Posted by: classyjacksonville | December 8, 2008

Looks like I went too far

What started off as a humorous and satirical depiction of the town of Jacksonville, North Carolina, has been branching off into other topics that have been a bit more serious in intent and nature, about what I would do if I was in charge of the military and was given free reign to do whatever I pleased. Perhaps I have deviated a little from my original intent, but these were things I have been thinking about the last few years in the marine corps and felt needed to be shared. I am no expert in defense strategy or topics, however I believe 4 and a half years in the marine corps and two deployments gives me a unique perspective that another person would not normally see. 

Let’s just set the record straight that I am a marine, I volunteered and enlisted, and I have been serving and will continue to serve my time to my country honorably and well. I joined the marine corps out of love of my country and my love for this country is the very reason why I have written these articles, because I see what is going on at the ground level and also I also know what we are capable of and should achieve in the future. I know enemies are out there that desire nothing more than the destruction of our nation. This is why we must fight them and be better than they are. 

 “why would you destroy such a war-winning team as we now have, an entire elite society that strikes fear in our enemies and is often ahead of the curve in military reform.”  

 

 

The above quote is from another blog written in response to my “Abolish the Marine Corps” blog by a gentleman who writes on military and defense topics. I would say in response to that I would not destroy this war winning team so much as combine them and include them in another war winning team, the US Army. The marine corps is not an elite society, it is just  another armed service. I have seen and been with my fellow marines in Iraq and stateside, and I have been with soldiers both stateside and in Iraq and I find little difference between the two besides obviously superficial ones. Our marines and soldiers are both some of the finest fighting personal in the world and I don’t see where we marines get off claiming that we are so elite. Perhaps it is because we are told from the time we are little kids watching recruitment commercials depicting a marine in dress blues defeating a lava monster that we believe this, or because we are told this when we walk into the recruiters office, or the whole time in boot camp. Are the marines one of the best trained and most highly disciplined forces in the world? Yes, but are we the elite of the world? I would say no. Also, I would rather not see our marine corps develop into a praetorian guard that serves at the presidents whim. Our marine corps, and the United States military as a whole exists merely to defend our country, our interests and our way of life, and most importantly our freedoms, and it if it ever become a force that could exert force and pressure on our republic, and our leaders, I would be very upset. 

The marine corps is also not ahead of the curve, and traditionally has shown that it isn’t. The marines were the last service to allow African Americans to serve not doing so until 1942 (albeit in segregated units), and were not fully integrated until 1948. Marines continue to bar women from many fields where they are allowed to serve in the army and have been quite successful in (such as counter intelligence and interrogation). Marines were the last to join special operations command and were very reluctant about doing so. Marines equipment wise have always been behind the army. Marines continue to fly the same aircraft they did in Vietnam, with most of the planes and helicopters being older than the marines who fly and service them.  Many marines are sent to Iraq with the M16a2 service rifle, which dates back to 1982, while the army issues the M-4 to most of its soldiers. It is a common joke among marines that we get the leftovers the army throws away and I think there is quite a bit of truth to that. Sometimes the marine corps does take the lead, and we do employ some ideas and tactics that are better than the army, such as engaging the sheiks in Al-Anbar province Iraq which led to the sunni awakening and the nominal stability now evident in Iraq, or the MARPAT digital utility uniforms, or issuing flight suits to units in the fields to prevent burns from IED attacks, but I wouldn’t go so far as to say the marine corps is the most advanced service. In many ways we are the most backwards service so caught up in our own myths and legends that we forget that we also need to adapt to the wars of the future. 

“Obviously another knowledgeaBULL fellow with NO comprehension of what the Corps has accomplished thru its long, distinguished history, for our beloved country. History? Aaahh, boring stuff.” This comment was left on the same blog and my response to it I know our corps’ history and its distinguished record on the battle field from the continental marines all the way to the marines serving today in Afghanistan and Iraq. I was taught about it in boot camp and read a lot about it on my own time. I know all about Belleau Wood and Iwo Jima and the invasion of Iraq in 2003 and the sacrifices those individuals made for our freedom. However, it is imperative that we do not rest on our laurels and do not become complacent. It is great to celebrate the past, but when the weight of the past becomes more important than the imperative to remain successful in the future, this is where and how we will fail as a nation.

Perhaps abolishing the marine corps is a bit too drastic. But not preparing for the future and how we will engage and defeat our enemies is a much worse fate. Two other comments as well as the blog’s author had some other good ideas about the marine corps in the future. One was a well thought out idea that was much like mine which preposed folding the marines into the army. Another called for a drastic reduction of the marine corps and developing it into a more efficient and lethal force. The author also linked the blog to an article he wrote which is also interesting and worth reading. In any case,  I feel the marine corps either needs to drastically reconsider what it is and what it does or risk hurting America and hindering us in the wars of the future.

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Responses

  1. I say stick with abolishment.

    The Marines can fight on land just fine. The largest amphibious operation ever conducted on Earth was the Normandy invasion – which was done by the Army.

    People can still fight just fine no matter which Defense Secretary is signing their paychecks. Equipping and supplying them however, are different matters.

  2. I agree with Sean, the Marines need to be disbanded for their colorful history of lies throughout the past few wars.


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