Marine staff NCO behind hilarious Craigslist barracks post

A staff noncommissioned officer was the one behind a funny Craigslist advertisement for a barracks room at Camp Lejeune, N.C. (Craigslist screen grab)

A staff noncommissioned officer was the one behind a funny Craigslist advertisement for a barracks room at Camp Lejeune, N.C. (Craigslist screen grab)

Those who assumed only a “terminal lance” would have the gall to list his barracks room on Craigslist might be surprised to learn who was really behind the stunt.

A staff sergeant hoping to carry out a career in the Corps was behind the entertaining Craigslist advertisement. He said he has a “penchant for shaking things up when it comes to having to conform to the Marine Corps way.”

The Battle Rattle post about his ad was viewed nearly 380,000 times. He described a 225 square-foot barracks room as a lovely space in a gated community with wake-up calls and “motivation specialists.” The staff sergeant said he has since received a lot of fan mail.

“I have received hundreds of encouragement and congratulatory emails in response to the ad, and most of them wished me luck with dealing with my first sergeant, sergeant major, or insinuating I may well be on my way to private,” he told Marine Corps Times.

For those reasons, it’s probably no surprise that he asked that his identity not be revealed.

The staff NCO said he posted the ad as a challenge of sorts. He wants to ensure Marines aren’t afraid of questioning the status quo — but only if they do it in a professional way that doesn’t cost them their careers.

“Our Corps is built on the concept that we are innovators who look for new ways to operate (e.g., amphibious landings) and that we will formulate ways to do them well,” he said. “Innovation involves forcing oneself to operate outside the box, a thing the Marine Corps as an institution typically frowns upon.”

Instead, the staff sergeant said he would like to encourage Marines who enjoyed his post to think about their limitations and push past them.

“[That will] help make our Corps into the next generation of military professionals,” he said. “This is how we grow and improve.”

He said he wanted to be clear: That doesn’t mean he’s out to slander the way the Corps functions. But wants to challenge it in a positive way.

“If you are an infantryman, a supply clerk, an intelligence officer, or a [military policeman], ask yourself often, ‘Why do we do things this way? Is there a way the process can be improved?’ ” he said. “If you have an idea, it doesn’t matter if you are a private or a general, you could be the one to help revolutionize our Corps.”

The staff sergeant said too often Marines are concerned they’re going to get in trouble if they question anything. But they should not be afraid to remain silent about everything going on around them out of fear of their superiors, he said.

“In today’s Marine Corps, I find there is a lack of moxie where it has historically abound,” he said. “This new garrison Marine Corps keeps Marines on pins and needles for fear of having their careers ruined by some adverse paperwork.”


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  1. haha. Take it easy there, SSgt… you made one funny post. Don’t get too big of a head. Nobody cares what your philosophy on Marine leadership is

  2. that is a good idea what the sargent did, gives something for people who want to join the military to look forward to , aint like he was takeing pic of a top secret base , most people look for good liveing conditions and work enviorment , befor they take a job anyways.

  3. Sounds like someone slipped through the cracks and got promoted above their leadership abilities. So now it’s OK to “question” the leader above you and to “think outside the box” when it comes to the way the Corps conducts business?

  4. I find it so funny the way you all prove him right. For one you don’t just slip through the cracks and get your six. Especially in the marine corps. For two there is always room for improvement in any structure. If you read what he was saying you would realize that he’s not trying to be insubordinate. But rather he is positively challeging today’s leaders to think. If we as a military don’t push ourselves to get better, our position as the worlds most dominant military will be usurped. It truly does start with that little private who ask the “stupid” question. And if you’re an NCO reading this i implore you to engage your soldiers. Continue to discipline them and mentor them. Challenge them to be more then just a good marine. Attempt to improve the standards at the lowest level. Because you never know. That little shit faced private could one day become a gunny in charge of a platoon.

  5. This SSGT is in my platoon, he’s a good guy, funny and down to earth. We all like him. Those of you talking shit are just running your mouths for the sake of running your mouths. No one gives a shit what your opinion is

  6. I was always afraid to speak up when around leadership. It was always that thought they would only take it as some sort of disrespect. Had a buddy at OCS CI platoon get a Pg 11 for “disrespecful mannerism”

  7. I am hoping that all who just commented or active duty or reservists. There is no such thing as a problem, it’s just the fact that narrow minded people cant think outside the box. With that being said SSgt is right, innovative ideas come from junior marines, have guys heard about continous process improvement (CPI), there is a tool in it called brainstorming and what that does is, come up with innovative solutions, ideas to solve problems that narrow minded individuals cant solve, however so the junior marines are always the ones with best ideas, reason being their minds are’nt tainted or are there minds prejudice against change and it has been proven that snr leaders dont like change and 9 out of 10 they are the ones leading from the rear, they are the ones that got promoted too early. So wake up dinosaurs its a new Corp, and its gonna change no matter what. Semper fi..

  8. Those of you talking shit about the SSgt are what’s the problem with today’s Corps. You are just like those idiot 1st Sgts with GED’s who think they know everything.

    Give me a fking break. The man is saying to think outside the box.

    There’s more than 1 way to skin a cat.

  9. Having worked with the SSgt who wrote the ad for several years, I have to agree with him. As an officer, I have seen great leaders challenge the system and get axed because “that’s just not the way we do it”. I highly encourage all ranks to think outside the norm and be consistent in your efforts. Well thought out ideas have innovated the Corps in the past (if you need a reference go research the man behind the AAV.) We should always be in relentless pursuit of beytering ourselves and our profession. Who says that doesn’t also include bettering our institution and the way we do business? All who disagree, there’s a VEERP message with your name

  10. This is something that I have found wrong with the Corps for a long time and a small reason why I’m getting out. People who usually succeed as Marine leaders are all too typically boxed in. How many thousands of times have I talked to a snco or officer and told them about how other militaries operate, or how efficient different strategies would be in regards to anything: tactics, conduct, punishments, etc . And every single time its always the same response : Oh that’s interesting but this is the Marine Corps way. I used to tell Afghan ANA trainees as an adviser- The second you stop learning is the second you start dying. And it’s so true, if you stick to the status quo for everything, eventually TTPs around you will change to suit your enemy, and then you’re fucking dead.

