Entry 1: The REAL bootcamp

To whoever runs this site: I, like many before me, was a motivated individual who wanted to join an organization that I thought held the same values as me. I wanted to something great with my life and be part of something that money could not buy. I have two college degrees (a BA and an AA) and enlisted anyway because I did not make the cut for OCS (gpa wise). After joining the USMC, I quickly found out what this government organization is all about.

I occasionally write about this in a personal document to see if my opinion will ever change, however I don’t think it will… My emotion, intellect and motivation…my very SOUL has been lost upon joining the USMC.

Here are a few of the things I’ve written since bootcamp. Hopefully it will reveal to those wishing to join what the Honor, Courage and Commitment is REALLY about.
Use it or not, edit what you like, I don’t care. It just feels good to vent to someone other than my wife, friends or family. Thank you for this site, it will help me through my few years of hell.

Cheers.

-=Entry 1: The REAL bootcamp=-

“…Everyday is a struggle to wake up…even though I’ve finally obtained a morsel of the dream that I thought I once wanted.  To serve in the United States Marine Corps has been a very difficult thing to do.

Some of you without military service probably think its nothing but grueling physical training…shooting guns, working out, strategizing how to eradicate the enemy…or let me put it in the terms how it was verbally taught to me: “The mission of the Marine Corps rifle squad is to locate, close with and destroy the enemy by fire and close combat.”
Bullshit.

The mission of the Marine Corps is to exploit, demoralize and humiliate the subordinate through drivel void of intellect, tedious labor accomplishing nothing and bumper-sticker slogans designed to create a hive mentality absent of commonsense and logic.

-That is my personal experience, not even a year in; perhaps it will change.

The most frustrating thing is dealing with enlisted superiors who lack the mental capacity to boil a fucking egg.  Many of them are selfish liars savagely bent on self-promotion through the slave-like labor of young skulls full of mush.

The sergeants and up (E5+) try to present themselves as military gods, despite their lack of combat experience or education.  Some of them treat us the way they do because they say it will toughen us up, others continue the cycle of shit because they went through it, thus finding the need to perpetuate it; that’s logical…right?

Instead of being competent, compassionate and possessing a mentor-like personality, they succumb to the ignorant ways that they were taught, be it in the Corps or during their youth.
It’s unbearable.

The officer side is much different from what I observe.  The officers (most of them, there are a few shit bags, don’t get me wrong…) have a vivid desire to mold their enlisted counterparts into being productive marines while reflecting the gentleman chivalry that the Corps supposedly prides itself on.

Officers use logic.  Officers use courtesy.  Officers can speak proper English.  The officer personality is what every enlisted marine should strive to act like.  Semper Fidelis (always faithful) should extend across the board.  The Non Commissioned Officers and Staff Non Commissioned Officers should be required to tow the line of the Marine Corps standards, yet many of them seem to fall well short of it.  Why?

And to top it off, the Enlisted ranks shit-talk the officers when they’re not around, claiming that a Marine Corps Officer is less of a Marine than they are.  Common phrases like “Don’t call me sir, I work for a living” (An enlisted Marine must refer to all officers as sir, and all superior enlisted Marines by their ranks…so to call an enlisted Marine a “sir” is highly offensive to them for some reason be it out of jealousy or unwarranted pride.)

Returning to what I initially started out with in the beginning of this entry, I’ll describe the average day for me beginning with boot camp.  This is for all of you desiring to become part of the world’s most elite fighting force.

1.) You will wake up every morning at 4am.  You will get yelled at and fucked with for about an hour while you’re cleaning the same shit you cleaned the night before you went to sleep.

2.) After being told what a piece of shit you are for that first waking hour, you will then march in formation to the dining hall (chow hall). Pray to God that its not winter when you go, because you will not be allowed to wear gloves or winter apparel despite it being 20 degrees outside…the sergeants though will, of course, be dressed for whatever weather the recruit depot throws at them.  On the march to the chow hall, you will be expected to preform drill movements (those fancy tricks you see Marines doing with their rifles on those commercials brainwashing that your purpose in life is to wear that sexy uniform).  If ONE of you fucks up a drill movement, you will be marched back to the squad bay (living quarters) and then try again.  Keep in mind; if it is winter, your hands will go numb.  Good luck preforming the proper movements…   I cannot tell you how many recruits I’ve seen contract pneumonia…

3.) Upon arriving at the chow hall, you will be treated like shit and fucked with while you eat. I’ve personally witnessed recruits being forced to walk around in circles with food in their hands while other favored recruits are allowed to indulge.  Once you’re finished eating, repeat step 2 in reverse.

