Receiving Barracks

When we were finally finshed with the initial processing (getting our equipment, clothes, hygene materials, and instructions...losing our hair and belongings) we were turned over to a DI we thought was tough. I must tell you though, in retrosepct Receiving DI's are like Kindergarden teachers. They teach you elementary drill and basic marine behaviour so your DI's do not lose their patients with you and shoot you on the spot when you are turned over to them.

Yes, they merely are the bridge to help you over the culture shock from civilian to recruit. You learn you no longer are worthy of a name. You are only allowed to speak of yourself as "this recruit", as in, "Sir, this recruit requests permission to speak to Senior Drill Instructor, Staff SGT ....." It is a long and drawn out ordeal before you ever get to see your bunk, for there are many things to be done first. When you finally are allowed to sleep you do so with ease. When morning next comes, bright and early at 0530, you are taught gently how to dress yourself and make your bunk. You make error, big ones, that only a receiving DI would allow you to make and live. You step it on out to morning chow, learning in baby steps how to attempt to march.

Chow was interesting as well. The food was fine. Perhaps it was a bit bland but no one was complaining I tell you. So what if the eggs had green specks? They nourished the body didn't they? Trays, we would later learn, had to be carried at 45 degree angles until food was to be placed on it, and with firm grip so DI's could not knock it from your grasp. The length of meals varied and depended entirely upon the mood of the DI. Usually chow lasted no longer than one minute after the last recruit was seated, thus the last recruit learned quite quickly how to shut up and eat his grub.

Once everyone was processed onto the island, had their medical business taken care of, and all pending issues resolved, the fledgling platoon would pack up and ride to the other side of the island to their new home. In my case that home was to be 3rd Btn. India Company, and our family was to be Platoon 3044.