Skip to comments.Marines, Not Soldiers
Posted on 04/11/2002 5:40:38 AM PDT by gunnyg
Marines, Not Soldiers
Published: Jan 28, 2002
I have a complaint about some of the news readers for the local television stations, and I am sure there are countless other Marines with the same one.
It is galling to hear the news readers referring to Marines as ``soldiers.''
Marines are not soldiers; they are Marines and always will be. There is no such thing as an ex-Marine or a former Marine. We are all ``Marines,'' period.
Soldiers are members of the Army and sailors are members of the Navy. You wouldn't call a soldier a sailor, so why would you call a Marine a soldier?
Marines are chosen because of their ability to be more than just an average service man or woman. They deserve to be called what they are, and not soldiers. Semper Fi, Mac.<
R.W. "Dick" Gaines
GySgt USMC (Ret.)
Notice the Rummy, a Marine himself, is putting Marines in charge of commmands around the world?
Actually, Bush is. But bet he is getting the thumbs up from Rummy.
Gunny G's "SOLDIERS OF THE SEA"
DON'T YOU DARE CALL ME A SOLDIER!!!
Marines' sites and bulletin boards on the Internet are nothing short of amazing regarding what many do not know about Marine Corps history and traditions.
There are numerous cases where Marines--some of them even senior enlisted Marines and officers--post and respond to downright erroneous information demonstrating a definite lack of knowledge on various topics of Marine Corps interest. I have addressed several of these individual topics elsewhere on Gunny G's.
Perhaps, some independent study would be in order--better start at the top.
One random example, among many I have noticed, are several items lately where Marines are lambasting someone or other on the subject of one's having dared to refer to a Marine, or Marines, using the term "soldier."
With righteous indignation they scream that they are Marines, not soldiers, and they decry those who call them such! And rightfully so, in some cases, where the media or an individual, whatever, is using that term within an inappropriate context.
Of course, they (both the writer and the Marine) are acting out of their own lack of knowlege.
The user of the term "soldier" is not aware that he should generally refer to all Marines as "Marines"; and the Marine is very likely ignorant of the fact that the word "soldier" is also correct, in some cases.
Members of our sister-service, for example, the U.S. Army, are soldiers, that is their name, but Marines are not soldiers in that sense at all. I am referring to Marines as soldiers in a much broader, higher sense, as a class of soldier that goes to the root of what a Marine is and does.
Reminds me of an oft-times repeated story of a U.S. Army major visiting the wounded in a WWI French hospital in 1918. As the story goes, the major asked a young soldier if he was indeed an American. "No sir," he replied, "I'm a Marine."
(Ref US Marine Corps In World war I 1917-1918, Osprey, by Henry/Pavlovic, 1999)
Such it is that Marines have always exemplified the inherent pride in their identity as a member of the MarineCorps.
But, many Marines seem to be unaware of the fact that the Marine Corps itself, as well as individual Marines, has long referred with pride to themselves as soldiers. To be sure, we are, each of us, a United States Marine, that is our TITLE, earned and claimed by us all as the capstone of that which we are. But somewhere within that coveted title lies the soldier referred to in the following examples.
One dictionary defines the word Marine as, an infantry soldier associated with a navy. No doubt there are many references to the Royal Marines as soldiers back through history. But we need not go back that far. Our own U.S. Marine Corps has a long listing of examples supporting the notion of Marines as soldiers.
A U.S. Marine Corps Recruiting Service poster, dated May 1866, announces that it is seeking MEN for its ranks; it then goes on to refer to such recruits as SOLDIERS no less than six times, and not once using the word Marine or Marines!
(Ref the book, The Marines, by Simmons/Moskin, Marine Corps Heritage Foundation, 1998)
And there is the USMC Recruiting Poster of more recent vintage, shown at the top of this page.
And, in the book, Marine Corps Book of Lists, by Nofi, Combined Publishing, 1997, the following.
