Thursday, October 13, 2011

Diversity Thursday

Below is a copy of an open letter sent out recently by a group of Marine Officer Recruiters. As traditional paths for addressing their greviences have been blocked by their Chain of Command due to process and command climate - they took this route.

There is a lot more here than we find in a usual DivThu --- but you can find here an outline of what is being done in the name of the Marine Corps and being ordered to Marines.

This letter was not sent to me for distro - but I managed to get a copy. It is from a new member of the Salamander Underground; but it looks solid and seemed like a safe bet; so I'm running with it. The original distribution list is on the bottom of the first page.

Read it all, but (D)iversity related items are in bold red.

Below is the open letter.
(NB: The linked article below by then Maj. Vold is from '98, so this isn't a new problem)


Marine Corps officer recruiting is a broken and dysfunctional system. The officer recruiting community is stressed, undervalued and struggles to find necessary support. The officer recruiting community meets its core mission, Officer Accession, only because the Marine officer mission is so inflated. The accessions goal is always met.

The current officer recruiting system is a patchwork of temporary fixes built up through years of neglect and bureaucracy. The current system is extremely wasteful, inefficient and undermines effectiveness on all levels.

Over the years, senior Marine Corps leaders have ignored or been ignorant to the deficiencies of the officer recruiting program and community. There has been a de facto block, or ceiling emplaced, in which top Marine officials have not been made aware of the problems at the lowest levels of officer recruiting. Since prudent changes have not been implemented, there is now no coherent, streamlined system that makes sense. All that is left is a shell of haphazardly established tactics, techniques and procedures.

-GS/civilians are the only mainstays
-No 8412 involvement (no career path)
-RFA (appointments) untenable
-SF86/JPAS untenable
-De facto diversity quota system
-Improper manpower in AO’s
-Improper training (all levels)
-Improper civilian leadership

-Medical support (BUMED/NAMI)
-Automated system untenable (ACP)
-200+ page- paper applications
-IT support untenable (server space)
-Advertising (low levels) ineffective
-Administrative support
-Financial/disbursing support
-Logistical support
-Officer applicants expected to pay for medical/dental exams

-MPPM (last updated in 1989?)
-Frost Call situation(s) 1st, 2nd, 3rd tier effects
-No standardization across MCRC
-Poor initial training
-Applicants turned away (reverse discrimination)
-No special duty allowances (RS SgtMaj rates?)
-Political correctness RUNS AMUCK!
-Tragedy of the commons (RS or District??)

A serious inquiry/investigation needs to be conducted into the tactics, techniques, treatments, personnel and procedures of the officer recruiting system. This proper authority will see a system that has serious and detrimental flaws. The system will be found as improperly managed and supported, underfunded, maltreated, and undermanned by proper duty experts.

A non-exhaustive examination will expose serious fraud, waste and abuse into allocations of recruitment funds — such as contracts with advertisers and ―diversity‖ biased projects, GS/civilian employees that are ineffective (and detrimental to mission), preferential hiring of former senior Marines, and wasteful conference and training seminars.

Findings will expose a veritable secret diversity quota system where 80+% of the recruiting effort is focused on meeting diversity quotas. Even then, these secret diversity quotas are improperly imposed; i.e. US current population/enlisted accessions rate Hispanics as number one minority group; whereas the current de facto focus is solely on African American attainment (ALL OTHER MINORITY GROUPS IGNORED – Hispanics, Native Americans, Asians, etc). Competitive and highly qualified applicants are ignored or turned away because they will not affect diversity attainment! Findings will also show current proposed changes to applicant standards, such as a sliding scale with ACT and GPA scores, all in the name accommodating ―recruiting, aka; diversity attainment.

Concern with political correctness and the diversity quota system has now progressed into the proposed change in the basic qualification(s) of Marine Officer Candidates? See attached Marine Corps Gazette article. Where has the importance of standards and adherence to these standards, in the Marine Corps gone? Marines are held to the standard. Why would we allow different standards to be emplaced, especially in officer accessions? To suggest that if we did not change the standard, the Marine Corps would suffer; is an untruth, a falsehood and tantamount to saying that the Marine Corps HAS NOT BEEN EFFECTIVE FOR THE LAST 236 YEARS??? ANGLO APPLICANTS WILL START SUING THE MARINE CORPS AND CONTACTING THEIR ELECTED OFFICIALS. AFFIRMATIVE ACTION IS NOT THE ANSWER! SELECTING THE BEST AND BRIGHTEST, REGARDLESS OF RACE OR GENDER IS THE RIGHT ANSWER! THE BRIGHTEST PEOPLE WILL BRING THE DIVERSE BACKGROUNDS, THE KNOWLEDGE, THE OUTSIDE THE BOX THINKING AND IN TURN THIS WILL MAKE THE MARINE OFFICER CORPS AND THE MARINE CORPS, THAT MUCH BETTER.

