20 February 2010

Where All The Marines Are Above Average

I get that you want to make it sound like every US servicemember is a hero beyond compare, but at some point the coverage of the Marjah offensive needs to tone down the rhetoric.

Elite Marine recon teams were dropped behind Taliban lines by helicopter Friday as the U.S.-led force stepped up operations to break resistance in the besieged insurgent stronghold of Marjah.
About two dozen Marines were inserted before dawn into an area where skilled Taliban marksmen are known to operate, an officer said, speaking on condition of anonymity because of security concerns.
Other squads of Marines and Afghans, marching south in a bid to link up with Marine outposts there and expand their territory, came under sniper fire and rocket attacks by midday. The rattle of machine-gun fire and the thud of mortars echoed nearby.
The Marjah offensive, now in its seventh day, is the biggest since the 2001 U.S.-led invasion of Afghanistan and a test of President Barack Obama's strategy for reversing the rise of the Taliban while protecting civilians.

my emphasis

Look, you volunteer for the scout sniper platoon just like any other job in the Marines. It's your speciality and that's what you do. It's not "Elite" to be good at what you do. And it's not "Elite" because you paint your face and crawl in the mud.
Hell, let's make sure we deploy "Elite" cooks to the war and support them with "Elite" fuel handlers and "Elite" personnel clerks while we're at it! Don't we deserve the best for our boys at war?

By: Brant


Steve said...

So, what, we should tell all the guys at Delta that because they volunteered for it, it's their specialty, and that's what they do, that they are not elite?

Marine recon-types are elite. Heck, you get a couple elite-points for being a Marine in the first place, a few more for being Marine infantry, and several more for being on the pointy tip of the spear.

Brant said...

No, the Delta guys have a pretty stringent selection process. You have to volunteer, but *then* you have to go through their selection process afterwards.

The selection process for USMC scout-snipers is about the same as for Army 19Ds: "Hey SGT Recruiter! Where do I sign?"

Steve said...

Sorry, Brant, but you are wrong on this one. Instead of being all long-winded here and coming across like a self-righteous twat, I'll just refer you to the wiki entry.


Brant said...

What? You're passing up an opportunity to be a self-righteous twat?! STOP THE PRESSES!

Seriously, though - it's tough, but not traditional SF/Ranger/USAF PJ/SEAL tough.

I can be wrong though. Just don't tell my wife. :)

Steve said...

I'd actually say that the SS thing is even tougher than being a Ranger. Saw a great documentary on them on the Military Channel.

Hate to break it to you, but I'm pretty sure that your wife already knows...lol