Senior Drill Instructor


My name is (Rank/Name). I am your Senior Drill Instructor. I am assisted in my duties by: (Rank/Name) and (Rank/Name). Our mission is to train each one of you to become a United States Marine.

A Marine is characterized as one who possesses the highest military virtues. He obeys orders, respects his seniors, and strives constantly to be the best in everything he does. Discipline and spirit are the hallmarks of a Marine. Each of you can become a Marine if you develop discipline and spirit. We will give every effort to train you, even after some of you have given up on yourselves.

Starting now, you will treat me and all other Marines with the highest respect, for we have earned our places as Marines and will accept nothing less than that from you. We will treat you as we do our fellow Marines: with firmness, fairness, dignity and compassion. At no time will you be physically or verbally abused by any Marine or recruit. If anyone should abuse or mistreat you, I expect you to report such incidents immediately to me or one of my drill instructors. Further, if you believe that I have mistreated you, I expect you to report it to the series commander, (rank/name). My drill instructors and I will be with you every day, everywhere you go.

I have told you what my drill instructors and I will do for you. From you we expect the following:

– You must give 100% of yourself at all times.
– Obey all orders, instantly, willingly, and without question.
– Treat all Marines and recruits with courtesy and respect.
– You will not physically abuse or verbally threaten another Marine or recruit.
– Be completely honest in evrything you do. A Marine never lies, cheats, or compromises.
– Respect the rights and property of all others. A Marine never steals.
– You must work hard to strengthen you body.
– Be proud of yourself and the uniform you wear.
– Try your best to learn the things you will be taught.
– Above all else, never quit or give up.

We offer you the challenge of Recruit Training – – the opportunity to earn the title “United States Marine.”

Submit your own Story>>

31 thoughts on “Senior Drill Instructor”

  1. When, and where, did SDIs start using this canned speech? You can bet your sweet ass that they didn’t use it in 1964. Especially the part about being “physically or verbally abused.” Drill instructor duty has to be one of the most challenging and difficult duties any Marine is ever assigned. I can imagine that it is similar to recruiting duty, in that, there are very few volunteers and most are chosen by selection teams. You simply must resolve yourself to the fact that it has to be done, and you are the one selected to do it. I’ll always have the deepest respect for my, and all, drill instructors. It can’t be an easy job turning spoiled brat teenagers into lean, mean, green, fighting machines. Semper Fi!!! Top Pro

    1. It sure was not at MCRD/PI in January/March 1966, Plt 215!!! Physical and verbal “abuse“ was the norm. Our DI’s were there to physically and mentally prepare us for Vietnam as best they could. They transformed 83 “scuzzy civilians” from all walks of life into Proud Marines in only 8 short weeks. For that I am eternally thankful……Bob 1381..Vietnam 1966/1967.

    2. You apply, selection board interviews you (grills you over a hot spit, sweated thru my winter greens), you’re denied or AWARDED D.I. School; anyone who says they were ordered to D.I. duty, that’s bullshit!!! If you’re not close to topping out on pro cons and you’re behind on the promotion list, don’t waste their time. Faced the board at Camp Lejeune just short of 21 years old, made the Drill field (3rd Bn, P.I.-“The Thumpin Third”) in ’70. School was in the same area as recruiting school, not the same. Everyone knew that if you didn’t cut it in D.I. school you could kiss any chance of E-9 goodbye. It was a bitch, night and day, one platoon after another, short handed. Loved it, got me E-5 under two, Series D.I. parties after graduation were a blast (and yes Series and Company Commanders would show up), and Savannah was better than San Diego.

  2. It was the same in 1968 when I went through MCRD. Lets just say that the DI’s were a bit more Hands On than what was outlined in the canned speech. That said, if you were a quick learner, you figured out that as long as you listened, respected your Drill Instructor and the Oath you swore to you came out fine. I still vividy remember all three of my Drill Instructor and I am Thankful for the discipline they instilled in me as Young Marine

    Semper Fi
    Sgt. T. Golden

  3. I was at MCRD/SD May’69–Plt 2093-And I learned real fast the 1st day about “Hands On” when I ran out of the hut with out a “COVER” on my brain housing group! To This Day I wear a cover every time I am outside—Just in case those GHOST SDIs come at you from your 6 !!

