Skipping Boot camp

Boot Camp
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Skipping Boot Camp

No, I’m not talking about Sgt Howard Davis, who managed to be a Marine without going to boot camp. I have a post about Sgt Howard Davis here.

I’m not even talking about the Marine Corps Band, where musicians are recruited into the band skip boot camp, and join as a SSgt or higher. I’m talking about some shit that former CMC General David Berger, came up with in the Talent Management 2030 document, which is where the Corps would recruit “exceptionally Talented Americans” who would forgo boot camp and join the Corps as lieutenant colonels or gunnery sergeants.

However, in the band, they serve under a four-year contract (for duty with the U.S. Marine Band only) as active-duty enlisted Marines and are subject to the Uniform Code of Military Justice and physical standards. They are ‘educated’ by the Drum Majors (who are career Marines) in the band, he/she has a standard set of training that they must take, plus they are held to all the same standards as regular Marines. Some of the members want to attend boot camp as part of their recruitment into the band. This only applies to the ‘President’s Own’ band, not to the other bands in the fleet. They also are not allowed to go into the fleet, unless they went through boot camp, and they wear a special rank (instead of cross rifles, they have a lyre) insignia.

I have a HUGE problem with the idea that General Berger is talking about, the problem isn’t recruiting new Marines, the problem is retention and it always has been retention, and until the Corps learns it will always be retention. It does not make any logical sense to train someone for years on how to do it, and then force them out and start over.

Hiring a civilian to come in and work as a Marine and be treated as a Marine without going through boot camp, is just wrong on so many levels, and to be honest, is a slap in the face of all the Marines that did it the correct way. Make them a contractor if that is what you want to do.

Could you imagine, being a SSgt who is eligible for Gunny, has been in like 12 years, busted your ass to get where you are, and in comes this 20-year-old Gunny, new to the Corps, total shitbag and he is giving you orders. I mean, I will do what he says, because I respect the rank, but I certainly would not expect the man, er, boy. It would be a giant “F” “U” aimed at you, from the Corps.

The good thing is General Berger back-peddled on what he said, I guess he realized the error in his ways.

This all came about because it is getting harder to recruit these days. The Corps still is meeting its numbers because there will always be those who just want to be the best, or want to be part of something bigger than themselves. But many of these new recruits are grunts and the Corps is looking for POGs. The “exceptionally talented Americans” are mostly going to be in the IT field. The Corps wants to hire hackers and programmers and both of those are going to be huge asks, as those are generally real nerds. I mean, socially awkward, don’t talk much, usually an untidy appearance, you know the total opposite of a Marine. I’m not knocking them, or their skills, we certainly need them, but I think offering them a contract position might be best. Obtaining the security clearance might be a challenge for them, as most IT positions now require polygraphs, but a background check to get their TS clearance. If you spent your youth hacking into things, well, that is illegal, and….. well you get where I’m going.

But this comes down to retention, not recruitment. There are so many things that are wrong with retention and not a single one of them has changed in the 25 years that I have been out. I wrote an entire post on retention in the Marine Corps, check it out here.

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Average Joe

Welcome to the Average Joe Weekly blog. This is basically my place on the web where I can help spread some of the knowledge that I have accumulated over the years. I served 10+ years in the Marine Corps on Active Duty, but that was some 25 years ago.

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By Average Joe

Welcome to the Average Joe Weekly blog. This is basically my place on the web where I can help spread some of the knowledge that I have accumulated over the years. I served 10+ years in the Marine Corps on Active Duty, but that was some 25 years ago.

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