Site Loader
Rock Street, San Francisco

If you ask any junior Marine ( Marines beneath the Rank of Corporal are considered “junior”), after they have been stationed on Okinawa, Japan for at least 3 months, whether it was a good decision to request to be sent here or not, chances are they would laugh in your face and tell you “Hell no! ”. Being stationed here in Okinawa has some advantages, but many would argue that the disadvantages of being stationed here outweigh the advantages greatly.

Let’s take a look at some of the reasons why service members might think it a good decision to be stationed in Japan instead of their home country. When new Marines first arrive on the island, it is a common occurrence for them o be excited about the new local. New places to visit, new people to meet, a whole new culure to explore. For many of the younger Marines, this is the first and only time that they will have the opportunity to visit another country.

When first arriving, I remember the excitement in the air being so thick that you could almost cut it with a knife. At this point, the only things these Marines know about life on the island is what they’ve been told by other senior Marines, who have already been stationed here previously. Shortly after arriving, the Marines are put into a community barracks shared by all the newcomers to the island, and formed into a company known as JRC (Junior Receiving Company).

During the space of a few days, the Marines are initiated into life in the Asian Pacific, getting brief after brief on why exactly we are here and what is expected of us on a daily basis. During these briefs, a couple of the perks of being on the island are brought up, and excitement abounds when the Marines learn that they will be receiving and extra 200 dollars a month for the higher cost of living while on the island, and that the legal drinking age on island is 20 years of age, instead of the regular age of 21 when stateside.

These perks seem very significant to the young Marines who have not been assigned to their respected units yet, but they will soon learn that these are small compensations for the number of restrictions put on younger Marines while in this foreign country. After being completely logged into the systems and given the basic knowledge needed for functioning in the Japanese society, the Marines then must do the thing that every Marine dreads, and yet, that every Marine yearns for after the months of hard training that they have gone through to get to this point: They must check into their first unit.

After doing this, the Marines will be able to get their first taste of what life on the island is really like. Now we come to the cons of being stationed on the island. As you can tell, it does not take long for most Marines to realize that a slightly younger drinking age and a little extra pay are small compensations for the freedoms that they unknowingly gave up when coming to the island. You see, when picking their first duty station, many Marines go to other more seasoned Marines to find out what certain areas have to offer.

The problem with this is that many of the Marines previously stationed here, were here prior to all of the restrictions that were passed, and so they tell of Okinawa without having to sign out with a buddy every time you want to leave the base, or that you need a “Liberty Card” to go off base, and that Marines without a Gold card, typically Junior Marines, have to be signed back into the Barracks by Midnight every night.

These things alone already make life suck enough, but due to the different driving style in the country, and due to erratic driving behaviors of the locals, you must first pass another driving exam that is only issued after a specified amount of time on the island, making it customary for the younger Marines to either walk to their destinations, or have to pay ridiculous fees to local taxi companies. Another thing that is rather hard for Marines is the language barrier.

When staying close to base, it is not typically an issue since many of the locals have picked up he language, but when traveling to less Americanized parts of the island, it can be rather difficult to understand how things work or how to get to a destination, unless you have been to the island for an extended period or even multiple times. This can make it a little daunting for junior Marines to make their way off the beaten paths and really explore their surroundings.

The last point, and one of the most significant in many Marines eyes, is the fact that being a junior Marine on the island means that you have left your family behind, and unless you save up enough leave time and money to purchase a plane ticket home to see them, chances are that they will not see their families for a very long time. Being away from family and friends for so long can be very demotivating, and in the branch of service where motivation is the fuel that keeps us going on a day to day basis, this can be very devastating to a Marines’ morale.

What’s more, the time zones make it difficult for Marines to be able to contact family members, seeing as we are typically a day ahead of our loved ones and at work or asleep while they are awake. None of these restrictions apply to life for Military members who are stationed in Continental U. S. , so this fact alone makes most junior Marines regret having chosen the island as their first duty station. Really, the only similarity between being stationed in Okinawa versus seaside is that they both require an I.

D. Check to get on base. That’s it. Many Marines would argue that being stationed in Okinawa, Japan, is just what you make it. I would actually tend to agree. However, the fact that it typically takes Marines so long to be able to fully experience the island the way that higher ranking Marines do makes it hard for many Marines to accept this fact. I believe if some of the restrictions were removed, then being stationed here would be a more enjoyable experience for junior and senior Marines alike.

If you ask any junior Marine ( Marines beneath the Rank of Corporal are considered “junior”), after they have been stationed on Okinawa, Japan for at least 3 months, whether it was a good decision to request to be sent here or not, chances are they would laugh in your face and tell you “Hell no! ”. Being stationed here in Okinawa has some advantages, but many would argue that the disadvantages of being stationed here outweigh the advantages greatly.

Let’s take a look at some of the reasons why service members might think it a good decision to be stationed in Japan instead of their home country. When new Marines first arrive on the island, it is a common occurrence for them o be excited about the new local. New places to visit, new people to meet, a whole new culure to explore. For many of the younger Marines, this is the first and only time that they will have the opportunity to visit another country.

When first arriving, I remember the excitement in the air being so thick that you could almost cut it with a knife. At this point, the only things these Marines know about life on the island is what they’ve been told by other senior Marines, who have already been stationed here previously. Shortly after arriving, the Marines are put into a community barracks shared by all the newcomers to the island, and formed into a company known as JRC (Junior Receiving Company).

During the space of a few days, the Marines are initiated into life in the Asian Pacific, getting brief after brief on why exactly we are here and what is expected of us on a daily basis. During these briefs, a couple of the perks of being on the island are brought up, and excitement abounds when the Marines learn that they will be receiving and extra 200 dollars a month for the higher cost of living while on the island, and that the legal drinking age on island is 20 years of age, instead of the regular age of 21 when stateside.

These perks seem very significant to the young Marines who have not been assigned to their respected units yet, but they will soon learn that these are small compensations for the number of restrictions put on younger Marines while in this foreign country. After being completely logged into the systems and given the basic knowledge needed for functioning in the Japanese society, the Marines then must do the thing that every Marine dreads, and yet, that every Marine yearns for after the months of hard training that they have gone through to get to this point: They must check into their first unit.

After doing this, the Marines will be able to get their first taste of what life on the island is really like. Now we come to the cons of being stationed on the island. As you can tell, it does not take long for most Marines to realize that a slightly younger drinking age and a little extra pay are small compensations for the freedoms that they unknowingly gave up when coming to the island. You see, when picking their first duty station, many Marines go to other more seasoned Marines to find out what certain areas have to offer.

The problem with this is that many of the Marines previously stationed here, were here prior to all of the restrictions that were passed, and so they tell of Okinawa without having to sign out with a buddy every time you want to leave the base, or that you need a “Liberty Card” to go off base, and that Marines without a Gold card, typically Junior Marines, have to be signed back into the Barracks by Midnight every night.

These things alone already make life suck enough, but due to the different driving style in the country, and due to erratic driving behaviors of the locals, you must first pass another driving exam that is only issued after a specified amount of time on the island, making it customary for the younger Marines to either walk to their destinations, or have to pay ridiculous fees to local taxi companies. Another thing that is rather hard for Marines is the language barrier.

When staying close to base, it is not typically an issue since many of the locals have picked up he language, but when traveling to less Americanized parts of the island, it can be rather difficult to understand how things work or how to get to a destination, unless you have been to the island for an extended period or even multiple times. This can make it a little daunting for junior Marines to make their way off the beaten paths and really explore their surroundings.

The last point, and one of the most significant in many Marines eyes, is the fact that being a junior Marine on the island means that you have left your family behind, and unless you save up enough leave time and money to purchase a plane ticket home to see them, chances are that they will not see their families for a very long time. Being away from family and friends for so long can be very demotivating, and in the branch of service where motivation is the fuel that keeps us going on a day to day basis, this can be very devastating to a Marines’ morale.

What’s more, the time zones make it difficult for Marines to be able to contact family members, seeing as we are typically a day ahead of our loved ones and at work or asleep while they are awake. None of these restrictions apply to life for Military members who are stationed in Continental U. S. , so this fact alone makes most junior Marines regret having chosen the island as their first duty station. Really, the only similarity between being stationed in Okinawa versus seaside is that they both require an I.

D. Check to get on base. That’s it. Many Marines would argue that being stationed in Okinawa, Japan, is just what you make it. I would actually tend to agree. However, the fact that it typically takes Marines so long to be able to fully experience the island the way that higher ranking Marines do makes it hard for many Marines to accept this fact. I believe if some of the restrictions were removed, then being stationed here would be a more enjoyable experience for junior and senior Marines alike.

Post Author: admin

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *