During your stay at the luxurious Marine Corps resort and spa, you’ll have numerous days and moments that will stick with you and many that you would consider somewhat terrifying. There are few days as nerve-wracking as those first moments of arrival at an infantry unit.
Fresh off the parade deck, little boots from SOI are shuttled over to their new place of duty on the same day of graduation, still paying off their negative leave balance from the 10 days of boot leave a couple of months prior. For some, it can be a short drive across the base from 52 Area of Camp Pendleton to one of the infantry strongholds. Others may spend a couple of hours driving over to Twentynine Palms.
For myself and the other 15 boots in my section, we were taken over to San Diego International Airport, where we hopped on the next evening flight to Honolulu, arriving at my new infantry battalion home sometime around 9 or 10. At this point, the barracks was awash with the lingering smell of alcohol abuse and depression, with shirtless Lance Corporals catcalling from the catwalk as we arrived at Mackie Hall.
I suppose I lucked out personally, because the two Machinegunners I got roomed with were too drunk and tired to care that I arrived. They pointed to a rack and said “that one’s yours,” and went back to sleep in their silkies.
The boot friends that I arrived with?
Well they weren’t as lucky. They were fucked with until the wee hours of the morning.