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Military Personnel Describe The Craziest Things They Saw At Bootcamp

Reddit user Vixen_Starfire asked: 'Former Military of Reddit, what's the craziest thing that you've witnessed at bootcamp?'

Men in uniform, running in formation

It takes a very strong individual indeed, in both body and mind, to have a career in the military.

How young cadets fare during bootcamp training is often a key indication on whether or not they have what it takes to be a full-time soldier.

Indeed, it can be clear before the first day is even over that many people simply aren't cut out for it or, at least in the eyes of their superiors, don't have what it takes.

With this in mind, those who've made it through bootcamp are bound to have witnessed some memorable moments or had unforgettable experiences themselves.

Leaving them with plenty of stories to tell.

Redditor Vixen_Starfire was eager to hear some of these stories, leading them to ask:

"Former Military of Reddit, what's the craziest thing that you've witnessed at bootcamp?"

A Memorable Exit

"We had a guy tie his sheets and blankets together to climb out the 2 story window to get to the ground to go AWOL."

"The doors were not locked or guarded, he could have just walked down the stairs and out the door."- Cruzi2000

Some Things Are Best Left To The Professionals

"We had a guy get a boil on his buttocks."

"Instead of going to the medic, he used a safety pin to try to pop it (don't worry, he doused it in Hand Sanitizer to clean it first)."

"Well, that didn't work and it only got the boil infected."

"He had to go to the hospital to get it lanced, packed, and treated for 10 days straight."

"He almost got recycled but ended up graduating."- thebarkingdog


"In Navy bootcamp, in the bathroom stalls we have cloth shower curtains instead of doors, we had one guy wipe his a** with it, most grotesque thing I've ever seen."- PolishPickel2091

Toilet Paper Reaction GIFGiphy

Not The Legacy He Was Hoping For

"During week 2 of USMC boot camp, all the recruits were still really scared."

"Some of them were so tense that they hadn't been able to go to the bathroom since they arrived."

"With the not-so-great Marine food, there was a bit of a backup happening."

"My best friend was in desperate need to use the restroom."

"He had planned to wait until his designated time later that night, but it was too late - he was at his limit."

"Gathering up his courage despite the intimidating Drill Instructors, he spoke up, 'Sir, this recruit needs to use the bathroom, Sir'."

'Then, in a rush, he added, 'Sir, it's urgent, Sir!'"

"The DI, with his unique sense of humor, responded, 'Oh, really? An emergency, huh?'"

"'Well, you better act like an ambulance'."

"From then on, my buddy had to raise his hands above his head and shout 'Bee-Boo Bee-Boo' as he dashed to the restroom every time nature called."

"This routine continued throughout the rest of boot camp."- Short-Aerie-8021

Not Everyone Loves A Prank

"So in boot you have these things called 'wall lockers', and they're essentially your entire wardrobe / closet / you put everything except dirty laundry and shoes/boots in here [dirty laundry goes into a bag tied to your bed, footwear goes under your bed]."

"It has a long side for your dress uniforms and a short side with some drawers underneath for everything else."

"Some funny-man decided to hop into the short side and jump out at people to give them a spook."

"First and last one he spooked was the Drill Instructor."- SinisterYear

The Military Is Not For Everyone

"I tried to join the Royal Marines as a spritely young 17 year old."

"Unfortunately I fell off the zip line on the assault course at Lympstone and broke my leg (which eventually led to me dropping out)."

"When I was sat recuperating in Hunter Coy (the rehabilitation company for Royal Marine recruits), a lad in another troop came hobbling in with his feet in bandages."

"When they took the dressings off his feet, I was amazed to see he had no skin on his feet from the top of his ankles to base of his heels."

"Apparently his feet were already honking with severe blisters and then he attempted the 30 miler test and the skin just melted off his feet."

"It looked like he’d just dipped his feet in a boiling vat of cooking oil."- fearsomemumbler

fun forest GIF by South Park Giphy

Let The Punishment Fit The Crime

"Once, this guy thought it would be a great idea to dash through the barracks butt-naked just as a Drill Sergeant strolled in."

"So, as punishment, he got stuck with fire guard duty the whole night and had to scoot around the barracks on his knees, wearing only his underwear."

"The funniest part?"

"He had two flashlights - one with a blue lens and the other with a red lens."

"And as he shuffled along, he started making a 'WEE WOO WEE WOO WEE WOO' sound like a police siren."

"I didn't get much sleep that night, but man, it was totally worth it."- RelationshipJaded566

Shiver Me Timbers!

"USAF country club rules apply."

"There was a guy who was genuinely worthless and for the life of me, I can't remember his name but for the story we'll call him Trainee Allen."

"But I recall at one point we were standing in formation doing a practice drill thing with marching and shit but Trainee Allen couldn't stand still."

