Skip to comments.I need some Boot Camp Stories
Posted on 08/26/2004 7:45:01 AM PDT by Preech1
Hi Fellow FReepers... Many of you folks have been in the military, I am looking for your stories and memories of Boot Camp. They need to be clean stories. I have never been in the military myself, but I have had friends who sent me mail from USMC boot camp and want to explain to my children what Boot Camp is all about, from the middle of the night marches to some of the weird things DI's have made recruits do. Websites are welcome, but I prefer to read first hand accounts from fellow FReepers.
At Ft. Knox, we had a guy in boot camp that walked and talked in his sleep.
We made him stand for hours at a time at attention at the foot of his bed.
He would wake up the next morning and could not figure out why he was so tired.
I like it...keep them coming...
If there were any locks left locked together after the time expired we would get thrashed in the pit or something.
Go to the Sea Stories link, click on archives, and check them out. Here is one that I wrote. Why do you ask, BTW?
Wish I could say this one happened to me, but it didn't. I can't remember where I heard the following story, and if it isn't true, it damn sure oughta be lol.
A Private was walking along the parade deck on the way to Chow. He had recently been standing Firewatch in the squadbay when his relief had come to replace him for chow.
Deciding that he was on his own for a bit, he pulled out a cigarette and lit it up. (For those who are not familiar with Marine Corps Boot Camp, this is a HUGE no no)
As he approached the Messhall he figured he'd better get rid of the Cig before he got within eyeshot of it.
Flicking the cigarette butt onto the ground, he was satisfied (temporarily) that he had gained a bit of freedom from the Dictatorial Drill Instructors.
He couldn't have been more wrong.
A voice boomed from behind him.
The young man froze in his tracks and wheeled. Standing behind him was the Drill Instructor from another platoon. The young man dutifully ran up to him and reported "SIR PRIVATE SMITH REPORTING AS ORDERED SIR!"
The DI looked at him and said. "Come with me scumbag. Who do you belong to?"
Private smith told him what platoon he was with. The Drill Instructor marched him to the Messhall and informed his Drill Instructor what he had just witnessed.
To make a long story shorter, the Drill instructor marched the entire platoon back to the squad bay and had Private Smith break out a shovel. He then had the entire platoon standing at attention while Smith dug a regulation Grave.
He was then made to put the butt into a "Coffin" which was actually a matchbox, and then center the matchbox inside the grave. Several attempts were made to get it right, but the Drill Instructor with his eagle eye could tell that the box was not correctly centered.
Finally he got it right and as he is standing there, the DI tells him that he must now perform a Eulogy for this poor departed Cigarette Butt.
The private gave the eulogy and the DI made the private bury the butt.
A couple of hours later the deed was done (did I mention that the entire time this is going on, the rest of the platoon is still standing at attention?)
The DI finally dismissed the platoon and as the guilty private started to run off the DI barked.
Where the hell do you think YOU are goin?
The private, sweating and scared tried to respond coherently. The DI cut him off.
"Listen Maggot, if you think for one minute that you are going to pollute my Marine Corps Deck with your scummy Cigarette Butt, you are sadly mistaken. NOW DIG IT UP AND TOSS IT IN THE SHITCAN WHERE IT BELONGS!!"
Semper Fi :)
If your friends have the time and strength to write you from Marine boot camp...something's very wrong....LOL
Your story sounds plausible, but no Drill Instructor would have called the young man a private. When in boot camp, one is referred to as a RECRUIT.
I was at Ft. Knox during basic. Out on bivoac one rainy night a buddy of mine went out to pinch a loaf. Unfortunately, said loaf rolled into his pants. He then proceeded to perform clean up with the closest vegetation which happened to be poison ivy.
Last I heard, at PI, 2nd Battalion recruits were called "Privates" instead of "recruits." One of my brothers went through 2nd Bn, and it was that way in 1990. Of course, we had no access to cigarettes in 1992, as far as I know, in ANY battalion. :)
I am interested because I was trying to describe "Boot Camp" to my kids, and since I was never in it, I wanted some input from you folks...
"Your story sounds plausible, but no Drill Instructor would have called the young man a private. When in boot camp, one is referred to as a RECRUIT."
Hmm, our Drill Instructors called us "Private" quite frequently.