"The Marines are both soldiers and sailors, a part of the sea services." (Page 154)
"Some Marine Wisdom on Soldiering" 'To be a sergeant, you have to show your stuff. I'd rather be an outstanding sergeant than just another officer," -GySgt Dan Daly (Page 159)
"Soldiers trained in the ways of the sea," -CMC, BGen Benjamin H. Fuller, c. 1934 (Page 181)
"A Dozen Nicknames For Marines" 2. "The Soldiers of the Sea, a traditional term for Marines dating back at least to the seventeenth century." (Page 180)
"The finest soldier any captain could wish to have," said of Dan Daly by BGen W.P. Upshur (Page 182)
The book, "Soldiers of the Sea: The U.S. Marine Corps," by Col Robert D. Heinl USMC (Ret.), Annapolis, 1962
The play, (and later, two films) "What Price Glory," by Andersen/Shillings, 1926, has numerous references to Marines as soldiers.
"He turned down the gold bars of a second lieutenant. 'I'm a plain soldier,' he said, 'and I want to stay one.'"
-GySgt John Basilone
(Ref John Basilone --Italian-American Hero
Chapter XX, page 69,The United States Marine Corps in the World War, by Major Edwin N. McClellan, USMC,1920, Historical Branch, HQMC, Wash, DC
"In recent years the Marine Corps has devoted a great deal of time and energy to rifle practice, believing that one of the first requirements of a soldier is to know how to shoot...."
And many more references can be found, but suffice to say, for the purpose of my little spiel here, that these few examples should establish that the use of "soldier" was long commonly in use in the Corps.
The U. S. Marine Corps has a long and glorious history. There is no need to be "touchy" as to being referred to as a soldier, even when the person speaking is not totally aware of all involved in the fact he is alluding to.
Rather, be yourself informed of what is so and what isn't, through your own research and studies. Nor is it of any benefit to deride those of other services, as is a common practice-- doing so merely reveals your own ignorance, and it belittles our Corps.
As one old poster states, "Be a Marine!"
Dick Gaines CLICK-HERE!
Think you may need more than 'spellcheck'. . .
Marine Corps troops are known as "MARINES"!!
. . .a 'clarity bump' for the 'soldier within'. . .
Scouts Out! Cavalry Ho!
Well, for starters most News readers share an IQ. Almost without exception none have ever served a day in the military. Dan Blather claims to be a Marine but failed to make it thru basic at PI (medical discharge, I believe). Charlie Gibson, GMA host at ABC, and sometime News reader served in the Coast Guard reserve. They are the only exceptions that come to mind. The rest of the liberal News reader crowd, who all voted for Clinton, except Peter Jennings who couldn't because he's a Canadian, feel the same way about the military as Clinton ... they abhor it.
Scouts Out! Cavalry Ho!
Good answer wku man.
From another old cavalry scout,
1. Marines carry brief cases.
2. Soldiers carry attaché cases.
3. The Navy carries the load.
I could add, "and bugs out like at Guadalcanal"...but I won't....
The USMC: Over 225 years of romping, stomping, hell, death and destruction. The finest fighting machine the world has ever seen. I was born in a bomb crater, my mother was an M-16. My father was God Almighty. Each moment that I live is an additional threat upon your life. I am a roughish looking, roving soldier of the sea. I am cocky, self-centered, overbearing, and I do not know the meaning of fear, for I am fear itself. I am a green amphibious monster made of blood and guts who arose from the sea festering on anti-Americanism throughout the globe, wherever it may arise. When my time comes I?ll die a glorious death on the battlefield giving my life to Mom, apple pie, and the American Flag. We stole the eagle from the Air Force, the anchor from the Navy, the rope from the Army, and on the seventh day while God rested, we overran his perimeter, stole the globe, and have been running the show ever since. We live like soldiers, talk like sailors and slap the hell out of both of them. Soldier by day, Lover by night, drunkard by choice, Marine by the grace of God!
Judging from many I've seen, this is true. They must be fed well during those long voyages from home. ;-)
The only reason this happens so frequently is because ONE does NOT have to give a few years of his life to serve his country as it was in my youth. You won't find ANY in my age group making that mistake.
A young kid is running around the mall, screwing around and sees a young sailor, home on leave from basic training, walking about the mall in his cracker-jack outfit. The kid runs up to the squid, er, uh, I mean sailor and says, "Hey, ain't you one of those sailors that protect our way of life, sail the seven seas and keeps America free?"
The sailor beams with pride and says, "Why yes, son, I am. Here, you can wear my hat." The sailor then hands his hat over to the kid.
