If you’ve ever been a boot in a line company you know the sinking feeling of having the Duty NCO knock on your door at 0530. It’s not a fucking mystery, you know exactly what he wants. The boots need to gather and police call the parking lot, sweep the catwalk and take out the duty trash before morning formation. There’s little you can do to avoid it, because if you’re not in your room 15 minutes before formation where the fuck else would you be? If you’re lucky though, the interest of time will overshadow the principle of things, and the duty will eventually move on to another room and wake up some other boots less versed in the art of skating.
Being a boot is absolutely miserable in the infantry. It really is. I remember being so confused when I arrived at 3/3 in Hawaii on a late night in 2006. The duty van picked us up from the airport and gave us rooms in the barracks, and for the first time ever a Lance Corporal was yelling at me and demanding I call him by rank. I’ve seen POG’s tell me, ‘I would never call a Lance Corporal by rank, I would tell him to suck my dick and punch him,’ and I have a hardy laugh at the idea that they have any idea what they’re talking about.
I give this statement about the same amount of attention as the civilian that says, “I couldn’t join the Marine Corps cause if a drill instructor yelled at me I’d punch him in the face.”
The infantry is prison rules, you get there and you’re fresh meat. It’s easy to posture the idea of ignoring the rank of “Senior Lance Corporal,” until you’ve got about 30 Lance Corporals fresh from a deployment to Iraq threatening to beat the living shit out of you (and they will), and they all literally hate you for no apparent reason. I spent time working at the base ComCam during my last months in the Corps, it gave me a good perspective on how a typical POG “shop” operates. The hierarchy of boots/seniors doesn’t really exist, because they don’t base rate off of deployments like the infantry does. They are two completely different cultures, despite being under the same red and gold flag of the Corps.
On a lighter note, did you know we recently revamped the Terminal Lance Store? Check it out and order some badass shit, yo.