The Motivation Platoon

In 1969 I was living in Minneapolis at the time the first draft lottery cam to be. For those who don’t know about this, it was 365 dates in a large fish bowl. This was news, and was covered by all the television stations at the time. Everyone who was eligible for the draft was watching because if they pulled your birthday you were guaranteed to be drafted and had a direct line to the Army or so I thought. Well I arrived at the induction center several weeks later. After we had been tested for a variety of things we were all gathered in a large room. A representative from the Air Force walked up to a podium in the room and asked for “volunteers” to serve two years in the Air Force since they had not reached their quota for the month. Everyone raised there hand, but only six people were actually chosen.
This same process continued through the Coast Guard, Navy and Marine Corps. When the Marine approached the podium he asked for three volunteers. No one raised their hand! The Marine asked again with the same response. The Marine then announced that he had other ways to get three volunteers. The Marine went on to remind us of the tests we had been taking for most of the day and said he had decided that the people who scored the highest, middle and lowest overall test scores were his choice. My name was one of the three and I was immediately moved to a Marine Corps van in front of the induction center for a short ride to the airport. I was taken away to the MCRD in San Diego. The first couple of days there were much like the person who wrote about “Motivation” article. Mass confusion, no sleep for close to two days and many berating encounters with the Drill Instructors. The next few weeks proceeded much like the first two days but we were allowed to sleep. One of the things we were required to do was “PT” physical training! Doing set ups, push ups, a variety of other things including running were part of the agenda. I was what would be called a nerd today and a weakling back then. I weighed 175 pounds and was six feet four inches tall and had never participated in sports of any kind. After a couple more weeks with me always being the last one to complete all the physical exercises I was move to a place called the “Motivation Platoon”! If I thought it was rough in regular boot camp the Motivation Platoon was ten times worse. There was never a minute of the day that we were idle except when we were studying the Marine Corps Manual, at Church, or sleeping. When awake were either doing exercises of some type or we were running. We ran and ran and ran, nine miles a day, rain or shine. Three miles before breakfast, three miles before lunch and three more before supper. The Motivation Platoon was originally formed to help recruits that were over weight to loose the weight and gain some muscle, then return to complete the rest of their boot camp experience. Since I was the skinny weakening I didn’t have any excess weight to loose, all I needed was muscle. When we went to the mess hall for chow the rest of my Motivation inductees ate greatly reduced rations, while I was forced to eat double rations. And I gained the weight, lots of it. I returned to a boot camp platoon weighing 250 mean lean pounds. Boot camp was a breeze and I also made the rank of Lance Corporal at he rifle range by shooting in the top five recruits. After that I was trained as a radio relay operator and was on my way to Viet Nam! The rest is a whole another story.

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136 thoughts on “The Motivation Platoon”

  1. Never heard of any Air Force quota’s not being met, When I checked (in 1968), they had a 4 year waiting list. L/Cpl out of boot camp? Gained 75lbs in motivation platoon? This whole story sounds fishy !

    1. Why would anybody write this crap knowing the reading audience. I finished 3 Rd in my platoon after the rifle range and was rewarded with a trophy displayed in the graduating photo. Agree with those that E-3 out of boot camp bold and outright lie. Then again they say the “hollywood Marines” had it differently.

      1. I questioned this on another article that a marine was given E3 out of bootcamp and someone replied from his plt. it was true that he gave 110%n everything! I said it took me nearly 11/2 yrs to make E3 then again i was at Paris Island (69-71)

        1. Hahaha, also suntan lotion and a girl under both arms. I went in Oct 10, 1968 that`s the day I landed on those yellow foot prints and when I Graduated I made PFC and when I was in nam for about 5 months I made Lcpl and just before I left nam I made Cpl. and yes I`m a Hollywood Marine and a Grunt 0311

          1. I hit the yellow foot prints at MCRD on 15 Oct 1968. Platoon 3308. Went to ITR Camp Pendleton on Christmas Eve.

        2. Right Garth. I remember going to the beach for sun bathing, and the glasses were really nice to have. The thing I hated the most was they didn’t issue lotion, but they told us we have to have a ‘tan’ for pictures, as we were Hollywood. Do they issue ‘lotion’ today?

      2. I agree Whiskyrunner. I was at MCRD San Diego. I was 3rd Squad leader and shot expert on Qual day at Edson Range. Yes I made PFC out of boot camp but no on made LCPL.

        1. Same here Greg. Went to San Diego in 73′. When my number came up 40 in the lottery I enlisted. They were offering choice of boot camps and 2 yr active duty enlistments. I was 3rd squad leader plt.1005 and fired expert at Edson Range. Came out PFC. Assigned to Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort, S.C. Marine Air Control Squadron 5. Attained E4 in a little under 2 yrs.

        2. I agree no one made LCPL out of boot camp back then. However, my son went through boot camp in 1992, he had aviation guaranteed which gave you PFC. Some made LCPL out of boot camp at that time. As far as the motivation platoon goes it was known as the fat man’s platoon. I don’t remember anyone being skinny having to go. We saw those poor bastards running around the big grinder carrying their foot lockers. The regular everyday training was hard enough, no one wanted to go to the Motivation Platoon.

          1. I was 5’8″ and weighed 117 but because I couldn’t keep from “eye fu*****” the area (caught three times), I was sent to motivation platoon one Sunday afternoon. Fun filled day, loaded with running, squat thrusts, making a hole in the sand and filling it with water (all the while running)…taught me several good lessons but I graduated in June of 67, Plt 374. As far as making L/cpl out of boot camp..never happened back then. Our series honor man made PFC.

      3. Whiskeyrunner, In March or April ’68 in plt345 I finished first at the range with 489? out of 500. I did not get a promotion! evidently us Hollywood Marines did have it differently. I also doubt that anyone coming back from “motivation platoon” would find the rest of their stay a breeze! I have never heard of anyone making E3 out of boot!! Semper Fi to all

    2. I went in the marine corps in 1966,I weighed 106 pounds ,After 12 weeks of boot camp,I went home on on leave weighing 165 pounds. I was in the best shape of my life after training.

    3. I’m with you gaining 75 lbs in boot camp ?? Motivation Plt was for the bad apples in my day. 20 hrs a day of PT. Graduated l/cpl ?? Sgt Kroen Class of 75

  2. I am with Mike on all counts and if I am not mistaken it was called “the hog farm”. Maybe I had a slow platoon but only five guys made pfc and nobody higher.

  3. I have to agree with Cpl. Lively. The story smells! Lance Corporal out of the rifle range? That would mean he made PFC while IN basic! Never happen GI ! Gaining 75 pounds in motivation platoon? Was he there a year? Air Force NOT filling their quota? I was born and raised in San Antonio, where the Air Force has boot camp. I n high school I remember the Air Force recruits, still in boot camp, on liberty walking around downtown! I went to Marine Corps boot camp three days after high school.

