Saturday, February 19, 2011

the new corps

There is a rift in the Marines that is more superficial than a serious problem, but prevalent enough to be commented on almost everyday. It is said that the Marines that came after 2000 have been labeled the “New Corps” and pre-millennials are the “Old Corps.” Mothers of America, a political group, is seen to blame for the easing up in boot camp, creating a supposed weaker Marine. This is the view of many, many OC Marines. They believe this so vehemently that almost every time a younger man messes up, the NC is thrown an insult or two.
Let me tell you something about the New Corps. I can personally vouch for the boot camp experience. Just because we aren't publicly beaten doesn't mean it doesn't happen. I was choked out, got hit in the eye with my rifle's front sight tip, got hammer fisted in the chest when one of my DI's didn't like the way my tape was folded to label the rifle rack, and a few other things. I had a friend hold a pillow in front of his face like the DI asked him to, and then got punched in the face. Closed fist, none of that open palm shit they swear by in books and magazines. We don't get hit as badly as the stories I heard from my Dad, his boot camp really seemed like hell, and we don't get hit publicly like some of these older guys did, but it still happened. These are just assumptions made by the older generations to prove their points.
Fast forward a bit to Iraq. The NCO's and Junior Marines I served with there, with the exception of 2 men, were the best Marines, collectively, that I had ever met. One of the two was named Michael Busby and he was the worst person I'd ever met. No one has ever caused more hatred and disgust in me (and frankly, the whole unit) than him. The other was a guy named Lopez. He was such an idiot and a liar that he was nicknamed “Slowpez.” In hindsight, that sounds like some sort of Mexican Pokemon. We fixed jets that were broken by OC pilots. We fixed jets that were older than the Blue Angels's jets, dealt with a supply logistical unit that, despite having years of units in front of them to learn mistakes and get everything right, were incompetent, had the WORST Staff NCO corps I've ever encountered in my life (all Old Corps, mind you) and got our planes ready enough to support our S2 and S3 to secure our pilots combat missions. Something that hadn't been done by an F/A-18 unit in 2 years. Our brothers elsewhere were able to fight an extremely tough battle in 2004 called Fallujah, and win when the Army units that had tried previously had failed. The New Corps held the Al Anbar province for over 7 years, as it was continuously dubbed, the most dangerous place on earth, and we have fought a two wars, the first time that's been done since WW2, which, in that war, the Marines only fought really on one front. The bloody pacific.
You know what my impression is of the Old Corps? A Gunnery Sergeant Carr, who got mad that he didn't get a doughnut that wasn't even meant for him, and loaded a magazine into a pistol and almost shot his men. A SSgt Largo, who, while not a bad Marine, bitches about younger Marines and lauds the good old days, yet he couldn't have the self-discipline to run on leave and is constantly facing weight problems. He also used to be a DI, so whenever he insulted us, we'd all remind him that he and his friends “failed” to teach us properly. A SSgt Ski, a decent guy that was so weak and lazy that he would throw literal hissy girl fits and couldn't do one fucking pull up. He would get overwhelmed and get so mad over little things, and wouldn't even look you in the eye when talking with you. Another Ssgt, whose name I forgot, had belly bigger than a basketball and was forced into retirement. He also was not known in a very positive light.
These men all got to keep their careers. If that's not enabling, then I don't know what is. The Marine Corps is fine, and will be for years to come. While I admit that I also noticed a sharp decline in the respect of newer Marines, I was shocked to see a total boot named DiTaranto that turned out to be stellar under my command. I hope he's doing well still. There is hope, devil dogs. We've got this.  

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