Here is an unedited sample from my book where I talk about my experience in U.S. Marine Corps boot Camp:
"Early on a muggy morning at the beginning of September 1994 in the dark hours before Sunrise the author found himself facing another period of isolation from the world where he would undergo a major transformation. This time he wouldn’t be alone, however. He would be joined by almost 80 other men who were standing on the yellow footsteps next to him at Marine Corps Recruiting Depot in Paris Island, South Carolina.
Above the two silver doors or as the Drill Instructors make you refer to them, portals these words are set: ‘Through these Portals Pass Prospects for America’s Finest Fighting Force.’
Marine Corps boot camp can be one of the most transformative time periods in a person’s life. Similar to a Dark Night of the Soul experience period, the recruit finds themself in seclusion while they undergo this transformation. In the author’s own experience U.S. mail was the only form of contact with the outside world other than maybe 2 or 3 ten minute phone calls. This was over a period of almost 3 months. The reader should begin to notice some of the differences between a DNS experience and that of boot camp.
The first difference the author will point out here is the recruit in boot camp knows when he or she will graduate as long they make it. Out of 80 something guys who started out in the same platoon as the author only 60 or so graduated. So it would seem safe to say most recruits have an idea of when they will be done at the very least. Unlike a DNS were stated earlier in this book the time period is indeterminate and only the individual will know when it’s over. Another very key difference between a DNS and Boot camp is everyone goes through the same identical training. Whereas a DNS period is very unique to the person experiencing it and they take their instructions from within. They listen to their own intuition instead of a guy screaming instructions in their ear. It is a full inversion, totally backward.
As stated above the inversion begins with the fact that boot camp is not an individualistic journey. From the author's point of view, everyone in boot camp was treated and referred to as a collective group more than any one person was treated as an individual. This wasn't the case 100 percent of the time, but definitely a large majority of the time this was true. Not only does everyone dress alike, but they also eat, sh!t, shower, shave & sleep together in close proximity. As in 2 or 3 recruits peeing at the same time in one Porto-potty toilet. On top of this everyone in the group is punished and rewarded collectively most of the time as well. One person makes a mistake in the eyes of the drill instructors and everyone pays.
This is known as collective punishment and is a useful tool for drill instructors to have the recruits police themselves. It does strengthen the team bond but can also lead to what happens in the ‘blanket party’ scene in the Stanley Kubrick film, Full Metal Jacket. The first half of the movie is set in Marine Corps boot camp at Parris Island, SC during the Vietnam War and the author highly recommends the reader get familiar with this movie if they would like to get a good idea about how psychology in the U.S. Marine Corps boot camp looks."
- David Hintz
- Bill Harper
- Susan Evans
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