“Thieves Edition”: Marine’s Never Lie, Cheat or Steal

We were in the locker room for swim qual – gear a-ready – when the instructor told us to leave everything and follow him to the pool – leaving the gear adrift. [Sorry not to build suspense into the scene of the crime, but the real story comes in a bit]. Returning to the locker room, my Kevlar helmet and that of a corporal’s was gone. We continued with our training.

Back at our company we had to fill out a missing gear form so as not to be helmet-less in combat. The corporal and I had to see the Company XO, Lt. Gremlin, named as such because she resembled the sexy gremlin in the classic holiday film, “Gremlins 2.”

Waiting outside her hatch the banal conversation between she and the corporal was brief, and concluded with her signing off on his new Kevlar helmet. All seemed well with the world. He left, I entered, stood at attention, reported in, and was then put at ease, which really meant modified parade rest, so I was not actually at ease; nor should I have been.

“Why are you here?” she asked, displeased.

“My helmet was stolen at the pool.”

“What do you want me to do about it?”

“I was told to fill out this form and see you,” I answered – feet shoulder-length apart, hands behind my back, which is a truly appropriate position for a verbal slapping.

“So,” continuing with all questions and no answers, “you think you shouldn’t be held responsible for losing your gear?”

And that’s how it went. She concluded that even though the corporal and I were in the same place at the same time for the same incident that he should have his helmet replaced, but I should have to pay for a new one.

She dismissed me. My platoon sergeant, the one I reference in the “Tradition” story, got a helmet for me.

Lt. Gremlin the Thief

Now, Lt. Gremlin didn’t just get her name because of her appearance. Honestly, the sexy gremlin in that movie was kind of hot; I mean, she was certainly down to get down, and wasn’t shy to make her feelings known. Lt. Gremlin earned this nickname for being repugnant, just as others earned good ones with their virtue.

Standing outside the company office around this time she is talking to SSgt BadAdvice about a fender bender she had been in. Out loud, in front of many junior marines, she is trying to talk through how she can parlay her minor accident into major repairs, which some people – like claims adjustors – would call insurance fraud.

What, does she think she’s not responsible for fixing her own car?

Does she think someone else should pay for things that are hers?

She did.

Author: Chris Pascale

Christopher Pascale is the author of War Poems: A Marine's Tour 2003-2008. He served in the Marine Corps as a combat engineer.

  • iSuck@Coloring

    There’s no way a fellow Marine would ever rob gear from you, nor would a commissioned officer of Marines ever treat Marines differently based upon rank. *sarcasm*

    • Master LCpl

      Of course not…remember what your SDI said in his pick up speech: “Be completely honest in evrything you do. A Marine never lies, cheats, or compromises.
      Respect the rights and property of all others. A Marine never steals.”

  • Former_dumb_ass

    It’s interesting that an organization that exists primarily to kill people and destroy their property somehow expects its people to be honest, no lies, cheating or stealing. When i was in boot camp you had to sleep with your boot bands. Did a beat down in the fleet on a fellow marine for stealing by hat. And of course, don’t even think about loaning money without collateral. I made a few bucks on unclaimed items used as collateral, but then it hit me that most of that shit was probably stolen from someone else. For those thinking of joining, make sure you go the extra mile and buy the locks that the guys from Chicago and New York can’t pick. And if you have something that you really want to keep, leave back on the block with mom.

    • I’m laughing at the “locks that guys from Chicago and New York can’t pick.” Nice.

    • S.

      I love your name. It’s fuckin funny haha

  • Joe

    I imagine this sort of thing can’t go on anymore. Too much social media and all that. I’m in the DEP right now and am looking forward to doing 4 years (I even get a bonus after graduating MOS school). If anyone here has any advice that’s not all like FUCK YOU IDIOT and stupid shit I’d be cool with hearing it. My uncle said military time is super slow when you are in it but flashes by when it is over.

    • S.

      I say go ahead and join and find out for yourself if what you “imagine” is true or not. lol

    • Simple advice:

      1) If you’re married, get a place off base. You’ll appreciate the freedom.
      1a) If you already have credit card debt and a car loan (or are thinking of getting either), then live on base. No sense sweating the rent when you’re already in trouble.
      2) If you’re single, put $500 of every paycheck into savings. You can literally live on no money, and this will allow you have some cash to blow each week. In 4 years, you’ll have $48,000, and that will make you free enough to decide whether staying in is worth it.
      3) Go to medical when you are injured – explained here: https://ihatetheusmc.com/getting-a-va-disability-rating-how-to-do-it-what-it-means/

      Everything else, you’ll figure out or likely read/see elsewhere.

    • M

      A lot of naïve, impressionable and aggressive young men seek out the military for different reasons- some to get away from a shitty life situation, some to venture beyond their redneck town or city ghetto, or go to fulfill some Rambo type war fantasy they have for themselves.
      Most people (when they initially join) are highly ‘motivated’, but that does tend to wear off over time when the realities of the Fleet Marine Force, plus the excessive and petty overregulation of Marine life, starts to sink in. If the Corps has a such a high turnover rate pf personnel, I don’t believe your going to be any different from all the previous others that decided to ‘vote with their feet’. Or you could fall into the dependency trap (marry to get out of the barracks, have three plus kids with a fat dependapotamus) then reenlist because its too scary to exit the uniform wearing adult kindergarten!
      Even if your bonus is promised on a contract, the military can change its terms ANY DAMN TIME ITS WANTS TO! , and there have been cases where the ‘bonus’ was never given out, or given then TAKEN BACK a year later, or paid out with ‘conditions’. Read over the fine print, and then it might dawn on you that you have no rights to demand anything from ‘the Suck!”.
      I wouldn’t recommend that anyone join Marine enlisted. But you are your own boy, and obviously refuse to listen to anyone who is realistic about the experience. But I’m sure the Corps will abuse you like the little stupid BITCH you are for four years.