Captain Grose's Boot Camp pages




This page serves two purposes. First, it is a record of my recollections. Because time robs us of our memories and the outlandish tales grow more and more outlandish every year, I want a record of the incredible experience of Marine Corps bootcamp. Second, I hope you will read and enjoy these stories. They are also for you. They are as true as I can remember but my mind was a little warped back then.


On June 13, 1987, I graduated high school from Thomas Jefferson High School in Auburn, Washington. I was already enlisted in the Marine Corps on a six-year hitch starting on July 28th. I received guaranteed avionic field, guaranteed west coast stationing, and guaranteed promotions through the rank of corporal. But before I could claim these prizes, I had to endure 3 months in San Diego's United States Marine Corps Recruit Depot.

The night before I left, my girlfriend (now wife) and I spent a wonderful yet uncomfortable evening trying not to think about what was going to happen. We had recently seen Stanley Kubrick's Full Metal Jacket and neither of us felt good about what I was about to do. As we said good night and I waved from the parking lot of the hotel I was put in for the night, I knew that for better or worse, I was embarking on a life-changing journey. The next day I went to the MEPS station for the typical all-day paper shuffle and was put on a plane that night. Here is where the fun began.

THE DRILL INSTRUCTORS To err is human, to forgive is divine. However, neither is Marine Corps policy

My drill instructors

Drill Instructor Staff Sergeant Ingram (Receiving, not pictured)

Drill Instructor Sergeant Bonilla (Receiving, not pictured)

Senior Drill Instructor Staff Sergeant Wertjes
    Read about my reunion with Sergeant Major Wertjes!!!!

Drill Instructor Staff Sergeant Garcia

Drill Instructor Sergeant Robinson


The Moment
The M&M's
The Pepsi
The Flattop
The Mail Call
The Clock
The Fudge
The Lost King
The Rash
The Wake-up Call
The Rope
The Chow


Juan Alejos
Freddell E. Anderson
James C. Bates
James K. Brimhall
R. K. Bruders
Marco A. Calderon
John E. Campbell
Joe P. Carbajal
Brendan R. Carpenter
D. M. Dayton
Weslee E. Dunston
Joseph M. Durnan
James B. Esch
D. G. Graf
Jason D. Grose
Vince D. Hiongson
Edward Howard Jr.
Gary J. Johnson
David L. Kinlichee Jr.
Donald R. Lawson Jr.
Daniel E. Lederman
Michael J. Lee
Jason M. Long
Juan R. Martinez
Phillip D. Maurer
Juan J. Mena Aguayo
Ronnie P. Mendez
Theodore J. Miller
Keith R. Pang
Iluminado D. Pascual Jr.
Fred A. Peak III
Donald E. Pemberton Jr.
Galyn C. Ramsey
Mark A. Richardson
Fernando E. Roberts
Timothy J. Romine
Marlo R. Sablad
Erik L. Schlegelmilch
Grayton D. Schultz
Jimmy S. Sellers
Ronald D. Smith
Antonio Solis
Bryan L. Stone
John P. Stratton
Kenneth M. Stubbert
Scott D. Sukut
Troy E. Talbot
Oscar J. Valenzuela
Mario E. Vanegas
Maphunziro M. Varela
Mark J. Webler
Go here for a thumbnail gallery of all these recruits!!


These are stories I have been told over the years. I can not attest to their validity nor accuracy but if they sound a bit far-fetched, remember: the universe of bootcamp is not the reality normal people live. In other words, the stranger the story, the more truthful it probably is. If you would like to contribute a story, email me and I'll put it in here.

The Movie by Maurice A. Hallauer, GySgt USMC Ret.

Bootcamp stories by Cameron McCurry

Note: All of the names of Drill Instructors and have been changed to random names.

    Crack Pipe
    The Big Scare
    Rifle Range
    Office Hours
    Motivational Run and Base Liberty


A 3-part series written for the Washington Post about recruits in the wake of the Septemeber 11th Tragedy.

Part I: A Day of Terror Inspires Recruits To Take Up Arms for the New Fight
Part II: For Female Recruits, the Struggle Begins Long Before the Battlefield
Part III: Recruits' Dreams and Fears Come Together in the 54-Hour 'Crucible'


These cartoons were sent to my by Gary. Thanks and you inspire me to make my own cartoons!!!

Big Fleas
Getting ready

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