Captain Grose's Boot Camp pages

 
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"Gentlemen, I have good news and bad news. The good news is that if you prove that you're tough enough to make it through this, you don't have anything to prove to anyone for the rest of your life. The bad news is you have to prove it to me!"
                                                                    - Patriot Games

I don't care how many times you have seen Full Metal Jacket, A Few Good Men, or Heartbreak Ridge. Nothing is able to prepare you for boot camp. One of the first things that you get accustomed to is the nightly hygiene inspection. The drill instructor stands in front of you (Looking as disciplined as you can while clad only in your underwear), shines a flashlight in your face, then you have to sound off. This serves two purposes:

1. It gets you used to yelling at the top of your lungs on a regular basis.

2. It gives the drill instructor a chance to check you for any injuries that would make you a candidate for medical attention.

The first night I had to face this was with Drill Instructor Sgt. Pike: The biggest, meanest individual that I ever dealt with at MCRD. He was walking down the line to look at the recruits, many of whom were away from home for the first time in their lives. This is a scary experience, make no doubt about it.  Across from me was a recruit who was intimidated beyond belief. I remember listening to him when Sgt. Pike got in front of him.

"This recruit...err..uh..." he trailed off, unable to continue.

Only one thought was going through my head at this point: Oh, no. I quietly felt sorry for this recruit, since now Sgt. Pike's attention was even more focused on him.

"Try again, boy." He growled.

"This re..err.."

We're dead. That's all there is to it. We're dead. I heard Sgt. Pike draw in a deep breath. The quiet voice of his betrayed the anger that was boiling over.

"ONE more time." he warned.

"this...er"

"ALL RIGHT, THAT'S IT!!!" With a crash, the contents of his footlocker were on the deck of the squad bay and Sgt. Pike began to go through it.

"WHERE'S THE CRACK PIPE BOY?? WHERE'S THE CRACK PIPE??"

"This recruit doesn't have a crack pipe, sir!"

Sgt. Pike whipped around and got in his face. "OH HELL, BOY; YOU'RE FUCKING UP ON SOMETHING THIS EASY?? YOU MUST BE ON CRACK! WHERE YOU HIDING THE PIPE??"

I would like to take this moment to point something out to the average reader. As a recruit, you are expected to keep your bearing and not laugh or show any emotions at all. Well with that last sentence, Bearing pretty much said 'I'm leaving and will see you in the morning.' Luckily I was not the only one who was laughing his ass off at this point.

While we calmed down, there were some who raced forward and helped the hapless recruit gather his belongings. Sgt. Pike was pressed for time, so he sprinted down the line, holding up his flashlight and yelled "WHAT'S WRONG WITH YOU??" After we all reported that we had no problems, it was in the racks with the lights out.

Not that things were over yet. As Sgt. Pike walked down the darkened squad bay there were still people that were laughing at the misfortune of our fellow recruit. He looked around.

"What's the matter? Why aren't you asleep." He paused, then nodded. "Oh, I get it. You want Drill Instructor Sgt. Pike to tell you a bed time story?"

He was in front of my rack when I heard someone near by say "yes, sir!" I felt my body temperature drop a few degrees at that announcement. Luckily, he did launch into a story.

"Once upon a time there was a big mean Drill Instructor. And a stupid recruit."

The story ended there, but I have no doubt who lived happily ever after.


Email -- jdgrose115@polyglut.net
Web -- http://members.tripod.com/~jdgrose115/

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