Marines Needed.....


Posted on : 7/25/2010 07:10:00 PM | By : Dann | In : , ,

Mark Shields is a columnist with whom I agree on a very infrequent basis.  He prefers a greater level of government influence than I believe to be compatible with living in a free country.

But Mr. Sheilds recently offered the following thoughts that I believe are right on the mark.  I am glad to share some of those thoughts with you here.

I was not a great Marine. I never saw combat. I got a lot more from the Marines than the Marines got from me. But I believe fervently that this nation today needs the values of the Marine Corps as much as the nation needs the Marine Corps.

Of course, honor, courage and commitment are always in short supply. But the Marines teach personal responsibility and accountability by example, that any chain is only as strong as the weakest individual link. As a unit, we are stronger working together than the individual members can separately be.

Marines take care of their own - and they take care of their fellow Marines before themselves. The well-being of the country and of the Corps is more important than our individual well-being.

This may best be stated in the hard-and-fast Marine rule: "Officers eat last." The Marine officer does not eat until after his subordinates for whom he is responsible - the corporals and privates - have been fed. Marines live by the rule that loyalty goes both up and down the chain of command. Would not our country be a more just and human place if the brass of Wall Street and Washington and executive suites believed that "officers eat last"?

The Marine ethic emphasizes responsibility to duty and responsibility to others before self. This is the very opposite of the unbridled individualism that elevates profit and personal comfort to high virtues. The selfish and self-centered CEO or senator who disregards and discards his loyal "troops" would be shunned in the Corps.

Civilian Americans must understand that the greatest civil rights victories have been won by the Marines and the U.S. military, the most successfully integrated sector of our national life. Why? No racial reference and no racial discrimination. The first time I ever slept in the same quarters with African-Americans or Latinos - or took orders from them - was as a private in the Marines Corps.

Yes, America really does need more Marine values and influence.

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