I have two, although the first was just my ignorance or stupidity.
First, joined the Navy in April of 78. I went to Boot Camp at Great Lakes, IL (40 miles north of Chicago) on 26 April.
It was 78 degrees in Raleigh when I got on the plane, and all I had was jeans and a t-shirt. You can imagine what I encountered when I got to Chicago that night.
Second, when we marched, two recruits marched in the rear of the column who were "road guards." The road guards were required, when ordered, to sprint to the head of the column and post themselves in the street that the company was to cross, to stop any traffic. There were some places where you had to dodge items on the sidewalk when posting, because there was not enough room. My fellow road guard had a habit of hurtling a certain fire hydrant at one point on the base. One time he was unable to gain enough "altitude" to clear the hydrant, and cracked his jewels! Funny for us, not funny for him!
Navy boot camp was nowhere near as bad as I expected, after hearing stories from my brother-in-law (Marines, vietnam era) and my Dad (Army, WWII). It was mostly head games.
Things probably change from era to era. My DIs were quite insistent about us not thinking of ourselves as privates until we had graduated.
There was a guy in my platoon who was trying to get of the Boot Camp by always urinating on himself. To prove he was not faking, whoever was on firewatch had to wake him up at night every hour on the hour, walk with him into the head, check off on a form whether he had peed or not.
I remember him telling me a version of the story you just related...but I think it was a bug that some boot swatted & killed...and then made them dig it up again...after telling the boot that they had buried it face down.
In the Army you could get pushups for calling a DI "Sir".
An Army drill sergeant would have dropped him for 20 after that.
"YOU DO NOT CALL ME SIR ! - I WORK FOR A LIVING !"
A drill sergeant's title in the Army is "Drill Sergeant" regardless of actual rank, from E-5 to E-9. The Smokey the Bear hat is their badge of rank, which is of course, next to God.
An Army drill sergeant would have dropped him for 20 after that.
Therein lies one of the major differences between the Army and Marines.
We teach our Recruits to say Sir repeatedly. Not showing due respect to an officer is a major No No and this drills it into their heads.
If you've ever watched Full Metal Jacket, R Lee Ermy illustrates this very accurately when he says
"The First word out of your filthy holes will be Sir, and the LAST word out will be Sir. Do you maggots understand that?"
Same in the Navy, at least when I went. All Company Commanders were "sir". Like Leatherneck says, prepares you for dealing with officers. And identifies you as boot when you get out to the fleet and forget and a call a PO1 or CPO "sir".
Here is sort of post boot camp story.
At RTC Orlando, when it came for "cycling" (punishment PT), they would often send a Company Commander from another division to lead the workout. The most feared CC when I was there a big black CPO. We didn't know his real name, everyone called him Ide Amin.
Fast forward 2 months. After I left boot camp I went to "A" school and then reported to my first ship. We were waiting for the ship to finish construction and be commissioned. Our Chief was at a school when we (4 of us) got there and we didn't meet or see him for 2 weeks. When he walked through the door the first time we just about crapped our pants...it was Ide Amin! We thought we were dead meat, but he turned out to be a great Chief. He said "That was boot camp, this is the fleet".
Once upon a time, this boot went to camp with all the other shoes in the neighborhood...
In 1966 at MCRD, we didn't even get that title...We were simply "Maggot, Pukeface, Scumbag, Sweetheart, Foureyes", etc until probably the last couple of weeks.
I have one to add: I requested, and was granted permission for, an "emergency head call" one Sunday while we were outside our Quonset Huts cleaning our gear. I got the OK, and doubletimed it to the huge "restroom"....I came upon an entire platoon of Newbies who were maybe just finishing week-1. They had three guys surrounded, in formation, as the three sat upon the thrones, pants around their ankles.
(Background: The DI's are always asking about things like "Have you maggots had your first dump yet??", along with more muldane stuff about hamstrings, achilles tendons, etc.)
Apparently threse three had NOT had their first perch after a week aboard, so the DI's had their platoon at attention, listening to the command: "Grunt! In cadence, platoon...GRUNT!!!...Grunt, cadence, Grunt" I quickly decided I didn't really have to pee that bad, and bolted back to my area to the tones of an entire platoon "grunting in cadence" to help those three poor maggots loosen their sphincters.
