Usually after every major operation, the one who does the least (E.G. Staff Sergeant Asshole McDouchebag) is rewarded the most (E.G. Navy Achievement Medal). Staff Non-Commissioned Officers have been in for quite a bit of time so of course they would know how to submit an award, usually a Navy Achievement Medal, and make sure it gets through. Most of the time, the junior Marines, the people who do all the fucking work, get jack shit. If they have half-decent higher ups, the junior Marines would at least get good proficiency and conduct marks and a letter of appreciation, the lowest form of a formal award.
When my platoon arrived in Afghanistan, my platoon was given a barely operational area. Six months later, that shit was running like clockwork. Of course, the knowledge and experience of Non-Comissioned Officers and senior Lance Corporals contributed mostly to the success of this mission. The Staff Non-Commissioned Officers contributed nothing. Ironically, they would hinder the capabilities of my already stretched platoon by putting in random rules based on whims that they would have. One day, we were ordered to work with our blouses because we needed to “look professional twenty-four seven.” Unfortunately for us, it was over 100+ degrees Fahrenheit. Another time, they said that Sergeants and above can’t drive and can only supervise the driver, who can only be a Corporal. I mean, what the fuck?
My Gunnery Sergeant flew to Kandahar to eat Kentucky Fried Chicken and participate in Kandahar’s Salsa nights. I don’t fucking understand why there would be Salsa nights in an active war zone that gets mortared on a daily basis but then again this whole damn war doesn’t make any sense. Of course, my Gunnery Sergeant didn’t openly advertise that he would go to Kandahar on a regular basis to partake in the festivities over there. My buddy overheard the conversation between the SNCOs and he told me. I was disgusted.
My Staff NCOs lived well in their cushy areas with air-conditioning, plasma screen TVs with the Armed Forces network and a big refrigerator where they kept all their soda and food acquired from the chow hall. They also had computers with internet and phones that they used to call home.
I was pissed off at SSGT Asshole McDouchebag one day because he blamed me for something that someone else CLEARLY did. I told my platoon that SSGT McDouchebag was going to consolidate all our work into one award for himself.
SSGT McDouchebag called me into his office the next day and he said, “We are going to award everyone from the bottom up.” Little did I know, he was lying to my face.
When we got back to the states, my company had an award ceremony while everyone was on block leave. The only people in that award ceremony were the Sergeants, the Staff Sergeants and like 5 other people. Out of everyone in my platoon, the only people who got any awards were the Sergeants and Above. They all got Navy Achievement Medals for “hard work.”
The higher ups were questioned about the lack of awards for the lower downs. They told us that they’re working on it. 8 months later, 90% of everyone was transferred to new platoons and I EAS’d. No one even received a Letter of Appreciation.
The only thing we got from that operation were low proficiency and conduct marks, which are a HUGE part of getting promoted or not. We didn’t get a reason as to why we got low pro/con marks. They didn’t even tell us that we got them! A buddy told me that he checked his Marine Online account and just saw his low pro/con marks.
In the Marine Corps, it doesn’t matter how hard you work because your boss is going to steal all the credit and you won’t get shit.
Getting the short end of the stick since 1775.