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Drill Instructors

Marine Drill Instructors, and their counterparts in the other services, play a vital role in our military's success....
marine corps drill instructor issuing orders

United States Marine Corps Drill instructors are a recruit’s first real introduction to life as a Marine. They are they’re intimidating, impressive, and beyond reproach. 

We are the monsters in the dark, always lurking with bad intentions. We are both the light and the dark. We evolved this way, forged by 241 years of war and necessity. You always have us in the back of your brain-housing-group, because we brand ourselves the destruction of everything Lazy. Anytime you think of boot camp, you will remember the tireless, constant hatred you thought we had for you. We are the Marine Corps Drill Instructor.

United States Marine Core, Senior Drill Instructor Don Miller

From day one, you are taught that we are borderline psychotic, and that is not too far from the truth. In order to transform you from a kid, with no true perception of humanity, into the world’s most efficient, professional war fighter, we are forced into a state of psychosis – created to protect the core of who we really are. Believe it or not, we are somewhat normal on the inside. We get dressed in the same manner that you do, with just less wasted time and non-essential movements. We have to feed our bodies with nutrients the same way you do. The difference is that we have eliminated all unnecessary steps that have grown into your lazy habits.

You wonder why we blast you for something relatively simple in your mind. It’s because you don’t see the bigger picture. You don’t know the reality that we do. That that extra step you took in a column right, or quick scratch when you think we couldn’t see is literally the difference between you freezing when given the signal because there is an imminent threat you don’t see, or getting blown away by the enemy.


You think that this thinking process is exaggerative in nature, that it’s just the fact that we want you to do what we tell you to. Just to be able to use the power we have over you because we can, and  maybe that’s partially true to, but that is not the deciding factor for which we destroy souls.

The one factor that always wins out when start the vocal assault on your bones is very simply….. what if? What if you set up in a 360 in some rural hellish town called Marjah, Afghanistan, and that $10 Taliban wanna be sniper is just looking for any opening to fire and run away. Only to then spot a United States Marine in a shit canal being lazy. These are extreme scenarios, but legitimate all the same.

So, when you wonder why it seems like every Drill Instructor on the Depot has heard a beacon to your location to help deliver some extra attention your way – all because you left your lock on the number 29 – you’re just gonna have to wonder if it was just our psychosis taking over or if, maybe, that one oversight you made could be the reason why you don’t make it home. Again, maybe this is completely exaggerating, but you never know.


This is extreme to most, but it is a legitimate Marine Corps reality. You might think this way, too, until you’re the one coughing up blood on Training Day 17, scarring your throat for the rest of your life. All the cough drops and Chloraseptic spray in the world won’t ease the pain. Only the next victim will.

We have a 3-year timer that ends with the ultimate goal of going back to being a functional human being, but there is one irreversible side effect of the psychosis. It’s the inability to look past a shitbird’s attempt to try and get away with not shaving their peach fuzz off. We have to say something. We have to fix that turd, because we know that lazy corporal over there won’t. That is why we are revered in the manner we are across the continents and generations. We won’t simply look the other way, so we train you not to either.


We are in history books in every climb and place where word is written. Pay attention, and you will see us. We are the one dominant force no one wants to piss off – a generational identifier that provides a sense of purpose. We provide the service no one else can even fathom doing, and we do it with pride. They might not have been called “Drill Instructors” or “Sir” or “Ma’am,” but they were there – the ones willing to sacrifice a normal life to train the ones that protect yours. Look at some of the most powerful armies in history: the Romans, Ottomans, Mongols, Spartans, and Persians – to name a few. They all did well not simply due to size but because they were well-trained. Being well-trained means that somewhere in the background were our “Drill Instructor Forefathers.” They were there in the background lurking, waiting for the time when they were needed, and, when called upon by their leaders, they made the most formidable warriors on the planet.

As a Drill Instructor, you learn to put yourself in a state of mind that exists nowhere else on the planet – to immerse into a state that enables a complete sense of your surroundings, continuously processing information at computer-like speeds. There is no real way to describe what makes a drill instructor tick. It is something you either have or you don’t. I won’t go into how or what we do to make the Drill Instructor the most feared and respected figure that has ever cultivated any nation’s military forces. That is something that only those who have worn the coveted campaign cover share among each other.

We will forever have a bond forged in blood, sweat, and tears. We will sit down together in 20 years, and tell our “kickin’ it stories.” It’s something that from the outside looking in probably sounds moronic – to reminisce in some of the worst times of your life (which also happen to be some of the best). That is understandable, but that is how bonds are made. Some of the best friends I’ve made in life were when I was completely miserable or in harm’s way. This is why we are so tough on our recruits. The more difficult we make it on the recruits, the tighter the bonds they develop. The stronger our Marines are coming out of boot camp, the warmer your blanket gets. Sleep well tonight, because the Drill Instructor is sacrificing more than you know to make sure the ones who provide that blanket of freedom you have are the most highly trained fighting force the world has ever seen.

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