Friday, June 22, 2012

Motivation, got a lot of motivation


provided with a motive or given incentive for action; "a highly motivated child can learn almost anything"; "a group of politically motivated men" [ant: unmotivated]

Can be abbreviated to “moto” (as in, “wow, that is super-moto, Chesty Puller would be proud”)

Motivation can be a good thing in the Marine Corps.  Honestly, when I think of Marines, I think motivated.

For the most part, when the word “motivated” is used to describe a Marine, it is either sarcastic or it means that trouble is around the corner. 

Examples of Marine Corps Motivation:  Motivated PT (Physical Training).  As it has been pouring rain on the island for the past week (including a brush with a typhoon), the fields were incredibly muddy.   In our matching green t-shirts and obnoxiously short green shorts, we did our stretches and warm ups.

As I spit out the mud and sweat that had accrued in or around my mouth, we began a three-mile battalion run.  For us, that is about 1,000 marines and sailors – enlisted and officers – running in four columns.  I never quite appreciated how many people are in my new battalion, until I saw the length of this line. 

Battalion runs are annoying because of their pace (and distance).  The annoyance factor is intensified if you are in the back.  As you can imagine with a line that stretches for 250 people, there gets to be a little bit of an accordion effect as the group goes over hills and makes sharps turns.  For awhile you don’t move, and then you have to sprint…in order to not move again.

I’m not sure how they are supposed to motivate, but I get a surge of motivation when I hear the cadences.  Example (and a personal favorite):

Hey there Army!
Dirt Baggin' Army!
Get in your tanks and follow me
I’m in the U.S.M.C.

Hey there Air Force!
Low Flying Air Force!
Get in your planes and cover me
I’m in the U.S.M.C.

Hey there Navy!
Swabbing decks Navy!
Get in your ships and Supply me
I’m in the U.S.M.C.

Hey there Coast Guard!
Puddle Pirate Coast Guard!
Get in your din gees and follow me.
I’m in the U.S.M.C.

Semper Fi, Marine Corps.
Pick up your packs and follow me
I’m in the U.S.M.C.

While I’m not in love with what they have to say about the Navy, I love a good cadence.  In various Marine Corps cadences, we do all sorts of wonderful things like beat up St. Peter at the Pearly Gates, beat up Satan at the Gates of Hell, and find all new exciting ways to use a K-bar (Marine Corps issued big knife).  Sometimes Grandma and Grandpa are lying in bed, and they have an intricate conversation about PT (as it turns out, “when my grandmamma was ninety-two, she did PT better than you).

When we got back to the field for some quick calisthenics, I took a couple minutes to talk to some Marines who had fallen out (e.g. didn’t make it – let it be known, that I did not fail).  I missed the first exercise of flutter kicks (again in the mud), but it was amazing to watch 2,000 legs up in the air, kicking on cadence.

I’m motivated now.


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