Marine Corps Recruit Abuse

In 2007, a Drill Instructor at the Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego, Sergeant Jerrod M. Glass, was charged with 244 counts of recruit abuse. Shortly after, Sergeant Brian M. Wende, Sergeant Robert C. Hankins and Sergeant Mark A. Delarosa were brought up on similar or related charges.

For Sgt. Delarosa, one of his former recruits said he had been spit on and had been kicked in the shin during drill practice. Captain Patrick J. Callahan, part of Delarosa’s defense counsel, tried to claim that Delarosa simply cared about how his recruits would perform in battle in Iraq and made statements about how the Marines are not like the Air Force or Army. “We push these recruits. We say mean things to recruits.”

This is a poor example of DI behavior. There are strict guidelines about what is allowed and not allowed in boot camp and the rules and guidelines set forth in the standard operating procedure (SOP) are there partially to protect recruits.

It is intentional for Drill Instructor to seem like “Gods” to the recruits. Drill instructors create an environment where recruits are made to feel that they are always being watched. Most of the time, this is not a bad thing as, at its root, the objective is to get recruits trained to obey the chain of command and really focus on their goals. But effective training also requires recruits to have trust in their Drill Instructors, and that means Drill Instructors must absolutely adhere to a set of boundaries.

There is often an old-school mentality that recruits come from undisciplined backgrounds and need the tough-love attitude to wake them up and show them what its like to be tough. How else are they going to be ready for battle right?

Wrong. Thousands of Marines are trained every year by dedicated Drill Instructors who successfully complete their training responsibilities without ignoring standard operating procedures. There are thousands of former recruits, current Marines, who are or have been in battle in Iraq and Afghanistan who performed remarkably without being trained by undisciplined, wayward Drill Instructors.

The USMC takes it seriously, so recruits, if your DI is breaking the law, you do have the USMC’s own rules on your side. The Senior Drill Instructor is personally responsible for the behavior of DI’s under their command and at any time in your training, you may report abuse. During the 3rd phase of training, the Company Commander will hold a hearing with each recruit to ask, point blank, if your DI ever made inappropriate contact with you. If you end up receiving any medical treatment, you’ll be asked how it happened and any infraction or suspicion is supposed to be investigated.

Are Drill Instructors allowed to swear and cuss at recruits?

No, drill instructors are not supposed to swear or cuss at recruits. They do yell…a lot. Drill instructors are known to come up with some much more interesting alternatives than swearing that, at least in retrospect, gives recruits much more memorable “words of wisdom”.

Can drill instructor’s hit you?

Absolutely not. No. Drill Instructors are fully capable of challenging you without abusing the recruit-drill instructor power dynamic. They can instill discipline through working you out until you cry, but if a DI hits or kicks a recruit, they may lose their rank or even be court marshaled.

111 thoughts on “Marine Corps Recruit Abuse”

  1. Was at PI graduated December 1969, Platoon 2006 we were the best Platoon on the island won drill comp, rifle range, PT, drown proofing, academic drill, etc. I still have dreams about the Island, but know maggots were transformed into MARINES, I wont go into the abuse some allege but know for sure the discipline saved many lives in NAM. If you wanted to be treated with kid gloves then the corp was not for you.

  2. It has been my experience that those who join the USMC and survived recruit training have done nothing else in life of which they can be proud. Hell, even the Marines will tell you that most recruits come from the bottom of the academic world. Most recruits were not in the top of their classes. Most have not held jobs for any length of time pre-Marines. Older recruits are often drifting through life aimlessly!

    As for DI’s, they are little more than knuckle dragging quasi Neanderthals who only know success through physical force. They would have impressionable people believe that they only know manhood through force. Bullshit,

    A real man has a job and takes care of his kids by loving their mother. A real man may works at a job he doesn’t particularly like but he does it anyway because that was part of the deal when he married. A real man has a sense that physical prowess has nothing to do with being a real man. A real man doesn’t beat his wife or drink too much.

    I feel sorry for the “men” of the Corps! Semper Fi my ass!

  3. I enlisted in the Marine Corps on Aug 30, 1973. I was mentally prepared for recruit training and had begun the process of losing weight (17 lbs in 14 days before I took the oath). I had been a high school shotputter, threw 50 feet (still outstanding today among high schoolers/we had no weightroom or drugs either), and ran 1/2 mile daily at 270 lbs. After enlistment, I was put through normal processing and sent to PCP (Physical Conditioning Platoon) for 30 days to lose more weight. I lost another 28 lbs in 34 days (a total of 42 lbs in 48 days). Following successfully completing PCP without any disciplinary problems, i was sent to Platoon 3100, K Company, 3rd Recruit Training Regiment, weighing 225 lbs, able to perform 78 situps (80 was max back then), three pull ups (the minimum required) and ran three miles in 24:30 minutes. I also scored a 96 on the First Phase X-1 exam (tied our honor man for high score in the platoon; was fourth highest in K company). Despite this, I was continually labeled a “fat boy” because I was heavier built and more muscular than the average recruit. At that time there were no body fat tests or waivers given to recruits who performed their physical training at normal levels although their weight exceeded strict Marine Corps standards. It was at this point that our Platoon Commander became ill and was relieved of his position. He was replaced by a buck sergeant who took his black Platoon Commander’s belt and began secretly beating recruits who did not satisfy his immature 22-year old views on how to train recruits (he had been part of the “insiders” during his training, allowed to beat and torture recruits during their VIetnam War boot camp (many were draftees and took severe maltreatment for being drafted). After 30 days of beatings from this guy and his 23-year old buck sergeant cohort, I broke after being asked repeatedly at sick bay by Navy medical personnel how I suffered so many bruises on my body. I ended up testifying against these two at an Article 15 proceeding against them before our Battalion Commander. I was ordered not to discuss the full extent of the maltreatment I and other recruits suffered by the Battalion gunnery sergeant, who warned me if I did, I would be sent to Portsmouth Naval Prison for false official statement (a Uniform Code of Military Justice provision for military members who commit that offense). Although there were 80 men in our platoon, only two testified truthfully about the abuse many of us had taken without speaking out (I and another recruit who also had a great deal of courage for doing so). Following my testimony, on which both drill instructors were removed as DI’s, demoted to Corporal, and fined for the limited misconduct which was discussed in the hearing (where I was denied legal counsel despite requesting it), I was sent by the Battalion Commander to the Motivation Platoon as punishment for being a “dime dropping rat”. At the Motivation Platoon I exhibited an extreme level of motivation and was about to be transferred to another training platoon, but suffered an injury to my right hell and Achilles tendon, for which I was denied anything except cursory medical treatment. After four months of boot camp, I eventually “gave up”, exhausted mentally and physically from 16 weeks of an 11 week training cycle, and refused to perform punishment exercise after being ordered to after the cursory medical treatment failed. I was eventually discharged from the Marine Corps with a General Discharge under Honorable Conditions for having a “defective attitude”. What was “defective” about my attitude? Today I am diagnosed with service connected disability for my long term leg injuries and also with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder after taking a beating with a telephone book with a towel draped over my head by the original DI involved, who had placed a bayonet on the table in his duty office with two other drill instructors present, ordering me to “pick it up”, which I had refused, knowing my fingerprints would be on it and I would either beaten, killed, or prosecuted for attacking them with it. To this day, I still respect the Marine Corps and the loyalty, honor, and discipline it instilled in me. The individuals who inflicted maltreatment on me were individuals, not the Marine Corps. I am glad to see that today, incidents like this are not “covered up”, but exposed and the perpetrators prosecuted. I went on in my life to college, graduated a Dean’s LIst Scholar, went into business, and then on to law school, where i graduated and passed the bar examination in my state, using what I learned about the UCMJ to defend other military members who were prosecuted under it. In 1978, I was offered a commission by the US Army as a second lieutenant following graduation, which I declined (although I wish I hadn’t), and in 1980, attempted to re-enlist in the Marines as an officer with my Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science, having continued my physical transformation into a 6 foot, 215 lb. man who could easily run five miles and bench press 375 lbs as a steroid free powerlifter, but was denied enlistment. I continue to support the Marine Corps and the true standards under which it oper operates. I have not allowed what happened to me at 18 years old to define who I am at 61. It has taken me many years of mental health therapy and self-reflection to realize what was done to me was wrong. I still suffer nightmares and other manifestations of PTSD as well as those of the foot injuries I suffered. I hope that this helps someone who feels his life was “destroyed” by something that occurred to him or to her at an early time in their lives that does not define them as human beings or as American citizens. Bad things happen; it is up to every person to overcome them and go on with their lives. Go Marine Corps! I still support the organization and the many benefits I gained from enlisting.

