GREEN MARINES: WaPo has an interesting story entitled, “The Few, the Proud, the Green: Young Marines Learn on Job.” It is easy to forget how young these guys are:

Most of our guys joined after 9/11 and knew exactly what they were getting into,” he said. “Everyone knew it when they signed on they’d be brought to the fight, and many of them joined because of the terrorist attacks. For these guys it is personal.”

Pfc. Travis Harless, from Bakersfield, Calif., went to see a Marine recruiter on Sept. 12, 2001, intending to enlist. He was only 16, so the recruiter told him to wait a few months and get his parents’ permission. He returned on his 17th birthday, permission form in hand.

“If it hadn’t been for the attacks, I’d be in junior college or working in some part-time job right now,” said Harless, now 18. “That one day gave me direction. It’s not easy being the new guy, but I am doing the best I can to learn fast.”

I’m sure he’ll do fine. They usually do. And, indeed: “There’s a reason why they call it the infantry,” said Maj. Gen. James Mattis, who commands the 1st Marine Division, with the emphasis on “infant.”

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.