Courtesy Copy: Commandant of Marine Corps, Assistant Commandant of Marine Corps, Inspector General Marine Corps, MCRC CG, Secretary of Defense, Secretary of the Navy, Senate Armed Forces Committee Chairman/Ranking Member, Marine Corps Times, Navy Times, Air Force Times, Army Times,, Christian Science Monitor, New York Times, Washington Post, MCRC Marine Corps District Commanders/DROO’s


-GS/civilians are the only continuity in officer recruiting. Every Marine (3 years +/- tour) leaves the job. Civilians run officer recruiting! Civilians should be replaced with 8412’s. No civilian should be in charge (regardless of enlisted recruiting experience) of officer recruiting!
-8412’s should be the duty experts on recruiting. Currently, there is no incentive nor career path for these Marines in officer recruiting. 8412’s should be the continuity and should have positions where they can progress through the chain as their experience dictates. No more 8411’s!!
-RFA process is cumbersome and inadequate. More MCRC staff is needed to process RFA’s. Current system is keeping officers from commissioning.
-Security clearance system does not work. Complete redesign is needed.
-Diversity quotas are being forced so hard that de facto quotas are in place (LAW?). Time and resources are being unfairly taken away from Marines to find and process QUALITY applicants because of the focus on Diversity. Focus is only on African Americans when in fact Hispanics make up a larger margin of the U.S. population and also of enlisted accessions. Native Americans, Asian Americans?
-Not enough trained and professionally screened Marines (OSO, 8412) on duty in officer recruiting. Assign officer recruiters to where they are from. (i.e. African American officers near HBCU/population centers, Hispanic officers to the southwest, Native American officers near traditionally western states, Anglo officers in their respective areas, etc)

-BUMED is totally broken and unacceptable. BUMED is under-staffed. NAMI is not conducive to Marine aviation candidates.
-ACP is not user friendly. ACP has too many glitches. ACP does not make contracting more efficient or timely (actually makes contracting more difficult and logistically harder to conduct). A common “MCRC SharePoint” should be utilized where all documents can be uploaded and downloaded by all users (server space). MCRISS OSS should be upgraded and utilized to control systematic recruiting but not in conjunction with ACP. Use a simple software program to generate contracts (upload all documents to “MCRC SharePoint” – this can be viewed by all users.).
-Hard copies of contracts/applications should be kept at local level but electronic versions uploaded to the “MCRC SharePoint”.
-IT support untenable (server space):”MCRC SharePoint” will need server space.
-Advertising (low levels) ineffective: tactical advertising is run by civilians (JWT), not Marines!
-Administrative support: 8412’s trained in officer recruiting to take over GS. More staffing is needed at higher echelons to support processing.
-Financial/disbursing support: bureaucratic system in place to administer and track funds. Complete redesign is needed.
-Logistical support: RS’s don’t like to support and neither do Districts. Where does the specific support come from?
-Officer applicants expected to pay for medical/dental exams: MEPS does not conduct all tests that are needed for officer applicants (DENTAL EXAMS, FEMALE EXAMS, EYE EXAMS, etc)???

