Gunnery Sergeant Retirement Pay Below Welfare Threshold

When low military wages are discussed, those who know better will call out the fact that marines also receive untaxed benefits, such as those for housing and sustenance. So, let’s clear that out of the way: Yes, a young marine with a wife and/or child will receive untaxed benefits that are decent, like a home on base, or funds to get a home off base. But mentioning these benefits without also noting how hard he gets screwed on the back end turns a fair point for consideration into a debate tactic where a fact is chosen, but not considered in its entirety. And that is what will be done here.

Image result for welfare


This article will outline the following:

  • When you are in the military, you do not get paid enough, so you are forced to choose between taking proper care of your family and your sense of pride, dignity and manhood by applying for welfare
  • Untaxed portions of military pay
  • How untaxed pay leads to pitiful retirement pensions, which have now been reduced by 20%

Welfare v. Manhood

For those who read my book, War Poems: A Marine’s Tour 2003-2008, you know we had a lot of financial struggles. As a LCpl, I was married with a child, and had one on the way. Money was very tight, but because we didn’t smoke or drink, didn’t have car payments thanks to my grandmother giving us a vehicle, and received large tax refunds, we weren’t accumulating unmanageable credit card debt.

However, I qualified for welfare, food stamps, and WIC. To understand why, you can look at this welfare article and this military pay chart.

My father told me I should take the benefits, which I found absolutely appalling. After all, I had a job, and my family never missed a meal.

“You’re a government employee,” he explained. “Congress determined your salary, and also the welfare thresholds. This is a part of your pay.”

He continued with how food stamps are part of the agriculture budget, and that this was a way to divert funds from the Department of the Agriculture to the Department of Defense.

Luckily for taxpayers, I was too stupid to see reason, as I imagine many hardworking men and women in the military are. I stuck to my convictions that I had a job, I was a man, and I should have been able to take care of my family by combining the two. Obviously, this is total horseshit due to mathematical impossibilities.

But we can’t gripe about this without addressing the fact that actual military pay is higher than the taxable portion.

Military Pay Isn’t That Low

Many civilians would be shocked to know that among the lazy people on welfare are combat troops, not to mention 50-hour-a-week daycare workers, teacher’s aides, and many hospital employees – basically, those who do the most for us wherever there is a frontline.

A major difference between a LCpl and a daycare worker is that the former can live in a condo on base housing that has great lawn care and a very responsive police force, as well as a nice pool, community center, gym, and many cul-de-sacs for the kids to play safely. For those who don’t like living on base for reasons that include, but are not limited to, past use of toxic Chinese drywall, allowing lead pipes/paint to remain present decades after the risks were known, or because they’d simply like to leave work at the end of the day, there’s a housing allowance.

Those based in Southern California, Northern Virginia, or New York City receive an extra $30,000-$40,000 per year, which is anywhere from 1-3x their base salary, affording troops to live where they are stationed.

And it is this tax-free portion of a service member’s pay that is the problem. None of this is included in retirement. And the 2018 updates to military pensions have made it even worse.

Tax-free Pay = Pitiful Pensions

New military pension rules dictate that the traditional pension for retirees is reduced by 1/5. Instead of receiving half your base pay at 20 years, it’ll be 40%. After 30 years, it won’t be 75%, but actually 60%. This means that troops will not only receive sub-standard wages while in service, but they’ll get 1/5 less in retirement than those who joined before 2018. In fact, the new retirement could keep even a GySgt’s pension below the poverty line.

This is supposed to be made up for by having troops invest in the stock market with a Thrift Savings Plan (TSP), which is like a 401(k). If a troop elects to put in 5% of his pay, the government will match that 5%, but only after 2 years of service.


The new military rules for retirement can keep even a 20-year Gunnery Sergeant’s pension below the poverty line


EXAMPLE: Let’s say the average career income for a retired troop is that of a SSgt with 10 years of service ($3,500 per month). He retires at 20 years as a GySgt, earning $4,700 per month.

Despite the fact that all other federal employees qualify for a 5% match the first day they start working, members of the military do not. To be crystal clear, if you got a job mopping the floors in the chow hall on Camp Lejeune, your pay would be about that of a LCpl, plus you’d get a 5% match on your TSP. If you are hired to answer phones at the VA hospital, your salary (on day 1) would be the base pay of a Cpl, and you’d get a 5% match on your TSP. But if you join the armed forces, you not only have to go wherever you’re told for basic training and MOS school, and then to your duty station, but you’ll receive a lower salary than the lowest federal employees while being ineligible for a retirement match.


Pentagon janitors and White House cafeteria workers qualify for a 5% TSP match from the first day they start working. New marines stationed at the Pentagon and White House do not


If the GySgt in our example wants to finish his career on Long Island at the Hempstead, NY duty station, or a recruiting office, so his kids have excellent public high schools and colleges, he’d receive a monthly $2,700 in BAH. Upon retirement, his $88,800 income of combined housing and base pay will now be just 40% of the base pay ($22,560 per year), which is below the poverty line if he is married with two kids.

To just get to even, he would need to land a new career that starts at over $66,000.

If he lived on base instead of getting BAH, he’d be worse off because he would have failed to secure a home and build equity, so not only would he have less by way of accumulated wealth (a common shortfall of a military career due to frequent moves), but he’d have to move homes the same month he leaves his career to start a new one.

Now, there is the TSP. This GySgt can have saved money in the TSP with a 5% match for 18 years. But could he really? I can tell you from personal experience that if you have a wife and child, you must save, but likely cannot at the ranks of Sgt and below. My wife and I did not buy alcohol once in the 5 years I served. We only took two vacations (once camping a few hours away, and once staying in a family timeshare) and only after I was an NCO. We didn’t smoke, or have cable or car payments. And the margin was razor thin. Every year we slowly racked up credit card debt, then paid it off with our tax refund.

However, the real problem with this 5% TSP match isn’t that it’s hard to come by that money, but that even in 2013, there was no match, so I couldn’t even have taken advantage of it when I would have hit 10 years of service, and hopefully had some room to save for retirement. Let’s not ignore the fact that the most basic incentive for federal workers to invest in the TSP is only recently available to military members, and only as a compromise to their compromised pensions. On top of this, they are paid low wages, then told to store some away. It’s simple to do so long as you ignore things like “math” and “real life.”

Keeping it overly simple, and using generous numbers, let’s say this future GySgt put away 5% of his base pay with the match from the time he was a LCpl with 2 years in. We’ll assume his average career income was $3,500/month with contributions of $350, and the fund grew at a rate of 7% per year.

Using this retirement calculator,the GySgt (after saving $350/month for 18 years) will have $153,000 in his TSP. Not bad, right? But he can’t withdraw it for another 20 years without a 10% penalty, and it’s all taxable upon withdrawal, so taking out the $153,000 will look more like $80,000 as a lump sum.

This is a system that impoverishes our marines by design. Our elected officials have worked to make low-paid military members responsible for their own retirement without raising their pay while reducing the old-fashioned pension by 1/5.


Military members are being made responsible for their own retirement while receiving the same low pay. At the same time, their traditional pensions are being cut by 1/5th.

How This Works out

The GySgt noted above, under the old retirement system, would have received not $22,560 (40% of base pay) as a pension, but $28,200 (50%). If he lives another 40 years, the difference is $225,600 under the new system.

While the TSP could reasonably grow to more than that, it is only the result of the GySgt having sacrificed 5% of his pay on the front end, and then giving up 1/5 of his retirement pension on the back end.

The way it works is that in the first few years of a marine’s career he receives pay that is below the poverty level. He has a house or a room in a place he would not have likely chosen to live, and when he can’t make ends meet, he can apply for food stamps, welfare, and WIC vouchers. And now we’ve got this scheme to reduce his back end benefits – the thing that was supposed to make it worth it. But the reality is that he has less money – money he really needs – that will go into a stock market he doesn’t understand, which is supposed to cover the shortfall he’ll lose with funds he can’t access for 20 years!


  • You’re lower pension is covered by
    • You paying 5% of the money you need
      • Into the stock market
        • To cover the 20% reduced pension
          • With money you can’t get for 20 years


But it’s not too late. We can reverse this by getting this information to our elected officials, getting it to our local American Legions and VFWs, and also by telling any service member we know so that they know not to leave the 5% on the table, if possible. Because single marines have no reason they can’t take advantage of it, and married ones have every reason to at least try.

Leadership Starts at the Bottom

Please note that I had never been a squad leader, and was – very briefly – in charge of a fire team. As a corporal in charge of the Bn Safety Office for 8th ESB, the CO informed the companies that only a SSgt or higher was worthy of reporting to me on safety matters. Before long (WAY before long), I was promtoed to Sgt, and then made the Platoon Sgt in charge of the S-4. If this wasn’t a sign of madness, then I don’t know what is. But one thing can be discerned from all of it, and it’s that leadership starts at the bottom.

And now for a little story.


If this was a site about ethics in general I’d throw a good number of groups under the bus. But this is about the USMC, which has commercials about how in the heart of every marine is a promise kept (so sign up Evangelical Christians!), and this one where everything looks totally badass. I’m not kidding, either. Watch that commercial and tell me you don’t want to be a fucking marine blowing shit up, executing Port Arms, and even being one of those old vets just sitting around, likely because your knees don’t work so good after 11 years of carrying boxes around a warehouse when you were 19 to 30-years-old.

Opposite the amazing marketing machine the Corps is, is the day-to-day bullshit and outright lies you have to bear witness to when you’re a hard-working, dedicated patriot, or some kid just trying to earn a paycheck to give a good life to your wife and baby.

But enough with the generalities.

This is a story about

  • An out-of-standard Sgt who forged official orders for his married girlfriend, a Cpl, so she could change apartment complexes before her husband got home from Iraq, and
  • A thieving PFC who worked in the same office as that Sgt

And our adventure to see who should be accountable for the things they did.

PFC YoungAndStupid

PFC YoungAndStupid had the qualities a Plt Sgt looks for: He could PT and didn’t mouth off. I was in charge of the S-4 (meaning I had only 4 people directly above me, a SSgt, GySgt, Lt and Captain) when this and another PCF came in. Immediately, they told me that their previous unit’s NCO would call me to disparage them.

Now, it’s a sad fact that when the S-4 needs a body it often gets people who just failed a drug test, or someone who is unpopular. This is how people are deemed to end up on duty rosters more often than others, and it’s also how “the roster got messed up” when you want training. The S-4 is in charge of moving people and gear across whole oceans, so, obviously, send the worst people if you can help it.

I assured the PFCs that this was a clean slate.

“Besides,” I told them, “in about two weeks you’re going to reveal yourself for what you are, anyway.”


Well, weeks later PFC YoungAndStupid lifted a set of golf clubs from the bed of a marine’s pickup. This was found out when that marine went to a nearby pawn shop to replace the set, finding his own.

“Why did you steal those clubs?” I asked him one day, privately.

“Don’t know, Sarn’t. Wanted a set of golf clubs, I guess.”

“YoungAndStupid, you already have golf clubs. Plus, if you wanted them, you wouldn’t have pawned them off.”

“Oh yeah,” he said like he’d just realized that was a bad story.

As I said, things would be revealed. The PFC hardly ever said anything because he must have learned not to talk. Half of what he said was untrue; the other half was offensive, such as not believing a female could be President of the United States. The Base Commander was a woman as was the Co CO, but that was his belief, and, to date, it’s unproven, so maybe I’m the asshole here.

For his crime the PFC lost pay and was restricted to the barracks.

Sgt Terminal & Cpl CheaterPants

Cpl CheaterPants’ husband, Sgt DUI, was in Iraq when I arrived at the unit. Most details I have are secondhand so I’ll just say that she wanted very badly to change apartments before he got home, but you can’t break a lease without orders, so she presented a set to her landlord who followed up with the command, and it was found out that they were fake..…so where did she get them?

That evening, myself and the GySgt were kept at the office until 9:00PM. The fallout settled after she spoke to the Bn Chaplain for about 3 hours – a shrewd move if I ever saw one.

In the end Sgt Terminal took the rap he should have, suffering shame and worry, but no loss of pay or rank, and no barracks restriction. Cpl CheaterPants came out unscathed if not unblemished.

NCO Antics Continue

As parents we know that consequences can create results. For example, PFC YoungAndStupid learned that stealing didn’t pay. The following year he also learned the importance of punctuality when he got a Page 11 after being written up about 6 times for being late. He did the crimes, and he did the time.

Cpl CheaterPants, on the other hand, would try to be in charge, telling marines that PT was cancelled when it wasn’t, and volunteering to man the phone, which was necessary in the S-4, but not her place to decide. It was causing confusion, so I finally just had to give her a verbal ass-handing about her place in the platoon.

Meanwhile, Sgt Terminal was in Iraq and had been ordered by Lt Citadel never to speak with Cpl CheaterPants again. So he set up a fake email account under the name Serial Killer (I’m not making this up), and then began emailing to CheaterPants’ military email account. I shit you not, this idiot created an account with the name Serial Killer, and began conversing with a federal military member.

His first email (I swear, I’m not making this up):


Dear Number 2:

This is Number 1. You are to write to Number 1 on only this account. All transmissions are to be destroyed after reading. Together Number 1 and Number 2 will work to take down Petty Officer and Afro Man…….


And it goes on from there.

Number 1 is Sgt Terminal, Number 2 is CheaterPants, Petty Officer is me, and Afro Man is the SSgt I shared an office with, who had shown open disdain for Sgt Terminal, and refused to suffer fools and morons as a general rule.

After about a month of nonsense that alternated between mild paranoia, daily updates about nothing, and complaints about Petty Officer and Afro Man, I read what I determined to be the end of the line.


Dear Number 2:

Number 1 wants Number 2 to know that Number 1 is very proud of Number 2. Number 2 is doing a fine job of taking down Afro Man and Petty Officer……..


The operation was over. These two brainiacs weren’t hurting anyone, but they had been given a direct order not to talk to each other. And, frankly, calling a black guy Afro Man when he wasn’t a cover artist for the rapper of the same name is racist, and calling me Petty Officer when I’d done 150 days outside the wire in Falluja is just laughable, and very bad for Cpl CheaterPants because she was actually starting to believe I was more like a sailor, and therefore stood in a lower regard.

I compiled the emails, and when Lt Citadel came to my office I gave them to her.

“How did you get this?” she asked.

“I stole it,” I told her, “over the course of about a month.”

“Okay,” she replied, looking to the SSgt I shared an office with, “you can’t do that.”

“You told him not to talk to her; they’re still talking.”

“I’ll address it,” she concluded. “Get rid of all this.”

She left.

“Close the door,” SSgt Afro Man said. I did. “Are you out of your mind?”

Honestly, I was. Due to my wife’s reserve activation I was a single parent on a Marine Corps schedule. Also, prior to this, I’d taken action against a line unit with some terrible leadership, and was simply done taking crap from anyone anymore.

“You can’t do that. Do you understand what I’m saying?”

I did.

“Good. Now I’m going home.” As he left I heard him from the hallway, “p-fff. Afro Man! Fucking idiots.”

Sgt Terminal’s Final Days

Upon coming home from a successful deployment Sgt Terminal was selected for SSgt, but where justice failed, karma prevailed. He was overweight. Despite it being 2008, the year that even Sgts Major were getting re-enlistment bonuses, marines still needed to be in standard.

He was awarded a NAM, thanked for his service, and summarily dismissed from duty.

Cpl CheaterPants’ Final Days

When CheaterPants couldn’t weasel out of training, she began refusing to do so. I was told that counseling her off the bat would look like I was singling her out, but that if I kept a PT log of everyone’s progress, then her deferments to training could be sent to the Co Office where they would handle it.

So I began keeping track. She must’ve gotten word, and went from trying to win a contest that didn’t exist to seeing what she could do to escape the punishment she was earning, successfully moving to the S-3.

Half my headaches were gone.

Later, 3 LCpls informed me that she’d gotten drunk at a party on base housing and told people that I was getting Court Martialed for being a coward in combat, that I had “abandoned my marines” while under fire. I asked them to put it in writing, but they wouldn’t, so I did nothing. She also spread a weak rumor that I wasn’t a 1371 (combat engineer) and some boot-ass LCpl took the bait, got smarmy with me, and I dressed him down in front his company and mine.

Alas, Cpl CheaterPants being in the S-3 really was perfect for her, for in the S-3 you can input PFT results, raising your cutting score. She was going to be promoted to Sgt and get a re-enlistment bonus of $34,500. The night before her promotion she must have been feeling especially excellent, because she drank herself stupid – so stupid that her friend called for help. When she woke up at 10:00AM the morning of her promotion to Sgt it was in the OOD hut wearing a set of olive drab USMC sweats.

As the Bn Safety Manager I had to interview her, and it was determined (at her insistence) that it was not an accident. Her friend panicked; “that’s all,” she said. And that was all. Until she saw the Bn CO who non-rec’d her for promotion.

From what I heard she was told that if she stayed in it would be more than the non-rec Page 11 she was getting, and the very last I heard from her she was yelling in the hallway about how she had gotten fucked over.

Where Are They Now?

I tried to look up these NCOs who seemed like Teflon to formal punishment, but found nearly nothing. No LinkdIn page, no Facebook, no seat on corporate or charitable boards, or personal blogs. Cpl CheaterPants is no longer married to Sgt DUI, but that’s all I know about either of them.

As for me, it would be more than a year before the S-4 had a Sgt more junior than I. While I grew into the role that was required, I’d had more experience as the captain of my high school tennis team (10 weeks) than I had as even a fire team leader prior to being in charge of an entire platoon. Senior to me was Sgt Terminal with 12 years in, then Sgt SingleDad, who had just had back surgery, hence his time in the S-4, then Sgt B&E, who was soon sentenced to the brig for breaking and entering a USMC warehouse. In addition to them was a Sgt and SSgt in the armory, both of whom were technically under me.

And, as I mentioned in the beginning, on my first day as safety manager, LtCol Buffalo told all of 8th ESB that “a Staff Sergeant or higher in each company will report to Corporal Pascale.” It was the craziest shit anyone had ever heard.

Getting a VA Disability Rating – How to Do It & What It Means

This is not the end-all, be-all guide to applying for VA Benefits. It is merely one no-bullshit article about applying for a disability rating at the end of active service. I am speaking from personal experience only, not in-depth research, which is why the one thing I’ll say about reservists is merely hearsay.

This is not an article about gaming the system, or stealing from the government. If you’re lucky enough to leave the service with everything as it was when you went in, then you shouldn’t risk buying a 1-way ticket to ShitsVille on the Karma Train. The benefits may not be worth the cost.

In this article I will discuss:

  • What a VA Rating Is & What It Will Mean to Your Future
  • When to Apply for a VA Rating
  • How to Behave at Your Claims Appointment
  • Going to the VA After Discharge
  • Applying for Re-Eval of Rating

What Is a VA Disability Rating?

A VA rating is the percentage rating (10%, 20%, etc.) you will receive based on your injuries and illnesses while in service.

Members of the LCpl Underground will tell you that if you have a certain rating, you can’t get a job. I found this particularly troubling when I met a former sniper who was crippled from having been shot in Iraq. He was a parking attendant at a hotel, and was glad to have gotten only 20%, “because” he said, “if you get 30% or more, you’re not allowed to make any money.” Here I was, intact, and this poor bastard was fucked up for life, and getting a pittance for it. Thankfully, I was able to tell him just how untrue it was, and we spent a few minutes researching who he had to call in his city to get a re-eval.

Just to stress how untrue this 30% myth is, a marine who got out before me was rated at 40% while training in MMA. The doctor specifically told him that even if he became a famous MMA fighter, he’d retain his rating, including healthcare, which would come in handy after a night of being kicked in the face. I got out with a 60% rating, and now have a 70% rating. Since getting out, I’ve worked private sector jobs, government jobs, and have had my own business. I’ve done physical labor and sat at a desk. In my best year I grossed $90,000, and it never threatened my VA rating or pension. I once trained for an amateur boxing match (came in 2nd!), and had no fear that engaging in a contact sport would disqualify me from receiving these benefits any more than would recreational skydiving, a terrible diet, or choosing a career where I sit all day long and drink coffee.

The pension is tax-free money you receive for the injuries you sustained while in service. If you end up being forced into medical retirement, you will be given the choice of a military pension (taxable income) or a VA pension (not taxable income). Choose the latter. No sense paying taxes when you can have it all.

What these benefits mean to your future can be the difference in poverty and prosperity. Medical costs, especially prescriptions, can crush any household’s budget. But not yours if you go to the VA.

The pension could, in theory, be put away for the future. I’d love to say that’s what I’ve done, but I’ve never done it once. Supporting a family of 6, my wife and I have always needed that money, especially after we moved to Long Island. But the pension has given me CHOICES. My second job out of the military was a terrible one. I stuck it out for a year, and then left. When the job I’d been looking forward to fell through, it was a letdown, but not a catastrophe. I was able to work weekends and enjoy time with my family for 3 months before another full-time position came through – right in time, too. Most people are less than 1 month from being in financial trouble, meaning that they’ll miss payments, be in collections, etc. For me, even with little savings, it was 3 months, and I never once considered taking money from the Roth IRA that could have gotten me through another month, if needed.

When I left the next job, it was with a 6-week gap. This wasn’t saved sick or vacation time; it was unpaid. While I wasn’t rich, I had the stability of a guaranteed payment on the 1st of each month. Again, I didn’t touch my Roth IRA, which now had enough to get me through 2 months.

In spite of having had many times that I’d been stretched for money, I’ve never been desperate. I’ve never missed a bill, never missed a meal, and never missed a payment – even for the little rental house I kept in Jacksonville, NC, which once had a 4-month vacancy while my rent in New York was $2,100.

When to Apply for Benefits

The LCpl Underground will say you can’t PT after applying for benefits, which for some marines is simply untenable, so they wait. This isn’t true. If you severely injure yourself while working out, which would leave you on Scooters and Wheelchairs, you may want it added to your claims, which would be inconvenient, but I PT’d until my last day before terminal leave, and it was while on terminal that I got my VA rating, meaning I EAS’d on April 20, 2008, and received that first payment on May 1, 2008.

Step 1 of this process is to go to SEPS and TAPS. These mandatory classes take about a week, and are held at the base theater. You have to go. Some of what you hear will be complete bullshit. For example, there was a Sgt whose billet was actually to help separating marines get jobs on base. This dickhead got in front of us and threw out huge numbers for how much money we could make, like $50k for driving a bus. A month later I went up to him at a job fair where he was standing with 2 higher ranking marines, and after I asked a few questions he said, “well, what do you want, exactly?” and I said, “I want to make fifty grand,” and he laughed like I had just said the dumbest shit he’d ever heard.

So take what valuable information you can, but approach these classes like they are checks-in-the-box, with the major benefit of helping you get mentally ready to leave the military.

If you have some idea that your job is too important for you to make claims while in, you need to disabuse yourself of that notion. I don’t care if you drive the Base Commander around, are in charge of the S-4 working party, or if you’re personally planning the death of Kim Jong Un. You can’t tell me that you’re not allowed to go to an appointment, especially since a scheduled medical appointment, per military orders, cannot be missed.

I had this mentality. I was bogged down in making sure that the paperwork for the platoon I was in charge of was all squared away, and that the safety office would be ahead of schedule for the quarter. Thankfully, the SSgt I worked for, and the CWO who was the Co. CO, told me that waiting until I was on terminal leave was the wrong thing to do – that I needed to (A) go to medical to get anything not-yet-documented in my record, and (B) make my claims.

So that week I had neck pain and back pain added to my medical record, and also went to a pulmonologist to address an asbestos exposure, as well as all that crap I breathed in while deployed.

The next week I was at the VA claims office on base.

How to Behave at the Claims Appointment

First and foremost, be normal. If you’re not crippled, don’t act like you are. As I said, they rated me at 60%, and I walked in and out of that place like a guy who ran 6-minute miles and did 20 pull-ups. You don’t have to put on a show, like one liar I heard about.

Story of a Liar: While I was going through the Pulmonary Function Test (PFT), I started asking about the kinds of people they see there – specifically, I wanted to know what tipped them off that someone was faking it. They told me about a marine who was saying his back pain was so bad that he actually could not blow into the PFT machine, which requires a full measurement of one’s lungs. He kept insisting that he couldn’t take a deep breath, nor could he exhale vigorously. And then as he left the building, they saw him, through the window facing the parking lot, run and jump into his Jeep that had oversize tires.

“What can you do about that?” I asked. She said that they made a note of it in his medical record, stating that he claimed he couldn’t breathe because of back pain, but seemed to have no problem leaping into his vehicle.

Having said that, if “normal” for you is being a tough guy, you need to drop the pretense. You wouldn’t be making a claim if you never went to medical for anything. And if you are legitimately a tough guy, then you’ve had some pain over the years.

This is the most important thing: for everything you have been to medical for, you can make a legitimate claim. For what you haven’t, you can’t, and may be denied treatment for at the VA hospital in later years, according to a person I spoke to at the VA. For each claim the doctor will say, “do you feel pain in your [body part]?” Your answer should be, “yes” with no qualifiers.

For example, you don’t say, “yes, I have pain in my right knee when I carry a SAW ten miles.” The answer is just “yes,” because that right knee of yours likely hurts, also, when you’re watching TV, washing your car, or playing with your kids. Just answer the question in as few words as possible.

I claimed, and got percentages for, my right knee (10%), left knee (10%), right hip (10%), left hip (10%), back (10%), neck (10%), and right ankle (0%). I also made claims for PTSD (10%), COPD (10%), and eczema (0%).

If you’re adding up the ten-percents and finding they make up more than 60%, it’s because the VA has its own system for adding, and it’s unimportant right now.

What is important is that you need to:

  • Schedule & Attend SEPS/TAPS
  • Go to Sick Call for Anything Not Documented
  • Schedule Claims Appointments

Then when you get out, you need to check in to your local VA Hospital.

Check in to the VA Near You

When I got out, my wife went from reserve to active duty, and was then stationed in Louisiana. Being a military spouse, I didn’t need the VA; I could go to the base hospital, which was much more convenient since the drive from DeRidder, LA to the nearest VA was about 2 hours.

However, I heard that if I didn’t check in within 2 years of my EAS I’d never be able to go. Is this true? I actually don’t know, and couldn’t find an answer in a search that led to this VA Myth Busting Article. The 2-year thing is probably false, but it’s best to be in the system, especially when prescriptions for bronchitis can cost over $100, leading you to make choices between which one is most necessary, and which you can live without.

Among the reasons you’ll want to check in at a VA is because you may find that you should have a higher rating.

Getting a Benefit Re-Eval

I have been re-eval’d twice since getting out in 2008. Once for my lungs (COPD), and another for PTSD. The COPD test concluded that my lung capacity is continuing to diminish, but not yet enough to raise my benefits rating. The PTSD re-eval led to a test for Attention Deficit Disorder. What had happened was that I was working as an accountant and found that I just couldn’t sit still. Now, I’ve experienced more commonly known PTSD symptoms, but getting up every 20 minutes wasn’t normal, and was completely counter-intuitive to the work. As an accountant, you really have to just sit there all day, staring into the glowing box of death while monkeying away into a spreadsheet like a good little drone. With a Red Bull or coffee I could maybe go 45 minutes, which is a great solution if I was cool with crushing my adrenal glands and saying goodbye to erections in middle age. I wasn’t.

Seeing the results, the doctor said, “You didn’t have ADD as a kid.” I hadn’t. “I can tell because of the way the test results came in,” and then he explained that someone can actually get ADD as a result of trauma. “I’m going to submit for your benefits to be raised based on PTSD,” he explained. “The VA is going to deny it, and then you have to appeal. During the appeal, it will get approved.” In my case, it was raised from 10% to 30% without having to appeal, and my overall rating went from 60% to 70%.

Last Notes

I mentioned in the beginning I’d say something about reservists. I have no idea about any benefits for reservists.

A marine I worked with was married to a former reservist who was rated 30% when he got out, and was receiving the standard rate noted in the chart above. She speculated he got that because it was sustained while activated and deployed. I have no idea if that’s true.

Image result for what are my benefits and how can they help me achieve my goals

On How Much You’ll Really Get: I got out when I was 26. As a veteran rated at 70% with a wife and 4 children, I am currently receiving $1,702. As the kids age out, the amount will drop, so to keep it simple, let’s say it’ll average out at $1,500 per month, and that I’ll live to be 86-years-old. That means I’ll have received $1,500 every month ($18k/year) for 60 years, or $1,080,000. Would it be better to be so healthy and strong – without even the slightest bit of knee pain – that I didn’t rate a pension? I think so. But since I’m not, I ought to recognize that I am looking forward to receiving about one-million dollars post-USMC in cash. This doesn’t account for possibly $1,000,000 in medical care, the $50k in tuition from the GI Bill, and the roughly $3,000 I received in BAH the month it ran out in 2015, not to mention that when I was first going to college I qualified for the Pell Grant since I had such a low taxable income, and that New York State has a scholarship, even for graduate students.

Most people won’t get a rating like mine, but even a 10% rating can make a big difference over the course of a lifetime?

A family friend of mine has a 10% rating. During the Vietnam era he was on the rifle range as a coach, and has tinnitus. He is now about 65-years-old, and has received $180/month ($2,160) for about 40 years, or $86,400. Would he prefer to not have a slight ringing in his ears until he meets a sweet, quiet death as the final bell tolls? I imagine he would. But that’s how it went down, and he’s receiving benefits as such.

On Waiting to Make Claims: Don’t. Every day you wait is money you are denying your family. If you have no family, would you be better or worse off without this money? If you’re denying yourself out of some sense of nobility, perhaps you’re right to do so. After all, if you’re sitting on a trust fund, then maybe it’s best to let it go. But if you fucked up your knee, shoulder, back, or mind as a result of having served your country, then you deserve to be compensated. I’d have likely incurred some of the damage in my knees, hips, back and neck simply from being active had I not joined, but instead of running marathons or dancing the night away in an attempt to be someone’s last call, I trained for war. In the course of such zeal and fidelity, I was injured. And for that, there is a means of remuneration.

Don’t waste it by denying yourself and your family. It’s not like the government has any better use for it than you do. After all, if you put it all away, it’ll grow, which is good for everyone. If you use it to make house payments, you’ll gain equity, which is good for everyone. If you use it all to buy groceries, you’ll support local jobs, which is good for everyone. If you don’t get it, it won’t even be a drop in the ocean. If you do, it will change your life for the better with positive results that extend beyond your lifetime.

We Need Your Help has been contacted by a very large news organization inquiring about the massive problems in the marine corps such as mistreatment, deaths, and other very serious matters that go unreported. We’ve offered to reach out to our userbase seeking any information that can help this media outlet shine light on things in the marine corps that are massively wrong. This is a great opportunity for us to make a difference. If you have any information that would be useful please contact us at and we will connect you.

“Thieves Edition”: Marine’s Never Lie, Cheat or Steal

We were in the locker room for swim qual – gear a-ready – when the instructor told us to leave everything and follow him to the pool – leaving the gear adrift. [Sorry not to build suspense into the scene of the crime, but the real story comes in a bit]. Returning to the locker room, my Kevlar helmet and that of a corporal’s was gone. We continued with our training.

Back at our company we had to fill out a missing gear form so as not to be helmet-less in combat. The corporal and I had to see the Company XO, Lt. Gremlin, named as such because she resembled the sexy gremlin in the classic holiday film, “Gremlins 2.”

Waiting outside her hatch the banal conversation between she and the corporal was brief, and concluded with her signing off on his new Kevlar helmet. All seemed well with the world. He left, I entered, stood at attention, reported in, and was then put at ease, which really meant modified parade rest, so I was not actually at ease; nor should I have been.

“Why are you here?” she asked, displeased.

“My helmet was stolen at the pool.”

“What do you want me to do about it?”

“I was told to fill out this form and see you,” I answered – feet shoulder-length apart, hands behind my back, which is a truly appropriate position for a verbal slapping.

“So,” continuing with all questions and no answers, “you think you shouldn’t be held responsible for losing your gear?”

And that’s how it went. She concluded that even though the corporal and I were in the same place at the same time for the same incident that he should have his helmet replaced, but I should have to pay for a new one.

She dismissed me. My platoon sergeant, the one I reference in the “Tradition” story, got a helmet for me.

Lt. Gremlin the Thief

Now, Lt. Gremlin didn’t just get her name because of her appearance. Honestly, the sexy gremlin in that movie was kind of hot; I mean, she was certainly down to get down, and wasn’t shy to make her feelings known. Lt. Gremlin earned this nickname for being repugnant, just as others earned good ones with their virtue.

Standing outside the company office around this time she is talking to SSgt BadAdvice about a fender bender she had been in. Out loud, in front of many junior marines, she is trying to talk through how she can parlay her minor accident into major repairs, which some people – like claims adjustors – would call insurance fraud.

What, does she think she’s not responsible for fixing her own car?

Does she think someone else should pay for things that are hers?

She did.

