In most branches of the military, the first of the month is when service members get promoted if they have met the requirements. On July 1st, Marines here in Iraq were no different. As blowing sand came across the landscape, their promotion would be done in a combat zone instead of some nice clean meeting room, Marines gathered in formation as they had accomplished the requirements and met guidelines to be promoted to the next rank. No family members, no high attention, just fellow Marines ready to be promoted and fellow Marines ready to congratulate them.
“In 1778, General George Washington marked Independence Day with a double ration of rum for his soldiers and an artillery salute.” Wikipedia
Wide eyed, covered in dirt, Marines in their early 20s stood as symbols of America’s finest. Brave, disciplined and eager to fight any sort of insurgency that showed its face on the drop of a hat, they positioned themselves to be promoted. When promoted, a warrant is read and they are asked who they would like to pin on their new rank. It is an honor to recognize the new Sergeants, Corporals and Lance Corporals as the selected fellow Marine actually pins on their new rank onto the collar of the Marine and welcomes them to the new challenges.
These are the young leaders of America. The ones typical Americans may think had no other choice but to join the military, or looked upon as kids. I can assure you that the days of resorting to the military as a last choice are gone and these “kids” not only maintain million dollar military equipment perfectly, but can make a life and death decisions in a blink of an eye and are tuff as nails. These are the warriors who get tasked to serve the thankless jobs of several patrol, standing guard and small unit leaders. However when on guard, they could be and usually are faced with that one situation of a suicide borne vehicle that attacks a front gate and they make the conscious decisions to fight back and kill the attacker. These are the service members who then return back to the states only to resume mundane jobs when they get out of the military and are considered ”kids”.
America, you got to know your young Marines are on the cutting edge of it all. Maturity, discipline, education and health. They truly are the epitome of America and those who found this country, would still be proud of their Marines today as they were in 1776.
During this 4th of July holiday, when we celebrate the independence of our great country, take a second during the picnics, BBQs, patriotic music and fireworks and pay a few seconds of honor to those keeping our independence free. Because as you enjoy your holiday, newly promoted warriors stand guard and keep the wolf at bay.
“In 1778, General George Washington marked Independence Day with a double ration of rum for his soldiers and an artillery salute.” Wikipedia)</p></blockquote><p>
Have one for us during your holiday and keep the other shot of rum until we can get home and share it with you!!
Semper Fidelis – Maj Pain