The Marine Corps’ seven Marine Expeditionary Units are designed to deploy at a moment’s notice for combat or emergency response, but it seems two of the MEUs have been waging a war a little closer to home.
The 15th MEU, out of Camp Pendleton, Calif., has had an official account on Twitter for over a year, tweeting a regular stream of Marine Corps news and photos. But when its neighboring 13th MEU joined Twitter in July, things started heating up.
On Aug. 23, the 13th MEU account issued a friendly shout-out to all the MEUs on Twitter.
Then it got personal.
There were memes.
Chesty Puller, the patron saint of Marines, was invoked.
So was Condescending Wonka.
Yeah, it was on.
Typically, the Marine Corps presence on social media is formal to a fault, so I inquired with the MEUs to see what was behind this highly entertaining Twitter feud.
“It’s an opportunity to show people that the Marine Corps is not just your [drill instructor]and new recruits,” said Capt. Brian Block, a spokesman for the 15th MEU. “There’s people behind the public face and those people like to have fun. We’ve got a personality too.”
I asked him if there was a standing rivalry between the 13th and 15th MEUs, Red Sox-Yankees style.
“Any opportunity to dig the cousin to show them that you’re better,” Block said.
But, he said, rivalry was all relative.
“If the [East Coast-based] 22nd MEU tries to dig the 13th, we’ll come to their aid,” he said. “And then we’ll all join up against the Army.”