-MPPM (last updated in 1989?) Self-explanatory. No categorized, searchable or user friendly database for frost calls or updates.
-Frost Call situation(s) 1st, 2nd, 3rd tier effects: Frost calls are implemented/dictated from established law; some frost calls seem to neither apply law nor take into consideration tactical level effects.
-No standardization across MCRC: Contracts, selection boards, waivers, RFA, RFO, administrative procedures, forms, training, applicant standards?
-Poor initial training at all levels: 8412’s should be emplaced into officer recruiting at all levels to provide all training and continuity. 8412’s should be used at OCS (use 8412s as OCS sergeant instructors or staff --- 8412’s can be used much as MOI’s; as most colleges and universities are slow for officer recruiting in the summer) to gain basic understanding of what officer candidates go through(this will assist with prospecting and selling). 8412’s should be emplaced at the OSS, the DIST and OA/MCRC. Career path and promotion considerations should be emplaced to provide incentive for 8412 “buy-in”. Screening and selection of 8412’s should be very competitive (and should be E-7 and above for maturity and administrative experience).
-Quality applicants turned away (due to diversity): quality applicants are turned away or placed on backburners in order to accommodate diversity applicants (usually of lesser quality – i.e. GPA, PFT, ACT/SAT, BACKGROUND). This is not conducive to employing the best and the brightest and will have 1st, 2nd and 3rd tier effects in the operating forces for years to come! A quality applicant is a quality applicant.
-No duty allowances: officer selection officers are the only production recruiters that do not receive a duty allowance. These Marines are the liaisons with community and key influencers, the liaisons with career services, deans and professors of universities and local advertisers. Why would they not receive an allowance to assist them in connecting and working these influencers? Also, incidentals and misc. expenses (dental and misc medical exams for applicants) are experienced all the time. Are these Marines expected to pay out of their own salary? RS SgtMaj receives an allowance; what is a SgtMaj billet’s recruiting production quota? Nil. Switch allowances from the RS SgtMaj to the OSO. No further funding needed.


Alo said...

Time to change those three promises, perhaps?  "We meet diversity quotas.  We occasionally win our nation's battles.  We develop racist citizens."

UltimaRatioRegis said...

Bra-VO to those OSOs who have been told to execute these racist and damaging plans.  Gotta say one thing about Marine Officers.  They say what they mean.  It doesn't always get them promoted, but it does bring the respect of their juniors.

LT B said...

It DOES seem to me that the diversity quotas are illegal orders.  If DoN wants diversity, then clearly they/we can recruit all over and in barrios, hoods, farms in middle America, and farms down south.  Diversity of areas will open up the opportunities to bring in people of all races and walks of life.  As long as the bar is set, the standards held for all recruits, then it is totally legal and the officers won't be looking at the FOGOs like they have purple boogers on their upper lips.  It is very important for morale, as well as good order and discipline for the troops to feel their orders coming down from on high are legal, correct and are in the best interest of that whole silly oath thing.  These officers have put the FOGOs on notice. 

If an order has to be hidden and masked in legal double talk, then you know in your heart of hearts that the order is less than kosher.  A troop does not an NKO course on fraternization annually to know it is wrong.  Since they are hiding to diddle and fiddle, then they know it is wrong.  Same principle applies.  If the FOGOs have de facto "quotas" couched in the legal speak of "goals,"  then it is less than kosher.  If Congress, our civilian overlords, are giving rudder orders on this, and they are not legal, then have them write the law, and have its constitutionality examined by SCOTUS.  There is a process, and if done in the open, the American people will get to see it work. 

Just treat the troops with Honor, Courage and Commitment and you are fostering the proper environment.  Good job Marines.  Phib, keep shining the light.  FOGOs, let us be a meritocracy.  Let us work together as a team, not devided by colors striving for successful completion of missions that bring pride.  Allow the troops make decisions, have buy-in through an environment lacking micro-management.  We will be the poster child for the country's populace and recruiting will be easier.  Your troops will recruit for you via their stories, love of country and joy at being allowed to succeed on their own. 

Grandpa Bluewater said...

I would be very interested in seeing a compare and contrast with the situation in Navy Recruiting. I don't believe there are significant differences, though special pays these days are topic I no longer have any interest in.

The notion that de facto diversity quotas are illegal orders is only of value if one is willing to place one's career (and in this economy, one's family's well being) in the the same prioritization as a kamikaze placed his aircraft.

Some flag officers interact with non flag officers in the same manner as some officers deal with junior enlisted personnel, they only give orders to them and take reports concerning the accomplishment of orders previously given from them. As a result some officers adopt the "Ensign Pulver" survival strategy.  Do your job and stay invisable, let the ubiquitous inflation of fitreps carry you along at the aft edge of the middle of the pack and retire as late and as senior as possible. The effect on effectiveness can be quite detrimental, but there is no reward for carrying bad news to an ambitious flag.  Inside the flag bubble life is good and the Navy is well managed.  Since they are the leaders, leadership is always superb, except by those pesky subordinates.

Personnel, and leadership, standards of performance, and discipline problems from race, sexual orientation, and gender diversity policies?  Inconceivable!

LT B said...

In con Thievable!  :)   You are very true.  Speaking truth to power does often destroy one's career.  Phib wrote about it once and addressed why he blogged as an anonymous entity.  Many officers would gladly go to war vice have to stand before a FOGO and tell him/her that the order was illegal.  Fear of death is superceded by fear of career kill.  Weird that.

