I had heard a story regarding integrity several years ago when i was in the marine corps

I had heard a story regarding integrity several years ago when I was in the Marine Corps. I had spent twelve years as a Marine, and it will never leave me. You know what they say, once a Marine, always a Marine.

Now I don’t know if the story that I’m about to tell is true, but it gives a perfect illustration of what integrity is.

There was a General that used to love to take his Marines on forced marches every so often. There was just something about it that he loved.

Now if you do not know what a forced march is, it is where the Marines get into full combat gear which includes their rifles, wearing their helmets, sometimes flak jackets, full pack, and then you would march out over rough terrain to a predetermined destination, and then back. Sound easy doesn’t it! Yeah right!

Now I will tell you that I have been on several forced marches and they are just a blast! Almost as much fun as having a tooth pulled.

Well the General heard a rumor that some of his officers might be cutting a few corners when it came to filling their packs with the required items. Items such as, a change of uniform, an extra pair of socks, extra boots, and other assorted items totaling about 50 pounds. He had heard that they were taking empty card board boxes and putting them into the pack so that it looked full.

This of course would make their load quite a bit lighter than their fellow Marines.

So, not knowing for sure if this was true or not the General decided that it was time to go on another forced march. But this time he decided that they should take a route that was even rougher terrain than any other he had ever taken before.

So the day of the forced march came and they all marched out and it was very rough terrain. They marched over rocks, thorny bushes and more hills and valleys than they cared to.

As the story was told to me, they marched out about ten miles.

When they reached the half way point to turn around to march back, there were vehicles waiting for them.

The General then ordered everyone to remove their boots and socks and place them into the vehicles.

As you can imagine this was very confusing to the Marines. But when a General orders you to do something you don’t question it.

Once they all placed their boots and socks into the vehicle the General then ordered them to get into their packs and get out the extra pair of socks and boots that they had packed and put them on for the return trip.

Well, it did not take long at all to determine which officers had integrity, and which ones were about to end their careers with the Marine Corps.

Don’t ever be the type of leader that fills their pack with an empty box.

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