TWENTYNINE PALMS, Calif. — Marines from 1st Battalion 7th Marine Regiment are determined not to have any incidents this weekend after their battalion commander urged them to “do the right thing” at his weekly liberty brief, sources confirmed today.
Lt. Col. Mark Branfield's remarks normally focus on training highlights from the past week and implicit calls to “protect what you’ve earned,” but this Friday, Branfield explicitly addressed liberty incidents. He told the Marines not to commit any felonies or haze each other, according to Marines present for the briefing.
“The boys are disciplined,” he explained. “I told them to do the right thing, and I’m sure that is exactly what they will do.”
Branfield’s straightforward approach seems to have had an immediate effect on the battalion.
“You know, I was dead set on murdering a hooker and burying her in Joshua Tree tomorrow,” Lance Cpl. Kevin Carlos said, “but that wouldn’t be right, and I am going to do the right thing this weekend because the battalion commander told me to.”
Pfc. (Third Award) Alonzo Morris of Baker Company, who currently holds the regimental record of six consecutive weekends with a Sunday morning call to his platoon sergeant, said Branfield's words inspired him.
“I don’t mean to get in trouble. I just don’t know what to do with myself when my team leader isn’t around,” Morris admitted. “All you gotta do is tell me to do the right thing, and I’ll do it.”
At press time, Marines in the battalion were standing in a school circle listening to the sergeant major piggyback off the battalion commander's remarks. It is unclear whether they will be released by Monday morning.