I Still Eat Slow

I Still Eat Slow

In 1954 I left high school as a skinny, weak, and pampered kid and joined the Corps. Upon arrival at MCRD San Diego I got the crap stomped out of me for talking back to a PFC that was picking me up at the airport. After my second week I was made to duck walk completely around the “grinder” because I called my trousers, “pants”.

I am, and always have been, a very slow eater. All through boot camp we were given 15 minutes to march into the mess hall, get our food, eat, and return to formation behind the mess hall. I can’t even season my food in 15 minutes so therefore I was always late for formation. After every meal, either the SDI or the JDI would bounce me off of every wall in the Duty Room for eating so slow. I went through 18 weeks of this and I still eat slow.

I tell people about this and they call it sadistic and cruel. I always tell them that I came out of MCRD a little heavier, in fantastic shape, a definite respect for authority, and a far better person than I was going in. For 18 weeks I feared my DI’s more than death but I later saw that there was a reason for each and every thing that they made us do.

To this day, I still remember, and practice, the lessons I learned in the Corps. The Corps made me a much better person and I will never regret my tour of duty.

Semper Fi
Sid C. Gerling
Sgt of Marine

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

10 comments


  • Harry

    One time I and a few others were late after chow. the platoon was already gone one of the DI’s was waiting for us.He made us march back to the barracks on our hands and knees shouting BAAH like sheep We were known as “The Lost Sheep” The rest of our training.


  • John W…former Sergeant

    I went through San Diego in 1986. Before boot camp, I ate at normal speed. During and after boot camp, I think I just swallowed food without chewing. I remember the DIs not yelling but using that growling voice at a bunch of us to drink milk in the chow hall, just to have us throw it up after lunch. Now, I eat like snails racing on sand.


  • ArtyMgySgt

    I went through PISC in 1961 and when we went to the rifle range I was made platoon guide and I thought I would get to eat first or early but instead myself and a squad leader had to hold the screen doors open for the platoon to enter the mess hall. So we ate last and on several occasions I went out and my platoon was marching away . Picking up my guide on I ran to rejoin the platoon and the duty D.I. had a wisecrack for me like “Look our Guide has decided to join us.”


  • Bob Rader

    Duck walked up the fire breaks with sea bags at Camp Matthews.


  • Cpl. Bobby Jolly

    I got to MCRD San Diego in June of ’56, ( Plt. 2004 ), In 1962 I Left the Corp a much better Man than when I went in. Once and Always Brother Marines, Semper Fi !!!


Leave a comment