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Thread: Youngest DIs
01-10-11, 06:05 PM #1
Ran across this article in SEMPER Fi Mag. and it caught my attention. Anyone rember having a 17 year old DI??
Question of Who Holds Title of Youngest Marine DI Settled
There was almost another shootout at the OK Corral to determine who is the youngest Marine to have
served as a drill instructor in U.S. Marine Corps history but this time Wyatt Earp (aka Hugh O’Brian, aka
Hugh C. Krampe) who was crowned the youngest byLeatherneck Magazine of Marines, was outgunned by
two Marines who were far younger.
The now undisputed title belongs to the late William C. Foster of Dearborn, Michigan, who, enlisted in the
Canadian Army paratrooper in the summer of 1941. He was 16 at the time, having been born on Nov. 2,
1924. This wrote former drill instructor and Marine Sergeant Eugene Alvarez, PhD, of Ocala, Florida, re-
sulted in Foster being ‘honorably discharged for falsifying age,” in a Leatherneck story in October 1983.
Stephen R. Wise, PhD, curator of the Parris Island Museum, says it is nearly impossible to determine who the youngest Marine Corps DI is because in other eras, such as World War I, some DI’s were designated while they were in boot camp. “There are so many variations of the DI designation, it would be almost im- possible to name a certain person as the youngest.”
Foster, then 17, enlisted in the Marine Corps on 22 November 1941 and when he completed his marksman-
ship training in December, 1941, he was prematurely graduated from boot camp and assigned as a junior
drill instructor with Platoon 187 on December 29, 1941. He was 17 years, one month and 27 days old. Ac-
cording to the Social Security Death Index, he died on Aug. 23, 1990.
Alvarez agrees that it appears that the oldest Marine Corps DI now living is probably retired USMC Mas-
ter Gunnery Sergeant David P. Guido of Watertown, Mass., who was assigned as a drill instructor a few
weeks after Foster in January 1942.
Krampe, who later became movie and television actor Hugh O’Brian, was 18 years old when he graduated from Boot Camp at MCRD San Diego in 1943 and took four platoons of recruits through the then six week ordeal. He had been touted by Leatherneck as the “Youngest DI In Marine Corps History,” including a re- cent article in “ Semper Fi,” the magazine of the Marine Corps League
This claim is disputed by MCL member David Guido, who was born on May 30, 1924 and enlisted in the
U.S. Marine Corps on Nov. 23, 1941. “I was assigned as a DI at Parris Island in January 1942 at age 17, two
03-28-11, 10:25 AM #2
wow i never knew that! i like hugh o'brian.thanks for the info!
07-24-14, 06:49 PM #3
To date, nobody has been able to provide documented proof they were younger than my dad. William C. Foster is still the youngest D.I.
07-24-14, 06:54 PM #4Baker1971Guest Free Member
Fill out your profile Jon !!!
07-24-14, 07:47 PM #5FoxtrotOscarGuest Free Member
07-24-14, 08:23 PM #6
What am I missing in the profile?
07-24-14, 08:35 PM #7
I was looking at your profile too, Jon and I wonder too. What is missing?
07-24-14, 08:37 PM #8
Youngest Drill Instructors? Talk about LITTLE HITLERS. Can you imagine going back in the Corps now and taking this abuse from a 18 year old, or 19 year old, or even 25 year old kid? Just out of High School, still smells like baby ****.
07-24-14, 11:39 PM #9
07-25-14, 09:41 AM #10
I got your motivation platoon hangin.......right heeuuuhh!...heheheheh......
11-21-16, 01:51 PM #11
The problem here is really definition. Most, if not all these so called “Youngest DI’s” were not “real DI’s” but appointed as Drill Instructor Assistants. Real Drill Instructors had to complete DI School. I am aware that many years ago most DI’s were selected and assigned to DI duty for their knowledge and experience as Marine NCO/SNCO’s and they did not have the DI school as we do now but they were seasoned Marines. Their assistants weren’t even real Marines when they were appointed more less a “real DI”. Hell, even now you are considered a “Boot” until you have served a least a year in the fleet. After having gained special permission from Marine Leadership in Washington DC I was assigned to DI school Parris Island SC at the age of 19. I’m not saying I was the youngest, I’m just saying I was a “Real Marine Drill Instructor” and not recruit acting as an DI assistant.
01-11-17, 07:26 AM #12
Great story. Thank U for sharing
01-11-17, 10:38 AM #13
01-11-17, 11:14 AM #14
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