In the mean time

So many of you have legitimate questions you are wondering about. Hopefully this entry targets most of the basics.

Weapons and Maintenance

The rifle is attached to the recruit everywhere he goes. In the beginning, carrying around a weapon can get frustrating because they can become a nuisance when trying to engage in simple tasks. They weigh around seven pounds and they are fairly long. However, these weapons can be the difference between life and death in a combat environment. Getting use to being with one at all costs is crucial to success.

Aside from drill, the M16 is used on the range. They finally get to use the rifle for what it is intended for: Shooting. I will talk more about weapons next week, but I would like to touch on one very important factor.

Weapons maintenance should never be pushed to the side. A clean weapon is good for more than just a senior drill instructor inspection. Clean weapons help prevent malfunctions on the firing line and enhance accuracy. Learning the proper procedures now will really help in the future because weapons maintenance is continuous in theatre (overseas).

The recruits actually receive this object that resembles a long place mat. On it is the drawings and names of each part of the weapon once broken down. This ensures they clean every part of their weapon and also teaches them the name of the individual pieces.

Here is a tip you may want to write your recruits about: when using sight black, always clean it off before the next firing day. The buildup can possibly affect their shots.

My thoughts on DIs

Okay, so a lot of you have asked me what I think about the Drill Instructors. Here is a sad attempt at answering your question.

They hardly ever have time to eat a meal and they are lucky to get 3 hours of sleep. If your recruits are walking three miles, the DIs are running six. Your recruit spends three months here, a DI spends 36. They sacrifice their lives, to change the lives of others. They live off the miseries that come with the job and love every second of it. They are by far, the craziest people I have ever met. They are truly the unsung heroes of the Marine Corps.

Playing Favorites

Do I have a favorite platoon? Yes. Do I have a favorite DI? Yes. Do I have a favorite series? Yes. Will I ever tell? NO! As long as I keep it equal, who really cares???

The hardest part of the day

I remember being in bootcamp vividly. We were always being pushed from one place to the other. Little time to eat and our meals came mostly from boxes. The physical fitness training was a killer and I remember always being exhausted. Hikes here, classes there, run through this obstacle and apply first aid. Everyday ran into each other and we always wondered when it was going to end.

I feared the end of the day. That one hour of free time before hitting the rack (going to sleep) was by far the worst part of bootcamp for me. It allowed us time to think about home, our family and friends, our hobbies or even what we would have done if we didn’t go this route.

Of course we used that time to write letters, fix our hair and bond with one another, maybe even make fun of the DIs or what happened that day. One good thing that came from this free time is the bond I created with my bunkie. I am still extremely close to my bunkie (rack mate). I am fortunate to have so many people like her in my life. Your recruits will probably have a similar experience and create relationships with people unlike themselves that could never be replaced. They will become extremely close to one another and always consider each other family.

So, when do recruits have fun? Whenever the hell they can. I know you see some of your recruits smiling here and there. They aren’t supposed to be. But, they have gotten used to the craziness that surrounds them, so some things may become humorous. Now it’s time for them to work on their bearing.

Initial Drill

Initial PFT: Well, Staff Sgt. Willis called it again. Follow series took that trophy too! The winner? Staff Sgt. Jackson’s platoon: 2156. Lead series keeps disappointing me!

[Editors Note: Opinions expressed are not to be considered an official expression of the DoD, DoN, or the USMC.]

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About echo5fox

Sgt. Frasier enlisted in the Marine Corps July 2005 from Florida at the age of 18. After completing boot camp at Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island, she proceeded to Marine Combat Training in North Carolina. In 2006, she attended the Personnel Administration Course aboard Camp Johnson, N.C. She was stationed at Camp Lejeune upon graduation of her military occupational specialty. After deploying to Iraq with 3/10 in 2008, Sgt. Frasier reenlisted with the option to lateral move into another occupation, combat correspondent. Sgt. Frasier has worked at The Globe, the base newspaper aboard Camp Lejeune; The Convoy, the group circular for 1st Marine Logistics Group and The Chevron, the base paper for Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego. Sgt. Frasier served as the Community relations and Media noncommisioned officer in charge for the Public Affairs Office aboard the depot. Currently she is the Marketing and Public Affairs Director for Recruiting Station Chicago, 9th Marine Corps District. Her awards include the National Defense Service Ribbon, Global War on Terrorism, Good Conduct Medal (2), Iraqi Campaign Medal, Sea Service Deployment Ribbon, Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal (2) and the Navy Unit Commendation Medal.

38 thoughts on “In the mean time

  1. Very interesting and informative! I do have a lot of respect for the DI’s…that is not an easy role they have. I remember going to the Poolee family day and being intimidated myself to talk to them lol! OK Lead needs to step it up a little…Come on 2150! 🙂

  2. Thank you so much!!! Tell The DIs thank you for sacrificing so much for our country.
    My son is in 2156! Keep it up 2156!

