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Ask a Marine Security Guard anything
#26
I'm supposed to check in Saturday and I asked all my references if somebody had contacted them and they said no so I started to think something was up or they just didn't talk to them.

How thorough are these investigations?
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#27
SSBI investigations for TS are usually pretty thorough, even when USIS was busy back in the day approving investigations (including for those who probably shouldn't have passed) the background investigators still talked to all of the listed references, family members, and people that you may not have listed just to get a warm and fuzzy for how you are. A case isn't officially completed until they've talked to everybody they're supposed to talk to.

Nowadays CACI contractors and some other companies do BIs as well as federal employees with OPM. Something to think about - approval for clearances, at least on the contractor side, justifies further contracts for companies so contract personnel (silver badges vice gold) may be under the gun to hurry up and get an investigation completed. From there it will go to another person who will review your case and determine whether or not you are eligible for said clearance. Then again the collapse of USIS and Congressional micromanaging of the clearance process nowadays (thanks Snowden and Navy Yard shooter) may slowed down the process a bit and created backlogs of investigations. Just do everything you're supposed to do and be patient.
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#28
TL;DR? ^^^

They're about as thorough as the first time you eyeball a ladies' butthole that's within nose reach.
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#29
(03-04-2015, 03:22 AM)Korbrah Wrote: What's standing post like? What's a typical day? And is there anything you would have liked to know before you signed up for it?

There is no typical day, which is what makes it hard to characterize. 

The key though, is to look at it like a full time thing.  Not a 40 hour per week thing, but a "I'm a PFC in the BKS on Oki" sort of full time thing.  You will have off time to go see and do awesome stuff, but it is going to be hard to plan.  The collateral duties that they tack on soak up a lot of time, and training is also a big thing.  You have weekly meetings, and the annual training plan has a crapload of stuff you are going to be doing.  Basically, your collateral duties are a lot more of your life than they mention in recruiting or the school.

Going into the program, my 1st Sgt (who I despised and trusted not-at-all) could not say enough good stuff about MSG.  He cautioned me to not listen to the haters.  At the time, I did not know any haters, but I figured that being the Marine Corps, they could manage to make even the most awesome of experiences suck.  I was right. 

That said, everything they sell you on with the program is possible.  There are attractive women, you will probably have the opportunity to see some epic parties, you will probably meet some high profile folks, and learn some really awesome stuff.  The contacts you make can be amazing.  It is not like was in the mythological days of old, and there are a lot of days that you just want to chew your eyeballs out as you burn everything down around you.  

TLDR:  I was wide-eyed and nieve going into the program, and it both failed to meet and wildly exceeded my expectations.  Given the chance to do it again, I would do it in a heartbeat, but I would expect bits to suck.  Honestly, it is sort of like the Marine Corps experience in miniature. 

(03-05-2015, 10:24 AM)YellowPeasant Wrote: I'm supposed to check in Saturday and I asked all my references if somebody had contacted them and they said no so I started to think something was up or they just didn't talk to them.

How thorough are these investigations?

