Thursday, March 26, 2009

Abusing recruits in the Russian Army and the USMC

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Sergeants in the Russian Army":

Here's an example of 'dedovshchina' which helps distinguish the Russian system from what you experienced in the USMC.

And, Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Sergeants in the Russian Army":

And here's the Russian language blog of the poor fellow who experienced it. He got some inspiration from watching the American movie 'Born on the 4th of July.'

Lawrence replies. If a military organization punishes an act then I don’t think we can call it typical. But if we assume that it was normal in the Russian army to do all those things but just not as much and certainly not to the point where a recruit loses legs and other things, we are still looking at a lot of abuse. I would agree that it abuse if there is no end object in mind. But even if there is an object, as there was and is in the Marine Corps, there need to be limits. I understand that Marine Corps Drill instructors are now carefully screened, but some sadists may slip through the crack. I know they do in the French Foreign Legion.

In boot camp Marine Recruits endured a lot of abuse. We were told we had to have all that civilian stuff knocked out of us so that we could be rebuilt in the image of Chesty Puller. And those who went through boot camp at Paris Island always looked down on those of us who went through boot camp at San Diego. They called us “Hollywood Marines.” Here is one of Paris Island’s more infamous incidents: Platoon 71 at Ribbon Creek in 1956. I went through “Hollywood” boot camp in 1952 and our Drill Instructors tried to be just as hard on us. It was just that our drill instructors had no swamp in which to drown us:

And here is an article on the abuse of recruits (but no worse abuse than I endured in 1952) at Parris Island by Sergeant Glass: Note that Glass was punished, but note also that the Sergeant’s father says, “Marine officials have their heads in the sand if they don't think this is happening every day.” I’m sure they do know. They went through boot camp themselves. They would be in a “damage control” mode.”

Read some of the comments people sent in, e.g. the following 3 separate comments about the article:

“They used to promote guys like this. We are in a downward spiral.”

“By today's standards, my DI's would have received 6 life sentences...!”

“San Diego Marines” Personally I don’t like to joke about how California attitudes seep into Marine Boot camp just because of geographical location but......This trial has left coast/left wing pansies written all over it.”

Lawrence Helm, former Sgt, USMC:and not a left wing pansy!

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