A paper only an LT could write

| March 4, 2012 | 81 Comments

1st Lt Daniel Durbin, or Butter Bar Duh-Duh-Durbey who had the decency to wait six more months to get promoted, explains in this editorial why newly minted Marines are simply too stupid to be released into the wild. But don’t let me tell you. Let him do the leg work:

The School of Infantry East (SOI-E) administratively separated more than 150 new Marines in fiscal year 2011 for a myriad of disciplinary and medical reasons. Many of these medical and legal issues occurred over recruit leave. There is a travesty happening right now in the Marine Corps, but nothing is being done about it. Every year, the Marine Corps loses several hundreds of Marines to drugs, legal issues, and injuries during a single 10-day period—recruit leave.

Yes sir, according to Duh-Duh-Durbey the Marine Corps administratively separates “about” 150 boots each year between Bootcamp and graduating Infantry School or Marine Combat Training East (both administered by the School of Infantry). In other words, using rather flush numbers from the Iraq surge years and accounting for the SOI-West as well, the Marines separate less than .013% of their annual recruits in this period. That’s right, .013%. A crisis if you will. Duh-Duh-Durbey describes the terrible plight of the plebian enlisted man as such:

…every year the Marine Corps sends thousands of young men and women home from recruit training back into the situations they were coming from. Many of these Marines have joined the Marine Corps to escape these dark situations and make a new life for themselves as Marines. But after a mere 12 weeks, we send them back into the home life they were trying to get away from.

Considering the demographic horror myself and most of my fellow enlisted Marines barely manged to escape in order to reach the life raft that is a Marine Corps recruiting office it’s a miracle more of us didn’t succumb to our imploding situation in the Delayed Entry Program. It’s a flat out anomaly any of us escaped our alcoholic foster parents long enough to get out of the trailer park to meet up with the other hood rat Poolies our recruiters manged to save from the wreckage of lower class America.

Not to say that the LT doesn’t empathize:

Do not think that I am trying to denigrate the incredible change a Marine experiences from the yellow footprints to graduation from recruit training; this is one of the most formative experiences in any person’s life.

Thanks, sir.

Of course that empathy allows Duh-Duh-Durbey to so succinetly diagnose the base enlisted man’s real problem:

However, the recruit training experience is only 3 months long. When these young, impressionable Marines return home on leave, the old bad habits are there waiting for them. Additionally, Marines who go on recruit leave are often swayed by the boyfriend or girlfriend back home who missed them so much, and they just can’t bear the thought of losing that once-in-a-lifetime relationship. These Marines return from recruit leave and simply refuse to train. Marines in this category are often processed for administrative separation.

Damn Josie, every time.

No fears though, Lt. Duh-Duh-Durbey has the answer:

The solution is incredibly simple. Put an end to recruit leave! This change would have the added benefit of enforcing the training mindset that is desperately needed. When the Marines return home, they are certainly proud of the accomplishment of becoming Marines, but they lose that vital training mindset. They get comfortable.

I propose that new Marines who graduate from Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego or Parris Island hop on a bus and continue training at SOI. After SOI graduation, they then drop to their MOS schools or for infantry Marines to the Operating Forces. This will maintain continuity for a single drop of Marines to their MOS schools or Operating Forces units.

I won’t go on to quote the whole pile of crap this idiot foisted on the Marine Corps Gazette, you can follow the link yourself if you’re into such self-flagellation. I will though say that the next time the good Lt finds himself being instructed how to run a convoy, keep two aircraft apart, fill out a clearance request, construct a fixed firing position, replace a rotor screw or do any of the million things he’s grossly unqualified to do, it would behoove him to stop and thank his lucky stars.

After all, that simple minded idiot with the Sgt’s chevrons who manged to survive the period in their lives inbetween mom & pop’s and the blessed period of mentorship from some retard with a degree from Party School State University and The Basic School Corps, hasn’t yet tripped over his own dick and screwed up the whole Marine Corps. Thanks for keeping your eye on the ball, sir!

People like Durbin, the grasping morons desperate to make a name for themselves, are the reason while enlisted personnel hate officers. Most Marines don’t trust officers because of the the ignorant fools like Durbin, and they assign that mentality to the rest of the shiny collared folk. As long as good officers tolerate peers like Durbin their job will only be harder. So I’ll pass on to the Marine Corps Officer Corps what I’ve heard many a Company Grade Officer pass onto me: police your own, gents.