  3. Thank you for all the time you are taking to keep all of updated and informed on what our Kids,fathers, and husbands are doing. I can honestly say I was freaked out when McKenzie (rct Boehm #2151) said he was joining. I talked to a friend who has been a Marine for 20 years and he told me “Parents just shouldn’t know stuff that happens at boot camp” when asked. SO this is helping me see they aren’t doing the stuff my imagination can make up and they all look in good health. I haven’t seen any pictures of Kenz yet but he is also the one who would hide from the camera as much as possible too .. lol
    Again thank you for your time and the education you are giving me as we go along.

  4. Thank you so much for your insight! I have to say…despite pictures of the DI’s being quite brutal, that is one thing that did impress me. They did EVERYTHING that was expected of these recruits. That is impressive! The blogs that you write give us a peek into the world that you obviously love and that both my husband and now, son, have committed to. Thanks so much. Go Golf Company (Go 2151!!)

    • As difficult, disorienting, and intense as Boot Camp may be, it is ANYTHING BUT brutal! This is an intense few months for these kids to help them leave their high school attitudes and work ethics behind and become fully-functional United States Marines. EVERYBODY here is on their side! NOBODY here wants to hurt them or do them harm! The Drill Instructors are our boys’ best allies! Yes, the methods are likely far more intense and in-your-face than the methods any parent or teacher may have used to educate these boys, but these Drill Instructors are, first and foremost, trying to give these young men the mental tools they will need to function and survive in a real world combat situation. Every one of these boys is learning that he can perform far more difficult physical and mental tasks than he ever thought possible. They are learning that their limits are much further away than they thought. While it may seem inconceivable to any of us to have to quickly field-strip, clean, and reassemble a weapon with a Drill Instructor screaming and hollering in our faces, by learning to perform such precision tasks in that kind of an environment, our boys will be far more prepared to clean a fouled weapon, should it ever jam, in combat. Talk about brutal? When the folks causing the stress are actively trying to do harm to Marines in theater, whatever stress our young men are exposed to now can do nothing but help them survive and thrive! Is Basic Training difficult? yes. A little scary? ansolutely. Brutal? not a chance. The Drill Instructors are simply hand-building the next generation of incredible United States Marines! And let’s not forget, OooRah, 2156!

      • AMEN! I want my Grandson in top mental shape to handle where ever is coming his way. OooRah 2151

  5. Thank you again Sgt. Frasier. I have become a huge fan of your blog and look forward to the new posts! I also have a deep respect for the DI’s We have to remember they they are doing their job and if they didn’t do it in this fashion then our troops would be “soft”. We can’t have that when fighting terrorism!

  6. Thank you again Sgt. Fraiser and to all the DI’s for all that they are doing as well. The passion for what they believe in shows whole heartedly in their faces and if it wasn’t for your blog, all of us on the outside would not be seeing that… all deserve a big OORAH!

  7. Again, Thank you for all your wonderful videos and picture of our Recruits.. I know I truely apreciate all that you do for us parents, GFriends and Wives..WE are all Blessed to have you give us such insite to what these young men and their DIs go through.. I have felt such a peace about this process, seeing my son and reading your words..Keep up all the good work!

  8. Quick Q: a couple of parents received letters telling them 2156 is the “Golden Platoon” and they will be Honor Platoon at graduation. Is that really something that is determined this early?

    • LM, not yet, still plenty of challenges ahead. I believe Sgt. Fraser posted earlier those tests that are considered for HP. Great start for 2156 though!

      • That’s what I thought. I did some reading on it and they have be “tested” all the way to the end. It still made me proud to hear them say it… which tells me they are very determined to earn such a coveted honor 🙂

  9. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you so much for your blogs, pictures and photos! This has helped me soooooo much in getting through my sons (rct vanlaanen 2154) time in boot camp. This is amazing that we get to see a little bit of what our recruits are going through. Again, i just can not thank you enough Sgt. Fraiser. YOUR AWESOME!!! And so are those amazing DI’s that are turning our boys into strong men. GO GOLF CO. ❤

  10. I was in Golf Company’s last cycle and I remember it being hard and I’m sure this cycle is just as tough if not tougher. How are my Drill Insturctors doing? Sgt Villegas? Staff Sergeant Guevarra? What platoon do they run? Well keep up the hard work!

    Lead Series has never been better than Follow Series!

    • According to the chart on Sgt Frasier’s “Meet the Drill Instructors” page, SSgt Guevarra is Lead Series Chief DI under Captain Franco and Sgt Villegas started the cycle as second hat in 2150, but was replaced by Sgt Havenar some time early in the first week. I saw no indication as to why. Perhaps Sgt Frasier has more information on that move. Congratulations, Marine!

  11. Thank you for all the time and energy you are putting into this. I can’t wait to tell the DI’s thank you for getting these young men through this journey. Thank you for explaining to us what is going on each week. I do know that we are very fortunate to see actually pictures of our son’s and what they are going thru.

