So I'm going to give you all a little history lesson on the Marine Corps. Marines take great pride in their uniform, especially their dress blues. Everybody that has ever joined the Marines joined because they saw those awful commercials when they were young of some dude running through Pan's Labrynth and then slaying some stupid dragon with a sword and then...poof...he's wearing dress blues.
Well everything on the uniform has some historical significance, right down to the number of buttons on the blouse. One of these things is the red stripe worn down the pant leg of all Non-Commissioned Officers and above. This red stripe is called a blood stripe, and is worn to signify the enormous number of NCO's and above that were slain in battle at the battle of Chapultepec.
So I just became an NCO. But I had to 'earn' my blood stripe. That means that anyone NCO and above that has seen me the last two days has tackled me and beaten my legs senseless. It's a little 'tradition'. It's actually pretty funny, but I am walking like a 95 year old man. I guess its better than when they used to take a board lined with nails, put it up against your legs and take turns smacking it, literally giving you a blood stripe. Maybe I should stop complaining.