Every once in a while John Farnam really gets an exceptional quip. This is one of those. I have long thought that we should see a return to the day when it was a matter of honor for our servicemen to carry a weapon at all times. I believe instances like the Fort Hood massacre wouldn’t have happened if the base was full of honorably armed service men and women. I believe the second amendment stands for them too.
9 Feb 11
We’re making progress, even within the USMC! This from a student, currently on active duty:
“I considered myself an Operator and Professional Gunman long before I put my feet on the yellow footprints at Parris Island. I discretely carry personally-owned weapons, including a pistol, anytime I have trousers on. Then, and now!
When assigned, my squad leader, platoon sergeant, and first sergeant progressively became aware, at least in theory, that I was always armed. However, they actively turned a blind-eye towards this Lance Corporal’s deliberate ‘disobedience’ with regard to base ‘rules,’ because they knew I was in a position to protect them too. I earned their trust and confidence as an honorable Marine and competent Operator.
While I was in the shower one day, a NCO from another squad was searching the pockets of my unattended flak vest, claiming he mistook it for his own.In the process, and to his horror, a fully-charged pistol magazine was discovered. My pistol was secured elsewhere.
During the subsequent ‘office hours’ hearing, presided over by our Battalion CO, I acknowledged that the magazine and ammunition were mine. I was reduced in rank by one grade and given one week of ‘extra duty.’ Honorable behavior is never risk-free!
One night a few weeks later, the duty-NCO hurried into my squadbay and said that the our First Sergeant was holding on the phone and needed to speak directly to me, right away! It seems this First Sargent’s daughter was being aggressively stalked by an ex-boyfriend. The First Sergeant himself was deployed at a distant school at the time, and his family lived off-base.
He instructed me to get in my car, head to his house, and park outside. He then told me to maintain a continuous overwatch until relieved by Sheriff’s Deputies.
After a pause, he added, ‘…if you went through a metal-detector right now, you wouldn’t get past it, right?’
I thought for a moment, and then answered, ‘First Sergeant, you can be absolutely sure that I would set off a metal detector!’ He replied, ‘Good! Now get down there right away.’
Out of the two-hundred Marines in our unit, he called upon one particular Private First Class in his family’s hour of need. As it turned out, the VCA never showed up, and the night passed without incident. My First Sergeant and I never discussed, nor even acknowledged, the incident after that phone conversation.
However, the first morning after he returned, my First Sergeant successfully pushed through a warrant for my promotion back to the rank of Lance Corporal (Second Award, with Oak-Leafs, Swords and Diamonds). Shortly thereafter, he wrote a letter of personal recommendation to be included in my OCS application!
That all took place several years ago. I still have my pistol, a 1911. My uncle carried it in Vietnam, and I took it to Grenada and other places. After 5k rounds, and three wars, I think it has been adequately broken in. It still runs fine, and I still carry it, every day!”
Comment: Many active-duty students are now adhering to this practice, particularly in light of the Ft Hood incident.
We are looking forward to the day when, as a matter of official policy, all officers and S/NCOs are routinely armed, on and off-duty, within CONUS or deployed overseas, on or off-base, in or out of uniform. It should be a matter of honor!
In the interim, no matter what organization you may be part of, you have to take personal responsibility for your own safety. Lethal, defensive capability is something you should never be without, no matter where you are, nor whom your with, nor who supposedly has an obligation to “protect” you.
In the end, you’re on your own!