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Does anyone remember the POU platoon located in the 2nd Battalion???

I was a young man from the eastern shore of Maryland. My buddy and I always wanted to be Marines. On 28 June 1962 we signed up on the 120 day plan. I was 17 at the time and had never done much but play around. We left for P I on 25 Sept ’62 and arrived in Yesmassee SC at night. All of us know what happens from that point. I was a scared kid but wanted to be a Marine so I could do anything. On 26 Sept. we were picked up by our D I”s and headed to Plt 375. On 31 Oct ’62 my DI put me in his car and took me to the POU unit located in the 2nd Battalion. I wasn’t sure what was happening and he said i wasn’t keeping up with the standards that was expected.

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Define Maltreatment

The mission of a Marine Drill Instructor is to create a Marine without damaging the goods in the process. After the drowning incident at Parris Island in the 1950’s do-gooders, and those “leaders” who believed the Corps should be meshed into the other branches (both MacArthur and Eisenhower disliked the Corps), did their best to smear boot camp training methods. In 1958, at MCRDSD, I never saw a D.I. actually punch a recruit. They weren’t, however, above telling the platoon that if “Pvt. Jones” didn’t get his sh*t together, we would all suffer for it. “Jones” would then be subject to the wrath of his squad mates. Mass punishment was a very effective tool. As far as language used, the only words I didn’t hear used to a recruit were those with personal stigma (S.O.B., Mother F–, etc.)

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165 lbs. of chewed bubblegum….

I was reading an earlier story about “Moto platoon” and it spurred this memory. I enlisted in the delayed entry program in April of ’74 and arrived at M.C.R.D. San Diego on Sept. 23, ’74 (Plt.3105). As the title indicated, I weighed 165 lbs. at 6 foot nothing, and was also a “Nerd” of sorts. Hung out with my “T.V. production” class and was not involved in sports at all during school. When it came time to do pull-ups during the initial days of first phase, I couldn’t do one pull-up. So for the next 2.9 months, every day after morning, noon and night chow call, I was at the pull-up bars doing pull-ups with my “Helper”. Needless to say, I was more than able to do the minimum to pass the P.F.T. for graduation. When my first wife and I went to the premier of “Full Metal Jacket”, and Gunny Hartman yelled at Pvt. Pyle “You look like 165 lbs. of chewed bubblegum” it brought back that particular memory. I was threatened with Motto a few times but I guess my slow but eventual improvement helped them come to the proper decision and let me graduate with my platoon on time. When I graduated in Dec. of ’74, I stood 6’1″ tall and weighed 135 lbs.! Wish I weighed that now. Semper Fi!

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Gitmo 1966

I was in Gitmo the summer of ’66 when one of our Marines shot and killed a Cuban sentry who was climbing over the fence. Castro gave us 12 days to get out or he said he would “blow us out.” By the time it got down to the second day there was a USN fleet just off the coast with a Russian fleet right behind them. It was kept quiet because of the turmoil between the “anti-establishment” movement, race and women’s rights movements and the anti- Vietnam protests. Does ANYONE recall being there then? …You still out there “T”?

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DI

I graduated from high school in june of 72 and went to Parris Island Jan 73. I just wanted to thank my Senior Drill Instructor SSgt. John Steele. This guy was fantastic and I will never forget him. I joined the Corps right out of high school to go to Vietnam. I figured if I could make it through boot camp and survive Nam, the rest of life would be all downhill. The only problem with my plan came just before boot camp ended.I had my orders for Nam, but they got changed at the last minute because we stopped sending people over there. I had to deal with the guys that were in country without being there myself. Made for some very interesting nights walking firewatch, as some of them were understandably quite jumpy. Sorry I never made it into a combat zone, but never regretted one day of service. I was declared medically unable to re-enlist and was discharged on 01 Apr 1981.

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Just what I needed

I don’t remember any sewage field but I do remember in October 1961, my time in Motivation Platoon or (Fat Boys Platoon). I remember a not quite starvation diet and lot of PT. I remember a lot of sand in every orifice I had. I remember a group of DI’s who constantly reminded me why I was there. I remember that if I didn’t get squared away and back to training, that the Russians would attack the US and start raping my mother and sisters and kill everybody else. I remember that I couldn’t decide who I hated more, the Russians or the DI’s. I remember In Vietnam that those same DIs made it possible for me to survive 2 tours and eventually be promoted to Sgt. of Marines. That is something I have never more proud of.

