Posted on Jul 30, 2015
GySgt Wayne A. Ekblad
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Born inauspiciously in a Philadelphia tavern in 1775, the Marine Corps has grown into the country's preeminent 911 force, proving itself in battles from Tripoli to the streets of Fallujah, Iraq.

Along the way the Marines built a legend based on grit and raw courage. It's what propelled them across the beaches of Iwo Jima and Guadalcanal and through Hue City's deadly streets in Vietnam.

Is it now facing a new challenge as America's culture of inclusiveness seeps into the service and threatens to dilute the warrior ethos that has set it apart from the other services for more than 200 years?

Read more at ...

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2015/07/28/quest-inclusiveness-undermining-corps-germano/30463249/
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Sgt Aaron Kennedy, MS
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Two different issues here.

The Marines ARE inclusive. We have always been inclusive. We may not seem like it at first glance, but there is nothing we respect more than "Proficiency," and nothing we loathe more than lack of proficiency. Do your job, do it well, and you will be welcome with us. Fail to perform, or make excuses about performances, and you won't.

We don't care if you are brown, green, black, white, gay, straight, Christian, Jewish, etc. We just don't care. You're a Marine first, and caveats mean nothing to us. When women were introduced into the Marines, we didn't come up with names like WAVES, etc. "We just have Marines" was the official statement. When DADT was repealed, our recruiters went out in full force, because that expanded the recruiting pool. All we care about is finding qualified applicants, and turning them into proficient Marines.

The issue, as LtCol Germano presented is the second issue. It's that we are creating a second standard (inadvertently). This is not about the normalized PT Test. We know why that exists, and the scores on it align cross gender. But we are constantly evolving the standard as well. It's that we "expect less" from one demographic than another.

"If" true, that is just wrong, and we need to correct that mentality at the root.

LtCol Germano brought up that female recruits underperformed compared to males in many/most categories percentage wise. Without knowing the "acceptable pass rate" it's hard to say whether we expect less though. As an example, if males have a typical pass rate of 80~% and women of 75%, but the standard is 70%, there is no "foul." But if there is a different standard for males and females, there is one. This is not to say we shouldn't work to bring the two demographics together, however there may just be factors we don't understand as yet. Things like "scale" can wildly affect numbers especially when the total service is only 7% women (compared to 15% military wide).

So this is not about inclusiveness, though a first glance could lead to that impression. In other words, correlation does not equal causation.
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GySgt Wayne A. Ekblad
GySgt Wayne A. Ekblad
6 y
Right on target ... like usual Sgt Aaron Kennedy, MS!
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1SG Drill Sergeant
1SG (Join to see)
6 y
In a word - YES.  In this day and age of lazy, unaccountable young men and women, the Marine Corps ethos is in danger of being overwhelmed by the weight of numbers. I see happening during Army BCT all the time.
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Capt Mark Strobl
Capt Mark Strobl
6 y
Rounds on Target, Sgt Aaron Kennedy, MS!
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Cpl Jeff N.
Cpl Jeff N.
>1 y
Sgt Aaron Kennedy, MS . That is a little pie in sky on the Marines approach to "inclusion". First, we did have a separate name for Women Marines. They were WM's (Women Marines) for the longest time. Not sure exactly when that changed. They were separated because while they had the title there were still (and are still) significant standard differences. We get less because women, generally speaking, cannot meet the same standards. It is not because we "expect less" of them.

I agree on race/color/religion etc. The Marines get the most out of everyone, period. I lived that and know it to be true.

In years of late with the LGBT agenda coming into play, peoples personal preference's are now becoming more paramount that their service to country. Recruiters are not running out looking for gays to roll into the Corps because there is a larger pool of candidates. Gays might represent 3-4% of the total population and most of those folks are not drawn to the service.

