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jclarkdawe
07-01-2010, 06:24 AM
Protagonist is a retired admiral from the US Navy, who was in charge of at least one joint command and worked with amphibious operations.

1) Would his military ID indicate his rank?

2) In ending a conversation with an ex-marine, would it be inappropriate for him to say to the marine either "Semper fi" or "Oorah!" The protagonist has definitely been using his officer status in the conversation.

Thanks for any help.

Jim Clark-Dawe

Puma
07-01-2010, 06:37 AM
Not the expert here, but possibly some help.

I doubt his military ID would show his rank (wouldn't he have the same ID number he was given when he went in?) I assume you're talking about the old dog tags.

I've heard ex-marines say to one another "Semper Fi" in farewell (and non-Marines say it to ex-marines). My brother was a Marine during the Korean War and I've heard him use it. But not "Oorah". Puma

jclarkdawe
07-01-2010, 06:46 AM
The ID I'm talking about is the plastic one with a photo. My understanding is it's issued to all retired members. Dog tags are a different issue, and once you retire, you don't wear them. This ID would go in your wallet.

You can find Lee Harvey Oswald's ID after he left the military indicating that he was an E-2 Private First Class. But I'm not positive about modern ones, and the images I can find through google aren't clear enough for me to be sure.

Best of luck,

Jim Clark-Dawe

Shadow_Ferret
07-01-2010, 06:53 AM
I wonder if an Admiral in the Navy would say either Semper Fi or Oorah. I think Oorah might be below him, but either way, Marines and Navy are usually at odds with one another. As a sailor, I never would have said Semper Fi or Oorah to a marine. I think I'd have hurled an insult.

thothguard51
07-01-2010, 07:08 AM
1...Yes, his military retirement ID would indicate his rank as would his car decals he would be issued so he still shop at the PX and use other base benefits.

2...Yes, an Admiral could say Semper Fi or Oorah to a marine, if it was in his nature to use those expressions. The fact he has served in a joint command structure, would allow him to know the lingo.

Remember, while the Marines are a separate branch of the armed services, it's the Navy who pays them and their officers go to the Naval Academy. I say Semper Fi to marines all the time and I was only got to E5 in the Navy. As a matter of fact, I have had marines say Anchor's Away to me before...

Tsu Dho Nimh
07-01-2010, 07:57 AM
Military ID - for PX and such - does show you as (RET) after your last rank. You often get a promotion at retirement ("up and out") so you retire at higher pay.

A Navy guy isn't going to embarrass himself by using Marine jive talk. (and my brother and nephews, all Marines, say they wouldn't be impressed). Unless that's what you want to have happen.

GeorgeK
07-01-2010, 04:27 PM
We're all on the same team...seems the most appropriate quote. I've worked with Drs of all the military branches and only the bus drivers...I mean the Air Force... seem to have something forcibly inserted into their collective asses. The marines were the best...do the job...make sure it's done...go home. Next were a tie between the navy and army and coast guard, and then there were those other guys worried about rank and priviledge over the patient...never realizing that one day they would be the patient... ok, maybe not what you were after...but whatever...

thothguard51
07-01-2010, 05:01 PM
A Navy guy isn't going to embarrass himself by using Marine jive talk. (and my brother and nephews, all Marines, say they wouldn't be impressed). Unless that's what you want to have happen.

If the Navy guy works with the Marines, then yes, he will learn the jargon and use it. Lots of Navy Medics work with the Marines and they respect the Navy Medics. A Navy officer who has worked joint commands would as well.

As to being impressed, that's a different story.

As a Navy guy, I would not walk into a Marine bar unless I was a Seal member or had a death wish...

ladyleeona
07-01-2010, 05:21 PM
I'm not sure on the ID and I don't have anyone handy that I can ask atm.

But on a little sidenote, and you probably know this, an 'ex-Marine' is a marine who was dishonorably discharged...a 'former marine' is one with an honorable discharge. It really irks marines to be called an 'ex' when they are in fact a 'former'. And this is coming from a family full of the SOBs =).

I have seen serious camaraderie between Navy corpsmen and the marines they are attached to--I mean seriously, those corpsmens' whole job is to patch up marines and keep 'em in one piece (who wouldn't like that?). But I am confident that a Ret. Navy Admirable would never say Semper Fi or oorah! to a person he knew was dishonorably discharged.

