Before I begin this article, I want to make it VERY CLEAR that I do NOT condone, nor would I tolerate sexual abuse of female Marines, or ANY Female. I have always been firmly against such conduct and it became really personal for me, when my own daughter came home halfway through her senior year in high school and announced that she was going to join the Marine Corp. Had some young Marine raped my daughter, it would have taken the entire 2nd Marine Division to keep me from getting my hands on him. culture
With that said, there is a huge difference between sexual assault and a Marine being razzed.
I have been busy dealing with doctors, so was unable to write about this when the news first broke, but I am actually glad I had to wait. After reading a number of articles, listening to the media hype, and reading comments posted on social media by Marines that were either on the far end of approval, or far end of condemnation, I thought it would be a good idea to give a balanced perspective… I’ll call it the TRUTH! 🙂
According to media reports, this “crisis“ has been discovered to span across all branches of the armed forces. I can only speak to what I know to be true in the Marine Corps, but I would imagine some things I have to say on this, will be relevant regardless of the branch of service.
The Marine Corps is a unique culture, a culture that I don’t believe anyone who has not been a part of it could possibly understand. I don’t say that in a cocky sort of way either, or as a way to tell you that I’m right and you just can’t understand why. I do hope you will understand the unique circumstances Marines experience after reading this.
First, it is important to recognize that the Marine Corps remains a male dominated service. Unlike the other branches that integrated men and women during Basic Training years ago, the Marine Corps has maintained a strong stance against doing such a thing. I heard one female veteran mention this as a major factor contributing to sexual harassment in the Marine Corps. I totally disagree with her, but I am sure others think that way too.
The Obama Administration used the American Armed Forces to conduct social experiments for eight years. He did this while also downsizing our forces and allowing our equipment to degrade and diminish to a point where we are having to search museums and equipment graveyards, where damaged planes and vehicles are kept, for parts.
The Marine Corps has the toughest, fittest women anywhere and they earn their Marine Title through the same rigorous process that male Marines do. You can flaunt political correctness all you want though, but men and women are different and putting women into combat arms alongside men is a mistake.
I don’t expect anyone to take my word on this, but every Marine General that has been confronted and tasked with making a recommendation, has recommended against it.
General Barrow, the 27th Commandant of the Marine Corps, who led Marines in combat during WWII, Korea, and Vietnam, told Congress in 1991 after he had retired, that if they allowed women in combat positions in the Marine Corps, they would “destroy the Marine Corps, simple as that, something no enemy has been able to do in over 200 years.”
General Gray, the 29th Commandant of the Marine Corps, said straight up when he was being pressured to integrate women into combat roles, “There’s only one person that’s responsible for the total well being of your Marines. It’s not Mr. Carlucci, it’s not Mr. Ball (Navy Secretary William L. Ball III).. . . It’s me. I am the one that will make these kinds of decisions, always–or you can get another commandant.” General Gray led Marines in combat during the Korean and Vietnam Wars.
General Joseph Dunford also recommended against it recently, but Ash Carter, the Harvard educated spoiled brat who has never so much as had dirt on his hands, who said when asked by a reporter about General Dunford recommending against it, “I came to a different conclusion.” God only knows what experience he based that different conclusion on, but a smart nation would listen to the Marine Generals, who know what the hell they are talking about!
As the saying goes, “it is what it is“ though…
So now that we have the short history lesson behind us and the stage is set, lets discuss the “culture“ of Marines.
Marines are trained like animals, to do a job that no one else would dream of doing, under conditions that the average person could not tolerate, much less think about getting a job done.
Marines have a very basic job description during war time. That mission—that is drilled into every Marines head from the minute they step off the bus at Paris Island, or San Diego for Boot Camp—is to “Seek out, Close With, and Destroy the Enemy by Any Means Necessary.”
We are taught mantras in Boot Camp like “Rape, Pillage, and Plunder” and run around yelling “kill babies!” It is hammered into our heads from sun up to sun down that we are killing machines… And not just ordinary killing machines, we are amphibious killing machines… Kill, kill, kill… It’s intense and convincing… Heck, just look at our history…
It’s damn effective too, because we are undefeated on the battlefield and every enemy to confront us in the past 240 plus years has feared us… If not before they met us, they damn sure did before the conflict was over.