    1. In Oct. of 1966, after 3 weeks of not keeping up, I was assigned to PCP (fat farm), MCRD, San Diego. Returned to regular training days, different plt., 15 lbs lighter.

    2. I started training at PI in January 1958, it was still called the elephant platoon and they carried barbells with light weight almost everywhere they went.

    3. Plt 262 , November 1962. That’s what they called it in 2nd BN . Elephant platoon, mostly guys that were too much over weight. Our platoon only had one man go to EP. We used see them hiking around a track,rain or shine,all day, every day. Drill Instructors told us they carried rocks in thier packs,looked like living hell in the blazing South Carolina Sun. We thought those were the only recruits on the Island who had it worst than us. I don’t know if it was motivating them, but it surly motivated us.

  4. I call BS on this story. Come on Grit, don’t you have someone read these stories before you publish them.

  5. Sounds like the Marine Corps I know a continue to love. I was a bit opposite of the recruit in the preceding story. I was a 140 pound high school graduate with no prospects of college due to lack of funds and grades that were short of college expectations. I was, however in excellent shape having run track in highs school and played three years of soccer for my high school. Once graduated I tried the work force but jobs were scarce, at least those with only high school level education, so I finally decided to join the USMC. Off I went to Paris Island, SC. Having a close friend at home who went through the same depot, I was aware of the on-coming onslaught of harassment, and anticipated training. I survived boot camp, Camp La Juneau (ITR) then off to radio communications training in Florida, then, finally, First Radio, Co., Kaneohe, Hawaii for more training and refinement in the mobile vehicles equipped with the appropriate communications suit capable of intercepting and locating targeted enemy’s communications. Soon thereafter I found myself among a few good Marines in South Vietnam being among the first Marine unit in Vietnam; i.e. 1st Radio Company. Our final base of operations in country was in the central highlands of S. Vietnam, until replaced.

        1. I think he was using a littl Marine Corps humor, in 1963 , K3/2 we used to refer to Camp Lajune,as Camp Lagoon , all sick humor,gallows humor.

    1. Harvey, Paris Island? Camp La Juneau? You weren’t in the United States Marine Corps that I was in, in 1962. We had two r’s in Parris Island then, and when I was sent to ITR I went to Camp Lejeune named after the 13th Commandant of the Marine Corps Lt.Gen John A. Lejeune.

          1. Hey Marine, I might have been one of your instructors at Geiger. I taught flamethrower and infiltration course, also assisted on granade course. Sgt J Breslin. SEMPER FI

          2. I was there Sept and Oct 1968.Sgt. We had a A Sgt Ruaz that was a complete ASS. Later my friend took him out at the swoop circle at Camp Lejeune

        1. My ITR WAS AT Gieger also, technically part of Camp Lajeune, is that Marine that spelled Parris Island with one r,the first Marine you have heard of that couldn’t spell,LOL ! I don’t think so. The guy who made LCPL out of the Rifle Range is full of BS.

          1. Believe me I know where Camp Geiger was. My wife and I lived in those little Scotty trailers at Geiger trailer park they called base housing. but I met a lot of GREAT COUPLES that lived there also. We were all in the same boat young and FLAT BROKE. I was still a PFC.

    1. That is what I remember it being called when in boot camp in 1966, Motivation was for those who needed the “extra” motivation…..

      1. Right you are. I was a “fat body”, and escaped being sent to Conditioning Platoon by a hair because I could run. Parris Island, 66. By the way, went in at 202lbs., left for ITR at 169.

          1. I went in 180 pounds came home 150. They worked the crap out of me. The DI beat the crap out of me because my PT test score was higher when I came in then when I graduated.

    2. When I was at MCRDSD in 1968 we called it ‘The Fat Boys Platoon” The Motivation Platoon was for the guys who got in trouble. Most of the time we seen them moving big sand piles 50 yards with a bucket.

      1. I think you refer to the CC (correctional custody) plt…those were the ones who really ‘worked out’ all day long. One guy in my Plt got sent there, and when I saw him later (in another Plt) he was pretty squared away. I was in plt 1096 arrived Aug 1966 at 135 pounds. When I went home on boot leave I was 185 on the same scale. I gained most of the weight at Camp Pendleton ITR where we had some great chow and as much as we wanted…after all you ran everywhere with equipment up the mountains and needed the calories. And yes, I never heard of anyone making L/Cpl out of boot camp ever.

  6. I guess Dan Diego had a different set of standards. If I remember, our high shooter got PFC. and someone was selected as outstanding marine and was promoted to PFC and received a set of Blues. L/Cpl. I doubt it, also 75 lbs? How long was he there? I went in at 5’10″and 150. After 8 weeks I was 6′ and 180. It took me 8 weeks to get there and I was 17. I have to throw the BS flag on this story.

    1. You are correct, Gunny. I was at MCRD San Diego from 8 July 66 to 3 October 66. Promoted to PFC were four Marines. Highest shooter at the range. Outstanding Marine, Guidon Bearer, and the top squad leader based upon academics and the PFT test. I graduated 27th of 76 in my platoon…1079. Never heard of L/Col out of boot camp. I made PFC in December 66, before shipping out to Vietnam and joining 2/5 where I served as a forward observer. Was meritoriously promoted to L/Col in March 67, made Corporal in October 67. Rotated home on 22 Feb 68.

      1. Never heard of L/Col. WTF is that? You were promoted to Lieutenant Colonel? I never heard of a PFC being meritoriously promoted to Lieutenant Colonel. What Marine Corps did you serve in? Then again, I see you went to MCRD San Diego–a Hollywood marine! Guess you all were promoted to Lt. Col. from PFC.

      2. I went to Parris Island in Jan, Feb & March, 145 lbs of weight lifting muscle, and 17 years old, was promoted to Private First Class along with 5 other marines, I don’t know why I was chosen, only served 14 months and came out 165lbs, lost some definition from not weight lifting. I had four Instructors tune me up for no good reason, I think it made me tougher and never felt bad about them.

  7. This whole story stinks!? Motivation, at least at PI was NOT CONDITIONG , it was pure hell with forced marches forever. And Lance out of boot camp in ’69? No friggin’ way! if this is how Sgt. Grit is now, oh boy.

