their time if they’re a tourist. Employers don’t care that I was a Sgt, so I could’ve remained a LCPL and had a much better time. While I still ridiculed my superiors and mocked them, there was always this lingering responsibility I had that never went away. I think what drives Marines to promote in their first contract is vanity. No one remembers my name from 4 years ago and no one cares.

In other words, I was bought cheap.  LCPL is the best enlisted rank that offers the least amount of effort for the most return. You get to laugh at the debacles, poor leadership and stupidity, and if something goes wrong it’s not your fault. The second-best rank is SGT. Being a Corporal kind of blows.

A lot of people join the Corps for the bragging rights, which I think is just selling out to its undeserved reputation. So they leave the Corps with greater confidence and conveniently “forget” that they’re leaving because it’s overrated. If it wasn’t, they would still be Marines. Plus, that EGA tattoo isn’t coming off for a while, so they might as well just shine it on. But the lifers are dead serious about their profession, or at least they should be if they want to keep their careers. I’ve found that an enlisted lifer working on his career is like a toddler playing with his toys; both take their respective activities very seriously and believe that what they’re doing at that moment is the most important thing in the world. Take away his toys (or for the Marine, threaten his career or credibility), and all hell breaks loose. But at the end of the day, not a lot is accomplished. And then they get up the next day and do it all over again. They don’t see the futility of it all, but it gives them something to do and have been made to believe they are important. While I’ve heard tons of people talk about how awful the life of LCPLs and below are, I believe that enlisted lifers are the most miserable and disillusioned bastards in the USMC. Those who aren’t discouraged are blissfully ignorant. They believed with every beat of their hearts that one day they would be able to rise above the turmoil and struggle of the Corps, but it’s an anti-climactic “victory.” Every job has a changeover in bullshit with regard to promotions; but the USMC’s bullshit is epically infuriating for a sane individual.  Even if they promote to E9, lifers spend over 15 years getting to it just so they can drive a desk and watch LCPLs clean out their trash. I believe that it’s not worth it. There is no light at the end of the tunnel until you EAS.  I do believe in worthy careers, though- I’m pursuing mine. So the point is not that we should all just give up and live in some kind of fatalistic world where nothing has any purpose. Quite the contrary. It’s that we need to determine what we’ll get out of an organization before throwing ourselves into it.

Some may argue that I’m just being hateful. It’s not that at all. It’s that once a lifer retires, he has little or no career prospects. His legacy is being a Marine, and little else. While there are exceptions to this, enlisted retirees are generally relegated to working for the electric company, driving a taxi, pool cleaning company or short order cook. Tell me, why would I want to do this?  Their best years are behind them. It’s kind of like a protracted reign similar to the glory days of high school. And once it’s over, he’s discarded into the private sector. Most don’t have a college degree, and many are shuffled around to shops different from their MOS. Enlisted lifers are usually glorified supervisors who have lost their job skills. I’m just being truthful. A handful become GS workers and are able to make gobs of money, but there are only so many slots available. To put it mildly, enlisted lifers got on the wrong career track and are stuck with having to watch officers move on to achieve bigger and better things. That’s just the way it is.

I don’t think all enlisted lifers are lazy. I think they’re burdened with an SOP that has been 2 steps forward and 1 step back for too long, and it’s designed that way to keep the animals occupied. In Iraq, my unit was a MACHINE. Nearly everything went smoothly, and when obstacles appeared, they disappeared with innovation and teamwork because there was a real mission at stake. But the very moment I stepped back on CONUS soil, the silly and infuriating games began. You can only imagine my anger. It was like, “Shit, I’m back. I could’ve just remained on deployment for the rest of my contract.” So I got off the USMC treadmill because an inefficient template for policy, regulations and the overall mission results in protracted success (if any at all). It was just more of the same, regardless of the unit.

The bulk of tourists EAS because they know there is something fundamentally wrong with it. The word I used in the first paragraph is “normal,” and I used that term deliberately. If even half of the enlisted lifers I saw were in their right minds, that would be a very generous concession. But to remain and embrace such a dysfunctional environment requires a bit of insanity and/or desperation. And I’m not talking about the “Ha ha, Marines are so zany and wild with their silly and fun antics.” Instead, I saw serious indications of obsessive compulsives, narcissists, manic depressives and co-dependents. Don’t forget the sadists. Their environment is driving them insane. There is no way on this planet that the Marine Corps environment can pass as “normal.”

I realize that many a motivator might want to respond to this last assertion by defending the chaos of the Marine Corps as a prerequisite for sound training and mental preparation in combat. That’s a very creative rationale, but I call bullshit on it: smelly, sanctimonious, and self-deluding bullshit. On paper, Marines ply their trade and hone their craft with training, but that doesn’t happen in reality. Instead, it is the image of the Marine Corps that is
polished and maintained for the public to observe, and that requires time-consuming formalities that ultimately precludes additional mission-oriented training. The result is that every Marine that goes home for leave is a walking advertisement for the USMC, and each one that discharges is expected to live by the pledge of “Once a Marine, Always a Marine.” Allow me to call that last adage what for it is: a cheap form of guilt inducement designed to keep you from criticizing the Corps. What other military organization focuses its theme on permanent (though unofficial) membership? None that I can think of.

SNCOs aren’t entirely stupid. They know who is going to stick around and who isn’t, and they give preferential treatment to the motivators (even if their performance is woefully lacking). The moment they discover you’re getting out, you’ve been blacklisted. The only thing that virtually  guarantees that you’ll be taken care of in the USMC is whether or not you’re “in.” “Are you in, or are you out? That is the million dollar question. Are you going to make a career out of this, or not? If so, then welcome to the brotherhood. If you get a DUI, we’ll do our best to suppress it because we don’t want to ruin your career. But if you’re not in, well you can just bugger off and die (but not until we freeze your pay and demote you). Semper Fi, Devil Dog. Semper Fi.”

Thank you for reading, I know it was lengthy.