Monday, August 18, 2008

In the Navy, With the Marines

After my time in the Submarines, I thought it might be interesting to see what life was like in the "other" Marines. OK, it really wasn't my idea, but the reserve recruiter thought it would be fun to see what happened to a bubblehead dropped in to the middle of the Fleet Marine Force.

My first trip to the green side involved being saluted by a lot of young marines and being called "doc" alot. It took a while for me to get used to being asked to look at somebody's rash. Now, keep in mind, when you embark on board a Marine base, you are surrounded by thousands of young killers who worship their corporal (E-4). No scrubbing of the middle level passageway with a greanny on hands and knees in this man's Corps.

The Marines also happen to be the only service worse than the Navy when it comes to handing out uniform fruit salad. When I realized that I had more service ribbons than half of the Gunnery Sergeants, I had to sit down and sort out the universe. (This has been somewhat fixed by the heroism decorations from the war on terror.)

I quickly realized that Marine Corps culture has no place for subdued dolphins and I proudly became one of the fewest of the few and the proud wearing my shiny silver dolphins around Camp Lejuene. Marines would see you coming and try to figure out just what kind of creature you were. When asked about life on the boat, they'd nearly universally make some comment about going crazy underwater.

After I left the Green side, somebody got the great idea to give fleet marine sailors their own warfare device, the FMF badge. This seems to make a lot more since than half of the other "warfare" devices out there on the blue side are nothing more than fufilling your job duties. (Ahem, IUSS) Corpsmen and RP's get shot at on a regular basis these days. So do some Chaplains and Doctors.

Now word has come out that the Marines themselves would like to make sure that the sailors they serve in combat with recieve the same pay that they do.

This only makes sense. When you count on a sailor to risk his life to save yours, you want that risk recognized and compensated. BZ to the the Sergeant Majors of the Marine Corps for doing their part to keep the Navy in the fight.

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