US Marines: The Ultimate beta Males

This was adapted from a comment made by Idris

While putting up with all the bullshit in the Corps I’ve been simultaneously learning about MGTOW (Men Go Their Own Way) and RedPill (choosing to learn the painful truth, as opposed to BluePill, which is embracing that the matrix is real). In the course of it I’d also learned about this outrageous culture of people choosing to like subordinate lives, and found message boards about how joining the military will “take the wimp out of a man,” and make him strong and proud.
I had to laugh at that, because it’s complete bullshit. It’s propaganda that the military wants to push on society so they think that all the welfare families on base, and the barracks full of idiots are stocked full with great men who will some day lead our nation.
Maybe it was true for a time – up until the Korean War – but shit rolled downhill fast, especially in the USMC. We don’t have strong honorable men leading anything. We have hyper-masculine jag-offs screaming for floors to be buffed and shit to be shined. They are literally polishing turds, almost like the great sculptors of the past didn’t say, “chisel away everything that’s not DAVID or THE THINKER,” but instead said, “see that guy who’s a real piece of shit? Go sign him up for your cause. The one who’s the biggest turd; put him in charge.”
I’ve trained hard in the Corps. That’s not the problem. The problem is that it goes too far in a direction that there is nothing to be gained, like polishing and polishing and polishing that turd. At some point the damn thing needs to just be bagged up and thrown out!
What intrigued me about the whole MGTOW and RedRill concept was that it would talk about men in relationships where they were treated like shit, and then just accepted it. I read about women withholding sex from their men, then going and fucking other men, and thought, ‘that’s what the Corps is like.’ The Corps is seductive when you don’t have it, then it’s fucking you over while seemingly rewarding everyone else. Young, hardworking marines are like cuckolds in D/s relationships. While she’s getting railed in the bathroom at a club, we’re holding her purse. While she flirts with some slack-ass loser in designer jeans that are pre-scuffed, we’re at working overtime to buy the new blinds we’re going to install where we actually end up with a tear in our jeans – our favorite fucking pair!
Do we confront her? Do we say, ‘hey, this is a raw deal?’ Maybe once. And then the group of other cuckolds scalds us. There’s a reason it’s called “the Lance Corporal underground.” It’s because it’s like a pit of despair. It’s like a bucket full of lobsters. One tries to get out, and the others pull him back in. When they yank that stupid bastard down, they turn to one another and say, “don’t let the green grass fool you!” And some of us do get out, but it’s either because they are those unicorn marines who really do rate, or, more likely, because they got plucked out by someone above the the Lance Corporal underground.
The USMC is a cuckolding organization with little boys full of beta tendencies. They think they’re alpha males because they yell and scream and have tattoos, but the whole time they rock that tough macho tantrum, they cowtow and bow down to their girl (the Corps) who is always disrespecting him. The whole group is nothing but followers. They follow orders, which is good, but they follow in every other way, too, right down to the littlest things, and then they sign up for more so that they can have the slight bit of security [the hell they know, versus the hell they don’t] instead of taking control of their own lives.
You know you’re a fucking beta male in the USMC because you go along with mass punishment. Some SNCO rapes a girl in Okinawa, and everyone below that rank pays for it. Just like a beta male. You know you’re a beta male in the USMC because even in your free time you have to address someone by their “superior rank.” You’re at the grocery store off base and see someone. “Good afternoon, Corporal.” “Yes, Corporal.” Like you’re never off duty, because you’re not. Beta males don’t get to rest. They must always do the bidding of their superiors.
It starts on day one in boot camp. Recruits are conditioned to obey, not think. Then when there’s a hazing incident, the comments at the end of the article about it all say that the kid was a pussy because he couldn’t handle by other betas who brag about the beatings they took. They took the beatings, and shut down the legitimacy of the complaints. They took the beatings because they are beta males. They are marines.
This is just like the guy who stands by sexless and pathetic while his wife gets her itch scratched 7 other ways from Sunday, and then someone says, ‘he should have been taking care of his wife, or I wouldn’t have to do it for him.’ He says this never thinking for a second that he could have actually really helped the young man by addressing legitimate concerns that men face while married/in the Corps. That fake-alpha type never actually mans up and teaches the young man/marine how to buck up and take control. Why? Because he’s a product of a system designed to keep the young marines down. He’s a frontline troop working to keep everyone beneath him submissive, and also keeping an eye out for others like himself who have no problem  with fucking someone else over by fucking “his wife,” which is symbolic of his career and sense of worth.
It’s part of the decline of society and the Corps, and they know they are riding a hand basket to hell, and working to take us all down with them. And us? We just take it. Because we’re the ultimate beta males: US Marines.

The Almost Officer: What Marine OCS is like and how I got dropped two weeks from graduation. Part 3 of 4

After writing the first two articles in this series, I realized that my memories from OCS (and the USMC in general) are still pretty vivid. I’m going to hold off my actual experience (what led me to get dropped) until I can disassociate my personal feelings from the article. What I would like to present now are snapshots of different scenarios and people that I encountered in 8 weeks at Quantico. Names have been changed to protect people’s anonymity.

There are multiple “open forums” where leadership scenarios are given to the entire company to discuss how they would act. Since everyone is being evaluated at all times, there is someone in the back taking notes to see who says what. Because of this, candidates are basically expected to spew out moto-bullshit that involves mass punishments. One example went something like this:
LCpl Schmuckatelli is on barracks duty and you, as OOD encounter him while making your rounds. LCpl Schmuckatelli reports his post and you notice him reading an unauthorized book (aka not on the commandant’s reading list). If I remember correctly, I think the book was Jurassic Park. What do you do?

Apparently the correct answer is to NJP the junior Marine. The wrong answer was to ask an entire company of candidates (most of whom had never stood a 24 hour post) if they had ever read a book on the commandant’s reading list. They didn’t seem to understand that reading ‘First to Fight’ would make you ‘First to Sleep’ on duty.

Which brings me to one guy I will never forget, Candidate Ian Reid (fake name). He was constantly on the prowl to correct his fellow candidates (yelling at them for not locking out their legs during flutter kicks or snapping his fingers during formations). He was one of those busy body types who spent most of his time trying to find other people fucking up, rather than minding his own business (this is the type of person that OCS absolutely adores). One thing he used to do, which really infuriated me, was every time a candidate got dropped and their name was called for mail deliveries, he would yell at the top of his lungs, “KIA, GySgt, KIA.” For some weird reason, people liked this shit. I thought it disrespected those Marines who actually died in combat, a role that he as a reservist would probably not see too much of.

The last scenario that I remembered was a platoon “mentorship” session with our commander, Captain Bragan (fake name). I forget the context and the discussion even, but somehow the subject of working parties came up. He said something like: “Use your junior Marines, that’s what they are there for.”

So, if you’re curious about some of the stuff they are teaching junior officers at OCS nowadays, now you know. NJP people for reading the wrong book on duty and junior Marines exist only to be slaves who clean.

Submitted by: Motoboner

Straight Out Of 4th Battalion

This story was submitted by Rebekah Kind, who was extremely motivated to earn the title of Marine as a means of both serving her country, and personally self-actualizing. At the end of this entry is a link to a news article written about her, and a specific Parris Island practice that I can personally attest to having been practiced in 2003.

Following the events of September 11, 2001, I knew I wanted to serve my country. I was not looking for an easy path. The Marine Corps called my name even when I was a young teenager.

When I was finally old enough to join, I told my parents, and they talked me out of it...for a time. In 2016 I realized it was my last chance to join. I was 28 and would only just make the age cutoff. So, against my family's wishes, I joined the DEP.

I was about as motivated as a poolee could be. I went to PT sessions as often as possible, scored a 93 on the ASVAB, and looked forward to becoming an aviation mechanic for the Marines.

To give you an idea of my state of mind, before I shipped off to boot camp a MEPS employee asked me where I wanted to be stationed. I answered, "Wherever the Marine Corps will have me, sir!" Not only was I as patriotic and motivated as could be, but I was honored to be given this incredible opportunity. That is, until I got to Parris Island.

At boot camp I was taught that "Marines never lie, cheat, or steal," even as I witnessed said activity. I got there as a mentally and physically strong person, but soon after my arrival, began a descent into a shell of who I formerly was. I grew thin and sick, which was made even worse when I contracted pneumonia. Upon requesting to go to sick call for the first time - with pneumonia - I was mocked and berated.

This was the worst part, I think - being torn down, then never built back up. In fact, when my dad saw me the day I left Parris Island, he immediately noticed the change. I had gone from being a tough tomboy to someone who was afraid to look people in the eye. Because, on Parris Island, the moment you look someone in the eye you're told not to "eyeball" them. Having adapted to the environment, it only took a couple months of being treated with no dignity for me to lose confidence in myself, or my ability to do anything right, including walk down the sidewalk and cross paths with someone, particularly if they had that funny hat/belt combo.

I only wanted to serve my country as an aviation mechanic. I did not expect to be treated with disgrace and disgust at every turn. If I'd had leaders I could trust, I would have willingly run toward bullets. Instead, I was methodically shredded until there was nothing left to destroy.

Frankly, this is all fairly humiliating, so you might wonder why I would risk telling this story.

Why Am I Doing This?

I have made my experience public in the hopes that other young patriotic recruits will not have to continue to undergo the sort of degradation that I did. I may not have earned the right to say "Semper Fi," but neither does anyone else, because that phrase does not describe the USMC accurately. Always faithful? The Marine Corps has a lot of work to do in order to live up to that ideal.

I will write more about my experiences in boot camp as time permits.

I have nothing but the greatest respect for Marines who live up to the Corps' motto.
Beaufort Gazette article about me

My Thoughts About ‘Former USMC’ Marketing And Corporate BS

“A Marine explains how to lead when you’re not the boss.”

During my time I’ve seen the rise of ‘celebrity’ Navy SEALS, I.E., billy badasses who get off active duty, write books about their experiences, get movie or product endorsements, and generally milk their prior military service to expand their business interests.

Well, former Marines are no different, and in the last 10 years there’s been no shortage of autobiographies, and/or management books that capitalize on the author’s prior military service. Nothing inherently illegal about that, but unfortunately those who have experienced the worst of the Corps would question how valuable of a real world business ‘training’ experience it REALLY IS!

From my last assignment on active duty working with the finances and supply of a Marine Aircraft Group, I can positively attest to the fact that it was NOT EVEN A REMOTELY ORGANIZED OR EFFICENT BUSINESS MODEL! If it was a civilian airline, it wouldn’t stay in business for very long!

But if you get out and are seeking a new career as the next motivational speaker/ modern day Stephen Covey management guru, then I guess you can capitalize on the Corps emphasis on leadership and management.

AS LONG AS YOU DON’T DARE CRITICISE THE MILITARY, you can string together enough open ended human concepts (mixed in with historical philosophical quotes) to put together a book deal, or sell your superficial advice for a corporate consultancy contract ($$$$).

The Marine Corps has a brand logo, a corporate slogan, and a marketing strategy. It puts a huge amount of effort into marketing (propaganda), and it has a vested interest in maintaining an image to secure resources and funding. There’s also no shortage of civilian salesman who play on the ‘former Marine’ status.

Robert T. Kiyosaki– the ultimate hypocrite.

But the Corps NOT a place to learn how to run a business- especially a business or corporate model that must deliver ON TIME at low cost, generate profit, and maximize human capital.

My two cents worth- civilian corporations kiss the ass of the military because the military excels at indoctrinating people into low paid wage slaves- with emphasis on long (uncompensated) hours, blind obedience, low tolerance of individual thought or creativity, and severe penalties for any form of dissent. It really wants a CHEAP, EASILY EXPLOITABLE WORKFORCE.
All the rest is just window dressing BS.

Video: How to lead when you’re not the boss. 

Submitted by: Oldr

A True Story of DI Abuse & General Fuckery, by J.L. Williams


The following story was submitted by a former Marine and edited by Chris Pascale.

I don't really hate the Corps as much as I sincerely dislike it - for a number of personal reasons:

(1) Lying and manipulative military recruiters who prey on naïve young people who lack personal goals and direction in their lives
(2) Abusive and sadistic drill instructors
(3) No guidance or help on a personal level offered by officers [when I was in]

I enlisted back in 1976 during a very optimistic and PATRIOTIC time in America. Things looked very bright indeed and hopeful.

The anniversary of our country's founding in 1776 - I had very high hopes for a good life as a glorious Marine! I was so young and naïve, and very ignorant of the reality of life in the Corps.

During basic training at MCRD San Diego, Platoon 2093, Sept-Nov, 1976, I was physically abused repeatedly by a drill instructor named Sgt SchizerVideo while serving as a "house mouse," which is the clean-up maid for the DIs in their duty hut, which is against regs but they do anyway.

He bit my ear hard during marching at the parade ground one time because I held my M-16 too high on my shoulder. He sprayed starch in my ear during qualification day on the rifle range. After initally UNQ-ing I then made sharpshooter because he wasn't there to torment me. But Sgt SchizerVideo never let up, and he let me know he hated me at least on a daily basis - that is, when he wasn't reading "Soldier of Fortune," spitting Copenhagen into the water fountain, and granting us the pleasure of his favorite phrase, "fuck me to tears."

He was a bastard, but so were all the other DIs, too, like SSgt MurderRapist, an extremely ugly short little ogre of a man with a thick neck and gapped teeth, who laughingly recounted his tour in Vietnam, particularly the part where he saw a marine stick a flare tube up a pregnant woman's vagina and it exploded! I'LL NEVER forget his deranged personality and twisted smile, as well as the heavy stack of medals and ribbons on his chest.

And Sgt Jewel, another very strange, sadistic and nerdy looking guy with black-rimmed glasses whose favorite pastime was screaming at us from the top of his lungs for an hour straight!

And Cpl GullNuts. He got REALLY mad one time and hit a recruit with a large rock in the mountains at infantry training. There was an investigation and that recruit left the platoon, and I never saw him again. They changed our DI's several times.

I was very tempted to report Sgt SchizerVideo to headquarters, but then he would have REALLY gotten it out for me. I should have - after basic training was over - but just wanted to forget it and go home on leave.

I also witnessed SchizerVideo assault a private after the recruit was caught smoking in the head late at night. He grabbed him by the collar very aggressively, pushed him up hard against the barracks wall, and threatened to "beat the shit out of him." It was in front of the entire platoon.

It's Better After Boot Camp, but It Ain't Great

Apart from all that, there was always the feeling of disappointment and dissatisfaction that plagued me like a curse from hell. Knowing that I gave myself over to this awful and screwed up outfit for an enlistment of 3 very long years, and finding out that life in it was just plain tedious, unfulfilling, and a nit-picking bullshit affair was somehow worse in some ways. Getting knocked around in boot camp seemed like a potential necessary evil to win wars, because the enemy would be much worse, right? 

While stationed on Okinawa I'd gotten in trouble for excessive drinking one night in Henoko village - a small fishing town outside Camp Schwab loaded with bars and pretty, but silly, Japanese bar-girls who would giggle and say "OH, I LOVE YOU! BUY ME DLINK-EE?" Then things got worse. My platoon commander, Lt Spanky, transferred me to Camp Hansen on the other side of the island.

Finally, after a year I was sent back to California only to be treated - yet again - like a recruit at Camp Horno. There was no library, no movie theater, a crummy little snack bar, and everything was either far away or off base in San Clemente or Oceanside, and, as many people have said on this site before, without a car, you're pretty much stuck. 

Examples of how awful it would be was that if I went to a vending machine for a can of soda there'd always be some Sgt asking me "where are you SUPPOSED TO BE?" as though his place of duty was at the vending area bothering people! Also, there were a lot of the guys in my platoon that used street drugs, especially marijuana, and even the very dangerous and psychosis-inducing PCP. In 1978 there was an epidemic of PCP use in southern California; some of them were on our bases.

Well, I finally received my honorable discharge after my enlistment and was pleased to get out of there and return home.

I'm not perfect in all this, but the drinking incident on Japan wasn't my biggest mistake. My biggest mistake was trusting the Marines' empty promises. I learned that you should never trust anyone who's trying hard to induce you to do something, and manipulating you into buying or joining something you're not sure entirely sure about. 

I'm telling you straight - don't make a mistake. It's a very long time when you sign up for years in the U.S. military. And it's permanent with NO WAY OUT once you're in. You had best talk to a veteran and really think TWICE first. 

And if anybody reads this and doesn't like it, as we say in Texas - I don't give a blind hoot if you DON'T like it.

It's 100% true, every word I typed.


Former Lance Corporal Jefferson Lee Williams, Anti-Tank Assaultman, Weapons Platoon, Infantry. U.S.M.C. 1976- 1979


The Almost Officer: What Marine OCS is like and how I got dropped two weeks from graduation. Part 2 of 4

At the time that I was selected to OCS, I was married to another Marine. Further complicating matters was that I was selected for ECP, not MECEP. MECEP marines check out of the unit on TAD, while ECP marines PCS out. Because I got PCS orders, I had to terminate my lease with military housing (within a very short amount of time). My ex-wife’s command wanted to move her into their barracks. Thankfully, after a lot of discussion, they allowed us to get her an apartment off base. It was stressful enough being forced to move your family in under a month. It would have been even more stressful to have my young, good looking LCpl wife in a barracks full of horny male Marines from her command. I am not a jealous person, but they had brazenly sexually harassed her at work and even right in front of me. The last thing I wanted was to check out of my unit knowing that a whole command of thirsty fucks was waiting to pounce the minute I left the gate.

As I was checking out/moving, I was also making sure to stay in good shape. I checked into my unit in early 2009 averaging a 297 PFT. By the time I left for OCS, I was running somewhere in the mid-270s. I was stationed at MCAS Yuma, AZ (air wing MOS). It was black flag on most days, and my command was really lazy with PT. In 4 years at my unit, we only did scheduled PT literally a handful of times (like 4-5). Everything PT related was on your “own time.” As a result, most Marines just lifted, if they PT’d at all. I was a dedicated lifter, but ran on my own once or twice a week. While my PFT run time was declining, I was still running circles around 98% of the Marines around me because no one ever PTd. Most people were either fat, extremely out of shape, or both. So, our extremely unsat SNCOs (2nd -3rd class PFT/4-5 ribbons in 13 years) used to routinely counsel people for being out of shape, but would never give anyone time to actually PT. We had to be “at work” for 50-60 hours a week, even if we were not actually doing anything. The only ones who could leave work to PT were those Marines that were on BCP. They got to PT twice a day, three times a week, during working hours. It was a perverse incentive.

The final piece to keep in mind, before I get to OCS itself, is that because I was in avionics, there were no fresh lieutenants out of OCS in our unit. All of our commissioned officers were prior warrant officers who converted to captains as limited duty officers. None of them had any frame of reference for OCS. WOBC (warrant officer training) is a very, very different beast. The few commissioned officers that were actually around who went through OCS went through between 1995-2000. By 2011, when I went, the standards had increased dramatically due to both the draw-down and the recession. So, more people were applying to Marine OCS than ever before due to the bad economy, and the USMC just didn’t need as many bodies. At the time, I did not know this, as I dutifully collected signatures for my checkout sheet with a smile on my face. I was on my way out of a toxic command, and finally on my way to actually being able to lead marines through something more than just a Chinese field day.

By Motoboner

The Almost Officer: What Marine OCS is like and how I got dropped two weeks from graduation. Part 1 of 4

I enlisted with a college degree in 2007.

At the time, I didn’t know any better and took the advice of my recruiter who told me that I would have more respect by going into the Marine Corps the “right way.” Still, I drank the kool-aid and dove head first into the experience. At the time, I was a caricature of the most moto-motard. I PT’d on my free time. On weekends I did MCIs and practiced MCMAP. I rarely went out, and spent most of my weekends field daying my room. No joke. I didn’t want to get in trouble by doing anything that even remotely place me in a situation where I could get burned. In my first year in, I listened to my SNCOs who told me not to get discouraged by my demotivated peers; that they were demotivated because they chose to be. It was their fault that they didn’t give a fuck, if they were not promoted or if they ever got an NJP.
By the time I got back from my second deployment, I knew better. By that point, I had seen enough examples of horrendous leadership that I knew there was no way in fucking hell I was going to re-enlist. Whether it was the Gunny who didn’t allow the paperwork for 10 Marines who I taught and tested out for MCMAP belts to be processed because I taught an “illegal course” (Once our CO got his black belt, he decided that MCMAP was too dangerous so he banned it for everyone else on deployment), or the SSgts who searched our hooches for “contraband” aka porn (which they themselves sometimes gave us) so they could write charge sheets …..the people on this site know the drill. There are too many examples of shit like this to even attempt to list them all.

Still, by the time I hit year 4/5 in my contract I decided to reach down into my cargo pocket for one last bit of motivation. I was going to put in an officer package. In my opinion, there is no way in hell that any enlisted personnel have a legitimate shot at actually taking care of their Marines since most of the time they were just “following orders.” Hell, most of the time it was unchecked SNCOs taking their rank too literally that was the problem. Since my MOS was indefinitely closed, my only chance to try to end this cycle was to literally outrank some of the retarded motherfuckers that I had the displeasure of serving under.

Even though I had more awards, deployments, and training than most of my supervisors (air wing has pathetically low standards), the political nature of life as a junior marine made this task almost unbearable. While I was able to secure more than 10 letters of recommendation, none of them actually came from anyone WITHIN my chain of command. I could not trust any of them, as I saw one of my Gunnys tell a Sgt who was on his way out to list him as a job reference only to brag about purposely giving him a shitty recommendation. So, I was forced to look for people I worked for, under TAD or deployment. Luckily, there were plenty of people willing to write good things, so I wasn’t worried. However, once I started to route paperwork up, things got interesting. I started getting ass-chewings galore for going behind people’s backs and all that happy horse shit about how I don’t respect the chain of command. Some of the senior Marines who did write me recommendations and who happened to also be located close by were called by my OIC to ask why they gave me recommendations.

In the end, the recommendations stuck and I was recommended with enthusiasm by everyone on up to the CG to go to OCS. After four years of continuously striving to better myself but being let down by terrible leadership, I finally felt like the hard work had paid off. When the MARADMIN came out, several SNCOs who made a career out of ruining others came to shake my hand. I just stared at them. I couldn’t outright tell them to go fuck themselves, but this little victory was close enough. I was soon going to outrank them (which was something that any SNCO detests). Or so I thought.

Submitted by: Motoboner

“Let’s Talk about Tradition” (Blood Stripes and Pinning)

By Chris Pascale.

For those who don’t know, pinning is the practice of stabbing a person with their chevrons or wings, which can be seen in this Dateline video. A blood stripe is a red strip of cloth that goes down a set of dress blue pants when a marine is an NCO or higher. When some LCpls are promoted to Cpl, the NCOs get together and give him a blood stripe, which I explain in the story below, but is briefly mentioned in comments 12 & 14 here.

These 4 stories are not the goriest among the Marine Corps. They are merely 4 times I witnessed something related to these ridiculous concepts.

Scene: Keesler AF Base, October, 2003

“Hey, Gatch,” a brand new PFC said to the marine I was walking with in the barracks, “I kept the backings off; pin me.”

At that, the LCpl who I’ll call Gatch, touched his collar to make sure he was telling the truth, then bottom-fisted the shit out of both chevrons into his shoulders with a sharp, thick thud bringing him to crumple halfway over at the pain.

I must had a look that said, ‘what the fuck?’ to which the new PFC said,

“I got promoted today.”

To PFC, which, like self-respect, is given, not earned

We don’t keep in touch.

Scene: Falluja, Iraq, July, 2005

Myself and Texray were promoted to Cpl. As the engineers came around to shake my hand my SSgt lightly touched the chevrons. I considered giving him permission to pin me. He was one of the finer marines I knew, and a good leader who’d encouraged me whereas the previous one sought to single me out. But I let the emotion of the moment pass, and he didn’t assume he had the right. It’s a Catch-22, really. The marine worthy of pinning you is often the one who wouldn’t. And the marines seeking respect allow themselves to be disrespected.

Hours later I was out on a mission with a recon platoon I was attached to in the back of a high back Humvee with a Sgt.

“I got promoted today,” I told him.

“To corporal?” he asked, sounding upbeat.


And then he punched me in the shoulder. Not getting a reaction he tried again, and then again.

“Nah, I’ll getchya later,” he said like he was a good-natured friend and not some jackass who didn’t understand the basic tenet of leverage – you can’t get it if you’re sitting on your ass.

We firmed up at some house in the city and since I wasn’t posted on one of the guns that hour I laid down to sleep. Off on the front porch I heard this Sgt jovially exclaiming,

“But it’s the blood stripe! He earned it. We can give it to him.”

What he was referring to was having me run through a 2-column gauntlet of marines who’d knee me in the sides of my legs as I attempted to run through them. The Sgt worked to make it seem like a fraternal-type thing that would make me one of them, and not as though he was a sadistic asshole who got joy in hurting others.

Aside from the lack of interest and presence of morals from the recon SSgts, my Platoon Sgt – the one who I’d have considered letting pin me – would have pulled all engineer support from the recon battalion, and they would have had to explain just why it was no roads were being cleared from midnight to 4:00 A.M., and no weapons caches were being uncovered any longer.

Scene: Camp Lejeune Field Exercise, June, 2006

We’d just come from a mock patrol through the forestry of Camp Lejeune in preparation for the deserts of Iraq, and then formed up. A Motor T marine was promoted to LCpl. Afterwards, our new company CO made the following speech:

“Isn’t this something; getting promoted in the middle of this hot shit out here. Welp,” he concluded, “I’ll leave you NCOs to congratulate your marine.”

At which he left, and a small minority of asshole NCOs, one of whom was nicknamed “The Weasel” because of all the slimy shit he was always involved in, were like, ‘yeah, we’re gonna congratulate you.’

Scene: French Creek Rec Center, Sept. 30, 2006

For unrelated reasons, I’d requested to leave that line unit, initially for another base, but settled for H&S Co.

The command was a good one, and I was lucky to be there. The company CO was a female Lt. A good marine who cared about her job and doing the right thing. Helping her was a female 1stSgt of whom I only have good things to say.

Lt. GoodMarine had us at the French Creek Rec Center and began talking about hazing. I didn’t recall any hazing in the unit, but maybe some directive was passed down.

“Why,” she began, “do you marines think that some think it’s okay to pin other marines?”

There was a silence. I was getting promoted to Sgt the next day. So far as I was concerned I’d earned it the year before in Falluja, for which no one present had been with me, meaning that no one rated to even consider pinning me.

Filling the brief silence, I said something about people not sticking up for themselves. I said this because when you’re stupid (and I was stupid) you think everyone has a share of the blame for fucked up things that happen. The CO thought it over, and must have seen something in the look of the Sgt next to me.

“Sergeant CrotchSmell,” she said. “What do you think?”

“You don’t want to know what I think,” he told her, as though what he had to say was so intense it would have made our little heads explode.

Fact was, Sgt CrotchSmell was an ASVAB-waiving Bulk Fuel tough guy with a very limited vocabulary, and a bit of a womanly swagger. He must have learned early and often that whatever it was he wanted to convey wouldn’t come off very well, so with every request to express himself he thickened the wall.

“I have something to say,” another Sgt spoke up.

“Go ahead.”

“We have traditions,” Sgt BrainCell said, stressing the word, “and when we don’t respect our traditions we lose them. This Corps has been around since seventeen-seventy-five, and it seems like these new marines want to leave the old traditions behind…”

He went on as though George Washington had personally slam-stabbed chevrons into the gangrened shoulders of every marine in the Revolution, and Samuel Nicholas was the first to say, ‘you know what, fellas? We should knee the shit out of that new corporal until he can’t walk! You know, for camaraderie.’

You get so used to hearing these canned speeches from insecure Sgts who spout them off when challenged that this idiotic rant didn’t even seem funny. He had the floor until a SSgt finally said,

“I’m sorry to interrupt, Lieutenant, but I was asked to get a head count. Raise your hand if you bought your tickets for the ball yet.”

Most hands stayed down.

“So you’re talking about traditions, but you’re not attending the birthday ball?”


Sgt BrainCell was right. We can lose valuable traditions by not practicing them, and that’s because traditions are not inherent to our lives – they are simply something a culture adopts and disowns. I’m lucky not to have experienced any physical abuse in the Corps, but for those who do, it’s something they carry with them well after their time in. With all that we give to serve our country, it shouldn’t be.

And that’s all I have to say about that.

Boot Camp Tips For Females

I have not seen any female submissions so I decided I could write a little story of my own experience in boot camp and the initial process.

Back in 2015 I started the process for joining the Air Force, but I had a mark on my credit for a dental bill I could not pay off and got denied enlistment. The Air Force recruiter then brought me over to the Marine recruiter’s office and basically fed me to the sharks. As soon as I stepped into that office, their eyes lit up and they gave me this big grin. I introduced myself, and immediately I was filling out paperwork. I will say I was pretty intimidated and new to this, but I was desperate after losing my job, failing one class, and almost losing my apartment. I was partially guilty to giving in so easily, but I was also led on by their fast sales talk.

I was supposed to go MEPS the next week or so and I had yet to talk about any MOS or a ship date. I was interviewed by a MSgt, a GySgt, a SSgt, and a female Sgt.  I was so deep into it that I had no choice but to keep going.

I was the only female in good physical shape there and I was gold to them because I didn’t need to be babysat and told to lose weight. Something just didn’t feel right a couple weeks before shipping so I called up an Army buddy and we went to a recruiter in his area. I told him how they were rushing the process and how I still didn’t get an MOS and every time I asked about it I got shut down or was told to come back next week. I told him I wanted out but I felt like I would be punished if I broke the contract. Alas, I went in and told the Marine recruiter I wanted out and he wasn’t having it. I got “talked to” by the Gunny and yelled at as well. I am not going to lie, I was pretty scared and I did not continue with the Army recruiter.

Two days before I shipped, I got a call from the Army recruiter and he said “You don’t have to go. They will knock on your door and tell you that you can go to jail. It is an aggressive recruiting tactic so don’t fall for it.” I told him I was sorry and scared but I had to go.

I finally landed on PI. OK, not that bad so far but I was tired and already regretting my decision. Moment of truth time arrives and half of the females get up. Some we never see again but most come back.

IST, pull-ups and run all passed with flying colors.

The following week, we met our DI’s and that is when I knew it was serious. I of gave one of them attitude. Not on purpose but because I was exhausted. Yeah that went great! She basically followed me around like a hungry stray dog all month. I wanted out! Open contract, BS, getting sick, spat on and pushed around.

I knew that marine boot camp was not supposed to be easy and I am not saying that I could not hang. I did not WANT to hang. I was NOT a marine and never wanted to be. I was there for the wrong reasons and I knew that my lack of motivation would hurt me in the long run. I did my research and tried to get out medically. I was in great shape and I was one of the strongest females so they laughed at me when I asked to see the corpsmen.  I did more research and told them I was depressed. Technically I was depressed. I was not really proud of that being on my medical record but it was better than having mental breakdowns later on and getting out with an OTH or similar. I said I was not suicidal, I was not a Marine and I never wanted  be one. I wanted to go home.

1 month later, I went home. The worst days of my life were in RSP. That was the lowest place I had ever seen. I saw my DI’s and they were more down to earth in real life but still had some loose screws and carried out their dominant personality everywhere except the senior. She impacted me the most. I let her down because she always took me aside and told me I had a lot of potential. Honestly I did not.

I am now free and still trying to figure out what I want in life. I think about that shit everyday. I love our marines and respect what they do but it is not the life for me.

Tips for females if you are shipping:

Do not fall for the hype. We train differently even though they tell you otherwise. Males did have it harder.

Women follow the rules more. They don’t curse or hit you.

You will be taken care of with hygiene and other stuff.

Stay away from gossip.

Help each other and keep your mouth shut.

If your female Marine is getting out, she will be taken care of either way.

There’s a lot of support believe it or not. Stay very professional, productive and honest, if they like you the process will be faster and easier try not to get out with OTH or General.

I hope this helps others.

Submitted by Trump

Nobody Lies, Cheats, or Steals in the Marine Corps

In the Summer of 2003, I was on Parris Island. 1st Bn, CO A.

One platoon stood out as they won all the competitions – initial drill, final drill, written testing, etc. This story takes place around the final written test and prac app. The platoon I was in had scored the highest but lost because Recruit “X” had gotten a 0% on the prac app portion. How did this happen? Well, within earshot of dozens of us, the Senior DI of the championship platoon said to the marine in charge of taking the scores, “I’d really like to make sure my platoon wins this one, too.” It didn’t mean anything to us until “X,” who was not an idiot by any means, was railroaded during the CPR and other prac app exercises. They rushed him, harassed him, and got up in his grill like he was committing the cardinal sin of considering out loud that he might want to go to OCS.

Afterward, word must have gotten around, so there was a pow-wow with the Co. Gunny. We all received the following speech, but at much greater length:

“There’s a lot of doggone talk about people cheating. Well, I’m here to tell you that no one is cheating, so you all need to stop talking about it. At the end of each doggone competition, a trophy is given to the platoon that earns it by winning, but that doggone trophy is returned at the end of the drill cycle, so it’s a trophy that you don’t even get to keep. So if anyone did cheat, it wouldoesn’t not matter. Now, tell me, do you think that someone can be a leader if he runs a four-minute mile and does forty pull-ups, but is a faggot? I say no. Now some of you might not want to hear that, but if you’re a faggot you can’t be a leader.”

And then we were dismissed.

Submitted by Chris Pascale

More Examples of the Finest Leadership the Marines Have to Offer

In the last couple of weeks, some articles have caught my attention:

So it seems that a Colonel, the paragon of marine-ly virtues, has been charged with sexual assault on a minor, possibly as young as 6 years old.

And a mustang no less, according to some sources.

Here’s my question:

How many people has this guy buried over the course of his career (considering the total control that he possesses over thousands of men to a level that approaches the power of a king) for sleeping with high-school cheerleaders, and he goes and does this?

Of course, all of the (obviously impartial) comments on any of the military websites, from Marine Corps Times to, are crying “Innocents until proven guilty” from the mountaintops, conveniently forgetting that he gave no such presumption to the innumerable people he took stripes from for much smaller offenses.

Now this fine officer and gentleman is a shining example of what it means to be a marine.  No doubt he spent his career as some superior officer’s bulldog.  He was the guy you gave the problem children to in order for them to be broken.  Of course, this would always lead to “outstanding” FITREPs, and the bulldog ends up with his own command.  The problem is, he doesn’t understand that, while sometimes you need a bulldog, nobody needs (or wants) one all the time.  As a result, the bulldog is now loose, and proceeds to make life hell for everyone around him because he thinks that is the way it’s supposed to work.

