I received this email from a young man and I just had to post
the question and answer.
I am a 18 year old collage student who is seriously considering
joining the Marine Corps Reserve and a big fan of your hilarious,
informative, and inspirational site. The reason that I am writing
you is because of something very disturbing my father told me
today. A colleague of my father's who's son is in the Marine
Corps said that the Corps is seriously under-funded (besides
the usual lack of funds one would expect from the government)
and that to solve the financial problems the Marine Corps could
be absorbed into the Army. Also shocking was the statement that
the Crucible has been removed from recruit training. This, if
true, is very disturbing to someone who could be at Parris Island
within months. I was looking forward to the Crucible as one
of the greatest challenges of my life; something I could be
proud to complete. Please send me some contradicting (good)
Say it aint so,
(I witheld the name)
Nonsense. I have heard nothing of the sort.
First, America does not need a Corps. You might find that
surprising but it is true. Simply put, we have an Army to take
care of the ground, a Navy for the seas, an Air Force for the
skies, and enough special forces in each of those to handle
the tricky stuff.
So why does a Marine Corps exist, you ask? Not because America
needs one but because they WANT ONE! It makes America feel safe
that there is an organization that is elite and believes in
honor, courage, and commitment. They like that they have fighting
people on their side who will make the impossible happen and
that are so highly thought of that their mere presence can stabilize
a situation. No one wants to mess with a squad of Marines even
if highly out-numbered. You take away that and you have every
two bit country picking fights with us. It is our job to back
that reputation up and live up to that kind of expectation.
That is why it is special to be a Marine.
Will it ever go away? I do not think so. One other thing
about being a Marine is that you are a Marine for the rest of
your life and so incredibly loyal, that it carries over even
after you get out. There are too many former Marines in high
places to ever let the Army absorb us. We are the smallest service
but the amazing thing is that we have the highest percentage
of successful post-active duty people working in corporate America
and every other segment of American society. Why is that? Because
the Marines teaches you how to succeed no matter what the odds.
That, you cannot get anywhere else and will take you further
than anything else in your life.
-- Capt Grose