In addition to the brain washing, Marines develop a bond closer than blood brothers share and become more familiar with one another than most are with their girlfriends or wives. There is no room for modesty or privacy, when you sit down on a toilet to defecate and there is another Marine sitting on a toilet in front of you, so close that if two men over six foot tall are sitting across from each other, their knees touch. You can look to your left and to your right and there sits another Marine, so close you have to hold your elbows in when you wipe, to keep from elbowing them.
When it is time to urinate, you have no less than three Marines shoulder to shoulder, taking aim at the urinal praying no one misses the mark… Oh, did I mention that Marines only defecate or urinate in Boot Camp when we are told to? Yeah, I know if you have not been there, you are thinking BS… Trust me, you learn to urinate and yes, even defecate when given permission.
You don’t just become familiar with everyone’s bodily functions, you also develop a personal bond over time with the Marines in your unit. You learn about their mothers and fathers, sisters, brothers, grandparents, etc.,… You learn how they were raised, the sort of lifestyle they had growing up, etc.,… Marines don’t keep anything from each other… Some don’t even keep their wives or girlfriends to themselves and those who do rarely keep the intimate details of their relationship to themselves…
When it comes time to take off the uniform and cut loose, busting on each other is like an Olympic sport for Marines… Marines are brutal with each other… Nothing is off-limits! Not your mother, sister, brother, girlfriend or wife… Most of all, YOU! Sometimes it’s a free for all with Marines tossing insults in whatever direction they find a target, or there are times you might find yourself under attack by everyone.
This is the culture Male Marines live… If you find yourself being left out, it’s not a good sign. In the Marine Corps, Rudolph usually has a brown nose and gets left out of all the reindeer games. I personally never served with any Marines who made it out of Boot Camp, who were sensitive enough to get their feelings hurt… The joking and antagonizing is all in good fun and perhaps even a strange sort of way young men, not used to showing emotions or affection, let each other know they care.
These men who are convinced they are vicious killing machines, that live hard, work hard, and play hard… That are bound together stronger than epoxy glue, are now told by the politically correct social engineers, that women are joining them. They are told they are Marines just like them, just as capable as them, and will be treated no different than them. A Marine is a Marine!
The Marine Corps even put out a notice not long ago, that there would be no special accommodations made for Female Marines, based on the premise that there will be no separate facilities in combat for them. They are to eat, drink, sleep and defecate in the same lousy pit the Male Marines do…
The Male Marines are supposed to overcome the natural impulse to protect females, that’s bred into them from birth, the same way the females are supposed to overcome their natural desire to nurture, that’s bred into them from birth… And both male and female Marines are supposed to pretend that their natural attraction and sexual desires don’t exist… Honestly, I can’t even read that without wondering what happened to reality?
When I was on active duty we had open squad bays, cameras were a pain in the behind to keep on you all the time, getting film developed was expensive when you were only getting $100 every two weeks, and there was no social media… THANK GOD! LOL
Our biggest fear was the Duty Officer walking in the Squad Bay at the wrong time… What took place in the squad bay though stayed in the squad bay. When I think of these social media groups in the media at the moment, I compare them to the squad bay. The squad bay was a place for Marines ONLY! There were no civilians peeking through the windows, no mothers listening to the things being said, and no one looking at the pictures of our girlfriends.
While I was not a member of the Marines United Facebook Group, I am familiar with groups like it and have a Marines ONLY secret group that I started and maintain. I have spoken with some who were members of the group though and I do not believe a fair impression of such groups is being given to the public. The impression that the MU group and other groups like it, are nothing but a place to post nude pictures of women and publicly degrade them, is just not true!
Those private Marine ONLY Facebook Groups do a LOT in the way of providing Marines with a safe place to cut loose and vent. There is an amazing amount of networking that goes on in them and between them to provide support for Marines that may be struggling and in need of help. I have had Marines I met in private Marine ONLY groups call me at 0300 or 0400 struggling to get through the night, on more than one occasion. I have also been able to locate Marines thousands of miles away to conduct welfare checks and provide some human interaction for the struggling veteran.
Social media, while plagued with its problems, has given veterans, especially the young veterans returning from combat, with a means of continuing the sort of close contact and bond similar to what they had on active duty. Social media allows them to maintain the support they need from others who understand and will not judge them. It is a level of emotional support the Veterans Administration gives lip service to, but has failed to provide.
As I have been researching this story reading the various articles and particularly the comments being made by Marines, there is either a subculture of Marines that serve their time sheltered, attending tea parties with the senior ladies club from the local retirement home, or they have not seen the sun shine in years and their greatest fear is the Commanding Officer will sit down and snap their neck.
