To The Sound of The (Guns) (Trouble) (Purple Penguins)

The United States Marines have launched a new recruiting/ad campaign, not as a replacement of their excellent and long-running "The Few. The Proud. The Marines", but as a part of it.

The commercials are visually very stirring. Marines running toward a smoking town in full battle rattle as gunfire sounds nearby; assault helicopters banking in low; landing craft hitting the beach as the doors open and the Marines pour out; trucks and aircraft delivering humanitarian aid as they run a gauntlet of gunfire and dramatic music.

The Marines always have more martial recruiting campaigns. They don't do the whole "learn seventeen job skills while you're in the army" thing. They're after dudes who want to be hard. Dudes who want to be issued a saber. So what's the slogan for such a bad-ass series of commercials?

It's Run to the sound of the guns. Practically a Marine Corps credo, as this search will reveal. That's what Marines are there for. They exist to do battle. To close with the enemy. To finish the fight. Run to the sound of the guns. Sweet.

Actually...maybe that's a little too aggressive. The Navy is now A global force for good. There were all those shots of humanitarian aid boxes in the commercials. And truth be told, the Marines are often involved in emergency humanitarian relief work for the same reasons they're often first to the fight: they get there first. So maybe soften it up a little.

The slogan is really Run to the sound of trouble. Still conveys that close-with-the-enemy ethos, but also suggests that the Marines are willing to be not only a global force for good, but a global force for good on a white horse. Much better.

But the truth is...that's not the slogan either. Actually, the slogan's got a touch Generation Kill. It's kind of video best. At worst it's a mess. The Marines, ladies and gentlemen, will henceforth be the first to Run to the sound of chaos.

[caption id="attachment_9780" align="aligncenter" width="532" caption=""Run to the sound of chaos." That's not even a real thing."][/caption]

Run to the sound of chaos.

"Sorry guys, it's just such a mess here. We're going to clean things up a bit, okay?"

I'm a big fan of the Marines. One of the reasons I'm a big fan is that they, out of all the American branches of service, seem to best resist the impersonal and bureaucratic impulses of our society. They're the last to toe the line on this or that issue of political correctness. They're saltier and more old school than the other branches. And they're more personal.

It's imprinted all over their ethos. Every Marine's a rifleman first. The Marines never leave a man behind. Marine Corps tactical doctrine emphasizes that lives are often saved by closing with the enemy immediately, instead of standing back and pounding at him with the big guns.

That's why this "run to the sound of chaos" thing bothers me. It's such a bureaucratic slogan. "Listen, people whose country we've just placed highly trained infantrymen into, everything's going to be fine. We're not here to do any killing. Or at least, we'd rather avoid it. You see, we're here to clean up the mess that's been made. This is nothing personal. We're not saying you made the mess. Just saying that it is a mess. And we're Marines. We run to the mess. We'rethe global force for tidying up chaos."

Pussyfooting is a sign of danger. It's a sign of manipulation. It's a sign of agenda. It's a sign of empire. Let's just say the Marines are a bad-ass war machine and leave it at that. I think we'd all feel much better about it. Well, all except the bureaucrats.