Posted on Dec 31, 2015
COL Mikel Burroughs
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How should a situation in the MCX about wearing a cover in the building be handled properly?

NEITHER MYSELF OR MY WIFE ARE IN THE HABIT OF TELLING A LIE OR MAKING UP A STORY - IT HAPPENED! FOCUS ON THE QUESTION - NOT WETHER YOU BELIEVE THE INCIDENT HAPPENED OR NOT!

RP Members was this handled properly by the Junior Officer, SgtMaj, or the mother? What would you have done?

THIS WAS A REAL SITUATION THAT TOOK PLACE YESTERDAY 12/30/2015

CORRECTION: I've receive collaboration from another lady who also had firsthand knowledge of this incident in the MCX - "The "youth" was not an AD USMC, but part of a group of Young Marines. Her description of this group is that it is one for troubled youth to attempt to instill discipline and maybe bring them into the fold."

I apologize to all of those individuals that I stood firm on with, that it was young Marine Private (based on all the information I received), but the discussion, question, and feedback on how the situation was handled by the Junior Officer, Sgt Mgr, and Mother have been outstanding - that I don't apologize for - thanks


If anything, I thoroughly enjoyed the story and my wife called me at home immediately following the incident - she knew I would enjoy hearing about it. I just said, "that SgtMaj owns that young Marine!"

RP Members this one comes from the wife that works at Camp Pendleton, CA Marine Base in the MCX.

A young "Youth" Marine was in the check-out line with his mother and "CORRECTION" (put his cover on inside!) He was approached by a AD Marine (Junior Officer) and asked to remove the cover. Immediately the young "Youth" Marine took up the defensive and asked the junior officer "who the F*** are you?" The Junior Officer then got into the young "Youth" Marine's face and told him to have some respect and remove the cover - it escalated into a shouting match in the check-out line in the MCX. Coming from the back of the store there was a loud roar from a Sergeant Major in the Marines (built like a tank according to my wife). He bellowed, "both of you shut your mouth there are families in here!" The MCX went silent and several employees and Marines hit the deck (no kidding). The SgtMaj came to the front and grabbed the young "Youth" Marine the by collar escorting him and the Junior Officer out of the MCX with the Young "Youth" Marine's mother yelling, "don't touch my boy!"
Edited >1 y ago
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Sgt Aaron Kennedy, MS
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Edited >1 y ago
Seems really bizarre. I mean really bizarre. Like not pass the "sniff test" bizarre.

Unless we're on duty (or under arms), we don't wear covers indoors. I mean I can understand if someone just forgot when they walked in (because they had stuff in their hands).. but everyone and their brother would have pointed it out to him before he made it 15 feet. At which point "Oh, #^$, thanks!"

Now, if they were wearing a HAT, like civilian Hat (as opposed to a Cover) this story makes A LOT more sense. I've seen people get "stupid" about the "no hats inside" thing. It would also explain why the Marine was with his mother.

But a shouting match in the PX also seems odd. A Pvt-Sgt would have locked up the second a Lt-Capt identified themselves even after a "Who the #^&$ are you?" to which the only response is "I believe you mean 'Who the $^%& are you, Sir' Marine" in a calm collected voice.

Now Cpl & Cpl action... that I could see. Especially in civilian attire.

As for the "CSM" getting involved. We don't have Command Sergeants Major. We just have Sergeants Major, but if a couple Marines get into a pissing contest in the PX, any senior leader would have come up and "placed his hand" on (likely both) Marines' shoulders and escorted them out of the immediate vicinity to quell the disturbance, followed by "WTF is the issue here?"

I have a feeling the story has become hyperbolic with retelling.

Edit: Wanted to add, in no way questioning the Col's or his wife's account of the events. This is so "odd" that it just doesn't click right, which is why I expanded above. I really can't wrap my head around this happening, and honestly I would have just been shocked. Which likely would have explained the chain of events.
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Cpl Larry Frisbyii
Cpl Larry Frisbyii
2 y
There has to be more to the story because, I worked with the "young Marines" when I was active duty and they were never in uniform outside of the program and definitely not with parents. They were taught the basics to the best of our ability and most took to the training well.
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LTC John Wilson
LTC John Wilson
2 y
In attempting to correct an improper correction of a Young Marine and LT, a SgtMajor bellowed to get their attention and directed them out of the MCX. This was not improper given the circumstances. Outside they were not disturbing the MCX and not making a scene. I do hope all tuned it down outside and recognized the error of the improper correction, and the improper reaction of the young Marine (Teenager) Not AD military.
Things don't always appear as they seem and a professional response to the incident would have cleared it up a lot quicker without the volume of noise it caused.
I was always taught to seize the day! I was also taught to put my brain in gear, before I put my mouth in motion. Believe me that has served me well and kept me from embarrassing myself in public and in private. Never, never, demean anyone in public, it just doesn't serve either party well.
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SSG(P) Platoon Sergeant
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I believe it is close to a "there I was.." story. However, I did have an experience in a Commissary:
My wife and I were in the frozen foods aisle, a fellow service member was with his irritated son (approx. 5yr). The SM was quietly yelling at his boy to put his jacket on, as the son refused SM father took the coat and was forcefully trying to put the jacket on the boy, who didn't want to put it on. It escalated to where the son dropped to the floor in a tantrum, but not screaming or crying, just defying to put on the jacket. SM father grabbed the boy, yanked him up and raised his voice to which drew the attention of the those nearby. I don't know what compelled me, but I said "At Ease!".. the SM father stopped, looked at me and all I said after that was, there is a better way to handle that and a commissary isn't a place for a pissing contest. both of them quietly walked out.
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CPT Canon To The Ordinary
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LTC John Wilson - Sir, I realize that every service has their individual peculiarities. The young officer needed some guidance from senior officers. Guidance from even the most senior NCO or Gunner needs to be delivered in a less conspicuous manner. Now being Army I will not claim to be all knowing regarding the USMC. I do have a few observations from over here.
1) If the officer was a 2/LT or even some 1/LTs he is realtively close in age to "potty mouth and may require a bit more seasoning to become proficient in the application of discipline.
2) I served with the 1st RGR BN at HAAF, GA. We were also extremely aggressive in correcting bad behavior. The officer, however poorly he was responding, should never have been shouted at in public by an NCO irrespective of the circumstances. I have never been one to seek out issues with very senior NCOs. Except in a life or death situation including combat, no officer should be dressed down in public by an NCO. This does not mean that a report on the yng officers poor form couldn't be forwarded to his immediate commander (utilizing proper channels). This is a needed corrective and not punative.
3) "potty mouth" should have been detained by MPs and immediately escorted from the base WITH his mother who raised him so well.
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CMSgt James Nolan
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Tending to disbelieve. Unless the Corps has completely disintegrated, which I do not think has happened, I find it hard to believe that a young enlisted Marine would turn and respond in that manner "on-base". Off base, well, that may be a different story...
On Base, 99% of the men that you would meet (that are not bearded up), who are under 50, are going to be current service members. And...85% of that 99% are going to outrank you, and therefore cause you problems for having a bad attitude...
Marines, in my experience, especially on a Marine Base, tend to be the most respectful folks around.

