An email is getting passed around the ranks of the Marine Corps — even reaching the highest level of Commandant Gen. James Amos — as a reminder that no matter how bad you think your day is, it’s important to remain positive.
The initial correspondence, first sent out Dec. 13 by Lt. Col. Corey Collier, the battalion commander of 1st Battalion, 9th Marines, shares the story of Cpl. Ian Gorman, a machine gunner serving under Collier in Bravo Company.
In the military, the gear troops are issued — helmets, magazine pouches, weapons, etc — all need to be returned in the same condition as received. If it’s lost or gets busted, a lost/damaged/missing gear statement needs to be filled out, and often ends in the service member’s pay being docked.
“I just signed what was probably the best damaged/missing gear statement I’ve seen,” Collier writes in his email. “Cpl Gorman: ‘I was shot in the helmet by enemy. I need a new one. I do not desire to reimburse the government.'”
The email quickly went from Collier’s immediate superior, Col. Daniel Sullivan, who described Gorman as “a real character,” up to many senior officers and enlisted leaders in a matter of hours, before finally reaching the commandant’s inbox.
Gorman’s short statement, mentioning getting shot in the helmet like it’s no big deal, can certainly put things in perspective.
Journalist Michael Yon first got a copy of the email, which Business Insider also obtained.
Here’s the full email thread (first email begins at the bottom):
From: Neller LtGen Robert B
Sent: Friday, December 13, 2013 9:32 AM
Subject: [U] FW: Damaged gear
As per our discussion this morning, the below will help keep things in context
but also give a some positive motivation about being a Marine.
From: Miller MajGen Walter RC(SW) II MEF FWD (CG) Commanding General
Sent: Friday, December 13, 2013 4:29 AM
To: Amos Gen James F
Cc: Paxton Gen John M; Regner MajGen Michael R; Neller LtGen Robert B; Toolan
LtGen John A; Fox MajGen Raymond C; Lukeman BGen James W; Tryon LtGen Richard T;
Berry SgtMaj Paul A RC(SW) II MEF FWD
Subject: FW: Damaged gear
Sir, when the days get long and tough just pull up Cpl Gorman’s (1/9) missing /
damaged gear statement below. While really humbling when I think of it, it also
lightens the load.
From: Sullivan COL Daniel RC (SW) TFBW CO
I thought you would get a chuckle out of this. After getting grazed in the
scalp and having a little piece of his ear nicked off, the corpsman treated him
and they continued with the patrol. When I saw him after the patrol, he was
bandaged around the grape like a civil war casualty.
He is a real character.
From: Collier LtCol Corey M RC(SW) 1/9 Battalion Commander
Sent: Friday, December 13, 2013 11:36 AM
To: Sullivan Col Daniel RC (SW) TFBW CO
Subject: Damaged gear
I just signed what was probably the best damaged/missing gear statement I’ve
Cpl Gorman: “I was shot in the helmet by enemy. I need a new one. I do not
desire to reimburse the government.”
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