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If Sales Reps Were Marines --DeWese

December 2008
THIS IS the first column in my 25th year of column-writing for Printing Impressions. It’s number 268 and, when it’s finished, I will have written about 335,000 words as a columnist for the magazine.

This one started about 30 days ago, when “Sarge,” one of my editors at PI, found a way to call me about every other day to subtly (or not so subtly) remind me that my deadline for this issue was November 10, which, by the way, happens to be the birthday of this former Marine’s beloved Corps.

Can I hear a “Semper Fi?” (Oh, and never say “ex-marine;” it’s some kind of taboo. They can get a little nuts and whomp you bad, if you don’t follow their protocols.)

Sarge fired Expert with the M16 rifle and shot a 50-caliber machine gun from a helicopter. So, needless to say, when Sarge “hints” about something, I do my damndest to accommodate that wish.

In honor of the Marine Corps’ 233rd birthday, here’s a little history lesson for you—especially when you call on your next former Marine print buyer. I googled “U.S. Marine Corps” and got the following:

“The United States Marine Corps traces its institutional roots to the Continental Marines of the American Revolutionary War, formed at Tun Tavern in Philadelphia, by a resolution of the Second Continental Congress on November 10, 1775, to raise two battalions of Marines. That date is regarded and celebrated as the Marine Corps’ ‘birthday.’

At the end of the American Revolution, both the Continental Navy and Continental Marines were disbanded in April 1783. The institution itself would not be resurrected until 1798. In that year, in preparation for the Naval War with France, Congress created the United States Navy and Marine Corps.”

I have a client who is a former Marine lieutenant, and he tells me that the Marines are so into their history that, in fact, their superiors may spontaneously call on them to recite Marine Corps history at any time.

All of this got me thinking about the comparison of a career in the Marine Corps vs. a career in print communications sales. This way, if you fail at sales, you can show up at a Marine Recruiting Station and sign on for a $40,000 signing bonus, a free college education and a great pension plan. (I’m making that up about the signing bonus.) 



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