ARRRRRRRRMY TRAINING, SIR!
Is it humanly possible to make what's easy even easier?
That's due largely to changes in how the Army treats enlistees. Gone are the days when trainees run 'til they drop. Soldiers who need counseling get extra attention, not a screaming drill sergeant.
James Martin, an expert on military culture at Bryn Mawr College in Pennsylvania, said the changes make sense but stressed that the Army needs to guard against graduating substandard soldiers.
"Will you have people causing you problems later on?" Martin said. "That would occur if you lowered that standard at the end of training period."
Gee, ya think? But being prejudiced towards my beloved Corps, I give you the following;
"My only answer as to why the Marines get the toughest jobs is because the average Leatherneck is a much better fighter. He has far more guts, courage, and better officers... These boys out here have a pride in the Marine Corps and will fight to the end no matter what the cost." - 2nd Lt. Richard C. Kennard, Peleliu, World War II. 1943
"Our Country won't go on forever, if we stay as soft as we are now. There won't be any America - because some foreign soldiery will invade us and take our women and breed a hardier race." -Lieutenant General Lewis B. "Chesty" Puller. 1955
"They're on our right, they're on our left, they're in front of us, they're behind us; they can't get away from us this time." - Chesty Puller, USMC, Chosin Reservoir, Korean War. 1951
When an Army captain asked him for the direction of the line of retreat, Col Puller called his artillerymen, gave them the Army position, and ordered: "If they start to pull back from that line, even one foot, I want you to open fire on them." Turning to the captain, he replied "Does that answer your question? We're here to fight." At Koto-ri in Korea - Chesty Puller at Koto-ri in Korea. 1951
"Retreat, hell! We just GOT here!!" - Capt Lloyd Williams at the Battle of Belleau Wood when ordered to fall back by the US Army. 1917
"The American Marines are terribly reckless fellows... they would make very good storm troopers." - Unidentified German officer at Belleau Wood. 1917
Marines know how to use their bayonets. Army bayonets may as well be paper-weights. [Navy Times; November 1994]
"Do not attack the First Marine Division. Leave the yellowlegs alone. Strike the American Army instead." - Orders given to Communist troops in the Korean War; shortly afterward, the Marines were ordered to not wear their khaki leggings to keep the enemy from immediately fleeing
"You cannot exaggerate about the Marines. They are convinced to the point of arrogance, that they are the most ferocious fighters on earth- and the amusing thing about it is... they are." - Father Kevin Keaney, 1st MarDiv Chaplain, Korean War. 1953
"Why the hell can't the Army do it if the Marines can; they are all the same kind of men... why can't the Army be like the Marines?" -Commander in Chief, AEF, General John Pershing, U.S. Army. 1917
We have two companies of Marines running rampant all over the northern half of this island, and three Army regiments pinned down in the southwestern corner, doing nothing. What the hell is going on!? - Gen. John W. Vessey Jr., USA, Chairman of the the Joint Chiefs of Staff; during the assault on Grenada, 1983
The Corps, which has never lost sight that its primary mission is to fight, remains superbly trained and disciplined -- true to its time-honored slogan "We don't promise a rose garden." When, under Clinton, the Army lowered its standards to Boy Scout summer-camp level in order to increase enlistment, the Corps responded by making boot training longer and tougher -Col David Hackworth, US Army. 1997
"Some people spend an entire lifetime wondering if they've made a difference to this world. The Marines don't have that problem."-Ronald Reagan
"There are only two kinds of people that completely understand Marines: Marines and the enemy. Everyone else has a second-hand opinion." -Unknown-
And Probably The Best Testimonial For The Corps....
The following is an excerpt from an email home from an Air Force ordnance demolition unit team member describing his first night at Kandahar airport:
"One of the perimeter positions only a hundred yards or so to our left took some incoming fire and we all went to general quarters, taking defensive fighting positions in our bivouac in case they penetrated to our position. The Marines quickly repelled the attack. It will not bother me should I live my entire life without having to kill a man but I have to say I'm glad to be surrounded by a thousand 19 year-old Marines who can't wait to. They will be leaving in a few weeks and turning over the base to the Army. I will miss them.
"The only tents the Marines use are one-man pup tents and they are everywhere. Each foxhole and DFP (defensive fighting position) around the camp is accompanied by two of these humble little tents. "I have a renewed respect for the Marines. They arrived a month ago, dug in, and have been living out of these ridiculously small, 5 x 5 tents ever since. No heat, no latrines, no showers, nothing but backpacks, weapons, helmets and flak vests, and lots of ammo. And they've been doing it every day. Four man teams at each position, two sleeping, two on watch. God bless them every one."