The Marine Corps has been a culture of exclusion for many decades. If you don't fit in, you get expelled. It is a harsh, unrelenting culture focused on mission execution or at least it has been. There are now distractions with women in combat, the LGBT agenda encroachment along with slipping standards and a concern about people's feelings and how sensitive we are to them. It is becoming more about the individual and less on a Corps single mindedly focused on mission execution. It is all fun and games until the fit hits the shan. We will need a Marine Corps like we had in decades past if push ever comes to shove.
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SFC Retired
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It is not just in the Marines. The Army has lost all of its luster over the last decade. It is the generation of whiners and everyone thinking they are owed something and why do you have to yell at me. Hopefully, both of our branches can get the right leadership to put us back where we belong.
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Capt Lance Gallardo
Capt Lance Gallardo
6 y
SFC Conway- One of the saddest things I ever heard came from a Soldier in 2008 that I represented in his Military Justice Case (he went UA after failing to graduate from SFAS Course-SF Schools at Fort Bragg , N.C., His morale went to hell after he failed to complete the initial SF assessment course) who told me that graduating from Basic Training in the Army did not make him feel special to earn the title of Soldier! I do not understand as a Former Marine Officer how the US Army does not instill a similar mystique (that the Marine Corps does with the Crucible and Boot camp graduation and earning the Title of Marine) to earning the Title of Soldier and Warrior in the US Army after toughing it out through Basic training. My step-father's Army Soldier stories of Basic Training and his 20 mile humps were part of the reasons I chose to volunteer for the Marine Corps as an 18 year old kid (I took the Oath of Office at 18 my PEBD was in Jan 1983), and I shipped off to Marine OCS (PLC Juniors) as an 18 year old kid and a college freshman in June of 1983. My step-father, a Vietnam Era Draftee, told me about the guys in his BCT Vietnam Era Class who would cry and quit on these humps, and he would tell me you don't want to be one of these wussies. Of his BCT class EVERYONE went to Vietnam except for my step-father and two other college grads who were held back for OCS. Without thinking too hard, I can think of half a dozen battles and engagements in US History where individual soldiers of the US Army and their Unit Cohesion brought unbelievable credit upon their Service and country and themselves with their courage and initiative and their tactical excellence- The Army was with the Marines in the Chosin Reservoir Korean War Battle, where they smashed ten Chinese Divisions encircling them to make it to the coast and extraction, I can never get enough of the stories of "Those Damn Engineers" who held off the Waffen SS during the Battle of the Bulge (“The Damned Engineers” is the history of the 291st Engineer Combat Battalion during the Battle of the Bulge. This humble unit and their leaders were the biggest thorn in the side of the vaunted Kampfgrouppe Peiper. If it was not for the actions of this unit and how they fought with the weapons they had, used their skills, and acted decisively, General Peiper’s offense would have been much more successful. This is a history of American heroes in action at a critical time and a short history of heroic deems so often unsung. ) In the seminal book on the Battle of the Bulge (Snow and Steel-the Battle of the Bulge 1944-45 By Peter Caddick-Adams) the Introduction of the book starts of by telling the story of the Battle for the Hotton Bridge, on December 21st, 1944, by an initial scratch force of approximately a squad and a half of US Army Engineers, from the 51st Engineer Combat battalion, and a squad of armored engineers from the 3rd Armored Division armed with a 37 MM Anti Tank Gun,,from the , a stray tank from the 7th Armored Division, 2 40mm Bofors Anti Aircraft Guns manned by men from the 440th AAA Battalion. None of these men or units had fought together before, but under the leadership of Captain Preston C. Hodges, the Engineer Co. B Company Commander (who had been the CO of B 51st Engineers for two years), these men and their Leader, Captain Hodges, understood the value of their Bridge and were determined to hold the Hotton Bridge, "at all hazards." They successfully held the bridge until relieved in one of the most heroic and little known actions of all of WWII against the best tanks and troops the Nazis could throw at them during the Battle for the Bulge. Capt Hodges and the men whom he lead, acted without orders for the most part, and exercised the highest degree of initiative and courage in the face of overwhelming enemy forces. The fact that the US Army could produce soldiers, some of whom only had basic training combat training-the cooks and clerks who fought there in Hotton, Belgium) who could act together with excellent small unit leadership is a testament to Army training during WWII and the Esprit de Corps of the men of these disparate Army units. The Battling Bastards of Bastogne, the cooks and bakers and the 101st Airborne, whose Acting Commanding General (McAuliffe), when asked to surrender their encircled division told off the Nazis with the most famous one word reply in History, "Nuts!" The Heroism of the US Army in its fighting retreat in the Philippines while facing overwhelming forces of the Japanese Army, and the later Heroic March of the Bataan Death March, The Final Actions of my Mother's father and Earl O Brake (DFC posthumously), who died where they fought, in their company's strong point, armed with BARS and grenades, repelling a Dawn Japanese Banzai Attack on March 14th, 1945 -they died so others might live in their infantry company. (http://valor.militarytimes.com/recipient.php?recipientid=6498), the Incredible Story of US Army Courage "We Were Soldiers Once… And Young" is a 1992 book by Lt. Gen. Harold G. Moore (Ret.) and war journalist Joseph L. Galloway about the Vietnam War. It focuses on the role of the First and Second Battalions of the 7th Cavalry Regiment in the Battle of the Ia Drang Valley, the