Peacemaking: Chapter 1-11
My last hurdle in becoming a Marine was called, the Crucible. The Crucible is a fifty-four hour straight combat scenario. In the Crucible, D.I.’s push recruits to their limits, testing their endurance, teamwork, and combat skills. This includes obstacle courses, day and nighttime marches, night infiltration movements, combat resupply scenarios, and casualty evacuations, and all of this on minimal food and sleep. During the Crucible I was put in charge of a small platoon of recruits. It was my job to make sure they all passed. One recruit continually held us back. His name was Recruit Bane. He cried, dragged his feet, refused to train, and bitched. At one point, during a ten-mile nighttime march, Recruit Bane fell behind. Drill Instructor Beelzebub came up to me, “Recruit,” he said, “What do you plan on doing with Recruit Bane?” “Leave him,” I replied. “Fuck that, Recruit. We don’t leave shit behind. You have leave to do whatever it takes to get him through the Crucible. You hear me? Whatever—it—takes.” I had never hit a man. But I hit Bane, as hard as I could. I hit him, grabbed him by the collar, and dragged his ass to the front of the march. Who had I become? How did I get to this place? I was about to pin the Eagle, Globe, and Anchor on, and according to the Marine Corps, this would make me an elite killer. The Eagle, Globe, and Anchor (or E.G.A.) is the official emblem of the United States Marine Corps. The Eagle represents the United States, the Globe signifies service in any part of the world, and the Anchor acknowledges the naval traditions of the Marine Corps. For many of the Marines I served with, the E.G.A. was their governing identity. This was who they were. They were United States Marines. I am not sure I ever embraced that title.