4.) So now you’re back at the squad bay, can you guess what you’re doing next?  Cleaning again for another hour or so.  Yeah, the same shit you cleaned earlier, while getting fucked with and ridiculed for sneezing without permission.

5.) After the morning clean up is finished, its time to start training right? Wrong. Whatever the event of the day is, you’ll be stuck outside waiting for hours to do this one even that takes 15 minutes to accomplish.  Get used to it.  The majority of your time is spent sitting around with your dick in your hand.  Government efficiency, right?

6.) So by the time you’re done, its time to get lunch chow.  Repeat steps 2 and 3 again. Oh and pray to God that you’re not early for any meal.  You and your platoon could be the best damn recruits to ever grace the recruit depot…if the drill instructors have free time, they unleash their frustration of being in that shit-hole on you.  You’ll be doing creative things like running in whatever direction the drill instructor points or holding your rifle in one arm parallel to the deck (floor) until its time to eat.  What does this do?  I would say teach you not to fuck up, but if you aren’t fucking up and are still getting punished…why try not to fuck up if the end result is the same?  Positive reinforcement? Ha! What a crock of shit.

7.) So now that the chaos of the morning is over, and you’ve eaten lunch, depending upon what phase of training you’re in, you’ll either have classes on sexual harassment, sexual assault or hazing/fraternization.  Classes on combat support? Few and far between.  These classes suck too.  They are dry as hell and so common fucking sense that an autistic monkey could grasp the concept within the first minute of the “course”…yet you’ll be sitting there for 2-3 hours…being taught how you’re a rapist because some dumb cunt decided that she regretted spreading her legs open for you the night before.  You think that shit in college is rough?  How like one in four men will rape a girl?  Please, according to the Marine Corps, we’re all rapists that just haven’t been given the opportunity to molest the innocent yet.

8.) By now, its almost dinner chow.  Guess what we’re going to do… Yep, repeat steps 2 and 3 once more.

9.) After the last chow of the day, we’re finally back at the squad-bay which seems like heaven…in some sick way…  Get ready to clean weapons that you’ve never shot for 1-2 hours.  In addition to that, get ready to clean that same shit you cleaned earlier in the morning…again…

10.) Now its hygiene time.  You’ll get anywhere from 1 minute to 5 minutes to clean yourself up.  Shower, shave, brush your teeth, dry yourself off…everything in about 5 minutes.  You’re going to smell horrible still even after, and if you’re unlucky enough, you’ll develop some painful rashes and sores on your body in places you were not able to fully clean.

For God’s sake though, don’t go to the Corpsmen (Navy medical staff).  If you have ANY infection or tender area on your battered body, get ready to spend anywhere from an extra week to a year on the island depending upon the severity of your problem.  They don’t care about your mental state, or how it will crush your motivation to not graduate on time.  Uncle Sam wants to make sure his product, YOU, are 100% fit to do whatever bitch work he deems fit.

11.) Now, the best part of the day has arrived.  Mail time.  If you never cared about letters from relatives, you’ll be singing a different tune by this point.  Just knowing that someone gives a shit about you will help you make it through the day.  Believe me, they say that the DI’s (drill instructors) care about you deep down, but the majority of them don’t.  No, really, they don’t.  They’re just there to do their job and get the hell home.

My advice? Save EVERY letter you get. It will help greatly on days you do not receive mail.

12.) After you survived the soul-sucking day, its almost time for sleep…after you clean the same shit you did the whole day once more.  You’ll finish cleaning, and then you’ll get about 5 minutes for a group prayer.  At 8pm you’ll be in bed to go to sleep.  One thing I cannot complain about is that you really do get 8 hours of sleep, unless you’re fire watch, then you get 6-7 hours.  Take advantage of as much sleep as you can, because tomorrow is going to be the exact same thing.  THE EXACT SAME THING!

