For how much you read and hear about “bloated” military spending, the life of the average Marine certainly doesn’t reflect that. Especially during training.
“Notional” is another word commonly used to describe “pretend.” I’m assuming they use this word because it doesn’t make it feel like you’re 5 years old, but the result is still the same. Pretend patrols around pretend enemies with pretend weapons, pretend events and pretend gear. You have to have an imagination to be an effective Marine. The only thing financially bloated about the average day in the infantry is how much Marines spend of their own paychecks on alcohol after hours in their run-down barracks.
Some of the best training you could have gotten was during evolutions like Mojave Viper, where they actually had Iraqi (or Afghani) role-players that spoke real Arabic and made you feel immersed in the environment. These events were few and far between, but they really prepared you for realistic encounters abroad and beyond.
Of course, with the way everyone talks about cutting the military and reducing its size, you’d think Marines were living it up in lavish hotels and smashing tax-payer funded hookers on the regular
(this is actually how the Air Force is).
I guess what I’m trying to say is that we need more money in the military, so Marines can smash tax-payer funded hookers in lavish hotels.