My Summer of 1969

DISCLAIMER Recruit training in the Marine Corps has historically had a reputation for the use of obscene language and the physical abuse of recruits. What I am telling is what I saw and experienced. Another Marine of my generation or earlier would concur with what I re-live here. Some would say that what I tell has been overblown over time. All I can say is that I can’t make this up! For me, recruit training was the most stress filled experience of my life.
MAKING THE RACK
That mental videotape machine of mine did not record every minute I was at the recruit depot, just the moments that made an impression on me. And there were a lot of them.
I remember it was getting near dusk. The DI’s gathered the platoon together to show us how to make our bunks (rack) military style. After they demonstrated how to do it, they undid the bunk and then had a couple of recruits get in front of the platoon to try and do it. What a joke. They immediately began to screw it up and the DI’s start screaming at them.
One of these fellows starts to cry. I remember our Platoon Commander going over to this kid and acting like he was consoling him, when suddenly, he slaps him across the face! There was an immediate “gasp” that came from all of the recruits. I had heard that this sort of thing could/would happen, but to see it, that’s another thing. Then, our assistant DI, a thin wiry staff sergeant whose name I never cared to remember , looks at us with this evil grin and says “you ain’t seen anything yet! After your physicals, the real beatings begin.”
It’s time for lights out. After many attempts of jumping into our rack in a timely way to satisfy the DI’s demand for precision, they finely turn out the lights. I’m in a top bunk. I’d never slept in one before.

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59 thoughts on “My Summer of 1969”

  1. my fall of 1962. i saw the same and worse i did learn some clorfull language that got me in trouble on boot leave i really embareesed my mother and surprized my dad and sister w had a jdi that loved making us do knuckle push ups on the crushed sea sheels that paved the grinder he was a real jerk just plain mean his name cpl bdavid h smithm we had a senior di by the name of gunnery sgt rodgers a veter of the choisno res aiovir he rode me hard but i learned alotmfrom him and i believe he was the reason i made sgt e-5 under four he made a man out of me and ireally thank him for who i am today. all i what to say is thank you guuny roders an sgt vance ab danner and f/u cpl smith

    1. MY SUMMER OF 1969 PICTURE looks like the platoon I was in plt.3118.That looks like drill instructor Sgt. Shaw.

      1. My summer of 1969 photo shows Sgt. Moser, platoon 3120, June 23rd. 1969, he was very. Fond of squat thrusts as punishment. We must have done thousands of them during training. I do believe he tried to make us do some just before graduation. I was platoon guide for 80-85% of boot camp, and a week before graduation they fired me and gave the guide position to a guy named Jones, he got the dress blues. The squad leaders and I were beat up several times. We also had SSgt. Scull, a black DI that hated running, we also had Cpl. Olson, he had small man syndrome and tried to scare us, but he was too young to put the fear of God into us. My grea test memory of boot camp was knocking out a rival platoon guide during pugle stick competition, he was beating me up in a prolonged match, he knocked me down on all fours and was coming in for the kill when I came up under his chin with the right end of my stick and knocked him out cold. His DI dragged him off the sand pit by his face guard of his helmet .

  2. “My summer of 1969” – What did you think you were joining when you signed up?? How many times have you played your video back and thanked the Corps for the training and respect it instilled in you?? Anyone who went through Marine training saw something that they may not have agreed with, but when the rounds come flying and the mortars start exploding, you really don’t have time to cry. I don’t know about you but I went in a boy and came out a man. Semper Fi.

  3. I also was there in July of ’69. What platoon were u in? I know most recruits look pretty much the same, but ur enclosed picture looks like some of the guys faces that I remember. I also had a story like that. I wear glasses, and once while we were marching…we did a lot of that, right?…well, my glasses had slid down my nose because of the sweat, and I push them back up, when all of a sudden, the DI comes up behind me and slaps me pretty hard on the back of the head, and my glasses are shot 20-30 feet away, and he starts yelling obscenities at me, most of which are “four-eyes”, and of course that is my new nick-name. But, then he yells for me to go fetch my glasses.

