I have an 18 yr. old grandson who is a good guy, but with character flaw. He’s is a slob. His facial hair is coming in black, not real heavy, but vary noticeable. He shaves every 3 or 4 days. It looks like crap.

I tried to explain that he needed to have some self pride. And he should shave every day, if not every day at least every other day. This went in one ear and out his a$$. Still a slob.

This brought back an experience I had in boot camp ( MCRDSD ). Our platoon had just been formed and we had just received our first uniform issue. Utilities, boots socks and such. Our Senior Drill Instructor S/Sgt Colter had the platoon fall out in our schivies and bring the shaving kit we were issued with the bucket issue.

Once in formation Sgt. Colter started his inspection, walking back and forth in front of the formation. He stopped right in front of me. He then ask if I shaved ?

My response was NO.

He then began to explain the proper response to a question ( a little painful I might add ). He then ask, how many in this HERD shaved. He had them rase their hands. About half shaved. He then returned his attention to me. Sh$t-head have you ever shaved ? Again my answer was, a resounding NO. I was again given instruction in the proper way to address the drill instructor. And again it was vary painful.

At this point S/Sgt. Colter explained very clearly how we would shave. And how much time we would have to Sh$t-shower-and shave. Five minutes. “FIVE MINUTES, FIVE MINUTES “. I can’t crap in five minutes. Then he said, hit the showers, get, get, get. Looked like a dam fire drill. a$$holes and elbows. When we got back in formation, you can’t believe how much toilet paper was stuck on our faces, I looked like a mummy. Back in the fifties when you received your bucket issue, we were issued the Gillette double-edge razor. This dam thing was a good way to commit suicide.

This was my experience and I’am sure most marines of this era have had similar. I am 76 years old and every time I shave, I think about this. Drill Instructors make one hell of an impression.

Chuck Wilson
Plt. 1019 1958
Sherman, Texas

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


  • Ronald Jacob USMC (1970-1984)

    Aug-Oct 1970, Plt 188, A Co, 1st RTR, Parris Island. After the range, our DI’s usually avoided the head during our morning “ablutions” after the range, and we had gotten our pattern/routine down. One morning, as I was shaving, another DI from the series came through the head. (We were in the “new” concrete conjoined recruit barracks.) All of us reacted as someone called us to Attention! Surprised and reacting, I shaved a 4-inch long strip down my cheek. Lots of toilet paper, but I don’t remember any comments on the tp or scab from the DI’s.

  • AM, 1130374, 1/5 1st Div.

    I believe part of the “bucket” issue was a tub of Barasol shaving cream..and I also recall some really brilliant boots thought they could get sh*t, shaved and showered, and beat the time limit, by just not putting a blade in said razor. Upon being “inspected”, rather closely, those unshaven were sent to the head to open the used blade dispenser, retrieve a used blade and “dry” shave. We even had one “mature” boot who had a nice growth under his nose. That’s what our DI called it. He didn’t remove said growth. The DI had him stick the Barasol tub in his mouth and complete, in the dry manner, his shave, with a used blade. What a fine lesson was learned by all!!

  • Bill Walkner

    Been there, done that, bought the tee shirt! Oohrah!

  • Johnny Reyes Jr.

    You’re absolutely right, Chuck. Those Gillettes were dangerous. I remember thinking “I’ll probably bleed to death before I leave the depot”. When I got to 2ITR at Camp San Onofre in Sept 1958, I saw a cadre Cpl using a battery powered electric shaver out in the field and I thought, “This is the way to go”. At $85.00 a month, it was a long time before I could afford one.

  • Gio

    Sounds familiar. Half of those who did shave had only used an electric razor. That first morning was made an even larger cluster due to the fact there were no lights on in the head. It wasn’t total darkness, but close to it with some light from the barracks shining into the head. Shaving with a blade for the first time in relative darkness brought forth a lot of blood. Even those of us that had used blades before drew blood. The sinks were a mess. I thought the lights were purposely turned off for our benefit, but apparently not, because we changed barracks later that day. Before we grabbed our gear and moved we did field day the barracks to include cleaning the bloody sinks and deck in the head.

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