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Marine Captain: Actually Talk To The People Getting Out And They May Change Their Mind
A former Marine captain has written about a common behavior among senior leaders that often leads to a bad taste in the mouth of those who leave the Corps: Being treated like a leper before the end of enlistment.
In an article published in the September issue of the Marine Corps Gazette, Capt. Yosef E. Adiputra (who transitioned out of the Corps before publication) talks about being one of the "EAS Marines" — those coming up on their end of active service date — and how leadership treats them differently if they decide to try something else after their enlistment.
"After three and a half years of honorable service (for the majority of enlisted Marines), a Marine will have endured the rigors of field exercises, shop inspections, field days, working parties, and deployments," he writes. "After this time, the fork in the road begins to present itself: either EAS from the current contract and use the GI Bill to pursue post-military goals, or remain with the Corps for an additional four years."
He adds: "But a strange yet common phenomenon begins to occur after that Marine makes his decision to depart. Those leaders who developed and mentored that EAS Marine will slowly begin to drift away from him. This sentiment can often turn into scorn and disdain, as leadership associates that Marine with such characteristics as laziness, selfishness, and detachment because of his decision to leave."
The feeling of distance and, in some cases, outright hostility from leaders is sadly common. As Adiputra and others can attest, the Corps has a tendency of taking its EAS Marines and putting them on the sidelines somewhere, left to do working parties, stand a bunch of duty, and do other menial tasks before they leave. For a Marine who has decided the Corps may not be all it's cracked up to be — their leadership's actions in response to the question of "are you getting out?" can further reinforce a notion they aren't really valued.
As the captain writes, leaders may respond by saying transitioning Marines are often afforded transition readiness seminars and time for job interviews but in reality, "stories of Marines attending these seminars the month before EAS or participating in month-long field exercises in their transition season are all too common."
Now consider a different approach, which Adiputra tried with one of his junior Marines. As he writes in his essay, a young corporal came and told him privately that he was getting out. Instead of blowing him off or half-heartedly asking him what his plan was, Adiputra spent time with him working on his resume, talking through his career goals, and developing a budget.
"This simple act of compassion radiated across the platoon, and Marines began seeing themselves as valuable assets of the unit instead of contracted government workers," he writes. "This shift in perception of the Marine Corps leadership convinced not only that corporal but also nearly 40 percent of my deployment platoon to reenlist."
Yes, that's right. The corporal who was about to eat the apple and say "fuck the Corps" decided instead that, hey, my officers actually care about me. I'm going to stay in.
"The [lance corporal] underground will constantly talk and create the culture," Adiputra said in a phone interview. "A small thing like that makes a huge difference.”
The idea of continuing to mentor and lead Marines before they leave the Corps could be a better approach, especially considering the increasing numbers of Marines expressing a desire to EAS, according to a 2016 enlisted retention survey. And if nothing else, an extra 10 minutes with a Marine getting out may make the difference between a happy and healthy veteran and one standing in the unemployment line.
More than 7,500 boots on display at Fort Bragg this month served as a temporary memorial to service members from all branches who have died since 9/11.
The boots — which had the service members' photos and dates of death — were on display for Fort Bragg's Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation's annual Run, Honor and Remember 5k on May 18 and for the 82nd Airborne Division's run that kicked off All American Week.
"It shows the families the service members are still remembered, honored and not forgotten," said Charlotte Watson, program manager of Fort Bragg's Survivor Outreach Services.
After more than a decade of research and development and upwards of $500 million in funding, the Navy finally plans on testing its much-hyped electromagnetic railgun on a surface warship in a major milestone for the beleaguered weapons system, Navy documents reveal.
The Navy's latest Northwest Training and Testing draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Assessment (NWTT EIS/OEIS), first detailed by the Seattle Times on Friday, reveals that " the kinetic energy weapon (commonly referred to as the rail gun) will be tested aboard surface vessels, firing explosive and non-explosive projectiles at air- or sea-based targets."
STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. -- Congress fell short ahead of Memorial Day weekend, failing to pass legislation that would provide tax relief for the families of military personnel killed during their service.
Senators unanimously approved a version of the bipartisan Gold Star Family Tax Relief Act Tuesday sending it back to the House of Representatives, where it was tied to a retirement savings bill as an amendment, and passed Thursday.
When it got back to the Senate, the larger piece of legislation failed to pass and make its way to the President Trump's desk.
An NSA cyber weapon is reportedly being used against American cities by the very adversaries it was meant to target
In less than three years after the National Security Agency found itself subject to an unprecedentedly catastrophic hacking episode, one of the agency's most powerful cyber weapons is reportedly being turned against American cities with alarming frequency by the very foreign hackers it was once intended to counter.
The spectacle of hundreds of thousands of motorcycles roaring their way through the streets of Washington, D.C., to Memorial Day events as part of the annual Rolling Thunder veterans tribute will be a thing of the past after this coming weekend.
Former Army Sgt. Artie Muller, a 73-year-old Vietnam veteran and co-founder of Rolling Thunder, said the logistics and costs of staging the event for Memorial Day, which falls on May 27 this year, were getting too out of hand to continue. The ride had become a tradition in D.C. since the first in 1988.
"It's just a lot of money," said the plainspoken Muller, who laced an interview with a few epithets of regret over having to shut down Rolling Thunder.