In the Summer of 2003, I was on Parris Island. 1st Bn, CO A.
One platoon stood out as they won all the competitions – initial drill, final drill, written testing, etc. This story takes place around the final written test and prac app. The platoon I was in had scored the highest but lost because Recruit “X” had gotten a 0% on the prac app portion. How did this happen? Well, within earshot of dozens of us, the Senior DI of the championship platoon said to the marine in charge of taking the scores, “I’d really like to make sure my platoon wins this one, too.” It didn’t mean anything to us until “X,” who was not an idiot by any means, was railroaded during the CPR and other prac app exercises. They rushed him, harassed him, and got up in his grill like he was committing the cardinal sin of considering out loud that he might want to go to OCS.
Afterward, word must have gotten around, so there was a pow-wow with the Co. Gunny. We all received the following speech, but at much greater length:
“There’s a lot of doggone talk about people cheating. Well, I’m here to tell you that no one is cheating, so you all need to stop talking about it. At the end of each doggone competition, a trophy is given to the platoon that earns it by winning, but that doggone trophy is returned at the end of the drill cycle, so it’s a trophy that you don’t even get to keep. So if anyone did cheat, it wouldoesn’t not matter. Now, tell me, do you think that someone can be a leader if he runs a four-minute mile and does forty pull-ups, but is a faggot? I say no. Now some of you might not want to hear that, but if you’re a faggot you can’t be a leader.”
And then we were dismissed.
Submitted by Chris Pascale