Monday, May 14, 2007

Marine Corps lowers drinking age to 18 where legal

Above: A 19-year-old Marine corporal from Company C, 1st Tank Battalion renders a final salute to the memorial of a crewman killed April 26, 2006 in Al Anbar Province after the tank he was driving struck an improvised explosive device.

The Corps-wide drinking age has been lowered from 21 to 18 for Marines on liberty overseas and for leathernecks taking part in official on-base command functions — including the birthday ball.

The rule change was effective April 19, not long after Commandant Gen. James Conway and Sgt. Maj. John Estrada, then-sergeant major of the Marine Corps, returned from a visit to the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit in the Middle East.

Estrada, during an April 23 interview, said that during that visit, the Marines “beat us down” on the drinking question. Many were angry that sailors under 21 were allowed to drink during overseas port calls but Marines couldn’t.

Read the rest at Marine Corps Times