Category: Dumbass Bullshit, Marine Corps

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  1. Capt Durbin says:

    I really don’t care about the weekend policy of OCS, mainly because I don’t know that that has had any effect on the quality of the officer corps. If it has, then kank it! I doubt that, however.

    I am aware this would mean that certain MOS’s would not get as much leave, though I would be shocked if an MOS school was 6 months long did not allow the Marines to take weekend liberty and a leave period.

    This policy change would not stop car accidents, drug use, or liberty incidents, that is not my point. My point is that we are losing dozens of Marines and millions of dollars due to this policy. End it.

  2. NHSparky says:

    Meh–I look at it this way–I didn’t get leave after boot. Didn’t get leave after BEE. I got it over my first Christmas. Not a huge deal. But if a guy’s gonna be a shitbag, he’s gonna be a shitbag anytime, regardless of time in service.

  3. Hondo says:

    Seems to me that men/women old enough to be sent into harm’s way deserve to be treated as adults – not children. A 10-day leave after basic training/boot camp seems to be as good a time as any to start.

    But maybe that’s just me.

  4. NHSparky says:

    True dat–better you identify and flush the turds early.

  5. Yat Yas 1833 says:

    NHSparky, I said that very thing in an earlier post and gave a real life example of a guy in Plt 2083 that went1833, in fact there were five or six of us that went Amtrac. Kid was squared away, I think he even got meritorious PFC. A year later he was listed UA and they found him dead in San Dog. I have no idea what his training cost but I’ll bet it wasn’t cheap.

  6. Ret Army Drill Sgt says:

    As a retired Army Infantryman and a Drill Sergeant as well I compleatly agree. LT’s need to stay out of NCO business and if a joe doesn’t want to come back or wants to go AWOL, well then let them go and get rid of their sorry asses. I wouldn’t want to have to depend on someone with a weak hearted attitude covering me in a fight. If the training is that hard on you well we still need burger flippers out in the world.

  7. Nichevo says:

    When training a professional military, you will always have attrition, especially early on. If you do not, then you have a bigger problem as not everyone is supposed to make it through. In a perfect world, every person who enlisted would become a sterling paragon of virtue and defender of the United States and its way of life. The perfect world though, can only be found in the works of Plato and St. Augustine.
    What we do is not for everyone, even those who enlist thinking it is for them. Should they decide to go AWOL, regardless of the reason, let them do it during that leave. Let them do it while they are still stateside. Let them do it before they deploy downrange and I have to depend on them to have my back.

  8. NHSparky says:

    Yat–I got the same, “But we should be a pump not a filter” argument when I went through the Nuke pipeline.

    Probably one of the reasons why they got rid of the “A” school in Great Lakes and moved everyone down to Orlando–too many kids got “Pushbutton PO3″ only to flame out by the Week 3 academic board and hit the fleet with crow intact.

    Last I checked, there might still be a few “pump versus filter” types out there, but the filter is a lot more effective when the kid first gets out of boot before they hand him E-4 and a shitload of money. The attrition rate in the Nuke pipeline isn’t much lower now than it was 25 years ago, but it’s more front-loaded.

    Tell me that didn’t save the Navy a few bucks and more than a few headaches.

  9. Ann says:

    This all just strikes me as yet another ‘cost saving’ or ‘useful training’ measure implemented by those who are safe from ever having it applied to them. What better way to handle new Marines than keep them in six or more months of continuous training without getting to visit home. Marines shouldn’t be treated as if they’re a supply pallet or replacement part. Money isn’t the end all be all, and personnel who volunteered to serve their country in a time of war deserve better.

    Captain Durbin: I say axe OCS and TBS weekend liberty since it obviously interferes with what would otherwise be productive training time. Think of how many weeks you could shave off by making it a 24/7 training course like enlisted basic training. Recruits and MCT students don’t get weekends off, so why should officers?

  10. Capt Durbin says:

    Weekend libo for OCS?

    End weekend liberty for OCS candidates? Sure, why not? I will put my money where my mouth is. It is a total of 8 days liberty that OCS candidates get (last 4 weekends of the 10-week POI). However, I don’t know that the OCS weekend liberty policy is hurting the Marine Corps, while the Recruit Leave period actually is. If someone can point to the exact problems this policy is causing, I’m listening.