  12. This Is My First Time Commenting On Your Blogs. Most People have already said What Iv Been thinking. My Boyfriend Is in Platoon 2154 his Name is Rec. Patterson Reginald A. Maybe youve heard of him? Well I write him everyday and Im Very proud of Him And I Thank you sooo Much For the updates. I check this website everyday hoping for something knew. Although Im just his girlfriend I worry just as Much as These recruits Parents do. Iv gotten plenty of letters and Iv been told its tough but at the same time he says hes having fun lol I dont know how its fun but What ever makes him happy makes me happy. Thank you sooo much. God Bless You(:

  13. THANK YOU, THANK YOU! I can’t say it enough. I look forward to each and every blog you provide. I know have such a great respect for the DI’s after your blog and pics. I would love ot hear more about the “Golden Platoon”, what that is exactly and how it is achieved. Also, you are doing such an AWESOME JOB! It has been such a great relief to be able to somewhat follow our recruits through this life changing event they go through. Please, thank all the DI’s for me and for taking these young men and making Marines out of them. Go Plt 2154! 🙂

  14. It is both and honor and privilege to witness the tranformation in these young men.
    God bless you, the DI’s and every young man in Golf Co.
    Go platoon 2149! Show ’em who is #1.

  15. I just want to thank everyone involved in the transformation of my young man to MARINE!! This blog has been a lifeline for me!! Soooo proud of all of Golf Co. But my heart is in 2156!!! Don’t leave anything on the table!! Give it all you got!! Go 2156!! OOOH RAHHH!!

  16. Thank you Sgt. Fraiser for allowing us to see and learn what our loved one is experiencing. Thanks for providing us with information that allows us to feel part of this transformation. We have a great respect to the DI for their hard work and dedication. Keep strong Plt 2151 !!!!!!

  17. Against my wishes, my son has enrolled in the Navy. He will head out once he graduates from high school in June. It has been such a great help to me in accepting and embracing my son’s decision to be able to read this blog and see what my neighbor, Jordan Anderson, is going through in bootcamp (sorry, don’t know his platoon number). I must admit I’m hoping the Navy drill instructors aren’t as in your face as these Marine DIs are!

  18. Sgt. Frasier:
    Do they keep the same platoon and Drill Instructors when they begin MCT?
    Will you be at MCT too?
    Will you be at Golf Company’s graduation? Go Golf 2149!!!

    Thank you for your dedication to our sons!

  19. Way to go 2156!!! Proud mama here, if you couldn’t tell. If you see my son, Tomas Cervantez tell him I’m proud of him. BTW, I heard that his platoon would be getting to call home for thier win. Is this correct? Thanks for your wonderful work on videos and pictures, you are a God sent. Keep up the good work.

  20. Thank you so much Sgt. Frasier. I know you’ll be completely bombarded at Graduation but I’d LOVE to meet you. My husband is in 2149. He’s the old guy in the platoon. My mom tells me i’m spoiled because of this blog. She’s so jealous she didn’t have it last year when my brother went through bootcamp. So THANK YOU again for spoiling me!

  21. Sgt. Frasier; do they still climb mountain mother f….. in Camp Pendleton? if they do, please take plenty of pictures. BTW: excellent photos! Semper Fi Marine!

  22. My son is in Plt 2155, Recruit Cagle, Jonathon D. I’m so proud of the man you are transforming him to be and the Marine he will be when you are finished training all of these fine young men. Thank you DIs for all of your time and efforts. Keep up th e good work Plt 2155, claim what is yours!

  23. Thanks once again Sgt Frasier for giving us this glimpse into what our young men are going thru. It helps get me thru my days. I had the priviledge of meeting some Marines this weekend from the Drum and Bugle Corps and each of the ones I talked with after their show all told me “he’s doing fine there” and “welcome to the family”. I wanted to hug them all!!! I refrained and just shook hands.
    Really appreciate all the pictures – I’ve seen a glimpse or two of my son Recruit Hammons, Evan K. – Plt 2150. It’s much appreciated what you are doing and I hope to get to shake your hand as well on Nov 18th.

  24. Interesting information, I went through boot camp in 1962,It was very tough, both mentally and physically. Although daunting, I knew I’d make it through. Ou DIs were tough and at times downright brutal, but I knew if and when I was faced with a life or death struggle, I would prevail. I was and did, I know that it’s a different kind of Corps now, and the recruits are smarter and more sophisticated than my era, but I can honestly say we were tougher, meaner and more vicious than any enemy we might face. And those little gooks were tough and mean too.We won the battles, but lost the war, not because we weren’t up to the task, but because cowardly politicians played games with our lives. Maybe the training has changed, but the Marines still have the spirit it takes to do great harm to our enemies. I know this reply is not politically correct, but it comes from the heart and I know the sacrifices the DIs make every day, my oldest son is one and his family misses him every day.

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