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By: David Myers

I saw my older brother on leave 1964 in his dress blues, metals, and rows of ribbons. My first thought was, I want that uniform and I want to be a Marine. September 12th 1968 I was at MCRD Camp Pendleton platoon 3081. I asked my brother before I went to boot camp as to what to expect. He grinned and say, no can do. I don’t want to ruin all the surprises. There were more than surprises awaiting us and my thanks goes out to DI Cpl. Joy. For his tough, physical, hard nose training, on and off the tarmac. The training it took to bring a lot of young Marines back home. Semper Fi.

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Dick Dickerson - March 31, 2020

Rifle range for MCRD SD moved from Camp Mathews (Miramar Road and US 101) to Edson Range on Pendleton late 1963 or early 1964. Edson was new, built for the purpose. Platoons would be there for either two or three weeks , depending on where they were assigned meds/ maintenance week.
I was a Di at Sd ‘62 to ‘66

Ralph C. Schroder - March 31, 2020

A couple of things to think about.

The medals that were talked about were probably shooting badges/medals. Marksman (190-209), sharpshooter (210-219) and expert (220-250) maybe for rifle and a different one for the pistol, 45’s. Of course the badge/medal for the pistol wasn’t earned until after boot camp. I was in platoon 386 in Oct of 65, even though I went in 27 Sept. 65 we had to wait for a week or so to have enough recruits to have a full platoon before getting picked up from the recieving barracks and those’s famous yellow foot prints.

If I understand your thinking about platoon numbers I am not real sure I agree with your theory on that. Hard for me to believe that there were 207 platoons in the 2 RTR by Oct. 67. Since there were 3 RTR’s (1000, 2000 and 3000 series) that would mean by Oct of 67 there would have been over 600 recruit platoons out of San Diego with November and December still to go.

There were 4 ranges at Edson Range where all MCRD recruits qualified with the M-14 rifle during this time period. A, B, C and D range and you would shoot 2 platoons on each range each week, that is 8 platoons per week total for the 4 different ranges. The first week recruits worked with the PMI’s on the snapping in ranges dry firing. So for the 50 weeks (we closed for 2 weeks during the year) that would make 400 platoons max for the entire year for the 3 different RTR’s or whatever we want to call them. That would make more like 133 platoons for the entire year for each of the three RTR’s.

In 1968 the Marine Corps started drafting so Chapelflats range on Camp Pendleton was open to handle the additional recruit platoons, but again that didn’t happen until 1968.

Just something to think about, Schroder 2180017

aardq - March 31, 2020

Agree that this doesn’t sound right. First in 64 his brother had “metals” and rows of ribbons? Unless his brother was in Korea, or Lebanon in 58, there were no medals, even the firewatch, earned after Korea, until 65.

It’s not a brain fart to say MCRD Camp Pendleton, it was a mistake. Anyone that has been through Marine Boot Camp knows exactly where that boot camp is located. He also knows the names of his DIs, and his serial number, while there were serial numbers.

Plt 3081, in Sept? I went in on Halloween of 67, Plt 2207. The 207th plt, in the 2nd RTR for that year. As I understand it, the plt numbers started over at the start of each year. Wouldn’t 3081 be a plt number from much earlier in the year?

A real CPL, 2404072, 67 – 70
Sgt in the reserves 73-75.

Ralph C. Schroder - March 31, 2020

Ralph Schroder Sgt. Sept 65 to Sept 68.
While MCRD is in San Diego the two weeks that recruits spend at the rifle range, Edson Range is at Camp Pendleton. After I returned from my 13 month tour with Delta Company, 1st Battalion, 4th Marines as a grunt/ platoon radio operator I had the pleasure of finishing my enlistment stationed at Edson Range as a rifle instructor, butt NCO and then section leader in charge of one half of the range. Coaches and all others that worked on the different ranges wore “Smokies” and had a cleaned starched set of utilities every day at no charge. What a way to spend my last 17 months in the Corps. Semper Fi….

Nick - March 31, 2020

Could be a brain fart, It happens. Nick

Rich Holleran Cpl of Marines 58-62 - March 31, 2020

Sounds like a wanna be Marine! MCRD Camp Pendleton?

Emerson Malone - March 31, 2020

MCRD Camp Pendelton are you sure this was in Corps?

Dennis Bahnsen - March 31, 2020

I am with you Mr. Walker. I was in USMC from ’65-69 and the west coast MCRD was in San Diego, not at Camp Pendleton. For us ‘Hollywood Marines??’, ITR and staging were conducted at Pendleton (a bit closer to Hollywood) AFTER recruit training was finished at MCRD San Diego.

My platoon was based in quanset huts near a San Diego International Airport runway, or maybe it was an aircraft jet engine manufacturing facility (or both) with jet engine noise all day and into the evening, tho their noise did NOT drown out the voices of our DI’s. Those guys had a way of easily being heard over the din of jet engines every day! Interesting how easily I could get to sleep when it was time, tho!

Frank Walker, Marine Mustang Mar62-Nov82 - March 31, 2020

MCRD Camp Pendleton?????

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