Let’s talk about General Amos, Fun Killer 6 Actual.
Been a minute since we talked about my favorite Marine of all Time, General James F. Amos, United States Navy. My apologies, I meant General James F. Amos, United States Marine Corps, I’m not sorry, I mean USN. I mean it.
Buckle up. Unlike other branches, the United States Marines, (we are awesome) EARN the title United States Marine. There are several pipelines in which one may earn the Eagle Globe and Anchor. Enlisted attend boot camp, MCRD PI or SD, others such as Officer Candidates via OSO and ROTC attend Officer Candidate School at Marine Corps Base Quantico VA. Some commission in the Federal Service Academies, The United States Air Force Academy (Colorado Springs, Colorado), The United States Coast Guard Academy (New London, Connecticut), the United States Merchant Marine Academy (Kings Point, New York), The United States Military Academy (West Point, New York), and The United States Naval Academy (Annapolis, Maryland).
Fun fact! US Naval Academy Midshipmen do NOT attend Marine Corps OCS. Reasons? Well they used to, and I need to do way more study on this yet something about USNA Mid’s were failing OCS at highly embarrassing percentages thus OCS was waived in lieu of a something else that was about 99% less difficult than actual Marine OCS. That is another post entirely. Frankly, I think it’s total bullshit and enormously embarrassing to you, USNA. Marine OCS is tough yet it’s not as tough as the rampant sexual assault cover ups, academic cheating rings, or the illicit narco connoisseurs within your athletic programs. Yes I went there. I wonder how many current Midshipman could graduate from OCS if they were permitted to attend this summer. That’s on you Navy.
In my OCS class we even had a Air Force Academy Cadet who graduated, Commissioned in the Corps, and then became an Infantry Officer. He disliked the Air Force, and especially the Air Force Academy. Dislike is an incredibly underwhelming phrase. He used some colorful words to describe the Air Force Academy, I’d LOVE to tell you some of what he said about the whole thing yet my Mom reads this and I still remember what soap tastes like, tastes like bridge troll taint. Hey USNA, the Air Force Academy, statistically the worst of the worst Service Academy regarding obscene soul crushing scandal central sends their people to Marine OCS and you don’t, man that must sting.
So why is the above important? While yes General Amos is a Marine, General Amos is also, not a Marine. General Amos did NOT attend Marine Boot Camp, General Amos did NOT attend Marine OCS, General Amos did NOT attend TBS. General Amos was an inter-service transfer as he was originally commissioned as a United States Navy Ensign. Amos became a Marine after completing a TBS “Correspondence” course. He mailed it in, I wish I was making this up. As always as a slave to accuracy I must explain this unique process then was 100% officially authorized in this era of which it occurred btw and I will explain why, below.
For you magnificent bastards of the black rifle collar mafia, TBS stands for The Basic School. TBS is the six months long initial training POI for ALL brand new Marine Officers. This is a very loose explanation yet for general familiarity sake its sort of like MCT for 2ndLt’s. Prior to graduation by class standing and a variety of other factors such as quality spread you are given your MOS, upon completion of your MOS school following TBS graduation you meet, finally, the real Marine Corps.
TBS is awesome, I had a great time, it’s not hard, it’s not easy, it is busy, most importantly it is VERY IMPORTANT. Yes there are very challenging portions of the POI yet it was extremely satisfying, physically, intellectually, and by means of tactical and technical proficiency I was thoroughly and FULLY content. It was only until graduation that I finally really felt like a real Marine. That one was hard to explain, in OCS you are trained, screened and evaluated, the same occurs in TBS yet I was fully focused on acquiring skill sets so I could be an asset versus a fucking liability.
I loved TBS, for those of you there, or heading there, just shut your mouth, learn and listen. TBS is the place to make mistakes so you can learn from them. You, the new 2ndLt will not suffer from making mistakes, your Marines will. So shut your fucking mouth, take notes, study, practice, and listen, you get me? Further, 2ndLt’s can and DO get dropped from TBS. Dropped means you are out, for good. If you some how managed to graduate from OCS and then prove how much you excel at suckage or fucking off you will walk the plank.
Field Comment – Fraternization is 100% illegal and absolutely prohibited. 2ndLt’s banging enlisted Marines from WTB or even bedding down WOBC students will get you axed quicker than horny teenager at Camp Crystal Lake, My platoon at TBS lost two female Lt’s for this. Yet a male Marine in another platoon was quietly retained for doing the same exact. He was caught, yet we were days away from graduation and this bastard was inexplicably allowed to graduate. I remember this guy’s name, he also had a weak jawline and his handshake was soft as Kathleen Turner’s alcoholic cheek jowls. Fucker.
