Spartan vs. Marines #1: Never to Quit.
Before writing this article, I did not know the Marine detachment of my own home base, Camp Lejeune, North Carolina's 2/6's mascot was the Spartan, but Lejeune is a huge base. Each infantry detachment in the Marine Corps has their own mascot, and I think the Army works this way too, so it is no surprise one of our mascots would be a Spartan warrior.
The detachment 2/6's motto is "Never to quit". The official role of 2/6 is to locate, close with and destroy the enemy by fire and maneuver; if that isn't like the Spartans, I don't know what is. The Marines never retreat. When I just wrote the word "retreat", I actually had to look it up in an online dictionary because I kept spelling it wrong, even though I am well-educated. Marines just never speak of retreating, nor write about it. Well, unless we are writing about the enemy doing it. Yeah, that sounds arrogant, but Marines do carry some arrogance, because we have earned it, and Spartans would say the same thing. I love being a Marine.
Marines v. Spartans #2: Elite Training
During their day, the Spartans had the most elite training to mold their Spartan warriors. Marines today have the most elite basic training in the world. Marines still have such a reputation for being so aggressive, many North Koreans still believe that U.S. Marines must kill one of their parents, and if they are dead, a sibling could fill in, to earn their eagle, globe, and anchor, in order to become a full become a Marine. Perhaps they got this notion from the Spartans, but they had to kill a person from a neighboring town without being detected. While I have no doubt some drill instructors would love to make that a requirement, I assure the residents of San Diego, Parris Island, and Quantico, that is not the case......yet.
Marines v. Spartans #3: Es Spirit de Corps
Marines are a band of brothers and sisters. It is weird saying sisters, because Marines have the fewest amount of females in our branch, both in both numbers and in percentages; it's only 6%. I was actually the only female Marine in my unit for a long time. I actually earned the name "Smurphette", due to me being the only female. When I was about to deploy, my unit had to import a few other females, so I wouldn't deploy with nearly 300 male MarInes alone. Hand to God, just like the Spartans, we deployed with 300. So, I was used to just saying band of brothers, since there were no other females in my unit.
The higher ranks knew I hated when they said "Lady and Gents", because I could see all the eyes on me. So, they just said "Gents". I also hated that term because it separated me further from my brothers. Many times, they just called us simply "Marines", but the officers think that it elevates us to their level if they call us gentleman, and I am not going to deny everyone else this advantage just because I am the only female. I am a Marine first, female second. So that is why I call and count myself as a brother, it doesn't bother me.
Marines, like the Spartan warriors have the most teamwork. The Marines would gladly lay down our life for our brothers; we will jump on that grenade, we would stand in front of them and catch the bullet meant for our brother. While of course, many of us don't like a certain Marine or two for whatever reason, that doesn't change the fact that they are a Marine, and our entitled to our fidelity, and our life.
Marines vs. Spartans #4: The Fittest of All the Military
True, while Marines don't start going to boot amp at age 7, I went at the youngest age, age 17, out of all of the military today, we are the fittest. We have to have the least amount of body fat, run the most, do the most pull-ups, or dead arm hang, and the most sit-ups, for out physical fitness test.
Many Marine units do a "300 Workout". If you are a Marine of rank within your unit and are interested in a 300 workout, go to www.300fit.com. 300 of course, being the perfect score on a PFT test. As soon as I wrote that, I just realized it this is a play on words, 300 also being the amount of Spartans that fought at the Battle of Thermopylae.
Marines vs. Spartans #5: We Are Both a Cult.
There is no way anyone could say that Marines and Spartans are not part of a cult. I don't know about the Spartans, but this isn't exactly an insult to the Marines, we are proud to be exclusive; I bet the Spartans would say the same thing. We have our own culture, initiation process, terms special to our branch, etc. Plus, once you are in, you are in for life; so I guess it's like the mob too.
When Marines work with other branches of the military, it is typical for them not to like us. It's not that we are going out of the way for them not to like us, but we just really don't care. That sounds harsh, but we have a job to do, and what others think about is moot; mission first. I have heard them complain "Oh the Marines think they are so big and bad, and they think they are better than us because we are *fill in the blank* (Soldier, Sailor, Airman, Coastie)". Our answer? Yes, yes we are better.
The thing about Marines people need to understand, and I know I don't speak for the hundreds of thousands of Marines that have existed of course, but from the time we arrive at boot camp, we are thinking the same thing. We are taught that we are going to have the most harshest military experience. We must make the most, with the littlest amount of supplies and manpower. We must be the most aggressive because we will be the first in battle, and we will have the most casualties. Look at all the Meals of Honor, the highest medal a service person can get, a president must salute them (seriously), they are mostly Marines, even though we have the fewest service members by far. The figures I have seen the most is between 63-66% of the Medal of Honor recipients being Marines. Remember, the Marines are only 1/5 of the size of the Army.
