Sgt. R's List - Make sure you read this before you leave!
Courtesy of Sgt. R
Get used to not having control over your life. You are at the complete
whim of the Drill Instructors and you must do what they say.
During your free time at the end of the day, you will be told to place
your cammies for the next day on your footlocker. Feed your belt through the
loops then. This will save time when you get dressed in the morning.
After lacing the boots, tie the tips of each lace in a knot. This way,
they will not get unlaced when you untie them in a hurry.
On your 782 gear (war belt), you will have 2 canteens. Each canteen has a
small pocket on it. Keep a couple Band-Aids in one and extra boot bands in the
other for emergencies.
When you didnít hear what the Drill Instructor said, ask them "Sir
(Ma'am), say again, Sir (Ma'am)". You
will get drilled if you say, "excuse meĒ or "what" or anything
else. "Say again" is the proper way to talk on the radio and is more
accepted. You might get called on it, but not as bad.
You will get issued 4 sets of cammies. One will get collected as an
inspection pair; the other three are for every day use. You will also have two
laundry bags, one for whites and one for darks. Always keep one set of cammies
in the laundry, one to wear, and one in your footlocker. This way you wonít
get yelled at for not having laundry, or for not having a spare. As soon as you
get your laundry back, put the spare on, put the one you have been wearing in
the laundry, and the clean one in the footlocker.
Please remember that no one is out to get you. Everything is for a
purpose. It might be just to get you stronger, but so what? Even if you get
quarter-decked, let it pass.
One test is to make you do push-ups or another exercise just for being
next to the guy who screws up. Donít hold it against that guy. You will need
your buddies to make it through.
Donít try to contact other recruits you come into contact with,
especially the opposite sex. Too much trouble to be worth it.
platoon scribe is the Drill Instructors secretary. Find out who the platoon
scribe is. He has the daily schedule and can tell you what is coming up in the
next couple of days.
not have anybody send you porn, food, tobacco, etc. You will open all mail in
front of the Drill Instructors. Anything found will be taking immediately and
you will be punished for it.
everything you can. You WILL feel sick after word, and sometimes will bring it
up, but you will get used to it.
eat quickly. I once had the amount of time that it took my Drill Instructor to
drink his glass of water to eat. Boot camp is non-stop activity and you will
need every calorie you can get.
take anything from the chow hall. Remember Full Medal Jacket? Itís for real,
eat heavy foods (cream beef, milk, etc) on mornings you PT. It sits heavy in
your stomach and is more likely to make you sick while running.
come in the last 10 or 20% of anything. Once you do, you will be labeled as
needing help and the label will last a long time.
take illness/injury too lightly. A little infection can become serious very
quickly and will cause you to be dropped. At the same time, donít ask to see a
corpsman for chapped lips.
every day, no matter if you need it or not. Sometimes Drill Instructors are
known to turn off the lights and inspect you with a flashlight to see the hairs
your hair very tight. This is a pet peeve of many women Drill Instructors and is
the first thing looked for.
everything you can before going to boot camp. Know your general orders and rank
structure as a minimum.
down in the best shape you can. I went down doing 70-75 sit-ups in two minutes,
15-17 pull-ups, and a 10:30 mile and a half and I had a lot easier time in the
beginning than most recruits did. But everyone struggles eventually. But if you
are ok physically, you can concentrate on other areas you need help in.
all fears when you get off the bus in boot camp. Fear of heights, bugs, etc must
become a thing of the past. They are now your best friends.
quit. The quickest way off the island is to graduate. If you quit, you will
spend about 3 or 4 extra months on the base while paperwork is completed.
to church. If nothing else, the drill instructors cannot touch you there. All
you do is sing, and itís a nice change of pace.
lots of water. It is too easy to dehydrate. Always keep your canteens full. The
drill instructors will check for it and you will pay dearly for not having it
bring too much to boot camp. All you are going to be able to keep is your
wallet. Be shaven and make sure your hair is cut, but not a crew cut. The Drill
instructors will accuse you of trying to be a Marine too soon. Also, donít
wear any Marine T-shirts or get any Marine tattoos for the same reason. Having
hickeys and love-bites are just asking for trouble. Pictures and stamps are the
best, along with a list of addresses.
buy too much when you go through the recruit PX. All you can buy is clothing,
gear and cleaning supplies. Extra boot bands and such are fine, but stay away
you go to the field, follow the Drill Instructors packing orders exactly as they
say. They will check your pack, and they know what you will need
not take anything said to you personally. Most of the time they are just trying
to get a rise from you. Ignore the insults and listen for good information.
used to not saying "I", "we", "us",
"you", etc. You will be a nobody and you donít deserve those words.
Never refer to yourself or anyone else in the first person. You are now
"This recruit" and all of you are "this platoon". And
donít make the mistake of referring to yourself as a Marine or future Marine.
You will pay severely for that.
all your clothing as you are told. The laundry service loses clothes all the
time. Also, anything you buy, like your moonbeam (flashlight), should be marked
possible, keep a spare pen and your writing tablet with you. They can come in
handy, but not all Drill Instructors will allow this.
a list of the following items with someone who can send them to you once you
reach boot camp: flavored toothpaste, a good toothbrush, a real razor, good
shaving cream, chapstick, decent deodorant, bug repellant (skin-so-soft works
great for sand fleas), water proof sun tan lotion, stamps, and stationary. You
should be allowed all these things and they will help make life comfortable.
you REALLY want them, do not bring any necklaces or jewelry. You are allowed
religious jewelry and wedding rings, but they just get in the way and get
broken. Best to leave them at home.
bring much money. All meals for the trip down there are paid for, so the only
thing you will need is a little spending money for magazines and the like. If
you want, a pre-paid phone card would be useful in case you get a phone call
tie your boots too tight. Keeping it comfortably loose is easier on your feet.
The key is too find out what is too tight and what is too loose.
not to be too afraid of the Drill Instructors. They cannot physically hurt you.
The only time they can touch you is to correct drill, correct uniforms, and
emergencies. They will try everything in the book to scare you and make you cry,
but try not to be too afraid. I promise, by graduation, you will respect them
more than anyone youíve ever met.
get a better idea of boot camp, read both Boot and Making the Corps. They will
give you a decent idea of what boot camp life is. But, please, remember the
Drill Instructors WILL curse.
just remember that no matter what, itís only 3 months. You will be in bed at
2000 (8 p.m.) every night (usually).
Donít count days, count Sundays. It seems to go faster. Soon you will graduate
and will be one of us: The Few, The Proud, The Marines.