Why The Lance Janitor Rank?
This is an easy one. It's because no matter what branch you join, but especially the Marine Corps, one quickly discovers they will be spending alot of time cleaning something, anything. Whether it be your uniforms, weapon, barracks room, or the barracks itself, you will get to know the mop and broom very well. SCRUB ! Harder sir harder !
I remember my first trip home after having gone thru bootcamp, MCT, then A school. I immediately started to clean shit. The front yard, the backyard, the outside of the stove, pulling weeds, sweeping and mopping. And the fucked up thing is it wasn't even my house. But the truly odd thing was, and this was good; I actually noticed how I was motivated more than ever to take charge of my familiar surroundings and make a positive difference where just a year earlier before I had joined I could care less how things around me looked. So I did understand the reason behind all the cleaning, but that doesn't change the fact that it sucked ass most all of the time. Especially when you are cleaning up some other slobs mess, like having nasty roommates.
The mop and broom on the lapel rank are a salute to all the bullshit cleaning one does not because that thing was dirty, it was simply because your SSGT didn't have shit for you to do until 'C' school picked up again. The real rank has cross rifles, which is odd because 80% of the Corps only touches a weapon during rifle qual. week, and a vast majority spend time dodging that week altogether. However, if you are a Lance Coolie on down, a mop and broom is your new best friend day 1. I always thought the rifles on the rank looked more like cleaning utensils anyways, and apparently I'm not the only one, so fuck it, why not make it official. No matter the MOS or base your stationed on or what decade you joined, one of the tie that binds all Marines is found in a cleaning locker.