Upon Learning He Had Qualified

Upon Learning He Had Qualified

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.

Don Brown DI school graduation photo class 4

Don Brown as DI with Plt 257 MCRD SD 1958

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.

Don Brown
Captain, USMC, retired

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3 comments


  • Donald L Cook

    I ARRIVED A YEAR LATER, APRIL 56, PLT 268 LATER 368. SF SGT D COOK


  • Paul Prosise

    Try http://www.yellowfootprints.com/yearbook/showgallery.php/cat/545 or https://militaryyearbookproject.com/platoon-photos/usmc-marine-corps-recruit-depot-mcrd-photos/mcrd-san-diego/1950-59-mcrd-san-diego?page=4 Can not see your Platoon yet, but keep checking them.


  • Chet Ball

    I went thru boot camp in 1955. I was in platoon 129. I arrived on 4-18-1955. My SDI was S/SGT SH Armstrong and JDI was SGT R.L Perry. This is the first post I have seen from anyone going back this far. If anyone has photos of platoon 129 I would be very happy to receive them . Semper FI SGT CBall


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