My first and only war tour took place in Afghanistan in 2010. I was a US Marine lieutenant…
Our time at the Palms was preceded by three weeks of marine combat training at Camp Geiger, North Carolina, and, before that, 12 weeks of Marine basic training at Parris Island, South Carolina. The progression from Parris Island to Geiger to the Palms signalled, on the face of it, a slow return from barbaric intrigue to the tedium of civilisation. Boot camp was everything you might have gathered from films you’ve seen. There were the recruits on the deck, scrubbing away with their scuzz brushes, like confused termites labouring about impenetrable wood.
There were the recruits being called up to the quarterdeck, push-upping or crunching to untold woofs from the mad hats. There were the orders for recruits to hit recruits. There was the rifle drill position that was called the “fag wrist” and the bayonet training that sounded off with “Kill kill kill haji!” (The last bayonet charge occurred during the Korean war.) There was the platoon sergeant who would abruptly emerge in the squad bay frothing, unhinged, and maybe drunk, flipping over everything within spitting distance, propelling recruits to vault off their racks before the whirlwind struck, all while he ranted about every person who had ever wronged him.
read more at UK Guardian