  4. Wow…I see nothing has changed with the few and the proud and now add…abused. I joined the USMC Reserve out of high school and graduated from PI in 1988. After a 7 year break in service, I joined the Army and did (3) 12 month tours in Iraq and (2) 12 month tours in Afghanistan. I served in a combat arms MOS and attended training and served with Marines in the combat zone. I lost friends in combat, got shot at and ambushed, mortar, rockets, IED’s and killed the enemy. Here’s the bottom line….Marines are an image and institutionalized to believe that all other branches (Army, Navy, Air Force) are scum of the earth. After completing recruit training, most young Marines are brainwashed and mentally unstable. I know several high school friends that joined and all of them left the Corps mentally jacked up and still struggle today. I’m sure that there are prior “devil dogs” out there that made it through basic with only getting yelled at or slapped around a little and had the luxury never seeing a combat zone. Also, you were never a “target” and you didn’t get the “full treatment” and was not a victim of the DI code.

    Here’s my experience with abuse at USMC basic training at PI. I graduated high school and joined like any other recruit. I had no issues at MCRD until until one morning my platoon was marching to the chow hall in the dark at about 0500. The recruit in front of me was out of step and the senior DI (SSGT Stephen Busch) from Georgia who was an “Aviation Mechanic” by MOS came from behind and hit me (very hard) under the chin with a moonbeam. I’m pretty sure he meant to hit the recruit in front of me for being out of step. Anyway…the Officer of the Day saw my bloody chin laid open during the evening health and welfare check and demanded to know what happened. I told several lies to avoid getting the DI in trouble but the Officer threatened to court martial me if I didn’t tell him the truth. I told the Officer that the senior DI corrected me during marching and that I didn’t want the DI to get in trouble and that I deserved it (Marines don’t lie right). An investigation started and all the DI’s targeted me to try to break me and quit. They slapped my weapon into my face and humiliated me in front of the platoon and so on and on every waking minute…turning the platoon against me. I was a model recruit…the next thing I know is all 4 DI’s are trying to break me and get me to quit. After about 4 weeks I went in front of the Commander and he asked me some questions and they made it look like I was just missing home and needed attention and swept it under the rug…Investigation closed. The DI’s eventually learned that I tried to cover for them and a few days before graduation all the DI’s tried to “build” me up and I got the feeling they knew they had wrongly targeted me and were sort of surprised I made it through all their mental and physical abuse. I never really felt proud to be a Marine because of this experience. I eventually realized that Marines are not Gods, more like misfits that march and do rifle drill very well out of fear. Hopefully, the Corps will stop making low intelligence, unstable, ego maniac NCOs into the DI’s that are charged with training recruits. I’m glad these abuse stories are coming out. I would love to see my old (non deployed – aviation mechanic) Sr DI face to face one of these days…I’d like to do some training on his face. With all this said, I do respect the good Marines that have served and fought for our country. When the Corps has unprofessional DI’s that abuse recruits and continue this silent code of un-ethics, it takes away from all the Marines that served. If you read this post and feel like you want to respond…I don’t want to hear jack from a prior Marine with your dumb little boot camp story that you think is funny or you making a statement that it was somehow my fault I got the crap beat out of me while trying to cover for my DI’s. You won’t get it because you were part of the 50% that wasn’t subject to the elevated abuse. I know the USMC needs to be tough…but when an eighteen year old raises their hand to fight for their country…basic training should not be a zoo for unprofessional junior NCO’s to mentally and physically abuse them. There is a fine line between training and abuse and the Corps walks this line closely and they know it. For this reason, I would not recommend any young person to join the USMC….there are other military branches that focus more on actual training opposed to abusing recruits. However, if you want to be trained by a Marine Cook on a power trip that has been an E5 for 12 years and is now a Drill Instructor going through a divorce and an alcoholic…go ahead and knock yourself out…literally. Felt pretty good to get this off my chest.

    1. MCRD San Diego 1975. Joined because I couldn’t figure out what to do out of high school.
      I was capable and way above average. I did avoid being singled out but was completely dissolutioned by about 30% of the DI’s.
      Mostly chickenshits who enjoyed beating on recruits, singling out fat guys, skinny guys, mentally slow guys. How many times I thought what a joke. You cannot build cohesion and respect with this bullshit. Moral after bootcamp was terrible everywhere I went. You have to treat people as human beings and as brothers. I saw it in Air Force, Navy, Army. I believe the changes are for the better.

    2. My receiving D.I. (mcrdsd-1995) hit a canteen out of my hand, and it hit my head, hit canteen out of my other hand and it hit another recruit. I just had a lump, kid across from me was bleeding. Next day he tried making us lie about it in front of fellow D.I. I guess so he could have a witness. Same guy had us assaulting one another. My understanding is that he’d been voted D.I. of the year, previously.

    3. Man reading this brought back memories for me. I suffered a minor ankle injury during boot camp that made me fall out in a run and then got the crap literally beat out of me for weeks. I was choked until I blacked out. Hit in the face. Kicked in the face. Threatened that I would be “thrown off a ship.” Hit with a rifle butt in the back of the helmet. Ear pulled until it cracked inside. Picked up by my underwear and slung into a wall. When I asked for a chaplain once my face was put into a wall locker and repeatedly slammed. The DI’s turned the entire platoon against me for weeks. Even after my twisted ankle healed and I performed well and met every challenge I was beaten and threatened just as a matter of habit. This insanity even followed me to infantry school. It was so injust and absurd. This abuse happens. It’s real. I was threatened to be killed by them so many times I can’t count. I was threatened to not report the abuse also. Insane. I hope more people come out so this type of thing can be exposed for what it is. Thank you for posting it.

    4. Damn proud out you young man I am a retired Marine. LTC. I’m black so I’m pretty sure you know how it was for me from 72 to 97. I can appreciate good marines. Although it’s all meant to make something of you that you never were the abuse is deplorable. But be proud of the fact that you are a Marine and you served your country and made it home to tell your story. Suck it up and be all u can be a United States Marine ooooh raaaaaa.

  5. Ok, maybe I’m just old and stupid and out of touch with the “Modern World” but why is it that when I was growing up, if you did something wrong, you got punished for it and you expected to be punished for it You learned this as a child and you never forgot it well into adulthood. And since all of us kids back then were raised to be a “Man-child”, you took your punishment like a man and not a whiner, if fact, you prided yourself on how well you could take your ass kickings without crying or whimpering. So way back in 19 and 79, when I enlisted, getting slapped, kicked, punched and screamed at CONSTANTLY if you screwed up was considered just part of the course, with the idea being not to screw up again, simple as that. But I’ll tell you something; After we graduated, we were in fact MARINES in the truest sense of the word and our comradery was unbreakable since we had survived Basic Training and lived to tell about it. We were ready to throw ourselves on grenades for each other and kinda hoped some one would toss a few grenades at us just to prove how tight we all were with each other. The military is NOT a summer camp, it’s simply a different world than civilian life and civilian rules and morality do not apply in it.

