18 Drill Sergeants Share The Funniest Recruit Comments They’ve Heard

I know there’s probably not a whole lot that’s amusing about joining the military. I’ve never done it, but in my mind, those first several weeks are probably some of the hardest of your life.

That said, if you’re the sergeant in charge of all these young, green boys you’re tasked with turning into men, I bet they say and do things that are pretty funny, right?

Let’s hear the responses from these 18 drill sergeants and see if I’m right!

18. Just the truth.

Standing in formation at Fort Knox about to head to the range and everyone needs their gloves. One private comes out without them and the DS screams “private where the f**k are your gloves?”

In this thick Tennessee accent he goes “well d**n drill sarnt, I must of done left them sum b*%ches up sturs.”

The DS (from new jersey) just dies laughing.

17.  It’s sort of wholesome.

I’m a military nurse and as part of our orientation we had to give vaccines to the new recruits at MCRD. One of the recruits was probably four foot nothing.

They have yellow handprints on the wall for the bicillin shot and he couldn’t even reach them.

One of the DIs just kept yelling at him: “defy all odds recruit! Defy all odds!”

16. Yikes.

Not a drill sergeant. Back in 2000 at Parris Island we were doing warriors breakfast after the crucible. The series commander are asking questions like “where are you from,” and, “why did you join,” and so forth.

They get to this Cambodian kid and they ask him why he joined up. His response was, “because it was raining.” The series commander is like, “explain.”

It turns out the kid was like fresh off the boat in New York City, didn’t speak any English, and it started raining so he ducked into a recruiter’s office. They signed his a$$ up and he just went along with it.

He learned English in boot camp.

15. Exercise ensued.

Context: in army basic training, anything said to a drill sergeant needs to end with their title. Yes, drill sergeant. No, drill sergeant.

So early into basic our drill sergeant was handing out rifles. He asks my battle buddy for his serial number. Battle buddy rattles it off.

So the drill sergeant, not having heard his title given, asks him “who the fuck do you think you’re speaking to? A drill sergeant? An asshole? A dickhead?”

My buddy, realizing he forgot the title and now fully flustered goes to say “apologies, drill sergeant,” but instead says “apologies, dickhead.”

Both their eyes got wide at the same time in totally different ways. The private realized he may not survive what comes next. The drill sergeant is giddy with excitement that a private just called him a dickhead to his face.

Exercise ensued.

14. A sad day.

Not a DS, but a Navy recruit. I was on colors duty and it’s kind of windy in Chicago.

One time, we did not tie the fastening ropes well enough so the flag ended up half mast. Our RDC retrieves me and the other recruit from class an hour later and proceeds to yell at us and asks, “who the f**k died?”

The other recruit, without missing a beat, says, “Chris Farley.” (which was technically true cause he died a few days before).

The RDC had to leave to compose himself, before proceeding to have us stand at attention for a few hours while all the other ship RDCs came by and made fun/yelled at us, making Farley and SNL jokes.

13. This way to infamy.

My DI ordered me to tell another DI to go f**k himself. After a moment of confusion, I did.

DI #2 was super pissed and threatened me with all kinds of stuff, but I was never really worried, since I figured DI #1 was just messing with us both and wouldn’t let it go too far. I was right.

The other trainees nearby who overheard the exchange were convinced I was done. Made me a minor celebrity afterwards.

12. Not up for the challenge.

Here we are all lined up on our last day of basic training and the Lt. Col. is going around with two other officers asking us one by one if we wanted to join the Corporal’s Cadre. Everyone before he reached me had said yes. A few had initially said no, but for whatever reason changed their minds. Then it’s my turn:

Lt Col: What’s your name, Private?

Me: Sir, Private Bermsi, Sir!

Lt Col: Are you joining the Cadre? Are you up for the challenge?

Me: Sir, No, Sir!

Lt Col: Why is that, Private?

Me: I’m not up for the challenge, Sir!

The other two officers suddenly had huge smirks on their faces and the Lt. Col. just went silent. He stood there dumbstruck with nothing else to say, and proceeded to move on to the next person. Other officers approached me afterwards laughing since they didn’t expect anyone to say no and stick to that answer.

11. They couldn’t hold it in.

Rifle range week in the pits. Two DIs walk towards each other. An echo of “Good morning, sir!” as they walk past each recruit. Until they converge on one.

“Good morning, sir!”

“Sir? I know there’s two of us.”

“Aye, sir!”

“Oh, so f**k me, right?”

“No, sir.”

“Then f**k him?”

“No, sir.”

“Well, it has to be one of us. So which is it [recruit], f**k me or f**k him?




“F**k him, sir.”

Both DIs, making no attempt to conceal it, start bursting into laughter. The one who made him say it stumbles away in tears.

The f**k him DI collects himself and provides some incentive training to the kid.

10. Things that are funny later.

I remember when I was in boot camp we were in the squad bay cleaning our rifles. One recruit was in crutches and so he was just sitting down basically watching us clean ours. Drill Instructor walks over and asks wtf he is doing.

Recruit: “This recruit doesn’t have a rifle”

DI: “No shit. Start cleaning your crutch recruit”

Recruit: “The crutch sir?”

DI: “Yes now clean it and say the crutch creed”

Recruit: *Starts to brush his crutch

“This is my crutch. There are many like it, but this one is mine.

Without me, my crutch is useless. Without my crutch, I am useless-”

DI: “Wtf. Shut the h**l up recruit”

Drill Instructor had to walk away and put his hat in front of his face so we couldn’t see him laugh. We all had a good laugh about it that night during square away time.

There are plenty more stories that made us laugh once boot camp was over.

9. A trick question.

Not an instructor, but was a recruit.

