Those who assumed only a “terminal lance” would have the gall to list his barracks room on Craigslist might be surprised to learn who was really behind the stunt.
A staff sergeant hoping to carry out a career in the Corps was behind the entertaining Craigslist advertisement. He said he has a “penchant for shaking things up when it comes to having to conform to the Marine Corps way.”
The Battle Rattle post about his ad was viewed nearly 380,000 times. He described a 225 square-foot barracks room as a lovely space in a gated community with wake-up calls and “motivation specialists.” The staff sergeant said he has since received a lot of fan mail.
“I have received hundreds of encouragement and congratulatory emails in response to the ad, and most of them wished me luck with dealing with my first sergeant, sergeant major, or insinuating I may well be on my way to private,” he told Marine Corps Times.
For those reasons, it’s probably no surprise that he asked that his identity not be revealed.
The staff NCO said he posted the ad as a challenge of sorts. He wants to ensure Marines aren’t afraid of questioning the status quo — but only if they do it in a professional way that doesn’t cost them their careers.
“Our Corps is built on the concept that we are innovators who look for new ways to operate (e.g., amphibious landings) and that we will formulate ways to do them well,” he said. “Innovation involves forcing oneself to operate outside the box, a thing the Marine Corps as an institution typically frowns upon.”
Instead, the staff sergeant said he would like to encourage Marines who enjoyed his post to think about their limitations and push past them.
“[That will] help make our Corps into the next generation of military professionals,” he said. “This is how we grow and improve.”
He said he wanted to be clear: That doesn’t mean he’s out to slander the way the Corps functions. But wants to challenge it in a positive way.
“If you are an infantryman, a supply clerk, an intelligence officer, or a [military policeman], ask yourself often, ‘Why do we do things this way? Is there a way the process can be improved?’ ” he said. “If you have an idea, it doesn’t matter if you are a private or a general, you could be the one to help revolutionize our Corps.”
The staff sergeant said too often Marines are concerned they’re going to get in trouble if they question anything. But they should not be afraid to remain silent about everything going on around them out of fear of their superiors, he said.
“In today’s Marine Corps, I find there is a lack of moxie where it has historically abound,” he said. “This new garrison Marine Corps keeps Marines on pins and needles for fear of having their careers ruined by some adverse paperwork.”