July 11, 2005

T1G: Braggart

I don't have a "love me" wall. Not that I've got anything against them, but between the fact that I don't really have the room for it, and I'm not that gung-ho about hyping myself, there's no hurry to add one to my blogroom. I've got a photo from boot camp (3rd Bn, I Co.), MCT (Marine Combat Training) Hotel Co., and one from ITB (Infantry Training Battalion), Delta Co. That's it.

I've got the usual certificates and letters that many a serviceman has. Meritorious masts, letters of appreciation, promotions, certificates from schools....They just have been sitting at my mother's house, in safe keeping. She gave them to me today. I've been reading them.

It's funny, but some of the things I'm most proud of, while in the Marines, are not in this stack. One is. But my pro/con marks aren't there. Being put in for a Navy Achievement Medal (now known as Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal) is missing. I never did get awarded that... some bullshit excuse. But I'm proud of the mention. They may not be on the stack of paper that rests here, but they are in my heart. And, of course, somewhere, they're in my Service Record Book.

I look at the one. The one certificate that I'm very proud of. And it's not so much what I did to get it, it's what was said and done after I graduated from that class. Still makes me stick out my chest with pride. It wasn't that I graduated at the top of the class. I strive to make that commonplace. As a matter of fact, technically I wasn't honor man graduating from Advanced Mortar Gunnery Course. A 1st LT was. Not many percentage points apart, but he was top man. Until he asked them to ignore his place, and award it to enlisted men.

See, it's traditional for the top three Marines that graduate from a course to receive promotions. I think it may be in any branch. One of the top four was from this lewie's battalion. With him stepping out, it enabled this Marine to be eligible for a promotion to Corporal. This guy wasn't even in his company... I thought it extremely cool. His stepping out also made me number one man.

I got back to my unit after grajimakashun, and the XO, who was also my platoon commander was stoked about my "Honor Graduate" status. CO was just as happy, and told me to take the rest of the day off... an hour. I wasn't upset too badly, as I thought for sure a promotion was on the way. It wasn't.

A week later, I run into the lewie, and he tells me of how both the other Marines in the top three got their bloodstripes. Then he asked me why I didn't have a new stripe. I told him that I wasn't sure why I didn't have it, but I did get the rest of the day off. I was just proud of how I finished.

I won't say he ripped on my CO... he didn't. I found out then that my XO had come up with him, and they were pretty good friends. But he started in saying that I really deserved the promotion and going on telling me about how impressed he had been with my attitude and knowledge as we went through the course. I can't say that I believed everything he said, but my cover (hat) no longer fit properly by the time he was through. He wished me well, and was on his way.

I never did find out why I didn't get the promotion. My XO talked to me once, and let me know how happy he was with my schooling, and my status in the class. He had gotten a low down from his fellow officer while I was in school, and was very happy that I was representing our battalion. After hearing that, the promotion would have been nice, but I think I got more personally from these two officers. Who knows? It may have been bull to assuage me, and if so, it worked. But I don't think so.

Hmmmm.... I don't even really know what the purpose of this post was... hope you didn't stop doing anything important to read it. :)

Posted by That 1 Guy at July 11, 2005 12:17 AM | TrackBack