Head of Miramar-based squadron relieved of command

This third entry in our usmc leadership-palooza actually came as a shock to me.  In my experience, MALS tended to be a little more laid back.  (I served in 3 of them, 2 of which had changes of command while I was there, so I actually had 5 different squadron commanders)

MALS marines have a lot asked of them at work, and then they have to deal with all the extra marine-ly stuff.  Field day, uniform inspections, all that stuff fits in after working 12+ hour days all week.  As a result, some of the other stuff got let go.  Little things like field day formations, squadron PT, etc.

The fact that this guy managed to screw up running an outfit that will pretty much run itself speaks more loudly to his incompetence than I ever could.  The fact that this guy made Lieutenant Colonel says all you need to say about the kind of people the marines appoint to leadership positions.


By Billiam


Join The Marines They Said….


The Marine Corps is portrayed as bad ass 24/7 kicking down doors, and partying. They don’t show all the rules and regulations. They don’t tell you that joining to be a machinegunner will log you with more hours behind a lawnmower or as janitor.

You will be expolited at every level , made to do non work related tasks, be massed punished, find yourself repeatedly in situations where either option is going to have negative effects. Example. Trying to go to school, but your SSgt won’t sign off on your TA form because he is a bitter lifer with no education. Then when you tell your officer in charge, he asks the SSgt, so the SSgt lies, or exclaims it just was a miscommunication.

So you end up getting to attend night courses, but know you are on your bosses bad side because you went over his head for something you are entitled too, and something that worthless human being should be reluctant to assist you with after you have accumulated more awards in 2 years of deployments than he has in his sad pathetic 20 years dodging deployments.

Oh yeah the Marine Corps is so much fun, I love having other people who are mad at the world live my life for me. Some guy with $30,000 in debt and 4 kids on his 3rd wife yet he still manages to talk down to you because you forgot to blouse your right boot, while he goes home and gets drunk only looking foward to coming to work the next day pissed off to order you around like a slave and nitpicking at everything you do. Yelling at you for taking initiative. Yelling at you when you ask to many questions, and don’t forget yelling at you when you decide not to ask questions and wait for instructions.

I fell for Full Metal Jacket, and the recruiters pitch. They don’t lie they just don’t tell you about working parties, field day, mass punishment, haircuts, the working weekends, libo briefs, sitting and waiting, working non stop, civilian clothing regulations, curfew, being 21 but only being allowed 6 beers in your room, no girls in your room. The Marine Corps was indeed the worst decision of my life. I am now in college and loving being free. However I still feel robbed of my childhood and it’s my own fault because I never listened. Hopefully you guys can.

Originally posted by Tyler32Ross on 43things.

Killed in a training accident? Obviously you need more professional development.


A “pause for safety”, huh?

So, let me ask the question:

How does a “professional development day” help with a command that refuses to allow crew chiefs to down an aircraft? It’s a lovely idea, to shuffle everyone into a room, slowly kill them by PowerPoint, check the box that they’ve had their “professional development”. This way we can send them back out to work under the same policies and budgets that will hamstring them tomorrow just as they did yesterday. The only difference?

This time it will be their fault.

Remember, this is what the marine corps is.

Failure is just fine, as long as the paperwork looks good.

When two helicopters slam together in the dark, they can blame lack of “professional development”.

Never mind the fact that the Old Man wants the “bare minimum” for the airframe to get off the ground, so he doesn’t have to answer questions about why he has aircraft down for maintenance.

Never mind that the unit spent half a million dollars on paint and brasso last year, but at least that hangar looks great with the coffins in it. I’m sure it will be of great comfort to the pilot’s widow to know that at least the unit spent its budget, so they’ll probably get the same allocation next year.

The aircraft are held together with duct tape, baling wire and bubble gum. The barracks are crumbling, moldy, rat-infested sewers. These men work in deplorable conditions (unless of course they are officers, but that’s not the point here) at insane hours, but that can’t possibly be the problem.

It must be that they need “professional development”

Anything to avoid an officer being accountable for his men.

If that craziness starts happening you might actually find yourself running a military organization instead of a daycare center.

Let Down From The Start. Boot Camp Criticism Part II



I have quite a few criticisms of USMC bootcamp, but I’ll begin with this one: The training in bootcamp, isn’t good training (excluding PT, because that obviously is a type of training). Bootcamp is mediocre, real training doesn’t start until SOI.

Every Marine is a rifleman right? The USMC is supposed to be an elite FIGHTING organization that wins battles and effectively kills the enemy. Now honestly answer me this, what kind of combat training did we get in bootcamp? No one really comes out as a “killing machine.” We just come out a motivated boot that thinks we’re the shit. Do we even know what to do when we’re being shot at? And don’t mention the bootcamp IED training, that was extremely brief and rushed. What did we get trained to do? Drill? Is drill that important? Do we have marching competitions against Al Qaeda? Is drill more important than being a war fighter? Did we get trained on how to move like cattle from one place to the other while being on a tight schedule?

Sexual harassment classes and classes on how to speak in the workplace. Really? Do we really need to spend valuable training time on things like that? Everyone knows that rape is bad, rapists will still rape even if a class tells them not to. And how to speak/act politely in a workplace, why are we being so politically correct!? Other than PT, we didn’t get that much training. The training should definitely be improved. During WW2, training time was managed much better and focused on important aspects of being a Marine. In WW2, we didn’t have to go to SOI for additional training, unless it was something specialized. Because back then, as soon as you were out of bootcamp, you were a rifleman. WW2 bootcamp was shorter, and they got more training than we do today. They were taught decent fighting skills, unlike the joke we call MCMAP. They shot their rifles a lot; infact the most they did was shoot their rifles. They got tons of shooting practice. How much do we get now? Barely a week!

We could be learning so many valuable things that could make us good riflemen and help us survive combat. We could be learning how to shoot better, how to better react to ambushes. How to set up and ambush. How to attack an enemy position RTR, suppressive fire, etc. We could be learning valuable combat related skills that could save our lives in a war, after all that’s what the USMC is for! Instead, we get mediocre training (again excluding PT, because the PT is decent IMO though many debate that).

Now, a counter argument would be “But they’re just recruits, they’re not disciplined enough to learn combat tactics.” My response to that is that during WW2, and every conflict before that, they were taught combat tactics and they did just fine. Not only that, but in the US, there are private companies that train ordinary civilians and teach them how to survive in firefights and in combat situations. If ordinary “undisciplined” civilians can successfully learn advanced combat tactics in a few days, then so can recruits in bootcamp. The USMC would save so much money and time as well rather than sending Marines to SOI for another few months to learn things they already learned like combat skills in bootcamp. Think of the time it would save in a wartime situation! The Marines would have good training, and they would be ready much quicker.

Another thing about bootcamp, is that the DI’s always say “IF you become a Marine.” As if it were a near impossibility to make it through bootcamp. Everyone who has been though it knows that pretty much anyone can make it as long as they have steadfastness. We’ve all seen shit bags pass despite being the terrorist of the platoon. Actually no, you don’t even need steadfastness to pass, people who try to quit are still forced to go through it. So if it’s such an elite organization, why does it force people to go through it? If someone doesn’t want do be in bootcamp anymore, would you really want that suicidal/depressed person beside you in a war zone? They could end up committing suicide or going AWOL leading to others getting killed (Bergdahl).

Bootcamp should be the time where if someone doesn’t want to be there, they’ll get sent home. So that way the USMC won’t have to worry about someone who doesn’t want to be there and possibly committing suicide or doing something bad. But of course, the USMC is NOT an elite organization ,nor very well organized. They’re just like the Army, as in they want as many troops as possible to fill a quota. The few the proud, the elite? Nope. They could be doing a much better job, but for some reason, actual training and preparation for war isn’t important in the eyes of the USMC. I don’t know why, and I hope that someday, a good leader will make the USMC better and make it live up to its name and legacy.


Submitted by: Martinez

Website Offers Support To Disgruntled And Disillusioned Marines

0x0ss-85-1Published in the October 13, 2013 issue.

Most Marines first visit after a bad day on the job.

In fact, said site founder S–, the majority of first-time visitors stumble upon the site simply by typing “I hate the USMC” into Google’s search bar. Once there, they can find other unhappy Marines to commiserate with or, perhaps, some help for whatever problem they’re facing.

“We have people coming on here who say they have issues with hazing, for example, and they want to know what they can do, or trouble where they aren’t getting paid correctly,” said site co-administrator Tyler Ewing. “They know there’s a way to get it fixed, but they don’t know how to get it fixed.”

S– and Ewing are both Marine Corps veterans who identify with the the active-duty guys who visit their site. S–, 25, started the site shortly after he was discharged in 2010 after one term of service. He intended for it to become a low-key discussion board where Marines could complain or vent frustrations to others like them.

Ewing, 23, who got out in July 2012, discovered the site the same way most do — by typing “I hate the USMC” into Google.

“I found it that way and started posting there, and S– eventually brought me into the fold,” he said.

The site remains unsophisticated; while there is a blog portion where S– and Ewing post submitted stories, a hosted Web comic, and a page of funny Marine-specific “memes,” the most popular section is an anonymous message board with thousands of nested comments: one long running conversation. But the site’s traffic has been steadily growing since its start, S– said, and it now receives 30,000-50,000 hits every month.

In a recent exchange, a user explained he was stuck in a lengthy tour on Okinawa, Japan, and wanted to know how to ask for a permanent change of assignment to another location on the island.

Ewing posted a response citing paragraphs and sections of a Marine Corps order specific to the Marine’s situation and advised him to approach his career planner, armed with the applicable rules.

‘I just want to fix it’ A combat engineer who left the Corps as a corporal, Ewing said he discovered his knack for navigating the complex Marine Corps system of orders and regulations while he was still on active duty. He frequently directs users back to Marine Corps source material: chapter and verse of the Uniform Code of Military Justice, location-specific orders, resources that the Marines offer but that troops may not know about. A drop-down “resources” menu on the website includes everything from a link to the Military OneSource counseling hotline to a step-by-step “how to” guide, compiled by Ewing and S–, for getting out of boot camp once you’ve already begun.

Other posters on iHateThe-USMC ask about processing VA claims or how to request mast. Occasionally, prospective Marines will ask for the no-frills truth about joining the Corps.

Sometimes, S– said, these would-be recruits read what users have to say and decide not to join.

“We don’t lie about the Marine Corps; we just don’t sugar-coat it,” he said. And for the record, he said, “I don’t hate the Marine Corps. I just want to fix it. That’s what I do.”

So far, the admins said, they aren’t aware of any official Marine Corps response to their site, though they’ve heard stories of senior enlisted leaders scrolling through anonymously submitted stories in efforts to incriminate subordinates.

Ewing and S– both cited specific moments in their own Marine Corps experience when they began to be disillusioned with the system. For Ewing, it was the day that he was chewed out by a superior for suggesting his unit use a 7-ton to haul a load of sandbags to build a bunker, rather than lugging them by hand. For S–, an artilleryman, it was a busywork exercise in Kuwait, involving lifting heavy weapons, that ended when one Marine was fatally injured. Regardless, S– says he would do his time in the Marines over again; Ewing would not.

The two share some common beliefs about the Corps after their respective tours of service: They believe many Marine units suffer under leaders who feel they’re above the law and let their emotions dictate their decision-making. And they are convinced the Marine Corps needs a cultural change that will make the ranks more accepting of others and de-emphasize the aggressive “macho” ideal.

“You can’t let masculinity be your leadership trait,” S– said.

I Stand Relieved.


I’ve not really seen any real announcement about it so here it goes. It’s time for myself and NINJA_PUNCH to move on. Both of us have important things happening in our lives that simply do not allow us to have the extra time needed to properly lead and manage this community and website.

A while back I asked if anyone would like to step up and start taking over. Master LCpl is that person. Master LCpl has been officially deemed the new leader of this community and has already taken action appointing more mods and making articles. I’ll make sure to keep myself available to everyone here and Master LCpl to offer any advice on how to keep things flowing, however I am officially out of it.

I started this website after I got out in 2010 and it grew larger and more popular than I ever thought it would. The Marine Corps is the cause of the success of this website. Many people like to believe that I caused people to think the way they do about the USMC, but no single person has that power. It would be impossible, no matter what I say or write, to single handedly convince hundreds of thousands of people that the USMC is dysfunctional and needs repair. The USMC causes this website to be popular, and I would love nothing for this website to die out and become nothing but a memory because issues within the organization get resolved. We’ll see if that ever happens. Until then, I will keep this website online, pay the server bills and keep it updated as technology progresses.

– S

How To Be A “GOOD” Marine

One thing that I always hated about the USMC, was that instead of actually trying to be good, they instead try to look like they’re good.

See, in the Marine Corps, it’s a dog and pony show. Looking like you know your shit is better than actually knowing your shit. That’s why uniforms matter so much and perfect uniforms determine how good you are. Nevermind the fact that you have to spend a long time in the field actually doing shit. Being a Marine training, shooting, war fighting makes you a good Marine right? Pfffft of course not, those Infantry guys have dirty uniforms and even put their hands in their pockets, those fucking shitbags!

Another example of this is small, but still a good one: When they make you clean shit. Rather than using disinfectant to you know, clean shit and kill germs, they want you to use your breath to remove the smudge so that way the surface LOOKS clean, rather than actually being clean. Nevermind the fact that you used your nasty ass morning breath that could contaminate the surface and make everyone else sick. That doesn’t matter.

So remember everyone, being a good Marine means looking like you’re a good Marine. Don’t worry about actually being a good Marine, just look good and you’ll be fine. Oh, and don’t put your hands in your pockets you shitbag. If a civilian or someone of another branch sees that, they’ll think less of us (even though they won’t).

Remember being in the USMC means you’re also an attention whore and you need to worry about what others might think. After all, the USMC loves dog and pony shows.


Submitted By: Martinez 

Okinawa Prison (Part 10)

I remembered one night, a couple of weeks after my restriction ended I felt the need to relieve myself from the “oki goggles.” That being said those that know what I mean it is when you are confined to the Okinawa bases with very little females to look as as the majority of the populations were men. The women that made up the small percentage were most likely family members or spouses. Of the remaining females, the ones that looked good were always taken and people would do whatever for them. The remaining that were not taken were the ugly slut types that would have a different man every weekend. Eventually getting pregnant. While I was in Okinawa I took every opportunity I could to leave base. To do something. Anything. My usual outings were as followed: McDonald’s, Hoka Hoka Tei, CoCo Ichiban, Kokusai St, Mihara St, Naha, the arcade to name a few. I did what I could to “escape” the EGA even if it meant for a couple of hours.

One of the places I remembered very well was a place called Mihara St. or as many know it as “Whisper Alley.” Now those of you who have been there know what it consist of, rows and rows of hookers;bars and bars in between. I did not want to waste my time chasing tail on base so I did it the smart way and took a honcho out to the place of pleasure. Getting a libbo buddy to come out with you on a work day is very challenging but sometimes a little persuasion and some McDonald’s would usually do the trick so I would always go out on Wednesdays. One night I remember I went to the company’s shit bag room Lcpl. Nasti who was a funny dude to watch as he did not care about being on time to work, doing the right thing or following orders. This dude seriously did not give a shit and I kind of admired him for his bravery. I go knocking on his door and he comes out all drunk. “What up!?” he says. “Want a beer?” Is how I replied but I also implied that he had to come with me to Mihara so that I could get him a beer at the little hole in the wall bars while I did my thing.

“Mihara dori kudasai.” Mihara street please is what I told the honcho driver as he sped out of base. Lcpl. Nasti was burping and slurring in the back seat and I was speaking my Japanese to the honcho driver. We arrive in the zig zag concrete jungle at middle part of the island where all the apartments and condos end up leading you to this hidden hub of eutopia where you could actually have a good time drinking and look at some beautiful national women with out the repercussion of being in trouble of having a female in the barracks. I got Lcpl. Nasti some sake and some Orion beer and he was happy watching a base ball game on T.V. I went out to do my shopping and I did my thing for about 45 minutes. I get relieved of all the stress I had for the day and I go back to the (Izakaya) Japanese for little bar and I expect to see Lcpl. Nasti waiting for me to go back on base. What I saw was Lcpl. Nasti leading a little Japanese party with Japanese men and women in suits, eating sushi, beer in one hand, arms over each other while Lcpl. Nasti was standing up singing kareoke. I come in and he introduces me to the nationals and they bought five more bottles of sake for all of us to drink. Fast forward a couple of hours and Lcpl. Nasti is slapping me in the face and I am knocked the fuck out on the couch this time the T.V off, the chef cleaning up, the nationals gone and Lcpl. Nasti poiting to his watch. I look down and see that we have fifteen minutes to get back on base or else we get burned. We get a taxi and pay him extra to drive extra fast to get us back on base. We make it at 2356, four minutes before inferno time and we make it back to the barracks. I go to my room at around 0200 and pass out into a drunken spell. Two and a half hours later we get woken the hell up by Sgt. Nazi and all his Corporals and we are ordered to get our stuff ready for a stupid change of command ceremony that I totally forgot about. I get up, ground spinning, put my shit on and try to go out when my roommate points out that I am missing an alligator clip and motivatingly says he won’t “let me” get out of the room like that and he proceeds to get the NCO’s. They come in and start chewing my ass and telling me to find it but I could not find it as I did not have it. Finally one Corporal lends me a spare one and called me a “shit bag” for not being prepared.

Lcpl. Nasti also woke up late as he was drunk as usual and you saw a group of NCO’s gathered around him screaming to his face. He was just impervious as usual as he did not give a shit. We all finally get in formation after all our uniforms, LBV’s, canteens and rifle slings were inspected and we were waiting to stand by to march to the armory to pick up our weapons. The clouds were looking pregnant and we knew that there was going to be some serious rain to come and we waited inside in the first floor by the duty before we went out. “What that fuck are you doing motherfuckers!” Sgt. Burn said “get the fuck outside in fucking formation dick faces!” Is what he replied. We get outside in formation and just wait. We heard a thunder and “boom” is what we heard as it came with out a warning. The rain was hitting first a couple of yards behind us and the rain drops sounded like hail hitting the floor. We got soaked in 3 seconds from cover to boot and it was a rain that did not let up. We were getting so soaked that the bill of the cover looked like a little water fall falling in front of your face. All the Sgt’s were discussing inside what to do and decide who was going to march us to the armory. I guess a couple of them forgot to march or they did not do any Corporals or Sergeants courses. Anyways we were outside in this heavy ass rain for a long time while the Sergeants were arguing and had to call another Sergeant to march us to the platoon. As the Sergeant finally comes out I am freezing, miserable and sick to my stomach from last night’s escapade. As soon as I heard the “rrrrrrright, FACE!” I said to myself, “this is going to be one long day.”

Reasons To NOT Reenlist.

01 Stupid haircuts
02 Duty 03 Formations
04 Weapons maintenance (all day)
05 Field Day
06 Having a shit bag with a disgusting house come white glove your room and fail you for “dust” that you need a microscope to see
07 You should avoid repeating your mistakes
08 Mass punishments that get you constantly hammered and fucked with despite having a completely clean record
09 They stationed you in Yuma or 29 palms
10. Your unit invented “LCpl’s Course”
11. The field in the cold/rain/snow/hail/hot/sandstorms/any number of the above.
12. The countless dry runs you have to do before you even get to run the range with real rounds.
13. The standing by to stand by to stand by while standing by.
14. Death by powerpoint.
15. Police calling anything and everything.
16. Spending your own money on shit you don’t need. Think gear lists…
17. Hikes/Humps
18 – 15 minutes prior to 15 minutes prior.
19 – 14 Area Chow Hall @ Pendleton.
20 – Substandard Barracks.
21 – Field Day being totally blow out of proportion.
22 – The promotion system that nobody will fix.
23 – Government Travel Cards linked to your personal credit.
25. G.I. Bill gives you free college, and college doesn’t have a ridiculous and antique set of rules that enforce “order” and “Discipline”
26. Hypocritical leadership i.e. Ninja Punching Frenzies that create an awkward/uncomfortable environment
27. Safety Standowns
28. exaggerated stories of when your SNCO was a Corporal, and how he “ran shit” back then
29. Looking busy to look busy; because if you sit and play angry birds; it’s bad juju.
30. Unit goes dry
31. tattoos
32. medical science experiment day ( doc i swear to all living shit if you miss one more time, i’m fucking you up)
33. people who without the rank structure would be the Pulitzer prizes for the darwin awards
34. shitting in a shitter that shits back at you (31st MEU ace know those poopers)
35. Being put on comrats and being reminded any cooking devices in the barracks are contraband
36 Not being able to have a freaking coffee pot out of fear of your burning down a stone barracks
37. The barracks never having working anything or repair crews available, but Housing gets individual fixes in under 24 hours
38. 6 cans of beer is ok, but 7 cans is an OMGWTFISWRONGWITHYOUDEVILDOG
39. PT at 5 am
40. NCOs telling boots your a psychopath and are going to shoot up the squadron because you own a few guns
41. Working parties
41- Because you get told things like, “No whistling in uniform.”
42- Grass is meant to be walked on.
43- Again, tattoos.
44- At 21, I feel like I’m 50.
45- Not being trusted with Whiskey in the barracks.
46. Being able to keep your hands warm by using your pockets.
47. Not having to wear a belt with your street clothes
48. Being able to buy whatever you want with out routing paperwork for nice things
49. Your personal firearms can remain in your possession
50. Getting fucked with at work can’t follow you home any more, if it does you can sue the bastards
51. The humor and shit talking rises above the 8th grade level
52. midtwenties is the perfect age for picking up college freshmen and sophomores
53. If you want to go somewhere, go, no paperwork needed or wanted
54. Keep all the booze in your house you want, fuck start a distillery
55. Job sucks? Quit and find a new one
56. Bosses all idiots? Start your own business and show them that they suck
57. Sleeves, boot blouses and a haircut are worth more then performance and attitude ever will be
58. No one gives a shit if your one minute late in the real world
59. 15 prior is on time, no that is called early, on time is on time
60. No one is checking your gig line in a suit and tie
61. You can unbutton a suit jacket and get more comfortable
62. Being too boot to know anything, if your answer does not agree with the worldview of someone senior
63.. Being too senior to get away with anything, if you’re not still in boot camp in the worldview of someone senior
65. Duty being responsible for things they have absolutely zero control/influence over (i.e. Cpl. Schmuckatelli beating his wife to death in base housing because he caught her in bed w 1st Sgt. Dicklick)
66. If you forget your ID card you can still eat.
67. The food you eat most likely wont make you shit out bloody, hemmy inducing golf balls.
68. If you make a legal fuck up/mistake you won’t get charged and punished twice for it.
69. Your hair doesn’t require a weekly reboot to retard, at your own expense.
70. Gotees.
71. Girls will still think you’re a badass.
72. You won’t be surrounded by self-inflated, overbearing, loud, immature, tap-out wearing, truck driving, COD playing brohiems. Yeah, you still will be.
73. Your ass can’t take getting screwed over anymore….?
74. Being a Marine in a “Marine” unit with a Navy Commander as the BNCO.
75. You can still be sleeping at 0530
76. Shaving every day can be a pain
77. FOD walks/Police calls
78. Can use toilet after cleaning it without fear of failing inspection the next morning
79. Your manager or supervisor’s spouse won’t try to give your orders or some bullshit
80. Cops are cops but they’re a damn sight better then MPs
81. Forget to shave? Hey man not a problem, try to get that next time
82. What’s a grooming standard?
83. Days off don’t require your boss’s boss’s boss to approve them
84. way more difficult to actually travel to fun countries anymore
85. realizing that no matter how creative, intelligent, or good you are at your job you will still be judged on your haircut and sleeve rolls
86. trivial shit like one of your marines having a handle of Jack in his room become a huge ordeal where you’re at fault
87. getting called on-duty for a formation during libo because someone got caught with a handle of Jack in their barracks room
88. barracks are built in the 1940’s and are falling apart, but it’s the marines’ fault for not taking the initiative to repaint their own walls while simultaneously being told that it’s not their job to repaint the walls
89. Your wife is thinking about enlisting…
90. Doing NOTHING all day and then cramming 20 different tasks into the last 20mins…making you stay until some god awful time as a result. Who the fuck does that in the civilian world, it’d get you fired?
91. Living 20 miles from work, and having to face a 90 minute drive to work when all the units are home from deployment. In a town that doesn’t have public transportation or a true highway system.
92. Being 2 hours late for work because they’re doing mandatory 100% ID checks in the morning. Then being told it’s your fault because you’re a single Sgt who lives off base and the barracks is at 97% capacity.
93. Unit going dry for a month, then non-NCOs being banned from having alcohol in the barracks for the next 3 months because 2 NCOs got DUIs.
94. Getting physically assaulted by and NCO after you’ve told him to stop trashing your room. Three other NCOs standing there let it happen, then explain to you that if you say anything, they’ll claim you swung first.
95. Seniors who hate their off duty lives because they hate their families, and take it out on you by not letting you off work, coming to your barracks constantly to “check on things”, and having mass section punishments in front of the barracks while other Marines from your unit stroll past laughing.
96. Seniors who live in base housing and trash it out, but god forbid your room be untidy while you’re in it.
97. Being dismissed for the weekend and driving an hour to your weekend destination, only to be recalled in 30 minutes after getting there. Having to explain to g/f that “it must be important” so you don’t have to listen to her whine about it being bullshit (cause you already know it is). Getting back to work, being asked “why aren’t you in uniform” when you get there, then being told five minutes after you get there that the reason everyone was called in was to pass word about what time to be back to work on Monday. Ever heard of a fucking phone?
98. Getting thrown out of the chow line trying to get lunch on fourth of July at your makeshift chow hall in your COP/FOB in Iraq for having a five o’clock shadow since you didn’t shave immediately upon returning from your 12+ hour, overnight road repair.
99. Living somewhere that doesn’t have running water for months on end, then being lifed for not having a proper shave or haircut, but god forbid they do something about the fact that you’ve been using a half gallon of water to bathe yourself once weekly.
100. Remembering how stupid you’ve felt for four years after the last re-enlistment.
101. Duty can not be mentioned enough.
102. 24 hour duty followed by a full day of work
103. Duty EVERY sundy in a month, plus 2 other times…married with kids, one duty is on easter.
104. Random SNCO’s coming to your home (barracks) just to harass you for something stupid, like not shaving before you walked 20 feet to the laundry room.
105. Fucktard Os
106. Fucktard SNCOs
107. Fucking with barracks Marines
108. Being constantly reminded about how there’s always someone else who is “more of a Marine” than you are
109. Joint service deployments
110. Cross decking to another service will just make you “that guy” for the rest of your career
111. You’ve just barely managed to start speaking normal english around friends and family again, double dipping’s gonna ensure you have the starts of SNCO syndrome at the least for the rest of your life
112. after a second tour when you go back to college you’ll just be a creepy old guy instead of the cool slightly older dude who can drink whole frats under the table
113. fucking bullshit cannot be restated enough
114. Your life will no longer suck or be decent on the whims of your superiors
115. Staying late at work means they pay you more instead of you losing libo time
116. You can buy your own guns to shoot in the real world and the range fucking nonsense doesn’t come with them
117. You can decorate your personal space with more then just a calendar and a thin layer of pine-sol
118. You can clean said personal space to YOUR satisfaction
119. If the place you live at sucks you can move
120. You don’t have to hide all your personal belongings and seal them in locked boxes every day like someone with an OCD fear of theft
121. You will never have to blouse your boots again
122. College is a full time option as opposed to a nightmare that requires sacrificing your rare libo time and occasionally some of your hard earned leave to acquire
123. You can wake up in the morning and actually think about what you’re going to wear to work124. Federal budget issues will not directly threaten your paycheck
125. Healthcare might cost more, but the Doctors might actually GAF instead of just handing you some motrin
126. It’s not how good you are (i.e. know your job, don’t get a DUI, etc) It’s who you can suck off
127. 2/3 bases you go to will have no attractive/non-scum sucking women within 100+ miles
128. I would much rather be in bed with a sexy little thing than sleeping in some shithole with a bunch of marines. continued…
129. Duty, barracks life, field day.
130. Getting your base driving privileges revoked because the cops gave you a DUI ticket DESPITE the absolute lack of evidence of intoxication. 0.00% BAC, clean SACO piss test. cocoa-bandits. Still no word on the County’s magical spice test that was taken four months ago.
131. Getting lifed by the same female sergeant that I woke up in my room mates rack (when we were LCpls). I didn’t give her the proper greeting of the day….
132. Staying an extra two hours at work to field day the shop. Shop is mega clean in half an hour, the SNCO’s wanna hang around and BS so they find “cobwebs and dust” on the lights, the lights that are 20 feet above the floor.
133. The epically retarded field days when a general decides to come and visit. The last one was checking in on the MWSS, not the MALS at all, yet our division, 6 miles separated from EVERYBODY ELSE ON THE STATION spent 10 hours cleaning.
134. The SNCO’s believe that we should buy cleaning supplies for the shop with our own money.
135. Come into work 5 minutes late and your are the epitome of a shitbag, no matter how hard you work your ass off everyday. When a SNCO rolls in an hour late, in civvies, its mostly expected.
136. The Cpl who has a third class PFT, somehow skips PT at the commands blessing, one det to Iwakuni two years ago, no Cpls course, fat, retarded, etc. Has higher pros and cons because of a CDI stamp. As in default 4.7/4.7s. The other guy with the first class, two deployments, Cpls Course, Expert, etc, but is about a month away from this wonderful CDI stamp gets 4.5/4.5 at the best stretch.
137. Picking up everybody elses cigarette butts. Picking up nightcrew’s cigarette butts, because honestly, why the fuck would they care?
138. At any time, the duty can walk into my room for whatever he feels like. A police officer out in town would need a fucking warrant.
139. Marines have too many bosses
140. The words “I need volunteers” makes you cringe and look away, even as a civilian
141. My senior leadership has committed more heinous crimes than most junior marines I seen
142. My four year tan belt doesn’t really help me in a fight
143. My junior marines that are married live with diplomatic living quarters immunity.
144. Somebody say “SgtMaj Vines” yet?
145. Your barracks rotting from the inside out. Mold covering civilian clothes that HAD TO BE FUCKING FOLDED A CERTAIN WAY and locked up even though you washed them 3 days ago.
146. Glow belts. Not only will you die without one but it’ll either be because someone won’t notice the ENTIRE FUCKING BATTALION doing a fucking road hump/pt’ing and will run your ass over. Or you will be mistaken for a haji and shot on site by the first person who you come across.
147. Some fat piece of shit never leaves the wire E8 lifing the fuck out of you for having your hands in your pockets at 7am coming off an overnight convoy. Yes my hands are fucking cold, thanks for your concern.
148. “Well Chief your guys are very sound tactically, your weapons are clean and your trucks are fueled. That’s all well and good, but I noticed a few of your guys could use a shave. Have you thought about having them take a small hygiene kit in their camelbaks?”–From the SSGT adviser to our BTN
149. That outergarmet that was issued to you is not an approved outergarmet. It must be worn UNDER your uniform.
150. That hat you’re wearing is only acceptable during the hours of darkness. Dusk doesn’t count. Neither does right before dawn.
151. ATTENTION TO DETAIL TURD!!!! They act like if you can’t fucking fold a skivvie stack correctly you won’t find the IED, like they’re directly correlated.
152. From an Airforce ROTC Cadet: Officers to be are selected solely by numbers like GPA and not any real leadership ability or potential, much less the ability to put a uniform on right (for the Airforce list)
153. Don’t go to medical just get some PT in you’ll feel better, coughing up blood isn’t serious
154. You gained weight because of medication the military put you on? Completely your fault LCpl quit being a fat fuck
155. A speck of dust in your room means you have a colony of rodents living with you and your about to die from Ebola
157. If you have some hairs on your neck, you’re the biggest shit bag the Corps has ever seen.
158. You have to fill out an ORM to drive over 100 miles.
159. Sitting in a formation while some officer talks for hours and hours.
160. Singing cadence while marching.
161. Singing cadence ever.
162. The Chow hall.
163. Having to beg to live off base away from a building that should be condemned.
164. Shaving.
165. You won’t be pulled from you’re home to go stand guard at the office.(Duty in the barracks.)
166. Even though you’ve NEVER failed a field day inspection in 3 years 11 months 3 weeks and 6 days, and you are literally leaving straight from formation to DPAC to pick up your DD214 and leave for good, they STILL make you stand for room inspection.
167. You’ll have more money after you get out because you won’t have to rely on alcohol and nicotine to make it through the soul crushing pain of every day existence
168. Acting like an adult instead of an over grown teenager with a paycheck becomes sociably acceptable
169. If some random jackass around you gets injured he’s no longer your problem because he’s a junior Marine from your unit
170. YOU CAN ACTUALLY DO SOMETHING ABOUT SHITBAGS (like get the fuckers fired)
171. Job performance actually dictates your level of compensation and future career more then incidental things like your haircut and how fast you can run a big circle
172. You might work with idiots, but you don’t have to live with the bastards any more
173. Mass punishment is now called harassment or mistreatment of employees
174. You don’t have to lat move and reenlist to get a better or different job
175. You can see your significant other on a regular basis
178. Business trips will not last close to a year or require you to have a rifle and flak jacket.
179. Haircut? maybe next month
180. Losing a tool (outside of civilian aircraft maintenance) is a mild annoyance instead of an earth shattering freak out by your ENTIRE command
181. Staying late means more time on the clock, talk as much as you want boss
182. No one gives a shit of about your “Moostach hairs”
183. You can walk around with your shirt tails out
184. You can walk around looking like a bunch of elvises
185. You can walk around looking like a cowboy
186. You can walk around looking like a bunch of cowboy elvises
187. Beanies/Watch Caps can be worn at any hour your head is cold
188. Mr. Potato head goes from lethal threat to harmless child’s toy
189. Charms and apricots are no longer the spawn of satan, just nasty and stupid respectively
190. Theres another one, NO MORE MREs!!!
191. Wallets never need to be kept in your socks.
192. Unions and strikes help control your evil bosses. Perhaps one day junior Marines will organize a mutiny and reclaim their humanity and souls!
193. Whenever someone asks for volunteers, it’s never, “I need volunteers…to escorts these super-models around base.”
194. Pros & Cons really do not reflect at all.
195. You’re allowed to walk and multitask.
196. Nobody will ever pull their car over, stopping traffic, just to yell at you for doing the above.
197. Walking and eating, why wouldn’t you?
198. You can use all the pockets you have on your clothing with out fear of retribution
199. Not having to spend another four years as a LCPL.
200. Not having to go back to Iraq [Afghanistan] again.
201. MOL
202. My boss will no longer make decisions that can/will get me killed
204. Lectures from Staff n O about how “Paying bills is important” when I am older than both and have more life experience living on my own than both combined.
205. Anything in a motor pool
206. Motard speech
207. Shoes for work will not cost $150
208. Choice of where to live (anywhere in the country … hell world)
209. Acronyms
210. Getting told by gunny who is holding a formation: “Stand by right here I need to go have a staff meeting” (happened friday)
211. Made up words – ie orientate
« Last Edit: April 04, 2011, 06:13:27 AM by 03 Spades Champion »
The Duffel Blog: Where Trolling is a pleasure.
03 Spades Champion on April 01, 2011, 09:12:59 AM
Senior Lance
Posts: 892 The Duffel Blog
Echo Five Sierra
212. Getting a job, showing up 15 minutes early and it’s weird.
213. Buying a motorcycle and nobody gives a shit
214. Leaving your normal place of work for an extended period of time (business trip) will probably last less than 2 weeks.
215. The Civilian Judicial System doesn’t have “General Article” to get you arrested because the cop is pissed off
216. *at least for us small town folk* When people hear you’re a Marine they’re convinced, regardless of how much you try to explain to them that you’re a paper pushing POG that you can kill a man with a paperclip, pilot a helicopter, drive a tank and anything else they saw in Call of Duty.
217. Dreadlocks
218. Appropriate Civilian Attire
219. When your work day ends, you don’t have to rush home to start drinking so if your boss calls you in at 11:30pm to take care of something my 5 year old daughter could do you can explain to him that you’re too drunk to work.
220. No safety standarounds
221. You want a day off? Talk to someone else and trade shifts.
222. It’s Friday and your boss doesn’t tell you how to be safe on a weekend
223. No uniform inspections
224. No unit PT
225. Not dealing with NMCI and S6 (who will send you back and forth forever)
226. You can get something other than 800mg of ibuprofen and water for anything ranging from a spriained toe to a missing limb.
227. Want to call someone while you’re driving? Have at it.
228. Large beds. That only you have slept on, had sex in, beat off in, committed war crimes in, whatever.
229. No more mass punishment
230. No more piss poor preparation
231. no more fucking mci’s
232. Spending over a year in a down medical status and being diagnosed with PTSD/Alcoholism/Psychosis because I received a pg 11 for underage drinking while the COs little pet gets off with a shortened rank reduction period for a DUI.
233. If you want to take vacation, you request your time off and go… unlike the Marine Corps, where you have to say where you are going, give the plan of how you are getting there, timelines, fill out an ORM, go through counseling, and talk with the 1stSgt and CO about your upcoming trip.
234. You no longer will have to salute people that you would rather beat up and give a swirly (Bootenants)
236. No more hearing “Pen, Water, Biscuit, Choco-LOT, Mister Mister, or AMRIKA #1”
238. OOMA
239. being told when i have to be back on base and how far away im allowed to go
240. Random “Health and Comfort” inspections that are basically searches for contraband
241. No more mortar attacks, rocket attacks, or fobbit rushes.
242. No more IEDs.
243. There’s no such thing as a space marine.. [Reply from Fox: …yet.]
244. No more showing up for a flight 6 hours prior
245. No more loading your own bags for said flight
246. No more waking up at oh dark stupid to draw a weapon for a hike
247. i’ll pick up in rank due to the vast knowledge of my job.
248. i’ll get paid more cause i work more, and harder then the jackass next to me.
250. getting a page 11 because youre underweight and can’t afford to feed yourself
251. having hair on your head longer than your pubic hair
252. i could wear a beater wherever i want to unapologetically
253. Getting told to stop fucking around on the computer so I can clean the shop (the last crew left it looking like ass). Thirty minutes later getting stuck as phone watch so everyone can play 31 in the shop I just cleaned.
255. The inability to read minds. (Duty day off, word is passed and I’m not there, nobody calls me). I’m expected to know to call to check on word that had been passed thrice with no deviation to see if it’s still true. But I don’t. Tries to run me UA. Are youf shitting me, Guns? I swear to Christ I will burn your house down on Christmas eve and when your house is burning down I ill tell your kids there is no Santa.
256. Liberty cards
257. Waking at at 4:30 for PT…
258. living off base and waking at 4:00 for PT :/
259. Running at whatever pace I want to. Or not running at all. It doesn’t matter.
260. No more GMTs
261. I have a big ass dog and didn’t ask anyone for permission to get one.
262: Hello boss, I’m buying a motorcycle…. Boss: And you’re telling me this because…
263: Being able to conceal carry.
264: Hello boss, I am getting married….. Boss: Congrats?
265. Hello Boss, I want to travel to this place this weekend (place is far away)….Boss: Stop calling me and telling me about your shit dumbass, I don’t fucking care. Thanks for letting me know, but please don’t call me unless you won’t be able to make it to work.
266: BIG ASS TITTIES! [Fox Response: Invalid reason. It’s definitely easier to get a hold of some big ass titties while you’re still in.]
267. Not having to rely on porn for attractive females. They actually exist out in the civilian world.
268. 266. No threat of being stopped/ID’d/breathalized/pulled over/searched everytime you pull into work.
269. When the Government shuts down, you will still get paid. (considering you work in the private sector.)
270. No matter how big of dick your boss is, he can’t come to your house and tell you how to clean your toilet, sink, make a bed…
271. Liberty Briefs.
272. Port Liberty Breifs.
273. Getting a liberty brief for hours when porting in HAWAII. So we can “practice” for other countries…
274. Even as a Sergeant getting treated like a kid/punished because some Sergeant or other NCO in a different section you never deal with fucked up.
275. Freshwater systems on Navy ships that don’t work. (Water Conservation…)
276. 30+ Year old Navy ships that take two months to get you to the fight, then break down in the middle of the Pacific ocean on your way home (Happened on both ships I was on both times I went with the MEU)
277. Listening to NAMs being given to S1 clerks for creating excel documents when you just spent 7 months working your ass off every day and night to ensure the missions you are given (inside and outside your MOS) are completed and completed well.
278. Your Bn Commander getting a Bronze star for being the Bn Commander. (Who almost never left Hotel California in TQ while you were sweating it out in a FOB)
279. Pulling weeds all day and then finding out you won’t even be getting paid on the 1st. The only thing missing was a guy on a horse with a shotgun
280. Ridiculous PT sessions at 0530 and 40 degrees with some retard that doesn’t bring his sweats and the entire group has to go bare legs.
281. Won’t have to listen to retards call cadence.
282. No more motard cadence. Yes, I understand you want to kill something. This is the airwing. Lat move or GTFO.
283. Screaming your motard cadence loud enough to wake up the barracks gets you points with your SNCO’s.
284. No more cadence.
285. 15 minutes of warming up for PT won’t turn into mini kill sessions because the guy leading the ‘warm up’ won’t be a motard and want to show off how awesome he thinks he is because he thinks we’ll care.
286. The Navy redirecting the AC so that they get icicles in their birthings and the Marines get nothing.
287. Lining up and waiting about 2 hours for chow on ship… and it of course tastes horrible.
288. Mackie Hall
289. Being mass punished with sleeping in tents if EVERYONE does not pass field day
290. Even if you are in a Grunt company, you’ll still probably have a POG-ass 1stSgt.
291. Crazy-ass SNCO’s that just can’t bear to see Marines doing nothing. This is when bullsh*t time fillers start happening.
292. Collecting brass
293. Formations before a 96 that go something like this. BN Formation lasts 1 Hr. Then released to Company formation which lasts 45 minutes. Then released to your platoons which takes another 30 minutes. Then released to your squad/section for a 15 minute libo brief when at the end, you are volunteered for a working party to take part in before you are finally released… from the working party formation where someone you never met and didn’t know was in your units gives you another brief.
294. Haircuts. I get them whenever the fuck I want to. I distinctly remember getting yelled at in Kuwait at the first morning muster (faggy squiddy talk for “formation) at 6 after being out of Iraq for less than 10 hours because my hair was completely unsat. Then I got yelled at again at the second muster at 8 because my hair hadn’t been cut yet. Fucking barber didn’t open till like 10 or some shit.
295. The pre-muster muster. Arriving 15 minutes early to be 15 minutes early for the pre-muster muster to tell you that there will be some word passed at a muster in an hour.
296. Never having to listen to fobbit war stories again about how that one time on Al-Asad intel said that there may be rockets capable of landing somewhere in between the TCP and ECP fences and how hardcore that was.
297. Never having to listen to some douchebag tell everyone about how “we build, we fight” is an ethos and a way of life.
298. Being able to fire people who are pieces of shit and do nothing but complain about how hard it is to sit in their room and get paid to play COD all day… because they had to run 3 miles that morning.
299. Gear-Queers
300. SPARTA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
301. Haters that can’t pass a PFT or qual on the range but say you picked up because you “suck dick.” actually, i can see this happening in the real world… haters will hate.
302. People can’t hide behind their rank in the real world… say something fucked up and you might get hit.
303. Not having to listen to a guy who went from living with mom and dad to living with uncle sam tell you about how hard the civilian life is and that you should re-enlist when you moved out of home at 17 and didn’t join the corps till 22.
304. Not having to clean up “ghost turds” that accumulate only because of the nasty fucking wool blanket you FORCE me to keep on my bed.
305. Posting moto-pics on your facebook just got cool again…
306. You can wear all of your deployment/unit skivvy shirts in town and not look like a d-bag.
307. White socks
308. The new people who come to your workplace aren’t scared into being completely and totally incompetent retards.
309. IPAC
310. hot and cold water in the shower, unlike gator-Navy berthing, it was nothing but icewater for 4 months straight
311. I can piss in my back yard without worrying that someone is staring at my dick through a Gboss
312. Officers that have no leadership potential, yet got into OCS because of a Botany Degree.
313: A college degree means you have the ability to be an officer
314: College degrees don’t mean your intelligent or competent, yet you will still work for this person
315. My shower curtain doesn’t have to be only one solid color, with no designs.
316. I can make my bed with whatever I want, any way I want, if I even want to make my bed.
317. Random people do not get to walk through my closet every week, even though *wink wink* my closet isn’t open since that’s against the rules.
318. A former supervisor (Sgt type) who got kicked out of the “office” because even the “boss” got tired of him, does not get to run rampant through peoples living spaces.
319. If I don’t feel the need for a shower mat, it’s not a big deal.
320. My toothbrush is no longer “gear adrift” that has to be secured.
321. If the cops pull up en masse to my neighborhood, everybody doesn’t neccesarily feel the compulsion to get rid of their lighter fluid or that 7th beer.

