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

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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.

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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, 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.

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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.

“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.

Why Be a Leader? Become a DI Instead

One of the best SNCOs I knew said, ‘the drill field is the one billet where you can be successful without displaying any real leadership qualities.’

Like all of us, I have quite a few boot camp stories, and don’t hate the ever-loving shit out of the DIs I had. For instance, if one was on fire, I’d cross the street to piss on him. But that’s just common courtesy.

Having said that, let’s get to a couple of examples of the finest leadership in the world.

SSgt BlueFalcon

SSgt BlueFalcon was our 4th DI. Being new, he was a bit clueless. He talked with a voice like a buzzer so everything he said sounded fucked up without having to yell, and he may have actually been a GySgt the month before we got him in phase 2 of our training.

I’m not kidding. This motherfucker showed up in phase 2 with all his gear marked in Gunny chevrons. Now, it’s totally possible that he just got a helluva deal off a retiree, or maybe found stuff in his size at a second-hand shop, but there were signs that something shady was going on, and that my SDI was babysitting the shit out of him. Honestly, for me to notice, it had to be painfully obvious.

So there we were one day with Gunny – I mean SSgt – Blue Falcon in charge of us. I hadn’t eaten lunch and there was a tray from the chow hall for me. I kept requesting permission to eat, and BlueFalcon kept saying no. So I kept asking, because (A) I wanted to eat, (B) fuck him, and (C) I wanted to eat. It got to the point that other recruits were telling me to stop. Apparently, my wanting lunch was getting annoying for the fed.

Eventually, we were forming up to get a class at the movie theater, and I still hadn’t eaten lunch, nor would I since dinner was right around the corner. While there I went to my SDI, who had his own to go tray from the chow hall, and asked him for permission to eat lunch as SSgt BlueFalcon stood behind me, glaring indifferently over my shoulder.

“You haven’t eaten?” he asked.

“No, sir.”

With an incredulous look at BlueFalcon, who honestly could not have given less of a crap, my SDI handed me his own food, which I took because (A) fuck him, (B) I wanted to eat, and (C) fuck him.

I took it outside, where another great act of leadership occurred.

SSgt Charming

Since dignity can be foregone for hunger I sat on the cement facing a brick wall to enjoy my lunch with a swarm of delicious sand fleas, but who should be out there but a male/female DI duo, talking about some such shit. I can’t recall the conversation, so I’ll fill in the blanks the best I can:

“Yeah,” he said, “so I started eating my Chef Boyardee raviolis with a K-Bar.”

“Hmm,” she said, listening intently, her blonde hair pulled.

“It’s a real time-saver, because now I don’t have to tactically acquire my weekly supply of plastic ware from mini PX like I used to.”

“I converted old tea bags into Maxi Pads,” she chimed in, not wanting to seem less thrifty than him, “and vice versa.”

“Hey you! Continue reading “Why Be a Leader? Become a DI Instead”

FSNB: Proof the Corps Couldn’t Care Less

Fleet Marine Life talks about Fort Sill National Bank, as does RipOffReport, and PissedConsumer.

In a nutshell, it’s a shitty bank that every recruit on Parris Island is set up with for their direct deposit. By funneling tens-of-thousands of captive recruits to this hellhole the USMC is damaging both troop welfare and mission accomplishment. Low-income troops losing money to needless fees hurts their focus as a fighting force, and poor finances can lead to someone losing their security clearance.

FSNB = Fees-Fees-Fees

For the privilege of having an account, they charge needless fees knowing full well you can’t change your banking until your graduate, and a good portion of people do not do so right away because they don’t want to spend part of family day at Navy Federal Credit Union opening an account.

I have had two experiences with FSNB. Upon trying to close the account at MOS school they said I was overdrawn and charged me a fee for it. I sent them a check for the NSF overdraft, and they said I was still overdrawn because of the monthly fee hitting, prompting another NSF fee, so the account could not be closed. I sent them another check and told them to close the account, and that a copy of the letter was given to my command.

A few years later my wife went to close an account she had when we moved to Camp Lejeune. She went to the branch at Wal-mart and they cut her a check.

FSNB Will Overdraw You

“Show me the balance on the account,” she said, suspecting something fishy.

Now she was overdrawn. This fucking asshole overdrew the account on her so that there would be an NSF fee, then a monthly fee, which would prompt another NSF fee. So my wife gave her the difference and asked for a receipt, plus a printout of the statement showing that the balance was at zero.

“You don’t want that,” lady-banker-fuck told my wife.

“Of course I do.”

“If you take a paper statement, you could lose it, and then your personal information will just be out there.”

“It’s already out there. Con artists like you have it.”

After some cajoling she got a receipt for the deposit, bringing the balance up to zero, plus a statement showing the balance at zero.

“I want to speak to your manager,” my wife said, “I’m going to make a complaint about what you did.”

The manager told her that to make a complaint she had to call customer service from a phone on the wall.

If the USMC Cared, They’d Have Already Done Something

Fort Sill National Bank is not the worst bank in the world, nor is lady-banker-fuck the worst banker in the world, but this is the exclusive bank for marine recruits on Parris Island (and probably soldiers at Fort Sill, Oklahoma), and it is one way that the Marine Corps is actively ensuring that the lowest paid troops are being victimized by a financial institution. These young troops make very little money, live far from home, and endure great hardships. All the while this bank is stealing from them.

If anyone has something positive to say, please share. I’d love to hear something good about the bank, and not that it donates money to something, because that donation is funded in full by the fees scraped off the top of a marine recruit’s meager paycheck.

I’ll be forwarding the link for this post to people at FSNB and MCRD PI, and suggest you do the same.

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

Rants Of A (Former) Boot Marine

It’s been a while since I have posted here. I mean really, quite a while since I’ve been posting the series “Rants of a Boot Marine.” This will sound like gibberish, but here goes nothing.
The classical Stockholm Syndrome almost got to me. I contemplated of staying in when my mind is always screaming for me to get out. I mean how does this happen? Perhaps because I am now an NCO. Treated somewhat better, actually earned respect because I don’t play fuck fuck games or pull the rank card with junior Marines, and actually decent at my job.
I am not under terrible Sergeants or SNCOs and my OIC seems to be a fantastic individual who approved my Christmas leave before my SNCO had a chance to look at it. I have a package for an aquatic course that’s awaiting the approval of my SNCO before it heads up to the Commanding Officer for his signature before attending the course after coming back from leave. And my Sergeant, while he can be offended by long hair, seems to be a decent individual who will have my back. Not to mention, I’m on standby to possibly go to another country for a decent amount of time on the Corps dime.
However, I am easily reminded from the system of Field Day, Safety Standdowns, and ridiculous inspections that I now am a part of, is the reason to not stay. Everyone in my family after seeing my “success” and wants me to stay but they don’t seem to get it. And while I love my Chain of Command, I also have my own integrity and morale values. I can’t let myself down.
I do not want to go down that path of feeling regret for another 4 to 5 years knowing that I could have a better life.
If anything while I’m not drinking the Kool-Aid of motardism, being in the Marines for the last three years has taught me to beat the system at its own game, or at least making the most out of it, or playing the game at work.
While I know I am not going to live the same way in the outside world, knowing that I can be myself, it sucks sometimes when you find the small patch of green after promotion. I am not saying that it’s easier, now that I’m an NCO. I’ve felt like I’ve been smacked in the balls with a giant workload from the day I got promoted, probably because of a dirtbag Corporal who cannot seem to have his life together. And with that being said, I literally have to pick up the slack for what he misses. It’s like eating horrible leftovers.
When I can, I’ll remind myself here and there by going to this site to remind me of why I will not raise my hand and swear an oath again. If I do have an oath to swear, it’s to swear that I can be successful in the actual world, be paid the worth that I work for, and actually enjoy life.
Submitted by: BrassNecked14

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.”

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
Corps.

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
2014.

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
shit!”

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.

Oorah.

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

Entry 1: The REAL bootcamp

To whoever runs this site: I, like many before me, was a motivated individual who wanted to join an organization that I thought held the same values as me. I wanted to something great with my life and be part of something that money could not buy. I have two college degrees (a BA and an AA) and enlisted anyway because I did not make the cut for OCS (gpa wise). After joining the USMC, I quickly found out what this government organization is all about.

I occasionally write about this in a personal document to see if my opinion will ever change, however I don’t think it will… My emotion, intellect and motivation…my very SOUL has been lost upon joining the USMC.

Here are a few of the things I’ve written since bootcamp. Hopefully it will reveal to those wishing to join what the Honor, Courage and Commitment is REALLY about.
Use it or not, edit what you like, I don’t care. It just feels good to vent to someone other than my wife, friends or family. Thank you for this site, it will help me through my few years of hell.

Cheers.

-=Entry 1: The REAL bootcamp=-

“…Everyday is a struggle to wake up…even though I’ve finally obtained a morsel of the dream that I thought I once wanted.  To serve in the United States Marine Corps has been a very difficult thing to do.

Some of you without military service probably think its nothing but grueling physical training…shooting guns, working out, strategizing how to eradicate the enemy…or let me put it in the terms how it was verbally taught to me: “The mission of the Marine Corps rifle squad is to locate, close with and destroy the enemy by fire and close combat.”
Bullshit.

The mission of the Marine Corps is to exploit, demoralize and humiliate the subordinate through drivel void of intellect, tedious labor accomplishing nothing and bumper-sticker slogans designed to create a hive mentality absent of commonsense and logic.

-That is my personal experience, not even a year in; perhaps it will change.

The most frustrating thing is dealing with enlisted superiors who lack the mental capacity to boil a fucking egg.  Many of them are selfish liars savagely bent on self-promotion through the slave-like labor of young skulls full of mush.

The sergeants and up (E5+) try to present themselves as military gods, despite their lack of combat experience or education.  Some of them treat us the way they do because they say it will toughen us up, others continue the cycle of shit because they went through it, thus finding the need to perpetuate it; that’s logical…right?

Instead of being competent, compassionate and possessing a mentor-like personality, they succumb to the ignorant ways that they were taught, be it in the Corps or during their youth.
It’s unbearable.

The officer side is much different from what I observe.  The officers (most of them, there are a few shit bags, don’t get me wrong…) have a vivid desire to mold their enlisted counterparts into being productive marines while reflecting the gentleman chivalry that the Corps supposedly prides itself on.

Officers use logic.  Officers use courtesy.  Officers can speak proper English.  The officer personality is what every enlisted marine should strive to act like.  Semper Fidelis (always faithful) should extend across the board.  The Non Commissioned Officers and Staff Non Commissioned Officers should be required to tow the line of the Marine Corps standards, yet many of them seem to fall well short of it.  Why?

And to top it off, the Enlisted ranks shit-talk the officers when they’re not around, claiming that a Marine Corps Officer is less of a Marine than they are.  Common phrases like “Don’t call me sir, I work for a living” (An enlisted Marine must refer to all officers as sir, and all superior enlisted Marines by their ranks…so to call an enlisted Marine a “sir” is highly offensive to them for some reason be it out of jealousy or unwarranted pride.)

Returning to what I initially started out with in the beginning of this entry, I’ll describe the average day for me beginning with boot camp.  This is for all of you desiring to become part of the world’s most elite fighting force.

1.) You will wake up every morning at 4am.  You will get yelled at and fucked with for about an hour while you’re cleaning the same shit you cleaned the night before you went to sleep.

2.) After being told what a piece of shit you are for that first waking hour, you will then march in formation to the dining hall (chow hall). Pray to God that its not winter when you go, because you will not be allowed to wear gloves or winter apparel despite it being 20 degrees outside…the sergeants though will, of course, be dressed for whatever weather the recruit depot throws at them.  On the march to the chow hall, you will be expected to preform drill movements (those fancy tricks you see Marines doing with their rifles on those commercials brainwashing that your purpose in life is to wear that sexy uniform).  If ONE of you fucks up a drill movement, you will be marched back to the squad bay (living quarters) and then try again.  Keep in mind; if it is winter, your hands will go numb.  Good luck preforming the proper movements…   I cannot tell you how many recruits I’ve seen contract pneumonia…

3.) Upon arriving at the chow hall, you will be treated like shit and fucked with while you eat. I’ve personally witnessed recruits being forced to walk around in circles with food in their hands while other favored recruits are allowed to indulge.  Once you’re finished eating, repeat step 2 in reverse.

4.) So now you’re back at the squad bay, can you guess what you’re doing next?  Cleaning again for another hour or so.  Yeah, the same shit you cleaned earlier, while getting fucked with and ridiculed for sneezing without permission.

5.) After the morning clean up is finished, its time to start training right? Wrong. Whatever the event of the day is, you’ll be stuck outside waiting for hours to do this one even that takes 15 minutes to accomplish.  Get used to it.  The majority of your time is spent sitting around with your dick in your hand.  Government efficiency, right?

6.) So by the time you’re done, its time to get lunch chow.  Repeat steps 2 and 3 again. Oh and pray to God that you’re not early for any meal.  You and your platoon could be the best damn recruits to ever grace the recruit depot…if the drill instructors have free time, they unleash their frustration of being in that shit-hole on you.  You’ll be doing creative things like running in whatever direction the drill instructor points or holding your rifle in one arm parallel to the deck (floor) until its time to eat.  What does this do?  I would say teach you not to fuck up, but if you aren’t fucking up and are still getting punished…why try not to fuck up if the end result is the same?  Positive reinforcement? Ha! What a crock of shit.

7.) So now that the chaos of the morning is over, and you’ve eaten lunch, depending upon what phase of training you’re in, you’ll either have classes on sexual harassment, sexual assault or hazing/fraternization.  Classes on combat support? Few and far between.  These classes suck too.  They are dry as hell and so common fucking sense that an autistic monkey could grasp the concept within the first minute of the “course”…yet you’ll be sitting there for 2-3 hours…being taught how you’re a rapist because some dumb cunt decided that she regretted spreading her legs open for you the night before.  You think that shit in college is rough?  How like one in four men will rape a girl?  Please, according to the Marine Corps, we’re all rapists that just haven’t been given the opportunity to molest the innocent yet.

8.) By now, its almost dinner chow.  Guess what we’re going to do… Yep, repeat steps 2 and 3 once more.

9.) After the last chow of the day, we’re finally back at the squad-bay which seems like heaven…in some sick way…  Get ready to clean weapons that you’ve never shot for 1-2 hours.  In addition to that, get ready to clean that same shit you cleaned earlier in the morning…again…

10.) Now its hygiene time.  You’ll get anywhere from 1 minute to 5 minutes to clean yourself up.  Shower, shave, brush your teeth, dry yourself off…everything in about 5 minutes.  You’re going to smell horrible still even after, and if you’re unlucky enough, you’ll develop some painful rashes and sores on your body in places you were not able to fully clean.

For God’s sake though, don’t go to the Corpsmen (Navy medical staff).  If you have ANY infection or tender area on your battered body, get ready to spend anywhere from an extra week to a year on the island depending upon the severity of your problem.  They don’t care about your mental state, or how it will crush your motivation to not graduate on time.  Uncle Sam wants to make sure his product, YOU, are 100% fit to do whatever bitch work he deems fit.

11.) Now, the best part of the day has arrived.  Mail time.  If you never cared about letters from relatives, you’ll be singing a different tune by this point.  Just knowing that someone gives a shit about you will help you make it through the day.  Believe me, they say that the DI’s (drill instructors) care about you deep down, but the majority of them don’t.  No, really, they don’t.  They’re just there to do their job and get the hell home.

My advice? Save EVERY letter you get. It will help greatly on days you do not receive mail.

12.) After you survived the soul-sucking day, its almost time for sleep…after you clean the same shit you did the whole day once more.  You’ll finish cleaning, and then you’ll get about 5 minutes for a group prayer.  At 8pm you’ll be in bed to go to sleep.  One thing I cannot complain about is that you really do get 8 hours of sleep, unless you’re fire watch, then you get 6-7 hours.  Take advantage of as much sleep as you can, because tomorrow is going to be the exact same thing.  THE EXACT SAME THING!

You’ll learn to daydream.  You’ll learn to stack rocks and blades of grass on top of each other to build little structures in the dirt while you await orders to do some other bullshit training exercise.  Who is qualified to be a United States Marine? Everyone. Who can make it through boot camp? Anyone. Who can become part of the few and the proud?  All of us.

Think long and hard before you join. Hell, if you’re a big moto-fuck like I was before getting in, thinking that every negative thing you read online is written by some pussy who couldn’t cut it, then go reserves.  Retain at least some of your freedom.  Just be sure its really what you want and do your homework on the job you’re signing up for…then again, that’s an issue in itself…actually getting the job…

I was promised intel. I even signed a job SOU for it and scored phenomenally well on my DLAB, only to have it taken away within less than 24 hours of bootcamp. I was then placed as an open contract.

Who am I?  An older private first class (E2) with a bachelor’s degree in Political Science and associate’s degree in Liberal Arts.  The USMC was always a dream of mine; now it’s my perpetual nightmare…”

—–And here is a message to my wife (who supported me joining) detailing my frustration with the USMC—-

“They (enlisted Marines) have an insipid intellect, and they do not care to educate themselves.  They are content with mediocrity and they always try to pass responsibility off on someone else so they are not held accountable.  They BLAST garbage pop-music in the barracks which details the extent of the brain power, and they waste their money on frivolous things such as expensive cars, basket ball shoes and flashy material possessions to give them the illusion that they are something more than they are.

I hate people like that.  I hate the need for attention and the endless thirst for popularity.  I hate the hive mind, and I hate not thinking for myself.  I’m the freak here.  I’m the outcast who is different because I don’t conform to their simple mindset, and I’m so damn proud of that.  Sometimes I wonder if I’m different because I choose to be different.  I wonder if all this mental rebellion I have is because I like being the outlier of the group.  I wonder these things, but then I always return to my conclusion that I’m not.  I’m different because I care about educating myself and acting like a gentleman.  I might not know all the bullshit jargon of the Marine Corps, but I am me.  I know what class is, and yet I’m humble. I know when to bite my tongue, and I (even though I don’t like to) know when I need to speak up.

