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Say It Ain't So! Sweet Drill Sergeants?

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posted on Oct, 11 2006 @ 08:09 PM
When I went through Boot Camp at MCRD in 1967, every platoon had one Drill Instructor like the one protrayed by Lee Ermey in "Full Metal Jacket." And guess what! In time, recruits came to love their Drill Instrutors like fathers and brothers and they became Marines, ready to think and perform under the most difficult of situations. Boot Camp was carefully moderated to weed out those who were unfit, while giving everyone the opportunity to rise to the occasion.

Art Buchwald did a wonderful article about his life at Boot Camp during WWII in 1994 for "Parade Magazine." I'll never forget that article because it really said what every Marine feels for those who turned them from "slimy civilians" into Marines.

Here is one man's attempt to recreate that article. I won't vouch for it, but I'm providing it in lieu of finding the actual article.

Here are some recordings of Buchwald talking about his Marine Corps experiences.
He says it all very well.

Listen to this one first: "Why he chose the Marines; boot camp experience with memorable drill instructor, Pete Bernardi. (02:55)"

Now, let's face it. The Army ain't the Corps, but what in the world are they doing to military training?

Read for yourselves:

Veterans would probably chuckle, but according to Army Times, today's recruits can do their push-ups from their knees if they get too tired. Sit-ups can be accomplished with the help of a sleeping mat. Today's Army doesn't want recruits with bruised, er, tail bones.

The "kinder gentler" thing — adopted more than a year ago — may be working. The Army says it has reduced by nearly 7 percent the number of washouts in the first six to 12 months of a recruit's life. In place of the "shock treatment," the Army now urges its drill sergeants to adopt more the role of a counselor than an antagonist.


Chu told the AP that two-thirds of all recruits finish their enlistments, ranging from three to four years. The other third is made up of many who drop out in the first six to 12 months. Many who didn't make it often cited humiliating treatment as one reason.

[edit on 2006/10/11 by GradyPhilpott]

posted on Oct, 11 2006 @ 08:17 PM
Thats' pretty bad. I mean, even OUR system focuses on learning to work past your bruises and complaints and weariness to perform as need be. We might be allowed aspirin and such, but....not wussy pushups, or sleeping mats.

Kind of depressing.


posted on Oct, 11 2006 @ 08:58 PM
I'm appalled that the standards are being so cozied up.

Hell, Benning's 30AG RB was a little cruel, BCT was grueling but in retrospect I'm glad. You don't learn to be a warrior with compassion and counseling.

Perhaps this has something to do with how technology is aiming to replace actual soldiers in certain areas of the battlefield, though I still don't see how this is going to create effective soldiers.

posted on Oct, 11 2006 @ 09:01 PM
So, by comparison, combat is just going to suck that much more.

That means more breakdowns, mental and physical, at a time when it's more than your pride on the line. Wonderful...

So, basically what this means is that the Army is more interested in getting soldiers into combat than making sure soldiers have the tools and the mindset necessary to survive combat.

posted on Oct, 11 2006 @ 09:04 PM
You'll need to sign up to read this but it's free.

The Kinder, Gentler Military

"Can America's Gender-Neutral Fighting Force Still Win Wars?"

Time will tell.

posted on Oct, 11 2006 @ 09:35 PM
Yeah, it's turning back into a meat-grinder of an army. If you're not toughened in training, what happens in actual combat? Did you realize something like 75% of Marines in the WWII Pacific theatre didn't fire their weapons upon first contact with the enemy, even when taking fire?

I mean, I respect the Marines, and I know that back then they just didn't have time for a thirty-three week training regiment like I'll get. It'll end up like that, that kind of sausage machine, and today's generations just suck. They'll cave instead of shine.

posted on Oct, 11 2006 @ 09:52 PM
Damn good article, GP. I would have had a hard time articulating the issues that this guy brings across.

This will eventually come back to bite us in the ass.

If you don't feel like signing up to read, here's some "gender-free" login info for Grady's link.

MemberID: username6
Password: password

posted on Oct, 11 2006 @ 09:55 PM

Originally posted by DeusEx
Did you realize something like 75% of Marines in the WWII Pacific theatre didn't fire their weapons upon first contact with the enemy, even when taking fire?

I think you're going to need a link for that. There was a study done at one time that revealed that a surprisingly large number of infantrymen never fired their rifles in combat, but I'm pretty sure that was either not limited to Marines or was a study of Army troops in Europe.

If three out of every four Marines failed to use their weapons during the island campaigns that would be an easy to find statistic, besides the probablity that things would have turned out very differently.

You might try looking here:

Google Search

[edit on 2006/10/11 by GradyPhilpott]

posted on Oct, 11 2006 @ 10:25 PM
Not all the time, just in first storming beaches, which were slaughters. I read the statistic offhand in Generation Kill by Evan Wright a few nights ago. I suppose part of that is that many of them simply didn't have the chance to fire their weapons. Another book I own ( What Everyone Should Know About War by Chris Hedges) states that less than half of US riflemen fired their weapons in first contact, and only about 55% of US riflemen in Korea fired theirs.

EDIT: Damn you, Marshall! DAMN YOU!


[edit on 11-10-2006 by DeusEx]

posted on Oct, 11 2006 @ 10:29 PM
Welcome to the new politically correct military.
Seen your "kinder and gentler" recruiter yet?

posted on Oct, 11 2006 @ 10:43 PM
Well I'm undecided on this, if it ends up producing better soldiers
somehow, than I'm all for it, but if it starts to show that it's produ-
cing less capable soldiers, than I'm all for the bulging vein-in-neck,
spit in your face, yelling Drill Sergeants.

Though I have to say doing push-ups with you're knees?
That is just a stupid thing to allow.

posted on Oct, 11 2006 @ 10:54 PM
It's increasing retention and this news might actually increase recruitment. I have my doubts as to what kind of warrior it might produce.

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