The Marine Corps is not your local Boy Scout Troop, it is a rough group of animals who spend their lives training to do and doing what no one else wants to do, will do, or can do… Marines have had to face the worst of the worst throughout American history and they will continue to be the ones to confront the worst of the worst. Terms like Leatherneck, Devil Dog, and even bullet catchers are not names the enemy just tossed against the wall for whoever they landed on… They are just a few of the names Marines have earned over the years because of our relentless fighting spirit…
Marines on the battlefield or in private are not the same as they are in public though. Marines believe in and demand a high standard of moral character be displayed and practiced in public. We are as well known for our honor and integrity, as we are for our ferocious fighting mentality. We expect the American people to be able to rely on us under any circumstance, in any environment.
Reports are that some of the Marines in the Marines United Group were photographing women without their knowledge. There is just no excuse for that and I can’t imagine other Marines not correcting them.
I also understand there is a group of females that are claiming they are upset. They are women who had provocative nude photos taken of themselves, that ended up getting passed around.
There are a couple of things I have to say about that. First, the young female Marines I have seen on the news complaining that their nude pictures were being used without their permission, all appear to be young and have no doubt grown up in this digital age. Well, if there is one thing even us old timers know, its that if you digitize anything and load it on the internet, it is there for eternity and confidentiality can NOT be assured. If you don’t want provocative nude pictures of yourself showing up on a Facebook timeline, do NOT take—or allow anyone to take—provocative nude pictures of you… Hell, some people might call into question the integrity and modesty of a woman that allows such pictures to be taken of herself, for any reason.
I am pretty sure there are those that will get upset over my last statement, so if your blood pressure is on the rise, take a break before you read any further. I’m going to talk some about this desire of some in the PC crowd, for women to be integrated with male Marines. If women want to join in and fight along side the men, then they should learn how to play alongside them too. There is no equality, in fact is is downright unjust to ask Male Marines to treat women like anyone else, then chastise them because they don’t treat them like delicate ladies.
If you allow someone to take nude provocative pictures and they end up in the hands of other Marines, you can bet they are not going to let the opportunity pass to have some fun with it. And I feel confident in saying that it has NOTHING to do with you being a female… Let the Marines get their hands on provocative nude pics of a Male Marine in their unit and that Marine will no doubt find his nude picture posted on every bulletin board and news group they can find. The Marine will NEVER live it down.
I know this will go against everything most are taught and believe, but they would not post the Marines provocative nude pics everywhere because they have some demented desire to sexually harass them, it would be done out of nothing but sincere, unconditional friendship and respect… Outsiders might think it bullying, or sexual harassment, but it is really an indication that a bond exist among the Marines that is unconditional and unrestricted.
If you take that sort of razzing personally and get offended when other Marines start busting on you, they will see you as weak… They will see you as someone more likely to break under pressure… Weakness, be it mental, emotional, or physical, is something Marines prefer not to have with them when they deploy.
I don’t see the rough edge around Marines changing anytime soon, so if you are a female Marine, or a female considering becoming a Marine, with thoughts of serving with the Grunts, or in a direct support MOS that puts you in the field with the Grunts, you should start shedding any feminine sensitivity you have now.
As I am nearing the end of my soap box talk, I do want to reiterate again though that their is a difference between being razzed and being sexually assaulted. No Marine should EVER put their hands on another Marine against their will… Hell, I will even be PC with that one, because I do mean NO MARINE should ever put their hands on another Marine without permission. HUGE difference between that and slinging verbal insults. If you can’t handle being teased, or being the brunt of a joke, you are going to have a miserable enlistment.
I think I should make note of something for the civilian’s getting a peek behind the scenes because of this groups exposure. There are several females coming forward crying and complaining that someone got possession of their nude photos and/or have made vulgar comments about their anatomy, etc.,… Well, to be honest, I only worked with one female Marine during my time on active duty and in the reserves, but I have come to know quite a number of female Marines since being assigned to the 1st CivDiv and my daughter is a Marine. I want to try and word this as appropriately as possible… They have all demonstrated themselves capable of standing their own ground and with the exception of male Marines, they could make a construction worker blush and send them packing with their heads held low… I would not consider any of them poor helpless ladies, easily offended by vulgarity or sexual innuendo.
