Leadership Stories – The Guide and Me

This is a continuation of some leadership stories of my experience in Marine Corps Boot Camp, in particular my confrontation with the guide.

We have heard the term fight or flight, and some will say it is part of our make up. Since I was very young I have never backed away from any situation. It has not always worked out well in my favor by doing so.

Common sense should eventually tell me that it is smarter to walk. I don't know if that made me a better Marine or not, but I love a challenge and generally don't back off. Let me make it clear though that I am not a fighter and have very rarely ever started any fight that I have been in. As a matter of fact the idea of fighting scares me. But I will!

Oh yes, I tolerate a certain amount of abuse prior to making a stand. But in the end I get fed up and let the chips fall where the may.

Leadership Stories – The Guide and I just didn't get along!

An example of this was during boot camp. We were in the final phase of our training in San Diego. We had just gotten back from Camp Pendleton where we had finished up our Infantry Training.

The Guide and I just didn't get along. I wish I could tell you why, but to this day I am not sure why he didn't like me.

Every chance he got he would make sure I got the raw end of a deal. One of the Guides responsibilities was to inspect us prior to a DI doing so. As we would be standing by our bunks the Guide would walk past slowly making sure our uniform was being worn correctly, or any other number of things.

Leadership Stories – Submit or take a stand!

Not once did the Guide walk past my bunk without saying something about me personally.

He either called me string bean, or on some occasions would call me a female body part. He would just whisper it so that only a small few would hear. But I was fed up with it. This had gone on for several weeks. He had pushed my buttons and set off the alarm in my head that said enough is enough.

Submit or take a stand!

On this particular day that he was making his rounds to inspect us, I made note that the DI was in his office with the door shut.

As the Guide got closer and closer to me I knew that I was going to do something. I wasn't quite sure yet, but it was going to happen.

Leadership Stories – Without warning I unleashed a blow to his face!

As he was just in front of me and starting to open his mouth, I couldn't help myself any longer.

I clinched my fist and without any warning at all, I unleashed a smashing blow to the side of his face. He dropped onto the floor from the impact and on top of him I went. Three more blows to his head and I stood back up and positioned myself back at attention.

Everyone stood right in there places. No one made a sound. It was almost like they were glad that someone had finally done what I had done. Maybe they were getting the same thing from him that I was.

Leadership Stories – I was confused!

He lifted his head up and looked at me as I was now again standing at attention. He stood up and rub his face a little. Straightened up his uniform and kept on walking down the line.

He didn't say one word or attempt to retaliate.

I was confused. I was certain that he would have jumped up and laid into me, but he didn't.

I never had any more trouble with him, nor did I hear one thing about this from anyone.

I am not sure how he explained his face to the DI's. Not sure they even cared.

I don't advocate violence as a first step in solving problems by any means; however, when you have to make a stand. Make a stand!

Thank you and May God Bless You!

Return to my main page on Leadership Stories - Marine Corps Boot Camp