I'm not sure if that's helpful in the large scheme, but it's just one of those little things....

Hallen
07-01-2010, 08:39 PM
Their military ID, even retired ID, will definitely show the rank. Mine does.
Yes, he might say Semper Fi or Oorah depending on the situation. Semper Fi most definitely. It is a show of respect for what a Marine is, even coming from a Navy Admiral. (assuming both are in good standing, so to speak)

RJK
07-01-2010, 09:52 PM
Military ID - for PX and such - does show you as (RET) after your last rank. You often get a promotion at retirement ("up and out") so you retire at higher pay...

That's how it was for officers back in the day. It's not that way anymore. McCrystal had been a 4 star General for one year, in order to retire as a 4 star, he would have had to serve for 4 years. President Obama gave him a waiver, allowing him to retire at his current rank.

What's the rank of the former Marine? Unless there's some other connection, Admirals, retired or otherwise, don't give enlisted folks the time of day.

BTW I think it's "hoo-rah," if you're going to use it.

Hallen
07-01-2010, 10:04 PM
That's how it was for officers back in the day. It's not that way anymore. McCrystal had been a 4 star General for one year, in order to retire as a 4 star, he would have had to serve for 4 years. President Obama gave him a waiver, allowing him to retire at his current rank.

What's the rank of the former Marine? Unless there's some other connection, Admirals, retired or otherwise, don't give enlisted folks the time of day.

BTW I think it's "hoo-rah," if you're going to use it.

That's only for pay purposes. If you are a 4 star for one day, you retire as a 4 star. However, the pay you receive on your retirement will be based on how much time you spent at your current rank vs your previous rank(s) and averaged. I don't know what the time frame is anymore, but McChrystal would almost certainly grandfathered that rule anyway.

And the comment about "don't give enlisted folks the time of day" is complete bullshit, pardon my french. There is a deep respect that any good officer holds for any good and dedicated NCO or enlisted person. There can be no disrespect for the officer by law, but a good officer also understands that he'll get nowhere without the support of his subordinates. There is a distinction between an officer and his subordinates, that's necessary for efficient command. But there is no disrespect. Try watching Band of Brothers sometime to see how good officers treat good NCO's.

Shadow_Ferret
07-01-2010, 10:17 PM
That's only for pay purposes. If you are a 4 star for one day, you retire as a 4 star. However, the pay you receive on your retirement will be based on how much time you spent at your current rank vs your previous rank(s) and averaged. I don't know what the time frame is anymore, but McChrystal would almost certainly grandfathered that rule anyway.


I dont' know about Officers, but for Enlisted, it also depended on WHEN you retired. If you retired after 20 years, you'd get a percentage of your base pay. If you retired after 25 years, you'd get a larger percentage, and so on.

Noah Body
07-01-2010, 11:53 PM
BTW I think it's "hoo-rah," if you're going to use it.

No, it's oo-rah in the Corps. In the Army, it's hoo-ah. Never heard hoo-rah.

And you're not really up to date on your enlisted/officer relations.

pilot27407
07-02-2010, 12:17 AM
An Admiral’s rank is the equivalent of a Marine’s General.
If your Admiral talks with a lower rank Marine he won’t say anything; wait for the lower rank to say it, then, maybe he’d reply with the nod of a superior. If they’re long time friends or close rank he would reply with a smile and “screw you, jarhead.”
He would carry an ID stating rank and RET (fro retired).
And Noah's right, it's oo-rah in the Corps.

jclarkdawe
07-02-2010, 03:16 AM
Thanks for all the responses. I didn't want to give more of a description of the scene so I could get some raw feedback. But below is the scene. It occurs at the entrance/exit of a Wal-Mart. Protagonist (George) is a retired admiral, age about 65, dressed in slacks, collared button shirt with white t-shirt showing, and shoes on. George's granddaughter, Amy, has just shown up after having disappeared five years ago, with her 5-year-old son, Johnnie.

George has taken them to Wal-Mart to deal with their lack of clothing. He sent her off to get her stuff, while taking Johnnie to the kid's section, where he enlists a clerk to help him buy some clothes. Five or six sets, including underwear, pajamas, sneakers. Johhnie, by the way, sucks his thumb, constantly. (Yes, I know Johnnie is immature, that's the point.)

