Let's begin here: A "POG" is any Marine who is not an infantry Marine and a "GRUNT" is any Marine who holds or held the job of 03xx-infantry. The Marine Corps is made up of several unit types and each type of unit is unique and usually a different experience. When comparing certain unit types to each other, the differences can be hard to swallow at times and this often leads to the bashing of those Marines by Marines who feel they put in the "real" and "much harder" work.
We are all entitled to our own views and making fun of each other is perfectly fine and understandable. But when that line is crossed and when Marines belittle other Marines with true malice in their words, this is when this topic often gets ugly. At the end of the day each of you needs to ask yourself if creating separation within the Marine Corps does the brotherhood any good or does it simply weaken it?
Because of the popularity of social media, this issue is blowing up and many future Marines are buying into the bullshit without having any real knowledge of what the issue entails other then the common misconception of, me "Tarzan, you Jane." It is much more complicated then that and this page is here to point out some of the issue's major arguments.
- Serving in a combat unit especially an infantry battalion will have you experiencing a very different USMC then serving in a Headquarters type unit as an example. Many pog units do much less PT, no to less field time, no deployments, are fatter and nastier, etc etc. Many pog units are much less stressful and much more relaxed and some pogs are promoted much quicker then their infantry counterparts. So grunts do have a legit reason to bitch, but at the end of the day we each pick our own job, so we need to learn to accept this fact. You cannot and should not expect every Marine unit to run the same way since missions are different, duties are different, hours will vary, tempos vary, number of Marines will vary, etc etc.
- You have to look at this topic from a grunt's point of view. Since they are the ones who walk into direct combat, since they have to put up with much more overall bullshit, since their standards and expectations are usually higher, and since their training in many cases is much tougher and different, many of them will feel that they deserve much more respect and they don't want to be seen in the same manner as a pog. That is fine and very understandable, but still not a reason to hate on others who chose a different path. I think many pogs do have a higher respect for grunts, but once a grunt starts popping his chops, that respect level will go out the door therefore continuing this divide. It's hard to respect anyone when they dedicate their time to bringing you down for juvenile reasons, so think about that.
- Because of the type of training grunts do and because of the fact that combat is a very close reality for them, their brotherhood bond in most cases will be much stronger. You should expect tighter bonds in units were death is a close reality and where you spend a lot of time training in small unit tactics. This doesn't mean tight bonds are not found in pog units or that pog units are not tight with each other. It's just a different type of bond and only a grunt knows what this special bond is like. And any bonding by any Marine is not a given just because he is a Marine. Believe it or not there are many Marines who don't care about the brotherhood and who do not bond with their brothers and this includes both grunts and pogs.
- Many grunts love to point out that every pog job has the mission to support the infantry. Well duh! That is the concept of an infantry-based military branch. All jobs revolve around the infantry because of structure and not because the infantry is superior. And for some reason, grunts refuse to admit that within the grunts jobs such as machine gunners, mortars and tow gunners are also there to support the line companies the same way pog jobs support line companies. But we don't dare talk shit about these support roles because they have the special label of 03xx.
- Even within the pog community, they talk just as much shit about each just like grunts do. You have to understand that there are pogs such as artillery, tanks, AAV's, engineers, radio operators attached to combat units and several others, and then you have the "super hard-core" pogs. Some of these super pogs never see the field, never deploy, never do hikes or never eat an MRE once they are done with MCT. It's just difficult to swallow seeing these Marines claim the same title that you claim while living in an entirely different Marine Corps once out of boot camp. It's a sad site at times and it sucks because a pog cannot choose what type of unit he serves in.
- You also have many pogs who think they are "smarter" just because they didn't pick the infantry MOS field and these pogs often assume that everyone needs to enlist with the mindset of gaining future job skills. They also assume every grunt is as dense as a wet sponge. Since the infantry is the largest MOS in the Marines and since it only requires a low ASVAB score to get into, you are going to find many dense sponges and these are usually the ones with the loudest mouths. Pog or grunt, there will always be some good, some bad, and some nasty ones. The same way grunts shouldn't expect others to be like them, pogs also need to put a sock in it and stop assuming every Marine needs to be like them. It works both ways. And for any pog to assume that because a person picks the infantry MOS that this somehow means he will be a failure once he gets out, this is just complete nonsense. In most cases the job you do as a Marine isn't going to impact your civilian life, so pogs need to recognize this fact.
