Mr. Roy Detmar
February 9, 2005
When referring to an organizations culture, one might automatically think about its people and where they come from. Fortunately for me my organization is much more than just the people who work in my building. The Marine Corps was born on November 10, 1775 has been full of observable culture from its inception. Although stocked full of different cultures and traditions that have been ever present for the last 229 years of existence. Throughout this paper, the dress and language, technology along with some of the artifacts, symbols and stories associated with the Marine Corps will be addressed.
Dress and Language One of the most noticeable examples of dress for the Marine Corps is our service and dress uniforms. It isn’t very often that you encounter someone who hasn’t seen or at least doesn’t know about how striking a Marine in the Dress Blue uniform is. Fortunately for us, we have the most awe-inspiring uniform of all the armed services. Since the Dress Blue uniform is one of our most recognizable uniforms, it is reserved for only special occasions. It is worn for public relations types of events such as the annual Toys for Tots campaign. It is also worn during the rendering of funeral honors for deceased veterans. Another reason for wear is our annual birthday celebration. The guidelines that exist for this uniform compare it to being appropriate to wear at any gathering where the civilian equivalent is considered formal. While there are numerous other uniforms I could address, the one that is most common and worn daily for most Marines is the digital utility uniform otherwise known as “cammies”. The Marine Corps mission is combative in nature and thus requires camouflage to protect those Marines who are put into a combat environment. Now I know that when most people think camouflage, they think of a woodland or desert tri-color pattern. But not us, we’ve taken camouflage into the 21st century. The Marine Corps has adopted our new digital pixel pattern camouflage, which we’ve patented to be known as MARPAT. The MARPAT cammies provide better concealment than the old style camouflage utilities that were worn for the better part of a century. The pixel pattern is extremely effective because there are not any bold lines in its patter. As a matter of fact, there isn’t a pattern in it. What it manages to do, is fool the eye into not seeing it because there isn’t any pattern. Kind of just like way Mother Nature doesn’t create a pattern in the woodland and desert environment. Contrary to some people’s belief, the language in the Marine Corps is not centered on profanity. Sure, there are those “occasional” instances when the slip of a four-letter word might happen, but for the most part Marines are just like anyone else when it comes to speaking. That is, except for our heavy reliance on Naval terminology. Yes that’s right, the language of the Marine Corps is based totally on Naval terms. Examples are: The bathroom is called “The Head”, floor equals “deck”, windows are “portholes” and doors are “hatches”. We even go so far as to say that the candy machine down the hall is the “gee-dunk”.
The technology used throughout the Marine Corps is similar to the rest of the corporate world except that some of our focus is on military might vice the latest edition of Microsoft Windows. The Marine Corps is kind of split into two factions. There are those who pull the triggers and the rest of us do everything we can to support the trigger pullers. I’d like to focus on the supporters of the war fighters since that is where I have the most intimate knowledge. My office is just like any other in business. We use E-mail, voicemail, pagers, two ways and blackberry’s too. The Marine Corps does have a huge problem with computer assets. It seems like about the time most of the Corps has a decent