Superior Supermen – The Marine Corps Mentality

I’d like to address a few issues that may seem a bit “out there;” but they’re still important to highlight because it reveals the USMC endorsement of an interesting ideal. Beneath the veneer of what most would call a fairly simple philosophy exists an almost sacramental worldview that has, unfortunately, dismantled almost everything to which the Corps aspires. It is these lapses that should serve as a warning to young people that envision a USMC of reason, moderation, and logic. To begin, I’m a firm believer that “frustration is part of the process.” Frustration is good! Frustration while fixing your car, learning a new trade, reading a difficult book or dealing with an idiosyncratic person is part and parcel to becoming better at life. Frustration builds character. Frustration makes you stronger. Marines love to attach this fact to the rigors of daily life in the Corps by listing the existing challenges and insisting that it’s all good for you. But I beg to differ. In real life, frustration is part of the process. In the USMC, frustration seems to be the goal with no substantial payoff in the end.

In the eyes of the Corps:
– a pt session that begins before the sun rises isn’t sufficient. You need to be yelling at the top of your lungs to demonstrate to your superiors that you’re motivated. Why?
– on Monday morning, your neat and tidy low regulation haircut is an indicator to the SNCOs that you’re not as motivated as you should be. You’re wrong. Why?
– projecting your voice in a manner that allows everyone concerned to hear you is not good enough. You must be louder, even if it’s overkill. Why?
– long and tedious room inspections are somehow analogous to success on the battlefield. Why?
And the list goes on. The main point is that Marines believe everything can be improved upon, even if the subsequent measures make no sense. It’s part of their mentality to be a superior breed of men, even if this brand of superiority is sustained on an intangible and unseen dimension. This reminds me of someone.
Ah, yes- Nietzsche. For you philosophy buffs out there, don’t get the wrong idea about where I’m going with this. I’m not suggesting Marines believe God is dead (far from it), nor am I saying they endorse collectivism. But there are some stark similarities between the man and this institution. Nietzsche created two theories that resonate strongly with the Marines; 1. the Overman, or Superman mentality, which shatters the limitations society has placed on people with extraordinary potential, and 2. tapping into man’s basest instincts. The first theory need not be explained- most everyone will agree that a real Marine pursues his goals with maniacal zeal, and in many respects that should be admired. But there is a backlash, and that comes by way of tapping into the deepest recesses of man’s primal desires in an unrestrained fashion.
The reason why the USMC is now a two-steps-forward-one-step back institution is that they have not yet married the concepts of reason and zeal within the enlisted ranks. Moderation. Marines have a reputation for being the best fighters, runners, lovers and workers due to their love for the Corps. Even though this really isn’t true, it’s a theme they’ve embraced. I’m going to drop another bomb here, and again, it’s not what you might think. Adolf Hitler believed that if you’re going to endorse an ideology, you need to abandon any and all “contemplation” on the issue and embrace it entirely. Balls-to-the- wall energy and passion is the order of the day. What does this rhetoric remind you of? But he also celebrated the lapses his adversaries suffered from by not taking the time to THINK. I suppose I should explain that I’m not calling Marines Nazis, nor am I an adherent to any kind of racial superiority. If you’re going to attack this argument, at least be fair about it.
There is a disconnect running rampant in the Corps, and it’s found most acutely in POG Land. Some of you may be wondering why POGs are some of the most infamous motards. It’s because they’re operating under a distorted view of what it means to be a Marine on the universal level, regardless of how they view it individually. I was an enlisted POG. There is a greater balance between Motivation and Diligence being advocated among the commissioned ranks; so what kind of indictment does this bring down on the enlisted ranks, particularly the POGs? In POG Land, reasonable and mature behavior eclipses college fraternity antics by an unacceptable margin. That 10% is more like 20%, and frankly I think the 10% theory is a cop-out. Conversely, the Commandant of the Marine Corps, who has most likely gone to War College and is classically educated doesn’t tell his commanders to execute a battle plan without a sound strategy. The motivation is effective because he’s attached it to a repertoire of skills his men already possess. In the enlisted ranks, in my experience, it was the opposite: “motivation” was given as a prerequisite in order to accomplish whatever menial task that was assigned for the day.
So I am tempted to say the commissioned ranks are part Nietzsche/part Plato, which is an almost perfect marriage of existence. Nietzsche accused his fellow Germans of thinking too much while Plato encouraged deconstruction and logic. The enlisted ranks are mostly Nietzsche, if you’ll follow the analogy in its proper context (in this sense I’m labeling many enlisted POGs as reactionary and purely instinctual). The Corps is doing its job at the “tip of the tip of the spear” in an effective manner, where the execution of the combat mission is most crucial. But it’s doing something wrong at the lower levels, which is an injustice to many enlisted Marines who are absolutely brilliant at their respective jobs and deserve a reprieve from the childishness of “motivation.” We’re not talking about intellectualism here, where a butter bar who has majored in English literature is pretending to be superior to a LCPL on his third deployment. The issue here is fusing the berserker-like persona of a PFC with the maturity and knowledge of an officer. THAT is the definition of a real Marine, but so few exist.
So to whom am I assigning responsibility for this? If you track down the epidemiology of this “disease” of motardedness, it lies squarely on the shoulders of the SNCOs and the lower recruiting standards. It’s a combination of their lack of combat experience, a lot of overcompensation by way of their self-styled motard antics, and the disillusionment of just waiting for retirement. For a lot of SNCOs, it’s just not fun anymore. As for the latter issue, the standard for the enlistment quotas have gone down the toilet. How can you expect a depraved pedophile, ex con, or juvenile delinquent to learn anything when his superior could be a depraved pedophile, ex con, or juvenile delinquent? You can’t expect optimum results when one cross-eyed nitwit is leading a gaggle of cross-eyed nitwits.