  4. I swear the kids today have it too easy. I vividly remember arriving at Parris Island June 4, 1962 at 02:30 and the very “warm greeting” we received as our DI boarded our bus, “invited” us to disembark, follow the Yellow Footprints to the receiving room and told to sit at attention until further notice. At 06:00 they marched us to the Barbershop then were issued skivies and OD’s at which time we marched, we thought to the chow hall with orders to get what we could and be back in formation in 15 minutes. I’ve had the opportunity to visit PI many times since. Last year I had an opportunity to talk to a DI while lunching at the local canteen. I described some of my experiences I had. He told me if he would do anything like that today he’d be facing a Court Martial. Corporal Richard Henderson June 1962-October 1966, Semper Fi!

  5. “Abuse” has been way over used, now it includes “hurting one’s feelings”. Back in 1960, the DIs were very “hands on”. As my mother used to say “this spanking is not to hurt you, but to get your attention”. Boy, could a DI know how to get your attention. Never damaged you, but got your attention, real fast. The best I remember was doing the manual of arms with your footlocker. Someone would always drop it on his gourd with a loud thump which started us laughing and then everyone would start dropping their footlockers on their gourds. Even the DI would have to leave the squad bay as he started laughing.

  6. Sounds like yet another effort by the nervous Nellie field grade types, who they assign to RTR and who are far more worried about their careers than mission, to micro-manage DIs by regulating the very words coming out of the DIs’ mouths. I was a Series Commander, and that kind of stuff was commonplace and nauseating. Majors and above: here is a leadership hint. Treat your NCOs like NCOs and let them train the recruits without a script written by some staff weenie.

  7. In 1958 my DI took one look at us, threw up his hands and asked no one in particular “What the f–k am I supposed to do with this bunch of shitbirds.” He swore there wasn’t a potential Marine in the whole platoon and constantly pissed and moaned that the Corps had gone to hell. This was less than 2 years after McKeon night marched his platoon into the swamp and some drowned. Every do-gooder was trying to soften the training – and of course the Army wanted to absorb us. The DIs were walking a thin line but the shit rained upon us. 2 of them were Korean vets. I don’t think any of the 3 admitted that there was a chance we would actually be Marines until after we returned from Camp Mathews rifle training – and that was only after bringing us back down to earth from believing we were salty just because we had qualified. As for rules and regs- there were only 2.
    1) The DI is always right
    2) If the DI is wrong, refer to rule 1
    Semper Fi

  8. The Marine Corps has changed at lot since I went to MCRD/PI in sept. 1964. I saw a photo dated 1943 of a Recruit platoon at MCRD/SD and all three Drill Instructors were PFC. All of the NCOs had to be at war in the Pacific. That was when a two striper was an E-3 NCO. Boy the times have changed. The WWII and Korea marines were the true OLD CORPS Marines. Now the U.S. Marine Corps has to train with women in the same platoon! Where have the GOOD TIMES gone! Semper Fi.

  9. About time , if in fact that is the way they are addressed. I went thru Paris island in 1959 and never met a D.I. that possessed a vocabulary greater than four letters,or an I.Q. Higher than 75,and I’m being generous with that one!

  10. This sounds like it came from a “What To Expect” hand-out at the Recruiting Office. Or maybe, kept handy in the Congressional Liaison Office, in case somebody asks.

  11. ……… and when you write home don’t be telling LIES, especially to your congressmen, such as that we abuse you, call you names, mistreat you, deny your rights, or punish you unfairly.

  12. I was a drill instructor at Parris Island when the marine corps started this method of introducing the drill instructors to the recruits .the drill instructors would herd the recruits to the barracks prior to that yelling every step of the way. I gave that message to my platoons as a senior drill instructor.1975-1977

  13. Platoon 3130 MCRD/SD 1969. Our platoon had an individual with the last name Lovelady. Now I suppose that would be a non-issue. In ’69 it was a target. I can personally attest to our DI’S being hands on. How things change. Semper Fi to all.

