Behind the Cover: Snitching and the Corps’ drug problem

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This week in Marine Corps Times, junior Marines and noncommissioned officers debate one general’s controversial initiative to eradicate illegal drug use in his command. Dubbed “Not in My Corps,” Brig. Gen. William D. Beydler’s new campaign encourages rank-and-file troops within Japan’s 1st Marine Aircraft Wing to inform a superior if they see anyone in their unit getting high.

Some troops call that snitching and a call to violate the trust Marines must have for one another at the small-unit level. But the commandant praises the effort, and the three-star head of all Marine forces in Japan says commands across the Corps should use it as a model to confront drug use within their own ranks.

What’s your take?

Other must-reads:

* Senior writers Gina Cavallaro and Gidget Fuentes team up for a comprehensive account of one force reconnaissance platoon’s epic — but little-known — battle three years ago against hundreds of insurgents in the Afghan village of Shewan. Amazingly, these Marines didn’t lose a single man during the encounter, which lasted several hours, and in the process dealt a crushing defeat to the enemy. Cavallaro reports from Afghanistan, where she linked up with that platoon’s former commander, who illustrates in fantastic detail how this unit overcame seemingly impossible odds.

* Staff writer James K. Sanborn quizzes Lt. Gen. Dennis Hejlik, commander of Marine Corps Forces Command in Norfolk, Va., about what Marines should expect once U.S. forces begin leaving Afghanistan later this year. He also spotlights a new piece of gear that “looks like a camouflage diaper but could save your future children.” These external groin protractors were first fielded by the Brits in an effort to lessen the severity of genital injuries sustained in bomb blasts. Now the Corps is rushing them to units down range to supplement the protective underwear some Marines have been wearing for the last few months.

* And much, much more.

Check it out on newsstands this week or subscribe here to read the newspaper online right now.

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