Saturday, January 26, 2013

Marines Should Care?

by Ed Evans, MGySgt., USMC (Ret.)

     While few are headlining it, I don't believe anyone of any true military experience believes this latest move by SecDef Panetta and Gen. Dempsey -- excising the ban on females in combat -- is anyone less than a continuing attempt to de-militarized the most effective military on the planet, the military with the most experienced and most recently blooded troops.  The goal is surely a benign group of peaceful men and women on whom you need not spend much money.  
     The U.S. Marine Corps, I submit, will forever be the problem in accomplishing that end.  Everything about Marine Corps training is aimed at producing warriors who break things and kill people.  Unless things have radically changed, even cooks and law clerks are taught hands-on tactics and how to call in an air and artillery strikes.  Individual leadership will forever chafe against the socialists' commune military.
     While both Panetta and Dempsey may feel this is a paradigm-breaking decision, it merely shows how out of touch they actually are with the American military and the U.S. Marine Corps in particular.
     There were several occasions when I was in Iraq 2003-2004 as a federal civilian with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers when we were under the protection of uniformed U.S. Army, several times including and often led by female soldiers. We usually traveled with contracted protection, but because our group included an Army one-star, it was often active duty Army.
     On one occasion a convoy got hit in weather which meant no air support. The senior soldier was a female Sergeant who took charge, deployed her troops, counter-attacked and drove them off.
     The one that sticks in my mind is riding in the back seat of a Humvee accompanying the one-star, with a female infantry in the front seat by the driver, she had an M-4. I'm talking with her about her home life, husband, kids, she's softened a bit and talking about home when suddenly a sedan of all males swung up close on her side. Without missing a beat she hung halfway out the window, stuck that M-4 up the driver's nose and in language a Marine would have understood told him where the bear did it in the woods. He swung off and stopped, she sat back down in her seat and picked right back up talking about home, hubby and kids.
     Point being, if you're well-trained, your training kicks in when you need it, no matter the gender.
     But it goes back further than that.  I wish I could remember which Marine Corps Commandant was involved, but at some point the Commandant was "reminded" by the Secretary of Defense that women were not to be assigned to the battlefield.  Seems to me it was either Gen. Louis H. Wilson, Jr., or Gen. Paul X. Kelley.  But their response was to "remind" the Secretary of Defense that at no time had any women Marines been assigned duty beyond the Final Protective Line, but that it was CMC's prerogative to decide exactly where that FPL was located.  I don't see this latest SecDef decision usurping anymore of the Marine Commandant's authority now than it did then.  
     As much as the current crop of social experimenters are concerned, they would like to see a kinder, gentler military; Marine Corps in particular.  But I submit that the rear rank Private's opinion remains golden.  That is that when the discussion is about anything beyond the Marine's mission, Marines really don't give a sh*t.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Statement of a United States Marine (Retired)


I read the Commandant of the Marine Corps' Diversity Quote, the Background, and the Talking Points (below) with a bitter taste in my mouth, the bitter taste of being abandoned by my Marine Corps leadership, the bitter taste of moral and ethical ground won in blood being walked away from for political expediencies.

Perhaps I will be the first to say it outright, but I am ashamed of my Commandant of the Marine Corps.  I am ashamed of all those who having received orders from senior leadership that they know in their heart and soul are not right, having bowed their heads down and joined in the abandonment.

This will lose me some valued friends, but even more with whom I have shed blood, and shared a lifetime of upholding the dignity of mankind, they will understand.  You don't leave fellow Marines behind, but I now stand with those Marines left behind in favor of upholding political agendas that support selfish sexual malcontents and a lack of moral discipline.  History teaches us that upon such lapses are the death of nations and their cultures based.

Better, gentlemen, that you had stood with your Marines of old, on behalf of those now in the ranks, upholding those precepts and traditions that would have protected America and the Constitution you are still sworn to uphold.  I am ashamed of you.  In the great scheme of things my single opinion matters little.  The future of the Corps matters a great deal.  God help us.
-- Edward M. Evans, MGySgt. of Marines, USMC (Ret.)


"We're changing our entire approach. And you might ask, 'Are you going to
change your standards?' The answer is 'Hell no.'" - Gen James F. Amos,
Commandant of the Marine Corps


Diversity is the aggregate of the varied cultures, backgrounds, talents,
skills and abilities among Marines that (1) ensures our connectedness and
special relationship with the American public, (2) leverages America's
varied pool of skills and abilities, and (3) maximizes individual
differences as a force multiplier.1 Our 35th Commandant says clearly in his
Planning Guidance that we will "improve diversity representation throughout
our Corps."

To that end, Marine Corps Recruiting Command (MCRC) has an integral role at
the accession point. During FY12, MCRC is engaging potential officer
applicants, centers of influence and members of society at large in order to
create awareness of opportunities within Marine Corps Officer and Enlisted
programs and to remain connected with the American public.

These engagement events build lasting relationships among diverse
communities, dispel common misconceptions about the Marine Corps, and
increase overall diversity accessions.2 Our survival, status and reputation
depend on our special relationship with the American people. Diversity
broadens the base of support with the most stakeholders and demonstrates
inclusiveness in an ever changing demographic.3 The strategic end-state of
the Marines Corps' Diversity Program is to strengthen our connectedness with
the American people.4


* The effort to improve diversity is rooted in our core values of honor,
courage and commitment. These same values that compel Marines to respect
others, act with moral, mental and physical bravery while embracing a spirit
of determination and dedication also guide our efforts to improve diversity.

* Success in diversity related endeavors will ensure our ability to maximize
the total capabilities of the Marine Corps by leveraging the unique
strengths of all Marines. (If they are not the best and the brightest - what
are their "unique strengths?)

* Rapidly changing demographics will continue to propel diversity forward as
a strategic issue. Support from leaders at every level is key, as it is the
catalyst required to ensure the Marine Corps continues to be ready, relevant
and representative of the nation it serves.

* Five broad goals illustrate the direction in which the Marine Corps will
move in order to confront challenges with diversity. The Marine Corps will:

- Institutionalize diversity and inclusive policies and practices across the
Marine Corps.

- Maximize the positive effects of the total Marine Corps command climate.

- Communicate the Marine Corps diversity mission through expanded community
engagement, outreach and marketing.

- Ensure each Marine is provided equitable opportunities for professional
development and career progression.

- Develop training and education packages to increase the Marine Corps'
knowledge and understanding of diversity.

* The CMC intends for the Corps to remain true to its forward-looking
mindset by setting the expeditionary example for raising mission capability
through diversity. The Corps will make a cultural change through policies of
inclusion, increasing its institutional knowledge of diversity and, where
practical, adopting best practices from other leading organizations.

* The strategic end-state of the Marine Corps' Diversity Program is to
strengthen our connectedness with the American people.

* The Marine Corps is committed to making concerted efforts to attract,
mentor and retain the most talented men and women who bring a diversity of
background, culture and skill in service to our nation.

* The Marine Corps has reinforced its high priority on minority officer
recruiting and candidate mentoring in our recruiting efforts. The goal of
diversity recruiting is to create a situation in which diverse populations
are well informed about opportunities within Marine Officer and Enlisted
programs, making them more familiar with and receptive to the Marine Corps
thus generating more leads for both Officer Selection Officers (OSO) and
Enlisted Recruiters.

* The Marine Corps' diversity campaign plan is now in the staffing process.
The plan will help the Corps focus its diversity effort in areas where
improvement is most needed. Its purpose is to map out a coordinated approach
to diversity that will sustain the successes realized throughout the
enlisted ranks while laying the foundation to address shortfalls in the
officer corps.