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‘The Few, The Proud …. The Nazi’s??’

One of the strongest Brands in the world is under fire.

“Honor, courage and commitment are the values that guide us—Semper Fidelis is the motto that bonds us.  To guard our nation is to guard its principles, becoming not only an elite warrior, but also a noble one.”

So what happens to this brand when 10 of its 240,000 soldiers decide to take a picture with a symbol that represents one of the worst organizations in the history of mankind?

While the Marines in the picture meant it to represent Sniper Shooters, the symbol represents Nazi Germany’s unit called the Shutzstaffel (SS) which means protective guard.  The SS not only provided protection for the leadership of Nazi Germany, it was also responsible for carrying out the Holocaust.

While several organizations insist that these Marines in the picture knew exactly what this symbol means, I have a hard time believing it would be put anywhere near the American Flag and the brand of the USMC. 

The lesson here is to understand what symbols mean.  If the SS in the picture were in arial type font, we wouldn’t be discussing this.  But the SS in the font that represents the symbol of Nazi Germany carries the weight of the atrocities associated with the Holocaust and that is something no organization wants to get near.

While this is not a fatal blow, the USMC brand shot itself in the foot and that still hurts for all who are involved.

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