As you may recall, in Tuesday’s comic update I challenged the Commandant of the Marine Corps Gen. Jim Amos and Duffel Blog founder Paul Szoldra to the ALS Ice Bucket challenge.
As well as pouring some tremendously cold ice water on my head, I also donated $100 to the ALS Association and passed the challenge on. Paul was apprehensive about the entire endeavor at first, but after some convincing, he donated $100 in lieu of the otherwise icy cold fate. A respectable result while still maintaining his professional composure.
Now, honestly, I wasn’t really sure what to expect from the Commandant. Most people assumed he wouldn’t touch it, but I reserved hope when I saw that President Obama had actually donated $100 himself to the Association. Yesterday I was able to talk with a representative of HQMC regarding the matter, and he informed me that it is actually illegal for any service member to donate or affiliate with any charity or fundraiser in uniform or as a representative of the Marine Corps; additionally, since the Commandant is legally unable to separate his title and stature from his personal identity, he simply can’t engage in any of these shenanigans.
This is the email in question:
We are the fun police, and instead of doing awesome shit that’s fun, we’re just gonna send out this cop-out email that says lol no thanks.
-Assistant General Counsel (Ethics), Department of the Navy
Okay, that’s not really what the email says, but come on. No one is going to care, and at the very least someone could have made some video dumping ice water on their head, not donated any money, and engaged with people in a funny way without “endorsing” the organization in question.
Even when I was in Iraq we were actually forced to donate to the Combined Federal Campaign under the threat of punishment. I remember flipping through the book of charities, unable to find anything of interest (and I had to find something), so I just picked some obscure organization that rehabilitates bald eagles or something. I love animals and bald eagles are badass, so it seemed like the best choice at the time.
For those of you that have no idea what I’m talking about, the CFC is this annual charity thing the Marine Corps (military wide?) makes you participate in. You pick a charity from an approved list, fill out the form, and the money is deducted from your paycheck.
So hey, fine, I get it.
You don’t want to have fun with this, that’s okay. Since I’m not a DOD employee, and my only official title is “Total Badass,” I’ll spot you this time.
I went ahead and donated $17.75 for you, but don’t worry, it’s NOT the Marine Corps.