Once a Marine, ALWAYS a Marine… This is the mantra we live by and it is the eternal commitment we make, thus we DO HAVE an obligation to uphold nothing but the highest standards. We also need to look out for each other, so if a Marine confides in you about having been raped, then you need to give them the support and encouragement to report the act. When it comes to these Marine ONLY private/secret Facebook groups, if you created it as a venue for Marines to vent and act wild, make sure you thoroughly vet anyone that seeks membership. If you are a member, take your problems and issues to the admins first, or try talking to whoever you believe is out of line before you run off making world news out of it…
I often hear people say, “what two consenting adults do behind closed doors, is none of my business.” Well, it must be necessary to make note of this for some. Facebook groups that are classified as “Secret,” are invisible… They can’t be seen by non members… If you are not a member of the group, you will not even know it exist, unless someone invites you. This is an important aspect of this case in my opinion. These were not Marines posting derogatory comments and pictures for the world to see… They were not slinging insults at each other in a public forum for the world to see… They were providing what they thought was a safe place for Marines to let loose, blow off steam, act stupid, etc.,…
And remember, these private groups also provide a network of support for Marines that may not, or will not seek support anywhere else. 22 a day… Something else I hear people give a lot of lip service to, but do nothing more than post a hashtag. I know for a fact these secret Marine Groups save lives… Marines feel comfortable seeking help from mean Marines that insult and make fun of them… They know they are the sort of Marines they can count on for anything.
I wonder how many Marines will be trepidacious about joining, or seeking help from Marines in those groups now that there will be an uncertainty who is there to help and who is there to spy.
Because I write things like this to share my opinions, I get a lot of crazy messages from wackos telling me how offended they are by the content on my page… It turns out that there is a great deal of division in the country these days and people feel compelled to send me messages crying because they don’t like my predominately conservative content.
I share that with you so you don’t feel alone if you are one of the Marines gaining admission to these private groups that offend you, then reporting them to Facebook, the Police, and the Commandant of the Marine Corps. If you don’t like what is going on in someone’s house behind closed doors, out of the public view, then leave the same way you got in and go on about your own business.
I don’t know about the other Marines reading this, but I hate seeing our dirty laundry hanging out in public for everyone to see. Of course we have dirty laundry, everyone does and everyone knows it… Decent, civilized people don’t air their dirty laundry in public though. This could have been easily handled among Marines instead of shaming everyone in public.
In closing, I will leave a couple of tips behind for the active duty Marines… Male and Female…
First, if you are a female Marine and want to gain the respect of your male counterparts, do not let anyone photograph you with your clothes off, or posing in any sort of provocative, or sexually suggestive way whatsoever, clothed or unclothed! If you are dating or are married to a man that has any respect for you at all, he will not ask you, or expect you to do such a thing for any reason at all!
Second, if you want to get into the mud with the men, expect to get dirty… Right, wrong, or indifferent, any attempt to seek special accommodations will only bring you special problems.
Third, shed the sensitivity! When the BS starts flyin and the insults start landing, you are going to get hit by them just like everyone else.
Now, here is the big one for active duty men and women… DO NOT use Facebook, or any other social media platform as a social platform! What? Here is what I mean…
Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc., are an amazing way to stay in touch with family and friends when you are away from home or deployed, but they can also end a young Marines career overnight!
I am of the firm belief that any active duty member of the Armed Forces, and those who work in public safety, think cops, paramedics, firefighters, etc.,… Should not use Facebook to interact with the public. It can end the career of someone working in a career like that in the blink of an eye! It only takes one wrong word, one misinterpreted phrase, or one inappropriate picture and everything you work for is destroyed!
The best thing to do, since it is such a convenient and reliable means of maintaining contact with family, is set up a Facebook page with ONLY family members as friends and set all the security settings as appropriate, so that ONLY friends (your family) can see the things you post. You can then use the account to post pictures for your family and maintain appropriate communications with them.
We have 242 years of an impeccable, unblemished history upholding the highest standards if integrity, honesty, loyalty, dependability, initiative, tact, endurance, enthusiasm, courage, judgment, unselfishness, knowledge, bearing, and JUDGMENT! I know every Marine out there recognizes those leadership traits because they have been burned into your soul!
The other thing we have acquired over those 242 years is an undefeated score card—lets not let social media be the first enemy to defeat us! SemperFi, Devil Dogs!
***SUGGESTED READING: The Meaning of Your Service by General Mattis