DeltaBravo said...

Phib, how long have you had this interesting little nugget?  Interesting timing considering the new overall leadership... maybe some think it's finally safe(r) to talk and shine light in murky places?

WCOG said...

What a coincidence! I was turned away by my officer selection officer this week (until at least August, I can't wait that long) because he only had female slots left. I don't blame him, he seemed like an excellent guy, but I was disappointed. Not mad enough to sue the marine corps, obviously. I have an good GPA from an excellent aerospace engineering program and a job offer from Boeing that pays much better, so I guess it's the Marines' loss.

LT B said...

Thank you for trying.  Do good work at Boeing, build/design us some good stuff and remember the troops and missions when you do that.  :)  

The Usual Suspect said...

Major Vold's article is timeless; just like the truth.  His ideas were as spot on in 1998 as they are now.

Actus Rhesus said...

I have no idea what you're talking about...callin hte emperor naked never has negative consequences..nope...never.

Anonymous said...

I nearly missed it. This is a great article about recruiting in the USMC; what I nearly missed is the author's name. Major Vold (if it is the same Vold, which I think it is considering that Vold is not exactly a common name) is now a Colonel in the Marine Corps Reserve. I worked for him my last tour in Afghanistan and had a great experience doing so. I would work for him again any day as well.

G-man said...

I just forward the link to Sen Lindsey Graham, USAF reservist and judge advocate and asked him "WTF" over? 
Where does the insanity stop?
Brave Marines deserve better - no, make that Brave Marines deserve the best we can find.

Number Cruncher said...

<p><span>I’ll focus on White-Black comparisons because this is what the letter emphasized. A </span><span>Marine Officer had to have a college degree, an ASVAB score of 74 and a GT score of 115 (Used to be higher).<span>  </span>It doesn’t matter what % of a particular race is in the general population; what matters is the % of the college graduates who are QUALIFIED to be an officer. </span><span>There are approx. 1.5 million college graduates annually. According to SECNAV last March, the break-down of college graduates is:</span>
</p><p><span>White-(71.8% or 1,077,000); Black-(9.8% or 147,000); Hisp.(7.9% or 118,500)</span>
</p><p><span>College degrees do not mean literacy. "The Literacy of America's College Students" study conducted by the American Institutes for Research (2006) broke college graduates into four levels; Below Basic (less than a 4<sup>th</sup> grade education): Basic (5<sup>th</sup> to 8<sup>th</sup> grade education); Intermediate (9<sup>th</sup> to 12<sup>th</sup> grade) and; Proficient (College frosh. and above). The average numbers for each category are:</span>
</p><p><span>Below Basic-White (0%); Black (5%); Basic-White (7%); Black (25%); Intermed. - White (54% or 582,000); Black (58% or 85,000); Proficient-White (42% or 452,000); Black (13% or 19,000) </span>
</p><p><span><span>As SECNAV pointed out, not everyone is going to qualify. “In order to be able to make up (the deficit of minority officers) there are two options – <span>Access Blacks with lower grade point averages than their white peers, and immediately place them at a disadvantage, or get colleges to more provide eligible graduates who meet the criteria for a commission.” E</span></span></span><span>ven if all of Black graduates at the proficient level were fully qualified, they only make up 4% of the White numbers. There is a lot of competition for Proficient Blacks in the overall job market. Given the numbers, perhaps a 4% Black officer diversity goal might be more appropriate. </span></p>

FamousLastWords said...

Here's the problem. There are large differences in avg intellectual ability among racial/ethnic groups. And every aptitude and achievement test we have shows the same rank order: asians, whites, hispanics, blacks.

The asian/white gap is small (but growing, esp in math), but the white/black gap is large. The average black high school senior reads at an 8th grade level, for example. (These are averages, of course.)

But the ruling class have declared that everyone is equal in ability. And the only reason for black under-achievement is white racism and noticing the very low scores of blacks is racist.

Personally, I have now become a supporter of  quotas because I do not believe blacks will ever close the achievement or aptitude gap.

The rank order of American ethnic groups is also mirrored globally. East Asian and European ethnic groups show the highest aptitude scores. Latin American societies fall in the middle. And sub-Saharan African societies produce, by far, the lowest scores.

So I now reluctantly conclude that these racial/ethnic ability gaps will remain for the forseeable future. Knowing human nature, I also believe that those groups with the lowest average ability will never believe that is true. Instead they will believe they are being treated unfairly and in a racist manner.