  4. The photo sure looks like Sgt. Jones and the recruits of platoon 366 in San Diego from April 1968 to June 1968.

  5. Boot Camp at Parris Island – January to April 1965. The training was difficult, but the DI’s were trying to instill discipline in every recruit to keep them from being killed in Vietnam. Physical punishment was routine, but the mental part was far more difficult. I drank Wisk (liquid detergent} for telling a DI that “you” said to do something. Wrong words. “Ewe” was a female sheep and not the word to be used when addressing the DI. I was a tall, skinny recruit and received my share of physical punishment, but same out a far better man than I would have been without the training. Stayed in 9 years, on active duty, and made SSgt. Enjoyed my time in the Corps and still miss it to this day.

  6. Just before graduation in early 1968, the platoon leader called us together and read us a directive that said they were to stop beating recruits effective Immediately. He laughed and said this must be for the Army. Even with all the physical stuff, Boot Camp was the best part of the Marine Corps experience for me.

  7. “Platoon Commander”? Don’t remember ever hearing those words during my training with PI’s Third Battalion in the summer of 69. Senior Drill Instructor is tattooed into my memory, but “Platoon Commander”?

    1. April ’67 it was Platoon Comander who wore a black leather belt. The other two were Drill Instructors. No Sr. Drill Instructor.

    2. 2nd Batt,Plt 2048 July 1968 we were told that SSgt A Excalante was our “senior drill instructor” but in my boot camp book under his picture it lists him as the “Platoon Commander” SSgt Taylor and Sgt Adams are listed as “Drill Instructors”.

  8. I look at Marine bootcamp as a proving ground for what your life can and will be after graduation. If you can’t take the punishments and yelling, etc., then you may not be Marine material. If you crack up under fire or a serious situation that requires an disciplined body and mind then ask to get out of Marine boot camp and join the Army, Navy, Air Force for boot camp. Not saying that these other military branches do not train their troops harder then Marines Boot camp, but the underling reason for the Marine Boot camp being so rough is that we are trained for one purpose, and that is to “engage our enemies and kill them with no questions asked and to immediately do the tasks we are given without question”. My time in the Marine Corps was from 1959 to 1968.

  9. Forty-nine years ago today, I began my boot camp; Plt 2019, MCRD San Diego. We called the Senior Drill Instructor just that. Though others referred to GySgt Ponder as Platoon Commander. We had our rough , times, and funny times. Did guys get roughed up, you bet. No blood was spilled and the point usually got across at that moment. My dad, a WWII Marine, told me it wouldn’t be easy, and to just do what I was told, things would be alright. Just out of high school, track and football, I had no trouble adapting. I’ll admit I was concerned about my judgement more than once, but it was well worth the lessons learned. Semper Fidelis

  10. I joined the Corps on my 17th birthday with parents consent. I was just starting SR year in High School and joined the local Marine Reserve unit. Went to PI on July 5, 1958 until Oct 1958. Most of the Platoon (167) was from Chicago or Minneapolis and several of us, me including, were from PA. All of us were Reservists and one individual’s father was a BGen in the US Army that went through West Point with the then Commander of the Eastern area for Marines and he sort of checked on his son’s activities by having the Marine General’s aide check on him at least once a week. And you can guess how our DI’s just loved that. One of the recruits father owned a butcher shop in Chicago and sent him a LARGE BOX in the mail. Inside was nothing but salami, cheeses and other goodies. Our Sr DI went nuts over that, but left it on the floor in the barracks and when he turned the lights out remarked that he did not want to see anything of the box in the morning. When lights went out all you could hear were 85 bayonets coming out of the scabbards as we attacked the food. I met our Sr Di several years later and knew him when I saw him walking across a parking lot in MCAS, Cherry Point, NC. Had a good talk then, never saw him again.

    1. June 10th 1958 MCRD San Diego, plt 249 Had the same experience of joining in Nov. 57, a senior in HS. Reserve Mlps, Minn. 26th Rifle Company Great bunch of men. I think there were 13 of us who were 180 Day Wonders.

  11. CThomas we were there about the same time, I was in Platoon 3110 MCRD San Diego. During our time a slap would have been minor, but compared to what was happening in the real world it wasn’t crap, 200-300 and even 400 body bags a week were getting filled up at that time and pussy-footing, political correctness didn’t fit in. Our Sr Drill Instructor (Platoon Commander) was a GySgt who was 17 when he had hit Tarawa 26 years earlier and the other 2 DI’s had both been in SVN and knew that everything we did and they did could effect someones life. The lessons were harsh, extremely harsh by todays standards but well worth it.

