I served 5 years active duty USMC & got my Honorable Discharge on December 31st 2008. I did 5 years because I re-enlisted and then developed foot problems and it got worse & worse. When I was in Belgium (my last post for MSG duty), I failed the run. I was never a great runner, but I was always a 1st class PFT’er.
Anyways, I am dedicating this to my BOOT POOLEE, because I want to give advice to future MARINES and other servicemen and women who are preparing for this new chapter in their lives.
He requested that I talk about Bootcamp- Before, During, & After, and how to prepare. I’ve been very stern with him. Y’all know I’m a Cougar, and this kid is 22 (I’m going to turn 31 on the winter solstice lol). The PROBLEMS that I’ve seen in individuals is that some people just don’t listen (like My Boot lol). Anyway, Some people don’t have common sense either (My Boot again). It’s not something that can be taught.
In the short amount of time I’ve spent with him, I’ve learned all his weaknesses, and even though he’s a big strong guy, I would say that I can probably OUTSMART him; unless he leads me on to Believe that I’m smarter than him. He’s a Libra, which means he Hates confrontation and only wants to keep people happy.
His eye sight is poor, he doesn’t listen, he’s very clumsy/a klutz, and he also isn’t very intelligent &/or lacks common sense. But somehow I’ve fallen for him <3
The 1st thing I want you future Marines to remember is that no matter WHERE YOU STAND, you should always see your brain and your body as a SPONGE. NEVER STOP learning, and Never think that you’re better than anyone else. You can learn from everyone around you. Never stop growing and investing in yourself, because the ONLY person who truly gives a shit about you, and will help you accomplish your goals and dreams is well, YOU.
So STAY THIRSTY. The battle is 99% mental and the rest is physical. You will be far away from home, family and friends. You will be completely alone and you will form bonds with your fellow Marines. You should always think with the mindset of having the Desire to be the strongest Marine in your pack, so that way, when shit goes down, you are the one who will pick up others’ slack. KNOW YOUR WEAKNESSES and work every day to improve upon them by doing the things that you dislike doing, like public speaking for example.
The things I’m saying will be a repeat for my Boot, but I know this wisdom will help many future Marines, and I love sharing knowledge and helping others in whatever capacity that I can.
We all have our own reasons for joining. Some kids (from Puerto Rico especially) see the military as their quick ticket out of their upbringing. I sure did. The Marines took me far away from my hometown in Chinatown, Manhattan New York City. I couldn’t wait to get the fuck out of Chinatown and see the world. I wanted to learn new things and just make something of myself.
Anyway, on to the information that will be of use to you guys:
When you get into Bootcamp, your Drill Instructors will basically be on your ass 24/7. They will lose their voices from screaming at you and You might lose your voice from yelling at the top of your lungs as well.
The whole point of it all is to create an atmosphere of CHAOS because WAR is a time of CHAOS, and they want to be able to prepare you as best as they can to be able to PERFORM UNDER PRESSURE. You need to be able to focus and concentrate when shit gets tough and you have to get things done in a timely fashion and there is NO ROOM FOR ERROR— because MISTAKES COST LIVES.
Something I tell the Boot all the time is that this is the REAL DEAL. This isn’t the arcade where you can just pop in another quarter and get another life. This isn’t a Movie. This is your fucking LIFE Goddamnit. And you will only get ONE SHOT at making it out ALIVE.
Enlisting in the military is kinda like getting PREGNANT. Once you’re IN, there’s only ONE WAY OUT. Either honorably, or not honorably. Just like with getting pregnant. Either you’re having the baby or you’re getting an abortion/miscarriage.
Your Drill Instructors will come into your face and make you cry and play fuck fuck games with you all day. In the grand scheme of things, always keep in the back of your mind that there really IS a reason for everything. You will be fucked with all day long until ONE DAY you eventually snap out of it. They will break you and build you back up. One day, HOPEFULLY, you will just wake up and somehow, your body will have learned the MUSCLE MEMORY of what you are required to do. Once you start to catch on and “get it” your life will be much easier. So the faster you learn, the better for you.
Always be aware of your surroundings and what is going on around you.
In order to be a good LEADER, you must first be a good FOLLOWER. And to be a good follower, you must be able to follow simple instructions.
You will know the difference between a good leader and a bad leader after you’ve had a taste of Both.
Shitbags are prevalent all throughout society and the Marine Corps. Just because you are in an elite unit does not mean that you will not get your fair share of shitbags. Trust me, they always fall through the cracks.
And by shitbags, I mean Marines who don’t do what they’re supposed to do, blah blah blah, skaters, etc.
If you take the information I give you and actually APPLY IT, then you will be on the fast track to success.