I realized as I was writing this scene that his conduct was just a smidge suspicious. Therefore, as he's leaving, a police officer from the Lebanon, NH, Police Department approaches him, and starts asking questions. George quickly realizes what the issue is, realizes he has nothing on him to prove who Johnnie is, and doesn't want to drag Amy into this if he can avoid it because Amy might have some legal difficulties he doesn't know about. And Amy is looking like she's ready to run out in the parking lot. Lebanon PD has about thirty - forty officers. The police officer is about thirty-years-old and just looks like he'd been in the military at some point in his life.

This is still a very rough draft, but I wanted to make sure it worked. It may not even survive to the final draft (most of the book isn't even written yet), but I try to make sure things are right as I write them.

=================

(The police officer's) His forehead is furrowed, his eyes sort of squeezed into slits, as he holds my license and ID in my hand, wondering how he lost control of this interview. I don’t tell him I’ve done this many times. You don’t rise as far as I did in the military without knowing how to lead, even when other people aren’t looking for your leadership.

Scrolling down my phone’s contact list, I come to the Lebanon Police Chief’s cell number, and have the phone dial it. On the third ring, it’s answered.

“Hi, Bob. It’s George Hudson here. One of the fine young men who serve you is here and he needs to be reassured that there’s no problem, and I need to do it quickly.” I explain the situation, wasting no words, as the officer listens, my license still in his hands. Bob is on the board of directors for a youth group that I’ve helped with providing military contacts, like when they went down to Old Ironsides and got a special tour.

I watch Amy, trying to reassure her from a distance, and when I finish explaining, Bob tells me to hand the phone to his officer. A very short conversation follows, and the next thing I know the officer is handing me back my phone, license and ID, saying, “I’m sorry to bother you, sir.”

Johnnie is still holding onto me and his hippo. “I’m glad you checked. Checking things out is one of the best ways to avoid problems. Were you in the Army or Marines, son?”

He sort of snaps to attention. “Second Marines, Sir. Corporal. Four years.”

I look at him, trying to guess when he served. “Camp Lejeune? Let’s see. Under Colonel Wilson?”

“Yes, Sir. Under Colonel Polanski, Sir.”

“Semper fi. Oorah!” I hold out my hand to shake his.

“Semper fi, Sir. Sorry for the inconvience. Oorah, Sir!”

“Not a problem.” I start walking to my car, Johnnie in tow.

==============

Basically George is being a bit of an a-hole, calling the guy's chief, and wants to apologize without apologizing. George is used to working with enlisted as an officer and doesn't look down on them. But he also knows how and when to use power.

Thanks for all the help,

Jim Clark-Dawe

Noah Body
07-02-2010, 05:40 PM
You should buy the Hooah! Button (http://www.mil-mall.com/hooah-button.html) and send it to your readership. :D

RJK
07-02-2010, 07:11 PM
I worked for a short time on an admiral's staff. At that time, I was a Master Chief. That's as high as an enlisted man gets. I saw first hand how cozy the admiral was with the enlisted personnel in his own staff. It was strictly business. You didn't dare approach him without going through each step of the chain of command. If you passed him on a sidewalk, he would casually return your salute, rarely returning your greeting unless you were one of his senior enlisted (Chief and higher). In a staff meeting, you didn't open your mouth. Oral reports were filtered through his officers, even if you did 100% of the work. To put it clearly, there was no such thing as chit-chat.

Duncan J Macdonald
07-02-2010, 08:40 PM
I worked for a short time on an admiral's staff. At that time, I was a Master Chief. That's as high as an enlisted man gets. I saw first hand how cozy the admiral was with the enlisted personnel in his own staff. It was strictly business. You didn't dare approach him without going through each step of the chain of command. If you passed him on a sidewalk, he would casually return your salute, rarely returning your greeting unless you were one of his senior enlisted (Chief and higher). In a staff meeting, you didn't open your mouth. Oral reports were filtered through his officers, even if you did 100% of the work. To put it clearly, there was no such thing as chit-chat.

I'm just now completing 15 years on the CNO Staff at the Pentagon (and buildings nearby). I'm retired Navy, after 20 + years as an officer. I've been on 3 flag staffs afloat, and in my time at the Pentagon, I've gone through more Admirals than I care to count.

