National Geographic : 1959 Sep
specialized training-an education that costs thousands of dollars," he told me. "Then, just when they reach peak efficiency in their jobs, their term of service is over and they leave for better paying civilian jobs. "It isn't that our ship-over rate is lower than the rest of the Navy. It may even be a little higher. This problem faces every officer in the Navy-and it's your problem as well. You're the taxpayer, and you're paying for it!" In all Hawaii I talked with only one officer who didn't have a re-enlistment problem. That was Lt. Gen. Vernon E. Megee, a peppery Oklahoman who is Commanding General of 310 the Fleet Marine Force in the Pacific area. "More than a third of our men re-enlist," he told me. "As a matter of fact, we turn down a lot of applicants. If a man isn't considered noncommissioned officer material by the end of his first tour, chances are he'll be rejected. I think the spirit of the Corps is largely re sponsible." Marines Sail with the Fleet General Megee's Pacific force numbers 61,000 officers and enlisted Marines. Their mission, he says, is to "provide the Com mander in Chief of the Pacific Fleet with an integrated, mobile, and ready force with which to project his will ashore."