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.