Inability to Adapt?

So…you may remember that I was wondering how my son’s little brother was doing. He signed up for the Marines and went into basic training in March. We hadn’t heard from him and I was wondering how to get ahold of him.

Well, wonder no more. He called his aunt and told her he was discharged due to “Inability to Adapt.” I’ve never heard of this before. When I told my husband, the Vietnam era Marine, he was stunned. He said the general approach to this sort of thing in 1962 was, *“Well, you BETTER FUCKING ADAPT!”, * which was usually accompanied by a slap upside the back of the head.

I guess my question is, what constitutes an “inability to adapt” discharge? Emotional? Attitude? Intelligence? This kid came from a very rough background and really has no other options. He’s currently living with his new girlfriend’s family in Florida. None of them work. He’s washing dishes. And he’s considering going back to Colorado near relatives on the other side of the family…none of which are being held up as the pillars of the community.

Back in my Army training days it was something like everything you mention. It means you’re not fit to be a soldier, and it’s typically not a less than honorable discharge. It’s done for the convenience of the military – different than 1962. Thing is, it really only comes up in basic training. If they can brainwash you there, then you’ve been adapted.

These days they can afford to be pickier about who stays and who goes. I think the idea is that since people are volunteering, if it turns out that they’re just not suitable for whatever reason, it’s in the military’s best interest to let them go instead of keeping them in because of a need for warm bodies.