I’m a huge fan of the Bulldawg Maker and Bulldawg Unit and have an idea for a few stories in the universe. But after re-reading through them and talking with my military mentor a few things didn’t sit well with us.
First is the body type, both Absman and Hypnothrill describe everyone as developing a bodybuilder physique. All of the military branches have PT (physical training) tests where you have to do a certain number of push-ups, sit-ups, and run a fixed distance within a certain time. This leads to a lighter physique than a bodybuilder; a bodybuilder physique is an actual hindrance to combat forces. One can chalk it up to fantasy but it’s something that when you actually look at things it doesn’t sit right.
Second is the total enlistment numbers of Marines vs. the other branches. This applies more to Absman’s original story as it closes with the whole Iraq War enlistment. The Marines has a lower total of enlisted men than the other branches (186,000 vs 470,000 in Army and 320,000 in Navy and Air Force); what this means is the turnover is lower for Marines than the other branches and would make it harder for Bulldawgs to go into the actual Marine Corps as there is the problem of hitting the cap. The Baghdad surge line at the end may help change that, but the lower numbers really raise the question of how many of the Bulldawgs could actually make it into the Marines.
Third is the age requirement for the Marines; Marines take young people between 18 and 28, so what really happens to the fathers and other guys older than 28 that appear in both stories. Those high school football players and college students like Brad could make it through to Marine boot camp, but what happens to fathers like Kevin because of this? I think this is the credit to both Absman and Hypnothrill who have made such great worlds and has me thinking about them on a serious level and engaging with them.
So those are my points about the works; feel free to respond to these ideas.