    People are treating this as an officer vs. enlisted debate! First of all, the enlisted Marine represents the pinacle of American Society. It is my fervent hope that my son enlists in the Marine Corps someday! I want to know what part of the editorial made people think that I am out to bash enlisted Marines, I’m not! I love my Marines like my own family. Do I think 18-20 year old Marines have a higher likelihood of getting into trouble when they are suddenly cut loose from Boot Camp? Ummm…yes I do. And if disagree with that logic, you’re not a savvy operator.

    I know this has stirred up some pretty strong emotions. I’m trying to keep a level head and stay professional. I stand by my editorial 100%. Recruit Leave is hurting Marine Corps mission accomplishment. Therefore, I move it be stricken from our culture.

    Captain Durbin

  11. Hondo says:

    Ah, to be young and naive again – and to see every problem as a tactical one.

    Captain, the objective here isn’t reducing the short-term impact of losing a few knuckleheads. That’s the tactical view of things. Rather, the objective is building an effective force for the long term. That’s the operational/strategic view. And IMO, it’s the view you’re simply not seeing.

    A knucklehead who’s going to do something stupid on leave is simply a knucklehead going to do something stupid on leave. You can bank on that. Another few weeks of training isn’t going to have a significant impact on that fact – but it may mask the problem. If anything, a longer period of training without leave is simply going to make them party even harder when they eventually do get leave (which will also almost certainly be for more than 10 days). They’ll likely do something stupid then, too – and will end up costing the USMC even more, since they’ve now had even more training.

    However, there are two other factors you’re not considering. First: as you yourself should know from your prior enlisted experience, the US military expects its enlisted personnel (and especially it’s NCOs) to have initiative, be innovative, and use good judgment. Those qualities are not developed by treating young men and women like children via keeping them away from the “big bad world”. Rather, those qualities are developed by allowing those young men and women a chance to exercise those skills. In short, it’s developed treating those young men and women like what they are – adults – and holding those accountable who fail to measure up. If anything, keeping them in the “nest” for longer than necessary retards their development.

    And second: while what you propose may “save” a few trainees from themselves, you’ll do so at the cost of failing to identify some who desperately need to go. Finding out that someone needs to go because they couldn’t handle leave costs a few dollars and time. Finding out later the hard way that they needed to go – e.g., when they screw up in action due to the inability to use good judgment – can cost lives.

    It’s far better to learn in training that a prospective Soldier, Sailor, Airman, or Marine can’t “hack it” because of lack of good judgment – or unwillingness to use same – than to determine that in combat. Yes, the former costs a few dollars and some time – but the latter leads to coffins being airlifted back to Dover AFB. And I’ve stood at attention, saluting, while flag-draped coffins passed by far too many times already.

    Saving a few training dollars is good – provided it’s not counterproductive. But the strategic objective is to build the most effective force you can so that you suffer fewer casualties in battle. And you don’t obtain that strategic objective by treating young Soldiers/Sailors/Airmen/Marines like children.

  12. Yat Yas 1833 says:

    Sir, I know I read some numbers about how many new Marines are lost on initial leave per year but how many new Marines graduate per year? I mean Corps wide. Then what is the total percentage of new Marines lost do to initial leave?

    One other thing I’ll stand by is ITS and MOS schools must be extensions of recruit training with 24/7 supervision. I knew plenty of 18-20 yr old Marines that got in trouble in Oceanside while on liberty. I knew because as a “chaser” I had to go out with the 1st Shirt or Co Gunny to pick up some Pvt being held in the sub station on the block west of Hill St.

    Finally, the idea that the instructors at ITS only has very little time to work one-on-one time a student.

  13. Ann says:

    @Durbin So enlisted Marines are the pinnacle of American society, but they can’t be trusted by themselves for 10 days? Gee, I’m sure they feel how high caliber they are as a result. It’s as pointless as plastic surgery: you can put off the wrinkles for a little bit with a few unnecessary procedures, but ultimately they will always pop up. If they are your family then treat them like your family, and not like they’re your children.

    If you treat someone as a untrustworthy criminal then don’t be surprised when they start to act like one. Being at SOI has never prevented unsuitable Marines from going UA, and it never will. There will always be a steady number of personnel who go UA/AWOL immediately following graduation. It’s the same in basic, SOI, MOS school, The Fleet, etc.

