Bootcamp Mystery

A friend of mine, Mark, from high school joined the Corps in the “Buddy System” in the summer of 1972. We were in the same platoon in boot camp, One morning when we were woken up, I realized Mark was gone. everyday for several weeks, he was missing and we never told why. I was worried and couldn’t understand as Mark was a great recruit and a “scribe” for the DIs. One afternoon,Mark shows back up. As it turned out, Mark had gotten the measels!! Because he was a great recruit, he was not set back. Back then and probably still the same now, we were on a need to know basis only. I was never happier than to see my friend back with us. Semper Fi!
Sgt Grit wants to hear from you! Leave your comments below or submit your own story!

7 comments


  • Larry…0331-’65-’69

    He was gone for several weeks and not set back? While undergoing recruit training at MCRDPI in July ’65, my father passed away. I was granted three days emergency leave for the purpose of attending his funeral. Upon my return to MCRD, I was reassigned (setback) to another series. I ended up graduating two weeks later than my original platoon.


  • David S. Martinez

    In October 1967, my high school buddy and I reported to the induction center in San Antonio, Texas bound for MCRDSD. We had enlisted under the “buddy plan” back in July. Two hours later he was headed back home and I proceeded on to bootcamp without a “buddy”! Seems I was the last one to fill that quota and he had to wait two more weeks before arriving at MCRD! Actually saw him later at ITR in Camp Pendleton! Couldn’t talk to him as his platoon was marching by at the time. So much for “the best laid plans of mice and men”.


  • Sgt. Eric Tipton

    The “buddy system”??? I joined at the end of my junior year of college with my roommate who was about to get drafted in the summer of ’66. He was still in school but lost his draft exemption.(long story) When we got to boot camp in Sept. as a T and a J, I was on one side of the squad bay and he on the other side and end. We probably got to speak 5 words to each other there and were in different units in ITR. I saw him once afterward when his C-117 (he was a crew member) flew into Chu Lai and he looked me up and we spent a few minutes talking. Never saw him again. Hope you’re doing well Richard Juhl. Semper Fi!


  • SSgt Bob Tollison

    I also got the measles while I was in boot camp at Parris Island in Feb ’73. We were out at the rifle range where I was the platoon high shooter (it had snowed that year at P.I. while we were at the range, The power was out for a few days on the Island so everyone was issued a field jacket and an extra blanket. I remember being VERY cold, having to go out to snap in and taking an extra black glove with us to put on under our shooting glove and our etool to dig a hole in the snow because they were afraid that if you sat in the snow during snapping in that it would melt and your position would be all messed up!) and we were slated to do Mess & Maintenance next at the rifle range chow hall. The night after qual day I noticed all these spots coming up on me, reported to my Senior D.I. who immediately declared that I had the measles. Since I had done so well at the rifle range and had been one of his best recruits so far (I did end up graduating as Honor Man of my platoon) I was not dropped. Since the platoon would be away from the barn for very long stretches at a time while doing the next tasks as a platoon, I was allowed to stay in our regular barracks and recoop on my own some of the time. The drill instructors would look in on me every once in awhile, but most of the time I cleaned my weapon, shined my boots/shoes, cleaned the barracks, etc., while waiting to get over this stuff. It worked out pretty well. I was cleared of the measles by the time the platoon was done with Mess and Maintenance, we humped it back to the mainside part of the Island and continued on with our training. Now that I reflect back on it, I know that my D.I.’s did me a solid during those days. I guess they saw me as becoming one of their own and were not going to let me fall out of the system. Thanks Senior D.I. SSgt Charles “Herbie” Hartzo (Rest in Peace, Top!), A.D.I. SSgt Stan “Billy” Burch, and A.D.I. Sgt Terry Ford, Plt 201, Jan – April 1973. Semper Fi!


  • bob lake

    A recruit is gone from the platoon for several weeks and somehow remained in his original platoon???.Maybe in 72 that may have occurred but in 1957 when I went through PI in Platoon 283 If someone was gone for a few days they were” set back” to another platoon.We started with about 70 guys and only about 45 guys ,including me, of the original guys graduated “on time” with the platoon.


Leave a comment