Patterico's Pontifications

5/8/2009

Send the Marines

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 6:41 am

Reader Scott Jacobs is enlisting in the Marines. He has an Amazon wishlist if you want to help him out. Details here.

105 Responses to “Send the Marines”

  1. My hat’s off to you, sir.

    Dmac (1ddf7e)

  2. Thank you, sir, for your service to America!

    Official Internet Data Office (4be405)

  3. One wonders what bet he lost…

    EricPWJohnson (4485ad)

  4. Scott is also obviously a Jury Talks Back blogger. I should have said so in the post but it’s fairly self-evident since I linked to his post.

    Patterico (f897e3)

  5. Hey Scott–from an Air Force vet to a future Marine, I hope you don’t mind a little prep advice. Your future fellow Marines, obviously, will be the best resource, so grill your recruiter on everything you can before you leave. If you have a good one, he won’t BS you, will let you know exactly what to expect, and will help you properly prepare.

    Obviously, being in shape before you go to boot will be your biggest advantage, so get the minimum passing PT scores from your recruiter or online and try to get as close to those baselines as possible, if you aren’t there already. Just be careful not to injure yourself while you’re training.

    Practice drill, and get your recruiter to run you through all the basic manuevers–in fact, insist on it if you have to. One of the quickest ways to get a training instructor in any of the services to put you on your face is if you jack up their formation during drill. The more you know before you head out, the easier your life will be.

    Start learning the history of the Marine Corps–major battles, notable figures, key events. The Marines are more conscious of their history than any of the other services, and you’ll get quizzed on this stuff a lot.

    When you get to boot, know your ranks, pay grades, and chain of command backwards and forwards. Memorize the upper levels of leadership before you even go if you can (CiC, SecDef, Chief of Staff, Recruit Depot Commanding General and Sergeant Major, Regiment Commanding Officer and Sergeant Major, etc.). Instructors love nailing recruits on this type of knowledge because while it should be easy, when asked about it they get nervous and jack it up.

    When given an order, don’t think about it, do it. Also, practice folding hospital corners on your bed before you leave.

    Bring a whole bunch of q-tips if you can–they’ll be good for cleaning your M-16 (and your ears!).

    If you can get away with it (it will likely be considered cheating), shave right before or right after lights out, and check for every little hair. That way, in the morning when everyone is scrambling around, you should just have to run the razor over your face without worrying if you are missing anything.

    Teamwork is one of the most important skills you will need to pick up right away. When you first get to boot, figure out who your wingman, battle buddy, whoever is, and make sure that you help each other out–with bedmaking, uniform prep, gun cleaning, knowledge, etc. At the same time, watch your back–you will have to rely on these guys in the field, but in the training environment, there can be some shady MFs who will Blue Falcon you if they think it will keep the DI off their butt. My flight in basic was a fractured, cliquish mess that never really came together, and it made everyone’s life tougher as a result.

    The irony of the training environment is that it is often better to NOT stand out–if you can make it through most if not all of boot and the DI doesn’t really know who you are, you’re doing a good job.

    Good luck, godspeed, and watch your six.

    Another Chris (2d8013)

  6. Scott, you have my prayers and my thanks.

    Vivian Louise (eeeb3a)

  7. As far as Drill goes, The 5 weeks I spend in the navy a ways back (I was 20, and in the wrong head-space to be in the military) built on a marching foundation from band (who knew that crap was gonna be useful??), and I was one of the best of our recruits for drill. I can even do a proper About Face.

    I can do a freakishly good hosp. corner as well. My baseline OCD helps there.

    I need to re-memorize my 12 General Orders for Sentries. I always had a problem with that, and I would wager it’ll be one of those things I get quized on alot.

    I also can not allow myself to watch Full Metal Jacket from now till after I’m out of bootcamp. You people know me, and I would likely have an aneurysm fighting the urge to quote Joker.

    I really don’t want to be That Guy…

    Scott Jacobs (90ff96)

  8. M-y
    A-ss
    R-ides
    I-n
    N-avy
    E-quipment

    Good luck on the Island. Be ready for the culture shock of your life.

    Honestly, with your age, you’ll be at a disadvantage physically. You’ll need to get a headstart with other things. Besides Marine Corps history, your chain of command, need to locate and memorize “11 General Orders of a Sentry”.

    Gerald A. (9d3cd2)

  9. Culture shock, sure…

    But in reading up, the verbal abuse I get from my father is actually about 3 levels worse than what the DIs are allowed to do these days.