  12. 9 June 1969. Yellow footprints, San Diego Ca. What I thought then was all a blur. My father asked me why I joined the Marines, I replied because I am better than you, After picking myself up off the floor, from being hit closed fist by him he said prove it. Series Commander, 1stLt O’Callaghan, Series Gunnery Sgt. Smith, Platoon commander, SSgt Campbell, Drill Instructors, SSgt Butts, Sgt Walker platoon 2098.After being raised by a WWII sailor who instilled strict discipline in his children, and he hit us more than any DI I saw at boot camp. The biggest hurdle was to get over the mental stress that they dished out. Sgt Walker hit us the most out of all of them, but it was ususally just the “GIBBS” type. SSgt Campbell was the sadistic type, Every time I watch Full Metal Jacket it reminds me of him. We started out in the quanst huts and raked dirt “grass” every evening and morning. I never played sports in school and I was considered a weakling. At 5’7″ 130 lbs soaking wet and skinny as a rail. Physically I could do it. I had to prove to my dad I was better than him. Plus my older brother went into the Navy, and did nothing bu play sports for the San Diego Navy base there for 4 years. so he accomplished nothing. I almost didn’t make it on finale PT test I hurt my knee and couldn’t run fast enough to keep up with the rest of our squad. “PRT” not the PFT. But through team work we all made it. and that was one of the goals of the Marine Corps to work as a team, you stayed alive longer that way. We graduated 7 Aug 69. My family didn’t come to my graduation. And still on my dads death bed he would not reconize that I was better than he or my brother. Even though I had gone thru Vietnam and Desert Storm. He praised my brother more. He never ever came to any of my duty stations, but visited my brother who lived in Atlanta at the time only 200 miles away from Albany Ga, where I was stationed. But in my heart I think and know I was a better man then both of them put together, because I AM A MARINE, Even 23 years after retirement I am still a Marine. Boot camp hard yes too hard for the SPC 5 Army dude that we had in our platoon. But I think the mental anguish that I went thru as a child helped me understand what boot camp was about and why the harshness in the treatment of the recruits. Vietnam proved it.

  13. I went thru PI boot camp the summer of 69. For me, it was different, my Dad was a WWII Marine, served with Merritt Edsons 1st Raider Battalion. He had me pretty well prepared for what was coming. We had been trading stomach punches for as long as I could remember, so when I got my first surprise stomach shot, I was ready. Showing no response, the DI just moved on. My Dad had told me: They’re looking for the weak link, so no matter what they put you thru, never be the first to fold. His words got me thru some of the toughest times on the island.

  14. Oh Yes, I was at MCRD San Diego, in March 1964, it’s all true. I didn’t think I would make it to graduation, but I did, and have always been proud of that tough training. It really helped a year or so later in the Nam. I would do it again!

  15. San Diego June 1963. Within 10 minutes we learned that we were maggots which were to hop on command and sing whatever song we were told to. The majority also knew that they had possibly made a very serious mistake. Our DI’s introduced us to the language of the Corps while also detailing those capabilities that would keep us out of Leavenworth. They had our signed contract after all. During my boot camp The President was killed, we had South Vietnamese Warrant Officers try to run with us ..didn’t work as they needed a lot of smoke breaks and we had a Sgt with us for a few days on the way back from Nam who warned us that we would fighting in Vietnam before we were civilians again . I spent time in three different platoons and didn’t see any slapping or hitting although some fellas had a notion they might like to take a shot at a DI. They were quickly shown that would be a mistake and took the advise. It was tough and I wasn’t sure I would earn that title but I did somehow. As far as the DI’s … geez I love those guys as they literally let me know just who I am. Semper Fi

  16. Oh yea ! I hit the Island August 25th 1962 , wow what an awakening I got. I have to say I am much better for the experience even thought at the time I thought it was a little harsh , I got my gut busted just about every day the whole time I was there. I am proud that I was able to make the grade and be called a United States Marine !

  17. I went through PI April – June 1964. The training was physically demanding and mentally harsh. Physical (corporal) punishment was the order of the day; but it made Marines. I wouldn’t trade the experience for pure gold. It served me well all thru my life. SSEMPER FI!