USMC Animation 1 – 4

I got an email a while back from the creator of these short animations asking me to put his videos up on my site. I told him I would do it right away and… Well I totally forgot! So without further delay, here is USMC animation 1 – 4.

Serious advice for those considering to join

Serious Advice for those considering to join. This is coming from my experience in both the USMC (EAS 3 days ago and now a reservist) and civilian world. When you join, know that you will have to put up with some bullshit (if you are unlucky, you’re S.O.L). Don’t expect things to be handed to you just because you were in the military. Yes you do get some benefits but it is up to you to research them and use them. Get your education on your free time while in the USMC and prepare for the civilian world while you’re in. As my 1st Sgt says, ‘Once you leave the USMC, the USMC won’t give two shits about you.’
Don’t be the dumbass that tells a recruiter ‘I want to be a Marine first’ and go into some random MOS. If you do, then you will hate life. Lastly, joining the USMC is like playing Russian Roulette, you may go into a shitty unit with shitty leaders or you may get lucky. Don’t count on the best scenarios to happen.

Submitted by: Alajdljfkajldfj

The Army Deserves More Credit

You know the Marine Corps is all image and they always like putting down the Army. Since when was the last time the Marine Corps pulled a successful operation that didn’t fail, besides WWII in the Pacific. The U.S Army 3rd infantry division had to wait 6 days for the USMC to arrive into Baghdad but by that time Saddam Hussein had already escaped. And there was a river they were supposed to cross and I believed it was the river into Nasiriyah. And with there amphibious assault vehicles they weren’t able to even cross the river which led to the self named town. Why were they spending 24hrs just trying to lay out a bridge, and the battle of Fallujah guess what? They lost it the first time and waited half a year to retake it back and when they did they had to call the Army to take it back for them. Then afterwards everyone gave credit to the Marines and barely mention the Army. The USMC always try to blame half of their issues on the Army just because the Army had more successful operations of tearing down the enemy and making sure they can’t come back. The USMC is made of nothing but narcissists that always blame the Army, when the Army always protects the nation and they actually treat the recruits like men instead of little kids. So, always give some credit to the Army they actually do more than the Marines and they have the audacity to say that the Army doesn’t do crap.

