Senior Enlisted Marine at Parris Island Resigns

A former Marine Drill Instructor was protesting outside the gate of MCRD Parris Island. Unhappy with the Bergdahl swap for five senior Taliban detainees, Ethan Arguello, wearing his old campaign hat, the longtime symbol of Drill Instructors, was off post during the protest.

Sergeant Major Paul Archie, the senior Noncommissioned Officer on the depot, verbally confronted Arguello. That in itself was, in my opinion, poor judgment. Worse still, Sergeant Major Archie allowed the verbal confrontation to escalate to the point where he made physical contact with Arguello’s campaign hat, knocking it from Arguello’s head. As it fell, Sergeant Major Archie snatched the hat, climbed into his vehicle, and proceeded onto the depot.

Sergeant Major Archie later voluntarily surrendered to the local police to face charges of assault and battery.

As a result of this incident, Sergeant Major Archie has tendered his resignation as the senior NCO, and apparently requested retirement. It is a sad end to what surely has been a distinguished career spanning decades.

And it is absolutely the right outcome.

It’s sometimes said the Air Force is a job, the Navy and the Army are services, and the Marine Corps is a religion. There’s no small amount of truth in that. I can sympathize with Sergeant Major Archie being upset that a civilian is using a symbol rich with meaning to make a political protest.

But the Sergeant Major apparently forgot, if only momentarily, that the first loyalty of a servicemember, any servicemember, is to the Constitution, not the Corps. Mr. Aguello, whatever you may think of him, was engaging in constitutionally protected p0litical speech. You can agree with him, disagree with him, criticize his tactics, but you cannot argue that he should have been stopped by a member of the military that exists to protect that very right to freedom of speech.

Sergeant Major Archie still has to face the civilian justice system. One hopes such a minor incident will not have extensive consequences for him.

As for his career in the Marine Corps, such a lapse in judgment certainly calls for his removal as the senior enlisted advisor to the Commanding General. Sadly, at the echelon of service, there are few other places Sergeant Major Archie could continue to serve in any meaningful way. That leaves retirement as virtually the only option. And one hopes that the Sergeant Major’s chain of command will not feel a need to further pursue the matter via Non-Judicial Punishment or other adverse actions.

9 thoughts on “Senior Enlisted Marine at Parris Island Resigns”

  1. More damage from our National leaders.

    A. toxic leadership.
    B. hating the American military.
    C. Narcissistic tinted glasses viewing a Derealization.
    D. No feedback to correct mistakes from the media (their Constitutional role) or anyone else in positions of responsibility.
    E. All of the above.

  2. Good riddance SgtMajor. You can take all the time in the world now to reflect on how screwed up your priorities were. I personally hope he gets a few weeks in the slammer, for extra reflection time.

    1. That seems a bit extreme to me. He’s got what? 26 years of service? I know others think the world of him. So a momentary lapse of judgment that resulted in no injuries should cost him his pension and result in jail time?

      How about a little proportionality?

      I say that as someone who has stood in front of the Battalion Commander, and a judge.

    2. RE: That seems a bit extreme to me.

      A serving SgtMajor tried to intimidate and bully a US citizen, off-base, that is protesting against the idiot in the white house. The SgMajor doesn’t stop there, he also steals private property from the US citizen. So no, I have no sympathy. This goes to the core of what scares a hell of a lot of folks right now – how deep is Obama’s corruption of the US military.

      This episode would seem to indicate its pretty damn deep. Run this moron out of the Corps and throw in some prison time to boot. Give him a copy of the constitution so he can pass the time figuring out where he f*cked up.

    3. ^ This is literally the most amazing thing I have read in a week that included a prisoner swap with the Taliban, some “Sovereign Citizen” type assholes shooting police at a pizza place, the A-10 getting the ax, and Lebron James getting menstrual cramps. Wow. Obama’s corruption of the military…. Just. Wow.

  3. Let him retire and have many years to stew over his “own goal”. He’ll be the better for it.

  4. Dude was out of control. Sheesh, can you imagine what he does to people who HAVE to put up with whatever he dishes out? Such rage in that guy!

    “Momentary lapse in judgement”… we don’t know that. Only the existence of the tape got him caught this time — otherwise I believe this had a chance of being brushed under the rug.

    Actively getting out of his vehicle, picking a fight, stealing the protester’s hat, which the guy came by honestly via his own service. 26 years of service + possible affirmative action in promotions = a nice pension for him. I don’t think they’ll take that away since his retirement was greeted “with regret”.

    1. Saying “possible affirmative action in promotions” is about as cool as me saying you are a “possible child of incestuous rape.” WTF is wrong with you?

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