Nothing says “Marine Corps values” like images of junior Marines breaking big rocks into smaller rocks with sledgehammers for punishment — or at least that’s what Corps officials hoped during a January demonstration of a new Correctional Custody Unit in at Camp Hansen, Okinawa.
Unsurprisingly, outside observers see it that way, especially when the photos brig Marines breaking rocks looked more like a scene from a “labor camp” than character-building punishment. (although to be fair, T&P; also noted that Rambo’s experience breaking rocks in a hard labor camp made him fit for duty in Rambo: First Blood Part II).
Now, the Marine Corps has decided to turn its labor camp into happy camp. The “new and improved Correctional Custody Unit pilot program” for junior Marines will not include “the rock-breaking exercise” as part of physical training, officials said.
Daily PT will instead include field training exercises and combat conditioning, Marine Corps Installations Pacific announced at the very end of a news release about the “new and improved” program.
“This new curriculum is designed to re-instill the values and high standards of the Marine Corps back into each Marine,” said Brig Gen. Paul J. Rock Jr., commander of MCIPAC.
Rock —we swear to God, that’s his real name — did not say exactly why Marines will no longer have to break his namesake with sledgehammers.
“I look forward to seeing the results of this program as it rebuilds our most valued asset, the Marine,” he said in the news release.
A Corps official told Task & Purpose the Marine Corps already has anger management programs and other ways to help Marines find their focusagain that may be more effective than just physical labor, which does not address the underlying causes of misconduct. The correctional program is now designed to have NCOs listen and mentor the Marines assigned to the correctional unit.
The Corps’ U-Turn on hard labor comes after it initially made breaking rocks sound just like any other form of PT.
“The rock pile’ is a form of team building and motivational strength training,” Chief Warrant Officer 5 Joseph Moschetto told T&P; in January. “A small group of awardees swing sledgehammers to break rocks or concrete. Each swing is led, in cadence, in unison, with voice commands from the CCU instructor.”
Moschetto, corrections section head for Headquarters Marine Corps, said the rock pile was not “punitive punishment,” such as confinement as a result of a court-martial. In fact, Marines assigned to the correctional unit are referred to as “awardees” instead of “inmates” or “prisoners,” almost as if they had won a stay at an exclusive spa.
“Awardees participating in the rock pile repeat motivational chants, similar to running cadence rhymes and rhythms,” Moschetto told T&P; in an email. “The rock pile is considered physical training therefore participants conducting the exercise cannot be restricted to any medical limitations or light duty.”
The CCU is expected to open this month at Camp Hansen. Marines with a burning desire to break rocks still have the option of serving time in North Korea.
Army and Air Force Exchange Service officials are warning soldiers and military families to be aware of scammers using the Exchange's logo.
In a news release Wednesday, Exchange officials said scammers using the name "Exchange Inc." have "fooled" soldiers and airmen to broker the sale of used cars, trucks, motorcycles, boats and boat engines.
KABUL (Reuters) - The Islamic State (IS) militant group claimed responsibility on Sunday for a suicide blast at a wedding reception in Afghanistan that killed 63 people, underlining the dangers the country faces even if the Taliban agrees a pact with the United States.
The Saturday night attack came as the Taliban and the United States try to negotiate an agreement on the withdrawal of U.S. forces in exchange for a Taliban commitment on security and peace talks with Afghanistan's U.S.-backed government.
Islamic State fighters, who first appeared in Afghanistan in 2014 and have since made inroads in the east and north, are not involved in the talks. They are battling government and U.S.-led international forces and the Taliban.
The group, in a statement on the messaging website Telegram, claimed responsibility for the attack at a west Kabul wedding hall in a minority Shi'ite neighborhood, saying its bomber had been able to infiltrate the reception and detonate his explosives in the crowd of "infidels".
Calling aviation geeks in New York City: The British are coming.
In their first visit to the United States since 2008, the Royal Air Force "Red Arrows" will perform an aerial demonstration next week over the Hudson River, according to an Air Force news release. F-35 Joint Strike Fighters, the Air Force Thunderbirds and Navy Blue Angels demonstration teams will also be part of the show.