Thinking about the Marines I dug up my old Marine Corps Recruit folder. It is a small three ringed binder, camo covers, with the UCMJ code of conduct and 11 general orders printed on the inside covers. It is filled with loose leaf paper and in side of this are my notes from the many classes during boot camp, everything from military bearing (example, marines in uniform are NOT to hug or kiss women, only a handshake, however it is somewhat okay to hug your mom or wife when you are leaving for deployment. When we returned from Desert Storm, the military bearing rule was not in effect as everyone was hugging everyone when we touched down).

My score for my initial PFT on (running with still injured legs)
Pull ups – 14 – score 70 (out of 100)
Situps – 80 – score 100
3 mile run – 22: 18 – score 74
total score – 244 points.

August 29, hit Parris Island, Recieving sucks!
Sept 4, Labor Day, dropped to Training Platoon, 2nd Batallion, Platoon 2100, G Company, 5 Drill Instructors
Sept 5, Swim Qualification
Sept 6, made 3rd Squad Leader
Sept 13, went to Dental, cavity in back right wisdom tooth is filled
Sept 16, Hurt legs on PT
Sept 18, Go to medical, have shin splints and stress fractures in BOTH legs
Sept 19, Still on light duty
Sept 25, dropped to Medical Rehabilitation Platoon due to stress fractures
Oct 24, Made Squad Leader
Oct 27, Dropped to 1st Batallion, A Company, Platoon 1004
Oct 29, Made Squad Leader
Nov 8, Initial PFT, scored 244
Nov 9, Initial Drill, WE WON!
Nov 10, Marine Corps Birthday, 214 Years of Death and Destruction!
Nov 11, Humped to rifle range, carried company guide-on in front of entire company! OOH-RAH!
Nov 19 my qual day for the rifle is same day my original platoon 2100 is graduating, feel terrible,
Nov 25, lost squad leader
Dec 1, Humped back to barracks from rifle range. Came back a rifle expert with score 230
Dec 5, Danon’s birthday, also my 100th day on the Island
Dec 20, was cold since 15, tents flooded, today was warm in the 50 degrees, OOH-RAH
Dec 21, 14 days and a wake up!
Jan 5, Graduation Day

My experience in boot camp was painful, demanding, and yet the most rewarding experience I’ve ever had. I watch the first part of Full Metal Jacket with a sense of nostalgia and homecoming. I expect people who have never gone through such an experience to scoff and talk about me being a mindless robot. They have no idea what they are talking about. If anything the Marines helped me to achieve more, set goals, overcome obstacles, and depend on myself (as well as trust in the integrity and ability of others for support) to do those things. I am who I am a large part because of the Marines. Want to talk about a life transformation? 130 days of Marine Corps bootcamp. And like my life since, I regularly found myself put into leadership positions. The circumstances of my losing squad leader on Nov 25th are a black spot, and it is still not fully understood by myself. The theme of the incident is one that I can meditate on for a lifetime, and one that I’ll continually learn from. I do not doubt that my Senior Drill Instructor, SSGT Hye, knew more than me and that his judgment in the situation was correct. I’ll have to write about this incident more in the future. But right now the sun is out, I have laundry to do, and a book to read!


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