Friday, May 17, 2013

Oh, Marine Corps...

Since becoming a "civilian", I've had some readjusting to do to normal society.
I mean, I'm still married to an active duty Marine, so I didn't stray too far from military life, but I think I strayed far enough when I decided to leave a 10 year career as a Marine to become a SAHM.
I realized some of the humor that I shared with fellow Marines (to include my husband) is not really all that funny to normal people.
When interacting with people from my church, etc, I find myself trying extra hard not to say something that would be inappropriate or weird.
I also find that when I tell stories about my experiences in the Marine Corps, most people look at me in disbelief.
In my mind, it was been a normal part of my life for 10 years....the majority of my young adulthood.

I figured I'd share a few of those things.
It may make some of you laugh.
It may make some of you think something is wrong with me.
Either way...they make me smile when I think about them...

1. It is totally acceptable to Febreze your skivvy shirts instead of washing them when deployed.
The laundry service on base in Iraq sucked, and if you were lucky enough to get your stuff into a "laundry run", you were lucky if you got all your "chonies" back. You were even luckier if they actually smelled like they had been washed. Since Marines are all about "adapt and overcome", they figured that Febrezing their tshirts gave them an good extra week out of them before the necessity of dealing with the Iraqi laundry service. I think it's pretty clever...most civilians think it's gross.

2. Serious conversations about bodily functions in important meetings are totally acceptable.
Marines have no shame when it comes to bodily functions. I can't tell you how many important briefs about mission, troop movement, logistics, etc. that I've sat through where the meeting is interrupted by someone's flatulence. What's funny is that no one laughs. It turns into a discussion about what "said name Marine" ate the night before or what kind of protein powder they are drinking to "bulk". Sometimes, two Marines will fight over who gets to "claim" it. Let me just add, these aren't meetings with 18, 19, and 20 year old LCpls and Cpls...these are meetings I've sat in as a SNCO with other SNCO's and Officers (ranging in age from 26-40). Truly...we are the professionals that we claim to be :-)

3. Discussions between grown men about who should have won American Idol actually happen.
There's this stereotype about male Marines. The public wants to believe that these guys become instant superheroes the minute the uniform goes on. They have no emotions. They have no feelings. They're rough and tough. They're macho. In reality, they all have a little "softer more feminine" side. I've listened to two grown men in cammies at work arguing over who was the better singer on last night's American joke. 

4. They listen to things like the Backstreet Boys at work.
There have been countless times when I've gone into a work center where a bunch of Marines are working on 20mm gun systems, missile launchers, rocket pods, armament equipment, and know...being all manly and tough.....fixing things....with tools....and grease.....this is all happening while the Backstreet Boys' "Backstreet's Back" is blaring on the stereo. I've also heard Britney Spears, Aqua, and the most annoying of all...Rebecca Black's Friday is blaring at least once every single Friday.

5. It's totally normal to see a Marine who makes below the poverty line (that's living in the barracks) to be financed for a BMW (or any other high end German car that they can't afford).
I had a Marine check into to my work center, and a few months later, he had bought a used piece of crap Jag that he paid entirely too much for. I knew he wouldn't be able to afford to maintenance on a vehicle like that. Again, let me remind you that the average 18-21 year old Marine makes below the poverty line. How do they get financed for vehicles like this??? Slimy car dealerships off base that know for a fact that every Marine gets a steady paycheck on the 1st and 15th of every month. I've heard of Marines buying cars with payments of $150 a month............for 10 years.........with 40% interest....sad but true story.

So there's a couple things.
I hope I made some of you chuckle.
I seriously miss all these things about being a Marine.
I even miss yelling at Marines for being an idiot and buying that ridiculous car because I know several years down the line, they'll realize how stupid they were, and they will be the one lecturing their own Marines about their bad ideas and purchases.
It really is truly a unique job with REALLY unique people.


  1. Kudos to you and all female Marines who make this their normal! I give all of you major respect. I can barely put up with one :)

  2. HAHA! This definitely made me laugh and i can totally see all of these things happening!! :P Marines are pretty silly! and i agree with ^^Nicole^^ i give mad kudos to you female Marines i could not deal with all those 18, 19, 20 year olds, lol!


  3. LOL - I was never in the military, but my hubby is actually getting set to retire from the AF in October and some of these things sound very familiar....especially about the febreeze :)


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