“Flood” and “Air Raid”

“This story is a repost from 2011”

When at Camp Matthews for our rifle qualifications our Senior DI, after our adventure on Little Agony, which resulted in only 10-12 making it to the top (with their seabags), decided we needed a few new commands when marching to chow.

The first was “flood”. When this command was given all sh-t birds were to get to a higher point so they wouldn’t drown. Two or three trying to climb a palm tree was not lots of fun. Then there was “air raid”. This required the same birds to seek cover in a ditch, etc. Of course there were none in evidence when this command was given. Many drowned and more were killed in the air attack.

Of course neither was a real marching command in any manual. But when I was recommended for meritorious promotion to corporal our top had the Gunny and my platoon Sergeant quiz me about effective rates of fire of weapons and close order drill commands. There’s a command to let troops break ranks, while marching, without saying: “squad, platoon, company halt”. Now when ask what this command was; I could only think of was it’s not flood, but maybe, which I said “air raid”. The Gunny almost fell off his chair he laughed so hard. My platoon Sergeant just smiled. They were both in on this little set up. There is such a command, I later learned. It’s “GAS”. I did get the promotion.

Art ’53-’63…1/9 3rd…1/5 1st

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9 thoughts on ““Flood” and “Air Raid””

  1. I went to Boot Camp in 1956, also went to Camp Matthews for rifle qualification ? Question : you refer to “LITTLE AGONY” was that the same HILL we called “NELLIES’S TIT “! You prayed you didn’t get a letter let alone more than one ! The Di’s took special delight standing on the TOP calling out your name . Thanks, Steve Banks Platoon 205 January 1956

    1. Nellies tits were not at Mathews. They were at Camp Pendleton . The twin peaks base started at the creek bed west side..All graduating members from MCRDSD had to climb them B4 deployment..

  2. At Camp M, our DI would have us fall out with seabags when it was raining.
    “What kind of weather is this people?”
    “Duck weather, sir.” We would reply.
    “Down on your hauches,” he would order.
    Then, we would duck walk up the fire break with seabags on our backs.

    1. Parris Island 1965 – duck walks were stopped. Did the duck walk as a civilian in gym class right before getting to PI.

  3. We had “Flood and Air Raid” drills at Parris Island in 1963/64 in Platoon 396 whenever our D.I.s were especially pissed off.

    On one occasion, the drill went on for over an hour. Finally. one recruit got so frustrated that, when a “Flood” was ordered, he picked up his foot locker and just heaved it. It sailed over the top rack and hit another recuit on the head. That recruit collapsed to the deck, bleeding and unconscious.

    All we recruits were stunned, and I think we all had the same thought: “Now, they’re gone too far. That guy could be dead.”

    Well, that idea was premature for the senior drill instructor ran over to the fallen recruit and began kicking him and yelling. “Get up, you pussy”

    And that’s when we knew that our D. I.s were totally bonkers.

    They hauled the recruit off to sick bay and we never saw him again.


  5. Actually the only command that can be given without a prefatory command is “grenade”. That is the only command you could give if you were marching a platoon, and the next step they took would send them off a cliff, to get them to not go over the edge.

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