Friday, September 23, 2011

The "Meatheads" Lead the Way

With the recent end in the "don't ask don't tell" debacle within our nations military, The Marines have taken an early lead in the recruitment of gays and lesbians to join their ranks. The New York Times have been covering this developing story closely over the past few weeks, pushing it onto the front page most of the time. The same held true in Wednesday's edition of The Times, as the main article front and center was titled "Marines Hit the Ground Running in Seeking Recruits at Gay Center." This was a shocking headline for me to read. I am an advocate for anyone and everyone being available to apply to join the armed forces (granted they pass the standards set forth by those individual groups themselves) so it was not the fact that recruiting had begun at the Gay Center, but rather the branch that was leading the way on the recruiting trail. The Marines are typically thought of as the most masculine group on the battle field. They are distinctly recognizable by their boisterous "Hooo-Haaaa's" that can be heard from a great distance away. As well as their incessant yelling of "Semper-Fi" the mantra in which they fight and believe. As the article states, the "Marines pride themselves on being the most testosterone-driven of the services." This is what caught my eye. They were the only branch of the service present at the convention doing recruiting. What does this say about the marines? Does this affect their "macho" image? Or is this just a glimpse into the changing times we are apart of in today's society? Me personally, I am happy to see them leading the way. I do not see this as a lessening of their masculine image, or tough side at all. Rather, I see this act as nothing but a strengthening of their overall image as a service branch. They are separating themselves from the rest of the pack, and going above and beyond to find the best civilians to join their ranks and fight for their country. I see this as them gaining a step on everyone else. Even if they did not gain any possible recruits on the day at the Center, they were there taking advantage of the recent change in law, and looking for the right caliber of person to join their ranks. People that the others would have missed out on.

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