What's Special About a Marine? - Blogs - Marine Corps - USMC Community
View RSS Feed

m60mudmarine

What's Special About a Marine?

Rating: 3 votes, 5.00 average.
What's Special About a Marine?

Author: unknown




Page1


Ask a Marine what's so special about the Marines and the answer would be "Esprit de Corps", an unhelpful French phrase that means exactly what it looks like - the spirit of the Corps, but what is that spirit, and where does it come from?
The Marine Corps is the only branch of the U.S. Armed Forces that recruits people specifically to fight.
The Army emphasizes personal development (an Army of One), the Navy promises fun (let the journey begin), the Air Force offers security (it's a great way of life).
Missing from all the advertisements is the hard fact that a soldier's lot is to suffer and perhaps to die for his people, and take lives at the risk of his/her own. Even the thematic music of the services reflects this evasion.
The Army's Caisson Song describes a pleasant country outing. Over hill and dale, lacking only a picnic basket.
Anchors Aweigh, the Navy's celebration of the joys of sailing, could have been penned by Jimmy Buffet.
The Air Force song is a lyric poem of blue skies and engine thrust. All is joyful, invigorating, and safe.
There are no land mines in the dales nor snipers behind the hills, no submarines or cruise missiles threaten the ocean jaunt, no bandits are lurking in the wild blue yonder.
The Marines Hymn, by contrast, is all-combat. We fight our Country's battles, First to fight for right and freedom, we have fought in every clime and place where we could take a gun, in many a strife we have fought for life and never lost our nerve.
The choice is made clear. You may join the Army to go to adventure training, or join the Navy to go to Bangkok, or join the Air Force to go to computer school. You join the Marine Corps to go to War!
But the mere act of signing the enlistment contract confers no status in the Corps.
The Army recruit is told from his first minute in uniform that "you're in the Army now", soldier. The Navy and Air Force enlistees are sailors or airmen as soon as they get off the bus at the training center.
The new arrival at Marine Corps boot camp is called a recruit, or worse, but never a MARINE. Not yet, maybe never.


Page2


He or she must earn the right to claim the title of UNITED STATES MARINE, and failure returns you to civilian life without hesitation or ceremony.
Recruit Platoon 2210 at San Diego, California trained from October through December of 1968. In Viet Nam the Marines were taking two hundred casualties a week, and the major rainy season operation Meade River, had not even begun. Yet Drill Instructors had no qualms about weeding out almost a quarter of their 112 recruits, graduating eighty-one. Note that this was post - enlistment attrition; every one of those who were dropped had been passed by the recruiters as fit for service.
But they failed the test of Boot Camp, and not necessarily for physical reasons; at least two were outstanding high school athletes for whom the calisthenics and running were child's play. The cause of their failure was not in the biceps nor the legs, but in the spirit. They had lacked the will to endure the mental and emotional strain, so they would not be Marines. Heavy commitments and high casualties not withstanding, the Corps reserves the right to pick and choose.
History classes in boot camp? Stop a soldier on the street and ask him to name a battle of World War One. Pick a sailor at random to describe the epic fight of the Bon Homme Richard. Everyone has heard of McGuire Air Force Base. So ask any airman who Major Thomas McGuire was, and why he is so commemorated.
I am not carping, and there is no sneer in this criticism. All of the services have glorious traditions, but no one teaches the young soldier, sailor or airman what his uniform means and why he should be proud of it.
But ask a Marine about World War One, and you will hear of the wheat field at Belleau Wood and the courage of the Fourth Marine Brigade, fifth and sixth regiments.
Faced with an enemy of superior numbers entrenched in tangled forest undergrowth, the Marines received an order to attack that even the charitable cannot call ill - advised. It was insane. Artillery support was absent and air support had not yet been invented, so the Brigade charged German machine guns with only bayonets, grenades, and indomitable fighting spirit. A bandy-legged little barrel of a gunnery sergeant, Daniel J. Daly, rallied his company with a shout, "Come on you sons a *****es, do you want to live forever"?
He took out three machine guns himself, and they would give him the Medal of Honor except for a technicality, he already had two of them. French liaison officers, hardened though they were by four years of trench bound slaughter, were shocked as the Marines charged across the open wheat field under a blazing sun directly into the teeth of enemy fire. Their action was anachronistic on the twentieth-century battlefield; so much so that they might as well have been swinging cutlasses. But the enemy was only human; they could not stand up to this. So the Marines took Belleau Wood. The Germans called them "Dogs from the Devil."


