Monday, March 03, 2008

Some fascinating news

I know that I said that I would not write things about political things but I can't resist writing about the recent articles in a local Spanish fishwrap about the impending exodus of illegals and how bad we are about enforcing our laws. In Que Pasa there was this picture of a Honduran with his guitar and the headline in big red letters "El Exodo" or The Exodus.

The paper went on to spell out some tear-jerking stories of poor illegals who "live in fear" of unannounced visits from ICE and can't get driver's licenses so now can't get work. As a consequence, they now have to pack up and go back whence they came all because we bad Americans demand that our laws be enforced and respected. Also some of these folks are damn mad about this, saying that they have lived a perfectly law-abiding life since they have been here...Only they leave out that they are here illegally. Well, we citizens are fed up of illegals driving without insurance or licenses, have had it up to here without our ER's being so overrun that when folks arrive for emergency treatment we can't get it. We are also sick of illegal behaviour being not only rewarded but glorified. How the hell can I tell my Elito to behave when my own country rewards somebody behaving badly?

Other articles bemoaned the pending effect of all these people leaving, how our economy will suffer terribly, the prices of stuff will go up and so forth. Excuse me but I would think that things would actually get better because we won't have anymore folks mooching off the community trough. I have all the compassion and sympathy for these people but enough is enough, time to go back to whatever craphole you came from. You want to come here? Then get the heck into the back of the line and wait your turn. Do you think that if I were to overstay my tourist visa in Mexico that somebody would argue to let me stay because I now have a family? Nope, not a bit of it. Nor would there be mass marches with French or US flags. Nope. More than likely I would be arrested and deported so damn fast the ink would barely be dry on the warrant. Enough already.

Again, I do sympathize with these people but only so far. It is important that I teach Eliezer about the rule of law and personal responsibility and this is just another lesson for him.

The Gunny/Staff Seargent Mantra

In all my dealings with the Marine Corps/Army National Guard professionals, one thing has become apparent: Senior NCO's have nearly unlimited power. Even high-ranking officers dare very rarely to challenge a senior NCO's power. Therefore, I offer the following mantra:

  1. Thou shalt not guestion the Gunny.
  2. The Gunny is always right.
  3. Thou shalst always do what Gunny says.
  4. The Gunny can use you for target practice or meat filling.
  5. The Gunny can and does use lieutenants for door stoppers.
  6. The Gunny is always right.
  7. Repeat as often as needed.

Out of respect to Staff Seargents, they also have much of the same powers as Gunnys/MSGT/1stSgts. A Staff Seargent is just a step below a Gunnery Seargent in the rank and pay charts but has many of the same powers. Beware pissing either the Gunny or Staff Seargent. Whatever you do, stay on the good side of the seargents. Lieutenants run in abject fear of senior non-commissoned officers.

God Bless 'em all!

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Busy times for my recruiters...

Once more the recruiters in my life have been busy with the usual hunt. My friends are part of the hardest job in the military, bar none. The folks that serve on the front lines have to come from somewhere and to some of the most talented people I have ever known are in the ranks of the recuiting services of the Navy, the Marines, and the Air Force (Reserve and Active). I also champion the cause of my local Army National Guard troops who are just as professional and dedicated to finding those quality applicants who always seem to be found.

Generally speaking, you must meet these following basic requirements for even getting an appointment:

  1. Be a US citizen or legal immigrant
  2. Be at least 17, better yet 18
  3. Be a High School Grad
  4. Have no criminal record...parking tickets don't count.
  5. Speak English

You may laugh at #5 but trust me, noy being able to understand such an imperative command as "GET THE HELL DOWN!!!!!!" can have very unfortunate outcomes. My recruiters work some long hours and many don't see home or family until sometimes well after 11 at night. An immensely strong family support network and strong spouses make things somewhat easier but only a little. The wives and husbands are also special and dedicated. Single recruiters don't last very long. You also have to be a special person just to be a recruiter. Part social worker, part therapist, part teacher, part mentor, and part adoptive parent. I don't know how things work in the Air Force DEP (Delayed Enlistment Program, eg not leaving right away for basic training) but my Marines seem to nurture, care for, and generally adopt their young charges who have signed up but not yet left. Naturally enough you won't see these Marines being gentle in terms we civilians understand, but I have seen many of my Marines mentor these gallant young men and women in a uniquely Marine Corps way and gentle is not part of it. Just because you have signed that contract and are waiting to leave doesn't make you a Marine.

There are many ways for a younster biding his or her time to leave to mess up. Something as mundane as a traffic ticket or two can see a would be Marine booted out or delayed. False statements on your paperwork can also get you into trouble. Pissing off your recruiter or his supervisor can get you into a world of discomfort. I have seen a young kid report for his shipping date reeeking of cannibis because he had had a going away party the night before and somebody had partaken of the drug. His departure was delayed some 7 months and more importantly had pissed of the Gunny, something even Majors and Generals are wisely unwilling to do. More about the power of Staff Seargents and Gunnery Seargents' powers in another post.

You see, the Corps is all about honesty and integrity. You say something and it turns out to be untrue then you are never believed again on that issue. You will be forgiven eventually but you will never be believed again. In a PC world where lying is rampant and encouraged outright, it is refreshing to be around these brutally honest (sometimes painfully so) men and women are refreshing to deal with. You DONOT ever misrepresent anything to a potential young Marine. Everything is out in writing as you speak with the applicant and if something is not the recruiter is held to account.

Recruiting is all about selling the idea of service to the American people and to your neighbour. If you do it well you attract the right sort of person to serve and the better the quality of that person the better it is for the Corps. Gone are the days where judges would offer jail time or service in the military. Such applicants these days would face a nearly impossible process depending on the nature of the offense, more about that in later posts.

Semper Fi, Carry On