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Marine Corps

COVER-UP: 23 Questions Marine Corps Times Was Too Afraid To Ask Cpl. Kyle Carpenter

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In a shocking discovery just one day after Cpl. Kyle Carpenter was awarded the Medal of Honor, Duffel Blog investigative reporters uncovered a list of proposed questions weak-kneed Marine Corps Times editors outright rejected. Before interviewing the Marine who had jumped on a Taliban grenade and saved his best friend’s life, Times reporters researched questions other Marines wanted answered by canvassing an infantry barracks during field day.

What Marines wanted to know so horrified Times editors they refused to ask Carpenter any of the questions. But we at Duffel Blog feel that people deserve the truth.

While further investigation was impeded by Times employees who called the police on Duffel Blog reporters dumpster diving behind their offices, we are printing the 23 questions they were afraid to ask for the first time:

1. Is there any advice you have for a young infantry lance corporal on how to make rank without actually throwing themselves on a piece of live ordnance?

2. Will you be promoted to Sergeant now, or is that only for people who defect to the Taliban?

3. Does this mean you don’t have to do field day anymore?

4. When they first announced you as a living Marine Medal of Honor recipient did you have to pay royalties to Dakota Meyer?

5. What’s the first endorsement deal you plan on signing?

6. Bruno Mars once sang, “I’d catch a grenade for you.” Why do you think he didn’t?

7. Have you ever had to figuratively jump on a grenade as someone’s wing man in a bar or club? Did she outweigh you?

8. Which Marine Corps Martial-Arts move do you think best goes with your MoH citation tie-in?

9. Have any older Medal of Honor recipients called you a pussy for only jumping on one grenade?

10. So, in the ongoing Afghan presidential election, are you rooting for Abdullah or Ahmadzai, and what do you think about the presence of General Dostum on the ticket? Just fucking with you, what’s your favorite Terminal Lance comic?

11. Why doesn’t your Medal of Honor have a “Combat V”?

12. Does the medal come in handy opening bottles of beer?

13. Have you ever thrown the Medal like a ninja star in the privacy of your own house?

14. If you are married, does your spouse get the Medal of Honor as well?

15. Do you ever have problems finding the Medal at the PX when you’re putting your uniform together at the last minute?

16. Will you have to show the Medal every time for your discount at Chili’s or will they just remember you after awhile?

17. Have you ever caused a Victoria’s Secret store to collapse from the sheer mass of panties dropping all at once?

18. MCO P1020.34 states that “Marine Corps uniform standards of grooming do not allow eccentric or faddish styles.” Do you think a glass eye with an EGA is less eccentric than corn rows?

19. What kind of cheat codes for the Medal of Honor video games come with the actual Medal?

20. As you waited for the grenade to go off, did you think in retrospect, you wish you’d chosen a different MOS that would have let you leak a bunch of classified documents and then gotten a free sex change operation?

21. Is Maximillian Uriarte really doing a graphic novel adaptation of your story?

22. Marry, Fuck, Kill: Dan Daly, Smedley Butler, Chesty Puller. GO!

23. When you go to strip clubs do the dancers tip you? That would be awesome.

Marine Corps

Marines send homemade cards, letters to Mattis on first Father’s Day apart

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WASHINGTON — Marines across the active and reserve force have sent letters and homemade cards to former Defense Secretary Jim Mattis for Father’s Day, sources confirmed today.

Officials confirmed they became aware of the card writing activity within the ranks when an unusual number of requests came in for construction paper, glitter glue, and puff paint from Marines worldwide.

Pentagon spokesman Daniel Hazelrig confirmed the DoD was both aware and supportive of the cards and characterized them as “absolutely heartbreaking.”

“The cards are cute but it really makes you feel for these young Marines,” said Hazelrig. “So many messages asking if it’s their fault, what they did wrong, and promising to be more lethal if Mattis will just come home. It really tugs at your heartstrings.”

Mattis resigned from his post in December of 2018 in a move which Pentagon officials at the time characterized as a “trial separation” and which Mattis explained to the Marine Corps as, “running out for a pack of smokes.”

Since then the retired general has moved out to California, rented an apartment and is currently spending a disconcerting amount of time hanging out with college students while claiming to be “living [his] best life.”

