Amos: Marines not likely to go straight from boot camp to battlefield


Marine Corps commandant Gen. Jim Amos sat down for an interview with Leatherneck Magazine  recently, which is freshly out in the magazine’s February edition.

Photo by Cpl. Caitlin Brink/ Marine Corps

The interviewer, Arthur P. Brill Jr., asked Amos if one of the dire consequences he predicted would result from shrinking the Corps to 174,000–having to ship troops straight from “the drill field to the battlefield”–was really likely to happen. The answer: not terribly, but conditions will still be more constrained with a smaller force.

Leatherneck: You testified recently that Marines could go straight from boot camp to combat without giving them precombat training. Would you really do that?

Gen Amos: The answer is no. But, if our strength and capabilities drop, we can fight just one major contingency some­place. If that big one comes, Marines will go to war and won’t come home until it’s over. We will not have the depth to rotate people back and forth. Similar to Korea in the early 1950s, Marines could go from boot camp to the battlefield. Believe me, we would do everything possible not to do that.

In another exchange, Brill asks whether the “basket leave” granted to same-sex couples, which gives them time to travel to another state to be married, is raising some hackles. Amos reveals some interesting data: there are fewer than 25 Marine same-sex couples on active duty. And apparently the leave policy hasn’t been a problem.

LeatherneckHow many same-sex couples does the Corps have, and is the “basket leave” they receive to get married causing any rumblings?

Gen Amos: We have about 144 same-sex couples on active duty, and less than 25 are a Marine with a Marine. Most are a Marine and a civilian or a Marine with another servicemember. Same-sex mar­riages are not allowed in all the states, so the Secretary of Defense authorized them “basket leave” to get married in another state. He’s trying to take care of these people. It’s not causing any concern to my knowledge, and I haven’t heard a peep about it.

Read the full interview here.


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  1. The “funny” thing about not ‘hearing a peep’ is that anyone who objects to the vile and perverted conduct that is homosexuality will be run out of the Corps these days. So, CMC need not confuse the lack of a “peep” with the presence of acceptance of that immoral and abominable conduct. Even if the POTUS and those of his ilk think that conduct is okay and foisted it on what was once a honorable profession.

    I guess “funny” does not mean what I think it means….

  2. Why would anyone expect an honest reply from Gen Amos, especially when he refers to the military’s homosexual and feminism-social engineering missions?

  3. It is a real shame what our “beloved” politicians are asking the Marine Corps not to have and that is enough Marines to do the job and be able to rotate home after a reasonable combat tour. Seems to me that was the problem during the Iraq war and in Afg. in which soldiers were required to go through 2 and 3 tours in combat due to personnel shortages. I just hate reading this news. Respectfully, Steve Kutra, a former hospital corpsman.

  4. As a former DI, I can tell you wholeheartedly that Marines are NOT combat ready after leaving the gates of PI or SD.

    Let’s face it. There are droves of new Marines who joined the Corps simply for a paycheck and to avoid the economy. Typically, those individuals do not possess the hard noses that Marines in Korea did. Is it a sign of the times? I think so…

  5. Just watched a program about the Korean War and it turns out many of the kids who joined the Marines for Korea didn’t even get boot camp before being shipped out.They had to get basic weapons training on ship by the few WWII NCOs with them. Those kids were not hard nosed,they were scared young men,many still legally boys (17) who got thrown into action in 1950.They got “hard nosed” the old fashioned way,by surviving their first encounters with the enemy.

  6. That makes me feel as a Vietnam Vet that we had no ‘hardnoses’ and that draftees who didn’t sign up at all….might be considered even less than the paycheck avoid the economy guys?? I don’t think i agree with that. There are quite a few draftees on the wall in D.C. and quite a few that received valor awards. I am not a draftee myself, I served 4 years with a tour in Nam and feel like we had plenty of ‘hardnoses’.

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