Sunday, August 28, 2005


Many of you are inquiring if I will receive a promotion or not. Well, the simple answer is, yes I anticipate a promotion. The complex answer is, I do not know whether I will be promoted or not.

The selection process is a once a year for each rank Staff Sergeant (SSgt. E-6) to General. 60 days prior to the selection board a message is released and it has a series of Military Occupational Specialties, MOS(jobs) listed by the corresponding number of who has promotion slots and who does not.

Some MOS' have several other MOS' "feeding" into other MOS. Such as, 6423, 6432, and 6433 feed into 6434.

The MOS' are listed by the feeder MOS and ones that stay the same in numerical order. In that list there will be several columns referring to the criteria for promotion. It is broken up into 3 sections, the above zone ( Marines who were in zone the year prior that did not promote), the zone (Marines who were not looked at the year prior), and the below zone (Marines that have not been in any zone thus far).

In each zone there is a column for Date of Rank (DOR - when promoted to present rank) and the Armed Forces Base Date (AFBD - when entered in military service). Usually, the above zone lists the AFBD as N/A, but this is not always the case.
45 days prior to the convening board, another message will come out with "tweaks" or changes in matters of number of allocations to date time frames that are eligible.

The board selection process is performed by higher ranking Marines with at least one officer for enlisted boards. Each board member receives a "jacket", which consists of Service Record Books (SRB) , Fitness Reports (FitRep), and any other information that the Marine sent to the board or is listed in other administrative records, for each Marine eligible for promotion. Each board member gives a brief (about 2 minutes) for each Marine's Jacket that he or she may possess. The board then takes that information and votes on who should be promoted.

In the case of the SSgt. promotion board, the board convenes in mid-July and the results are posted usually a few days prior to the first week of October. The list will state the names, MOS, and a number, which states the order in which the promotion will take place. The order is listed by the most senior Marines first and then descends to the most junior Marine. (Senority is time in grade (rank) then time in service.)

~~A side note~~

I may missed something here but all this information is available at the Marine Corps website.


So back to the question at hand, Do I think I will be promoted?

I would like to think I am the best candidate for the next rank and will do the Marine Corps justice if given the opportunity to lead in the next rank.

Thursday, August 25, 2005


If you did not know it, it rains here alot. So the effect of the rain on our metal containers that I work in, is rust.

This in turn means that we, myself and my fellow Marines, need to do corrosion control efforts whenever it does not rain.

Maintenance slows down to a crawl.

If we were at war with the rain, we would lose.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Complications, Part II

I have been told and retold enough times I felt I needed a second part to this. Apparently the consensus is 'I am too simple which makes me complicated.'

What is this supposed to mean to me?

It is definitely not the answer I was looking for. In fact, it kind of sounds like an answer I would give. If you didn't know, I tend to answer questions with more questions or say an abstract statement that could or could not answer whatever the question may have been.

Say it is the politics in me. The forever amount of red tape that I apparently absorbed somewhere down the line.

The way I look at this is, 'you the person reading this, is more complicated than I could ever be.'

Then again maybe I am misinterpreting this statement.

Saturday, August 20, 2005

Being a child once again.

The thought or idea when asked of the junior Marines here are we are all kids that need constant supervision. I personally do not remember having this many restrictions ever in my life. Especially as a child. The idea is that the junior ranks (lower than mine) statistically are the ones in trouble. So, the restictions imposed make the average Marine stationed here feel like they are in the "tiniest of rooms" and have leash no longer than a few inches.

When I was a child I did not receive a punishment (or restriction) until I personally did something wrong. My older brother's wrong did not dictate my restrictions.

I hope I am getting my point across.

Tonight, I was checked, meaning someone of higher rank came into my room and verified that I am of age to drink, for which I was drinking alcohol, and I live in a clean and presentable manner. Which I am, because I feel why dirty up something that I have to clean in a few days when I can clean it as it happens. Or in other words, I pick up as I go. The thing is that this room I live in is 10 by 15 feet of livable space and has a area about 4 by 4 feet by the door that is completely useless. There is a mirror there, so that helps. I share my bathroom with other of the same rank and the bathroom is about 8 by 4 feet which includes a shower and a toilet. This space is all I have to make unclean.

