I am a Marine even though my honorable discharge took place back in ’91.
We are the only branch that refers to ourselves in the present tense, regardless of duty status.
This can create confusion in a conversation so you’ll hear us say “ex” and “former.”
But this mindset of being an active Marine shapes all I am today
I am not, nor was I ever “gung ho.” I’ve always been proud to be a Marine, even though I am now in “former” Marine status.
While I was active, my friends and I were more like a biker gang in how we viewed following the rules, following orders, and going about getting our job done the way we felt was best. We had an ironic hippy angle working for us too.
We were an odd bunch of violent dreamers, if that makes any sense to you
But we were proud of the work we did, to the point of fighting about it with any who questioned our quality. We just weren’t “The Poster” version of Marines that many assumed all Marines to be.
What the Corps put into me still plays a large part in everything I do
I want to share how those lessons have helped me to do what I do now and show you how you may use them to do the same, Marine or not.
These ideals, or the notion of them still runs subtly in the background of all my decision making moments, regardless of scenario. Not everything I learned in the Corps is healthy to me today. Not everything they taught me gets used the way they’d intended. Hell, that was the case even while I was still in.
But I have a strength that they put in me. Of course, the strength is all mine and was always there. But they activated it and showed me in many ways, what to do with it and how far I could take it once I turned it on.
It’s this drive to succeed, no matter the size of the goal, no matter how early on or near completion one may be in one’s mission, that I look for in others.
Marines are a noisy bunch. We’re friggin’ full of ourselves and do not hesitate to display that fact. We can’t contain our exuberance about being Marines. It feels that awesome to us.