    Hell, they aren’t even allowed to SWEAR at you anymore. Can’t swear? Whiskey Tango Foxtrot?

    Yeah, I’m gonna get ground up and spit out physically, but the rest will come quick and easy for me, so at least I won’t get blasted on two sides.

    Scott Jacobs (90ff96)

  10. The 5 weeks I spend in the navy a ways back (I was 20, and in the wrong head-space to be in the military) built on a marching foundation from band (who knew that crap was gonna be useful??), and I was one of the best of our recruits for drill.

    We had a guy in my flight who had been in the marching band, and he was outstanding at drill also. Interestingly, he was one of the best recruits, and he ended up getting recycled after he didn’t call the dorm to attention precisely right when an officer entered the dorm for an inspection. Interestingly, no one but him and the TIs were in the dorm at the time, and although the TI likely had no choice to recycle him due to the circumstance, I always suspected that he was set up. Looking back now, he was the kind of guy that other people gravitated towards, and maybe he was seen as a threat by the dorm chief and element leaders. Given how dysfunctional our flight was, that wouldn’t surprise me at all.

    Another Chris (2d8013)

  11. God, at Great Lakes we dreamed of kicking the shit out of the head recruit. We hated that tosser. A few guys screwed up just to he’d get cycled. They would be too, but they enjoyed making him do it as well.

    Personally, I loathed the little SOB for sticking me on 7 to forever watch for 5 days straight. Missed all of my day-classes, and he’d lied (litterally, he lied flat out) to the Petty Officers and got me stuck on IT at night those 5 days. I got the crap worked outta me because lil nancy-boy didn’t like the idea that no, he actually wasn’t the smarted guy in the world.

    Apparently Aviation Electronic techs often have that issue. Upon hearing I was in to be a Nuke, he took it as a personal affront that I passed the qualifier test (he’d tried, and failed).

    So I spent an entire study-week not getting to sit in class, and missing night study.

    He flunked test two. I missed 4 questions out of 50.

    I think my words to him, in private, were along the lines of “If you’re going to try to make me fail, you’re going to need to try harder. Maybe you should worry about your own scores, eh?”

    Should I, for some reason, end up as in Boot, I swear to God I won’t pull that kinda shit. It was without any class.

    I often wonder how long it was when he got in the Fleet before someone threw his sorry ass overboard.

    Scott Jacobs (90ff96)

  12. Hell, they aren’t even allowed to SWEAR at you anymore.

    Ah, no worries. They will make sure that you wish that they could.

    Having been through boot camp a couple of times, just remember that it is over in pretty much of a hurry (even though the days are long, the time goes quick), and remember to have fun. You are embarking on a journey that will last you the rest of your life.

    And if you ever choose to do boot camp again for some inane reason, its a whole lot funner to do it as an E-6. 😉

    EW1(SG) (5766f7)

  13. Why, for God’s Sake, would you chose to do Bootcamp AGAIN???

    They let crazy people like you stay in the military? Is it some sort of test?

    “Would you like to do bootcamp all over again? yes? Ok, sorry. You’re too crazy to keep…”

    Scott Jacobs (90ff96)

  14. Best wishes to you Scott. Do the preparation, physical and mental, and you’ll do fine. As far as being “that guy”, you’re right to avoid it as much as possible… believe me, I know. All it really does is make you good at push-ups. Very good.

    Stashiu3 (460dc1)

  15. Scott, best of luck, and thanks.

    I just got back from an enlisted recognition breakfast in Oceanside, sponsored by the local chamber of commerce. The Marines and sailors honored there formed a line at the end of the event, and everybody present thanked them and shook their hands.

    Maybe you will soon be in such a line.

    Brother Bradley J. Fikes, C.O.R., (77f8db)

  16. Keep your head down, and your gig-line straight.
    And, have fun.
    Good Luck to you, and Thanks.

    AD - RtR/OS! (b70629)

  17. Why, for God’s Sake, would you chose to do Bootcamp AGAIN???
    Comment by Scott Jacobs — 5/8/2009 @ 8:58 am

    There comes a time later in your career where you look back fondly at how simple (and fun) Boot Camp/Basic Training really was. Mine was as a Sergeant E-5 and I would have gladly gone through Basic again. When the training gets miserable, and there will be those times, try to remember that those are the stories you’re going to tell the most because you’ll be proud to have made it through.