    1. I understand I’m old also, we have learned over time that abuse works against people, and can really mess some up creating very bad situations. Also morality and ethics are things ALL Marines should have learned, as you are expected to treat you enemy with the dignity and respect that we have agreed under geneva convention. I’m 3rd generation my grand son is active now he’s of course 5th. It is harder to be moral and ethical and do the right thing and kill the fucking enemy and win. Don’t get me wrong I’m sure WWII we did unethical and immoral things but those do not dictate who we are or what we are, are actions and fighting for morality dictaes our future and who will back us up, who will move to usa, etc.
      I was abused, I was choked out by the senior and two junior drill instructors to break me. I thought this was normal thought everyone gets abused in boot camp.

    2. Taking abuse isn’t evidence of manhood. It’s evidence of being broken.

      Speaking for myself, had I been told that abuse was allowed in basic, it would have been a different story. I wasn’t. A D.I. deliberately broke the rules, and then set about covering his own ass by encouraging dishonesty.

    3. Not to say that you didn’t go through similar things or worse during your time in service but I for one was actually part of this platoon. This article doesn’t even break the surface of what really went on during boot camp. It’s messed up the things that actually happened that unless you were there you don’t know about. This article is horribly written and just like any news source is wrong.

  6. PI and my DI’s will never leave me. I’m 48, spent the last 25 social worker years working with kids and families who nobody else will work with. I teach resiliency, respect to ones self and others, non-violent problem solving, education, and anything else that will save the life of a teenager. I learned this from the Corps. I didn’t make it but 2 years before my back gave out (0% disability because I didn’t want to stay and fight). I went to join the Sandinista and carry on, but caught up in orphans and poverty, the other side of war. I stopped wanting to fight, but I am more Marine today, than ever. and the DI’s beat me good. They would not let me give up. I still don’t. I always wonder if it made me crazy, though. I’m sure I have PTSD from Central America, but I truly think it is not as bad because I already had it from PI.

  7. My friends son just experienced racial and unessesary kicks in the ribs by his senior drill sergeant because his name was a Native American last name and wanted the young man to explain what it meant. He stepped on his fingers while..making him do push ups. Making fun of his last name in humiliation. Still kicking him in the ribs and threatened the young man to not tell his father.

    Can you please tell me who I can get in touch with to report this? This has caused sycological damage to this young man, to the point he is afraid to go back to finish his 4 years.

    Thank you

    1. Please, Please, Please do all you can, I lost my son to Suicide 1 and 1/2 years after leaving USMC boot camp San Diego, I have no doubt in my mind things happened there that he did not talk about. Sending you Strength

  8. It has taken me two decades to even talk about it. I was able to later enlist in the army, did infantry, and served multiple tours in two separate theaters. The war fighters in urban areas need to be dynamic, think on their feet, and be creative in building alliances. the army was able to give me some life. two decades later what haunts me to the point of wanting to end it, was the abuse i suffered at MCRD from a “recon” SDI. intense training is necessary. being someone’s punching bag from an SDI is not. i generally would rather be around a marine in combat, because you know they will fight. for any special operations, the army’s tactical training supersedes the usmc. you are allowed to have your own brain in the army. in the marine corps you must give everything, including your sanity. hand to hand combat is great, but being hit when you cannot hit back is stupid and it causes pain decades later. join the army.

    1. following a leader who was assaultive, makes a reference to rape, and denies food was enough to say it wasn’t worth it. no disrespect to anyone, it wasn’t for me. and yes it haunts me more than bullets wizzing by my head, or someone driving a car into a checkpoint ect ect. it’s just how the mind works.

    2. I lost my Son to Suicide, 1 and 1/2 years after leaving USMC bootcamp in San Diego, i have no doubt in my mind, something happened there that he never spoke about. Sincere Regrets to you <3

    3. I hear you man…prior marine here that went army and did numerous tours in OIF and OEF. Got the heck beat out of me at PI…read my long post dated 03JUL16. Most prior marines just don’t get it unless they really experienced abuse beyond the routine daily scuffing up. I was so brainwashed, I covered for my DI’s after they beat me mistakenly for another recruit. I’m a mentally strong person (survived PI despite unusual abuse) and 6 combat tours, but they really jacked my head up back when I was younger and later got out (honorable). I’m only now healing from the mental scars and still have a scar under my chin from the DI beating me. Thanks for serving. Go Army!

  9. I was at Parris Island, S.C. In 1969 when abuse was an every day event. One recruit was asked who hits the hardest Srgt Biss or Staff Srgy Robinson. When the recruit replied Srgt Bliss staff Srgt Robinson punched him in the stomach at which point the recruit changed his mind. Not to be outdone Srgt Bliss gave him a shot and again the recruit changed his mind. This continued several more times until someone shouted “you’ve never been hit”. When the recruit answered correctly he was allowed to join the rest of us for “pt” for talking in the barracks. That was just one incident out of many that we endured.

    1. Wondering exactly what the training value was in this experience. Basically, to cover for the DI’s when they abuse recruits.

  10. My son is being sent home because of adjustment disorder.I was told the day medical made the decision, why wouldn’t they call and let us talk to him first? When he went back to his platoon his DI’s ragged him about having nightmares where he killed himself. Really!! Where in any world is this right for DI’s to do this. My son was trying to pull himself out of this but with the DI’s ragging him about his depression and nightmares he was afraid he would hurt himself or someone else. What happen to counseling when recruits have these things instead of allowing the DI’s to torment them? This kid was eager to be a part of the Marines and right now he hates them.

  11. Joined in late 2004, got out in 2010.

    Boot Camp was hell…

    My complaints:
    1) Being made to drink water until you vomit. (many many times)
    2) Being forced to gas chamber ourselves in the rain room with 20+ cans of bug spray.
    3) Being struck in the face several times.
    4) It was a unspoken rule to not go to medical, my drill instructors always dropped subtle threats…
    5) I was sick very sick, dropped from 165 lbs to graduating boot at 117 lbs. I am 6’1
    -My drill instructors were trying to starve me out, I couldn’t hold any food down.
    -My drill instructors ignored my weight loss and didn’t attempt to help me get medical treatment OR PLACE ME ON DOUBLE RATIONS.
    -My drill instructors LIED about my graduation weight to protect themselves.(although they claimed it was to “keep me from being recycled” because you can’t graduate at that low of weight).
    6) My drill instructors manage to turn the whole platoon against a single recruit and unfortunately he was assaulted, verbally abused, and mentally tortured by fellow recruits.
    -Later I was him in the platoon that apparently cycles recruits out or whatever, apparently tried to kill himself or something.
    7) It’s a lie drill instructors don’t cuss at you, they don’t just “cuss” they mentally destroy you.. They liked to use the words like “faggot”, “bitch”, “pillow biter”…

  12. It’s true that the corps isn’t for everyone and if you decide to change your mind during training and don’t want to break your contract it’s tough. The corps does its best to help you dig down inside and complete your goal of becoming a Marine. But if you don’t have what it takes then you should have really thought about it before enlisting.Marine Corps boot camp is no walk in the park ,your broken down to eliminate the bad traits you posses and utilize the good ones while learning new life changing attributes. Regardless if your getting ITd constantly your learning something about yourself and what makes you want to achieve your goal of becoming Marine. I was a recruit in 2005 hotel 2139 and Sgt Hankins was our DI. I learned so much from him and looked up to him as a role model Wilhelmina in training. I understand that many parents are appalled by the so called abusive instructors, but coming from the street I had to be broken down in order to make those changes to succeed. I often saw many recruits complain and be mentally broken down by this maybe 5 out of 60 recruits couldn’t adapt to this kinda of leadership or had never been exposed to tough love. One things for sure , if you shelter your son or daughter and expect them to succeed in a harsh environment and be the same person your wrong. Training is 90%mental 10%physical. If you have a child like that I suggest not enlisting in the U.S. Marine Corps. It’s not for everyone we are The few and the proud .
    Josue Gomez (USMC Veteran)