  18. I was DI March 68-69 SD B Co I grad Boot Camp Apl 66, Shit Happens. Full Metal Jacket Boot Camp scenes pretty much for real.

    1. Semper Fi Brother, MSgt Consalvo you was my jr DI in boot camp Plt 1106. All I would like to say is THANK YOU for what you and Sr DI SSgt H.C.Daniels and SSGT C.C.Campo have done for me. Y`all took a dumb kid out of High School and made a man out of me and taught how to make through Vietnam and life it self. Thanks Again Brother

    2. I was a D.I. ’71-’72 MCRD San Diego….you are right…Went to the movies to see Full Metal Jacket and started to laugh…people thought I was crazy…I did most of that crap …and the stuff that came out of my mouth was too good to believe.Boot camp ,68….B co SD

  19. I was at Quantico, PLC during that summer and we had some hard treaining but nothing more than you would expect for USMC training. We had several vets who had recently returned from Viet Nam and they were working hard to prepare us for combat after graduation. I was so proud to be a member of 3rd platoon Lema Co during that summer. Sgt Alvarado was our platoon Sargent and was awarded a second Silver Star the second week we were there. I will never forget him or the men I trained with that Summer… HooRah!!!

  20. San Diego summer of 1969. Platoon 3130. Our DI’s actually felt it was important to let us watch the moon landing. We paid dearly for it later. The day we graduated my parents and I were walking down in the area of the Quonset Huts. Platoon Commander Staff Sgt Root comes the other way. I introduced my dad to him and explained my dad had been in the same area in the summer of 1944 then on Iwo Jima in Feb1945. He treated my dad like a God. Made me feel pretty good.

  21. I was MCRD platoon 3127, July 1969. Just wondering if there are any of my platoon out Vietnam Dec. 1970 to April 1971

    1. I do not recall your name, but I, also, was MCRD July 69, 1ST MAW DaNang Dec 70 til May 71.Poss just sister platoons. Glad to see you made it bavk.

  22. Sgt. Monte Joe Moore Platoon 1164 San Diego, California Dec1966.I stepped off the bus and onto the yellow foot prints an 18 year old boy.When i got on bus going to Camp Pendelton for ITR I was a Marine, I alway’s have said not everyone who put’s on the uniform is a Marine but those that are will be one for life.My GySgt Jose M Padilla told us the first day for the length of time we’re their he would be our worst enemy and after we left he hoped we would realize what he was trying to prepare us for WAR.Gunny Padilla,Sgt J R Mora and Sgt J H Allison I haven’t forgotten you ,my brother’s.It had to be hard to get a group of boy’s and make Men out of them in that short period of time. ALL of those that complained about boot camp just wore the uniform, I’m 68 years old and just as proud to still be a Marine today.We all have storie’s about what happened in boot camp and i certainly have my share but my theory is what happen’s in boot camp stay’s in boot camp.I know that recently the Corp has had some issue’s in boot camp’s and I an not trying to be insentative about anyone or anything, maybe the pre entry physical should be more extensive. I remember how hard it was physically and there was some of us that had a hard time keeping up.The troop leader’s at Camp Pendelton told us that some would’nt make it back from Vietnam ( I didn’t go) but they we’re going to teach us everything they knew so we would have the best chance possible to make it back home.War is HELL and for those who had to go, THANK YOU and for those like me i went where they told me to go and did what they told me to do .I’m proud to be a United State’s Marine and I’d do it all over again. Semper Fidelis

