I don’t know much about the Army, Navy, Air Force, or Coast Guard, but I do know a bit about the Marines … and I can tell you that since 1775, there is a singular mission that gets a United States Marine out of the bed before sunrise: Killing those who wish harm to the United States.
To understand a Marine, you must know they have one thing they fear far more than death: Failure to perform in a way worthy of those who worn the uniform before them – a reputation built on blood, pain, and death.
The Corps, you see, is not a branch of the military – it is a cult.
This is because Boot Camp and Officer Candidate School tear men down to the edge of their souls, then rebuild them as men who believe they could go head-to-head with Hell’s most powerful demons. These young men and women leave that training with the belief that there is no greater or harder-to-earn honor than wearing the Eagle, Globe, and Anchor insignia. With that goes their belief that “every Marine is a rifleman.”
Are there not men such as these in the other branches? Absolutely, but each branch has its own mission – and serving as America’s “force in readiness” rests with the Marines. It is their job to be the first to fight – taking charge of hostile situations by deploying extreme violence. In the Korean War, North Korea overran the south until there was but a tiny patch of land left unoccupied. The Marines landed, and in short order the retreat of the enemy began.
Who are the Americans who sign on to be a part of this? As liberals would say, “toxic males” join the cult because they are old-fashioned patriots – and want to be a part of America’s most elite fighting team. Tough and driven women who also want to be a part of something elite often join, even if it means certain jobs and promotions won’t be available to them.
Life is much easier for a woman in the other services, but female Marines aren’t looking for “easy.”
What binds these men and women? Their ethos. The belief that they are different from Soldiers, Sailors, and Airmen. That they can do the impossible, despite a lack of funding and using the Army’s hand-me-down gear. That they can accomplish the difficult in short order – and the impossible with a little extra time.
The importance of Marines believing themselves to be a breed apart cannot be overstated. Writing about the current failures of Marine Corps leadership, Marine Medal of Honor recipients Maj. General Jim Livingston and Colonel Jay Vargas state, “The structure of the Corps or the weapons they are provided can be changed or reversed. Ethos is different—and once extinguished, it is gone forever.”
Marines have always been told they are America’s shock troops. They are the force the President uses when it’s time to call 911. Take that away, and you might as well offer them a beret and roll them into the Army.
For Marines, “the good order and disciple” of a combat unit is paramount, and that good order and disciple is based one primary belief: We are all the same. Yes, we are different colors of green, but we are all green. We are Marines, nothing will divide us, and no one will be singled out for any kind of special treatment.
The first open strike of the Marines’ ethos came with the reversal of “Don’t ask don’t tell,” a policy that worked well for the Marines. Openly gay individuals began serving in the Corps despite the fact the Corps is mostly comprised of “toxic males” who object.
Then came women in combat arms, and many “toxic” males in the business of gunfighting don’t want to be burdened by a female who may slow them down, or receive undue attention from instinctually-concerned males if wounded in combat. (For men, hearing a man scream in pain is very different than hearing a woman scream in pain).
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Finally, we come to admittance of openly trans individuals, with the military paying for their gender mutilation surgery. This needs no further analysis.
Is honoring the particular friction a person likes during sex worth disrupting the ethos of America’s one military unit capable of serving in every clime and place? Liberals would say, “If they don’t like it, they can get out.” They are. Liberals also say, “If they don’t like the new system, don’t join.” They aren’t.
If you haven’t served in the Corps, Marines don’t care about your opinion on “toxic” men… because they know first-hand these men are the best at stacking up enemy dead like cord wood. These “toxic “males speak of themselves only as Marines, without the need for adjectives pointing out their differences.
The current mumbling point for those in favor of this lunacy is that “the Corps is stronger with diversity.” No statement could be further from the truth: The Corps has been feared by enemies of America for centuries because there’s no diversity. Everyone is green, and committed solely to the accomplishment of the mission.
Is that offensive? Too bad … the truth can hurt.
In addition to the sexual revolution in an organization that lives and dies by unit cohesion, Marines find themselves with a new Commandant — General David Berger — who seems to have lost his mind … to the point of making changes that go against the Corps’ Congressionally mandated responsibilities.
No two words sum up this evolution better than the Commandant’s retention efforts being touted as “Talent Management.” First, these warriors aren’t “talent” — they are Marines. Second, Marines don’t “manage” anything – they lead. I confess I laughed out loud at the Commandant’s cluelessness when I read the words “talent management.”
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General Livingston and Colonel Vargas sum up the current Commandant’s other changes quite succinctly, pointing to the erosion of the Corps’ ethos: “The decision has been made to eliminate all armor, and scout sniper platoons in infantry battalions. The Corps is moving forward with drastic cuts in the infantry, cannon artillery, assault amphibious vehicles, aviation, military police, assault beaching and combat service support. They have crippled the Marine Corps capabilities to respond to global crises and contingencies across the spectrum of conflict. And they are investing in experimental weapons that simply replicate war-fighting skills offered by other services.”
It is madness to make cuts to anything having to do with the man-to-man warfighting skills and equipment needed to destroy the enemy, because man-to-man warfighting is the Corps. Tanks, assault amphibian vehicles, combat engineers, artillery, and the air wing exist solely to assist infantry grunts in planting the American flag on enemy soil. The rest of the Corps exists solely to support those combat arms units. The Army, Navy, and Air Force can handle the other warfighting needs — and they are quite good at it.
If you were to meet General Livingston or Colonel Vargas in person, even if they were attired in their Dress Blues and wearing their Medal of Honor decorations, it would be perfectly acceptable for you to forgo the formalities of their rank, and greet them by saying, “Hello there, Marine.”
That is part of the uniqueness of the Corps—that rank and awards take a distant second to the honor of being called a Marine.
If the Corps isn’t going to react on a moment’s notice to rain hell on an enemy that pops up in some remote area of the globe, who will?
I hope Congress and the Corps’ current leadership will get together for a discussion centering on the question, “Why are we trying to strangle the life out of the very things that make Marines who and what they are?” There are hundreds of thousands of former Marines out here who’d love to know the answer, and they’ll be joined by a few million civilians when they no longer hear the words, “The Marines have landed, and the situation is now under control.”
ABOUT THE AUTHOR …
Prioleau Alexander is a freelance writer, focusing mostly on politics and non-fiction humor. He is the author of two books: ‘You Want Fries With That?’ and ‘Dispatches Along the Way.’ Both are available on Amazon. He hopes to have another title published soon, but that would require his agent actually doing his job, so it may be awhile. Oh, and if you want to see his preferred bio pic? Click here …
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