    The best advice I’ve seen though is over on the Jury thread.

    3. Always remember that millions of men have made it through.
    Comment by Actual — 5/7/2009 @ 3:58 pm

    If you remember that, the rest of it falls into place.

    Stashiu3 (460dc1)

  18. When I went thru USMC boot back in 85, there were 2 former Army in my platoon. They didn’t get “special” treatment, but then again, they got to go thru the entire 13 weeks of boot like everyone else.

    And navy knowledge will definitely help out. Knowing when to say “yes, sir” and when to say “aye, sir” will definitely help. Congrats on making it into the corps (provided you get thru boot :P) and if I ever find you in an airport watering hole, your money will be no good there.

    John Hitchcock (fb941d)

  19. As the mother of three former military kids, all I can say is … Way To Go!

    PatAZ (9d1bb3)

  20. Oh, to be young again.

    Best wishes, Scott.

    SPQR (72771e)

  21. Oh, to be young again.

    That’s what I’m sayin’…

    Scott Jacobs (90ff96)

  22. Better get that name-tag made:
    GRAMPS!

    AD - RtR/OS! (b70629)

  23. Marine Corps Boot Camp was not only the most grueling 13 weeks of my life, it was also the funniest. If you have good DI’s it’s comedy gold.

    Trust me. Write that stuff down so you don’t forget it. I didn’t, and I regret it now.

    Good luck to you, Devil Pup.

    danebramage (700c93)

  24. Congratulations and special prayers to any conservative who chooses to take a ‘government job’ in a progressive administration during a deep recession amidst two wars. (It was during the Reagan administration, when people serving in the military were reclassified from ‘not in the labor force’ to ’employed’ in order to reduce the unemployment rate.)

    You chose to be part of the solution. Godspeed to you, Scott Jacobs. Please keep your head down, eyes open, mind clear and whistle well whetted– with water. Always remember, in the best and worst of times during your tour of duty, that every American supports you and will always honor your service.

    DCSCA (9d1bb3)

  25. that every American supports you and will always honor your service

    Did Berkley secede from the Union and no one tell me?

    Scott Jacobs (90ff96)

  26. #24- You were born for government work. It’s spelled Berkeley. It’s in Califorina. Let’s hope the Marines teach you to read maps as well as spell.

    DCSCA (9d1bb3)

  27. #25- I guess I am too. California.

    DCSCA (9d1bb3)

  28. Spellflaming from the factually challenged little troll is like a driving lesson from Ted Kennedy.

    Brother Bradley J. Fikes, C.O.R., (77f8db)

  29. #27- Bold squawk from a free breakfast man. Or did you expense account it, too.

    DCSCA (9d1bb3)

  30. Congratulations Scott.

    Didn’t Ox join the Army in Stripes to lose a few lbs.?

    daleyrocks (5d22c0)

  31. “It’s spelled Berkeley. It’s in Califorina. Let’s hope the Marines teach you to read maps as well as spell.”

    Now that was just plain funny.

    I particularly liked the little insult (two of them, actually) toward the person whom he was trying to appear to compliment above.

    But that is the kind of thing that might get his backside banned.

    The boy can’t help it, apparently.

    Eric Blair (c8876d)

  32. The little troll should spend less time snarking and mor time lerning how to spel.

    Brother Bradley J. Fikes, C.O.R., (77f8db)

  33. #30- Corrected, too, ‘Ugartti.’

    DCSCA (9d1bb3)

  34. Me, I was hoping for more of a

    I work here is done

    strategy.

    Eric Blair (c8876d)

  35. You stay classy. Please, keep up the juvenile insults, mispelled or not (and you fooled no one about that, incidentally). You only show that any class you possess is third rate.

    At best.

    Today is not the day to insult Scott Jacobs. Really.

    Eric Blair (c8876d)

  36. EB,
    The little troll couldn’t maintain its flimsy facade of appreciation to Scott for volunteering to defend this country — including itself — and lapsed back into its natural sneer at the military.

    After all, it’s just a “government job”.

    Brother Bradley J. Fikes, C.O.R., (77f8db)

  37. Why, I am surprised he hasn’t claimed to be in the military!

    Eric Blair (c8876d)

  38. He was, but the Stasi isn’t around anymore.

    AD - RtR/OS! (b70629)

  39. “Why, I am surprised he hasn’t claimed to be in the military!”

