I’ll start off by saying this is a great site, and one where it’s not a bitch session, really, but a place where folks may explain in detail stuff that’s messed up about the Corps, as well as personal experiences. I’m proud of my service, but still have lingering PTSD issues and, no, it’s not from my time in Somalia (I was involved in the move out of there right after I graduated MOS school). Unfortunately, some of the negative (OK, a lot) haunts me to this day. Despite my username no, I did not pick up sergeant, despite being fully qualified and I considered myself to be a pretty squared away NCO. I refused to go to the rifle range, knowing that another expert badge would mean I would be promoted exactly one year from the day I picked up E-4, and thus would most likely have some dirt bag officer from that unit do the ceremony. Yes, I could have asked to have someone else promote me, however I was seething with anger about halfway through my year on Okinawa and disgusted by what I witnessed over there, so it was a form of silent protest on my part. I had a lot of smug satisfaction knowing a lot of the retards I served around, to include more than a few officers, could never make it in the real world. I laugh now thinking about how these idiots were so full of themselves and into their delusions.
I chose Motor T mechanic, and all in all it wasn’t a bad MOS but we
worked some really long hours at times, and we had to deal with lots of
dirt bags, the vast majority of whom were drivers (I have friends I keep
in touch with who were drivers, so don’t flame me for that last
comment). Despite getting a high GT and ASVAB score I chose 3521 to get
my hands dirty and to gain more knowledge about automotive repair, plus I
did not want to sit behind a desk. Had I been a little more patient and
assertive with the recruiters, plus if someone had told me to stay away
from motor t, I would have chosen a different MOS. All in all I had a decent experience in the Corps, and met some great people from all over.
I served at 2nd Tanks, then on Okinawa at Camp Hansen. Tanks was full of mouth breathers, especially on the tanker side, but the leadership generally improved over time and there was at least some semblance of discipline, although there were some bad people there, most of whom ended up in the brig or drummed out of the Corps. Most of the bad folks were in H&S Co (just had to plug that in there, the tankers’ side had some good discipline). Basically, the leadership knew there had to be discipline within the ranks due to the high op-tempo (training-wise) of the unit. Often times Tanks was tasked with doing deployments nobody else in Division wanted to do, plus the unit itself was rarely called upon to do much of anything, so we were kind of the “bitches” of Division, one might say. We had some real solid senior enlisteds, although my MOS was at times lacking for good folks (Motor Transport).
At Tanks, at least we had the aforementioned discipline (for the most part), and some folks within the chain who gave a shit. Place was far from perfect but compared with Okinawa and horror stories I’ve read about here, and heard from friends, at times I had it good there. I should have known, though, that MEF and Oki would probably suck balls, as some of the dirt bag drivers had been to the island and were now riding desks at Tanks. Lifers to the core, they were riding desks at like age 19 for fuck’s sake. Heard it through the grapevine one is now a warrant officer (!). A lot of the tankers were real dullards, in fact that MOS has a rep within the Corps for being pretty much the bottom of the line unit community. So we had to take all kinds of abuse from them, despite the fact life was pretty easy for them, at times. Tanker senior enlisteds were better than seniors in lots of MOS’s, I’ll give ’em that. Great sense of humor for the most part, and they knew how to take care of people. Same for some of the officers.
I’d requested MEF, for reasons I’d rather not get into (kind of embarrassing, actually), and definitely should have requested a unit closer to Naha. I swear, the base bitch units have the real moto ‘tards. We had them at Tanks like you would at any unit, but MEF took the cake, in my book. The vast majority who’d re-enlisted and were now well into their 2nd or third hitch had no sense of humor whatsoever, unless, of course, they were cracking cruel jokes at people or talking shit behind folks’ backs, because, you know, RHIP. Like a lot of true blue lifers, these people stood or sat around all day doing absolutely nothing. Nothing interspersed with the occasional meet-up with the career jammer maybe to figure out what other soft unit they could head to next to fuck up a bit more. The majority of lifers at MEF did the “base bitch unit, air wing, and MEF shuffle” as I call it. None had ever served in division and even a few had somehow gotten through their first 5 or so years in uniform w/o ever having set foot in the ME, Somalia, or any number of other missions the Corps had gone on during that time. Many had never even served at an FSSG unit. Heck, folks at Tanks would volunteer for deployments just to get the fuck out of Lejeune for a while.
Submitted by: SgtFury