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Sgt Grit,

Here is a funny and VERY true story. I graduated from Parris Island in late October of 1981 in platoon 2063. Anyway…we were practicing for what I believe was the Battalion Commander’s inspection and the DI’s had us “on line” in the squad bay. They paced back and forth checking and rechecking that we had shaved closely, had brushed our teeth and gargled with mouthwash and knew our “knowledge.” I recall our younger DI going from recruit to recruit and splashing a small amount of Aqua Velva into his hand and then plastering it across each cheek of each recruit. (I still bust out laughing when I think of that). Then he moved down the ranks again and after pouring a cup-full of mouthwash into each person’s mouth, instructed them to gargle, and then swallow because, “he did not want any maggot to offend the Battalion Commander with our sh!t-smellin breath.” Apparently he ran out of mouthwash about a dozen or so recruits after me and did what I will never forget. He yelled for one of the “house-mouses” to get him the Aqua Velva and he made the rest of the platoon gargle with it! From that point on my memory is a bit clouded, but I don’t believe he had them swallow it! I do remember him explaining that the after-shave was no different from the mouth wash. It must not have hurt anyone internally…they all made it to graduation! I’ll say this much….I was scared sh!tless back then, but when I look back now, there isn’t too much that happened in boot camp that doesn’t bring a smile to my face every time I think about it!


Mike Kunkel
Cpl 0331, 81-85


I graduated Sept 21 ‘01 and they did something similar. Instead, the Drill Instructor walked around with spray bottles, one with aqua velva and the other listerine. He sprayed aqua velva on the face, then we opened our mouth for the listerine. Idk if he did it on purpose but when he came to me, he sprayed aqua velva in my mouth! Lol. The good ol’ days…


LOL!!! I remember the Listerine probably better than anything. Tilt your head back, Drill Instructor dumped it in your mouth and it was gargle then down the hatch. Nasty stuff. At least there’s different flavors now. Then again, we don’t have to drink it anymore.

Joe Rainey,

What a waste of jet juice!


James, Listerine is some nasty stuff, but the guys who had to gargle with the Aqua Velva might have preferred it! LOL


George, And don’t think for one second that they didn’t miss on purpose! LOL. I crack up at the way our DIs “applied” the Aqua Velva by pouring a drop on their palms and slapping the piss out of your grape as the Aqua Velva found its way to your face. LOL


Our DIs made us gargle & swallow Listerine . . . Still can’t stand that brand to this day.

James Brady,

I had a similar incident in boot camp. Our drill instructors used to collect all of the Aqua Velva and Listerine. They would fill up a pair of spray bottles and then go down the line giving each recruit a spray of each. Needless to say, the right liquid did not always go in the right location. And yes, whatever went in your mouth went down your gullet.

George Goodwin,

Vince, Yes, most of what I recall is funny. Even what was not funny then is funny now. And, I would not have wanted it any other way. Are you the guys the platoon who had the big white SDI from NY or Jersey who used to say that our generation “is from the PETSI generation”? He meant Pepsi generation but it came out as PETSI. I heard him one night down by the 2nd Battalion chow hall ripping into his guys and when I heard him say that I almost lost it. LOL He had one of the other platoons in our series and we crossed paths with them a lot and so we heard a lot of his 1-liners too.


Mike, lol I was in platoon 2060 which means we were in the same recruit battalion. I remember stories like that also. Very funny all these years later.

Vincent Falkowski,

If you guys have some funny boot camp stories you would be willing to share for possible publication in my book please contact me at Semper Fi

Jim Barber,

I’ve told this tale before. In 1965 to remove peach fuzz, The Drill Instructor would splash shaving lotion on our faces and LIGHT it, Hol you breath and close your eyes. WHOOSH. Shaved.

John Stone,

We didn’t have Aqua Velva for final inspection that I remember, but we did pass bottles of Scope mouthwash down the line and had to swallow it. They also put women’s Neat hair remover under our jaw to make sure we had a close shave. That stuff burned. To this day, I still can’t handle Scope mouthwash.

Larry Mullins Plt 3044 1980,

After the first week or so, the hardest thing about bootcamp for me was not laughing at the guys who didn’t get it.

Tony Mastriani,

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