Fleet Marine Life #47 – USMC Supply

2011-06-10-fleetmarinelife47 - USMC Supply

 

There are many things that are inefficient in the Marine Corps. One of them is the supply system. I don’t understand why it takes so long to receive supplies, that is, if we even receive supplies. I spent $200 in Afghanistan on necessary supplies. I knew my bosses weren’t going to get them, those lazy bastards.

People in supply, get hooked the fucked up! I remember walking in one supply office and everyone’s got their own mahogany wood desk, black executive swiveling leather chairs that roll around, wireless mouses, wireless keyboards, flat screen monitors for their computers, that were all up-to-date and all that shit. I remember one time, supply hooked up all the SNCOs and officers with their own deployment bags, which were freaking nice, and expensive ass watches. Is this really how we spend the tax payer’s money?

Also, in order to get stuff from supply, apparently, you have to know someone in supply. Or you have to know a guy who knows a guy in supply. The normal route is always inefficient so Marines have to go around and use the backdoor. I remember in Afghanistan, I was wearing these really shitty pairs of boots. I figure, we’re in Afghanistan, the sandiest bitch on the planet. My Sergeant demands I go get new boots because I look unprofessional. I tell him that there is no where to get new boots. He says he’ll take me to a guy that knows a guy in supply. So I went off with him and reluctantly took these brand new boots, which I’m sure someone was really waiting for. A few months later, those new boots looked like shit because we’re IN AFGHANISTAN.

Buying our own shit since 1775.

Fleet Marine Life #46 – Integrity Trap

2011-06-08-fleetmarinelife46 - Integrity Trap

 

One thing higher ups use on their lower downs is something that I like to call the “integrity trap.” This is a trick where higher ups get Marines to incriminate themselves. The higher ups want Marines to admit fault for some wrong doing (harmful or not) now as opposed to finding about it later. The problem with this is that the higher ups may lie or mislead Marines into incriminating themselves. For example:

Douchebag LT : Did you guys go out on liberty without signing the book?
Sgt : I’m going to tell you the truth. Yes, we did.
Douchebag LT : Then I want everyone called back. Tell them all to come back here, get in cammies and stand outside for formation within 2 hours.

True story. I was one of ones in the formation. I followed the rules but I was still punished.

When you do something wrong and you know that there’s no evidence against you then you CANNOT get in trouble. However some people believe the higher ups whenever they say shit like, “We know who did it. Come forward now or else you will be punished extremely.” Well, shit. If they know who did it then why ask? It’s because they don’t know who did it! They’re lying just like they’re lying about “looking out for you.” The higher ups want to cover their ass or maybe they have some sick fetish for getting people in trouble.

However some people don’t know all this and that’s where higher ups step in and guilt you into digging your own grave. They’ll remind you that you’re a Marine and Honor, Courage, Commitment and Marines never lie, cheat or steal (which is the biggest load of crap). And if that’s not enough, they’ll say that you’ll be hammered if you don’t tell the truth and they’ll find out. This may be true but remember, if there’s no evidence, you are free!

Let’s see what happens if that Sergeant didn’t fall for the Lieutenant’s integrity trap.

Douchebag LT : Did you guys go out on liberty without signing the book?
Sgt thinks for a second. If we went out on liberty without signing the book, how can he prove that we even went out at all?
Sgt : No.
Douchebag LT : If you’re lying, we will hammer you!
The Sgt knows that if he reverses his current answer, he will be hammered.
Sgt : I’m not lying.
Douchebag LT : I better not catch you lying to me.
Sgt : You won’t.

Everyone isn’t punished.

I had a PFC that came to the fleet. He was a PFC for the longest time. When I asked him why, he replied, “I got NJP’d for underage drinking.” I asked how he got caught and he replied, “Because I admitted it.” I asked if he could of gotten away with it and he said yes. But he told me that he was compelled to tell the truth as if his life and honor depended on it. The consequence was that he lost his rank, hundreds of dollars and respect. What did he do so wrong? Nothing serious. No one was hurt. Nothing was damaged.

The worst integrity traps that I’ve encountered happened while I was in Afghanistan. A buddy from my platoon was caught with a dead opium plant in his possession. He had to go to several meetings with officers who were to determine if he were to stay in the Marine Corps or not. When the officers asked him whether or not he did drugs, my buddy thought for a second and decided to tell the truth. He said yes. They asked what drugs. He said Ecstasy. When they said how many. He carefully answered one pill. The majority of the officers said that they had no evidence that he actually used drugs in the Marine Corps so they were about to let him go until one Douchebag Lieutenant decided to press things further. Because of that one Lieutenant, my buddy was given an other than honorable discharge a few months before he was about to get out of the Marine Corps.

