Well, it looks like the USMC is beginning to bend to the same PC whims as the rest of DoD. And it’s doing so by following the Navy’s lead regarding breathalyzers and mass screenings.
The USMC has announced something called the “Alcohol Screening Program”. Under that program, all Marines will be screened at random twice yearly while on duty – war zones included.
Show any measurable amount of alcohol, and you’re in “deep doo-doo”. Sure, the program guidance is that any Marine showing between 0.01% and 0.03% BAC will receive “counseling”. (You and I all know that in reality it means they’ll be put on “that list”. And with end strength going down . . . . ) Blow 0.04% or above, and you get a trip to the medics for “evaluation”.
Program guidance authorizes commanders to discipline Marines “should the situation warrant”. How many want to bet we see a de facto “no tolerance” policy – complete with NJPs for violators – before too long?
The program requires the appointment of coordinator at unit level, of course – as well as annual reporting requirements. Gee, that’s just what every unit needs: another extra duty position for unit leadership, another statistic to be tracked, and another mandatory annual report.
Look, I’m NOT condoning people showing up for duty impaired. But this program is a freaking waste. Virtually everything the program mandates already exists except for the coordinator and reporting requirements. Almost every installation I’ve ever seen either has a breathalyzer or can get access to one through coordination with local LE. A commander can already order someone he suspects to have alcohol in their system to go get tested. And an NCO can already counsel some Joe Schmoe who shows up for duty smelling like a brewery about showing up to duty in that condition.
As a taxpayer, I object to the waste. And as a former member of the military, I object to the micromanagement. Both are counterproductive as hell.