  13. I was a Marine recruit, that was brutally assaulted in MCRD San Diego in 1969. The drill instructor hit, punched, and kicked me repeatedly. He called me into his “hut”, and several times gave me a bloody nose and mouth, and said if he could he would “kill me”. I didn’t understand what I did to him, as I got along great with the other D.I., and the platoon commander. It finally came to a head, when I was climbing a rope, and I looked down and “froze”. I started down the rope, and he told me to continue climbing. Then he climb the rope next to me, and said you “worthless mother f@#^*&”, and hit me knocking off the rope. I hit then ground. I told to stand up a attention. I could barely stand and he knock the hell out of me, and I passed out. I awakening the next morning, having blurred vision, headaches. I was sent to the eye doctor on base, who sent me to Balboa Navel Hospital. The eye doctor, stated I am recommending you be “boarded out” (discharged) because of “blunt trauma” to your eye and head. Then he asked me what happened. I told him I was knocked from a rope. Then the eye doctor said ” did D.I. _ _ do this to you”? I was shocked, and just nodded my head. The USMC got me out in two weeks, and have been on military disability for a long time. I heard several stories about the drill instructor; that he was busted in rank and discharged (dishonorably), that he was beaten to death by several former recruits , and that nothing had happened to him. To this day I still have nightmare about this D.I. I have never seen a person with so much hatred, and hate in his eyes.

  14. My 2 cents is this. I was one of the recruits, in hotel company 2167, from dec of 2006-march 2007. Under Sgt Glass. There is a reason that they dont say a damn word about anything that he was involved with. It was the exact opposite of training. Even when the issue broke into major news networks, it was dumbed down, to make it sound like minor infractions, happening over and over. Have you ever seen someone beaten so badly, that his face is instantly swelling up, turning black and blue? Ever thought a drill instructor would jump on your back in the middle of the night, and split your head open by beating you with a “moonbeam”? How about a hand guard from a m16 being put into your mouth as your head is hit so you clench down on metal? Laying in your own puke…..the list goes on and gets worse. HOW IN GODS NAME DOES THIS FURTHER ANYTHING FOR COMBAT? It has the exact opposite affect. These people are the people you are supposed to look up to, to trust with your life, and they destroy that feeling. I personally now suffer from severe panic and anxiety and depression. Dont let the recruiters fool you, and tell you this is non existent. Thats a lie. Want to report it? good luck. Think that you will get any proper treatment in the process? Oh hell no. I dont hold grudges, but Sgt Glass. Man…….

  15. wow I went through parris island in 04 and I was a little asshole at times and the DI’s didn’t even lay a finger on me. I’m not even a big guy, 5″11 was 165 at the time. I dunno what you all are talking about, or maybe the Corps has changed considerably.

    1. Well I went through a lot of crap. My di have choked me. Kicked during drill. I have had two do beat me up in the bathroom during bwt.

  16. Hello,
    I am interested in training of military and police units all over the world,was randomly surfing and read this article and comments and I simply don’t believe that there are not any official ways to solve problems like that even directly at USMC boot camp,all official webs ar saying that there are persons directly responsible for things like that and physical violence, like beating,choking,kicking etc. is strictly prohibited in EVERY NATO army in the world (courses like SERE etc. are not topic here) so in my opinion there is no reason to be boxing bag for DI and if things would go in really bad way there is still possibility to simply kick his ass,ofc that means a big problem and nobody wants to be a “coward” or “weak” too,no doubt about it and I know it very well.
    I think I know something about these issues,passed our country equivalent of yours FBI academy,college of law and I was for about 5 months in French Foreign Legion basic training (4.RE,3.CEV,MLE 19X XXX,released for injury and impossibility to continue) ,my sergeant was a real psycho (one guy from my section tried to hang himself,one deserted,my friend was hardly beaten almost till unconciousness just for looking at him,next guy has smashed knee so hard from him that he could not even walk without crutches for a months and two corporals beat next guy once very hard for the reason that his hand simply stopped working due to hard training,punch to face every morning etc. etc.,if I would tell you all “funny “stories frome here it will cost a loong time lol) and there was not any possibility to make things better cause our “chef de section” was a psycho too,but it is complete different situation cause you are in foreign country,even don’t know language well,rules etc. etc.
    Anyway I can tell one thing-if I can choose my battle buddy in real conflict I would strongly prefer person who kicked ass of some dumb DI in bootcamp than some “endured” person who licked DI shoes and was boxing bag “just to survive” basic training(have not meet many people like that me included :)),one thing is to be really endured second is “endured” psychically broken person who will after some years exactly do the same shit to newbies,know many people like that unfortunately.
    Line between hard training and abusing is VERY thin,for me sleeping one hour a day,minimum of food, kicking to ass,slapping for some mistake,yelling,push ups,punches to solar during counting in morning,pushing,pedaling in rangers on stomach etc. is normal army drill,but strong punches even on the face directly,personal abusive language (your mother is a whore,you gay dumbass..”,kicking to stomach,knees or beating women (!) to stomach is bullying,nothing less and it could be considered as criminal act.
    One more thing,cousin of my classmate was in USMC,my friends husband pass US Ranger course and they were both physically abused too so I know something about it,I think that Marines are VERY,VERY good but their basic drill f.e. if you compare it with FFL (LE) “bootcamp” is not as hard,even (military) hell has its better a much,much worse parts lol.
    Sad stories here,anyway…
    John

  17. After reading all your comments, I sure wish I would have done some research before I backed my son when he said he wanted to become a Marine. My son has several friends who have become Marines and I have never heard from any about what my son has encountered and now is severly depressed , Major anixiety and Panic attacks, cant sleep and cries every night. I feel so helpless because he needs and wants out. He loved his four years of ROTC, delayed entry program, Being a leader in many activities, and High Honors in bootcamp. First Squad leader from day one. Never knowing that he would be beaten , given a bloody face several times,choaked and kicked. He thought busting his ass would help, but it made it worse. But he never quits, he pushed until he could not go anymore and would not stop, the more they yelled you wanna quit and kicked are spit at him he said no sir. Now in holding , he has refussed training and seeing a Chaplin. Scared to go to medical. Being yelled at by the SSgt. that he is a usless piece of shit and he suppose to be a Marine. Still being tramatized.I am doing all I can on my end to get him discharged before something happens to my son. Please Pray that I can make this happen ASAP. This conduct is inexcussiable for this to happen to a very strong young man who never cries and cries every day and night. Yes my son is a Man, but he is beyond depressed. I am going higher up. What ever it takes My son will and needs to get discharged and begin Therapy.

    1. How did your sons situation end? I have a brother that is currently in the exact same position. He was also in ROTC and we’ve just learned that he hurt himself to be put back into the infirmary.

    2. I really do hate that you are in this situation. I just ask that you realize that this isn’t a common issue. I have been training recruits for the past two years, and have done so very successfully without abusing a single one of them. Here at Parris Island, we have very limited ways to come in physical contact with a recruit. Some times, garbage Marines turn into garbage Drill Instructors and rules get broken. I do understand that. I’ve seen it happen, and I’ve seen it get reported up the chain of command and ultimately that Marine loses his entire career. It just gets under my skin when people label all of us as demonic a-holes. Please, just know that we’re not all the same, and please just think about the good ones before you put us all in the same light.

      1. I disagree that it isn’t a common issue. It’s probably true that most D.I.s don’t abuse recruits, but if only one in ten do, that’s a lot.

