ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Attention Military: Riddick Bowe? About Face!

Updated on June 7, 2020
William F. Torpey profile image

Graduated NYU 1963. Worked in NYC in public relations 2 years then as reporter/news editor 32 years at The Hour newspapers. Retired in 2000.

Riddick Bowe, right, Defeats Evander Holyfield in 1995

These Are 'Real' U.S. Marines

The Cold War may be over, but there's no shortage of hot or potentially explosive situations around the world.

There have been a few military cutbacks since the Soviet Union bowed to the pressures of history and a flawed economic and political system, but the United States still must spend huge amounts of money to maintain, equip and pay the gallant men and women whose job is to keep us out of harm's way.

Military Preparedness

Should any of the festering conflicts around the world flare up, we'll need all of our resources to handle them. Just look at what it took to quell Saddam Hussein's ambitions in Kuwait.

But, based on some things I've heard recently, the military doesn't appear to be the same one that I served for three years.

Case in point: Riddick Bowe.

Bowe, for the uninitiated, is a former heavyweight (boxing) champion.

Earlier this year, the press reported that Bowe had joined the U.S. Marines.

Puzzling Announcement

Personally, I was puzzled by the announcement. Why would a boxer who can make millions for a single prize fight want to give up his income, as well as his freedom, to become a Marine recruit? It didn't make sense to me.

Shortly afterward the media reported that Bowe said he didn't like the Marines and, therefore, decided to quit.

Quit? Quit the Marines?

The report was incomprehensible.

Ask any oldtime soldier. sailor, Marine, airman or Coastguardsman about quitting the service -- during basic training, or at any time.

It isn't done! It can't be done!

Not Wanted by Marines

The Marines confirmed this later when they issued a statement saying that Bowe did not quit after all; the Marines didn't want him!

I didn't see any reaction to that story. But another story soon surfaced saying that Bowe was considering reapplying to the Marines.

The media, I must say, parenthetically, has done an overall incompetent job of covering this story.

Riddick Bowe: A Big Wimp?

No one asked the question: How can a champion heavyweight boxer be such a big wimp? Or, even, how can anyone just up and quit the Marines?

Sure, there's been a lot of changes in the military since I served three years in the Army in the '50s. For one, today's dogfaces make a whole lot more that the $78 a month I received.

Training may have changed somewhat since those days, but I'm sure the military still aims to instill unquestioned discipline and wants to be certain that every man, or woman, has the high degree of physical conditioning necessary to insure that the job gets done.

Trainees Taught Humility

In the '50s, the training cadre let the recruits know that no matter who they thought they might be in civilian life in the military service they were just another trainee. The recruits were not handled with kid gloves; on the contrary, one could say without fear of contradiction that they were treated like dirt -- or perhaps that's being too mild. They were taught humility.

In any event, Bowe would have had his face rubbed in the mud by fellow trainees, and the cadre, had he cried about his fate in my outfit -- notwithstanding his "champion" sobriquet.

More likely, he would have won his discharge from the Marines, but not before he faced a court martial for refusal to obey orders (to undergo training.)

I wrote this column as a "My View" for The Hour newspaperof Norwalk, Conn., on April 26, 1997.

Who Is Your Favorite Boxer of All Time?

See results

Riddick Bowe Verses Evander Holyfield 11/13/92 Part 1

Riddick Bowe Verses Evander Holyfield 11/13/92 Part 2

Riddick Bowe Verses Evander Holyfield 11/13/92 Part 3

Riddick Bowe Verses Evander Holyfield 11/13/92 Part 4

Riddick Bowe Verses Evander Holyfield 11/13/92 Part 5

Riddick Bowe Verses Evander Holyfield 11/13/92 Part 6


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • William F. Torpey profile imageAUTHOR

      William F Torpey 

      10 years ago from South Valley Stream, N.Y.

      Back in the old days, mquee, the military often used celebrities to help build morale among the troops rather than giving them ordinary grunt jobs. I agree it was a mistake for the Marines to accept Bowe unless they planned to use his talents and his celebrity wisely. I think the military is far different now than it was just a few decades ago. Thanks for your nice comment.

    • mquee profile image


      10 years ago from Columbia, SC

      I know I am a bit late on this William, but I agree that the news media for some odd reason let this slip by. Actually, I believe the Marines made a mistake in accepting Riddick Bowe in the first place. By the time he decided he wanted to be a marine, he was a millionaire. Making the transition from living in an expansive residence then going to a military cot in an open barracks does not make sense. Anyone that has been in the military would know this act was doomed to fail. I guess this was not entertaining enough for the news media. Good job William!

    • William F. Torpey profile imageAUTHOR

      William F Torpey 

      12 years ago from South Valley Stream, N.Y.

      It sure is a different Army today, Bob. But the pay's better.

    • profile image


      12 years ago

      Bill....Liked it. As you kno,I too was a member of the old "Brown Boot" Army. When the Sgt. said drop your drawers and squat , you didn't question him. Times sure have changed and you know my feelings , I don't think for the better.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)