Back in my day, my seniors used to tell us stories about how when they were boots, it was ten times worse than it is for us. Their seniors would tell us that our seniors actually didn’t have it that bad compared to them. Then, First Sergeant would come out and tell us all that back in the 90′s things were WAY worse than they are now.
No matter how you spin it, the “Old” Corps is always the Corps that you’re not part of. Everyone before you will tell you that they are Old Corps, and everyone before them will tell you the same thing. The further back you go, the more horrific the stories become about their time as enlisted men. The simple fact is that every year new regulations and orders are passed, times change and the Marine Corps changes–often for the better. While it can be argued that shameless hazing of new Marines serves a purpose, ultimately these rules seek to improve the quality of life for Marines. That, however, is where “Old Corps” comes from.
Quality of life is something that is shunned in the Corps, scoffed at and looked down upon by those salty enough to have remembered when their lives sucked that much more. Quality of life negates the pride that comes with hardship, and thus the stories of what it used to be like become a badge of accomplishment.
While there were a number of ways one could do this strip, I chose to focus on the subject of boots and hazing because when I did my tour of Camp Pendleton and 29 Palms, it seemed to be an issue that is still presenting itself. It was a hot topic when I was in, and I’m assuming it’s always been one for basically every generation of Marine. The challenge of training young Marines without actually torturing them through hazing is something that will never go away in the infantry, at least not as long as the Marine Corps infantry is made up of 18-24 year old males with a penchant for proving their pride to others.
To abruptly change the subject, I’m going to plug my book again like I always do. If you haven’t checked out “KNIFE-HANDS!!!” yet… what the fuck? Trust me, just click here and order it, you’ll be happy you did. If you like Terminal Lance, you can’t go wrong with a book that features over 100 strips and extra bonus content not found on the site or anywhere else. So yeah, buy it!
Have a great weekend, and I’d like to give a quick shout out to Steve Jobs, as I just pre-ordered the iPhone 4S tonight. Rest in Peace, sir.