    1. I went to 3 day motivation platoon at PI Feb 1969.Pure Hell is putting it mildly.The stench from my utilities was so bad that after returning to my platoon,the D.I.s told me to throw them out and a new pair was laying on my bunk later that day.Sgt A.J.Manos 1/69-1/72

  8. No way lance corporal out of boot When I was in boot camp in 1969 only ? Squad leader s and guide made PFC out of boot Guide got blues That platoon had many names pig , hog , farm. We use to past them in pt I kinda felt sorry for them they had it tough boot hard but not like pig farm. Corporal retired (Semper- Fi )

  9. No way lance corporal out of boot When I was in boot camp in 1969 only ? Squad leader s and guide made PFC out of boot Guide got blues That platoon had many names pig , hog , farm. We use to past them in pt I kinda felt sorry for them they had it tough boot hard but not like pig farm. Corporal retired (Semper- Fi ) 1969-71

  10. I find the story hard to believe Also. I tried to get in Air Force in 1968 and they laughed me out of the building. I was at Paris Island ( I JOINED ) in 1968 and we had an Indian named Star in our platoon this guy could do EVERYTHING , PT till it got dark, shoot and he was built like a BRICK SHITHOUSE. He got the dress blues and ONLY MADE PFC. I worked in the Steel Mill in Pittsburgh Pa almost 2 years before I went in the Corp, I thought I was in shape till I met this guy. I repeat sounds UNREAL. Sgt Robert Sisson July 68-July 71 Vietnam April 69-Oct 70

  11. SOUNDS LIKE BU LL SH!T TO ME.i DO REMEMBER THE ELEPHANT PLATOON ON PI IN 1957 THEY WERE THE ONLY MAGGOTS WHO HAD IT WORSE THAN US

  12. After Motivation took us back to main side and paraded us around the other recruits and said “Smell those hogs,get your head and ass wired together or you are next”.Still i was a Fat Body and sent to strength platoon at the Rifle range for a month.Lost 20lbs. then joined Plt.328 Feb.1969.graduated 1May 1969,Almost 4 months on the island.Went back in 1991 and still was calling the DI SIR!!!Hell on earth but looked back and i am proud.RVN 13 months as a mine sweeper with 9Th Engineers.Semper FI!!!

    1. I walked security for the engineers doing the sweeping from Dong Ha to Gio Linh May 1969-Oct 1969. Is that the road you swept. They swept it every other day. Could not wait till we got to Gio Linh they always had oranges for us.

      1. I think that was 11th engrs Sgt Sisson. How are you doing? Recently received word that bladder cancer is now listed on presumptive for toxic water at Lejeune Should start paying out by the end of March if you already have a claim in, if not get one filed asap good luck. Harry

        1. Harry Thanks a lot . No I didn’t Know. I have had a claim in since 2009 when I had the cancer the first time then AGAIN in 2014 the second time I had the cancer I went down and raised hell. Thanks a lot Harry I also know a couple ARMY guys that have also had bladder cancer . I see in the summer and ride bikes with I will tell them. I’m doing good now but never know when it will come back. The Doctors say it is the type of cancer that keeps giving. Have to stay up with the cancer check up.

        2. Harry I talked to Vet Rep today WHAT A RUN AROUND. IN 2-3 YEARS I WILL HAVE A SIT DOWN INTERVIEW OVER THE TELEVISION WITH SOME BOARD. I HAVE HAD THIS CLAIM SINCE 09 AND AGAIN IN 14 WHEN THE CANCER CAME BACK. THANKS A LOT HARRY FOR THE HEADS UP. IF YOU HAD NOT TOLD ME WHO KNOWS WHEN I WOULD HAVE FOUND OUT.

    1. Believe it. In Oct. of 1966 I arrived at MCRD, San Diego at 5’11”, 272lbs. Spent 13 days in PCP (Physical Conditioning Plt.). Graduated boot camp, Dec. 23, 1966 @ 223 lbs. Got back from Nam @ 170lbs. What’s not to believe?

  13. LCPL out of boot camp?? Give me a break!! I was platoon honor man at San Diego in 1964 and was awarded PFC but nothing else – no blues, etc. I don’t recall a motivation platoon, although I spent some time in Casual company after I broke my arm breaking another recruit’s jaw. He’d crapped his pants, rolled them up and put them in his footlocker. The junior DI simply followed his nose and hit the roof. He knocked out the coal stove’s chimney pipe scattering soot all over the quonset hut and gave us 1/2 hour to get it white glove clean.

  14. Back in ’53 my memory it was called gooney platoon . Lance corporal or corporal then – no way not even San Diego. Made pfc out of boot camp at Parris island . My memory is several of us did & we were slated to immediately go to ITR & overseas

  15. B.S. It was the fat body platoon in 1969 at Paris Island we regular boot camp Marines ran morning noon and at night that was regular training I got PFC out of boot camp for High Rifle scored highest out of the company we had a couple guys go to Motivation Platoon they came back motivated Its just like wearing a Marine Corp Hat in Florida you can tell real fast who was in the Corp You didn’t earn it don’t wear it or tell stories Semper Fi

  16. I went to MCRD San Diego, and to add to the many responses, this sounds more than “a little” fishy. As for those PI marines that thought they had it tough; looking back I can say our DI’s were brutal..

  17. I enlisted in 1963 at age 17. It’s probably just my memory, but I thought “Motivation Platoon” was where a recruit was sent to for an attitude adjustment, but didn’t actually warrant going to the brig. For those overweight recruits, they were sent to the “Fat Farm”. But, I’m 71 and my memory isn’t the greatest anymore.

    1. L/cpl out of boot, bovine scatt. One could go to mot for 1 day for attitude adjustment. If that did not work you were sent for a week and not sent back to your platoon because of missed training. You were moved to a plt that were training where you left off. Those who couldn’t lose weight or keep up were sent to the fat body plt and did not graduate with their existing plt. Those who were more of a criminal problem were sent to CC plt. (correctional custody) never to return to their original plt.

      1. I was at PI in 1968 and remember both Motivation and CCP. I really felt sorry for those guys. We had people in our platoon 293 sent to both. We would see them running everywhere they went. We had one guy who’s father was a SGT. MAJOR in the Marine Corp sent to Motivation.

    2. You got that right Jack, I went through MCRDSD 1959 and that is what it was called. Fat Farm and Motivational Platoons and you didn’t want to go to either of them. Nobody and I mean nobody made LCpl out of Boot Camp. High Shooter, High PT and Honor man were the only ones to make PFC. But now days you can make LCpl out of Boot Camp.A friend and I go to MCRDSD at least once a year to a Graduation and one maybe two Honor Men make LCPL.

      1. I was there in ’57, and I seem to remember it was called the SIP platoon, Special Instruction Platoon. One of the Drill Instructors was a tall lean black sgt that I made the mistake of looking in his face while dishing out potatoes in the chow line. I think he was cross eyed. Another guy, a Hawaiian, took a swing at a DI, we would see him walking around carrying a ball and chain, with a prison chaser right behind. Plt 378 SF

  18. I, thank he lived in la la land, no way he made that rank in that short of time. The best you could do out of boot was PFC. and if I recall right, rifle range was part of boot camp…. MCRD boot. Sworn in 17, Dec. 1968 = Retired out 21, June 1974 Semper Fi.

  19. Here’s a quote I got out of Leatherneck and kept to keep me MOTIVATED:Maggot… I been to three world’s fairs, two hundred and twelve night baseball games, four South American revolutions, a buzzard convention, two wind mill greasings, and fourteen watermelon pluggings, seen olives pitted and diaphragms fitted… and I ain’t NEVER seen anything as f-ucked up as you. –SSGT Tim Scott, Motivation Plt MCRD SD, 1965.

  20. I believe what we have here is a poser, L/Cpl out of boot camp with no prior service, not hardly. I graduated from San Diego on 13 December 1961, platoon 275. One Marine in the series was promoted to L/Cpl but that was because he was prior service Army. I’ve heard that L/Cpl out of boot camp was possible if you could get 5 people to join, never knew anybody that did.

  21. Hollywood Marine Oct 69 and only remember 1 Marine getting pfc out of boot. Didn’t get L/Cpl unti 71 before heading to RVN.(retired cpl) Semper Fi

  22. I arrived at PI on 19 June, 1960. At that time the Motivation platoon was for guys that needed to understand how lucky they were to be in the Marines, or as one of guys in this column put it, they needed an attitude adjustment. For those who were overweight it was called, in my time, the ‘Fat Man’s Platoon.’ I was in the first BN and one morning, just before going to the rifle range 4 of us got seated with 4 from the Fat Man’s Platoon at the chow hall. I couldn’t put my finger on it, but the men across the table looked different to me. They were sloppy looking and their clothes didn’t seem to fit them. But it was chow time and my only interest was eating. I arrived at PI at 147 lbs. and left 150 lbs. and lost 3 lbs when I left active duty, but I had an enormous appetite. I didn’t realize at that moment that the men were in the overweight platoon. The guy across from me looked left and right, then over my shoulder and then went for a piece of white bread on the table between us. From behind him, out of nowhere, came his DI who grabbed this guy’s hand and squeezed it with what looked to me like an iron grip. The recruit winced and the DI said, “You weren’t going to eat any bread, were you?” The recruit loudly responded, “NO SIR!”. I wanted no part of it and it was all I could do to keep from laughing so I looked back down at my food and kept chewing. I was gung ho so the motivation platoon was not a worry and I was skinny and try as I may I couldn’t gain much weight. But I do recall one recruit who went to the Fat Man’s Platoon and I saw him near the end of ITR and he didn’t look like the same person. Of course he weighed an awful lot less and his skin was real pale and he pulled a flask out of his back pocket and took several sips. He offered it to me, but I declined and frankly felt kind of bad for him as he looked a wreck. By the way I was a squad leader and got a PFC stripe out of boot camp. That stripe felt so big to me I didn’t think it would fit on my uniform sleeve. Marine Corps did an awful lot for me and I have always been grateful to the Corps. I’m 78 and still skinny. Never could gain weight and still have a huge appetite, but I’ve been a vegetarian since 1985. Semper Fi to all the Marines, men and women, skinny or fat, God Bless the Marine Corps and all of you too., Buzz, Sgt E-5

  23. The Motivation Platoon and the Physical Conditioning Platoon are two different things. The PCP was for recruits who needed to loose weight and/or toughen up. The Motivation Platoon was for recalcitrant recruits who wouldnt get with the program. I went through Recruiters School in 1970 and saw both, close up. The motivation platoon shit birds were running around moving a big pile of sand from one end of the parade deck to the other and crawling through mud, carrying ammo cans full of sand. The reason for this was that after going through the program they wouldnt want to go back there, so the became good recruits or else! Lance Corporal out of boot camp, no way Jose!

  24. At PI in 1960; didn’t hear of any rank out of Boot Camp other than Private or PFC. If a marine was in another service prior to the Marines he would also get PFC out of Boot Camp. This other is just BS. It was peace time so I didn’t get PFC until after the OJT. Then it took me 1.5 yrs after that to make L/Cpl.

  25. Story is phoney. Coast Guard did not have to draft anyone. You had to have references to get in. I know because I was in both.

  26. I arrived at MCRD San Diego in Jan. of 58, Plt 308 and if I’m correct we had what they called the SIP platoon (Special Incentive Platoon) and STP (Special Training Platoon). The SIP was for the fat bodies and the STP was for the slow learners. I was high shooter in my platoon and made PFC out of boot camp which I think at the time was fairly common as there was a lot of emphasis on qualifying with the M1. Also the only one to get Dress Blues in our platoon was the Honor Man PFC Hill. However I went in at 119 lbs. and came out 12 weeks later at 145 lbs. This story just doesn’t seem to have all the bricks in a line!

  27. I remember going thru MEPS in 1969. I joined before I was drafted. But, all the draftees were lined up and one of the MEPs people went down the line and called out Navy, Army Army Army Marine Corps, Air Force, Navy, Army Army, Marine Corps, Air Force, so on and so forth till the last draftee was assigned. Believe it or not some of these draftees made better Marines than some of the volunteers, Hell we even had an ex-Army Spc 5 in our platoon at MCRD SAN DIEGO, Needless to say he didn’t make it. I went thru from May of 69 to Aug ’69. Our best in the platoon 2098 didn’t make anything but PFC. and he was a hulking 5’10” 175lbs of mean ass Marine. Oh and I retired in Feb 1994. I went to Fla. for my tech training at NTCTC Corry Point. I went to ‘Nam right after and 20 years later went to Desert Storm. This time as acting 1stSgt. I had a hard time in boot camp 5’7″ and 130lbs soaking wet I left boot camp at 5’7″ 130lbs but all muscle. No motivation platoon for me as I was too determined to graduate with my original platoon and my Drill Instructors seen that as I would get out there and run injured but still make the run.

    1. We also had a few guys like you in our Platoon THEY WORKED HARDER THAN THE REST OF US JUST TO KEEP UP WITH US. A lot of heart. I was older than most 20 at the time and know how hard you guys worked. I worked in a Steel Mill for almost 2 years before I came in the Corp and was in better shape than I thought 180 pounds 6′.

    2. Gunny Yarbrough… I went through boot at SD from May 69 to Aug 69 with platoon 2090. We were stomping on the grinder the same time. DI’s were Gy/Sgt Cundiff S/Sgt Alfier and S/Sgt Ailer.

  28. sounds like BS. PI circa 1961 the honor/very squared away might get PFC. My recollection was the special battalion at near the rifle range, had 3 maybe 4 platoons. I don’t know if we even had the correct names. Fat Boy Platoon. too fat to perform, but with enough promise not to throw you out…motivation, bad boys that needed attitude adjustment, rehab or remedial. recovering from something e.g. injury or sickness with potential to recover & return to training (set back), and possibly the weak (who may have been thrown in with the recovery/rehabs to patch together a platoon for efficiency sake) You did not want to “join” the motivational platoon. They got a lot of TLC. When at the rifle range, I still remember the sight of the Fat Boy Platoon, marching into view. These were BIG people. If you were a little overweight or a little underweight the DI’s usually handled it, as long as you could keep up and not screw up.

