What Did I Do?

Joined the USMC in 1960 with four of my friends from the south side of Chicago. Had the usual Drill Instructor screaming and shouting on arrival in San Diego. Raced with much encouragement into the Quonset Hut with two recruits standing by each bunk bed with the mattresses rolled up on each bed. Then into the doorway came this relatively short Drill Instructor yelling attention. He looked as if the starched creases on his uniform could cause serious gashes and he had a long cigar in his mouth and I am know the ashes were afraid to fall off. He looked around at the group and then came directly to the back of the hut where I was.

He then addressed me with the forceful thrust of his right palm to my midsection and I fell back on the springs unable to find any air that would go into my lungs. He started screaming at me and asking me where I was from. Still could not get my breath. Then he was on top of me with me laying on the rack on my back. He started screaming again the question as to where I was from. By this time he was sort of “examining” my neck and throat and I tried to answer and say Chicago. He didn’t understand my guttural speech at the time and thought I said South Dakota. He then said as he yanked me up that no piece of -I will use the term human excrement – from South Dakota had ever made it in his Marine Corps. As he was leaving my bedside as I was just starting to stand up he then addressed my mid section forcing me to find some air again. I must say I had the thought at that moment of what the sam hell have I gotten myself into. However I made Guide and graduated PFC and loved the Corps ever since.

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

16 comments


  • John T. Lefker

    I love it. Sure made me laugh and remember my days in boot camp July 1953
    In San Diego and my time in the Corps 1953-1957. I have a few story’s I remember but I would just make a fool of
    myself after the story’s I have read and the way they were presented. Sgt. of Marines


  • Alvin Stokes Sgt.

    Interesting story Marine. However I have a question, how did you end up in San Diego (Hollywood) from Chicago which is east of the Mississippi River?


  • Terry Summers Sgt USMC ’67 / ’74

    In reply to Alvin Stokes Sgt..
    I went to MCRD SD in June 1967. Plt 1012. We had several recruits from Chicago in our platoon.


  • Michael Hafrris

    In reply to Alvin Stokes Sgt..
    Because the Marine Corps in its infinite wisdom, sends good looking recruits to MCRD, no matter where they are from.


  • S Otte, CPL. USMC 58-61, 7113

    When I went through San Diego in “58” Plt. 308, we had several from Chicago, one from Detroit, one from Tenn., and others from east of the Mississippi.


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