I thought the USMC would give me some relief to the rotting American culture of materialism and popularity contests, but this is just high school all over again, and I hate it. Do you know what its like to wake up, knowing that your day is going to be filled with emptiness? Knowing that someone is going to bitch at you merely so they can seem like they have power in front of their superiors?  Knowing that the person to the left and right of you has the intelligence of a fruit fly?

If you have no idea, but would like to experience it because you’re a masochist, then please, join the USMC.  As soon as you open your eyes up in the morning (at 4am), the first thing you’ll think is “God damnit… …I’m still here…”

Submitted by: Abdiel

The “Title” “Marine” is Given, not Earned

As a teen in highschool, I didn’t know what I wanted to do when I graduated. So I decided joning the military would give me some time to decide and maybe even some money for school, or possibly even making it my career. I lived in a large military city of mostly Navy personnel so after seeing those cool marine commercials I decided to “challenge” myself and “try” to become one of the few & proud instead of just another sailor. I went to the recruiter and said I wanted to join when I graduated and the process began. I entered the dep program 5 months before my ship date. We didn’t have computers and internet at the time so it was done the old fashioned pen and paper way. I took the asvab. If I remember, I scored around 66 and the minimum is 35. I then went to the meps for the physical eval & such. It was determined that I was a good candidate since I was a normal healthy kid with just a few extra pounds. Finally after months of waiting, my ship date arrived. One last stop at the meps and it was off to basic training. When I first arrived, I fully expected the games and BS to happen. As I progressed through the different phases I came to realize that the “few” and the “proud” was just hype. I noticed many recruits who just couldn’t make the grade. Dropping out of runs, failing knowledge tests, unking on the range, etc but they were always given multiple chances to redo them. Several tried to quit but they were told they had to honor their contract & that was what really made me think. Anyone with half a brain, and a few minimum requirements could be given the title.
From the corpse FB page:
Anonymous asked, “How do you prepare for boot camp?”
To be a Marine is to become an elite and strategic warrior.
An “elite” and “strategic” warrior? Hmm. Let me see…..what does it take to “earn” the title and become one if the “elite.”
18 years of age
Legal US citizen
High school diploma
Minimum asvab score of 35
Reasonably good health
Sign the dotted line and swear an oath
3 pull ups
50 crunches in 2 minutes
Run 3 miles in 28:00 or less
Hit the target 75% of the time
Tolerate the bullshit for 90 short days and presto, The title of marine is given to you. (I kind of took Ninjas words where he said the title is really given & not earned)
If you fail any of these at boot camp you are given multiple chances to try again. Why would an “elite” force want that? Maybe its all just marketing BS to lure unsuspecting kids to something where they really just need warm bodies to perform grunt work. I fell for the hype. Recruiters don’t necessarily lie, but they’re not exactly Paul Harvey who will tell you “the REST of the story.” So there. The title is given. Its harder to quit than graduate. For those motards that call people pussies, non-hackers, wimps, quitters etc, maybe so but they quit and or got out because it was nothing like what they were told by their recruiters and other marines. I’ve also asked this question a few times. If the corpse is so great, then why do so few stay in and become lifers? My platoon graduated 63 and to my knowledge, only 3 served for 20. A few reenlisted once but the vast majority served their 4 and got out. Most of the ones I keep in contact with have very successful lives and families yet we were told we wouldn’t amount to anything by the corpse. I challenge anyone to prove me wrong that the title is given.
Submitted by: MasterLcpl

Why I decided to get out

In case some lifer thinks I’m a cry baby, I was SGT. in for 9 years with the intention of of staying for 20. Even after I saw through the bullshit I wanted to stay. I was in a Bulk Fuel company, most of our equipment was warehoused. The only orders I ever got was keep the troops busy. They were sweeping the parking lot twice a day, wiping imaginary dirt off equipment and straighten the hose rack twice a week. Winter and summer I had to keep them   outside while SNCOs stay inside. In one of the coldest winter North Carolina had, my platoon was outside stringing camouflage nets for summer So much for the Marine Corps taking care of their own. I foolishly thought taking care of the troops was part my job.

My C.O. wouldn’t recommend me for D.I. school, he said I would make a better instructor for reserves. The Parris Island board disqualify me for 2 office hours I had 6 years before for drinking. I got orders for Parris Island after three weeks in D.I. school I,m out for psychological reason. That was all over the company before I got back, and I thought my SRB. was confidential. I wasn’t the first person in the company that was put out of D.I. school. I wasn’t the first person  that year, but I had committed a sin.

There were a set a brothers in the platoon, they both stupid and assholes. They enlisted on the jail or Marine Corps choice. I asked why can’t they just be put out. They would have danced to the back gate for a U.D.  No we couldn’t do that it would make the company look bad. They went U.A. and while they were drunk and high. They ran their car into a tree both of them were dead. A Staff Sgt stood in front of the platoon he said he was glad they were dead and if he had been there, he would made sure they were dead. He was writing their parents to tell what assholes and shit birds  they were and make sure they wouldn’t get the insurance money. No officer or StaffNCO. called him on what he said. I followed him to the platoon office, I ask why would he want to torture the family like that. He said why do you care. I said they were in my platoon I’m suppose to care.

A few months later a kid came to me asked for a 96 so he could go home for sister’s wedding. He had used up all his leave time. I went to the platoon SGT. I explained the problem. His answer was Fuck him tell to go U.A. I blew up okay I tell one of the best men in platoon to go U.A. and when he’s standing in front of the C.O. I’ll be standing with him I’ll say you told him to go U.A. I went to the Lt. got the 96 and got screamed at for jumping chain command.

After that I decided it wasn’t worth it to stay in.

Submitted by: Fairhaired Kidd

Corporal Punishment

The only people who think the Marine Corps sexual assault programs work are people who have never been sexually assaulted in the Marine Corps.

Before I begin I would like to add that this blog will also touch on the subject of how commands deal with suicidal ideations and depression as one lead to the other in my case as well as many others. I am three weeks from going on terminal leave, and couldn’t be happier and this is a huge part as to why. I never submitted a re-enlistment package and I actually tried to VERP, but my MOS couldn’t at the time.

It started after boot camp. I went on boot leave and was raped by a former mentor of mine from my old rescue squad. I was truly devastated the Marine Corps made me feel like I was as tough as they come after boot camp, but that night did away with that mentality. I withdrew from people and tried to deal with it on my own. The result was I got bullied and made fun of a lot by my Marine peers. I do not hold a grudge over this anymore however, because I realized an inevitable problem in the USMC which is age. 18 year old kids fresh out of high school don’t know how to deal with real adult issues and its not their fault and no class is going to teach someone empathy, understanding, or compassion like experience would. two years later I finally decide to talk to someone, of course I cant talk to a friend or other Marine, because then it would be an open case. This is a huge flaw in the system as well. what happens is if you begin to talk about anything possibly deep the Marines literally would take their fingers plug their ears and say lalalala. They don’t want to be in trouble if they don’t report it, but also don’t want to deal with it or be a part of it either. The only people I cold see was the chaplain and UVA. The UVA gave me a military one source card. By the way military one source does not cover sexual assault specifically, the only thing it is good for is to talk to a stranger over the phone about your problems, because your command and friends can’t. So after that I went to the chaplain, which I didn’t want to because he tries to shove Jesus down your throat and repeats himself over and over, because he is a Korean guy who barely speaks English. Meanwhile in the 1st Sgt’s office my platoon sgt who never asked even how I was doing before is being ripped a new one, because a Marine of his is talking to the chaplain and he don’t know why. Later that day I am held well past working hours until I tell him why I went to see the chaplain. I can’t tell him, because the circumstances but he doesn’t care he just wants to cover his ass. after about three or four hours of what felt like interrogation I tell him. The next day I am called into 1st sgt’s office with the UVA present explaining that it is now an open case, because someone reported it, Caugh gunny fuckface because no one else knew. I was immediately alienated and told that I needed to heal. That I was broke and needed to recover. They moved me out of my PTP cycle to a holding platoon where I mowed lawns and other odd jobs. When we did unit PT I wasn’t allowed to participate just watch. When we went on hikes I was given a blue rubber rifle instead of a real one. I became so depressed I started contemplating suicide. I was denied the opportunity to see a real therapist. I saw one on base but he wasn’t licensed and was some old guy prob vet at the family recourse center who basically would relate every issue I brought up to how much a Marine I was and stupid shooting references etc. I requested mass and the Battalion CO saw to it that I got counciling off base. I then tuned out all the Marines around me focused on my workouts at the time boxing was my outlet and my therapy. After a year and being ripped to shreds cus I worked out so much from anger the 1st Sgt told me I was now fixed. I then got to go on a deployment however immediately following the deployment my security clearance gets revoked from me being suicidal before. Even though I did everything I was supposed to and sought help on my own. I didn’t ask for attention, in fact almost no one knew. I didn’t want to stop PT, in fact I worked out about 4 hours a day. I just wanted to be a Marine. The paperwork took a while so that explained the delay affect. to sum it up they took my clearance away with so little time left there really isn’t anything I could do about it. I never had a NJP, only 1 page 11 for not doing homework once, and 1 speeding ticket. I have done nothing wrong the only thing I did was ask for help when I needed it. I now have three weeks left and I cant wait to be done. I have made peace with what happened to me, but the way I was treated like a criminal for being a rape victim still to this day haunts me. I don’t know how many others can relate but this is my story, and is a large part of the reason I too hate the USMC.

Submitted by: Corporal Punishment

Rants of a Boot Marine Part V: Still Slowly Dying

Today was supposed to be the start of a great weekend. I had it all planned out: a camping trip with the Church youth group I volunteer with on the weekends, not having to deal with morning colors or any of the mediocrity of base life as a single Marine.

But it all came crashing down when a Sergeant from my work section comes back, telling me I failed field day. I was dumbfounded, I was pissed, I wanted to punch the wall. This didn’t sense at all as I had made sure EVERYTHING was wiped down. In the paradise air station located in San Diego, field day inspections involved NCO’s and the duties walking into random barracks rooms while everyone is at work, making sure that the room is organized, and that it didn’t smell bad.

Some people straight up suck at cleaning even with this rather lax policy, but my Sgt, being from the groundside, said that dust was all over the place. This was after my Corporal had already done a pre field day inspection, saying that I was good to go.

To make it worst, I asked if I could just do a re-inspection at the end of the work day just so that I could continue with the camping trip. They didn’t take it into consideration, telling me to clean again, prepare to report to the duty in my Chucks, and that I better suck it the hell up because I was also about to not get a decent amount of time for chow anytime soon.

I sit here after wiping down everything again, wondering why it’s completely unfair. Yeah, I sound like I’m whining, but I like to voice out the fact that this is utter BS.

Even my Cpl thought that this was BS, but because it would make it unfair for other members in the unit that failed too, I couldn’t make that camping trip. Talk about going UA but it’s not worth it for something that I volunteer for.

If they ever told me, do your four and get out, thinking that I would feel bad or whatever, fine, I’m actually happy. Because I plan to freaking VEERP a year earlier that my original EAS.

I don’t care if I have been on a deployment, you end up in a place the United States has no business in to begin with, you work crappy hours, and things like family fall apart at home. Sure you can get more money, but is it worth six months to a year of your time doing something you don’t like?

Call it not embracing the suck, but people have to realize that the stack of ribbons that you wear on your uniform don’t mean anything once you get out, but only a memorabilia of what you done. Some people deploy not for a patriotic sense, but because they want to increase their ribbon count, “slay bodies”, and have bragging rights of how they went to “Hajiland”, traveling all over the place.

To make it worse for those motivators out there, I don’t even care about being promoted. Those who think that rank means everything, don’t realize that experience trumps everything including rank. To show some examples, I’ve seen a Marine with a Tan Belt beat the crap out of a Marine with a Green Belt in MCMAP, a Captain falling out of a ruck run while a PFC was leading it at Basic Reconnaissance Course, and my own Sgt (the same one that failed me at Field Day today) getting a slow ass PFT run time, while ranting about how I should do more pull ups.

In the past recent months, I’ve experienced more stupidity, double standards, and the suicide of my friend and fellow unit member, which was viewed by almost a majority of the squadron, with little to no connection.

In the inside, I feel like I’m slowly wasting away, wondering why I am stuck now at a dead end admin job, waiting for the day where I am eligible to put in that VEERP package.

Submitted by: Anonymous 

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

Peanut Butter Platoon

Back in the day when I was with my good old unit we had this asshole Corporal that everyone hated. I’m not gonna us any real names to lets call him Corporal Fuckface, anyway Corporal Fuckface had this habit of going through peoples rooms and eating food while they were gone. He was able to do so because he was the BEQ manager and had a master key. It pissed everybody off but no one could say anything. One day me and my roommate came up with the idea to fuck with the food.

Being the nasty little fucking marines that we were, we came up with the brilliant idea of having the entire platoon bust a load in a jar of peanut butter, (which was his favorite). Of course we had to put our high school educated minds to work and figure out how to convince everyone to do this with out some overly motivated boot ratting on us trying to look good for promotion. We also had the task of finding a jar of peanut butter big enough that could hide 30 loads of jizz, thanks Costco.

Surprisingly it wasn’t difficult to convince everyone to participate , and after a couple days we had 28 generous donors. We mixed it up to the point where you couldn’t tell, and put it in the fridge. The next days we went to work to do more mindless shit as usual, and waited to see him at formation. When our dear Corporal Fuckface finally showed up I was ready for him to kill me and the roommate, as I was positive he noticed the taste of jizz from his weekends clubbing in Hollywood, but he stood there talking as usual, the following week went on to be some of my fondest memories from the Corps.

Every time he would fuck with us, every time he would break shit in our rooms during field day, ever time he would yell at us in front of the officers trying to look good, our faces hurt from holding in the laughter knowing that he had a mouthful of 1st platoons jizz . He finished the entire jar in a week, still left it empty in the fridge when he was done…. asshole. Moral of the story, dont’ t eat peoples fucking peanut butter. THE END

Submitted by: Mark

Sgt. Thompson: The Yoda of Camp Wilson.

Around 1997, I was sent to CAX at beautiful, scenic Twenty-Nine Palms. In keeping with my hatred (which I have already explained) of the birthday ball, the fact that this exercise spanned the Maween Corpse birthday suited me just fine. This was a double, and halfway through the first exercise, I found that I actually enjoyed these things. I suspect it had something to do with not having to field day everything and deal with the rear echelon’s idiotic bullshit every day. In any event, it was my first arms exercise, and I was somewhat excited as a young jarhead.

During this exercise, I met Sergeant Thompson. A holder of the Skating Expert badge (8th award), Sgt. Thompson taught me more in two months than my own NCOs would in two years. I didn’t have much time in the fleet, so I didn’t have a lot of knowledge about how the corpse actually worked, just how it was supposed to work. In the two months I spent in this environment, I saw a lot. I saw piles of second bootenants (not something that was common in a MALS at the time) acting like spoiled children, taking out their frustrations on anyone who happened to come within arms reach. Most of them were upset and ‘having to sleep in the sand like rats’ and were going to make sure everyone knew it. Sgt. Thompson knew a simple way around this. In the words of Mr. Miyagi, ‘best way to take a punch, no be there’. In this case, by simply avoiding the mess area in the first hour after work, bootenants could be avoided. Small tweaks like this could make one’s life a lot easier with very little effort. From avoiding officers to knowing the right places to stand, and the right buses to catch, and how to spot the patterns in behavior that would reveal the characters I was dealing with, this NCO was like a mustachioed jarhead Jedi.

Eventually, word trickled down that the higher-ups weren’t willing to let a ball weekend go by without some sort of festivities. The rumors flew around that there would be free beer and supermodels. It came down to a couple of stand-up comics, two (moderately attractive) Miller Lite girls, ONE free beer, a DJ, and a piece of cake. Not too bad, for a birthday party for hundreds and hundreds of people held in a sandbox.

We stood for the speeches, ate the mystery meat tetrazzini, and listened to the comics, and enjoyed the DJ. About 2 hours into the festivities, Sgt. Thompson asked me and the other boots to look around. SNCOs and bootenants were starting to fan out along the perimeter. He said he thought we had about 10 minutes to get out before we were commandeered for the working party to clean up the mess. A couple of the others wanted to stay, but several of us left with Sgt. Thompson.

We walked out of the ball, and over the berm line. As we made it back to our lean-to (the Quonset huts hadn’t been erected yet) we piled into the van, and drove over to our shop on the other side of the flight line.

We hung out at the shop for an hour or so (until the end of second shift), smoking cigarettes and bullshitting. After we finished our smoke-n-joke session, we hopped back in the van, and drove back to the camp. Once we made it back to our hooch, we were alone for about half an hour. The guys who had stayed at the ball had been corralled, and ended up raking sand and policing cigarette butts by flashlight.

Over the course of this two-month exercise I learned many other indisputable maween corpse truths at the feet of the master:

1) It doesn’t matter how good a job you do, or even how long it takes, as long as your SNCO has the opportunity to look good doing it. It doesn’t matter if it took 23 men 4 days to make a sandwich, and you spent half a million dollars in the process. If gunny can claim that something innovative took place over the course of this epic sandwich-making for which he and his tremendous leadership skills are directly responsible, he’s a happy gunny. As we all know, happy gunnies equal happy lives.

2) If you have some sort of excellent idea, that will improve unit productivity, save money, etc. it will not be recognized for any reason. Even if you can demonstrate how incredibly efficient it is, nobody will have any interest in implementing it, unless a SNCO has the opportunity to take credit. Additionally, it has to have a built in blame-valve (someplace to put the blame if it doesn’t work as promised, usually the person who actually came up with the idea) to allow the SNCO in question to avoid the responsibility for the idea that was never his in the first place.

