View Full Version : A few Questions for the Few and the Proud

Darwins Greed
11-26-02, 03:06 AM
Soon, I will join the ranks of the most elite military fighhting force in the world. I ship out for MCRD San Diego on March 3rd 2003. (Much too long a wait if you ask me)
My questions are as follows:

I have already picked up PFC through the refferal program. I wish to be the best Marine I can possibly be, and was wondering if I could get a few pointers.
Also, how would I go about picking up LC in training?
I have heard rumor that this is very difficult, and entails being Company Honor man. Can I get some light shed on this?
I have asked my recruiter about it, but he is always busy, and doesn't seem to think I am serious about my commitment. I am Damned serious. I even jumped up on the guys desk, and told him "I WILL BE A MARINE." the day I went in for my first meeting... heh heh heh... funny story actually...
Anyway, I appreciate any help you guys can give.
(soon to be)PFC Birchett

11-26-02, 08:53 AM
I hope that someone here with present or recent experience as a D.I. will respond.

You will be a private until graduation day. Tou will graduate with PFC chevrons on your uniform.

I'm not sure if you can make L/Cpl, even as Seres Honor Man.

For Series Honor Man you will be competing aganst 300+ others.

I have two thoughts about announcing your Contract PFC status. One is that you will stand out, and the D.I.'s will be all over your butt, expecting more from you. Also, since buddies will be cmpeting for a limit number of Meritorious PFC slots, there MAY be some jealousy.

On the other hand, if you want to be considered for Platoon Honor Man and/or Series Honor Man, you need to show more and take more than all of the other recruits.

IF you don't pack the gear, it would be foolish to bring unnecessary attention to yourself. However, if you get it, and take it, you will be a better Marine and a better man for it.

Whether by design, or just human nature, I always felt that D.I.s placed recruits in three catagories, bottom 10%, middle 80%, and top 10%.

One last note. It is a feather in a D.I.'s cap to have graduated the Series Honorman. Therefore, if THEY think you have what it takes, stand by, because you're in for a rough ride.

11-26-02, 09:08 AM
There's some info on the other thread, Poollee forum about this very matter. Too many different posts to go into here.

First Sergeant, we got a couple of Recruiters and DI's running around. I hope they got time to drop by and give the kid the current skinny.

When I went through in 76, we were recruits. Didn't have any rank til we graduated 'cept fer keepin' tha pay straight.

One caution, though. Our platoon guide picked up PFC outta boot. They gave it too him 'cause he was bigger and meaner than the rest of us. I saw him three years later just before he got out. He was still a PFC. On the other hand, rank ain't always everything sometimes. On the third hand....he WAS dumber than a rock to begin with! LOL.

Art Petersn
11-26-02, 11:10 AM
Bones it was the same way in boot camp in1955

In thoses days they called them sections leaders They always picked the biggest guy because he use to hold thump call every nightwhen things were not going right. Our Section leader was called Big John and he was a big one 6'8" and 240 lbs. This was befoe McKean lost the recruites in the swamp. Anyway the last time I saw Big John on Okinawa, just before we shipped home, I was a cpl. and he was a pvt. Oh I forgot, the power went to his head in boot camp and he received a blanket party out at the rifle range.

Darwins Greed
11-26-02, 02:09 PM
Thanks guys, I appreciate any and all notes and advice I can get.
I am prepared to do all the work I can to be the best, if I wasn't, I would've joined the Army (heh heh)
No offense to the Army though, my dad was a sergant, but I want to be the BEST not second rate.
I know I will not have the title of PFC until graduation, but I do get the pay bonus in recruit training correct?
Poolee Birchett

11-26-02, 02:19 PM
Ask yer recruiter. That stuff changes from time to time.

11-26-02, 03:01 PM
Hate to be the 'hang dog' here but it amazes me that any youngster, who has yet to set his feet on the deck, is anything but an E-1 Pvt boot. Seems to me that all should start in the same place--at the bottom of the civilian junk pile--and earn that first stripe up and more. I do not understand going through boot camp knowing you already have the first stripe when you haven't earned the title Marine yet.

That being said I wish Mr. Darwin Greed well--interesting moniker.

11-28-02, 08:33 AM
Darwin: While your humor is great keep it inside at Boot Camp. It will make you stick out and as others have responded will put the DI's all over you like flies on a pile of s---t on a hot day!
When I enlisted August 1968, let me give you the advice an old DI I knew gave me. 1. Keep your mouth shut unless answering a question or providing a proper response. 2. If it moves salute it, if it doesn't paint it green. 3. Do not try and do your best, do it, only losers try and Marines are winners.
The Marines are a Team and if you work as a Team and show leadership helping the Team achieve its' mission, that is how you will receive your rewards.
One final word, you are still a civie in skivies and when you arrive at Disneyland (real Marines go to P.I.) you will be a Boot! Good Luck and Semper Fi!