- For some silly reason, many grunts assume that every pog has these secret desires to be a grunt. I am sure some do, but guess what? Some grunts also have secret desires to serve in pog jobs, and many do go from grunt to pog once they reenlist. The concept of, "we all enlist for our own reasons" isn't always understood in the infantry community and the assumption that all Marines should want to be grunts runs rampant in the 03xx MOS field. Since the Marine Corps offers dozens of jobs which are not infantry and since we each have our own priorities in life, where is the harm in picking whatever job best suits us? So you picked infantry; big freakin deal. So you picked intel; big freakin deal......and so on. Get over yourselves!!
- You sort of get the feeling that many grunts and wannabe grunts are more interested in earning the title of "grunt" and not so much the title of "Marine." This is why many of them are quick to shove in your face the fact that they were or are grunts or the fact that they hope to become grunts. The sad thing about many grunts is that they rely way too much on the "grunt" label to give them respect. It's as if without this label they are just an insecure Marine. I guess one can make the argument of, 'that is why they joined the USMC infantry.' The majority of pogs don't rely on their MOS label to gain respect.
- It is comical at times to see some grunts who think they can do any pog job just like that. It's as if becoming a grunt now means you are qualified in many MOS's. I guess it's only fair to point out that if a grunt thinks a pog job is easy and that he can do it, he may want to look closely at the difficlutly level of his job. It's not like grunt work is rocket science, so at ease there LCpl. Einstein. Contrary to popular belief, not every pog job is a "skate" job and not every pog job lives the good life that grunts seem to think they live. Many pogs spend a lot of time in the field and work much longer hours then grunts in jobs that are much more difficult skill wise then an infantryman's job.
- This issue gets so ugly at times that you have some grunts who feel they are the only ones entitled to post pictures of themselves in the field or of them holding a weapon. Some pogs do get carried away with their misleading pics, but like any Marine of any MOS, if you were there to be photographed, then I am quiet certain you have earned that right.
- At the end of the day there is a stigma on both pogs and grunts and many Marines seem to not be interested in doing away with this stigma. One thing is for certain. In today's USMC you are getting a much more educated Marine, especially in the infantry field, so this is a good thing.
- Regardless if you are a pog or grunt, your wanting to be respected more is only a valid point if you have something unique to back it up. You shouldn't expect to be high on a throne just because of a label. Here are some examples of what I mean: Compare a reservist grunt to an active duty pog. If the pog works full time and the reservist only works 38 days per year, where is this grunt's claim to fame? Compare an active grunt and an active pog during a time of war. If the grunt never deploys to a combat zone and if the pog does, should this grunt go around talking as if he's been there and done that? Take a grunt tow gunner, or LAV crewman. What exactly makes these grunts so bad ass and special? Tankers and AAV pogs also ride around in their vehicles while supporting the infantry. Take entire pog units like the artillery units which were converted to infantry units to take part in battles such as Fallujah. Are these pogs less of Marines for the simple fact that they are not 03xx Marines? What about grunts who are removed from their platoons and made to fill pog duties? What about a radio operator who is attached to a line company doing the same shit that grunts do with a radio on his back? Like I said, if you have a legit reason to expect more respect, that is fine, but until you do, you may want to STFU and you may want to keep your over-inflated ego in check.
The below passage is directed at those grunts or wannabee grunts who have deep true issues with any Marine who enlists with a different job then they did. It is not intended for those grunts who know what is up and who are the consummate professionals.
You very often hear about how if you aren’t a grunt, then you aren’t shit. Well that is all just fine and dandy if that is what you choose to believe. It takes a Marine with big balls to admit that he made a mistake in picking the infantry job field. I have met and interviewed many grunts who regretted their decision simply because the job was not what they thought it would be like. They are very proud of being grunts, but they ended up feeling that maybe they should have chosen a different job for various reasons which often are not seen until later on down the road. There are just too many bullshit games played in the infantry, and the amount of wasted time is just too much. You would think that as a grunt each day would be filled with some form of very exciting and motivating infantry training. Well the reality is that this is far from the truth.
One of the most interesting facts that some grunt Marines admitted to me was that they very often had to act like the majority and hate on non-infantry Marines just to fit in. No one, especially a grunt wants to be the outcast of his platoon and much of the negativity that is spoken by some grunts is simply a result of peer pressure. I have noticed that if you find an honest grunt and speak to him one on one in a private setting, he very often will act much differently than if you speak to him amongst his peers in a public forum such as Facebook. I have also noticed that many grunts and grunt wannabees feel the strong need to make themselves look like a hard-ass. From their views, to how they speak, to how they act, the attempts to come off as a bad-ass hardened Marine can be comical at times and is quiet pathetic.
The reason many grunts poke fun at non-grunts and actually mean what they say is because they are probably bitter that they chose a job that they thought was going to be cool, and it turned out to be anything but cool. And many grunts quickly realize that they probably should of tried to gain future job skills. Plus some who enlist into this field are just closed minded and hard headed and think that everyone must be like them. Different strokes for different folks is a concept that is not understood by many who serve in the infantry field. Some grunts can't stand the fact that a non-grunt is viewed in the same manner as he is by society, so this is also where much of their hatred comes from. That is called being insecure. If a grunt thinks he’s this and that and if he feels he has been to hell and back, then why would he care about non-grunts? Insecurities perhaps! Does being a non-grunt Marine take away from what a grunt accomplishes? I don’t see how, but many grunts seem to think otherwise.
If a grunt has a problem with a non-grunt's job, then he needs to take this issue up with the USMC since they allow Marines to do non-grunt jobs. Why would you truly hate on another fellow brother just because he has different priorities then you may have? The answer is because you are probably very juvenile and insecure. News flash: Not everyone who joins the Marines is interested in the grunt life. Just because you may pick the infantry field, this doesn’t mean the rest of the world owes you shit, or that you are superior to them. You may feel it does, but it doesn’t.
Many grunts do love their job and those are the consummate professionals and the ones who get the respect from everyone else including me. The loud mouth, obnoxious wannabee bad ass Marines are the ones who are complete jokes and very often are the biggest wussies out in the field. Remember this folks, the more you try to be a hard-ass, the more silly you will end up looking. All of us should try to be who we truly are and not who we wish we were. It is those asshole grunt Marines who walk around slamming every Marine who is not a grunt that makes the USMC and the infantry look bad. Making fun of non-infantry Marines is perfectly fine, but when you cross the line and actually mean it with malice, you are nothing but a piece of shit and you live up to the stereotype that grunts are very stupid people. What ever happened to being professional? I guess that don't apply to some Marines.
What is hilarious is that many grunts very often say that non-grunts are the ones who come home after deploying and tell war stories that never existed. If you only knew how many grunts I have spoken to who either flat out lie, or exaggerate their adventures in order to make themselves out to be something they are not. Think about this: Which Marines do you think have the motive to lie or exaggerate about their adventures? That’s right; the ones who are expected to experience a certain lifestyle are usually the ones who tell some tall tales.
Some of you out there may think that every grunt is a hard core combat veteran. Oh boy are you greatly mistaken. In the USMC you have many non-grunts (pogs) who have seen more combat then some grunts. And just being an infantryman does not mean you will be in combat. Even when deployed combat is not guaranteed. Just being a grunt doesn't mean you are a bad ass, trust me, I have seen this first hand. Can you imagine picking the infantry job during a time of war because you think you are going to be big and bad and kill many men and then your unit doesn't even deploy to the Middle East? How funny would you look at the end of the day? Think about that Mr. Bad Ass. SOMETHING TO THINK ABOUT: Most grunts enlist when they are 17, 18, 19 years of age. At those ages the infantry can seem fun and motivating. But at 22-23 years of age, when you are getting out of the Marine Corps, many grunts often realize what a huge mistake it was to pick the infantry MOS field.
I do not respect grunts any more then I respect an admin Marine or a Marine cook or a mechanic. I tend to respect each person for who they are and not because of some label. If any Marine of any MOS experiences something that warrants a higher level of respect, then this will be when that respect is granted. But as a general rule, I don't go around kissing the ass of a grunt just because he picked the infantry MOS.
The funny thing about grunt units is that many of the young Marines in them can't wait to get the hell out. I wonder why? I sort of get the feeling that many grunts love being viewed as grunts by other Marines and by civilians, but they despise the infantry life. At the end of the day if you become a grunt and feel it necessary to hate on those who did not choose the same job as you, then power to you. Just remember it is your actions which define you and which make you look silly at the end of the day.
If you want to have the respect of everyone who meets you, then don't act like you are better than they are. It's that simple. Imagine going through life and the only retards who respect you are those who are just like you. That truly is a very pathetic life.