Top Marine enlisted leader tells grunts in foxhole at least they're 'not in the Navy'
Could be worse!
QUANTICO, Va. — Sgt. Maj. of the Marine Corps Troy Black told a platoon of Marines sleeping in a foxhole that as bad as things are, "at least you're not in the Navy."
Black made his remarks while delivering a cargo of hot 'A'-rations to the platoon during their field training exercise near Camp Upshur. "I know it's rough sleeping out here, getting rained on, having to shit in a hole," Black said, before adding, "but at least you’re not on the USS George Washington.”
He explained that the Marines could instead be sailors assigned to an aircraft carrier stuck in a shipyard for five years, unable to sleep because of constant loud machinery, without regular access to running water, dealing with the trauma of regular suicides in the unit, and all the while being told by senior leadership how lucky they were that they weren't forward-deployed.
After Sgt. Joshua Elliott of Hazen, North Dakota noted that he was also unable to sleep due to a large rattlesnake in his foxhole, Black admitted that the Marine Corps could have done a better job managing his expectations.
"We advertise the toughness of this lifestyle, but we also recognize it has its limits," Black said.
When Pfc. Thomas Riley from Maricopa, Arizona complained that his wife was actively divorcing him due to constant field exercises, Black gave him a Subway gift card and vowed to personally go to his house and thank her for her service and support.
Black went on to tell the Marines that the job of a senior enlisted leader was to aggressively advocate for them up the chain of command, as opposed to just normalizing the toxic behavior and treatment by senior leaders.
Black's remarks followed a similarly controversial speech by Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy Russell Smith aboard the USS George Washington (CVN 73), where he told his Sailors that despite their harsh living conditions, at least they weren't sleeping in foxholes.
At press time, Sergeant Maj. of the Army Michael Grinston had told his soldiers that as bad as things were, at least his dick wasn't up their ass.