New Words

I arrived at MCRD San Diego, 18 years old from the midwest and we were gathered together and issued a sweat shirt and a cover (hat) fitted to our head with a full head of hair, a pail and a brush. Then we went to the barber shop and all our hair was cut off, the cover became to large for our heads, but went down over our ears. Our DI’s shouted out the word “Shit Bird” I had never heard that word before, but I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt I was one standing there at attention, cover over my ears, a pail, a brush and a sweat shirt, still in civilian pants and shoes. Not sure of the timing, but we were marched to the quanset hut where we would spend 3 months and with the pail and brushes we scrubbed everything from top to bottom, in the meantime being sprayed by water type fire extinguishers by the DI’s, who were shouting some brand new words that I had never heard before…I had not been a prissy person, but I was shocked at some of the new words we heard and learned.

WOW – guess it was a kind of shock treatment, We then were marched over to get our issue of clothing, locker, and we were constantly bombarded with the opposite of love and affection! I buried my smile in a 4 X 4 hole I dug in the sand, no longer intentionally smiling – If we filtered out the new words the DI was uttering, there would not have been very much said.

What a time from being a Real Shit Bird to 3 months later when our Platoon marched at our graduation, all so very proud to graduate from being a recruit to becoming a MARINE! that was in 1953 and now at 81 years old I am still Proud to be a MARINE! No longer a shit bird! Semper Fi

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


  • Hugh P. Mc Gowan

    In reply to Ron “SKI” Borski.
    Borski; I arrived 2/12/59 from Chicago with two others. Kelly and Friehart. Di’s Heinz, Wells and Moore. Give me a call. 818-909-2520. Let’s catch up.

  • Gary Lowe

    My favorite memory, plt 2173 MCRD San Diego. After the haircut getting our first issue of clothes I told the man I needed 30-36 pants when I actually needed 36-30. Well coming out of a wet shower there was no way those pants were ever going to fit. I sure the DIs still laugh about it, l was scared to death. However, in eight weeks I could wear them, I’d have to roll up the legs. The whole six years were the best of my life. Semper Fi.

  • Top Pro USMC ’64-’84

    In reply to Charles w. McKellar.
    I think yours is the oldest “Old Corps” post that I have seen. Semper Fi, and long live The Corps!

  • Don Capellani

    In reply to S Otte, CPL. USMC 58-61, 7113.
    Don’t remember you but I was in the same platoon 308 in 58 Semper Fi

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