CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. — In a stunning rebuke of the Marine Corps' "every Marine a rifleman" credo, trailblazing Pvt. First Class John Standle has rejected the label "rifleman."
Standle successfully graduated boot camp last month, proudly earning the title of "Marine." However, after multiple failed attempts on the rifle range, he admitted he has always identified as more of an admin clerk or logistician.
"Somebody needed to stand up to the man and show them that nobody should be forced into the Marine Corps' societal construct of being really good at killing the enemy," said Standle. "This is my body. I don't have to use it to put rounds on target if I don't want to."
Gen. David Berger, who took the reins as the new Commandant of the Marine Corps in July, says the Corps needs to adapt to a new generation of warfighting. The next generation of Marines, says Berger, won't kill the enemy with just guns and bombs, but will kill them with "the three Ks": kindness, kisses, and kittens.
"Look, if a Marine can't to shoot, move, and communicate, he or she doesn't have to. There's plenty of demand for little softies to hang out in the rear and cook us chow," said Berger. "Honestly, air strikes do most of the killing nowadays anyway."
Standle's actions have inspired more Marines to unidentify as riflemen. Many now identify as intel nerds, water dogs, or even POGs.
"So maybe it took me six attempts on the rifle range just to shoot a pizza box," said Standle. "That's my right as a human being."