Job/House Hunting


Okay, so I’m not bashing on the idea of enjoying some all natural herbal supplements, but I’d appreciate some help that’s offered to those who are “Involuntary separating”, which is defined as such:

In the case of a regular enlisted member serving on active duty, the member is

(A) denied reenlistment, or

(B) involuntarily discharged under other than adverse conditions, as characterized by the Secretary concerned; and
It’s not like I’m transitioning because I hate the USMC or something …hahahaha…(not the entire Corps but some things grind my gears)
I digress, The real reasoning behind this post is to demonstrate the very reasons on why I hate the problems most prevalent in the USMC. Let’s reward those that say, get fat (I’m not talking to those kind few that actually have a weight problem but those that intentionally get fat for the following) and “INVOLUNTARY SEPARATE” DUE TO:
consecutive PFT/CFT failures (can’t remember the number at the moment)
failing height and weight standards and sucking at the fat body programs.
I get it if that’s your thing, but why shouldn’t I be afforded some of the same benefits you receive for what I can see as the most hypocritical status as a “Involuntary Seperatee”.
To me it was obviously apparent that you chose to get fat and get out. I’ve seen it in other branches and have had guys tell me that’s exactly how they’re getting out. In the navy, you get paid involuntary separation. It blows my mind. “OH you poor thing..We’re so sorry you got fat so let us help you transition out..” Okay for some of you, Let’s help you out and help you transition successfully to the civilian world. As my First Sergeant told me, transition to become a model civilian that makes others wish they had joined the USMC to become that much better of a person. bla bla blah motivation.
BUT, how am I not allowed a simple PTAD for JOB/ HUNTING or I don’t know…House Hunting…Well Devil Dog, You should just take some Terminal. I admit that works for most people, but why wouldn’t the Marine Corps extend this to those who get out under Honorable separations. You serve your time and do it well, and I guess they must be thinking along these lines: “Well we haven’t had to do much for this guy all this time so let’s just let em figure out this whole transitioning thing.”
For some this may make me come off as a bottle fed twit who can’t figure it out. I also understand that this is the ONLY organization that will pay you to attend a class to ease transitioning to the civilian world. But, there’s more help to those that abuse the system than by those that play fair and honest. I guess it’s the only thing I’ve really learned is: “Best to lie and get away with it when you know at an absolute that you can, than to be honest and suffer the wrath of the formidable and sometimes enjoyable green-weenie.”
Just in-case you are thinking: “Oh what’s the order say” Here it is:
(11) Transition. Transition PTAD is authorized for Marines being
involuntarily separated from active duty if discharged under honorable or
general (under honorable conditions) and as discussed below.
MCO 1050.3J
And as always,
There are many like me, dress like me, sound like me, and look like me, BUT I shall always be TheOtherTwin.

I am a SNCO and Former Drill Instructor

Good afternoon.  Let me get this out of the way:  I am a SNCO.  Gasp!  That may make you immediately think I am your enemy.  I am not, I assure you.  Here’s another one:  I was a DI for 3 years.  OMG, that must make me a complete asshole, right?  Nope.  I stumbled upon this website and have read a few of the articles.  While I may not agree with many of the opinions I have read about our shared organization, I do appreciate the fact that the architects of this website are trying to pass on knowledge by posting various Marine Corps orders.   Knowledge is very important and is one of the leadership traits.  Every organization (military, civilian, business, etc.) has rules and regulations that they expect their members and employees to follow.   It is important to note that in the Marine Corps, every single order and regulation is published by an officer.  Look at any MCO and you will not find a SNCO signature on it.  SNCOs do not make policy.  Our job is to enforce policy, regardless if we agree with it or not.

There are many misconceptions and a general lack of knowledge in regard to USMC orders and regulations.  This is a trend I see for every rank, not just junior Marines.  Many SNCOs and officers do not know the information or where to find it.  For example, when asked why a Marine had not received a haircut in a while, his response was that the order stated he only had to get one once a pay period.  Which order, I asked?  THE order, was his reply.  You know…..the haircut order.  I asked him to please print it off and bring it to me so that I can educate myself on the proper frequency of haircuts.  He could not find any such order. I showed him the website where to find every MCO and asked him to pass on what he learned to everyone else.  There is not just THE order, there are hundreds of them! There is nothing in MCO P1020.34G that references how often Marines should get a haircut. It simply states what the haircut regulations are.  0-3, evenly graduated.  Was this a PFC with only a few months of service?  Nope, it was a Sgt who has been in for 10 years.  Another common misconception is regarding the wear of t-shirts while in uniform.  Up until a couple years ago, I had never seen a Marine not wear a t-shirt in cammies.  I had a Marine show up without wearing one.  I told him to go put one on and he tactfully informed me that he was not required to wear one per the uniform regulations.  Yeah right, I thought.  Okay, I will play your game.  Show me.  He did!  It is there in black and white.  T-shirts are optional in uniform unless the commander specifies that you have to wear one in formation for uniformity purposes.  I am humble enough to admit when I am wrong.  I told my platoon what happened, that I was wrong and gave them the info on the wear of skivvie shirts.  Holy shit, a SNCO actually told Marines that they didn’t have to wear a skivvie shirt?  Yup.  Again, its not MY rules.  It’s the Commandant’s rules, I just enforce them.   If the CMC said that from now on, we are all going to unblouse our boots and grow beards……roger that.  Hey Devil, why aren’t your boots unbloused?  Why don’t I see hair on your face?  Again, SNCOs don’t make policy, we enforce it.  I cannot speak for every single SNCO, but I personally don’t give a flying fuck what the order says, my job is to ensure we are all in compliance.  Simple.

Long story short, it is important for all of you that are still in to understand what the regulations are.  There is a MCO governing every single thing we do.  Please educate yourselves.  Don’t listen to your buddy or your roommate because 9 times out of 10, they are wrong.  They haven’t actually seen it themselves or they heard it from someone else.  Research the orders yourself so you know what the actual info is.  If someone is telling you to do something that is contrary to an order, tactfully inform them what the proper regulations are.  That means you have to know your shit.  You can’t tell an NCO that you don’t have to field day because MCO 1234 says so.  You will look like an idiot and will have lost all credibility.  You have to actually read the shit and know the regulations.  BCP is another one.  That gets screwed up constantly.  Read the BCP order and you will know whether or not the proper procedures are being used. Do it, not because you want people to know you are right, but for the fact that you know something is being done incorrectly and you want to improve the organization.  You can complain about the Corps all day long, but if you are not doing something to improve it, then you are part of the problem.  I am passionate about Marines educating themselves and I can’t stand it when false information is being spread around.

If I hear an NCO tell a Marine that they have to do such and such because “the order” says so, I will take that NCO aside and ask them to produce the order and show that Marine where it states that. Every MCO can be found here:

Hopefully, someone learned something by reading this.  Knowledge is power.

Thanks for reading.  Have a great day.

Semper Fi

Submitted by: Gunny

My experience so far in the USMC

When I began my four-year degree program at North Carolina State
University, I wanted something more in life than just a 9-5 job. I had this
clear vision of leaving a positive impact on the world, this grand plan that
through selfless sacrifice and pure love for my country, I could once again
restore the patriotism that has been lost and over come the anti-American
sentiment that had become so prevalent in the United States as well as the
world. I wanted my future wife and children to be proud of what I had
accomplished, not a false sense of love and lack of respect because I have a
well paying job and I can buy shiny things, so I found the United States Marine

The day I graduated with my bachelor’s degree, the first thing I did, the
VERY FIRST THING was drive to the local Officer Selection Office in Raleigh,
North Carolina. I immediately began the paperwork process and challenged myself everyday to lower my run time and increase the maximum amount of pull-ups I was able to preform. My initial PFT score was around 250, with a
horrible run time. Within a few months, the score increased by nearly 30 points, with me doing well over 20 pull-ups; something I’ve never been able to do in my life. I was running almost every day at a local park that had great terrain for pushing my endurance to the max.

While I was enrolled in the Officer Selection Program, the Captain told
me very bluntly that I would not be able to participate in Active Duty OCS
since the USMC cancelled a few training sessions for them due to the budget
cuts. The USMC was downsizing drastically and the only thing I would be able to join (at my age 27) was the officer reserves. Although my heart was
set on active duty, I decided that my best bet was to join the ranks of the reserve
officers as he had suggested. I continued to train on my own time and worked as much as I could to save up money after college. After a year went by, the Captain told me that it would be hard to get me in the USMC at all.

I told him that this was something I really wanted, so he suggested I
talked to an enlisted recruiter. Upon his advice, I spoke with a Staff Sergeant who got me going with the enlisted paperwork. I told him that my wish was to go Intel, but he said that the job slots for that were taken, so he recommended I signed for a job that was available and he could make the switch later. I signed, like a naïve fool, believing the words of this marine; after all, marines don’t lie,
right? My ship out date was originally scheduled for December 15th

In August of 2014, my girlfriend was forced to move to Woodbridge, Virginia
by her parents. I followed her with the consent from both Captain and the Staff Sergeant. In September, my package was finally submitted to face my first officer selection board. I had high hopes because I thought I had proved my dedication to the Marine Corps by enlisting, making the package shine that much brighter. I called Captain about a week later and he said that I was not selected.

While I was upset, I still had hope: there was another selection board in
November. In the meantime though, I kept in touch with the enlisted side, asking them nearly every week if they had the Intel job for me yet.

Finally, November rolled around and I called Captain up and asked him about the board. I should have known something was wrong when he said “I haven’t heard from you in a while; you still are trying to join?” after explaining to him how much I have been training, he told me he would let me know the results of the package as soon as he hears anything at all. I never heard from him again; instead, it was the staff sergeant who informed me that I did not make the cut and I was very upset.
So, going with plan B, I asked the staff sergeant if he had secured my Intel slot. He replied “No, but I’ll make it happen before December”

About a month before I shipped out, I had already put in notice at my job, told my landlord my last day that I would be living at my residence and even sold my car to pay off the remaining debt I had on my credit card; my confidence and trust in the staff sergeant to secure my Intel slot was so strong because he was a United States Marine.  He was the symbol of honor, courage and commitment; he was a hero to me along with all the other men and women who wore the eagle, globe and anchor.

December 9th, I drove down to North Carolina to get ready to leave for boot camp. My family was so proud of me, and my girlfriend was too; she supported the hell out of me and still does to this day. I love her with all of my heart and soul.

I spoke with a new staff sergeant of Cary, North Carolina. The first thing he did was apologize to me for the previous staff sergeant who was there. I was told that he never once tried to reserve my desired Intel job, and that I never got it, but I was given a reassuring “Don’t worry, Avionics is a great job field, you’ll love it”

At this point, several red flags popped up, and I felt sick.

I thought to myself “I gave up everything based on the words of this Marine, and I was lied to. I have no job, no place to live and no vehicle aside from a motorcycle to ride in the beginning of winter near DC. What am I going to do?”

Reluctantly, I went to MEPS and prepared to ship out on Monday, the 15th. I couldn’t sleep, I couldn’t eat, I couldn’t enjoy myself…I even started smoking…something I’ve never done before in my life, but it helped a little with the massive amount of stress.

Monday eventually came, and I found myself sitting in a chair at the processing center, asking myself “What the fuck am I doing? Do I want this? Can I trust these people?!” The answer I concluded was “No, I can’t trust anything unless its documented on paper”.

I spoke with the MEPS liaison and told him if I can’t get Intel, then I will still join, but as a reservist only. After many attempts to convince me to ship out under my Avionics contract, including promises of “I’ll make a personal phone call just for you when you get to Parris Island and I’ll make sure you get Intel myself”, I turned them down and said I wouldn’t go unless they promised me in writing there that I would be given Intel. Needless to say, they wouldn’t do it, so they
called Ssgt over a speaker phone while I was sitting and waiting, “What
do you mean that stupid mother fucker won’t ship out?! That fucking piece of

I should have known right then and there what character he was…but again, I
wanted to believe in the uniform and its meaning, so like an idiot, I chalked it up to him just overreacting out of stress, or frustration and I didn’t take his words serious. Hell, we’ve all taken things out of proportion when they don’t go the right way…so I wrote it off.

I left MEPS, contacted my former employer and landlord and they graciously
helped me out in my situation.

Before I left to go back to DC, I stopped at the enlisted office in Cary, NC to get going on my reservist contract. When I arrived, Ssgt greeted me warmly, apologizing for the problems.  When I told him I wanted the reserves, he tried to convince me to stay active duty. I told him it was either Intel or reserves, so he actively sought out an Intel contract for me while he said he was working on my reserve paperwork. I was told that I would ship out on March 3rd, 2015 for the reserves as an open contract out of NC.

When I left North Carolina, my father wouldn’t speak to me. He viewed me as
a fraud and a coward (although he has never served in any branch.

My mother and I went for a walk around the local park, and she began crying, saying that she wanted my existence to be special, and she really thought I was going to join and how proud she was of me. I told her that I still was joining but as a reservist if they could not get me an Intel contract. Seeing her cry broke my fucking heart and mentally ruined me for the next two and a half months before I joined. I felt like the piece of shit my father made me out to be, so I started drinking heavily and continued the tobacco use.

My girlfriend drove me back to Virginia, saying that she loves me no matter what path I choose in life. I knew she was disappointed as well, but I knew her love was strong enough to overcome anything as it has so far proved to be.

I left North Carolina with about 300 dollars in my bank account and lived dirt poor, not even being able to pay my landlord for the first month of me returning. Him being enlisted Army personnel understood what I went through; he is a good man.

When I arrived back in Virginia, I visited an officer selection office based on the recommendation of my girlfriend to see what exactly happened with my officer package. I’m glad she convinced me to go, because I found out, through the Officer Selection Office in Fairfax Virginia, that my Officer Package was NEVER EVEN SUBMITTED! Captain was lying to me about sending it. Why? I’m not sure. Perhaps it was because my GPA was a lousy 2.1 when I graduated, rendering it not very competitive, or because I was now living hundreds of miles away from the Raleigh Officer Selection Office. You know, I would have been upset if he said he didn’t want to submit it, but I would have gotten over it and worked with the enlisted side. Instead, I waited a year and a half for nothing. I wasted time and effort. I didn’t actively seek out a career with my degree based on believing that I would become a marine in the very near future; instead I waited tables, barely scraping by. That’s not Captain’s fault though; I should have sought out a better paying job. I was just stupid. Had the Captain told me that I was not going to be accepted, I would have done something with my life, whether enlisting or finding a private sector career, rather than playing the food industry game.

On January 12th, Ssgt contacted me saying he got me the job I wanted. I signed my job SOU and felt great. I saw what I wanted in writing and I proceeded to believe him. I told my landlord and employer once again that I had a new ship date set for February 9th.

When that weekend finally rolled around, I once again came back to NC, and my father thought I was going to back out again. I ignored him, and spent as much time with my family as I could, as well as my girlfriend. Since I didn’t have much money, I decided on selling more of my possessions. When I shipped to Parris Island, I felt scared as hell as if i made a horrible decision, as most recruits probably do.

Once on the Island, within 24 hours, I was told that I did not qualify for Intel because of past drug use, which I had waivers for. Before I left, when I first told the enlisted side I wanted Intel, I asked them many times about these waivers, ensuring they would not hinder me from getting the job I wanted. They lied and said they wouldn’t as long as I was honest, which I was. There were no moment of truth discrepancies, nor any information from them, which I tried to conceal; I was open and honest since day one.

While on the Island, I was told I was given the new MOS of Data, and that although it was a four year contract for that job and since I signed a 5 year MOS contract for a job I never received, I was obligated serve a 5 year contract. This bullshit was later reversed by a gunnery sergeant allowing me to serve a 4 year term instead.

I requested to be a reservist and explained my situation with what I had to deal
with, but he denied it saying “I’ll give you a 4 year contract, but I’m not allowing you to become a reservist.”

Since this happened, I’ve lost nearly all motivation to succeed. Who can I trust? The organization that I once thought stood for such high principles such as honor and trust has been shattered. I wake up everyday regretting my stupidity for not using my God-given logic and detecting the bullshit when it is clearing being observed by my five human senses. Now, I’m stuck. There is no reversing it, there is no way out until my time is up without potentially fucking my careers in the civilian world.

I’ve since contacted a military lawyer, seeing if there is anyway for me to become a reservist, but there seems to be no clear option for it.

While at MCT, I’ve asked my combat instructors for help, but it fell on deaf ears; they didn’t care either. Is that what the USMC is about? This once shimmering image of righteousness, tarnished by the majority of marines I’ve come into contact with makes me question the very essence of human compassion and the belief that man is born good (in the sense that a man will use his goodwill to fight off selfish temptations and self promotion when a sacrifice of innocence must be made to achieve it). Perhaps they thought what they were doing was right, that I would become a better man out of this experience (maybe I will…I’m just disillusioned and bitter now), but my better judgment tells me different. I know better now. I know that a uniform or a symbol does not make a bad person good.

So now I’m stuck in Twentynine Palms, California, training for a job I really have no desire in learning except for when I get out, there will be a well paying job in the private sector waiting for me. I’ve tried to convince myself that I want to go Officer still; but I don’t. I don’t even work out anymore like I used to. Hell, I am 5’9 and was 170lbs and 10-12% body fat before I joined and I have photos proving my fitness. Now I’m a meager 155 and struggle during every PT session. My fucking soul has been ripped apart from my body, amalgamating it into a conglomerate of 18-year-old children who have no self-discipline and are constantly ruining my freedom for me by screwing something up, resulting in mass punishment.

I’ve become an empty vessel, and no matter how much I try to pull something
up inside me, I find nothing, Void begets void.

This is my experience so far in the USMC.


So what would make this all better? What would turn my life around and make
living enjoyable once again? Being given what I was promised isn’t enough anymore. I don’t want Intel. I don’t want the 5-year commitment. I don’t want anything but to either be given the option of being a reservist or just getting out. That’s all I want; that’s what I feel I am entitled to based off of the lies and games I’ve had to put up with since my feet stood on top of the yellow footprints.
But hey, that’s life right? You can’t always get what you want. And as another
marine put it: “The USMC is a shit-sandwich. Yeah, they’ll dress it up for you
sometimes by throwing on lettuce, tomatoes, maybe some bacon…but you’re still
eating a shit sandwich.”

Only 3 and 1/2 more long years left.

Whoever created this site has done a wonderful thing for all of my fellow marines

who have no one to relate to or vent to. Really, thank you.

“Solamen miseris socios habuisse doloris”

Submitted by: Abdiel

Marines are like the manipulative, abusive husband we have all heard so much about.

The thought just occurred to me as I read the posts here, that the Marines are like the manipulative, abusive husband we have all heard so much about.

“You’re nothing without me. You’ll be crawling back to me in a month.”

“I don’t want to do this to you, but you are making me. This is your own fault.”

“Why do you keep making me hurt you?”

“Why do you want to leave? I give you everything! You’ll die on the street if you leave me!”

“If I wanted you to have (insert item here) I would have given it to you. You don’t need it. You only need me.”

“Stockholm Syndrome, or capture-bonding, is a psychological phenomenon in which hostages express empathy and sympathy and have positive feelings toward their captors, sometimes to the point of defending and identifying with the captors. These feelings are generally considered irrational in light of the danger or risk endured by the victims, who essentially mistake a lack of abuse from their captors for an act of kindness. The FBI’s Hostage Barricade Database System shows that roughly 8 percent of victims show evidence of Stockholm syndrome.”

I’m sure I’m not the first to notice this, in fact I’m probably not the first person on this site to put those two together. But it tells you all you need to know about careerists, doesn’t it?

Submitted by: Billiam201

Escape from Okitraz, Part 3

When I was sentenced to The Rock the “Liberty Card” policy had yet to be invented. As a result, my colleagues and I didn’t have to worry about making it back to our cells before bed-check.

After a few months of muttering about the bullshit, all the while becoming increasingly miserable, I decided that it was time to fight back. Being a firm believer in the fact that a person should know the regulations he was going to be governed by, I had read all sorts of MCOs, as well as DOD, USFJ, MARFORPAC, and innumerable other orders and regulations. Most of them were loosely interpreted stateside, but rigorously enforced on The Rock. I decided that the best part of the dagger in my back was that it cut in both directions.

A few marines, tired of 2 $10 haircuts a week on a $240 paycheck, started shaving their heads. The SNCOs immediately started reprimanding and counseling these marines, because their haircuts were “eccentric”. The next week, several of them showed up, still bald. When a particular MGySgt dragged them to his office to write them up on charges (he wasn’t recommending Ninja Punches, either. He was going to court-martial these men) one of them proceeded to reach in to his pocket and produce the page of the order that stated “While male marines are not required to clip their hair to the scalp except while undergoing recruit training, this order does not prevent any male marine from clipping his hair to the scalp should he so desire.” Left staring impotently into the face of 4 marines who all-of-a-sudden knew the rules, he made them sweep the entire complex before sending them home without supper.

All of a sudden, environmental was aware that the HVAC shop in avionics was performing unlicensed automotive air conditioning service, as well as repairing the air conditioner in the managers’ office at the USO on Futenma (it happened the Avionics Officer’s wife worked there) in direct violation of environmental regulations and MCOs against enlisted “personal servitude”.

The three marines in the squadron who the command had decided were “crazy” went to their various mental appointments at Lester and quietly let slip that they had no idea why they were there, that their appointments had been made for them, and their gunny had told them to be there.

The squadron had a “Restriction room” where they locked up marines on restriction after an NJP. I mean they literally locked them inside this room. They let them out for 5 minutes, once an hour, if they wanted to smoke and use the restroom. (This may be overinflated, I never spent any time in it, and marines have been known to embellish).

Once it became known to the Office of the Judge Advocate General that a squadron commander was imprisoning marines in a locked room (not only illegal, but dangerous as the marines only egress in the event of a fire was a 3rd floor window) they at least had to stop locking the door and let them use the bathroom when they needed to.

We all know that the duty driver is supposed to be rested, and we all know that SNCOs don’t care. They will continue to fuck with that driver as much as they want (even more so if he/she asserts that they need sleep so they can drive in the morning. There is nobody in the entire maween corps who cares about this.

