Sunday, May 5, 2013


This is going to induce flashbacks for some of you . . . I know it did for me . . . S.L.

I wasn't in the Marines I was in the Army - started out Infantry; C-7-1 at Sand Hill, Fort Benning, Georgia.

Day One was like this only there were Drill Sgts everywhere; they swarmed us. What happened was our bus pulled up to the quad and this drill sergeant that looked like something out of a 1940s training film got on board and said, "YOU MOTHERF*CKERS HAVE GOT SIX SECONDS TO GET YOUR BAGS OUTTA THIS BUS AND GET THEM TO THE TOP OF THAT HILL AND THREE OF THEM ARE ALREADY GONE!!!"

We unloaded that bus faster than anything I have ever seen in my life. There was no cluster getting out bags out of the luggage compartments, either; somehow everybody got their gear and nobody wanted to be last up that hill - no matter what was waiting for us up there.

About three hours of pure Hell followed. The drill sergeants thrashed us, and it was just like in Full Metal Jacket; only when you're watching the movie you don't feel your arms falling off or your knees buckling or your back collapsing from all the stress positons. I remember being in the "front leaning rest" looking at the inch-deep puddle of sweat in front of me and thinking, "I didn't know sweat could stack that high." I remember being aware of the guy to my seven o'clock upchucking his lunch and the Drills alerted on him.

Then I heard, "HEY! HEY!!! WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU DOING PUKING ON MY CEMENT?!?!?" To this day I cannot believe what I saw next. Out of the corner of my eye I saw that Drill Sgt put his boot on the back of the puker's head, forcing his face into the puddle of puke, "LICK IT UP, PUKE! LICK IT UP!" and the poor sorry bastard was LICKING IT UP!

They smoked the living dogshit out of us. I remember thinking, "Holy Shit! I didn't know the Army HAD this!" If I had known, I would have gone ahead and joined the Marines and at least gotten the good uniform for my troubles.

At the time this movie came out, my girlfriend despaired at the boot camp scene. She didn't understand, had no perspective to appreciate what goes on in Basic Training. The Drills broke us down, got all our horrible civilian bad habits out of us. Then they built us up, made us strong and taught us to together work as a team. The military made me what I am today.



  1. Yep, you are correct that is a flash back. I remember being one of the senior companies that had a rare moment to watch the goings on. The newest company was so terrified upon arrival and unloading the bus the silly bastards made the mistake of trying to climb out the back emergency exit.. Bad idea as they were thrown back in to the bus to disembark in a proper Army fashion.

    I also remember 30th AG reception area and the first night where everyone had to shave. Some folks were so shaken up they were shaving in the toilets.

  2. TomR,armed in TexasMay 6, 2013 at 4:27 PM

    Similar first day experiences. Ft Polk Louisiana is an unpleasant place anyway. July and August only make it worse. Heat, humidity, bugs, snakes, drill sgts. Too many of each.

  3. Ahh ... Sand Hill ... C 2/58 ... thanks for the trip down memory lane.

  4. E 2/58 Sand Hill seems like a lifetime ago.

  5. I lived the boot camp in FMJ. When I enlisted in the Marines, DI's could still smack the shit out of you for a real or imagined infraction. I think everyone in our platoon got popped at least once. I even had on of the DI's threaten to run me through with his ceremonial sword. He had the point against my chest and was exerting a good amount of pressure. I wouldn't trade the experience for anything. The best part was the 2 weeks we spent at the rifle range. I learned a lot even though I had been shooting for a long time.

    I did finally get the crossed rifles and wreath of the Marine rifle Expert. I still have that medal in my little box of treasures and it is one I am most proud of. Semper Fi.

  6. Ah, what fond memories. I was in C-7-1 in the summer of '85. I'm grateful to all the Army did to show me what I am capable of. There were plenty of moments back then I wasn't so grateful, but even in the heat of it, you knew you were part of something special.