Sgt. R's List - Make sure you read this before you leave!

Courtesy of Sgt. R

1.   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.

2.   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.

3.   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.

4.   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.

5.   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.

6.   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.

7.   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.

8.   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.

9.   Donít try to contact other recruits you come into contact with, especially the opposite sex. Too much trouble to be worth it.

10.  The 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.

11.  Do 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.

12.  Eat everything you can. You WILL feel sick after word, and sometimes will bring it up, but you will get used to it.

13.  And 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.

14.  Never take anything from the chow hall. Remember Full Medal Jacket? Itís for real, only worse.

15.  Donít 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.

16.  Never 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.

17.  Donít 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.

18.  Men-shave 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 better.

19.  Women-keep your hair very tight. This is a pet peeve of many women Drill Instructors and is the first thing looked for.

20.  Study everything you can before going to boot camp. Know your general orders and rank structure as a minimum.

21.  Go 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.

22.  Lose 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.

23.  Never 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.

24.  Go to church. If nothing else, the drill instructors cannot touch you there. All you do is sing, and itís a nice change of pace.

25.  Drink 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 filled

26.  Donít 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.

27.  Donít 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 from junk.

28.  When 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

29.  Do 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.

30.  Get 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.

31.  Mark 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 also.

32.  If possible, keep a spare pen and your writing tablet with you. They can come in handy, but not all Drill Instructors will allow this.

33.  Leave 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.

34.  Unless 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.

35.  Donít 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 home.  

36.  Donít 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.

37.  Get your measurements a day or two before leaving for boot camp. It will make clothing issue easier.

38.  Try 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.

39.  To 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.

40.  Last, 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.