Ten-hut!!! What is your major malfunction!? ANSWER ME!!!

So yeah… do you like getting screamed at? Made to do any number of insane things because you smiled? Then you should join the military!

Yes, it’s a VERY crazy experience, but most people don’t know HOW crazy it can get.

These 15 people really screwed up in boot camp (or saw somebody who did) and have some amazing tales to share.


1. Six Six Six

We used to have brutal room inspections at this certain time of year for the freshmen at the Air Force Academy. My buddy came in and asked how wide the bed folds needed to be. The freshman said, six inches.

My buddy pulled out a Subway sandwich and asked, “What’s this?”

“A six-inch sub, sir.”

“Then it ought to match right?”

“Yes, sir!”

He unwrapped it and set it down, but it matched perfectly. So he picked it up, took a huge bite out of it, and set it back down. Then he screamed at the kid because it no longer matched.

2. Hey! That’s cheating!

My uncle was a DI and he used to tell us that he would Scotch Guard the inside of all his clothes so that he wouldn’t show sweat.

Then he would run with the recruits and badger them for being so fat and out of shape since they were already covered in sweat.

3. By the power of Greyskull!

I was on the shooting range pulling targets for fellow recruits when my drill instructor, a seasoned combat vet from Alabama who looked like Skeletor, snuck up behind me.

Now he hated me, but on this particular day, as he was behind me, I stepped back and bumped into him. He turned with his face lit up and he screamed. Panicking, I did what felt natural and let out the loudest roar I could. He turned red, put his face in his hat as all the recruits started laughing.

After we all settled down, he told me if I ever did that again he’d throw my gear behind the safety line and order me to retrieve it. Basically a death sentence for those unfamiliar with a range.

4. Bugging out

I went to USAF basic training. I’m deathly afraid of wasps (I ran into a wasp nest as a kid). I was standing in attention practicing for the parade. A wasp flew in front of me. I started flailing around wildly. Every drill sergeant within eyeshot came over.

I did a lot of pushups.

5. Airing your dirty laundry…

I was in basic training for the AF and we had two separate laundry bags.

Very specific clothing went into the green cloth bag and the black mesh bag. Dirty black socks belonged in the mesh bag.

Well, our TI was trashing our bay because it was what they did and he started opening laundry bags. My buddy had his socks in the wrong bag.

So the TI made him wear them like sock puppets and march around the bays chanting “Dirty black socks belong in the mesh bag.”

6. Seal of approval

When I was in recruit training, a girl was up on the quarterdeck getting smoked for something.

She eventually got to the point where she couldn’t do any more push-ups, so she just flopped down on the ground. The drill instructor yelled at her to get back up, so she tried to push back up, but couldn’t get her hips up off the ground with the rest of her.

The drill instructor said, “If you want to look like a seal, I guess you better start barking like one.’

The girl got real quiet despite the drill instructor yelling louder and louder and eventually getting up in her face. Finally, she yells out, “This recruit doesn’t know what a seal sounds like!”

That’s how all forty of us in that platoon ended up on the ground, barking like seals, to show her how to do it.


Navy boot camp. My mom sent me a huge photo mailer full of memes. Like 3×5 glossy memes from the Wal Mart photo center. And there were like, 200.

When you get photos, your RDCs need to see and approve of them. My third RDC isn’t up on internet culture and he started going through the photos one at a time, taking his time.

He picked up part of the stack and after about a minute, yelled, “THESE ARE ALL MEMES.” He was angry, but he couldn’t do anything but keep going. The other recruits started to gather around and go through the approved stack. It was a bit embarrassing, but the barracks were a joyous place that evening.

Three memes were not approved.

8. Buttoned up

Back when I was in basic training, our DI informed us that the buttons on our tops were specifically shaped so that if it was needed, a medic could grab the bottom of the top, pull up, and all the buttons would undo.

Upon hearing this, one of the privates I was with looked down, grabbed the bottom of his top, and pulled.

All the buttons ripped off their threads and fell to the ground, and he was left without a shirt for the rest of the morning.

The DI basically keeled over laughing as we all watched.

9. I tree what you did there…

I rarely raised my voice.

That said, I would occasionally walk up to a private and say, “Private, you see the tree over there? Go make it happen!”

I’d watch with great glee at what would happen next. Some would do push-ups in front of it, some would stand at attention in front of it, but most would look around in ever increasing confusion and terror as I came storming over, yelling.

It was always hilarious.

10. Just breathe!

I had some very old school, very non-PC NCO’s in my platoon (as is, in many combat arms units).

We had a known knucklehead standing in the formation one day while everyone was at attention waiting for the morning calls. He was holding a potted plant to his side.

I went up to the soldier before the top came out and quietly asked him why in the green thumb he was holding that plant in my formation. The little guy yelled at the top of his lungs: “To replace the oxygen I am wasting, Platoon Sergeant!”

It took every ounce of military bearing in my person to not lose it laughing. l had to later, very amusedly, tell my sergeants to keep their shenanigans to a minimum during formations.

11. Maybe he won’t notice…

During the final inspection, I had to go down the ranks with one of the drill sergeants and inspect the soldiers one by one while they stood at attention in their class A uniforms. I had to inspect their appearance, ask some questions about their weapons or the general orders, stuff like that.

While moving down the line, I turned to face one soldier. There he was, standing at attention proud as can be. But his uniform had no brass buttons. My best guess is someone stole his buttons the night before. But there he was standing there with his perfect military bearing. I imagine he was hoping I wouldn’t notice or something.

I was doing everything I could do to keep my military bearing because I wanted to bust out laughing so badly. I was afraid if I opened my mouth to ask a question I would start laughing so I just looked at him all mean like (which is laughable itself), sighed, and shook my head slowly in disappointment and moved onto the next soldier.

12. Oh FORK it!

My buddy dropped a fork in the chow line.

The DS made him yell, “I’M SORRY FORK” for like ten minutes.

13. The wonderful, weirdo named Wu

We had this kid named Wu.

Now Wu was the kind of guy that should have never joined the Marines. But here he was.

Even simple things like not running into the Company Commander was too difficult for him.

So the Drill Instructors labeled him a hazard, and as a hazard, he had to make sure people were aware. Thus, every time he walked or ran he would need to verbally make sure people knew by going, “BEEP BEEP BEEEEP!”

We got torched so many times for cracking up at that. Just imagine: it’s the middle of the night and you’re trying to sleep, then all of a sudden you hear some shuffling and then “BEEP BEEEEP BEEEEP!” As Wu walked to the toilet to pee.

14. Smoke show

I remember a kid getting smoked for a solid 30 minutes.

They made him do mostly push-ups. When he finally broke, of the DI’s asked him why he was crying and he started shouting, “I’m not crying, my eyes are sweating!”

I saw the campaign cover come down in chuckles for a moment before the DI said, “Get up, you’re done.”

15. Bad at bikes

My dad was a company commander, the navy’s drill sergeants.

He told a recruit to jump on a bicycle and deliver something. The guy jumped on the bike, took off for about 40 yards in a wide-open paved area where the recruits marched and then he fell over.

My dad went out and asked him what happened and he said he didn’t know how to ride a bike.

I almost joined the military. Almost.

Looks like I dodged a bullet!