My two cents. Semper Fi
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SA Michael Moore
SA Michael Moore
2 y
I have been concerned a lot about what's going on with "military" disciplinary programs "modeled" after various services and wearing uniforms and insignia easily mistaken for the real thing. I hate to see criminals and delinquent youth in uniforms to help them reform. The services are not reform schools.
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SMSgt Carl Cripe
SMSgt Carl Cripe
2 y
CW3 Harvey Keck - I was a PI with a Top Secret Clearance and later a Chief of Maintenace (E-8) in the Texas Air National Guard. I am well aware of the bush’s not showing up for his UTA’s for a long period of time. During his lack of respect for the oath we all take, He was ordered to return and finish or upgrade his flying status. He did not. As a result bush was grounded. He was requested many times to RTB to get his yearly physical. He did not. Eventually he saw the light and completed his UTA’s and got out of the guard to attend college as authorized at that time. As a Photo Interpreter, I know that we had fly zones in northern Iraq as well in the South that had contained Saddam. As you recall, we flew sorties to delete his cleverly hidden Scuds. Bottom line, bush’s VP wanted the oil. As the former CEO for Halliburton, he moved his company to Dubi where the company or the subsidiary exits today. Google it. If you need a job to make some money and have a craft the company needs you will be hired. By the way, I sat Alert (Air Defense) with Bush’s boss had many quite conversations during our 48 hour alert posture.
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CPL Samuel .Aspley
CPL Samuel .Aspley
2 y
MAJ Mark Wilson - Your posting reminds me of the old story about the young Marine/Soldier who wrote to his mother, that he had been promoted to "Court Martial," and was going to be away on a secret undercover mission at Ft. Leavenworth for a few years and unable to come home.
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SN Ron Jett
SN Ron Jett
2 y
SSG Don Waggoner - Clinton was also a deserter, pardoned by Carter
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CPT Military Police
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Edited >1 y ago
COL Mikel Burroughs
They are both wrong.
We can discuss the degrees of wrong but the officer made the fatal error of not having the sense to address this in a different manner. This officer should receive mentoring/counseling on how to conduct himself and react when faced with unjustified anger, other than having a respect the rank attitude. I'm sure this will not be the only time it will happen in his career. The enlisted Marine should and will likely receive corrective counseling for his actions, plus details that will reinforce it.
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SFC Robert Bagnall
SFC Robert Bagnall
>1 y
MAJ Donald Zlotnik - I agree. If he disrespected the Lt he was wrong. Period
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Cpl Chris Gilbert
Cpl Chris Gilbert
>1 y
SFC Robert Bagnall - If the 2LT was in civvies, how was the Marine wrong? 2LTs look like boots compared to most young enlisted Marines. It's highly probable he couldn't determine rank of the boot LT.
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MAJ Mark Wilson
MAJ Mark Wilson
2 y
MAJ Donald Zlotnik - I agree, but the SGM had the sense to move it outside. And I'm guessing the LT might have used a choice word or two. The SGM fixed the situation as quickly as possible. Now in today's world I could see the grabbing the kid by the collar become an issue, but I'm all for it.
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SFC Charles McVey Sr.
SFC Charles McVey Sr.
>1 y
MAJ Mark Wilson - First let me clarify one point, I enlisted in the Army in 1960 I was issued one pair of Black Boots and one pair of brown boots that I was immediately ordered to dye black. That being said as I progressed up in Rank I learned several things unless you know exactly what you are about to do is within the framework of the Regulations and the UCMJ, KEEP YOUR MOUTH SHUT. I was a MP and I have had many occasions to confront soldiers, sailors, Marines and Airman who had misplaced their Military Courtesy taught to them in basic, and likewise a few Junior Officer who forgot what they were also taught in their Officer Basic Course. I as a MP when in Uniform have had to employ a degree of patience and ask them to carry the discussion outside and out of ear shot of children and/or lady's who were present. On more than one occasion I have had to physically escort the offenders outside, and instruct them in the proper manner of handling the issue they were involved in. And Major Wilson when I had to physically escort them I did so in a very forceful manner and I was not polite or PC.
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