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Platoon Commander aka Senior Drill Instructor

Platoon Commander aka Senior Drill Instructor Admin |

If you’ve never heard of a Platoon Commander while in Boot Camp, it’s not my fault. I didn’t write the book, I didn’t publish the book. I simply purchased the book sometime during my internment at MCRD San Diego. The Marine Corps, or the Navy, recorded my experience for me during those two plus months. I was much too busy to take pictures. My book clearly shows the Senior Drill Instructor listed as “Platoon Commander”. I don’t recall the Senior DI wearing a different style belt than the other Drill Instructors except while drilling toward the end of training, preparing for “final drill”. Then he wore a black leather belt with scabbard, otherwise it was the standard canvas cartridge belt with first aid pouch. SF


I was in Platoon 2060 in 1967 MCRD San Diego with Ponder, Barefoot, and Newby as my drill instructors. I lost my yearbook and have no way of knowing who went through basic with me. Please contact me. Thank you.

Ralph Misquez,

I was in plt 242 in 1963. Gerald Woodward was our guide on bearer and well respected. I was a squad leader and remember well at ITR when we were low crawling under fire and the bunker exploded next to him. I could see day light underneath him. Glad he didn’t jump any higher.

Mike Johnson ,

iwas in regimental honer plt 164 mcrd sd sept 1962 to dec 1962 i had di that was particurly hard on me gysgt e-6 rodgers we had a sadistic cpl di at the time was cpl. david h. smith. 4yrs later i was sgt under 4 ran into cpl smith who made sgt after me not because of the sadistic ways he treated recurits i made sgt under 4 because og gunny rodgers one of the chosin few silver star and two bronze stars, gunny rodgers you are my hero david h. smith you suck dick sgt vance and sgt danner were othernd.idi anyone befor or after me have any ofthese great marins

sgt t.a dicks,

On 8 May 1967 (at 07:30) I stepped into The Customs House on Canal Street in New Orleans and my life forever changed. By about 17:00 that day, I met my first Campaign Cover at San Diego International Airport and along about 21:00 I met my second. He wore the Campaign Cover and a highly polished black belt (the same as was used to carry the frog used to support the NCO Sword). The other two Maniacs along with him wore the webbed cartridge belt with the first aid pouch attached. The S/Sgt. with the Black belt was the Platoon Commander. The other two S/Sgts. were Drill Instructors, and we were Platoon 373 of 3rd. Bn. – L Co. If we fast forward to 1 May 1970 I steps out of Drill Instructor School and into 3rd. Bn. – K Co. as a brand new Drill Instructor wearing that same webbed cartridge belt with the first aid pouch attached. The Platoon Commanders still wore that highly polished Black Belt. I never heard of anyone referred to as Senior Drill Instructor during my time in the Marine Corps.

Nick Hayes,

SSGT Hernandez was our Platoon Commander with 2 Sgt Drill Instructors I was in Platoon 2080 E Company 2ND Battallion at MCRD 1970

Kenneth Fillmore,

Platoon I meant

Kenneth Fillmore,

PCP Phycial Conditioning Platoo

Kenneth Fillmore,

All I know,as a PI Marine, is the pictures of those DIs’ instantly turned into pictures of my DIs’.A cold shiver ran down my spine.Anyone else.Semper Fi.

Sgt A.J.Manos,

Harry, Same with my platoon 3106 book from 1966 except we had 4 ADIs as a couple switched out during training.

Sgt. Eric Tipton,

Bob this is from a graduate of Parris Island Plt 3052. I also started in September 67. My Drill Instructors were S/Sgt Hunt, S/Sgt Fulk and S/Sgt Lamoureux. Were you at San Diego.

Maurice “Moe” Boudreau,

Hey Ed, Here’s a S/Sgt Ponder story. While waiting outside of a sick bay to get shots, wearing only skives and t-shirts, S/Sgt Ponder walked up and down the platoon telling us to watch out for the corpsmen. He told us that if any of them started any kind of grab ass, one of us had to run out of the building and tell him. He never explained why. A few months later, back at MCRD for Comm school, the latest court marshal was read off. It was a Corpsman who was grab assing with another Corpsman and had an air needlegun in his hand. The next boot in line got hit with a shot that cut his upper arm to the bone, about an inch long. The boot got a medical, and the Corpsman got 6 months at Portsmith, 6 months pay loss, reduced to E-2, and a kick. That must have been what Ponder was warning us about.


May or may not be an update on your S/Sgt West. In fall of 67, my Series Gunnery Sgt was GySgt., L. West.


Agree with this. Once out of boot camp I learned that the PI Marines had SDIs, while we Dego Marines had PCs, Platoon Commanders. The PCs wore a polished black belt. The DIs wore a cartridge belt with first aid pouch. Some kept their smokes in the pouch.


Started out Nov 1, 1967 in 2207. We were in GP tents. S/Sgt Ponder was the Platoon commander. We did have a Sgt. Barefoot, but for some reason he left the platoon before I did. I went to PCP after 10 days. After 2 weeks I left PCP and joined 2217.


Well said Gunny Marso!! I graduated from MCRD, San Diego and was an 8511 in 3rd Bn, Parris Island in ’70 and ’71. As regards SSgt Ponder, he might have been an ADI when he was assigned or the rules may have changed. When I went thru D.I. School we had more than one Staff NCO in my class. When a SSgt was assigned he would typically work at least one platoon as an ADI, then be assigned SDI duties. Because of the Vietnam War we sometimes found ourselves jammed up and shorthanded for D.I.’s, sometimes working back to back platoons (but there’s nothing like a Series D.I. party when we caught a break and rarely saw one where the Series Commander wasn’t invited, and those of us that have been there know that’s a damn fact). The point being, more than once we were caught with 2 or 3 ADI’s holding things down for a few days or a week until we got our SDI assigned or one of the ADI’s was made the SDI. Favorite SDI to work for: Al Montenguise; best Series Guns: Gunny Beuchler.

G. Willard,

I graduated from PI, Platoon 215 on 9 March 1966. Our DI’s were a Senior Drill and instructor and Junior Drill Instructors as shown in our Platoon Book. On our Platoon Picture the are just identified by name and rank. Also, the Senior DI wore the black belt with brass buckle and the Junior DI wore a cartridge belt with a solid brass buckle with the EGA on it.

Bob Mauney,

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