You’ll learn to daydream.  You’ll learn to stack rocks and blades of grass on top of each other to build little structures in the dirt while you await orders to do some other bullshit training exercise.  Who is qualified to be a United States Marine? Everyone. Who can make it through boot camp? Anyone. Who can become part of the few and the proud?  All of us.

Think long and hard before you join. Hell, if you’re a big moto-fuck like I was before getting in, thinking that every negative thing you read online is written by some pussy who couldn’t cut it, then go reserves.  Retain at least some of your freedom.  Just be sure its really what you want and do your homework on the job you’re signing up for…then again, that’s an issue in itself…actually getting the job…

I was promised intel. I even signed a job SOU for it and scored phenomenally well on my DLAB, only to have it taken away within less than 24 hours of bootcamp. I was then placed as an open contract.

Who am I?  An older private first class (E2) with a bachelor’s degree in Political Science and associate’s degree in Liberal Arts.  The USMC was always a dream of mine; now it’s my perpetual nightmare…”

—–And here is a message to my wife (who supported me joining) detailing my frustration with the USMC—-

“They (enlisted Marines) have an insipid intellect, and they do not care to educate themselves.  They are content with mediocrity and they always try to pass responsibility off on someone else so they are not held accountable.  They BLAST garbage pop-music in the barracks which details the extent of the brain power, and they waste their money on frivolous things such as expensive cars, basket ball shoes and flashy material possessions to give them the illusion that they are something more than they are.

I hate people like that.  I hate the need for attention and the endless thirst for popularity.  I hate the hive mind, and I hate not thinking for myself.  I’m the freak here.  I’m the outcast who is different because I don’t conform to their simple mindset, and I’m so damn proud of that.  Sometimes I wonder if I’m different because I choose to be different.  I wonder if all this mental rebellion I have is because I like being the outlier of the group.  I wonder these things, but then I always return to my conclusion that I’m not.  I’m different because I care about educating myself and acting like a gentleman.  I might not know all the bullshit jargon of the Marine Corps, but I am me.  I know what class is, and yet I’m humble. I know when to bite my tongue, and I (even though I don’t like to) know when I need to speak up.

I thought the USMC would give me some relief to the rotting American culture of materialism and popularity contests, but this is just high school all over again, and I hate it. Do you know what its like to wake up, knowing that your day is going to be filled with emptiness? Knowing that someone is going to bitch at you merely so they can seem like they have power in front of their superiors?  Knowing that the person to the left and right of you has the intelligence of a fruit fly?

If you have no idea, but would like to experience it because you’re a masochist, then please, join the USMC.  As soon as you open your eyes up in the morning (at 4am), the first thing you’ll think is “God damnit… …I’m still here…”

Submitted by: Abdiel

  • Goku

    It would seem that Officers have more wits about them, but sadly no. I can only comment on OCS circa 2012, but if you had the (dis)pleasure of going to Quantico for Officer training, then you would have heard glorious gems like:

    During a PME: “What do you do to a Marine on duty who is reading a book that is not on the commandant’s reading list?”

    Answer: NJP them.

    or:

    During another mentoring session from a platoon commander: “Use your Lance Corporals for working parties. That’s what they are there for.”

    The retarded policies and mindsets that are present in the Corps (self preservation, mass punishments for no reason, using junior Marines as slave labor), are ingrained in candidates there. SNCOs play a crucial role in showing the candidates how to fuck over Marines they will later be in charge of by having them write these peer evals that are nicknamed “spear evals.” They encourage you to rat each other out and mark someone as deficient if they did not do something such as yell loud enough.

