Canin was drafted and sent to Europe as an Army rifleman, and he took along his instrument. He went on to become a successful violinist and concertmaster of the San Francisco Symphony, and he's the subject of a short documentary film called The Rifleman's Violin. He's now 89, and he spoke with NPR's Robert Siegel about a monumental political meeting that he remembers from a unique perspective.
On its face, it is true: Every Marine is a rifleman. At bootcamp, every Marine must receive a passing score on the rifle range, showing at least a basic proficiency with the weapon. However, when one compares the tasks of a Marine who only takes an annual trip to the rifle range to get his or her yearly qualification with those of a Marine in the infantry, the weakness of this equivalence becomes clear.
Not every Marine is a rifleman, and that is okay. The sooner we recognize this and shift the focus to making everyone better at their specialties, creating an environment that facilitates productivity instead of insisting on uniformity, and focusing on performance over image, the sooner we Marines can come together and be the best version of ourselves. 041b061a72