1. Sclavus

    Sclavus Active Member

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    USMC Commands

    Discussion in 'Research' started by Sclavus, Sep 16, 2017.

    I'm having trouble finding trustworthy information about what I'm sure are basic commands in the United States Marine Corps.

    Say you've got a bunch of Marines sitting around and you (say you're an O-6) want them to line up in rows and columns. What do you say?

    What would you say to get them to go back to what they were doing?
     
  2. Iain Aschendale

    Iain Aschendale Potatoes again? Supporter Contributor

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    An O-6 doing that? That's a colonel, he probably be handling that directly, he'd probably find the platoon sergeant or someone and tell them to get everyone formed up, but whoever's doing it would say something along the lines of

    "[Second Platoon]*, fall in!"

    After he was done giving his instructions or motivational speech or whatever and wanted to let them go, he'd say:

    "Fall out!"*

    Those are, IIRC**, the official commands for assembling and releasing (not dismissing, that only happens at the end of the day or whatever) a group of Marines.

    *You can insert whatever unit you want here, but the point remains that the officer would probably not be giving the orders directly to the group of Marines, he'd be telling the NCOIC (Non-commissioned officer [sergeant or similar] in charge) to get the Marines into formation.

    **...and I'm going to summon up @zoupskim to confirm that my twenty-four year old memories are correct.
     
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  3. big soft moose

    big soft moose An Admoostrator Staff Supporter Contributor Community Volunteer

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    'Fall in' is pretty universal I think among st English speaking armies. and I agree with Ian that an officer would be unlikely to call the unit to fall in - even Lts usually use their platoon sergeant for that.

    Also with a senior officer like a colonel, i'd expect the men to already be fallen in and in the at ease position before the colonel arrives and then to be called to attention (At-ten-hutt in the US forces , 'shun in the Uk army ) as a mark of respect for his rank.
     
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  4. Wreybies

    Wreybies Thrice Retired Supporter Contributor

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    What I will add to the above respondents (with whom I concur) is that Hollywood does an atrocious job of showing who would be doing what, at which rank/pay grade, and how old these people would generally be in their given ranks/pay grades. Most Hollywood depictions of military personnel are much, much, much too old for the insignia they wear. Like in Aliens, those were all privates, PFCs, and corporals in their mid-thirties. A PFC in his mid-thirties is not part of an elite squad of anything.
     
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  5. Sclavus

    Sclavus Active Member

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    Thanks for the info. I may call upon the Devil Dog gods for further inquiries.

    My antagonistic force is loosely based on the Marines, only because later a portion of them are going to become the special warfare division for my protags.

    The story is that American military resources are stretched thin after a long war, even after the draft is used. A private military contractor conglomerate suggests the idea of offering military prisoners (those in Leavenworth and such) an opportunity to serve in the PMC conglomerate for "American interests," rather than sitting in prison. Those prisoners have to meet very specific criteria, and are ruthlessly controlled with some high tech sci-fi crap.

    Some of the prisoners eventually catch on to the fact their PMC isn't serving American interests, so they join the Americans the PMC is targeting. They have to work very carefully, though, because they're so tightly controlled. In the end, it's the self-dubbed "Hangmen" and the "Apocalypse Springs City Management" against the Pantheon Group, with zombies in the mix for shits and giggles. When the new world order comes out of the conflict, those Hangmen are given the title of Marine, a symbolic gesture they've regained the honor they lost when they went to Leavenworth.

    Hence my interest in the Marines.
     
  6. big soft moose

    big soft moose An Admoostrator Staff Supporter Contributor Community Volunteer

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    I'd generally concur, but its worth noting that there are special force units (like the SAS ) where the rank is reset on joining*. 30 is still a bit old, but you could easily get a mid twenties sergeant undergoing selection and then becoming a 'trooper' when he was 'badged' ....

    *note this isn't true of officers who keep their rank if they are going to a command position ... the occasional officer will choose to serve as a trooper if no officer positions are open, but that's pretty rare
     
  7. Sclavus

    Sclavus Active Member

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    I've noticed that.

    Bruce Willis as a lieutenant in Tears of the Sun when he was 48? Yeah, no. Not happening.
     
  8. Wreybies

    Wreybies Thrice Retired Supporter Contributor

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    And it's been explained to me that the max age for enlisting in the U.S. is quite a bit older now than when I was serving. My memories in uniform are that E1-E4 are very young people in the U.S. and also in our corresponding positions in the U.K. When I was at Chicksands, the airmen of my equivalent rank were the same age as I was. Young.
     