3) the fact that a punishment has been meted out is not sufficient. You must be seen to suffer. Cheerfully dealing with the most hideous punishments will only invite more creative torments at the hands of those who want to see you beg. The ability to put on a hang-dog look and appear downtrodden will get you out of far more than any gesture of obeisance ever will.

And many more.

At the time, I discounted many of his teachings as the ravings of a perpetual cynic but, over time, I realized the wisdom of his words.

The Yoda of CAX had gone back to his unit, and been tossed for failing to make SSgt. His wisdom was even lost on the corpse itself.

Thank you Sgt. Thompson, wherever you are.

Submitted by: Billiam201

Let’s talk about going UA

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Submitted by: broman

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

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 blackvoices.com) 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.

Rants of a Boot Marine Part II: Life in the Fleet

I remember just last Friday, I was hanging out with a female Corporal (time for everyone to scream FRATERNIZATION!!!!!!!) before a working party to stash away Christmas trees after a Santa comes to the hangar event for the sons/daughters of Marines in our unit in Miramar.

ADD NOTE: While like every Marine who hates working parties like the ones where you’re forced to police call and the whatnot, these are the rare few where you could skate, and might have fun. The Christmas Santa working party had us dress up as Olaf, Santa, and his elves, load up a “sleigh” into a C-130, and taxi to a hangar full of kids eager to meet Santa and that Frozen character of a Snowman.

She was one of the cool NCOs, not caring about me saying Corporal every other sentence, talking about her own personal BS experience, and what I could possibly do to deal with it for the next 3 years.

I should’ve asked her if she actually liked being a Marine or not. Considering that she was a female and of a higher ranking than me, she’d probably would’ve said yes, not having to deal with the same BS that I was dealing with.

But aside from witnessing the double standard on a daily basis, I’ve seen firsthand how this isn’t the Few and the Proud the Marines were advertising like they keep saying.

More Marines are applying for VEERP packages in my unit than there are Marines that are looking into retirement.

The subtle difference is that while not all Marines have the same reason. A majority of the VEERP Marines know what they were doing post Marine Corps and couldn’t wait to do so. The retiring ones were worrying about what they should do, contemplating of the careers they could’ve done 15-20 years before.

We’ve been set up by an illusion that if we did our time, kissed asses, and stay in longer, we’d have a nice pension, much respect, and have it easy.

It’s a complete. Freaking. Lie.

None of the MCI’s, MarineNet courses, or things that I’ve been voluntold to have relevance to me. I don’t even think that MarineNet course on CyberAwareness even helped one bit, more Marines violate what they teach than those who actually apply what they learned.

I’ve seen NCO’s/SNCO’s/Officers that couldn’t tell the difference between “You’re” and “Your”, fat nasties telling us how to get higher PFT/CFT scores, fall the hell out of simple moto runs like the Marine Corps Birthday run. AND IT’S NOT EVEN THAT HARD!!!!!!

Further more, while I don’t really live in the world of daily games of many individuals in the Marines regardless of the whole POG/Grunt thing, it seems to be seeping into my life now with this Dike of a Sergeant who thinks she’s the grunt of the IPAC, reigning in on my Corporal (not the female one, but a different one who I also consider pretty chill), and my fellow Marines of the same rank, somehow thinking we’ve lost the way of the Marine Corps.

You may ask, “What way?”

I don’t know? Where we have to stand at parade rest when talking to a superior? Where we have to call people by their rank every other sentence? Knowing how to call cadence/drill?

She has yet to realize that being in an Airwing unit rank sometimes doesn’t matter when you have to trust another Marine not by their rank, but by their  experience and individuality in an effort to survive. Not by how they can’t to keep their thumbs along the trouser seams, how their voice can’t match the cadence they call, or if they simply don’t want to do MCI’s/MarineNet courses altogether like me, it’s not the ending of the freaking world.

Other than this, it quite infuriates me how I sometimes have to type up awards for Marines that do their jobs. I think one of my friends even typed up a NAM for a Sergeant that was simply a part of the Base Color Guard for one day.

I honestly don’t have a problem typing up awards for Marines who actually go above and beyond the “Call of Duty” like rescuing a seriously injured biker off the highway and driving him to the hospital.

But every stroke of the key seems to make me want to hurl the keyboard at the monitor when I have to type up an award that goes along the lines of:

“Sgt. Prickhead performed at his best level through aggressive leadership (douchebaggery) by counting all the refueling cells within 24 hours”

or

“Sgt NJP stood there respectfully with the Colors with the best representation, raising it at precisely  0730…..”

You probably think I’m joking, but these are real citations that I have seen in the S-1.

This BS really makes me want to get FAPed out to do something else. I can’t stand it anymore. Send me to the pool to help the Water Survival Instructors for a year and I won’t have a problem with it. Or make me a coach at the range. I’m an okay shooter, but know how to get others to shoot better than me! Let me play Haji at Pendleton, where I don’t have to worry about some douche of a SNCO tell me to shave, and I can mess around with grunts who think that they’re Gods.

Guys, are you having the same thoughts on a daily basis? Do you wish you are already out when you’re a year into your 4 year contract? Or wishing you were reassigned somewhere else?

Have a good Christmas and more to come!

RSP is the most depressing place to be at.

Rsp is the most depressing place to be at. I was there for about 16 days. Being the fact that i was dropped on training day 30 , it made it worse. I walked into Rsp and realized that over 90% of the drops were from receiving weeks. This was so crazy to think that people didnt make it out of receiving week, i felt so lucky to have made it as far as i did. In Rsp you meet two kinds of people those who quit and those who didnt. Many get there and decide that they dont wanna do it anymore but then theres those like me who would do anything to get back to training with my platoon.

Every day you wake up and not know when you are going home. This feeling is literally the worst feeling. Every day unless it was sunday we would go to working parties. Which generally let me see The island from a different point of view. I was the one who gave clothing to the receiving recruits of that week. It was so different than what you see when you are the one in receiving. But besides working , we would sit on our footlockers and wait the day out. I would count the hours left until lights out and then the next day do it all over again. But if you were like me you would be tired each day from 2 hours of fire watch every day until i left, all because of falling asleep during firewatch, even though everyone did it. Fire watch in rsp was basically a joke because of the fact that we get loced in at night with alarms so there was no need for us.

One of the worst feelings was being made fun of by other platoons and or Drill Instructors. Being from 2nd phase were generally you get yelled at when you fuck up and not for random reasons like in 1st phase it made me feel so bad about myself. Generally all the Drill Instructors label Rsp all as quitters. But the only good thing about it all was the friends i made there. We were all going through the same thing so it was easier to get along. These are friends that will last a lifetime.

Submitted by: Vfore

The Ballad of QA (not quality assurance)

Sgt QA checked in to my shop in 1999 (maybe late 1998, I confess the memory is fuzzy), shortly after we pulled off moving enormous amounts of equipment, and reassembling an entire logistics squadron due to the closure of another base. He checked in at his shop, they took one look at him, decided he was too dumb to hit things with wrenches, and promptly FAPped him out to us.

(This was hardly uncommon. There was no MOS for my shop. It was composed entirely of FAPs.)

He was upset by this, and decided to take it out on as many junior marines as possible, as painfully as possible. We had just moved into beautiful new facilities, which he decided were too nice to actually use, so he ordered all the gear be moved outside to be worked on.

The Gunny quickly figured out that this guy was too dumb for his own good, so he gave him the duties of the HAZMAT NCO.

A 55 gallon drum couldn’t be stored outside at the time, unless it was contained In a permanent spill area. (Rainwater could wash material off the drums, and contaminate groundwater.) Since we didn’t have one, the drums had to go inside. These were unsightly, and took up space in his precious building, so he decided we no longer needed 55-gallon oil drums in the shop. We could use 1-quart jugs for oil changes, like every jiffy lube on the planet.

In case anyone has ever wondered how much oil it takes to do a complete oil and filter change on a 1450 cubic inch diesel, the amount is just over nine gallons.

That’s right, he decided that, rather than pulling a generator up next to an oil drum, pumping 9 gallons of oil into it, wiping it down, and going on our merry way, it was better to fabricate outdoor drip pans (the airframes department wasn’t happy about this), go to base hazmat every time we needed to change oil, get 3 cases of oil, pour them into the various places they needed to be, cap them and take them to be disposed of.

When, after a month of this, I pointed out that productivity was down, our RFI was down (inhibiting our ability to support training operations, much less a war) and costs were up (since we were buying 30-50 cases of quart bottles of oil a month, instead of a pair of 55-gallon drums, I was informed that I hated this idea because QA was black.

That’s right. I didn’t hate his idiotic idea because it was stupid, wasteful, and motivated entirely by a desire to ‘put his name on something’.

I hated his idiotic idea because of the race of the idiot in question.

He was a sergeant, and I was a corporal, which automatically made all his ideas good ones. Therefore, I couldn’t possibly have a legitimate military reason for disagreeing with him. It had to be personal, as he would be more than happy to tell anyone who would ask.

Abandoning million-dollar facilities for fear of getting dirt in them was perfectly logical, as far as he was concerned. What if a general comes to inspect? How much easier will our lives be without having to clean that building? We just move all the equipment in to it, so it looks like we use it, and we come out of it smelling like a rose!

Except for one thing:

There was exactly one person in that shop who actually had a California NREA certification. (I think the name of this certificate has changed since)

Would any of our gentle readers like guess who that person was?

That’s right.

It was the guy that hated Sgt. QAs ideas because he was black.

It had nothing to do with the fact that the exhaust reclamation system was inside the building, or that our shop wasn’t licensed to dispense large quantities (over 5 quarts per engine) of oil from bottles.

Fortunately for me, Sgt. QA had been appointed hazmat NCO in violation of California law (a fact of which they had already been informed) leaving the squadron to pay those bills.

Fear not, gentle reader:

I would pay dearly for the crime of being right.

Submitted by: Billiam201

I have been in the Marine Corps since 2011, and I have despised every fucking minute of it.

I have been in the Marine Corps since 2011, and I have despised every fucking minute of it. Like all boots, I went to basic training expecting to join a cool, useful, relevant organization, but quickly discovered how it was all bullshit. Throughout my enlistment, I have spent more time with a broom in my hand than a rifle. I have spent more time cleaning things than shooting things. I have never deployed anywhere, but you bet your sweet ass I’ve participated in all important uniform inspections!(sarcasm). These past 3+ years have been a huge fucking waste of time. Although I have my fair share of friends that haven’t accomplished shit since high school, I also have friends that have graduated college and started their lives, meanwhile I’m sitting here typing this up on a government computer at work because there’s nothing else I give a shit about enough here to do. I work about 14 hours, almost every fucking day, and I’d say about 5 of them are usually spent dicking around on the internet. Why? Because marine corps fucking inefficiency, that’s why. I hate this fucking job. I hate being here, I hate thinking about it, I hate doing it. Every week i sit here counting down the hours until the end of my shift.(Which is usually irrelevant, cause i always end up staying and extra fucking hour or two!) Days off are few and far between, and are usually spent sleeping all fucking day to make up for the lack of sleep I get during the week. Im tired. Tired of this job, tired of this unit, and tired of this fucking organization.  My EAS is the light at the end of the tunnel, and although it is not yet within reach, it is within sight.

I have spent the last two years on Okinawa. I’m sure anyone that has been stationed here after ’95 can appreciate how fucking miserable it is.  Midnight curfews, liberty “buddy” policies, and whatever other bullshit rules some asshole with stars on his collar came up with as a way to cover his own ass whenever someone fucks up. I’ve always found it interesting how the marine corps can take an awesome tropical island, full of beaches, warm weather, and beautiful women, and turn it into a miserable fucking prison. The thought of offing myself comes to mind at least once a day. Im constantly feeling anxious about the stupid bullshit I have to deal with. There’s days I cant sleep, there’s days I forget to eat, and I am generally fucking miserable. Part of me wishes that this post does get intercepted by someone, just so I can loose my security clearance and not have to work here anymore. But knowing this organization, I would just wind up getting fucked out of my GI bill some way or another.

This post is mostly just me trying to vent, but I would like to know if anyone else out there feels this way. Who else has an MOS that they absolutely fucking hate? Who else has a countdown timer app that shows exactly how long till their EAS? Who else checks that timer every time they get the chance? Who has been through this shit before and has advice to offer for getting through it in one piece?

Happy to join this site,

Submitted by: Juan

How Karate Stopped Me from Joining the USMC

I’m not a Marine, I never have been. Hell, I’ve never even served. That being said, for about a year or two in a previous life, I had ambitions of joining the Marine Corps and was really gung-ho about becoming the part of the Few and the Proud. Well…let’s just say things changed when I started doing some research on the organization. “The Few and The Proud” started to become “The Few Misguided Youth and Old Bastards Who Can’t Make it in the Real World and Hence Make the Lives of The Few Misguided Youth Hell for no Reason.” I have to say, when I first came across the iHateTheUSMC website, I did not take the stories seriously. I thought “hey, these are probably a bunch of fuckups who couldn’t suck it up and get the job done”. Well, one story could be that case. 10? Maybe. 100? Uh…. A fuck-ton of stories?!!!… something’s up here…..

Shit really hit me like a brick when I began experiencing the stories I read on this site at the Dojo I practiced at. I felt like a misguided youth who had joined a very cool sounding organization to accomplish great things, but instead realized all he had accomplished was wasting a fuck-ton of time. Below I have listed a list of scenarios. Now, read them and try to guess whether they are my experiences from Karate or experiences listed by Marines on this website. (hint hint…the list is not mutually exclusive)

1 – Junior ranking members having to listen to bullshit about spirit and culture that senior ranking members pull out of their assholes

2 – Hearing terms like “warrior” or “warrior spirit” from clown-like senior members who couldn’t beat a squirrel in a fist fight

3 – Having to take shit from a senior ranking member (who by the way is like 6 inches or a feet shorter than you are) and having to fight the urge to strangle them till they stop fucking twitching

4 – Realizing the outdated fighting methods you practice only belong in the outdated centuries they were created in

5 – Having to do some bullshit salutation for a certain group of high ranking members (who may also be a feet shorter than you and not be able to beat a squirrel in a fist fight) or facing the consequences

6 – Having to take shit from experienced “warrior” who can even throw a fucking jab. Seriously, a simple fucking jab

7 – You and your friends constantly doing impressions of you clown ass superiors and the stupid meaningless shit they say behind their backs

8 – Being chewed out for not understanding a command that would not make sense in a fucking mental ward

9 – Reflecting on the terrible decisions you have made and wishing you had joined a more effective organization

10 – Leaving before you make rank because hell… you would rather cut your balls off with a dull plastic knife than to become one of your clown fucking superiors one day

11 – Seeing idiots who can’t fight for shit being promoted before you because they are really good at sucking dick and kissing ass and also memorizing and reciting bullshit that your seniors think is important

12 – Being extremely qualified, but not being promoted because of a technicality that no one can even fucking define (Seriously…dear high ranking member…what the fuck are you talking about? You can’t even throw a jab)

13 – Idiots becoming favorites of your superiors because they look good in their perfect little (with extra emphasis on little) uniforms

14 – Being micromanaged by the superiors mentioned above, even though everyone knows they don’t know what the fuck they’re doing

15 – Oh my god, I can’t believe I almost forgot about this! Ridiculous fucking haircuts worn by certain gung-ho superiors

16 – One word: Motards

I could go on and on and on and on but I’ll stop here. Anyways, thank you karate and iHateTheUSMC for preventing me from making another god awful life decision. I have made so many before.

Submitted by: Sensei Tater Salad

Rants of a Boot Marine

I joined the Marine Corps in January of this year, thinking that it would give me some sort of direction. Ever since I had graduated high school in 2011, I was bored with college, didn’t feel like wasting money going to parties and orgies that my friends were all doing, and wanted something better that just being stuck with the two choices in life that people were making: college or military.

But I felt that I was stuck in a rut and decided with much hesitation to join the Marines due to the crazy part of my mind not wanting to join the pussified Army or Navy. It was a decision I regretted when I stepped on those yellow footprints. Here’s what I discovered in boot camp.

1. The Few and the Proud no longer applies. In my platoon we had two screw ups that could have gotten anyone on the battlefield. These guys should have been either weeded out in MEPS or at least dropped for failure to adapt to the Marine Corps, but somehow the Drill Instructors were crazy enough to let them stay. What does this mean, ANYONE can join, and ANYONE can pass, provide that they can tolerate three months of legalized hazing.

2. Following up on the 1st discovery, boot camp does NOT turn you into a responsible, grown young man. I’ve seen guys turn into selfish individuals willing to steal, screw over, and abuse their authority. While not everyone in my platoon was like that, at least HALF believe it or not, HALF were like them. And parents are blindly repeating the phrase, “joining the military will make your son into a man”. Bullshit.

3. Drill, drill, drill. They can say all the crap that they want about how it creates discipline and team camaraderie. Bullshit, I know people that didn’t take the effort to grow. And how on earth does “right shoulder” arms create discipline? These days, drill instructors focus WAY too much on drill in an effort to get some kind of medal/citation come graduation. Really? You become a hero just because you won final drill and deserve a medal for it? Holy shit, they should mention how much they IT’d all of the recruits just because they couldn’t do an eyes right!

4. Lies and Hypocrisy…….wtf happened to Integrity? Did everyone decide to throw Integrity out of the window in an effort to cover for themselves and look good in the process? Here are a couple of great examples coming from my own senior drill instructor:

The Saturday after Black Friday, there was a kid from a different platoon that hopped the fence next to the airport (I went to Boot Camp at San Diego btw) and got cuffed as a result. Our senior talked about how he was going to be thrown in jail for going AWOL. I actually ran into the kid the next day at church who actually said that he was just talked out of ever doing it again from his senior. 