On the other hand, a handful of Japanese citizens found out that the Americans were making marines drive these enormous vehicles on their public streets without any sleep. I hadn’t quite planned on politicians getting involved, but it was amusing nonetheless.

At first, the officers had no idea how all this information was reaching the marines. A handful of printed pages, distributed to the right people in the right bars can make a hell of a difference, once you know who to hand them to.

Needless to say, once some people ran their mouths, they weren’t very happy with me once they found out. The threats and under-the-table torments began to leach from the offices on the flight line. The officers and senior enlisted didn’t like being hit over the head with their own rule books, especially by a “shitbag Lance Corporal”. Those rules were not meant to be applied to officers, and those that were, they said, had to be flexible enough to “allow officers to properly manage their men”

They demanded to know why I felt that I felt I “got to do what the hell I wanted” and “didn’t have to follow the same rules as other marines”. I told them that I did have to follow the same rules as other marines, but the regulations were very clear that this included them as well. According the the Commandant, as well as other generals and the Chief of Naval Aviation, these were the rules. I didn’t write them and, as marines and men of integrity, they should be enforcing them with equal vigor.

Needless to say, this was not what they wanted to hear.

Submitted by: Billiam201

How to Determine if you are Fit for the Marine Corps

Step one:
Purchase a 12oz. ball-peen hammer, and label it “jarhead calibration device”.

Step two:
Hit yourself in the head with three times with the hammer.

Step three:
Ask yourself if you still want back in.

If yes, repeat step two.

If no, place hammer in a drawer, and wait until you feel the urge to go back in, then repeat this procedure. When 30 days have passed between treatments, you may consider yourself cured.

If you still determine that more treatments are needed, the size of the hammer may be increased, or the number of strikes with each treatment, but I recommend against doing both except in extreme cases.

If you frequent you obviously don’t understand the Marine Corps.

Your comment isn’t going to be deleted because it’s not spam and doesn’t violate opsec. We aren’t in the habit of deleting comments offhand. I have to say though that your assertion that we don’t have an understanding of the Marine Corps is a bit strange, as most of us went through at least one enlistment. I do however agree wholeheartedly that “there is a reason for everything you NCO’s and CO’s do”, what matters then is what those reasons are.

For example, there are “reasons” for why enlisted Marines in Oki are treated like naughty twelve year olds, those reasons just aren’t very good ones. Following the 1995 rape of a 12 year old native girl by a Navy Corpsman and two pathetic Marine hangers-on who later cried racism in their treatment in an Okinawan prison, liberty restrictions began to be put in place.

Now, the fact that these restrictions really only applied to “junior” enlisted Marines on island could be argued for at this point, the major incident sparking these restrictions was perpetrated by their demographic. Following this, the restriction remained in place and only became a bit worse until 2002, when Marine Major Michael Brown assaulted a bartender:

With this, those damn “junior” enlisted Marines really started to feel the restrictions. But wait, it was a Major that did it this time, shouldn’t the restrictions now extend and rigorously apply to field grade Marine Officers? Why are the lower enlisted ranks being punished for a crime that wasn’t even perpetrated within their demographic? Well, there’s a reason for this, and it can be summarized in one word: careerism.

When someone fucks up, they’re done, and so is their leadership. As one officer said to me, “when a dog shits on your carpet, do you blame the dog, or his master, the one who trained him?” These incidences add fuel to the fires of the protests against our continued presence on island by the natives; potentially weakening our presence in a strategically critical location. So, when word of these incidences hits the higher levels of command, they demand to know what’s being done about it, and more importantly, who’s to blame for it. When you take command of a unit and have the choice of either trusting your men, which runs the risk of damaging your career, or playing it safe and cracking down on those who can’t do anything about it, the choice is often depressingly clear. The morale and well being of your men come second to the security of your career, oh, I mean of the local populace after all, who could argue with that?

It’s awfully difficult to quantify how well you did at your last unit on your next performance review by citing the number of good Marines you got to re-enlist because you treated them like men. It’s so much easier to cite the lack of incidences under your firm “leadership”. You can’t just go around punishing all field grade Officers though, so what to do? Why, crack down on the Enlisted scum of course! They’re all lazy assed criminals anyway, that’s why they get a medal if they don’t get caught for three years. If they wanted to be treated like people they should have commissioned. It’ll add an extra incentive to get to that next rank, and it’ll be doubly hilarious when they get to that next rank and the restrictions are suddenly and unexpectedly advanced to include their new rank as well.

As to the “10% who will not be happy and who have bad experiences” assertion, let’s check out the average reenlistment rate for the Marine Corps:

Wow, a whopping 35% average reenlistment rate for first timers. And before you spout off the ever available catch-all “the USMC is not for everyone”, oh, too late…Let’s look at the passing rate of USMC boot camp in 1998 and 2006; prior to the flooding of the Marine Corps with 25,000 new members over the course of 3 years with the Grow the Force Initiative beginning in 2007:

What a truly elite organization, with a grueling 88.3% graduation rate, which is higher than either the Navy or Army. How do they manage to keep their standards so incredibly high? Hell, the University of Phoenix online has a lower graduation rate than that. The few the proud? There are currently about 182,000 active duty Marines, the only reason there aren’t more is because the Marine Corps can’t afford them. Without the Marine Corps the US would be a very different place? It sure would! It would be a place with only one Army, two Air Forces, and about $22.7 billion to spend elsewhere. Christ man, I’m begging you, bring up an actual argument that we haven’t heard before and can’t be summarily disproved with a cursory Google search. Or, at the very least, don’t just automatically assume that we’re all shit bags who are crying about our wittle feewings getting hurt by the big bad NCOs. Try actually backing up your claims with a little thing called any fucking evidence at all.

Submitted by: freeatlastfreeatlast in response to:

“It saddens me to see some of you who do not have an understanding of the Marine Corps. The USMC is the best thing that has happened to me. But there is always that 10% who will not be happy and who have bad experiences. It is what you make of it. And there is a reason for everything you NCO’s and CO’s do, again most of the time. The Corps is the most feared military organization in the world and there is only way to make Marines, who can carry on that legacy. If it weren’t for the Corps then the US would be a very different place. I’m a third generation Marine and have my family who are Marines have said they would never of changed anything. The brother hood is undesirable. It’s something you have to experience your self. Now don’t get me wrong the USMC is not for everyone. There is a reason we are THE FEW, THE PROUD! I’m sure this will get deleted by the admin, but it is what it is. SEMPER FI!!”

The Marine Corps is not an “Elite Organization”

“Play Marine”? Would you give the same advice to a SEAL, to put on his uniform and “play SEAL”? In an elite organization, or any organization really, why would you want to keep guys around who aren’t going to add to mission accomplishment, and just go through the motions to avoid making waves? Before I joined, I expected boot camp and the Marines to be some ultimate rite of passage to manhood. I expected overall camaraderie between the ranks, because we were all Marines. In short, I expected a “few good men”. Expecting all this, I trained for about 2 years prior to shipping out.

When I got to boot camp, they were graduating about 600 Marines a week. How well you could drill was more important than how well you could shoot or PT. The majority of my platoon seemed to have just rolled out of bed one morning and decided to sign up for the Marines. Actual comradeship within the platoon was discouraged in favor of giving a handful of recruits positions of “power” over their fellow recruits if they were willing to treat their peers like shit. It didn’t matter how well you performed, you were still fucked with because it was a safe bet that the majority of the platoon had fucked up somehow. We were starved because it was a safe bet that the majority of recruits were overweight. The PT was a joke, because it was a safe bet that the majority of recruits couldn’t even keep up with that. I was expecting BUDs, I got a beauty pageant.

I came to realize that boot camp wasn’t about weeding out the weak, it was a one-size-fits-all cookie cutter approach to flooding an organization with much needed slave labor. We were treated like shit, because the easiest way to deal with a large group of people is to simply assume that they are all underhanded turds and treat them accordingly, the lowest-common-denominator approach. We weren’t given the opportunity extended to Officers, to drop on request, because we were slaves, not overseers. This allows hundreds of poorly fitting inductees into the organization every month, and initiates them by ingraining into them that the fastest way up the ladder is on the backs of their peers. There are many things that could be changed for the better in the Marines, and the first and foremost would be to encourage those who want to drop out of boot camp to get the fuck out. No more “the fastest way out of here is to graduate” bullshit, it should be “we only want the best of you to stick around”.

Submitted by: freeatlastfreeatlast

Marine Corps Mythical History

The United states has two armies. Today we take this for granted, and
don’t question the reasons for funding both the United States Army, and
the United states Marine Corps. But it wasn’t always this way.

There were no Marines in the Continental Army that won the
Revolutionary War. During the Civil War, Congress authorized less than
3,200 men for the Marine Corps, this while the Union Armies totaled
nearly one million men. The fact is, for most of their history the
United States Marine Corps was little more than a security force for the

The myth of the Marine Corps as a second army began in WW I. When the
United states entered the war in 1917, over two million U.S. Army
soldiers were deployed to France along with one brigade of marines,
about ten thousand strong. Despite being a tiny fraction of the
American forces fighting in WW I, the Marines managed to make a name for
themselves at the U.S. Army’s expense.

General Pershing, the Commander of all U.S. Forces in France, had
ordered a news blackout that prevented reporters from mentioning
specific units in their dispatches. The purpose of the order was
obvious; to prevent German intelligence from learning about American
troop movements. But one reporter circumvented the order, a war
correspondent for the Chicago Tribune named Floyd Gibbons.

After Mr. Gibbons was severely wounded at the battle of Belleau Wood,
the press corps passed on his dispatches without the approval of Army
censors. The result was a storm of press coverage in the US claiming
that the Huns were being defeated with “the Help of God and a few
Marines”. No mention was made of the thousands of Army soldiers who were
fighting and dying with equal valor.

Floyd Gibbons made no secret of his “friendship and admiration for
the U.S. Marines”. There is no proof that his writings created the
mythology of the Marine Corps, but we do know he wrote a biography of
Baron von Richthofen, more popularly known as the Red Baron. His
description of the German aviator reads as propaganda, not journalism,
and his other works were probably embellished as well.

Today all Marines in basic training are taught that German soldiers
in WW I referred to them as “Devil Dogs”. H.L. Mencken, an American
writing in 1921, clearly states that; “The Germans, during the war,
had no opprobrious nicknames for their foes…Teufelhunde (devil-dogs),
for the American marines, was invented by an American correspondent; the
Germans never used it.”

In addition, there is the legend of “Bulldog Fountain”, where the
U.S. Marine’s mascot originated. This fountain is located in the village
of Belleau, not the wood of the same name. Although the Marines fought
in Belleau Wood, the US Army’s 26th division liberated the village,
three weeks after the Marines had left the area.

There is no documented evidence that Germans ever referred to Marines
as “Devil dogs”, and the Marines never captured the village of Belleau
with its “Bulldog Fountain”. It is not clear exactly where these stories
come from, but their source is most likely Floyd Gibbons. Perhaps the
Marines knew this, because they made him an honorary Marine posthumously
in 1941.

Floyd Gibbons helped enhance the image of the Marines, but the United
States Marine Corps as we know it today came of age in WW II. Most
Americans believe that the Marine Corps won the war in the Pacific,
while the US Army fought in Europe. In fact our Pacific operations were
hampered by a conflict between the Army and the Navy, that split the
theatre in two.

The Navy adamantly refused to place their fleet, (and their Marines),
under the command of the Army. After five weeks of bureaucratic
wrangling, General MacArthur was given command of the Southwest Pacific
theatre, while Admiral Nimitz had jurisdiction over the remainder of the
Pacific ocean. The result, in Macarthur’s own words, was a “divided effort, the… duplication of force (and) undue extension of the war with added casualties and cost”.

The US Army fought the main force of the Japanese Imperial Army in
New Guinea and the Philippines. The Navy and Marines carried out an
“island hopping” strategy that involved amphibious assaults on islands
such as Guadalcanal and Saipan. General Macarthur complained bitterly to
the President that “these frontal attacks by the Navy, as at Tarawa, are tragic and unnecessary massacres of American lives“.

By way of comparison, General Macarthur’s Army killed, captured, or
stranded over a quarter of a million Japanese troops during the New
Guinea campaign, at a cost of only 33,000 US casualties. The Navy and
Marines suffered over 28,000 casualties to kill roughly 20,000 Japanese
on Iwo Jima. Even then, the Army played a greater role than Marines like
to admit; the Army had more divisions assaulting Okinawa than the

The famous image of Marines raising the US flag on Mount Suribachi is actually a photograph of the second, staged
flag-raising ceremony. The Marines raised the flag a second time to
replace the original, smaller flag, and to provide the press corps with a
better photo opportunity. That photograph has become one of the most
enduring images of WW II, and served as the model for the Marine Corps
Memorial statue.

The Secretary of the Navy, James Forrestal, was on Iwo Jima that
morning in 1945, and when he saw the Stars and Stripes go up he
declared; ‘The raising of that flag on Suribachi means a Marine Corps
for the next five hundred years!”

In fact the Marine Corps was nearly legislated out of existence two
years later. After the bureaucratic infighting that characterized
inter-service relations during WW II, there was a strong desire among
military professionals to unify the military commands. President Truman
agreed, and in 1946 his administration proposed a bill to unify the
separate service bureaucracies.

Having one budgetary authority for the Armed Forces, and one chain of
command each for land forces, ships, and aircraft makes sense. But this
would have placed the US Navy at a distinct disadvantage. The Navy had
their own air wings aboard their carriers, and their own army, the
Marine Corps.

The Navy and Marine Corps were determined to scuttle this legislation. Marine generals created a secret office code named the Chowder Society
to lobby behind the scenes, (in opposition to their President and
Commander in Chief), and thwart the unification bill before Congress.
The Commandant of the Marine Corps even made an impassioned speech
before Congress to plead for his separate service.

It worked. Congress rejected the Truman administration’s unification
bill, and instead passed the National Security Act of 1947. This Act
guaranteed separate services, with their own independent budgets, and
was a victory for the Navy and Marine Corps.

In addition, the Marines succeeded in having their separate force
structure written into the language of the legislation. It is very
unusual for Congress to dictate the actual composition of a military
service. Yet the National Security Act mandates that the Marines Corps
must maintain “not less than three combat divisions and three aircraft
wings and such land combat, aviation, and other services as necessary to
support them“.

President Truman was furious, and military professionals were appalled. General Eisenhower characterized the Marines as “being
so unsure of their value to their country that they insisted on writing
into the law a complete set of rules and specifications for their
future operations and duties. Such freezing of detail…is silly, even

The war between the Army and Marines would get more vicious in Korea.
On November 27th, 1950 a division of Marines 25,000 strong, was ordered
to proceed along the west side of the Chosin reservoir, while a much
smaller task force of 2500 Army troops went up the eastern side. Waiting
for them were 120,000 troops of the Chinese Communist 9th Army Group.

The Army soldiers fought a running battle for three days against a
Chinese force eight times their size, in temperatures as low as minus 35
degrees. Despite the death of two commanding officers, the task force
lumbered south with over 600 dead and wounded soldiers loaded into
trucks, fought through repeated ambushes, and was even mistakenly bombed
by US Marine aircraft. Finally, just four miles from safety, the convoy
was cut off by the Chinese and annihilated.

385 men made it to the safety of American lines by crossing the frozen Chosin Reservoir.

The First Marine Division, with the help of allied air power, managed
to fight their way out of the Chinese encirclement. Marines claimed
that the Army had disgraced itself, and passed on stories of US soldiers
throwing down their weapons and feigning injuries. A Marine Chaplain
even made statements to the press and wrote an article accusing army
soldiers of cowardice.

There were so few officers and men left from the Army task force that
the Marine’s claims were accepted as fact. But newly released Chinese
documents prove otherwise. The Army task force fought bravely against
overwhelming odds before being destroyed, and their stubborn defense
bought time for the Marines to escape the encirclement.

Nevertheless, Marines to this day hold up the fight at the Chosin reservoir as proof of their superiority over the Army.

In Vietnam, a Marine regiment at Khe Sanh refused to come to the aid
of a Special Forces outpost only four miles from their perimeter. On
Febuary 7th, 1968, the camp at Lang Vei was overran by heavily armed
North Vietnamese troops during an all-night battle. The Marines had
earlier agreed to reinforce the camp in the event of an attack, but two
requests for assistance were denied.

General Westmoreland himself had to order the Marines to provide
helicopters for Special forces personnel, so they could be airlifted
into the besieged outpost. By this time the post had been overrun, at a
cost of 208 soldiers killed and another 80 wounded. Ironically, two
months later this same Marine regiment would be besieged at Khe Sanh,
and they would be relieved by Army troops of the First Cavalry Division.

During Operation Desert Storm 90,000 Marines attacked Iraqi forces
alongside over 500,000 US Army and coalition troops. Yet the Marines
garnered 75 percent of the newsprint and TV coverage. This was not an

The Commanding General of the Marines in Iraq, Gen. Walt Boomer, was
the former Director of Public Affairs for the Corps. He issued the
following order to Marine units in the theater:

“CMC [Commandant of the Marine Corps, then General A. M. Gray]
desires maximum media coverage of USMC … The news media are the tools
through which we can tell Americans about the dedication, motivation,
and sacrifices of their Marines. Commanders should include public
affairs requirements in their operational planning to ensure that the
accomplishments of our Marines are reported to the public.“

During the war Marine officers used military communications systems
to transmit stories for reporters in the field, and even assigned
personnel to carry press dispatches to rear areas. The Marine Commander
also had his own entourage of reporters complete with satellite uplinks,
and used them to good effect. He received far more air time than his
Army counterparts.

The US Army performed a “Hail Mary” operation that trapped Iraq’s
Republican Guard divisions and fought numerous running battles in the
Iraqi desert. But no one saw them. Instead the press focused on Lt. Gen.
Walter Boomer parading triumphantly through the streets of Kuwait City.

When George Bush the Second launched his misguided invasion of Iraq,
the Marines were once again included, and this time the goal was
Baghdad. The invasion, which began on March 20th, 2003, called for a
two pronged assault on Baghdad. The Army’s 5th Corps would advance from
the desert west of the Euphrates river, while the First Marine division
was ordered to cross the Euphrates and make a parallel advance through
central Iraq.

The invasion did not go well for the Marines. In several cities,
including Umm al Qasr and Nasiriya, their units suffered heavy
casualties fighting remnants of the Iraqi Army and fedayeen guerrillas.
Since the Marines had fewer armored vehicles, and they were exposed to a
more tenacious enemy, their progress was slower than the Army’s.

Major General Mattis, the commanding general of the Marines in Iraq,
was not pleased. He repeatedly pressured his regiments to make greater
speed, and this pressure grew more intense as the Marines lagged further
behind Army units. On the morning of April 3rd, the First Marine
Regiment, commanded by Colonel Dowdy, was ordered to drive to the town
of al-Kut.

The city was another choke point, where Iraqi fedayeen guerrillas
could ambush Marine convoys in city streets. As soon as his Marines
reached the city, they began taking fire. Colonel Dowdy could not forget
the mauling another regiment had received in Nasiriya, where 17 Marines
were killed and another seventy were wounded.

He had to make a choice. His orders were to proceed to al-Kut, but
the decision to push through or bypass the town was up to him. However,
Colonel Dowdy was receiving mixed signals from his superiors. According
to him “there was a lot of confusion”, some officers were recommending
an attack, others urged withdrawal.

Colonel Dowdy decided to bypass al-Kut. His regiment would take an
alternative route to Baghdad that was safer, but the detour of 170 miles
meant that the Marines fell further behind schedule. Colonel Dowdy‘s
superiors were furious with his decision.

After the withdrawal from al-Kut, General Mattis and other staff
officers let the Colonel know that his regiment was to make greater
speed. That night on the road to Baghdad, vehicles of the First Marine
Regiment were ordered to drive the highways of Iraq with their headlights on, irregardless of security. But their progress was not good enough, the Army‘s Fifth Corps had already reached Baghdad.

Colonel Joe Dowdy was relieved of his command the following day. The
Marine Corps will never admit it, but he was fired because he failed to
carry out the Corps most important mission in Iraq: Colonel Dowdy failed
to upstage the US Army by being the first to reach Baghdad.

The Marines would return to Iraq one year later, when the First
Marine Expeditionary Force assumed responsibility for Al Anbar province,
which includes the city of Fallujah.

During the change of command ceremony Lt. Gen. James T. Conway of the
I MEF proclaimed that; “Although Marines don’t normally do
nation-building, they will tell you that once given the mission, nobody
can do it better.” The Marines took control of the area from the U.S.
Army’s 82nd Airborne Division, and they made no secret of their distain
for the Army’s strategy in Iraq.

Before deploying, General Conway had told the New York Times
“I don’t envision using that tactic“, when asked about Army troops
using air strikes against the insurgents. “I don’t want to condemn what
[Army] people are doing. I think that they are doing what they think
they have to do.”

On March 30th, General Conway told a reporter that “There’s no place
in our area of operation that we won’t go, and we have taken some
casualties in the early going making that point“. The next day four
civilian contractors were killed and mutilated in Fallujah, and five
Marines also lost their lives. The Marines sealed off the city and
attempted to reassert control over Fallujah, but the insurgents proved
to be more determined than expected.

When their patrols came under heavy fire the lightly armed Marines
had only two choices; Fight it out with the insurgents on foot, or call
in artillery and air strikes. The inevitable result was scores of
Marines killed or wounded, and hundreds of civilian casualties. The
world was appalled by the carnage in Fallujah, and the Marines were
called off.

While Marines were fighting in Fallujah, the US Army was heavily
engaged against militiamen loyal to Muqtata al-Sadr in cities throughout
Iraq. But in contrast to the Marine’s failure to recapture Fallujah,
the US Army’s heavy armored vehicles could enter hostile cities with
impunity. They brought al-Sadr to heel after two months of fighting,
while suffering relatively few casualties.

An uneasy truce was made between the US Army and al-Sadr’s militia,
that would last until the Marines again became involved. On July 31st
2004, the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit replaced Army units in the holy
city of Najaf, headquarters of Muqtata al-Sadr. Just five days later,
al-Sadr’s militia would again be waging open war against the US, and the
Marines would be calling for reinforcements.

The Marines began skirmishing with al-Sadr’s militiamen as soon as
they were given responsibility for Najaf. After the uprising in April,
US Army units had avoided driving past al-Sadr’s house as part of the
informal truce, but this would not do for the Marines. The second Shia
uprising began after Marines in Najaf provoked al-Sadr by driving their
patrols right up to his stronghold.

A firefight ensued, and al-Sadr’s militiamen took up arms in cities
throughout Iraq in a replay of the uprising in April. The Marines had
not just picked a fight with Muqtada in Najaf, they had engaged his
militia in an ancient cemetery that abutted the Imam Ali Mosque, Shiite
Islam’s holiest shrine. And they did this without informing the Army
chain of command, or the Iraqi government.

According to Maj. David Holahan, second in command of the Marine unit
in Najaf, “We just did it”. But in a replay of the Fallujah assault,
the Marines faced an enemy that they were not prepared for. Within hours
of launching their attack on August 5th, the Marines were pinned down,
and requesting assistance.

Unfortunately for the Marines, their rash attack on al-Sadr’s
headquarters had sparked another revolt by his militiamen. Army units
were once again fighting the Mahdi army in cities throughout Iraq. When
the Army’s Fifth Cavalry Regiment received orders to reinforce the
beleaguered Marines, they were deployed against al-Sadr’s militia in the
outskirts of Bagdhad, 120 miles away.

The Fifth Cavalry arrived in Najaf after a two day drive through
insurgent controlled territory. By then any opportunity to capture
al-Sadr had been lost, because the press, and the Islamic world, were
focused on the Imam Ali Mosque and the adjacent cemetery. Any attack on
Shiite Islam’s holiest shrine, where Muqtata al-Sadr was holed up, would
have had disastrous consequences for the US war effort.

In Fallujah and Najaf, inexperienced Marine units picked fights with
insurgents, and in both cases ended up handing the enemy a strategic
victory. Their failure to recapture Fallujah made the city a rallying
cry for Islamic militarism worldwide, (that is until the second US
assault rendered Fallujah uninhabitable). The Marine’s botched attempt
to capture Muqtata al-Sadr has only strengthened his hand.

Today there are 23,000 Marines in Iraq, out of a total 138,000 U.S.
Armed Forces personnel. Marines are 17 percent of our total force, yet
they have suffered 29 percent of all U.S. casualties; 530 of the more
than 1,820 U.S. service personnel killed in Iraq. The Marine’s
aggressive tactics combined with a lack of armored firepower has proven
lethal, their bravery notwithstanding.

The United States Marines pride themselves on being better
than the US Army. They are harder, more gung-ho, and they possess some
magic that enables them to do things the US Army can’t do. If this is
not true, (as recent events in Iraq suggest), then there is no reason
for a separate Marine Corps.

President Harry Truman once stated that Marines; “Have a propaganda
machine that is almost equal to Stalin’s.” The Marines have always
advertised themselves, but in Truman’s day, they at least had something
to sell. The original raison d’etre of the USMC was their ability to
carry out amphibious landings on hostile beaches.

The truth is, the US Army conducted the biggest amphibious assault in
our nation’s history when they captured the Normandy beaches. And
neither the Army or the Marines have assaulted an enemy held beach since
the Korean war, over fifty years ago. In every subsequent conflict
Soldiers and Marines have fought in the same way, using similar
equipment and tactics.

The Marines are in fact a second Army, and since they compete with
the Army for funds, missions, and prestige, their real enemy is… the US

However, the Marine Corps has an unfair advantage in this
competition. Since the end of Desert Storm the US Army has been
downsized by one third, losing over 200,000 troops and eight combat
divisions. By Contrast the Marines have lost only twenty thousand
personnel. The reason is the National Security Act of 1947, which
prevents any changes in the force structure of the Marines.

Today’s United States Marine Corps is only slightly larger than the
US Army in Iraq. That war is stretching our Army to the breaking point.
The obvious solution is to merge the Army and Marine corps into one

The savings would add up to tens of billions of dollars when their
training, logistics, administration, and headquarters were merged. The
personnel shortages that are now crippling both services would
disappear. And so would the rivalry between the Army and the Marine

Submitted by: Anonymous

Rants of a Boot Marine Part IV: Dying Slowly Inside

I get it, the POG life is supposed to be easy and the Grunt Life sucks. You know what, both equally suck. I don’t care what you say it is, both just suck. Let’s leave it at that.

I don’t know who else feels this way, but the Marine Corps sure as hell doesn’t build you into “a man”, a “gentleman”, or “ladylike” or whatever it is.

Okay, I take that back, maybe it can teach you how to dress well, but that’s completely on you to have a good appearance or not. THAT right there, is an adult decision, something that sure can make you a man/adult, or continue looking like whatever you were previously.

Like other Marines who are venting their anger out on here, I see it all: So called professional Marines who party it up like college students, treating their barracks like a dorm, “lady-like” Marines who soon become infamous barracks bunnies, and being treated like a child/messed around by NCO’s who claim they get you because they once were in your shoes. Okay, then why mistreat the Marines under you? Because you’re trying to one up somebody from your past?

I have only been in for a year and I feel burnt out. I just feel physically, mentally, spiritually, and emotionally taxed, wanting it all to go away whether it’d be drinking or going to a massage parlor for “discreet” massages. That sure as hell doesn’t work, it made me feel emptier.

The Marines Corps, being known for making simple things hard, has made Admin into some monster of itself. My shop is now working almost the same time as a SDA, which will make some of you laugh, but if we’re all missing out on chow hall hours, not coming back to the barracks until 2100, and having to show up around 0530-600, might as well get Commuted Rations or even a bit of an incentive pay?

Being in the shop and watching all these Marine VEERPing out, or soon retiring, I wish I was in their shoes badly. I wish I was that Marine, walking into the S-1 with the last space to fill in, getting that DD-214, and driving out without looking back.

Some people say, “Hey look, maybe if you took some leave just to decompress, maybe that’ll work!”

Sure, but if only I had enough leave days, 18 total isn’t enough.

I want to save up all those days for a trip to Europe next year, provide that I could get through the bureaucratic process to get Foreign Leave approved. I tried saving by being willing to take Special Liberty instead of Leave for Christmas, but was forced to take it when they found out I was flying back later than the time Liberty was secured (0730 on the West Coast, I wanted to fly back at 1630). There goes 6 days!!!

But really, you can’t imagine even if I had those 6 days, I literally hoped out of where I worked. I didn’t care what Marines were thinking, I was just that damn happy! It sucked coming back though, feeling like 6 days went by way too fast.

Hence why if I wanted to take leave, I’d want to take an entire month. Hell, I’ll even beg for PTAD before Christmas if I have to, but I just want time off. That’s how bad it is.

Sorry if it sounds super random or doesn’t make sense guys, I just know if I write something, I feel somewhat better than resorting to wasting money on “happy” massages. But that’s a completely different story for a different website.

Submitted by: BrassNecked14

Ballad of QA, Part IV

(or is it 1?, I can never remember)

Having reached the end of my 30 days restriction and EPD, the time came for my freedom. I stopped by the legal office on the last day, and procured a letter explaining that I was a free man after my last restriction muster at 2045.

I arrived at my final muster at 2245, in my own car, driven by a friend (I couldn’t drive, as I was on restriction). Having gotten my sheet signed, and signed the SDO copy, I hit the men’s room, and drove off into the sunset (which any single marine knows means a strip club.)

I had been stuck in the barracks for a month, but the ninja-punch hadn’t taken any money from me. This left me a free man, on a Friday night, with three paychecks burning a hole in my pocket. Being a bit of a snob, I had never frequented the strip clubs near any of the bases. I went to the higher end places, that had at least one scotch whiskey that wasn’t Johnny Walker. Having arrived with my friends, the doorman (a coworker at the security company I worked for off-duty) obviously recognized me, cleared my table, and gave me a slew of free drink tickets (this was the main reason I could afford to patronize this establishment). On my route to my table, I was asked by three different girls why I hadn’t been by for my Friday lap dance in what seemed like forever. At this point, my friends realized what I had been getting up to after work on Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights, and settled in to enjoy the ride.

We made it back to the barracks at the relatively sane hour of 3am, and went to our respective rooms.

For those who may be wondering why I had pestered the legal chief for a letter stating the obvious (that I was no longer restricted, nor usable for bitch-work once my sentence had been served) guess who was pounding on my door at just after 7am the next morning?

I dragged myself, barely conscious and slightly hung over, to my door to find QA, who wanted to know why I had missed my 7am muster, since he was the duty NCO that day. (I had never been required to check in with the barracks duty, merely to report to him/her that I was leaving the barracks for a meal or religious observance, all of my check-ins were with the SDO.) Being the duty NCO, he had a copy of my restriction muster, and was of the opinion that, since my restriction ended after 1630 on Friday, that meant I was on restriction all weekend as well, and he would be using me to police call the barracks (this wasn’t new, I had done it several times already.)

I pointed out that all the blocks were full, and that there were no places left for me or him to sign. He told me that, since I had missed my sign-in, he had already informed the SDO, the GDO, and the officer of the day, who were already on their way. I had been prepared to furnish him a copy of my letter, but this was about to be too much fun. (I was smart enough to have made several copies. He was absolutely the type of guy to tear up a single copy, leaving me with no evidence.)

We waited outside of my room for everyone to arrive, and QA gave his side of the story to each as they arrived. Needless to say the screaming awoke many hungover marines, who did NOT appreciate being awakened at 6am by QA ranting about discipline, rules, and adherence to orders. Once the OOD arrived and heard the story he asked me to explain myself. He wanted to know, in no uncertain terms, just where I thought I got off. If I was on restriction, that meant I was on restriction. That meant no booze, and no leaving the base. I was clearly hung over, and still had the stamps from the bars on the back of my hand. I had exactly 2 seconds to give him a good ******* reason why I had chosen to disobey the lawful orders of a LtCol in the United States marine corps.

At this point I asked the OOD for a moment, walked over to my desk, and handed him a copy of the letter from the legal chief. He read aloud to the assembled masses (to include several spectators who, despite the efforts of the staff duty clerk, had congregated to see what I was up to) that my restriction had expired with my final restriction muster, and I was of course a free man, as of 2245 the night before. The fact that the command had not accounted for the fact that this would leave me out on a Friday, going into a 96 was neither my fault, nor my problem.

Needless to say, the SDO, GDO, and OOD were not happy to have had their time wasted by an overzealous sergeant who was plainly carrying a grudge. The fact that these men had all been called within moments of assuming their posts, to race to a barracks and find nothing of note was not going to help matters. QA, now suitably humiliated, had managed to make a big enough wave that, over the next several hours, the barracks would be visited by my SNCOIC, OIC, SgtMaj and even the old man himself. QA found himself explaining this story in great detail to the entire chain of command for the better part of the day. I was happy to furnish copies of the letter to anyone who asked.

Again, I may have enjoyed this a bit more than was entirely healthy.

Submitted by: Billiam201

If you are still going to join, here is some advice.

Well, I can see that you’re not going to be swayed by arguments or experiences, and that you’re going to join up after graduating high school. To be honest, even if I’d known this site existed before I enlisted, I’d probably have done what you’re doing right now. You see the Marine Corps as a band of brothers where you strive towards a noble goal. If you’re anything like I think you are, you’ll have memorized the leadership traits and principles, all three verses of the Hymn, general orders, and love history in general and Marine Corps history in particular. Since you’re not going to be swayed by anything we say, I guess the best I can do is give you some advice to make your time in more likely to be less sphincter-busting:

1.) Boot camp is three months long, after which you spend about a month or two in SOI, and then either the fleet or the schoolhouse depending on what job you got. You’re then going to be locked into that job for the next four+ years. Don’t bother focusing on initial training, what matters is the four+ years you’re going to be spending doing a job. You have to be absolutely certain that you have the job you want in print BEFORE you ship. I don’t mean a contract with ten jobs on it and your recruiter’s word that you’ll get the one in the middle, I mean a no shit contract for one job that you think you’ll enjoy doing for four years.