  14. Wow now I understand why this country is so F…ed up
    I love our Corp to see it scoop to this is sad.
    Please some one help to bring it back

  15. I was a Series and then Company Commander at MCRD San Diego from 1975 through 78. I don’t remember the exact verbiage we used at the first meet and greet but I do remember the words “treat all recruits with firmness, fairness, dignity and compassion “.
    We could only address the recruit by his last name, recruit or title like guide. I believe General Houghton was CG then.
    One time the Bn Co was watching my platoon training when one of my DIs yells “come here squirrel “. The Bn Co turned to me and said “what did he call that recruit? I called the recruit over and ordered him to state his name. He replied “my last name is Squirrel sir”. I knew this and the recruit had the name tag on. Obviously the Bn Co was going to ream me and my DI for violating the order on how to address recruits. We also had to tell a recruit why We were going to touch him. For example, recruit, I’m going to adjust your cover or correct the way you are carrying your weapon. To some of us this may sound like we were getting soft on recruits but I believe we still turned out the best trained Marines we always have. I was proud to serve on the Drill Field. It made me a better Officer.

  16. Are we talking about the first meeting of GIRL SCOUT camp?
    It certainly wasn’t anything like that at MCRD the summer of 66′.

  17. My drill instructor (plt 262, 1964) sat us down the second day and told us that regulations forbid him from hitting us at any time. He also said that if we screwed up he might hit us. Everyone of us thought that was reasonable; screw up might get clobbered. Drill instructor did not lie. At the end of training, of 84 recruits only three had never been hit by one of our drill instructors. None of us felt we had been mistreated in any way, and were very proud Marines the first time the drill instructors called us Marines.

  18. My first night at Paris Island, I said to myself what have I gotten my butt into this was September 10 1969 3rd battalion Hotel company. I was 17 and here I was with 108 other individuals, all of us were wondering what the heck’s going on, in the next 9 weeks my fellow recruits and I found out what it means to become a Marine we went through hell and back and in those 9 weeks were transformed into United States Marines. This training was what I used to keep my young butt alive through my two combat tours of Vietnam. Then a short time later I was given orders to DI School at Parris Island, I went through my coursework and it was not as easy as everyone said it would be, but I pressed on and after the 12 weeks of the course I and 25 of my classmates graduated and became USMC Drill Instructors I was assigned to 3rd battalion India company where I served for 3 years before being recalled back to FMF service and back to my MOS 2861. My years of service as a DI was the most amazing part of my inlistment in the Corps, it was so gratifying to be able to take a recruit and turn them into a MARINE trained to be able to face anything that they would have to while in their service to our country and corps. I am extremely proud to have this opportunity to serve my country and my MARINE CORPS with distinction and honor, so that I can always claim the title of UNITED STATES MARINE, SEMPER FI brothers and sisters you have earned your title and it cannot be taken away from you.

  19. The DIS for platoon 119 at PI in 1961 were SSgt E6 Donovan, SSgt E5 Umstead and Sgt E5 Osenkoski. There favorite saying to us was “we ain’t threating you we are PROMISING YOU”. And anyone who was there will testify that they kept their word. Remember we were on the rifle range and had just returned to the Barracks when there was a “set back” with his sea bag standing tall. I’m sure they knew they were getting him but acted like they didn’t know why he was there. Told him not to move or else all the other privates would be going down for Punishment PT. Then one of them gave him a good shot to the midsection which caused him to move backwards. We then did bend and thrusts till no one could hardly stand.

  20. I was drafted in the corps in October 1965 on my 19th birthday hit the yellow foot steps at about 02:30 am on 01/17/66 at MCRD San Diego Cal. I did not know and a lot of others just did not think we would make the next 8 weeks or make it to the NAM as we thought the DI’s would kill us first:) But I made and I stayed in the CORPS for 21yrs and I’m still a Marine at 74yrs old next month and retried, I made Meritoriously GySgt as a Recruiter in the Bremerton Washington RSS out of the RS in Seattle almost ten years in one area and I love the Corps and still do, and if a Marine Recruiter reads this just remember one thing “don’t ever put in someone our Corps who you would not want to go into combat with”:) God I just love that job. I wished I could go back but age is a factor:) so good luck to you and ever Marine who served God Less our Corps and your family stay safe.
    GySgt D Roberts USMCRET:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *