…is a powerful tool. (Plus, when LCpls sit around, they always get into trouble.)

…Conway hinted at those differences, saying Marines prefer serving under fire in a combat zone to performing nation-building duties in Iraq. He said that in his meeting with Gates on this subject last week, Gates understood Conway’s thinking.
“He’s heard anecdotal reports that lance corporals are complaining that they don’t have anybody to shoot” in the newly peaceful Anbar, where most Marines are operating, Conway said.

Imagine that! A general who has the courage to acknowledge that Marines might even look forward to a good rumble. How politically incorrect…insensitive, even.

…”My point to (Gates) is that, if and when we are able to continue our drawdown in Iraq and it comes time for Marine units to start leaving the country, … should we bring them home or should we start looking at putting them where there is still an active fight; in this case, Afghanistan? And we were prepared to do that.”

I’ll bet.

And always prepared (as the Marine in the video says) to do “the one thing we do extremely well: take care of each other.”

[Fallujah]… I was particularly struck by two kinds of stories recounted over and over: tales of wounded Marines–many badly wounded and eligible for medical evacuation–struggling to get back into battle, and tales of senior officers joining privates and corporals on the firing line. On April 9, 2003, for instance, [MajGen] “Mad Dog” Mattis was late to a meeting with senior brass because he had stopped his command convoy to help a small patrol reduce a house from which they had taken machine-gun fire. West quotes a gunnery sergeant:

“The general flanked the hajis from the south.”

It is hard to imagine an Iraqi general–or a general in just about any other army in the world–risking his neck in this manner. Such stories demonstrate the Corps’s egalitarian ethos, and go a long way toward explaining its sky-high morale and superb fighting quality.

Ugly Omar should be sending Gates a big poppy bouquet in thanks.

2 Responses to “Motivation”

  1. Skyler says:

    My battalion here in San Antonio, 4th Recon Bn, has until this fall deployed in large chunks to Iraq since 2003. The most recent group returning, among them some on their third trip over, complained bitterly that they were so bored that they had no one to shoot at for the entire deployment.
    One event was that they were told to circumnavigate the regiment’s area of operations, an area the size of South Carolina. They said that no one shot at them or bothered them at all. Most places people were supportive and those that weren’t supportive were at least neutral. They said it was boring.
    The det commanding officer, our I&I, said among his bigger challenges was morale in an environment where there was no combat.
    I hope Gates changes his mind soon. I’m about due for a rotation myself, and I think Afghanistan would be a great destination.

  2. The_Real_JeffS says:

    Put the Marines into Afghanistan. Marines are aggressive for a good reason, and we need to use to our advantage. F**k political correctness.

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