The kid happily puts the hat on and runs about the mall, frolicking to and fro. Eventually, the kid needs to relief himself so he goes to the head (latrine for you illiterate folks out there) and sees a Marine Lance Corporal (God loves LCpl's) in his service Alpha's, laying on the deck next to the toilet, obviously drunk and in a serious state of dishevel.
Sternly, the kid asks the Marine, "Hey, ain't you one of those Marines who runs around town causing hate and discontent, starting bar fights and stealing people's daughters?"
The Marine slowly opens one eye and tells the kid "Suck my $%&^, kid!"
Confused, the kid replies, "But I'm only wearing a sailors hat!"
Being a graduate of PI or San Diego puts us all in a proverbial semantic jack-in-the-box of what our name is today. It's part of the deal we raised our hands for. No recognition beyond our peers, no thanks beyond our family. But we above all else we know who and what we are.
I do not feel maligned at being mis-titled by the same screwballs who trivalised Presidential sexcapades of the 90's or encouraged draft dodging in the 60's and idolised treason of a certain Hanoi Jane.
Person to person, I am a Marine and will accept no other title. I have been thanked, cursed, looked down at, and looked up to. But I know, as you do who we are. Recognition is/was not part of the MOS discription, but then again being humble isn't there either.. The simple reality is, I am a Marine. The presstitutes are not capable of understanding the implication of that title. Stay Proud, Marine.
Cpl, 2nd Anglico, Force Troops, USMC (72-75)
I have to disagree. Names like Glenn, Oswald, Lonetree, Carville, Garwood, Dennehy and quite a few others come to mind.
I could add, "and bugs out like at Guadalcanal"...but I won't....
The 'Load' was carried in their trousers that day.
Nonhacker Rather was discharged as medically unfit on 11 May 1954 and did not graduate from recruit training. A fact which begs the question how was he medically fit to serve in the Army Reserves while a student during the Korean War? You weren't hiding from the draft were you, Dan boy? I've never seen anything definitive on where he was sent for recruit training, but since he was from Texas it's more than likely he was in San Diego. There have been a few from west of the Mississippi who went to Phantasy Island, but not many. That puke is a liar about many things and claiming to be a former Marine will earn him a major a** kicking if he ever makes the mistake of being in my presence.
Actually, Rumsfeld was a Naval Aviator (1954-57)
Man, if I had an ex-wife, that would describe her PERFECTLY.
By the way, SOLDIERS are the reason MARINES still have a job. You can rag on the NAVY because you're part of it - altho I think a few NAVSPECWAR studs around here might take exception, and swimming to work would suck - but if you want to take offense at being called a SOLDIER, you should consider exactly what that means, REGARDLESS of the valiant and glorious history of the Marine Corps.
Soldiers have kept this country free - MARINES provided valuable assistance.
I Am The Infantry - Follow Me.
Did y'all ever consider going after the Air Force for copyright infringement or plagiarism?
"You can have your army khakis
And your navy blues
But here's a different fighting man I'll introduce to you.
His uniform is unlike any you've ever seen;
The Germans call him Devil Dog!
His title is Marine!
He was trained at Parris Island, the land that God forgot.
The sand was 14 inches deep.
The sun was blazing hot.
In through the door he'll walk, his eyes as cold as steel
He'll say, "I am am your DI, and I am for real.
I'll make your life as miserable, as miserable as I can;
So when you leave this island,
you'll be a fighting man!
You'll be a rifle expert, you'll know your weapon well.
So when you encounter the enemy, you'll send his soul to hell!
And when I go to Heaven
Saint Peter, I will tell,
Another Marine reporting Sir! I've served my time in Hell!
What you do get, is exactly what I get, but many people don't . That is the real purpose of the military, regardless of branch - to defend America and kill the enemy as quickly as possible and then go home and get back to your life. No branch of the military was ever intended to be a high-school to retirement lifestyle choice, as too many people turn it into. The military exists to defend our way of life - not to be one.
THE MEN's DEPARTMENT !!!!!!
Ten years later, May 11 1964, my young butt was being put thru the ringer in a most deliberate & serious manner at Parris Island. My timing, as usual, impeccable ... August 1964, Gulf of Tonkin incident, March 1965 first contingent of Marines wade ashore at Da Nang.
Semper Fi ...
I think I first heard the Marine Song at ITS, Camp San Onofre in 1974.
Semper Fi. :)
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