Why Am I Here? A Drill Instructor's Story

February 17, 2011 — Every Marine remembers that ominous feeling of uncertainty as they made their entrance into the squad bays. The thoughts of "why am I here," or "what have I gotten myself into" grow more distinct in the back of our minds. Perhaps their names might escape you from time to time but their presence never leaves. They are the Marine Corps drill instructors. They come into our lives for 3 months and forever change our thought process, if only for a little while. Perhaps your thoughts might have differed, but we wondered what goes through the mind of the Marine Drill Instructor, and this was his response.

 
By Gunnery Sgt Terence A. D'Alesandro
 
It's 0327 — Why am I here?
Why am I not in bed like everyone else, dead to the world?
Why do I do this?
 
I live with the constant pain, headaches and suffering… the sacrifice… why?
 
BECAUSE I CAN… I CAN and I WILL…
 
Because pain tells me I'm awake… It reminds me that I'm alive.
 
Who am I?
 
I'm the wrecker of bodies, the crusher of mediocrity.
I am the face of destiny.
I am a Marine Corps Drill Instructor.
 
I raised my right hand and gave our Pledge:
 
THESE RECRUITS ARE ENTRUSTED TO MY CARE.
I WILL TRAIN THEM TO THE BEST OF MY ABILITY.
I WILL DEVELOP THEM INTO SMARTLY DISCIPLINED,
PHYSICALLY FIT, BASICALLY TRAINED MARINES…
FULLY INDOCTRINATED IN LOVE OF CORPS AND COUNTRY.
I WILL DEMAND OF THEM AND DEMONSTRATE BY MY OWN EXAMPLE,
THE HIGHEST STANDARD OF PERSONAL CONDUCT,
MORALITY AND PROFESSIONAL SKILL.
 
It starts here but this is just one journey amongst many. It just started…
 
We begin today…
13 weeks in this dark hole…
91 days of pain…
2184 hours of hunger and desire.
 
I'm already counting the minutes and the seconds.
 
When it's over, I'll send these hogs into the light as Marines…
Into the Fleet Marine Force…
They WILL shine.
 
It's NEVER ABOUT ME… NEVER.
It's about making Marines, plain and simple.
 
I will not do it alone.
I'll do it with my brothers in belts and covers
Who lay it on the line every day just like me.
We will bring the heat – together – for a common purpose…
Making Marines.
 
If I stay anonymous to you, I DON'T GIVE A DAMN…that's fine.
But I won't be anonymous to them…
To THEM — the Marines we made.
That's ALL THAT MATTERS…
DRIVING THE EAGLE, GLOBE AND ANCHOR
INTO THEIR HEARTS AND SOULS
So that they can carry the Corps into the future.
 
Until then we'll live in the shadows, the darkness…
In a place few will ever see,
Where ugliness becomes beautiful.
This place, this darkness…
THERE IS NO BETTER PLACE TO BE.
This is where the real work gets done.
 
If you're with me, get that belt, get that cover and punch the clock;
It's gonna be a long, wild, havoc filled ride.
Be prepared to get your hands dirty…
 
Listen… Hear that silence?
In a few minutes, we're gonna destroy it.
Let's get this show on the damn road…
Let's throw some recruits into the fire…
If you're not with us, get the hell out of the way…
 
LIGHTS, LIGHTS, LIGHTS!!!
 
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