  23. I was MCRD San Diego, Platoon 3335, entered 12/3/68. All I can say is that it was brutal from the time the bus pulled up until graduation! We went through the same initial rack making routine which lasted most of the night between being in the pits and doing squat thrusts! Besides the normal PT and M14 rifle butt plates buried in our chests, there were many other unenjoyable events. My favorite is Christmas eve. Our initial drill evaluation was the day after Christmas and the last chance to prepare for it was on the eve. We were drilling along the fence to the San Diego airport. About every five minutes a jet would take off drowning out the Platoon Commander’s commands. Needless to say it was very, very bad! Eventually he marched us back to our squad bays, had us go in, retrieve our laundry bags, and fall back in formation. Then the fun was about to begin. All three DI’s had us cram into the first squad’s hut, had us tie the laundry bags over our heads, and started calling out PT commands: Get on your backs, on your bellies, squat thrusts, pushups, and on and on for what seemed like hours. Besides bumping and kicking each other, we also knocked over the heater spilling kerosene all over which we slipped and rolled in. It was a nightmare! But, this was only the beginning. After a while they told us to stand up, shoulder to shoulder, back against the racks, which we all know if you went through MCRD San Diego, were backed up against the walls of the Quonset huts forming a big rectangle. Remember, we still have the laundry bags over our heads. Then I start hearing screams of pain, over and over, moving along away from me and making its way towards me. I’m thinking this is it, they are finally going to kill us! Next thing I know I am grabbed by each arm by two DI’s as one hits me in the solar plexus. Then before I can recover the next one takes his lick, and then finally the third. I must say, at least it was equal treatment! Anyway, that was it for the Christmas eve excitement. But, it still is not totally over. You see, we were told that we would be able to call home for 10 minutes Christmas morning after chow. This was got me through the whole evening debacle. that’s all I could think of to put my mind someplace other than the Hell I was going through. So, morning comes, we go to chow. Then we start marching across the main grinder towards the telephone booths we can see in the distance. Suddenly, the Platoon Commander says halt. He told us to face in the direction of home, and we got to call “home, home, home……” for 10 minutes! Amazing though, he is one of the most influential, and respected people I will ever have had the honor of knowing. So, at the end of our eight weeks of being turned into the most dangerous sob’s walking the planet, the Platoon Commander admitted to us that he was additionally hard on us for one big reason: We were all draftees from LA area! He had never had a 100% group of us aliens. He thought that would make it harder to “motivate” us. As it turned out, we took every streamer and were the Honor Platoon. He also admitted that we were the best Platoon he had ever had. Even after all the Hell we went through, and I’m sure you can all come up your own fun stories, I am, and will always be a United States Marine! One last note. I read a book called “The Marines War”. The author at the beginning said something that he said was unique to Marines. We can all remember our DI’s names! No other branch can do that like we can. Just goes to show the impact the had on us. Thank you Staff Sergeant Aguilar, Sergeant Dysart, and Corporal Rose. You did a fantastic job! Semper Fi!

  24. The Corps made a pretty good Marine out of me but they didn’t make me a man. I grew up in a house with an alcoholic mother and abusive dad. I began trying to break up their drunken brawls at 10 or 11. By 16 dad knew I could take him. At 17 I came home from work one Sat. and parked the car in the street. Mom was drunk but insisted she was going to make supper. Two hours later she was in the same spot and I told them I was leaving. She told my dad to stop and he came to the yard with a 38 revolver. I was to mad to be scared, so I called him a gutless coward and every nasty term I could think of until I just ran out of words. He finally turned around and went back into the house. I ran for the car and as I started driving off he ran out the door and fired several shots at me. Terrain, distance and alcohol probably saved me. Also I was a 4 sport HS athlete with a Marine for a coach and some really good teams. (2 state finals in basketball and top 5 rated football team. After HS I worked through 3 years of college before joining the Marine Corps after my Jr. year. After the first week, boot camp was a vacation.

  25. Looking through my platoon books of the several platoons I worked as an ADI G Co 3rd BN MCRDPI 67-69 we did not use the term Platoon Commander. It was SDI and ADI if the term was used I do not recall

  26. Summer of 69. I started out Platoon 1038 February of 69 San Diego. Inherited spinal meningitis and too restart with new platoon. Graduated July 69 Platoon 1088. Can remember being butt slapped with M-14 for letting my M-14 hitting the grinder butt first and not catching it before it hit. Does any Marine remember holding M-14 on tips of fingers and temperature was extremely hot?

  27. What is a “Platoon Commander”, that is not a Marine Corps term I am not familiar with when it comes to Boot Camp. I was at Parris Island Sept.-Nov. 1965, Plt. 287. We had Drill Instructors, never a Platoon Commander. I never saw a recruit physically punished, at least that is my story and I’m sticking to it.

  28. I too experienced all the bad that was available in boot camp.I went through P.I. in September 1972,and took what was dished out. Lined up on line punched in gut over and on over. Herded into the showers with ammonia in the mix. Duck walk parades, laying down on line to only have our D.I.’s walk on our stomachs. I also saw the hard to believe CCP Platoon and how degrading was that. It either made you or broke you,I have no regrets.

