In the article, “Battle at Boot Camp” (upfront) I learned that combat jobs in the U.S. military were soon to be open for women. Many of the other U.S. Military branches have made a semi-decent transition to this change. The Marine Corps was the only service that looked for exceptions to the rule. They believe that having gender integration would break the model that builds a marine. Strong bonds must be created, having both men and women in separate areas, then joining them together does not build a strong enough bond. Current and former Marines say that Marine leaders have an old-school mentality toward gender. They believe the Marine Corp will weaken if gender integration were to take place. Marine training bases in San Diego & Parris Island were the first to admit women. A few servicemen have referred to the integration as a “wake-up call” due to them “having to work more as a team.”
I personally believe that women should integrate into the Marine Corp, that is if they can survive the pressures and adversities. Women and men think differently, which can be beneficial during combat. But there can also be a possibility of them holding the platoon back. This all depends on the mental and physical strength of the women, as well as their experience. Until then, we will not know the true outcome until it is done.
PETA (People for the Ethical Treatments of Animals) has recently written a letter to the Commandant of the Marine Corps, General Berger, to stop the “crude killing of animals during the annual Cobra Gold 2020 military exercise.” Thailand and the United States sponsor the Cobra Gold, an annual multinational military exercise. This year’s Cobra Gold exercise consists of cybersecurity, amphibious assault, combined arms live fire, and humanitarian assistance. It also encompasses jungle survival training led by Thai military instructors.
PETA in its statement to General Berger stated, “There are also vegan options too with the jungle being rich in fruit and other lush, edible vegetation.” I do not believe PETA should get involved with what the military should or should not do when it comes to training Marines how to survive in the jungle, or survive in general if they ever get behind enemy lines. Yes, it may be disturbing to cut off a cobra’s head and drink it’s blood, but when you are behind enemy lines trying to survive in the jungle with no water in sight, or no drinkable water, what other options are there? Humans are animals as well and we are at the top of the food chain. Marines learn how to survive by performing the act itself so they can have confidence and experience later on if they ever need the training. Hands-on experience will be a lot more beneficial and helpful as opposed to having a PowerPoint to Marines saying that it’s ok to drink cobra blood because I said so.
In conclusion, I believe PETA, who has killed a lot more animals in their shelters than Marines have during this training exercise, should stay out of this. At the end of the day, when you are stranded behind enemy lines and looking for something to eat, would you rather try to find a plant that is edible and won’t harm you, or would you want to find an animal that you know for sure you can eat if cooked right, or raw. Some hazardous plants can look similar to safe plants and could be a fatal error. Eating other animals, such as chopping off a cobra’s head and drinking its blood for rehydration, as well as being able to eat it, is far more valuable. Animals have meat, and meats have protein and other essential nutrients that can sustain life. You’re trying to survive and the last thing you would care about is whether or not you’re going to piss some people off for killing an animal and eating it to survive.
Marines vs. other branches
There have been debates as to which branch of the military would be considered the best of the best. Marine Corps, Arny, Navy, or Air Force. What about the Coast Guard, you may ask? They’re not a branch. Now to answer the question as to which branch is better, let’s look at the numbers for each branch. The Army has roughly 1.3 million active duty and about 865,000 reservists. The Air Force has about 321,444 active duty, 141,800 civilian personnel, and 69,200 reservists. The Navy has roughly 375,000 active duty, with 332,507 officers and enlisted personnel. The Marine Corps has about 186,000 active duty with another 38,500 reservists. Of all of these the Marine Corps is the smallest branch in the US Armed Forces. Wouldn’t the Army be better with 1.3 million active duty? Maybe. But the Marine Corps history shows otherwise. Here are the reasons why the Marine Corps is better. First reason. It was founded in a bar. That’s right, on the 10th of November in 1775, a couple of guys in a bar decided they didn’t really like the British and wanted to form a group of mean SOBs. Hence the Marine Corps was formed, in a bar called Tun Tavern. Reason number two as to why the Marines are better. During World War 1, in Belleau Wood in June 1918. In March, the Germans launched an offensive along the Western front in France. The Germans were hoping that 50 divisions could overwhelm Allied forces, before Americans could cross the Atlantic to back up Britain and France. The Germans actually gained a significant amount of ground, but was halted in May, when Marines like the 2nd Division and it’s 4th Marines Brigade charged into the chaos.
Fighting around Belleau Wood pitted five German divisions against the US Army’s 2nd division, with 9,500 Marines from the 4th brigade. A wheat field lays southeast of the wood, where more than 2,000 German troops with 30 machine guns embedded themselves in Belleau Wood, with machine guns pre-aimed across the wheat field. In the first few days in June, the 4th Marine brigade dug a defensive line southwest of the field. Battalions from the 5th Marine regiment dug in left of them and the 6th Marine regiment dug in to the right. French soldiers retreating warned the Marines of the oncoming German offensive, to where Capt. Williams responded with the famous quote, “Retreat, hell we just got here!”. The Marines stood their ground and held back the German offensive, forming their own strategies to assault German positions. What do you think these Marines did? They decided to say f you and charged the German lines, running across the wheat fields, taking heavy casualties, but came out on top. The Germans retreated, and not only did Marines hold the line, they gained ground when outnumbered by Germans.This was where Marines were given the name “Devil Dogs” by the Germans. Other reasons include World War 2, the flag raising on Mt. Siribachi, Iwo Jima. The Japanese said Iwo Jima could last a thousand years. Nope, Marines raised our flag on it in a number of days. I’m sure all of you have seen that iconic photo. Marines, since its formation, have been winning battles, despite the odds, with unwavering courage, commitment, and bravery. What other stories have you heard from other branches that are as badass as Belleau Wood. Aside from the US Army storming the beaches of D-Day. Marines are the smallest branch, but continue to fight and win.
Now aside from all this, each branch has its own specialty. I respect all members of the branches of the Armed Forces. The branches rely on one another through combined arms and win battles. At the end of the day, they are all brothers and sisters in arms who would lay down their lives for one another.