Let’s get back on track, during the Vietnam War era, then Lieutenant Junior Grade AMOS, USN, who had already earned his wings as a Naval Aviator, conducted an inter service transfer to the Marine Corps. The Corps suffered from a critical shortfall of designated Naval Aviators thus they allowed inter-service transfers to qualified individuals of critical fill MOS’s, Aviators and Naval Flight Officers being priority fills. Getting further in the weeds, because I do that, Amos cites on his official resume he completed TBS in 1972. This is a rather enormous problem. Why?
In July 1972 Amos was involved in a catastrophic incident piloting an F-4 Phantom II. Both he and his NFO were forced to eject. Ejecting from a fighter is no laughing matter. These incidents are investigated & heavily documented. Further, no one remembers an F4 going down over Quantico in 1972, ha, can you imagine the Staff Platoon Commander asking (S.P.C = our bosses when we were 2ndLt Students at TBS, they were Captains and usually the best Marine Officers the Corps had)…..”HEY! Where the fuck is Lt Amos?! we have a PFT!!”, ‘Oh he’s out flying his F4 Sir, he’ll land soon and then we can shower him with champagne compliments and homoerotic one liners, after that we’ll run that PFT Capt!’, “COPY!” ….Ha. No.
Truth is Amos completed the TBS “correspondence” course 5 years later in 1977. It was not possible Amos graduated from TBS in 1972. How that was not a gigantic deal, I have no idea, it’s Washington D.C. though, who really knows about anything anymore, I’m still surprised that people still think that people in charge of shit even know what they are doing.
Either way, OCS needs to be hard, TBS needs to be harder, IOC needs to be hardest, as how the fuck can any Enlisted Marine follow an untested physically or morally weak Officer? The answer is simple, they do not. Marines are often let down to implode, explode or fail because of shit leadership. Over the years I saw rock star Marines deteriorate before my eyes as they suffered the brunt weight of a punishing daily grind fuckery bestowed upon them by callous, indifferent, and I’d even go so far as state, clearly, sociopathic or sadist incarnate Senior Enlisted and Officers above them.
This mostly happened in the time between deployments, garrison. This was not common yet when it happened it was terrible. That said there are checks and balances, many of these shit leaders eventually get theirs, relieved for cause and thank god for this, everyone, eventually PCS’s, EAS’s, or retires. As bad as you think your Lt, Capt, Major, Master Guns, First Sgt or Colonel suck, hang tough, they are a transitional temporary figure in your life and use them as fantastic examples of how NOT TO BE, and hey, Cpl-SSgt’s mentor your guys, please, there is nothing wrong with being a good big brother off hours, not drinking bros, yet go PT together, listen to your guys, if there are symptomatic ailments, triage and mend your lads.
Difference between Marine and Naval Officers, brown shoe Naval Aviators, Marine Officer Naval Aviators, Regular Marine Officers, and Infantry Officers which are the best we got, mostly, you can feel it, yet the truth is there is not much difference at all. The best will be committed to their responsibilities, whatever that may be. The best do not care about what job they have, they only care about being the best AT that job they have. You take care of the Marines, they WILL take care of the mission. That was my personal philosophy.
There are different breeds of dog yet dogs they are all the same. I understand why we did not like Amos, the man flew aircraft that liquefied human beings in tanks yet probably winced when hearing words like “Fuck” or “Pussy”, which is a paradox as Amos is a fucking pussy. Dude drops bombs on people from big fat supersonic jet fighters, or was trained to at least, yet cant stand naughty words. He also wanted to “crush” our Marine warriors who pissed on their vanquished enemies on the battlefield. Fucking insanity, this world we live in. I still do not understand his hatred for tattoos, fuck you dude on that one.
I humbly believe the vast majority of Marines disliked Amos as he was like this weird substitute teachers who was just sitting in for a teacher we all really liked and instead of knowing his place as the sub and maybe showing us a DVD in class he stood up on the desk screaming like a psycho demanding respect from a bunch of dudes he really should have thanked for having enough discipline to not to toss his indignant ass out of class and take over the entire fucking school itself as compensation for suffering under his unbearable total fucking bullshit. There is a rare, rather obvious emotive feeling around legitimate leaders, which he never had.
I’m glad you’re gone Amos, I think we all are, I’ll only ever speak for myself yet you are woefully beneath my contempt. I respect your rank. If by some insane circumstance we’re both in uniform I’ll render honors yet if any small talk sparks up I’ll hope to suffer an immediate aneurysm.
This article originally appeared at EricKirsch.com
About the Author: Eric graduated with honors in 2004 from the The Citadel, the Military College of South Carolina, Charleston, SC, USA. He was then commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant, United States Marine Corps the same year, completed multiple combat deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan as a Counterintelligence / Human Source Intelligence Officer and later as a Case Officer and Active Duty Special Agent with the Naval Criminal Investigative Service. Eric honorably discharged as a Captain after 8 years’ service in 2012.