Once you check in I am sure they will sort things out for you.  Your refrences will be getting a call, and probably also people who you did not put as references.  (like neighbors and other contacts who your references mention)  Unless it has changed, they also work your personal interview into a time slot at the schoolhouse.  
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#30
Basically don't drink the damn recruiting video juice. Or drink it moderately. Because there is bullshit behind banging foreign girls, being a vip in clubs you go to, getting good (somewhat) pay, visiting places you'd never visit in your life, and getting away from the fleet for a bit.
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#31
What are officer oppurtunities in MSG? What do they do?
“The first time you blow someone away is not an insignificant event. That said, there are some fuckers in the world that just need to be shot. There are hunters and there are victims. By your discipline, you will decide if you are a hunter or a victim."
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#32
Officer opportunities can range from working at the regional offices around the globe, or working at the HQ building. Officers fill the administrative chain of command at regional offices, and they also act as I.O or inspecting officers. Each region has a handful of them. They get the opportunity to travel the same, if not more, than regional first shirts and CO's. They're main purpose is to go to detachments semi annually to inspect collateral duties of the detachments. This could mean a lot of traveling if the I.O to countries ratio is good. They're all captains, and usually down to earth guys. Eventually they get sick of inspecting thoroughly, and take the inspection as a time to get away and enjoy the country they're in. 
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#33
You may mot know this, but what's the application process for officers? Is it cutthroat ir pretty easy to get into? Do they prefer certain MOSs over others? Could I be married?
“The first time you blow someone away is not an insignificant event. That said, there are some fuckers in the world that just need to be shot. There are hunters and there are victims. By your discipline, you will decide if you are a hunter or a victim."
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#34
I don't know the process. Sorry, man. Monitor hook up? I have an SAI coming up and I can find out, but I'm sure someone can chime in before that happens.
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#35
(03-06-2015, 06:55 AM)BEAR Wrote: Basically don't drink the damn recruiting video juice. Or drink it moderately. Because there is bullshit behind banging foreign girls, being a vip in clubs you go to, getting good (somewhat) pay, visiting places you'd never visit in your life, and getting away from the fleet for a bit.

Jesus your recruiter laid that shit on super thick. I literally just say if you don't suck at life you can apply to embassy duty later on and live in different countries and work with the state department. that's about it lol
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#36
(03-06-2015, 07:36 AM)BEAR Wrote: I don't know the process. Sorry, man. Monitor hook up? I have an SAI coming up and I can find out, but I'm sure someone can chime in before that happens.

It's no problem. I'll figure it out when the time comes. Or if someone wants to chime in.
“The first time you blow someone away is not an insignificant event. That said, there are some fuckers in the world that just need to be shot. There are hunters and there are victims. By your discipline, you will decide if you are a hunter or a victim."
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#37
Who's the coolest VIP you've met?

Which VIP was a straight up piece of shit?

Besides the hotties who want citizenship and secrets, what is the best part of MSG to you?
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#38
(03-06-2015, 09:46 AM)CPD Wrote: Who's the coolest VIP you've met?

Which VIP was a straight up piece of shit?

Besides the hotties who want citizenship and secrets, what is the best part of MSG to you?

I'm not the best to answer this question, but Ray Mabus was definitely the chillest guy i've met when it comes to people at that level. I had met him just last year. Got his coin too and I guess that's cool. 

Hilary Clinton was definitely the laziest VIP i've done. It was my first post and I can see that she was only meeting the Marines for a check in the box. 

That's a tough question. I guess the best part of MSG (besides banging beautiful broads in their cheap apartments) is the experience and relationships you make with people who are outside the military. It really opens your eyes to what's out there, and what the State Department does. I don't think i'd ever work would never work for the S.D, but you meet a lot of valuable people who will help you out professionally if you need it in the future. Especially for the Marines that EAS after the program.
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#39
Is it true that there is a hierarchy of "Foreign Service Officer, Federal Employee, Military, Contractor" at embassies? I heard a lot of mil people are not fond of the FSOs because they think their poo doesn't stink.
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#40
(03-06-2015, 09:46 AM)CPD Wrote: Who's the coolest VIP you've met?

Which VIP was a straight up piece of shit?

Besides the hotties who want citizenship and secrets, what is the best part of MSG to you?

President Obama was pretty awesome in person.  He shot the shit with us for awhile, and it was either genuine, or he was really good about faking it. 

General Mattis was also amazing.  Administrator Bolden stopped by our Marine House and talked with us for a good 45 min about cool stuff.  Honestly, at that level, almost everyone who went out of their way to see the Marines, was good to go.  There was one exception...

Secretary Clinton.  I won't get into it, but you know how you can get a good idea of what a person is like by the way they treat their waiters and people 'below' them? 

For me, the best part of MSG was the stupid idealistic stuff.  A close second would be the travel opportunities.  I got to go to places, see things, and meet people who I just would not have been able to do on my own.  Even if I had lots of money and time.  The program can give you exposure that is punching way above its weight when you look what it takes to be a MSG.  

