There haven’t been too many times I’ve been professionally ashamed of myself. One of those occasions was while assigned to 2d Maintenance Battalion, 2d Force Service Support Group in Camp Lejeune, North Carolina.
After six years as an infantryman, I had been tricked into reenlisting as a Nuclear, Biological, Defense Specialist (it sounded cool on paper) and was eventually assigned to 2nd Maintenance Battalion, 2d FSSG as their NBC Chief. By way of explanation, the FSSG (now MLG) is a giant logistical support apparatus that supports combat operations for II Marine Expeditionary Force (MEF). There are numerous ways I could relate about how this part of my career just sucked but I’m trying to stay on topic here.
One day, the good idea fairies in Headquarters Company decided they wanted to do company PT. This in and of itself is ok, and a normal practice among Marine units. In this instance, it was declared we would conduct PT at the barracks led by some civilian aerobics instructors from the base gym. In my mind this was a recipe for degradation and disaster.
On the day prescribed we were formed up in front of the barracks with the aerobics instructors jumping around to the beat in their laughable aerobics attire and headset microphones. I was somewhere in the back of the formation openly mocking the indignity of it all as their vile music infected the air.
|Four more, three more, two more, aaaaaaaand I hate you.|
So there we were, flitting about like a bunch of fairies with glitter permeating the air like snowflakes. Then the worst possible thing happened. A company of infantry Marines appeared down the street on a hike wearing full gear and weapons. They humped right past our barracks castigating the pogues for prancing around in t-shirts and shorts while they ruggedly trudged along in full combat gear. You know, like Marines.
|These Marines aren’t exhausted, they’re just a little out of breath from laughing at me.|
I just stared at the ground ashamed to be associated with the whole thing. Oh, the horror! The humiliation! Not long after I fled the FSSG for Division units and haven’t look back. Ugh!