August 22, 1993
San Diego Union Tribune
P.O. Box 191
San Diego, CA 92112-4106
I am appalled at the general ignorance of the press and other public figures regarding the recently announced and then withdrawn policy of the Marine Corps.
The policy did not prevent enlisted members of the Marine Corps from getting married. It did prevent married individuals from enlisting in the Marine Corps. This is a big difference. The underlying idea was to keep young, relatively poorly paid recruits focused on their immediate mission: To become Marines.
Sometime during the first or second tour of duty, a young Marine has gained sufficient experience (maturity), and is paid enough to be able to support a family. At this point the Marine Corps actually encourages marriage—it leads to stability, and thus a better Marine.
Incidentally, when has the Commandant (or any other service commander) ever cleared his standing orders with any higher authority? He occupies his position because he can be trusted to make decisions that will benefit his service branch and the country.
Furthermore, he does not make these decisions on his own, but after careful consideration from his staff of advisors. For the politically appointed Defense Secretary to countermand the Commandant’s orders demonstrates an appalling lack of common sense that seems typical of the entire Clinton administration lately.
P.S.: My daytime telephone number: 585-2100