Cold MCRD San Diego

Cold MCRD San Diego

This is in response to a posting about boot camp in San Diego, I went through Dec.’68 – Feb.’69. We were also in quancet huts, 4 to a platoon, one for each squad. It was extremely cold at night and we were not allowed to light the kerosene heaters in the middle of the huts. As a result we all were sicker than hell. I remember them giving us some magic red syrup that somehow cured us fast. I often think that this and the additional rough treatment had much to do with the fact we were all from the L.A. area, and worts of all DRAFTEES! I do think the DI’s were all blown away as they had never experienced this phenomenon. But, to their amazement, we ended up not only being the best platoon they had ever had, but we were the Honor Platoon! So, I guess the harsh treatment paid off in the long run for both the DI’s and us as we proved our worth no matter what they threw at us!
Sgt Grit wants to hear from you! Leave your comments below or submit your own story!

5 comments


  • Cpl Gary Chandler USMC Plt 2048 1968

    Ya’ll must have been the last to get moved out of the old Quonset huts at MCRDSD as we were moved into the new 3 story squad bay barracks in Sept of 68. July, Aug and Sept and was hot as hell in those Quonset huts so the air conditioned barracks were a welcome relief!


  • Carl Gregory

    I was a draftee that went through MCRDSD in January 1966 – March 1966 – Platoon 110. I agree with the writer about the cold weather especially at night. I would use my field jacket as an extra layer of covering. We had the kerosene heater but it was never lit. The D.I.’s Sgt. R.D. Marsh, Sgt. Frank Van Lenten, and Sgt. Charles Crocker told us about a week before graduation in March that they forgot to light it. We had an outbreak of pneumonia in February. I believe three recruits died. The swimming pool was closed for a period of time. Our platoon never had swimming classes at boot camp. There were a few draftees in Platoon 110. We were often told that we were lower than whale feces (my words not the D.I.’s) and that was at the bottom of the ocean. I believe that we were the first draftees that the D.I.’s had encountered. There is a display in the Marine Corps Museum in Quantico that states the Marines began drafting for Vietnam on January 1, 1966. While I was reading the display another Marine stated that it was a lie. He said he drafted in November, 1965. Are there any Marines out there that were drafted before January 1, 1966?

    At least once a week during boot camp I was called to the duty hut. The D.I.’s would give me a speech of why I should change my 2 year enlistment and ask for 4 years and Forced Recon. They never persuaded me to tear it up. Are there any Platoon 110 Marines out there? If so, call me at 615-888-6205.

    Semper Fi
    Carl Gregory


  • KType

    Great Times indeed, miss the Corps


  • T. E. Kinsey

    In reply to Cpl Gary Chandler USMC Plt 2048 1968.
    Platoon 2242 in December 1968. Yes it was damn cold and I continued through it with pneumonia. I was drafted too. Reported for induction in early December 1968. There were 322 young men there that day and following the physical, a Marine Corps Captain walked in and read off 20 names. My name was first and said follow me. We went into a small room and were sworn in. I was 23 at the time. Ended up in MCRDSD in the Quonset huts. Even a draftee can aspire to gaining rank fast. 18 months in and E-5 Sergeant strips. Pays to work for a Full Bird Colonel.


  • Enrique Ortiz

    August 3, 1967 Platoon 2041 was from the Los Angeles area 55 total and the balance came from Northern CA we were sworn in in front of news cameras and was televised on the old KTTV news station from LA. We were know as the real Hollywood Marines and we were the Honor Platoon October 6, 1967 graduation day. Letting you know you were not the only Marines from LA. Some have been in touch with each other and we are proposing a 50 year reunion Oct 6 or Nov 9 2017. Semper Fi Sgt Ortiz USMC 67-70


Leave a comment