Our senior lied to us AGAIN about how during the hikes he carried three 30 pound weights in addition to the essential equipment during our hikes at Pendleton. I found out that he only carried pillows that made his pack look big when I was doing Gear Guard (they made me do this frequently since I wasn’t a big screwup).

In the classes, they teach us about how we had to treat any potential enemy with respect should we capture them. But many of the DI’s were bragging about how they poked eyeballs of corpses or how they sliced ears off to collect as trophies from the battlefield. Now this came from a couple instructors who were supposed to teach us on how to handle POW’s if we ever captured any.

Despite all of these crazy things that I discovered that would have given me a reason to want to quit, somehow I decided to stay throughout the Crucible, and graduated with Mike Company in April.

Wanting to talk about what I saw, I ended up appearing on Adam Vs The Man during my boot leave, seeking for some sort of help I suppose you can say before leaving for MCT.

At MCT I discovered the same old problem of do as I say, not as I do. Plenty of Combat Instructors while being somewhat decent, were threatening us with NJP’s if they discovered that we weren’t carrying our full packs but one even said that he just carried nothing but pillows (WTF?!) during our hikes. Not to mention they confiscated many of the tobacco dippers dip while they were openly dipping in front of us students.

I ended up somehow staying, decided to see what other problems I could talk to the outside world about what’s wrong with being inside the Marine Corps, which resulted in me being stuck on Guard Duty after MCT, which is nothing more than forcing 5 groups of two Marines walking around SOI for four hours straight doing nothing but radio checks every 15 minutes. Did I mention many of us went to hiding spots where we did nothing but sleep and shoot the shit while stalking ITB students doing Land Navigation? That’s what happens when you force them to do something that stupid. The only bright side to it was that Guard Duty also meant operating the chow bell, raising Colors, and loading condition 3 and guarding change of command/retirement ceremonies instead of participating in them.

We also had our first taste of mass punishment when on retarded kid somehow fell asleep RIGHT IN THE FUCKING OPEN while guarding audio equipment one night on the parade deck, which resulting in our off base liberty being changed to base liberty. How pissed off can you get especially when you made plans to visit your cousin, or had a girlfriend/wife flying in outside of Camp Pendleton? Holy shit, just beat the crap out of the screwup and let that be a warning to anyone who dares to fall asleep on front post in the future! But screw the base liberty as it was the first time I ever acted belligerent and decided to leave anyways and returned without anyone noticing.

Now at my MOS school, I am here typing this up, wondering when all this bullcrap of easy NJP’s, weekly haircuts, and daily shaves will ever end. I’ve met plenty of individuals who also have thought of this crap, losing their previous motivation, wanting a way to leave in a clean manner (as in getting a decent discharge without dishonorable/oth on it).

I ask of you, how can you get out once you hit the fleet? Do you just apply for conscientious objector or what can you do to discharge yourself?

I know yeah, I am a new Marine and many will say, “well suck it up since you’ll eventually become a Lance Corporal” (contract PFC with bonus language pay here, which means I earn as much as a Lance), “you’re just a boot”, bla bla, but I am totally aware of what’s going on and why so many are hating life in the Marines right now.

It’s definitely a nice title to have if you want respect, discounts, or someone always covering for you when they find out that you’re a Marine, but to live currently in the Corps can definitely make you weaker physically, mentally, and emotionally, and can turn you from some innocent young man into a degenerate, mindless, backstabbing killer.

 

 

Submitted by: “Brass Neck”

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.  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.

 

 

 

-AAVPOG

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.

 

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

On To Bigger, Better Things: The Struggle Begins

Like many a soon-to-be-separating Devil Dogs, in the early winter of 2005 I was all too ready to shed my green, amphibian skin and horrible indentured servitude.  The transition assistance classes required by the Corps for all separating Marines were thorough enough, and I had a coverletter/resume/thanksbiatchletter combination that looked pretty damned professional.  My final physical was cleared, noting my exposure to CS and asbestos, a fucked up knee, and some hearing loss.  My terminal leave was approved and worked out so that I could pick up my walking papers at 0830 on my motherfucking birthday.  It was the most content I had been in…well, years.  The sad part about that sentence is the fact that I had to use the word “content” because I was normally in a state mentally in which I hated almost every second of my life.  At the time, I never realized how goddamned awful it was to fully accept being treated like a stupid, useless child, and for no reason other than it had been pounded into my brain for the past few years that it was acceptable to treat people that way because if they were “below” you, they deserved it.

 

My transition was not a smooth one.  I was so eager to get away from the terrible people at my local USMC Rape Dungeon that I failed to realize how unhealthy my state of mind had become and and why it became that way.

 

Truth be told, I was fairly moto for my first year and a half.  I was that dumb ass boot wearing Oorah gear and rocking the horse shoe.  Boot camp, MCT, and MOS school took up most of that year, and being surrounded by a constant stream of other boots and ridiculously motivated SNCO’s did not help that at all.  It was a while after I got to Okinawa that I realized the Marine Corps wasn’t nearly as awesome as it was made out to be.  A month of cold showers and six months of opening my door with an ID/credit card (or stiff envelope for fuck’s sake) due to horribly negligent BEQ management,  watching my best friends and the hardest working Marines get harassed and put on duty for petty disagreements, and all of the other constant bullshit cured my motardity.  My NCO’s noticed this, but instead of asking why I was no longer sounding off as loudly or being motivated in general, they would fail me on field day, attempt to take credit for my work at the shop, short count my pullups at unofficial PFT’s, and look for reasons to either publicly chew me out or humiliate me.  I accepted it as “tough love” for a long time, but after a while it got really old and insulting, humiliating even.  Eventually I started thinking really stupid, shitty things about myself like, “damn, maybe they’re right, maybe I’m just a reject who really should kill himself.  I really am worth more dead than alive like he keeps saying.  I don’t think SGLI pays out for suicides and everyone would just hate me more because they’d have to go to a bunch of safety briefs and shit, better not, don’t want to be a buddy fucker.”  I would often have to listen to shit for my appallingly long 22-minute run time even though I always kept a 1st class PFT.  The stream of “you’re a piece of shit” type of insults was constant and endless towards my coworkers and myself by our superiors simply because we had different MOS’s; us being AAV mechanics and them being LAV mechanics who considered themselves grunts because the guys that drive the vehicle they work on have “03” in their MOS.  Public humiliation was their personal favorite, as well as discrete assaults to the abdomen, back, and thighs with fists, feet, and tools.  My section kept the highest turnover rate in the shop because we always stayed late, came in early, and missed chow to get it done.  This was mainly due to us hating our NCO’s so viciously that we would do anything to get away from them, even for an hour.  At times it felt like we were in the first half of the movie Sleepers, but with less rape.  We never got our “inmates obliterate guards during epic football game” though.  In the Marines, you almost never do.  It was bad enough that most of us would gladly volunteer for duty and working parties just to relax.  Eventually I just wanted to fade into the crowd or become invisible just so that I could do my job in peace without having to worry about what kind of random, pointless rectum-rapery was going to occur next.

 

Dealing with the bullshit day in and day out eventually began to take its toll on my mental state, and like many Marines before me, I attempted to solve my problems by numbing myself with alcohol.  It wasn’t difficult, booze is everywhere and it seemed like everyone was doing the exact same thing.  Alcoholism is so common in the Marine Corps that it is not treated as a sickness, it is looked at as just another part of being a Marine.  At the time, it didn’t seem so unhealthy because being a drunk meant always having friendly-ish people around and not feeling like an outcast.

 

Severe depression and alcoholism pretty much ran my life by the end of my first year on the Rock, although I had no idea how bad it really was getting.  Instead of becoming an aggressive dickbag, I slowly dropped all cares outside of work and focused on the job at hand because nothing else seemed to matter.  I ended up getting really good at my job, and our Gunny noticed this, eventually deciding to pull every string he could to get me accepted into an advanced MOS course near Pendleton.

 

While in California for that course, my drinking had all but stopped.  The school environment was strict on procedures but relaxed on bullshit formalities and they played zero games because the class consisted of a Staff Sergeant, two Sergeants, two Corporals, a Brazilian Lieutenant and Staff Sergeant, and my lowly, boot Lance Corporal ass.  I studied, PT’ed, and read every book I could get my hands on because I was isolated as the only non-rate student.  Some of those books changed the way I perceived the world around me and I ended up deciding to change my religion to one that mirrored my system of beliefs about man and life and that brought hope and motivation back into my life.  The school command did not care, and looked at it as a Marine expressing his religious freedom, and if it helped him stop drinking and get motivated, all the better.

 

Okinawa was different, with Warrant Officers, SNCO’s, NCO’s, and other non-rates randomly picking fights, but they almost always lost.  One of our less-enlightened officers decided to order me to disrobe in front of several other Marines so that he could see one of my tattoos.  Having your Platoon Commander force you to strip your upper half in an office full of people is a bit humiliating, especially if while doing this he is insulting you by telling you how worthless of a human being you are and how badly you are failing is Corps and how you are a disgrace to the uniform and do not deserve the title “Marine” because of your religion.  Events like that are what brought back everything I hated about life and demotivated me until I began drinking again, and much more heavily.  I could not stand the fact that regardless of how many positive changes I had made in myself, my superiors’ treatment of me worsened with every step.

 

They knew I had stopped drinking, so they put me on duty more often, telling me “its not like you have anything better to do, you don’t drink” until I started drinking again so they couldn’t use that excuse.  They knew I had graduated an advanced course for my MOS that non-rates do not get to attend, so they put me in charge of paperwork so that I could not do the job I had been trained to do and was still liable for anything that went wrong because I was the “Duty Expert.”  They found out I changed my religion so they began harassing me about it constantly, making disrespectful remarks and jokes, refusing to respect my beliefs, and telling me that it was “unauthorized” while filling out charge sheets that would ultimately be torn up and thrown out by someone with common sense.

 

I became disillusioned with everything motivating and began to see the world as a dark place full of awful people who were only out to hurt others.  Alcohol only fueled this further until I hated Marines, I hated life, and I wanted to be done with it all as soon as possible.  When my second year on Okinawa was up, I went to Twentynine Palms with a severe alcohol problem and a death wish.

 

The Stumps was different.  It was a combat unit and most of the guys had deployed at least once, so it was way more relaxed on the petty bullshit because everyone was concerned with getting work done and being left alone.  Being an all AAV unit also helped, as there was very little “my MOS is better’n yer MOS” rivalry/stupidity to get in the way.  The alcoholism, however, was much, much worse, with almost every night being full of drunken shenanigans both hilarious and tragic.  I kept to myself mostly; I only knew one guy and he was a Lance from my unit on Oki, but you know, fraternization.  That part about it being a combat unit with a bunch of guys that had deployed?  Yeah, that was kind of important if you weren’t paying attention.  Being a Corporal from an ultra-pog GSM shop was like…shit…let’s just say that a tiny part of me totally feels for Amos and Rodney Dangerfield.  Absolutely no respect.  Before I had finished checking in, they already had me a spot reserved as the Tool Room NCO because I had “no experience”…even though I had been through an AAV course only one of our SNCO’s had been to, and that was years before.  When the company left for Okinawa, I stood so much duty they should have given me a secondary MOS of 1369 Permanent DNCO (they didn’t).  Our Rear Party CO was a douche bag Lieutenant whose head was so far up his ass his shoulders were shit-stained and he overreacted to every incident by locking us down so tightly we had to log Marines in and out of the lounge and laundry rooms.  I stood barracks duty so often it interrupted my “social” life enough to actually force me to quit drinking because I never had eight hours between work or duty.  Yes, I could have sneakeded a few, but by that point I was so goddamned paranoid and nervous all the time that I assumed that I would be caught and fucked right down to Private on the spot.  I didn’t care about losing drinking buddies, by then all we had were boots and guys getting out, so nobody associated with each other.  Even our boots ended up hanging out with tanker boots and Comm school kiddies more than guys in their own unit.

 

When the Company returned, things loosened up but I had to deal with way more SNCO’s and NCO’s talking down to me because I decided to not reenlist.  Trying to explain to them, “I am a terrible Marine, the spot should be saved for someone better” was like trying to teach calculus to a Buick; it ain’t fuckin’ happenin’ son.  What is worse is that instead of listening to the reasoning of a Marine who is obviously depressed, they would angrily describe the horrible lives of anyone who was stupid enough to get out.  “Out in January, homeless in February, and wanting back in my Corps in March!”  My Platoon Commander was so insulted by my refusal to reenlist that he took a special interest in making my life hell.  After my final physical, instead of hitting the gym or being OFP, he wanted me to run with the unit, which I was cool with.  A month before my terminal leave date, my knee is swollen to the point where it was visible in cammies and I was getting sharp pains in my back, ribs and neck that came with migraines, and I was having trouble even walking to work.  Medical did an X-ray and couldn’t find anything broken, so the CWO assumed I was a malingerer and started berating me in formations, especially during PT when I would fall out of runs due to the pain of my right knee being twice the size of my left and headaches so intense I would puke.  Another trip to BAS revealed a bunch of inflamed tendons and a lack of cartilage, which was apparently what was causing that funny grinding noise whenever I bent my knees.  When migraines and numb spots in my back were mentioned, shit got real.  Medical records had to be found, final physicals had to be voided and re…um…physicalled.  This does not look good on a command, and of course it was explained to me by mine that it was all my fault because Marine Corps, rah?

 

I left the Corps with migraines, back pain, shitty knees and hips, and a desperate need for real medical attention for depression and anxiety.  It took me around seven years to think seriously about getting help because I was so sick I believed I didn’t deserve to be helped.  Like many others, I have ruined relationships with friends, family, and women by pushing everyone away when they tried to give me a hand, all due to sadistic Marines and their sick desire to humiliate someone under them for not conforming.

 

But I’m not bitter.

 

Next Time:  Assaulting the Civilian World

First Regretted Quitting, Now Glad More Than Ever!

When I first was introduced to the United States Marine Corps in 2010, it was due to some jackass popular football player in my class at the  end of junior year in high school. He was basically trying to get two referrals so can get contract PFC (when he graduated from boot he didn’t get it, thank god). At any rate you got a 16-year-old kid who is about a nerd in high school, doesn’t have the best luck with females, and barely passes most of his classes, and in poor physical shape. With the feeling that I wasn’t going to get far in college, why not talk to the recruiter? To the office I went, and boy. Did I take the bait like a hungry fish that hadn’t eaten for days!!

I was about as a hyped up motard as anyone can describe after that first interview with my recruiter. Being shown uniforms, oversea duty stations, “OMG the superman uniform Dress Blues?! I get to wear that?!!?” “I’ll get to finally be in shape and everyone is going to like me?!?!” hearing stories about how awesome being in Okinawa was, seeing the silent drill platoon photos. It wasn’t hard for the recruiter to nail another number like me in. After this I kept going to PT, getting motivated but the other recruiters that would lead PT with their BS pep talks about being a Marine and how awesome life and how much ladies would want me. I was already thinking and acting like I was going to be something above my friends. After all; what do they do? Go to parties, drink, and all going to college. I’m doing something soooo much better than everyone I know in my social life! This is so awesome I can’t wait!!
However, I was very afraid of bootcamp. I could not ask enough questions about it, “what if I don’t make it, what if I find it too hard? What’s gonna happen can I Fail?” My recruiter of course, kept reassuring me that I won’t fail and that I will make it- just keep going to PT!!
Funny thing now to add is that I had to take the ASVAB 3 times in order to finally qualify, THREE motherflipping times!! I passed on my 3rd, but the point I am trying to make here is if you’re “The Few, The Proud” why in the holy demon’s name do you need a kid who can barely pass the ASVAB?! You would think after second time my recruiter wouldn’t work with me anymore but NO! I was dumb enough to believe that he really wants what’s best for me and that he knows I will do great and be an asset to the Corps which is why he will continue to enlist me. This of course motivated me try harder and really want to be a Marine so badly, my recruiter likes me and wants to see me a successful Marine OORAH! I then continued my motarded self to purchase shirts that said Marines all over it, even telling people I will be the reason why they are able to sleep peacefully at night.
When it was finally time for me to go after I finished high school and shipped to Parris Island, I was already discovered by TD 3. I was always the last one to leave the squadbay, I lose gear all the time, I sucked at drill, and was too damn slow to get dressed!! I don’t think I ever got abused, but I got IT’d probably 9 times in a day every day. I was placed on trial training because I sucked at the obstacle course in addition to everything I mentioned earlier. Following the conclusion of trial training, I failed the MCMAP test (yes I know- who in their right mind fails the dumb MCMAP test?! ME.) so of course, I was recycled from TD 26 to TD 2.

Being recycled was the worst, worst time of my life. Dumping all your stupid gear out, and then showing it to the dumb DI who can’t seem to count how many socks you have, packing it all back up, just for another DI to count it again, dump it out at the BAS, then pack it up, just to DUMP it out again in your new platoon. I was in Golf Company, dropped into Delta Company, and man it was retarded. All my officers kept telling me “This is for you to better yourself; you’ll be ahead of all these other recruits blah blah blah”. Nope, it was more like the opposite; I kept getting singled out each day because I was a pickup, got water and detergent poured into my footlocker because I didn’t get on line fast enough, and everything they did was more of a culture shock to me. I used to be able to at least brush my teeth and breathe in Golf Co., but in Delta the DI would count down the seconds the entire time, every night.