Members of the Corps explain that while they enjoy having two Christmases, it isn’t the same without Mattis around and affirmed their reluctance to call Acting Secretary Shanahan “Dad,” despite repeated requests from the president.

Units initiated the card writing campaign after a plot to have Mattis and the Pentagon both visit the border wall with Mexico and initiate something called “Operation Parent Trap” fell through.

Meanwhile, defense officials plan to allow the Marine Corps to spend the weekend sleeping over at the retired general’s home.

“Last time we were there he let us stay up late and watch Die Hard which was pretty awesome,” said one junior Marine.

According to one official, if the troops are good, Mattis intends to allow them to watch a VHS of Conan the Barbarian before bed which, multiple sources confirm, “totally has boobs in it.”

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Marine Corps

All Marines are rifleman first, according to Marine who is admin clerk second

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Making copies

WILMETTE, Ill – On Saturday evening, Private First Class Mark Vance told a collection of fellow New Trier High School graduates “Every Marine is a rifleman first.” Vance, whose primary Military Occupational Specialty is as an Admin Clerk—“not at all like a secretary,” according to Vance—spends virtually all day, every day typing.

Vance’s comments confused several partygoers, who were uncertain whether that meant Vance’s admin clerk duties were of secondary focus and if being a “rifleman first” had any impact on the young Marine’s actual schedule.

“I asked him what his job was and he said the rifleman thing from movies, but he didn’t really elaborate,” said Vance’s classmate Will Shields. “When I asked him what he meant, he said something about ‘lions not being concerned with the opinions of sheep’ and walked off.”

Sources confirm that Vance stood out among at the party thanks to his cargo shorts, tucked in Grunt Style t-shirt, dog tags worn over said shirt, and exceptionally pale skin characteristic of someone who lives his life under industrial fluorescent lighting.

Vance spoke at length about what it’s like to be a “living weapon” and to “know you can kill everyone in the room if you have to.” Since completing Marine basic training and earning his eagle, globe, and anchor, Vance has spent the majority of his time in the service handling admin actions as part of his unit’s S1 administrative division. Such actions include filing paperwork, filling out paperwork, taking calls, and not allowing his fellow Marines to sign out on leave.

Vance’s fellow Marines unit confirm that Vance’s training since leaving Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island has not included any specific courses in tracking enemy combatants across the desert, snapping a man’s neck like it was nothing, or something Vance vaguely referred to Saturday as “insane-o mode.”

Despite the “lean mean killing machine’s” apparent lack of formal training in advanced combatives and tactics, multiple party guests confirmed that Vance responded to a question asking if he had ever killed by saying “Not yet” completely without irony.

He then went on to explain that if he did deploy and if an ISIS fighter assaulted his forward operating base, and if said fighter were to make his way past the FOB’s outer defenses, and if they were to then fight through the other units on base, and if said terrorist were then to enter the Battalion Headquarters, and if they were to then make their way to the S1 shop, he would, “totally end that motherfucker.”

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Marine Corps

Marines open remedial ‘Corporals Course for Staff Sergeants’

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Fuji Viper Corporal's Course
Photo Credit: U.S. Marine Corps

QUANTICO, Va.—Staff Sergeants looking to brush up on—or, honestly, learn—the fundamentals of their profession will have a brand new opportunity with the Marine Corps’ new remedial Corporals Course for Staff Sergeants (CCFSS), starting next month at Marine Corps University.

The course is aimed at Staff Sergeants who, for whatever reason, are unable to function at the minimum level of competency the Marine Corps expects of a Corporal.

CCFSS will feature an intensive ten week program focusing on the basics of leadership, drill, physical fitness, proper appearance, and any of the dozens of other core tasks most Marines learn during their several weeks at Corporals Course and then forget just as quickly.

“Over the last few years we’ve been seeing a growing number of overweight and under-motivated Staff Sergeants coming through our Career Course,” Maj. Gen. William Mullen, head of Training and Education Command, told Duffel Blog.

“These are Marines who‘ve been in for over a decade, yet they can’t make weight, follow simple instructions, or even keep themselves clean-shaven,” Mullen said. “We found we were spending too much of Career Course doing remedial programs for things they honestly should have learned in Recruit Training.’

According to Mullen the Marine Corps originally planned to just send designated Staff Sergeants back through Recruit Training, but several experimental classes never even checked in, and an investigation has still not uncovered where they spent those three months—or how they were all awarded Navy Achievement Medals.

While the Marine Corps has been able to remove substandard non-commissioned officers through time in service limitations, substandard staff non-commissioned officers have historically been allowed to served a full 20 years for retirement purposes.

The result is a large number of Marines categorized as “Lazy, Inefficient, Fat, and Expecting Retirement,” or LIFER.

Although the Marines began two separate programs in 2012 to convinced LIFERs to get out early—Voluntary Separation Pay and Temporary Early Retirement Authority—CCFSS is a recognition that there are still too many LIFERs in the ranks who just won’t get out.

Based on the overwhelmingly favorable response MCU has already been getting from Fleet units, Mullen said not to be surprised if in the coming years the program is expanded to include Corporals Course for Gunnery Sergeants, Corporals Course for Master Sergeants, and Corporals Course for Master Gunnery Sergeants.

See Also: Lance Corporals Course Honor Graduate Receives ‘Honorary NJP’

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Marine Corps

Helicopter parents won’t insert son at hot LZ

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CAMP DWYER, Afghanistan — A Marine infantryman scrambled to link up with his squad after his parents refused to insert him at a hot landing, sources confirmed today.

Pfc. Martin Sikorsky pushed out on a QRF mission for the ANA his unit is training when his parents became concerned about the state of the LZ.

“Martin knows the rules of our hangar. No screen time after 4 p.m., no driving over 45 knots and no firefights. I think any parent would agree I’m being reasonable,” Sirkorsky’s father, Huey, told reporters.

Huey’s wife Lakota looked up from the baby monitor she has in her cockpit with a live feed from a GoPro on Sikorsky’s chest rig.

“If Martin is having problems with the Taliban, all he has to do is give me a CAS 9-line, and I will speak to their mothers to get this sorted out,” Lakota said.

Sikorsky’s parents were going to allow him on the mission until they received word of an enemy RPK team in the northwest corner of the hasty LZ. Normally, they are fine with their son being exposed to medium machine gun fire. Although he is not vaccinated against 7.62, Huey and Lakota rely on a mix of essential oils to keep Sikorsky safe. However, since arriving in Afghanistan, they have been unable to find a Whole Foods that sells coconut and eucalyptus oil.

Sikorsky said he was heartbroken he could not insert with his guys and get in on the TIC. Like most 18-year-olds, he worries about the effects of his protective parents.

“How am I supposed to have a social life without my own CAR?” he said.

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Marine Corps

New Marine Commandant to bring back rolled trousers

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WASHINGTON — The next Commandant of the Marine Corps has announced that the first policy he’ll instate when he takes the helm this summer is to bring back the beloved tradition of rolling trouser legs.

“From the Halls of Montezuma to the Shores of Tripoli, Marines have proudly rolled their pantaloons on many a foreign shore,” said Lt. Gen. David Berger. “I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been asked, ‘Sir, when will we go back to trousers up?’ Well, Marines, your leadership has listened. It’s high time to show off those calves.”

This isn’t the first time a long-standing Marine tradition has been cancelled, only to be brought back years later. In 2011, then-Commandant Gen. James Amos infamously got rid of rolled sleeves for the entire Corps. Amid complaints from the rank-and-file, he brought them back in 2014.

“Trousers up is clearly what sets us apart visually as Marines,” said Sgt. Maj. of the Marine Corps Ronald Green. “And now there will be no more skipping leg day. Any Marines who have been doing their squats and calf raises will welcome this change, I’m sure.”

Marines will be required to roll their trousers in the spring and summer months and will revert to “trousers down” in the winter.

“I remember during the Gulf War, if the Iraqis saw a flash of trouser cuff and shin they would instantly retreat,” said Berger. “If we’re going to win against near-peer competitors, that’s what we need to get back to.”

