Saturday, April 26, 2008

What's the Difference?

Last night a friend and I were discussing the differences in the Army and the Marine Corps that may give John difficulty when adjusting. We could not help but laugh at some of them. A few could get John into trouble. The Marine Corps does not salute indoors, and the Army does. He is going to have to recondition himself on that one. I am willing to bet he will piss off a few officers before it sinks in and becomes second nature.
But the boot bands and bloused trouser legs, no cover block, and no rolled sleeves. I can see John now trying to do this with his ACU's.
Anyone who has never had the pleasure of knowing a Marine will not appreciate the comedy in all of this. They are purists, and view the Corps as the representation of all that is elite, disciplined. Name tags on uniforms? No way. They are "professionals". Patches on combat uniforms? What for? And what in the hell is up with that beret? I can almost see the look of disdain on John's face when he is told to wear it.
I am saying none of this to insult the Army. But the Marine Corps is a big, bad Boys' Club with their own set of standards. I swear they must check the testosterone levels of all recruits before allowing them to attempt to enlist. And my husband is a member. Some friends have equated the military to high school athletics. The Air Force is the Freshman team, the Army is Junior Varsity, and the Marine Corps is, of course, Varsity. "Where does this leave the Navy?", I asked.
"They are the cheerleaders!"
So what is my civilian take on all of this? Quite simply, we have different branches of the Armed Forces for a reason. Each does their job. Each is composed of our American brothers and sisters fighting so we do not have to. Each suffers the loss of the other. They are all brothers.
It's just that the Corps has a far-better swagger.

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