Dear Sgt Grit,
...I saw the postings about trying to pack weight on recruits. June-Aug 1968 at MCRD San Diego I went through the same.
...First pic of rifle issue... taken June 13, 1968, day after we arrived. As I am handed my first rifle, I am 5'10"... 130 lbs. Less than a month later (see second photo in ranks) I had dropped to 110 lbs.
I was a fairly good recruit... high scorer academically in the platoon. The D.I.s did not want to lose me... sent me to the hospital. I felt fine and had passed my initial PT test. Hospital sent me back saying that I was too light, but otherwise my health checked out. Note told D.I.'s to watch me, but not to try to force-feed me.
So of course they tried to force-feed me. Didn't matter how much... I never gained any of the weight back in boot camp. I passed through all training including final PT.
The day before graduation, Staff NCO's doing rehearsal in Base theater re graduation. They said, "Ok, how many of you have gained 20 lbs or more since you've been here? Ok... when we ask that question tomorrow when your folks are here, stand up." Then asked, "How many of you have *lost* 20 lbs or more since you have been here?"
A handful of us stood up. The Gunny looked at me and said, "Tomorrow, *you* will stand up with the group that says they have gained 20 lbs or more...!"
Later, at ITR and BITS, I "bulked up" to 140 lbs...
James F. Owings
USMC 1968-70 0311
Weight loss in boot camp
Dear Sgt Grit,