As much as stepping on the yellow footprints is a hallowed Marine Corps tradition, there's another rite of passage that folks outside the military — like soon-to-be Marine recruits — aren't always aware of. I'm of course talking about the hair-clipper carnage that comes right after you arrive at recruit training.
There's no one path to military service. For some, it's a lifelong goal, for others, it's a choice made in an instant.
For 27-year-old Marine Pvt. Atiqullah Assadi, who graduated from Marine Corps bootcamp on July 12, the decision to enlist was the culmination of a journey that began when he and his family were forced to flee their home in Afghanistan.
A Marine with Joint Special Operations Command is being investigated for tweeting that people who complained about tanks being part of a July 4th event in Washington, D.C., should kill themselves.
"Here's to any complaints about tanks and a [middle finger] to anyone who says anything about PTSD!" Chief Warrant Officer 2 Kevin Ennett wrote in response to a post from the Marine Corps' official account wishing Marines a happy Independence Day.
"Happy 4th. Blow your fingers off, get black out drunk, engage in risky behavior that offends snow flakes. If you die, then you didn't deserve to live! If you wine, hurry and become a '22' statistic today!"
Ennett's also included a hashtag that called Democrats "treasonous." He subsequently deleted the tweet.
What would it take to transform U.S. infantry into a higher-caliber force modeled after the elite 75th Ranger Regiment? For starters, find recruits in their mid-20s and offer them $250,000 bonuses and a $60,000-a-year salary.