Thursday, July 8, 2010

“Training Day 2” USMC Boot Camp -- Part 4

The morning of day 2 started with a bang.  A drill instructor burst into the room, turned the lights on, and threw a metal trash can across the concrete floor that crashed into the far wall.

He was screaming at the top of his lungs that we had five minutes to get our racks made up, and get our asses in formation on the platoon road. I had no idea what time it was, only that it was still very dark outside. A couple of guys were yanked out of their racks to the floor. Most of us were in formation on the road within the time allotted.

The guy who was supposed to be standing next to me was not in his spot. He finally came out of the hut, walked up behind one of the drill instructors, tapped him on the shoulder, and said to the DI, “I can’t find my other shoe!” I swear he said it just like that. We’d already been told numerous times that we were never to speak to a drill instructor without permission. And we were expressly forbidden from ever touching one. It was supposed to go like this…

“Sir! private “Doe” Platoon 2207, requests permission to speak to the drill instructor, Sir!”

The DI will either give you permission to speak, or not be able to hear you (even though you are shouting the request). If he does miraculously only make you ask once. You then say…

“Sir! the private can’t find his sneaker, sir!”

But no, this idiot just walks up to the DI, taps him on the shoulder like he knows him, and says something to him like he’s on the street somewhere talking to a friend! The drill instructor turned around with a complete look of astonishment on his face and said to the guy, “what did you just say to me numb nuts?” The poor stupid bastard repeated exactly what he said the first time! The DI looked at us, looked at the other drill instructor who was close by and started screaming at the guy like he was totally insane. The other DI came over and joined in. The guy had 2 DI’s on him at the same time, he just stood there and took it. Well, he took it for a minute anyway. Then his eyes welled up with tears!

This really set the DI’s off and they got louder and more abusive. Then the first DI grabbed the guy by the throat and pulled him into the closest Quonset hut. He pushed the guy onto the floor and drug him by his collar across the room. When he got to the middle of the room he stopped. He then started hitting the guys head against the side of the metal heater! Some of us could see it clearly through the open door. I don’t know how many times he did it, but it was several. The guy was lucky that his head was hitting the middle of the heater where the metal had some give. The DI’s then walked out of the room, shut the door, and one of them marched us off to our morning head call.

When we got back the guy with one shoe was gone! We never saw him again. Rumor had it that the DI’s said the recruit hit one of them, and he was currently in the brig. If that was true, I don’t know how they explained the damage done to the recruit, but they stayed with our platoon, so they apparently got away with it…

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  1. This is the reason I joined the US Navy.

  2. Most people have NO IDEA what it was like back then!!! WOW!!

  3. Patrick, you had already gone through many years of boot camp with Sarge Mom--I'll bet you survived Marine basic training a lot better than those who'd known nothing but peace and love in their lives.

  4. John - Thank you sir!

    Anon. - I don't blame you!

    BMB - Yup, things changed a lot. Not so sure if it's all for the better though.

    Warren - indeed it was!

    Margaret - You are so right! Some guys shouldn't have been there. It's like they had no idea what they signed up for...

  5. D.I.? Doctor Insanity. Question. After they beat that guy to a bloody dead pulp do you think they buried him with both shoes?

  6. Jesse - We thought they probably lied and said the kid assualuted one of them. Any damages he got were in self defense. That kind of thing happened quite a bit. Although things have changed now, back in those days, abuse by drill instructors was part of the deal.

  7. Having 3 boys....this makes my heart ache.
    How horrid.
    I would have run for the hills with my one shoe.....

  8. That scene should of been in Full Metal Jacket, it would of been great. I love stories like this.

  9. Nice post, Pat. This was awesome!

  10. Pam - Thanks! too bad it's all true

    Dawn - I know there was a method to their madness, but many times they went too far.

    PTM - Thank you sir! It's gonna get worse before it get's better. In about two days, it's gonna get a lot worse...

    Mr. Stupid - Thanks you! I just with it was about somebody else, instead of about me!

  11. Yikes!!!! I don't know how I've missed some of your posts these past few days....once again, my reader isn't being faithful to me! Glad I scrolled back, though!

  12. Marlene - Thanks! It's going to get even more interesting in the next week...I'm gonna post one per day.
    My blog had gone crazy! I had a couple of posts disappear and the comments were all screwed up..

  13. How did you get these devils to pose for you? Are the pix from movies?

  14. Tapirgal - This photo is a USMC stock photo. The last one is from the movie "Full Metal Jacket." They would have never allowed a pic taken by a recruit. They wouldn't allow anybody to have a camera or pretty much any personal items. I do have some photos coming up of my actual drill instructors...thanks for commenting!

  15. good luck :) i think there life is rough

  16. Of course I've heard of this kind of stuff going on but actually reading about it from a real person makes it sound all the more horrible.

  17. Costea - It was rough then! Things are great now...

    Dot - I think knowing what we were in for (and we all did) is one thing, actually living through it is quite another.

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