    • oldr

      Well, I can comment about OCS circa 1999, and your observations are a reflection of how the Corps has steadily gone downhill, or ( putting it another way) how it has become absurdly overregulated, has certain ( undesirable) personality types staying in longer, and create more of a class/unnecessary superiority divide between enlisted and Officer.
      Using some moderation and common sense, NJP’ing junior enlisted ranks for any petty trivial issue you can find is absurd. Once a PFC gets a few of them, they essentially become meaningless because he doesn’t care if he gets a few more. He knows that he’s trapped in a no win situation. In my time in NJP’s were the exception rather than the rule.
      Using LCpls for working parties?- that’s been the case ever since I joined in the early 90’s, and will always be the case. Junior enlisted will always have the shittier jobs by virtue of lower rank.
      The contract/paperwork I signed in 1990 specifically mentioned that at the time, though like most naïve young men I did not fully think about the implications of it!
      Junior Marines essentially are low paid slave labor, but there are some MOS’s where they are too busy doing their primary mission to be used as working parties for clean up tasks. Aircraft Maintainers and aviation support are too busy to have their time wasted by using them for ‘base cleanup’ for example. Whether its really fair or not, unfortunately tasks like that fall on ground combat units.
      Lastly, I vividly remember those ‘spear evals’. Some of them were worthwhile and constructive criticisms- some were just malicious and petty backstabbing. Having been prior enlisted and being lucky enough to have a fair SPC Captain, he could discern what was valid and what wasn’t. I really had no problem being rude to a naïve and (dumb) recent college grad that had no Fleet experience trying to impose their leadership with ideas that would not work, and that didn’t win me any friends!
      Having seen both sides of the USMC, part of me is quite sad about how it has evolved over the years, and not gone in a more different direction. I respect this web site and the people who contribute to it- they have legitimate grievances and can see things that senior leaders now ( some who I knew and worked with a decade ago) refuse to acknowledge.
      I’m glad I got out when I did. I wasn’t a perfect leader, but no Marine under my command was treated badly unless there was a legitimate reason. And call me old school, but my basic philosophy is that I’d rather punish a Marine by making him break rocks or do a shit detail a few nights in a row- THEN ITS OVER WITH! And that means no official entries into his record book.
      But the Corps didn’t want an Officer like me.

      • Goku

        I appreciate the response. I will say that I was in Avionics, and there was definitely time to have Sgts and below waste on working parties. Sometimes shit has to get done, no one is discounting that. However, when you’re in Afghanistan, for instance, and a Gunny grabs all NCOs for an “emergency meeting”, and proceeds to give a hip pocket class on how to clean sand bags with Windex because he’s getting yelled at by a LtCol for the unprofessional appearance of the base… and then proceeds to have all NCOs cleaning sand bags for the next 5 hours….. it becomes a little ridiculous. Slave labor should go to the fuck ups and those on EPD. Not to someone just because they are a LCpl. I firmly believe lieutenants should have to be involved in non stop working parties. I believe their tune would change.

        But that’s a minor example. As for OCS, that place, recently anyway, is another world. The idea of pushing NJPs so hard is that it is seen as a “minor” punishment when compared to Court Martials. I remember telling my Captain that you simply couldn’t NJP someone over something petty, like a book, because an NJP, nowadays, is a career ender, and can easily limit career options. That didn’t go over so well. As you said, if someone fucks up, I’m all for punishing them. But the punishment has to fit the crime. In my old unit, whether you got a DUI or failed field day, the punishment was the sam: MAX OUT 45/45, Half pay, restriction, EPD. All this does is piss Marines off and demotivate them, especially if they are getting the wrong end of the stick.

        You seem to have common sense, which is not rewarded in today’s Corps. There’s that expression: Common sense isn’t too common…. That applies to 98% of the “leadership” in my old units.

        • oldr

          Wow- I had to read your first paragraph a couple of times and have it sink in, because the sheer stupidity of what you were forced to do defied all my belief in common sense. I can understand why you, and other like you, have a right to be so angry about your time in. it just goes to reinforce that our commitment in Afghanistan was just too long- to be stuck out in the middle of nowhere with very little to do means that leaders will ultimately find meaningless and trivial work to try to keep Marines occupied

          You are right that Officers are in their own worlds, and if LTs had to experience more of what junior enlisted go through( like I did) they may change their tune a little. that usually doesn’t last the higher they get up the rank structure though.

          I also shake my head the more severe punishments you describe at things like failed field day- your command was indeed excessively ‘burn happy’ .

          I guess all we can do is rejoice in the fact that we are both out of it, and hopefully someone will read this and maybe change their leadership style , or avoid joining altogether.