  18. The Marine Corps is not for everyone. The Marine Corps fights wars! It is not a summer camp, ROTC, weekend Adventure Run, Etc. I understand that there are concerns with how your child is being treated, my parents where very concerned during my entire enlistment, but they never intervened ,nor did I ever ask them to.I learned very quickly that in order to be an effective member of the team, I would have to be constantly proving myself to my peers, as well as be able to take ownership of my actions . Recruit training is an introduction to the Marine Corps. A little spit, name calling, push in the right direction should not be taken personally, instead brush it off and figure out a way to turn it into motivation. Some recruits never learn this, and therefore cause a problem for the ones who really want to be there , and the DI’s for that matter. Has anyone ever asked themselves, what those individual recruits do to deserve such attention? No, probably not. Everyone just focuses on the fact that the recruit was roughed up a bit. What happens “IF” that recruit makes it through Recruit training? They still have to go through Infantry training, MOS schools, and then out to the fleet. Then off on a deployment to a war zone. Then, what happens when that individual has to engage an enemy, or has to get his team out of danger? Is someone going to be there holding little Timmy’s hand or pull a time out card? Everyone should do extensive research before enlisting, learn some Marine Corps history, and learn about the men and women that came before you. I promise that Marines know that “Blood, Sweat, and Tears” is part of the experience. Quite honestly, if you do not make through recruit training don’t let it overwhelm you, you must get over it, take responsibility for your own life and actions, demonstrate that you can overcome life’s adversities , don’t get caught up in negative thinking. Move on. The reality is that life is tough, but you have to be tougher (mind, body , spirit) to see it through.

  19. Nearly a year and a half later and I am still on a cocktail of medications and unable to perform in society as a functioning person in the workforce (been fired 3 times and now unable to work for the federal government) or to have personal relations (lost most of everyone I know and my marriage is on the fritz everyday). What do I get in return since my last post? An increase to 50% disabled. It’s like they laugh in your face and toss some cash at you, but my discharged D.I. is able to carry on as a successful person (don’t know, haven’t hired a P.I. to check up on his status, but I would assume he’s in a way better position than me). I’ve been fighting and fighting the VA, it’s one war I’m willing to wage until the end and I get my deserved 100% until I’m “built back up” and can return to normal—if that’s even possible, whatever that even means anymore.

    Is it all my fault? There has to be more people out there that were broken down to the point of where they don’t believe they’re a person anymore, just a warm body walking around nonsensically.

    1. I just stumbled upon this site, and your response, and I must say I’ve very sorry to read about your assaults while in boot camp. I’m not sure if you still check this site but if you do, and you need to ask advice or a place to vent, feel free to come over to iHateTheUSMC.com.

      We were founded as a place for disillusioned marines/former marines to vent, but have since evolved into a resource where marines, vets, poolees, and even family members could come to share experiences, find understanding and validation, and even ask for help and advice. Aboard the site, questions have been asked and advice given on topics ranging from Marines with administrative issues, to Recruits who were abused by their Drill Instructors, to family members struggling to deal with their Marine’s mental health issues.

      If you ever need a place to vent, or need advice, or even want to share your experience for the world to see, you’re always welcome.

      Safety and Peace

    2. Dear Assaulted Recruit,
      I know I’m asking this question months after your comment, but here it goes.
      Did you get wounded in combat, or were all this “demons”, a result of the actions of DI’s at MCRD? The reason I ask is I was wounded in action, and now a paraplegic. If you saw combat after bootcamp and SOI, and now suffering because the VA is busting your chops, I found the Marine Corps League, the VFW, etc can be great advocates. However, a 100% disability from bootcamp, what the heck did they do to you?

    3. i went to boot camp in sandiego in 1973 we had two di s court martialed and the corps took care of them. out of a 75 in my platoon half of the group testified against them. if you think at 17 years old at that time any way, you were going to kick 4 drill instructors asses who were combat veteran out of the vietnam youre full of it and you werent there. you say what could they have done to you in boot camp. heres a few example hanging a person on a door with there arms as support called crucifying and the drill instructors would ask the recruit what did they do to jesus on the cross the recruit would say sir the private doesn’t know sir. the dis would say they stoned him. and as he was hanging all four took there turns punching him in the abs. another incident was that if you dont shoot you dont eat torture. for each day you didnt qualify shooting during pre qualify you didnt eat that evening and the next day until until you prequaled for that day and if you didnt qual that day you starved . thats what brought this to light one guy starved for three days and went to the gaurd shack at edson range and got these sadist out of my marine corps. there was a guy beaten with rack exstensions at night while sleeping and wastaken to sick bay the next morning and he insisted he tripped over a foot locker and he never came back to the platoon. as the old saying goes its not the marine corps thats the problem just a few of the individuals in the corps. report any incidents of abuse and the marine will act swiftly. semper fi. jt

    4. Posttraumatic stress disorder[note 1] (PTSD) may develop after a person is exposed to one or more traumatic events, such as major stress, sexual assault, terrorism, or other threats on a person’s life.[1] The diagnosis may be given when a group of symptoms, such as disturbing recurring flashbacks, avoidance or numbing of memories of the event, and hyperarousal, continue for more than a month after the occurrence of a traumatic event.[1]

      Most people having experienced a traumatizing event will not develop PTSD.[2] People who experience assault-based trauma are more likely to develop PTSD, as opposed to people who experience non-assault based trauma such as witnessing trauma, accidents, and fire events.[3] Children are less likely to experience PTSD after trauma than adults, especially if they are under ten years of age.[2] War veterans are commonly at risk for PTSD

      http://www.ptsd.va.gov/

  20. I decided to post a year update. I am still suffering from severe anxiety, depression, alcohol dependency and PTSD after my continuous assaults while in recruit training. The pain never got better, the medicine increased and so has my VA rating to 50%. The back pay was nice, but I can’t tape hundred dollar bills over my physical and emotional scars. I am going to continue fighting as I have been unable to keep a steady job after the Marines or create new bonds, it is also to the point of my marriage falling apart.

    I was always liked, but not a single friend in sight anymore due to my outbursts. Those that I began to trust again after who have no idea of my condition, used and betrayed me, causing my ultimate cure to worsen. Where are they now? One boss found out the medication I was on by pressuring me to admit it due to the dilation of pupils, once he found out what I was on, he continued to ask for more and more providing me “job security” in return (hell, it was a recession and I had a family to feed)… until I was left with a week or less of a supply to ration over a month and ended up getting fired for an out of work incident involving alcohol without arrest (the medicine makes alcohol unappealing to me as well as prevents severe panic attacks—which is why I had to replace my medicine siphoned gradually with alcohol).

    1. Hi assaulted recruit I was the same way but I have fought my way back to a happy life, I hope you see this I would be happy to help you.

  21. My son is currently at boot Camp PI, and almost finished. Just recently his DI “friended” me on facebook. I thought he was a company parent and accepted the request. He also “friended” my son’s girlfriend. Any ideas as to why he did this? what should I don?

    1. Its normal all my brothers DI friended me on FB to. They do it to show off and mess with the recruits, however if they start showing extreme sexual interest then I would let someone know or block them. Hope this was helpful don’t be to alarmed.-Chloe

      1. No they don’t. I am a senior drill instructor for the Marine Corps at Parris Island. Many times I will friend recruits family on facebook, solely for the purpose of letting the family members know that I’m not a maniac, and I act as a human being. I message mothers and fathers regularly to keep them updated on their son, or message them if maybe an issue has come up that maybe they can help me deal with in regards to the recruit. I would never use information from social media to play with a recruits head. There are many different ways to do that without all that immature bulls**t. If he’s having a hard time focusing on the training, or starting to feel like his family doesn’t care about him anymore since he’s moved out (which happens ALL the time), I’ll let him see the status updates or whatever they may have posted to help him fell a little better about the situation so he can have his mind on training. Trust me, just because we yell and scream all the time, does not mean we are complete a-holes all the time.

        1. Thank you for that my baby is there now and after reading some of these stories I’m in tears and worried for him.. So if you are indeed a good DI thank you!!

