Drill Instructor do have a heart and passion

By: chuck seward

I started boot camp MCRD SD Feb 5th 1960. My Di’s were Sgt Hardy and Sgt Harr, very tough and rough Marines. I was the youngest and the smallest in my plt. 216. Needless to say I got a lot of attention and none of it good. They used to grab me by my stacking swivel (my adams apple) and squeeze and ask me the eleven general orders and other things. Also they would stand in front of us when at attention and hit us in the stomach hard. Before we went to Camp Mathews we did a px call, we all had to buy chewing tobacco and we found out later why. They said that the smoking lamp would not be lit at Mathews, that was fine with me because I didn’t smoke anyway. So why the chewing tobacco?

They marched us down in back of the tent area one evening and made us all fill our mouth with as much tobacco as we could hold and chew and looked in our mouth with a flashlight to make sure we had enough. All you heard all night was one very sick Plt. Still at Mathews one day while sitting on our buckets cleaning our M-1’s the Drill Instructor called pvt Nichols to the duty tent with bucket of warm water, canteen cup, and his tobacco in which he was instructed to fill his mouth with tobacco and drink it down with the warm water. I have never seen anyone so sick in my life. Still at Mathews on the rifle range pre qual day, I was not doing well when I felt my DI standing over me and said ” maggot one more maggies drawers and your azz is mine”. Target went down, target came up, maggies drawers, he said maggot and I looked up as he hit me in the mouth and split it wide open. Next day on qual day I made one point from expert. Anyway getting to what this post is all about, before I went to boot camp my girlfriend was in the family way, we were young, dumb, and stupid and my DI’s knew about this and how troubled I was over this. One day he called me over to where he was and said “as man to man not DI to recruit” would I like to call my girlfriend. Of coarse I did not know what to say or what was coming but he took me to the phone center at Mathews and let me call and even asked me for a dime to call his girlfriend. From that time on I was left alone and never picked on again. Our Plt. was 2nd highest shooters of F Company and we graduated series honor man and series honor Plt and of all the complaining I’ve done I would not have changed a thing. It was an honor to be trained by two great Marines, they made a man out of someone who wasn’t much of a man when I went in. Lance cpl Chuck Seward 1960 to 1968 Semper FI

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

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

45 comments


  • Frank Menke

    In later life I realized that throughout my life after the Marine Corps no one could chew my ass out like the professional one’s I got to meet in boot camp! Many tried they all failed they could not get the smile off of my face. The DI’s we had in platoon 210 MCRD, San Diego, January 1959 set the bar to high for any civilian. I thank them for that. Semper Fi!


  • SSgt D. D. Thorin

    GySgt Hinojosa I graduated from MCRD San Diego in Nov. 1966 from Plt 1108. I know you were a DI in 3rd Battalion and I was in the 1st Battalion, but was wondering if by chance you knew a SSgt T.F. Diehl, SSgt R.L. Haycock or SSgt V. Parker? Semper Fi


  • Sgt Robert K Kennedy 1969-1971

    Master Gy Sgt Irvin I believe that you are responsible for making a Marine of me in Feb – April 1969. I was a house mouse in Honor Platoon 2023. You and the other drill instructors did a great job preparing us for the Marine Corps and Vietnam. I was a draftee and made E5 in 18 months. Meritorious Corporal and Sargent. Thank you for all you did for all of us.


  • D. H. Swan

    I’m sure he is the same, but our Jr. DI’s were Sgt. Strahan and Sgt. Deremer. Platoon 347, 3rd. Bn


  • GySgt J. J. Hinojosa USMC (Ret)

    I went through Parris Island July, 1954. My Drill Instructors were Sgt George, Sgt Klienech and Cpl Heiser. It’s true; one never forgets their Drill instructors. All three were notorious thumpers but that taught us to stay alert and pay attention to all orders. After boot camp, Cpl Heiser joined my Rifle Company, E-2-4, 1stMarBrig in Kaneohe Bay, Oahu, Hawaii in 1955..He remained as sharp as ever and we became friends. As a Sgt E4 (old rank structure), and married with two kids, I returned to the 1stMarBrig in Kaneohe Bay with C-1-4. Ran into Heiser again. This time he was a Marine Major and still remembered me. Damn good Marine. Later, I was transferred to MCRDiego and after a stint at HqCo RTR, I went thru DI school and served as a JDI for 3rdBn Kilo Company Plt 347 and then as PC with various 8wk platoons. Plt 3317 which graduated Nov 1966, was my last herd. This past Nov., Platoon 3317 had their 3rd reunion at MCRDiego. I managed to attend their first one. I would do all of this all over again. Semper Fi to all my Marine brothers & sisters.


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