(03-06-2015, 01:31 PM)ABACABB Wrote: Is it true that there is a hierarchy of "Foreign Service Officer, Federal Employee, Military, Contractor" at embassies? I heard a lot of mil people are not fond of the FSOs because they think their poo doesn't stink.

No. 

There is a pretty strict hierarchy at post, and with the exception of warzones, the Ambassador is The senior US Gov rep in the country.  The chains of command and reporting are not as immediately obvious with folks who are not wearing a uniform, but that does not mean that they are not present within the embassy community. 

DoS has rank just like everyone else, and there is even a grunt/pogue relationship between the more prestigious sections and the rest of the diplomats.  The Political and Economic officers are sexy hotness, and the other sections like consular, public affairs, and management are somewhat less... glamorous.  Just because folks are not wearing a uniform does not mean that there is not the same crap that goes on in the military; it just means it is more subtle and polite on the surface.

The attache office is usually respected, but they are just a seat at the country team like everyone else.  There are different organizational cultures in all of the various groups in an embassy.  Legatt, Mil, DoS, USAid, ect all are a bit different, but usually the staff are all experianced and senior enough that there is mutual respect.  Due to the nature of the .mil folks who end up as attache's, they usually are able to understand different cultures (to include DoS).  

The problem honestly comes when you bring folks like MSG's into the mix.  You get a brand new Cpl who comes to an Embassy and meets all these folks who act like they know everything and are hot shit, but who could never make it through boot camp.  The Marine might then decide that they are some sort of over-paid worthless idiot after watching them do something dumb.  Of course, that Marine is probably completely unaware of just how exclusive and difficult it is to get hired and sent to post by almost any of the agencies that are present, and that the individual who seems convinced that they walk on water probably did beat out hundreds or thousands of other highly qualified applicants for their spot...

Contractors are a mixed bag.   A contract implies that there is a client.  The client/contractor relationship implies a power gradient.  This one can be tricky.  Basically, nobody who is a career Federal or DoS employee is going to be thrilled to be answering to a contractor.  At the same time, a SME contractor is not going to be overly keen to listen to some boot direct-hire. 


I suspect this all gets more complicated when you go to places like Kabul or Baghdad.  I dont know what the DoS/Fed/Mil dynamics in those places is, but I suspect that since the authority is distributed differently than everywhere else, there are more tensions and I could easily see inter-agency drama coming up.  
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#41
I just got accepted to the program and have a class date of 4-15 and I report in May.
I heard they send a bunch of Marines back to their unit if they don't have all required paperwork with them . This is my biggest fear, getting sent back. What are some big reasons they send Marines back for?
Also I'm just curious if Marines rate any other ribbons besides the MSG ribbon. Like NUC or MUC.
Thanks.
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#42
(03-07-2015, 11:34 PM)Chinman Wrote: I just got accepted to the program and have a class date of 4-15 and I report in May.
I heard they send a bunch of Marines back to their unit if they don't have all required paperwork with them . This is my biggest fear, getting sent back. What are some big reasons they send Marines back for?
Also I'm just curious if Marines rate any other ribbons besides the MSG ribbon. Like NUC or MUC.
Thanks.

Don't worry about being sent back. As long as you have all the boxes checked before you arrive you'll be fine. Do your due diligence and check and double check all of your things before you PCS. Some of the biggest reasons Marines get sent back is because; they can't pass the initial pft/cft, their psych eval didn't go well, they get dropped at board week, or they fail the educational portions of the school house (range days, tests, defensive tactics tests)

Marines do receive other awards while on the program. The MSG ribbon and the Overseas Service ribbon (one year cumulative overseas) are a given. However, some fortunate Marines will receive more. For instance, I was in Kosovo my first post and walked out of there with a Kosovo campaign, a Nato Balkans, and a Army achievement medal. (Or if you're in Korea you get the KSD medal) No unit citations unless your previous command is awarded one while you were there

The usual going rate for a EOT award is a NAM as well if you aren't a screw up at your three posts. It's really a luck of the draw.
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#43
(03-06-2015, 09:46 AM)CPD Wrote: Who's the coolest VIP you've met?

