Caught in the act: Marine four-star shovels his own walk


Generals: they’re just like us.

Gen. John Paxton may be assistant commandant of the Marine Corps, but a photo snapped surreptitiously outside his home at Marine Barracks Washington shows he’s not afraid to roll up his sleeves and do a little manual labor.

Paxton shoveling

The photo, snapped by Marine Cpl. Anne Marie Trecolis and first featured by Brian Adam Jones on the blog Task and Purpose, shows Paxton in jeans and a black coat, shoveling the walkway outside his home.

Trecolis and a friend, Cpl. Alina Hollis, were walking to lunch outside 8th and I when they spotted Paxton working, without any pomp or ceremony.

In his post, Jones said it was a refreshing sight to see a senior leader who wasn’t above a little menial work:

I love this photo. One of the biggest threats to our military is the god-complex held by senior leaders. It’s what leads commanders to have affairs, to have subordinates feed a friend’s cat for you, or to go on wild adventures in Russia and consort with suspicious women.

It would have been so easy for Paxton to have a lance corporal shovel his driveway In fact, it likely happens every day with other generals.

We like the photo too. What do you think?


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  1. To comment on the quote regarding that other Generals would have junior Marines do the work. I was a junior Marine at MCRDSD while Gen Paxton was the CG. We regularly had to take out his garbage at his home.

    I remember 4th of July weekend when I was on duty. He and his family were in the backyard grilling and enjoying the weather. Meanwhile, I was taking out his personal garbage without so much as a thank you or a Semper Fi.

    He is no different than any other General.

  2. Left active duty over 10 yrs ago as a Captain. Being away from the Corps has made one thing very clear to me: there are too many General officers, even too many Colonels. Need to cull the bloated herd. Nothing remarkable about picture of Paxton Cpl Trecolis… you’re just too much into the cool-aid to think it’s remarkable.

  3. General Paxton was my Battalion Commander when I was with 1/8. Awesome leader and a great Marine and never asked us to do anything he wouldn’t do himself. When we were in the field he was getting dirty right there with us no special tent, chow, treatment etc. etc. he’s a grunt through and through. Hopefully when they bounce that puke Amos out he will take the helm and bring this Corps back to the way it use to be. He’s no political tool or puppet. He bleeds infantry. All you POG’s stand the F@#%K bye……

    Semper Fi General Paxton

    From: Sgt. Brian Rochman

    Weapons Co. 1/8 81’s Platoon

    QRF-6 (22MEU) Restore Hope 2 (Somalia)

    Operation Deny Flight (Bosnia)

  4. “by”/”bye” who gives a shit John. Amos is a horrible general officer… he should have relieved himself instead of CO of TBS for that murder-suicide…he’s as culpable as the top Boss.

  5. Gen. Paxton comes from outside Philly, my neck of the woods, the Marple-Newtown area. We get enough snow that he knows how to do it. And when I was in the Corps not all that long ago (just a mere 34 years) we weren’t whiney little asses complaining that we were expected to do our duty that may have been taking out the trash and watching those who outranked us enjoy the holidays. Rank has its privileges! Sounds like someone (John) used his “time out, I’m a wuss” card at boot camp a little too much. And Ed, how is Commandant Amos culpable in a murder/suicide at Quantico when he’s 33 miles away at the Pentagon? Do you even know the definition of culpability? My Marine Corps is letting too many pussies in. Need to go back to kicking some ass in boot camp and running you pansies out to the Army.

  6. I am not complaining about having to take out the trash. I was just stating that he is not ‘special’ as the quote would have you believe.

    Do they actually have time out cards? They didn’t when I was in boot camp. I think it is just something that Marines from the “Old Corps” like to use in order to feel superior to the new generation of Marines.

    Maybe you should try your hand at school too. You could use some reading comprehension.

  7. I’ve never met the General, but from all accounts, he is a true Marine’s Marine. A lot of “in the know” types think he will be the next Commandant. One can only hope!

  8. That’s probably why he was shoveling…..his lance coolies were busy taking out the trash…;-) Seriously folks I hate to see fellow Jarheads going at it like this. I’m old school but still work with young Marines…..we’re STILL cut out of the same cloth. S/F

  9. Wow John you caught my typo “bye” good for you your a real whizz. Guess when you sit behind a desk pushing paper all day while the real men go fight you catch those kind of errors you freaking “POG” go sharpen your pencil now dickhead and go type in the Medals us real men earned in our SRB’s freaking loser.

  10. John is one of those punkass disrespectful PFC’s or LCPL shit birds who plays playstation all day does two pull-ups and is getting shit-canned soon cause he can’t shoot, swim, PT, or hang in the Corps because he’s lazy and weak and is a cancer to the Corps. If I was Paxton I wouldn’t even let you pick up the dogshit off my lawn, you would probably screw that up too. Who in the hell would want to thank a douschbag like you with a trashbag in hand embarrassing his guests by your dirtbag presence……

  11. Good one Eric… But you have it all wrong. John was probably in Pork Chop Platoon or legal hold or some kind of other light duty shit while he was a piece of crap recruit. No wonder Paxton didn’t even acknowledge his stupid ass. You have to be a moron by admitting to taking out someone else’s trash. What a freaking “Dump Truck”. John your way out of your league boot……

  12. This may come as a surprise to all those who aren’t Equal in Rank to the Assist. Commandant.

    You do what your told, no if’s and’s or but’s.