Me and another recruit were in the hall putting away the marching flags when my Petty Officer 2nd class strode up to us. He was the hard a$$ of the bunch, but he had his moments. He looked at us and then at the door guard and whispered to us “Watch this.”

He approached the door guard and screamed in his face: “WHO IS YOUR LEAST FAVORITE RDC?” (Recruit Division Commander)

The door guard panicked and muttered he liked them all. He screamed “BULLS*%T!” before walking off with a grin.

A couple hours later, he did the same thing to our sister division, but apparently that door guard prepared herself.


DG without missing a beat: “I DON’T KNOW WHO SHE IS, BUT THE PETTY OFFICER IN (different division) IS PRETTY RUDE!”

PO just as fast: “I DON’T LIKE HER EITHER!”

Then they both turned away while everyone tried not to laugh.

8. He could laugh at himself.

In Navy bootcamp we have a thing before Battlestations called Amnesty Night. This is where we confess all the dumb s*%t we managed to get away with to our RDCs and not get in trouble.

Our chief had a lisp, which we all talked shit about throughout boot camp, but never in front of him. We had a pretty short guy named Patterson that could do a perfect impression of our chief.

Patterson proceeded to stand up in the middle of Foreward IG and said “Why the f**k do I have to keep touching your dirty asth sthkivysth? You mother f**kerths make me sthick”.

The entire division was dying, the RDCs were in tears about to fall out of their chairs. When everything quietened down, our chief looked at us and said “I f**king hate you guyths, but that wath f**king funny”.

The entire division proceeded to die again

7. Always ask first.

“Sir! This recruit respectfully requests to go throw up!” We were in the middle of a “intensive training” session. I allowed it, he ran to the bathroom, loudly emptied his stomach, ran back to me and said “Sir! This recruit respectfully requests to resume intensive training!”

And he went right back into push-ups. He did well.

6. It was him all along.

Not necessarily what a recruit said but had to do…

Imagine this…0500 in physical training formation. Everyone is dressed in the proper uniform (gray shirt, blue shorts, white sock and a shiny new pair of New Balance Dad shoes) except for Recruit Dumba$$.

Recruit Dumba$$. realized he didn’t have clean white socks while getting ready and thought it would be ok to join the formation in knee high (green) socks. The following conversation transpired:

Drill Sergeant (DS): Trainee Dumba$$., what the h**l do you have on?

TD: Ma’am, I didn’t have clean white socks so I used my uniform socks instead.

DS: Trainee Dumba$$., do you know what covert ops is?

TD: Yes, Ma’am.

DS: Trainee Dumba$$., I want you to covert ops your a$$ over to the barracks and acquire a pair of white socks from your laundry bag.

TD: *stares blankly*


TF: *Does what he’s told and low crawls nearly a mile to the barracks. Nearly dies from exhaustion and humiliation.*


Trainee Dumba$$.

5. He lost it laughing.

One guy got selected to go to the Natick Human Research Center after basic, which is basically a place where they use soldiers in experiments to test new gear.

So he gets his pamphlet or whatever from the DS and as he’s walking away he says “Well, I didn’t want a robo-d*%k in my a$$ but I guess I’m getting one” and the DS just lost it laughing.

Had to close the door to his office.

4. Hat troubles.

Doing a ruck march in basic training, wearing the patrol cap since we are at Heat Cat 5…aka it’s really hot outside. There’s a kid walking with his hat sort of coming off his head, with the brim pointed upward.

Recruit is told that the hat must be worn where the cap band is parallel to the marching service.

Recruit calmly states that we’re currently walking uphill.

3. Mom didn’t listen.

Got a letter from mom who desperately wanted to send her #1 Son something.

I mailed back “Don’t. Last guy who got something got bent while the Instructors shared it and the rest of us watched.”

I’ll give her this, she’s clever.

She sent me ONE HUNDRED AND SEVEN Snickers bars. One for each of the 103 recruits, and 4 for the drill instructors.


We picked up a 5th DI that week.

They made me open this big heavy ass package I got in front of them. That was the first time I’d heard them laugh.

I got bent up front while 102 recruits and 5 DI’s watched and slowly enjoyed their Snickers bars.

I still hate Snickers.

2. Not paying attention.

Asked a private the difference between cover and concealment.

Private said : “Drill Sergeant! You asked what seems like a very important question which I am supposed to know the answer. However this private was imagining not being called on, and was not paying attention to the question! Drill Sergeant !!”

1. Not what he imagined.

Fort Sill, OK 2002 (during my basic) DS is smoking us on the first day, playing “Who doesn’t want to be here? – If you don’t want to be here, I don’t want you here. Just tell me and you can go home…” We’ve been in front-lean-and-rest for between 15 min – 2 years (give or take), when somebody raises their hand. DS was flustered for a second because I don’t think anyone had ever actually been dumb enough to raise their hand.

He goes and gets gown in Private’s face and in screaming at him. Finally he says “Why don’t you want to be here?” I’ll never forget the response: “Drill Sergeant, this is not what my recruiter led me to believe this would be like. ” Only time I saw the DS speechless. I ended up doing basic, OCS, and officer basic course with that guy.

There was another PhilKenSebin in the platoon and the DS asks my one day if I would mind if he called my “White PhilKenSebin” so he could tell us apart (I’m white, DS and other guy weren’t). I think he wanted to see how I would react. That weekend we got our phonecall and I asked my parents to address my next letter to “White PhilKenSebin”.

Next mail call, DS (who was really cool as DS’s go) is just rattling off names and gets to my letter. You could almost hear his brain record-scratch. Worth the push-ups.

Y’all. I am absolutely dead and these did not disappoint.

If you’ve got a funny story that fits on this list, share it with us in the comments!