WASHINGTON, D.C. — In an effort to imbue Marines with the rudimentary literary skills needed to succeed in an increasingly technical and modern Corps, Gen. Joseph Dunford expanded the Marine Corps Commandant’s Professional Reading List to include classical works of children’s literature such as Everyone Poops, sources told Duffel Blog.
The sweeping initiative, following closely on the heels of the new Commandant’s controversial mandate banning the prolific utterance “Ooh-rah,” is part of Dunford’s ambition to field the 21st century Marine, a warrior who “not only fights, but can also read and write.”
The program, dubbed “No Marine Left Behind,” aims to stimulate Marines’ intellectual development through a rigorous curriculum that associates an assortment of colors with basic food groups — predominantly fruits and vegetables — as well as indigenous American fauna and a variety of domesticated animals encountered on one elderly Mr. MacDonald’s farm.
Additionally, unit commanders have been instructed to set aside a minimum of 30 minutes each day for platoon story time, during which platoon leaders will read aloud to their men, while they silently follow along.
“I like the pictures,” says Lance Cpl. Levi Brooks, dreamily tracing his finger around the eponymous ursine of Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?
“Do you think we’ll ever get to see a real, live brown bear on our next field exercise, Staff Sgt.?” he asks, bright-eyed and hopeful. “Do you think? If we’re really quiet, and we behave?”
“Sure, kiddo. I’m sure we will,” replies Staff Sgt. Bill Shanahan, a crusty, battle-tested veteran who earned his GED in 2002 and is currently pursuing a bachelor’s in Organizational Leadership and Management through the University of Phoenix.
“I’m really just here to make sure these rascals don’t fall asleep,” Shanahan says, playfully tussling Brooks’ hair before sending the classroom full of Marines off to PT [physical training], or “recess,” as the leathernecks have recently taken to calling it.
Sources confirmed the Marines returned a short time later — red-faced and sweaty — hurriedly scrambling to find a seat on the floor. Forming a school circle around 2nd Lt. Jim Donahue, they sat “criss-cross applesauce” and eagerly awaited the next story.
“The Very Hungry Caterpillar,” Donahue reads with a smile, opening to the first page of the interactive book, much to the delight of the Marines, who clap and babble excitedly at the sight of the brightly-colored, pop-up illustrations.
“ISIS won’t even know what hit them,” says Shanahan, grinning with satisfaction.