A Touch of Military Humor

Sorry, you're not a Marine

U.S. Military solider hugging his children.
•••

Mike Kemp / Getty Images

In the military, there are friendly rivalries between every branch and each has its own dose of elitism. However, jokes about each of the services by every other branch are as common as grunts making fun of POGs (People Other Than Grunts).
Here is a classic U.S. Marines joke. It can be told to anyone who is not a Marine.

A man is driving down the road and breaks down near a U.S. Marine Corps base. He goes to the front gate and says to the sentry, "My car broke down. Do you think I could stay the night?"

To his surprise, the Marines accept him enthusiastically. They feed him at the officer's club, they fix his car at the motor pool, and they even allow him to sleep in the VIP quarters.

But as the man tries to fall asleep that night, he hears a strange sound. All through the night, he hears this sound.

The next morning, he asks the Marines what the sound was, but they say, "We can't tell you. You're not a Marine."

The man is disappointed but thanks them anyway and goes on his way.

Some years later, the same man again breaks down in front of the same Marine Corps base. Again the Marines accept him enthusiastically, fix his car, and allow him to stay in the VIP quarters. And that night, he hears the same strange noise that he heard years earlier.

The next morning he asks what it is, but the Marines reply, "We can't tell you. You're not a Marine."

The man says, "All right, all right. I'm dying to know. If the only way I can find out what that sound was is to become a Marine, how do I become one?"

The Marines reply, "You must go to the Marine Corps Recruit Depot at Parris Island and undergo several weeks of torturous training. You will be yelled at, put down, cut down, and physically exhausted. From there you will go on to receive infantry training. You will learn how to fight, fight to survive, and fight to win. You will learn how to act the Corps, breathe the Corps, eat the Corps, sleep the Corps, be the Corps. When you finish these trials, you will be a Marine."

The man sets about his task. He goes through boot camp and advanced infantry training and is assigned to a Marine Expeditionary Unit. He is sent to fight in two small wars and three police actions.

Three years later, while on leave, he returns to the Marine Corps base where he heard that strange sound. Standing there in his dress uniform, he says, "I have joined the Corps, and I have paid my dues. I have fought for the love of God, country, and the Corps."

The Marines reply, "Congratulations. You are now a Marine. We shall now show you the way to the sound."

The Marines lead the man to a wooden door, where the base commander says, "The sound is right behind that door."

The man reaches for the knob, but the door is locked. He says, "Real funny. May I have the key?"

The base commander gives him the key, and he opens the door. Behind the wooden door is another door made of stone. The man demands the key to the stone door.

The commander gives him the key and he opens the door, only to find behind it a door made of rubies. He demands another key from the commander, who provides it. Behind that door is another door, this one made of sapphires. So it went until the man had gone through doors of emerald, silver, topaz, amethyst...

Finally, the commander says, "This is the last key to the last door."

The man is relieved no end. He unlocks the door and turns the knob, and behind that door, he is amazed to find the source of the strange sound.

But I can't tell you what it is because you're not a Marine.

Sorry, there are a few minutes that you will never get back.