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Bound and Determined

Bound and Determined

It was in the late summer or early fall of 1963, when at the age of 17, I got my parents to sign the consent form needed to enlist in the Marine Corps. With the consent form and pocket full of promises from the local recruiter I went down to Whitehall Street in lower Manhattan, NY to join up.
During my physical exam the Army doctor, who looked like he was about 80 years old, mixed up my paper work with the poor guy standing next to me. This guy had rheumatic fever as a child and should have been classified 4-F.Unfortunately he got my 1-A classification and I got the 4-F classification.
I was not a happy camper! To let everyone know they made a big mistake I shouted, cursed and threatened everyone around me until I was given the “bum’s rush” and escorted out the door.
Not willing to give up my quest to join the Marine Corps, I waited about two months and went to a different recruiter and started the process all over again. Remember this was the pre-computer days and you could get away with it.
On the day of my physical exam I had a different doctor. I passed the exam without a problem. As I was mentally congratulating myself I felt a tap on my shoulder. I turned around and was stating at a chest full of ribbons. I’m 6”1” but I had to look up about six inches to see a face that belonged to a very large MP. Behind him was an even larger MP. I was informed that I was about to be arrested for fraudulent enlistment. Of course I denied I was ever there before and tried to convince them they were mistaking me for someone else. One of the MP’s laughed and said that I made such a big stink he actually put a photo of me on his wall in the MP office.
After some desperate negotiations on my part the OIC at Whitehall Street told me to come back at 7:30 AM the next morning with an overnight bag. He told me I was going to be shipped over to Governor’s Island for a series of exams to see if I would pass a more stringent physical exam.
The next morning I boarded a ferry boat to Governor’s Island. There were twelve passengers going for physicals. Eleven of them were trying to get out of the Army and I was trying to get into the Marine Corps. I never regretted getting on that ferry boat.
Fast forward from that point on….I went to Parris Island in the first week of January 1964….made PFC out of Boot Camp…..and was attached to the one of the first combat units into Vietnam- 1st Battalion 3rd Marines in 1965.

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Reference To “Motivation Platoon”

You are the first Marine in the USMC that remember Motivation Platoon I were sent there in 1972, and were disabled to a degree in training. Today that training have been terminated, and its like it never happen. Although some of your descriptions in Motivation Platoon were different then mines. I didn’t read in your statement about the sewage drain field, where you had to drop into a pool of sewage and low crawl in sewage water going into your mouth and nose, the unknown D.I.’s used a long aluminum pole to push your head under water, to make sure you walloped in it like a maggot, at the end of the sewage field, you had to shout at the top of your lungs in boot deep sewage to tell the D.I. how much you loved the USMC, then we got on the road and everything happened as you said. Upon Graduation there were and Investigation and a letter had to be signed before you could leave the Island, “stating that: I have been treated well at Parris Island, SC.” And ordered to seal the letters, are face staying six more months on the Island, to go to a hearing.

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boot camp at MCRD San Diego

Yes, I was a Hollywood Marine. In 1967 I was a Junior in College. I dropped out 1 semester to earn money for the next submester. Like most here, I was drafted. Being from San Diego, raised on a farm in the mountains east of San diego. Having worked on a farm I was physically fit. Don’t you know, I was drafted in April 1968 and also was “said to have volenteered ” to the Marines. This was because my DI advised that the Marine Corps never drafted anybody. Boot camp was somewhat easy for me. When asked if I would volenteered for OCS, I told them no. When asked why I told them that my was a retired lifer Marine Major & was a ***hole & I didn’t Dixie to be one. After sitting in my D.I’s chair and being pted the rest of the day. When I graduated I made PFC & Expert rifeman. Now ITR was much more of a harassment than Boot camp was. Being PFC I was constantly singled out for examples of what not to do. Having spending most of my in country career at Camp Pendleton, I never once see any recruit making Lcpl out of boot camp. I did however saw 2 Lance Corporal coming from MCRD. One was a reserves activated and one had former military in the army.

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