Can we just talk about NCO swords for a second?
I don’t know why this surprised me, but it turns out you have to pay an absurd amount of money for a non-required uniform accessory. Of course, I shouldn’t have been shocked, there’s literally an entire industry on weird uniform items that only the most moto of Marines will ever even see or hear of. One year during a Marine Corps Birthday Ball, I had expected to see everyone wearing nothing more than the traditional dress blue uniform we all know and love. Next thing I know, Sergeant Major is walking in wearing an “Evening Dress” uniform, which I had never even heard of prior to the event. I thought he was going to start performing with lions and acrobats, and was thoroughly disappointed when he did not.
Back to the sword though, it’s one of those things that I don’t even know what the fuck it’s really for. Obviously you can’t go around racking up confirmed sword kills in Afghanistan, so it’s really just a useless ceremonial item that no one would ever willingly pay for. Maybe that’s just the nature of the infantry though, the only time any grunts go to ‘Cash Sales’ to buy a uniform item is when we have to, which is usually only when a Staff NCO or above yells at you about it. No one actually cares if their cammies are riddled with holes and torn crotches, that annual uniform allowance can be used for more important things like alcohol and dip.
In my naive days prior to my first deployment, I actually thought they gave it to you when you picked up NCO.
Much in the same way they give you your uniforms at boot camp, it actually come out of your own paycheck–which is a telling and early indication of how the rest of your Marine Corps career is going to go.
Anyway, have a fine weekend and don’t hurt yourselves with your newly purchased, totally awesome NCO swords.