Friday, July 06, 2012

How does the Marine Corps select its generals?

Colonel Ripley's awards.
I was re-reading Colonel Ripley's biography.

They' really should make a movie about this guy...he was a legend.  His heroics are talked about in Boot Camps Marine Corps wide....But one thing irks me and I can't find the answer.  

Why didn't he ever pin on stars?  How could people that were less qualified, having less moral and physical courage be allowed to advance past him?  Don't get me wrong.  Attaining the rank of Colonel in the Marine Corps is NOTHING to sneeze at....but did he not get selected?

If anyone knows then hit me up in my mailbox.  Thanks.


  1. I'll give you one view. The higher the rank the more political ones role becomes. A general officer is a political animal and to some degree has to both know the game and be willing to play it.

    There's many excellent O-5's and O-6's that would never even be considered for O-7 simply because they're too outspoken. We used to talk about peacetime officers but somehow we've managed to do away with that and the political game seems to exist all the time now.

    There are of course many other reasons. I personally know a O-6 selected for promotion who chose to retire because he didn't want to leave the infantry branch. This was in the 1990's.

  2. The Corps upper echelon became POG centric in the gap between desert storm and the second Iraq war. Grunts don't last in the Corps between Divorces and the physical toll grunt life has on the body. While desk riding POGs have the connections and the stamina of daily pt and air conditioned "shops"

    I can't tell how many boot assed second lts we had in our unit. Each Pump we do we'd get new boot Lt's they do a pump get some ribbons and switch. MOS.


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