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You Can Walk on By This One -- Nothing to Do with the Marine Corps -- or Maybe It Does.

Today, I was thinking about "tidiness of thought."


I had a silly exchange with a MFN moderator about where things "belonged" on this site, and mentioned that, while I was obsessive about conceptual organization - I hate topics mis-filed, half-assed explanations, sloppy thinking -- I am not much bothered by a messy house, unless it becomes extreme.  My husband has been known to comment that I lied to him before we married, insisting I claimed to be neat.  I carefully explain that I would have never said that -- I am very CLEAN (I hate a dirty bathroom), but I am quite clear that I am generally not very NEAT.  Two very different concepts.  He, however, is very neat, so I imagine he translated what I said into something that made sense to him, and is now quite sure I said, "Neat."  Ah well, women/Venus, Men/Mars, and all that jazz.


As I was mulling over the difference between internal and external neatness, or tidiness of mind versus tidiness of environment -- yes, I am also easily distracted by a stray thought that has interesting angles...oh, look, there's a bunny! -- I couldn't help clicking on "Add a Blog."  Then I realized this conceptual riff didn't have a whole lot to do with Marines, Marine parents, or the issues we struggle with daily.  But, as I typed the Post Title " You Can Walk on By This One -- Nothing to Do with the Marine Corps --" I thought, "Well, maybe it does."


When you're somebody like me, and you are uncomfortable with illogic, it makes it hard to cope with Marine logic which often sounds SO illogical -- why get everyone up at o'dark thirty to prepare for an inspection that may or may not happen, then expect them to continue to sit until well past the time it's obvious that the inspection is not going to happen?  My son says, "Because they can, mom."   I hate that answer, because it's just so . . . so . . . illogical!  There are supposed to be reasons for things.


When you are somebody like me, and you need to have a plan and an objective, Semper Gumby is not your friend.  How the heck CAN'T they know what the leave dates are going to be -- they have to move hundreds of guys and thousands of pounds of gear -- you don't just suddenly decide that today's the day when you have that many moving parts . . . do you?


When you are somebody like me, who likes reason and order and efficiency of effort, the glaring failures of organizational leadership, irrational decisions, poor use of resources are like a constant drip of water on the rock that is my brain, which flinches every time another drop of insanity hits it.


So...because that constant dripping wears me down, and winds me up, and distracts me from what I'm supposed to be doing (maybe I'll tidy up my desk, hmmm?), I've tried to find the order and logic in the "Marine Way."  If I can find a logical construct that makes all these Marine actions and decisions make sense  -- even if I don't really believe it, or like it -- my brain can settle down.


So here's my take on Marine logic, for what it's worth. 


- Marines are focused on the mission.

- Marines are assets to be deployed in support of that mission and, therefore, will be assigned, held, and dispersed at the convenience of the Corps for the good of the mission.

- Any extraneous civilian expectations of the mission are irrelevant.

- Period.


"Needs of the Corps" probably explains it all with the fewest possible words.  It's a very lean logical construct, with not much to it.  But I guess it doesn't need much.  Once you identify "mission," "asset" and, loosely quoted, "None of your damn business, civilian," it all makes sense.


Oh, good, now I can relax.  I still don't like it.  But at least it makes sense.



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Comment by raisedhimright on August 25, 2013 at 12:47pm



   Just found this.  Priceless:).  One thing, what is needed to get the job done, you mention in a reply, simple, A trained, fierce, yes we can bunch of Marines.  How is not important, that it got done and was a success is.  There are some things I think it is best the "civies" don't know.


