As you may have seen, four Marine Corps generals and Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps Mike Barrett sat down with me recently and discussed a variety of issues, including the commandant’s new tough plans for barracks security, the manpower drawdown and the future of the service after Afghanistan.
Times are tough, they acknowledged. But Maj. Gen. Larry Nicholson, commanding officer of 1st Marine Division, said Marines are also afraid of change, or the perception of change. He referenced a hot-button issue — Commandant Gen. Jim Amos’ decision to ditch rolled sleeves for Marines — while addressing it:
Marine Corps Times: One of the reasons there is push-back is because you’re dealing with so many things. There are money concerns, the drawdown, all these variables that are unclear.
Nicholson: Part of it is change. Nobody likes change. We were joking the other day, if four years from now the commandant twice removed said, “OK, we’re going to roll sleeves up,” there would be 20 letters to the editor going, “This is bull—-!” Any change is fraught with resistance. Again, the perception of change here. There isn’t really change at all.”
Nicholson, a salty commander who is popular with many of his troops, went on to make the case that because some of the initiatives the Corps is gravitating to now were in place years ago, there is really no change at all.
What are your thoughts, friends?