  11. First, you don’t “challenge” what your superiors are saying. That thought process is the exact reason Marines ask the why question. Not because they don’t understand the circumstances, but because they think their opinion matters. We as leaders need to squash that mentality. Thinking outside of the box is encourage; however never exercised. If junior Marines thought outside the box, there would be no obstacle they couldn’t overcome in there daily tasks, but time and time again we are let down. Honestly, I wish I had a Marine that I could trust to accomplish a task that requires massive amounts of BAMCIS, but in the end I would be setting myself up for failure 100% of the time. I see a lot of people commenting on the problem in the Marine Corps. I’m not going to give a back in my day speech, so please continue reading. The NCO s have lost their backbone. They are afraid to step up and correct Marines or hold them accountable, because now the LCpl is “my boy”. Because of this, NCO responsibilities have shifted to the next rank up. If you are a free thinker (with intelligence), not lazy, and have all these great ideas, pleasee come work for me. I would love to have you.

  12. on

    If the boss wants it done a certain way, expect to do it that way, especially if its punitive (seriously, so many guys miss the cue on that last one).

    But if the boss’s way is the hard way, the longer way, or the way that’s gonna get someone hurt and you got a better way, then, TACTFULLY AND RESPECTFULLY, bring it up. But bring it up.

    Also, I don’t understand Street’s post. On the one hand he says their opinion doesn’t matter, and all junior Marines are stupid and untrustworthy…on the other he says he’d love to have some intelligent initiative showing Marines. There’s a logical disconnect there that leads me to believe the origination of the problem in his Marines…is him, being the only common factor.

  13. on

    edit: there could be information you don’t know that the boss does. Or the boss might not have thought of the thing you though of.

    Just remember the the number one goal of Marine Corps leadership is Mission Accomplishment (not protecting the boss’s ego). So if you think you got a legitimately better way to achieve mission, then bring it up.

  14. Marines have always thought outside of the box. Well, we did when I was active. Adapt and overcome ring a bell?!! I believe with some of the comments I have read some marines are confused. Marines don’t train to kill or none of that. We train to survive. We are a show of force, we neutralize threats. So you think outside of the box without realizing it. It’s part of being a Marine! Your greatest challenge you will ever face is being a civilian again once you are out. It’s never ending battle. Semper Fi

  15. Ace. Love it! If you work with this SSgt then speak up, if you don’t and don’t have a clue what he means, by all means, STFU. Carry on!

  16. you are all a bunch of fucking dump trucks. None of you can think for yourselves. Nothing but a bunch of fucking sheep towing the line for a bunch of lying, cheating, corrupt politicians. You fucking tools don’t have a clue. None of you could make it in the real world. Just a bunch of yes sir men. You should listen to yourselves, bunch of fucking idiots.

  17. What is this think outside the box shit is this the new line these days, the popular clich’e to say now. I agree with SH you are a bunch of faggots. Thank God I don’t serve with a bunch of punks like you think outside the box guys anymore, how retarded.

  18. The article is written well..he has a good point of speaking up, and i agree with that. but im not sure if u can advertise govt property and say its for rent…funny as hell but we know how this goes….this can be looked at as a real life Semper Toons.,.

  19. The Marine Corps is the way it is…not because you have innovative ideas…but because we have a system that does not involve outside box thinking, but learning to improvise, adapt, and overcome inside thinking. If you truly want to make out of the box thinking…become a mustang…get some schooling and become a colonel or general to make some out of the box changes.

  20. Everyone that criticized this Marine for having a strong opinion on leadership, needs to get the fuck out of my Corps. Let the door hit you on the way out.

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  22. SH Should know on

    SH should know that the USMC has produced more millionaires than the rest of the services combined. “Look it up, SH”, than hang on tight to the handrail on the garbage truck you ride on.

    Have a great day. Semper Fi

  23. Hey SH, how’s things down there in your mom’s basement? You turd burglar. I wouldn’t piss in your mouth, if your guts were on fire. Oh, and one more thing, I would have been your father, but the sailor in front of me had exact change.

  24. With a username like Jack Mehoff I assume your a fag or a Chomo. With that being said shower shoe your little rants are fucking weak, can’t you come up with your own material? I have heard those one liners and clichés a million times. Your a little punk. When I hammered your Mom I knew we should have aborted you. But look at you now armchair hero, your a real tough guy. Fuck go back to school son, I will just fucking pepper you all day.

  25. I love a good joke, and the ad was just that. Hilarious! But a lesson in innovation and outside the box thinking for junior Marines complements of a SNCO? Please. I’m 100% for enabling young, intelligent Marine NCOs to provide innovative solutions to problems; I find it insulting how often we trust NCOs to lead Marines into battle, but don’t trust them with mundane tasks back in the rear. But a funny Craigslist ad to rent a barracks room masked as a mentorship lesson? Is that really how you “make our Corps into the next generation of military professionals?” What next, telling fart jokes to teach public speaking? If these are the profound lessons our SNCOs are providing to the Marines, the Corps will look more like “Idiocracy” than “Heartbreak Hill.”

    This SNCO might be liked by the junior Marines, especially for his wittiness, but this will be the same SNCO that’ll take your orders, go to the Marines, and give you full credit while discrediting you in front of the Marines so he’s still liked by them.

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