It came neatly to the point, for example, during weapons maintenance (I hated every single second of doing this crap) one DI told me to get up, stop cleaning the weapon, and then go do something else. Of course after this, my rackmate would have to put my weapon back together, then secure to his lock. When this happened, I got ITd and chewed out the next day because I didn’t know how to secure my weapon, and it was at this point TD 35. During one IT session, the same DI stepped on my BCGs, and the next day chewed me out because I was wearing civilian glasses, and I should somehow figure out how to put the BCGs on my face. Now we were at the rifle range and somehow, I just have no idea how, but after I finished shooting there was a live round in my blouse. The caused me to be an integrity violator and in addition to being a “below average performance Recruit” my SDI attempted to get me recycled again.
At this point I had had it with bootcamp. Everything I could do was wrong, I was a pickup I should know this shit, blah blah blah, so when I was faced with my Co. Commander I told him to send me home. He then told me just get it together and you will graduate!! It’s only another week back! They are willing to train you. Nope, that’s it. I’m going home; I’m tired of packing up trash, and dumping it out again. The Co. Commander told me what a shame it was and then finally sent me to RSP. When I finally got back home, I was lost…

There was no welcome home from anyone, nor was there any “I missed you” none of the sort. Everyone I knew was disappointed, and I didn’t blame them. I had all this dumb bravado of being a MARINEE OORAH that people got sick of hearing and for me to not follow through is pathetic. These were my thoughts for about a year later all I did was work a dead-end job again and found little reasons to be successful, not much friends sticking around I was in a very unhappy back home. I decided that I wanted to try again for the military- now in much better physical shape and with more knowledge about the military.

Before this gets much longer than it already is; to sum it up, I enlisted into the Air Force Reserve, and it was unquestionably the best choice I have ever made! I graduated bootcamp as an honor graduate, and continue to enjoy serving as I have a civilian job I enjoy working, while going to school online. I was finally able to put the USMC behind me with no regrets, and when I happened to stop by this website I was so thankful that I didn’t make it! From what I read from various blogs here, the COC in the Corps is way up their ass! In the AF, or at least in my wing everyone in the COC has an open door policy! This goes from the 1st Sgt, to the Squadron Commander, up to the Wing Commander (should be stated that he is now a BGen yet still has an open door to all Airmen). The choice I made to join the USMC was a blind one but I’m glad it is over!

The Highest Form of Flattery

My favorite comedians were always the guys that could do really good impressions, not of celebrities but of their friend, family member, or stranger with an odd, distinguishing trait.  Whenever I was in trouble growing up, it was usually due to someone catching me mocking the shit out of them, as I have this tendency to forget how obnoxiously loud I can be.  In the Marine Corps, this…talent turned on me.

 

Cobra Gold was awesome, mostly.  A month of skating on Foster in the same barracks as my best friend, followed by a month of living in an old Thai garbage dump, three days of liberty in Pattaya, and another few weeks of skating.  The leadership was pretty relaxed, specifically the NCO’s and lower Staff.  Our First Sergeant was a very motivated man that gave many speeches.  I usually disliked motivated DI types, but this guy could get almost anyone excited about being a Marine.  He was, of course, a former Drill Instructor and spoke with a voice you could feel in your spine.  He also had a unique tempo and gave extra emphasis on certain words, as if some of his words were written in caps, bold, and italicized.  For example, “Hey, listen up Devil Dogs; when we get to Pattaya…” turned into “Heylistenupdevildogs when we get to PATTAYA…”  Take that pattern and apply it to Patrick Warburton’s (Joe from Family Guy) voice, and you have the First Sergeant.

 

There was one other guy from my parent unit that came with me TAD, Lcpl Olsen, and our job was to look busy.  The Sergeant that was our…sigh…boss was from a “real” Amtrac unit and was banned from coming within ten feet of the AAV’s for locking some keys in one of the vehicles…the keys to ALL the hatches to every vehicle, and that made us banned as well.  While he was stuffed into the company tent doing paperwork, we dug ditches for gray water, carried MRE’s, PM’ed Motor T stuff, and did every bit of bitch work possible.  Whilst performing these bullshit details, we would have nothing better to do than joke and complain, especially about the leadershit.  This quickly led to me imitating some of them.  Olsen thought my impression of the First Sergeant was pretty dead on, and and it would be hilarious to fuck with one of the Motor T guys somehow.

 

We crept into the maintenance tent and stood behind the HMMWV.  I gathered my balls and boomed, “Heylistenupdevildogs I need to see a Lance Corporal PORTER!

 

The sound of a wrench falling through and engine compartment gives way to a Lcpl Porter cautiously creeping around the corner of the vehicle at parade rest timidly answering, “…yes First Sergeant…?”

 

Olsen and I nearly choke on our own stupid laughter for a moment while Porter walked around looking for a senior SNCO ready to chew his ass sideways.  When he saw there was no one there but us, he could not believe it was me and that seemed to make it even funnier.  Our schoolgirl-like giggling attracted the attention of a Sgt from Motor T who insisted on knowing exactly what in the fuck was so goddamned amusing.  We begrudgingly told him about the joke and he laughed as well, insisting on hearing me say something in that voice.  After hearing it, giggled gleefully and told us to find something to do.

 

That night, right before lights out, most of us in the company were sitting outside smoking and joking.  A female Staff Sergeant walked up and started a conversation with the Motor T Sergeant from earlier, and he began talking about some Marine that sounded exactly like the First Sergeant earlier.  She didn’t laugh at all, and wanted to know who it was.  This caused me to immediately sweat another gallon of bullets.  He said he didn’t remember who it was, then she giggled and said it would be pretty funny to hear it.  Enter the Falcon.  “Oh, hey Devil, wasn’t it you?  Yeah, I think it was this guy! Ha, do it for Staff Sergeant real quick.”

 

Nervous as hell at the thought of this Staff NCO taking a joke the wrong way, I told them I didn’t think it would be appropriate to imitate him in front of everyone, so they walked me away from the smoke pit.  I belted out my idea of the First Sergeant telling Marines to stay away from the whores across the street.  I thought she was going to have a heart attack or was maybe crying because she was shaking so bad.  I thought it was rage and I was about to get the Knifehand Of Justice, until she let her laughter out like a painful yet much needed fart.  The three of us agreed that it was funny, but I should probably not do it in front of anyone that could take it the wrong way.  Then she left to go do SNCO things, I guess.

 

As it turns out, my lack of vocal volume control led to everyone in the smoke pit hearing my impression, or at least enough of it for them to believe the First Sergeant was seriously just a few yards away telling three Marines to stay away from whores.  I did not want to admit that it was me and told them that yes, he had in fact just told us to stay away from the whores, and the Sergeant backed me up.  Everyone believed it until Porter came outside, listened to what everyone was saying the First Sergeant just said, then pointed to me and told them it was probably me.  Olsen backed me up when I said that I couldn’t have possibly imitated such a man, as I sound more like Randal from Clerks than anything.  They had their suspicions, though.

 

After all the “training” was concluded, the companies all got together for a Good Job Not Killing Each Other This Time Ceremony.  Being Marines, this meant we all had to stand in formation for an hour before the little old man came out of his hole, giving us plenty of time to kill.  Staff NCO’s and Officers don’t like standing in formation, so they usually post an NCO until a few seconds before the ceremony begins.  Not this time.

 

The female Staff Sergeant was out front.  “Company Atten-shun!  Lance Corporal AAVPOG, front and center!”

 

I report and stand at the POA while she tells me that for the next few minutes, I am the Company First Sergeant and need to give the Safety Brief before we can go on Liberty.  Not understanding for a moment, she told me it would be okay and that I would not get in trouble.  She posts behind formation with the Staff and Officers, and I blindly assume the responsibility.

 

Putting the company at ease, I scan for a moment and see the First Sergeant poke his head up, shoot me a shit-eating grin, and nod “yes.”

I had heard many a safety brief in my time, and in that moment decided that if I had to give one under those circumstances, I was going to own it and make it MY safety brief.  What follows is not word-for-word, but is pretty close:

 

“Alrightlistenupdevildogs when we get to PATTAYA, youmayruninto some ‘Ladies of the Evening‘.  You’ve been outrunningaround TRAINING in this former GARBAGE DUMP, and you are probably DISGUSTING.  You’regoingtowantto take a nice cold SHOWER before you go out in TOWN.  If the showers are DOWN, you’regonnawanttogetan MRE SPOON and scrape all that nasty gray CROTCH ROT off your grundle.  That’s your TAINT ifyoudidn’tknow.  If you drink, don’t drive.  If you drive, don’t drink.  Thatdoesn’treallymatter since you can do NEITHER here, butIhavetosayitanywaysdevildogsoorah?  Gentlemen, this is THAILAND, you’regonnawantto wrap it up.  LADIES, I don’t think you’ll wanttohookupwith one of these little guys, but if YOU DO, wrapitupoorah?  Goodtogo!”

 

This went on for several minutes until I had had enough and ended it with, “okay that’s it, I’m out,” fully expecting a SNCO to appear and give me the signal to hand the reins of power back.  Instead, I was told by random Marines to imitate others.  The problem with this was that only one other person in the company had a personality that I thought was worth imitating, and he was a very large Sergeant whom spoke as if he watched Scarface about 1,000 too many times, so I declined.  Of course, declining did not keep them from insisting, loudly, that it would behoove me to do it.

 

I have an intense hatred for that phrase; it would behoove you.  The intense heat, 9999% humidity, and my anxiety combined their powers,  forcing me to say fuck it, whatever.  I looked over  at Olsen and asked, “Gunny Fern?”  I have yet to see a bigger smile.

 

Gunny Fern was our boss on Okinawa.  He had a very heavy Tagalog accent because he was Filipino.  A very heavy accent.  Gunny Fern was the boss and he made sure you fucking knew it at all times, mostly by Devil Dogging whilst Knife Handing.

 

Someone asked who Gunny Fern was, so I explained, “What da puck Debil Dog?  You don’t know Gunny?  What, you ASVAB waiver, huh Debil?  Dat’s the prolam with you Marines; all queshin no asser!  Fix your chit Debil Dog or I haver ass!  Da puck you laff at, Debil?  Gunny funny?  Fix yaself Debil nuts!”

 

Officers and SNCO’s appeared to be amused by this as all I saw were teeth behind formation.  It was right about then that I realized there were people laughing behind me as well.  I turned far enough around to see every other company staring at us as if we had all lost our goddamned minds. Their peanut galleries peeked around their formations giggling like children.  Finally, the Company Gunny gave me nod which I interpreted as “put them at attention and stand by” so I did just that.  We did the here-now-you’re-in-charge shuffle and I took my place back in the Non-NCO section of the formation, sweating profusely and ready to be done with this shit already.

 

After the ceremony we were all walking back when the CO, Capt Tears, jogged up and pulled me aside between two of the maintenance tents.  He told me that they all seemed to think my impression of the First Sergeant was “pretty good” and that they were wondering if I could imitate anyone else.  I tried to explain to him that I couldn’t imitate just anyone in general, they had to have a personality quirk, speech pattern, voice, or vocabulary that stuck out significantly in my mind.  He understood that, but still wanted me to do an impression of him.  I had several problems with that.

 

First off, I cannot stand people who insist upon an impromptu performance.  Especially when the insisting is the result of vanity.  When you go to an art gallery and see a collection of beautiful nudes, you don’t insist on the artist sketching your naked body on the spot do you?  No, it would be quite rude.

Second, it is almost never a good idea to imitate someone directly to their face.  All jokes aside, some people get extremely upset when they hear another person openly mock them within punching distance.  Maybe they stutter a little, maybe it’s a slight lisp, it could even be a word like “Strategery” “Dumbassity” or a misunderstood word (I met a Sgt Maj that used the word “magnanimous” wrong…and constantly.)  My point being, folks don’t like being called out on their flaws.

 

Third, I had only heard him speak maybe a handful of times, and that was including when he pulled me aside just then.  He addressed the troops a few times, but only once was I around when it happened, and that instance happened to be when he started crying -literally- about how proud he was of all of us (thus, Captain Tears).

 

Lastly, he didn’t have any significant vocal or personality traits that struck me as anything but fully professional at all times.  He was one of those guys that seemed to disappear in a crowd, an everyman type.  He didn’t throw bass in his words, mince about like a hippie picking flowers, swear like a madman, or act like a weirdo of any kind, and that made him extremely difficult to imitate.

 

Sure, I could have pushed out a few tears and told him how proud I was of him, but that probably would have seemed insulting, and would have looked very awkward to everyone walking by; seeing a Lcpl crying and telling an officer how proud of him he was, all while at parade rest.

 

Damn, I totally should have done that.

 

He did eventually give up and began talking to me about something or another.  I don’t remember now, so it must have been unimportant.  Probably something like “that’s funny and all but watch it, Blue Falcons are everywhere” but, you know, in Officerese or whatever professional language they speak.

 

The First Sergeant never did strangle me to death like I imagined he would.  He did get me back, though.  I was waiting in line for the post Cobra Gold Let’s-go-ahead-and-make-sure-you-know-we-don’t-trust-your-ass piss test and he walked up behind, leaned in close, and asked, “heythereMarinehowwas PATTAYA?” then walked off laughing hysterically as I jumped and came dangerously close to filling my trousers with my test answers.

The Life of a Marine Corps Recruiter Part 6

“What’s up warriors you can lead a horse to water and you can make it drink. If you work it hard enough.” Great speech SgtMaj did you think of that all by yourself or after you got done pressing your track suit out and wonder why it melts. I think to myself hearing that please god don’t let me say stuff that stupid ever. How is that suppose to motivate me or make me understand training any better? It just makes me wonder how stupid you really might be and what you think about with no Marines around you. Then your closing comments you give at the end of training holy shit. Because of days like today I want to stick my face in a deep fryer. Wait I can’t because then I wouldn’t be able to write my contract and would have to go to zero training to be told I suck at life. Oh wait again I was already told that this month. Screw it I’ll just be defiant and sarcastic maybe I’ll work on my NASA resume or Political campaign.

Submitted by:  2807aListofLies

The Life of a Marine Corps Recruiter Part 5

So it’s been a bit but I had a CFT this last week and during this I thought to myself how does being able to lift a 30 pound ammo can over my head 90 some plus times make me combat effective? The only thing I saw from it was being able to make ones self more effective for a working party. During my times on a deployments’s I have never handed an ammo can 90 plus times to a gunner. Never on a range have I ever had to do that let alone had a whole ammo can to lift maybe 50 rounds from that can is about it. For that matter I don’t remember the last time I did 20 pull ups in combat environment either unless pting. I guess what I feel the Corps needs to is maybe make physical standards more up the ally of what we do like be able to hike with a pack in certain amount of time. Then also maybe some mental test like breaking down a 50 cal and putting it back together. Don’t get me wrong i think physical fitness is important, but I see good Marines who can’t do a lot of pull ups or run well either. That happen to be very fundamentally sound when it comes to knowledge of weapons and can hike 60 miles with a 130 pounds on his back. But yep still a shit bag to the command, but knows more about the stuff that matters then his shit bag NCO’s snorting no explode off each others abbs. He’ll get out though go to college and do great things, and those NCO’s will still make those new young Marines dumber and dumber, because that shit bag isn’t around to show them any more. Best part of recruiting talking to an applicant when the SgtMaj calls to yell at you and putting him on speaker so the kid gets a real taste of it. Stay peachy time to go eat my free Apple Bees meal happy Veterans Day guys.

Submitted by:  2807aListofLies

The Life of a Marine Corps Recruiter Part 4

You know what every kid has in common I come across on recruiting duty? They all play COD and can’t do any pull ups. I hurt a kids feelings because he hangs from the bar makes an attempt to do what resembled pulling himself up, but with out result. Then drops off and shakes his arms out. “REALLY” you kidding me? You had to shake your arms out for doing nothing. But it’s not just one kid it’s multiple kids doing none and then me being the deep thinker I am think where did the muscle go. How come kids just get weaker and weaker every year. Well it’s because a failed education system, most schools will graduate a kid just for the government money they receive. So again what we do teach them is hard work is not required to make it in life. Instead these kids come out with this idea that somebody will take care of them and help them get by. The sad thing is they’re right and that’s when I came to my conclusion that we do teach kids something how to fail, and that if they don’t want to work the system will take care of them. I kid you not these kids know all the ends and outs of government aid. How could this be though wait a minute? Could it be the parents? I remember this really cool thing I use to hear called the” American Dream” kind of like that dream with 4 models at one time now never gonna happen. Sorry to get so political on this one gents just can’t believe how the education system is failing not just the kids but this nation, and therefore you. The future can be bright though I know I will be volunteering more at my local high school for tutoring and mentor ship programs. Not as a Marine but as a person who just wants to help give a little hope back to a failed system, got to keep a glass half full right.

Submitted by:  2807aListofLies

The Life of a Marine Corps Recruiter Part 3

So today I had sector training it’s kind of like getting taught how to be more dynamic at recruiting once a month. By a bunch of Master Sgts that think they could sell Nazi stuff to a Jewish guy. When it comes down to it though they couldn’t sell cup cakes to a fat kid. Well my SgtMaj comes to his chance to talk and of course we get told we lack leadership and that we need to tighten up and get back to the basics. How NCO’s these days are weak and can’t lead and all and all as everyone knows we have ruined the Marine Corps. Well I wanted to ask the question who ruined us but didn’t not for fear, but for the fact that would in some magic allow him the ability to point me out as the problem. Then I would get a what the fuck and that I suck which is usually like a broken record anymore so I didn’t. Still though who ruined us is my question and what I figured out in about 3 seconds after all this leadership started, was they did. They’re the ones that let those precious standards diminish and be tarnished. Now I am a no nonsense person and believe in The Corps if it’s ran the right way is a good organization. Right now though its like Tijuana though full of lawless dicks who only take care of those who suck there dick and stds guys who stick to the system but do nothing to help it get better but make other people infected so they don’t care.