I have to show my ID ever time I leave and enter my barracks. This great and all, but if the MPs are doing there job then everyone here is supposed to be here. The duty does not verify that I live here, just that I am military.

Really, I have yet to figure this one out. I know there is a reason, but it has me stumped. I asked a few people of higher ranks and they didn't know either.

The thing that really gets me is when I recieve a promotion to the next rank most of the restricitons go away. I am the same person as before but because I am the next rank all is better.

Friday, August 19, 2005

Nifty Link

A friend of mine just sent me this link. I think you all will enjoy it.

T minus 353: Day 12

I am lucky. I will be able to work tomorrow. The reasons for such have really nothing to do with me other than I should have kicked some tails in gear. I thought I was still getting my feet wet, but I was wrong about that.
I am soaking and there is not a towel in sight. I am not the only one, there is another guy in the same boat with me. He is feeling the same way. Such is life.

My speaking to the "nationals" here is proving much more difficult. When I am speaking about something above a grade school level the words I use apparently are not the ones taught to those who do speak English. My Japanese is proving most difficult to learn as well. I am understanding the traffic laws better, though.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

PT, The Acting Sgt. Maj. And Inspections

From the time I got on station to about the 1st week in September, I am required to wear a white undershirt for PT. The theory is that if someone is going to need medical attention the newer personnel will most likely be the ones who need it. I personally think I may be in better shape than the personnel who have been here awhile.

The acting Sgt. Maj. is a MGySgt. and in keeping with the traditions of the Sgt. Maj., who is currently TAD, has weekly briefs with the Sgts. and below. I have witnessed only one thus far, but my fellow Marines tell me this "brief" is the same every week. My opinion of the brief is to keep it brief and have once a month. I did suggest it to the Sqdrn GySgt. and I will not repeat what he said to me.

Tomorrow, I will have the great opportunity to inspect the "C" uniform. Plus, I have been informed by my superior that "we" will be doing a different uniform inspection including JOBs at least once a month if not more.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Driving Under Japanese Traffic Law

I just checked out the guide, "Driving Under Japanese Traffic Law." The good news is that most of it is in English. The bad news is the size of the lettering is about 4pt. Hopefully, I will be able to take the test in about a week. I need to go to a different base to take the test, 30 written and 30 sign multiple choice.
The guide reads like a kids' safety pamphlet, but the signs are at least in color. The wording they use is a little odd. It seems like they try to translate with as many words as possible.
Most of the penalties are levied as jail time. So when the Corps said we are professional drivers they must have meant it.

Saturday, August 13, 2005

The Good Book, Part III

Even though no one really has commented on me writing a autobiography, I was thinking, that may be a good way to use my spare time here. Especially if I do not get a car or license.
The big question about writing is, should I do a chronological version or something that resembles the way I think and talk?

Friday, August 12, 2005

T minus 359: Day 6

I am not happy about this place.

Without a car or driver's license this place has lots of walking or expensive cab fares. With a car, I would be looking at about $400 for the year to drive it not including gas. I figure if I use the cabs once a week I will spend about $800 to $1000 by the end of the year. Looks like a no brainer. In about 20 days I will be able to take the test and then I may be able get a car.

The tip-offs that I received so far have been correct, as far as the command and the area surrounding this place. I feel that I was demoted and I have less freedom than I had in High School.

Supposedly it is a privilege to be on the 4th deck of the barracks. Ha. I would have rather been on the 1st or 2nd deck. I will not have to worry about getting out of shape.


So far I folded.
I have not quit, but smoking is a real pain in the ass unless I am at work. Funny, huh?

I did go about 12 hours without smoking though. To me, this is a big step.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

USO and Smoking

I am currently at the USO awaiting for the 2nd flight of my trip. I am also on my "last" pack of cigarettes. Trying to lengthen my pack so it will last and trying not to smoke at all is not fun.
I feel I am in a losing battle. The archers are killing my infantry and the artillery is bombarding my castle.
I feel I may need more prayers for my smoking habit than anything else at this point.