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Discussion in 'Academy/Military News' started by jbsail, May 17, 2013.

  1. jbsail

    jbsail Member

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    What is the job of a staffer or aide? Rather a military member, don't they have someone to watch the weather report for proper staging and hold umbrellas from rain, ice, and snow?
     
  2. AF6872

    AF6872 Member

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    Do you mean a Marine with an Umbrella which is against the regs?
     
  3. AF6872

    AF6872 Member

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    My understanding is that no Male Marine may carry or use an umbrella while in dress uniform without Commandant approval. They ain't your Butler or your slave. They have more ribbons than he does. Even one National Defense Ribbon is more.
     
  4. Jcleppe

    Jcleppe Member

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    OK I'm lost, what are we talking about here? I assume it has something to do with umbrellas.
     
  5. sprog

    sprog Member

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    A Marine at the White House held an umbrella for the President during a press conference and some people are flipping out over it.

    :rolleyes:
     
  6. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    I know a Marine Brig. Gen. that carried one early in his career until he figured out it was frowned on.

    Why is it frowned on? I guess because Marines haven't figured out what a umbrella does yet.


    The White House has military social aides. They.... escort people to their seats, at as backdrops when the First Lady announces "best picture" and they handle state functions. The social aides have real jobs too. The Marine you saw at the briefing wasn't a social aide... that IS his job. It's not a job I'd like. I saw a Coast Guard lieutenant commander do the same thing for the Secretary of Homeland Security at a wreath laying....

    Not my cup of tea... but some of them like dressing up and pretending they're important. More power to them.
     
  7. pathnottaken

    pathnottaken Member

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    From Military.com:

    President Barack Obama created a brief twist Thursday to the Marine Corps’ legendary rifle creed at a press conference in the White House Rose Garden with the Turkish prime minister when a light rain fell and a Twitter storm erupted.

    Obama requested two Marines hold umbrellas over himself and the Turkish prime minister to protect the world leaders from the rain. Viewers of the press conference quickly took to Twitter to comment on the odd sight of a Marine holding an umbrella.

    “This is my umbrella. There are many like it but this one is mine. Without me, my umbrella is useless. Without my umbrella, I am useless,” Politico defense editor Phil Ewing tweeted after the event.
    Marines typically don’t hold umbrellas in uniform. As CNN made sure to quickly point out, holding an umbrella would restrict a Marine’s ability to salute. But if the commander-in-chief asks a Marine to hold an umbrella. He or she is going to hold an umbrella.

    Minutes after the press conference was held, the Twitter handle @UmbrellaMarine was created with this description: “The Few. The Proud. The Umbrella holder. Hey President Obama, you can stand under my umbrella…ella ella, ay ay ay.” He has 52 followers thus far.

    NBC News correspondent Luke Russert took notice and assumed protocol existed for holding an umbrella. He wrote on Twitter saying: “The #Marines holding the umbrellas at this presser are unbelievably cool, had no idea there’s military protocol for umbrella holding.”

    Howard Kurtz, host of CNN’s Reliable Sources, wrote that the umbrella might have a greater meaning with the recent scandals involving the IRS and Associated Press.

    “OK, Obama standing under an umbrella held by a military aide opens the metaphor floodgates for an administration in a downpour,” Kurtz wrote on Twitter.

    The director of communications for the University of Virginia Center for Politics felt like it was a bad look for the president.

    “Standard press flack rules – don’t let the boss where a funny hat! – need to be updated to include ‘hold you own umbrella!’ Kyle D. Kondik wrote on Twitter.

    My view is stated well in the article: "Marines typically don’t hold umbrellas in uniform. As CNN made sure to quickly point out, holding an umbrella would restrict a Marine’s ability to salute. But if the commander-in-chief asks a Marine to hold an umbrella. He or she is going to hold an umbrella."
     
  8. Hurricane12

    Hurricane12 USNA 2012

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    That and pockets.

    I refuse to put my CAC/credit card in my sock when I wear Charlies. If that makes me a terrible Marine, so be it.
     
  9. Jcleppe

    Jcleppe Member

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    Wow, a topic I actually know something about.

    I spent 2 1/2 years with the Presidential Honor Guard, and worked in the White House Protocol Office, our boss was Shirley Temple....yes that Shirley Temple.

    During that time you would be surprised at what we all did, enough stories to write a book. Just a few:

    The First Lady would exit the White House carrying several bags, who ever was closest to her would offer to carry them.

    When the President would exit Marine One and it was raining there would always be a Marine that would have an umbrella, two if the first Lady or a visiting dignitary was with the President.

    The Marines inside the White house could always be seen carrying something if no one else was around to do it.

    You have to realize there was not the instant 24 hour cable news back then, so not a lot of photos were taken of such things, no twitter to light up either.