Submitted by:  2807aListofLies

The Life of a Marine Corps Recruiter Part 2

Another day on the prowl and one step closer to seeing some more problems with the Marine Corps. Today at the Recruiting Station Headquarters I witness a young man do not 20 pull-ups not 18 pull-ups, but zero pull-ups. Well according to the MCEOB (big book your recruiter showed you with pretty tags) you have to do 2 to be allowed to DEP in. Well this young man still gets to dep and gets a ship date within a three months from now so how did we teach him anything considered Marine Corps Values??? First we taught him that we don’t hold people to a standard or accountable to be prepared. Then I’m guessing his run time is going to be fast paced 22:30 mile and a half. Oh but he’s only 9 mins off from passing so he will be good in 3 months to head for the Island. Because he is so determined and moto about being a Marine cause then he gonna have all the ladies. Yeah right he is just going to play Xbox in a barracks room instead of his moms basement. Then fall out of runs and do no pull ups while the 2nd award PFC who got busted down for underage drinking in the barracks still gets called a piece of shit, and should be a meretourious corporal. He had such shitty NCO’s though that none of them did the right thing when he was drunk and slapped the duty for even trying to log it in the green book of wrong. Then grab the young Marine toss him in his room and pt the shit out of him in the morning. Then explain the right and wrong times to do things. Well time to go find a young man or lady and tell the Marine Corps Story again.

Submitted by:  2807aListofLies

GI Bill Predators Part 2

For me it all started when I graduated college and I was looking into starting a new career. I heard on the local news that the University of Phoenix was sponsoring “Hire A Hero” career event. I was excited because I thought to myself that this is a great thing that all of the employers are doing for vets! I live in Phoenix, Arizona, and generally the community is very supportive of veterans, but what I did not know was it was all just smoke and mirrors. Anyways, I was filled with a new kindred spirit and was ready to show corporate America what I was made of.  So I put three-piece suit on and got to my car to attend the event. I was greeted at the door by some military rep’s that worked for the college and was asked to sign into the event. It was crowded.  I was in shock to see just how many unemployed vets there were.  Most were just left active duty out and the others were older and looking for work.  After signing in we were all lead to the third floor of the campus to the booths of employers that were ready to hire veterans.  This was then I realized I was looking at a sham. It was disgraceful to see cooperate America offering highly skilled vets a chance to work for them for 12 dollars an hire sweeping floors. Now don’t get me wrong, I am not too good for that, I am just saying I didn’t work my ass off for four years studying to get a college education to be offered some job I could have received right out of high school. There were legitimate employers there but not enough of them.  And of course there were the “motards” there from each branch of service there wanting to see if there were any of us that desperate to join the reserves. It was laughable to see so many people crowded around their booths! Moving forward to the next room I see a sight I have never seen. I witnessed booth after booth that was set up to scam vets. These are the for-profit education programs that you see on television and online.  At first I thought this was a joke. I mean all I heard all week is that there would be legitimate employers looking to hire veterans, and I all I see are some snake oil salesmen looking to shack me and other vets down for cash. Unfortunately I saw a bunch of veterans around these booths talking to them and I could not understand why?
Don’t they know what they are getting into? I guess Barnum and Baily were right: “There is a sucker born every minute in America”.   What is the Moral of this story?
I will tell you.  You are in charge of what you want to make out of your life. Civilians who never served a damn day in the service don’t know what our skill sets are. They have no idea how smart we are. They don’t care.  Don’t settle for less unless you have to. If you worked hard to achieve your dreams don’t fall victim to assholes that are going to low ball you! These skills to survive in the “Corporate” Gang Bang have to be learned. Now back to the topic…. For- profit universities are everywhere and their main targets are veterans and other service members and their loved ones.  For those wanting to know the truth about what they do and how they operate stay tuned… I will be giving all the details to each and everyone of you so you can make a decision that is going to have an effect on your new career change.  Stay tuned for part 3!

GI Bill Predators Part 1

Like most of you, I am a veteran that did my time and lived to tell about it.  I was with a unit with bad leadership and due to that I decided the Marine Corps was not something I wanted to do for a career.  After a long period of moving around to dead end job after dead end job, I decided to throw caution to the wind and earn my college education.  It was always my dream to accomplish this. Like many of you, I had many questions concerning educational benefits and how to use them.  I was fortunate to go to Arizona State University. The staff was very helpful and aided me in my pursuit of my own personal educational goals. Like many of you, I was unable to purse education on active duty because of “mission essential” bullshit.  That was then and this now…. These for-profit universities prey on unsuspecting service members both active duty, reserve and prior service. I am speaking on experience because I used to work for one of these companies and I can tell you that they are all run the same.  I was a recruiter for South University, which is a part of Education Management Corporation.  I can tell you that no one who works for these companies cares about your education; all they care about is the “Bottom Line.” Let me break they down barney style: they don’t give a good fuck about you or your education, all they care about is enrolling you in class and getting you on the hook for your benefits.  In the next couple of days I am going to be sharing a few stories with all of you concerning for profit schools and other “Veteran Friendly” scams that I have seen with my own two eyes. I want to alert as many of you as possible about what goes on to veterans in these situations, and what you can do to avoid being scammed. Don’t read into the hype about these schools being voted as “veteran friendly”. The only friendly thing they do is smile while they are fucking you out of the benefits that you worked so hard to earn.

Submitted by: thewittyone

Okinawa Prison (Part 9)

The infamous “Motard.”

The following was borrowed from the internet site Urban Dictionary-

Motard
A alteration of the USMC term Moto. This word is used to describe some overbearing marine who is extremely loud and obnoxious all the time. He is so motivated even in the shittiest situations that everyone wants to kick him in the teeth.

Motards yell all the time, wear clothes with USMC logos all over them, have a ridiculous amount of USMC tattoos, and use the word oorah!excessively. They also like to call cadence while they walk around when not marching a platoon. A motard is usually some private or private first class who hasn’t even been deployed.
Marine 1: “It is 0500 on a Monday morning, it is raining, it is fucking freezing, and we have been standing in formation for 45min. Can it get any worse?”

Marine 2: “Oh my god, that motard over there won’t shut the fuck up!”

Motard: “OORAH MARINES! I FUCKING LOVE PT AT 0500 IN THE MORNING! BY THE WAY I GOT ANOTHER moto TATTOO LAST NIGHT! OORAH!”

Yut yut! Oorah! Kill! Semper! Uhrrrr! Good to go! Tun Tavern! 1775! Do these words bring somewhat of a bad memory to you? Those words became part of a certain language that belonged to certain group of people. These kind of people had the same traits: stupid, motivated, pointed with their knife edge hand, had a high and tight, was usually from the mid west, had very little education, was all about criticizing uniforms, paid attention to stupid things, had no life. When I spent four years of my life unhappily in the Marine Corps I hated many things about it. But if I had to choose in a wide spectrum of choices things that I did not like with the USMC it would be too many; therefore I will not list them because I would write incessantly. If I had to choose one thing and one thing only that I hated in the Corps it would be the infamous “Motard.”

The motard was the epitome of how dumb the corps could make a human being. To me the motard is a loser usually from the mid west. This person grew up with nothing in his life. He did not play any sports, he did not travel, he did not hook up with beautiful women from around the world. He probably grew up in a farm town of about 250 population. The most this person would have to look forward to is a barn yard dance, a rodeo, or a tractor derby. This motard lived in his farm town his whole life and as a result has a very narrow aspect of life. He reserves no room for change and does not believe in the saying “different strokes for different folks.” Fast forward a couple of years, send this redneck to boot camp, give him a high and tight, give him something in his sad life to be proud of and now you have given birth to a motard.

To the motard the Marine Corps is everything. This motard had NOTHING in his life before and now he has “something.” This motard thinks that the USMC pays excellent because it is the most money he ever made in his life and now makes the decision that he is going to stay in for 20 years. Now this motard wants to prove that he is bad ass. He really wants to get promoted by being tough because he cannot do it intellectually. So what does the motard do? He starts doing dirty bitch shit like snitching on his fellow Marines that do things like underage drink, have women in the barracks, or even the ones that are dating junior ranks. This motard thinks that by snitching and correcting Marines on stupid shit will get him promoted.

I personally got out of the suck because of motards. I just could not stand them. They were so stupid. You have a nice state like CA were people are educated and professional and you have these idiots from farming towns across the nation coming over with their stupid proper civilian attires, high and tights, moto tattoos everywhere, their cars with excessive amounts of USMC stickers and they go out in town fucking everything up because they think that they are entitled because they went to boot camp or were deployed. I was embarrassed by motards because that was the image that civilians had on Marines. If a girl found out I was a Marine “and I tried very hard to hide it with my low reg and 5 o’clock shadow” she would automatically think things like “oh, you’re a devil dog? You must be stupid and just looking to fuck something. I’m not talking to you.” And on the other hand if I went to coast highway to get a hair cut vendors would approach me trying to sell me their shit thinking I was a stupid motard stupid enough to buy their stupid shit. I never wanted to be a civilian so bad.

Me and motards did not get along at all. Especially motards that go off the drill field or were going to the drill field. I remember one day I got a low reg haircut in Camp Pendleton. It was okay in Camp Pendleton as nobody said anything about it. Not even SgtMaj’s or Colonels. One time I remember I was driving down I-5 in San Diego CA to visit some family members down south and I had to stop at MCRD San Diego to get gas as it was the cheapest gas station there. I went to the gas station and this fucking old man with a mohawk, not even a high and tight, but a fucking mohawk was eye fucking me like I just had sex with his wife in his bed. I went to go put gas in my car and I could feel his stare burning through me. The motard said “who are you?!” I didn’t pay attention. “You in the blue shirt, who are you?!” I still did not turn around. “HEY IM TALKING TO YOU DEVIL DOG!” I turned slowly and said “You talking to me?” The motard then said “YES YOU NUM NUTS, I NEED TO TALK TO YOU DEVIL” I responded with “Oh, my name is not devil sir, my name is free_bird” he then proceeded to walk up and down looking at me and said “You have a shitty haircut devil dog!” I responded by saying “I just got it today sir” He then said “who you with!?” I said “Camp Pendleton” he then did the stupid DI look and screamed “OK smart ass, what unit you with!?” I gave him a fake unit and fake name and the motard proceeded by telling me “you stay right here Marine, I need to take down your name, rank, unit etc.” As the motard went to his truck to get a pen and paper I finished fueling my car and got in it and drove off. Simple as that.

I hate motards and I will always hate them. They are stupid and idiotic and perfect to be used as a tool for the government. The motard has no life as he never had one. He never learned anything in school and never had aspirations to do anything with his life. He never wanted to see the world or to travel. He never bothered to improve his English linguistic skills, never expanded his vernacular or even used proper syntax that educated people use. He always spoke with a southern country or Midwestern redneck accent and thought that if your were Mexican, black or Asian you were not American enough. To the motard his farm town was everything. He married his fat ass Midwestern girlfriend and now they live on base while the motard is at the shop screaming at Marines for having chipped chevrons his fat ugly redneck wife is at the commissary wearing some offensively revealing clothes that do not fit her and she is in the middle of the ice cream section screaming at her baby and not moving out of the way. This ladies and gentleman is 80% of the people that stay in the Marine Corps. The motards.

Stay tuned for part 10.

Okinawa Prison (Part 8)

What duty is it? CAMP SEVICES WHOOP WHOOP!!!!!

After I wrote part 7 of my series I gave a little insight about “motivation.” Now this time I was “motivated” to get the fuck out of my unit and go to camp services. I was a recently busted down private and I was sent to go to gate 1 camp services building. I went to camp services and what I saw blew my mind. In my group there was Major Ferguson who was in charge of us and was never at the office. The XO was LT. Taylor who was a cool ass LT that was always playing basketball with junior Marines. Our SNCO’s were SSGT. Barreto who was as laid back as you could imagine and SSGT. King who really did not give a shit about Marine Corps bullshit and she was always doing something with her kids. We had two NCO’s CPL. Monk who was a drunk and a partier but minded his own business. There was CPL. Ing who was actually from China and barely understood English. Now there were four other LCPL’s, one PFC and I was the only PVT. I arrived at this new duty station expecting to get fucked with. I came in and I was a ghost. Nobody paid me any attention. I got to meet the Major and he was a very nice christian guy that did not believe in slavery. I met the LT and started talking to him about the Lakers and the Celtics and he gave me a big insight about basketball, he even invited me to play one day. SSGT. Barreto had a sense of humor and when I cracked some jokes he laughed very hard. Now I saw the NCO’s were on the same level as the junior Marines as the junior Marines would not even refer to them by their rank. Only by name. My jaw dropped at how lax this unit was. I could not believe my mind. After I was introduced to the group I was dismissed on Friday at 1300! I could not believe it. I was dismissed early while my father unit was ordered to fielday and later run a boots, utes, flak run with 7-ton tow chains carried atop of the shoulders of squads of Marines. I saw that shit from far away and decided to go hang out at another Marines barracks just to avoid any flak.

I went out in town early as I did not sign the green duty book in the barracks and went out in town with out a libo buddy. I was a lot more comfortable that way as I went to Kokusai street in Naha and drank at an all Japanese bar with no motards in sight. I was in bliss. The following Monday my company was forming it up to form it up outside the barracks in the rain at 0445. I was still asleep. My roommates thought I was smoking crack because I was not getting ready but I told them that I belonged to another command and that I was TAD. Soon CPL. Briggs and CPL. Lovehandles came barging in my room and before they started to scream bloody murder I did a ninja roll off my rack, I somersaulted to my wall locker and whipped out my beautiful crisp TAD orders that I had in a waterproof plastic container and I exposed it to the two NCO’s faces just like someone would expose a cross to a couple of vampires. They quickly gasped and put their hands up to cover their faces and walked backwards and out they went. Later CPL. Briggs came back real friendly and told me that SGT. Nazi wanted to see me when they came back from PT so that I could clean a common area with the other Marines. I said “aye aye” and went back to sleep for another hour and a half while they went off to their 6 mile run. Guess what!? I slept in my cammies and only had my boots off and when I heard from a distance “ ALO RITA LAYO!!!!!! LEFTY RITA LO RIIIITE!!!!! LOOOOO RIIII LAYO!!!! WE LOVE TO DOUBLE TIME!!!!!! MMMMM YEAH, MMMMM GOOOOD!!!!!!!! MARINE CORPS!!!!!!!” I got awakened rudely and heard the foot steps from far away. I heard my company just like the Jews heard the Nazis marching in to Poland from far away with the Stuka planes and Panzer tanks. I literally felt the ground shake as my company was forming it up out side to do a cool down stretch. I jump out of my rack, put on my boots, took my cover in one had, my TAD orders in the other hand and I escaped out the fire emergency hatch that were at the sides of the barracks and I ran down the stairs and away from the enemy just like Rambo did in the movies.

Now let me tell you how great the chow hall is when nobody is there and you are the first one. I got the first dibs on pancakes, lucky charms, peaches, pears, nice hot omelets and I got to drink my favorite juice as it was fresh and in stock. I was eating all by myself in my favorite seat watching my favorite news channel with out fear of being late to company formation. I had to be at my new TAD unit at 0800 and not another minute early. I was eating my breakfast at 0700 and I made it out by 0730 while my father company was still cleaning the barracks for morning clean up. I caught the green line bus and made it to my new unit at 0750. Fully rested, fully fed, and I had time to get a cup of coffee. When I arrived I was even in more shock as nobody was there. I thought that I was at the wrong building and started freaking out and asked one of the Marines at the building if I was at the right one. He said yes and at the same time the Colonel from that building (not Col. Maximus) came in and I stood at attention and he said “carry on Marine” with a grin, shook my hand and patted me on the back. I was at the camp services office when I saw the PFC and LCPL’s roll in at 0810. TEN MINUTES LATE!!!!!!!! I thought that shit never happened in the Latrine Corpse but it did. For the first time I saw Marines come in late and not get killed for it. Later the CPL’s came in at 0820 all hung over with no desire to correct anybody but their own hangover. At 0840 the SNCO’s came in and just went to their desks to read their emails and did not even say a word. At 0900 LT. Taylor came in his basketball PT gear and went straight to his office to change over and talk on the phone. And who knows where the Major was. He was unseen. I was flabbergasted at how skate this unit was as everyone was just sitting down on couches smoking and joking.

Finally at 0930 the SNOC’s told us to look busy and gave us some 55 gallon trash bags and told us to go pick up trash around the beach line. Now let me tell you, Camp Kinser was extremely clean and there was hardly any trash at all. We all jumped in the little trash truck and drove to the beach. Then we were all walking by the beach just bullshitting, smoking and joking and laughing with no motard NCO in sight. It was bliss as it seemed like a vacation. What came next was surprise. We were off to chow at 1100 when the chow hall opened! And back to work at 1300! Two full hours of chow time and even some nap time. I was so happy to be in camp services and when we came back the office was empty and CPL. Monk told us to leave early at 1600! I was in total amazement and I thought to myself “I can get use to this!”

Stay tuned for part 9

Okinawa Prison (Part 7)

The truth about “Motivation.”

Let me give you a scenario. Say that you had a transport company that transported packages from CA to NY. You drive for hours on end non stop until you reach NY and then come back to CA. It takes two days to get to NY and two days to get back to CA. Driving four days straight on a truck will bring a toll to it. Now lets say that you had a green truck and a red truck. You really don’t want to waste your engine and tires etc. Now a rational thinker that is smart would alternate the trucks. One trip use the green truck and the next week use the red truck. That would save a lot of wear and tear for both trucks and your business would be lucrative. Now let’s look at how this business would be operated by the USMC way of doing things. The USMC would drive the red truck first and keep driving it. It sees how the red truck does a good job and decides to pile every king of job and work on it. It would drive that red truck to the fucking ground until it disintegrates and falls apart. The USMC would then junk that red truck and then commence to do the same thing to the green truck until it falls apart and it does not function anymore. The USMC will just junk the trucks and keep newer trucks shipping in and the cycle goes on and on etc.

That was the way I saw how the USMC treated it’s own Marines. When the higher ups would see a good Marine that had a good work ethic the higher ups would hold that Marine hostage and not let him take leave or go on libo or anything. If that Marine was good and he had a government license guess what? The higher ups will trap that Marine and have him do countless extra duties either in the barracks or at battalion. Meanwhile you have a “shit bag” Marine. This Marine does not do his work and does not like to PT. He is always late, his uniforms are shit and he has to get constantly reminded to shave, shower etc. The higher ups see this and say “we don’t want this shit bag, send him somewhere else. Give him a TAD or something, we don’t want him.” So then this “shit bag” gets assigned a cool duty like chow hall duty, camp guard, or armory duty. This “shit bag” works from 0730 to 1630 Monday through Friday with full chow time and weekends. This “shit bag” gets a cool duty where you just show up to work, do your job, then go home. Later when this Marine’s duty is complete he goes back to his unit and gets sent to another cool training like jungle warfare, mountain warfare, terrorism training, camp guard, or the range. Any of these cool training programs are way better than the unit as they do not know you and do not hold any grudges against you. Every time you go to a different training unit it’s a fresh start and you can get to know your higher ups on a personal level and vice versa. This causes your higher ups to respect you as a person rather than hold grudges for the mistakes you did in the past and you get to do a good job all over again. Pretty soon you have rapport with these new leaders and they motivate (not motardate) you to do your job as a professional.

Meanwhile the “shit hot” Marine that had aspirations to be a Sgt Maj like his dad or be a General one day, ran a 300 PFT, did all his MCI’s, shot expert on the rifle range, had a crisp clean uniform, always shaved, always got a haircut, respected his NCO’s, stood at parade rest whenever spoken two, was respectful to his fellow Marines, did not get drunk, PT’d on his own all the time, is kept hostage by the higher ups. This “shit hot” Marine is not allowed to go anywhere because his unit needs him. This “shit hot” Marine is constantly getting shit by the higher ups and is constantly getting endless duties for days on end. Pretty soon this Marine starts to get tired as any normal human being would. This Marine starts to see how the “shit bag” Marines never get duty because they were not forced to get a government license. Soon this Marine starts to get angry at why he gets more workload than the other Marines that do not give a shit. Soon this Marine starts to get angry at his superiors and request for some time off, leave, liberty or some other kind of duty. The superiors get angry and tell this “shit hot” Marine that he is not going anywhere. This “shit hot” Marine eventually loses his temper and fights back and argues with his higher ups. The higher ups see this and make it their mission to work this Marine to death and pile endless duties to this Marine for personal reasons rather than professional ones. Fast forward a year or two and this “shit hot” Marine is still a Lcpl with no NJP’s and never gets promoted because somewhere in the high office someone denies this Marine’s promotion. This Marine starts to see how his “shit bag” peers that didn’t give a fuck start to get promoted, and some of these “shit bag” Marines are fat and even had an NJP. Now lets look at the “shit bag” Marine that was TAD to the armory or to camp guard. He eventually gets promoted and eventually gets in charge. This “shit bag” Marine did it with very little effort. All the “shit bag” Marine had to do was show up to work and be able to pass his PFT and be able to shoot on the range. Throw in a couple of MCI’s (to which he already had the answers to courtesy of the cool NCO’s he befriended) and this “shit hot” Marine is bound to get promoted.

So you have a “Chesty Puller” Marine that is always working harder than the average Marine because he does a good job all the time. This Marine soon looses all aspirations to get promoted or to stay in because he just had enough of the bull shit. Meanwhile the “shit bag” Marine gets orders to a new unit as an NCO where nobody knows his past. He gets along with his junior Marines and even gets promoted to SGT because he stayed out of trouble. This Marine then hooks up with a money hungry babe out in town and gets married. Now this “shit bag” Marine gets to live off base, gets paid for being married and even gets his honey pregnant and gets more money for the kid. Soon this “shit bag” Marine sees how good he has it and guess what? He re enlists and makes a cool career out his military service with very little effort and is now in charge of other Marines.

Now lets look at the “shit hot” Lcpl that is now considered a “shit bag” because he hates the USMC. This former “shit hot” Marine gets tired of the bullshit, says “fuck the Marine Corps, I’m done” and gets out and never looks back. Wasted and burned out. Never wanting to talk about his military service ever again. This goes on and on all over the Marine Corps. Good Marines getting out and shitty Marines staying in. I quickly saw how the USMC treated it’s own and opted to be the “shit bag.”

I opted to be the “shit bag” because it was a lot easier. It was working smarter and not harder. Now don’t get me wrong, I did my job professionally but I did not give a shit about “espirit de corps.” I still ran my first class PFT and shot expert and did all my MCI’s but I would not do “extra” for no fucking reason at all. Especially not for the USMC. I learned the game and quickly adapted to the dark side. I became wise and saw through all the bullshit that the USMC would give it’s own people. To the eyes of the motards I was a “shit bag.” But through my own eyes I was just surviving and looking out for my best interest. I had to look out for myself as nobody else would. Nobody else would get me promoted or get me removed from a shitty unit other than myself. I would see how airmen in the Air Force loved their job and always extended in Okinawa. I would interview these airmen on gate 2 street in Kadena and they all showed me how they worked and executed their missions. They would go to work, work hard, go home and play hard and get rewarded for their effort. Marines just worked hard, worked hard, worked hard and then would go home to get fucked hard with no Vaseline. I quickly saw how the good got punished and the bad got rewarded. I quickly learned the saying “don’t volunteer for shit in the Marine Corps” and this was very true. I never volunteered for shit. If I was ordered to do something I would do my job and that was it, nothing more, nothing less and guess what? I got less and less duties and was ordered to do cool trainings in Okinawa. Even though I had one NJP I got promoted to E-4 and when I got out I was four points from Sergeant. The USMC begged me to stay in, offered me E-5, a duty station of my choice and $25,000. I still said “fuck no” to the career planner and told him that I would rather live under a bridge than to spend another minute in the suck.

Stay tuned for part 8 and I will tell you how Camp Guard saved me and my rank while my unit was constantly getting fucked with.

Okinawa Prison (Part 6)

The day I learned how to skate.

Wow! Now I am the lowest rank, in the shittiest branch, in the shittiest station of that branch. I was at the bottom of the totem pole with my recently NJP colleagues. We were restricted to the barracks, work, and the chow hall. That was it. No gym, no PX, nothing. We were like the new prisoners that were transported by a big bus into a big prison. All eyes were on us. All fingers were pointed at us as if we committed an atrocity of a crime. We were the restricted Marines of our battalion 3rd Marine Readiness Battalion 3rd FSSG Camp Kinser, Okinawa Japan, United States Marine Corps.

Restriction sucked. Period. I would of much rather been thrown in the brig. Now let me tell you what restriction consisted of. I had to sign in up at battalion every two hours. The battalion was at least two miles away from the barracks and I had to walk up there rain or shine and sign the paper that the SNCOIC had or else I would get burned. On the weekends you had to sign in at 0700, 0900, 1100, 1300, 1500, 1800, 2000, and finally 2200. On the weekdays I would sign in at 0700 if it was not a PT day, after work at 1800, 2000, and 2200. I had to walk and was not allowed to get rides, ride taxis, or even ride a bike. If the 1stSgt was a dick that day he would make us march to battalion, even walk up in fire teams. At 1800 everyday we had to do extra duties for the battalion which included sweeping, swabbing, cleaning the head and buffing the deck with a buffer for two hours. We had to do this for 60 days straight. Not to mention the PT, fielday and all the other extra bullshit that comes with a shitty unit. Work was the fun part as we would just sit all day looking for something to do and it was easy to look busy by picking up a broom and sweeping. It was going back to the barracks that sucked as the Nazis of the 4th deck were always looking for ways to administer their power.

We would walk to battalion every day. I remember it raining heavily to where my jungle boots would squish out bubbly water from the breathing holes in the side. I had to wrap my wallet in a trash bag so that it would not get wet. The ponchos were shit and they would not do a proper job in keeping the moisture out. Not to mention asshole NCO’s and SNCO’s would roll up in their car while they were warm listening to music and talk shit to us that our uniforms were not perfect or we were not marching in step and tell us to pick up the trash on the ground. Restriction was hard but Marines made it much, much harder. I don’t know if you guys know a term named “Stockholm Syndrome” but basically it’s when you are in a shitty situation for so long it becomes normal to you and later you become numb.

Being a boot ass PVT I was not used to the term “skate.” I never really knew how people skated or what they considered skating. To me I thought that skating was just a lazy person that did not want to work. But really skating is much deeper than that. Skating is when you “get” the Marine Corps and say “fuck you!” Skating is when the USMC pays money to make you do a job and you purposefully do not do it for spite of wasting the USMC money. Skating is when an NCO’s tells you to do something, you say “Oorah SGT.” pretend that you are going to do it, look back to see if the SGT is still there and then not do it. Eventually the SGT will scream and threaten but at the end of the day the SGT worked harder than the PVT and the mission did not get accomplished. I my friends learned quickly the beautiful art of skating.

I soon realized that the USMC was just an endless array of punishment, regardless of who you were or how well you did your job or how motivated you were. You were going to get punished excessively regardless. Somewhere in the Marine Corps Bible, under one of the Marine Corps commandments it says “thou shalt be punished for days on end for no reason.” I quickly got a whiff of the stink and quickly got into the “don’t give a shit” attitude. It was a lot less stressful to worry more about myself rather than my unit, Corps, or country.

The first time I wore my beautiful skates was when I got tired of marching with a platoon. I started going my separate way and would take a shortcut through the jungle by the PX and make it quicker to battalion. On the way I could hit the “roach coach” and buy me some refreshments and snacks for the 16 miles I had to walk to battalion. My NJP colleagues quickly saw what I was doing and decided to join my bandwagon. I was not rebellious, I just believed in working smarter and not harder and the USMC was all about the opposite. So I was like “fuck you USMC, I am getting mine.” After my couple of skates I went to the PX (I was only allowed to go there for haircuts). But guess what?! I would eat Pizza Hut, Taco Bell, Baskin 31 flavors and go to the PX video game section to play the up and coming games. As I walked out of the PX I saw a beautiful beach cruiser for sale. I saw a special that included a helmet with the bicycle. I bought the bike and started biking it to fucking restriction. WHOOOOOO! Was it a whole lot easier trekking those daily miles with my beautiful beach cruiser. It really had me thinking about how the invention of the wheel served society very well. Of course there was SGT. Nazi and SGT. Burn that would stop their cars and tell me to get off the bike and walk it. I would do it, but guess what? As soon as they were out of sight I would get back on, ring my bike bell and pedal to battalion.

After the first 30 days of restriction I was handling my punishment a lot better. I would use the excuse of my restriction to get me out of PT and fielday from my unit. When motherfuckers would form it up to play games they would tell me “where the fuck you going motherfucker!!!!” I would just show them my battalion sign in sheet and say “I need to go to restriction Sgt and execute my duties. Battalion is more important than Company!” I would pull that card all the time and I would get away with it. Later on me and my NJP colleagues kind of developed a clique just like the ones you see in prison movies. Later we all agreed on pitching in on taxis and riding them to restriction. This was sweet. We later started bringing snacks to battalion while we did our duties and we even got to play a little boombox while we cleaned the head. Especially if the SNCO was cool. I would use the “brown nose” method to butter up the SNCO and he would be nice and give us our duties and turn the other way. Sometimes we would just bullshit with the SNCO and get to watch whatever movies he was watching. Sometimes the SNCO was a motard that recently got off the drill field and we had to be on our toes, but I STILL managed to butter up the motard DI by simply asking him about certain drill movements and life on the drill field. I was so good at this that I even got the Colonel talking about his golden days in OCS and when he commanded a platoon in Desert Storm.

I was so good at skating that I could of seriously tried out for the Olympic figure skating team (just kidding). But I really saw the game and how it was played. I was a professional skater by now. After restriction was finally over I carried my civilian gear in my issued backpack and proceeded to change over immediately after I singed my last check in. We all called a taxi and proceeded to go to “whisper alley” to get some much needed pussy. We still managed to go to a small bar and responsibly drink without getting too wasted and went back to the barracks. I was in bliss but what came next was the lottery of bliss’. As soon as I came back to my unit my Msgt called me to his office and said that he gave me a Temporary Assigned Duty (TAD) with Camp Guard. These motherfuckers did nothing but guard armories, gates, and pick up trash (if there was any). Could you say “skate?” I quickly reached into my sea bag and brought out my beautiful skates and polished them ready for another adventure.

Stay tuned for Okinawa Prison (Part 7) and I will tell you about all the shit I got away with 😉

Conscientious Objection

Good & evil

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Take a second to understand my statement.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Below I will outline the process.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

 

This portion forward is more centered on my personal outlook.

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

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

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

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

These are other Conscientious Objectors, American and Israeli:

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

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

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

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

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

https://www.facebook.com/WARISARACKET

(For any Christians)

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

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

“To Hell with War”

-Major General Smedley Butler

 

Submitted by “Hooyut”

Let’s Play Why is it Hazing?

My goal here is to attempt explaining the Marine Corps Order regarding Hazing and provide some examples for context.  There is often confusion as to what can be defined as hazing, as the Marines have a tendency to push the envelope as far as possible when it comes to this particular subject and fight it with every base-less logic they can come up with in order to keep each other out of trouble and save their unit’s reputation.

The Marine Corps Order on Hazing (MCO 1700.28B http://www.marines.mil/Portals/59/Publications/MCO 1700.28B.pdf) can be a Marine’s best friend.  It is one of the few Orders that were written to increase the quality of life for everyone.

Not everyone clearly understands the Order, however.  The examples used in many classes are only of an extreme nature, most pointing to the “blood-winging” video released in the 1990’s.  Hazing can be much less violent and much more discrete than that, and the Order clearly states this fact.

According to Section 2 of the Order, hazing is “any conduct whereby a military member or members, regardless of Service or rank, without proper authority causes another military member or members, regardless of Service or rank, to suffer or be exposed to any activity which is cruel, abusive, humiliating, oppressive, demeaning, or harmful.”  It goes further, stating that “soliciting or coercing another to perpetrate any such activity” is also considered hazing.

So what is considered hazing?  Well, following the Order again, “hazing need not involve physical contact between military members; it can be verbal or psychological in nature.”   What this means is that hazing is not just assaulting the new guy, it is also terrorizing him by ANY other means.

Specific examples in the Order are:  “physically striking another to inflict pain outside of a supervised training exercise; piercing another’s skin in any manner (such as “pinning,” “tacking on,” or “blood wing(ing),”); verbally berating another for the sole purpose of belittling or humiliating; encouraging another to excessively consume alcohol or encouraging another to engage in illegal, harmful, or dangerous acts; playing abusive or ridiculous tricks; threatening or offering violence or bodily harm to another; branding; taping; tattooing; shaving; greasing; painting; requiring excessive physical exercise beyond what is required to meet standards; or the forced consumption of food, alcohol, drugs, or any other substance.”

Hazing is not always an NCO treating their Marines like shit.  Section 2d states that hazing can also occur “between peers or involve actions toward senior military personnel by those junior in rank or grade to them.”  Although rare, this does happen, usually to a young officer or NCO.

With such a broad description, many leaders question what is NOT considered hazing.  To their question, refer to Section 2e:  “Properly administered EMI…is not hazing; it provides a tool for small unit leaders to increase proficiency of the unit or individuals in assigned duties.”  It also states that an EMI (Extra Military Instruction) is required to be applied logically and that and is not to be used as a punishment, but as a way to positively correct a carefully identified deficiency.  An EMI may not last longer than two hours per day, must be held immediately prior to or following the work day (if conditions do not allow, the EMI must take place at a different REASONABLE time), may not last longer than it takes to correct the deficiency, should not be conducted on the member’s Sabbath, and may not be used to deprive someone of the normal liberty that they would be otherwise entitled (member can turn to liberty after completion of EMI.)  Only the CO or OIC have the authority to assign EMI after normal working hours, but they also have the authority to delegate this power to officers and NCO’s whose duties include training.

The policy very clearly states in Section 3a that hazing is unlawful, prohibited, will not be tolerated in Marine units or detachments, will not be condoned or ignored, and that it is every Marine’s responsibility to ensure that it does not occur in any form on any level.  Violating, attempting to violate, or persuading others to violate the Order are also prohibited.  Marines found to be violating the Order may also be subject to other violations of the UCMJ such as Articles 80 (Attempts), 81 (conspiracy), 92 (violation of a lawful general order), 93 (cruelty and maltreatment), 124 (maiming), 128 (assault), 133 (conduct unbecoming an officer and gentleman), and 134 (general article).

Reprisals or revenge schemes that in any way come from hazing allegations are strictly prohibited.  Victims of hazing are to report all incidents and evidence thereof to their CO immediately.  Commanders are required to conduct a preliminary investigation into every report and all personnel are required to exhibit extreme caution and sensitivity throughout the proceedings to minimize re-victimization.  Investigations are to be focused on the environment that fostered hazing while attempting to prevent future incidents.  Commanders must provide advocacy services for their subordinates and closely monitor victims for stress reactions associated with physical and psychological abuse.

What does all of that mean?  It means you should be able to perform your duties as a Marine without having to worry about being subjected to humiliating forms of torture for things such as being late to work or getting promoted to a higher rank.  It means you don’t need to live in fear.

To put this into context, here are some examples that could be considered hazing by the current Order:

That SNCO that humiliated you in front of the entire company by telling you that you are a worthless piece of shit that doesn’t belong in his beloved Corps because you failed field day has hazed you.
Why is it hazing?  Screaming that kind of vitriol at you was not constructive, did not correct a deficiency, was humiliating, and degraded your reputation in front of your peers.

You were five minutes late for PT formation so Sgt Motardovez woke you up at 0500 on Saturday and PT’d you for three hours.
Why is it hazing?  Physical Training can not be used as a punishment, and running does not correct the problem of you being late.