  29. I did see ONE promotion to LCPL out of boot camp. early 1976 in MCRD San Diego. This individual was a prior service Air Force, and was contract engauranteed PFC. Then he made platoon guide and kept it all the way through. He Also was the series honor graduate. LCPL Michael Restine as I remember. He deserved it. Never saw another.

  30. In 1975, 4 buddies and I contemplated enlisting after high school. We didn’t know which branch to join and went to Elgin, IL joint recruiting office. Checked out the Air Force first, they only had opening for Loadmasters or baggage handlers in civilian terms. I didn’t want Navy because of the possibility of being on ship for months with 3,000 other guys. The Army recruiters didn’t impress me at all and didn’t seem to care. Now the Marine recruiters got up and met us at the door. They were physically in great shape, clean, uniform crisp with a stack of ribbons from a combined 4 combat tours in Vietnam. Before I go on a little background on me. I’m an Asian American. Dad met Mom in the Philippines while in the Navy. I grew up in the 60’s in the Midwest suburbs mostly white (Italian, German, Polish, Jewish) descent. Being the only Asian kid I endured constant criticism, ridicule and the center of racist jokes. I was the symbol of hatred, the token gook, chink, nipper, VC, Jap. I was often sought out by 2-3 boys at a time. I’d go home with bruises and bloodied. One time I ended up in the hospital for a week. Kids aren’t born racist, it’s learned from their parents and peers. No wonder every night you here the news of the the body count. Many families had lost loved ones in WWII, Korea, and Vietnam. As a kid I didn’t understand I was only half Filipino, we were allies. Well I had something to prove to myself. The Marine recruiters said it wouldn’t be easy. I wanted the challenge I wanted to become one of the few the proud so I joined. Only one other buddy joined. On April 1st we were told we were headed to SD. As we boarded the train at the AAFES station a Marine shouted April fools on this train you headed to the island. I didn’t know much about the Vietnam war before joining. I gained a great deal of respect and gratitude having been trained by these veterans and hearing their stories. I sometimes wish I had been born sooner so I could have lived and fought along side. Several years later I returned home and while visiting a local bar wearing my dress greens one of the worst antagonizers from high school approached me at the bar. At that moment I wanted to take him down. I don’t know if it was the uniform or if he matured. He asked permission to sit down and buy me a drink. He then apologized for all the things he did and said. I realized then I had come full circle. I had earned the right to be treated as an American citizen. I had earned the right to wear the uniform of one of the greatest organizations in the world. Nobody can ever take that away from me.

    1. Great Story, SSGT Broaddus. Inordinate difficulties and you stood up to them the best way you could and then in the end you really came full circle with a little help from the Marine Corps. In a way you helped the jerk that was cruel to you. I wonder if he knows that fact. What matters is that you survived and held your head up high. When I was 8 or 10 my buddies and I were out on Halloween doing stupid things like putting scotch tape over apartment door bells and driving nice neighbors nuts. I didn’t grow in size until I was 17 and was quite small before that. A guy in the neighborhood was about 5 years older than me and was fully grown size wise. He knocked me around and took my scotch tape so he could do what we were doing. Not too long after leaving active duty and joining the reserves I went back to the old neighborhood one day just to look around. I saw this bum standing on the sidewalk and all those bad memories of him knocking around a little kid flooded back to my brain. The next thing I knew I was standing in front of him, reminding him of the scotch tape incident. He laughed. I could feel my temperature rising. I clenched my fists and stood up close to him and told him I didn’t see any humor in knocking around a little kid. I then said, “I think I’ll kick your XXX right now”. His face went from grin to fear and he begged off, profusely apologizing over and over. I was only 150 lbs, but I was muscle and bone and he saw the fire in my eyes and though he was still bigger than I was he wanted no part of it. I hope my anger kept him from picking on someone smaller during the rest of his life. I think the guy who bothered you was a better man because he was not forced to step up and apologize. The Marine Corps put the grit in my gut and I could never repay the Corps. I owe a lot to one of my junior DI’s, Jimmy E. McCall from Ashville, NC. May he rest in peace. God Bless the Marine Corps. Best of luck to you.

  31. When I went through MCRD-SD Aug-Oct 1961, there was certainly a “Motivation Platoon”, and no one wanted to get put into it. Just the reputation of it was enough to get you to try that much harder to excel. But never saw anyone get promoted beyond PFC in Boot Camp, for anything. Now I can attest to the induction center behavior. I was assigned to Recruiting Station Los Angeles from Mid-64 to Aug 67 before I took my discharge. When we “ramped up” for expanding the Corps for Vietnam and we could no longer satisfy our needs the usual way, we began to take draftees. We had been moved to the main LA Induction Center at 1031 South Broadway, LA from our original RS-HQ in downtown LA and I was assigned to “pick” the number of draftees required for the Marines each week (I don’t believe it was daily). At first I was taking from the best scores on all the tests, but the other services complained, so I had to take random people. Never asked for volunteers. I walked the line of recruits and picked out the number randomly, although I did try to pick good physical specimens. No one ever complained, as each service was doing exactly the same thing, except the Army who got whoever was left.

  32. I am a member of the Marine Corps League and my group goes to the Marine West Expo at Pendleton yearly. We are mostly comprised of older marines and a lot of Vietnam Vets, like myself. I joined the Corps via the PLC program while in college in 1966, Went to Vietnam in 1969 as a 2ndLt made 1stLT in 4 months as a FO. We went to the MCRD graduation on Friday 2/03/2017 and witnessed the always great ceremony. There were two graduating LCPL’S at the proceedings, so this is not BS as far as I can determine.

    1. I did a little research on the boot camp promotion to L/cpl. I don,t know how long this program has been around,I only found it as far back as 2006 when the enlisted promotion guidelines were revised.: To become a L/cpl out of boot camp you have to meet 3 requirements 1) Be the platoon guide,2)Be a contract PFC, 3)Be a platoon honorman or woman.To become a contract PFC you need to meet one of the following 1) Earn 15 college semester credits or,22 hrs college classroom credits 2) 2 years highschool JROTC.3)Obtain rank of E-5 in the Young Marines,4) Become an Eagle Scout,5) Be a Gold Award Girl Scout or 6) Refer two people for enlistment in the Marines.When that happens the recruiter will recommend the promotion to PFC. I doubt if this was in effect back in the 60s Harry

    2. I graduated boot camp March 1969. We had two PFC promotions…honor man and top shooter. No one in our series made Lance Corporal. Also, if dropped from a platoon you went to MRP (medical rehabilitation platoon), PCP (physical Conditioning platoon), Motivation Platoon (if you back talked a Drill Instructor, etc.) and CC (correctional custody).

