To quote comedian Mike Birbiglia (from memory, so apologies if this is a paraphrase), “I appreciate the troops, because if they weren’t the troops, I’d have to be the troops. And I would be the worst troops.”
That rings pretty true with most of us, especially when we consider the absolutely brutal rigors of boot camp. But that doesn’t mean nothing lighthearted EVER happens…
At ease, Private.
Enjoy these bits of military madness from the troops of Reddit.
1. Defy all odds
I’m a military nurse and as part of our orientation we had to give vaccines to the new recruits at MCRD.
One of the recruits was probably four foot nothing. They have yellow handprints on the wall for the bicillin shot and he couldn’t even reach them.
One of the DIs just kept yelling at him: “defy all odds recruit! Defy all odds!”
2. A no-win situation
Rifle range week in the pits. Two DIs walk towards each other. An echo of “Good morning, sir!” as they walk past each recruit. Until they converge on one.
“Good morning, sir!”
“Sir? B**ch I know there’s two of us.”
“Oh, so f**k me, right?”
“Then f**k him?”
“Well, it has to be one of us. So which is it [recruit], f**k me or f**k him?
“F**k him, sir.”
Both DIs, making no attempt to conceal it, start bursting into laughter. The one who made him say it stumbles away in tears. The f**k him DI collects himself and provides some incentive training to the kid.
3. That’s how it goes
One guy got selected to go to the Natick Human Research Center after basic, which is basically a place where they use soldiers in experiments to test new gear.
So he gets his pamphlet or whatever from the DS and as he’s walking away he says “Well, I didn’t want a robo-d**k in my a** but I guess I’m getting one” and the DS just lost it laughing. Had to close the door to his office.
4. False advertising
Fort Sill, OK 2002 (during my basic) DS is smoking us on the first day, playing “Who doesn’t want to be here? – If you don’t want to be here, I don’t want you here. Just tell me and you can go home…” We’ve been in front-lean-and-rest for between 15 min – 2 years (give or take), when somebody raises their hand.
DS was flustered for a second because I don’t think anyone had ever actually been dumb enough to raise their hand. He goes and gets gown in Private’s face and in screaming at him. Finally he says “Why don’t you want to be here?” I’ll never forget the response: “Drill Sergeant, this is not what my recruiter led me to believe this would be like. ” Only time I saw the DS speechless. I ended up doing basic, OCS, and officer basic course with that guy.
5. It was raining
Not a drill sergeant. Back in 2000 at Parris Island we were doing warriors breakfast after the crucible. The series commander are asking questions like “where are you from,” and, “why did you join,” and so forth.
They get to this Cambodian kid and they ask him why he joined up. His response was, “because it was raining.” The series commander is like, “explain.” It turns out the kid was like fresh off the boat in New York City, didn’t speak any English, and it started raining so he ducked into a recruiter’s office.
They signed his a** up and he just went along with it. He learned English in boot camp.
6. Just say no
Preface: Growing up, we had conscription and thus, I really didn’t want to be there, let alone do extra sh**. I had been warned in advance by friends and family that at the end of basic training, we’d be asked to join the Corporal’s Cadre. If you said, yes, you were automatically in and were pulled aside for extra training.
Here we are all lined up on our last day of basic training and the Lt. Col. is going around with two other officers asking us one by one if we wanted to join the Corporal’s Cadre. Everyone before he reached me had said yes. A few had initially said no, but for whatever reason changed their minds. Then it’s my turn:
Lt Col: What’s your name, Private?
Me: Sir, Private Bermsi, Sir!
Lt Col: Are you joining the Cadre? Are you up for the challenge?
Me: Sir, No, Sir!
Lt Col: Why is that, Private?
Me: I’m not up for the challenge, Sir!
The other two officers suddenly had huge smirks on their faces and the Lt. Col. just went silent. He stood there dumbstruck with nothing else to say, and proceeded to move on to the next person. Other officers approached me afterwards laughing since they didn’t expect anyone to say no and stick to that answer.
7. The lisp
In Navy bootcamp we have a thing before Battlestations called Amnesty Night. This is where we confess all the dumb s**t we managed to get away with to our RDCs and not get in trouble.
Our chief had a lisp, which we all talked s**t about throughout boot camp, but never in front of him. We had a pretty short guy named Patterson that could do a perfect impression of our chief. Patterson proceeded to stand up in the middle of Foreward IG and said “Why the f**k do I have to keep touching your dirty asth sthkivysth? You mother f**kerths make me sthick”.
