The sweating Air Force major was clearly frustrated and disgusted. But it wasn't the heat and humidity of Mombasa, Kenya, that was the source of his irritation, nor was it the fact that he was spending Christmas Day 1992 far from friends and family. Rather, the focus of his ire was his comrades-in-arms in Operation Restore Hope, the U.S. Marine Corps. "What kind of Marine Corps is this?" he groused, "that gets its kicks from making another service miserable?" In his mind, the Marine Corps had just cut his pay, and that of everyone in his unit, by more than a $1,000 a month for no reason.
The cause of the major's outburst was the decision of the Unified Task Force (UNITAF) Somalia's Marine leadership to end per diem and subsistence allowances for U.S. forces in Kenya. This proved to be a minor but illustrative footnote on the U.S. military's involvement in Somalia, one that suggests that the Marine Corps may not sufficiently appreciate the cultures of its sister service to allow it to function effectively as the lead service in another major joint operation.