|See the full Terminal Lance article here.|
At the Terminal Lance site the author laments the soul crushing histrionics Marines endure every time someone of importance has the slightest chance of being in a one kilometer radius of them.
The upcoming visit by the very important ninja is heralded by certain key phrases such as: “working party”, “police call” and “field day the $#@! out of the barracks.” These key phrases kick off a festival of sweeping, swabbing, spitting, polishing, and a general malaise of cleaning things which are already clean, then cleaning them again. Though I fortunately have never been party to it, this occasionally requires rocks to be painted for no discernible reason.
Upon the announcement, I always sprint immediately to the Career Planner’s office to remove the pistol from his mouth. He would rather end it all now than be laughed to scorn later when he has to discuss reenlistment options to the battalion. Talking him down also gets me out of a full half hour of cleaning something.
As a Staff Sergeant working in an S-3 shop (operations and training), I recall our Major entering the office one day to let us know the Division CG was going to be in the area.
“SSgt, I need you to clear all that off your desk and square away your area.” Statements like these drive the average Marine to fantasize about driving sharp objects into their eyes then roughly breaking off whatever is left sticking out. I have always striven to be better than average with my response:
“Absolutely, sir. The General would be pissed if it looked like work was being done in here.” Suffice it to say my fitness report from this particular Major was somewhat less than stellar.
Belonging to an institution whose cornerstone leadership trait is integrity, this kind of response to the imminent visit by the very important ninja has always struck me as somewhat dishonest. Don’t get me wrong, I certainly believe in maintaining a well policed area. On occasion I’ll look around my own office and realize I need a flame thrower and a pitchfork to square it away. However, when Marines are ordered to use a floor buffer on a concrete deck, a small part of my soul dies.
Now days I take some perverse pleasure in sending someone’s blood pressure through the roof with remarks like: “What are we doing, fooling someone it’s like this all the time?” It would seem to me if we need the area to be extra special double-secret probation clean when a VIP is nearby, then our daily standard of police is far too low. If we tolerate the overflowing dumpster the rest of the time we are just being inconsistent, lazy leaders.