  29. I was at San Diego August of 69 to October of 69. Platoon 1146 with Gy Lopez, Sgt. Bobo, and Sgt Martinez. Only one of our platoon died in Viet Nam. Jimmy Slim who was a Navaho and fastest man in the platoon, his name is on the Wall.

  30. I went to the Drill Field at San Diego in 1968 as a 20 year old Sgt. E-5 just back from Vietnam. For many years I thought I might have been the youngest D.I. in Marine Corps history (since you were supposed to be 21) then I met Hugh O’Brien a few years ago and learned that he was a couple of years younger than that when he was on the Field. I saw some minor laying on of hands by others, but I can honestly say I never physically abused a Maggot in two years (12 platoons) of duty. In any event, the physical contact I did see paled in comparison to the mental gymnastics we put Recruits through…I did become pretty proficient at that after awhile. I think most recruits would say they’d have much preferred a beating. It’s been almost 50 years, and 2 years ago I got a phone call out of the blue from yet another Recruit thanking me for my efforts to prepare him for combat. Priceless. I also recently met the Sgt. Major of MCRD who thanked me for my service in preserving the Corps, and told me he wasn’t born yet when I was a Drill Instructor. Also Priceless.

  31. Semper Fi Marines, Boot Camp SanDiego 2nd Battalion, Platoon 2171, September 1969. Didn’t make it to Nam though 1/3 of platoon did. Three years active duty out 1972. Returned to the Corps 1986 retired 2008 as Master Gunnery Sergeant. I served two combat tours in Iraq 2003 and 2004, I guess Nam wasn’t meant to be. All call for anyone who came in Platoon 2171 SanD 1969. Please contact me email. skiandt@aol.com Semper Fi

  32. Went to PI,on 26th of June 1961 PLT.242 we were a reserve PLt. and paid the price. We had a Jr.DI. who had a problem, He picked on everyone , Our other DIs were just the opposite But all in all they made men out of us boys, Always remember the 1st & last words out of your mouth i Sir. I singed over and went regular while in bootcamp. Stayed in for 7 years. Got out in 68 as a SSGT. I loved my time in the Corps their were good times and bad. After being WIA 3times.it was time to pull the plug.

  33. Plt. 2019 Commenced training 17 June 1968, Graduated 15 August 1968, Series Commander was a 1stLT, Series Gunnery Sgt, was a GySgt, Platoon Commander, also the Senior Drill instructor is listed as SSgt, he made Gunny while we were there, and two Drill instructors were SSgt. It’s list so on the beginning of the platoon pages in my platoon book, published at the depot San Diego. I’d post a picture if I knew how. So I do know “we” had a Platoon Commander in our series. SF

  34. Went through Parris Island in the summer of 1961 (19 July 1961). SDI was SSgt (E-6) McGreger, JDi was SSgt (E-5) Livingston & JDI Sgt (E-4) Ward. 80 fellow Marines completed the 12 weeks of hard training. We were all in one piece and very proud to graduate as Marines. A few guys never made it to the end of our training….don’t know what happen to those that failed to complete the training. We were in Plt.343 the Honor Platoon of our series. Soon we got on the buses for ITR training at Camp Lejeune, NC. But here is my question: How is it that I and my fellow Marines remember all the Drill Instructors’ names & ranks some 55 years later?? I wonder if other branches of military service can name their training instructors after so many years. MCRD Parris Island ,SC was a wake up call for a young 18 year old just finished high school. Very proud to be a member of the U.S. Marine Corps. Semper Fi.

  35. Summer of ’69 found me in Parris Island 29July, Plt. 3017. Very hot day on arrival, yellow footprints, initial issue to fill the seabag and haircuts. 3rdRTB had the brick barracks and on a black flag day we got to do PT inside! We had a few recruits wash out and the DI’s were tough on us; but all in an effort to prepare us for Nam. I believe that PI had the biggest mosquitoes in the world. We had several DI’s assigned to our platoon, but finally we had GySgt. Oscar H. Truell, SSgt. Van Dusen and SSgt.’s Raymond & Smallwood; who all did their best to prepare kids from cities and towns along the east coast become Marines. I can look back and appreciate all that the Corps has taught me allowing me to make it through Viet Nam (D 2/11) and later 33years in the police department in NY. Semper Fi!

