But over the last year I have seen such a streak of apathy towards Marines from so-called leaders that I will state that our numbers have grown too fast and too many undeserving souls have been promoted because of it. Marines routinely deploy more than any other, but because of the 9/11 era deployments, we have reduced deployments to spread sheets. We get back from deployment and immediately look towards building the next spread sheet for the next one coming up. We have lot our ability to generally care about the individual Marine. We are exhausted. Throw in this extra 30,000 that really doesn't belong and you have an organization that is too big to be as specialized as we used to be. We start losing that theme of proper discipline. Rank becomes a second consideration. Policies become as brittle as concrete.
For a year I saw this whenever I made a trip to Camp Leatherneck. I had my day pack fall off the back of my MATV somewhere in Gereshk. I actually had to get two full bird Colonel's signatures on a missing gear statement in order to get the Staff Sergeant at Supply to re-issue me (a Master Sergeant) a poncho liner. This is because brittle policies to command the masses have replaced the responsibility of leaders to simply care for their Marines. Here's another one..... I was traveling with my Terp back through Leatherneck from Kabul. I needed to pick up our BAT Systems on my way to Lashkar Gah for my Team. However, I couldn't take my Terp into the building where I needed to pick up the system. That's the policy. However, another policy states that I can't leave my Terp unattended. So...in order to accomplish my mission, I needed to break one policy to follow another! Mission accomplishment and caring for Marines has been supplanted by a never ending pile of contradictory policies made by leaders who find themselves competing with each other for promotion with little regard to how this affects anything outside the comfy "wire." I returned to the States to find that this attitude has infected Lejeune and Pendleton.
I believe the further the Marine Corps gets from the 9/11 era the better it will get again. So I am all for stripping the Corps back to a more manageble number. But I retire September 30 (Terminal June 30), so this is for your generation to gain control back. Good luck.