    Eric – He was above all that, remember. He was a double super seekret spy saving the world from Libyan hit men and crazy oil Sheiks and he communicated with other spies through astronauts via the radios in the fillings in his teeth.

    daleyrocks (5d22c0)

  40. Don’t cross swords with him on this. Just laugh.

    daleyrocks (5d22c0)

  41. I know, daley, but on the same day as SJ’s post?

    Eric Blair (c8876d)

  42. Today is not the day to insult Scott Jacobs. Really.

    For them to be actual insults, I would have to care what he has to say. :)

    Scott Jacobs (90ff96)

  43. Well, I don’t qualify or snark regarding my own well-wishes toward you, sir. And it wouldn’t matter what kind of politics you espouse; volunteering is walking the walk.

    Instead of talking the talk.

    Eric Blair (c8876d)

  44. I remember when I was new to this site (a couple of years ago, actually) – I was kind of a jackass. I got into a lot of heated arguments with the conservative regulars (arguments that had nothing to do with the topic at hand), arguments which often degenerated (at my incitement) into exchanges of personal insults.

    Scott was one of those conservative regulars. At one point, arguing some aspect of the Iraq war, I pulled a chickenhawk argument on him – “Oh, liberals are cowards, huh? Well, if you love the war so much, why don’t you go fight it yourself?”

    He said that he was planning on it, if he could cleared for an injury of some sort. And I mocked him – “Yeah, sure. Oooh, my bum knee“… that kind of bullshit.

    Since then (as I matured as a commenter [thanks in large part to the lessons of people like DRJ and aphrael], and through a number of polite and productive exchanges), Scott has become one of many people on this site for whom I harbor genuine respect and affection.

    I felt acute regret for those comments several times over the years, Scott – there just never seemed like an appropriate time to apologize for them. Well, this seems like an utterly appropriate time – I’m sorry I mocked your intentions, your courage, and your character. It was a mean-spirited, stupid, childish thing to do, and if there was one thing I said on this blog that I could take back, that would be it.

    Anyway, I’m glad to eat this particular crow, provided that you keep yourself in one piece.

    Good luck, man. The Marines should consider themselves lucky to have you.

    Leviticus (992a6e)

  45. Scott Jacobs, just wow! I’ll be saying my prayers for you to remain safe and well. And good advice to yourself re not watching FMJ. I recently did. Yikes.

    Dana (4a6e8c)

  46. Godspeed, good man.

    JD (aff952)

  47. One wonders what bet he lost…

    Comment by EricPWJohnson — 5/8/2009 @ 7:38 am

    I barfed on myself laughing. You are just so evil. Denounce yourself. LOL!!!
    (Now who’s gonna clean up this mess?…)

    The Emperor7 (0c8c2c)

  48. Remember too, Scott, that chicks dig guys in uniform. Especially smart ones.

    Dana (4a6e8c)

  49. I would also think that the chicks in uniform also dig the guys in uniform.

    Eric Blair (c8876d)

  50. Chicks? Damn, where do I enlist?

    SPQR (26be8b)

  51. #12 Scott Jacobs:

    Why, for God’s Sake, would you chose to do Bootcamp AGAIN???

    Desired to pursue a different mission in a different naval service.

    As Stashiu3 notes at #16,

    There comes a time later in your career where you look back fondly at how simple (and fun) Boot Camp/Basic Training really was.

    So I went again, and had a ball!

    #47 SPQR:

    Chicks? Damn, where do I enlist?

    One of the most comical things I have ever seen occurred during the Rose Festival Ships’ Visit in Portland, OR. A car full of girls pulled up alongside a young sailor who was minding his own business walking along the sidewalk at the waterfront park there. Most of the girls then jumped out of the car, picked up the sailor (quite literally) and stuffed him bodily into the car, climbing back in themselves, and roaring off into the night!

    Watched the news for days to see if anyone was going to report a stolen sailor.

    Always wondered how long it was before he stopped struggling.

    EW1(SG) (5766f7)

  52. EW1(SG), LOL.

    Alas, I was a couple of years too old for the reserves when I tried to obtain a reserve commission awhile back.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  53. Good Luck and Godspeed, Scott.

    Stu707 (471645)

  54. Always knew there was something special about you. Just reading your comments here, I could tell you had a noble and heroic streak running through you. You are a true American and I wish you the very best.

    The Emperor7 (1b037c)

  55. One wonders what bet he lost…

    Comment by EricPWJohnson — 5/8/2009 @ 7:38 am

    Pfft… I won the bet.