In the Marines there are binders that tell you EXACTLY how to do your job. Read all your orders and become very familiar with them. Read as much as possible. Never stop reading. Never get too comfortable. There is always an inspection to prepare for. READINESS is your JOB.
You must always be ready. You should always stay fresh and on your toes.
I would not consider myself “The Best” of anything, but I CAN say that I was a Lance Corporal doing a NCO’s job when I was in Okinawa. I did MIMMS. Yea, it’s a boring desk job, but somehow, I got the pleasure of being stuck with it even though we had gone through three change-overs in my shop. I did the SAME FUCKING JOB under 3 different Gunnies. I knew my shit, and I reported directly to Gunny as a Lance. He even took me to the meetings with the company CO.
I was definitely on my OFP (own fucking program) because I was in charge of my area and when I finished my job, I had free time to wander around my shop and see what my fellow Marines were doing.
MSG duty was not as fun for me as I had hoped it would be. I learned a lot about myself in the process. You will see that You Too, will learn a lot about yourself in this whole process, because your body (and your Mind) will be put to the test.
Day In and Day Out, you will be training, and your life will be consumed by mission-readiness, and you will learn that the Marine Corps’ Priority is #1) MISSION FIRST and 2nd is TROOP WELFARE. So basically, that means that Your wants— and everything else— will basically take a backseat to the MISSION.
If you drill that simple concept into your head, you will be mentally prepared, because you will ACCEPT THAT FACT AS A FACT OF YOUR NEW LIFE; YOUR LIFE AS A MARINE. MISSION FIRST, TROOP WELFARE SECOND, which basically means that the “MISSION” will always be more important than anything else. So that is where the term “Green Weenie” comes from, because whatever you want to do outside of your job and in your personal life, like taking leave or liberty, trying to get something…. whatever it may be, just remember that the MARINES and the MISSION will always take priority over your own personal business.
I’ll give you an example. I was stationed in MSG Detachment Caracas, Venezuela and my ex was in Nigeria. We both got our Leave dates approved, but after HIS leave got approved, his command told him that he had to change his dates because an inspection popped up, and he had to be there. So what happened? The money I spent on our cruise tickets went down the drain because I had to change our trip dates. FUCK ME right?
You will find this sort of thing very common that you’ll hear from other Marines. Their shit will get DENIED because it’s in conflict with THE MISSION.
Anyways, just put it in your head and you will be mentally prepared for that and it will make your life easier because you won’t be “fighting the system” or fighting to go upstream. It’s just how things ARE In The Marines.
Don’t get upset, don’t try to argue, just accept that as a fact of your life in the Marines and you will be well on your way to being an outstanding Marine putting the MARINE CORPS above all else in your life.
If you’re a young thirsty Marine, find yourself a Mentor. Find someone who is a leader and knows their shit. That way, you will have someone to learn from and you will both help each other. You learn also by teaching, so even though that Marine might have seniority over you, you’re still “helping” him or her by helping THEM to reinforce what they Already know.
Learn every task, every job. You will know that your leadership is fond of your initiative by REWARDING YOU WITH MORE RESPONSIBILITY. When you’re squared away, you will be selected for good things. When you’re a shitbag you will be FAP’d out to do bullshit duty.
You will have very little free time.
VERY LITTLE. So choose wisely What you want to do in your free time. What will YOU end up doing in Your free time?
Play video games? Jack off to porn? Go fuck some buy-me-drinkie girl out in town? Get a local girlfriend? Smoke and drink all your money away? Spend all your time and money on tattoos?
Or will you: Do all your MCIs. PT. Learn sword manual. Prepare for boards, and READ. Will you be taking classes? Two classes per semester is considered full time study (at least back when I was in anyway). Take Advantage of all the tools and resources you have around you to build your resume.
GET CHECKED OUT and make sure you document everything that happens to you if you get injured or have pain. That is what medical is there for. Fucking USE IT because it’s not going to be there when you get out.
And Speaking of getting out, don’t just be a drifter. Know what the fuck you want. If you just go through the motions with no clear direction in the Marine Corps, you will find yourself reaching the end of your enlistment and having no clue what to do, and next thing you know, you are ill-prepared for civilian life or you re-enlist but your head and your HEART isn’t in it. At this point, you’re just Comfortable and using Uncle Sam to pay the bills.
Get TSP, the Thrift Savings Plan and max out your ROTH IRAs at $5500 a month by paying yourself first. Simply set up automatic investing with your bank (I recommend USAA) and let the beauty of compound interest work For You.
Invest your money. It’s not about how much you make. It’s how much you Save. Use the DISCIPLINE that you’ve acquired in the strict military lifestyle that you’ve adopted to positively effect other areas of your life, Like your finances.