  22. Ladies and Gentlemen,

    With all due respect, whatever happened to you or your Marine in the past is very unfortunate. However, the Marine Corps has changed. Drill Instructors have the ability to instill discipline and Espirit De Corps in their recruits without physical contact. For the most part, we do our job to the “T.” When Drill Instructors take it too far, they get punished. I’m talking career ending trouble. It doesn’t matter how many recruits allegate on the Drill Instructor. An investigation will be made immediately and that Drill Instructor will be sat down temporarily. If found legit, he will be releived from his duties. If one recruit accuses a drill instructor, it will be taken very seriously. As for the “Abused Recruit,” it sucks what may have happended to you, but don’t go bashing the men you once wanted to be like. You may have had a bad team of drill instructors, but there is always that ten percent. Push through adversity and move on. Lastly, if these forums didn’t run rampant on the internet, the Legendary Drill Instructor’s name wouldn’t be tarnished, and recruits would still have the “fear of God” in them when they arrive on that depot or Island… Some things are much better left to the imagination.

    1. When I was in recruit training my DI’s never laid a hand on me. Just screamed at me and IT me the whole cycle. After graduation i shook each ones hand and said thank you. They said welcome to the Marine Corps. The complainers in this post are there becuase MEPS failed to do their job.

      1. What do you mean by MEPS failing to do their job? What did they miss out on informing the recruit? I feel pretty positive on your post since I am looking forward to going.

    2. I’m glad you gave a little information on that. I had a friend from high school who was abused during training about 6 years ago. I am prior service army and about to go through Marine boot camp. I was a little concerned but nevertheless am going to attempt to join the Marine. I am wondering if it is so serious on physical abuse, why do recruits not report it? Especially when they are beaten so badly?! It makes no sense to me. If it were to happen to me and I reported and it happened again, I would continue to report because reporting or not, it’s obviously going to happen. So at least get your ass beat for a reason. There are many ways to train that do not consist of physical abuse. Those DI’s who physically abuse to train are not Instructor’s, yet just bullies that need to meet their match and soon it will happen.

    3. They have not changed. I just received 3 very disturbing letters from My son on Parris Island. He has been sucker punched, spat on, hit in the head with a flash light and bled, pushed into his bed rack, fell and hit his head on the ground. Watched others get kicked in the stomach and hit over the head with the flag pole. I’m at a loss right now and don’t know what to do.

    4. If the DIs did their jobs according to the UCMJ, they wouldn’t have to worry about their names being “tarnished”. There would be no allegations against them and guess what? Their troops would still be trained. There is NO EXCUSE for physical abuse of a troop. If the troop fails to perform up to par than they should be discharged, period. It is inexcusable for anyone placed in a position of power to subject their subordinates to any kind of abuse.
      No matter how much you try to polish it, a turd is still a turd. NO EXCUSES or JUSTIFICATION for that kind of action against a troop and if you don’t like your job, get the hell out of it.

    5. Well its 2015 and it hasn’t changed some recruits are being abused now ..I just spoke to 2 mothers that have folded complaints

      1. Hello all, I went to MCRD in 1978. When I was there they told us we would not be hit. That was bull shit I was hit once by the DI who to his day I hate. During the final PT test he called me over and wanted to hit me in the mouth, he never did. He would IT me all the time for no reason. The USMC are nothing but ego shitheads. They all hide behind the marine symbol. When I went home for leave after boot I would sit in a chair and just stare into space my mom wanted to know what they did to me. That did wear off but I know something fucked up happened. Fuck semper Fi

  23. i just finished boot camp and trust me,it is like 50 times worse than the movies ”Full Metal Jacket” and ”Jarhead”…atleast what i went through.abuse definetly exists…if i would’ve known everything i’ve been through before i joined,i never would’ve joined.i still regret joining.out of 56 recruits,all saying nothing ever happens,it’s hard to believe just one recruit when he says hes being beat and abused…the problem is unity,if there’s no unity,the D.I.’s will get away with it…but then everyone wonders why the world is so corrupt and everyone does whatever they want…IT’S BECAUSE THERE IS NO UNITY!!! UNITE AND WATCH THINGS BE DONE THE LEGAL WAY!!! they’re not going to believe one recruit,but they will believe more than one…when i had a red mark on my head for being punched by a D.I. ,fear for being dropped and being longer than 13 weeks on the island was why i kept my mouth shut and didn’t even go to the medic to report it.”say something and you go back a month or 2.”keyword , ”UNITY”

    1. Wow I had a buddy who just graduated several days ago from Parris Island and he said basically the same thing you did. He is the nicest most honest kid, so when he described getting repeatedly punched and spit in the face and a DI actually taking his finger and poking him in the eyeball I couldn’t believe it. There is no doubt they abuse men and women every day but everyone seems to turn their cheek to it. Some seriously fucked up stuff.

      1. Nobody needs to turn their cheek.. these drill instructors need to be disciplined. And if it means taking away their title and being sent to the lowest of lowest, so be it.

  24. Why is it these DI’s want to make an excuse to abuse Recruits, to make HARD for war
    as being one that was abused. If I take this DI’s and put a gun to his head and tell him I’ll kill him… Should he trust me in Combat!!!! Ha DI you are the one that has a mental problem and can’t see it that it is you have a need to abuse because you can.. You are a coward and that is why most of you want to be DI’s and not in Combat… You like hurting Recruits and saying your making men… Bull shit.

    If I beat your ass would trust me in Combat with a Gun behind your back … DI’s are under Orders not to do these things it is them BREADING ORDERS with this type of action. They need to make some type of EXCUSE for there abuse and they like to FORGET it is them BREAKING ORDERS. enough said…………

  25. 22 years ago… remember my SDI and both Jr DI’s like they were here in front of me. Cussed at, kicked, punched and cajoled; many of us were. Didn’t really consider it abuse at the time, mainly because I was in a “zone” for lack of a better word… concentrating on the tasks at hand. Sure, it sucked and hurt… but I was never injured. Looking back, proud to have endured.

    Once a Marine, always a Marine.

    1. Oohrah!! Was glad to serve and get out, yeah hazing went on especially in the 80’s,was one of the abused, but, I was never hurt!! Marines are hard for a reason, to be potentially first in battle!!! Suck it up and just do what they tell you, and you’ll be basically fine!! Just don’t turn the emblem upside down!!

  26. Just received a letter from my daughter at Parris Island. Up until this point, having been married to a Marine for the last 20 years, I was immensely proud that our oldest daughter wanted to join, until I read the lines describing how her D. I. punched her quite hard in the stomach. I was enraged, picked up the phone at least 10 times, even tried to email Brigadier General Lori Reynolds, all of this before I realized the backlash my daughter would have if we exposed this D.I. Graduation is March 30th, looking forward to a few choice words with D.I. S……….

    1. They are Marines not Soldiers. Enough said. We all went through it, endured, and EARNED the title of Marine. That can never be taken back. Our recruit class started with 112 and we graduated 67. For those who are making dumb decisions such as drinking on the job and get fired, that was their decision. The DI didn’t make them drink it, they chose to drink it, just like they chose to quit in basic training.

      I will never forget our DI’s from Platoon Lima Company, Platoon 3088, from MCRD San Diego that Graduated 14 Sep 2001. We all went to war and served our country and ensured the Iraqi’s and Afghans understood who the Marines were.

      For the new recruits, many have earned the title before you and many will earn the title after you. How bad do you want it?