Which VIP was a straight up piece of shit?

Besides the hotties who want citizenship and secrets, what is the best part of MSG to you?

Coolest: Jon Bon Jovi
He was visiting Berlin in secret from the paparazzi, and was staying at the Ambo's house. The ambo was some rich dude from New Jersey, and apparently his mansion is right next to JBJ's mansion, so they were friends.
Jon Bon Jovi's parents were both Marines, so he LOVED Marines. He did individual photos with all of us and everything. Coolest dude ever. It occurred to us later that we should have invited him back to our house to play guitar hero, because how awesome would it have been to play guitar hero with and ACTUAL rock star.

POS: Leon Panetta
Didn't return my salute or even acknowledge me. Too busy to bother meeting us. Didn't give anyone in the embassy a coin.

Best Non-Obvious Part: Having your own room, and have it be massive. In Honduras I had a gigantic suite, with a bedroom, a real three-door closet, a living room space with a couch, and a two-room bathroom area all to myself.
It is a lot different than the fleet, and a lot of guys actually have trouble adjusting back to living in the barracks after MSG. You also tend to accrue a lot of junk, because you have so much space in your room to put stuff in, and then when you get back to the fleet it can't all fit in a barracks room. People buy furniture and bookcases and carved wooden chests and bongo drums and persian carpets and shit.
There once was a young man named Nate
Who wanted to do something great
He went to a recruiter
Said "I'm good with computers"
Now he's checking IDs at the gate
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#44
Shit. I remember my room in Kosovo. Massive bedroom area, long walk-in closet that lead right to a decent bathroom. The embassy was on a hill and my full sized balcony overlooked the entire city center of Pristina.
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#45
Window, the more I read the more I'm surprised you ever enlisted in the Marines. You're way too smart for this
The Kool-Aid is a lie.
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#46
Will you ever get polygraphed?
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#47
(03-09-2015, 03:51 PM)YellowPeasant Wrote: Will you ever get polygraphed?

Not initially at the school house, but if you are sent back to Quantico after your first post to attend D.C training to go to a high level intelligence threat post you will get polygraphed.
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#48
Story time...


As an MSG in Saudi Arabia, we had a visit from SecDef Gates, along with Marine Lt Gen Kelly (the highest ranking officer to have lost a son KIA).

We arrive at the location, a massive and obnoxiously ostentatious “hotel” (though no guests ever stayed there; it was used exclusively for hosting foreign dignitaries) about half an hour prior to our meeting, and are informed by some Department of State weenie that our appointment was going to be delayed because "The Secretary is taking a nap".  God it must be awesome to be powerful.


So we putz around for a little bit, and the DoS weenie tells us there's lunch being served in the attached restaurant, so we could go there to eat.  Sure, why not? Better than standing around in a marble foyer.  We go to the restaurant, get plates of food from the buffet, and sit down at a table.  More DoS weenies, presumably from Gates’ entourage, are sitting adjacent to us, also eating.  

A waiter wheels a cart over to the DoS table and offers them some Saudi Champagne.  Saudi Arabia is a fundamentalist Muslim country, where alcohol is illegal.  Saudi Champaign is simply a bubbly fruit juice drink and is referred to as champagne only ironically.  The DoS weenies at the table gleefully indulge in the fruit juice, loudly protesting "Oh my gosh! Isn't it rather early! Ah well, when in Rome!!"  Obviously under the impression they were actually drinking an alcoholic beverage, the suits began acting more and more intoxicated, like high school teens who think they are drunk after sneaking one rebellious beer.

We all quietly sit at our table, rolling our eyes, and chuckling at the bemused Saudi waiter who was completely flabbergasted by the DoS table's behavior.


Time goes by, and we are about halfway through our lunch when the original DoS weenie who had informed us that Secretary Gates was napping comes strolling up to us.  


"Hey dudes!  You guys having fun?  Listen, we were thinking it would be good if you guys could change into your BDUs.  So we're gonna need you to go ahead and do that, sound good?"