11-28-02, 08:45 AM
you jumped on his desk and you are still walking? you gotta remember although they are recruiters and are being friendly to you they are still MARINES and they probably outrank you! From the way you are talking on this forum you have probably p**#@ed him off. I was a recruiter myself for a while that was a job I had to do for the Corp. My real job was a scout sniper in 1st recon battalion. You have to remember that when you go talking to your recruiter , give him the respect that he has earned, he will more than likely find the time to answer your questions more promptly! You go talking to him like he is the enemy or your buddy he will probably ignore you or find you a place in the marine corp that you probably won't like. We reffered to it as the green weeny. So use your head a little more tact and you will go alot farther in the Marine Corp. Good Luck and Sempers!

my two cents worth

11-28-02, 10:36 AM
You fellers will note that I've been REAL nice to this guy! LOL.

One more post like that one though.....

11-28-02, 01:29 PM
Originally posted by Darwins Greed
....I have already picked up PFC through the refferal program. I have asked my recruiter about it, but he is always busy, and doesn't seem to think I am serious about my commitment. I am Damned serious. I even jumped up on the guys desk, and told him "I WILL BE A MARINE." the day I went in for my first meeting... heh heh heh... funny story actually...
(soon to be)PFC Birchett

"Jumped up on the guys desk, and told him "I WILL BE A MARINE,"

You would have been a flying scumbag, if you had done that in any Marine recruiting station.

My advice, keep cleaning those movie theatres, if you do a good enough job, they may give you free tickets to see a fictional war movie. I agree with your recruiter, you're not gona make it!

11-28-02, 01:31 PM
you got to be kidding, PFC before you even put your feet in the Golden Feet, Talk about Old Corps,New Corps, I went in in 62, there was no mention of this from my recruiter,I feel cheated, and if id have jumped on his desk, id have found myself out side on the sidewalk, under a trash heap, i was a stupid kid at that age, but not that stupid, he was probably the first man in my life i called sir, each and every time i opened my mouth, i did earm my PFC stripes in boot, had them sewn on two weeks prior to graduation,however due to making an unauthorized phone call to my girl friend at the time, i was standing tall at graduation with the imprint of former PFC stripes on my sleeves,as for L/cpl by graduation , are they going to do like other services, E/7 in four years,H*** i got combat promotion to E/5 and thought i was King S***, it seems like nothing is worth nothing anymore, bring back the old Corps, where something meant working your A** off for it

11-28-02, 03:22 PM
You'd better watch how you approach this idea of lance corporal. After the DI's get done with you, you belong to the platoon. If you really want to carry the guidon keep your sh*t squared away. Screw up once and your out of there.

11-28-02, 04:23 PM
I'll tell ya this much..... In my time, as in Bone's time.... those who came in with 'rank' - had it a helluva lot tougher than most. And if you think your Drill Instructors don't know that?
You also think that PFC from refferals is gonna get you guide?
I was guide thru 1st phase. Until initial drill when I f**ked up and bounced the guide-on off the deck. While watching my Senior's eyes go blood red.
Needless to say, those first few days at Edson Range, I became real familiar with every sandpit.
And even though I did not graduate as guide, or as PFC, I still marched Final Drill as Guide.
It's whats in your heart, not your mouth. Tact.

Darwins Greed
11-29-02, 03:52 AM
Whoa Marines!
I see taht my post was taken the wrong way by just about everyone here. Sorry 'm not to great with words. When I said "I jumped on his desk and said: I will be a Marine" that was after, HE got on his desk, offered me his hand and said: "Are you willing to do what it takes to become a Marine?"
I have nothing but the utmost respect for the men and women of our nations armed forces. If I came off a little cocky and self righteous in my messages, I appologize, this was not the image I wanted to portray. Believe me, the last thing I want to do is **** off a bunch of Marines!
Yes, I know getting anywhere in the Corps is going to take a lot of hard work and 110% dedication. The opportunity presented itself to recieve an early promotion, and I took it. I am sure that if the same opportunity had been presented to you, I think at least a few of you wouldv'e taken it. Look at it this way, Now, in addition to me, you've got 2 more fine young men enlisted in the Corps.
I am dedicated, and I am willing to do the work to the best of my ability.
Again If I offended you, sorry. Happy Thanksgiving, and Semper Fi

11-29-02, 04:18 AM
Apology accepted. at least until ya screw up again! LMAO!

Typewritten words don't convey body language, facial expression or tone of voice. Unfortunately we're not all folks like Twain or O. Henry that we can convey emotion as well thru written words as they could.

Be more specific in the future as well, kid. We're good, but most of us ain't much good at readin' minds! ;)

As for rank, as we've said, it comes and goes pretty easy fer the first few months or so. After that, well.....

