In July 1962 I was in Company A, Second Battalion, First Training Regiment, located on Tank Hill, Fort Jackson, S.C., for basic training. Most of us were 18 years old, just out of high school. The drill sergeants were combat veterans. The first day when they told us they were not going to be our mothers, fathers, wives or girlfriends, I knew then I was in the Army. Their famous saying was “I will not kiss you goodnight!” Well, homesickness set in. But after a few weeks it was gone. Everyday physical training and marching kept our minds off home. We connected with our buddies, and we trained and depended on each other. The first five weeks the sergeants were tough, but we got used to the routine of Basic: physical training, marching, rifle range, gas chamber, hand-to-hand combat, throwing grenades, rocket training, using the M-1 rifle, Kitchen patrol and guard duty. The training was to teach us to survive in wartime. War games were good, and bivouac was an experience; we slept with our M-1s in pup tents.
The most humorous part of all that happened to us in Basic was in the early hours of Sunday morning before reveille, our drill sergeant got us up, and we stood at attention at our bunks as he told us that Marilyn Monroe had died. He then just walked back to his room and slammed the door.
2 pics taken at Fort Jackson S.C. of basic training during 1962