Quotas will produce a better result because we will be able to get the best black candidates. Right now the standards are being reduced for everyone. This destroys the ability to select for the best among high-achieving ethnic groups.

This is what fire and police departments around the country have resorted to. The tests have to be dumbed down so much to let the blacks pass, that too many idiot whites end up passing.

But all this societal insanity is because we refuse to admit that racial/ethnic ability difference are real and significant.

And maybe this is for the best. These ability difference will naturally produce a racial/ethnic caste system. Which we don't want. But which already exists. America is increasingly growing it's first market-dominant minority caste -- the east asians. It's new so most Americans haven't noticed.

There is no good solution if racial/ethnic ability difference are large and permanent. Resentment will grow regardless of what we do. And those at the bottom will never believe they are being treated fairly. They will never accept that they deserve to be at the bottom as a fair result of a meritocratic system. But in a meritocracy somebody has to be at the bottom. And if racial/ethnic differences are real and large, then the meritocracy will sort people out roughly according to race/ethnicity.

Boat School Grad said...

<span>What is fascinating about this is that traditionally, CMC personally approves all Marine Officer recruiters.</span>

cat4zulu said...

Hold on there!  Most of the above has been true the almost 30 years I've been in this job.  The "mission", paperwork, review levels, micromangement, burgeoning volumes of reports, etc. has changed little during that time.  There are a lot of injustices in the system and it always seems to take 1 step forward and 2 steps back with every change.  However, I'm an OSO civilian and some (small) heartburn with the comments about me and my peers.  We are not in charge of the offices, but can certainly guide the OSO through some of the burgeoning BS and sheer nonsense they encounter in their duties.  Considering the complexity of the system, I'd say that was an advantage.   On the other hand, I would say that hiring former Marines (don't advise 8412's for several reasons) or wounded warriors as permanent assistants is an excellent idea!    

UltimaRatioRegis said...

You could have shown up in drag and asked to be accessed as a gender-challenged minority

John said...

Good Marines doing what they do:
Identify a problem, come up with solutions to the problem and take action to fix the problem.

In this case, it requires an end run around obstacles and PC run amok.

I fear for their careers, but they obviously love their Corps more than thair jobs.

ivan0026 said...

Don't forget that this is going to impact Marine Enlisted. Skilled marines in fields like Intel or Linguistics are valuable assets. That experience and training can be used as officers but is somewhat less likely. If skilled Black Enlisted are directed to become Officers, those MOS fields are going to be put under more strain.

There are only so many skills in a given community. With a group that has so many social problems as the US Black community (I know Nigerian guys who openly look down on US Blacks), skilled people are very few and in high demand. If you attract them to one field, other fields are going to have shortages. In the current political climate, you cannot reach the desired ethnic ratio without lowering standards because the skilled people you are looking for do not exist in the numbers you need

As valuable as officers are, keeping skilled Enlisted in key fields is essential. I know one Marine who chose to go officer in a Combat Arm. His Enlisted training was in Linguistics. While the core of the Marine Corps is combat, the skilled support personnel must not be shunted into a less productive use of their talents and training.

WCOG said...

Heh, the OSO was actually joking about that at the time, "unless you want to claim you're really a woman, since it seems like that'll be okay any day now". The thought police must not have been in range.

Chris G. said...

<span>"preferential hiring of former senior Marines"...</span>

Yep. Sounds like the USMC I worked for, for 3 years. Honor? Nope. Courage? Maybe on the battlefield. Commitment? Yep...commitment to getting hired on as a GS-13 since you were basically unhireable in the private sector. And commitment to kissing the boss's butt so you could get your next promotion.

Funny how URR hasn't commented much on this post...just that once...maybe he knows the real truth about USMC officers.

Chris G. said...

Correction to my last...make that "just those two times".

xformed said...

I have the tune "Burning down the house" dancing in about in the background of my brain as I read this.  Sounds like they have to destoy (the current non-)system to save it.  God speed to them!

James said...

So it finaly makes sense why there are no Marine Presidents now. The truth hurts and rarely gets you elected.

UltimaRatioRegis said...

So Chris G, did you work for the Marines or were you a Marine? 

UltimaRatioRegis said...

And I take it from your words above that, aside from battlefield courage, you don't think Marines are very good.

I can't begin to tell you how that breaks my heart.  I mean, courage under fire is such a trivial thing in evaluating the quality of military leadership.  I am dying to hear your other criteria for evaluating Marine Officers.

