Requesting Permission At P.I.

SDI GySgt Kearney and JDI SSgt Wright

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.

SIR, THE PRIVATE REQUESTS PERMISSION TO SPEAK TO THE DRILL INSTRUCTOR SIR!

“I can’t hear you boy!”

SIR! THE PRIVATE REQUESTS PERMISION TO SPEAK TO THE DRILL INSTRUCTOR SIR!

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

SIRRRRTHEPRIVATEREQUESTSPERMISSION TOSPEAKTOTHEDRILLINSTRUCTORSIR!

“You want to beat the Drill Instructor?”

“NO SIR!”

“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

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

  1. As a PI DI from 1981-84 2ndBn RTR the answer to the question is that the first series after Jan 1st is the 200 series. Plt 299 is followed by 2200 until Jan 1st rolls around again.

  2. I was in Plt. 437, 1st. BN at Parris Island, from Oct.’54 to Jan. 18, ’55. We were instructed to go to the D.I’s hooch and give three sharp knocks on the “door”, and when the D.I. responded, we were instructed to say, “Sir! Pvt. ____ requests permission to speak to the Drill Instructor!” There was no “Sir” at the end of the request. Usually, the D.I. said, “what do you want,Turd?” Or, “I can’t hear you!” This usually went on for several minutes, then he came up and got in your face. Anybody remember the manual of arms with your locker box? Or, holding the M-1 on the back of your hands, arms extended? Our senior D.I was S/Sgt Plevyak, and he never called us anything but Yardbirds.” The junior D.I’s called us a variety of names that I am sure all are familiar with.

    1. plt D 186 1st rtb 1st rtgr 63 sgt murphy sr, di had a favorite WATCHING TV,GOT IN PUSH UP POSITION ONLY ON ELBOWS AND TOES HOLDING EARLOBES,WHEN THE DI WANTED TO CHANGE CHANNELS ,LET GO OF EARLOBES CLAP HANDS THEN RETURN TO EARLOBE POSITION,GLAD THEY DIDNT HAVE ALL THE CHANNELS OF TODAY,

      1. Plt 215…Graduated 9 March 1966. Evidently at least one of our D.I.’s was at P.I. in 1963 because one of his favorites was the TV Watching Position also. The only variations was that we interlocked our fingers together behind our necks instead of holding our earlobes. I’m glad he liked the channel that was always on at the time……Bob Mauney 1381..VN 1966/1967.

      2. my platoon commander in boot camp was the last man out of vietnam . Staff Sergeant John Valdez , platoon 104 mcrd san diego . formed 5 Jan. 1965 in recieving barracks . he later became ncoic American embassy Saigon . in the short time before the fall , he attended to business and he and his Marines conducted a mass evacuation of Vietnamese civilians as well as U.S. staff. He retired years later as a Master Gunnery Sergeant . He was tough as a DI of course , but he never asked the recruits to do anything he didnt do first . He wouldnt let anybody touch anyone in his platoon . Sometimes those PMI’s at the rifle range got pissed at the way a private was snapping in . Sgt. Valdez would sure take care of it with the private .

    2. Hollywood Marines had it tougher . Standing at attention on the big grinder san diego . A private asks permission to speak to the drill instructor sir . DI says ” speak freak! ” Private asks permission to make one standing head call sir . DI says “NO ! ” private pisses in her britches so DI lets him lead the platoon in PT . He dont do nothing but count cadence . later that nite after taps ,private get a couple of knots on head . the moral of the story is ,dont have to piss when drilling on the big grinder . Semper Fi & Happy New Year .

    3. I was a Hollywood Marine in Bootcamp July-October of 1965. I remember well as we also, “were instructed to go to the D.I’s hooch and give three sharp knocks on the “door”. I remember for a particular reason. My last name is COREY, we also had a recruit in our platoon named GORY. If a drill instructor hollered your name from their hooch you’d better come runnin. The problem was COREY and GORY sound identical when yelled from a distance. We usually arrived at the DOOR at the same time, GORY pounding on the left side and me pounding on the right. Every time they would laugh, call one of us a stupid SOB and knock that one on his ass with a punch to the chest. This seemed like daily entertainment for them. I always dreaded hearing our name called.

  3. I was in Platoon 374 formed on August 8, 1964. Confusing to say the least. Gunnery Sgt Thacker was our Senior Drill Instructor! Sgt Larry L Coyle 1964 – 1968

  4. Need to contact every one that was in platoon 242- April 4- June – 68 need to know where I can get platoon book, thanks

  5. It’s hard to believe that August 1969 in platoon 1015 I began to grow up. 7 months twelve days in RSVN continued the refining process that keeps me going today. Semper Fi Brothers and Sisters.

      1. <MCRD San Diego PLT 1142 07/29/1969 I had not had a bowl movement since I left Ferguson, Mo. at least 5-7 days earlier. I asked the fire watch to wake me up one night because I was determined to have one. I'm not kidding it looked like a football or maybe even a Rugby ball. It took forever and was quite painful too… OK good to go… no not good… Next I had diareah or the sh#$@%t's….KNOCK 3 times Sir Private Headrick……..NO….once again SIR Private Headrick request's permission…NO…AYE AYE SIR…SIR Private Headrick request's permission to make an emergency Head Call SIR !!! GO, Get the Hell out of here !!! I took off running and I swear I could have out run BOB HAYES that day… I got to the Head, hit the door, and right there I lost the race, I didn't quite make it to the finish line, and it was time for the scrub brush and whisk !!!…..SEMPER FI.

  6. one scared private had to announce when the last recruit was out of the head- He stood at attention and said My head is clear sir!

  7. I was in plt. 175 usmcrdsd 1957. The DI’s were a little bit more rougher back then whenever you wanted to speak to them.

