21 August 2000

Drill Instructor Ingenuity

Patrick C. Roe,
Major, United States Marine Corps, (Retired)

Your story about the DIs straightening out three feather merchants reminds me of a story that was going to rounds at Parris Island when I was there in another job in 1960.

A DI decided that what the new recuits needed was a dose of real discipline the first thing.  So when he went to pick up his platoon at the receiving barracks he had his junior drill instruction dress up in some scrungy clothes and fall in at the end of the platoon as they started across the grinder.  About a third of the way he brought them to a halt, went back to the rear rank and gave the junior, who was unknown to the rest of the platoon of course, a serious DI talking to.  Fifty yards later with the junior DI trailing along the platoon was halted again.  This time the DI told the rear rank that they would never make a Marine and if they didn't straighten up he was going to toss him in the Demsty Dumpster for the garbage man. Another

Another hundred yards he called a halt, turn to the platoon, picked the two huskiest recruit and said, "Pick that guy up and toss him in that Dempsey Dumpster."  Obediently they did.  The platoon moved out, the junior DI crawed out the other side of the Dempsty Dumpster, hot footed it to the barraks, showered up and into uniform and was waiting when the new platoon arrived.  Apparently no one tumbled to the ploy and the platoon was the honor platoon in that series.

There is no limit to the ingenuity of these Marines.