12 Days of boot camp ditty

Sgt. Grit: To the best of my recollection, here is the 12 days of boot camp ditty. I’m sure there were many variations of this:

On the 1st day of boot camp, the Marine Corps gave to me, a haircut that wasn’t worth a f***.

On the 2nd day of boot camp, the Marine Corps gave to me, 2 pairs of boots,

On the 3rd day of boot camp, the Marine Corps gave to me, 3 Drill Instructors,

On the 4th day of boot camp, the Marine Corps gave to me, 4 sets of cammies,

On the 5th day of boot camp, the Marine Corps gave to me, 5 o’clock reveille,

On the 6th day of boot camp, the Marine Corps gave to me, 6 pairs of socks,

On the 7th day of boot camp, the Marine Corps gave to me, 7 Daily Seven,

On the 8th day of boot camp, the Marine Corps gave to me, 8 minute pit calls,

On the 9th day of boot camp, the Marine Corps gave to me, 9 o’clock Taps,

On the 10th day of boot camp, the Marine Corps gave to me, 10 general orders,

On the 11th day of boot camp, the Marine Corps gave to me, 11 miles of humping,

On the 12 day of boot camp, the Marine Corps gave to me, T-1 again!

It always seemed that the 1st day part was sung with a lot of gusto! Semper Fi! Darren Hungness Cpl 81-85

Sgt Grit wants to hear from you! Leave your comments below or submit your own story!

12 comments


  • ‘Stoney’ Brook

    1961: We got a bucket issue of toiletries (which came out of our meager pay), rough-out M1951 boots we dyed black and shined while sitting on the aforesaid bucket, forest green cotton sateen utilities, a couple of 42″ tan web belts, tennis shoes, yellow sweat shirts, and utility covers that fell over our ears.

    It was 1963 before I quit snapping to attention and yelling ‘Sir, yes sir!’ when I heard the word “Maggot” … To this day, I will not refer to someone as ‘You’ (‘ewe’, as in sheep)


  • Sgt Nick Garton

    Joe has it nailed.
    Sgt Nick Garton
    San Diego April ‘67


  • Jor

    Things must have really changed since the 1960’s. I was issued boots, socks, skivvies, UTS (we didn’t get cammies back then , just plain green uts) all in one batch along with a sea bag to stuff it all into. We met our DIs when we were still standing on yellow footprints. Then haircuts, clothing issue, 782 gear issue and humped everything to our barracks (about 5 miles away or so it seemed ) like a mob first introduced to walking in formation.
    Ahhhh the good old days when DIs could still slap around the maggots.

    Semper Fi


  • Cpl Bob Korea

    Upon graduation at San Diego, Our DI’s gave us our last boot camp ditty in 1951; OK you dummies “Stay away from Tijuana and I mean it”. If you get into trouble their, you think Boot Camp was bad, you don’t know what bad can be. If arrested and thrown in jail, we may not be able to bail you out.
    You Hear Me!!! Sir, Yes Sir!


  • ‘Stoney’ Brook

    Thanks, Gary … I caught that but you’re faster on the draw.

    There were at least two add-ons:

    To walk my post from flank to flank and take no crap from any rank. To walk my post from sun to sun and carry only an unloaded gun

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