2.) If you get to request a duty station, they have you write down an O for overseas, W for west coast, or E for east coast. Write down either W or E if you can’t get W. AVOID OKI LIKE IT’S THE FUCKING PLAGUE. Trust me on this, you want to get some time in a state-side station before you hit that place. If you go there as a Cpl, it’s a very different experience than if you go as a PFC or Lance.

3.) Get your recruiters to let you try on different (bates) boot, shoe, and cami sizes before you go, make sure to check out wide sizes for boots, and then remember those sizes when you hit receiving. There should be a base somewhere near you that has an exchange, just have them take you there. You’re paying for that stuff, you should be sure it fits you and you don’t have to replace it all with new shit when you hit the fleet.

4.) When they ask you if you want to pay the $100 a month for the Montgomery GI bill for 12 months, politely tell them to go to hell. You don’t need to pay for the Post 9/11 GI bill. Go to these websites to learn more about the Post-9/11 GI bill, which is a better deal than the Montgomery ever was:……

5.) MCIs are little tests that everyone cheats on, and can be worth college credit. They probably won’t apply to any real degree you could want after you get out (unless you get your BA in weapons of mass destruction from Patriot Bible University or some shit) but they do help with your class standing. Most Universities have a limited number of seats in their classes, so the more credits you have, the sooner you can enroll for classes. This hasn’t bothered me, because I’m an honors student and I get to apply a few weeks before the upper classmen, but I have about fifty credits from MCIs and stuff sitting on my college transcript that don’t apply to my degree. If nothing else, it gives you something to do that could potentially benefit you in service, and might benefit you when you get out. Trust me, nobody gives two shits if you memorized the drill manual once you get out. Just be sure to do the ones that count for more college credit first, the list I used is several years old and from a different branch, but it’s the best that’s out there currently as far as I know:…

6.) When you leave boot camp and hit the fleet, do not do any of the following:
– Buy a new vehicle at high interest rates, or any vehicle that you can’t pay off in 6 months or less.
– Walk off base in boots, a backpack, 7.62 design clothing, a cowboy outfit, or with your dogtags hanging out of your shirt.
– Go to the strip clubs or bars outside the main gate.
– Drink underage.
– Marry your high school girlfriend to get off base and higher pay.
– Marry a stripper/hooker (you’ll be surprised to see how often that happens).
– Use BAMCIS as an expletive in a sentence.
– Talk about your boot camp/SOI stories.
– Get a moto tat or meat tag (a tattoo with your social security number on it is a bad idea).
– Walk around a boot trap. If you’re stateside, there’s areas where the boots accumulate off base called boot traps. Salesmen know where those places are and are looking to rob you blind through scams, people who’ve been there a while know where those places are, just ask.

7.) Understand how the promotion system works for E5 and below. The Marine Corps is unique among the armed forces in that it doesn’t care if you’re good at your job for promotion. Military Occupational Specialty (MOS, your job) proficiency matters dick, what counts is whether or not your SNCOs like you. Different MOSs have different cutting scores to pick up Cpl and Sgt. Check out this list:…

This month, say you have a 1400. If you’re a 2147 LAV mech, your cutting score to meet or beat is a 1335, you might be a CPL before you hit the fleet, and you’ll definitely be one as soon as as you rate a score. If you’re an 1812 M1A1 crewman on the other hand, your cutting score for Cpl is a 1694, and you have a few years to go. Once you max out your P/CFT, rifle, and education scores, there’s really nothing you can do to raise your score; you get to sit around and get fucked with for however long it takes to pick up. If you’re willing to be the office bitch and pick up faster, get to know Excell and PowerPoint before you ship.

8.) Cleaning:
– Windex is great for wooden ledges and planes, don’t use pledge, it attracts dust. Don’t use Windex on your corframs or any other shiny “leather” or “brass” article of clothing. It leaves a residue that gives off a rainbow shine.
– Be sure to use Brasso on your door knob and shiny things, not uniform items.
– The grout in your bathroom wasn’t white when they put it in, but it’s going to have to be now. You can use white-out, or this product:…
– Pull your carpet out of your room (if you have one) the first time you can, and sweep, vacuum, mop, and use Mop & Glo under and around it. Then bring the carpet back in and duct tape that thing to the floor.
– Get two shower curtains, one’s an inspection curtain and the other is the one you use, just put the one you use in a trash bag in something you can lock for field day.
– When you’re buffing the floor (if you didn’t take my advice and chose
Oki) lean back to make it go left, lean forward to make it go right.
Don’t let on that you’re able to do that though, or your ass is going to
be up till three every Friday morning buffing and stripping and buffing
and stripping the no-buff floors of your barracks.

9.) Uniforms:
– Determine the length of your hanger rod in inches, divide that by the
number of things you’re going to be hanging from it and that’s how many
inches of separation you should have between each of your hangers. Use
your ribbon measuring tool to be certain.
– Don’t use edge dressing on your corframs if you can avoid it, it makes a mess, looks like shit, and is generally worthless.
– Once you’ve accumulated what you think is going to be the last ribbon you’re going to get, order a rack from here:
It looks good and no, there’s no order that says only drill instructors can wear them.
– Use a web belt to back your ribbons, it’s the perfect length and you should have oodles of spares coming out of boot camp.
– Don’t use starch on your cammies, they say not to on the tag inside of those $120 outfits. You light up like a Christmas tree on NVGs if you do, it shortens their life-span and can stain them. Just wash them and hang them in the shape you want when they come out of the drier.
– For fucks sake, don’t starch your cover into a rigid shape. Just wash it, don’t send it through the dryer, and pull the sides up so it dries in the shape you want it.
– Don’t iron your Chucks. There’s super glue in the seams of the shirt to keep them there that you’ll melt if you do.

10.) Lastly, mental dissonance. If you’re anything like I was, you’re going to hit a point where you realize that the Marine Corps isn’t a rite of passage, and that you’re being judged based off of your ability to parrot and follow orders regardless of their validity, nothing else. At this point, you’re going to have to make a decision, do you turn on your peers and step on them to get up, or do you hold to your honor and get passed over for those who are willing to play the game? Are you a prisoner, or a convict? I hope that you make a decision you can live with when that time comes.

– freeatlastfreeatlast

Why Do Marines Need Such big Balls?

Ok, I know we have all had this complaint, but I haven’t heard or read any really high-quality, nostril-flaring rants about it, so I’m going to give it a rip.

We all know that the marine dress blue uniform has exactly three purposes:

1) To be worn on television commercials.

2) To be worn to the USMC birthday ball.

3) To be worn by the Silent Drill Team (a purpose stunningly similar to item 1)

Whereas the USMC birthday ball has only one purpose: to give marines who aren’t a member of the Silent Drill Team a chance to wear those shiny dress blues.

I can’t speak for how much a set of dress blues cost nowadays, but when I last owned a set (let’s just say there were still two towers in NYC, so my memory may be a little faded) the jacket was around $200. Of course that was just a jacket, and it had the crappiest brass buttons you could imagine. If you wanted nice ones those ran around $100 a set. Let’s not forget that this came without the chicken/ball/hooks, for another $10. Gloves, white belt, buckle appropriate to your rank, special red/gold chevrons and you’re in for another $100 or so. You have now blown an entire paycheck on a jacket.

Unless of course you had had actual medals, and wanted to wear those, instead of ribbons. Of course, you weren’t issued anodized medals, so you’ll need to pick those up at $25-$50 apiece, depending on which ones they were.

So, if I wanted a set of dress blues, I would have been out around $400 ($600 with my medals) for the sole purpose of paying another $80 (or the bargain price of $150 for a pair) to attend a ‘voluntary’ function.

I doubt I am alone in saying that, apart from threats and intimidation, many marines would elect not to attend this farce. As most know, torment awaits those who don’t attend the ball, most times. In my personal opinion, telling me that attending is voluntary, but I will spend the entire time on a working party cleaning up the messes left by the drunken revelers if I don’t go, doesn’t count as voluntary. If you have to have sentries standing outside to make sure I don’t leave before the appointed time, it’s not a voluntary function. Just tell me it’s mandatory, rather than insulting my intelligence by making up some song and dance about how I had a choice. (By that logic the prisoners at Leavenworth have a choice, they can stay ‘voluntarily’ or be shot trying to leave.)

My unit in San Diego was enormous. Large enough that there were precious few facilities large enough to accommodate an enormous horde by the time all the marines brought their wives/husbands/girlfriends/boyfriends along. As a result, ball attendance those three years wasn’t that unique brand of voluntary and compulsory that it was in my other two service years, you just didn’t get the half day off the day of the ball, and the next day off. (Of course, it was widely whispered that your marks or fit-reps would reflect your absence, but I never saw any evidence of this)

This was the best part of ball season, as far as I was concerned. I got to sit at the barracks, watch the drunken sword fights (participate in a few) show up at work the next day, hang out with my people (the angry, disgruntled and unmotivated), answer phones and go home to mess with everyone just waking up with a massive hangover. We were allowed to do this because there were flight operations to support, and someone had to be there in case a flying squadron needed something.

One year, the ball was in Laughlin, Nevada at a low-budget casino/resort with a campground across the street. Now, as an added bonus, we got to pay for a hotel room as part of our ball ticket, and a bus would be provided if we didn’t want to drive. We would not be allowed into the casino, nor to drink outside of the ball area. Additionally, if we weren’t bringing a date (enabling us to pay for both beds in the room) the command did not have the time or the inclination to take room requests, so you might have ended up paired with someone you truly hated. Sounds like a blast doesn’t it?

Now that we have been duly threatened, and spent a month’s pay on our uniform and tickets, we finally get to go to the ball itself. This should be a decent experience, shouldn’t it? Hang out with your pals, have a few drinks, maybe even make fun of all the ugly, fat dependapotamus herds slowly making the rounds of the dance floor, while yelling at the boots for ‘leering’ at them.

Not so fast, my friend. You now get to spend upwards of an hour listening to speeches from your CO (who obviously didn’t get his job for his public speaking skills), the SgtMaj, and that grizzled old warrant officer that every unit has, who has been in since the ‘shores of tripoli’ line was written, and has a social security number of 17. After all this, we get to eat our $80 piece of dry, lukewarm chicken and wilted salad, before listening to another speech from CWO-4 leatherbrains before he cuts a cake, making sure to allow all the officers to get a picture of it.

After the cake has been passed out, now we can get to the fun, right?

Hold on, devil nuts.

That beer that you’ve been rubbing your head and wishing you could have all night? Get in line. 1000 other guys have been begging for the same beer, and were inevitably closer to the bar than you. On top of that, your date wants a drink, and you may have a one-drink-at-a-time limit to discourage abuses at the ball (just for E5 and below, of course).

After several minutes of being pressed like a gabardine ham, you make your way back to your table, carrying two drinks, to find your date being systematically stalked by your superiors. They have somehow been drinking heavily all evening, and are frustrated with the red-faced rhino-beast at their table, so they want to take a crack at the girl you brought. You are forced to laugh at their jokes, and try to find a remotely courteous way to get her out of there, before Gunny’s eyeballs actually pop from his head and land in her décolletage.

After enduring three to four hours of this siege, largely spent apologizing profusely to the young lady who ‘thought it would be fun’ to go to the ball, you make a run for it, and are stopped at the door by the bootenant that the old man has cleverly placed in the smoking area to ‘discourage’ early departures. If you have a particularly clever girlfriend (which I did – once) she makes some remark about how badly she needs you to help her out of her dress once you get her home <wink> and the butter-barred door guard will let you go.

So now, still hungry, broke and wandering the streets in a dress blue uniform dragging along a young lady in an evening dress, you have to either find a cab (if you could afford more than one drink) or whatever means you arrived at the ball. If it was that bus, you’re still fucked. It’s not leaving until the old man is too drunk to prevent it.

Admittedly, sometimes this is the fun part. As you leave the ball, you wander around downtown, go to a couple of places, maybe even hit an In-N-Out Burger in dress blues, wearing a sword. Most of the time, you’re exhausted, let down, and just want to go home.

And the officers will spend the entire next year sitting around and wondering why they have to force you to go to this thing.

Submitted by: Billiam201

The Ballad of QA, Part III: Revenge of the Shitbag

When last we left our intrepid author, there was finally a charge sheet on its way down from legal for failing to properly sort cigarette butts.

In this case, as I was deposed QA was unable to produce enough evidence to get past the sergeant major, leaving QA embarrassed and seeking revenge.

Unfortunately for me, nobody is NJP-proof. They will get you if they want you. Also during this time, I was struggling with my weight due to some injuries I had suffered.

Soon, the mando PT gods would come calling, and sure enough, I was shortly found up an unsanitary tributary lacking adequate means of propulsion.

To make a long story short, I was charged with UA for failing to go to PT which I had not been assigned to yet. The SSgt wrote a statement that he had ordered me to go, but had been unable to contact me to sign my assignment letter because I had been on leave. (The fact that I had not been on leave was completely irrelevant to my case)

I showed up to my first restriction muster with a gold star in place of the crossed rifles on my rank, which the SDO (whom I had known for some time) found moderately amusing, we laughed a bit, and I put on the proper rank. In our conversation I remarked that I had actually not even been a sergeant long enough to have had my uniforms done, and the only thing that had been done was the alpha blouse that I had hand-sewn the Sgt. chevrons on the night before.

We had a good laugh that, in this case, not being ‘squared away’ actually paid pretty big dividends. The half-month pay actually being less than having the base tailor do the ranks, and then have everything cleaned and pressed again.

About this time, QA shows up (to make sure I am properly suffering under the yoke I am supposed to be under) and overheard that last part. I was now ‘fraternizing’ with the SDO, and was being blatantly disrespectful to the uniform.

(How I am supposed to be disrespectful to my own property is STILL beyond my comprehension)

As QA whined to my superiors about how horrible a person I am, he came to the realization that I was suddenly the junior corporal in the shop. I can still almost hear his little shoulder devil, cackling like an inbred hyena and drooling on itself, as he realized that he ‘had me right where he wanted me’.

Now he could send me on every shitty little assignment he could think of (The fact that this got me out of the shop, and I actually enjoyed it was completely beside the point). Additionally, I actually read the disciplinary manuals, much to his chagrin, and my amusement. I discovered that (because I had to muster with the SDO every 2 hours all weekend) I rated to be escorted to the PX during the business day, to purchase whatever essentials I might need. Not many members of the shop had cars, and I wasn’t allowed to drive mine. The escort also had to be senior to me, so that left three corporals and a sergeant (besides QA, who certainly wasn’t doing it himself. He would have to have stopped surfing eligible to escort me. I was friendly with them all, and we took full advantage.

Given that Miramar had greatly increased in population, it only makes sense to knock down the chow hall, and build a smaller one. As a result the lines were horrendous. This left my escort and I waiting forever to get our food, and if we weren’t in a great hurry, so be it. Upon finishing our meals, we proceeded to the exchange, where the first thing I did was get in line for a haircut. Since many other marines were trying to squeeze in haircuts during lunch, this took a while (I had decided to cultivate the low-reg to end all low-regs, just to piss off QA at this point). After that, we headed into the exchange itself, just in time for the dependa-wave, as they all finished grazing with their husbands and headed inside to buy inane shit.

After searching for the perfect razor, and killing about two smoke breaks, we would head back to the shop, freshly shorn, and in possession of all needed cleaning supplies.

Just in time to go home for the day.


R 132014Z JAN 15
REF/F/MSGID:DOC/N130/YMD: 20130102//
REF/J/MSGID:WEB/VA/YMD: 20140815//
I. MARINES WHO HAVE ONE OF THE FOLLOWING PRIMARY MOS’S ARE INELIGIBLE FOR AN EARLY RELEASE GREATER THAN 180 DAYS FROM THEIR ORIGINAL EAS UNDER THIS PROGRAM: 0211, 0231, 0241, 0321, 0372, 0651, 0689, 0842, 0861, 1171, 1391, 2111, 2141, 2147, 2621, 2631, 2651, 2671, 2673, 2676, 2831, 2847, 2874, 4133, 4612, 4821, 5512, 5524, 5821, 5948, 5954, 6042, 6112, 6116, 6152, 6154, 6156, 6172, 6173, 6174, 6176, 6213, 6217, 6218, 6257, 6258, 6276, 6283, 6287, 6288, 6313, 6317, 6322, 6326, 6333, 6337, 6338, 6386, 6492, OR 7257. THIS HEADQUARTERS RESERVES THE RIGHT TO ADJUST THE PRECEEDING LIST AS NECESSARY TO MAINTAIN MOS AND GRADE HEALTH IN RELATION TO AUTHORIZED STRENGTH REQUIREMENTS.

The Ballad of QA (part II, the Sergeant Strikes Back)

After finding out that QA had been wrong, and watching him eat his liver as all the equipment moved back into the building where it was required to be (I will admit I might have enjoyed it a bit more than was entirely healthy) the time came for him to unleash what he considered to be the sound and the fury.

The weapons in his arsenal of vicious justice included such hits as ‘paint new lines in the parking lot’ and ‘clean graffiti off of buildings’.

Unfortunately for him, both the lines and the buildings were new. The lines were still shiny and yellow, and the brick hadn’t even begun to fade, leaving QA with no leadership strategies available to him. One day the muse was upon him: everybody has that container filled with sand that is used for cigarette butts. In most cases it is an ammo can, or some similarly sized container.

In this case, with hundreds of people, the container was an oil drum. With this much sand to spare, people (myself included) would simply push their cigarette butts under the sand, and go about their day. QA simply knew that there must be hundreds if not thousands of butts under the sand in dire need of removal, since we all know that un-sorted cigarette butts represent the collapse of western civilization.

QA announced Friday after lunch that the entire shop would not leave until I had sorted every single cigarette butt from that oil drum. Plainly counting on the mob justice that the Moron Corpse is built on to ‘yank me back into line’, I asked him in front of two SSgts and the Gunny if that meant that everyone could leave, if and only if I finished the drum. He pointed out that I also had other tasks to accomplish, but agreed.

He plainly did not consider the implications of this statement, and returned from a 90 minute cigarette break at his place in base housing to find the shop empty, apart from me, the two SSgts and Gunny. He angrily demanded an explanation, and Gunny happily filled him in that I had knocked the drum over, raked the cigarette butts out, and blew the sand back into the oil drum with a leaf blower.

This would be more than QA could bear. He had lost his fight to keep the building shiny, had lost his appointment as HAZMAT NCO (which had been used for disappearing from work more than anything else) nearly been disciplined for blatantly violating regulations and orders, and had just been publicly humiliated by someone smarter than him. (In QA’s case, this was not hard. I consider it akin to being the finest opera singer in El Paso.)

QA had watched his superiors systematically abuse their ranks in his previous MOS, and was upset for three reasons:

First, there were many more sergeants in the air wing, and he wasn’t as scary as he thought he would be.

Second, all of the procedures he thought he knew no longer applied. There were many things that were done differently in naval aviation than in motor transport (tool control, FOD, etc.) and he just couldn’t get it.

Third, and perhaps most importantly, he couldn’t see everything from the door of the van that he had decided was his office. This meant he actually had to get off his ass to chew people out.

He had attempted to wreck shop when he arrived, until he found out that 3 of the other sergeants were senior to him, and didn’t want anything to do with his reckless asshattery.

Soon enough (by waiting around, because that’s what makes good leaders), I picked up sergeant, and he about lost it. There was no way that someone who wouldn’t suck E5 cock first thing every morning was worthy to be one.

His attempts to ‘get me back’ ranged from the futile:

1) I was charged as UA for having left a safety stand down. His evidence was that he had seen me at the PX. If he had been attending the safety stand down as I was, how did he not know that it was chow time?

2) I was charged with conduct unbecoming for tossing bread under the vans to feed our resident rabbit, who the ladies had named ‘Corporal Fluffernutter’.

3) I was dragged before the Equal Opportunity Officer because my bald head. I was tired of paying $10 twice a week to maintain a haircut, because for some strange reason my hair started growing in two different colors. (I am told this is not uncommon, and I grew out of it. It was a pain in the ass to maintain to jarhead standards, so I shaved it)
Couple this with a maween regulation mustache and it’s almost impossible not to look like a nazi. As I mentioned QA was black, and this therefore constituted an attack against his race.

To the laughable:

1) He made a remark that was actually something resembling clever. When referring to a corporal, he said ‘He had better be like EF Hutton, when he speaks, you listen’.

Someone asked who EF Hutton was. His reply was that EF Hutton was an American cavalry officer in WWI, and his advice was so good that it was always listened to.

After a moment, having determined that this guy was actually serious, all the marines who remembered the EF Hutton TV commercials collectively roared with laughter as they realized how full of shit this guy was.

I was accused the next morning of having orchestrated that ahead of time, and having made him believe something that wasn’t true.

Again I was selected to clean the butts from the cigarette can, and specifically told this time that I could not tip the sand out of it, because it represented a FOD hazard, and we were no longer allowed to use leaf blowers anyway.

This time, I grabbed an engine hoist, and lifted the can on top of a 200kw generator, which was due a load bank test. I dropped the load on to the generator and, as the engine worked to handle the strain, the butts worked their way to the top of the can, where they were scooped into a bag and disposed of.

Apparently this constituted failure to obey a lawful order. As far as he could remember, I had been told to go through it by hand, individually picking out each butt. Nobody but him could remember this order, but that did not stop him.

Before the day was out, the charge sheet was on its way.

Submitted by: Billiam201

Runaway Marines

There comes a time in every person’s life when the thought of running away from the things that are causing them the greatest amount of stress crosses their mind with a great intensity.  Many Marines wistfully speak of the day when they will say, “Fuck this silly shit,” put down their pack, and walk away; never to be Devil Dogged, Hey Marined, or Hard-Chargered for the peaceful remainder of their remaining years.  Unfortunately, this is not as easy as it sounds.  Recruiters, Drill Instructors, and other…ahem…motivated individuals will often explain to Marines, mainly through high-volume, intense oral communication methods, that one cannot simply walk out on their Corps.  They will throw words like “deserter,” and “traitor” around with an aggressive ferocity normally reserved for the men they are trained to kill (or American football fanatics…yeesh).  In their eyes, walking away from the Marine Corps is as bad as sending the enemy a text that says, “like omfg u guyz, unit is totes 3 klicks west lmmfao XD #allahackbar” while urinating on a Medal of Honor recipient’s corpse.  Walking away is kind of a big deal.  There are fines to think about, possible jail time, harassment from local law enforcement and military communities, and a whole mess of other garbage no one wants to deal with, so most of us take it on the chin like a true bitch and put up with the dangerous nonsense until our contracts run out.  There are some, however, who do not put up with bullshit and do exactly what so many of us have thought so much about:  They walk away.

My first experience with someone ditching the Corps was, of course, at boot camp.  They had warned us since we stepped into that white van* that smelled like dick sweat that if we tried to run, we would not make it.  The San Diego police were always on patrol around MCRD looking for escaped recruits.  Allegedly.  Supposedly.  Okay, looking back, believing that the SDPD would have the time/manpower/funds to specifically patrol for wayward Marine recruits seems pretty stupid.  Whatever, recruits are dumb, they believe everything.  This alleged, semper-vigilant populace was sometimes the only thing standing between many recruits and sweet, sweet freedom.  It didn’t always work.

When my platoon made it up to Edson Range, we soon found out why team week away from the officers was a bad thing.  Our Vampires (guys that worked the chow hall before breakfast hours) were supposed to be day sleepers, but they were IT’d instead.  All day long.  Before the second day was through, the had changed from Vampires to Zombies.  By the fourth day, one of them had had enough.

The recruit waited until the DI** was asleep, changed into his green sweatpants and sweatshirt with “1055” stenciled in shoe polish, packed his plastic camouflage gym bag, and made his way towards the highway.  An SUV quickly pulled over and gave him a lift…right back to the main gates of Pendleton where he was snatched up by PMO.  We never saw him again.  They told us he was being kicked out and would be fined and probably jailed and yada yada bullshit lie yada.  Some guys do get away though.  I have never met one, but they do exist, apparently.  Regardless of their threats and lies, we heard from an MRP recruit that he was in SEPS platoon and was going home with an Entry Level Separation.  He escaped but was captured, tagged, and freed.

My second run-in with a runner was on Okinawa.  I was working on an engine rebuild when out of nowhere two PMO walk by escorting the whitest and skinniest dude I have ever seen.  He was wearing PT gear, handcuffs, and a shit-eating grin, and by that I mean his teeth were literally doo-doo brown.  The PT gear was a necessity as he had sold all of his uniform items and was required to report in wearing something devil-doggish at the very least.  I mean, come on, you can’t just show up to meet your new CO and not look fabulous amirite?  He did have some pretty nice shower shoes, though, I have to admit.  They were the kind sailors buy, you know, the ones with super thick soles that (hopefully) keep your toesies out of the pissy-semenfest they call a shower on ship?  Yeah, those.  After an awkward introduction at the barracks, I learned that he had gone UA right after his MOS school.  For six months.

By the time he had graduated Motor T Operator school, he was already bored with the whole “Marine thing.”  He had seen the shoddy leadership, deficient training methods, and all around garbage for what they were and decided that going home was a better expenditure of his time and efforts.  A few weeks after he was supposed to be on Oki, a local law enforcement representative appeared at his door to warrant him up, but his father agreed to forget his whereabouts until the officer gave up and left.  He did not come back.  For the next six months, he continued on with his life as if the Corps never happened.  Then, one day, he got bored.  He had been arrested several times since he went UA but his warrant never showed up on the local blotters.  The last time he got himself locked up, he admitted to being a Runaway Marine.  They did not at first believe him until he phoned his very pissed off recruiter who confirmed he was in fact missing.  He said the Chasers (guys who transport detained people) were actually pretty cool and didn’t really care as long as he didn’t try to run and kept his mouth shut (I am still not sure if they were appalled more by his grammar or rotting teeth).

Several weeks later he found himself stuck on an island in Japan in a company full of people that didn’t like him from day one.  My command hated him because he went UA, was a filthy dirtbag, drank underage, looked terrible in uniform, and gave absolutely zero fucks about Marine shit.  The thing they hated about him most was his ability to run a <16:30 3-mile without breaking a sweat or being out of breath.  THAT shit pissed them off like nothing else could.  Nothing says “Fuck You” to a group of senior Marines like shitting all over their PFT scores like it’s nothing.

The thing that I thought was so weird about him was that eventually he became the Company Pet.  Although I’m sure he was barred from reenlistment, after a while they seemed to treat him with a lot of respect for a guy that they so often verbally berated for being a quitter.


*I didn’t take the bus, but that story is for another time.

**We had only one DI for three weeks straight, but that story is also for another time.

Note from S: Sorry about taking so long to publish your article AAVPOG

Hazing doesn’t build character, it breaks and warps you into something nasty

Go to your local pound. See the dogs that have been beaten? See how they’re a combination of scared shitless and willing to tear your throat out if you look at them wrong? Do you think they’re better dogs because they were treated like that? Just like there are better ways to train dogs, there are better ways to train men. The best way is to realize that men are men, and should be treated as such. They signed away years of their lives just like you did, and now they’re willing and eager to become the best of the best. But all too often, that’s not what happens.

It’s one thing to imagine the Jarhead hazing scene, where they pretend to brand him, and then that’s that. It’s something else entirely to live it, to come to the realization that you signed away four years of your life for this, and that there’s nothing you can do about it. It doesn’t stop, it goes on day after day after day after fucking day, and then it keeps going. This isn’t a movie, or a video game, and you don’t have the option to say it’s over unless you want to have a felony following you around for the rest of your life. It usually doesn’t have a purpose other than to entertain or make the guy who’s doing it feel better about themselves or their situation in life. It’s almost always done to you by those you though you’d respect, and who turn out to be utter shit bags. It doesn’t build character, it breaks and warps it into something nasty. It doesn’t build men any more than it builds combat effectiveness, and least of all maturity.

How did you hear of iHateTheUSMC?

It was a question I asked on the front page of We recently hit our 4 year anniversary as a website and I thought it would be a cool to see how people found us and what their first impression was. I got some interesting responses!


“As a poolie, I found this site while googling information about boot camp. When I saw the truth about the Marine Corpse presented here, my cognitive dissonance activated and I told myself that these people were just shitbags and your typical anti-american, anti-government crazy types who probably hated the Corpse, because they thought it was part of some illuminati conspiracy. I proceeded on the Corpse anyway.



“Did anyone tell you that you will be back on the site after bootcamp? Did anyone tell you “I told you so”?

We have had a lot of poolies do the same as you and we always told them “you will be back”. Are you one of them?”


“I actually never commented and told anybody they were shitbags. I do have a vague recollection of skimming through the “how to get out of bootcamp/mct/soi” article and laughing at the idea of somebody actually telling their Drill Instructors to “YELL LOUDER, I LIKE IT” or something akin to that. I was still in the Full Metal Jacket belief about boot camp you see; I expected some poor kid to try to test their Drill Instructors and get knocked out or something by a R Lee Ermy clone. Then I actually go and it turns out that all the shitbags graduate anyway. Nice….. This website actually had much greater use for me at SOI-W. By about the end of the first week of ITB, I started to ask in the deep recesses of my mind why all the combat instructors still treated us like we were recruits, manual laborers, servants, and janitors. Weren’t we told in Marine Week, and really ALL OF BOOT CAMP, that these fuck fuck games were going to end by the time we “earned” our Eagle, Globe, Anchor? Was this not one of the main, if not *the* main motivation guiding us as we waded through all the bullshit? That somehow, somewhere, there was going to be a light at the end of the tunnel, and we would rate as human beings, let alone as exalted MARINES? When I had these thoughts I began to think that perhaps there was something seriously psychologically wrong with me, hadn’t I had wanted this for so bad, for so long? Did I not actually wait eleven whole months of my life in the DEP for this “hardcore” Infantry Security Forces MOS? Was I not proud of myself for becoming a MARINE? But then I realized something that broke the dam of my cognitive dissosance loose once and for all. The Marine Corps…….my recruiters…my Drill Instructors……my chain of command, hell even the popular culture and the goddamn commercials ALL FUCKING LIED. No, you DON’T become human after Marine Week, instead of being called a stupid ass recruit, now you become a stupid ass private. No you DON’T go to fucking war and be heroic and die fighting for the rights of Afghan women. You go sign up to do firewatch, scrub toilets (NOT HEADS, TOILETS), march up hills with ludicrously impractical equipment, yell loudly, scrub more toilets, mop floors, clean piece of shit rifles that don’t even fucking work and sometimes explode on people, do childish handmovements, greet the SNCOIC who is always late to his own formation who never returns it anyway, keep Nouri Al Maliki in power who your commander in chief later removes from power publicly, and scrub more godamned awful toilets! Then after it’s all over and done, you lie to yourself you “served” your country because it would be far too painful to admit that you basically wasted five years of the best parts of your life away from family, friends, loved ones, lovers, and basic human decency all for nothing. And when the cognitive dissosance broke, what website did I think of, that I scoffed at such a long time ago….. Surely, those nutjobs didn’t have that many members right? Well, teufel deufel, it looks like those unmotivated crazies were right weren’t they? Looking back, I feel so lucky refusing to train, that I feel like I scored a jackpot! I think it’s in these two demographics that this website has the greatest relevance, poolies, and Boot Camp graduates. Herein lies the two groups of people who still have an ability to be educated on how to get the hell out of the Corpse when it’s still relatively easy. It’s very nice to bitch and moan about the idiots in the Fleet and the superiors we all hate, but it isn’t really going to affect things unless we solve the problem before it starts, does it?

Can you imagine how much change for the better we could cause, if the Marine Corpse’s recruits and students just stopped going? The bastards wouldn’t have any choice but to improve things! The Marine Corpse is like an infectious disease, man, you gotta kill it using preventative medicine, before you can find any use from the DNA of the Corpse at hand. This website in all it’s vivid, damn near professorial detail IS that preventative medicine. May it live long an prosper.


Looking back, I feel so lucky refusing to train, that I feel like I scored a jackpot! I think it’s in these two demographics that this website has the greatest relevance, poolies, and Boot Camp graduates. The Marine Corpse is like an infectious disease, man, you gotta kill it using preventative medicine, before you can find any use from the DNA of the Corpse at hand.”


“I might turn this discussion of ours into an article. You cool with that?”


“Sure. Put it on Facebook too, twitter, whatever. Tell the world about the Marine Corpse and just how much of another big dumb useless government bureaucracy it is.”

Some other comments:


“Through one of the posts in Terminal Lance. It was mostly rants…then when people started posting about problems, questions and answers I got on more.

I was also on leatherneck. Few guys there actually answered the questions-especially the bitch who was a female Marine. I would see her rip on people who ask questions.

This site reminds me of a vital lesson in life, a person or an organization must see their problem for what it is. They must brainstorm on how to solve it, then solve it. If you are too proud to see the issues, you will have bigger problems.”


“A former Marine I know of liked Terminal Lance and I read some of the comics. It painted a different picture of the Marine Corps than what I initially thought it would be. Wisesloth’s list of reasons not to join the military included this website as well.

While I can understand that the USMC may be a victim of its ego, in how motarded it can be, I was still floored in how it could be as bad as this site said it was. My image of the Marine Corps went from finest fighting force with it being my first choice of military branch to dysfunctional place with the nicest uniforms and best choice of colors. Part of me still wants to join, with one telling me to join if I want to become a Marine, for that express reason, but I am very skeptical now.