Page 3


Every Marine knows this story and dozens more. We are taught them in boot camp as a regular part of the curriculum. Every Marine will always be taught them! You can learn to don a gas mask anytime, even on the plane in route to the war zone, but before you can wear the Eagle Globe & Anchor and claim the title "Marine", you must know about the Marines who made that emblem and title meaningful. So long as you can march and shoot and revere the legacy of the Corps, you can take your place in line. And that line is unified spirit as in purpose.
A soldier wears branch of service insignia on his collar, metal shoulder pins and cloth sleeve patches to identify his unit. Sailors wear a rating badge that identifies what they do for the Navy.
Marines wear only the Eagle, Globe, and Anchor, together with personal ribbons and their CHERISHED marksmanship badges. There is nothing on a Marine's uniform to indicate what he or she does, nor what unit the Marine belongs to. You cannot tell by looking at a Marine whether you are seeing a truck driver, a computer programmer, or a machine gunner. The Corps explains this as a security measure to conceal the identity and location of units, but the Marines' penchant for publicity makes that the least likely of explanations. No, the Marine is amorphous, even anonymous, by conscious design.
Every Marine is a rifleman first and foremost, a Marine first, last and always! You may serve a four-year enlistment or even a twenty plus year career Without seeing action, but if the word is given you'll charge across that wheat field! Whether a Marine has been schooled in automated supply, automotive mechanics, or aviation electronics, is immaterial. Those things are secondary - the Corps does them because it must. The modern battlefield requires the technical appliances, and since the enemy has them, so do we, but no Marine boasts mastery of them. Our pride is in our marksmanship, our discipline, and our membership in a fraternity of courage and sacrifice. "For the honor of the fallen, for the glory of the dead", Edgar Guest wrote of Belleau Wood, "the living line of courage kept the faith and moved ahead."
They are all gone now, those Marines who made a French farmer's little wheat field into one of the most enduring of Marine Corps legends. Many of them did not survive the day, and eight long decades have claimed the rest. But their actions are immortal. The Corps remembers them and honors what they did, and so they live forever.
Dan Daly's shouted challenge takes on its true meaning - if you lie in the trenches you may survive for now, but someday you will die and no one will care. If you charge the guns you may die in the next two minutes, but you will be one of the immortals.
All Marines die; some in the red flash of battle, some in the white cold of the nursing home. In the vigor of youth or the infirmity of age, all will eventually die. But the Marine Corps lives on. Every Marine who ever lived is living still - in the Marines who claim the title today. It is that sense of belonging to something that will! outlive your own mortality, which gives people a light to live by and a flame to mark their passing.
Let me add: "OOOHRAH and God bless America!"
Author Unknown

Updated 06-17-08 at 03:44 AM by m60mudmarine

Categories
Uncategorized

Comments

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
  1. steelman's Avatar
    Makes me proud to be able to claim the title U.S. Marine. What a privilege to be a part of our beloved Corps.
  2. katolas's Avatar
    i used to say my dad WAS a marine now i understand he IS a marine
    semper fi
  3. USMCGKUJO's Avatar
    Semper Fi
  4. jahhead88's Avatar
    Very motivating.
  5. cw2533's Avatar
    No one will ever understand our pride except another Marine. I have been a Marine for 50 years and will always love my Corps. Semper Fi
  6. Carl V. Strout's Avatar
    Hey my brother served 20+yrs GSGT retired Was on IWO FEB45 5thdiv 28 Marines he has allways been my pride now bout 87 inhome Va Beach Va. kinda slowed down sitting. Anyhoo Growing Old Ain"t For Wimps Just great men Marines. Buckeye83
  7. HowardSchoene's Avatar
    It's been 50+ years and the Corp is still in me. Since then two of my sons have served in the Corps. Semper Fi!
  8. CHOCTAWBIGNDN's Avatar
    My grandpa served in the army & was shot twice in WWll ! My two uncles served in the army & was in Vietnam War! The youngest uncle served in the army & was in the Desert Storm! But me I'm a Marine! I was training to go 2 Iraq and suffered a spinal injury & then was diagnosed with degenaritive spinal disk disease!
    Istill think about boot camp & all the Marines served with & can proudly say I'm a MARINE! Semper Fi!!!
  9. CHOCTAWBIGNDN's Avatar
    U can take my clothes, my car, my house! But U can never take the title "MARINE"
  10. 3sixgrunt's Avatar
    Was medically discharged...lets tell the truth, I was forced out for medical reasons during the military down sizing after the Gulf War. Undoubtedly the single most worst thing that has happened in my life. I am always a MARINE but living the life of a puke. What I wouldnt give to be back on active status.
    Degenerative Spinal Disk Disease? They got me for Degenerative Joint Disease. I swear I think the Navy Doctors think things up. I was supposed to be walking with a cane by the time I was 40. Ive been a firefighter for 15 years and still hump the highrises. I could have retired with 20 in 06. I feel as if my life was stolen.
  11. CHOCTAWBIGNDN's Avatar
    3Ssixgrunt! what iz up wit u?
    Updated 05-18-09 at 10:22 AM by CHOCTAWBIGNDN
  12. CHOCTAWBIGNDN's Avatar
    Hang in there bro help iz coming!!!
  13. Nagy09's Avatar
    sempi fi devil dogz
  14. montana24hotel's Avatar
    I have 1 problem with your story you said there was a 2210 recruit platoon at San Diego in the fall of 1968 I went in in September of 68 all platoons ended in 68 ours was 3068
  15. marine0351's Avatar
    semper fi, when asked what was my first job, i proudly tell them , that i am marine. only job that really matter or counted for anything. earned that title in 78 and have worn it proudly since then.
  16. raidcrasher's Avatar
    Got out in '70. Not getting any younger. But I still hold the pride of being a marine...and I will die with it.
  17. mike75785's Avatar
    Semper Fi Marines great story
    Brothers for life.
  18. doc h fmf's Avatar
    I Dont Know If I Have The Right To Type Here But Its Been A Pleasure Serving With The Marines .
  19. jahead613's Avatar
    Got out in '91 after 13 years in. Should have stayed in. My biggest regret. Still wear a Marine haircut, hang the Marine flag in my house. My father is a Marine as well. I will never lose the title United States Marine. I earned it.
  20. psalvarado59's Avatar
    I went in. In 1977, san diego marine plt 2096, then got orders to go ojt-0311, so i went to pendleton then to okinawa, then to lejeune got
    Out in 81 but.like the saying goes you can get the man out of the marines. But you can'T get the marine out of the man, once a marine always a marine. Uurrahhh!!!!
    Updated 10-04-10 at 06:58 PM by psalvarado59
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast