Does anyone remember the POU platoon located in the 2nd Battalion???

I was a young man from the eastern shore of Maryland. My buddy and I always wanted to be Marines. On 28 June 1962 we signed up on the 120 day plan. I was 17 at the time and had never done much but play around. We left for P I on 25 Sept ’62 and arrived in Yesmassee SC at night. All of us know what happens from that point. I was a scared kid but wanted to be a Marine so I could do anything. On 26 Sept. we were picked up by our D I”s and headed to Plt 375. On 31 Oct ’62 my DI put me in his car and took me to the POU unit located in the 2nd Battalion. I wasn’t sure what was happening and he said i wasn’t keeping up with the standards that was expected.

I wasn’t in very good shape and couldn’t keep up with a lot of the PT etc. While in POU everyday doctors would talk to us and asked if we wanted to get out. That was the last thing i wanted. on 6 Nov 62 I was set back to Plt 379. From that point forward I was a different Marine. I became the DI’s “house mouse” and did everything and more that was expected of me. Upon graduation on 9 Jan’63 my DI said he had put me in to become a Marine guard at NSA at Fort Meade.In those days no one even knew what NSA was. After 14 months in C L N C and making a Med cruise I was cleared and sent to Ft. Meade Mare Guard Att.I was there for 30 months and got out a Oct.1966. One of the proudest things i ever did was to become a U.S. Marine especially the way I had to do it. Semper Fi always.

Sgt Grit wants to hear from you! Leave your comments below or submit your own story!


  • Joe Strangio 1974-1978

    I have a similar situation arriving at Parris Island, late January 1974. After three days in Receiving, my Platoon 306, was picked up on a late Saturday afternoon, but we had only about 30 of us. It seemed like a small platoon. That same night, before hitting the rack, we were informed by our Drill Instructor, that the rest of the platoon was going to arrive in the morning. That the rest of the platoon were coming from PCP (Physical Condition Platoon) called “Fat Body Platoon.” He said that some of these recruits had been on the Island for 3 months. He said that they were going to know a lot more than us, because they had been training but not allowed to officially start training. The DI told us to not be intimidated by them because these recruits were a little further along than us. He was right. They came in a cocky and arrogant bunch. A couple were tattle tales, stool pigeons kissing up to the DIs. We new arrivals resented them and wanted to knock the crap out of them, but couldn’t. The worst thing about the situation was when “Mess and Maintenance” week came along following the Rifle Range. It was a one week break for the DIs where the platoons were going to be working in the chow halls. I was looking forward to that because I thought I could get to eat a lot more. I thought they were starving me for three months. I was always hungry and I wasn’t even a fat body. Well, my platoon was the only platoon in the 4 platoon Series that didn’t get to work in the chow hall because of those from PCP. We were split up to do other things around Parris Island. A bunch of us had a miserable week gluing new targets for the rifle range. That really ticked me off. Other than that, Boot Camp went well. Being the smallest, I was picked out to be the house mouse at the beginning of boot camp. This lasted only a week because I didn’t want special treatment and the other recruits to think I got special privileges. I ran Cross Country, wrestled and ran the 2-Mile in track in HS so was physically prepared for boot camp. My youngest son is a Marine Corps veteran who served in Iraq twice. Nowadays, I would think that no one is even allowed to enter boot camp without being able to do the minimum. The Corps is much more selective nowadays. In my time, some of the recruits shouldn’t have even entered because they were not ready to begin physically and for some, their choice was either go in the military or jail. So, we had some real criminals in there.

  • Rob Rasmussen E6/O3

    I was in 3rd Bn, Plt 328 in 1966. On a cold, windy and rainy day in january our Sr. DI SSgt Dobies sent the guide and squad leaders to the Motivation Plt. for the day. I was 3rd squad leader at the time..We were also joine by the same positions for all of the other platoons in the batallion. The idea was to have us instill in the rest of our platoon the idea that motivation platoon was a place no one wanted to be.
    The day began with a march out to motivation. which I believe was near Elliott’s Beach, and a cold “C” rats breakfast followed very quickly with an hour of bends and whoopees and other assorted flagellations. Very quickly after that we found ourselves on the “O” course. Of course because of all the rain, the trenches we navagated were full of water. Three times through this event and we were all chilled to the bone. We then adjourned to one of the old WWII empty barracks for another cold round of “C” rats for lunch. Very shortly thereafter, we hit the road for a 6 mile run which was the termination event for the day. After our march back to the platoon we presented an awful sight for the rest of the platoon to see. We were all draggin’ azz by this time and looked like a gaggle of drowned rats.
    SSgt Dobies told us to hit the hot shower for as long as we needed to clean up, warm up and clean our deuce gear and M-14. The shower almost made the whole day worthwhile. It was a great learning experience for us and a great inspiration for everyone else to exceed expectations. Needless to say we all grew up in “The Corps”. SEMPER FI!

  • Jim

    Lots of good and bad memories but Paris Island is the place that made me what I am today. I was 17 yrs old April 1 1972, May 30, 1972, I arrived at night on a Bus.I ask the guy beside me wonder what those footsteps are for and he said I am sure we’re going to find out soon enough. A couple of minutes later there was a gentleman that boarded the bus,and he absolutely went nuts on all of us. I never before saw six people fit through the door at the same time on the bus. I found out very quick what the footprints were all about and what attention meant very quick . A few minutes later most of our lives changed forever.Platoon 0166 /1972. 0331/0311 Semper Fi !!!

  • Andrew H. (Andy) Gardner

    Ah yes. Definitely remember the Conditioning Platoon at PI when I was a “guest” in Feb 71. Located in the Rifle Range area. I got to spend 30 days in the weak body barn, which was on the north side of the barracks, the fat body platoon was on the south side. Dropped from Platoon 221, spent the time to get back on my feet, learned some close order drill, rifle nomenclature along with several useful subjects while there that paid off when I was picked up by Platoon 231. I definitely remember my “welcome” to Platoon 231 by Senior DI GySgt C. Reid. Never learned what the initial C stood for, but I had about 20 minutes of “explaining” why he didn’t like pick ups, and 5 minutes of what I could do to make him “like” me. It must have worked, because I never had a lot of problem after that. I really would like to thank Gunny Reid along with Sgt. Thompson, and Sgt Wilkinson for their assistance in making a Marine out of me

  • Gordon Randall

    Platoon 158 San Diego 1958. I remember it being called STP, Special Training Platoon for recruits who were over weight, out of shape and “uninspired”. Mainly full time pt and regulated food. The few from our platoon didn’t come back to us.

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