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Judge Advocate General, Lieutenant General Larca Wells sat down in her leather chair. Major General Magdalene McCorkell and Lieutenant Colonel Hendra Rizzano stood rigid at the position of attention.
“Please have a seat ladies,” Larca said. The seats gave support and cushion with their detailed leather and classic appeal. But the JAG wasn’t concerned about the seating arrangement. She wanted to get to the root of the matter.
“I have reviewed your appeal, colonel. I would like to hear general McCorkell’s side of the matter.”
“Yes, ma’am. Lieutenant colonel Rizzano is more than capable at her work amongst her fellow Marines and also the Airmen. We have a challenge here in the form of a gung-ho officer who clearly doesn’t know her own value.”
“Permission to speak, ma’am?” Hendra asked.
“Yes, go ahead.”
“I’ve been able to switch professions in the Marine Corps with relative ease. Some call it careerism or the tendency for someone to place his or her career above the status of other. It is often meant as a slur to be a careerist, but shouldn’t everyone be one? It’s not to trample over anyone to get to one’s goal. We already know that the existence in the Marine Corps is a lifestyle. And I’m definitely not knocking that. What I am pointing out is the fact that one’s MOS or billet is what brings a person up to the level of a producer.”
Magdalene scoffed. Then she said, “Whoever heard of a female Marine who wants to go back to the field? An officer at that?”
“I’m the one that you’ve never heard of in this instance,” Hendra said.
Larca cut into the tension. “I get that there is some animosity amongst the both of you. Who once was the boss and the other a subordinate, you both seem to exhibit a bit of animosity.”
Magdalene and Hendra exchanged glances.
Magdalene sighed. “You know, I wanted to let her go with grace and dignity. I wanted Colonel Rizzano to bow out with all the elegance that one could show. However, she has made the choice to relive her fantasy of going into the teeth of the monster and coming out with more medals on her chest.”
“Ma’am,” Hendra said, “I have much respect for Major General Magdalene McCorkell. She gave me the opportunity to do so much work and to serve excellent Marines and be a boss in my own right. I am indebted to her ability and foresight and seeing that I could work in an installation on an Air Force base, in Delaware at that. I just want to return to the position of deeper solemnity. The role of sending a young PFC or a sergeant into harm’s way is not one that I take lightly. But I am more than ready to prepare my Marines for battle.”
Lieutenant General Larca Wells crossed he hands in her lap.
“I see that the colonel wishes to change her career and should have the freedom to choose whatever route of work within the Corps that she sees fit. It is a matter of having the two of you reconcile.” Larca looked at Magdalene. “ You must come to terms with the fact that you will get another personnel member to take Colonel Rizzano’s place. You should be seeking a replacement, not concerning yourself with the ouster of one of the best Marines that would be put out of the Corps.”
Larca peered at Hendra. “You have shown yourself worthy on the battlefield and in the rearguard. Your service to your fellow Marines and to this nation is something to be celebrated. So, I am upholding your appeal and allowing you to continue the fight as a combat officer.”
“Thank, you, ma’am,” Hendra said.
Magdalene’s face just slumped. The two of them stood at the position of attention as the JAG raised from her chair.
“I hope that you two ladies will have a good day,” Larca said.