LETTER FROM PORTUGAL
 

This is a letter that is very telling about foreign services and the hard-earned reputation of the United States Marine Corps.

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Mr. Lt. Groose,

First of all I would like to greet you about your excellent work with your homepage, It's one of the most complete Military pages that I've seen. It's a great honor to write to you, as I seek out for your opinion based on your long Military and civilian experience.

I would like to introduce myself. My name is Celio, I am now 23 years old, and I'm a Soldier in the Portuguese Army. I enlisted in the Army back in '96 cause the Military life always have turned my attention since I was a little kid, the PT, the discipline, the comradeship, most of all for the teamwork. When I got into the Army I got disappointed, it isn't that bad, but it sure isn't what I expected to be, the soldiers don't care for one another, but only for themselves, there aren't "sprit de corps" and it's mostly an unorganized organization. My current job in the Army isn't that bad, I'm a computer operator, but that isn't my real MOS, they didn't let me choose my own MOS, I got into infantry
"Cannon Fodder", like most of us. I already made to Corporal rank, which it should make me proud of, but I'm not. We don't much of authority or leadership here, the privates don't care or respect about what we say, and we can't do anything about it. And there's more, we can't do much of a career in our Army, the maximum service time allowed is 8 years, after that time, we're out.

When I started using the Internet one of the first things I did was seeking info about other country's armies. As I expected the US Military stand out in the overall. Within the US Military, I've read about the Army, the Navy, the Marine Corps, and the Air Force. The USMC stand out of all the four, at least on my point of view. I did further research of the Marine Corps using the WWW and chatting on-line with former and active server Marines. I came to the conclusion that this is what I am looking for, my kid's dream of the Military. I've learned that every Marine is proud of what he is, and what he does. When I ask a Marine if he likes being a Marine, the answer is always the same: "Hell, YES!!". My research didn't end there, I've seen almost every movie/TV show about the USMC, my favorite being "Full Metal Jacket" and my favorite TV show is "Pensacola: Wings of Gold". I am reading a book too, called "The Proud Bastards" which I like very much. I've found out that there is "sprit de corps" within the USMC, they really care about each other, and they work as a team. I think this is the most important value within any Military Organization. All those values of the USMC have turned my attention, and I would be proud to be one of the few.

Since I am Portuguese, I'm aware that it won't come easy, but I already know that being a Marine it's not about ease. Courage is one of their core values, so I think I should start with that right away. I am not willing to give up, but I want to reassure that I am moving toward the right thing, and my objective is worth achieving.

I already feel honored that you took the time to read my letter, thank you very much. I shall close my letter now. I can't wait to get your commends about my purpose, It's an honor to get your reply.

I look forward to reading your reply soon. Thank you very much again.

Sincerely,

Celio

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Hello, Celio

You wrote me a few days ago and I wanted to take the time to respond to your letter. I do not want to be too critical but I must point out that my title is Lieutenant, therefore, "Mr. Lt Groose" should read just "Lt Grose" because "Mr" is short for mister. No harm, no foul.

Thank you very much for your interest in my webpage. I spent many hours improving it and it is an ongoing project that I am quite proud of.

If what you describe as your expectations of the Army when you entered is true, the Marine Corps is the service you are looking for. I am not a recruiter and I have no reason to entice you to join the United States Marine Corps. But you seem to symbolize exactly what we need in our ranks. Many of the Marines that I meet every day have lost the exuberance that you show for the special title of "Marine." I am not saying that it is rampant in our Corps but living the Marine life day to day, I think that some of our Marines sometimes lose sight of the special nature of who we are and what we represent.

You mention in your email that, "We don't (have) much of authority or leadership here, the privates don't care or respect about what we say, and we can't do anything about it." It is not that way in the Corps. A young Marine is soon schooled in the ways of stern leadership and there is never a lack of an NCO who is willing to educate a wayward young Leahterneck. That is one of the things I like best about our Corps: we police our own ranks to keep the standards high.

I wish you good luck in your quest. If you ever attain the title, yo will always know that whatever you had to go through to accomplish it, the payment was well worth it. From October 6, 1987 until the day that I die, I will first and foremost be a United States Marine. Even if I get out, it will define who I am and what I believe in. I pray you too will have such a guiding light in your life.

I will finish with something I wrote today and sent out to all the Marines I know. It is my letter to them about the 223rd birthday of the Marine Corps, November 10th.

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               Nov. 10, 1998
Marines,

For 223 years, we have been the pinnacle of military professionalism. Today the Corps is in our hands and it seems like yesterday that we were on the bottom rung. Now we stand on the shoulders of giants with the weight of heroes resting on our shoulders. I for one take this responsibility seriously. I do not wonder how we will perform the next time we are called upon from a desperate nation expecting and presupposing a victory from us. Despite razor-thin budgets and depleted numbers, we who proudly don the eagle globe and anchor still guarantee America a force ready to fight and win. Just as our predecessors who took Iwo Jima in 26 days after the Japanese prepared the island for 20 years, we too are capable of raising our flag atop any foreign enemy's fortress.

For your past service, I remove my cover and express my admiration and appreciation. For the future, I challenge you, as I challenge myself, to work harder and to uphold the reputation of our Corps. We fight for the American people who never doubt us in time of need. But we train for the privates, PFCs, and LCpls whose purpose is to fight, win, and survive. Without you, they will not accomplish any of those.

Again, I wish all of you a happy birthday and a hearty Semper Fidelis.

Lieutenant Jason D. Grose
United States Marine Corps