Requesting Permission At P.I.

Parris Island, Platoon 374, the private needs to make a head call, but first he has to request permission to speak to the Drill Instructor for the privilege.


“I can’t hear you boy!”


“I still can’t hear you maggot,” (as he grabs a hand full of my stomach), “Sound off like you got a pair.”


“You want to beat the Drill Instructor?”


“Yeah you do. You want to beat the Drill Instructor”, (while twisting my stomach). “You and me, we gonna go round and round for hours. We gonna tear up trees, shrubbery and flowers. We goin’ to Greensville.”

And so I learned that Greensville was in the third battalion area of Parris Island, South Carolina where they grow trees, shrubbery, and flowers.

Norm Spilleth
Cpl. 1960-1964

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18 thoughts on “Requesting Permission At P.I.”

  1. OMG, this my sound funny. But whenever I would knock on the door to see my Dad, I would hear in a bellowing voice:”who’s that knocking at my chamber door?” Playing along of course I announced myself, afterwards hearing “ I can’t hesr you?”. This would go on for a couple rounds just like above until finally I was given permission to enter. My Dad loved the Corps and he knew I did too. I loved it, hearing my Dads Marine voice and persona. I miss him, but I always have him in my heart. Semper Fi

    1. Platoon 376 1962, the old corps. PI is not the same today. I am glad I was there in the Old Corps.

      1. Awsome.I was in platoon 311Jan.1969.We had the brick barracks and I got my nose broken when we were Heading down the ladderwell to form up.There was a lot of pushung and shoving bacause old Gunney Brown was right behind us yellng Hurry up recuits.One night I heard a lot of yelling and Sgt Kornicki {junior D.I.} had come in shitfaced and snatched a recruit out of the rack and got in it and passed out.The recruit slept on the floor under his rack.That M-14 buttstock s.ure did a number on my nose.A whole lotta blood .SSgt Brunstead was already on the deck and said what happened and I told him I fell down,he just laguhed and said dress right dress.My god that place was cold but not as cold as the flight line at midnight at MCAS Iwakuni in January 1971. Semper Fi.

  2. I was in platoon 301 and remember it well, as well as my drill instructors……………I learned a lot from them and grew up quickly! Semper Fi!

  3. I was in platoon 375 in august 1960. These things happened.I can remember being in the shower and talking when the senior DI came in in full uniform took off his garrison belt and gave us a lesson about not talking. It sure made an impression on us. Robert Edwards

  4. Platoon 3030, 1968, San Diego … I had the pleasure of dancing to that same tune with our Junior DI (not a ‘dumb idiot’). Although, I made the mistake of looking him directly in the eyes while requesting to go to the head … never did that again.

  5. As Maurice Chevalier once sang “Ah, YES, I remember it well”… though it was 1967 (over half a century ago). One never forgets the DI! Semper Fi!!

  6. Ah Yes , those were the days. DI’s with a voice that could rip chrome off a trailer hitch, and looks that burn a hole in a piece of steel. GySgt Reid, Sgts Wilkinson, and Thompson, we remember them well from Plt 231 PI. They did a great job of making Marines out of a bunch of raw boots.

  7. Plt 321 Jan to March 1966 the first time I ran up to ask permission to speak to the DI in responding to a loaded questio I said “you”. I had to drink two bottles of ewe juice (Louisiana Hot Sauce) before I got to use the head!

  8. I think the senior drill instructor looks like my senior when I was at P.I. If his name was Zarn it was. Great picture.

  9. I was in platoon 269 on PI in 1962. I killed a sand flea and the DI Staff Sgt Faught made me bury the sand flea in a traditional grave. Corporal corporal LJ Lippman

  10. My Senior D. I. (Leland Crawford) went on to become the 9th Sgt. Major of The United States Marine Corps. & had me Requesting Permission at The Hatch many, many, many times. (Plt. 107 1/15.58)

  11. Hey I was in Plt. 321 at PI… Jan 14th- March 10th ..Sgt’s Johnson, Devane, Perdue, and Pierce…hellava time…..Jim Albert

  12. Plt. 2025 Hotel company 2nd btl. PI. I didn’t know then but I know now that all that stuff that I thought was worthless was what saved my life. I hit them all from Desert Storm to Afghanistan. 1/16/88 – 3/24/08 simper fi

  13. How could anyone forget these day and having to request to speak! I was at the Island in Jun 1962 2nd BN. Couple of years after you. I remember so much about P.I. and can think of what all happened to us in 13 weeks………..WOW Could write a book on it, but no one, but a Jarhead would believe it happened at all……..

  14. SSGT Blankenship, platoon 3011, San Diego, 1969 always comes to mind when I hear stories like this. He was tough and had a “crazy” air about him. Squared away Marine. I always wondered what happened to him.

  15. Hi Norm, Sgt Court Conkwright here with something that connects you up with one of your D.I.’s for sure. I was at P.I. in June of 1962 in Plt 238 L Company 2nd BN. A good Marine friend from Plt 236 lift the Island a Pvt and came back a Officer to P.I. in 1966. I had posted your story to my group of Marines that loved it. I have found 153 Marines from L Company, but only have around 90 of them on my email list. We have had 2 reunions back at the Island. Enjoy what you are going to read. Please contact me at, I would like to talk to you. What you are going to read is a from a Major Jim Burch who knew your D.I. Gunnery Sergeant Vigliotti Enjoy and thanks to Sgt Grit for helping put Brother Marines back together again. Semper Fi Court On Mar 28, 2018, at 11:35 PM, James Burch wrote:

    Please send this to the guys.
    Your addressees are too many for my system to handle.
    Well, the Corps just got smaller again. From October until February, then Gunnery Sergeant Vigliotti served as my Series Gunnery Sergeant in 1966-67! Not only that, Platoon 227 of that series had the finest group of DI’s to ever trod the parade deck at PISC. SDI S/Sgt. R. J. McCartick had a couple of noteworthy ADI’s. S/Sgt. David W. Sommers, twenty years later the 11th Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps and then there was our very own, Sergeant Randy P. Abernathy. They were so good, that when
    I became the CO, I reluctantly broke them up because all of the best recruits on the Island would have come from ONE platoon. They took all six streamers!!! Just a little tongue in cheek, but with Gunny Vigliotti and that team how could I go wrong. Jim Burch

    Sent from my iPhone

  16. Sorry Norm, post on the wrong Marine……….so sorry about that Brother……..Semper FI Court

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