Submitted by: Devanteg594237

The EAS Song

No doubt many of you have seen this clip, which I believe is recognized as a fitting homage for many thousands of discharged Marines. I’ve been out for about 5 years now, but when this character sings, “. . . and last of all we got one more left it’s the most important one, it’s the EAS . . .” I think of the relief I felt while driving out the front gate with my DD-214. It was almost euphoric. The lyrics are so simple, the song a concise encapsulation of his time in the Corps. There is bullshit everywhere and acronyms for everything. And hiding beneath the veneer of this highly lofted institution are the symptoms of confusion and mediocrity: on-duty Marines sleeping, favoritism, politics, avoiding responsibility, etc. Keep in mind, this young man is not singing about your local mechanic in coveralls finishing a beer when he should be repairing your car- he’s talking about the United States Marine Corps. As always, I am excluding those combat-tested Marines and the ones who have paid the ultimate price. The rest of you (including me) deserve no special recognition for just doing our jobs.

Motivators love to say, “Well there’s always a share of both love and hate for the Corps.” Just what part of, “Fuck USMC you can suck my cock” in that song conveys love for the Marine Corps? I personally reserve those sentiments for organizations (and the people in them) for which I harbor no affection. You can even tell your girlfriend, “Fuck you” in an argument, as well as “You can suck my cock” in a different setting when both of you are feeling decadent. But you cannot tell your girlfriend, “Fuck you, you can suck my cock.” She just won’t do it. It’s your way of saying, “I think we’re done” in the most undiplomatic way. But I don’t hate the Marine Corps. I won’t waste my time and energy hating it. My relationship with the USMC is a lot like the estrangement you have for that ex-lover who just isn’t right in the head. You pity and sometimes humor her, you know she (or he, for you ladies) is insane, and you can’t help her. And no matter how many times you explain that her negative traits far outweigh her good ones, she’s still going to believe that she made your life richer and more worthwhile. That’s the fallacy many motivators believe, that somewhere in one of the chambers of our hearts we still love and miss the Corps. So you just have to laugh, shake your head, and stay away. Hate is not healthy. I personally prefer expressing my awe and amazement toward these delusions of grandeur, followed by amusement.

When you compare the happiness level of your graduation from boot camp to your EAS, you will find that the former is grounded upon a belief system that had no or little substance in the first place. And little by little, you learn that the EGAs woven into your uniforms and pinned to your collars take on a different meaning than when you first coveted them. In the beginning, they were symbolic of being the ultimate badass and the consummate professional. But over time, the environment and the resources at your disposal began to reflect the inadequacy of the training protocol and superficial aesthetic of the Corps. Shall I quote Tyler Durden? “Sticking feathers up your butt does not make you a chicken.” Likewise strutting, yelling and marching in formation does not make you formidable, tougher, or organized. It only makes you more obedient and susceptible to further indoctrination.  Ultimately, your graduation from basic training pales in comparison to your EAS celebration. This is the case 9 times out of 10.

Perhaps a Marine and/or poolee (those naive, sorry bastards) will argue that if the USMC mentality failed to take hold, we just “didn’t do it right.” Something went awry. We weren’t Marine material. But being Marine material isn’t prestigious at all. The necessary components for being one are really reduced to two main factors: 1. a healthy body (which isn’t at all reflective of your character), and 2. the willingness to obey (like a child). Anything beyond that is derived from the individual. So this whole misconception that Marines somehow acquire admirable abilities and traits that are otherwise inherent is one of the biggest crocks perpetuating the Marine Corps myth.

If you’re one of those people who knows that had it not been for the Corps, you would’ve been incarcerated, committing felonies and/or just been an overall ineffectual human being, you’re among that alarmingly growing percentage who truly needs such draconian levels of discipline just to function. The Corps has attempted unsuccessfully to correlate the word “discipline” with the words “practical, useful, and efficient.” In other words, a Marine’s ability to do the right thing, to just be DECENT, requires drug tests, structured exercise sessions, and accountability formations to keep him that way. The definition for excellence in the Marine Corps is synonymous with maintaining the status quo in the private sector. Talk about lowering the bar. Those civilians and [few] Marines that have reached or transcended the standards of excellence do so individually, simply because USMC policy is designed as a blueprint for ordinariness. So without equivocation, there are far more excellent people in the civilian world than there ever were in the Corps. Hands down. No question about it. Aside from them being able to run for long periods of time, Marines work very hard in order to become very average.

