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Reply #9: Excellent point, Robworld [View All]

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Johnyawl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-15-05 11:53 AM
Response to Reply #8
9.  Excellent point, Robworld

...I just wouldn't describe them as "children".

I was 18 years old when I enlisted in the Marines, and a year later I was in Vietnam. Hardly a child, but not quit an adult. I was armed to the teeth, not just with guns, grenades and other assorted munitions, but more importantly, with an attitude. No 19 year old has a superiority complex like a 19 year old Marine. The intensive training (and brain washing) is designed to make you confident, and aggresive. Those are qualities an individual soldier needs to survive, and win, in combat. I wouldn't change that one iota. What we are supposed to have is adult leadership, from the line officers to the President, that keeps those boys in check and doesn't needlessly waste them, or allow them to misuse the deadly skills that we've given them. We are sadly lacking that at the top, and it reflects all the way down the chain of command.

There's a (sadly true) joke that we repeated constantly during Vietnam, (and it may actually be older than that conflict) that is so appropriate today:

Q. What's the difference between the Boy Scouts and the Marine Corps?
A. The Marine Corps has guns, the Boy Scouts have adult leadership
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