I don’t know if the story about Commandant Gray is true, but this one is. When I was in college, Big Chilly and I stopped by to visit with a certain Marine general of my acquaintance, accompanied by another friend. Big Chilly and my other friend were a little taken aback when, after being introduced, the general pointed to a North Korean colonel’s hat and said: “You know the difference between you and me? I killed the man who wore that hat.” I don’t think I’ve ever seen Big Chilly’s eyes so wide.
However, the general is nothing if not charismatic, and by the time we left his house two hours later, we were not only singing the Marine Corps anthem, but abandoning our respective plans for med school and starting a computer game development company while arguing vociferously about which branch of the Corps we were each going to pursue. Big Chilly wanted to take his perfect vision and go for a Harrier pilot, our other friend was intent on Force Recon, and I hoped to follow the lead of my grandfather into the 2NDMARDIV. This went on for about 90 minutes, until Big Chilly suddenly held up his hand and said: “wait a minute, I don’t want to join the Marine Corps!”
At which point the spell was broken and we went ahead with our lives, as previously planned. But if the USMC ever lacked for volunteers, all they need to do is put a recruiting station right outside the general’s driveway.