Sunday, March 26, 2006

Esprit de Corps

More midshipmen at the Naval Academy want to join the Marines than the Corps can accommodate. Out of the 992 members of the class of 2006, 209 officers will be assigned to the Marines; another 45 whose first choice was the Marines had to be turned down. The article mentions patriotism and career advancement as reasons why midshipmen are choosing what will likely be a combat assignment in Iraq, but it overlooks an important reason, one which also speaks to why the Marines have had little trouble recruiting in general, while the Army has had difficulty. And that's the nature of the Corps itself: a small (compared to the Army), elite, and Spartan fighting force; a branch of service rich in tradition, history, heritage, and pride; a combat-hardened brotherhood. They are a breed apart.

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