—Marine Corps Photo by Lance Cpl. Robert C. Medina. Photo taken Oct 17, 2012
Written by a Marine who served USMC '08-'12.
There have been a couple of posts on our Facebook pages about gear accidentally being taken from the USO or SOI. This could very well be true; however, we should all realize that it was likely not an accident, but that it was most likely stolen.
There is an old saying in the Marine Corps that goes, "There is only one thief in the Marine Corps...everyone else is trying to get their stuff back." Another saying is, "Gear adrift is a gift."
Gear is expensive and people lose it sometimes. When people lose their gear they don't want to pay for it nor do they want to risk getting in trouble for losing theirs. It's an unpleasant idea that Marines would do that to each other but it does happen on occasion. The military term for stealing is "tactfully acquiring" and it happens more than it should. Marines need to do what they can to prevent the loss of their personal belongings and issues gear.
Some pro tips to keep these things from happening: Marines need to lock their items up and keep an eye on their belongings as much as possible. I suggest Marines use combination locks to secure their sea bags and any other additional luggage. Keep all wall lockers secure and do not leave items unattended. Most of all, if you loose your stuff, take some personal responsibility and deal with it the right way and with integrity.