by Andy Weddington
Sunday, 19 July 2015
"Courage, above all things, is the first quality of a warrior." Carl von Clausewitz
Last evening I posted Commentary titled 'Marines Surrender' http://acoloneloftruth.blogspot.com/2015/07/marines-surrender.html
Spreading on email, Facebook, and Twitter, thousands have read and heavy activity on the commentary blog site continues.
Marines have written. More about them in a moment.
The Marine general's order to doff uniforms has been on my mind all day. Troubling.
Minutes ago it struck me why so troubling.
Marine Corps Core Values...
What do they mean?
Is application selective?
And for convenience?
How does an order to Marines to not wear their uniform in the performance of their duties (recruiting, of all things), on their home soil, comply in any fashion with the teaching of and what the Core Values mean to Marines?
Longtime Marine friend (now deceased) Colonel Mike Lowe, USMC addressed a TBS class of lieutenants as their Mess Night Guest of Honor some years ago.
Mike's remarks (that went viral and are probably still accessible via Google) centered around the theme of why he loved Marines. And make no mistake, Mike Lowe loved Marines.
Among Mike's opening reasons for loving Marines was because '...Marines know the difference between chicken salad and chicken shit.'
Not one Marine, not one, that has written me since posting last evening's commentary has offered opinion that the general's order to not wear a uniform is palatable. And that's putting it gentlemanly.
And this Marine, who, too, loves Marines and well knows the difference between chicken salad and not chicken salad wonders why anyone would want to become a Marine when the Marines selling the Marine Corps (once regarded as the most feared warriors on the planet) are not in uniform.
With that message, how, exactly are Marines different?
How are Marines elite?
How does not wearing a distinctive uniform with great pride present a warrior ethos?
And the questions go on.
Doubtful - the conclusion that the Sailor and four Marines murdered in Chattanooga - especially the gunnery sergeant with multiple combat tours and now to merit a third Purple Heart - would favor civilian attire to hide from the enemy.
To doff uniforms, their uniform, is to dishonor them and all who have ever worn an American military uniform.
Why should an enemy fear anyone (and any force) ordered to not wear the cloth of their country?
I have a 3 x 5 index card handwritten by my OCS platoon sergeant, Gunnery Sergeant Cooke, handed to each graduating candidate on commissioning day. He wrote about pride and discipline and offered a quote which included, "Spit and polish are hallmarks of a good Marine." Yes they are!
Mike Lowe would not doff his uniform (I damn well know).
Gunnery Sergeant Cooke would not doff his uniform (I damn well know that, too).
The enemy is here, dammit. As vowed, they are attacking and killing our countrymen and the best of them. Time is running out.
Before it's too late, perhaps it's time for Marine general officers to revisit our Core Values. And Clausewitz. And do a gut check.
And educate their masters.
Marines are watching - eyes agog and mouths agape.
In the mid-1990s then Major (now Colonel retired) Art Corbett, USMC wrote a powerful piece titled, 'Disband the Marine Corps.' A retired commandant supported him. For reasons other than Corbett's compelling case, again we're at a serious point of that sentiment. For better to be remembered for what we once were.