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Hollywood Marines Had It Made!

By: Phil Richer

When I got off the train at Yamasee, SC in Aug. 1961 our Drill Instructor (a DI was Jake Webb in the movies that we learned the hard way) was a interesting young man that had a very loud voice and an abrasive attitude. He turned out to be one of our junior Drill Instructors (Sgt. Adcock). He was a young female feline compared to SSgt. Jacoby who was the Senior Drill Instructor. When we reached Parris Island the next day I don’t remember yellow footprints. I suspect they came later for the intellectually deprived recruits which also deprived the Drill Instructors the FUN of getting the mob in line. Memories!!!!

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Tony Woconish - April 4, 2020

My dad was a Yamasee Marine, December 1951. When I was a boy, he told me stories of getting off the train and how the DI’s
MESSED with them from the very start.
I am the other hand, was a “Charleston”
Marine 1976. Bus’d to PI, SC. (My dad rode in “cattle trucks”). We arrived and stood on the YELLOW FOOTPRINTS about 0200. S/F
SSGT. Tony Woconish, 1976-1982

Courtland C Conkwright - April 4, 2020

I was at P.I. in Jun 15 to Sept 13, 1962 Plt 238 L Company was must have crossed paths.

Sgt Court C. Conkwright

Rainey L/Cpl 1975-1979 - April 4, 2020

My previous text was in response to the fellas that mentioned a DI named Adcock and nothing to do with my own PI experience. Obviously

Rainey L/Cpl 1975-1979 - April 4, 2020

After Graduating from PI in early February 1976, it was off to Fort Knox, KY for Tank Crewman (1811) school. First of all I was shocked to see two Drill Instructors. Fortunately, they weren’t the same as boot camp DIs. But I mention this because one of them were named Adcock and he had a very deep southern drawl. I can’t quite remember if he was a SSGT or Gunny. Anyway, in 1978 I get orders for Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, Marine Barracks, Ground Defense Force (you had to get big envelopes to fit that all in the return address corner). I report to Tank platoon and there’s two Gunnery Sgts. running the platoon and one of them was Gunnery Sgt Adcock. I remember somebody asking him where he was from and he answered “LA.” To which they responded, “you sure don’t sound like you’re from Los Angeles” and Gunny says, “ who the hell said anything about Los Angeles, I’m from Lower Alabama.” Both he and the other Gunny were our instructors at Ft. Knox. I don’t know how to spell the others name but it was pronounced all-clear, or something like that. Both great guys, funny as hell.

Sgt. Jerry Mambretti - April 4, 2020

Yo, Stony, Good old days… Camp Matthews Hills called “Little Agony” and “Big Agony”… “Old Smokey” at ITR… Marines on a force march groaning “Not another F’n hill”!!! M60 weighed 23 lbs. at 0-dark30 and a hundred and 23 lbs by noon 30… ” Another glorious day in the Corps. Everyday is a holiday and every meal is a banquet. Steak and eggs for breakfast… Turn too, Turn too… Drop your c**ks and grab your socks” Semper Fi Stony… From Sgt. J.

Steve Tackett - April 4, 2020

But they didn’t have Mount Mother F_cker either! LoL

Joe A. Bell - April 4, 2020

Shoot, by 1964 we were even issued lawn chairs from which we could watch the sunsets.
In all fairness, while the Drill Instructor experience is the same in either place, those of us that went through MCRD SD did not have to put up with insects, and high humidity.

Sgt. C. Jones - April 4, 2020

Got to San Diego in June 1963. There were yellow foot prints. And yes our platoon starred in a TV Series “The Lieutenant”. Rip Torn and Gary Lockwood were some of the actors. I bought a dvd of the series and can see myself marching with “DI” Rip Torn. Our real Senior DI (Dan Brophy) Sgt. E-5 now retired Captain got hit by a .50 caliber in Vietnam. He’s been in a wheel chair for the last 50 years. We keep in touch. I remember one time he had all of us get into a quonset hut and said “in case I missed any of you”, had us all remove our covers and then proceeded to pound each and everyone of us on the head.

‘Stoney’ Brook - April 4, 2020

Yeah, at MCRD San Diego we had it much easier.

In 1961, we were issued lounging pajamas, smoking jackets, and sunglasses. Uniforms were Dress Blues & Tennis Shoes or cammie bathing suits. Close order drill involved young starlets brought in from LA by bus to entertain us. Our PT involved volleyball and surfing lessons. Our 782 gear was ditty bags full of beer, hamburgers, suntan lotion and candy.

Our DIs called us ‘gentlemen’, said ‘Please’ when asking us to do something, and tucked us in every night with a forehead kiss. At Camp Matthews, we qualified with shields, broadswords, bows & arrows and spears.

Every day a holiday, every meal a banquet, every pay day a fortune, every formation a family reunion. US Marine Corps: just one good deal after another.

Terrence Carbonara - April 4, 2020

Terrence (Terry) E. Carbonara (Retired, USMC CPL, E-4)
1960-1964, TDRL, 1964- Permanently Retired, 1969)
I personally can’t give an opinion as to the day to day, month after month, year after year banterring as to which recruit training depot was a tougher location to earn the coveted Eagle, Globe and Anchor. I graduated from MCRD, San Diego, prior to ITR at Camp Pendleton, CA. All Marines graduating from SD, had their own challenges, as well as triumphs as part of the process as did the graduates from Parris Island, S.C. One might debate as to the merits of climate, terrain, insects, former combat D.I’s as opposed to non-combat instructors. I’m certain the question of years served becomes an issue as to non-combat and combat assignments, ie: WWII, KOREA, VIETNAM, BEIRUT, and so on. The inquiries, questions and comments will continue as long as there are Marines to stroke the friendly fire(s). We all realize the U.S. Navy as a whole banters as well regarding the Great Lakes, NTC and the former San Diego, NTC; accordingly the U.S. Army has had its training locations challenged between units of the 82nd. and 101st Airborne. I can’t address the possible comments/concerns that may have been circulated regarding the U.S. Air Force or U.S. Coast Guard.
In my final summation I can say without reservation that I did enjoy and get a bit of stress relief watching the twinkling lights from the homes in the hills of beautiful California as I ran around my platoon trying to catch my mail from home before the letter(s) hit the deck-never made the catch!

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