- September 8, 2009
Awards write ups take their toll…
1. When the OICs are asked who they intend to submit for an award they immediately turn in a copy of their personnel roster. “Oh really? So because he managed to show up on time for work he rates a medal, sir? That must have been really difficult considering out in the desert Marines have nowhere else to go.”
2. Suddenly the awards process is a popularity contest. “Sir, just because you like the Marine doesn’t mean he deserves a medal.”
“But he does a good job.”
“Yes, as do all Marines.”
3. We discover that a college education does not necessarily guarantee a mastery of the English language. As a matter of fact, I have discovered officers are the worst writers I have ever come across. Here are some examples:
“… has displayed exceptional leadership thought this deployment.” I didn’t realize the deployment was thinking about anything.
“For heroic achievement…” Really? How much heroic achievement could have occurred in a deployment where there was no combat action?
I have Lieutenants who write whole sentences a paragraph long, misspelling their Marine’s name every time it appears in the citation.
It makes me wonder what in the world they are teaching in our universities these days. I know they teach colloquialisms: “…go to guy…thinking outside the box…fire and forget weapon…unparalleled (fill in the blank)…”
My favorites are awards that read like a job description: “Sir, so he came to work every day and stacked boxes?” WOW!
4. No one knows what their Marines actually accomplished. “Sir, how many patrols did he go on? How many vehicles did he conduct maintenance on? How many thousands of dollars of equipment did he embark? What effect did this have on the Battalion’s mission?”
5. Eventually, I must restrain my Company Commander from committing acts of violence against his fellow officers. Some of the submissions are so inane that I have to take his ammunition away. My CO finally got so fed up between awards foolishness and other radioactive stupidity I have mentioned previously, he began writing his own award citation:
PROFESSIONAL ACHIEVEMENT IN THE SUPERIOR PERFORMANCE OF HIS DUTIES WHILE SERVING AS Commanding Officer, Headquarters and Service Company,
3D Battalion, 3D Marines, II Marine Expeditionary Force (Forward) from
1 April 2009 to 4 October 2009.
Captain P displayed extreme restraint from not emptying his M9 service pistol into the monitor of his computer after almost daily data connectivity and storage issues.
He was able to TRANSLATE the undecipherable ramblings of six commissioned officers in their twenty-five award Citations submissions. This showed a true testament to his devotion to his Marines, by preventing these awards from an almost certain rejection by the awards board.
Captain P’s devotion to his Marines was present in his near tyrannical rantings of the foolishness of Marriage for first term Marines. Even though this sound advice was not taken, Captain P again assisted Marines in the labyrinth of legal requirements for these same Marines to negotiate a divorce; most within
six months of marriage.
CAPTAIN P’S INITIATIVE, PERSEVERANCE, AND DEVOTION TO DUTY REFLECTED CREDIT UPON HIM AND WERE IN KEEPING WITH THE HIGHEST TRADITIONS OF THE MARINE CORPS AND THE UNITED STATES NAVAL SERVICE.
This proves I am not the only one losing his mind.