We stare at him.


Our SSgt speaks up: "Err... our what?"

"Your BDUs dude!  Yeah, that would look so much better.  Kind of warlike, you know?"  The perky female DoS photographer standing behind him nods vigorously in agreement.

SSgt: "You realize this is a hostile country, designated as a combat zone, where us traveling openly in uniform makes us targets?"

DoS weeny: "It's no problem bro, we thought of that, you can just get your BDUs and change here!"

SSgt: "...we also don't wear BDUs, we wear cammies.  BDUs are the Army."

DoS weenie:  "Sounds good man.  Listen, your meeting with the SecDef is in 40 minutes, so when you are back with your BDUs let me know."  Without waiting for an answer he turned and walked off.


We all look at our pristine suits and then up at our SSgt.  Our house was a 15 minute drive away.  Round trip drive would leave us with only 10 minutes to grab our cammies from the house, change back at the building, and be in place and ready for our meeting.

SSgt: "Well, I guess we better fly."


We bitch the entire car ride back.  

"What the fuck, he could have told us this shit a half hour before instead of sending us to that restaurant so we could watch staties get drunk on fruit juice!"

"This is BS, my cammies aren't ready for a VIP meeting, they're all wrinkled and shit."

"Yeah my sleeves aren't even rolled."

"Gotta wear our fucking BDUs bro!  Cause that would toooootallly be sooo coool bro!  Wearing our BDUs!  Don't you have your BDUs?"

"Shut the fuck up."


On the car ride back I joke "You know, wouldn't it be hilarious if somebody forgot to bring a skivvy shirt or something."

There's silence for a moment.  Then one of the other Marines goes "Fuck."

"SERIOUSLY? WHAT THE HELL!"

"I didn't think of it alright? We were in such a hurry I just grabbed and went!"

SSgt: "I have an extra in the back."

"Do you have two extras, because I forgot my skivvy shirt too?"

"Wow, we are pretty good."

"This is why we can't have nice things."

"Fucking brilliant.  We're meeting the Secretary of Defense and at least one of you idiots is going to be rocking a bare chest like some creepy fucking Lieutenant Colonel who touches boys!"

"Well, we could just ALL not wear skivvy shirts.  You know... for uniformity."

"Yeah, that would be a great way for the Secretary of Defense to remember this particular group of Marines forever."

"Hey, it's technically in regs!"

"And you're technically a Non Commissioned Officer, who forgot his fucking skivvy shirt for his BDUs."

"What are we going to do Staff Sergeant?"

SSgt: "You two idiots just wear my shirt and my spare, and I'll stay in my suit and not be in the fucking picture and pretend I'm a nasty civilian.  Mostly because I'm too embarrassed to be associated with you idiots."

"Semper Fidelis Staff Sergeant."

"Chesty would be proud."

SSgt: "I need a drink.  Maybe we can ask if they have any more Saudi Champagne."


We arrive screeching back in front of the building with about 8 minutes to spare before our meeting, boil out of the LAV still wearing suits but with our cammies and our boots bundled up in our arms, and are greeted by the same DoS weenie.  He leads us to our "place to change" which turns out to be a storage room deep in the basement, filled to overflowing with dusty, broken exercise equipment.  Whatever, no time to argue.  We throw on our cammies while SSgt nervously paces back and forth in his suit, glancing at his watch.  We look like hell. Half of our cammies look like we slept in them and everybody's sleeves are down to our elbows and looser than the Okinawan girl in the banana show.  At least we all have skivvy shirts.  Take the small victories.

We are directed to take the stairs to the fifth floor (from the basement), while the DoS weenie himself took the elevator.  Apparently elevators are not for us plebian enlisted folk.  By the time we get in position we have broken a sweat and one of the guys who had forgot his skivvy shirt is smelling noticeably of pungent Mexican body odor. 1 minute to spare before the appointed time.


