Update in my Marine Corps Career

Posted by : Brian | On : December 28, 2013

For those that don’t know, or may have bad info due to the rumor mill, my path in life is changing quite drastically soon.

I’ll try to cover as much as I can in the briefest way possible.

Where I’m at now: I’m currently a student at the University of Washington as an active duty Marine in the MECEP program (Marine Enlisted Commissioning Education Program). The purpose of the program is to send enlisted Marines to college to get their degrees so they can become an officer in the Marine Corps. I was scheduled to graduate and be commissioned in March of this coming year.

During the 2012 elections, I became pretty involved in politics and started to question everything I’ve known about it up to that point. At the beginning of this year, that led me to question America’s involvement overseas, and specifically my role within the armed forces.

As time went on, my conscience began to weigh on me heavily about my personal involvement and I felt like I could not go on to commission and remain in the Marine Corps with a clear conscience. I won’t go into specifics since I am still in.

Anyway, in November I wrote a letter to my Commanding Officer outlining why I could not go on and that I wanted to find a way out if at all possible. I believed that I had three options at that point:

1. Stay in, keep my mouth shut and commission. Do my 6 years, then get out.

2. File for conscientious objector.

3. Disenroll myself from the MECEP program and finish out my current enlistment (ends in May of 2016).

The reason I didn’t choose #1 was because my conscience couldn’t take it. It would be a disservice to the Marine Corps as well as to the Marines that I would be leading. I didn’t choose #2 because I don’t believe I qualify. The Department of Defense states that to file for conscientious objector status, you must be against ALL war, which I am not. So my only real option was to take #3 – a decision that I am pleased with.

That is where I am at right now. I have disenrolled from the MECEP program and I am currently awaiting orders back to my old enlisted job (most likely in North Carolina) and I will spend the next 2-2 1/2 years there until I can get out.

It’s a huge change for us, since we always thought that we would do 20 years in the Marine Corps and retire. It’s a new adventure for us, but we’re excited about the future.

I’m more than happy to discuss specifics, just not here 🙂

Comments (3)

  1. SKH said on 29-12-2013

    I’m glad for you guys and join your excitement about the future.

    Also, nice new domain and WP setup.

  2. Kb said on 06-01-2014

    Came across this post after searching about mecep. Peased with your decision? You abused the program, took classes to earn a college degree and got payed for it and worse admit to thinking about this for over a year and you waited until recently to disenroll. You should be ashamed of yourself, you took advantage of the Marine Corps and our government. I wonder how close you were to graduating? It’s good to know you won’t be leading real Marines!

    • Brian said on 06-01-2014

      Thanks for your comment, and I completely understand where you’re coming from. If I were in your shoes at this time two years ago I would be saying the same thing about me. Yes, I took college classes and got paid for it. To clarify on the year thing: I began questioning the military’s role for about a year, but I still had no intention of disenrolling myself or even getting out of the Marine Corps at that time. It was very shortly before writing the letter that I was convicted enough to disenroll myself. Please believe me that it did not come easy. It was by far the hardest decision I’ve ever made in my life.

      To answer your question: Yes, I am very pleased with my decision, and no, I am not ashamed. I acted upon my convictions.

      You may call me what you like: traitor, abuser, unpatriotic, etc… To quote Martin Luther: “I cannot and will not recant anything, for to go against conscience is neither right nor safe. Here I stand, I can do no other. God help me.”

      Thanks again for your comment.

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