Marine Corps Commandant Gen. Robert Neller wants to improve the state of his force by cracking down on “general jackassery.”
Neller noted in an interview with Marine Corps Times that alcohol tends to fuel many of the problems seen in the corps, ranging from suicide to domestic abuse.
“Alcohol – if it’s not respected and managed – it takes Marines into a bad place, whether it’s domestic abuse, sexual assault, suicide, hazing, DUI, or just general jackassery,” Neller told the Marine Corps Times in an interview published Tuesday. “Normally the story starts …’Well, we were drinking tequila, you know,’ and the story kind of goes downhill from there.”
Neller outlined his concerns on alcohol in a message to the force titled “Seize The Initiative.”
“We’re known for our toughness and endurance, but many of us eat poorly, smoke, dip, and drink alcohol excessively,” said Neller in the statement, which was released Tuesday. “This self-abuse plays into the hands of our enemies. We need to drink less, read more and PT smarter.”
The commandant asked Marines to take a look at themselves and be honest with their habits. He encouraged them to improve their physical training regimen, and to “call out” their fellow Marines to do the same.
Neller said he hopes by communicating his thoughts on these issues, Marines will take notice and change for the good of the force.
“If, by talking about this, I get 10 percent of people to think about what they’re doing, then we’re making progress,” said Neller.
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