What I Miss About the Marine Corps


I mentioned to my spiritual advisor how much I missed the Marine Corps (and yes, she knows, as most of you do, that I now understand the futility of war). That notwithstanding, she felt that there would be usefulness in my listing the ways that the Marine Corps supported me, why I loved it so much, why I miss it even though I now consider myself a peace activist. Her idea is that we will be breaking down the list over the next few weeks and help me find ways to fill those needs in my life now. (We both understand that in some cases, this simply won’t be possible. After all, only the Marine Corps is the Marine Corps.) As with all the writing assignments she gives me, the point is to do it imperfectly and, as much as possible, without overthinking it. I thought I’d share with you the results.

  1. It’s easy. It’s simple. Mostly in the Marine Corps, as long as you don’t overthink things, it’s all pretty simple.
  2. Wear this.
  3. Wear it like
  4. Eat this.
  5. Make sure to complain about it.
  6. Be here at this time.
  7. Say this but don’t say that.
  8. Treat this person a certain way based on the little piece of jewelry he or she has on his or her collar.
  9. Kill this person. Believe this and if you don’t believe this, just keep your mouth shut about it.
  10. Act “like a man.” Even if you are a Woman Marine, without taking it into “dyke territory,” for God’s sake, act like a man.
  11. Fuck as much as you can, you’re a Marine after all, but if you fuck another man, we don’t want to know about it.
  12. This is your job. Know your job. If you don’t know how to do your job well, find the fuck out how to do your job well. Why don’t you know how to do your job well? Find another Marine who knows your job and learn your goddamn job. Shame on you for not knowing your job.
  13. Shoot this weapon. It’s fun! Weapons are interesting and firing weapons gives you an incredible sense of power.
  14. Don’t talk politics unless you believe like we all do.
  15. Better yet, don’t talk politics.
  16. Nothing is sacred. Tell filthy jokes and be politically incorrect. It’s fun.
  17. Homoerotic horseplay is most welcome here.
  18. Hit each other. It’s fun.
  19. Wrestle and/or grapple with each other. It’s even funner.
  20. Kill the enemy. Feel no remorse.
  21. Be proud to be a Marine but not so proud that you would ever wear your uniform unless you absolutely have to.
  22. Nap when you can. Eat when you can.
  23. Sleep and chow are overrated.
  24. Never whine.
  25. Always complain.
  26. Shit rolls down hill. You don’t have to ponder it. That’s just the way it is. Life is simple like that.
  27. You have a big check that’s going to be deposited in your bank account. If we go to war, that check will get bigger. Pray for war.

Wait a minute; I might have fucked this up. I’m supposed to be writing about the things I loved about the Marine Corps, what it provided me that I needed. Surely I don’t want or need all these things. Some of these are downright annoying and contrary to what I say I believe. I’m going to try again:

  1. I generally knew what was expected of me.
  2. My healthcare was taken care of including dental.
  3. I had a steady paycheck.
  4. I pretty much knew what I needed to do to get promoted (I wish I’d done more of it).
  5. I love firing weapons.
  6. Free ammo.
  7. I knew what I was going to wear.
  8. I looked great in the uniform.
  9. I like hanging out with men’s men and doing man shit.
  10. I was excepted among a band of brothers, something I had not really experienced on that level at least– and hadn’t experienced at all as a kid.
  11. I loved being part of an important mission.
  12. I loved feeling like I was defending defenseless people.
  13. I loved feeling like I was doing something for my country.
  14. I felt like I was doing something important.
  15. I had the gratitude of the society that had shunned me.
  16. I felt like a man. Whatever self-hatred I had for not being what society told me I was supposed to be, well, that was pretty much fixed wasn’t it?
  17. I loved the smell of my LAV (Light Armored Vehicle– it’s like a tank with 8 tires). I also liked the sound of it. And working on it. Did I? Yeah, I guess I did. Wow. I liked fixing it when something was wrong. Maybe that was tied into the homophobia thing. Being a diesel mechanic Marine who worked on the combat vehicle he drove– that’s pretty manly.

And that’s it. I can’t consider it an exhaustive list since I can already think of some things I left off. And clearly there’s unresolved misogyny hiding in there along with hefty dose of internalized homophobia, right?

Fuck it. Who gives a fuck about all that faggy politically correct shit. What am I, a chick?!

See y’all tomorrow.

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