    Guy that lost had to join them sissies in the Air Force… :)

    Scott Jacobs (90ff96)

  56. Hey, careful now, I’ll have you know I flew a desk for the Air Farce, and have the paper cuts to prove it.

    AD - RtR/OS! (b70629)

  57. Scott – I was gonna say something nasty about the squids, but EW1 is about here somewhere and I didn’t want to get him excited.

    daleyrocks (5d22c0)

  58. Good luck and thanks. It takes a great person to volunteer for service.

    Ag80 (b683da)

  59. “You were born for government work. It’s spelled Berkeley. It’s in Califorina. Let’s hope the Marines teach you to read maps as well as spell.”

    Hahahahahahahahaha. Thanks for a classic comment.

    Patterico (cc3b34)

  60. DCSCA is sort of like the Foghorn Leghorn of the blog. His stuff usually usually backfires on him one way or another even though he’s too much of an intellectual coward to admit it.

    daleyrocks (5d22c0)

  61. It was an “…I work here is done…” kind of moment.

    Except I don’t it will be as final.

    Eric Blair (33cc23)

  62. I thought Berkeley was in Califorina.

    It’s a magical land with butterflies and unicorns.

    Fresno is in California. It’s not a magical land. It’s where people work for a living.

    Ag80 (b683da)

  63. Ohmigod, it’s catching! “I don’t think it will be as final.”

    But daley, you hit the nail on the head:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-LCsiWL6gn0

    Eric Blair (33cc23)

  64. #56- You’ve got a low threshold for classics. Let’s hope they teach him to read cities on a map better than I type, especially if he’s spotting to lob artillery shells at them.

    DCSCA (9d1bb3)

  65. Semper Fi, Scott Jacobs.

    Go easy on the tattoos and be nice to the Air Force guys — you never know when you will need them : )

    Do you know what your MOS is?

    Pons Asinorum (c02e50)

  66. %57- Funny, somehow I think you as Wyle E. Coyote.

    DCSCA (9d1bb3)

  67. I used to work with a company that had offices in midtown Manhattan, at around 56th and 6th, with a view of the park. We sat there one day during “Fleet Week,” unable to work as we watched all of the naval aviators flying and circling over Central Park, on approach to the carrier that was in the Hudson. We did a little bar-hopping and bought a lot of drinks for the guys. The girls from the office were very interested in what the men in uniform had to offer. Godspeed.

    No offense intended to female aviators or anyone else. Better half would be watching Officer and a Gentleman about now.

    carlitos (2b0a8e)

  68. #59- Raisin’ raisins no doubt.

    DCSCA (9d1bb3)

  69. Eric @ 61 – It’s a good fit.

    daleyrocks (5d22c0)

  70. I think I know what gift I’m gonna ask Patterico for… :)

    Scott Jacobs (90ff96)

  71. Mr. Jacobs, sir. God bless, and good luck. Anything you need is good to go.

    And if the gift that you will be asking from Patterico is what I think it might be, then you sir will have served your Country before setting off to serve your Country.

    Apogee (e2dc9b)

  72. I hear that “Code Red” is not refering to a soft drink

    EricPWJohnson (4485ad)

  73. #54 daleyrocks:

    I was gonna say something nasty about the squids,

    As if I hadn’t heard it all before.

    In several languages.

    Let’s face it, squids just drive the bus. But you do not mess with my passengers. Then or now.

    And Scott, if you ever need to “call for fire,” the bus drivers will be happy to oblige.

    EW1(SG) (5766f7)

  74. Scott, I’m *just* a lurker here, but thank you for offering to serve our country. I feel better knowing that a Patterico commentator is joining the Marines. Good luck!

    fiestamom (cf47bb)

  75. Best wishes, Scott.

    Tim McGarry (9fe080)

  76. Best of luck. Semper Fi!

    Cowboy is a compliment (874456)

  77. Pat, I just noticed from a comment I posted on te Jury site, your site clock is was off, at least for Jury comments. I posted this comment at 0918 EDT, and, your site being on Left Coast Time, should have seen a time stamp of 0618, but it came back 0518. I’m guessing that you never updated for daylight savings time.

    The blogger Dana (474dfc)

  78. Hmmm. Yet the comment above is showing the correct time. Must be some sort of setting difference between the regular site and the Jury.

    The blogger Dana (474dfc)

  79. Our future Marine wrote:

    Why, for God’s Sake, would you chose to do Bootcamp AGAIN???

    They let crazy people like you stay in the military? Is it some sort of test?

    My daughter said that the first real thing they tried in BCT was rappelling off the Victory Tower. She said it was so much fun that she asked the drill sergeant if she could go again.

    However, it was announced on her graduation day that one man from her company had just completed his third boot camp: Once for the Iraqi Republican Guard, once for the Iraqi Army since liberation, and now, having immigrated to the United States, once for the United States Army.

    The proud father Dana (474dfc)

  80. Mr Jacobs wrote:

    Pfft… I won the bet.

    Guy that lost had to join them sissies in the Air Force… :)

    OK, true story time. Mrs Pico was less than thrilled when the older Miss Pico joined the Army. She had us thinking that she was speaking to Navy recruiters, and Mrs Pico was fine with that; when it turned out that she sandbagged us and had enlisted in the Army Reserve, Mrs Pico went on a three-day crying binge: “They’re going to send her to fornicating Iraq!

    Well, I was speaking with the younger Miss Pico, who is also planning to sign up, and suggested that she’d make her favorite mother happier if she picked the Navy or the Air Force, at which point she replied, “I can’t join the Air Force and let Autumn beat me!”

    The proud daddy Dana (474dfc)

  81. So, is the younger Miss Pico going to become a Devil Dog?

    AD - RtR/OS! (3487f1)

  82. None of you so-called military types can hold a candle to my legendary exploits as an Army Ranger, Navy Seal and Special Forces leader, along with dozens of other top-top-secret assignments I can’t talk about.

    Some of my brave feats that can be revealed:

    — At the Camp David peace talks between Israel and Egypt, the budding agreement was threatened by a dire falafel shortage. Acting on my own authority, I located an Arab restaurant in the area and commandeered a taxi to pick up the peace-saving delicacy!

    — When President Reagan had a painful hangnail, I bravely secured the perimeter of a doctor’s office and brought back a nail clipper and disinfectant!

    — I personally saved a crucial NAFTA discussion between a cranky President Clinton and Congress, by visiting the red light district and bringing back a distraction that put the president in a much better mood!

    As for my politics, I was a lifetime conservative Republican. But the far-right activities of the evil George Bush, the Ignorant, and the even more evil Karl Rove, caused me to rethink my views. Obama is a lot more conservative than you’d think from the stories in the right-wing media.

    DCSCA Mitty (0ea407)

  83. Several years ago, I composed a list of ten points for a young Brit called “Mr. Sparkle” to guide his through life in the military. Here they are:

    Mr. Sparkle said, “I do not dislike the military, on the contrary. I would like a military career.”

    You’ll need to adjust your attitude. I was a plebe three times (RMA, Culver, USNA) took ROTC and spent 20 years as an Air Force officer:

    1. Before you sign, get in shape. Run 5 miles in 35 minutes. Swim laps. Get a pistol and learn to use it.

    2. In basic training – keep your mouth shut and stay in the middle of the pack. If you are very smart or very fast or very anything, do not let them know.

    3. Learn weapon systems. Buy Jane’s (e.g., Jane’s All the Worlds’ Aircraft). Study your weapon systems then your adversary’s. FAS.org is useful. Read about tactics. Listen to combat veterans in the bar.

    4. Be aggressive but not stupid. Armed forces operate dangerous, expensive machinery which they intend to use again.

    5. Improve your communications skills – verbal and written. Be able to state a problem in 25 words, understand and present both sides objectively, draw a conclusion and make a recommendation on one page.

    6. Study. Learn at least two foreign languages. (American English does not count.) Get a Masters degree. If you have a Masters, get a PhD. Technical is best. Management is next best. Do Command and staff and war college early.

    7. Volunteer for combat at every possible opportunity. If you are alive ten days into your first combat, you will probably make it. Always assume your adversary is the worlds’ best until he proves otherwise.

    8. As a staff officer there are three rules. Rule 1: Never pass up an opportunity to keep your mouth shut. Rule 2: Never fail to speak up when it is necessary for you to do so. Rule 3: Never confuse Rule 1 with Rule 2.

    9. If you disagree with your boss and have the time to discuss it, do so behind a closed door. Persuade and don’t argue. If he doesn’t bend, there may be something you do not know. When the decision is made, support it 100%.

