Respect and Why the Marine Corps Has a Rank Structure

Respect and why the Marine Corps has a rank structure. There are very few things in the modern military of today or any military that has ever existed before our current military for that matter, that are more important than the rank structure and the the respect that is demanded of you by that rank structure. Those are two very important characteristics of every successful military unit.

With added details here and there, in this essay I will mainly be discussing what respect actually is, how being respected is normally earned and in the military how it is demanded of you as a sub-ordinate to any ranks higher than you or in some cases any fellow military personnel who is more senior to you and why. On top of that I will be covering the topic of what a rank structure is, how the United States Marine Corps rank structure operates and more importantly why we as a military whole need it. Respect is a word that has a lot of depth to it no matter what way you use it.The word by definition is kinda hard to pin down concretely because it is so subjective and it can be used in many different ways with many different meanings based on the usage. It is a word that everybody wants a piece of no matter how big or small the piece they get is. All definitions aside, the respect that most people want is the respect that is earned by the showing of honorable actions or personality characteristics. Be it dedication and sacrifices for ones job or ones moral and ethical views and principles.

These are examples of some traits a person can earn respect from normally.I say “Normally” because in all facets of life respect is almost always something to be earned and given on a personal level. My personal view is that showing respect is more a statement about us than those to whom we show it. Others may or may not merit our respect, but giving others their dignity protects our integrity and honor. We can set limits, but we do not have to stoop to gross behavior to protect those boundaries. Showing respect to others and allowing them their dignity shows belief in another’s potential and allows healing and growth. We must see that potential.

We all need respect, regardless of how immature and gay we behave. We all need others to see our potential and honor it to better encourage us to grow into it. Some respect sound judgement, some strength or power. Some respect altruism, some purposefulness. Parents and teachers may provide initial guidance but what you respect in a person is ultimately your privilege. A Privilege. However skewed my opinion might be the fact is that in most cases respect is earned by the actions towards an individual.

All that being said the military works a little different.Respect in the military is demanded of you by your Superior Officers, NCOs and others of same rank that have three months more salt on there collar. This is where not so much the definition but the reason it is given can get shifty. It is when one must absolutely show respect without the normal necessity of actually respecting that person specifically. You are respecting the title held by a male or female that is above you, normally by a pay grade or 4 and in the Commissioned Officers case, on a whole different level than you are as an enlisted man.Not to say that one cannot find an Commissioned Officer or Non Commissioned Officer that actually deserves it for his or her character traits. Because I haven’t met too many Non Commissioned or Commissioned officers that don’t deserve respect for all reasons.

Most of the time good leaders are placed in leadership positions. It does happen. Maybe they were crap leaders in the beginning and the weight of the title changed them. Who knows. But in my short boot career as a marine I have found that it is very rare that a person who has actual leadership quality’s gets put in the leadership positions on the underside of the NCO spectrum.More often than not it is the loudest guy who can bench-press the world while still maintaining the stance of the biggest prick in existence that gets placed in those positions. That is my experience at least with E-3 and below in mind.

All told, in the military respect fits nut-to-butt with the rank structure that is currently in place. Rank structure is something that has been around pretty much forever. At least as far back to the beginning of pack animals with their alphas and pretty much ever since our slightly less human counter parts be it early man or monkeys began fighting for power over the same stuff we fight over now.Chicks, land, resources and religion. It is the structure that dictates whom is the leader and who is the subordinate. This applies to the military directly, with our own specific rank structure drawn out and stitched on. Its pretty simple.

We have the Commissioned Officers at the top of the proverbial pyramid with the warrant Officers in the middle and finally the Non Commissioned Officers which are Enlisted men or women on the bottom. Then placed neatly on the bottom of the crapper underneath all other ranks there are the E-3s and below. Within each limb of rank there are sub ranks with a high and low rank.It all pretty simple. All of this is in place because there has to be a hierarchy of “leadership” that is strictly followed so that the current mission involved by whomever is completed as quickly and smoothly as possible. Missions can be big or small. It could be making sure bad guys don’t steal nukes or making sure the food doesn’t taste nuked.

Regardless, mission success is tantamount and without a system set in place saying who answers to who, it would all likely end in mission failure and Canada pwning us. We cant have that. Because Canada sucks.

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