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!

  • Juan

    Been there, done all of that brother. Ive been in for 3+ years and have spent everyday hating this organization. The advice I should be giving you is to “do your best, stay out of trouble, and ride out your time”, but honestly, I’d be a complete hypocrite if I said that since its the opposite of what I used to do. I have been with my platoon for 27 months, and for about 19 of them I’ve been TAD. Multiple TADs at that. My secret?…just act like you don’t know or care about anything. I have a natural work ethic, and really do enjoy doing a good job. But when is comes to MC bullshit, Im just too disgruntled to give a shit. Everyone at my original unit thinks I’m the world’s biggest turd, and for the most part I believed them. On the other hand, every unit that I’ve worked with during my TADs seem to have only nice things to say. The environment truly does make a difference to work performance. Im not gonna tell you to be a shitbag, but if you truly want to get away from your unit just make it perfectly clear to them that you don’t care for their bullshit, nor will you play their games. When they finally realize that they can’t break you they’ll send you away as soon as they can.

    • BrassNecked14

      How do you manage to do that????? Hell, I would want to do TAD like that soooo bad but it seems that the only TAD I’d be going to is the IPAC which is the last place on Earth where I would want to go.

    • TerminalCpl(who got Sgt)

      Parris Hilton once said “If you never want people to tell you to do work, fuck up so bad the first time they ask you that they never ask you again”
      Believe it or not this works, I am a hard working Marine and will work from sun up to sun up to accomplish the task and get Comm up but when it gets down to just being me who was doing the work, and I mean all of it as night shift manager it burns you out. Multiple field ops I seemed to be the only one in the company going to the field and getting all systems green only to get yelled because I put two antennas up with only one a bag because the company DRMO’d the other 13 a bags (26 total for 13 radio sets.) Instead of getting a “Dang Marine, good job adapting and over coming the obstacle” I got my ass blasted in front of my junior Marines who were none the less astounded that it was happening.
      I ended up getting TAD’d to the Camp Guard and loved it there, even helped my Marines over the phone troubleshoot their gear but oh well, company thought I was a shitbag right.

      • Billiam201

        About a month or so after I got out, I got a phone call at some crazy hour of the night. My mother woke me up and told me it was somebody called ‘Master Guns.’

        He told me that my shop needed some help re-calibrating something, and would I be kind enough to help them out? By the way, apparently the base library (which had signed my check-out sheet) decided I had a book out after all, and I would need to be paying them back for that.

        To this day, almost 14 years later, I have never had such a warm and fuzzy feeling as I told someone to lick some carefully chosen parts of my anatomy and went back to sleep.

        • TerminalCpl(who got Sgt)

          I love getting these phone calls.
          Especially since I’m the senior person in the S3 right now, and they aren’t in a hurry to try and get me a replacement despite me EAS’n here in a couple weeks so when I leave and no one has any of the documents to handle the BNs training because I may or may not just delete them from the sharepoint I will just laugh as my junior Marines call me saying the BN is burning down while I’m sitting at home with my son playing xbox and watching tv.

  • Billiam201

    I had a particular Sgt on the rock (we will call him Sgt Dudebro) who had a problem with me from minute 1.

    I’ll admit, by the point I was checking in on Oki I was pretty deeply disgruntled. I was an ex-corporal, as well as an ex-sergeant, and when SSgt Hateseverybody looked in my SRB, saw 2 ninjapunches and we had a conversation that went like this:

    SSgt H: “I’ll bet you learned your lesson, huh?”

    LCpl B: “Probably not. Getting busted from sergeant to corporal was the second best thing I ever did.

    SSgt H: “Really? What was the best thing?”

    LCpl B: “Getting busted from corporal to Lance corporal. I’m not on the hook for anyone but myself, and it cost me the sum total of $20 a week. I’ll happily pay that, and never get busted again for something someone else did”

    Needless to say, that wasn’t what he wanted to hear. His response to that was to attempt to ram Sgt Dudebro up my ass.

    Sgt Dudebro was an inveterate cocksucker, who had managed 2 meritorious promotions on closed MOSs. Which is to say he knew the chamber pressure of an M16A2 service rifle, and looked good in a uniform. He couldn’t understand how a spark plug worked, but what do you need that for?

    After a few interesting conversations, which ended with a sergeant screaming at the top of his lungs that I would learn my place, and that he demanded respect, he decided to send me down the hill to 990. Little did he know I had written half of the 990 CDI exam in my previous station, and wanted nothing to do with his shop anyway.

    I polished my skates, headed down the hill, and never looked back.

    Sgt Dudebro and SSgt Hateseverybody eventually heard how much of an asset to 990 I was, and decided that it couldn’t possibly be true. I was confronted at the barracks, in the smoke pit, by two screaming drunken idiots, wanting to know how I had accomplished this tremendous feat of ‘not being a shitbag, when they decided I was one’, and we’re incapable of understanding that I didn’t like them, didn’t respect them, and didn’t care what they had to say. As far as I’m concerned, when you spend your days stabbing your own marines in the back, you lose the right to talk down to me.

    I’m not going to say I didn’t dig my own hole with that guy.

    I was simply amazed to see the lengths to which he would go to get the ‘respect he deserved’.