Past Events The Gorosei knew about Vergo’s identity; Vergo, the “marine warlord”, the reason why Smoker dropped his marine coat that represents “pride”

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In the anime Smoker dropped his marine coat, which is an interesting fact because they don’t just fall off like that. In fact Oda even clarified that in an SBS that marine coats can stay on without the sleeves because of their “pride”.

His encounter with Vergo is significant because it triggered his loss of pride of wearing the uniform. But why?

Smoker’s backstory and ideology as a marine

Lets first establish the fact that Smoker is highly infatuated with the marines as an institution by understanding his backstory a little. Smoker enlisted in the marines together Hina who is his long standing friend. He is described in SBS volume 27 as a “punk that never listened to his superiors” and that Hina had to pull strings for him not be fired several times. Hina enlisting as the same time as Smoker and her being described as an “elite”, it shows that a career jump in the marines is hard if you’re not an on-board camp follower that doesn’t question and just do what you’re told. Smoker simply isn’t cut out as a yes-man.

What happens is the marine establishment sees Smoker as a valuable asset but nevertheless as a thorn in their side with his constant insubordination being seen as a problem, so they transfer him over to handle the security of Logue Town, an East Blue town teaming with pirates. A low maintenance task far below his actual pay grade.

This is where we first see him, sort of as a little sheriff of this place that once was the birthplace of the New Age of Piracy, now the symbol of peace: a quaint little town, where no pirates are known to escape.

The situation is so “bad” that the weapons store owner that sold Zoro’s his Yubashiri is quick to complain to Tashigi that her boss’s efficient handling of pirates has crippled his business, because pirates constitute most of his clients, which means the money flow is drying up.

Summary of Smoker’s pride as marine

Smoker sticks around as a marine even after demotion and constant backlash from the system, which shows that Smoker truly has an idealistic and incorruptible love and pride of the marines as an institution, even when his notion of true justice falls on deaf ears.

Why stick around when your efforts are met with constant backlash and setbacks from the system itself? There must be some higher principle that allows him to stand firm and take the slings and arrows of the system he wants to change firing back at him. I don’t think there can be anything than other than a principal and inviolable pride in the marine institution itself. Whatever system of justice is the reigning one, Smoker belief in the institution and the pride he attaches to himself as a part of the institution, that is fundamentally his core identity.

Smoker’s constant insubordination shows that he constantly lambasts on the marines mode of operandi, something no other marine does or has a track record of doing besides possibly Fujitora who does it not for the pride of the marine institution of wanting to see it better or improved, but as a form of inner coup d’état, to abolish the warlord system. Smoker constantly works to improve the marine organisation because in essence he is the person to attach the greatest amount of pride to himself as a marine in the series.

Smoker’s journey is about upholding the sanctity of the marine organisation and his personal justice

What is it about Vergo?

Vergo changed his outlook on the marine organisation but why? Vergo is just one bad apple that doesn’t reflect the marine as an organisation. All you can really say is marines need to do proper background checks, not throw away your coat that represents your “pride“ as marine.

We knew already that this problem with infiltrations exists from chapter 3 or 4 when the marines was suspicious of letting Coby join because they’ve had problems with infiltrators. This is nothing new.

The issue with Vergo is he is a pirate, he helps advance the interest of Doflamingo’s pirate business - and Gorosei know this! The Gorosei allow for Vergo to wield a powerful position in the navy with insane amount of military resources at his disposal, because the Gorosei realises that the marines need Vergo’s power in the New World.

Caesar said Vergo is a monster , that his haki is unstoppan, this is a person who in power is minimum Judge level himself who defeated Snack off panel

Vergo in terms of military authority dwarfs a lot of powerful characters

The Gorosei already delegated 6 warships to Vergo alone, and as base commander he command six units like the one we see with Vergo and Tashigi. That means he controls six warships and a minimum of 12 marine offices as every unit has two leading officers. That’s probably more power than an admiral can just randomly ask for.

G-5 /=/ Marine headquarters. Vergo doesn’t need to take orders from Akainu what to do with his 6 warships and 12 officers

This is what people need to realise , though I don’t expect much of “people” in terms of basic reading and cognitive ability, that Vergo has his own dominion separate from the regular marine organisation. This is why you need special clearance from an admiral to even transfer to G-5 because this organisation is separate from Marine HQ.(see smoker needing permission from admiral Aokiji, and Vergo requesting a transfer from admiral Sengoku at rhe

G-5 is a separate dominion that is responsible for keeping the New World safe. Marine HQ doesn’t have that specific task so it is delegated to G-5. This

Also worth mentioning is that Zephyr was in G-5 all the way up to becoming an admiral at an early age of 38.

Vergo, the equivalent of marine warlord

Vergo is a pirate masquerading as a marine, and the Gorosei are aware of this. Vergo is probably under a lot of pressure from the Gorosei to perform as a marine to make interventions against pirates and yonkous, but in exchange he can use the military resources of G-5 to target pirates and other ennemies of Doflamingo in a way to make him top of the underworld.

This in fact has nothing to do with the marines but the government. The government allows warlords for the extra power they provide, and the same applies to Vergo.

Smoker realises the corrupt nature of how the system he works but this is not marine-related, but has to do with how the WG allows for pirate elements to become legal just for the sake of power and military leverage. Warlords corrupt justice, but now with Vergo it corrupted the very marine institution itself.

This is why Smoker couldn’t bare it and dropped his marine coat.
@Captain M
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