Marines about to be stationed at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, might check Craigslist in nearby Jacksonville to rent an apartment, but so might anybody else moving to the area. It’s the thought of non-GIs reading this ad and possibly answering that makes it such a hoot:
Available in two weeks!
This lovely 1br/1ba room is located in a gated community with 24-hour private security. There are free laundry facilities and all utilities are provided at no additional cost. Weekly cleaning of room required and inspected. Courtesy wake up service at or around 0530. Shopping close by. Free gym membership to all gyms within the gated community. Discount movie theater five minutes from the room. Lawn care provided bi-weekly. Semi-functional business center/library upstairs. Off-street parking available, but tough to find a spot on weekdays. Less than 15 minutes from Onslow Beach. Active community with running trails and "motivation specialists" to "encourage" you along your way. No kitchen available in room, but at the low price of an additional $250/month, a reasonable amount of food is available at nearby facilities. Extremely short commute to work!!! Rent can be paid on the 1st or split between the 1st and 15th with automatic withdrawal.
No resident may affix anything to the walls with the use of nails, screws, tape, or (apparently) railroad spikes. Alcohol is limited to one six-pack. No pets. No drugs. No overnight visitors. No arguing with the security service or wake up service. No smoking indoors, but designated smoking area is available.
The Marine Times blog, Battle Rattle, commented, “Well, this listing might have everything you’re looking for — or perhaps everything you’re hoping to escape.” Comments under the blog post included “Been there, done that, still having nightmares” and “too bad brick doesn’t burn.”
Battle Rattle speculated on who “would have the gall to list his barracks room on Craigslist” would be a “terminal lance,” which is to say a short-timer about to be discharged. A measure of the hilarity the ad provoked among the troops is that the blog post about the ad was viewed 380,000 times, and that was before it was picked up by Foreign Policy, which has a much bigger non-GI readership.
On investigation, they found the culprit to be a career Marine staff sergeant who intended “a challenge of sorts…to ensure Marines aren’t afraid of questioning the status quo.”
“I have received hundreds of encouragement and congratulatory emails in response to the ad, and most of them wished me luck with dealing with my first sergeant, sergeant major, or insinuating I may well be on my way to private…”
Battle Rattle speculated that the responses wishing him luck with his chain of command might be why the staff sergeant diluted his message a bit by requesting that his identity remain confidential, a request we will honor with a big semper fi!