Fleet Marine Life #74 – Key to Success

2011-08-15-fleetmarinelife74 - Key to Success

“The key to success is knowing who to blame for your failures.”

I’ve had the displeasure of working with some of the shittest Staff NCOs ever. Not all of them are bad but most of them are. And the only good SNCOs aren’t even in my section. I remember this one SSGT who kind of looked like Doug Heffernan from King of Queens except he wasn’t fat. He was in another section and I was listening to him lecturing a Corporal on how certain things work in the Marine Corps. I was thinking to myself, “This is the kind of stuff I should know.” But at that time, I had very little time in the Corps and the stuff he was teaching was going to be no longer relevant. Never has a SNCO lecture me on anything useful.

I then realized that this SSGT coming to replace us spent more time in our work area in one week than all our original Staff NCOs have in the entire deployment (6 months). This is fucking sad.

In Afghanistan, my Gunnery Sergeant’s job was to wake up and think of random ass rules to make our lives shittier than they were. My Staff Sergeant’s job was to punch numbers into a computer.

One day, our Staff Sergeant tried to help some other section out and needed our assistance. He needed our assistance because he didn’t know how to do our job. He “worked” for a few minutes and then said he had to go get something. He disappeared for the rest of the day while we figured everything out.

How is the guy in charge of us this ignorant? I’ll tell you why. It’s because these kind of people volunteer themselves for all the easy cushy jobs all throughout their career. It’s usually that office job where you hang out in the office with the higher ups and punch numbers all day and get high proficiency and high conduct marks for it.

Never will they volunteer for a job that will cause any hardship. Eventually this is all they know throughout their career. How to punch numbers into a fucking computer and work the system to advance through the ranks. As a SNCO, they end up without any usable knowledge to pass on to their junior Marines. They don’t even know how to do their Military Occupational Specialty (MOS)! To hide this weakness, they talk themselves up a lot and refuse to answer any question regarding their own MOS. They talk the talk but they don’t walk the walk.

So, for every operation, they rely on their junior Marines to “figure it out.” Sure, they’ll make some mistakes along the way but in the end, they usually succeed beyond anyone’s wildest guess. These junior Marines, who take up good challenges, end up becoming the most successful in their MOS career. Usually, after the end of every operation, these Staff NCOs, swoop in, take all the credit and fucking bounce to another unit.

Being scapegoats since 1775.