The Navy has now become my first choice in joining, with the Air Force being second. It seems like the Navy is the best service branch, in terms of balance: it’s a military branch in the waters, while the Air Force is a sterile corporation and the Marine Corps being a motarded cult, with the Army soon going the way of the Marine Corps.

MARSOC looks like a good organization, but is it worth joining the USMC to get to MARSOC, especially when MARSOC has its own problems from the bigger USMC organization, and when there’s no guarantee for actually getting selected? In one MARSOC video on Youtube posted by Funker530, some commenter who had Sergeant in his username talk down to me in one my comments regarding the FN SCAR and the Woodland camouflage pattern, with his changing his tone after I clarified.

Who knows, it might just be a perception difference. People don’t experience reality the same way. But when there’s a lot of people speaking against the Marine Corps and telling people not to join, in the form of websites and articles, it makes you think twice before joining.”


“Great site S. I wish there could have been something like this in 1994-1995 time frame. Would have saved me a lot of disappointment, heartbreak, and wasted time/work.”

How did you hear about iHateTheUSMC and what was your first impression?

“It is what you make of it” is complete bullshit.

Over the four years of my enlistment, my average PFT score was 291, my average CFT was 296. I never shot below expert and had a first class swim qual. I had 17 MCIs done by the fourth month of becoming a lance, followed by twelve book reports over the following 3 years for all the good they did me. I had my CAR, a NAM, a cert com and an admittedly bullshit letter of commendation. I spent my enlistment in Oki and the rest in Afghanistan and training. I was a guide in Boot Camp for a while and a squad leader for the rest and in SOI (I could run fast and do a fuck load of pull-ups which made me a good leader). I don’t expect for a second that this list of “accomplishments” will impress anyone, I just want you to realize that your offhanded discounting of the issues raised on this site as the pitiful whimpering of shit bags is exactly what makes the Marine Corps “not the best job in the world cause more often times than not it sucks”.

I call bullshit on your oft used phrase “it is what you make of it”. When your car runs into a swam, you can spin your wheels all you want but you’ll only sink in deeper. Promotions in the Marine Corps aren’t based off of MOS proficiency like the other branches, after you max out your P/CFT and rifle scores you get to twiddle your thumbs up your ass till your TIS/G raises your score to the promotion level. If that doesn’t appeal to you, you can always pull that green weenie out your ass and start blowing that bitch like a big boy because if your SNCOs like you you’re golden.

Depending on your MOS, it may be mathematically impossible to be promoted in your first enlistment if it’s not done meritoriously. Depending on your SNCOs, you may have to prove your devildogginess through stabbing your platoon mates in the back repeatedly and publicly. If you’re willing to turn on your peers like a rabid fucking dog, your time in the lower ranks may quickly be over. That may be why so many “seniors” look down on the pittances of problems in the lower ranks; their time in the lower ranks was quickly ended by their understanding superiors through meritorious promotion after trading their honor for an assumed position of authority.

Now that I’m out, I enjoy nothing more than convincing others not to make the same fucking mistake I did in trusting that recruiter to keep his word. The funniest thing is that once you get out, it actually is what you make of it, and that’s why seemingly ¾ of Marines Re-enlist. You can talk about grabbing my balls all you want, I enjoy working for companies that actually care how good I am at my job and how efficiently I accomplish tasks. I attend school full time and still make more money a month than I ever did in the Marine Corps. I don’t have to listen to alcoholics tell me not to drink, a literal baby killer and wife beater tell me that I’m not living up to ethical standards, or have to hear hard ass bad ass jack ass motherfuckers like you tell me how easy I have it and how much harder you had it x years ago. I don’t have to spend my time swallowing my pride and listening to my honor and principles get questioned by those who have none.

I also don’t have to pretend to be intimidated by a fuckwit who happened to be promoted before me because, for some mysterious reason, I did my job better than him and I got his job after a few weeks. I know it sounds like voodoo, but I didn’t have to prove that I knew how many and what types of ear rings are allowed to be worn by females in uniform to be promoted in less than a few fucking years. I also didn’t have to publically humiliate my co-workers to get in the good graces of my almighty overlords.

As to my lack of ambition in the Marine Corps, I fully intended to make the Marine Corps a career. I wasn’t expecting a rose garden, I wanted to be one of the few the proud, I wanted to fight with and be a part of the best of the best, I swallowed the hype hook line sinker and pole. I expected a combat MOS, I got signed onto a contract that held about 15 jobs, and I was promised that I’d get that one right there in the middle. Just ignore the rest, they don’t count. I got locked into a job for four years that I hadn’t known existed before enlisting. Oh, I could still go MARSOC, I only had to wait two years and the re-enlist for an additional five to six years for the opportunity to attempt the indoc. Yea, I fucked up, and my gullible ass is to blame for it. I accept that, and I am moving on. I won’t keep quiet about life in the Marine Corps now that I’m out though, that’s one more thing that your beloved disorganization got wrong; there’s a real difference between sucking up hard times and moving forward, and being a timid bitch who doesn’t speak up for himself and against the legitimate problems he sees. Keeping quiet and ignoring the problems you see around you is not being a man, it’s being a coward.

– freeatlastfreeatlast

Original comment

The Marine Corps is difficult, but it’s difficult for the wrong reasons. It’s difficult in the wrong ways.

The following is a response to a comment written by a very gung ho individual. I figured it should be turned into an article.

You’re doing the same thing that so many Marine hopefuls do, focusing on boot camp and ignoring the 4+ years that come after it. While the dropout rate from boot camp may be comparable to other services (I don’t know if it is, I don’t feel like looking that up right now), the first enlistment attrition rate for the USMC is much higher than other branches.

As you noted, and I agree, the Marine Corps attracts motivated and determined people, most of whom choose the Marine Corps because they see it as the hard choice, a right of passage to manhood, the elite branch of the world’s elite military, etc. I think from personal experience that there are more optimistic hopefuls that join the Marines out of a sense of patriotic altruism than other branches, many of whom attract recruits through promises of job training and bonuses. Why then do so many of these determined young men literally leave in disgust after their first enlistment when compared to the other branches? Why is this branch the only one with a genuine hate site dedicated to it?

While it may sound strange, the Marine Corps is difficult, but it’s difficult for the wrong reasons. It’s difficult in the wrong ways.

While it could be difficult to establish and hold to personalized physical training regimens within platoons or squads, that the participants might see results in higher P/CFT scores, you more often than not are treated to a lovely helping of squad pushups, buddy carries, and a six mile shuffle while screaming about a little yellow birdy every morning. Because that’s how the Marine Corps does PT, in sync and to the lowest common denominator.

While it could be difficult working with firm but fair NCO’s who know their jobs like the backs of their hands, you more often than not are directly supervised by semi-literate rubes who don’t know the difference between metric and standard but can tell you right now how high the female dress shoe heel is authorized to be, or how many steps a burial detail is meant to take from the hearse to the grave. Because those are questions that are asked on a board, and that’s how the Marine Corps finds promotion worthy enlisted.

It could be difficult to maintain gear to be ready at all times, but you’ll typically be tasked instead to ensure the SL-3 is complete, the record jacket is updated, the serial numbers are cataloged, the history , chips, dings, dents, scratches, the goddamn scuff marks, are all carefully annotated. It doesn’t matter that the fire extinguishers in the SL-3 are empty, the spare batteries are dripping acid, the Jerry cans have half an inch of mud and oil in them, and the gear is held together with 550 cord and prayers. Those problems are not what the inspection looks for, so they don’t exist. All that truly matters is that the unit looks good on paper.

Then there are things that shouldn’t be difficult, but the Marine Corps just love to make them so.

Walking from point A to point B? You’re marching in step to cadence while those who outrank you walk behind you laughing at how unfortunate/retarded you are.

Need to clean you room? You’re going to be at it every week at least once a week for at least five hours. Did you clean it well enough? Well, that depends on the mood of the inspector, and whether or not he wants to spend the weekend at home.

Spending your weekend not working? You get to listen to someone tell you not to rape, murder, pillage, or plunder the surrounding populace for a while after standing in formation for a few hours. Want to go on a vacation? You’re going to fill out and sign a form that says that you promise not to rape, murder, pillage, or plunder the populace after hearing the same speech. Depending on where you plan to go, you may also promise not to, among other things, swim in jellyfish infested waters, buy/sell/use/traffic drugs, train or sell gear to drug dealers (I’m not kidding), participate in human trafficking, or assault local law enforcement or their families. Why would you have to do this? So there’s a piece of paper to cover the ass of whoever is in charge of you, because, as an officer once analogized so poetically to me, “When a dog shits on your carpet, do you blame the dog, or his master, the one who trained him?”.

Many Marines have it much worse than these petty grievances, some feel frustrated that after over a decade of friends, limbs, and minds being spent in shit pit locales for semi-coherent and often changing reasons, said shit pits refuse to stop being so damned shitty. I was lucky, I got out with all my fingers and toes and had only one friend die many miles away from me when I was in Afghan. I never really said goodbye to him before separating, and I never saw him again. I didn’t have to listen to him scream and feel worthless like the guys that were with him. What then does our unit do to honor this Marine? Why, throw him a funeral on Leatherneck of course. Who got to stand out in the sun in the middle of the summer at various parade poses while listening to bible verses and speeches made by people who didn’t know him? His friends. Who sat in shaded stands while this funeral went down? A bunch of pretentious officers that couldn’t tell you the first thing about the guy, but oh so honored his memory with their very presence.

It’s these and many other endless, repetitive, grinding, pointlessly stupid slights to our pride and intelligence that drove so many of us out. Where we expected to find a rite of passage, we found pointlessly endless belittlement. We feel betrayed and lied to, we feel genuine hatred towards that disorganization that asked for so much, took what we gave, chewed us up and spat us out without a second glance. We feel taken advantage of, stepped on, thanklessly abused for no other purpose other than to feed the egos of those who didn’t deserve our respect.

The question then becomes why do some stay in? Some seemed to like it, these people were typically pretty low achievers before coming into the Marines, and find something there that’s a whole lot better than than where they came from. Speaking again from personal experience, many others stay in because they don’t want to try their luck on the outside, in the “real world”. I heard many arguments like “the economy sucks right now”, “all of life sucks, not just the Marine Corps”, “As soon as you pick up ‘insert next rank here’ you don’t have to do shit, why leave now?”. In truth, it think many senior enlisted and commissioned simply forget how things really are, and see their careers through rose tinted glasses. In the end, I think it’s something like this:…

Things won’t change until these issues come to light and are actually addressed. That’s what being a Marine should mean, finding your flaws and addressing them.

– freeatlastfreeatlast


Original comment:

The Sand Castle Blues, Part 6- Of Rats and Shitbags

My previous articles have given you a taste of the knob life, demographics at SC’s oldest frat, and most relevantly to the purpose of this site, the NROTC experience at a military college. What follows is a journey into my personal experience, how I went from a motivated recruit into the class of 2015 on equal footing with my peers, to being a rat, a shitbag in the eyes of everyone else. Hardly anyone wakes up one day and says “I’m going to dime out my people and not pull my weight, and be a lousy excuse for a cadet/soldier/marine. I don’t claim to have had the worst experience at the Citadel. The claimants to that would be the first women who came, the first blacks, the classes from the 50s-90s. But what I experienced was enough to cause me to reevaluate everything I thought I believed and my entire trajectory in life, and taught me who I really was.

Hell week was a torrent of stress, yelling and emotional turmoil. But amidst all that, I did not forget the high ideals, which the school claimed to have. Unlike my classmates from SC and other southern states, I had no idea what the system was really about.  My cadre squad leader, we’ll call Mr. M, gave me the first taste. For the first couple days we were both scared of him and perplexed. He was an army contracted junior, and the only Hispanic on cadre. I had never met someone who could cram so many F bombs into a sentence, and have not met someone since. The sheer density of profanity he could lace into simple explanations of how to make beds and shine shoes was astonishing and in other contexts would have been funny, and sometimes I suppressed a laugh. He and the ASL yelled a lot and played their parts well. Mr. M’s warning to us was that he could be our greatest protector or our worst enemy. But he started saying things that struck me as off.

He would go off on tangents about how the administration was ruining the school and not letting him train us.  He said they had let the place go soft, especially by letting women go to the school.

My company only had a few females, all of them seniors, one of them cadre.  When they weren’t around, Mr. M instructed us not to salute female officers (whether he meant only cadets or commissioned women too he didn’t clarify and no one asked) or even acknowledge them.

Shortly after picking up our utility uniforms, shoes, brass, and covers, we were in formation outside battalion, in a parking lot. Mr. M gave us a set of very specific instructions. He wanted us to go to the cadet store at some point, buy Cutex, and hide it in our rooms. If anyone was to ask, we were to say we didn’t have any.  He would teach us what to do with it.

Now at this point some of you might wonder why we would need nail polish remover. It has to do with belt buckles. The belt has a thin film of protective coating over it, preventing you from sanding and shining the brass with a rag and Blue Magic.  To be able to shine your belt to perfection like a good knob, delacquering the brass’s coating off is necessary. There are two common methods. The first is bathing your brass in a cup of brasso until the coating loosens and you can peel it off. The process takes at least three hours. The other method is to dip it in nail polish remover, which delaquers the brass in less than a minute.

What we didn’t know as knobs was that in a previous semester, a cadet (rumor had it it was our cadre 1SGT) had caused a fire in his room with the highly flammable cutex, no doubt on some shenanigan bullshit. His negligence/idiocy had gotten nail polish remover banned from the company, if not the battalion.  I also didn’t even conceive that I could try talking to Mr. M privately about my reservations towards his orders and his mentalities. I figured that was entirely out of bounds, he was a cadre, I was a knob, we were not human beings on either end, at least that’s how I perceived things. He was in charge, and I figured bringing things up to him personally would get me in trouble. His authority seemed absolute.

What I did know was that the Citadel had an honor code that could get you expelled for lying, cheating, and stealing, and here was our squad leader seemingly asking us to smuggle contraband and lie about it.  I conferred with other classmates about it in our rooms at night, some of them agreed that this was a problem, but nobody wanted to do anything about it.

One morning I was cleaning the room with my roommate, still stressing about it and the TAC came in. He was making rounds, just checking up on people.  I broke down and I told him what squad leader had been asking us to do. I told him this wasn’t what I signed up for and that I wanted to leave. The TAC told me I had done the right thing and that the Citadel needed more people like me, needed me to stick it out. My idealism bought into his words, and I waited to see what happened.

The consequences came in spurts.  An hour or two later Mr. M randomly formed us up, looking like a deer in headlights, and told us to salute the females and disregard his earlier order. After lunch he formed us up again and informed us that someone had told on him, and that he was being removed as squad leader, and could no longer talk to knobs. He was upset. He gave a defeated speech about he was our greatest protector and now, he couldn’t protect us. He asked us to raise our hands if we thought he was a good leader. My squadmates raised their hands, I didn’t. After that everyone knew it was me, I made no effort to hide it, retardedly holding onto my uber strict interpretation of “I will not lie”. Had I raised my hand and never told anyone what I had done (my roommate was a witness but he wouldn’t have accused me of lying, and wasn’t in my squad), things might have turned out just a little bit better.

My squad, the 3rd of 4, was disbanded, and we were dispersed into the other three for the rest of semester, probably the rest of the year.  I had not intended to get Mr. M fired from being cadre, but the TAC was zealous, overzealous in the eyes of many in my company.  Word spread quickly that I had told on my squad leader, the circumstances of it became muddy as it went around, especially after hell week when the rest of the Corps reported in for the semester.  I was quickly named a rat and got extra hate and scrutiny. Although when it came to uniform and knowledge I was not below average compared to my classmates, I was treated as though I was shittier than everyone else in those categories. The perception stuck. At the bookstore or between classes some of my company classmates would approach me and tell me I needed to fix myself and be like the rest of them, whatever the hell that meant.

Owing to my snitch reputation, upperclassmen rarely made me go to smoking sessions in their rooms. Instead my fuck ups would get my squadmates smoked for me. My classmate resented this, even more so when I made it clear that I didn’t approve of anything being done to us. At first I would try to talk to them about how every day at least 15 violations of the fourth class regulations were occurring, that we needed to stand up against it.  I soon learned that my views were an anomaly and made me an object of contempt.

My impulsive reaction the first few weeks to being a cadet was shock and an intense desire to go back home. At the time, the TAC and CO of the marine unit chalked it up to homesickness and soothed me to keep at it. I agreed, and Like Martin Luther before Worms,  I figured the behavior and mindsets I was witnessing was isolated and not representative of the whole. I thought we as a student body were on a learning curb and could still experience the Corps as it portrays itself, ethics and all.

The TAC wanted me to keep whistle blowing, as everyday I saw violations and knew people were being messed with. I totally could have. Attempts to hide what was going on ranged from cunning to stupid. For an example of the latter, the geometry of the barracks is such that there are four large pillar staircases on each corner of the quad, a stair for each company. They are sufficiently wide that if the TACs are not at your company’s corner, which was most of the time, it wasn’t hard to pack in a bunch of knobs behind the stairs and making them push or fuck with them. As long as nobody came close enough around the corner, the hazing was invisible!

I tried at first to keep TAC in the loop, had his cell phone number hidden under a false name in my phone. But the thing about going undercover is that the criminals can’t know you are a cop. I had blown my cover the first week of school, and I was being intimidated by individual upperclassmen and classmates who didn’t want me ratting anymore. Two asshole sophomores from cadre cornered me one time when I was taking trash out and got in my face, saying shit like “You need to decide if you are gonna have a real knob year” and “What would you do if I punched you in the face”.  A classmate who was approaching would passive-aggressively bump into me every time his squad passed by ours, and he tried to get me to transfer to another company. Gossip was that he and other motivated knobs in the company were plotting to fix me if I didn’t stop telling and “not putting out”. I was firmly in the crosshairs, and anyone getting in trouble immediately got me accused of being the cause.  So for my own safety, I stopped telling.

Every day of knob year sucks ass, but it’s all in the reward at the end for most.  The way you are supposed to cope is by bonding with your classmates, but you find as a snitch and a dissenter to status quo that you are ostracized from the Corps, and you lose motivation. As you lose motivation, you get outcast even more, it’s a self feeding process. I did not stay up till 3 or 4 am shining my shoes and brass and memorizing the lunch menu, because I practiced time management and stayed away from the battalion whenever possible. My uniform was arguably as good/shit as everyone else, but because I didn’t deprive myself of sleep, I was called a shitbag. No matter how much effort I put in, it wasn’t enough to anyone.  Classmates resented me because I didn’t get hazed, I didn’t get hazed because nobody trusted me enough to try it again.

The upper-class exploited this at every opportunity, and fucked with me mentally. At times I would be lectured about how I would never experience the brotherly bond they all shared, other times they would mock me by throwing their hands up and flinching. They would yell “OOOH stay at least 5 feet away from this pussy, guys, he’ll report us to the TAC for hazing aaaah”. At “sweat parties”, where cadre force the knobs to all cram into the corner of a room body to body, or at douche details, or punishment pt, they would force me to stand apart from everyone while my classmates suffered. Sometimes when I messed up on something I would be asked to name 5 classmates (to be smoked), of course I never said anyone’s name. An upper from our company on battalion staff would take my seat at lunch twice a week, I once didn’t get to eat because the tables were all full and the one free table had a mess carver tell me to fuck off. Everytime I sat at a mess with this staff officer or the XO, I had to fight every impulse in my body to not explode, or run away screaming. 5 of classmates were once made to report to staff guy’s room because I wasn’t swallowing my food in 3 chews (I get acid reflux from not chewing my food enough).

I came to hate every waking second of my life at the Citadel. I found that almost universally, the conduct of the fourth class system was one thing on paper and the opposite in practice. I couldn’t stand or wrap my head around why everyone bragged and touted their toughness by following a system whose rules they utterly disregarded and refused to follow.  Any suggestion to follow even the existing rules was seen as further pussification of the school and its “traditions”. And as I’ve covered before, when many of these guys are out on leave they get rousingly drunk and try to take advantage wasted College of Charleston chicks. If I had wanted to engage in these types of behavior, I would have gone to a regular college and joined a fucking fraternity.

Almost no one had my back or shared my views. I had nearly nothing in common with my classmates in general. At dinner, the one meal where we didn’t have mess hall rules, I had nothing to talk about and didn’t understand what the others were talking and joking about. At the time, and in my memory, their conversations were a series of macho little boy rumblings and hazing anecdotes. They lived in a different world from me, while in mine all I obsessed on was the injustice of this place and painful self-awareness that I didn’t belong. I would never be one of them.  I wanted to leave, most nights I just wished I could disappear and just be invisible.

A shitbag is supposedly someone who doesn’t do what he’s supposed to do, does the least amount of work possible. My focus on school first, insistence on getting at least 5 hours of sleep, and heretical views got me called a shitbag. But I argue that the mainstream people in the Corps are bigger shitbags than could have ever been.  The bare minimum function of an institution like the Corps of Cadets is to follow its rules, and most cadets from freshmen to senior scoff at them. For them, teaching and practicing good leadership that inspires and builds people, motivates them to gladly put in for the group, is too much and too hard to ask. So instead, they break the rules, they bully and treat each other like shit and call it leadership. They judge their competence on how much they can torture themselves and others and by how much they can stand. Their refusal to live up to their supposed reputation for good leadership makes them the biggest shitbags of all.

P.S. In the two years since I left, I have a few regrets. No motivators, its not that I would have sucked it up, or that I wish I hadn’t left, to the contrary. I wish as a rat I would have gone farther. I wish I had gotten all those bastards so many tours that they were still walking the quad 3 years after graduation.  I wish I had a wire and could have caught some of the conversations and threats I heard. I wish I had taken swings at the following pricks, who I am naming by first name to a) preserve my anonymity as much as possible b) as disrespect, because I had to call most of them Mr. (last name):

1) John, the battalion staff guy. Fuck you for not letting me eat and smoking my classmates. I should have came to your room and kicked your ass.

2) Bryan, you’re the only person I truly, truly hate as a human being. You are a racist, alcoholic, fat, disgusting slob of a loser. That a person like you could last at a place like the Citadel is proof that the school isn’t nearly all kits cracked up to be

3) Zach- I remember during senior showers you made us all pop back into formation before they dunked your ass in the water. Bitch.

4) Paul- I wanted to snap so many times when you were mess carver. You’re lucky I didn’t.

5) Patrick- you are like an abused puppy bent to the will of its awful owners. You weren’t even in my squad and presumed to judge me.  I wasn’t scared of you then, I’m not scared of you now. You two-faced asshole, maybe we should have gone at it, but you were an infirmary ranger, remember? Getting your ass kicked during christmas lights, letting upperclassmen jack up your health. You sir, are pathetic.

6) Cody- Same thing, you weren’t even on my squad but you’d yell at me like you were cadre. You look like a premature 40-year old redneck, I’m sure your kids will be hideous.

7) Jeff- sending me up and down the stairs just because fuck me right. I didn’t respect your sophomore ass then, I never did the rest of semester.

8) I don’t know who you were to this day, but during parade you’re the asshole who kept kicking my feet trying to fuck with me. I fantasize about things I could have done different. I could have turned around and slugged you, or gotten to the parade deck and just walked out of formation, just to mortify the entire school and all the tourists. I would have made the news. Thing I’m most upset about though, is not knowing who you were. If I ever find out, you’ll hope we never cross paths asshole.





On To Bigger, Better Things: It Really Does Get Better

Before I get into how and why shit really does get a hell of a lot better, I’ll write a little about the VA and why it is so difficult for many of us to seek help from that system.


Walking into a VA hospital is a coin flip for every veteran who suffers from, well, anything really.  On one side, you might flip heads and end up with a great doctor who will check your records, listen to what you have to say, give you an examination, run some tests, and assign to you the medical treatments that you will require while being a professional.  However, some of us flip tails and end up with…substandard healthcare.  I don’t mean that you will either be treated like a hero or a villain for life, I mean every time you walk through those doors, your experience will be different.


If you spent any amount of time in the Marines, you know that everything comes from the lowest bidder.  The doctors at VA hospitals are no different.  There are many men and women in the system that are very genuine in their pursuit of helping sick and injured veterans, but of course there are also some that are only there to enhance their careers.  Many of them are fresh from college, which is good and bad.  They lack experience but have all of the modern knowledge…which is also a two-sided coin.  I’m not trying to go all Harvey Dent on you, but it really is a coin flip at every turn in the VA system.  Some of the more experienced doctors have vast reserves of information in their heads, but have become so jaded by scams and “advice” from above that they will treat every patient as if they are only seeking a drug connection (that is, unless the patient is over 70).  The nurses are…well, honestly your nurses will either be sweet as pie and full of sunshine and rainbows or complete bitches who don’t give a shit because “ugh, *tch* I’m on break.”  Males included.  Some guys bitch about the “foreign” doctors, but they are just as professional and courteous as any other docs you’ll meet.  The best help I have received came from two Pakistani doctors, so pay no attention to the racist/nationalist bullshit from our older, less enlightened brethren.  Some of the older guys and patients with hearing loss ask a nurse to basically interpret, though.  If you get a doc with an industrial strength accent, the nurses will be ready to answer your questions.  I have met a couple guys in group that had to request another doc because they couldn’t handle baring their soul to a guy who looks and sounds eerily similar to the men they fought against.


And there are the pills…


If you suffer from chronic pain, be ready for one of two things to happen:

1.  You will be treated with respect and dignity while receiving the help you need for you injury.

2.  You will be treated like a common criminal.


You will likely get the medications you require to kill the pain and allow you to function as a productive member of society.  However, some doctors have become very jaded by their years of doctoring and dealing with addicts and will therefore use extreme scrutiny when considering your individual needs.  Some of them will ask you what medications you want as a test to see if you jump right to opiates, which will lead them to believe you don’t need the meds, you’re just a filthy, lying goddamned junky.  When you are standing in line at the pharmacy window, you will very likely find out why this is because loud mouthed shitbags exist in the VA system as well and they have no problem bragging/complaining to you about their “score.”  Yeah, you have to deal with shitbags in the civ div, too (fuckin’ frowny face and shit, man).


The mental health side is just as messy, if not worse.  Mental health care has become a trial and error process of seeing what chemicals are less likely to put you down for good.  There are now over 300 different *cough*bullshit*cough* diagnoses that can be given to anyone, whereas there used to be only a handful (which included female hysteria and drapetomania…and that’s your cue to google those two terms by the way).  Again, some docs will ask you which medications you would prefer to weed out addicts.  If you request that they NOT prescribe you anti-something pills, you will likely be prescribed something anyways and receive a “voluntarily refused treatment” statement on your medical record if you choose not to use them- a form you have to sign in order to continue receiving health care from the VA.  Any time you don’t follow their advice, you have to sign another one.  The system is usually pretty clogged up with red tape shit like that.  They are required to prescribe pills because that is the new thing to do and apparently therapy wasn’t cost effective (but was in reality very effective for veterans).  Appointments are usually a few months apart and are very difficult to schedule sooner unless there is an emergency.  The chemicals do not begin to work for two to six weeks and sometimes make things like PTSD, depression, and suicidal thoughts/tendencies to intensify.  SOP for worsening symptoms is to stop taking the medication immediately and contact your doc for a replacement, leaving a several-week time span where the veteran is extremely vulnerable and sick before they can ever see someone who can help them.  When they go back, they are given a different chemical and the process repeats until they find something that doesn’t make the problem too much worse, succumb to their ailment, or get very pissed off and find their own way to deal (this last one is not recommended by professionals).


That all being said, the system does seem to do more good than it gets credit for.  I once ended up with acute pancreatitis (I would suggest avoiding this if at all possible) and they helped me avoid losing that inflamed little bastard.  When I had nowhere to sleep, they hooked me up with a local mission, who in turn, due to an unnecessarily intense confrontation with the manager, pointed me towards the hotel our VA uses to house transient patients.  Their substance abuse programs are pretty useful.  I haven’t eaten any strange medications or had more than one beer since February of 2013 and I was shitfaced nearly every day before that. I was adviced to find the best alcohol rehab near me, which was nothing like I thought it to be. The counselling and groups helped me take the first significant steps to detoxification. Without the alcohol, my depression eased up a bit.  Enough that I decided to stop taking anti-pills.  That did suck at first; coming off of any brain-altering chemical will be awkward at the very least.  Separating myself from my old friends/bad influences helped A LOT.  The group sessions they hold are often very eye-opening.  When I was in the inpatient program, they had classes every morning and a group session before and after lunch, then another class.  Group was held by the head counselor-guy and was usually a motivating speech then whoever would talk about whatever, the conversations centering around positivity and letting go of the things that truly do not matter.  After these talks, I would always feel better about some ass-chewing or bullshit game because I had realized that it was almost always due to shoddy leadership instead of a personal failure.  It gives a lot of intelligent insight into how and why people become assholes.


Many of the most useful things I learned there came from other veterans who had made far poorer choices than I and for much longer.  There were retired officers and SNCO’s with cocaine and crack problems.  Bad ones.  Alcoholism was present in nearly everyone, but there were people that were addicted to meth, heroine, pills, eating, shopping, sex (seriously, the most honest addicts you will ever meet are sex addicts), and even success.  That is a real thing by the way.  Several guys from my local VA are literally addicted to gaining a fortune then losing it all so they can get it back over and over.  This happens to people on both sides of the law.  Most of them never touched the harder shit until after they got out, which kind of has to be expected.  Be prepared, however, as you may hear some stories that will curdle your spermicles and make you think to yourself, “holy shit how the fuck are you even alive right now?” or “wow, dude, you really should be in prison right now” and those aren’t even the war stories.  Shit will make you sick sometimes but you have to sit through it to get a proper perspective on how truly flawed our system is.


They feed you.  It is food, and it…um, has nutrients?  Sometimes it has taste, but most of the time it will be hospital food that is very easy to digest (its all soft and bland).  It’s hot, it’s free, and it’s always on time, so you can’t really complain.  To quote Alfred Matthew Yankovic:  “Just eat it.”


Job placement services are available to any veteran who wants help finding a good/better job.  Inpatients can get part-time to full-time employment within the VA doing things like laundry, painting, landscaping, and other manual labor jobs while they are being treated.  It is a good way to save up a little cash so that when you’re treatment is through you can find a place and a vehicle.  Some VA’s have on-site or nearby group homes where patients that have completed the program can live and work.


Normally there is at least one VFW representative in the hospital somewhere.  Even if you haven’t deployed to a war zone or seen combat, they will help you file your claim and work with you if you are having legal troubles.  There are sometimes volunteers who come in to help veterans with financial woes like bankruptcy, losing their home, or the almost obligatory bad credit so many of us tend to accumulate.  They will even do your taxes if it is February – April for the free.  These fine folks, the VFW and volunteers, will help you buy a fucking house!


Many of the employers they can introduce you to are very awesome people who want to hire you.  It may be a little bit of blind troop worship, but use it to your advantage because if you don’t, a shitbag will abuse it until they no longer accept us.


Education benefits are the easiest thing to apply for, and they will help you with that, too.  If you have had problems with school due to anxiety, depression, PTSD, or something similar, your docs can pull a string or two and keep your instructor from dropping you due to absence or tardiness.  That “string” being a letter stating that you are seeking assistance for a disability and they must accommodate your illness’s unfortunate side-effects.


It can be difficult for many of us to even walk through those doors for the first time.  The “only shitbags go to medical” mentality follows some of us for life, stripping us of the willingness to seek out medical help until it is often too late.  Horror stories of bad experiences with staff, treatments, and policies ruin some peoples’ opinion of VA healthcare, but those stories often lack the important elements of truth and perspective.


I didn’t know what to expect when I walked into a VA for mental health and substance abuse help.  I mean, I knew where to go and what the buildings looked like and all of that because I grew up there; my ma worked around the VA for most of my life and I had been in and around just about every building.  The anxiety I experienced was very intense for the first couple of hours, but that was mostly due to the fact that the mental health ward was once home to the bed where, as a child, I watched cancer slowly turn my grandfather into a 70-pound skeleton.  That realization later helped me a little bit by reminding me how bad things can get when you replace someone’s instinct for self-preservation with John Wayne Macho Bravado.  I wasn’t sure how the doc would react or how the other personnel would treat me:  were they going to be dicks like the old, jaded docs, or calm, understanding, and willing to listen and help.  They were definitely in the latter category.


Counselors helped me figure out what my problems really were instead of just ticking off symptoms on a checklist and tossing a diagnosis my way.  This was a huge step.  It is hard to fix yourself if you don’t know what is wrong.  Medications are for treating symptoms and are used for sustaining stability.  Therapy and getting it all out is the cure.  For some at least.  It appears that many of us depart the Corps with some demons, and an exorcism of sorts is often in order.  I found my outlets in art and beating the ever-loving shit out of an old heavy bag.  Painting something horribly violent, disgusting, or ugly helps me focus.  Tits work also, but making pretty things has never really been my thing.  Being an addict, however, is often a life-long ordeal, so many people just trade one addiction for another…or several.


Instead of drinking, I hobby.  I hobby my ass off.  Old, broken things are easily acquired for the cheap, and I find a lot of crap to fix in order to stay busy.  If something is broken or looks like shit, I feel obligated to immediately fix and improve it if I can.  It took me a while to realize that this was not a fault and should be used to my advantage.  The counselors helped me get back into school and even offered to help me with homework if I had any.  I had already finished all of the prerequisites like readin’ and ritin’, and in auto tech there isn’t much homework, but the sentiment was there, and I appreciated the crap out of it.


