There comes a time in every Marine’s career–usually within a few months of their End of Active Service (EAS) date–where they “drop their pack.”
This is a colloquial term used to describe what I like to call the End of Active Fucks (EAF) date, where the fucks have left the Marine’s body completely as they look forward to their new life on the outside. As you eye that light at the end of the tunnel, Marine things start seeming a lot less important. Who cares if you get chewed out by some butt-hurt Staff Sergeant? You’re going on Terminal in just a few short weeks.
The fucks are gone, and they’re not coming back. Short timers can use this to the advantage of the platoon if they’re a cool ass dude, like taking the fall for some boot who still has to suck it up for another 4 years. They can also reason and bargain with the company Staff and Officers, because they all know the dude is getting out. A good short timer can strike amazing deals to the benefit of everyone if they play it right.
Over the weekend I took a trip down to Camp Pendleton and had an awesome time signing books and chatting up Marines at the Marine Corps Exchange there. Many of them were short timers with their eyes around the next corner of their lives. If I could offer one bit of advice to them: it’s that the Marine Corps is great at making Marines, but not as good at un-making Marines.
Separation anxiety and depression follow a lot of Marines after their EAS dates as they adjust to their new life. We all have to find our own way to deal with it, and I always encourage newly separated Marines to utilize their GI Bill and go to school. 4 years of college is a great opportunity to learn something new, flirt with college girls all day, and decompress the last 4 fucked up years of your life.
Take advantage of it.