– PerfectScapegoat

 

How a Marines Ego Works

NINJA_PUNCH – I just got done watching the move “Revolver” if you haven’t seen it I would highly recommend it (You can watch the full film here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zPNnu7QPtz8&wide=1 ). I’m not here to write a movie review, but I feel this applies. In the movie, a couple of people (who remain unnamed until the end) believe they’ve discovered the formula for the perfect con. Their student, Jake Green (Played by Jason Statham) Explains the formula as follows:

“The formula has infinite depth in its efficacy and application, but it is staggeringly simple and completely consistent. Rule one of any game or con, you can only get smarter by playing a smarter opponent. Rule number two: The more sophisticated the game, the more sophisticated the opponent.
If the opponent is very good, he will place his victim inside an environment he can control. The bigger the environment, the easier the control. He’ll toss the dog a bone, find their weakness, give them just a little of what they think they want. So the opponent simply distracts their victim by getting them consumed with their own consumption… The bigger the trick and older the trick, the easier it is to pull, based on two principles: They think it can’t be that old, or they think it can’t be that big for so many people to have fallen for it.

Eventually, when the opponent is challenged or questioned, it means the victim’s investment, and thus his
intelligence, is questioned. No one can accept that. Not even to themselves.” ~ Jake Green

Does anyone else think that the “opponent” sounds a lot like the marine corps and the “victim” sounds a lot like the marine? I sure think it does.


PerfectScapegoat Responds –
Revolver is one of my favorite movies, Ninja. That was a great post.

Another main theme the movie focuses on is the conceptualized self, the ego. They call the ego an agency of literalism because the mind doesn’t want to accept a concept that is too difficult to grasp- it will naturally choose a path of least resistance in order to satisfy the pride within the individual. The ego is incapable of correlating price with product, and it conveniently separates the two while we hang ourselves with the rope given us.Towards the end of the flick, Jake realizes that he suffers from a syndrome that most of us (especially Marines) succumb to at one point or another- we’re approval junkies.  As an added caveat, the Corps loves to emphasize the self-importance of urgency: “go here, go there, be there at this time OR ELSE, look important, carry yourself in a manner that suggests that you’re saving the world, etc.” But on pretty much any given day, what is really accomplished with such gravity and fabricated surliness? In exchange for their obedience, they’re given the illusion of importance.

Given enough distractions and false hopes, a Marine can spend 20 years in an organization that has only given him the illusion of accomplishment. I especially like the end of the movie when Jake takes away Ray Liota’s incentive for wanting to kill him, especially after the damage is already done. So Ray Liota is not only financially broke, but his power base has been completely toppled on a psychological level. The parallel here is that I don’t claim the USMC did anything for me, and when I have to mention my past I only say “the military.” I don’t specify. I give the Corps as little credit as possible, which is commensurate for its performance.

I think most former Marines think they have some kind of obligation to pay homage to the Corps, or they want people to swoon whenever they hear they were a Marine. This is leverage the USMC just loves to employ against them because they already invested so much into it. To turn their back on the USMC means you would have to develop their own identity instead of it giving them one with its own serial number. Most people just want to bask in the reputation, even if it’s undeserved. I know a guy who’s been out for 15 years, and he still uses Marine Corps jargon. It’s not my job to “reach” him- he’s lost forever. But I do take it upon myself to downplay my USMC experience because I want to be honest with them and myself.  What bothers the USMC (and I believe this wholeheartedly) is the idea of scores of former Marines disowning their parent organization and treating the experience like it was more like a bad acid trip instead of a patriotic rite of passage. At best (which is usually my take on it, since I’m a fairly optimistic guy), it was just a job. No more. No less.