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Marine Corps

Make-A-Wish kid spends day as a Marine standing in line at the armory

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kid-armory

TWENTYNINE PALMS, California — When eight year-old Conrad Greeley found out his leukemia was terminal, his family immediately contacted the Make-A-Wish foundation since he always wanted to spend a day living out his childhood dream of joining the Marine Corps.

Luckily, Make-A-Wish came through, and on Tuesday, Conrad met up with 2nd Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment’s Easy Company at 0400 outside the armory. The company was drawing weapons to verify serial numbers for the third time that week.

As per his family’s request, the Marines treated Conrad just like any other Junior Enlisted Warrior, with Cpl. Sean Casey assigned as his team leader for the day. He took the boy under his wing immediately, officials said.

“I tried to teach him how to spin up a CASEVAC 9-line but he couldn’t figure it out,” Casey said. “At least his hair is in regs.”

At 0630, the armory gates opened and Marines flooded in. As the smallest and newest boot, Conrad dutifully assumed his place at the back of the line. At 1100, just as he was getting close to the window, the armorers cut for chow.

When they came back at 1300, Conrad was informed they couldn’t issue him a rifle because Gunny hadn’t signed his weapons cards. After standing by aimlessly until 1700 for his team leader to tell him what to do, it was time for Conrad to head home.

Conrad walked away from his short time in the Marine Corps with a new perspective on life.

“Today made me feel a lot better. I used to be sad I would never get to grow up and be a Marine. Now I’d rather just die.”

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Marine Corps

JLTVs deadlined due to faulty cassette deck

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QUANTICO, Va. — Brig. Gen. Arthur J. Pasagian, commander of Marine Corps Systems Command, announced today that all Joint Tactical Vehicles (JLTVs), the replacement for the Humvee, would be deadlined across the service after field testing revealed a dangerous defect with their cassette decks.

This decision comes after reports that cassette tape decks in new JLTVs were spontaneously combusting after three or four uses.

Oshkosh Defense, who holds the contract to make JLTVs, released a statement claiming that they “are not liable for this issue.”

“We wanted to equip the JLTV with an aux cord and Bluetooth technology, but the geniuses at DOD Acquisitions insisted we go with a tape deck because ‘that’s how the kids like to listen these days,’” the statement reads.

Lance Cpl. Conrad Gardner of 3rd Battalion, 7th Marines was injured in an incident with a JLTV’s tape deck.

“My driver and I were listening to some Raffi, because those are the only cassettes I own,” he drawled. “Then, out of nowhere, that cassette player just exploded in our faces. These vehicles are dangerous. I’d be safer flying in an Osprey.

The effects of downing so many JLTVs at once are being felt far beyond the motor pool and the decision makers in Quantico. Marines arriving at the 7th Regiment Command Post in Twentynine Palms today encountered a Jonestown-like scene. Dozens of staff officers were sprawled dead on the ground, unable to cope with the atrocious vehicle readiness numbers.

The JLTV program cost $23 billion, with a per unit sticker price of nearly $450,000.

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Marine Corps predicts future drinking incidents will be caused by near-peer pressure

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The Marine Corps published a strategic document today that predicts future alcohol-related incidents will be caused primarily by near-peer pressure.

“We need to think beyond the small-scale drinking incidents of the past 20 years of counterinsurgency and start looking at major intoxicating threats,” reads a forward from Commandant of the Marine Corps Gen. Robert Neller. “In the future, near-peer adversaries like Russia and China will pressure us to enter into high intensity, testosterone-fueled benders. If we’re not prepared, they may even drink us under the table.”

The document claims that high tech weapons and advanced sensors on the battlefield will mean that Marines have to disperse into several smaller barracks parties if they want to get plastered. Small units seeking to close with and destroy the local nightlife will have to rethink their tactics.

“We’ve gotten too used to robust logistical support providing us all the booze we need whenever we want to tie one on,” Neller continues. “But Chinese anti-access/area denial systems will increasingly be checking IDs at the door and may prevent Marines from having easy access to local pubs. Very soon, we may have to conduct forcible entry operations through the side door of the bar just to get a drink.”

In testing, the Corps has had some success in reducing DUIs through the use of unmanned ground vehicles. However, unmanned systems also pose some risk.

“In the Marine Corps,” added Neller, “even the unmanned vehicles get drunk.”

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