A senior Marine once taught me that being a Marine is kind of like being a Jedi. We are kind of like a strange little culture within a much larger culture. We are a bit extreme in our beliefs, some would say fanatical, and have a strange ability to bring about the destruction of evil as if guided by some supernatural force. But there is so much more. I would like to share some of that with you now.
Marines can be broken into a few groups: Officers, Senior Staff Non-Commissioned Officers, Non-Commissioned Officers, and the E-3 and below. All of these have a copy somewhere in the followers of the force. Check out the story below to see what I mean.
Take yourself back to countless Monday morning formations and inspections. Each member of the platoon is carrying his different roles. The squads are aligned and the inspections are about to begin. Suddenly there is a disturbance in the force…
PFC Rice heads to formation. As he makes his way to the formation, he realizes he has forgotten his chevrons, the symbol of his rank and his ignorance. In his haste to correct the error before the formation, he puts his chevrons on his collar… nearly an inch from the edges. (People not familiar with Marine Corps fanaticism might overlook this detail. So did Rice.) He is unaware of the gravity of his mistake and doesn’t have time to correct it. “They’re small so maybe no one will notice,” he thinks to himself. But he doesn’t yet understand the power of the Corps and what a great disturbance he has made within it.
The NCO, Sergeant, and the Corporal are those wise and seasoned in the ways of the Corps. They are like the Jedi Knight. He has completed his training and is now mastering the ways of the Corps. He understands the Corps and is guided by its pull. He has yet to gain full control of its power. Mastery is still beyond his reach. He has, however, a great sense for a disturbance and is the front line galactic warrior against the dark side of the Corps, the raw youngling PFC’s. His power is great, but it pales in comparison to the abilities of the true master of the force…
The Gunnery Sergeant sits at his desk. He feels the disturbance in the Corps and seeks to correct it. He stands up and walks to the window overlooking the platoon off in the distance. He leans out the window, and as if guided by supernatural forces yells, “RICE! Correct yourself!”
With this he begins his work in preparation for the duel that is soon to come with the dark side of the Corps.
The Senior Non-Commissioned Officer, known by many names like “The Gunny“, “Top”, “Master Gun” and “The Sgt. Major.” He is the Jedi Master of the Corps. His service stripes serve as symbols to the brave knights and Padawan PFC’s in his years of service fighting the forces of darkness. He has supreme command of the Corps and uses its power to command and mold the Marines within his care. He is attuned to even the slightest disturbances in the Corps, and is able to spot any dangerous situation, be it an enemy ambush, or the PFC using his lightsaber to fix the haircut he forgot to get on Sunday. His charge is t0 carry out the daily mission of the Corps and see that its will is seen through. But there is one more element to the force, one that stands opposed to the nature of the Jedi Master of the Corps. Those who fallen to the dark side of the Corps…
He is the Lieutenant. As he makes his way to the formation, he anticipates with a sinister glee the duel with the enlisted Jedi warriors. He has been secretly scheming, hidden away in offices away from the eyes of the noble and stalwart knights. As the Marines are distracted with this minor disturbance in the force, he is able to clandestinely manueveur to catch them unawares. In his ambitious march to supreme power of the Corps, he is preparing for the arrival of his master, the General… or rather, the Dark Sith Lord.
Yes, Officers are the Sith. They have given up the noble path of the enlisted Jedi for power and glory. While they may have once thought they could control the power of the dark side of the Corps for good, as they all do they fell to its grandeur and corrupting power. They are selected from amongst the most powerful and impressionable of candidates. Given special training, power and privileges, they are in command of the most powerful of dark Corps abilities: Surprise inspections, field days, weapons cleanings and the 11th hour mission orders in the prospects of gaining supreme glory. Have you ever wondered why the other Marines salute? They raise their right hand when they pass officers to protect their minds from the influence of their manipulating dark powers. Just warning you.
So as they prepare for their duel, the the Masters of the Corps square off in front of the platoon. The mighty Jedi Master Gunnery Sergeant stands ably with the platoon of noble warriors behind him. Facing him is the corrupt and vile master of the dark side of the Corps. They stare each other down. The Gunny raises his right hand to protect himself from the treacherous powers of the Lieutenant. He then warns the Lieutenant away by listing the size and strength of his force “All Marines present and accounted for.” The Lieutenant is scared. He sees that he is outmatched. As a desperate bid to cover his mistake, he issues a series of senseless orders to command the Marines’ attention while he prepares a new plan. He executes his plan “Carry out the plan of the day” (said another way: “Do what must be done.”) With his distractions in place the Lieutenant makes his escape, hiding away into the dark places where he builds his schemes of galactic domination. This battle won, the Gunny takes his men and begins to undo the plans of the Lieutenant, setting his Marines to the tasks at hand.
Yep, so that’s how it is. The Marines are like Jedi and now you know why.