Leaving the Cocoon of Private Schools for Marine Corp OCS
Some schools and some families have a history of and live with an understanding of military service.
I’ve had classmates and students go on to a service academy or officer candidate school and known some students who enlisted after high school graduation. But, by and large, military service seems to go largely misunderstood and unpromoted in the boarding school world (not including military boarding schools of course) which is why you shouldn’t miss “It’s Supposed to Be Hard” in the Washington Post.
Arthur Colby, graduate of Groton School and in the middle of his four years at Dickenson College, signs on to Marine Corps Officer Candidate School. Yes, he comes from ‘that’ Colby family. He’s the grandson of former CIA Director William Colby. The article chronicles his decision to sign-on and his experiences during his first summer of OCS.
Most interesting and enlightening are his comments and understanding of service and how his understanding lead him to the Marine Corps. His classmates don’t understand, condescend to service and seem to not get it.
“…Colby is at Quantico because he thinks it’s his duty to serve. ‘There will always be time for cocktail parties and seeing your friends…But in the grand scheme of things, what’s the most worthwhile thing you can do? . . . I want it to be hellish. The point is that it’s supposed to be hard…
…When Colby invited the Marine recruiter to the campus cafe so he could fill out the enrollment paperwork, his fellow students stared at the man in uniform as if he were an intruder, and at Colby as if he were crazy.
Undeterred, Colby signed up. But he couldn’t help feeling that his decision was ‘almost looked down upon.’ Close friends were supportive, but others were dumbfounded. One confronted him, demanding to know why he would join, as if Colby had been brainwashed….
Yes, the Marine Corps was an unconventional choice, especially at an elite college. But wasn’t it noble to want to serve? The country was at war. Was that really so hard to understand?” (WP)
Arthur Colby, however, gets it and it makes me wonder if we, in the private school community, do enough to instill senses of duty and service.
Photo credit: Ecoagriculture Partners