    10. Leadership is giving your subordinates what they need to accomplish the mission – support, resources, persuasion, information, direction, reward, punishment, encouragement and loyalty. Their failures are your responsibility.

    Good luck.

    arch (c1d07f)

  84. Hey, arch, these are similar to the rules laid out for me by my father (who was never in the military, but wanted to be). He was a firefighter, and there appear to be some similarities.

    Great suggestions!

    Eric Blair (33cc23)

  85. Scott, the advice in # 5 is golden and especially about getting in shape before you report. My nephew was in about ten years ago and that was his most important advice to anyone. I went through Air Farce boot camp 50 years ago and it was kind of fun after the first few days. One piece of advice that may no longer apply: If they ask who has driver’s licenses, don’t raise you hand! It’s a scam and an IQ test at the same time. Also, it’s good advice about staying invisible. One of the guys in boot camp with me walked out from behind a bunk on the last day as the DI was sitting BSing with us. He did a double take and told us, “That’s the smartest guy in this unit. I’ve never seen him before.”

    Now, if i could just get my daughter interested in the Marines. My older daughter was complaining about the lack of jobs for anthropologists five years ago and I pointed out that the Army was recruiting them. No dice. Now she is studying Arabic but for a library job.

    Mike K (90939b)

  86. I’d say “Tell her the Marines get all the chicks”, but I suspect that will be somewhat less effective than if you had a son… :)

    Scott Jacobs (90ff96)

  87. #79- Clearly a faux posting not from me. Hell would freeze over before I’d declare myself a ‘conservative Republican’ or one of ‘Barry’s Boys.’ You do remember Barry, don’t you, boys? Moderation in all things.

    DCSCA (9d1bb3)

  88. Pay no attention to #84! I am the true DCSCA Mitty, champeen grade skul spelar, who has savd the United States, Western civilizaton and lif on the sular systeme!

    DCSCA Mitty (0ea407)

  89. I remain amused that all of the dope’s targeted responses are off by one. :)

    Scott Jacobs (90ff96)

  90. […] on Patterico’s Pontifications, and a contributor to his “sideblog” Jury, is enlisting in the United States Marine Corps. Mr Jacobs isn’t fresh out of high school or college; he’s 31 years old. Good going, Mr […]

    Common Sense Political Thought » Blog Archive » Big wedding and other musings (73d96f)

  91. Scott and all —

    I have recently had more exposure to today’s Marines than I ever had before. Their officers, junior NCOs and I agree that today’s recruits are an impressive bunch. (The master sergeants and master gunnery sergeants say the old guys had more common sense, though. They have many colorful example to illustrate this concept. I suspect that THEIR gunnies said it of them when they were lance-corporals, too).

    Let me pass on to you some words of advice traditionally given to folks in my line of work; I think they will work as well for the USMC.

    1. Be the “grey man.” Unless you can stand out in universally positive ways (and remember, you’re going to be with all the big frogs from all the little ponds now), try not to stand out. Let the DIs chew on someone else’s hind end. (Others have given you variations on this also, so you see we really mean it).

    2. Never be “late,” “last,” or “light.” (“Late” for anything. “Last” one to complete any timed event. “Light” meaning, having an underweight rucksack i.e. cheating).

    3. Your reputation in the USMC begins on day one. It is a small service and no field-grade officer or staff NCO is more than a couple phone calls or emails away from a candid assessment of the character and potential of any living Marine. The sergeants that train you tomorrow may lead you into combat next year, and they will be completely unsentimental in assessing your merit. (Same is true of other high-threshold groups, like fighter pilots, Army SF, submariners, etc). Lesson to take-away: never, ever, take moral or character shortcuts. Reputation is a trailing indicator, and if damaged it is impossible to put it completely right again.

    “Actual’s” comment that Stashiu cited is exactly the strategy that got me through various high-attrition courses. I used to say to myself, “30,000 guys have passed this course and they can’t all have been smarter/stronger/tougher/whatever than me.” My corollary to that was, “I can’t stop them from flunking me, but I have absolute control over whether I quit, and I’m going to make those clowns WORK to throw me out if that’s what they want to do.” And every day there’d be this forlorn trickle of quitters — guys who looked to all the world to be smarter/stronger/tougher/whatever than me. Some of them quit externally (“I @#$%!! quit!”) and some internally (“My feet hurt, maybe I can get out of this road march if I go to the docs.”) But quit is quit however it happens.

