Friday, March 20, 2015

Is it time to get rid of the Marine Corps?

I was reading an article written in 06 by an Army Colonel talking about what he believes are the differences between Army and Marine Corps infantry.
"In the Marines, everyone–sergeant, mechanic, cannoneer, supply man, clerk, aviator, cook–is a rifleman first."
That's the standard saying about the Marines.  Of course, to a greater or lesser extent, they say the same thing about the Army.

In theory, it's supposed to be the way the Colonel portrays it.

Much like, in theory, the VA takes care of the veteran.

I, in no way, will ever denigrate the Marines. When I was young and stupid, I took the easy way out and enlisted in the Army... (A LOOOOOONG time ago) Part of that was the logistical poor-mouthing of begged, borrowed and stolen equipment. I thought to myself, "instead of joining the group who has to steal to survive, why not join the group they steal from?"

I'd read a book, situated in Vietnam.about a rifle platoon... how shitty their logistics were... how they had to steal equipment to survive... how they'd come back late from patrol and there'd be no chow, how they'd have to dig thru the dump to get something to eat.

It might be a stupid comparison now... or it might not be. I was struck by a line I read in that book: "It seems like every 1st Cav PFC has his own Cobra (Attack Helicopter), and we're picking through the dump."

Am I arguing for eliminating the Corps?

Nope. That argument has been going on, under the surface, in the halls of Congress literally for decades.

But if our government hasn't shown anything, they've shown that they simply don't care about the military, either during or after service. They do... what they believe to be... just enough to keep the pipeline reasonably full... and then they make us bleed.

I mention that because I believe the Corps is under attack. I believe that the public perception in many quarters is that the Corps is an anachronism. And far too few in government have served anything but themselves, let alone the military.  (For example, how many of our state's congressmen/women or senators have served?)

And the problem here is that the Corps is it's own worst enemy in this regard.

It sucks, to be sure. But public messaging is the thing. For the Corps to survive, the perception must change. At base, the Corps, as a group, is the standard Warrior Elite. On the upper end of the scale of fighters.

But the public MUST come to know WHY the Corps MUST be saved. What can you do that the Army can't with a change in mission and training?

Yes, I know, amphibious assaults are the specialty. But there weren't that many Marines around in Normandy, and it got done.

EMOTION must be removed from the equation because accountants don't care. At the PUBLIC level, the Marine Corps must make itself indispensable.

How is that done? I honestly don't know. But done it must be.

All of this is just one guy's opinion... a former grunt, a former Recon Scout, a former platoon leader, a former paper pusher.

But perception is reality. And the reality is, it's the same Marines who took Iwo Jima. And if we had an Iwo Jima today, would we take it the same way?

Nope.  And that's the problem.

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