"And after a barrage of screaming at him, The 'Training Instructors' (TI's) told everybody to stay still for as long as they could."

"Sure enough, Trainee Allen went to pick his nose and the TI's went ballistic."

"Eventually they had him stand in front of the entire flight with his finger up his nose and had him say 'Yarr, digging for gold' like a pirate."

"Then it became a game of waiting for anybody to smile or laugh from this so one TI stood by Trainee Allen yelling at him to 'Say it again'."

"'Yarr, digging for gold' and the other TI would stalk around looking for anybody to smile."

"Jesus it was hard to hold it together."

"Eventually some poor bastard cracked and got annihilated with pushups for laughing."

"I'll just never forget that poor bastard in front of 200 people with his finger up his nose...'Yarr, digging for gold'."- AmazingPractice4041

When At A Loss, Go With The Flow

"August, 1995."

"About a week before graduation, we were wrapping up the Field Training Exercise, and me and three other guys were carrying the huge-a** pelican case that held all of the MILES gear harnesses."

"Apparently we were taking it to the wrong location, because one of the Drill Sergeants came up to us and shouted, 'wait, stop!'"

"We immediately set the case down, and one of the Soldiers yelled, 'Hammertime!' and did the little MC Hammer dance."

"Drill Sergeant flipped his sh*t."

"'Come here, Hammertime! COME. HERE!'"

"The Soldier had that look on his face that he knew he f*cked up, but we were a week out from graduation and we considered f*cking up to be funny by this point so he had a mixture of amusement and horror going on."

"Anyway, the Drill Sergeant makes the Soldier follow him over to where the rest of the Command Team were sitting, and screamed, "'Show the Commander what you just did! Go on, Hammertime!'"

"This kid, I swear."

"Zero. F*cks. Given."

"He starts doing the MC Hammer dance, but with his hands behind his back in the position of Parade Rest, going from side to side, yelling, 'Hammertime! Hammertime hammertime!'"

"The Commander starts laughing his a** off, along with the rest of the Command Team, most of the Cadre, and pretty much anyone who dares look at what's going on."

"So the Soldier changes things up."

"'Hammertime! Break down, un-REal'"

"Spins, claps his hands together, hands go right back behind his back, starts doing the MC Hammer run-in-place."

"The Commander has fallen onto the ground laughing at this point, and even the original Drill Sergeant has cracked his hard-a** persona, no matter how hard he tries to keep it together."

"The other Drill Sergeants have all run away to hide behind trees because they can't keep it together at all, and this kid just keeps on going."

"'Hammertime! Break down, un-REal!'"

"For 20 damn minutes, and the only reason he went on for that long is because the Commander couldn't catch his breath long enough to tell him to stop."

"Once his did, the kid comes to attention, salutes, does and about-face and runs right back over to us like nothing had ever happened."

"I don't remember his name (been almost 30 years, after all), but I'll never forget his face or that incident."- ComesInAnOldBox

mc hammer rap GIFGiphy

Nice To Know You Were Taught By The Best

"Just a funny thing from compulsory basic training (not in the US):"

"My drill sergeant was declared unfit for regular service halfway through my training."

"The official reason was that 'chewing ability not given' because his teeth were so rotten."

"As a result they made him the head of the cantina."- Visual-Elderberry835

So Near, And Yet So Far

"Was in the army."

"Craziest things I can think of was a guy told a drill sgt off and got knocked out for it."

"Drill sgt just grabbed him by the belt and drug him to their office."

"Another person made it all the way through basic till the 20k march to the last obstacle course we would do."

"Got part way through the course then slipped and fell off the top of the tower broke their arm and collarbone."- Cooterhawk

Cary Elwes Falling GIF by Disney+Giphy

There Are Worse Nicknames To Have

"USMC here."

"During one of the hikes we had this recruit our Drill Instructors called Frodo because of his height."

"He wasn't the strongest hiker but he always gave it 100%."

"Well one day we're going up one of the steepest hills and Frodo starts struggling."


"Everyone pretty much lost their bearing and laughed their a**es off."- Mobile-Physics-3507

It's Always Worth It If You Can Laugh About It

"Disclaimer: OCS is not boot camp."

"I laughed every day at OCS and also wanted to cry every day."

"In the chow hall you couldn’t have any of the sugary cereals, and one guy found out the hard way."

"He poured himself a bowl of fruity pebbles and was ganged up on by 3 instructors."

"They subsequently made him walk around the chow hall with the fruity pebbles on his tray shouting YABBA! DABBA! DOO!"- thegoalie

diy giant fruity pebbles krispies GIF by Guava JuiceGiphy

No one expects military bootcamp to be easy.

Though, it seems safe that you'd be hard pressed to find anyone who would guess that anyone leaves bootcamp with memories of MC Hammer and Fruity Pebbles.