LesterBurnham

I’ll admit that I’m a bit drunk right now, but with my divergent thoughts I think this might be the best moment to truly articulate my opinion about the USMC. I can’t lie right now, the truth is coming right out of my pores. Devil Pups, read and learn. Yesterday officially marked the last day of my 8 year contract, and I am no longer a marine in any sense of the word. I’m not even a former marine. I tell people I was in the military, and no more. Not because I didn’t serve honorably, or do well. I did both. And not because I’m particularly ashamed of the USMC. But because it doesn’t really matter all that much.
Why do you think the Marine Corps attrition rate is so high? Because we breed a nation of weak men who don’t want to serve their country? No. Because the bulk of our young men have enough sense to realize that this is not real patriotism. It’s an overhyped advertisement, and we are the poster boys for America. So they leave ASAP.
I am drunk right now. But I have yet to meet a loyal AND sober marine. Those attributes are mutually exclusive. In fact, I could arrive on any base as drunk as I am right now, and would still have the presence of mind to instantly realize that I was in the presence of a gaggle of overly pious but ineffectual fanatics. They’re all possessed with a strange sort of insanity, a singular but misguided premise that the Marine Corps Manual will conquer all. If they don’t believe this, then they’re not real marines.
The Corps, in its theoretical sense, ain’t all that bad. But in reality, it can be a bonafide nightmare. Young people: there are better ways to demonstrate your love for this country. Would I recommend joining the USMC? Perhaps. I got my GI Bill from it and made some good friends, some of whom I still talk to today. So in this sense, I think I made some progress. But in terms of analogy, you could also visit your local mental institution and make some really neat friends there as well. You just won’t get paid for it.

Submitted by: LesterBurnham

My USMC experience left me fucked up my head royally, and in more ways than one!

My USMC experience left me fucked up my head royally, and in more ways than one! The Marine Corps is like a microcosm of the US at large; In other words, it is a racial and multi-cultural distopic nightmare. The core, just like the US, is loaded with narcissists, gang-banger thugs, perverts and wierdos, and many mentally-unstable people in general. The humiliation by others can really wreck your spirit and self-confidence over time, if you let it. OH! Another important similarty shared between life in the US and life in the USMC is that overwhelming number of single, horny, and desperate men as compared to the low ratio of women. In a way, the marine corps prepared me for the worst that life in the US has had to offer me; now not only do I hate the USMC, but I actually hate the US now too!

I am tired of the racial disharmony, and anti-white gentile attitude that this country has taken on in recent years. I first noticed this double standard against white men when I was physically abused by black NCO superiors in the core. Fuck that shit! Using the chain of command sucks too. I think that I first learned to hate non-whites from my negative experiences with them while in there; hispanics bitching about racist whites; blacks beating on whites, and with impunity. There is a racial double standard, just like in America, where non-whites are allowed to bully whites to a degree, and without any consequences. Yet whites are treated like dirt, unless they kiss ass with the upper rank, and are totally PC and portrey themeselves as leading near perfect lives. All of the political correctness, and fighting for kike wars in the middle east is just fucking insane! The USMC has no real honor left because the imperialist empire of the US no longer has any honor. Marines are mercenaries, plain and simple.

To be fair, I should mention that I meet many amazing and wonderful people as well in the Corps, just as in the US, despite what seems like an overwhelming majority of sociopaths. I have zero sense of community in the US, and I am tired of it! WTF was I so loyal to a country that is run by jewish criminal gansters and fraudelent christian zionists? I want to leave this socialist, racist nightmare of a nation…

ATTENTION WHITE AMERICAN MALES: DO NOT BOTHER ENTERING THE CURRENT U.S. MARINE CORPS UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES. YOU WILL BE USED AS CANNON FODDER ON THE FRONT LINES WHILE FIGHTING INSANE WARS FOR ZIONIST PIG KIKES AND ISRAEL, MEANWHILE, AS BLACK AND HISPANIC FORMER DRUG DEALERS WILL BE ENLISTED IN SERVICE/SUPPORT MOS’S, GANG-BANGING ALL OF THE WHITE WM’S BACK AT THE CAMP/BARRACKS WHILE YOU’RE FIGHTING AND DYING. NOT TO MENTION HOW ALL OF THE THUG CRIMINALS GANG-BANGING YOUR WHITE GIRLFRIEND/WIFE THAT YOU LEFT BACK AT HOME.

The Perfect Scapegoat

To Semper Huh and ExMotard, I and most likely many others appreciate your candor. I’ve been out for four years now, and still remember my “epiphany.” I realized after about the two-year mark that greatness comes from within and the Corps, quite simply, was a monstrous impediment to my social, mental, emotional, and intellectual health. While this may seem melodramatic, consider the alternative: relying on another person or institution to extract virtues that already exist isn’t always successful.