  9. big soft moose

    big soft moose An Admoostrator Staff Supporter Contributor Community Volunteer

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    35 for the army and 28 for the marines according to Mr Google. The other option is reservists (territorial over here until very recently) who get mobilised can sometimes transfer to active units if they prove their worth even if they are over the enlistment maximum

    Also I don't know how it works in the US, but ref tears of the sun, in the UKAF a senior sergeant can take a commission, so you occasionally get LT platoon commanders who are about 15 years older than their peers.
     
  10. Sclavus

    Sclavus Active Member

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    It's technically possible to be a lieutenant in your 40s in the Navy, but as for being a SEAL, that would mean he'd been a SEAL for twenty years or so. That kind of wear and tear on the body just makes it seem unlikely. An old SEAL is usually in their mid to late thirties. Of course, there's always that one exception, like Mike "Grandpa" Carrol.

    A lot of the extreme ages shown in Hollywood are technically possible, but not the norm.
     
  11. big soft moose

    big soft moose An Admoostrator Staff Supporter Contributor Community Volunteer

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    Of course its a product of older actors having lots of influence, cash and kudos at the box office - and reality has never been Hollywood's main concern (its like 'the guardian' - the god awful kevin costner vehicle .. rescue swimmer in his late 50s.... yeah that seems likely )
     
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  12. Sclavus

    Sclavus Active Member

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    I can actually futz with the ages in my story, because the prisoners at Leavenworth are all kicked down to E-1 regardless of age, and start there in the PMC. Of course the PMC hands out ranks based on how much you kiss the CEO's ass, not on actual performance. When my leader of the Hangmen went to Leavenworth, he was a captain in his late 30s.
     
  13. Iain Aschendale

    Iain Aschendale Potatoes again? Supporter Contributor

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    I think a lot of that "elderly private" thing is a holdover from WWII, where there were men in their mid to late 20s getting drafted and ending up as E-1s, but yeah. Also, the soldiers in Aliens were anything but elite... Look to Heat and Way of the Gun for elite soldier behavior.
     
  14. zoupskim

    zoupskim Contributor Contributor

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    I can only answer from my own experience, and some of the basic drill rules I can think of right now.

    This is the first thing I thought of when I saw this question: who the hell screwed up, so that the Colonel is talking to everyone?

    Over the course of two terms of military service, I have been talked to a by a Colonel ONCE in an actual formal formation. It was after a deployment in Okinawa, and the entire Battalion was formed up for a huge speech about how important the deployment was for the future of the Marine Corps. We stood around all day, for two hours, before he even spoke.

    0 mins: The four individual platoons are called to attention by their respective Platoon Sergeants: E-6 Staff Sergeants.
    +15 mins: The four platoons are combined into their total companies, called to attention by their respective Company 1st Sergeant: E-8 1st Sergeants.
    +45 mins: The four Companies are called to attention, and formed in a large semicircle of columns around the speaker's dais, by the Battalion Sergeant Major: E-9 Sergeant Major.
    +1 hour: The Colonel enters the field. The Sergeant Major calls the Battalion to attention again, and gives the command "Post!". At this command, all the Company NCOs in front of their respective units do a left face, and circle behind their units. Each Company commanding officer moves from the back of the unit, to the front; it is incorrect for an officer to address the unit when led by NCOs, so for a brief, fleeting moment, the commanding officers are in front of their Company. Usually, for all formations, they stand behind their units, watching.
    +1 hour 5 mins: The Colonel addresses the unit.

    GENERALLY:

    Platoon Sgt: Hey, get lined up. (at this point, everyone is just in the area. We've been told about the formation, so we're waiting to receive commands, but we are beginning to get into a square shape, by squad.)

    Random Marine: Heads up (meaning, he sees the company Sgt positioning himself in front of the company, to issue a command)

    Platoon Sgt: Standby... (Goes to attention) Platoon! Atten... tion! ('Attention' is broken into two clear commands, with the preparatory command being 'Atten', and the action being 'tion'.)

    Company Sgt: (inspects platoons for state of attention) Company! Atten... tion! (company moves to 'attention') Parade... Rest! (this command puts us at "parade rest", and the Company Sgt turns around to watch for battalion commands or prompts.)