    It’s called rank structure, shit rolls down hill!

    good you got out!

  13. This is the same commentary that has occurred across the ranks of the Corp since its beginning. Get over all chicken shit, and air wing, grunt bullshit. Those air wingers are just as much a Marine as any grunt. They train in infantry tactics just like every Marine does. I was a communicator I served in the infantry and in logistics. The Marines I served with in logistics were every bit a marine as the grunts I served with. Semper Fi

  14. Serving chow to the infantry and getting the grunts to the fight is not even close to being in the infantry or being a grunt, don’t get confused Dennis. Just cause you carried a rifle to the field once in awhile and did a basic security patrol you learned in boot camp doesn’t make you a infantry Marine dude. Unless you have earned the 03 MOS your just another supporter.

  15. Jeff, you sound like a big talker…how many ears and fingers do you have? And trophies from the same dead body doesn’t count big guy.

  16. Mike McLeod Cpl on

    The men and women that actually run the Corps in the field are Gunny’s, Staff, E-5, and E-4’s. When I was in country, I-corps, 1968 as an E-4 in charge of 15 men, as I look back and remember what our team had to do just to survive is amazing and never got credit for it, but the 2nd Lt and other Commanders did…..

  17. Mike McLeod Cpl on

    Jeff, you are correct, but take it easy. I was in charge of a motor t unit and our men ran convoy’s up and down Hwy 9 and Hwy 1. Got hit plenty! At night we stood post on the perimeter and got plenty of heat protecting the 4 duce mortar’s.

    Blt 2-26 Infantry kicked plenty of ass and we supported them.

    Hoo Rha! Semper Fi….

  18. Mike McLeod Cpl on

    All Marines at one time or another Stand and Fight to the end. We are every bit as tough as Special Ops or Seals. We stand and fight, they are specialists, Hit and Run. Don’t get me wrong? I trained with a couple of Seals and Force Recon, they are hard as nails and I want them on my side in a fight. They are well trained and efficient!

  19. Mike McLeod Cpl on

    Alright! Listen, The Marine Corps did a lot for me. I grew up fast in ‘Nam. I was only 21 and had men much younger than me I was in charge of. They were young, tough and would stand and fight for any Marine around them. Yes, I knew a few Marines that probably should never had been in. They still wore the uniform. Marines never turn their back on one another! Hell, I was able to swim a mile, swim under water over 150 feet, run 3 in less than 19 minutes, do 18 pull-ups, 80 push-ups, 75 sit-ups, shot 218 on the Range and became an MP before going to ‘Nam in 1968. That is what the Corps gave me, confidence that I could do it. We are Marines…. Help one another, don’t destroy each-other….

  20. Mike McLeod Cpl on

    I am “Old Corps” and have two friends that are new Corps. One was in a F.A.S.T. Unit and on way to many deployments. Good Marine and highly skilled. The other Marine was a Machine Gunner on a Security Detail running security for a Seal Team. Both good Marines and good friends! The modern Marines are skilled, and highly trained. We are still Marines, never forget that.

  21. Ed sounds like you need some in-patient care in the PSYCH ward at the V.A. What the fuck are you talking about weirdo. You should up your dose on your Meds and get some help…. You sound like a real scumbag and should be committed..

  22. Jeff sounds like someone who has a serious inferiority complex. “No one is a true Marine unless he’s an 03”.

    Whatever, Jeff. Check this out, Mr. SuperGrunt Jeff: I and every other non-03 Marine can do your job, but can you do ours? Nope.

  23. UUHHHH ok there Goontron 73 won’t even respond to that idiotic comment. Dude your grammar sucks you must have been brought up on “Hooked on Phonics”.

  24. Jeff,

    My grammar sucks and you are notorious for run-on sentences and missing commas? You can’t capitalize for s***, and you can’t even get your trade-names correct. Go back to your closet and cry yourself to sleep over how, no matter how hard you try, you still have an inferiority complex.

  25. Jeff, I remember the “10%” always being mentioned. You are definitely in the 10% of dumb Americans. You make Paris Hilton look like a Rhodes Scholar.

  26. Personal servitude, although now illegal, for general officers has been going on from the beginning. It used to be that all generals had enlisted Marine chauffers, cooks and household stewards assigned to their official residences. Nowadays, I believe only CMC rates such support. Other generals, whose billet doesn’t rate officially-assigned enlisted Marine stewards to act as household servants, still have some jobs, such as taking out trash, grooming lawns and painting rocks, assigned from “working parties,” which is legal. RHIP.

    In the 19th and early 20th centuries, lesser Marine officers (such as colonels, who were expected to keep up standards expected of gentlemen) hired whatever batmen and household staff they had from their own funds.

    Today, the General shovels snow (probably for exercise, since he could get a working party to do it) and maybe Mrs. General hires the Busy Maids cleaning service for household work, but still cooks and serves dinner with her own hands except when they get it catered for parties.

  27. Jeff, I bet you are a shower shoe to my “boot”. But at least you remember all the “oorah” nonsense you learned in ITB about 5 minutes ago. When is your graduation from SOI? Next week?

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