With my mind slowly beginning to work properly again, I was able to concentrate in school and take the next step and find a job.  After a few unsuccessful attempts at working around a large number of people, I found a part-time job as a janitor.  Already being fully trained (and possibly over-qualified), I was hired on and have been skat…cleaning buildings for about a year, which is the longest I have held a job for a while.  Those of us who have problems with anxiety (and no shame) should look into janitry:  It is easy, relaxed, quiet, and above all else, nobody fucks with the janitor.


Employed and doing well in school, things were looking better.  I slowly weened myself off of anything stronger than ibuprofen until I was off prescriptions altogether.  I waited a few months to tell my doctor about this because I figured he would come down with a case of the Butt Hurts, but he instead was not only supportive, he told me that is their goal.  The doctors and counselors want to see us off the medications because they know how harmful they can be but are required to issue them – if we have improved that is.  My counselors were initially against me stopping my medications but once I showed them that I was getting better, they were much more supportive.  It needs to be noted that you should never simply stop taking your meds and think that shit will magically get better.  If you aren’t ready to change, dropping your meds will only hurt you.  It needs to be done gradually and with a good amount of control.  You can’t take a double dose to make up for having a bad day or because you have an important interview, it ruins the progress, and you can’t just stop for a few days and then start taking them again when you start feeling like shit again because they will take a while to kick back in and by then you could be anywhere from perfectly fine to permanently confined.


So, unnecessarily long story short, I’ve held a job for a year, stopped drinking, got released from death by prescription, gained my physical and mental health back, and earned an associate’s degree in auto tech.  Sure, plenty of people have accomplished much, much more and against much greater and dire odds, but it was my struggle and I made it my bitch.  For now.


Some of the most important things I learned from all of this:


-Alcohol and drugs are not the answer.  A couple of beers or blunts now and then between friends who are celebrating a victory or an accomplishment is perfectly healthy, but getting wasted to relieve stress or forget about your problems is counter-productive, depressing, and potentially dangerous.


-Talk to someone.  Believe it or not, there is at least one person in your life that WANTS to hear your story, and you need to get it off of your chest before it crushes the life out of you.


-Keep yourself busy.  When you are in the Corps, you are almost never truly “bored,” you just spend a shit load of time waiting.  There is always something that needs to be done, and even if you spent the majority of your time avoiding said thing-that-needs-to-be-done, your mind was occupied.  Without the constant use your brain is accustomed to, it will find things to occupy itself, those things often being negative memories or other triggers.


-Find someone to talk to.  This doesn’t mean you need a girlfriend, boyfriend, fuck buddy, friend with boobs, or that guy you met through Craigslist’s casual encounters section that swears he just wants to watch you play with it a little, it means have another person around that will listen.  Family members, spouses, and old friends can be hard to talk to because they do not understand, so you may have to adapt and overcome by getting yourself a good dog (hey man, worked for me).


-Death won’t help.  Killing yourself will not end your troubles, it will ruin the lives of everyone around you instead.  If you have children, they will be scarred for the rest of their lives and will feel at fault or that you are doing it to punish them.  If you are married, your spouse will feel like it is their fault for not loving you enough.  Your parents will feel like they are to blame.  Your friends?  They too, will think they were the cause of your demise.  The guys and gals from your old units?  Yep, them, too.  They will feel terrible because, “I should have known but didn’t.”  I have been unfortunate enough to have been on several sides of this confusing octahedron, and can tell you that every side is just as awful.


-Talk it out.  Tell your story.  If you don’t trust anyone enough to listen, write it out.  Find a pen, pencil, marker, crayon, finger-full-of-shoe-polish, half-frozen cat turd, whatever.  Scribble that shit on a pizza box if you have to.  Burn it into your neighbor’s lawn if you want, I don’t care,  just get your story out.  Grab a keyboard and pound out a few words here on this very site if you can.  (Have I stressed the importance of talking about your problems yet?)


-It gets better.  It really, truly does.  The world may seem like an endless ocean of shit, but you have to keep swimming:  The Shit gets thick and sticky, but that just means you have to push a little harder to get through it.  The Shit may confuse you at times or obscure your view of the goal, but you have to wipe it out of your eyes and keep pushing onward and upward.  The Shit gets heavy, but you have to push it off your back and keep going.  The Shit gets deep, but you can’t let it suck you down.  The Shit can seem to suck the life right out of you sometimes, but you have to keep kicking your legs and pushing that shit out of your way so you can breath and move on.  Don’t ever let The Shit keep you down.





On To Bigger, Better Things: Old Habits Die Hard

The ER folk were nice enough to ensure that my official diagnosis included the words “heat stroke” so that my supervisors couldn’t question it and were forced to deal with their plant’s shady conditions.

Still awaiting approval from the company’s health insurer however, I had nowhere else to go but the VA for help.  I explained to them the basics of what had happened:  I lost my shit and worked myself into a nice, healthy heat stroke.  They immediately began the guessing game of throwing random pills at me in a feeble attempt to find a combination that worked, much to my disappointment and gastronomical discomfort (that went on for seven years).  Note to anyone going to the VA for mental health issues;  just say no to drugs.  Chemicals are for extreme cases, therapy often works much better and will not turn you into a sad zombie with a slowly rotting digestive system.  I felt so sick the first couple of weeks that I called in enough to lose my job and things quickly started to get out of control.

A good friend from Okinawa offered me a place to stay for a while in another state, so I took him up on the offer.  It turned out that he was having similar issues dealing with acclimating to the 1st Civ Div and hating the VA‘s endless bullshit.  The job market around there was limited due to a large auto manufacturer closing its doors, making it difficult to even get a job as a clerk at a video store or gas station.  After a couple of months, my savings were almost exhausted and I made the horrible decision to move back home around family and old friends.

To be honest, moving back in with the family wasn’t all that bad at first.  It was cheap and…well, it was cheap and I was broke.  Sure, there was little privacy, but it would only be for a few weeks, a month at best.  A few part-time jobs and an entire year later, I realized I was stuck.  Trying to move seemed impossible as it was prohibitively expensive and brought guilt trips that would make a recruiter tear up with pride.  One of the worst parts of living in a house full of needy females with no permanent male entity in their lives…the guilt trips.  Guilt works on the depressed like nothing else, probably due to the incredible amount of it already present.  If you come from a close-knit family, you know how difficult it can be to “leave them behind to fend for themselves” as they often put it.  Having a suicidal family member does not help this, like, at all (if she offs herself, its your fault for not being there to prevent it, apparently).  It felt like moving on with my life would be turning my back on everyone I cared about.  Again.

Trying to deal with shitty jobs, selfish-asshole family members, keeping myself clean, and generally hating life again was getting to be too much.  I eventually said “fuck it” and started hanging around the only people who took an interest; my old high school friends.

Know how your recruiter and all those SNCO’s kept screaming about how your buddies back home aren’t doing anything but playing Nintendo and popping out welfare babies?  It is, for the most part, bullshit.  Some of them might be doing the same shit they were when you were kids, but many of them have upgraded, for better or worse.

My best friend was The Dro Man.  Not a regular connect, but the guy that stays on Baskin Robbins status (31 flavors – from Poor to Coma quality).  His circle of friends was full of familiar faces who accepted me and didn’t ask a lot of questions.  Partying was generally a big part of that life, making attendance at bars, clubs, concerts, and parties essential, as was sampling the products for quality control and proving your legitimacy by consuming large amounts of booze, weed, and hallucinogens.  Cocaine made random appearances, but was mostly looked down upon in our circle.  Alcohol helped desensitize my anxiety but also destroyed my speech filter and removed my ability to closely monitor my actions while using it.  There were some decent looking ladies around who loved to party, but they were definitely not the kind you’d want to spend more than a few hours with if you have a decent amount of intelligence in you.  Run-ins with thieves, thugs, and gangsters were common, as were special guest appearances by LEO’s with and without warrants (SURPRISE!).  Getting pulled over several times a week gets old very fast, especially when they start addressing you by your first name before they even get a chance to see your ID.  That is when you know it is time to slow your roll.  Long story short:  Some shit went down, a house got raided and trashed, a dog caught a flash-bang to the face, and prison sentences were barely avoided.

The problem with…um…retirement…was that people tend  to not believe it.  Years have passed and I still run into people who ask me if I can hook them up with someone or some dumb shit like that.  I never  directly sold but they still ask because I’m guilty by association.  Several times within the first year of his retirement he had his door kicked in by people who thought he still had pounds and stacks.

This is where I go off on a tangent:  Look, I know it may seem exhilarating to put your boot through someone’s front door and order them flat on the floor with your weapon pointed at their head, but you shouldn’t brag about it to your civilian buddies, or anyone for that matter.  Until you have been on the other side of that experience, you will never understand how fucked up it is.  How would you like it if you were curled up on the couch with your old lady (or whatever you call the gal that lets you put your thing in her)  about to get some and out of fucking nowhere the door flies open and there’s some random asshole standing there pointing a shotgun at you?  You like to sleep, right?  What if you were peacefully sleeping off an epic hangover, only to be woken up to a big, black, metallic cave being aimed into your eyes?  Know how you like to get your drink on and play some Call of Duty with your pals on the weekend?  What if you were sitting around having an awesome time and several large men kicked your doors in and pointed gun barrels in your faces?  That would be kind of fucked up, wouldn’t it?  (Yes, I see the humor in a former marine playing a combat-simulation game while being robbed at gunpoint.)

Note:  Robbers usually leave when they realize there is nothing to be taken but an old xbox and an early 90’s big-screen with a busted housing.  Keep it simple, guys.

Most of the time when shit went down it was relatively tame, like some guy that just wanted to snatch some nonexistent green or imaginary, rumored cash.  It only got truly dangerous once, and it had nothing to do with drugs or money.

I was outside on the front porch attempting to cleanse my palette of some sub-standard alcoholic beverages via regurgitation when this great big fat person appeared and began demanding that I bring her the racist expletive who…something or another.  I was pretty drunk and had no idea what the fat harpy was screeching about.  All I remember was her dropping N-bombs like it was trendy or something.  Anyway, I felt some shit hit my face, like someone had thrown a handful of glass at me, and all sound faded in a split second.  The door opened and my buddy was standing there for a second before yelling something and slamming the door as sparks flew off of the screen’s frame.  Trying to figure out what hit me, I looked at the house and saw there was a small hole surrounded by a broken kind-of-circle where the siding had shattered.  Thinking to myself, “what in the absolute fuck is going on here -”  I heard what sounded like a balloon popping but much louder and saw a couple more holes appear in the house, sending more shards of dusty siding towards me.  I then theorized, “well, shit.  I think someone might be shooting at me.”  A quick glance to my left confirmed that someone was definitely crouched down in an improper kneeling position attempting to put rounds into my chubby tummy and/or grizzled melon.  I turned and found the closest cover I could find – a car.  Pulling the handle as the windshield exploded forced me to realize two things:

1.  The goddamned doors were locked.
2.  I should find better cover because this fucker was still shooting.

A few holes appeared in the garage as I sprinted towards the back of the house but none of them hit me, proving my brother’s old hypothesis that I could be extremely fucking lucky sometimes.  At the back of the house, I ducked behind the fence and waited in the dark for whoever to pop around the corner and catch a Spyderco to the jugular, but no one followed.  The sounds of car doors slamming shut, an engine rapidly increasing RPM’s, and tires breaking traction told me they took off, so I ran back up front to make sure everyone inside was alright.  They were.

Local law enforcement popped in to say hello, take selfies, police-call brass, take measurements and statements, and tell me that the round that hit the house next to my face missed my grape by a couple of inches at best, which was reassuring (thank goodness for terrible marksmanship, amirite?).  A couple of phone calls revealed that the shooter was someone’s ex’s sister’s boyfriend’s something’s someone’s…whatever, look it doesn’t matter; his old lady caught a few man-slaps from an ejected, disorderly partier earlier in the evening and he wanted to avenge her, I dunno, honor or something.  Because, you know, murdering a stranger is totally fine if they slapped your gal, I guess.

It took a lot to wake me up.  Even being shot at by random strangers didn’t seem to bother me enough to make me want to get away from that type of situation.  Sure, I couldn’t sleep for a while and carried my .45 everywhere, but it could have been worse I suppose.  It took hitting what I felt was rock bottom for me to take a step back and observe.

Drinking always left me a little depressed at the end of the night.  Some nights much more than others.  Most of the time I could force myself to pass out or find something tiring to do, but occasionally I would find myself extremely intoxicated and unable to do anything but think.  Thinking for too long led to a downward spiral of disgust and hate for the careless, irresponsible asshole I thought I had become over the years.  Things that wouldn’t bother most people stuck out in my mind as red flags that signaled how fucked up I was.  Stuff like Aryan Nation biker dudes immediately assuming I was a skin head.  I had gained over 70 pounds since my EAS and looked like ape shit.  That head Carny offering me a job on sight.  My old “respectable” friends would no longer be seen with me, even the few friends I made in the Corps began to shy away from me and after a while, completely broke contact.  It’s not as if I ever stole anything or cheated anyone, I was just given the “he’s a lost cause” treatment and dismissed.  I understood that sometimes you just have to cut toxic elements out of your life.  My home life got much worse over time.  I kept up the bills and house maintenance type of shit and stayed away for the most part, but would still catch family members speaking ill no matter how much effort I put into helping out.  My education was getting pushed aside for work, family and social obligations, ruining my GPA.  Relationship problems with females only added to all of that garbage.  I would sit and hate all of that for hours on end, trying as hard as I could to keep it together and figure out what exactly in the hell I was supposed to do to fix it all.  Anxiety attacks became more and more intense as time passed, and it became very difficult to control myself when I was alone and inebriated.  I eventually came to the genius conclusion that eating every pill the VA prescribed me and whatever else I had lying around and then dying was a good idea (it was not).  Luckily, my rotten bastard of a gut forced every last pill, beer, buffalo wing, and sloppy film of bile from my insides in a glorious, forty-minute salute to projectile regurgitation and painful dry-heaving.  It wasn’t the first or last time I thought about killing myself, but it stuck with me, like a sign that it wasn’t my time and that I needed to push on for some reason I won’t understand.  Soon after that I found myself needing a place to live again, and with the encouragement of a few friends, forced myself to nervously walk into the VA and ask for help.

Next Time:  It Really Does Get Better

Hazing and the “New Corps”

“The measure of a man is what he does with power.” – Plato


My feet hit those adorable little yellow footprints in January of 2002, and from T-1 all the way up until my EAS in 2006, I heard “New Corps” at least five times a day.  It always amused me to see 19 year old kids and 30 year old men complaining about how the world was going to shit because they couldn’t IT a 17 year old boy barely out of high school for forgetting to shave.  I was issued “old school” woodlands which required heavy starching and ironing in order to make them look sweet.  I was issued black leather boots that needed to be cleaned, buffed, and polished every night and touched up throughout the day.  Most of us took a lot of pride in our uniforms and the hours of maintenance that came with them.  When the spiffy new digital camouflage utilities emerged, nearly every Staff NCO, NCO, and Senior Lance began having meltdown after hilariously embarrassing meltdown, screeching and wailing like meth-addicted banshees about how ri-goddamned-diculous it was that they weren’t allowed to starch or iron them.  And the boots!  YOU CAN’T SPIT SHINE THEM??  WHAT THE FUCK??  MY MARINES WON’T HAVE SHINY FEET??  NOOOOO!!!  All ending with violent fist shaking towards the heavens and a moon-shattering “DAMN YOUS NEW CORPS!! DAMN YOUS ALL TO HELL!!”


It, uh…It got intense.


Digital utilities and the new boots meant, in reality, less time spent on starching, ironing, and polishing and more effective camouflage.  Marines who were not issued Marpat were so confounded by this change that many simply refused to wear them, until units began officially making them the uniform of the day, to try to preserve their status as “old school.”  Boots were buying old utilities and jungles in attempt to fit in and be “Old Corps.”  It was beautiful. [single tear forms before I force it back in like a man.]


Everything that was updated, changed or different was immediately terrible and was blamed on this “New Corps.”


Civilians running the Chow halls?  Damn that New Corps!  Drill Instructor gets removed for spraying a recruit in the face with windex?  Damn that New Corps!  Changing the way the Rifle Range is scored?  Damn that New Corps!  Getting rid of 5-tons so Motor T has to learn about 7-tons?  Damn that New Corps!  We have to sit through another Safety Brief/Stand Down?  Damn that New Corps!  Most often it was basically “Troop welfare is better than when I was that rank…FUCKING NEW CORPS!! UUUUGGGGHHHH!!” (with or without violent, childish tantrum-kicking.)


Many Marines never open their eyes enough to realize that at one point, this “New Corps” was blamed for making them trade in their trusty M-14 for a POS M-16, a musket with balls for a rifle with cartridges, and a horse for a tank.  Speaking with WWII, Korean War, and Vietnam veterans will provide much insight into this, as they all will tell you about Marines who bitched about the “New Corps” or “Kinder, Gentler Marine Corps” when they served.


Point being:  Progress and change in the Corps are viewed as dangerous, unnecessary, and coddling.  When the AAV was originally scheduled to be replaced by the AAAV (aka EFV) nearly every 2141 and 1833 complained about the training that they would need if that happened.  Instead of being excited about receiving a faster, safer, and overall better piece of equipment, they all blamed this new technology (which was never instated) for the decline of their beloved Corps.  Their “logic” was:  “Marines don’t need air-conditioning in a combat vehicle!  Quick-disconnect parts are for bitches!  That 25mm Bushmaster isn’t as cool as my m2 and mk19, I don’t care if it CAN hit a target in 6 foot swells from a longer distance, I don’t need no dang ole’ electronics helping me shoot!  Going 35 knots isn’t much faster than 8, that’s a waste of power!  These vehicles being easier to diagnose, repair, maintain, and operate will lead to my Marines becoming complacent and turning into shit bags!”


By far, the most hilariously stupid use of New Corps Blaming was unleashed upon anyone mentioning the hazing policy.  I came in several years after the original order was instated and there were still Marines who claimed to not fully understand it.  It was a fairly simple order;  Incentive Training was for recruits at MCRD’s only, no public humiliation, no physical assaults, no consenting to being hazed or abused, and punishments must make sense.  For example:  If he is late for formation, the Marine stays late that week or has to be in early the next week to write an essay so that he knows what he did wrong and how to fix it, instead of forcing him to PT which would only add to his exhaustion and teach him that he can fuck up all he wants as long as he can keep up with whoever is running him.  If his uniform looks like dusty ass, he should stand several uniform inspections until he has proved that he is competent in that area of Devil Doggyness.  If his room looks like six hobos held an epic fisting orgy overnight, he should lose his weekend to a proper Field Day (Chinese if there is mold or is an extreme case).  If he is a fat body or cannot pass a PFT, extra PT should be used to fix those deficiencies, where an essay or uniform inspection could not.


There is often a good amount of debate between Marines as to what type of punishment fits each offense.  A common misconception is that extra PT will solve any problem by teaching Marines that physical pain is the result of making a mistake.  This is incorrect.  It teaches him that he can get away with being a poor quality Marine as long as he can exercise well.  Some argue that it is better to take a Marine out to the tree line and beat some sense into him than to “ruin his career with paperwork.”  This does not teach him to correct his deficiencies, it teaches him that it is acceptable to assault someone when they make the wrong choice, there will be no official repercussion if he does, and that he can be a failure as a Marine but still stay in the Corps because he has a clean record.


Some types of hazing are fairly innocent, and like many Marines, I have no problem with those.  Tasking a young devil with finding an eight pound bolt stretcher, some grid squares, blinker fluid, or 50 feet of shore-line is not humiliating, but it does show him that work can be sacrificed in order to play games.  Inside jokes help form lasting bonds, every adult realizes that.  Including the new guy in those inside jokes helps him acclimate to the environment and feel like part of the team, especially when he can include someone in the joke later on down the road.  Pranks that don’t waste time and resources and do not result in someone being injured or humiliated are fine in my opinion, and I doubt many Marines would disagree with me on that.


Tradition is often cited as a reason for allowing hazing.  A notable tradition being the NCO Blood Stripe ceremony.  When a Marine is promoted to Corporal, he walks between two rows of senior NCO’s who each punch him in the shoulder to “make the rank stick” and knee him in the thigh, creating a line of bruises that are supposed to mimic the scarlet stripe on NCO and Officer dress blue trousers.  Marines are taught in boot camp that the Corps uses the blood stripe to remember that 90% of all Officers and NCO’s were lost during the Battle of Chapultepec in 1847, and this ceremony is supposed to honor that.  In reality, the losses were much less significant (7 out of 400-450 men) and the Marine Corps borrowed the blood stripe from the Army in 1840.  Freshly promoted Corporals often have trouble walking for at least a day after this pointless, historically inaccurate ceremony, and a few have formed blood clots that have endangered their careers and lives.  If we are going to have traditions, let us at the very least make sure that they don’t make us look like fools.  If you want to congratulate your brother for being promoted, shake his hand like a man.


As for as the “tradition” argument; the Corps has never tolerated hazing.  Before the current order was instated it was just called an Article 93 (Cruelty and Maltreatment).  Putting a new name on and bringing attention to an old problem does not make the Corps weaker or softer, it helps address an existing issue so that future Marines can have a better Corps than you did.  Children that were abused are more likely to abuse their own children, and the same goes for Marines.  If we don’t work together and stop making the same mistakes our predecessors made, the Marine Corps will never be the elite organization that we all wanted it to be.


tl;dr – You are always boot to someone who thinks you are ruining their Corps.  Don’t be a dick and ruin it for everyone who serves after you.

On To Bigger, Better Things: Assaulting the Civilian World

The disclaimer *your experience may vary* should be attached to every Marine Corps picture, poster, social media post, commercial, and Recruiter.  Four years of on and off severe alcohol abuse and depression due to horrible and sadistic leadership failures were not what was promised, but that is what I got.  When your recruiter promised you all of those outstanding training opportunities, remember how he said that they would transfer towards college credits?  Like everything else he told you, that is a lie with a little kernel of truth tucked firmly inside.


Transition Assistance classes taught me how to see how many college credits my training would translate to, and it was horrifying.  I had been through basic and advanced vehicle maintenance courses including electrical, hydraulic, pneumatic, fuel and emissions, diesel diagnostics and troubleshooting, tracked suspension, and maintenance and complete overhaul for engines, transmissions, PTO’s, winches, electrical components, and hydraulic components.  Unfortunately, there was no complete survey done for my MOS school’s basic or advanced courses, so I was awarded zero translated credit for learning more than most diesel mechanics with an Associate’s.  When I learned about this, I spoke with my peers then brought it up to a superior that we should find a way to get the survey group to work with the school towards awarding credit for the training we received.  I almost expected a “good initiative Devil Dog, Marines could benefit from this” I got an ass chewing about how selfish it was for me to bitch about not getting college credits merely because I was about to EAS.  Explaining that I did not know about this deficiency in our training programs until then was useless and only resulted in a longer and more motivated ass chewing for being insubordinate and talking back to a superior.


When my terminal leave date came around, I grabbed my papers, changed into civvies in the head, which was now a bathroom again, and hit the road not caring what I was going to do as long as I was done with that bullshit.  I had enrolled in some classes at a community college back home, but I had about a month until school started and wanted to drift.  My first couple of weeks were spent on my brother’s couch.  He didn’t seem to mind.  We were never close friends despite growing up in the same bedroom, but he seemed genuinely more concerned with my mental health than with my plans for the future.  I brushed it off at the time as him being a senior NCO in another branch more than a big brother looking out for me.  I went back to my home town and moved back in with the Mama until I could find a place.  Going to the community college to get books and an ID, I was informed that my GI Bill paperwork had been lost and then found, but that it was too late by the time they got it in and I was unable to receive my benefits for that semester.  That shouldn’t have been a problem as long as I could get a PEL grant or something, right?  Actually, no, you made too much money last year as a Corporal, so you cannot receive a financial aid to go to school.  For the first seven days of the semester, I would have still been on terminal leave, making me ineligible the Illinois Veteran’s Grant, which would have paid tuition.  No problem, I’ll just get a small loan and – I’m sorry, all of our spots are filled but you can come back towards the end of the semester and register for the fall if you want.  Okay, fuck, well, I can always go on unemployment and get a Joe job until then, something low key, really easy with no bullshit to deal with.


Unemployment was awful.  It is nowhere close to enough to make the bills on your own, even as a bachelor.  I moved into a trailer on an old guy’s property (less than five and its not a trailer park!) with my buddy because I could not afford it alone.  Four months of hardcore job searching and resisting the urge to burn a great big fat-ass joint later and I end up working as a machine maintenance/operator guy person in a factory for $16/hour.  Not bad for someone with almost no official education going into a non-union position at the time.  It wasn’t that I was overly qualified however, it was mainly due to the unemployment office’s veteran’s coordinator, who was a Chief and a recruiter for a Big Ten college and knew nearly everyone in town who worked in personnel management.  It was a pretty decent job, and allowed me to move into much nicer digs the day my second paycheck hit my hands.


Somehow though, I was extremely unhappy.  I had everything I had been wanting for years; a decent paying job where I don’t have to deal with being micromanaged, a nice place with my buddy, and all the freedom I could handle.  But I didn’t feel…right.  I didn’t feel like I belonged in the civilian world, or anywhere.  I knew I didn’t belong in the Marine Corps any longer and that nothing would ever get me to go back, but I  felt like there was no one I could relate to anymore.


Civilians didn’t understand.  They didn’t understand why I gave them a dirty look while I picked up that piece of trash they threw on the ground next to the trash can.  They didn’t understand why I paused so often and chose my words carefully when talking about the Marine Corps, using words like “appropriate” instead of steal.  They didn’t understand why I had to excuse myself and walk away when I was pissed.  They didn’t seem to understand why I would be upset when they would wipe off the equipment with a greasy rag instead of washing it off with soap and water, or why I would bring them five extra pairs of ear plugs for their tool box if they weren’t wearing any.  I ended up downplaying my time in the Corps by saying, “it was okay most of the time,” or “it wasn’t all bad,” which are both very similar to the things said by abused spouses and children.


The questions they would ask were the worst, as they brought up all of the random, awful feelings right back but with much more intensity and regret.  If you are a civilian and meet a veteran, please do not ask them a lot of questions.  Most of us really just don’t want to talk about it, we are out and want to leave it behind us.  Now that I am thinking about it, here are some questions that you should avoid when speaking to a veteran:


Did you have/get to kill anyone?

If you ask this question:  Fuck You.  That is an extremely personal question that brings up the feelings associated with ending another human being’s life.  Anyone who answers this question with “hell yeah, it was awesome blah blah…” is a liar or has severe emotional problems associated with combat.


Did you ever watch anyone die or get shot/blown up/vaporized?

This is very similar to asking if they have killed someone, and should be avoided.  Do not prod a veteran for information about a fallen comrade, it is disrespectful.  If they trust you enough to tell you about it, they will volunteer the information when they are comfortable.


Did you have to deploy/go to war?

This one is seemingly innocent, but it also brings up all of the horrible things that Marines have to go through before, during, and after deployments.  They do not want to think about these things because they can be emotional triggers.  Marines that did not deploy often feel as if they haven’t done their job as a Marine by going to war and dying.  The workload on rear-element units are greatly increased and they have minimal personnel with which to accomplish their mission and are often treated with much less respect despite their efforts simply due to them not being in a unit when it deployed.  Again, if they want to talk about it, they will tell you.


Did you lose any close friends?

The short answer to this question is always going to be “yes.”  Everyone loses friends, but not everyone wants to talk about it.  We have all lost friends during training accidents and to IED’s, enemy attacks, car accidents, murders, or suicides.  We generally don’t want to think about it, just like you. If not for such unfortunate endings, we surely will have to deal with the legal issues that follow an accident. Many of us do not even know the basics of proceeding with such cases. Walking back to the normal days isn’t a far-fetched dream anymore with Lawyer Steven G. Jugo to help us.


You seemed to have not liked it, did you get kicked out or something?

You talk shit about your last job, did you get fired or something?  No, most of us have not been kicked out, we decided to move on with our lives.  Many, MANY people that wasted their youth in the military absolutely hated it, and they weren’t kicked out.  Even if they were, it was likely the result of them standing up for themselves or because a service-connected condition forced them to be retired or caused them to behave inappropriately.


Other than my room mates and the few devils I kept in touch with, I didn’t have a social life.  Bars were no fun because I hated crowds and didn’t drink, as were concerts, festivals, fairs, and probably even the circus I suppose.  I played a lot of PS2 and worked a lot of shifts.  I did everything I could to keep my mind off of my buddies back in the Suck who were deployed but couldn’t shake the feeling that I was doing nothing to help and that that fact made me a shitty excuse for a Marine.  I couldn’t shake the feeling that maybe those asshole SNCO’s and NCO’s were right after all…I mean…some of my friends from high school are literally doing the exact same shit they used to, except now they do it in bars and have added more bad habits like snorting cocaine into their lives.  Some of them have never left the state, let alone the county, and have never held a job.  What else were they right about?


Sleeping was nearly impossible.  I was used to getting less than six hours per night for the past four years, but when I got out it was as if I could never sleep for more than four at a time if I was lucky.  I could work four days in a row of 12 on 12 off shifts only sleeping three hours after work and on my days off still could not force myself to pass out for a full eight hours.  When I could fall off, it would be so deeply that my room mates could not wake me by shaking the bed and I would wake up freaked out but never knowing why.  Instead of seeking help, I self-medicated with sleeping pills to help me rest but then needed caffeine to keep wake me back up.  My back was bothering the shit out of me but I wanted no part of the VA so I kept a shitload of Excedrin and Ibuprofen around to minimize the migraines, which also kept me awake but unable to do much.


The insomnia and depression caught up with their friends anxiety and agoraphobia and had themselves a goddamned field day one night while I was at work.  I had been stressed out over some disputes between my room mates and was exhausted and dehydrated from working a week of 12 and 12’s in a 110+ degree factory and the utility workers they kept sending me were worthless, forcing me to do my own job and theirs all night.  After eight hours of working non-stop pushing 1/2 ton boxes around and running blazing hot machines without a break while trying my best not to think about how worthless of a human being I had become for leaving my brothers behind and being incapable of even settling immature arguments between room mates and being so goddamned sad all the time, my brain started to shut down.  I had just grabbed my thousandth cone-cup of water from the Culligan bottle next to my machine and took a sip, then a black spot and I’m kneeling in front of the machine after running the shutdown sequence, then another black spot and the machine is shut down and I’m trying to find someone but there is no one around, then yet another black spot and I’m wobbling towards the lunch room and finally see another employee.  He nodded as I made eye contact and I tried to say something but could not speak.  My mind was so cloudy I couldn’t even think of what words to say to this stranger, so I put my shaking hand up I was trying to tell him he shouldn’t be going any further.  He stopped and looked at me a little side ways and asked me what was up, but I couldn’t even grasp a word from the cloud to convey what was wrong and couldn’t remember what gesture to use, so I shook my head “no” and opened and closed my mouth a few times to show him I was attempting to speak but had lost the ability.  A few moments of confused, wordless posture changes and shuffling later, I was able to pluck the word “nurse” out of the air in the form of a mono-syllabic inquiry.  He gestured for me to follow him so I nodded vehemently in the positive as he led me towards the cafeteria.  Water was drank while I waited for whatever was going to happen to happen, and a while later my supervisor walked in looking very serious but not angry.  I managed to point to my temple and push out “I don’t…the, talk” and shaking my head in a nervous panic.  I could barely feel my hands and my chest felt like it was being crushed between two skyscrapers.  I could not catch my breath, my lungs only took short, shallow, shaky breaths.  My heart rate could be felt in every part of my body including my eyeballs, I could almost see it and I felt like my blood had been infused with static electricity.  I could not shake the feeling that I should either sprint out the door and never stop running or destroy everything and everyone around me.  I felt like an animal that had been backed into a corner and was fearing for its life, yet I was in an extremely safe environment and in no danger whatsoever.  Someone called an ambulance, and I was escorted outside by two EMT’s.  Once we were out front and I saw the ambulance’s flashing lights, I had to face away from it because it was freaking me out hard.  My supervisor wanted me to stay there and chill out in the lounge until the end of my shift, but I couldn’t even understand what he was saying, all I could do was shrug my shoulders and shiver uncontrollably with unexplainable tears rolling down my cheeks.  Words would not come out of my mouth, no matter how hard I concentrated.  Nothing.


The feeling of “holy fuck shit is so out of control right now even my speech doesn’t work what the fuck is happening everyone is staring at you they all know what do they know it doesn’t matter they know you’re probably dying one of them is going to hurt you don’t trust any of them dude just run just fucking run and never ever ever fucking stop” was, at best, terrifying.


The EMT’s were very cool about it all.  They seemed to understand that I couldn’t express anything and was in an intense fight or flight mode, and were careful not to handle me until they were sure that I understood they were required to strap me in the ambulance because they could not allow me to drive home or stay at work because I could put others or myself in danger.  One of them was a sailor or a coastie, I can’t remember clearly, and recognized my stupid moto tat, and he made sure they took damn good care of me and tried to calm me down by telling me I was going to be okay, he’d seen it before and I was going to be alright.  It did help quite a bit.  They drove me to the ER, strapped me to a bed, gave me a couple shots and an IV, then left me to pass out until later on the next day.


When I woke up there was a doctor in the room and I was confused and couldn’t immediately recall how or why I was in a hospital.  My speech had partially returned, at least enough to inquire as to exactly what in the fuck I was doing there.  She informed me that I had been brought in early that morning highly distressed and unable to communicate, although no one knew exactly why so they put me down and kept an eye on me.  A few moments of hazily explaining what I could remember later, she stops writing, looks up at me and says, “it sounds like you might have had an extremely bad anxiety attack.”


Next time:  Old Habits Die Hard