Friday, September 21, 2007

A Gunny, Indoctrination, and a Joke

Ah, the Gunnery Sergeant. Many, many Marines have quite a few fond (and some not so fond) stories of Gunnies that they have served with. This is one of those stories that just happens to be both, depending on who you hear the story from...


Gunny 'Kill' was a former Drill Instructor, lifelong grunt, and general sour-puss, currently standing in for the First Sergeant until the new one reported in. As a former DI, he had a rather unique sense of humor. It was an important note to make that we always tried to make sure what kind of humor the Gunny was in before we tried just about anything outside of the norm. To do otherwise would be kind of... stupid.

Formations were usually held in front of one of our main buildings, in the parking lot area (the main building was where all of the companies offices were). One of those office rooms was reserved for the Navy Corpsmen and some of their Navy chain. Well, the Sailors had a bell from an old decommissioned ship that hung right in front of one of their offices. If the formation was being held in the general time window for chow, one of the tricks that we would play on the new guys was assign one of the new Pvts to go and ring the 'chow bell'. The Navy guys did not look too kindly on some jarhead ringing their antique bell and screaming at the top of his lungs, "CHOW, CHOW, CHOW, *DINGDINGDING* CHOW, CHOW, CHOW!!!".


We had it down to an art. Standing in formation one day, waiting on the word, wondering when we would get the go ahead to get some chow, one of the machine gunners turned to a buddy of his in the mortars platoon, and asked, "hey, do we need to send somebody for the chow bell or is it y'alls turn?" All this with a straight face. One of our Corporals told him, "Nah, we got it", turned to a Pvt., and gave him his orders. The Private, being thoroughly indoctrinated in the art of immediate obedience to orders, sounded off with an "Aye, aye Corporal!!!", and ran to the bell. We were dying, but managed to hold it together until the bell started ringing.

The Private ran through the door, make a hard right, assumed the position of attention, and rang the bell like it was going out of style.

*DINGDINGDING-CHOW!!!CHOW!!!CHOW!!!-DINGDINGDING*

We were dying as, according to his instructions, the Private then ran through the building, screaming that it was chow time to all the assorted personnel in the building. His voice fell and rose as he passed by open windows in the hallway. It was one of the most motivated displays of lung power, speed, obedience to orders etc that I have ever seen.

Shortly thereafter, the Chief stormed over to the Gunny's office, to raise hell. Gunny, in full DI mode, came outside to the formation. Those that had known him for a while knew when he was joking around, and I personally knew that he loved to piss off the Chief. If it took a hapless Pvt. to accomplish the mission well, so be it. Mission accomplishment, and all...


Gunny stomps out to the front of the formation and screams, "WHO WAS THE SOON TO BE DEAD ASSHOLE THAT RANG THAT FUCKING BELL?!?!?" A quiet "me gunny" was the pitiful reply.

"GET YOUR MISERABLE ASS UP HERE SHIT-FOR-BRAINS, GET ON YOUR FACE!!! PUSH!!! PUSH UNTIL I PUKE!!! FASTER, THING, FASTER!!!"

So the Pvt. is on his face, pumping out the push ups like he is stuck on fast forward. Gunny is in full blown DI flashback, rattling off cuss words that are rapidly wilting the nearby foliage and causing birds to drop dead from the sky. Chief at first has a satisfied look on his face, but as the minutes pass and the Gunny is still rattling off the continuous, minute-long tirade in the way that only former DIs can, he got a weird look on his face, suggestive of the mental stability of Marines, and went inside. Joke still on going, but now only on the Pvt., Gunny screams at him to get up.

"OKAY YOU POST-OPERATIVE BRAIN DONOR, I KNOW YOU DIDN'T COME UP WITH THAT ONE BY YOURSELF, WHO TOLD YOU TO DO IT?!?!?!" he politely (for a Gunny) inquired.

"Uh, it was Cpl Donn-"

"GET THE FUCK BACK DOWN, YOU LITTLE SHIT STAIN!!! NO LOYALTY TO YOUR CORPORALS?!?!?!? PUSH!!! ALWAYS PROTECT THE MAN ABOVE AND BELOW YOU!!!"

After that, no one could keep it together anymore, including the Gunny. The Private started to suspect that something was up, from the definitely un-manly giggles throughout the Marines. Gunny ordered the Marine to his feet and told him, "welcome to the company, kid."

The Private was now definitely part of the family.

3 comments:

Farmgirl said...

That's fantastic! Wish I could have seen that one :P

Karla (threadbndr) said...

It's always something......

500 yards of flight line......

The Marine!Goth won't confess to his - it must be something too embarrassing to admit to mom *G*.

(here via assorted gun blogs)

Murphy said...

Farmgirl: I have to admit, towards the end of it I wasn't seeing too much through the tears! He was a good sport about the whole thing, especially when he saw some other guys get nearly the same treatment.

Karla: Welcome, glad to have ya!