In every way, I support our troops. I was a troop myself. Even after I have been bullied and vilified. I have been beaten mentally and emotionally, in turn, took a physical toll on my body. Patches in my hair, constant tiredness, bad dreams, high stress. I was an excellent shooter, I was very intelligent, I had one of the top PFT scores in the Company, possibly the Battalion. I was an excellent swimmer. I, somewhat, knew my occupation skill but I knew enough to survive. I wasn't a very technical person. If I wanted to, I could have signed up for Force Recon Indoctrination. Sounds like a great Marine, right? Wrong! I was considered unreliable. I was considered a shitbag. I was considered not worth the time.
I was bullied!
The Marine Corps is a Political/Popularity contest. You could be great at everything and still be considered a shitbag. As long as you know how to talk to people, bullshit your way to the top, be friends with you seniors, kiss a ton of ass. You will be the one that everyone wants in their Platoon. You will be the Platoon Champion. Trust me when I say this. I will give you everything based on my experience in the Marine Corps.
I got NJP'd twice in my Marine Corps Career. The first time was when I was caught with earrings in my ear in my civilian clothes. They punished me very harshly. I had 30 days of extra Labor and I was put on House Arrest. Every Hour on the Hour I had to sign in with the office which was 5 minute walk to the building and back. It was bad.
I got what I deserve, I admit it. But get this;
One of the Marine showed, Master Sergeant, pictures of himself when he was on leave, and he had earrings in his ears. The same person who punished me, pointed out that fact. Smiling, the Marine snatched the pictures from his hand and said, "You didn't see that Top!" (Mind you, this is a Lance Corporal talking to a Master Sergent) Master Sergeant smiled,"If I catch you wearing earrings again, I am going to bust ya!" laughing in a teasing manner (Wait... so this guy gets off Scott free... no reprimand paperwork... nothing?). Oh, another Marine got his DUI, which is 20 times worst than having earrings in their ear and he got off Scott free. Don't even have to attend a program or anything. Just pay it off and pretend it didn't happen. Guess what... it was his "3RD DUI!"
Didn't convince you yet? Okay...
Second time I got NJP'd, I was considered late to a formation, but get this. I wasn't really late, I was just 1 minute early for roll call. I am never the last one in formation. These same five guys would constantly show up late. Even in the middle of the Colonel Debriefing. No disciplinary action was put on them, but me being 1 minute early, was put on House arrest for 60 days; had to live in a squad bay with nothing but a Marine Corps Manual; in the Dark; in the blazing heat. I also had to do extra labor as soon as I get out of work.
Perhaps I didn't convince you yet...
I was 21 yrs-old, and I was a virgin. I sat in the Humvee with a bunch of guys. They were talking about their sexual conquest and I was silent. They turned to me and ask me about my conquest. I said, some things should best be left unsaid. They looked at each other and laughed because they figured I was a virgin. So then as a result I was constantly made fun of because I was a virgin. Even after I told them to stop and it wasn't funny anymore.
Iraq experience: I had a Myspace account a long time ago, before my first NJP. I had a picture of myself with earrings in my ear. Yes I know, you can call me stupid. Though I wouldn't say stupid, I was just ignorant at the fact that I did not know Marines can not wear earrings in civilian clothes. I still kept the picture, in fact I barely went on my Myspace account. Someone took my picture off of Myspace, and plastered it all over every screen in the internet center, in Iraq. As a result I had to paint Porta-Johns all throughout deployment, even though I paid for my crimes a year and a half ago, and I didn't even use Myspace anymore. I had to paint without a mask and as a result I was coughing up red paint from my lungs. It freaked me out because I thought it was blood at first.
The Battle Captain hated me the most. Everyone on post was allowed to read magazines, play their PSP, watch a movie, converse with others, eat food, play games on the laptop, except me and only me. I was excluded to do anything. The only thing I was allowed to do was sit there and do nothing. So I started drifting off to sleep. I fought the sandman fiercely, but ended up losing. So as a result I got kicked off the post and landed even more shit jobs and told that I was worthless and unreliable. I was stressed, so I spent most of my days inside the Fob, playing basketball, dreaming of going back home or getting out there and be a hero. Something I signed up to do in the first place. My thoughts became corrupted, I wanted to go out of the Fob and get some action and take my aggression on the enemy. I was never given that chance. Even when they asked for volunteers, I stepped up and they over looked me. I spoke with the Chaplin and he told me to keep a diary and get all my aggression and negative thoughts in a journal. Then pray on it. That is what I did. I wrote in a journal talking about how much I feel like I wanted to kill someone, and hurt them badly. This journal was discovered by a Sergeant who flagged it as Homicidal. They took my weapon and ammo. Even my Bayonet, and put me on Homicidal watch, where I walk around in shame with no weapon and someone by my side at all times. Even when I tried to make a plead, it was ignored. I told them to speak with the Chaplin but he has already left the country. I was stuck, humiliated, and my name is already tarnished. As result, they left me back at home on their next deployment.
I knew I was being treated unfairly and unjustly. I felt like I had no place to turn. It is a popularity contest I felt I couldn't win. I did my job, and I wasn't bad at it. Yet I was still being treated as the bottom of the barrel. When you are the sacrificial lamb, you will be used as a distraction from other issues that happen in the battalion. Don't let that happen. So I say, the BEST THING TO DO IN THE MARINE CORPS IS FRATERNIZE. You don't need to be a good shooter. You don't need to have top PFT Scores. You don't need to know your job that well. Just know how to smooth talk. Kiss Ass. and Brown nose. Once you are good at that, the Marine Corps is easy cakes.
As a result of my experience I have a fear of being unreliable, and worthless. Now I spend most of my days trying to please everyone but myself. I am fighting it and it is a hard battle.They ask me when I got back from Iraq, "Did you see any action?"
I said, "Yeah, and someone died."