Thursday, November 3, 2016

Tradition.... Comradery 161103

I sat down with about a dozen of my Marines today and asked them who among them was attending the Marine Corps Ball in two days. 

Only one of them said they were; and, they were volunteering as a part of the ceremony. 

I asked them if they believed carrying on our traditions and remembering the history of our Corps was important to them.  They came back with a resounding, "YES!"  I asked them if comradery, brother-hood, and the close nit family they have in their unit was important to them.  Again, "YES!"

"So why aren't you going to the ball?" 

I got at least a dozen different reasons why they were not going to the ball, ranging from money (they would pay about $35.00 per ticket), to couldn't find a sitter (lots of Marines are going who have teen-aged kids at home), to ... bottom line, they didn't want to. 

In one breathe they want the closeness of the family but don't want to do what breeds that closeness.

How much history or tradition or family do you see in this picture?  From the rank insignia to the ribbons, from the ceremony to the flags, from the various experiences of each Marine to the detailed parts on the uniforms themselves, this image is rife with tradition. 

In the ceremony itself, the oldest Marine gets the first piece of cake and passes it to the youngest.  This symbolizes the passing down of not only traditions but practices that make the Corps still one of worlds most elite fighting forces. 

Ceremony and tradition are critical to keeping the Corps what it is. 

Semper Fi,

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Roles 161101

We play many, many roles in life, whether we like it or not. 

I am a father, son, uncle, friend, Marine, Master Gunnery Sergeant, brother, deacon, student, teacher, mentor, advisor, husband, business partner, and many other roles at any given time.  As such, I need to fill the right role at the right time. 

If I am acting like a friend when I should be parenting or leading Marines, I am going to act inappropriately.  Conversely, if I should be acting like a friend and am in parenting mode, I am again, wrong. 

I am watching the World Series of Major League Baseball as I write this blog.  Consider preparation for our differing roles. 

If a batter goes to the plate with is fielders glove on, he is not prepared to fill his role of batter.  When we start filling our various roles, are we prepared?  Have we set ourselves up to succeed at the roles we want to fill? 

If your mentor were not active in your life, consider the impact that could have.  What happens if you refuse or fail to fulfill your role?  Just looking at the kids growing up without active fathers or mother in their lives sheds some light on that question. 

Where would we be if William Gilbert hadn't studied electricity or Ben Franklin hadn't made the connection between electricity and lighting or Michael Faraday hadn't invented the electric motor?  If those innovators had not filled their role, we would be in a very dark place (pun intended). 

Figure out what role you are supposed to be filling and fill it!

Semper Fi,