Who’s the best? It’s a question that’s existed for as long as there have been Marines. The inquiry may be overly vain, borderline arrogant, but the Marine Corps is a service that prides itself on being made up of the elite of the elite. It only makes sense for its members to want to identify the baddest of the bunch. At the rifle range we want to know who shot the best. After a physical fitness test we want to know who scored the highest. Who’s stronger, smarter, tougher?
But not all characteristics are quantifiable — and there’s more to being a Marine than acing tests. If I were to tell you, you’re getting a new join, and all I said was, “He’s a hell of a Marine,” you would know exactly what I meant. You can be smart and go far. You can be strong and do great things. But, if you’re a “Marine’s Marine,” there’s no limit to what you can achieve in the Corps.
Here at the Marines Blog, we’re attempting to identify the ultimate “Marine’s Marine” with a tournament of legends — a Marine’s “March Madness” if you will. The competitors will go head-to-head in three categories: Service, Legacy and Motivation. Whoever wins more categories goes on to the next round.
Selecting a winner is a difficult endeavor, one that is also extremely subjective. We’ve narrowed the tournament down to 16 names, and we’re sure we’ll get grief for names left out. While there has been no shortage of heroes from recent conflicts (Maj. Zembiec, Sgt. Maj. Kasal, Sgt. Peralta, Sgt. Meyer, Cpl. Dunham …), each competitor in the tournament must have left the Corps more than 20 years ago for us to account for the legacy category.
Each day, two Marine Corps heroes will go head-to-head, culminating with the final round April 11. We’ll judge the first round here at the Marines Blog, each round after that will be guest-judged. Even if you don’t agree with our selections, your vote still counts in our simultaneous fan tournament.
Let’s look back at the Marines who’ve shaped our Corps and select the ultimate Marine’s Marine.