Don’t get me wrong- tutoring, mentoring, and instruction are great things. But the institutional logic that exists within the Corps reinforces the identity of the Marine without truly making him better. Unless you were some kind of social reject, orphan, or juvenile delinquent, the Corps can’t offer much with regard to basic life skills. The training is rudimentary, while the drudgery of what I call the “existential upkeep” that Marines are expected to do is just too much for a normal, well-adjusted person to accept. I also noticed that the reason the USMC fosters such a zealous atmosphere is because its morale hangs by a thread on a daily basis. Incessant talks about motivation aren’t necessary if a unit is already motivated. It’s also important to note that Marine officers live very different lives from the enlisted. I would venture to say that the observations made on this site would come as quite a surprise to officers. I don’t blame officers for feeling this way, and I’m sure most of the hostility enlisted Marines have for them stems from plain, good old-fashioned envy. Hate them all you want, but officers were smart enough not to enlist. They get better pay, more freedom, and have more resources and training invested into them.

Now for the good news. I used to be a bit embarrassed to say I was a Marine, and it’s not because I failed at it. If anything, it failed me. I did a 4 year contract, served a year in Iraq, earned my Bachelors while I was in, and honorably discharged as a Sgt.  But I am fairly nonchalant about my service. It’s really no big deal because civilians work hard every day and don’t expect to be adored just for wiping their asses. And now that I’m out, I wouldn’t discourage someone from joining as long as they understood that they themselves are responsible for their own contract, conduct and decisions. If they know there is NOTHING in the world they can do to change the madness, they may come out of it okay. I’m still reaping the VA and GI Bill benefits, so it was a good decision for me. But I have serious doubts about the mental stability, moral grounding and competence of enlisted lifers. They aren’t bad people. They’re just a product of their environment.

Most Marines are basically “tourists”. They stroll around base for 3 1/2 years just to get a feel for the military culture. So I recommend that if you join the Corps, you do so within the context of a bizarre sociological experiment. I entered boot camp with a very serious and solemn tone because I really wanted to improve myself and excel. But I left the front gates at Lejeune laughing my ass off because everything I did in the Corps I could have done on my own. Tourists have the luxury of grabbing the proverbial bag of popcorn and just watching the show. I didn’t do that, unfortunately. I believed that the Corps would eventually deliver on its pledge to cultivating me into a better person. It never did. I recommend young people to just mind their own business and do their time if they’re a tourist. Employers don’t care that I was a Sgt, so I could’ve remained a LCPL and had a much better time. While I still ridiculed my superiors and mocked them, there was always this lingering responsibility I had that never went away. I think what drives Marines to promote in their first contract is vanity. No one remembers my name from 4 years ago and no one cares.

In other words, I was bought cheap.  LCPL is the best enlisted rank that offers the least amount of effort for the most return. You get to laugh at the debacles, poor leadership and stupidity, and if something goes wrong it’s not your fault. The second-best rank is SGT. Being a Corporal kind of blows.

A lot of people join the Corps for the bragging rights, which I think is just selling out to its undeserved reputation. So they leave the Corps with greater confidence and conveniently “forget” that they’re leaving because it’s overrated. If it wasn’t, they would still be Marines. Plus, that EGA tattoo isn’t coming off for a while, so they might as well just shine it on. But the lifers are dead serious about their profession, or at least they should be if they want to keep their careers. I’ve found that an enlisted lifer working on his career is like a toddler playing with his toys; both take their respective activities very seriously and believe that what they’re doing at that moment is the most important thing in the world. Take away his toys (or for the Marine, threaten his career or credibility), and all hell breaks loose. But at the end of the day, not a lot is accomplished. And then they get up the next day and do it all over again. They don’t see the futility of it all, but it gives them something to do and have been made to believe they are important. While I’ve heard tons of people talk about how awful the life of LCPLs and below are, I believe that enlisted lifers are the most miserable and disillusioned bastards in the USMC. Those who aren’t discouraged are blissfully ignorant. They believed with every beat of their hearts that one day they would be able to rise above the turmoil and struggle of the Corps, but it’s an anti-climactic “victory.” Every job has a changeover in bullshit with regard to promotions; but the USMC’s bullshit is epically infuriating for a sane individual.  Even if they promote to E9, lifers spend over 15 years getting to it just so they can drive a desk and watch LCPLs clean out their trash. I believe that it’s not worth it. There is no light at the end of the tunnel until you EAS.  I do believe in worthy careers, though- I’m pursuing mine. So the point is not that we should all just give up and live in some kind of fatalistic world where nothing has any purpose. Quite the contrary. It’s that we need to determine what we’ll get out of an organization before throwing ourselves into it.

