Monday, March 14, 2005

I'm not sure what to think about this one . . . well, now I am

I have mixed feelings about this one. Browsing Curmudgeonly and Skeptical last night, I found a link to a site where unwashed scum Howard Dean liberals can post their "apologies" to the world for the re-election of Bush. That site includes this photo:

One the one hand, the Marine is wearing a Combat Action Ribbon, which is the equivalent of the army's Combat Infantryman's Badge. It's awarded for direct participation in ground (or surface) combat, and I'm always willing to cut someone who's in that club a lot of slack.

On the other hand, what he's doing is clearly wrong. Not by voicing his opposition to Bush, but by wearing his uniform while making a political statement designed to embarass the Commander in Chief.

Marine Corps regulations are pretty explicit in that regard, (I've excerpted the pertinent section at the bottom of this post.) My reaction is that some Sergeant Major should be watching this guy clean latrines with a toothbrush, but maybe that's unfair. Should this be overlooked because of his combat experience? I'd be interested in hearing what other servicemen / veterans think about it.

(Of course, he may have only appeared in the picture so that he could sleep with the sociology major standing next to him - I'd have to respect that at least a little bit . . . )

OK, now I'm sure what to think about this - According to Major Mike, what I took to be the Combat Action Ribbon is actually the Sea Service Deployment ribbon, so, at least at the time this picture was taken, the Corporal in question hadn't been anywhere near Iraq (my bad for not picking up on the lack of an expeditionary medal, which is awarded to anyone who serves in a combat zone. ) Now I'm just sorry that the military has eliminated flogging. . .

Excerpt from Marine Corps Regulation MCO P1020.34F, covering the wear of the Marine uniform:(Section 110002.1)

a. Members of the Armed Forces (including retired members and members of reserve components). The wearing of the uniform is prohibited under any of the following circumstances:


(2) During or in connection with the furtherance of political activities, private employment or
commercial interests, when an inference of official sponsorship for the activity or interest could be drawn.


(4) When wearing of the uniform would tend to bring discredit upon the Armed Forces.


the Secretary of the Navy has prescribed that:

a. The exercise of the rights of freedom of speech and assembly does not include the right to borrow the inherent dignity, prestige, and traditions represented by uniforms of the naval service to lend weight and significance to privately held convictions on public issues.

b. Members of the Navy and Marine Corps (including retired members and members of Reserve components) are prohibited from wearing uniforms of the naval service while attending or participating in, or continuing to attend or participate in, a demonstration, assembly, or activity with knowledge that a purpose of such demonstration, assembly, or activity is the furtherance of personal or partisan views on political, social, economic, or religious issues...


Blogger Major Mike said...

I completely agree with your asssessment of what should happen to this Cpl...not sure anything will come of it...the SgtMaj route would be a good one to watch from the corner.

As I see it, however he is wearing a Good Conduct Medal, a National Defense Medal, and a Sea Service Deployment ribbon. My read is he has pumped once to Westpac, and has not been anywhere near the action over the last 3.5 years, otherwise he would have the expeditonary, theater medals to go along with his CGM and ND medals. My take anyway. MM

10:14 PM  
Blogger ChargeOfQuarters said...

As a veteran in general, stuff like that irks me. I hope he gets his due.

Someone should email that to the USMC command, and have it go through the pipe and down the Chain until his gunny or LT finds it.

Just my opinion, YMMV

11:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Major Mike is correct. GC, NDSM and SSDR. No CAR. No sign of all the stuff they are handing out for Serbia/Kosovo or the events that have happened since 9/11.
E-4 in one tour indicates the lad did well -USMC doesn't hand out Corporal's stripes for putting time in. On the other hand his hair is a little long on the sides for someone on active duty.
This fellow has probably been discharged from active duty or is in the reserves, best guess.
None of his military superiors, assuming such exist, would allow the uniform to be associated with politics -unless they were as uninformed and undisciplined as this young man.
BTW, unless things have changed, the Corps doesn't issue dress blues unless you have a ceremonial assignment -or were honor man in your boot camp platoon. Plenty of troops bought them, though.
Served in USA and USMC many years ago...V/R JW

12:51 PM  
Blogger Kevin said...

It could be that the pic was taken before the GWOT expeditionary was authorized for wear. I know the USN didn't authorize ours until late 2004, even though we were there in 2003. The "I'm Sorry" site is fairly old in internet time, peaking in mid-late november.

7:25 AM  

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