          The Marien Corps just isn’t worth any type of long term loyalty to.

      • BLCM

        I had some no nonsense CO’s, and I always felt officers should have to serve sometime in the enlisted ranks before being placed in a leadership role, in my opinion a true leader understands his force.. Its a shame more officers like you could of been the change.. I wonder what would happen if all CO’s and their Marines had Like a huge “Request Mast” but to the Commandant ? Hell maybe someone should send him this link, maybe could make things better for the next generation!

  • oldr

    With all due respect to the person that wrote the article above- there has been a lot of information on the Internet for years about what the USMC is really about, and some of the horror stories people have about their time in.
    My personal belief is that you did not fully do your research prior to joining ( you had far more information available to you than previous generations did!) and was too seduced by UNREALISTIC and delusional beliefs about what the Corps really is. You also didn’t KNOW YOURSELF well enough to assess whether you had the right personality for it!
    You’ve identified some legitimate grievances, but do you expect a warfighting organization to adapt to YOUR specific sensitivities and special needs? That doesn’t make your observations any less valid- it just means that you did not consider all the DIMENSIONS AND IMPLICATIONS of the decision to sign a military contract!
    Its been said over and over again- you were too blinded by wanting to be a MARINE but didn’t think about all the Bullshit that comes with that title.
    THE MARINE CORPS IS NOT HOLY ORGANISATION ON A MISSION FROM GOD FULL OF NOBLE WARIORS – ITS A WARFIGHTING PIECE OF SHIT PLACE THAT THROWS YOUNG PEOPLE THROUGH THE GRINDER .

  • thankful guest

    I’ve long been more of a silent observer on this site, but after reading this I feel compelled to comment. If I had discovered this site before I enlisted, it MAY have changed my mind (dumb, patriotic, young male just became an adult learning to fly). And still being a fiercely loyal patriot (love my country, hate my leaders) sometimes I have doubts as to whether getting out was the right choice, because I still believe the Marine Corps has all the potential to be as great an organization as it claims to be/was.

    That being said when I read stuff like this article and the comments listed below, all it does is enforce that I was right to get out. Thank you to everyone on this site for your knowledge, wisdom, and, at times, bluntness; for making me realize that I did make the right choice, I am better off as a civilian, and that the best revenge I can I have is to live my own life and do well on my own as a civilian without the pre-sunrise wake up calls or sweeping the sand off of the sidewalk across the street.

    I mean seriously? An NJP because “Winnie the Pooh” isn’t on the the Commandant’s reading list?! I mean COME ON!!

    • Failuretocommunikate

      I was in “the suck” 1970-1973. Joined at 17. It sounds pretty much like the same old suzzy rotten crotch Corps. The Vietnam era Marine Corps was a real cluster fuck. Blacks against the whites. The term pog hadn’t been been invented. The suck was the suck if you were an 03 or a truck driver.

      Boredom killed the day. Every day. Nobody gave a fuck about anything. Skating was the plan of the day. Pot, mainlining speed, beer, anything to make that fuckbook more interesting. Wall lockers were broken into like clockwork. But the floors were always spotless. Feild day after fucking field day!

      We’re wore plain green utilities. Jungle boots were optional but they were unfucking comfortable and nobody gave a fuck about wearing em. Two guys in my unit robbed a bank with an issue 45 and got five years in civ prison. They were bored. Shitbird flocks ruled the roost at Camp Lejuene were I spent two maddening years. J ville was a joke.

      Back on the block everyone thought I was this big badass Marine. If only those motherfuckers knew what the real suck was all about. Don’t even let me get into bootcamp bullshit. Back in the day those cocksucking DI s kicked the shit out of every swinging dick just to let it be known they were the power. On and on it goes. Im in my 60s now and still think about all that crap. I make my wife crazy because of the way I still act at times. Thanks to the beloved Corps. I tell her “If I die on the Russian front to bury me with a Russian cunt.” But hey we’ve all been there so…yea I got one of them stupid USMC hats on the back dashboard of my car so everyone can see and know I was one of them jarheads a hundred years ago. Why I don’t know. I still hate the fucking Corps. It is amazing how many of these sites are online. I get a kick out reading this shit.