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Author Topic: Semper Fi  (Read 2852 times)

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Offline I'm NOT Carl

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Semper Fi
« on: May 15, 2014, 12:21:20 PM »
In a few more days it'll be the 40th Anniversary of when I stepped up and joined The Marines. On May 20th I signed up, stepped on a bus, and headed on down to MCRD in San Diego California. It was the first time I was out of the house and on my own, responsible for my own actions, and dealing with life in general.

I started off in one platoon but was dropped because I couldn't do three pull-ups. Not chin-ups but pull-ups. Everything else I did without a problem, 80+ situps in 2 minutes, and 3 miles in under the time (18 minutes? 20 minutes? it's been so long :) ). Couldn't do a single pull-up though. So I was sent to 'Motivation Platoon'. It was basically the platoon of guys who spent most of the day working out or out doing shit details (to "motivate you"). At the end of my time there, I was able to do the minimum 3 pull-ups. But only by swinging a little as well to get some momentum.

My next platoon was 1023, which is perfect being a computer geek :)   My aptitude tests had me at 132 average with a 147 high in communications and driving, oddly. I don't know if the numbers actually correlated to anything in real life but I do know the numbers were pretty high based on the responses from the testers.

We were in the new barracks and only in Quansit huts when we went to Camp Pendleton for rifle training.

Training itself was pretty interesting, mostly what you'd expect. Military rules, history, code of conduct, etc. Nothing like running before breakfast, having a big breakfast, and sitting in a hot classroom learning about The Marines to keep you wide awake :D

We lost a few guys during Basic Training. One specifically we lost because he was a thief. He had a pleasant party with a blanket one night and a few days later he was off doing something else. Another guy learned what happens when spending time with a bunch of guys and he decides to skip taking a shower for a few days so he can rest longer or take longer to get ready. Nothing like 4 or 5 guys with stiff brushes to get you clean.

One guy decided to take a few packs of crackers from the mess. The DI found him out so we all were instructed to bring back a few packets and he was forced to eat them and drink warm water. Oy!

When we learned how to use Pugil Sticks to fight. Big sand pit with all the guys in a circle and a couple of guys in the center, well padded of course. The fun part was a big black guy who lost his grip, turned, and while the other guy was whacking him with the Pugil Stick, calmly put his hand back into the glove. The other guy got a ration of shit from the DI over that one :)

When passing a DI, we'd have to stop with a 'By Your Leave, Sir' before continuing. So when running the three miles (past the Squid barracks of course :) ), we'd jog up behind the DIs (who were also running of course) and scream out 'BY YOUR LEAVE, SIR!!!' before passing :D

Speaking of the DI's, there were three. The crazy Sargent (3 striper), the stern Staff Sargent, and the nicer Staff Sargent (relatively of course). If we were in trouble (again), we'd know we were in for a long session if the stern DI took his Smokey Bear hat off and placed it on the desk in front of him and sat down. We were in for it now.

The Gas Chamber was fun :)  Everyone goes in with gas masks on, then takes them off and have to wait before running outside in tears coughing and choking :)

And of course the Rifle Range was fun. There are always a few idiots. We heard of a situation where the 'cruit turned, pointing his rifle back vs keeping it pointed down range and got himself shot by a DI. It probably only happened once but certainly was a warning to everyone else on the range. The night fire with full magazines of tracers was pretty cool as well.

After Basic, I headed off to Camp Pendleton again for Advanced Infantry Training. While our platoon was being assembled, we would wait in the barracks and be sent out to do maintenance or kitchen work (cleaning pots and pans mostly). Unfortunately a few of our orders got misplaced so we were stuck for a couple of weeks until someone figured out we were missing. Once identified, we headed over to our new platoon and began AIT. More history, lessons on team fighting, and of course lots of PT.

In general it was an interesting point in my life. First time away from home. Actually received a 'Dear John' break up letter from my girlfriend. Dealt with fellow Marines doing stuff wrong of course. Even had one guy who was obviously gay (nothing like one guy with a raging hard on in a room full of guys in skivvies to make it obvious :) ) and we didn't give a shit as long as he worked his butt off with us, humped his load, and didn't shirk, we didn't care.

Anyway, me in 1974 at graduation. The blouse only went down to my waist so that was fake (it does look sort of ratty in the pic).

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Carl
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 No matter where you go, there you are.

Offline Scratch

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Re: Semper Fi
« Reply #1 on: May 15, 2014, 01:41:34 PM »
F'n Jarheads...