  8. July 1958, Plt 243, MCRD San Diego. Word from the DI Quonset hut for Catholics that want to go to confession to fall out on the platoon street. 3/4 of the platoon forms up to go to the Base Chapel for confession. Junior DI Sgt Palmero says, “I’m Catholic and there’s no way in Hell you can commit a mortal sin in boot camp.” He also knew there weren’t that many Catholics in the platoon but would let us go anyway. My fellow platoon members learned that being a temporary Catholic would get you a 2 hour reprieve in the peace and air conditioned quiet of the Base Chapel on a Friday afternoon. I remember it like it was yesterday.

  9. I was in platoon 383 Sept to December 1960. Our Sr DI was S/Sgt Dempsey. We also had a DI named Sgt Frost. The DI in this picture (on the right) looks like Sgt Frost. Is that really him?

  10. Plt 141/1st RTR, MCRD San Diego Ca, 5/27/64-8/19/64. Three days after HS graduation found me standing on the yellow footprints at zero-dark-thirty. SDI was Sgt Trueman, JDIs Sgt Fitzmaurice and Sgt Sanchez. Because of teenage acne, I was lovingly named Pvt Noxzema and my duty was to dole out Noxzema to every other pimply-faced kid after showers. At least it was better than the house mouse, he caught the DI’s wrath every day. Semper Fi!!!

  11. After we got permission to speak to the drill instructors we would have to ask if we could make an emergency head call and they would ask if we have to urinate or defecate and they would always say no until you couldn’t hold it anymore and would have to go through the same process all over again. Then they would let us go and hope and pray that there wasn’t another instructor walking in front of you because, by your leave didn’t always work. T.Flores Plt 123 1968

  12. I went through P I in 1957 and still ware the Eagle Globe and Anchor. I’all be 82 in 15 days. I am ashamed of what happened to the reputation of the USMC that we love.

  13. Keep the faith Mr. Rosenthal. Our Corps will recover.

    Norm: 3rd at Mainside with 1st, 2nd, and 4th. We bought bricks from the old 3rd sold as memorabilia. Brand new fire dept. where pugil stick training was, for those that remember the old brick Wake Village enlisted housing they are now condo’s, new D.I. School where the old one was.

  14. I WAS IN PLT.258 IN 1970 AND I MADE THE MISTAKE OF VOLUNTEERING TO WATCH TV. I NEVER DID THAT AGAIN. I had more than enough on my plate with the training,because everything that i did was always double because,i was from N.Y. AND MY BUNKEY WAS THE NEPHEW OF SGT.DICKS THE MEANESTT DRILL INSTRUCTER OF THE 3 DIs. AND IF YOUR STILL ALIVE SGT.DICKS,THANK YOU FOR MAKING A MARINE , AND FOR MAKING COMBAT READY.

  15. (Plt.2119 June ‘69 MCRD) I remember emergency head calls also. After knocking on the hootch several times and getting louder & louder so the D.I. could finally hear me , he asked if it was an emergency head call . When I said yes I was granted permission and told if it was an emergency I better make like a siren all the way there and he wanted to hear it. Boy those were the days !! Look back and laugh now but this 17 year old wasn’t laughing much back then.

  16. I was in Plt. 1107, PI, Dec. 80-Feb. 81. Our “heavy” SSgt Mocaby liked to have us do the magic chair. Back against wall, knees bent and arms straight out holding our M-16s. Great times.

  17. I was made a House Mouse and I lasted two days. In the DI’s hut and swabbing the floor, and I ran the mop across his spit-shined shoes; I almost sh$#t, and he THREW me out the door, and called me a bunch of nasty words. HaHaHa

  18. my platoon commander in boot camp was the last man out of vietnam . Staff Sergeant John Valdez , platoon 104 mcrd san diego . formed 5 Jan. 1965 in recieving barracks . he later became ncoic American embassy Saigon . in the short time before the fall , he attended to business and he and his Marines conducted a mass evacuation of Vietnamese civilians as well as U.S. staff. He retired years later as a Master Gunnery Sergeant . He was tough as a DI of course , but he never asked the recruits to do anything he didnt do first . He wouldnt let anybody touch anyone in his platoon . Sometimes those PMI’s at the rifle range got pissed at the way a private was snapping in . Sgt. Valdez would sure take care of it with the private .

  19. Plt 308, 3rd Bat RTR, PI Jan 21, 1971. Hit the yellow foot prints (near old 1st Bat) at 0130… Hello PI!
    Took us upstairs in an old part of 1st Bat, told to hit the racks…10 mins later woke us up, never to hit racks again until 2100 that night, 3rd Bat, 308.
    I hadn’t a bowel movement for 3 days, so scared to speak up, asked firewatch to hit the head…it was like deliverance from Heaven!
    3rd or 4th day I “made” Hatch Body…I had my civy wire rims on (no lifer lens’ yet), Sr DI GySgt Wood, said I looked smart enough to open a hatch!

  20. MCRD San Diego. 07/08/58 to 07/07/61 Plt 260 0331 One evening our Sr came into our “Q” (Quonset) hut and set down a cover on the floor and walked out. He did the same next door. After about a 1/2 hour or so came back low and behold the cap was FULL of $5,$10 and $20 bills and not a dollar bill amongst em. He never said a word,picked up the cover went next door, picked up the the other one and disappeared into the duty hut. He had just aquired the most beautiful 56 Oldsmobile 98 hardtop I’d ever seen up until that time. Now I don’t know how much we gave him (would never admit to giving him anything). I’d like to think it could have been enough to possibly pay the car off……who knows. If I remember correctly recruits made something like $78.10 a month, after 6 months pay went to $85…..BTW my pay as a Lcpl was $124 a month over 2

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