Boot Camp at MCRD San Diego

Yes, I was a Hollywood Marine. In 1967 I was a Junior in College. I dropped out 1 semester to earn money for the next submester. Like most here, I was drafted. Being from San Diego, raised on a farm in the mountains east of San diego. Having worked on a farm I was physically fit. Don’t you know, I was drafted in April 1968 and also was “said to have volenteered ” to the Marines. This was because my DI advised that the Marine Corps never drafted anybody. Boot camp was somewhat easy for me. When asked if I would volenteered for OCS, I told them no. When asked why I told them that my was a retired lifer Marine Major & was a ***hole & I didn’t Dixie to be one. After sitting in my D.I’s chair and being pted the rest of the day. When I graduated I made PFC & Expert rifeman. Now ITR was much more of a harassment than Boot camp was. Being PFC I was constantly singled out for examples of what not to do. Having spending most of my in country career at Camp Pendleton, I never once see any recruit making Lcpl out of boot camp. I did however saw 2 Lance Corporal coming from MCRD. One was a reserves activated and one had former military in the army.
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5 comments


  • mike kerrigan

    Never heard of anyone leaving boot camp as a Lance Corporal. I graduated from MCRD in November 1967 Platoon Honor man / Guide ( awarded dress blues) as PFC. 4.9 academic across the board. Went to ITR – selected as Company Guide out of 250 men. Completed training and remained PFC. Didn’t achieve lance corporal until 2nd month in Viet Nam. Would like to hear from others who lance corporaled out of boot camp………..


  • Herb Schulstadt

    I was also drafted in Dec. ’68. They took 1/2 of all those at the L.A. induction center that day, and I was the first name called. I really didn’t know much about the Corps other than they had a nice uniform. Little did I know the horror I was about to face once off the bus at MCRD, San Diego and standing on the yellow foot prints! First the hair buzz. Then being issued a sea bag, and enough clothing to get us through the night. Next was boxing up all the clothes we arrived in and mailing them back home. Then, our first mass shower experience, and then into our new duds. Of course, all the time being yelled at by the reception group. After sitting on the floor at attention for what seemed like hours, we were marched off with one of our newly introduced friendly DI’s to Gomer Pyle land. We spent the rest of the night learning how to make a rack, and falling out on the road. Oh, did I forget to mention the hours of squat thrusts and push-ups we enjoyed in “the pits?” Man, what a beautiful beginning! Needless to say, the next eight weeks were tough. I never imagined that I could have endured what we experienced! I used to tell people that you could read the information from my dog tags off my chest from being hit there with an M-14 but plate, or a blow from a black leather gloved fist! Bottom line, our DI’s had never experienced a full platoon of draftee’s and were brutal. I could go on with examples, but you all from that time understand. They assumed that because we didn’t volunteer we were going to be difficult to “motivate!” At the end though, we were the best platoon they had ever had. We took every streamer, and were Honor Platoon! They even admitted to us at the end that they really were tougher on us because we were draftee’s. I guess that was because we were almost all in our early to mid 20’s and had more sense than the usual cocky kids right out of high school. Oh yes, I’m proud to say I also shot Expert, and was the Platoon Honor Man! Semper Fi!


  • Robert K

    Times have changed sense the nineteen sixties or early seventies with leaving basic training as a PVT or PFC. Remember, seeing recruits in nineteen eighty’s graduating from MCRD San Diego who arrived with guaranteed PFC, platoons squad leader. top of graduating class, and received meritorious promotion


  • Mike Grogan

    What platoon in boot camp ? I was 149


  • Sgt Ted Shimono

    Jim Barber has written a book about boot camp at MCRDSD and MCRDPI. He is writing another book about bootcamp and is looking for more stories. His email address is : jimdbone@gmail.com


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