It’s amazing that you can point the finger at those that are asked to give all if required and sacrifice everything that is important to them while they do it. Some people have the mentality of “Break glass only in the case of war” towards our military and especially towards Marines.
We train young brave warriors to be the best and most physically fit and teach them the very latest tactical skills, make them invincible and their actions speak louder than words when we ask them to go to the worst places with the shortest notice and produce the greatest results.
There have been mentions of reducing or discontinuing the Marine Corps. However, they main reason America has a Marine Corps is because the American people demand we have the Marine Corps. You cannot expect these disciplined warriors to go to the biggest crap holes in the world, win hearts and minds and continue to keep the wolf at bay and not think they will have residual affects. They are surprisingly still human despite what they do.
There is no organization out there that is harder on their own than the Marine Corps. I have to sit back and reflect when one of our warriors happens to do something wrong and many point their finger at them and criticize them like a dog that just peed on the carpet. Are you shitting me? If they actually did something wrong, we will take care of them however the punishment has to fit the crime. I don’t know how many times I have seen young servicemembers hammered over something that hadn’t been kept in perspective.
I was asked to be the senior member of an admin separation some years ago. The charges were low but it involved a drug charge as well. The Marine Corps has no tolerance for drug users and he was going to depart the Marines but the hearing was to determine under what type of discharge. There are three types of military discharges, honorable, General (under honourable conditions) and under other than honourable conditions. He had served in multiple combat deployments and was still a young Marine. Neither the prosecutor or defence attorney had combat time. The board consisted of myself, a Lt who was a Gunnery Sergeant and an active duty Gunny who made up the third member. The young warrior did some dumb stuff as young men do but crossed the line when he did drugs and for that our hands were tied. He did some additional things and those needed to be kept in perspective. The prosecutor wanted to hammer him. The defence disagreed. My board was spit. The Lt (former Gy) recommended he receive a “General discharge” and the GySgt recommended a “other than honourable discharge.” The decision came down to me. They both asked after everyone was excused what I thought. I replied I will tell you when the Marine comes back in.
The Marine came back in and I read my decision and granted him a “General discharge” as I couldn’t give him an honourable due to the positive drug evidence.
I decided to give him the better of the two.
The Marine was dismissed and both lawyers approached me. The prosecutor asked why I didn’t hammer him as they thought it was a slam dunk case. I simply asked the Lt prosecutor if they had ever been to combat. Knowing the answer by the ribbons displayed the answer was of course “no”. Nor had the defence. I continued to explain that it is our responsibility to return warriors back to society better than we received them. This warrior received two medals for bravery while in Ramadi Iraq during the peak of the fighting of OIF. I happen to be in the same area of this warrior during the same time and knew exactly what he had been through and what he had to do to be awarded the medals he had. I had the two attorneys read his citations and tell me what it meant to them. They hadn’t read his citations but simply based this Marine on the current charges. Although he had probably suffered from PTSD if I gave him a
“other than honourable” he would not get the medical assistance he needed and for a Marine that went to war for his country, twice, I thought that was the least he deserved.
I hope those attorneys remember what they learned that day as they face new cases in their future. Not being a combat arms Marine can make it a bit difficult to understand a 21 year old who conducts the hardest training, likes to sleep in the rain, copes with long separations from their family, doesn’t know the word fail, is dealt the toughest life but simply smiles back at it and continues to look shit hot in their dress blues without missing a beat. How I love them.
It’s amazing that you can point the finger at those that are asked to give all if required and sacrifice everything that is important to them while they do it. I recommend we don’t put them in glass to start with. I think these are the Marines this country needs the most.
Time for a Cgar!