  36. Plt 2010 Parris Island June 1966. SSGT Mosser Senior Drill Instructor, Sgt Peliter and Cpl Chuck Tallisno, Asst Drill Instructors. Never heard “Platoon Commander” designation. Fun summer, in as a boy, graduated a man. Would do it all over again! Rusty DeRoma, Sgt E-5. Nam, 67-68 1st Anti Tank Bn, A Company. ONTOS Semper Fi

  37. I was in MCRD Parris Island July 1957 and that time was hard as hell but there was never any physical abuse by our drill instructors that I’m aware of. A lot of in your face but no hitting.

  38. Graduated January 1970, Platoon 2084 Paris Island Senior DI Sgt. J.M. Mac Neil. Sgt. C. M. Clark and Sgt F.T. Johnson. Gung Ho!

  39. I remember boot camp real well, the senior DI was a Sgt. Sanchez and the junior DI was Sgt. Woods. I joined the Marine Corp on the Marine Corp birthday in 1957 while in High school and went to boot camp at MCRD San Diego in July 1958 and spent time at Camp Pentalian for advance training. I spent 6 months active duty, I spent a total of eight years in the reserves. I was very luck that I did not have to go any where, except training each month and two weeks every summer, I was call all kind of names and treated every way possible. I wound not go thru boot camp for a million dollars but I would not trade it for a million dollars. thanks to the corp. I was a better man today. Semper Fi and Thank you

  40. Plt. 3113 Sept. 1966. Gunnery Sgt. Wilson was won of the most together people that I ever had the luck to know. All of his actions were ment to teach us to survive. He was one of the most influential people in my life. And I was only one of 110 Recruits.I spent eleven years in USMC and leaving at the rank of Staff Sgt. I was a 0844-0841-0811. I served as a Police Officer in NJ for twenty Seven years and retired a Detective Sgt. I have always felt that I survived because of those periodic ass kickings. You can always tell a real Marine when you sit and begin a conversation about Marine Boot Camp. You can see it in their eyes and the way they sit up. SEMPER FI !!!!!!

  41. 60 to 64 Cpl E4 Best training ever. If you screwed up in PI they made sure you didn’t do it again. I seen Boots flying over their bunks. There was a reason for everything the DI.s did. If you didn’t realize it then, you did later on. I was one of them. God Bless America for having a Marine Corps.

  42. (April 61 to April 65) April 1961-Parris Island SC. Memory of an ole hillbilly that had enough of a DI and punched him in the nose. He then ran off down behind the wooden 1st Bn. Barracks in his skives….. and into the swamp.. several hours later he came out looking like a muddy swamp rat …….there had to be 2 dozen MP’s that were expelling their wrath on the tall lanky hillbilly…….the lesson learned that night……say yes sir & no sir and keep your eyes straight ahead !!???

  43. We seem to have forgotten that whatever happens to a recruit in boot camp, short of death, is nothing compared to what they will experience in combat. My two cents

  44. Platoon 1195, MCRD SanDiego California Sept1969. Just wondering if any of my fellow marines who were in my platoon are still around? If so, drop me a line and let me know how you’ve been. Would love to get together with the guys and tell stories about DI’s Nunnery, Jester and Plt Commander GSGT Bacon.

  45. My most memorable moments in the summer of 69, MCRD San Diego: after our platoon failed its first test, the DI’s said we had embarrassed them. They put everyone, in shifts of 10 recruits, into the squad bay broom closet in which the DI’s had previously poured out a couple of gallons of ammonia, and then locked them in. Of course, no one could breathe, and those inside actually cracked the solid oak 1″ thick doors, trying to get out. The DI’s, to insure they stayed in there, had other recruits hold the door closed from the outside. I was outside holding the foor. But, eventually I took my turn inside. A few recruits went to sick bay that night with breathing problems. On another occasion one recruit was smacked upside the head with the M14 rifle butt. He went to sick bay. Finally, on a final pre-inspection day, one recruit did not lay out his gloves “thumbs in” but “thumbs out” so he got a private tutoring session in the broom closet. A couple of minutes later, he came out and the DI said the recruit was going to pay the cleaning bill for his uniform shirt for getting blood on it. Hard lessons. But needful. Later in life I went on and made a career with the po-leece in Los Angeles and the discipline gained in the Corps held me in good stead. Seller Fi.

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