What Happens if You Punch a Marine Drill Sergeant?
You’re watching an army movie and this drill instructor is yelling into a recruit’s face. You think, “If that was me I’d punch that guy in the face. I mean, what could go wrong?” Well, he won’t punch you back. He’s not supposed to. But a lot could still go wrong. Altercations between drill sergeants and recruits are not common, but they do happen. Well, I did some research about these and I found out some interesting stuff.
“I will assist each individual in their efforts to become a highly motivated, well disciplined, physically and mentally fit soldier, capable of defeating any enemy on today's modern battlefield.” This is the first line of the Drill Sergeant’s Creed. Surprising right? In movies, drill sergeants are portrayed as mean people who yell at their recruits all the time and make them do endless physical training. Imagining them helping recruits to become highly motivated soldiers is almost laughable, yet this is actually what they do.
A drill sergeant is supposed to coach and mentor thousands of recruits from all sorts of backgrounds and turn them into combat-ready soldiers. It’s not an easy job and they have to be tough. They have to maintain high levels of discipline to get this done and they have to go against the usual human love for comfort. You don’t join the army to get comfortable because war is not comfortable, so recruits who forget this sometimes have to be strongly reminded. The drill sergeants will even go to physical training with their recruits to prove that it can be done so they can stop complaining.
Why Are They So Mean?
In the pre-Vietnam War era, drill sergeants were rougher on recruits. They were big on punishment as a way of enforcing discipline, and sometimes used verbal abuse to tell recruits exactly what they thought of them. This made sense at that time because sometimes drafted soldiers were unwilling to do what they were told, and the need for good soldiers was urgent. Over the years, however, drill sergeants mellowed little by little.
After 9/11, with volunteers dropping out of the army because they felt boot camp was too tough, drill sergeants dropped the verbal abuse and did more of mentorship. That isn’t to say they went soft. They still shout at the recruits, get in their faces, treat them like dirt and give them tough physical exercises to harden them into battle-ready soldiers. They will give recruits a hard time, but they’ll also give advice on how to get along with others in the barracks, or how to manage money well, or what to do if you get homesick. Remember, though, they have to get all their recruits trained in combat, which means stuff like using rifles, grenades, keeping fit, being neat, teamwork, and other necessary skills for going into battle. If they get a little tough on their recruits, it’s because they have their work cut out for them.
So, What Happens When A Recruit Punches A Drill Sergeant?
I watched a video [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R7zktv8m7z8] on YouTube about a guy who lost his head when a drill sergeant gave him physical exercises as punishment. The recruit wasn’t counting his jumping jacks so the drill instructor kept making him repeat the jumps. He lost it and went up to the instructor as though he was going to hit him. Luckily for him, one of his mates came up and pushed him away before he could hit the instructor. He was lucky. The last thing you want to do is to hit your instructor.
Like I said, he won’t hit you back. He could, though, if he wanted to. Drill sergeants go through rigorous basic training for weeks because they will have to train their recruits in turn and they have to give a good example. A drill sergeant demands a lot from his recruits because he can do it himself, not because he’s being a douchebag. So he’s strong enough to hit you back, and do more besides, but he won’t because it’s against regulations. A drill sergeant can’t even correct a recruit’s uniform before informing [https://www.armystudyguide.com/content/Prep_For_Basic_Training/basic_training_prep_articles/are-drill-sergeants-allow.shtml] them that they are going to do so. Still, if you do punch your drill sergeant in the face, the consequences of that are worse than if he just punched you back.
Initiating a fight with your instructor will get you jailed and court-martialed. The court-martial will not acquit you because there will be credible witnesses who will testify that you initiated a fight without provocation. Being yelled at is not provocation, my friend. After that, you will be kicked out of the army with a dishonorable discharge.
What If A Drill Sergeant Hits Back?
First off, ouch. It will definitely be worse than your little punch. Then, since drill sergeants should never lose their military bearing, the incident will be investigated by the relevant authorities. Recently, a video was uploaded on Twitter showing an altercation between a drill sergeant and a recruit in Fort Benning, the army’s infantry school in Georgia. In the video, a recruit makes a disparaging remarks, to which a drill sergeant responds verbally and physically by shoving him. They begin to shove each other till another recruit separates the two of them. The recruit was out of line, but drill instructors shouldn’t respond to verbal provocations from recruits, and the instructor was suspended pending investigations.
Still, such incidents are few and far between. Given the numbers of troops being trained, reports of physical abuse by drill sergeants during training are low. This is because drill sergeants take their role as mentors as well as trainers very seriously and they know better than to lose their cool because some recruit throws a punch in their face.
So if you’re wondering why recruits never talk back at their instructors or hit them when they’re shouting in their faces, this is why. It’s just not worth the trouble. I hope this post was helpful in finding an answer to your question and you enjoyed reading it!