The other warnings are fer a smart man to take heed to. There's some wisdom there, however much ya figger yer original post was misunderstood!

Look around the site. We got a lot of information posted here for folks like you. Lots to learn!

Darwins Greed
11-29-02, 04:32 AM
PS. I don't clean movie theatres, I am the Technical Director for a Live theatre (plays and concerts and the like) :)

Darwins Greed
11-29-02, 04:36 AM
Thanks Bones, that's why I'm here, to learn what I can, while I have the chance.

11-29-02, 05:04 AM
Lance---Say What

I Had to get shot at for three months and have Squad leader KIA before I could make Lance.Back off and get a hold of your unit.SNCO talks right. You advertise,you are history.Lay back and it will happen.

11-29-02, 05:27 AM
AS an aside-----

Hate to say it---

Back to Butter Stories-----

Had a 2nd LT. Cneck in. Story, said the only reason I'm here is to make rank. 2 weeks , the man was gone !!

Gunny Rules---

Art Petersn
11-29-02, 06:17 AM
Bones good advice. Do you remember being that young?

Sure wish I was just starting out. Not many of us had computers to help get the skinny from. Hell when I was in they didn't even have portable radios.

11-29-02, 06:41 AM

I read it right. I had no problems with it. You gave the punch line to a long story, and if it was not appropriate for the circumstances, the final line would have been something like; "and after I got out of the hospital .........".

I AM a Marine, I was also served as a Recruiter. Now, 24 years after retirement from active duty, I am STILL a recruiter for MY Marine Corps.

Welcome Aboard, prepare for the worst, don't settle for anything less, and I promise, you won't be disappointed..

11-29-02, 06:42 AM
If I'm not mistaken, some one who enters boot camp as a PFC can earn LCpl on graduation as Series Honorman. When I joined in '67 there was no provision for rank prior to boot but could graduate with a stripe as Series Honorman. Now, to help the recruiters, the Corps will give PFC to someone who refers a certain number of people who actually sign up. The "PFC" will not wear stripes during training but will graduate as PFC. Of course if the PFC earns Series Honorman then meritorious promotion to LCpl just as another other boot would earn a meritorious promotion to PFC for Series Honorman.

For Darwins Greed. There has been a lot of good scoop so far and not much new I can add. To earn a stripe in training is very difficult and you will have to stand out among all the others. Nothing wrong with that as long as the promotion doesn't get in the way of what you are really there to learn. The Corps is not like a sports team where you have a superstar and a supporting cast. The Corps needs team work. There are plenty of stories of medal winners who have done something "above and beyond" but they are not the norm. Each Marine depends on his peers and an overly ambitious Marine can get others killed. That ambition can be for rank or personal glory but it can, and usually does, come at the expense of other Marines. While getting hurt comes with the Marine job description there is no reason to cause Marines to get injured for personal gain. In fact if you study the valor awards given to Marines, I'm sure you will find that most of them were given to Marines doing something to help other Marines and not out for personal recognition. Now don't get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with ambition but it must not be at the expense of others. As for me, when I was in boot camp, I preferred to be one of the middle, neither a leader or a sluggard. I received my share of thumps from the DIs but not nearly as much grief as the boots trying to win the honorman award or the "sick, lame and lazy". I graduated as a private just as most of those who tried for the honorman and still made Sgt in less than four years. Good luck.:marine:

11-29-02, 07:33 AM

I wish I could have said it as well as you did.

Mike Farrell
Cagayan de Oro

11-29-02, 08:39 AM
Ooya Jim, well said! I must appologize to Darwin, the picture of a poolee jumping on the desk of a Marine was the only thought that entered my head as I read the post. Like some one said rank is not that important when you are trying to get thru boot camp it comes and goes I would concentrate on graduating boot first. When you get to the fleet there will be other ways of obtaining rank i.e. merritorious promotions etc. marines who come to the fleet with guarranteed rank are like sandpaper to wood. nonetheless recruiters can with the right enlistment packages A.S.V.A.B. scores and your attitude put you in for guaranteed E-5 within 5 yrs. But like I said he can giveth, the old Sgt. out in the fleet will try to taketh away if he feels you don' cut the mustard to be a sgt. in our beloved Marine Corp.
oh yeah Marines aren't cocky, we are arrogant. There is a difference. once again I appologize for my arrogance to you Darwin but the thought of the cocky boot brought back a bad memory that ended my Glorious Marine Corp Career I Ended up 10 years in service as an e-4. There are consequences for every action we make! Semper Fi and good luck!!

11-29-02, 10:03 AM
Well, I implied it before, this time I'll say it and that is; I am bothered by this youngster. He has an arrogance and cockiness in his words that I find troublesome, from his moniker to his flip off hand comments. This all leaves me with a bad taste. My gut tells me this fellow is going to P**s off alot of Marines as he moves along.

11-29-02, 11:36 AM
Someone will be around to take his rough edges off, I'd bet.