Offline stevent

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Re: Semper Fi
« Reply #2 on: May 15, 2014, 02:10:40 PM »
Semper Fi Gomer. I joined the Navy in May '75, pretty much the same story. Boot Camp in San Diego, same ol' BS though not quite as hard core as the jarheads. Then off to Great Lakes Naval Training Center for Boiler Technician A school on 600 and 1200 psi main steam systems, then out to the 6th Fleet for the next 3 1/2 years on board the USS Independence as a pit snipe in # 4 Main Machinery Room.

Had a blast actually, I almost re-inlisted, probably should have and would do it all again in a minute. I've worked as a Steam Engineer ever since and it's kept me in motorcycles and booze for 35 years so far..
"Sure I get the best parking spots, but who could love a man with a wooden leg and a face like a hens arse?"

Offline Scratch

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Re: Semper Fi
« Reply #3 on: May 15, 2014, 02:21:08 PM »
F'n Snipes...

Offline Stickman

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Re: Semper Fi
« Reply #4 on: May 15, 2014, 02:32:59 PM »
I tried to get into the Marines but couldn't pass the physical


























My head didn't fit into the jar. ;)

Offline mugwump

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Re: Semper Fi
« Reply #5 on: May 15, 2014, 04:57:39 PM »
Nasty Legs, all of you. :gerg:

j/k

Offline sodapop6620

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« Reply #6 on: May 15, 2014, 06:04:12 PM »
Try to find yourself in the boot camp platoon picture.  It still takes me a couple of minutes to find myself.

MCRD, where they train the MEN.  By the time I was there the new barracks weren't so new anymore.

Offline kneescrubber

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Re: Semper Fi
« Reply #7 on: May 15, 2014, 06:42:03 PM »

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Those are some really big buttons.
Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Offline ducsbill

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Re: Semper Fi
« Reply #8 on: May 15, 2014, 09:04:12 PM »
Great story.  40 years for me in 2015.  I went through MCRD San Diego in March-May 1975.  Your description is pretty close to my experience.  I too had problems with the darn pull-ups on that first PT test.  Managed to do two and could almost get number three.  They decided that I would be OK.  Now I feel like I should dig through the books in the house and find the "graduation book".  Thanks for the memory and Semper Fi!
Bill W.
"If you come to a fork in the road, take it.", Yogi Berra

Offline satxbonneville

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Re: Semper Fi
« Reply #9 on: May 16, 2014, 10:37:36 PM »
It'll be 40 for me in March 2016. Air Force basic was no picnic. Several guys in my class broke fingernails opening the jars of caviar we had before the steak and lobster main course. They nearly missed doily making class and their sobbing and whimpering kept us awake at night, too. Fortunately we all had our issue teddy bears for comfort. The obstacle course was fun, we had to weave our way through drunk and passed out swabbies in order to reach the air conditioned barracks. One guy tripped over a swabbie and skinned his knee. He ended up getting an Air Force Achievement Medal and a medical discharge with 90% disability. Poor guy bled through his fatigue pants. It was awful.

Then they taught me how to fix broke shit.

Offline mastros2

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Re: Semper Fi
« Reply #10 on: May 17, 2014, 02:50:51 AM »
It'll be 40 for me in March 2016. Air Force basic was no picnic. Several guys in my class broke fingernails opening the jars of caviar we had before the steak and lobster main course. They nearly missed doily making class and their sobbing and whimpering kept us awake at night, too. Fortunately we all had our issue teddy bears for comfort. The obstacle course was fun, we had to weave our way through drunk and passed out swabbies in order to reach the air conditioned barracks. One guy tripped over a swabbie and skinned his knee. He ended up getting an Air Force Achievement Medal and a medical discharge with 90% disability. Poor guy bled through his fatigue pants. It was awful.

Then they taught me how to fix broke shit.

 :lol:

No military for me but thank you to all that served.  I love hearing the stories.  Keep them coming!

Offline Mac

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Re: Semper Fi
« Reply #11 on: May 17, 2014, 07:01:36 PM »
I remember doing Navy basic at San Diego back in 89. Our company commander had us do a perimeter run. During the run he pointed out all the good spots to jump the fence and leave should we choose to do so. He also showed us the fence that divided our base from the Marine one and said not to try and jump that fence because the Marines would keep whoever did so for a few weeks before giving him back and his time there would not be so pleasant. :lol:
May I mambo dogface to the banana patch?