Friday, February 18, 2005

Boot Camp is Hard, DIs are Mean

Watching The Today Show this morning and Katy was showing her usual canned motherly concern over a Marine boot who drowned during basic training.

What made this a story? Well, an NBC camera crew had video of the recruit being grabbed by the collar and shoved by a drill instructor. The young man was apparently trying to wash out by refusing to get in a swimming pool for survival.

The next day, the recruit drowned.

First, there should absolutely be an investigation as to why the recruit drowned.

That being said, I had huge problems with the Today Show coverage. They showed the DI shoving the recruit over and over in a loop during segment. This was combined with an interview with the grieving, crying father asking for some "legislation" so no parents have to go through this again.

We got to find out that the parents did not want him to join the Corps. We also discovered (surprise, surprise...) that the recruit joined "... so as not to be a burden to his parents".

So what's the takeaway for Today viewers? Well, to me it seems that: a) young men join the Corps because of economic hardship (semper fiduciary) - and b) Marine basic training is really hard... and gasp... violent.

Look, the boy's death is sad. But USMC boot camp is supposed to be a crucible, for God's sake. If we force UMSC boot camp to become YWCA summer camp, we'll lose many more young men in combat in the years to come.


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