      1. I made the mistake of back talking a DI Sgt. Siegfried the first few days and he beat me with in an inch of my life. This guy I had so much respect for. He could run 3 miles BACKWARD calling cadence.He called me into his office and said I was talking in the chow line I said “NO SIR THE PRIVATE WAS NOT TALKING” I wasn’t. Then he said are you calling me a Lier” Then I screwed up. I said ” I’M NOT CALLING YOU A LIER BUT I WASN’T TALKING “. I forgot to say SIR and he did a dance all over my body. First time I was ever punched in the solar plexus.

  33. Went in The Corps in ’53. I was 5 ft. 4 inches, 123 lbs. Graduated ‘boot’ was 5-10, 231 lbs. Made meritorious Sgt. You believe this, you will believe the original story posted. Oh well. I am chuckling now, I am 81 and still have great memories and funny stories from my time in. But this guy’s story is off the charts. He is laughing at everyone’s comments knowing his is B.S. Or, he is ‘nuts’. I take the later. Semper Fi.

  34. I went in the Corps in Sept ’63. It was late in the day when we arrived at MCRD San Diego. We only spent enough time in receiving to get our bucket issue and ill fitting utilities with the yellow sweatshirts. We were herded to the Quonset huts that same night as Platoon 369. After the first three weeks, we moved by “cattle car and forced march to Camp Mathews for the rifle range. We were issued M14’s. I carried an M14 all four years except for ITR where we had M1’s. I picked up a few pounds of lean muscle and lost most fat on my body. A couple of recruits were transferred off to the “Fat Boy” platoon and “Motivation” platoons. We were told they were gone and never saw them again. Two recruits went “over the hill” while at Camp Mathews. Only the platoon honorman and squad leaders attained PFC (E2). Previous story sounds like male bovine excrement. There are a lot of wannabe’s out there. I have a relative that never made it through boot camp. but is always wearing Marine Corps patches, license plate frames, etc.

  35. Adding my 2 cents, I went through P.I Jan-April 1959, Plt. 304. Our series was made up of Plt. 303, 304, 305, 306. There was a rumor that the honor man of the series would get dress blues, but not individual platoon honor men. So to be honor man out of 4 platoons, you really had to have your shit together. I don’t know how it was decided, i guess all the DI’s had a say in it. Nobody from my platoon got any dress blues. As for the Fat Mans plt., it was just that. Overweight guys who didn’t necessarily have an attitude problem, they just needed to lose weight. The Motivational Plt., or Wiseguy Plt. as it was sometimes called, was for guys with serious attitude problems. I don’t remember what happened to guys who just couldn’t keep up with the physical demands, like running, pullups and pushups, etc. We had one guy, a wiseguy from NYC, who went AWOL. We never heard what happened to him, but in our final week before graduation, we were marching somewhere and we saw him and a bunch of other maggots picking up trash and garbage from the grounds. They were under an armed guard. As for making rank out of boot camp, I remember exactly who made PFC in my plt. The platoon leader, who had a year of reserve duty and was a reserve PFC when he started boot camp. So he was actually reinstated, not promoted. The house mouse, platoon guide, high shooter on the rifle range, and one other guy who was just generally squared away and the DI’s knew it. They made PFC out of boot. I agree with the concensus, the story sounds bogus to me. Cpl. Paul Lindner

  36. I served from 1958-1982. I remember we had a recruit graduate as a Cpl. E-3. He was a reservist and some how he had no boot camp when he first enlisted! Another thing we don’t see anymore: I remember when a recruit who couldn’t ‘Hack It’ was ‘shit-canned’. Every Friday morning we would see a group of these rejects milling around the Iwo Jima statue waiting for the bus to take them off the Base at PI. The looked like clowns because the were dressed in purple, bright green, pink ,brown or red jackets, brown shoes and socks, Khaki Shirts with khaki ties, etc. With the buzzed haircuts they were recognized by all!!!

  37. Could not of been possible. L/CPL out of Boot Camp No way. I went through MCRD San Diego March 1968 and was 118 lbs. when I got there and 135 lean and mean muscle when I left. I believe the author embellished way too much.

  38. I agree with the L/Cpl crap. Never heard of such thing. I was at San Diego Feb 69 and started with Platoon 1038. There was an episode of spinal meningitis and I was in Balboa Naval Hospital for 30 days. Had to start with new platoon. Platoon 1088. Fat boys went to Fat Farm and trouble makers to Motivation. Guidon came out PFC with a set of Blues.

  39. The Deuce is on point. Anytime away from your primary platoon MRP, PCP, CC or Motivation (Mote) platoon means an extended stay in boot camp and ending up with another platoon. Enlistment contracts can be negotiated and guarantees made if you have any thing to leverage.

  40. I was too short to join the Coast Guard in 1960. You had to be over six feet tall in case your boat sank so you could wade to shore. So I signed up for four years in the Corps. The “Motivation Platoon” was known as “STU” (Special Training Unit) in PI at that time. It was not only for the fat bodies but anyone who couldn’t pass the weekly physical tests or for those who had the wrong “attitude”. Whatever the reason, getting set back to STU was a fate worse than death. It meant at least another six months in boot camp and beginning all over again with another platoon. We had one recruit join our platoon after his time at STU, about one month into our training. Private B was assigned a rack at the far end of the squad bay next to the hatch. His first night there, at lights out, and we all hit the racks on command, trying to do so silently so the Drill Instructor didn’t have an excuse to F— with us, Private B shouts out at the top of his lungs “SIR. WE WISH TO THANK THE DRILL INSTRUCTOR FOR ANOTHER GLORIOUS DAY IN THE MARINE CORPS WHERE EVERY DAY’S A HOLIDAY AND EVERY DAY’S A FEAST”. “GUNG HO. GUNG HO” . “Oh sh–” says I to myself, as I lay quaking in my rack, waiting for the Drill Instructor to kill us all. The Drill Instructor stood there for a moment, shook his head, said “Bullsh–” did an about face and turned out the lights. That saying from Private B became our evening prayer at lights out until graduation. Learned later that Private B had been a tough gang banger from NYC who needed a little extra motivation hence he was set back to STU from his original platoon. It must have worked. After the Corps, the good Private B went on to a distinguished career with the NYC Police Department.

  41. The guy that wrote the original story everyone is saying is BS, was just that full of it! He either dreamt it or someone said it was fact! Of course it was BS, most knew that half way through the sentence. I went through PI 60 years ago. I arrived 1/31/57, outpost 5/2/57. There were 4 places we were told would be good to stay away from. 1. The Fat Man’s Plt., 2. The Strengthening Plt., 3. POU, The Psychiatric Observation Unit. ( You’ve heard about leaving PI in a pink suit. ) 4. The Brig…. Not a fun place I’ve heard. Lots of fun, but most of us say we’d love to do it again! Until we get there!