The enitre division was dying, the RDCs were in tears about to fall out of their chairs. When everything quietened down, our chief looked at us and said “I f**king hate you guyths, but that wath f**king funny”. The entire division proceeded to die again
8. The sock incident
Imagine this…0500 in physical training formation.
Everyone is dressed in the proper uniform (gray shirt, blue shorts, white sock and a shiny new pair of New Balance Dad shoes) except for Recruit Dumba**.
Recruit Dumba** realized he didn’t have clean white socks while getting ready and thought it would be ok to join the formation in knee high (green) socks. The following conversation transpired:
Drill Sergeant (DS): Trainee Dumba**, what the h**l do you have on?
TD: Ma’am, I didn’t have clean white socks so I used my uniform socks instead.
DS: Trainee Dumba**, do you know what covert ops is?
TD: Yes, Ma’am.
DS: Trainee Dumba**, I want you to covert ops your a** over to the barracks and acquire a pair of white socks from your laundry bag.
TD: *stares blankly*
DS: LOW CRAWL YOUR A** TO THE BARRACKS AND GET THE CORRECT PAIR OF SOCKS ON YOUR D**N FEET!
TF: *Does what he’s told and low crawls nearly a mile to the barracks. Nearly dies from exhaustion and humiliation.*
9. An honest answer
Asked a private the difference between cover and concealment.
Private said : “Drill Sergeant! You asked what seems like a very important question which I am supposed to know the answer. However this private was imagining not being called on, and was not paying attention to the question! Drill Sergeant !!”
10. East and west
I ordered the platoon to form up facing West. One troop asked, “Master corporal, our West or your West?”
I just walked away angrily and let his peers sort him out.
I came out of my office and they were facing East…
11. Outstanding in your field
Recruit fired all his blank ammo during “ambush response” training. He crawled in ditch to opposite where the aggressors were, and started throwing rocks at them.
DI came running in middle of the road blowing his whistle and screaming “what the f**k are you doing?’. Recruit screamed back,” throwing hand grenades drill sergeant.’ Without missing a beat, the DI screamed “out f**king standing.” and walked away.
12. He’s used to it, I’m sure
I feel bad for the guy but I gotta say it. His last name was Smellie. As in, “smelly”.
So when I had him come into the class for the orientation/admin day the very first day, I ask everyone to stand up and give their rank, name, serial number. So when I heard “Private Smellie”, I lost it. I felt so bad for the guy.
13. Let’s be real
My dad tells me this story all the time.
Back in the 80s when he was doing basic training the DS was going down the line asking why everyone joined and my dad was like “oh s**t, I don’t have a good answer for this” and was nervous
DS goes to the guy next to my dad, asks the question and the guy says “TO DEFEND MY COUNTRY SIR”. DS goes “THAT’S BULLS**T, YOU’RE HERE FOR THE MONEY AND THE EDUCATION”
And that became everyone’s answer
14. Making the list
Planning a ruck sack March a private asked his section commander what he needed to pack. The Sgt said pack everything on your kit list.
As we are out on a 16km (10mile) March I look the private up and down and note his ruck looks a little light. I whisper to my friend ( his Sgt) this fact. At the next rest break The Sgt goes over and picks up the private’s rucksack. There appeared to be nothing in it. The Sgt (who’s 6’3”, 240lb and mean and ugly) goes to the private and after a few expletives asks him to empty out his ruck. The young private pulls out a piece of paper and says, “ you told me to pack my kit list Sgt”. It took every will in my being not to lose my s**t at that moment. Needless to say the young private had remedial ruck marches for the rest of the week.
Afterwards us section commanders had a great laugh at the audacity of the young lad.
Man I miss those days.
15. The Easter bunny
The TI’s came in at 2:00 a.m. on Easter morning to ransack lockers. One guy had his flashlight in the wrong spot. TI grabs the flashlight taps it on the guy’s head and says “shhhh it’s ok. I’m just the easter bunny. WATCH ME HOP!!!!! I’m full of f**king chocolate and not even Jesus knows why!!!!” He then proceeds to jump on the guy’s bed until the kid figures out what he did wrong.
It’s the same guy that hit me with a bed when he was mad and then got taken off night duty. He hated me the rest of the time.
Yeah, I’m uh…I’m pretty glad I’m not the troops.
Do you have any tales of military hijinks?
Share them with us in the comments.