A senior Lcpl instructed you to go to the tool room and request a boltstretcher, 50 feet of shore line, a can of A-I-R, bottle of blinker fluid, Prick E-5, or any other imaginary object.
Why is it hazing?  Although hilarious and tame by Marine standards, they are purposely sending you on a “dummy” mission in order to humiliate you, and possibly get you a hardcore ass-chewing (if the tool room NCO is a Sergeant…)

You partied a little too hard and passed out…then your fellow Lcpls stripped you naked and drew penises all over you.
Why is it hazing?  Once again, pointless humiliation, and Marines are supposed to be better than that.

You are a Cpl and your Sgt just told you to fail Pfc Bootballs and Lcpl BouttoEAS for field day because one is a boot and the other is a shitbag.
Why is it hazing?  Conspiring to haze someone is still hazing.

Cpl Fuckface and Cpl Roidrage kick your door in and inform you that if you attempt to complain about Sgt Dickbrain’s hazing you, they will beat the bloody shit out of you.
Why is it hazing?  They are intimidating you for speaking out, and that is an act of reprisal.

Cpl PFT thought you didn’t sound off enough, so he took you into one of the storage containers and IT’d you boot camp style.
Why is it hazing?  Incentive Training (IT) is only authorized at Marine Corps Recruit Depots.

One of your SNCO’s referred to you as an extremely disrespectful derogatory term for someone of your background (race, religion, sex, orientation, etc.) in formation, during a class, or in public.
Why is it hazing?  Not only is this humiliating, it is attempting to turn you into an outcast among your peers.

The following section is about hazing on social media sites and the internet.

Your NCO or another fellow Marine took pictures of you and posted them on the internet for the purpose of making fun of your appearance.
Why is it hazing?  Posting pictures, even in an unofficial capacity, that may bring discredit upon the Marine Corps is in direct violation of the Marine Corps Policy on Social Media Guidance [http://www.marines.mil/News/SocialMedia/Guidance.aspx] and the Marines Social Media Handbook [http://www.marines.mil/Portals/59/Docs/Marines-Social-Media-Handbook[1].pdf].  Attempting to humiliate another service member is hazing.

A picture you posted of yourself ended up on another website and active duty Marines have posted offensive derogatory comments.
Why is it hazing?  Quoting the Social Media Guidance document: “Marines should avoid offensive and inappropriate behavior that
could bring discredit upon themselves and the Marine Corps. This
behavior includes posting any defamatory, libelous, obscene, abusive,
threatening, racially or ethnically hateful, or otherwise offensive or
illegal information or material
.”  Also, this can be seen as an act of humiliation.

One of your pictures ended up on another website and one of your fellow Marines posted your name or other personal information.
Why is it hazing?  From the Social Media Guide:  “Marines should be extremely judicious when disclosing personal details
on the Internet, and should not release personal identifiable
information (PII) that could be used to distinguish their individual
identity or that of another Marine.”  Giving out your personal information can open the door for criminals or anyone else to harass, defame, or humiliate you.

Another Marine created a fake social media profile, used your pictures, and is pretending to be you.
Why is it hazing? They are trying to defame or humiliate you and possibly sabotage your career.  Social Media Guidance states that Marines “should not disguise, impersonate or otherwise misrepresent their identity or affiliation with the Marine Corps.”

There are too many possibilities to list, but pay attention because if you witness it you must report it.  It IS your responsibility.  Hazing is such a huge problem mainly because no one speaks out about it until it is too late.  The best advice I can give is this:  If you think you are the victim of hazing, research the Order and speak with a peer that you trust, then report and document EVERYTHING.  How often you have barracks duty, the frequency of your addition to working parties, how often you fail field day, your work load increase, literally everything.  Finding witnesses helps, if you can get them to man up and step forward with you.  If someone threatens you to drop it or else, report them too.  Whatever you do, do not let them think they can control you with fear, because that is how this shit spreads and sticks around.  Some members of your unit will try that macho bravado brotherhood bullshit and call you a bitch or a pussy.  Let them.  Your SNCO’s and officers will let your NCO’s know not to fuck with you because you will, in fact, not stand up for that bullshit, and those NCO’s will comply whether they like it or not.  If you get to a new unit, that reputation will follow you, but it won’t be bad.  Most of the guys will understand the situation and give you respect for standing up for yourself like an adult.

Hopefully Helpful Links:
Marine Corps Order on Hazing  http://www.marines.mil/Portals/59/Publications/MCO 1700.28B.pdf
Marines Social Media Guidance  http://www.marines.mil/News/SocialMedia/Guidance.aspx
Marines Social Media Handbook  http://www.marines.mil/Portals/59/Docs/Marines-Social-Media-Handbook[1].pdf

Submitted by: AAVPOG

Your favorite “NCO Can’t Do His Job” story

Meritorious promotion boards are a joke.  They are the military equivalent of a beauty pageant.  Marines that excel at PT, uniform maintenance, and false motivation compete for a promotion instead of a tiara.  Many Marines do not like or respect these NCO’s due to the fact that they often cannot perform their MOS properly for someone who is in the position of a working supervisor.

Of the many Marines that I met whom could not perform their job but were meritoriously promoted, Corporal Dickbag was my least favorite.  He was Motor T and came to Okinawa as a Lance fresh from school.  Being a squad leader at boot camp and the guide at school, of course he was more motarded than most boots, and loved to show that shit in front of Staff.  This, along with his 300 PFT, caught their attention and within months he was being prepped for a board.

He won.  Everyone in his section, senior Lances and Corporals alike, hated him and complained about his inability to turn a wrench, so he was made into their paperwork bitch.  If you know much about Marines, you know that the most useless guys are often the most moto and full of shit.

Our battalion loved to cross-train since we had Motor T and a 4th echelon (read: rebuilding shit) shop.  One of the other companies sent a few boots to learn how to do a rack adjustment on an LVS and we needed someone to properly teach them.  Should we have one of the Lance Corporals who have been to advanced school, or should we grab an NCO because…um…he’s an NCO and it would make us look better?  Obviously grab someone that definitely knows what they are doing, right?

Diesel engines have a tendency to “run away” under the right conditions.  When this happens, fuel and air are sucked into the combustion chambers at an accelerating rate, possibly ending in catastrophic failure.  The LVS engine is equipped with a turbocharger, making this possibility much more dangerous but easier to deal with:  Putting a clipboard over the turbo to cut the air supply shuts it down very quickly.  Anyone who has been trained to do this kind of work knows this.

While teaching boots how to adjust this LVS, by reading off a checklist on a clipboard mind you, the engine starts to run away.  Corporal Dickbag panics, looking to his paperwork for answers as one of our Lcpls that happened to be nearby yelled to him to cut off the air.  Dickbag, holding his clipboard in one hand, snatches a handful of rags with the other and shoves his fist into the air shredding 120,000+rpm spinning blades of the turbocharger.  He pulled back a stump.

Put your left hand flat on a table then cover your fingers only from the last knuckle on your index finger to the first knuckle on your pinky.  That is what he lost.

He went TAD soon after that, then passed the recon indoc when his hand healed.  I saw him with a recon platoon in Thailand the next year during Cobra Gold.  They called him Stumpy.

That engine did stop, though, and it was sent to our shop to rebuild.

An Open Letter: Apologies for Field Day

Dear Backbone of the Marine Corps (the ACTUAL one),

I’m going to start by apologizing to you for the behavior of myself and your other NCO’s during Field Day.  While we DO have to make sure your room is clean, we DON’T have to be total cocks about it.  The Marine Corps has a certain set of standards for everything that…well…um…nobody really knows 100% what those standards for dust are…but…uh…standards, devil!

Shit, sorry.  I forgot how to think for myself for a moment.

I’m sorry I pulled your bed, nightstands, and wardrobes away from the wall and made you clean behind them.  I knew Gunny wasn’t going to check back there, but Sgt. Nazi told us we had to keep you up until at least 0200 because you didn’t sound off loud enough last Monday during PT.

I’m sorry I stuck my greasy finger on your mirror while pointing out the salt-grain-sized spot in the corner and smudged it all the way across.  That, admittedly, was a dick move.

I’m sorry I swiped my finger along that little crack where the back of the toilet meets the floor.  Not only was that completely unnecessary, I’m pretty sure that’s how I got Hepatitis.

I’m sorry I opened your unsecured wall locker, threatened to steal all of your shit, then telling you that you are the reason that there are thieves in the Marine Corps.  To be completely honest, there are thieves in the Marine Corps because we have a legacy of stealing shit and calling it “acquiring.”

I’m sorry I tossed that little bit of dirt I palmed under your shoe display and failed you for it.  Staff Sergeant Reprisal showed me that one.

I’m sorry I made you all stand out in formation for thirty-seven minutes while the other NCO’s and I stood around bullshitting about who we were going to fail, why, and what for.  I know you could have used that time to work on your room, even though it would have failed anyways because Top doesn’t want any of you to get in trouble this weekend while he’s the SDO.

I’m sorry I kept you up until 0330 when you had driver duty the next day.  I know how much it sucks to have to drive the SDO, OOD, and Bn Admin guys around all day and night on three hours of sleep, and I know the Order states that drivers must be permitted to sleep for 8 hours prior to duty to keep them from falling asleep behind the wheel and killing someone, but you fell out of that run a few weeks ago and Sgt Motard thinks this will help you become a better Marine.  Also, I apologize for chewing your ass for disrespect and talking back then threatening you with NJP when you politely reminded me that you had duty.

I’m sorry I got drunk and kicked your door in a couple of hours after I told you you could sleep.  That…there is no explanation for that.  Sorry.

I’m sorry I let Sgt Bumblefuck snatch you up for that working party.  Had I known the acidic substance he chose to use to attempt cleaning the sidewalks would only make a bigger, permanent mess, I would have acquired the keys to the haz-mat locker before he could get his stupid, fat fingers on them.

I’m sorry I volunteered you for morning cleanup last week.  I thought I heard you whisper something in formation, turns out it was Cpl Fucktard!

I’m sorry I yelled, “and none of you better have a fucked up shoe display like Lcpl (totally your name dude) here!”  That was totally pointless, your shoe display was actually quite lovely, devil nuts.

I’m sorry I inspected your room while drinking a beer.  I forgot we told you guys you couldn’t drink during Field Day.

Lastly, I would like to apologize for the following, less specific offenses:

Playing lookout for Sgt Spartan while he hazed you and your roommate.
Making you field day knowing full well that Gunny told us this week was general cleanup with no inspection.
Failing you for “dust.”  Look at it as your introduction to Article 134.
Tracking dirt, mud, and rocks into your room from my boots then chewing your ass for it.
Farting in your freshly Febreze-bombed hamster cage of a room right before Sgt Sillypants came through to inspect.
Terrorizing your sleeping roommate.  I know he’s TAD and hates you for what we do.
Fucking with you the night before you went on leave.
Fucking with you the night before 72’s and 96’s.
Fucking with you in general.  It isn’t nice, and we don’t have to do it.

In closing, I would like to apologize to all future Marines that have to deal with shit head NCO’s on Field Day.  Maybe someday we can all band together and make Field Day a not-so-shitty experience for all Marines.

Love (in a begrudging, hateful way),

Your NCO, 1369, USMC

Submitted by: AAVPOG

The Illusion of Training

Recruiters often speak of the awesome training that Marines will receive during their enlistment.  From cooks to admin clerks to LAV mechanics, Marines are said to be the best trained troops America has to offer.  But wait a sec, doesn’t the Corps have an extremely tight budget?  Yes, and that tiny budget casts a ridiculously large shadow across advancement opportunities across the board.  But, but, but aren’t Marines really good at making the best of a bad situation and adapting and overcoming and all that?  Well…yes and no.  Yes, Marines are pretty good at working with a shoestring budget, but the Corps is not.  Much like a college student, Marines can sustain themselves on booze and ramen.  The Corps however, is one hell of an expensive date, and she don’t put out, you do.  But before I start bashing the Marine Corps for its horribly deficient training programs, I must first explain a little about the futility to certain types of training.

There are many ways to try to “harden” a man.  The tried and true methodology for Marines has for many years been “stress these motherfuckers out so much that they literally lose all fucks about their health.”  It has had…limited success.  At MCRD recruits are screamed at, insulted, hazed, and tortured until they lose their individuality and therefore care much less about their own lives.  Many boots are willing to jump on a grenade just to avoid disappointing their Drill Instructors.  Notice I didn’t say, “to save lives.”  The fear of disappointing one’s superiors is equal to or greater than death itself;  if you die, you die a hero, if you disappoint, you are a shitbag for life.  There are much more effective ways of producing warriors, but warriors are not what the Corps wants.  They want robots.  Killing machines.  Your Drill Instructors may even refer to you as such.

Truthfully, there is no proven way to turn a young man into a warrior.  Warriors are born, they are not created.  You can’t infuse backbone into a man if he was raised without one.  Boot camp will not help you grow a pair of big, shiny, golden testicles if you don’t have the starter kit, kiddo.  No amount of training will ever be 100% effective.

The effectiveness of Marine Corps training programs often comes into question, mainly by those participating in said programs.  Effectiveness and readiness are affected negatively from the lack of proper materials regularly.  Budget cutbacks do not help this.  Marines are often forced to train with substitute training materials such as:  Imaginary rifles, imaginary targets, imaginary ammunition, imaginary lives.  Required annual training and qualifications such as rifle and pistol normally get pushed back until the last minute because…well usually its because someone is being a lazy buddy fucker and blocking junior enlisted from being promoted.  Gas mask qual?  Ha, good fucking luck with that if you’re a POG.  Well, at least they always make sure to pick instructors that are really good right?

In a word:  FUCKNO.  Example:  I was a range coach on 29 Palms for two weeks.  Wanna know what my qualifications were?  I had a rifle expert badge.  There was no training, it was “Corporal, you have an expert badge?  Good, you’re the range coach for Gunny Schmuckatelli and whoever the fuck else needs to qual this time.  Good to go?”  That’s like saying, “Hey Devil, you can pass a PFT, right?  Good, administer this SNCO’s required-for-his-career qualification test and if he fails it will totally somehow be your fault.  Good to go?”

Instructors, like every other Marine Corps leader, vary in quality and effectiveness.  There are many excellent instructors throughout the Marine Corps, most of them belonging to MOS schools.  Instructors at the school battalions, from what I have experienced and been told, are generally very motivated (not motarded) and effective.  That being said, there are some real bastards out there as well.  Burn happy Staff await unwitting Privates and Pfc’s around every corner, ecstatic over the prospect of raping another Marine’s career from the get-go.  The Marine Corps policy of “push them through, they’ll fix them in the Fleet” applies here as thickly as it blankets boot camp, unfortunately, resulting in many Marines either not fully grasping the concept of what their job entails and some that couldn’t perform properly at all.  It isn’t all bad, but there are many drawbacks to being under-funded that need to be explored and repaired in order to fix these glaring deficiencies.

–What you should know about the gas chamber specifically–

You might get to hit the gas chamber on time every year in a POG unit, but you must realize that there will be a remedial class that lasts all fucking morning and the freaky NBC guys giving the class will murder you with VX if you ask questions because a) they do this every fucking week (or more often), and b) QUESTIONS MAKE CLASSES LAST LONGER YOU STUPID INCONSIDERATE BUDDY FUCKER!!!  They will answer even the saltiest of Pfc’s questions with a pissed off stare and a repeated statement from the power point through teeth so gritted in anger they may shatter.  You may or may not have to break the seal on that bad boy when you physically hit the chamber and the hazy shit starts happening.  When I was on Okinawa we weren’t required to break the seal, but if you didn’t you were a pussy.  Remember that when you fill out your Final Physical paperwork because they graciously provided a space for you to check because if you broke that seal, congratulations dumbass, you just exposed yourself to CS.  The NBC guys know this, and they will laugh at you as you cough every drop of slime from your nasty little grape.  Also, remember to wash your hands before you touch your no-no.  I swear to fuck, there is ALWAYS one guy that goes off to take a piss and starts screaming about how it feels like his dick is on fire, and not from the HSV this time.–

What you can expect from Marine Corps training in general:

The training the Marine Corps provides can be very useful in your MOS and sometimes in the civilian world, but do not count on any state-of-the-art technological wonders.  The most common tool used by Marine Corps instructors of almost any billet is Power Point.  Your texts at MOS school will likely be photocopies of the power point presentation along with the same file in outline form and a shit load of pages that will be “intentionally left blank” because the government fucking LOVES to waste paper, all bound in a three-ring binder.  What did you expect, a fucking textbook?  Hahahahaha, you haven’t learned anything yet, have you?  Technically, your training materials will tell you everything you need to know about your MOS.  Technically.  Most likely, it will be horribly outdated and include references to technology that doesn’t even exist anymore.  Everything will be broken down in such detail that you may go mad trying to figure out if they are fucking kidding you.  As detailed as your training will be, it will be insufficient, and you will data-dump everything the SECOND you report in to your first permanent duty station.

What you should know about using your training if you were dumb enough to enlist:

Some of it will matter, some of it won’t.  No one will care that you are a rifle expert unless your new job is SWAT sniper.  Ah, I see you’ve received training in stabbing people with a bayonet, sorry but that particular job skill isn’t quite what we’re looking for.  If you go in as an Admin Clerk, leave out the part about your HMMV license unless the job requires you to drive an HMMV.  If you don’t like the job you get when you enlist, you can always to go college when you get out and change fields.  If you do enjoy your job you can always get out and go to school for something that is close to what you did.  For instance, if you were in Motor T and you loved turning a wrench, you can go get your degree in Auto Tech, Diesel, Manufacturing, or something similar.  Bonus:  Technical and vocational career instructors like veterans because we understand the material, take the shit seriously, have useful experience that THEY can learn from, and we’re not eighteen year old douchebags (we’re much more mature douchebags.)  Put that degree in a fat black pot, toss in some experience, throw in a dash of DD214 and you finally may have yourself a future, young one.

Or, you could always do the reasonable thing and GO TO FUCKING COLLEGE LIKE A SMART PERSON!

 

Submitted by “AAVPOG”