Opinion: My Worthless Marines Are My Heroes
CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. – I’ve watched a lot of Marines come and go over the years. Some Marines just want to do their term, then get out and go to college (traitors). Others realize the Marine Corps isn’t a good fit for them, but they’re wrong. They weren’t a good fit for the Marine Corps. A very select and elite few stay in to become leaders.
They choose to become part of the very fabric of the enduring history of the Corps. It’s very special brotherhood, a life guided by the phrase Semper Fidelis. It means “always faithful” and that’s what real Marines are: a fraternity of men and women who ride for the brand. A brand that distinguishes itself by fighting for right and freedom, and keeping its honor clean. It’s a brand that will never hesitate to do what’s right.
I myself have the distinct honor to command a group of modern day heroes. There has never been such a collection of worthless alcoholic, drug popping, sex offending liberty risks in Marine Corps history.
I can't understand why they don't take more pride in being Marines. All day long I hear, "Staff Sergeant, it's 1700. Can we go home yet?" "Staff Sergeant, why are we working late on another Friday? It's not like we're going to deploy.” “It’s snowing outside Staff Sergeant, do we really have to go PT?”
Son of a bitch! If the Marine Corps wanted you to go home, they would have put out a MARADMIN. What is home anyway? It’s an empty apartment my whore wife abandoned when she left me. I don't care if you never see your families. I never saw mine. It’s why she divorced me. Some days I truly pity her, having to live the rest of her days knowing she just couldn't measure up to the awesome responsibilities that come with the Marine life. Live forever bitch – you couldn’t make the cut.
My daily tasks and duties are monumental and I shoulder them with pride. My shop would fall apart if I even left it for a moment. I have to come in two hours before everyone else just to PT and make it a point to be the very last one to leave the office every day. Seriously, what would happen if the phone rang and no one was here to answer it? The Marines need to see me outperforming them even in the most mundane and banal of tasks, particularly if it’s just staring at a monitor for 14 hours.
Training the next generation of leaders is a challenge I have little hope of surmounting. My dumb corporal is always walking around with a smile on his face. What the hell does he think he’s doing? Does he really think he's some kind of leader? "Friendly" isn’t a leadership trait. Last month I gave him a simple directive running just forty pages and he couldn't carry it out. Where’s the warrior spirit?
They don’t appreciate true leadership. When one of my lance corporals called me to say he got a DUI, I was the one who bailed him out of jail. Then I charged him with violation of Articles 86, 92, 111, 116, 134 and informed him he was a worthless piece of shit. I could care less if civil authorities ended up dismissing all the charges. Unlike them, I’ve got zero tolerance for turds. One day they'll understand when they become real Marines like me.
All week long the Captain releases the Marines over my objections and they leave without my permission. Guess we're going to have ourselves a motivating Indian Run tomorrow until everyone falls out or pukes. Nothing builds unit cohesion and camaraderie like some hard-charging physical training. That and the Marines need to see they are weak and need hardening to become the physical embodiment of badassery that I am.
It’s 20:00 hours, time to inspect the evening clean up, jack some steel in the gym, then head on home to iron my wrinkle free cammies and feed the cat.
I’ve been utterly blessed with the opportunity to lead and mentor Marines. Whiny, useless, entitled, war tourists that they are. God bless them all. Semper Fi!
The writer is a Staff Sergeant at the Installation Personnel Administration Center (IPAC) aboard Camp Lejeune.