  42. PLT 3096 Graduated 09/28/1970 San Diego. I was the Series High Shooter and all I got was a medal (of course you cannot wear it on your uniform). Our Guide graduated as a PFC. Never heard of a L/CPL out of Boot Camp. They also commented on me gaining 25 lbs while in Boot Camp. Went from 140 to 165 lbs. I think that other stuff happened in another dimension and maybe on another planet. Space Marines???

  43. Tied for 4th in battalion in boot camp- no promotion no nothing- captain called me in a said that the top four are designated as battalion shooting team and since i was a reservist would i let the regular I was tied with have the four spot, as it would look good on his record. I did but thought what about my record- oh well- life as a Marine. never heard of anyone making lance corporal out of boot camp but I was in a long long time ago.

  44. Hmm? A 250 pound Marine, making L/Cpl out of boot? He gained 75 pounds of muscle in 12 weeks? In 1964, the Right Guide and the four Squad Leaders made PFC, and the Right Guide received Dress Blues. Sounds like people I’ve met over the years who wished they were Marines.

  45. When I went through 3rd RTB PISC in 1964, there were three “special” training platoons. I can’t recall what their official names were, but our DI’s called them “The Body Builders” for those who were underweight and needed to build muscle with PT and stuffing themselves at meals, “The Fat Bodies” for those who needed to lose weight by constant PT and being starved at meals, and the most dreaded of all, “The Motivation Platoon” where recalcitrant recruits were sent to “get their heads right” and “get with the program”. Not sure exactly what went on there but I suspect anything short of homicide was acceptable. Nobody wanted to go to a “special” platoon because if you were there more than just a few days, you were dropped from your original platoon rolls and became a “pickup”, something to be avoided at all costs. And NOBODY was promoted to Lance Corporal. Those considered to be in the top 10% of the platoon were meritoriously promoted to PFC and that was it.

  46. If I remember right, there were 3 platoons for corrective action: Motivation Plt, Physical Conditioning Plt, and Correctional Custody Platoon. Does anyone else remember CCP?

    1. I went to MCRD in1974. I was what the DI’s called a skinny body underweight and remained in the platoon 1092 and was given double rations every meal to increase my weight. In 1974 they had separate platoons for recruits that could not keep up. 1) the fat farm for those recruits that were over weight. 2) the motivation platoon for those recruits who were slow and confused. 3) the correctional custody platoon for those recruits that had NJP completed. 4) medical platoon for those recruits that were injured and likely to return to full duty status. The Lcpl issue is a lie. the only recruits that the were given prior or earned increased rank were college grads that were in ROTC or honor grads within the recruit platoon. Foe example the series guide or platoon guide.

    2. I remember CCP. Plt. 3105 9/’74 to 12/’74. During first phase we were drilling on the Grinder when the DI stopped us to give instruction. One of the recruits in the back (who will remain nameless) raised his hand and asked to make a head call. The DI told him no and we continued drilling. This went on for about 30 or so minutes until we stopped again for instruction. This recruit snapped to attention, did an about face, unbuttoned his fly and pissed right there of the parade deck. Needless to say the DI’s went crazy and he was sent directly to CCP, but was reunited with our platoon during third phase and graduated with us on time. Not sure what happened, but I believe the DI’s may have been found at fault and that was why he was allowed to graduate with us. He wouldn’t tell any of us what happened and he may have been ordered no to talk of the incident.

  47. Have to add my $.02 to this. San Diego – Plt 1094 Oct – Dec 67. Not buying the L/Cpl thing either. Honor man got PFC and a set of blues. Anybody really overweight went to the Fat Farm. Those who stayed with the Plt were called water buffalos and had to run around the Plt when we marched. During Mess and Maintenance week we did maintenance – two guys got busted for taking candy bars from a vending machine when stripping and waxing floors. They wound up in Motivation Plt for the rest of the week but came back to our Plt. They were really squared away when they came back. One day at the Mess Hall a Motivation Plt came through – the DI’s shoved us out of the way and ran these guys through the chow line, to the tables, gave them about a minute to eat what they could and then they were out. We also had to get shots one day and formed back up next to a fence next to a Motivation Plt – you could tell the DI’s were making these guys dive in the sand and swim laps. Motivation Plt was the last place you wanted to be. Turned 18 in boot camp and received my draft notice (had to go to the draft board to let them know they were too late when I got my first leave. Semper Fi………..

  48. I agree with you guys on the original post. Maybe the guy has some sort of brain damage. I remember the first draftee we received. It was in mid 1965. I was a crew chief at the TACC at El Toro. (the “TOP” also assigned me to be barracks Sgt.) we were in a barracks full of watch standers. So we never passed Friday morning inspection. Group HQ was getting on TOP’s case for the lousy conditions so he made a deal with me. If I could get us “passed” he’d give me payback (whatever that meant). So we did the miracle thing and got the job done. Promotion to E-5. Then he sent me the TACC’s first draftee. The kid was a major screwup. I tried for 30 days but could never get him squared away. They put him on a 707 bound for Danang. Never saw him again. I got out in May 1966. Entered the Corps in Jan. 1962 at Dago. Served in all three Air Wings during my tour. Even married a WM. Got a son retiring this April as a CWO4 with 26 years. He has a bad case of PTSD. we are flying back for the retirement party. Semper Fi.

  49. In 1963 San Diego we heard there were two “special” platoons for “special” recruits. The pig platoon and the motivation platoon. I never actually saw the motivation platoon in action but the official name of the pig platoon was the Physical Training Unit or PTU. PTU was on the flag. I know because I carried it on the runs. I had difficulty with PT scores and I couldn’t swim but I could run like a deer. We ran and exercised all day long and six weeks later we were reintegrated into a new platoon. I can never forget the support and “guidance” of the DI’s at PTU as they dealt with motivational challenges as well. Outstanding Marines.

  50. Re: The Motivation Platoon-is all BS, don’t believe the hype. I am a San Diego Marine Plt. 2159, and I graduated boot camp, 3 February 1971, whereby I was promoted PFC Meritorious, due to my being prior service Army. I was told that it would have been LCPL Meritorious, if the Marine Corps could do that, being that I was Guide and Platoon Hornorman. I received Dress Blues, but not LCPL. So don’t believe the BS.

  51. i was san diego in 51 ptl 168 we were all promoted to pfc and one was promoted to buck sgt. he had been with puller at the inchon landing had been a reserve and had not went to boot camp no dress blues or tennis shoes but ike jackets and barracks covers and there were no yellow foot prints. wore out two pairs of boon dockers. we had cardovian brown low quarters and carodovian brown barracks cover bills and herringbone dungarees with painted brass buttons

  52. We had a guy who was a L/Cpl out of bootcamp. He was the guide and also the honor grad. he was guaranteed Pfc going in. So when we graduated he was promoted to L/Cpl.