15 minutes later, we are still waiting.  No one is forthcoming.  DoS weenie has disappeared.  Finally the SecDef's personal photographer, a goateed hipster in a tweed blazer, comes meandering out of the hallway leading to the SecDef's suite.  Presumably he was taking pictures of the SecDef taking his nap, or possibly had been napping himself curled up at the foot of his bed like one of those little dogs.


Photographer sees the Staff Sergeant wearing a suit, and us wearing rumpled cammies, and assumes that the suited man must be the massa, and therefore a real person, by virtue of the fact that he is wearing a suit like the grownups.   So much for BDUs being "totally better dude".

At this point in time the whole fiasco with the possibility of a Government Shut Down was going on, and it was unclear whether we were going to be getting paid the upcoming month or not.  The hipster Photographer begins chatting up our Staff Sergeant about this topic, and seems confused that he does not seem to share his enthusiasm.

Photographer: "Isn't it great!?"

SSgt: "...Great?"

Photographer: "The game!  It's gripping!  Congress is a battlefield right now, and no one is going to allow themselves to be the one to lose!"

SSgt: "I see."

Photographer: "It's all strategy really, you know how it is!  We live in such exciting times!"


We are all overhearing this dialogue and staring at the hipster with increasing fury.  Did he not have any idea that he was talking about whether or not all of us got paid at all?  Well, no doubt HE was still going to get paid, even if the Government shut down.  And comparing the embarrassing debacle going on in Congress to war fighting? Seriously?  Is this really how this was perceived within the political circles in the capitol?  Our disgust built.


Finally, after 20 minutes of waiting, Secretary of Defense Gates comes out of his suite, followed by a train of sycophants and hangers-on.  My first impression of him was “Wow…he’s so…short.”  (At this point in time the only other VIPs I had met in person had been CMC Conway and SMMC Kent, both of whom are giants among men, but having met many more since I’ve found surprise at the individual’s shortness to be a common trend.  They say the camera adds 10 pounds, but an even more pronounced effect is that power adds 10 inches.  For some reason we naturally expect powerful people to be taller than average.  To a certain extent this actually holds true with green-side military officers.  Perhaps height is a built in prerequisite to promotion beyond Lt Col.)


As Secretary Gates made his way towards us, the Photographer was expounding enthusiastically to our Staff Sergeant on how the SecDef was such a hard worker he took cat naps whenever he could in order to keep up.  The implication being that a time slot he in which was supposed to meet with some enlisted Marines was an appropriate time “when he could”.  The Photographer continued by relating that Napoleon was known for taking cat naps.  It occurred to me that perhaps this was a trend with short military leaders.


The Secretary of Defense seemed pleasant enough, though distracted.  We straightened ourselves up as best as we were able, smoothed down our rumpled cammies and came to attention.  Secretary Gates went down the line shaking each Marine’s hand.  He looked at us without making eye contact, with glazed over eyes that almost seemed to look through us as if we weren’t even there.  We told him our names and he nodded as if there was some purpose for us doing so and as if he wouldn’t immediately forget them as soon as he walked away.  We dutifully reported our home towns according to the prescribed formula, providing a nice, safe, neutral topic of pre-packaged, limited-duration small talk that wouldn’t involve any potentially awkwardly productive questions or exchange of real knowledge, and allowing the VIP the opportunity to make the predictable comments on each Marine’s local sports team and point out any coincidental connection to a particular home town, presumably so that we would feel that the VIP could relate to us.
Everything went according to the script, and our Staff Sergeant stood off to the side awkwardly in his suit, holding our detachment camera because we knew better than to expect to ever get copies of any official photographs.  I was last in line, and the Secretary reached me and gave me a half-hearted handshake, gripping only the very tips of my fingers with the tips of his, in the manner in which one picks up something of questionable cleanliness.  Meanwhile, LtGen Kelly stood in the watching crowd of minions, beaming at us like a proud parent.

We snapped a couple photographs and Secretary Gates shuffled off again to attend other meetings where he could hold lofty discussions with other lofty persons after his refreshing cat nap.  The goateed Photographer loudly and repeatedly assured us that all his official pictures of the meeting would be forwarded to us once he returned to Washington (they never were).  

