Why Marine Week was not a recruiting drive

People who have fundamental issues with the Marine Corps as an institution or warfare in general do not bother me.  Falsehoods based on incorrect data, or misinformation, or downright ignorance do however. The only remarks about Marine Week that got under my skin were snide comments referring to the event as a week long membership drive.  Nothing could be further from the truth.

Marine Corps recruiters are doing perfectly fine without a Marine Week. As a matter of fact, there is a waiting list to get in the Corps.  As of today if you joined you wouldn’t get to boot camp until some time in September. We’re not so deep in the hurtlocker for new prospects we had to pull a Marine Week out of our hat just to encourage enlistment.

 There is a misconception along with this which imagines folks join the military for the benefits package. This is something the Marine Corps has never sold as a reason to enlist.  We only sell the idea that maybe you could be one of us, or maybe not. Never will you see Marine advertisements hawking college credit, or the GI Bill, or any of that business.  Usually I tell people we do things that suck because others are unwilling or unable to do them. Being a Marine is awesome. The challenge is there, either you accept it or you don’t. Our feelings won’t be hurt one way or the other.

Ohio is one of the top three states the Marine Corps draws from with over 9,300 or so Ohio natives currently serving in our ranks. So again, Cleveland didn’t really need the boost in recruiting. Were there recruiters around during Marine Week? Certainly, they’d be fools not to be. They are some of the hardest working Marines in the Corps. The numbers though, say more about Ohio than our recruitment efforts I think.
The Marine Corps has never had to come up with gimmicks, road shows, or free toasters to get Americans to enlist. The best recruitment tool the Marines ever had is a history book.

Semper Fidelis,
America’s SgtMaj

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  1. My favorite comment from a recruiter (I read about it, where I can’t remember) to a bunch of high school students – “Most of you aren’t good enough to join MY Marines….”

  2. Could be after a lifetime in Ohio that MCRD doesn’t look so bad. ;^)

    Ya know what they say in Cleveland…
    “Ya gotta live somewhere.”

  3. Oh Hell, which promptly challenged just the kind of kids we’re looking for to say: “Oh yeah?”

    be603, not sure why Cleveland gets such a bad rap. The people are great! However, I have yet to deal with one of their infamous winters.

  4. Yeah, things are looking up since the river stopped burning.

    …and now that things are Hot in Cleveland with Valerie Bertinelli, well, nuff said…

  5. Sergeant Major,
    My thoughts…..
    For one thing, if you looked at the fine citizens of Cleveland, or any other city in the US, most of the nice folks would not qualify to be a Marine. As much as 18 year olds complain about getting into college, it’s actually more difficult to get into the Marines or the Army these day. We are the “less that .42%.”
    So, Marine Week, would not be cost effective if it was a recruiting drive. However, as a public PR event, it looks like it was a value for the dollar.

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