L/CPL While Still in Boot?

I’d like to respond to the making of L/cpl. In boot camp. I went to MCRD San Diego in July of l969 also. I shot high series, and I got Pfc. You were promoted to L/cpl. while at the rifle range, when at the rifle range we weren’t even Marines yet. The rifle range was just phase 2, the half way point. After the range we were sorta promoted, we were allowed to blouse our utility’s. That was a big deal. I guess P.I. might have been tougher but did you ever stand outside after chow, and stare straight ahead and see the airport, a ride out. I don’t care if you were a holiday Marine or a P.I. graduate, we are and will always be Marines.
Sgt Grit wants to hear from you! Leave your comments below or submit your own story!

20 comments


  • G Bradshaw, Cpl E-4, ’61 – ’65

    8 of us finished HS and enlisted together in the USMC. Went through Parris Island, S.C. in the Summer of 1961. No one made L/Cpl. rank at basic training graduation. We did have about 6 guys make PFC. My squad leader made Series Honor Man. He was the only Marine in our series to receive dress blues & made PFC at graduation. We had one recruit who was at least an NCO while serving in the Army. He was the oldest of the 80 men in our platoon. He made PFC at graduation for previous service (he also wore as many service metals/ribbons as our DI’s who were vets of Korea War). Then we had 4 more that made PFC at the completion of basic training…..highest shooter at the range, the Right Guide & the other squad leaders?? Two of the guys that made PFC were fellow HS grads. After ITR training at Camp Geiger, Camp Lejuene, N.C. ….my next duty station was Comm.& Elect. Btn. at MCRD SD, CA. The Electronics/Radar Schools was 33 weeks long. I made PFC while in these schools. The completion of the last class the student with highest class average was promoted to L/Cpl. While stationed at MCRD SD, occasionally you would a see few guys leaving MCRD with a “new close hair cut” & dressed in brightly colored “mismatched shirt and pants”. These had to be the guys who were sent home and did not complete basic training. I made Cpl. E-4 in 1964 after 13 months in the Far East. 19415xx Cpl. E-4 1961 – 1965. SEMPER FI


  • MGySgt. Jim Mackin

    Rare occurrence, but not totally unheard of…I had one of my recruits get promoted to Lance Corporal meritoriously while I was on recruiting duty (c. 76-80)…He had been a “contract PFC” going to MCRDSD based on his completion of 2 years college prior to enlisting, and graduated as the series honor man out of recruit training, which warranted him the meritorious promotion to Lance Corporal…I’m pretty sure that I still have the letter from the Depot CG in my recruiting “atta boy” collection.


  • David S. Martinez

    I don’t agree with E-3 straight out of biotcamo but it does happen. Here’s proof: https://youtu.be/_y3bkc1U8vE


  • Bob Hougher

    I was in San Diego for boot camp June69. I was the platoon honor man and received the PFC rank. Then off to Pendelton for ITR then AIT. The Lt Col in charge of AIT promoted ten Marines to L/Cpl at the end of AIT. I don’t know what I did that was so outstanding, but was fortunate to be one of them. I do remember the Sergeants in charge of our company royally bitching about it and how long it took them to make Lance Corporal.

    I don’t get these pretenders. If they only knew how easy it is for Vets to smell them out they wouldn’t seek the false valor. Somebody needs to send them a few cans of whoop ass.

    There was a man in my town that was proud of his “Marine” story. His story was just loaded with holes. For instance, he said his enlistment contract stipulated he could go into the jungle on his own looking for Mr. Charles. When he found him, he wouldn’t kill him. He would leave a white feather on the sleeping VC. Maybe he had read about Carlos Hathcock and the White Feather he kept in his hat.

    The biggest hole in his story was when he would show a board with his medal ribbons. He had a Silver Star, a Bronze Star and a Purple Heart. His error was he had the Silver Star and the Bronze Star out of order.

    The next time I saw this man I was with another Nam Marine vet. We told him that if we ever heard of him telling his story again, we were going to mess up his health record.


  • John M Mason

    I was in Plt. 2071 at MCRDSD Sept.-Nov. 1967, no one made LCpl only PFCs. Just attended a graduation at MCRD on 9 Feb 17 and did see one LCpl graduating! He was the series honor man. I was with Echo 2/27 and Delta 1/9 in Nam 68-69


Leave a comment