At this point Lt Gen Kelly came forward and took his turn, though much more enthusiastically than the Secretary.  As the civilians all meandered off again in the SecDef’s wake, Lt Gen Kelly took the time to pin one of our Marines to the rank of SSgt, telling the new Staff NCO that, in his opinion, the best ranks in the Marine Corps are Sergeant and Captain.  As if to say “ha ha, sucker!”


The General then went on to tell us a story about travelling to Afghanistan with the SecDef.  He related how they were going to visit the legendary 3/5, which had endured the highest number of casualties of any unit, and that Secretary Gates had been dreading the trip, expecting the Marines’ morale to be near breaking point.  In a somber note, the General briefly mentioned that his son “had been with 3/5”. We bowed our heads and lowered our eyes at the implication of the past tense.  Lt Gen Kelly explained that he told him “Sir, you don’t know the Marines.”  The SecDef had had little interaction with Marine units throughout his tenure, spending most of his time dealing with the Army, who were always complaining.  Their cammies kept ripping, they said.  They weren’t getting paid on time.  The internet was too slow on Camp Cupcake.  The food at the Burger King was terrible.  Secretary Gates expected more of the same.
General Kelly went on to describe how they went in front of the assembled men of 3/5, made a short speech, braced themselves, and asked if anyone had any questions for the SecDef.  Not one hand went up.  “No one?  Come on, surely SOMEONE has something to ask the Secretary of Defense!  You’ll never get a better chance than this Marines!  Come on, what can I get for you, what do you men need?”  A prowling Sergeant Major “volunteered” a Sergeant to raise his hand.  “Yes son?”  “Well Mr. Gates, sir, we could use some more 40 mike mike, if there’s any to spare.”

The General paused in his story to give a hearty laugh.  “I had to explain to Secretary Gates what exactly 40mm WAS, because he had no idea.  He’d never been asked that before, in years of meeting with Army troops.  Pay and ripped cammies and internet and iPads he knew all about, but all those men ever wanted was a bit more 40 mike mike to use on their enemies and they were happy as could be.”

“The only other thing we could get them to admit to wanting was some corn dogs.  The day we visited the battalion had been given hot corn dogs for chow; their first hot meal in weeks, and they could not stop talking about how amazing those corn dogs were.”
He shook his head, grinning.
“That is what separates the Marines from all the rest, gentlemen.  That’s why I’m proud to be a Marine.”


We stood up straighter and tried to look appropriately stoic and Spartan, while standing on a balcony of a marble presidential hotel with a gigantic crystal chandelier the size of a C-130 hanging down the center of the rotunda beside us.  Though a corn dog did sounds quite good right then.



Though motivational, the story was somewhat spoiled for us because, as enlisted Marines, we knew exactly what had happened.  Without even the shadow of a doubt, before the arrival of the SecDef, the SNCOs of 3/5 had gotten their Marines together and explained to them in no uncertain terms that they were not to ask any questions unless instructed to do so, in order to not reflect poorly on their leaders and the unit as a whole.  The scene was staged.  Perhaps Truman had a point when he complained that the Marine Corps had a talent for propaganda that rivaled that of Stalin himself.

The Lt General thanked us, and departed, with his Colonel attaché in tow.
“His, uh, his son was a KIA.  Just FYI.”
“Yeah no kidding.  I kind of picked up on that.”
“This from the guy who can’t even figure out that a skivvy shirt is part of his BDUs.”
SSgt: “Retards.”
There once was a young man named Nate
Who wanted to do something great
He went to a recruiter
Said "I'm good with computers"
Now he's checking IDs at the gate
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#49
I fucking lost it at

There's silence for a moment. Then one of the other Marines goes "Fuck."

That was too good, and I'm not surprised. We all forget shit sometimes. Would have been sweet if you guys went all skivy-less. Over my time in MSG my attitude went from anger to sarcastic when it came to higher ups entourages and little statee lap dogs that followed their masters.
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#50
^ Yep, I can remember similar moments.
The Kool-Aid is a lie.
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