A good tablespoon of Wisk detergent would have worked
wonders, it did in our platoon.
Once one of the guys got a large tin of homemade cookies,
of course the DI's had to deal with this so figuring that
there really wasn't enought to go around 90 guys, they let
him have them all. He was really happy too for about 20 seconds, as they made him eat them all right then, AND
as it was a kinda party, lit him a BIG cigar and got him
a canteen cup of hot water incase he got thirsty.
Man was he sick!
We were over in the Third Battalion in the new cinder block
barracks in 65, when you needed to speak to a Drill instructor
and he was in his "House". You had to stand with your right
shoulder against the wall next to his door and hit the wall
over your head HARD with your left hand. At the end of the
cycle they brought in masons to replace the crumbling blocks.
Pukes, you will now begin the manual of Footlocker Arms.
Riiiiiight Shoulder Footlockers!
Kind of sloppy there maggot, try doing it with your poncho
on, that will help!"
You girls are Awfull!
Maybe you'd like to do it with your weapons?
Sir, YES SIR!
Alllllll right Laaaadies!
Bunkmates stand back to back!
Right shoulder Arms
Left shoulder Arms
Repeat etc, etc.
I think back and it's a wonder I survived.
Once upon a time, this boot went to camp with all the other shoes in the neighborhood...
This boot hahaha.
Scum, you don't know your left boot from your right?
(taking out paint brush) IT's the YELLOW ONE!!!
As they say, "I got a million of 'em"...but here's a little post-boot camp ditty.
I grew up in the Los Angeles area, and after graduation from MCRD in San Diego, I'd take the Greyhound from Oceanbag (aka Oceanside to those unfamiliar with that town's scuzziness then) to L.A. on Friday night and then back on Sunday night. One of the regular drivers got a hoot out of telling me that he got saluted almost daily by the 'fresh out of boot' kids.....(I haven't been on a Greyhound bus since the 60's, but then they really actually wore their bus drivers' uniforms and matching hats)
Too young to have gone to real bootcamp yet, but have gone to sea cadet bootcamp (see profile page).
We had a serious problem with skunks at this bootcamp. The staff cadets liked to chase skunks on their time off. One night, all the staff cadets are there and this one decides to show off and throw his cover (hat) at the skunk. Unfortunately for him, it landed on the skunk and the skunk ran away with it. He never got it back, and they had to give him a new one.
There were 6 companies at this bootcamp, and it was always a race to see who could be first in the chowline. One morning, we managed to be first, but we had to let a couple companies cut us because they had to go somewhere. Well, that was ok, we let them. But then Charlie company tried to cut us, and they didn't have to go anywhere. So our ACC (assistant company commander) grabbed our guidon and just managed to make it in line ahead of Charlie's guidon and Charlie company. So picture this. There are 3 companies (Alpha, Echo, and Delta. I was in Foxtrot.) Then after the last recruit in Alpha is our ACC with our guidon, then Charlie's guidon and Charlie company. Bravo was off somewhere doing something. Then our ACC shouts out, "Foxtrot company, fallout and form up behind your guidon!" So we all run and collide with Charlie and are trying to push them out of the way. It is just our luck that the CO (Commanding Officer) comes out then and sees us. He practically jumps 5 feet and runs over with this hilarious look on his face, shouting. He shouted at our ACC, "What the **** is going on here?" She said as calmly as possible, "Foxtrot company is forming up behind their guidon." His face sorta twisted and squirmed and glowered as he looked us over. He finally made Charlie back up, and we got to cut them. We had a PT Party that night, but I thought it was worth it.
At RTC Orlando, I had fire watch one night and listened to two guys in adjacent racks talking to each other in their sleep.
Haa!! That's the brand they issued us, along with the scrub brush, for "laundry day"...that and that damned Barbisol shaving lather.
I've never used either brand since. Some memories just stick and suck.
"I want every swinging dick on the puh-toon street in thirty seconds! Move!!!!!"
Sand Hill, Ft. Benning, GA. 1990
It was hot. We did lots of pushups. Got to shoot some stuff. Marched everydamnwhere. Had a Puerto Rican Drill I never could understand. One Sunday morning as we were in formation he made the call for those going to Sunday services. I still remember him ordering those going to services into line so he could "March them to the G-damn church!"
