[The following is intended to be read in the voice of a ticked-off Gunnery Sergeant, R. Lee Ermey.]
School circle, on me, now! Do it, maggots! Very good. Squat, knee, bend – do it! Now listen up. Apparently, some of your mothers didn’t love you enough so you’ve been complaining about me to HQ. Well, had I known you needed that much attention, I’d have made sure to tuck you in at night rather than treat you as though you had the common sense enough to remember what I’ve taught you, think for yourselves and apply that training to your job. But nooo-o. You had to go and tell command that I’ve been “hysterical” and I’ve “lost it.” Now I’m told I have to give you a remedial education lecture. Well, I’m not in the mood, so I’m gonna talk fast which means you worms better listen fast ‘cause I ain’t gonna repeat myself. Understood?
First, HQ tells me I have to stop talking to you maggots about philosophy and start talking about tactics. Well, screw ‘em. If command knew how to do this job, they wouldn’t be in the rear with the gear screwin’ things up. How the Sam Hill do they expect you maggots to even find the enemy without a map, or to recognize him if you do happen – by some freakin’ act of magic – to stumble upon him? Do they think the enemy is just gonna sit up, shake your hands and introduce themselves? No! The enemy’s gonna shoot you. What’s more, there’s more than one enemy out there, and anyone who thinks the enemy of his enemy is his friend is a dead man. If you’re fightin’ Romulans, and you know the Klingons hate the Romulans so you think old bonehead with the batleth is suddenly gonna help you fight the Romulans, well guess what, numb nuts? Klingons hate humans, too! That means your Kilngon friend is goona kill you, THEN he’s gonna kill the Romulan, and that’s why you need a map and some training on how to recognize the enemy. And do you maggots know what we call that map and trainin’? It’s called philosophy, maggots – philosophy! Remember that.
Now, if you’re one of those maggots who was complainin’ about me trying to give you a map and some trainin’, you’d best be growin some eyes in the back of your brain housing groups because, before I came to give you this little refresher lecture, I spoke to a friend of mine about providin’ you maggots with a little extra motivation. That’s right, I spoke to the only man to ever live who scares Chuck Norris: one GunnySergeant Le-roy, Jeff-row Gibbs. You can expect he’ll be sneakin’ up behind you to slap the back side of your brain housin’ group ‘round to the front for me when you least expect it.
Now, you’re still not ready to learn tactics because you maggots has forgot your MOS. That’s Mil-i-tar-y Oc-cu-pa-tion-al Spec-ial-ty, maggots. In other words, you forgot your jobs. HQ says you been complainin’ that I teach you too much map and trainin’ and not enough tactics. Well, only an idiot throws a hissy-fit because they send a tank to fight in a swamp and the tank doesn’t manage to get the job done. You got to apply the right person to the job, maggots. Now, my alter ego is a philosophy type, but it seems you guys don’t like him because all he ever does is point you to the enemy and tell you how to identify him. OK, fine. Let me go find that Kilngon and his batleth for you to cozy up with. STOW THAT DRIVEL! Each of you maggots has a specialty. My alter ego’s specialty is to make sure you can stay focused by knowing where the enemy is, what he looks like and what your mission is. Some of you are the ones supposed to figure out how to get there, others figure out what to do when you get there and still more make it happen. So instead of pointin’ fingers, get off your dead arses and do your jobs. Figure out what you’re best suited to and get in the fight, trooper. Or do I have to do everythin’ for you?
NOW we can talk about tactics, and Lord knows we need to because a good many of you are stuck on stupid. And you know what they say: I can’t fix stupid; the best I can hope to do is manage it. Well, it looks like I’m failin’ at my job ‘cause – so far – I ain’t been able to manage you to figurin’ out how to find your arse with both hands by sittin’ on them monkey spankers. Now, hear this! You aint gonna win no battles by doing the same things over and over and expectin’ a different result. If you gonna play the enemy’s game, he’s gonna beat you every time. And for the past 100 years, you maggots have been doing things the enemy’s way: when he wants, where he wants and how he wants. You let him chose the battles, weapons, and tactics. What are you, a bunch of rocks! Change tactics – unless you think you’re pimply-faced, bad-toothed, bath-needin’ self is gonna somehow manage to get in little Suzy Virtues pants this Saturday AFTER tellin’ her you’re gonna get in her pants Saturday – at 8 PM – in the back of your Dad’s old Buick – and without so much as givin’ her a kiss or reach-a-round. Well, if you think that’s gonna work, maggot, I got a news flash for you: that crap may work on little miss rotten-crotch, but come Saturday night, you ain’t e-ven gonna be able to find little Suzy Virtue with all the NSA spy satellites in space ‘CAUSE SHE DON’T DO MAGGOTS, maggots! You understand that? Well, the same thing goes for fightin’ the enemy’s war on his terms. So get your asses out of that box you’ve been sittin’ in for a century and figure out what works on each enemy and for each objective. And, for the love of all things holy, if it don’t work, then have the sense the good Lord gave a rock and DON’T DO THAT AGAIN!
Finally – and this here’s the hard part about soldierin’ – know when to cut your losses. If you’re getting over-run and you stand and fight ‘cause you don’t want to give ground or leave a buddy, then understand this: YOU’RE ALREADY DEAD! A static defense is a dead defense, troop. Remember that. That means you have to be willin’ to lose people. In this case, you might have to face the fact that those people are States. But remember the mission ‘cause that’s the part you cannot abandon or compromise. When it comes to completing the mission, NEVER give ground – not one inch. If you start compromising on the mission, you might as well switch sides and join the enemy ‘cause you’re fightin’ for the other team. And, in this case, the mission is to preserve individual rights and liberty without becoming what we’re fightin’
Now, if you got anymore complaints, just sit right there and GySgt Gibbs will be around to hear them for you in a little while. The rest of you: Dis-missed!
[(Grumbling as he walks away) I’ve been doing this since Moses was a private, so I darn well know what needs to be done and how to do it and I’ll be dag-gumed if I’m gonna let some pencil-pushing REMF tell me how to train combat troops. Darn REMFs don’t know their heads from their arses and they’re gonna tell me how to train troops? HA! That’s why they keep failin’ — cause they ain’t got the sense the good Lord gave a Private. I’ll tell you…]