Chris G. said...

URR, I was not a Marine, I worked for them. (And some of them worked for me.) I was extremely disappointed at the ethical failures I saw on a near-daily basis. Lying, cheating...the norm. Very sad. The veneer (that Marines were professionals) was pierced for me, that's for sure. Marines struck me as DMV employees, just more fit.

 And courage under fire is important. But it doesn't give you a free pass to be an utter ethical failure in the rest of your professional least that's my thought. Do you differ?

 My criteria for evaluating Marine officers? Specifically on you lie? Do you cheat? Do you hide infomation? Do you tell the boss what he wants to hear, what will get you promoted, vice what he neds to hear? Do you game the gov't hiring system to hire your friends, vice a more-qualified individual?

 Pretty much my same criteria for evaluating any other professional.

 Wanna hear about the Marine E-8 who bullied a Marine E-5 into gundecking his PRT? How about the retired Marine O-5 (GS-13 hire) who was fired for falsifying a command climate survey? How about the active Marine O-5 who refused to correct the record and report accurate (but not-so-flattering) information about his unit?

 Should I ignore all that because maybe these guys exhibited battlefield bravery?

Chris G. said...

Correction to my last...the dirtbag GS-13/retired Marine O-5 (and Purple Heart awardee...just like that dude from Massachusetts) wasn't fired. I forgot I never saw a Marine with the guts to fire another Marine. He was asked to resign by the base CO, which he did. For the four years prior, all this guy's bosses said, as they went out the door, "gee, I really regret I didn't do enough to get rid of him". Real gutsy...Semper Fi.

He had held his position for ~7 years (4 or so changes-of-command for the Station) so that led my wife to comment "Oh, I guess 1 in 5 Marine O-6's has a pair of nuts."

Chris G. said...

I should further mention that I qualified my battlefield bravery comment with a "maybe"...based on lack of moral courage, I suspect not all these Marines exhibited battlefield courage.

I should also mention I was impressed, for the most part, with two Marine JO's who worked for me. One of them had some issues with telling the whole truth, but delivered excellent product. The other was a real pleasure to work with...gutsy, smart, honest, resourceful...but he'll be lucky to make O-4, since he's not a butt-kisser. Ex-enlisted...he'll punch at 20 and go out into the real world and do great things.

UltimaRatioRegis said...

So...  you are not a Marine.  Never served in the Marines.  Your "exposure" to the Marine Corps is in the capacity of a civilian employee?  And in that capacity you have seen enough of a representative sample to judge all 6,500 Marine Officers?

Since you (and apparently your wife) are eminently qualified to make such judgments about Marine Officers, particularly at the Colonel rank, how is it that you explain John Ripley?   Joe Dunford?  Jim Conway?   Paul Kennedy?  Larry Nicholson?

Never knew a Marine to fire another Marine?  Are you kidding?  You definitely need to get out more.  Any Marine Officer who has been in longer than a few months has known of a Marine being fired.  Hell, Paul van Riper fired his own brother as chief of staff.  Tough to square that circle with what you claim.

You obviously work at some senior staff/HQ element.  And you see fit to extrapolate all these awful things you claim to have seen into a blanket understanding of Marine leadership.  Fascinating.  Yet, you have never worn the uniform of a Marine.  Never gone to the field with them, gone to war with them, had to put your life in their hands, and had their lives in yours. 

Not terribly impressive.  Not at all.  DMV employees?   Perhaps you could spend some time in Helmand or in Anbar checking vehicle registrations alongside them.

But I am sure you can find a thousand reasons why you shouldn't have to.

Chris G. said...

Ad hominem attack...sounds like the tired old "it's a black wouldn't understand". No repsonse to my specific examples of moral/ethical failure by USMC senior NCO's and officers. Are the facts bothering you?

The fact is, I worked alongside many Marines who were ethically lacking. Of course I didn't work alongside all 6500 Marine officers, but the 40? 50? 60? billets I dealt with regularly for 3 years (and 200 or so I dealt with on a less frequent basis), so say ~150 or so Marine officers I *did* work with and personally observe, I saw very little moral courage.

75% were liars.

I suppose it's possible that coincidentally the *only* 100 or so Marine officers who are liars and ethical failures happened to be stationed with me, and the rest of the USMC is lily-white. Possible, but not likely. I think I saw a representative sample. I saw an organization the tolerated (encouraged?) moral failure, lying, and misrepresentation. I think that is representative.

