Saluting with misty eyes
Susan- We had a very similar thing called the Motivational Platoon, although I heard they cancelled it very shortly after I graduated. Thwe Motevation Platoon was where the DI's sent those young recruits whom they felf lacked the proper... um... motivation to successfully complete Boot Camp and become honored, and productive Marines.
From what I have heard(thankfully never having been there) they would IPT (Individual Physical Training) the recruits mercilessly. There is an old adage in the Marine Corps that no one ever drowned in sweat. WEll, these uber-sadistic... well, I don't think I can properly call them people... anyhow, they would attempt to disprove that beloved saying. The day would start with a field day of the barracks (Think "spring cleaning" x 20) and then head off to eat their morning chow. Then, they would get back to the barracks and field strip their weapons and make them spotless. After about an hour of that, the "fun" would begin.
Fun cinsisted of push-ups, sit-ups, mountain climbers (pushup position, move your feet like you're running), side straddle hops (jumping jacks), running in place (running a marathon), leg lifts (lie on your back, lift your legs about 6" off the deck, spread them shoulder length apart, put them back together and down), 6-90 (leg lifts where you hold your legs 6" off the ground, lift them to 90 degrees, and then back to 6"), and various other activities done in as rapid a pace as the DI's (that's right... more than one telling you more than one thing, and then getting "irritated" that you didn't obey them.) could yell them. Of course, my favorite that my DI's pulledon us (and that I heard they did in the MP) was "dead/alive". The DI would, in the middle of an exercise, yell "Grenade!!" to which anyone exercising would immediately throw themselves on said grenade as to save their DI's life. (His life, after all, was worth more than ours). Then he would yell, "BOOM!!" and we would all flop over onto our backs as the grenade had gone off and killed us, thereby preventing us from infecting the human gene pool. The DI would then yell grenade and boom for a while, making it look to all the world like a school of fish out of water.
To add to the confusion, they would ad close order drill (marching), and various other activities outside to assist the recruits in motivating themselves to finish Boot Camp with the proper mindset.
As far as the physical exercises went, the next step up from the quarterdeck (the barracks floor) was the sand pit with all the little sand fleas (sand fleas are semi-microscopic gnats that eat everyone alive.). One little trick the DI's added there was "MAKE IT RAIN!!!!! In this maneuver, the recruits would grab handfulls of sand while lying on their backs and throw it into the air... and the good Lord help the recruit who didn't throw enough sand high enough. And then, of course, the recruits would be berated because their uniforms were filthy.
And then, as if the physical exercise wasn't enough, there was the mud pit. Marines love their mud. (as an aside, if you want to see the true meaning of happiness, look at a group of Marines after a mud fight) The mud pit, I was told, looked eerily like the punishment that Louis Gosset Jr. gave to Richard Gere in Officer and a Gentleman... except ad a HUGE mud pit to the hoses. And then there was the mud trench, which was about 30 feet long, chest high in mud, and the recruits were forced to navigate while being pelted with water and mud.
The story around Parris Island went that most people didn't need more than one or two days in the MP and never went back twice.
My ex-wife says I never listened to her. At least I think that's what