10 Reasons Why I Would Have Been Dishonorably-Discharged From The Marines
R. Lee Ermy, "Sgt. Hartman," curses "Joker," Matthew Modine in Full Metal Jacket
Matthew Modine, "Joker," Full Metal Jacket
Who's the toughest?
There’s always talk of and a lot of bragging about which branch of our Armed Forces is the toughest. Some swear that the Navy SEALs are the toughest, while others argue it’s the Marines. Then again U.S. Army Ranger fans along with the Green and Black Beret supporters will stand firm and say that “their” branch is the toughest by far.
All I know is that I choose to not get involved with this perpetual argument. They are all “as tough as nails,” to me. This includes our friends, The Israeli Commandos. I sure wouldn’t want to leave them out. There might come a time in my future life when I might need one or many of these military branches that I mentioned to save my old hide.
There are two national icon’s who when they are seen, you instantly think of the United States Marine Corps, and one of them is not Clint Eastwood. I am talking about R. Lee Ermy, famous for his role as “Gunnery Sergeant Hartman,” in “Full Metal Jacket,” and the lovable, big-hearted, Jim “Gomer Pyle” Nabors. Face it. These two men forever will remind us of the Marines. Ooo-Raah!
R. Lee Ermy curses Arliss Howard, "Cowboy" in Full Metal Jacket
Arliss Howard, left, and unnamed woman
Vincent D'Onofrio, "Leonard Lawrence/Gomer Pyle," Full Metal Jacket
Wild Bill Neff, ex-Marine, cast member of Mountain Monsters
Marines, well-represented by Will Bill Neff
In hindsight, in present time, Wild Bill Neff, cast member of America’s Destination Channel (DirecTV), is a veteran of the Marine Corps, and it shows in his fearless attitude charging toward the mysterious beasts that he and members of the Mountain Monsters team chase every week. Actually, he is great advertising for the Marines for he plugs “the Corps,” at every opportunity on the show. And with each task he and Willy, another member of the Mountain Monster team, completes, we all hear a hearty, “Oooo-Rahhh!” Who could ask for more?
But with all of the hoo-hah, fanfare, and parading, “I” love every member of The Marines, SEALs, Rangers, Green and Black Berets, and yes, sir, the Israeli Commandoes. Yes, I am being overly-zealous, and I just don’t care, but where would our country (and free world) be with these brave men and women who willfully-sacrifice their blood and life each time they go into a battle—and some, we do not even know about.
I do not claim to be a Rhodes Scholar or even the “sharpest tool in the shed,” but I do know “me,” my weak points, and limits.
Thereby I know that . . .
”Here are 10 Reasons Why I Would Be Dishonorably-Discharged From The Marines”
YELLING – Drill instructors in the Marines yell so much that I doubt that they could have a normal conversation with anyone. In the fourth-grade, (a) Mrs. Bolin, used a rather unusual teaching “tool,” to prompt my learning: Yelling at me. It felt awful, humiliating. It’s tough to be laughed-at. From that moment in 1964, I grew to despise yelling or being yelled at by teachers, bosses and wife.
ODD-HOURS – Getting up at dawn to run 20-miles a full pack of gear does not make sense to me. Why not 7 a.m.? Use the same gear, same drill instructor, same course. Wouldn’t the platoon get the same results?
GUNS—are not my easiest puzzle to solve. I get all sweaty, nervous and suffer a few panic attacks. And it’s only a double-barrel shotgun. But the Marines insist that their recruits all achieve sharp-shooter status by using a M-16 rifle. I would guess that using a solid Oak club (like Bufford Pusser, “Walking Tall) would be out of the question?
LOUD NOISES—coupled with M-16’s and bellowing by the drill instructors would make me a nervous wreck not just occasionally, but around the clock, so knowing my limits, the Marines would be glad to get rid of me with a Dishonorable Discharge.
PHYSICAL TRAINING—is important even to civilians. But the Marines have you exercising, or as they call it, “P.T.” from the time you get to boot camp until you graduate. I would be the “one out of four,” who dies from exhaustion from over-exercising.
SALUTING—to me has always been a maze of confusion. Now I know that G.I.’s do not have to salute their sergeants, but captains, lieutenants, colonels, majors, and generals all get a snappy-salute from Marine G.I.’s no matter where. No matter what. What confuses me is not the actually sliding my right hand up to the right side of my head, it’s the not knowing whom is whom by the number of stripes on their arm. Oh, I am sure that a certain colonel would be meeting me on the base sidewalk and I just nod and keep walking. Then I hear the thunder, “Soldier! Halt! Don’t you believe in saluting a superior officer?” I would probably break-down and cry, so there, the colonel instantly-determines that “I” am not fit for the Marines.
KEEPING A TIDY BED—now I am all for “neat.” I love neat. Neat shoes, clothes, house. I even love for my wife to be dressed neatly. But the rough, tough Marines, what’s with the rule of “having a perfect bed” when inspection comes? Do not try to sell me on the idea that when these guys are fighting behind enemy lines that their sergeant is going to jump on their back by yelling, “Yawscoski! Did you take time to make your bed all tidy and perfect before we left?” I just do not see that.
MARCHING—in perfect step, I guess, means the platoon is “working as one,” but why so much marching? I mean it’s a parade march for the visiting dignitaries and a march for a couple of congressman who are on the Defense Spending Committee and finally a common, old march just because the harsh drill instructors have this much power.
SKIN-TIGHT HAIRCUTS—tell me this, ex-Marines. Do the Marine Corps do this to give the new recruits a feeling of unity? Or is it that they hate hair that pushes the hair length regulations? Will a Marine with a skin-tight haircut be a better Marine? I am forgetful when it comes to getting haircuts, so here is another reason for me to head home with a dishonorable discharge.
POLISHING BOOTS—I am all for looking great, boots and all, but “spit shining” your boots until you can see your face? I do not know all I need to know about the illustrious Marines, but this I do know: When a Marine is battling a member of a terrorist cell, that low-life murdering terrorist is not going to focus on the Marine’s boots.
I can hear it now. “That was a short sting in the Marines, eh, Kenny?”