I read this on a great website called Sgt Grit: “From a book titled Court-Martial at Parris Island, by by John C. Stevens, III, that recounts the full story of the recruits lost in Ribbon Creek in April, 1956 comes the following excerpt from pg 156: ‘Richard Hudson, a 1948 Parris Island recruit and later a Drill Instructor in the mid-1950’s, remembers, During the time I was in boot camp there were incidents of “thumping” ….A lot of DIs were veterans of the Pacific and seemed to be an unforgiving group. I received a hard kick in the butt when I moved my foot a couple of inches after the platoon was called to a halt.

‘One senior DI had a routine that he felt was good for instilling discipline. He would place a very young looking DI in his platoon with new dungarees (utilities), hat pulled down to his ears, and blend him in with the others; this would be in the first couple of days before they knew each other. Once on the drill field the “shill” would start screwing up. The DI would then go into his act of beating and screaming at the individual causing him so much grief. After a period of time the PLANT would start yelling that he could take no more, “No, I can’t take it. I Can’t take it,” drop his rifle and start running across the drill field. In the meantime, the DI had picked up his rifle and was yelling, “Get back here you (SOB).” The PLANT, yelling, “No Sir,” continues to run, whereupon the DI chambered a round (blank, of course) in the rifle and fired.

”The ‘planted’ recruit would scream and fall. The DI would then turn toward a couple of other DIs awaiting their cue and (say,) “Carry that worthless bastard off of my drill field.” O.K. Sarge, we’ll take care of it.”

T’he plant was carried off the field, and the awestruck recruits’ terror and fear of their drill instructor were instantly elevated to a new plateau.The routine continued with other platoons in their formative stages until an officer happened to spot the charade and, suppressing his mirth, suggested that it not be repeated.'”

Semper Fidelis,
Joe Featherston


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