By the time I got back I was getting the itch to go see some more of the world, so I got orders to Okinawa, Japan. Okinawa was a crapshoot. No one wanted to go to Oki, usually people got orders against their will to go there, but I was young and I knew I’d learn a lot there because there was nothing to do but train and deploy and that’s what I wanted to do. I was a shit-hot Corporal and picked up Sergeant afew months after. I knew my shit. I was assigned to a Force Recon Unit, which meant more and better toys and missions, in some respects, and more of the same in others. I noticed this with a lot of things in life in general I guess: it seems like there aren’t really many “advanced principles”, it’s just becoming more proficient and fluid with the basic ones that allows you to operate on an advanced level. Any time you started trying to make shit fancy, you fuck it up. Same was true for the most part in Force Recon with the addition of the Deep Recon mission. Exactly the same field craft, but now we were a more strategic asset. Our job would be to go in hundreds of miles deep behind enemy lines to blow up bridges, infrastructure, and otherwise just fuck shit up according to whatever the Generals wanted their battlespace to look like by the time they got there with all their guns and grunts. It was called “Battlespace Shaping”. We also got the Direct Action Mission which is what everyone liked about Force: Raids. That’s the one where we would take down buildings, ships, people’s private residences, or anyplace else that had bad guys in it with lots of shooting and explosions. As soon as I got my bearings in Oki, I asked around for the Platoon that did the most deploying and I talked to their platoon sergeant.
Big Duke 6 was a motherfucker. And I mean that in the best possible way. His platoon was always doing the cool shit. Somehow he would wangle his way into all the best deployments, the most ammo and good schools for his boys. Just not a lot of time off. I wanted in. Fred was the Platoon Commander. He was a motherfucker too. To the other officers. They called him Friendly Fred because he didn’t dig their dinner parties. We liked him. Fred was an SS Panzer Commander who had been killed in WW2 in 1945 while attacking a column of Russian tanks in his lone Tiger tank. At least I’m pretty sure he was. I wanted leadership that I could learn under, and they needed strong backs and guys who could handle a shitload of responsibility being dumped on them at any given moment with no excuses. They already had a great crew of younger guys that they had molded well into the most deployed Spec Ops platoon in the Pacific Rim. But to go pro, they needed good Team Leaders. Well, hello.
Big Duke and Fred gave me a team. Holy Shit, I was a God Damn Force Recon Team Leader. Even I have to admit that it was pretty early for me to pick up a Force Recon Team. Most of the Force TL’s in the Marine Corps were E-7’s or E-6’s. I had only just picked up Sergeant (E-5) but that’s the nice thing about Okinawa. You did get a younger crew of guys out there, and more shenanigans that went along with all that, but somebody had to take responsibility for all of them, so if you were willing to take on a sharp learning curve and a shitload of responsibility for abunch of bad ass dumb asses including yourself, you could find yourself in a position to learn alot fast, but if you couldn’t handle it, you’d fail like a fuck in front of everyone, then get shit-canned to the grunts, and some people did. So, yeah, it was a crapshoot.
By the way…the grunts. Marine Corps Infantry. Is the best conventional force in the world today when it comes to killing shit. On liberty or in combat, a Marine Infantry Company is a fucking god damn confounding and brutal whirlwind wrought direct from the depths of a cold wet hell. Everyone in the Marine Corps supports the grunts. Everyone. Fucking Everyone. But the grunts had it rough. The roughest of anyone in the Corps. And they got killed the most. So, let’s just cover this while we’re on the subject, the whole “women in the military” thing. I’m ok with it if that’s what everyone wants, and I know afew women who would be great at it, just understand that when you put women in combat roles… well… a lot more of those people die, that’s one reason women have been historically left out of those roles, but not the only one. So, why should only the boys get the jobs where everyone gets killed? That’s equally sexist against men, you say. Well, when I see an NFL team start and play mostly women throughout the whole Super Bowl against an all male team, and they win, I’ll believe that it’s just as hard to take a woman’s life as it is to take a man’s life. And that is the test at the end of the day. Because when you start losing you lose more. When more infantrymen die, more infantrymen tend to die because of it. It is an exponentially compounding problem. Do whatever you want with women in combat roles. But please understand the facts of why they haven’t been there up until now, that’s all. I personally don’t like that my daughter has an equal chance of being drafted and a compounded lower probability of survival if she is, but I’m sure she’ll be fine as long as everyone is happy and we never actually have to kill other humans. Generals aren’t sexist, it’s killing that’s sexist. And it’s sexist as fuck.
NOTE: Finally Somehow Home is a separate book from The Perfect Fucking Life, and is not yet in publication at the time of this post.
All this shit is written and created by Jason Lee Morrison © 2022