The Marines, of course, are extremists — and proud of it. They select men at extremes, train them at extremes, and fight — with great success — at the extremes of the United States' foreign policy agenda.
However, they don't relish the label; Lister's comments, in a seminar on military-civilian relations, poked at the very image problem (think "Full Metal Jacket" and Lee Harvey Oswald) the Corps wants to avoid.
When a tape of Lister's comments got out, Congressional ex-Marines began howling. Newt Gingrich, no jarhead himself, demanded a "full apology" from President Clinton. Lister obliged on Thursday, and the Pentagon was calling the matter "over." What? No sex scandal?