    As long as you never quit, you are still in the game.

    This should go without saying, but do not get any Marine tattoo until you have completed your training. Yes, people do show up at boot camp with various Marine graphic art permanently affixed to their bodies, and it goes hard on them (this goes for any military unit that has training and rites of passage — no more accelerated way to outrage the gatekeepers than to show up with body art that you have not “earned”).

    Given that you are older and more mature than the median boot camp attendee, you may be singled out for a leadership position. In training, those named early to these positions are almost always fired. It’s a “play of the problem” thing and if it happens to you, don’t sweat it; it’s no reflection on you personally.

    Finally, good luck and my best wishes for your success.

    Kevin R.C. O'Brien (91bbe8)

  92. I will limp and crawl and claw my way across the end of any march before I “quit”. The DIs will have to knock me out and drag me away, and God help them if I come to before we get to where they are dragging me. If I’m not dead, I don’t quit.

    Exceptions might be made if I see one of my bones poking through my skin, but I doubt it. I can hop, after all, and I don’t really need both hands for most tasks…

    Shut it, you perverts.

    Scott Jacobs (90ff96)

  93. Also, the only ink I’ve even remotely considered (which is a departure from my long held stance of “I’ll only get a tattoo if it’s a full-back job of a flaming skull stabbing a unicorn with eye-daggers”) is “Deus ibi est” across the back/base of my neck (“writen” on the imaginary line made from shoulder to shoulder) in some neat font. Since it’s SO close to when I wanna leave for boot, it wouldn’t have time to heal up propperly, so I’m going to pass. There’s always time after my follow-on School.

    Scott Jacobs (90ff96)

  94. Tattoo, upper left arm, in a heart, plain blue ink”. NO HAY AMOR COMO EL DE LA MADRE.

    Get one of those 5’6″, 128lb Mexicans who’ll be kicking your ass to explain it to you.

    nk (a2a933)

  95. New regulations are that no member of the armed services may get a tattoo which will be visible when in uniform. You will have all existing tattoos documented at MEPS.

    The informative Dana (474dfc)

  96. Semper Fi from a Marine Corps Dad.

    N. O'Brain (51f22b)

  97. There is a false stereotype of USMC as collection of dumb jocks and military robots. They are anything but. One of the most innovative groups of people with whom I have dealt is the Commandant’s Warfighting Lab. They are absolutely brilliant and their chain of command supports them 100%.

    Marines maintain high standards. When other services’ recruiters encountered shortfalls, they began waiving their standards, letting recruits in who were not qualified. The USMC met their numbers, I think, because they would not lower their standards.

    The USMC is also a lifetime brotherhood. There are dead marines, retired marines, but except for John Murtha, there are no “former” marines.

    arch (c1d07f)

  98. Comment by The informative Dana — 5/10/2009 @ 4:45 am

    Up, on some Arizona mountain road, just yesterday, I met a rider who had tattooed himself halfway blue. Just plain blue. Blue arms and blue face. I thought it was vitiligo at first. I wonder, is that one way to avoid the draft?

    nk the [former] Harley Rider (a2a933)

  99. NK: I suppose that if we were in the kind of shape to need to return to conscription, they’d overlook that particular case. However, if this guy was so fornicating stupid as to do this, he might not have the intelligence to qualify for the armed services — or anything else, for that matter.

    The Dana who shakes his head at the utter stupidity exhibited by some people (474dfc)

  100. It was said that during the Korean War, North Korean and Chinese troops would clear a minefield by marching through it. I’m not sure if the guy nk saw was smart enough for even that duty!

    The Dana whose parents met in Tokyo during the Korean War (474dfc)

  101. Scott

    Leave bail money with someone

    Remember – no one ever watches a grenade explode twice

    EricPWJohnson (24dc00)

  102. Scott,

    Watch for the Liberals. They have only one real skill, the knife in the back.

    PCD (02f8c1)

  103. Maybe Recruit Jacobs will inform this august body when and where his boot camp graduation ceremony will be. I, for one, would like to come, if possible, and say “Thank you, MARINE!” after the formation is dismissed.

    PCD (02f8c1)

  104. With respect, good luck and stay sound. If your words are any indication of your character you are the man for the job.

    EdWood (c2268a)

  105. I’ll make sure to tell Patrick or DRJ, and those who wish to come are more than welcome, assuming there isn’t some kind of limit on numbers.

    Scott Jacobs (90ff96)


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