    The quitters will always be there, and I’d much rather ditch them early than be one of the squadmates dragging their whining butts through SOI. Then you’re impacting the training of everyone else because either the screwups are monopolizing on the instructor’s time, or the platoon is having to take on extra duties to make up for their incompetence. Even if they make it to the Fleet it only results in even more wasted time and money, and potentially someone getting hurt or killed on deployment.

    There needs to be a decompression period for new Marines both to give them some much deserved downtime, recover from those lingering illnesses and injuries, and to delineate the basic training mentality from SOI.

  14. Ann says:

    @62 Better yet send them to Twentynine Palms. Most of the students don’t rate vehicles, the student barracks are miles from the front gate, and the absurdly overpriced Top’s Taxi has a monopoly on taxi services. Twentynine Palms also had some nice MWR facilities and programs unlike many other bases that aren’t so remote.

  15. Yat Yas 1833 says:

    Oooops! (My grandkids dropped by) this idea of ITS instructors having the time to “”mentor” students is silly. What is the ratio between instructors and students for an average ITS class? And a Sgt and a Pvt are peers? Not in the Marine Corps I served in. A L/Cpl and a Pvt could be peers. As a Sgt I was their superior not only in rank but as a section leader for 2nd Plt. I was there to counsel when needed and discipline if required. Their crew chief was there to mentor them.
    I think what has upset people the most is your generalities in the numbers you have used. “THOUSANDS are sent home…”, MANY of these Marines…”, etc.Using this type mof math I could say “A large percentage of Charlie cos Plt Ldrs are incompetent because 1 of 4 or 75% were relieved. The kicker is “Do not think I am trying to denigrate..” “However…”

    R/S

  16. Ann says:

    I think what really hurts the Marine Corps mission is never giving Marines the opportunity to be treated like the adults they are. If you treat someone like a criminal or a screwup then don’t be surprised when that’s how they start to act. And do you actually have any numbers for any of this? These figures have yet to move from beyond anecdotal.

  17. Capt Durbin says:

    Could not agree more that the Marine Corps needs to give MORE responsibility and authority to NCOs! We’re not talking about NCOs here though, are we? We’re talking about VERY young Marines. Ok, so NCOs should be developing and policing these Marines, right? Well, the problem with that theory is the Marine Corps does not send NCOs home with these Marines. I am in complete agreement that we need to give MORE responsibility in CONUS to NCOs. Deployed NCOs are basically God on the battlefield – they run the show. In CONUS, they are often treated like glorified troop handlers. Seperate issue.

    @ It is over 150 that we seperate per year from SOI-E. I don’t know about SOI-W. What I was refering to when I said “anecodotally” was the length of time between Parris Island and SOI. Some student get 10 days. Some get 14. Some get 21. Some get 31. 31 days away from the Marine Corps right after getting out of boot camp? I don’t agree with that.

    @ HONDO, trust me, I agree with most of your points. I am in complete agreement that many Marines are unredeamable. If so, yes, get rid of them. I also fully recognize that Marine NCOs need to be given more responsibility in CONUS.

    This isn’t a tactical issue at all! It is an operational issue. Marines are salaried employees of the United States Government. Secondary to the issue of these Marines making short-sighted decisions on Recruit Leave is also the fact that we are paying these Marines while they are on 10 days of leave. That is about 500 dollars per Marine for 10 days. Times that by about 15,000 (about how many entry-level students SOI-E will see per year), and you’re talking about a little under a million dollars a year. That isn’t counting the PRASP Marines who could be out there longer. Also – travel claims, plane tickets, bus tickets, cab fare, all paid for by the American taxpayer.

    We’re talking about millions of dollars here, and I personally think it is a program of VERY dubious value. I respect your opinion that Marines need to be treated like adults. My response would be that 4 years is a long time to grow up in the Marine Corps. Rather than lose what may have been a good Marine in the first few months, give him time to develop. If he still can’t hack it, send him on his way.

  18. Kevin says:

    Capt Durbin- Are you saying that the 10 days of leave is not chargeable to the Marine? It was charged when I was in.
    If it chargeable leave, this actually saves the Marine Corps money as an E-1 with less than 4 months of service is paid $112 a month less than an E1 <2 yrs.
    The US prison population is now over 2.4 million. Perhaps the Marine Corps should tap into that resource for its future detainees… I mean recruits. Your elitist attitude toward your subordinates might then actually be appropriate.

  19. Hondo says:

    Captain, my use of the term “operational” above wasn’t referring to any impact on current operations. Current operations are included in the tactical view of war, which is by definition short-term. Rather, my use was of terms in the sense of the levels of war: tactical, operational, and strategic. A rough, brief illustration of what I’m talking about: tactical view = current engagement and immediate follow-on operations; operational view = campaign or theater; strategic view = overall war effort.

    Training a force supports all 3 levels of war. But the overall focus must be operational and strategic vice tactical – else you sacrifice tomorrow’s effectiveness for a relatively paltry bit of savings today. You have to think long-term.

    I’m not surprised at your focus on the relatively near-term savings here. A company- and junior field-grade officer’s world is almost exclusively concerned with today and the near-term future (a few weeks) – hence your focus is tactical. It has to be. In contrast, senior field grade officers and GOs/FOs focus on the operational view of things – and some of them also focus on the strategic. You’ll encounter those levels (operational, strategic) in a few years when you take the USMC C&GS course, and you’ll study them in more detail in 10-15 years if you’re lucky enough to be selected for one of the service War Colleges and are still serving at that point in time.

    As you may have guessed, it is almost certainly the senior field grade and/or GO level that set the policy to which you’re objecting here. You might want to consider the possibility that they know what they’re doing. That “millions in savings” your touting can go away rather quickly on the battlefield – both in economic terms and in intangible human terms.

    Ten needless battlefield casualties due to the actions of one knucklehead costs $4M in SGLI alone – not to mention their training costs – plus any materiel losses incurred due to same. And it costs God only knows how much in terms of impact on mission, morale, esprit, and future capabilities. And that’s not even considering the far larger and most important impact: the impact of those needless deaths on their surviving families and comrades.

    One final note: last time I checked, excess travel costs associated with leave enroute between duty stations isn’t reimbursable under the JFTR – only the equivalent cost of direct travel between duty stations. Costs above that incurred while on leave are the member’s responsibility. And 30 days paid leave annually is an entitlement inherent in US military service. So your argument above about excess “leave costs” here is about as specious as they come. You’ll pay them exactly the same to travel from boot to their next school with or without leave. And if you defer the leave, that’s all you’ll do: defer it. It will still be taken. And that will almost certainly cost the US government more – because you’ll still have to pay the leave, but later will mean many if not post will get paid at a higher pay grade.

    I commend you for sticking to your guns and defending your opinions, youngster. But you still have one helluva lot to learn.

  20. NSOM says:

    Captain Durbin,

    You seem to have more to say on the issue than what was in the Gazette article. If you would like to put all your thoughts in one place and reply to my posting I’d encourage you to contact Jonn Lilyea. He runs this site and can be reached by following the “Contact Us” link bellow the header, at the top of the page. He already told me he’d be willing to get you some space here for a reply and to further explain your ideas.

  21. Ann says:

    @68 If you’re really looking to cut costs then tackle the ineptly implemented contracting system. We have numerous redundant systems, and pay obscene amounts for often subpar services. We still send Marines to cook, UAV, and TMO/DMO schools to name a few despite also spending large amounts on defense contractors and civilian employees (especially on deployment.)

    Again, why don’t we axe all leave then since we don’t send NCO’s home with anyone. You’re placing dollars above troop welfare. They’ve just spend at least three months completing the toughest basic training in the world, and apparently are up to standards since they graduated. Give them a few days off, they’ve earned it.

    Besides, it also serves the valuable purpose of letting Marines heal up from basic. Just about everyone has at least one chronic ailment that they haven’t been able to kick due to the physical rigors. Sprains, colds, respiratory infections, stress fractures, blisters, sore backs, etc. Instead of making them sit around healing at MCT (or exacerbating an issue into a possibly long term one) why not let them recuperate on their own leave? When I graduated I had a chronic upper respiratory infection and one of the nastiest case of blisters the Corpsman had ever seen.

    @Kevin They still charge Marines for boot leave.

