To sum up the Marine Corps in Okinawa in a few words would be like this: Marine Corps life on Okinawa was a perfect mixture of MCRD, OCS, CCU, and brig put together, with a sprite of insane asylum.
The salty Marines that were on the island for a while were not like your average Marine that you would find on Camp Pendleton, Camp Lejeune, Marine Barracks Washington DC, or Kaneohe Bay HI. These Marines had a little bit of freedom. These Marines at the end of the day could get in their cars, drive off base and see what it was like to be a normal person, even if it was only on the weekends Marines stateside can have that release from the eagle globe and anchor and at least drive away to a far away happy land, even if it took 6 hours. Marines on Okinawa were stuck on base and stuck to their barracks. Marines on Okinawa were in “fuck fuck” mode 24/7. If there was a typhoon, Marines would be locked down in the barracks and not allowed to leave period. If a Marine had to go to the chow hall he would have to wear a flak, kevlar and H harness. Even to go out and smoke or else you would be written up by the Camp Guard rolling around in their humvees.
We were pretty much stuck with each other and there was no escape. If you did not like a Marine, too bad so sad, you literally had to put up with him 24/7. The women to men ratio was about 28 men to 1 woman, so you know how bad it got and how low standards would drop. You ever remember a nasty female Marine that got hit on after a while when there are no other women around? Okinawa was ten times worse. If a woman looked like R Lee Ermey, that woman would have constantly around her about eight Marines that would do whatever she wanted. There was no pussy on Okinawa to make matters short. I remember my standards dropping so low that I tried to get with women I would never, ever in a million years get with stateside.
The barracks was much like a prison. It was not like the barracks you see on Camp Pendleton or Lejeune that looks like a cheap Motel-6 with the doors on the out side. The barracks on Okinawa had the doors on the inside, kind of like the projects in a big inner city with one way in and one way out. Right in the front was a motivated Marine with a green military notebook always checking Marines on their way out. Marines had to sign out and in on that green military notebook and if a Marine was not signed back in after midnight (he he) the Sgt would start drop kicking all the doors, wake everyone up, get us in the common lounge and chew our asses for not “looking out for our own.” As if it was really our fault that a motherfucker decided not to come back. We would stay up all night looking for this motherfucker and the Sgt would not let us sleep until that dumb ass was found. If it got really bad the CO and 1st Sgt would come to the barracks and chew our asses even more.
The barracks was much like a prison. Every deck had a fire watch of two people. One on the desk and the other one walking up and down the hallway. Of course, both of these idiots had to wear full battle gear (flak, kevlar, H-harness with two full canteens etc.). Every time a higher up would come we had to stand up and say “good evening sir/mam Lcpl. Idiot reports barracks whatever all secure at this time etc. etc. there are no unusual activities to report at this time sir/mam!” This had to go on forever and if a motivated Ssgt that just got off the drill field and came in as the SNCO of the day (you know the rest, I’ll leave it up to your imagination) there was hell to pay.
There was no escape from this prison, and yet Marines STILL managed to get caught underage drinking, fighting, stealing, or fucking in their rooms and would get burned to the stake. The higher ups would always put Nazi style rules on us and really breathe down our necks and Marines would find a way to fuck up and get the whole company in trouble. Some got in trouble cause they were stupid. Some got in trouble because they were alcoholics. Many got in trouble because they just flat out stopped giving a damn. Somewhere deep inside their hearts they just gave up playing the game, picked up a bottle of booze and got in trouble. This was the reason why so many of us had to pay the piper. It was not strange for us to do a field day for someone else’s mistakes. It was not rare for us to play that boot camp game (2 sheets 1 blanket) when a Lcpl said “fuck you” to the Cpl.
One day I remember a Marine came in after midnight one night. Me and a couple of other Marines got pretty drunk that night. The CO came the next day at 0500 and took us on an OCS style run for like eight miles or so. Now you can imagine how I felt running at 0500 for that distance with no sleep and a lot of alcohol in my system. It was hard not to puke but when the motherfucker in front of you, left of you, and right of you are puking their guts out and you smell it. You have no choice but to join it. Okinawa sucked bad, but it sucked even worse if you got in trouble.
Stay tuned for part 4 of my Okinawa prison experience when I saw the bird man and got my ass NJP’d in Okinawa, you will not believe the shit I put up with. Stay tuned.