You are the senior Marine in our beloved Corps, holding a position entrusted to just 34 other men over the glorious history of our Sea Service. You are not the Chief of Staff of the Air Force, or of the Army. Nor are you Chief of Naval Operations. You are the Commandant of the Marine Corps.
Your Marines have shed their blood and wrapped themselves in glory on battlefields in two wars. Look out among the faces of your junior NCOs, your junior Officers, SNCOs, and Field Grade Officers, and you will see Combat Action Ribbons aplenty. Purple Hearts. Sprinklings of Bronze Stars and Silver Stars, and even a Navy Cross here and there. Living Marines wear Medals of Honor from these wars. More have been presented posthumously to parents of fallen heroes who displayed conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of [his] life above and beyond the call of duty, and whom gallantly gave his life for his country.
And then we, YOU, subject them to this:
The Washington Times reported earlier this week that the Corps sent a Dec. 12 message to commanders officially beginning mandatory breath tests for all 197,000 Marines twice each year.
A reading of just .01 percent subjects a Marine to counseling. A Marine who registers a .04 must be examined by medical staff for fitness for duty.
The Marine memo calls a “positive test result” a reading of .01 or greater, which results in automatic “screening and treatment as appropriate.”
They write with their blood and courage another glorious chapter in the long and storied combat history of the Marine Corps, and you treat them like children. Under a teetotaling and stiff-necked schoolmaster. Now, I don’t think you thought of this folly on your own. Secretary of the Navy Mabus has been pushing this horrendously ill-advised plan for some time in the Navy. Somewhere along the line, you or those who advise you, including your SgtMaj, decided that the Corps does things tougher and stricter than everyone else. Someone forgot to tell you (and them) that when it comes to stupidity, that is not such a good idea.
“It’s possible if a Marine goes to a bar and is drinking a substantial amount of alcohol over the course of an evening, and he gets himself to a BAC of 1.5 or 2.0, if they are tested first thing in the morning when they report to duty, they may still have some alcohol in their blood and test positive,” he added.
An’ if sometimes our conduck isn’t all your fancy paints,Why, single men in barricks don’t grow into plaster saints;