The Thinking 

Don’t Join the Marines

December 9, 2011



Brigadier General Loretta Reynolds, Commander of Parris Island

IN a recent entry, a reader named KB disclosed that he is joining the Marine Corps in the hope of turning his life around. His comment provoked this impassioned response from Wheeler MacPherson, an ex-Marine.

MacPherson’s message: Don’t do it.

Brigadier General Loretta Reynolds, commander of Parris Island, where 20,000 Marines are trained annually, is, he says, “the bleak androgynous face” of a military institution in a state of irreversible decline. “Whatever nobility and glory that organization once had, it has squandered forever,” MacPherson writes. “Assimilating yourself to its culture will not save you. It will merely give you some fleeting bragging rights.”

Wheeler MacPherson writes to KB:

I sincerely hope that my words which follow do not offend you, because I do not offer them with any such intent.

I will confess that when I read your comment on Mrs. Wood’s blog, I assumed by your description of yourself as an “immigrant” that you are either British, Russian, or Canadian. That is to say, I assumed that you are white. Having learned that you are Indian tends to gut my original response, since most of my observations and concerns play directly to someone of heritage similar to mine.

For example, I was going to point out that the Marine Corps in which I served was a bastion of things Southern and masculine. R.E. Lee and “Stonewall” Jackson were studied and revered. We imitated the “rebel yell” in training exercises.

I was also going to observe that non-whites were once a definite minority in the Marine Corps. Though the commanders toed the party line (politically correct, even back then), we all understood and accepted as hard fact that a warrior culture of controlled violence like the Corps was not the place for social experiments or affirmative action quotas. The Marines who excelled at tactics and strategy and avionics and artillery theory and communications technology and leadership were overwhelmingly white. And quite often Southern.

And today? The Corps has sodomites openly serving in the ranks once commanded by “Chesty” Puller, and the current Commandant is “fine” with this. The Corps has a bull-dykey womyn as commanding general of Parris Island. The Corps actively recruits and enlists borderline-retarded murderous criminal gang-bangers from the inner-city wastelands, while barring from service any white lad with a Confederate flag or “White Pride Worldwide” tattoo on his shoulder.

But do such things matter to you? They will likely elicit a shrug or a roll of the eyes from you, since you are not of my tribe; fair enough. No hard feelings.

But since you’re apparently in love with America and with democracy, perhaps you might hear just a word or two from me.

1. You’re not going to receive the kind of beautifully brutal training for which the Corps was once famous. You’ll receive dumbed-down, standard issue, feel-good training. The sort of training that the Snoop Dawgs of America could withstand. The sort of training 60 Minutes and The Discovery Channel love to document. And on the other side of that training, you’re not going to be some lean, mean, killin’ machine. You’ll merely be sorta-kinda familiar with various military subjects. Ask yourself the question: if the USMC is still such a legendary bad-ass force, why have little raggedy Muslim insurgents been able to slice up these technology-laden hardcore jarheads with such dismal regularity?

2. Take a good look at the new Commanding General for the Marine Corps Recruit Depot at Parris Island, SC. Take a long look at her bleak, androgynous face. Read with care the article about her “exploits.” Notice how she’s described as “the first female Marine to hold a command position in a battle zone.” Translation: she was given command of a unit which was technically inside a battle zone. This is a far cry from commanding troops in combat. It’s quite far removed from being in combat. This woman is no warrior, and yet she’s commanding a depot where warriors are ostensibly shaped. I’m in my fifties and haven’t run three miles or performed 20 pullups or 80 situps in many years…and yet I can say with great confidence that if General Reynolds showed up at my door tonight unannounced and challenged me, I could stomp her and her deluded six-foot frame into the ground. And she knows it, as does any woman who has ever tried to tangle with a man who wasn’t playing around. But this will be your superior officer if you join the Marine Corps.

3. No civilization tolerant of homosexuality has ever thrived or survived. The Marine Corps now officially sanctions the perversity of unnatural sexual choices. And when you take your shower among your fellow officer candidates, just remember that if you’re bothered by a leer or a too-lingering glance, you’re the one with the problem. And it may cost you your career.

While we are not from the same culture or background and have almost nothing in common, I do have concern for you. Your language troubles me. You speak of the need to “earn” your citizenship. You speak of a gauntlet, and of your worries of being just another non-ambitious male.

I fear that you have bought into the romantic mindset. I fear that you are willing to bind yourself to the altar of the Marine Corps in the name of the twin gods Democracy and Doing What’s Right. I fear that you are out to prove something.

KB, when you are in the Marine Corps, you belong to the Marine Corps. If you join, your life will not be your own. Your career, your hours, perhaps even your very life will be subject to the whims and caprices of men (and women!) for whom you may have nothing but contempt. But you will be forced to keep a neutral expression on your face, like Winston Smith in front of his telescreen.As an atheist, you may be seduced by the Marine Corps’ quasi-religious history as a sort of American version of the knights of old Europe, but please know that those days are ended. Marines are moving away from the posture of chivalric knights and more towards the twisted doctrine of the Theban Band. The USMC is no longer a “band of brothers.” On what basis would the mishmash of multicultural 21st-century Marines claim brotherhood, after all?

Democracy is not worth dying for. Democracy is “51% rules,” and that’s only in theory. In real life, democracy is a sham. If you doubt this, examine carefully some of the recent residents of the White House. Examine the fact that people are ridiculed and even thrown into prison for merely asking questions or stating disagreement with commonly-held views.

If you want to do what’s right, if you want to live a life of sacrifice and bravery, turn from the Marine Corps and take a different path. Find a young lass who can give you children (and eventually grandchildren) who will look like you and who will look like your grandparents. Love her and protect her and set up a home for her where she is safe. Find a way to learn or teach yourself some skills that will feed your family and allow you at least some independence. Keep your word. Protect your home. Help your neighbor. Be merciless to those who would harm your family or your home. Keep to yourself and keep your own counsel. Listen more than you talk. Throw away your television set. Reject the mindset of the lemmings.

Don’t join the Marine Corps. Whatever nobility and glory that organization once had, it has squandered forever. Assimilating yourself to its culture will not save you. It will merely give you some fleeting bragging rights.

Forget the U.S. Marine Corps. Focus on your great-grandchildren. Be “always faithful” to them, not to some smartly-uniformed clique.



                                                   — Comments —

Buck writes:

Normally I would proudly correct Laura’s misuse of the term “ex-Marine”. It has always been “former Marine”. “Once a Marine, always a Marine.” But, in light of the sad reality of our modern liberal Marine Corps, as a former Marine sergeant, regrettably, I can no longer quibble.
Buck adds:
Well said by Wheeler MacPherson. I’m 64 and I’d enjoy a quick round of pugil sticks with Ms. Loretta myself.
[Note: The discussion continues here.]
Share:Email this to someoneShare on Facebook0Tweet about this on TwitterPin on Pinterest0Share on Google+0