    Note: Any higher rank of NCO can call these commands for the overall units early, but usually everyone goes by billet order, visa vi platoons first, then company, then battalion.

    SPECIFICALLY, for your EXACT example of an O-6 Colonel just walking right up and telling a unit to get into formation:

    Random Marine:
    (Sees Colonel approaching) ... Is that the Colonel?

    Random Marine# 54: Sergeant, the Colonel is walking over here.

    Sergeant: What? Hey, everyone get up! Stop smoking.

    (Everyone stands up and looks presentable. As soon as the Colonel walks to within hearing distance, he is greeted.)

    Sergeant: Good morning, sir!

    Random Marine#19: Good morning, sir!

    Random Marine#31: Sir, Good morning!

    Random Marine#28:
    Ooh-rah, sir!

    Colonel:
    Good morning, Marines. Sergeant, let's get these Marines into some sort of formation.

    Sergeant: Yes sir!

    Random Marine#7: Everyone! Box! Now!

    (The Sergeant would move to form up his unit, but at this point every Marine is scrambling to get into a formation, with no commands needed.)

    The reason for the formation matters as well. Is the unit disbanding, or honoring someone? Generally, every command will be issued formally. Is the unit just gathering for some end-of-the-week news? The NCO may just pull everyone into a big circle really fast and talk to them.

    Also, just because there's formal ways to address large groups of Marines, doesn't mean a Colonel or higher ranked isn't going to speak one-on-one to people over the course of working hours or duty. When preparing for instruction blocks I talk very casually to Captains and Majors, since we're refining course material, and a bunch of 'sirs' get irritating. When deployed to hostile areas, you NEVER use courtesy, as you can get officers targeted, or clue the enemy to the importance of missions.

    I hope that helps.
     
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  15. Iain Aschendale

    Iain Aschendale Potatoes again? Supporter Contributor

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    "Sniper check, sir!"

    My favorite greeting to accompany a salute...
     
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  16. Sclavus

    Sclavus Active Member

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    Thank you both. Thus far I have a bunch of Leavenworth prisoners transferred to what looks like (to them) an abandoned field with some trees and guys in black uniforms with automatic rifles. The prisoners have all accepted the offer to serve in the PMC, but for security purposes, he's had them transported in a black-window bus and intentionally disoriented before being made to kneel.

    So the general is approaching. His men in black uniforms are a mix of E-2 through O-2, though an O-3 and O-4 accompany the general more often than not. He wants the prisoners on their feet in rank and file. I've written it so that the general gives the order, the O-4 relays the order thirty yards ahead via his shoulder radio, and the O-2s start kicking everybody's ass into rank and file, with the others (E-2s to O-1s) following suit and encouraging the prisoners into formation.
     
  17. zoupskim

    zoupskim Contributor Contributor

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    Imagining myself as a character in this scenario, and assuming I know everything you just listed, using my NCO instincts and training (being serious here) I would judge this as more of a "Pre-first phase boot camp recruits" situation. These prisoners, while volunteers and potentially veterans, are largely untrained. Any initial -1000 level training(that's individual actions, not team actions), while hard, is fair. I wouldn't expect these pre-recruits to know anything about formations, or drill, or even what's expected of them.

    Those E-2 to O-2s would be loud and commanding, but would not be getting any recruits into a lot of trouble yet. There'd be one prime instructor loudly and clearly giving simple overall instructions. "I want four rows of ten, ten paces from each other." Meanwhile, the rest of the instructors would be moving through the ranks, yelling corrections and being bold, but still guiding the recruits into the correct positions. It's more important at this point to show recruits what's right, than it is to start tearing their butts up for being wrong. They don't know what right is, so they can't be wrong yet.

    Since they're prisoners- I'm not sure if guards are separate from instructors- I'd maybe want a few instructors standing back and just watching everything, not instructing, not focused on teaching, just watching, making sure there's no sneaking recruits trying to pull something sneaky.
     
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  18. Iain Aschendale

    Iain Aschendale Potatoes again? Supporter Contributor

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    Agreed. You might even consider this tried and true instructional technique:

    [​IMG]

    The Marine Corps uses that to get recruits into the correct spacing and alignment when they get off the bus. Not only does it put the recruits where you want them, it provides an initial visual impression for them to remember of exactly how far away everyone is supposed to be from each other when in a formation. After that, it's all guesswork based on arm length and the ability to eyeball a straight line, but the first time you do it, it's as perfect as it can ever be.
     
