Marine Christmas Spirit and Unintended Holiday Décor

They may not want women in combat units (or in the 0211 counter intel specialty) but the Marines may want female nutcrackers.

Henderson Hall, just up the hill from the Pentagon in Arlington Va., is a postage stamp-sized base that’s home to the Headquarters Battalion for Headquarters Marine Corps. Also sitting on this plot of land adjacent to Arlington Cemetery is a barracks, a gymnasium, and the crown jewel – the Marine Corps Exchange.

This is not just any MCX. Though somewhat cluttered, it hosts higher-end goods that target the four-stars and diplomats more than the E-4s across the street.

And so it is with the MCX holiday décor.

Awkwardly guarding the two front entrances is a pair of nutcrackers that soar 20 feet or so. They are big and completely out of place against the drab red-brick backdrop. A sergeant guards the left door, a corporal the right. They don the dress blue uniform complete with trousers, blouse, and shooting badges. They are covered (wearing a uniform hat) like any good Marine or nutcracker.

Upon closer inspection one evening, I said, “Hey, that’s a female cover.” “How do you know,” queried my (Army) friend. “Trust me, I know.” We drove back to look these two sentries over again. “Check this out. She has a woman’s hair style.” I said. In fact both nutcrackers wore female covers and were coifed like females.

Nutcrackers are traditionally patterned after male figures. Though these are not attractive, we never took Headquarters Marine Corps as a trend setter.

We were intrigued and spoke with the MCX marketing director. We asked about the decision to make the traditionally male nutcrackers female. There was silence. Granted, the blouse is the male design, but the other details scream, “Female”! Apparently this was unintended, and our observations were met coldly. Her “spin” efforts were unnecessary. But hey, she assured us the Headquarters Battalion sergeant major and others reviewed the design. A point irrelevant to us. It seems a tremendous amount of effort went into the pair, and they were designed exclusively for the exchange. The female factor left Marketing Maven less than pleased.

Our marketing spokeswoman offered that the nutcrackers were female from the neck up only, which raised the question: Is the Marine Corps sponsoring transgender nutcrackers? Probably not, but what fun one can have during the holiday season.

Recent Posts