It must have been the right one, because the other one left... :>)
If you recall, Paris Island in the early 60's was being torn apart by the USMC brass, after the little incident when several DI's took recruits out for a little extra motivation..several drowned in the river, and several died after of exposure..just as things wreew gettign back to "normal" whatever the hell that is, PI started to gear up for the huge influx of Vietnan-era recruits..and of course, the first, and god -I-hope-never-again -LAST time the Corrps took draftees...
Not true, I was called Private many times in 1977, however, Recruit was more often heard.
Rent the movie FULL METAL JACKET.
It is not a movie, it is a documentary of Parris Island in the 1960's.
Also, I remember Jack Webb's THE DI ws pretty good, the closest Hollywood would ever get was FULL METAL JACKET
Do not rent any modern movie other than those.
I did see a TV movie 3 or 4 years ago that was a good one, well played.
Ask me again after Nov. 24th....thats my ship date to basic training.
Ft. Jackson, SC 1984
I remember my platoon driving our Drill Sgt. nuts!
We couldn't shoot, We couldn't do PT, but we kept a Damn clean barracks, Bunch of GOD D@*&^% Maids! :)
I went thru boot camp at Fort Dix, NJ in 72 as a member of the National Guard. There were quite a other guard trainees as well. Every other weekend, we would have riot training.
One weekend, we went to the (tear) gas training area. We threw gas grenades and shot them thru building fronts for the training. There was no wind that morning, and the gas accumulated against a grove of trees. Just before noon, the wind picked up and moved the tear gas cloud into the air. A few minutes later, the DIs got a call from HQ. They were instructed to CEASE operations immediately.
The Commanding General (CG) from McGuire AFB called the CG at Ft. Dix and told him we had shut down operations at the control tower. End of story? No.
We were trucked back to the base and turned in the protective masks and headed for the barracks. We had so much gas residue on our uniforms and bodies, we decided to shower.
The gas did not bother us much, as we had been exposed to quite a bit for 4 - 5 hours. As anyone having knowledge of tear gas, the minute we got into the showers, gas vapors started to flood the barracks. Everyone in the barracks started evacuating the rooms, except the ones who had been to the gas range. The DIs were pi$$ed to say the least. They thought we had thrown a gas grenade in the barracks.
Thanks for the PING, Sarmajor!
I never went through the common bond experience known as Basic Training. I was a Commissioned Officer through Army ROTC.
My "training experience" was Advanced Camp at Fort Bragg in the summer of '83. It was a watered-down version of AIT. Not knowing what to expect, Pop had been through Great Lakes in '49, and he schooled me in all the things he went through back in the day. I was thus better prepared than the other college boys.
Well, we actually had DI's, resplendant with Smokey Hats, as instructors, and they were under strict orders not to treat the cadets as recruits, but as potential officers. You could see the seething frustration in their eyes, as they longed to give these kids the chewing they deserved!
But there I was, giving every proper response, and showing the DI's their proper deferrence. They didn't fail to notice one pro-trained kid amongst all the pampered ones. Thanks again, Pop!
Bragg that summer, was ticks, heat, and untrained kids trying to keep up with the 82nd ABN. A lot made it; a few didn't. But it laid the foundation for a lifetime of learning from mistakes, and never stopping to rest.
Yes, I too took my boot camp at Fort Dix, NJ in 72. I had that old wooden barrack with one on top and with one on the bottom together. I remember that (tear-gas)LOL. I was one of the Hawaii Army National Guard. My basic buddy call me "Pineapple" because I was from Hawaii. I am try to find if you have your basic yearbook 72-? If so could you look to see if that yearbook have me in it?. My Initials is P.P
could let me know.
I visited my nephew at Parris Island in September at his graduation. In the corner of his barracks was a list of names of his chain of command. Trouble is, it had a misspelling for the Secretary of Defense, as "The Honorable Mr. Runsfel."
I asked my nephew if I should write a letter to the commander, and he turned white and said NO. LOL
Welcome to FR. I didn't get a yearbook. I was in BCT from Sep 15 (or close to that) until Dec. I was in the brick barracks at the end of McGuire AFB runway. I'll never forget the company, B-5-3, as that was part of the cadence.
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