I’m not one of those guys that gives a shit if you drink and you’re underage. I’m also not one of those guys that thinks people under 21 should be allowed to drink. That’s not really what this strip is about, because if it were, it’d be a display of complete apathy on my part. What I never understood in the Marine Corps is the culture of absolute encouragement when it comes to consumption of alcohol, yet the unabashed punishment of said consumption when it occurs.
As Marines, it is undeniable that there is a culture centered around drinking as an expression of masculinity. Marines drink. This is a vastly known and widely perpetuated stereotype in Marine culture. If you don’t drink, you are abnormal, thus making alcoholic consumption a cultural normality.
However, I see it as a great irony that while the establishment encourages drinking in nearly every regard (Warrior’s Night anyone?), they have the audacity to punish younger Marines who engage in such activities even in the safety of their own barracks. Yes, it’s illegal, but don’t pretend like you don’t encourage it every day. Furthermore, why does the punishment always have to be so severe? The most ridiculous NJP’s I’ve ever seen involved underage drinking. Granted, I’m not saying that if a Marine is underage, drunk, and acting afool out in town or something that he should go unnoticed, but lets get real:
Marines drink. You created this stereotype. Own up to it and don’t pretend like it’s not expected to happen.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go have a drink.