He lost his GI Bill, his VA Benefits, his disability, everything. Everything taken away because of one sentence. He didn’t harm anyone except maybe himself. But had he lied, he would have been given an honorable discharge. No one would have been mad at him because he served honorably.

In conclusion, if your higher ups ask you if you did something wrong, and you could get away with it, just lie. They’re not there to help you. They’re there to cover their own asses. Telling the truth is not worth losing rank, respect and hundreds of dollars for something so minor.

On a side note, this website has passed 10,000 hits.

Falling into integrity traps since 1775.

Fleet Marine Life #44 – Suicide Brief

2011-06-01-fleetmarinelife44 - Suicide Brief

 

Suicides happen in the Marine Corps. What does the Marine Corps do to help prevent it? Powerpoint by death. Frankly, I fucking hate these briefs. It is an epic struggle to stay awake through it. On one presentation, I drank 3 monsters. And afterwards, I felt shittier physically and mentally.

For those higher ups who think that this is the solution, how about asking yourself why Marines commit suicide and then work from there? There are some problems that can’t be solved like, “I want to kill myself because the Marine Corps sucks ass and I have 3 years left on my contract.” Sure the Marine Corps sucks ass but as a higher up, I’m sure you can find ways to lessen that shitty feeling.

Like instead of keeping your Marines working beyond normal working hours because you had your head up your ass, why not improve yourself so that they don’t have to suffer because of YOUR mistakes. Or stop treating your Marines like shit because your vagina hurts or you have a fucking power trip. Your Marines are there to work for you and will do what you tell them to as long as they trust and believe you. The higher ups are supposed to be helping their junior Marines and not themselves but it almost always seems to be the opposite of that.

Getting a briefed on suicide awareness since 1775.

Fleet Marine Life #42 – Suicide Watch

2011-05-26-fleetmarinelife42 - Suicide Watch

 

I thought suicide watch (aka shadow watch) was a waste of time. If someone wanted to commit suicide for real, he would just do it and not start running around saying how he’s going to do it. If someone in my unit said, “I’M GOING TO COMMIT SUICIDE,” fellow Marines would normally respond with, “No balls, small penis, spaghetti pubes.”

But in all seriousness, In 2008, the Marine Corps had the second highest suicide rate compared to the other parts of the Armed Forces. It came very close to first place.

http://www.marinecorpstimes.com/news/2009/03/military_suicide_rates_congress_031809/

After combat, it is one of the top killer of Marines. In 2009, 52 Marines killed themselves.

http://www.yuma.usmc.mil/desertwarrior/2010/03/11/feature6.html

There is a simple explanation why Marines do it. The Marine Corps blows complete and total ass. There are many ways they do this and I can’t hope to possibly explain it all.

For one, you are a government slave bound to follow the ridiculous whims of your Officers and Staff NCOs. Some of these tasks will push Marines to borderline suicidal levels. For example, I knew a section that did nothing all morning and afternoon. Just before they were about to be released, their douchebag Warrant Officer would dump a shitload of “high priority” work on them. Of course none of this work was “high priority” and could have been done tomorrow. These Marines had no choice unless they want to lose money and rank.

One negative effect of this is that Marines would have to spend extra time beyond their normal working hours. What remains unseen are Marines not having time to see their families, their loved ones, have fun or even relax. It makes life more stressful.

There are several questions that I want to ask of that Warrant Officer. Why can’t they complete those turnover binders tomorrow and not that night? Why did you dump it on them at the last minute? Who is failing? This is just one example of things higher ups can do that can prevent thoughts of suicide.

A suicide brief is given everytime a Marine kills himself in my unit. Holy crap, they are boring. You sit on your ass for hours while there’s someone who talks on and on about suicide, ways people commit suicide, suicide success rates, why people commit suicide, the works. Is this really the solution?

Instead of asking themselves where do all these problems come from, higher ups just look for solutions. Never once in my Marine Corps career has anyone asked me if I would commit suicide and why.

If you’re thinking about suicide, do what I did. Say to yourself, “Just *insert number of years left in the Marines* more years left.”

On a side note, I added the USMC Hall of Fame section to the “A Few Good Links” section.

Watching shadows since 1775.