    I guess the press would have had a field day if they would have seen me, a CG LTJG walking President Fords dog on the South Lawn carrying a pooper scooper, When the man asks you, you sure as hell didn't say no it's against our regulations. I have to say I really liked that dog, during an Ambassador meet and greet day, Liberty got out, he ran around, found a Marine standing at attention and proceeded to pee on his leg. To the Marines credit he never broke rank but the look on his face was priceless.

    Here is a good example how military regulations were bent from time to time:

    King Gustav of Sweden was scheduled to make a White House visit in 1976. We had prepared for the motorcade to arrive on the South Lawn, at the last minute the King's party decided they wanted to use the North Entrance, the King wanted to be let out of the car and walk to the front door. It was a scramble but we got what we could set up on the North Entrance. We decided to have what you could call a reception line, this included a member of each service standing together, I was the rep for the CG, last in line. The King made his way up the driveway, he shook a few hands and then he got to us. The King stopped and said hello to the Army, Army said nothing, he moved down and did the same to the Marine, again, no response, he skipped the AF and stopped in front of me, I could see he was a bit bewildered, he looked at me and said "hello young man, how are you". This is where things got interesting.

    When the King said hello I broke out of attention and extended my hand and said "Hello your Majesty, I am well, and you sir?" He got a big smile on his face and to my surprise started a conversation, he asked what branch of the military I served in, he asked what the CG does, how long I have been in, all in all he spent about 7 minutes (I remember because I was told later how long he stood there) talking with me. When he said he better get going, his words were "I guess I shouldn't keep your President waiting" I told him it was an honor to meet him, saluted him, and went back to attention.

    After the King and President Ford spoke and entered the White House a very red faced and very angry Army Col. from the Old Guard ran up and proceeded to yell words I don't think I had ever heard before, at one point there was talk of sending me to Greenland, he was not happy I had broke rank. After about 5 minutes of getting screamed at, Dick Cheney, President Ford's Chief of Staff at the time came up to us; at this point I figured they were just going to shoot me. Instead Cheney railed on the Col., said if any dignitary every stops to talk his men better talk back, he then thanked me, said the President had told him "Thank god the Coast Guard spoke up, that could have been very embarrassing"

    Sorry for the long story, I just wanted to illustrate that regulations are different at the White House; you sometimes have to go with the moment. Give these guys some credit, all of them. They are usually the only military visiting dignitaries see when they visit, the work is harder then you think and they all do a wonderful job putting a great face on the military.

    You think this was something; you should have seen some of the things that went on when Queen Elizabeth made her visit.
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2013
  10. NorwichDad

    NorwichDad Member

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    Great Post!! I had a cousin in Secret Service back then with some great stories too!
     
  11. Jcleppe

    Jcleppe Member

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    Had a few drinking buddies from the Secret Service back then, your right, they all had some great stories, all were great guys.
     
  12. pathnottaken

    pathnottaken Member

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    Jcleppe Excellant post!!!

    I think I remember hearing/reading something about a dog and a marine at the White House, may be it was the same guy!
     
  13. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    One of the BEST "sea story" posts I've seen on here. HAHA!
     
  14. Lynpar

    Lynpar Member

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    Jcleppe,
    Great story. I loved the line about seeing Cheney come your way. :yllol:
    I had a son who worked a temporary job at the US Capitol Building for 5 months and he too had similar stories ( most not as high level mind you ) of which some started with somebody breaking a guideline or bending a rule. Congratulations to having a view of things most of us never see.
    Maybe you should write that book. It certainly would be a good backdrop to a mystery.......
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2013
  15. Jcleppe

    Jcleppe Member

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    Not much of a "Sea Story", but I did have lunch on a cutter while I was there.

    I think the President had a soft spot for the CG after that, I think that's how I got the dog walking duty. I actually enjoyed it, gave me a chance to interact with President Ford on a non official level, I'll never forget that. The pooper scooper was worth it.
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2013
  16. Lynpar

    Lynpar Member

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    And if I remember my forum history, wasn't there an accompanying photo of LITS at that wreath laying ceremony?
     
  17. USMCGrunt

    USMCGrunt Member

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    Jcleppe: What a great post!

    I for one would be first in line to read your book. Get it down on paper!

    Not surprised to read of your experiences and even less shocked to hear that our military personnel are called to use their best judgement in the "heat of the battle."

    I had to do my share of honor guard work in public settings and often found the situations created "other than regulations" type of scenario's. You improvise, make judgement calls and do what is necessary to accomplish the mission while maintaining the dignity of the ceremony and the honor of your military branch and profession.

    I don't know why it comes into my mind as I am typing this but have you seen Kevin Bacon in "Taking Chance?" There are rules you bend and those you never will. Powerful movie in my opinion.

    Thanks again for your great post!
     
  18. Jcleppe

    Jcleppe Member

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    Great Movie
     
  19. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    Yes, "Taking Chance" was a great movie. And Jcleppe, that was a great post... but still not as good as the Mardi Gras story! :biggrin:
    For gosh sakes, write the book!
     
  20. Lynpar

    Lynpar Member

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    Mardi GRAS story? Where is the search button......
     

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