United States' first large-unit battle of the Vietnam War; previous engagements involved small units and patrols (squad, platoon, and company sized units). Later made into a movie of the same name by Mel Gibson. A more recent US Army Heroic Example is the 15 months an Army infantry Company spent in the Korengal Valley in often daily contact with the enemy, as immortalized in the film Restrepo, Second Platoon, B Company, 2nd Battalion, 503rd Infantry Regiment, 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team of the U.S. Army in the Korangal Valley. A 173rd Soldier S/Sgt Giunta received the Medal of Honor for his Actions while fighting in the Korengal Valley. "That 15 months in the Korengal Valley, it was hell on Earth," Sgt. Perry remembered." (http://www.cbsnews.com/news/how-staff-sgt-giunta-earned-the-medal-of-honor/). Forty-two American service men died fighting in the Korangal and hundreds were wounded, primarily between 2006 and 2009. Many Afghan soldiers died there as well. The valley has been dubbed "The Valley of Death" by American forces.[4] I remember watching on live TV Staff Sgt. Giunta receiving his Medal of Honor at the White House Ceremony in Nov 2010. I can't believe it has been five years since then. I also remember reading somewhere that the 15 month tour of duty and the documented engagements, days in contact with the enemy, hostile fire received and returned, was not seen by the US Army anytime since the Vietnam War. That almost daily hostile contact with the enemy, and the incredibly, impossible terrain in the Korengal Valley in which to take clear, and hold terrain, or to combat patrol or operate effectively in the Area of Operations, made the Korengal Valley one of the US Army's most Heroic engagements. The Heroism exhibited by Battle Company, 2/503, 173rd Airborne Brigade is also one of the best documented Battle Histories with the film Restrepo, a 60 minutes Documentary , numerous Books and Newspaper Articles, and thousands of photos and film clips of combat. I could also recall the valor of the US Army in WWI with the Lost Battalion and Lt.Col. Whittlesey heroic (and successful) defense of his Battalion when cut off and surrounded by Enemy forces, who repeatedly rejected calls by the enemy to surrender, and how his men repelled the enemy's repeated attacks on his position, until they were finally located by aerial observation and were reinforced and extracted. Of the over 500 soldiers who entered the Argonne Forest, only 194 walked out unscathed. The rest were killed, missing, captured, or wounded. Major Charles White Whittlesey, Captain George G. McMurtry, and Captain Nelson M. Holderman received the Medal of Honor for their valiant actions. The Lost Battalion is the name given to nine companies of the United States 77th Division, roughly 554 men, isolated by German forces during World War I after an American attack in the Argonne Forest in October 1918. It was also made into one of the best war movies I have ever seen, "The Lost Battalion" starring Rick Schroeder. I would have been so proud to graduate from Army Basic training and wear the Uniform that my grandfather and step-father wore during two of this nation's most significant Wars and the same Uniform that was worn by the men whose bravery I have just described above. There is no title prouder than that of "Soldier and Warrior, US Army, United States of America." If the Army is not instilling this basic fact and Enormous Pride into every graduate of US Army Basic Training, the Army is doing something fundamentally wrong with the way it makes and mints a US Soldier!
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SFC Observer   Controller/Trainer (Oc/T)
SFC (Join to see)
>1 y
I hate to say this but it happened a lot longer than a decade ago.
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SFC Retired
SFC (Join to see)
>1 y
I personally value the history of our great armed forces and the courage it took to be a soldier in war. In those trying times, men were drafted to fill the ranks when the volunteer force was just too small. In the military today, no one is drafted or forced to join the military. They are consigned by their own hand. They choose to serve. But to earn the title of Soldier, takes a lot of determination. I value my experiences and once I earned the title of Soldier and on to Combat Engineer, I felt that I earned those titles. they weren't handed to me. Nothing about my training was easy, though with the changing times, many of the things that are taught are becoming less harder for people to accomplish. I am proud of my heritage and the service I have done for my country.
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MAJ Matthew Arnold
MAJ Matthew Arnold
>1 y
A very nice list of battles and examples of men rising to the occasion. I would like to encourage you to revise this article for publication in one of the army publications.
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GySgt Wayne A. Ekblad
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Edited 6 y ago
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"The Marines, particularly the infantry, are proud of their no-frills culture. The Army can have fancy dining facilities. The Marines pride themselves on chowing on field rations and sleeping in the mud. Being called a knuckle dragger is a compliment in the Marine Corps.

The other services may be defined by their equipment and their mission. What sets the Marines apart is something harder to quantify: esprit de corps, a warrior spirit drilled into every recruit before he or she graduates from boot camp.

As an institution the Marines have clung to their values for centuries even as the society they are here to protect changed around them."
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MAJ Matthew Arnold
MAJ Matthew Arnold
>1 y
The second most fancy dining facility I ever ate at was on a USMC base. I can't remember if it was USMC Air base El Torro California, or Camp Pendleton California. There were table clothes, rank segregated dining area, rank segregated serving lines, field grades didn't have to go thru the line, all kinds of nice stuff, and on top of all the nice stuff there was a Corporal in blues with a white belt running around yelling at everybody on KP.
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