Do I think we are the best? Yes I do, because we have proven it time and again since November 10, 1775.
Marines v. Spartans #6: We Are Not Afraid to Die.
Many Marines are religious, however, some are not. Before my unit ever left my FOB's wire, the chaplain would pray not necessary for our safety, but for our victory. I am not saying that atheist Marines are afraid to die, that is not true, but many of the Marines I knew personally thought the same way, a long time ago we made the personal decision that we would be giving our life for our country, well for 4-years at least, and if we die, fine, and if we live, that's icing on the cake.
Death was simply something we had made peace with a long time ago. That doesn't mean we were suicidal, we weren't, but Marines are the elite of the elite, and that means doing everything we can do personally to fulfill the mission and to protect our Marine brother's life; and that may very well be the price of our lives. We knew we would die with honor, and that would be just fine.
Thank-you for reading my article, and remember to please support the troops.
Lcl. Hector Fuste ,USMC SEMPER FI on July 27, 2020:
When i saw the shield of the unit my jaw almost fell. I went to Parris island boot camp another rectuit fell on my right knee and torn my meniscus on 2 compartments. I wasn't allow to sick bay because i was puertorrican a lazy spick. I had to be a spartan with broken parts i wisk that St. Sargent Weedle a fucking red neck, served 3rd bttn. 3302 platoon i hope someone blew his fucking legs off. Three years ago i found out that we had been drinking poison water with with a bunch of carcinogens. Im not dead yet am 62 years old and dying for the fucking assholes the Marines were looking for my first unit was at Court house bay, 2nd Amtrac Bn. As a 2531 field radio operator. I was asked if i volunteer as a2531 at2/6 said yes. Med. CRUISE 6th months on board the USS INCHON AND USS NASHVILLE HELICOPTER CARRIER VERY OLD AND AN AMTRAC AND TROOP SHIP. BOTH OF THEM SUNK AFTER THEY WERE RETIRED LOOK IT UP. THAT REDNECK SARGENT FUCKED MY FUTURE I CANT WALK MUCH I HAVE BEEN WAITING FOR VA SURGEONS REMOVE BOTH KNEES A KNEE REPLACEMENTBOTH. YOU KNOW I WISH I WAS A SNIPER WITH A 308CA. OR A50CAL. I WOULD BE BLOWING PEOPLE AWAY BEFORE I DIE. SEMPERFI MY ASS.
Brannon, RW on March 14, 2020:
First B F Dobbins USN is wrong as the Navy always is Ref: the true
warriors (USMC) A short history lesson 1958 Recon Marines doing
Halo jumps long before there was even a Seal Group (1963 ). When y’all are floundering in the water we are pounding the ground,and when it comes to shooting we wrote the book. So in closing you need the “ PR “ we on the other make a quiet understatement as to who and what we are. One will never know until you have walked among
B. F. Dobbins (MaddMonk44) on January 06, 2020:
I lost my first post because i didn't have a account. This will be much shorter and to the point. Navy Seals, better, mohre fearless, first on the battlefield and much, much more. Who got OSB, who is tasked with the most dangerous missions and operates with the smallest units (3-6 men patrols/units. Navy Seal here, but we love you guys because we have the same mind set, just don't believe breage as much, we just get the job done.
Powell, JL on January 03, 2020:
60’s Vandergriff(stud) RVN Ooorah ”Semper Fi ”
Adf1020 on September 22, 2019:
Oorah!!! USMC 1991. Well said!!!
Anonymous on November 18, 2018:
Despite the marines supposed to be the best the only the only military branches that have the best souldier are the navy and army since they have true spartans known as DEVGRU and Delta Force
leon01 on January 11, 2018:
Enjoyed your article
Gilbert Arevalo from Hacienda Heights, California on October 20, 2015:
Nice photos. I like the artistic mascots.
TheHealthGuy LM from U.S.A. on April 15, 2015:
Ooh Rah! Devil Dog! Thanks for your service Alli Rose. Semper Fi
Alli Rose Smith (author) from Washington, DC on November 05, 2014:
Thanks, old pool man!
Alli Rose Smith (author) from Washington, DC on November 05, 2014:
Thanks Vkwok! Marine Corps birthday ball in 5 days, can't wait!
Victor W. Kwok from Hawaii on November 03, 2014:
This was an interesting comparison, Alli! A salute to the modern day Spartans!
Old Poolman on October 30, 2014:
Thank you for your service and a great job of writing.