  22. Capt Durbin says:

    @ HONDO, RE: your last point about me having a lot to learn, no doubt about it, I do have a lot to learn. You bring up great points as well! Again, I won’t say I am right, I’ll say that from my little slice of the pie, I see an issue, so I’m going to attack it. I might not be right (and I’m sure I’m not the first guy to bring it up), but hey, from where I sit, if I have a suggestion that I think will make the Marine Corps better, I’m going to put it out there. Thanks for the opportunity to share in the forum.

    @ NSOM, I think the important thing is people are talking about the issue. Honestly, I don’t really have much more to add. People might not be coming around to my point of view, but I’m ok with that! Thanks for the opportunity to share in the forum.

  23. Ann says:

    @Durbin If a Marine can’t handle boot leave then how can you reasonably expect them to hack it any other part of the Corps? Cost-wise it would be much more efficient to cut loose those 150 or so bad apples before you start pouring even more training into them. The number you’d save wouldn’t be very high since those personnel tend to have already set in character flaws. Almost all of them will get themselves kicked out at some point.

    With deployment op tempos the way they are nobody wants to have to babysit an immature brat while we go through the time and expense of separating (and possibly treating in the case of substance abuse or mental illness) them. I’d much rather lose them at the beginning before they take up a school slot, or get taken off a deployment roster at the last minute (and thus leaving us once again scrambling to find a replacement.)

  24. Capt Durbin says:

    Ok, last post, and then I leave it alone.

    If everyone feels passionate that Recruit Leave is a positive thing (and that I hate enlisted troops)…

    …where is the outcry for the Air Force, Army, Navy and Coast Guard to give their newest members 10 days of leave right after their recruit training?

  25. Yat Yas 1833 says:

    Sir, you’re talking apples and oranges. I have a grand nephew who will be joining the Air Force in July. I found a site that described AF boot camp. They talked about base liberty and the weekend before graduation a pass into town. Marine recruits are in recruit training a MONTH after everyone else is done. The site “About.com” admits no one else’s basic training comes close to Marine Corps recruit training, and you would deny them leave? I guess it’s easy to do when you got to drink beer after you secured in OCS.

  26. Ann says:

    @Yat Yas if he’s somehow attempting to compare Marine basic training to any other service equivalent then he is, as they say, beyond Lost In The Sauce. Last I checked they didn’t have to refer to themselves in the third person, aren’t limited to one arrival confirmation phone call, spend three months at training, or be ITed until they puked (among other things.) I’m not one to mythologize Marine boot camp, but it’s obvious that it’s the most difficult overall.

  27. BOOT52 says:

    ANN…..SEMPER FI LADY!!!!!
    I AM GOING TO REPEAT THIS:
    “AFTER THE HELL OF BOOT TRAINING LATE AUGUST TO MID NOV. 1952, 10 DAYS LEAVE WAS A DESERVED REPRIEVE. HAD TO REST UP FOR ITR PENDLETON AND THEN A 30 DAY FLOAT TO KOREA. F–K THE MONEY; SOME MARINES ON MY FLOAT PAID THE ULTIMATE PRICE!”

    THIS WAS ALL BEFORE “LT” WAS BORN. I WAS 18 IN A COMBAT ZONE. IN THE DESERT 1956 THE LT’IN CHARGE DIDNT LIKE THE WAY SOME OF US HANDLED NON-DUTY FREE TIME. HE DIDNT HAVE THE BALLS TO CONFRONT US AND SNITCHED US TO THE MAJOR WHO LAUGHED IT OFF. ARMY AND FLY BOYS STAY OUT OF “MARINE SHIT” UNLESS ITS CHOW TIME…..S/SGT VACURA

  28. Omega says:

    Not taking a side on this one. I am not entirely convinced that boot leave is the problem or taking it away is the solution. A few things to add. .961% of entry level students are lost to various reasons using the 150 number, not .013%. Not a significant number, but greater than the original comments indicated.

    Went through boot camp and OCS/TBS. Boot camp was difficult because it was longer and left you feeling more isolated from family. There was plenty of time for drill instructors to play games and make your life hell. OCS was more difficult because of the constand physical grind and events that were more likely to injure combined with a greater fear of being dropped for any reason.