  53. When I went through PI, Plt 383 in 1967, fat guys and skinny guys were sent to Conditioning Platoon NOT Motivation which was for minor infractions and poor attitude recruits. No Lances in my graduation battalion. Semper Fi Don Fahey VN 68-70

  54. I remember going off to sunny Calif. in September 1968, (Plt. 3074). After vacationing in the sun for a few weeks they decided I should be what they called the Series Honor Man. Meaning, I was to dress up in Dress Blues and act as queen for a day on graduation day. They did, however, bestow the high lofty rank of PFC on me but believe me the Marine Corps was never so lame as to promote one of us Sh.t birds to Lcpl. That would come a little later on while we were on a hunting/camping trip in Vietnam. I understand that they do that now, in some cases, but never back then. Having said all this BS, I did attend a graduation ceremony at MCRD a while back and I call tell you that I was extremely proud of what I saw. Five Hundred of the finest young men you would ever want to see stood out on that parade deck and believe me the Marine Corps can still turn boys into men.

  55. I was in the same plt. with the original story teller. He is troothing ya’all. Talking about shooting? The guy could bend over and shoot between his legs his back to the target at 500 yds, and hit the white. We all watched AND CLAPPED, HOOTED, AND HOLLERED.

      1. I agree with HARRY. When I came back from Vietnam I was a range instructor at 29 PALMS from DEC 1970-JULY 1971 and we would have been court martialed if we let someone pull a stunt like that. The WO4 ran a tight ship and we LOVED him.TRUE story he tried to get me to ship over but I could not talk my wife into it. After being in Vietnam 19 months she thought they would send me back.

  56. In 1972 it was the PCP (Physical Conditioning Platoon) for the overweight guys and Motivational Platoon (MOTO) for the guys that got into trouble or for lack of motivation. “A” Co. Platoon 1094. 7/1972

  57. I agree with all the comments–no way in 1969 did ANYONE come out of boot camp as a E-3. Looks like we’ve got another “wannabe” trying to bull shit us. But those of us who were actually in Marine Corps boot camp know better.

  58. I was a draft dodger…I dodged the draft by enlisting in the Marine Corps under the 2-year active duty reserve program. I arrived at Parris Island 13 Jan 1966 and graduated 9 March from 2nd Battalion, Platoon 215. We were informed about the Motivation Platoon in a way that we understood that no one wanted to be sent there. As far as the recruits that were over weight, they were designated as “fat bodies” and placed on a special diet. Our drill instructors checked their trays before every meal to make sure they stuck to it. Before we were fitted for our green dress uniforms their utilities were looking pretty loose and baggy. My memory might be failing after so many years but I don’t remember any “fat bodies” that started with us not graduating with us nor do I recollect anyone being sent to the Motivation Platoon. I do remember at least one recruit that entered one of our sister platoons who had been serving time in the brig for hitting a D.I. Our platoon pulled mess duty in a mess hall that the recruits that just couldn’t hack it were using until they were discharged from the Corps. They were a pitiful looking group. As I remember, most of them were shaking like they had just suffered a nervous breakdown. The Vietnam war was escalating and I think the Corps was doing all it could to make Marines to send over there and making sure they were graduating Marines that were up to Marine Corps standards and were qualified to be call Marines. I think a recruit had to be pretty bad to be discharged out of recruit training during that time period. Bob Mauney Vietnam 1966/1967

  59. He should have started the article once upon a time. Motivation platoon PI, fall of 64, was to adjust attitudes, which didn’t take very long. Sgt Rex, who had received a meritorious promotion on Saipan, and Sgt. Baker, who was getting ready to go recon, are the two DI’s that I remember from motivation platoon. I think I was there about a week before being assigned to another platoon. Most of it is a blur, but Sgt. Baker told me that I never should have been sent there. I wonder if the azol Captain had a quota. Been there done that.

  60. Full disclosure. I’m one of the younger guys around here (won’t turn 60 until later this year). Anyway, I went through Parris Island 19 Aug 75 – 11 Nov 75 (Platoon 390). Around week three I had the brazen gall to eyeball a brick while marching column left into the 3rd Battalion mess hall for breakfast. My eyeballs must have made a lot of noise and did not escape the notice of Sgt Van Overloop, who threatened to send me to Motivation. Time passed until the day we went to rifle range…and came to a halt in front of a large red “M”. Names were called out from each platoon, mine not among them. Relief. Then each platoon was to supply one more volunteer. Van Overloop inspected each of us in my squad, looked me over and moved on. More relief. Then he returned to me, barking a bunch of stuff about how I liked to eyeball bricks. So that was how I got to spend one miserable day of attitude adjustment, yelling “motivation” again and again, while Van Overloop taunted me about eyeballing bricks. We had to shower is scrub brushes and Wisk. Regarding LCpl out of boot camp, we did have one guy in our platoon who had a guaranteed E-3, probably for recruiting his high school class. Think his name is Willie Ford. But that was 1975. I heard that the mot ditch is no longer there. BTW – In DI Van Overloop reads this, no hard feelings. Oh, and Pensacola was terrific after leaving PI.

  61. Lots of great stories, some just plain “c’mon man”, others pretty good. Boot camp 1972 PLT 1010, MCRD< San Diego, yeah I believe we sent the women to PISC, correct me if I may be wrong.Yuk Yuk, always pisses off PI Graduates. 5'10", 237lbs, enlisted under medrep cause of scores, supposed to go pcp t-10, thank God and Chesty 2nd sqd ldr got sick and because I busted my beer barrel ass, they made me sqd ldr, and there was no way I would relinquish that position. Missed honor man by a hair,1st class pft, expert on the range off to the fleet at a solid 185 and fought that weight thing for 20 plus years, still shooting expert and scoring final pft 261 after major surgery retiring as a MSgt. In the 80's they had some hinky 6 year program guaranteed Cpl in like 2 years. Served a tour of recruiting and off to the duty first station had a young Marine work for me directly that I enlisted. Best part of my career was all 20, highlight to serve along young men I recruited in Beirut/Grenada/Beirut 82-84 back to back deployments. When I returned to recruiting it really helped me to train fellow recruiters that these young men and women may be serving right alongside of you, so f–k any shortcuts and enlist the people you want to serve with as Marines. Enlisted over 200 personally and thousands as NCOIC, Recruiter instructor and such, now retired in the area I recruited and have the pleasure of running into former recruits doing quite well from time to time, have had them retire as MGySgts, full Bird and even spoke at some of their retirement ceremonies. Mother Green was very good to me. OOH RAH

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