September 1955 I reported to Boot Camp MCRDSD. First one on the left next to the Senior Drill Instructor. 3 years later I was in DI school, selected as the youngest DI to attend DI school for that time. Many NCO’s were much senior to me, but I made it through DI school. This is a picture of me with one of my platoons. I am on the right. We were the only two sergeants that were DI’s of a platoon, usually there was a senior NCO assigned with us.
It was hard work, we enjoyed it and made Marines out of bunch of crappy civilians. One platoon, we had a group of reservists, with a PhD in Math. Private Ball was intelligent but we were worried if he could pass the rifle range. On the day of qualifications, I told him I’ve never done this, but was going to give him a muscle relaxer pill. It was nothing but a baby aspirin, but it worked. He barely qualified and broke down and cried upon learning he had qualified.
Life goes on. I later was promoted to Captain and retired in 1975. Served two tours in Vietnam.
Captain, USMC, retired