    Sleep was not something that happened in OCS either where as I recall getting at least 4-5 hours most nights in boot camp. By the time weekend libo (which was more like one day, with a one hour duty rolled in there) from 1500 on Saturday to 1630 Sunday had arrived, you had time to take care of your feet, get a shower, sleep a few hours, prepare for the next week, stand your duty, and talk to your family. Sure some of the students grab a beer and steak out in town that evening, but it isn’t all fun and games during OCS.

    Overall, the average day there is more stressful and strenuous than the average day of boot camp. Attrition rates in OCS are also much higher than boot camp, there is a reason for this and it isn’t because it is very easy or people with college degrees are suddenly soft. TBS is a 6 month basic course that is long hours during the week with weekends off. Not unlike a 6 month ITB/SOI if that course lasted that long instead of 2 months. No leave after TBS, just directly to your MOS school without delay.

    I get rather irritated with people who assume that OCS or TBS is easy that haven’t experienced it, the same way that you all seem to get irritated by people who think boot camp is easy, but haven’t experienced it. Both suck for a reason, I wouldn’t want to do either again.

    Beyond that, I tend to agree, people will weed themselves out earlier in the process and save everyone the time and effort of doing so later. Be grateful that experienced drill instructors get a look at candidates before they get commissioned, it could be much worse. People slip through, but you should see the people who are very qualified on paper that they do weed out before OCS graduation.

  29. Ray Strischek says:

    OK, I am coming in on this subject rather late in the game but as I see it, the Lt. wants to end post boot camp leave for all newly minted Marines because .013% of them have their boot camp programing completely undone by two weeks leave back in the hood, is that it?

    I went to USMC boot camp (8 weeks only) (San Diego) in 1966, afterwards, straight to ITR (3 weeks) (Camp Pendleton), then I got 20 days leave home (Ohio), went back to 21 weeks of radio telegraph operator school (San Diego), got 10 days leave home, before going to my first duty station (Camp Lejeune)for 20 whole days before getting more leave home before being sent back to Camp Pendleton before being shipped off to Vietnam. The USMC certainly gave me every opportunity to become one of the .013%.

    Lieutenants. Well,,,not all of them are completely crazy, I suppose. While in Vietnam, my unit got a new lieutenant every month or so. The purpose was to train them in every sub unit. Four weeks with Telephones, then Teletype, then Radio, punch your ticket for communications sir? Most of them were easy to get along with, some were not.

    True story: While at Khe Sanh as part of a mixed bag of MAW communications people on temporary duty there, and while in the process of adding layer eight of sand bangs to our bunker roof, in comes a chopper. A Lt. and a Corporal get off, the Lt. in the lead, the Corporal tagging along behind carrying a metal box. They came straight to our bunker, went inside. We were called in. It was pay day! At Khe Sanh! The Lt. sat next to the Corporal behind a card board table. The Corporal did all the work, called our names, told us how much we were owed, asked how much we wanted, in US Dollars or MPC. The Lt. never said a word. When done, they got up and left. Punch your ticket for the war zone Sir?

    I was in Vietnam for one 13 month tour and 3 extensions with leaves home in between. Lots more opportunities to become one of the .013%.

    Don’t know why .013% can’t hack it. Seems to me, no matter what the job, some won’t be able to handle it, were never cut out for it. Can’t see why the other 99 percent or so should suffer for it or be presumed to be potential .013% non hackers in need of super long isolation from the hood.

    Punch your ticket for reality check Sir?

    Ray

  30. Just an Old Dog says:

    Pretty much one of the dumber ideas I’ve ever heard. When I was at the Depot there was one huge difference in the way the Drill Instructors and Officers felt, and I’m pretty sure it’s the same way in MCT/SOI. I would even venture to say its the same in all the MOS schools. The officers are far more worried about attrition than the enlisted are. The NCOs just want to send the best they can down the line. In my time at MCRD if a Company had a drop rate higher than 10% The Company Commander’s gonads were on the chopping block. Of course crap rolled downhill and the SDIs were forced to coddle and graduate individuals who were barely up to snuff physically and had the morals of an alley cat. This extra 5-10% are going to be problem children anyway, whether they take boot camp leave. The Lt who wrote the article does have a valid concern as far as ensuring we keep our ranks filled. His solution of keeping young Marines under constant supervision for Bootcamp, MCT/SOI and/or MOS School thinking that it will cure them from being stupid is flawed. A better method would be raising recruiting standards and screening and constant revision and improvement of training methods.

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