  27. What those parents in this article seem to forget is the United States Marine Corps has a reputation as the toughest war-fighting force in the world, a reputation for which it has worked long and hard. I saw what many would call “abuse” in Recruit Training, and it went unreported because we KNEW we were being trained to be war-fighters. If you want letters from your boys talking about the crafts they made during craft time, or the ghost stories they were told by their Drill Instructors during story time, then you have some pretty ridiculous expectations. These are the young men and women who are meant to keep the wolf from the door, who are relied on to be the first and last defense of the United States America. If you are too traumatized by boot camp that you are unable to keep a job and require anti-depressants to keep going, then it is very safe to say you are NOT fit for the rigors of combat, NOR are you fit to be a United States Marine in the first place. That being said, there is nothing wrong with not being fit for military duty. However, it is entirely wrong and unpatriotic to vilify a Marine Corps Drill Instructor because he wanted your son or daughter to be a lean, mean, fighting machine. I heard some pretty horrendous things said about my family and myself during boot camp, I had things done to me that I thought were “mean” and “unfair,” and you know what? I took a second and realized that the heroes who have fought in hundreds of conflicts, big and small, were subject to the same exact thing. These men make you hard because they are hard. If you can’t hack it, don’t complain.

    1. Although I fully comprehend the well known reputation of our Marines, I also fully stand by my belief that we as parents, are not naive, ignorant, or unrealistic. Being married to a Marine for the last 20 years, our household and childrens’ upbringing was quite out of the “norm”. My husband and I instilled discipline, sound character, and most of all honor. Knowing full well what being a Marine stands for in this country, I had complete understanding that my daughter was going to be put through hell, and I hoped, still hope every single day that we provided her with the strongest and most solid basics we could in order to better her chances for success. What you may not realize is that we parents know all too well that we are sending our children out to the fray. We entrust them to their D.I.’s to make the very best Marine, no excuses. So when that trust is broken and they strike our children, that only shows a clear lack of self control, unprofessionalism, and the poorest of judgement. You must understand that this is not a cry out on a “foul” made by this D.I., it is the only thing it could be,….bitterly sad disappointment.

    2. “If you are too traumatized by boot camp that you are unable to keep a job and require anti-depressants to keep going, then it is very safe to say you are NOT fit for the rigors of combat”

      There is a huge bridge between training and assaulting, and it’s hard to cross—but my DI did. When you are asleep during sleeping hours and a Drill Instructor comes in drunk from a night out partying then goes around beating people with lock cables, boots, hands, tipping over the bed, etc… while they sleep is ASSAULT, not training. There is no training involved in there whatsoever and I don’t think you or a JAG can justify that as training. I could give many more examples of training vs. assault, but I don’t want to turn this into a pissing contest.

      1. Sounds like you were in my platoon back in 1986. Both our Jr. DI’s came in after hours and did that to us.

    3. It is crucial to training that Drill Instructors lead through their actions. Most recruits are aware of the line between tough training and a Drill Instructor who isn’t doing their job. The implications that some recruits or their parents are being weak is incorrect; they are actually standing up and doing what the Marine Corps itself would want them to do by standing up and pointing out a problem that gets in the way of solid training that actually prepares Marines for the rigors of battle.

      What happens when a DI crosses the line is that they reveal to their recruits a lack of restraint, discipline & self-control. This actually sends recruits to battle less prepared because one of the core elements of training is to instill an unquestionable trust in your fellow Marines. The rigors of boot camp and the field training that follows boot camp does the job; a wayward DI is a barrier to that. The Marine Corps itself recognizes this.

        1. We have sent your comment and email address to this commenter in case they’d like to reach you. Best wishes.

    4. I totally disagree…sticking a finger in one’s eye socket is not going to make a person a better person. I am not blind to the fact that I am sure abuse happens in basic training. Abuse does not make a person stronger…it just teaches them that they are not respected and it also teaches them that they can do it when they become drill instructors. Trying to say abuse is all right and justifiable is simply wrong. I pray my family member does not have you as a drill instructor. Marines puts a great emphasis on God and the Bible. Might be a good idea to lead like Jesus and not like a person who feels he can abuse others because he is the big man on campus.

  28. Ladies, I understand that you and your children have had rather traumatic experiences,but please be a little more respectfull toward the Marine Corps,and the people that worked HARD to get to DI spots,nor recruiter spots.One day,I hope to join them in shaping new Marines.Most assuredly,any that abuse their power should be dealt with,but the overtones of disrespect and hate shown really are not apropriate for people that not only are shaping the next generation of people fighting for your freedom,but the people that themselves fought for your freedoms.Please,please have some respect for the Marines,and those placed in charge of the recruits.

    1. I have high respect towards Marines shaping the next generation of Marines to replace them. The point I am trying to relay is that the people mentioned in this article (specifically one who used his powers too far) took it a step further and assaulted recruits in the middle of the night in a drunken stupor (on multiple occasions). They had also brought strippers from a nearby strip club near Camp Pendleton, dressed them in the Marine Corps Uniform and allowed them to “go to town” (assault) recruits while they all (DI’s) drank and laughed about it in the duty hut (Drill Instructor room). I am glad that they are all being tried for their actions (getting a slap on the hand in my opinion as they should all be serving a minimum of 5 years in Leavenworth in my opinion), but that does not cure me mentally and the 30% from the VA does not pay the bills. It is just enough to pay for medication and beer in the case I am unable to afford the 3rd to last week in the month on top of my current wages.

      I hope that you are able to shape Marines in a way that isn’t abusive or assaulting and following the Standard Operating Procedures that Drill Instructors are supposed to adhere to. All I have to tell you is to follow the SOP and train Marines to listen, respect orders given by senior enlisted and officers and follow their General Orders. Putting your hands on a recruit (choking, punching, beating, kneeing) does not relay this—only makes them fear the people around them in the same uniform.

      I understand that a recruit can make you angry, but there is a point when you need to personally reflect on your family, rank and future before you take the inappropriate action upon them.

      I wish you the best and hope that you can shape future Marines to become war fighters without assaulting them.

    2. Why don’t they train recruits what they’re really fighting for? It’s not as simple as saying…”freedom” Freedom from what? Since when did a foreign nation invade the U.S.? aL QAEDA is not a sovereign nation. Freedom to remain most economically rich nation in world? yes. Freedom to access to more oil than any other nation? Yes. And what happened to focus on enemies…domestic. Why is our military not arresting all the corrupt politicians in office who continue to inflame the middle east, whose first response to any upheaval, is put boots on the ground. And defy the U.S. Constitution? The Patriot Act buried many of American’s freedoms promised by the constitution. Uphold the constitution. That is what you swore to do.

      As for these drill instructors. The courageous thing is for the marine to report them immediately, so he/she does not every do it again.

    3. Fucking drill instructors beat me EVERY day in boot camp. Graduated with the inside of my mouth looking like hamburger.
      Instructors foaming at the mouth and recruits foaming at the mouth was an every day occurance.
      Forcing recruits to beat one another for their sick pleasure.
      Making recruits blow bubbles in un-flushed toilets and urinals was also the norm.
      I was a total fucked up mess in the end. Unable to show or feel any real emotion. For the rest of my life.
      I will NEVER forget sgts. William Frady, William Justice, and Lawrence Ball. May they rot in hell for eternaty.

      Unless you have been in my shoes, don’t belittle my experiences in boot camp. And, I also don’t want to hear your opinion on how we have to respect an institution that has caused so much damage to so many recruits.
      Get your head out of the sand and show some respect for the hell that a lot of people were subjected to under the guise of building “character”.
      Try giving some respect for those of us that have been through this and are simple trying to deal with that fact through this forumn.

  29. I was personally abused and assaulted (NOT TRAINED) by a drill instructor mentioned in this article.

    I wanted to blame myself, then blame him, then blame the Corps for letting him “train” recruits. I ultimately blamed myself and took it out on the closest people to me. Losing friends and family as I felt depersonalized after all this took place.

    I now have high anxiety and cannot operate without Xanax and Valium (if I miss a dose or I run out, I will need to drink a couple beers). I ended up going through SACO (Substance Abuse Counseling Office) for my drinking problem stemmed from this and ultimately discharged from there with a poor prognosis of recovery– which I foresee a lengthy recovery (if at all).