I do remember bein' that young, and like most of you fellers, I was as ignorant as they come. On top of that, I was the dumbest SOB to come down the road! It took me three years to really get my head outta my ass. Before I was done, I was one of the best at what I did. That means that I was one of the best in the world at what I did. Hell, I knew the rest, and if I didn't know them, I knew who had trained them! The Marine Corps is a small community in a lot of ways that some of these kids just can't quite picture as yet! LOL. They'll learn! LMAO.

One thing, though. I wasn't crazy enough or stupid enough to **** off any Marine before I went to boot! and after, anyone who had more rank than I did was God incarnate!

11-29-02, 10:01 PM
Ill excuse your for your mistake, this time , everybody gits 1, cept in combat, and as for being cocky and arragont, ill except that too, we all were , Hell were were going in to join the best fighting unit in the world, we had been accepted by the best, hell yes we were cocky and arragont, wouldnt have it any other way, just dont tell it to the Marines, theyll take you down faster than a cold beer on a hot day , so, till your next mistake, and there will be others, Semper Fi. COME ON GUYS FESS UP , WE WERE COCKY AND ARRAGONT, RIGHT, OR WE WOULDNT HAVE BEEN MARINE MATERIAL. Remember look listen and learn, keep your mouth shut and your eyes and ears open , listen to those who have been there, and you make it all right. And Hell yes i would have taken the rank if they offered it.

Darwins Greed
11-30-02, 01:23 AM
Well Marines, I appreciate all of your feedback- the good and the bad. No one gets far in life thinking they're perfect, we all need a good kick in the right direction now and again. Some a little more often than others. (If you catch my meaning :) )
For those of you who don't like my name, it's not that I am greedy, or anything like that, I have been acting on the advice of a few of my friends who are already Marines.
I get my name is from a book I am writing, in which the main Character (Darwin) suffers great misfortune in life because of his greed. Darwin's Greed is to remind me that while there is no problem with going after what you want, one does need to be careful not to hurt others in the process. And having said, I agree with Jim wholeheartedly. Merry Christmas.

11-30-02, 05:59 AM
I went from the Corps to the National Guards. The sum total of my time was just under 15 years. E-4. Don't regret one iota of it. I had more responsibility and duties than most Staff Sergeants,...

11-30-02, 06:28 AM
Another thought - Darwin you had asked for information and got it. When I went to boot camp, the only information I had was Battle Cry by Leon Uris. A very good book, in fact I have several copies including an Australian edition and a Dutch edition. That didn't help much but it did give me a glimmer of what to expect. You are luckier than I with the ability to get some better information through this web site. I do have one other suggestion, read Making the Corps by Thomas Ricks. It tracks a platoon through PI in 1995. Just remember three things as you read it and gather information from us as well.
1- Boot camp is one of those things that you must experience to really understand. We can give you a wealth of information but you won't really understand until after graduation. It was the same way with each of us. You can talk about it, read about and even watch people going through it but can't understand it until you have the DIs screaming in you face and you spend "hours" with your rifle balanced on your extended finger tips.
2-The book and our information is dated. The lumps, both physical and psychological, don't change but form, shape and length do change. For example my boot camp in '67 was only 8 weeks. From boot camp we went to ITR (Infantry Training Regiment) for grunt training. Duration of ITR depended on your MOS. From ITR you either went to Nam or to a tech school. The DIs were allowed to "thump" us in '67. Technically it was illegal but as long as he didn't break bones or leave lasting damage it was ignored. Some of my most vivid memories are standing in line outside the DI hut waiting my turn for my "thumping". When my son went to boot camp in '97 he was there for 13 weeks. His boot included much of what we did in ITR and the Crucible. Now I hear that the crucible may be eliminated. And from what he tells me, he didn't get the physical "thumping" I did, they used different techniques. So remember that the form may be different when you get there but the pain and pride when you graduate will be the same.
3-It is virtually impossible to complete boot camp by yourself. You will need your platoon mates and they will need you. That is what boot camp is all about, to turn self centered civilians into Marines, part of the Marine Air-Ground Team.
One last "oh-by-the-way". There used to be a sign hanging in one of the arched walkways in San Diego that read
"To be a Marine you have to believe in: Yourself, Your fellow Marine, Your Corps, Your Country, Your God" I don't know if it is still there or not but I believe it is the essence of the Corps.

Good luck in boot camp. We will gladly welcome you into the brother hood when you graduate.

To shooter1: I'll fess up. The day I was sworn into the delayed enlistment program in early '67 there was a large group of draftees heading to army boot camp and I was the only "Marine". When the official called my name and service for the oath, you could hear the draftees saying "don't fool with him, he is a Marine". Sure made my day, in fact I actually thought I was one until I hit the yellow footprints a few months later and the DIs convinced me otherwise.