You named 5 guys who did good things...bully for them. Have you *never* seen a Marine officer who was a liar or moral failure? That's a straight honest question to you.

 Another straight honest question for you...does battlefiled courage excuse moral failings? I think the USMC ethos is "it does". I don't you?

Maybe something changes in a Marine when he/she goes to a shore/HQ billet...maybe they check their 'nads in the war zone. Either way, the Corps needs to work on their ethics.

I am happy to hear of Marines being fired for poor performance. It should happen more often...take a lesson from the Navy. Firings tend to focus the attention of the non-performers.

And oh yeah, I was not a gov't employe working with I said, you have to be a former Marine to get hired by them (my frist sentence in this thread). I wore the digi-cammies for 3 years. But I missed out on TBS, so I'll never have my buddies manipulate the GS hiring system to get me a sinecure.

I think I'll live.

Finally, I have a theory...Marines are big on doing what the boss says, no matter how stupid or reckless. If the boss wants it, it's the mission. And the improtant part of this is, if it's done to support the mission, then it's OK. So lying to support the mission isn't really lying. If you buy that logic, then there aren't many Marine liars. Problem is, I don't buy the logic...and neither, apparently, do the JO's who wrote the article we're commenting on.

Remember...stay focused...I asked 2 questions in my post.


UltimaRatioRegis said...

Of course you'll live.  Better men than yourself will protect you.  Your heroism consists of typing your criticisms into a little box in the safety and comfort of your home.  Where do we find such men?

Do what the boss says or what the mission requires?  Yeah, we do.  It is a Marine thing.  Something you will never understand.  It includes exposing oneself and one's Marines to mortal danger, sometimes near-certain death.  Crossing the sea wall at Tarawa, advancing in the wheatfield at Belleau Wood, breaching fortified buildings in Ramadi and Fallujah.  Places like that tend to be a lot less comfortable and a lot more dangerous than your office building. 

Oh, and learn what "ad hominem" means.   Of course there are Marines, Officers included, who lack integrity.  No person or organization is perfect.  But I would take just about any of them over you.  You are a resentful and envious little person.  You haven't the guts to endure what they have to become Marines and bear the responsibilities that come with leadership, nor have you the personal courage to risk your comfort, safety, or well-being for anyone or anything other than yourself.  You may continue your screed against the Marine Corps, but you are someone of little consequence and even less inherent value when compared to those whom you disparage. 

Chris G. said...

URR, looks like agree there are moral/ethical failings in the USMC; we just disagree about the extent and magnitude. Seems resonable. Looks like you apparently *do* let battlefield bravery excuse moral shortcomings. OK; reasonable minds can differ.

As far as your ad hominem attacks go ("<span>an attempt to negate the truth of a claim by pointing out a negative characteristic or belief of the person supporting it.") I've seen plenty from you. ("little consequence, less value, resentful, envious"...and that was just the last post). OK...this seems to be your M.O. on these threads where reasonable people with good intentions disagree with one another.</span>

Rather than bring out facts or logic, you attack the disssenter and sarcastically dismiss their arguments. You are almost like a liberal in your disdain for garlic to a vampire!

I suspect you are like a lifelong Catholic who just found out about priest molesting kids, and can't bear the thought of someone attacking their beloved church. It's clear you love the USMC, but you seem to be blinded to its faults. It's not healthy for an organization to circle the wagons and ignore criticism...regrettably we see a lot of that documented in Sal's posts.

Hopefully the USMC redoubles its efforts to live up to its reputation and core values. 

I'll also stipulate that I'm a dirtbag, an idiot, a liar, a coward...heck I'll stipulate I'm gay, a woman, a Democrat, a politician, or whatever other chaff might get thrown up to distract readers from facts. So if you're going to reply to this with another attack, I've saved you the trouble.


UltimaRatioRegis said...

Well, Chris G, you sure told me.  Except that ad hominem attacks are considered those that point to an unrelated trait as a reason for attacking the logic or quality of an argument or position.   Such as if you were short.  Or tall.  Or left-handed.  However, your personal actions, integrity, courage, service, and judgment are perfectly germane to the argument when criticising those things in others, particularly Marines who have been places and done things you have not. 

Time for your big boy diapers there, son.  The offer stands.  Go visit Helmand or some other place and try your hand, since you consider yourself of sterner stuff.

James said...

Where did you work exactly?