    It’s been 6 years since these instances took place and an I find it an injustice for them not to serve time in a federal penitentiary for what they did to us (~130 counts of assault) is absolutely wrong, as if a normal law abiding citizen were to randomly assault 130 people in one day they may get 25 to life.

    Even more of an injustice for the Marine Corps is to discharge me with “General Under Honorable Conditions” so that I am not eligible to go to school online and still get housing paid for. Sure, they gave me a pat on the back and the VA gave me 30% disability, but this can barely pay the bills as I am constantly job to job because of my behavior.

    Judi & Donna — If your children or you need someone to talk with please email me. It’s nice to know that others were affected by these people and are speaking out about it.

    Administrator, please release my information to them.

  30. To the administrator: I’d love to talk with Donna one of the commenters. Please send her my e-mail address.

    Well get ready boys and girls, another ‘rodeo’ about the abuse at Parris Island is about to hit the proverbial fan…big time.

    I know because it conerns my own son.

  31. First and foremost I would like to give my opinion on this article, and to the concerned parents of their Marines. Recruit training is not meant to be EASY in any way shape or form, nor is it supposed to be pleasing; this training is meant to “weed out the bad apples” as my DI’s would say. The Marine Corps is not meant for weak minded, easily humiliated, or humble people. Yes, maybe in some circumstances they take it to far, BUT in combat in a hand-to-hand fight..is your Son or Daughters enemy going to “go easy” because their unsure of their ability to take a hit? I’m sure your child was called far worse things growing up in a publi school system. A DI’s purpose to rip every recruit down, and when I say “down” I mean to the level beneath the dirt; and then to rebuild them, reshape their thinking, and to value things. I personally hae experienced a very crucial life and honestly the treatment my DI’s gave me has no comparison. I was treated like shit and I was one of the top recruits! They made me pay everyday for my decision to join, made me bleed on sand, and made me wish every bone in my body would break. But the day that I recieved my Eagle, Globe, and Anchor I cried so hard, and my DI’s were the first ones there to say “Welcome to the Family Marine” If you think what your child has gone through is “terrible” it is. And if you think if you dont hit your children no one should…consider this..YOU are not the one going to be in combat with your child..THE MARINE training them will be, and personally I want the toughest Person next to me, and if they can’t hit or take a hit or have mental strength beyond reproach, they shouldn’t wear U.S MARINES across their chest and have the right to consider themselves my brother or sister.

    1. Well that is totally true what you say. But I know a lot of recruits who want out because of this. I think you can break someone down without hitting them in the mouth with a clip board. Cutting out wisdom teeth with no pain medicine is just down right crappy. Throwing a recrit against the wall to receive a back injury and having to be set back 4 to5 weeks sucks. I support all marines. I think the Marines are awsome people. But my son got sent home wit an adjustment disorder at the same tme I was told. He did great with all his training in phase one. I just don’t get it. You don’t have to smack your recruit who is your responsibility at the time in the mouth with a clip board fo no damn reason. I am really upset by this. I have a good mind to go slap this DI in the face.

          1. Oh and another thing. What about the breaking them down and then building them back up part. I mean if you break them down and them ship them home before you build them back up you leave it up to the rest of the world to deal with that broken down person. I just don’t get that. If you decide that recruit needs to go home with an adjustment disorder with major depression then I think you hould pay for the counseling he will need to be built back up since you are the one who broke him down. Or am I crazy?

          2. That’s not on the drill instructors or even the Marine Corps. That is the United States Navy. They do the surgery to remove wisdom teeth. Marines don’t do their own medical.

          3. Recruits get sent home all the time. If we skipped out on the “breaking them down” phase, then why would we need the “build them up” phase? It happens. Then it would just be summer camp. I’m a drill instructor. Have been for a while. But, at the same time I am a father of two. If anyone ever hit my son in the mouth with a clip board, I’d actually go find that drill instructor and put my hands on him. Point. Blank. Period.

      1. Here is where the issue is. All it takes is for one recruit to send an allegation of abuse up the chain of command. As soon as it goes up, that Drill Instructor’s career might as well be over. Nowadays, a recruit can say something to initiate an investigation, have absolutely no proof that it actually happened, and still ruin a Marine’s career. I am serving as a Senior Drill Instructor at Parris Island right now. I see it all the time. It really is a recruits word against ours, and the recruit wins every time. EVERY TIME. And it works for one kid that shouldn’t have ever shown up in the first place, then it spreads like fire. Then you have kid after kid after kid claiming abuse just because they made the wrong decision. There are 8 authorized ways to make contact with a recruit. (Think moving ones hand to show how to properly render a salute…) None of which could even be mistaken for abuse. I know that it is completely possible to train recruits with out abusing them, let alone even touching them. Recruits give up all the time. I’ve seen it in the first week, and I’ve seen it in the sixth week. If he got adjustment disorder, that usually means he brought up suicide, which everyone knows is the magic word to get sent home.

    2. Then corporal, the recruiters have to have the moral integrity to tell the prospective marine up front “you may be slugged in the stomach by your drill instructor. I’m not supposed to tell you this, but I’m going to be an honorable person and tell you.” “Plus it will save the U.S. government wasted money in incomplete training.”

      Now that would be an honorable Marine.

    3. seems like you didn’t read the admin’s post at the top. There are plenty of combat ready marines that are fit for combat WITHOUT suffering abuse, such as hitting, getting punched, thrown against a wall, spit on etc. So, if that’s necessary to make a recruit tough enough for battle, then why are they clearly functioning in battle without it?

  32. According to my son’s experience in bootcamp it was burtal. One DI referred to my son’s father and my son as a piece of “s.” among others things. As far as cussing, that seems to be the official language of the Corp. The same foul language continues in the fleet. It is my opinion, many recuits do not say anything because they do not want to appear week. My husand was a DI many years ago and he was taunted by fellow DIs for choosing words other than curse words when addressing recruits. He did not have to abuse recruits in order to get them through.

  33. My son was in the delayed entry program and opted out of it, like the rules say you can. Young men often change there minds at 17-18 years old. After he made his decision final, the head recruiter of this particular station dragged our family name through the mud on facebook for days, calling my sons bloodline quitters and his children will be be quitters too. He also created a countdown on facebook and with all his poolees for when he would devulge the quitters name.
    I would suggest to any kid to never go into the delayed entry program if this is how your treated. Maybe I should start my own countdown to divulge who this idiot is.
    Could you send me the forms to make a formal complaint? There is more to this story and we have all the backup if someone wants more. Thanks

    1. Very sorry to hear that, that’s terrible. The Delayed Entry Program is meant to prepare poolees for boot camp, not bully & humiliate them into making major, personal decisions. A lot of recruits don’t know that the oath they take to join the delayed entry program is largely ceremonial and is not a legally-binding oath…that happens later. This site is not maintained by the Marine Corps, so we can not send you info on filing a complaint. I suggest you contact the recruiting headquarters for the area you live in.

      1. Donna, I asked the website administrator to give you my e-mail address. PLEASE contact me ASAP.

        My son was abused too….and it’s about to blow up in the USMC’s face. Trust me.

        1. Please get in touch with me also. I would love to see this blow up in their faces. I have a problem happening right now. dont know where to turn or who to get in touch with.

        2. Hello Judi and Donna,
          I was just browsing websites regarding DI behavior at boot camp. I just received my sons first letter home. It states how one of the DI’s grabbed him by the neck and slammed him down to the dirt. I dont care what he did…..it wasnt bad enough to deserve that. And I am pissed!! My son was so excited to be a Marine. He did 4 years of the ROTC program at school and was the drill team commander. I know that boot camp is like Hell and I understand that, but them laying hands on these kids? Now I dont know what to think or do. :-/

        1. Paula,
          Please let me know if you find out any information. I would like to speak with someone also.
          Thanks,
          A concerned Marine recruit mom.

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