Some may argue that I’m just being hateful. It’s not that at all. It’s that once a lifer retires, he has little or no career prospects. His legacy is being a Marine, and little else. While there are exceptions to this, enlisted retirees are generally relegated to working for the electric company, driving a taxi, pool cleaning company or short order cook. Tell me, why would I want to do this?  Their best years are behind them. It’s kind of like a protracted reign similar to the glory days of high school. And once it’s over, he’s discarded into the private sector. Most don’t have a college degree, and many are shuffled around to shops different from their MOS. Enlisted lifers are usually glorified supervisors who have lost their job skills. I’m just being truthful. A handful become GS workers and are able to make gobs of money, but there are only so many slots available. To put it mildly, enlisted lifers got on the wrong career track and are stuck with having to watch officers move on to achieve bigger and better things. That’s just the way it is.

I don’t think all enlisted lifers are lazy. I think they’re burdened with an SOP that has been 2 steps forward and 1 step back for too long, and it’s designed that way to keep the animals occupied. In Iraq, my unit was a MACHINE. Nearly everything went smoothly, and when obstacles appeared, they disappeared with innovation and teamwork because there was a real mission at stake. But the very moment I stepped back on CONUS soil, the silly and infuriating games began. You can only imagine my anger. It was like, “Shit, I’m back. I could’ve just remained on deployment for the rest of my contract.” So I got off the USMC treadmill because an inefficient template for policy, regulations and the overall mission results in protracted success (if any at all). It was just more of the same, regardless of the unit.

The bulk of tourists EAS because they know there is something fundamentally wrong with it. The word I used in the first paragraph is “normal,” and I used that term deliberately. If even half of the enlisted lifers I saw were in their right minds, that would be a very generous concession. But to remain and embrace such a dysfunctional environment requires a bit of insanity and/or desperation. And I’m not talking about the “Ha ha, Marines are so zany and wild with their silly and fun antics.” Instead, I saw serious indications of obsessive compulsives, narcissists, manic depressives and co-dependents. Don’t forget the sadists. Their environment is driving them insane. There is no way on this planet that the Marine Corps environment can pass as “normal.”

I realize that many a motivator might want to respond to this last assertion by defending the chaos of the Marine Corps as a prerequisite for sound training and mental preparation in combat. That’s a very creative rationale, but I call bullshit on it: smelly, sanctimonious, and self-deluding bullshit. On paper, Marines ply their trade and hone their craft with training, but that doesn’t happen in reality. Instead, it is the image of the Marine Corps that is
polished and maintained for the public to observe, and that requires time-consuming formalities that ultimately precludes additional mission-oriented training. The result is that every Marine that goes home for leave is a walking advertisement for the USMC, and each one that discharges is expected to live by the pledge of “Once a Marine, Always a Marine.” Allow me to call that last adage what for it is: a cheap form of guilt inducement designed to keep you from criticizing the Corps. What other military organization focuses its theme on permanent (though unofficial) membership? None that I can think of.

SNCOs aren’t entirely stupid. They know who is going to stick around and who isn’t, and they give preferential treatment to the motivators (even if their performance is woefully lacking). The moment they discover you’re getting out, you’ve been blacklisted. The only thing that virtually  guarantees that you’ll be taken care of in the USMC is whether or not you’re “in.” “Are you in, or are you out? That is the million dollar question. Are you going to make a career out of this, or not? If so, then welcome to the brotherhood. If you get a DUI, we’ll do our best to suppress it because we don’t want to ruin your career. But if you’re not in, well you can just bugger off and die (but not until we freeze your pay and demote you). Semper Fi, Devil Dog. Semper Fi.”

Thank you for reading, I know it was lengthy.