View Full Version : What happened to recruit training wash-outs in the sixties?

07-31-17, 05:50 PM
I graduated boot camp in early summer 1967. Some recruits having difficulty would be dropped to a following series to repeat a training week or two. Some were sent home. I'm pretty certain at least two recruits from my platoon were sent home. So here's my question: What happened to the recruits who completely failed? How were they transported home? What were they paid? What clothes were they given when released? Any of you "senior" former Marines able to answer my questions?

07-31-17, 08:01 PM
A friend of mine that I got to enlist shortly after I come home for leave after graduation washed out after a month in SD, he told me he got his pay for the time he was there and a ticket home and he went home in the Civies he arrived in.

Old Marine
08-01-17, 08:31 AM
During the McNamara time as Secretary Of Defense, we as Drill Instructor had a very hard time washing a recruit out. If he was breathing you had to train him, because there was a war in Nam. We called them McNamara's Band. Quietly of course. We had the job of training many who could barley write their name and could hardly read. Those got sent to Midway Adult School in San Diego. The ones who we got to send home went to where the civilian clothes were stored when they arrived, got their clothes and belongings and went on their merry way. (Including the ones with big medical problems, druggies and such)

08-01-17, 04:21 PM
We had a few that went crazy. Had one black boot, that while he was being punished in a very barbaric way, took off running and screaming and flaying his arms and hollering for his Aunt Jemima......we never seen him again.

08-02-17, 05:01 AM
I think that most dropouts were sent to OCS.

08-02-17, 10:46 AM
Thanks for the replies, especially the one from Old Marine, who seems to have first-hand knowledge. (And silverdollar's response gave me a laugh. Thanks for that.) I always wondered what happened to the clothes I was wearing when I entered; my parents never mentioned receiving them.

One poor guy who started with us, named Jxxx Mxxxxx, was completely hopeless. He was small and soft, wore thick glasses, and always seemed slightly stunned. Jxxx couldn’t do even three pull-ups, ran like a girl, and couldn’t memorize his General Orders. He appeared to be trying and he was good-natured, but he just couldn’t do what was required. By the third week, the Platoon Commander sometimes talked to him in a conversational tone, calling him “Jxxx” and joshing around with him, tolerating smiles, and so on. Only someone who has been a Marine recruit can know how bizarre this seemed to the rest of us. Looking back, I think the DI’s knew this kid could never make it and that it would be needlessly cruel to drive him toward something he couldn’t reach. He was gone before we left for the rifle range and it was a miracle he lasted that long.