Now this shit is just plain OUTSTANDING!!!!!
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.
“Let me tell you. Some countries, the legal drinking age is 18. So why can’t they?” said Estrada, who finished his tour as sergeant major of the Marine Corps on April 25. “The sailors could drink because it’s legal, and they were like, ‘We’re from the same damned ship. What is this?’”
Shortly after returning from the MEU visit, Conway signed off on MarAdmin 266/07, his first revision of the Corps’ alcohol control policy, allowing 18-year-old Marines to drink in foreign ports if the host nation’s law allows it.
But the commandant’s changes go further than any other service’s policy, decriminalizing welcome-home beer for underage Marines returning from deployment and giving commanders the authority to hold an 18-and-up kegger on base upon a unit’s return from a war zone.
And there’s no need to hide a flask in your sock before the birthday ball, because the commandant has you covered there, too. As long as your unit holds its celebration on base, commanders can drop the drinking age to 18 in the U.S. under “special circumstances,” and even authorize the possession and consumption of alcohol by underage Marines in the barracks.