View Full Version : A Salute to the Platoon "Shi*bird!!

12-29-05, 04:59 PM
Maybe things have changed since the late 60's but I believe that every Platoon in Basic had that one guy who had a major problem in getting anything right!! Usually singled out as "what a future Marine was not supposed to be"!! The guy that was not mentally or physically adept at listening, doing or repeating what he was told to do! The guy that constantly got the whole platoon in "hot water", drove Drill Instructors to the "brink of insanity" and genuinely was in a daze. He couldn't do push ups, pull ups, climb a rope, take a rifle apart without having 3 or 4 pieces left over on the re-assembly, get past item #2 of your general orders, couldn't march, shoot a rifle without flinching, couldn't get past the "Dirty Name" of the Confidence Course let alone finishing the whole thing before sundown, even if he started the day before!!
His name is like your serial # never to be forgotten, even if you can't even remember what your "bunkie's" name was!
It took me a long time to realize this, but without his presence, we could never have achieved the status of an excellent Platoon. We were always in contention for the beloved "battle ribbons". Lost only the last one! (The Senior Drill Instructor even took the blame for that, something to do with his posture!)
We had to do better because of him!! They always told you "your only as fast as your slowest man!! I think thats what drove us so hard!!
That poor ba*tard was put through the mill - over & over again - no one wanted to go thru what he did. The constant yelling, insults, motivation platoon (twice), intimidation, threats, etc. that was his alone - "every" day on the island! They even gave him the chance to quit! Quite a few times!!
But, you know, he just wouldn't give up. And, consequently, about 4 of us never gave up on him either. Some even wanted to teach him a lesson - but no recruit ever touched him because he was still one of us!!
We only had 3 weeks to go til graduation and our Senior Drill Instructor called him up to the front one night - we were then informed that they had found out that his father was an Army Colonel!! 46 jaws dropped to the floor!! We just couldn't belive it!! I thought the Senior Drill Instructor was going to swallow his tounge!
The next evening the Senior Drill Instructor took us to the movies!! Yes, he had an old 8mm movie that he showed us in the barracks of a Marine that was receiving a Medal of Honor from the President because of his actions in Viet Nam - saved 14 of his fellow Marines. In boot camp he was one of those - you guessed it!! A platoon "SHI*BIRD"!!! Our Senior Drill Instructor told us then that "he may have been a waste in boot camp, but he sure had what it took to become a Marine!!" He saluted the President with an "open thumb" salute!! That was priceless!!!
I don't know what ever happened to our "mascot" after the Isand, all I know is his name never appeared on the wall - maybe he even saved a few of his fellow Marines during his stay in the "Corps" !!
Don't life have a habit of throwing you a few knucleballs in between fastballs sometimes?? Semper Fi!!

12-29-05, 05:58 PM
Ohhhhh we had more then one, and thanks to them more then one we went to the sand pits several times. They improved some by graduation day but sure glad I didnt have to see them anymore, there would have been blanket partys galore if any ended up in my plt's. I can see why the DI's told them they hoped to meet there mothers so they could slap the stupid out of them for giving birth to such worthless afterbirths. :evilgrin: