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Lots of Reps

Lots of Reps


Reading the many recollections of Boot Camp has brought many a laugh. A very vivid memory for me occurred on a pleasant Saturday evening at MCRD in April 1963. This particular evening became an “memorable” encounter with pain for Platoon 218.

We had returned to our area after evening mess, and as we stood in formation on the Platoon Street, Cpl Wright (Jr DI), commanded us to commence doing 102 “up-and-on-shoulders” with M-14s. Instantly from somewhere within the ranks came a moan and muffled “s–t”. Cpl Wright, as all DIs would do, increased the number of reps to 1003. “Ah, s–t” was heard to come from another area of the formation. At this point, I realized that Platoon 218 was doomed to a most horrible penalty. Yes, the good Cpl, with menace in his voice, announced, “2003 up-and-on- shoulders”. Silence filled the air, as the shock of reality filled every “boot”!

After about 500 reps, the pain became secondary, and survival took command of my mind and body. Another “boot” in formation in front of me began to sag after about 2000 reps. This so incensed me, realizing that if anyone fell out we would probably all be doing these reps until “h&ll froze over, that I did the only sensible thing! I smacked him on the top of his head with my rifle and yelled that if he quit, I would beat him senseless.

Well, every “swinging d–k” completed the 2003 reps! It was very “enlightening” to each of us. I know that I had a deeper appreciation of life. I have shared this tail of pain with other Marines over the years and each just nods and then shares his own craziest or painful experience at PI or MCRD.

Memories are wonder, even the ones that came with pain and fear, because those are the ones that helped to develop us into Marines!

Semper Fi
Bob Lonn, USMCR (Sgt.)

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GREGORY PAWLIK - April 15, 2020

Sgt. Manos – You are spot on! Boot camp was the hardest thing I ever did in my life, both physically and mentally. I never was really in harms way while in the Corps, but the first time I saw the opening scene of “FULL METAL JACKET”, I was freaking out like I was 19 again. (Can you claim PTSD at the VA ?- just joking) It was an 8 week program in the summer of ’69, but since I had to go to the PCP platoon, and then assigned to a second platoon, I did 12 weeks at MCRDSD and met many DI’s, quite a mix of personalities.

Jim Albert - April 15, 2020

Plt 321 PI… about “duck walking” around the squad bay, with your foot locker over your head. Shared misery, definitely brought us closer together…..RVN 67 Semper Fi

Sgt.Beck - April 15, 2020

I was in platoon 299 in 1963 the last platoon of 1963, and that a great way to celebrate New Years.Just saw those photo and had some quick memories. It took a little time but finally came around. Thank you Marine Corp the best thing to start my life out, and a great wife to put up with the Marine.

Bob Lonn - April 15, 2020

My training date (in my letter) should have actually read “April 1964”! I’m not sure how 1963 showed up, but … hey …. maybe as I recalled that “memorable moment” at MCRD, SD, my “brain housing group” became entangled with my “maggot-entangled recall valve adapter”. HaHaHaHa! Whatever the date, all of us “Maggots” who managed to survive our stay at MCRD can look back and say, “I’m proud to be one of the Few, the Proud, the Marines! Semper Fi, Chesty, wherever you are! PS …. I published a book, EXCITEMENT: Shot At And Missed, a couple years ago. It’s the story of my brother and the Marines of F-2-5 in Korea, 1951! The first two chapters are ‘boot camp’. My brother’s recollections from MCRD in 1949, match very closely to my recollections from 1964. As we prepared the book, we laughed until our jaws hurt. Only a Marine can find humor in getting his butt kicked by an enraged DI, right? My publisher has gone out of business, but I have books ($15 plus shipping) available if anyone is interested.

Deuce - April 15, 2020

In reply to WILLIAM RUSSO.
Similar for me. January-March 1969. MCRDSD. Platoon 3011. Does anyone remember SSGT Blankenship?

Howard Hada - April 15, 2020

AAAAAAH….those were the days!! We are all much wiser now..and we ARE Marines! I agree about the pain that the bucket drills created….I HATED that drill more than any other! Plt 306 in Jan 1961…my service weapon was a M1…serial number 3252566…I’ll bet that you ALL still remember your rifle’s serial number!

Sgt T. K. Shimono - April 15, 2020

Should send the boot camp comment to Jim Barber, who wrote a book about Marine Boot Camp MCRDPI and MCRDSD. He said he was starting a second book if he could get enough replies about funny things that happened in boot camp.

John D. Borges - April 15, 2020

Cpl Mckee I can certainly identify with you and your photographs-Platoon 272 MCRD PISC.

S/Sgt K R Thomas 1957*** - April 15, 2020

My bootcamp book from 1961,plt. 275, also has a couple of those pictures. The buckets of sand were pure hell but I hated the fireman’s carry the most. Being 5′ 6 1/2″ and weighing less than 130 lbs I and a couple of others my size were carried quite often with the result being very sore ribs.

DMckee Cpl. - April 15, 2020

The pictures posted on this thread are from my bootcamp book from 1959, platoon 271 MCRD. A lot of memories good and bad from those days. Holding buckets of sand for what seemed an eternity was a not so good…Semper Fi

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