And what do you define as moral courage? Just a question as most marines i've known have been honest hard working men who lived their lived honorably and i was honored to call friends.

In fact i've known alot of people like that i seem to atract and be atracted more to them than the other side. Or maybe its the other side is rarer i guess.

Byron said...

Let me get this found a few bad apples in a train load of apples and now issue a blanket condemnation of the entire Corps. Brilliant. You logic is inescapable. We bow to your intelligence and moral indignation.

Now that I'm done stretching the truth beyond the breaking point, I'll tell you the truth. You're a miserable little man, incapable of accepting the responsibility of being a Marine and since you can never rise to that level, you choose instead to sling slurs upon the entire Marine Corps. Go ahead and continue with your whining little snits. Your words mean less than nothing and the sound coming from your pie hole is that of a little boy who won't get the shiny toy for Christmas. Go away now, for we now ignore you. We are done with you little troll, and wish no longer to deal with you.

Bistro said...

Chris, I got a kick out of the way you wrote that sentence above, "..found out about priest molesting kids."  Darn those kids! :)

There is a rulebook, been around for ages and ages. There is no moral failing in any leader who puts winning and bringing all of his or her people back alive first. Garrison types simply don't understand that kind of thinking. We really really feel their pain as we lie to them, cheat them and steal from them when they fail to support the mission. Honestly, we feel really awful.

Government jobs and thus Marine civilian/support contractor jobs are largely driven by networks. If you naively believe that your resume and SF176 dropped off at the local government hiring HR office ever sees the light of day, think again. It boils down to who you know on the inside.

Seriously, command climates, EO surveys? Who ever got fired over one of those? Nobody at all in the whole wide world cares until the fecal matter hits the rotary impeller at the IG or Senate hotline. PRT nonsense? That's a CO failure unfortunately. Me, I'd boil it down. For the ground pounders it's "on rucksacks" 50 mile hike. Since the navy hasn't built any 25 mile long warships, and sailors don't carry rucksacks or march/run it always defied common sense to me to impose a running standard. I believe that there is serious fracking stupidity in applying pointless, meaningless rules and regulations. You'd almost think that only the side that didn't have or tolerate beards could win WWII at sea. Ditto long hair. Only losers have long hair, well, other than SEALS. They got the long hairs, beards and shades of true professionals......right?

Bistro said...


No no. You tangled with the front porch mafia. They are a disease and so stuffed with self importance that they rivel Rigel. They tolerate the tiniest criticism much the way Stalin did. This is Sal's place and no, absolutely no dissent is tolerated here.

It's funny. They all see themselves as high experts in refuting a contrary position but every single time they go for the ad hominem. It's like they can't help themselves. Slaves to the candle, lickspittles, whatever, you will know them even in the dark.

The point you raised is not unique to the Marine Corps and it is not really what I would say is wrong with any of the branches of DOD. Some people regard truthiness and morality as an all or nothing proposition and think that stated goals/objectives outweigh everyday criteria for getting the MISSION done or SUPPORTING the families. I tend to focus on results and if that bends the rules like a pretzel, well, I like pretzels. In 28 years I never gave a thought to what any civilian employee thought with one exception.  PMW 182. Great man.

Chris G. said...

 Your comment about the unwritten rule rings pretty true to me. And you know, I am kinda OK with "do what you must, just get the mission done". Things get morally murky when bullets fly...I get that. Short-cutting a bureaucracy to get needed support...I get that too. In the war zone, pretty much do what ya gotta do. (The are limits though...complete lack of moral standards leads to war crimes and atrocities.)

 Unfortunately, seems like some folks don't know when to turn it off. And when the mission is no longer "put the ordnance on target" or "take that hill" and it becomes "plan that Marine Corps Ball" or "keep your trucks in running order" the same moral standards apply. It's pretty simple to me..."dude, when we're working on the same misson, same project, don't freaking lie to me to my face".

 I also totally concur it's about your network and who you know when you get hired...having said that, let's stop paying lip service to a system we don't use...just be honest about what we're doing.

 USMC (and other DoD) seems to want to have it both ways. They want to hold a moral and ethical high ground, so they claim they are following the strict sets of rules they set for themselves. But they have a mission to perform, so they blow off those rules. The hypocrisy  (as any first-year law student would tell you) is breathtaking. If they'd just drop that "Honor, Courage Commitment" thing, I'd have no quibble with their actions.

 It's also kinda fun to see what URR and Byron think my work history. Heck, they even think I'm a dude...but they don't *know* that...