God Bless and Semper FI



Comment by Charlie'sMom2012 on August 18, 2013 at 2:07pm

LMAO!!!! I just read this again & I know what you're saying is serious and very true!!!i think that's why my son,19 years old now,18 when he joined, said to me in one(or more) of his "heart wrenching" letters to me after dodging my questions a time or two, that he hated the Marine Corps!!! I was shocked to say the least!! It's all he ever,ever talked about since he was just a little boy!! All he wanted to do was become a Marine and that was it! So to hear him say these things was hard & very confusing to me!
But after he graduated from boot, he was home for about 10 days I think, so I decided to talk to him about what went on,why was he so angry,what had changed his mind about the Corps,etc.,you know? And basically he didn't really hate he Marin Corps,he was just having a really hard time adjusting to some of the ways in which they are treated in bootcamp & some of the other recruits who were ALOT bigger than him tried their foolishness and teasing him quite a bit. But he got thru it. I just sat and listened to him talk and then he looked at me and said "Mom, are you upset with me because of everything I've told you?" and I just looked at him and told him ,"Son, your father is one of biggest SOB's I know and he put you thru 100 kinds of Hell while you were growing up,you CAN handle this! You knew it was going to be very hard,but you were ready. And you did it,Charlie!! DO NOT let some wise-a** ruin your dreams like your dad did,you're a US MARINE now!!! Hoorah!!" And he started laughing so hard as did I.....he told me that those things I'd told him before he made his own decision to join,and all the talks we had about it was what got him through it...then I BAWLED LIKE A BABY!!!
Ingot off topic,sorry! It just reminded me of that day and he's fine now!! He's at his PDS right now....for now anyway!! I said to him as he was leaving for Camp LeJuene from the airport that I had always known he's be a Marine and a damn good one too!!and how extremely proud I was to be his Mom...and he just dropped what he had in his hands and hugged me so tight I thought I'd break!! And put his hands on my face and told me that I helped him become who he was and that HE was the one to be PROUD that he was my son. Then he kissed me on the cheek and said thanks Mom,I love you more than life itself...and then he was gone.
Ok. BAWLING AGAIN!! And STILL OFF TOPIC!! Had to get that out though!!
Sorry about that. Semper Fi

Comment by Txteacher1 on February 5, 2013 at 9:10pm

As my boyfriend ("unassigned Marine" ) informed me when my son (Active Duty Marine) enlisted. "The Corps doesn't care what your family thinks, wants or would find easier....The Corps didn't ISSUE you that family!"

Harsh, but true,nonetheless. They aren't here to be politically correct, family-calendar convenient or even obliging us by keeping us 'in the know'. They enlisted, WE were drafted, and while I occasionally find myself thinking we got the short end of the stick, I also remind myself I'm going to work and not getting shot at, not having to dodge IEDs and not having to sleep out under the stars in freezing weather. I think I'll take my lack-of-knowledge-short-end-of-the-stick and be happy and blessed with it!

Comment by Capecodder on January 6, 2013 at 9:55pm
"Needs of the Corps"... Brainwashing 101....
Comment by 1~17smom (Julie) on January 4, 2013 at 10:30pm

Here's the concept that I had to struggle with, Capecodder, and it's a difficult one in this "civilized" age.  Marines are warriors.  I have no idea what it takes to turn a civilian into a warrior.  The Marines do. While "Every Marine is a Rifleman," my son is in Infantry, and there's no question he is a warrior and WILL be in harm's way, and has been through two deployments to Afghanistan.  Being "nice" is not part of the equation, it's just not.  Making it easier on parents isn't in it either.  The concept of the "mission" is all-encompassing and leaves no room for anything else.  The mission is to get the Marines in, do the job, get home alive.  Period.  I'm good with the "get home alive" part.  I accept that I don't know a darn thing about what is required to make that possible.

Early on, when I was struggling with my own frustration, a more experienced parent said all these things to me, as well as one more:  "This is your son's job.  He signed a contract.  Would you expect his civilian employer to call you and let you know what's going on?"  When I thought about it in that light, I could let go a little.  My son's job, his contract, his issue.  The employer's "rules" are clear.  It's a bummer that it worries me, but that's on me.

Comment by tuffenuf on January 4, 2013 at 8:57pm

high five capecodder!!!!!

Comment by Capecodder on January 4, 2013 at 8:48pm
Perfectly stated. I don't like the philosophy, & I'm working hard to let it roll & not waste energy trying to figure out something that will never make sense... Unfortunately, as a Mom, I'm on this journey because of my son, & I'll try & support him the best I can. I do not like mindgames & brainwashing... but I do believe that common courtesy to everyone would sure make this journey easier...
Comment by 1~17smom (Julie) on January 4, 2013 at 12:01pm

Tuffenuff:  That's exactly what my son always says whenever I ask one of those "Why" questions about the USMC not telling them or us until the last minute where they are going, when they are going, why they are going -- "Because they can, Mom."  And he says it so matter-of-factly, too!  It's been a great learning experience for me, living in the moment, accepting those things I can't change.  I'm sure I'm a better person because of the training I've gotten from the USMC ;>

Comment by tuffenuf on January 4, 2013 at 11:44am

thanks for sharing this with me. the whole "because they can" pi$$es me off, but its so true, lol

i do wish more consideration was given to the families though, urggggggg

Comment by BirdManOfCT on August 17, 2012 at 12:27pm

Julie, good stuff!

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