MCRD San Diego

I enlisted in the Marine Corps Reserve in 1958 and went to recruit training in July of 1959.My reserve unit at the time was the 13th Rifle Company later to become Alpha 1-23. The unit ran a semi boot training for about the first 3 months, at that time we went to meeting 1 night a week. By the time I went to MCRD San Diego in July I thought I was squared away. I had been on the wrestling team and was in good shape and didn’t think I would have any problem with the physical training. About the 5th or 7th week on schedule our senior DI Gunnery Sergeant Bill Covey ran ;us over to the pull bar, No problem. When my turn came I jumped up on the bar and did 12 pull ups, little did I know my DI was not watching me , but watching a plane take off from the runway next to the depot, I dropped to the ground only to hear “Lets see what you can do”. Needless to say I could not do one single pull up. my enraged DI ordered me to pack my sea bag , I was being sent to STP (special training platoon), and report to the company commander. There an enrage Captain standing about 5 foot 7 inches tall screaming in my face to me to get my sorry ass out to the chin up bar outside his hut and do some pull ups. I did 12 pull ups and when I dropped down it got very quiet. I was sent back to my platoon . I don’t think my DI ever forgave me for making him look bad in front of the Captain. YOU JUST DID NOT WANT TO BE SET BACK

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2 thoughts on “MCRD San Diego”

  1. I was set back- and IT CHANGED MY LIFE FOREVER.

    I went to Parris Island during the summer of 1967. I arrived a 220 pound rolly pollie mama’s boy. It took about three weeks for the DIs to figure out that I was not going to be able to keep up with my platoon.

    I remember the day they sent me to Conditioning Platoon, aka Fatbodies Platoon. I had pretty much given up that I would ever be a Marine and was on the verge of dropping out.

    As I was waiting with my gear for the cattle car to take me to the Special Training Battalion, a junior Drill Instructor began berating me. He said I will never make it and asked why bother with me anymore. But the Senior DI reared back in his chair, starred at me and said something that still impacts me to this day: “No, I think you’re wrong. He has the heart of a Marine.”

    That hit me like a ton of bricks and nearly took my breath away. From that time forward, I have been determined to never quit. I would rather die first.

    I was able to drop down to 180 pounds, got physically fit and completed Boot Camp and ITR. The rest, as they say, is history.

    Semper Fi.

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