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.