February 6, 2016

Making Marines and Presidents

[From article]
Marine Corps basic training remains an extremely tough and challenging experience for a young man or woman. I was in the Army, but the Marines are something else again, which is no secret within the military or without. A Marine who finishes his enlistment and wants to reenlist in another service (Army, Air Force, or Navy) does not have to go through basic training again. A soldier, airman, or sailor who wants to become a Marine does, just like any recruit out of high school. But despite the challenges of Marine Corps basic, the vast majority of recruits survive it and graduate to become Marines after 13 difficult weeks. That the Corps requires this of all Marines, whether they choose to become an infantryman or a cook, is as much about testing and building character as it is ensuring that in an emergency, any Marine can effectively pick up and use a rifle.
In contrast, when choosing presidents, character seems to matter less and less. Barack Obama, a man of distinctly unremarkable character, having lived a life largely devoid of what usually counts as significant sacrifice or accomplishment, handily defeated opponents who easily eclipsed him in that regard (including a Vietnam war hero.) The same could be said of President Clinton, a man who “loathed the military” and prevailed over a pair of World War II combat veterans.


February 3, 2016
Making Marines and Presidents
By Jonathan F. Keiler

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