SAN DIEGO, CA – A Marine sergeant is facing administrative separation after being convicted of wearing a baseball hat indoors, sources confirmed this morning.
The conviction for Sgt. Michael Erickson stems from a Apr. 22 incident at the commissary aboard Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, Calif.
“It was Saturday morning,” said Erickson in his testimony, “and my hair was a little messy so I decided to put a baseball cap on.” Erickson then drove from his Mira Mesa apartment to the commissary to buy groceries.
“The baby was out of formula and I had thought it would be a good idea to have some single Marines over for lunch. Some of those guys get lonely on Sundays so I just wanted to help fellow Marines out.”
“It's all my fault. I had forgotten to pick up formula the day before when I went to the store,” Erickson’s wife Meredith testified. “He had not showered yet, but the baby was screaming for her morning feeding. I told him to just put a ball cap on, and pick up the groceries and formula.”
After making it past the gate guard, Erickson drove to the commissary parking lot. It took him quite some time to locate a parking place, because so many crusty, old retirees looking to save a buck had filled up the parking spaces. The young sergeant then walked inside.
“I saw a young devil pup, wearing a stupid looking Habitat for Humanity hat around the commissary like he owned the place,” Sgt. Maj. Rafael Alberto, top enlisted leader of HMH-486 Sergeant Major told Duffel Blog. “Marines get back from Afghanistan and they think they are war heroes and the rules don’t apply. I was in Bastion for four months running the pax terminal. I didn’t feel like a hero, why should they?”
Erickson felt like the whole commissary was looking at him and he didn’t know why.
“Sergeant Major just started chewing my [expletive], telling me to take off my [expletive] hat. He told me I am a disgrace to the legacy of the Marines heroic past.”
The fiery Sergeant Major wasn’t impressed by the Marine’s excuses. “I told the Marine, if he loved Habitat for Humanity so much, maybe he should just quit the Marine Corps, and go build houses for them.”
Erickson, who is a regular volunteer, replied that “there was no need for me to quit the Marine Corps, I was already volunteering.” Alberto interpreted that comment as disrespectful therefore felt obligated to notify the Provost Marshal Office (PMO).
The incident was reported to PMO, eventually leading to the recent ruling. “If you give Marines an inch they’ll take a mile. If you can’t correct a Marine for something insignificant, how are you going to be able to correct him when it really matters,” mused Alberto.
“Erickson was a great Marine,” according to his section chief Gunnery Sgt. Aaron Brown. “I hate to see this happen to him. He had already been planning to get out due to his wounds.”
Brown informed Duffel Blog that Erickson had completed a lateral transfer to aviation after being wounded in his abdomen in Marjeh. The damage caused by the shrapnel is what eventually forced Erickson out. “He couldn't finish the crunches on the last two PFT’s," said Brown, referring to the sit-up portion of the Marine Corps physical fitness test. “That’s why he had decided to get out."
Erickson expressed his frustration to Duffel Blog. “Everyone knows that Sergeant Major is hooking up with the admin chief. It’s not like I was cheating on my wife, or abusing drugs. It just doesn’t seem right.”
According to the terms of Erickson’s administrative separation board, he is to receive a general discharge resulting, among other things, in a loss of his GI Bill benefits. “That is the worst part. I can get work. But I wanted to go back to school to become a teacher. Unfortunately, I have to feed my family while footing the school bill. I may just have to give up on that dream all together.”
“You’ve gotta separate the wheat from the chaff,” said Alberto. “I am proud that the Marine Corps standards were upheld by this decision.”