Straight Out Of 4th Battalion

This story was submitted by Rebekah Kind, who was extremely motivated to earn the title of Marine as a means of both serving her country, and personally self-actualizing. At the end of this entry is a link to a news article written about her, and a specific Parris Island practice that I can personally attest to having been practiced in 2003.

Following the events of September 11, 2001, I knew I wanted to serve my country. I was not looking for an easy path. The Marine Corps called my name even when I was a young teenager.

When I was finally old enough to join, I told my parents, and they talked me out of it...for a time. In 2016 I realized it was my last chance to join. I was 28 and would only just make the age cutoff. So, against my family's wishes, I joined the DEP.

I was about as motivated as a poolee could be. I went to PT sessions as often as possible, scored a 93 on the ASVAB, and looked forward to becoming an aviation mechanic for the Marines.

To give you an idea of my state of mind, before I shipped off to boot camp a MEPS employee asked me where I wanted to be stationed. I answered, "Wherever the Marine Corps will have me, sir!" Not only was I as patriotic and motivated as could be, but I was honored to be given this incredible opportunity. That is, until I got to Parris Island.

At boot camp I was taught that "Marines never lie, cheat, or steal," even as I witnessed said activity. I got there as a mentally and physically strong person, but soon after my arrival, began a descent into a shell of who I formerly was. I grew thin and sick, which was made even worse when I contracted pneumonia. Upon requesting to go to sick call for the first time - with pneumonia - I was mocked and berated.

This was the worst part, I think - being torn down, then never built back up. In fact, when my dad saw me the day I left Parris Island, he immediately noticed the change. I had gone from being a tough tomboy to someone who was afraid to look people in the eye. Because, on Parris Island, the moment you look someone in the eye you're told not to "eyeball" them. Having adapted to the environment, it only took a couple months of being treated with no dignity for me to lose confidence in myself, or my ability to do anything right, including walk down the sidewalk and cross paths with someone, particularly if they had that funny hat/belt combo.

I only wanted to serve my country as an aviation mechanic. I did not expect to be treated with disgrace and disgust at every turn. If I'd had leaders I could trust, I would have willingly run toward bullets. Instead, I was methodically shredded until there was nothing left to destroy.

Frankly, this is all fairly humiliating, so you might wonder why I would risk telling this story.

Why Am I Doing This?

I have made my experience public in the hopes that other young patriotic recruits will not have to continue to undergo the sort of degradation that I did. I may not have earned the right to say "Semper Fi," but neither does anyone else, because that phrase does not describe the USMC accurately. Always faithful? The Marine Corps has a lot of work to do in order to live up to that ideal.

I will write more about my experiences in boot camp as time permits.

I have nothing but the greatest respect for Marines who live up to the Corps' motto.
Beaufort Gazette article about me

Marine Corps Boot Camp – Not What I Thought It Would Be

Good evening everyone.  I am swizzlestik’s son.  First of all, thank you for being there for my mom.  You really helped her through a lot of grief and pain.

When I joined the Corps, I went in with all the spirit, confidence and committment anyone could muster.  I was not fresh out of high school but I was fresh out of college.  I had high expectations of myself and of the Marine Corps.  I saw them just as they portray themselves, a tough yet honorable organization.

I expected their training to consist of yelling, screaming, stupid mind games and other BS but I never expected to see and experience and hear of the things that happened.

Through receiving week, it was pretty much was I was told to expect.  I was nervous and homesick just like every other recruit.  But when training day one hit and all the rest of the training days therafter, the shit hit the fan in a big way.

This was when stuff that I didn’t expect started to occur. Those things included but are not limited to:

1. A recruit was spartan kicked in the chest into his rack.
2. A recruit touched his own face and the DI hit him in the face with his campaign cover and it drew quite a bit of blood.
3. Another recruit touched his face and was hit in the face with a clipboard.
4. The guide’s rifle carrying handle fell off because it was loose so the DI held it like brass knuckles and hit him in the back of the head with it really hard.
5. I was folding a blanket with another recruit and apparently the DI felt I was in his ‘way’ so he kicked me hard in the rear striking my upper back thigh.
6. I was in the process of trying to quit and I refused to move.  So 2 DI’s ran up to me and proceeded to rips my undershirt to shreds from my body.  They threatened to continue to IT the whole platoon if I didn’t participate so I IT’ed so they would stop messing with everyone.
7. Numerous times we were denied head calls and so many of the recruits unrinated on themselves.
8. In chow hall, the DI’s would come over for no reason and yell  so they could spit in your food in the process. One took his hands and mushed all the food on my tray together with his nasty bare hands because he didn’t feel I yelled ‘Good afternoon, Sir’ to him loud enough.

I’ll continue later.  But the list goes on and on.  They did learn somehow that it was me who reported the abuse through my mom. Also when I was in RSP, the other recruits were telling me of things that were a lot worse and there are many there who had been injured by the DI’s both mentally and physically.  It was the first time I had actually seen someone who had cracked and was truly crazy from all the mind-screwing and abuse.

I was given a 3P for a re-enlistment code and told that none of this would follow me.  The Lt. Col. told my mother the same thing but I am hearing a different  story. Does anyone know how this works?  For example, if I wanted to join the Army or Air Force.  According to the Corps, it won’t affect that.

I am so down right now.  I feel lost and not sure what to do.  My mom is here with me and she is a very strong lady. She is trying to help me get through this.  Right now, I need all the help and advice I can get.
I didn’t pussy out guys.  I just figured out all too quickly what the deal was and refused to be a part of this dishonor and abuse.  I think that what I did was more honorable than just settling for whatever bullshit they dished out to me.  I’m not stupid and they could not brainwash me.  So really, they lost the war with me.

I do feel guilt about leaving my fellow recruits behind.  Over half of them wanted to come with me.  I will write more later but right now my brain feels like scrambled eggs.  I need to get things sorted out.  I just hope I can.

Submitted By: ihateDIs89