Photo: via U.S. Marine Corps
Every small-town tough guy thinks he’d never take treatment like this.Then when they get down to Parris Island, that small-town tough guy quickly realises: You will take treatment like this and like it.
Welcome to a behind-the-scenes look at Marine Corps recruit training. Drill Instructors are the thing of legend — I remember, when they finally let us sleep for the first time, about 50 truly harrowing hours from the time we arrived, and those lights shut out, each of us in our racks, I heard a decent handful of grown men crying for their mothers.
I’m not even joking.
Like I said, the thing of legend. These guys spend 13 weeks crushing every undisciplined aspect of a recruit's body into dust.
Showing emotion is strictly forbidden though — Marines call this 'bearing,' and they are regularly graded on it.
Next thing they'll do is get as close to you as humanly possible. A recruit doesn't even own the space around himself ...
Running in place, push ups, side straddle hops, and other gruelling exercises dominate a recruit's life, 24/7.
The people in random coloured t-shirts are 'poolees' — future recruits. Real recruits wear Marine Corps green.
On occasion DI's will do outreach to poolee programs to give them a feel for what they'll see in boot.
Big time executives have even organised trips to get a chance to get hustled around by Marine Corps DI's.
Oh no! The classic 'knife hand' is a mainstay of DI's. Marines will go on into their careers and do parodies of DI knife hands.
Even future officers have enlisted DI's. That's why second lieutenants are a little jumpy when they hit the fleet Marine Corps.
And also kids in JROTC programs get to get a piece. DI's have enough for anyone who wants. (By the way, her bearing is ... Outstanding!)
I see the tiniest hint of a grin on this poolee here. He'll learn if he ever gets down to the island.
But there is a method to the madness. Future Marines need to learn how to deal with incredible amounts of stress.
The best way to put that stress on a human is to hustle them around, every minute of every day, watching for the slightest little twitch of a mistake.
Combat is a game of millimeters and milliseconds, one screw up could lose lives. Every recruit learns this.
And most will lose weight and gain muscle throughout their stay on the island. Believe it or not, every Marine learns to love and respect his Drill Instructors. They will never forget those names.
Every now and then a DI will go too far: Here a 1st Sergeant lets the DI know, meanwhile the recruit books it.
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