Friday, August 28, 2009

Today's Youth and Leadership

Some of today's military leaders have been promoted on the merits of things other than their own potential. Ask any military man if this is true, and you will get a universal answer: Stupid and incapable people get promoted too. Call it a "good ol' boy network," or whatever you want; it happens.

The sad part of this situation is that the entire Marine Corps suffers as a result of a stupid, or incapable, Marine getting selected for an advanced leadership position. Leaders influence subordinates, in both positive and negative ways.

Today, I had a Gunnery Sergeant brief me on an incident that occurred, and it caused much head shaking, and a true sense of disgust. My Gunny (we'll call him Gunny Smith) was driving on base, and saw a young Marine that was in direct violation of our uniform regulations. My Gunny parked his car, and walked over to where the young Marine was, then proceeded to say, "Hey! Come here Marine!"

Nothing wrong here, yet.

The young Marine then rolled his eyes, slacked his shoulders, sighed heavily, sucked spit through his teeth, and spewed a belligerent attitude through every pore of his skin. My Gunny got a little upset at his insubordinate action. Gunny Smith proceeded to chew the young Marine's a$$, and threw a couple of colorful expletives in for good measure. This is par for the course when you draw the attention of a Gunny in a negative way.

Enter Gunny Boone. Gunny Boone happened to see Gunny Smith (my subordinate) chewing the young Marine's a$$, and went over to investigate. Gunny Smith was done correcting the young Marine by the time Gunny Boone arrived, but Gunny Boone was adamant about finding out why some "strange SNCO" would be yelling at one of his Marines. He proceeded to take the side of the young Marine. He later called Gunny Smith at work, and tried to argue his point. He insisted that the young Marine had done nothing wrong.

Let's back things up a bit...Can you imagine a United States Marine, in uniform, riding in a tactical vehicle, with pink earphones plugged into his head? Me neither. Not only is it a direct violation of a Marine Corps Order, but it's also a safety issue. "Gunny Boone" saw nothing wrong with this, and insisted that the young Marine did nothing wrong. Pink earphones? WTF?

I let the telephone conversation, that I could only hear one side of, go on to completion. Gunny Smith briefed me, which he should have, because he thought there was a chance that Gunny Boone would pull a chicken $shit move and go crying to his command. Gunny Boone even emailed Gunny Smith, and tried to argue against the Marine Corps Order on uniform regulations. This idiot even quoted the part of the order that the young Marine was in violation of! This guy shouldn't be allowed to breed, let alone get promoted! This situation should have ended with the a$$ chewing that Gunny Smith provided for the young Marine.

I decided to intervene. Not only was my Gunny doing the right thing by correcting the young Marine, but Gunny Boone needed to be corrected too. I hated to do it, but I contacted Gunny Boone. The issue ended, I think, with that correspondence, but the guy is still a Gunny. He still has influence on young Marines. He's helping to raise a generation of "sea lawyers." This is disturbing.

When you reach a certain rank in the Corps; you really need to stop offering PFC answers for the shortcomings of others (and yourself). This guy makes me want to vomit, and I hope that he leaves the Corps very soon. I also hope that he doesn't influence many young Marines.

That's my rant for the day.

Semper Fidelis.


T80 said...

This sure isn't the worst incident I've heard of but if someone is wearing headphones while operating a tactical vehicle (or any vehicle for that matter) then there is an obvious safety issue there. Either way, if one gunny disagreed with the other then he should've discussed away from the junior Marine.

Just John said...

@T80: Yep; I agree 100%.