Black Ops…

…is not what I have been up to.

Being a living barrier against the forces of evil doesn’t necessarily mean said forces will actually test the barrier. It does require the barrier to be there, not only to give those with bad intentions second thoughts but to reassure those within the barrier that it will not fold like a cardboard box when the wolf comes.

Back in the old Corps as an embassy guard we were taught to always be firm, courteous and tactful. We were also taught about the continuum of force. On the extreme end of the continuum you have the use of deadly force. On the near end is what we call “presence.” Many times merely being present is enough to convince evil doers their master plan may not survive first contact with the World’s Finest.

They told (us) to open up the Embassy, or “we’ll blow you away.” And then they looked up and saw the Marines on the roof with these really big guns, and they said in Somali, “Igaralli ahow,” which means “Excuse me, I didn’t mean it, my mistake”.
Karen Aquilar, in the U.S. Embassy; Mogadishu, Somalia, 1991

Although I would love to be able to tell you what has been keeping me busy lately involves an abundance of swashbuckling, pirate chasing, and high seas adventure, it more resembles a junkyard dog wishing someone would jump the fence so he could take a big wet bite out of them.

Lying offshore, ready to act, the presence of ships and Marines sometimes means much more than just having air power or ship’s fire, when it comes to deterring a crisis. And the ships and Marines may not have to do anything but lie offshore. It is hard to lie offshore with a C-141 or C-130 full of airborne troops.
Gen. Colin Powell, U. S. Army
Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff
During Operation Desert Storm

I have often explained to my Marines there will be two different responses from people when we touch down in any given part of the world.
Good Guys: “Thank God! It’s the Marines!”
Bad Guys: “Awww crap! It’s the Marines! Let’s go hold up a liquor store instead.”

Although what we are doing at the moment isn’t clandestine by any means I am not at liberty to run my mouth about it either. Suffice it to say there are a whole lot of people who feel more comfortable when FAST Company is standing by to do violence on their behalf, or not. We’re like a big security blanket keeping monsters firmly under the bed where they cannot devour children.

So sleep peaceably, the Marines are on deck, the situation is well in hand.

United States Marine Corps: America’s Woobie

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21 comments

  1. I sleep better out there knowing America’s finest are holding the gates. Though I do feel for that poor junkyard dog. Thank God for the Marines!

  2. “People sleep well at night knowing that there are those willing to go kick some ass to keep them safe”

    (or something like that)

    Top,
    Thanks. I was running one of our ranges last weekend….there was a company of USMC Reserves taking a walk back from the ranges with full combat packs, M249s, M240s and Piss Tubes. I wanted to give them all a ride…but the Gunny said “no, just bring us a beer and we’ll be fine.”

  3. Glad to know you’re keeping the baddies at bay, that sounds like quite a fearsome blanket you have there.

    But Marine/junkyard-dog-hybrids to add to your sailor-rhinos… step away from that scalpel, 1st Sgt Moreau.

  4. I am one of the “People who sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf”

    Thank you for my good night’s sleep!!!!

  5. Pax, just preaching the truth. That’s me. 🙂

    Jenny, don’t worry about us. Another one of my go to sayings is that we joined the Marines to do things others were unable or unwilling to do themselves. Sometimes those things suck but we made the choice.

    CI-Roller, nothing like a good hump to toughen up the men. Although, I am a bit concerned that beer is served on Guard ranges. Weaksauce!

    Saker, one should always be careful what one wishes for. I recall in Kharma some of my Marines on their first deployment complaining they wouldn’t get their Combat Action Ribbon because there was very little of it toward the end. I was surprised and proud of the guys who had been to Haditha the year before who responded with: “Good! Then we don’t have to do any memorial services either.”

    Red, I’m not sure where you mind is at but you need to knock it off right now. Besides, we don’t do fuzzy. If the Marines were fuzzy I’d be crushing them for an improper shave.

    Magoo, what is the law? Who makes the rules? AMERICA’S 1STSGT

    Trudy, sadly, it wouldn’t be the first time I caused women drowsiness. I’m working on that.

  6. Am I learning a new word? Woobie?
    Okay, you’ll have to explain that one.
    I hear that when TacoBell (and someone will have to explain his nickname someday) accepted the award on your behalf, that his comments brought the house down. I’m waiting for someone to post it!

    Other than that, the husband is home on the loose this week. It’s been fun, and I’ll see him again this summer.

  7. I’ll take my “Marine blanket” and crash on the couch with a big bowl of pop corn and a beer as that “Marine blanket” punches the control button that starts the movies.

    Yep that’s how I wand my “Marine Security blanket” warm and snuggle-ly.

  8. Earlier this week I dropped the Son&Heir off at Pendleton for MCT. Even for an old squid and recovering sailor it was motivating.

    Definitely not a Zoomie Country Club.

    Tired, well worn, dusty facilities packed along a narrow street.

    Newbies like my son in Class A’s all polished and pressed checking in to MCT.

    Everywhere I looked along the road and in the distance were Marines humping hills and hiking river bottoms, getting dirty and training to get ‘er done.

    Stopped at a crossing for a platoon of machine gun wannabees in training to march across the intersection in front of me. Never seen that many M240’s in one place before. Yeah, this gunnut about stroked out right there.

    MCMAP instructors sparring with staffs in a dirt lot alongside the road.

    Across the street from them several mortars being set up.

    Vehicles crawling double track around the valley.

    Recon takeing a PT water break.

    Oh to be 30 years younger and have a serviceable L4/5 disc…

  9. Kanani, you’ve never seen Mr. Mom? Your lack of culture is disturbing.

    Miss Em, I think you and Red have issues.

    be603, doing stuff like that probably obliterated your L4/5 in the first place! Well done on the growl.

  10. 1st Sgt, don’t be filthy…The reference I was making was to your metaphor about Marines being a security blanket (“woobie”) for the good citizens of the world… you need to get your mind out of the gutter because I’m sure that you were trying to imply something totally unrelated to what I was saying. I cannot, however, speak for MissEm ;p

  11. Me???…

    protesting???…

    Nawwwwww!!!

    Just Dreaming with my Pop Corn.
    One day as they say, “Dreams do come true”.
    { BIG breath..LONG sigh.. ;~D }
    Just, still waiting for mine.

    Miss Em
    Austell, Ga.
    {{{One who likes and reveres “Knuckle Drag-gers”.}}} ;~D

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