There was a bit of commotion over a Marine Corps Times article regarding the age old debate of POG’s vs Grunts on Monday. The article presents the case that maybe POG’s shouldn’t be made fun of and called POG’s. Hilarity ensued online and across the Corps as people reacted in ways ranging from “who cares?” to “stop being a pussy.”
I am an 0351 by MOS but spent some significant time with Combat Camera during my 2nd deployment to Iraq. As someone who has been on both sides of the fence, I can confidently say that no one actually gives a shit that you’re a POG. Like really, no one does. However, it is a simple fact that POG’s actually generally do have it better than the average grunt. This isn’t really a matter of opinion, it’s just true. Smaller unit sizes, regular work hours, more time in the rear–all of these things add up to a generally less-miserable existence than anyone with an 03 moniker in their title.
They are truly two entirely different cultures; in fact, I would argue that there’s basically three different primary Marine Corps cultures that are largely segregated from each other:
- Air Wing
Technically the Wing is still POG, but because the day to day is still vastly different than the regular POGside, it is really its own thing. For clarification (and this seems to be confusing for some people), the definition of a “Grunt” is “infantry,” and you’re not infantry unless your MOS starts with “03.” It really is that simple. Being a POG isn’t a matter of opinion, it simply means that your MOS doesn’t start with “03.”
Semantics aside, something should be abundantly clear here: there’s nothing wrong with being a POG (Person Other-than Grunt). Seriously. No one cares. The only time it’s a problem is when they either get super butt hurt about grunts not respecting them (this article) or when they make vast claims that their job is worse or that being a POG makes them inherently smarter.
The Marine Corps is a big place and has a lot of different roles to fill. Whatever it is you do, just own it. You’re a POG? Be proud to be a POG! Some POG jobs are actually pretty cool. If yours is not, just admit it. For instance (totally random example), there is literally no part about being an 1171 Water Dog that is badass, so don’t try to spin it that way, just own the fact that your job is lame as shit and that you have a small penis.
Regardless of what I say here, the dichotomy of grunts and POGs is probably never going to go away. Marines are a proud people, and the infantry even prouder. If you’re a POG, don’t get so worked up over it. No one actually cares.