I don't doubt your experience, RJK, I've met the same kind. However, I've also met the kind who would invite their whole staff, enlisted included, out to the golf course for a round of 18 holes, and dropped into a first name basis, and their first name wasn't 'Sir'.

So, really, it depends. My current 3-star is a stickler. With his deputy (2-star equivalent SES), I'm on a first name basis, even as a slimy defense contractor.

Of the offices, the ones that run the smoothest are the ones that have a friendly atmosphere.

YMMV

Noah Body
07-02-2010, 09:04 PM
I worked for a short time on an admiral's staff. At that time, I was a Master Chief. That's as high as an enlisted man gets. I saw first hand how cozy the admiral was with the enlisted personnel in his own staff. It was strictly business. You didn't dare approach him without going through each step of the chain of command. If you passed him on a sidewalk, he would casually return your salute, rarely returning your greeting unless you were one of his senior enlisted (Chief and higher). In a staff meeting, you didn't open your mouth. Oral reports were filtered through his officers, even if you did 100% of the work. To put it clearly, there was no such thing as chit-chat.

Then I guess the Navy you served in was different from the Army I served in. Of course, I never had any real staff positions other than aviation safety officer for one unit and a regimental LNO for another. Neither were fulltime positions and did not remove me from the battle roster.

Did serve aboard Navy ships in the late 1980s in a contingency op, was there as a requested guest of the squids, and while formality and decorum were rampant, I did not see what you describe among the black shoe Navy.

Sorry you worked for jerks, but there are plenty out there in all the services, and in my opinion they don't know what leadership is supposed to be.

RJK
07-03-2010, 03:02 AM
I wouldn't call him a jerk, he simply kept his distance from the enlisted staff. I imagine he was very formal with his officers too. He wasn't unfriendly, but he surely wasn't your buddy.

Hallen
07-04-2010, 03:06 AM
I wouldn't call him a jerk, he simply kept his distance from the enlisted staff. I imagine he was very formal with his officers too. He wasn't unfriendly, but he surely wasn't your buddy.

Yes, I've seen it that way too. I also know the Navy is stricter on the whole officer/enlisted relationship. Each officer is different and deals with the command responsibilities in different ways. I've seen it from both sides, I was a mustang. Idle chit-chat was rare, especially in formal situations. It didn't mean the officer in question was not a good guy, it's simply how he maintained his command authority.

Given the context of the story above, I'd still say the Admiral would give a "Semper Fi" (personally, I'd drop the oorah part) to the man just to let him know there were no hard feelings. Plus, neither are on active duty. I think it comes down to the character and what kind of person he is. Good officers will give atta-boys to enlisted when appropriate.

If I were the police officer, I'd be raging mad though. Some puke calls my uber-superior and gets me chopped off at the knees for everybody to see when I was just doing my job? Yeah, I'd be pissed. The Admiral would be getting tickets for years after that.

Also, something to consider, no grandparent carries around ID for their grandchildren when they go to the store. Yeah, it might be weird activity, but I seriously doubt the cops would be called unless something even more weird happened.

Rowan
07-07-2010, 03:49 AM
Protagonist is a retired admiral from the US Navy, who was in charge of at least one joint command and worked with amphibious operations.

1) Would his military ID indicate his rank?

2) In ending a conversation with an ex-marine, would it be inappropriate for him to say to the marine either "Semper fi" or "Oorah!" The protagonist has definitely been using his officer status in the conversation.

Thanks for any help.

Jim Clark-Dawe

1-Yes.
2-First, never say "ex-Marine". Always former (once a Marine, always a Marine). ;) And yeah, it's appropriate to say "Semper Fi" to a jarhead.

Hope that helps!

[...and I'm speaking as a former Marine who currently works with officers from all services :) ]

Rowan
07-07-2010, 03:57 AM
“Semper fi. Oorah!” I hold out my hand to shake his.

“Semper fi, Sir. Sorry for the inconvience. Oorah, Sir!”

“Not a problem.” I start walking to my car, Johnnie in tow.

==============



I would recommend using one or the other. For example, "Semper Fi" is more of a parting remark--at least that's how I personally use/have used it. "Ooh-rah" = more of an exclamation. Make sense? I think as written you lose the impact and the context feels wrong (IMHO).

Hope that helps! :)