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  19. Sclavus

    Sclavus Active Member

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    You guys are great. I'm going to rework my scenario and try again. I've got twenty-six prisoners that need to be controlled, some of them guilty of murder, hence the small army with automatic rifles. All the candidates were carefully screened before being offered the chance to join, but it pays to be prepared.

    From the research I've done, training for Marines lasts twelve weeks, including receiving (arrival, paperwork, fuck your hair), phase one (do all the push-ups and lots of screaming), phase two (pew pew), phase three (spit polish), The Crucible (because there's a God and He hates you), and graduation. That's an overly simplified description (because you're supposed to laugh, damn you), but that's my understanding.

    It sounds like I need drill instructors, security, and maybe they won't get to meet the general until graduation. Of course, after the basic training, they'll still need a refresher course in SpecOps training, which is meant to give them a taste of the requirements for all USSOCOM groups. It's supposed to be so grueling as to be potentially, even commonly lethal.
     
  20. big soft moose

    big soft moose An Admoostrator Staff Supporter Contributor Community Volunteer

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    Although if they are out of leavenworth they'll already have had the basic, and been run ragged every day - military prisons don't have the same sit on your arse and do jack shit ethos as civillian prisons so their need for basic drill will be minimal.... what they will need is weapons training refresher since they won't have had hands on the things that go bang for quite a while
     
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  21. Sclavus

    Sclavus Active Member

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    I'd still run them through "basic training," just to test them. If I'm the CEO of The Pantheon Group (the PMC), I'd want to see who is going to complain that they've done this before, or "This is just like Leavenworth." It would test their attitude and give me an idea of the weak links in the chain. Also, not all Armed Forces are created equal, and the basic training would put the ones who survived on reasonably equal footing.
     
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  22. Iain Aschendale

    Iain Aschendale Potatoes again? Supporter Contributor

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    I was laughing even before I got to that, but it sounds pretty spot-on to me (although I predate the Crucible).

    If all of your people have previous military experience, look into US Navy SEAL initial screening and training, there are some pretty good documentaries out there on it (not "GI Jane". God I loathe that movie). All of the SEAL candidates have already been through Navy Basic Training (which I know little about, so I won't comment on) and been training prior to getting into the program. The instructors are there to weed out the mentally weak, which might be a good model for your PMC trying to figure out exactly which of the prisoners are suitable for molding into elite soldiers and which are just fuckups who will destroy any unit they're in.

    Something like this:

     
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  23. Sclavus

    Sclavus Active Member

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    I'm definitely going to be basing a lot on BUD/S, because I've researched it the most out of all the military-related stuff I've researched. The SEALs were my boyhood dream until someone sat me down and gave me the facts of life about Uncle Sam and his dislike for kids with spina bifida. I briefly considered fighting to get into the Marines, until I realized I'd be a liability, even if I could technically pass the tests.
     
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  24. Sclavus

    Sclavus Active Member

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    Okay, so a few more questions:

    1. What's the highest rank you're likely to find actively participating in combat? Using Black Hawk Down as my frame of reference, I've got captains leading four-man teams to do any actual shooting/door-kicking. The majors and above are confined to the command center at city hall in my story. Most of the door-kickers are master sergeants and below.

    2. Speaking of the "command center," I've got the National Guard (largely bolstered by my Pantheon mercenaries) at city hall. In Black Hawk Down, the soldiers had their living quarters, recreational areas, etc. at a location. What's that called? A post? A FOB? Then there was the room where General Garrison spent a lot of time, surrounded by maps and using intermediaries to speak to his men. What's that room called?

    3. What's the rules for saluting across military branches (i.e., a Marine lieutenant saluting an Air Force colonel)? Can a general command his subordinates to not salute, even if there's no danger of snipers or other attacks?

    4. What happens if a Marine in combat is ordered to shoot someone, but doesn't do so because of his conscience? Obviously he could be court-maritaled after the fact, but is that the extent of his punishment?
     
  25. big soft moose

    big soft moose An Admoostrator Staff Supporter Contributor Community Volunteer

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    If even a captain is shooting at people something has gone seriously to shit (special forces aside where leadership doesn't necessarily follow rank) - Captains generally command a company, Majors are staff officers or sometimes battalion command, Lt Col are battalion command (or regiment staff) and colonels command regiments. Any commander over the rank of Lt ought to have enough men around him not to have to personally fight.
     
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