Skip to content

Spit Shined Boots and Boondockers

Yes I remember those days. Boot camp MCRDSD 1959. Being the only Japanese American recruit in boot camp, you can imagine what it was like. Yes I did got thumped by a Jr DI, because his older brother was KIA on Iwo Jima. The senior DI took care of him prior to graduation. My boot and boondockers , dress shoes were always shining When I joined my battalion after bootcamp and ITR, my boots and boondockers were the brightest you ever saw. My platoon sargeant and platoon commander always asked me how I did it. Just told them, spit/polish and a good polish rag. Was like that for 10 years.
Previous article Finally


S/SGT. M.L.Gregor - May 4, 2020

boon dockers spit shined ?? boot camp mcrd Diego march 1950

Robert Dickerson - May 4, 2020

I recall standing daily inspection at 2nd Motors with a sergeant who was getting out of the Corps after 10 years – he had decided there were other things he wanted to do while he was still young enough to do them. At any rate he was developing a rather creative short-timers attitude. When the platoon commander (2nd Lt.) complimented him on his exceptionally shiny boots and asked how he got them so shiny, the sergeant replay “black glossy lacquer, Sir”. It cracked all of us up, including the Lt. That comment still cracks me up when I think about it.

Jesse Griffin VSM CAR CIB - May 4, 2020

The Coccorans (sp) in the picture do take a good shine. Did Marines wear jump boots back in the day? Just kidding.

Don Cook - May 4, 2020

In 56, I was in plt 268 MCRD San Diego. We shined our boots and boondockers with Kiwi polish and a rock.

thomas R Paul - May 4, 2020

I went to P.I. in 69 no camouflage utilities. no tile floors, wood floors scrubbed by brush so many times that they shone white.

thomas R Paul - May 4, 2020

I went to P.I. in 69 no camouflage utilities. no tile floors, wood floors scrubbed by brush so many times that they shone white.

D. H. Swan - May 4, 2020

In 1958 at MCRD San Diego we were issued boondockers that had rough leather. We used saddle soap and and a glass soda bottle to smooth the leather and don’t remember using KiWi to polish them. Of course that was 59 years ago and the old memory ain’t what it used to be..

Richard B. Erickson Cpl USMC - May 4, 2020

1958 MCRD San Diego, We were issued rough leather combat boots. Had to burn the rough out down with lighter fluid before you could spit shine. Had one platoon member who showed us how to use a silk rag to get the same as a spit shine. Never used it though. Back then we were stilling Lucky Strike Goes to war green 4 pack cigarettes in our K-rations. SEMPER FI

Sgt Robert L Sisson - May 4, 2020

In reply to Howard Hada.
I remember when I was at 29 Palms after coming back from Vietnam a GOOD friend of mine Staff Sgt. Staranka from Pittsburgh ( also ) had us use Pledge for an IG inspection. I was really afraid it would CRACK. So I told my people to walk on your heels till we get through this inspection. It did look good but scared the crap out of me.

Sgt Frank Del Santo - May 4, 2020

Now they have it too easy!

Leave a comment

* Required fields