PLC Screening Course

Platoon Leaders Class screening in the USMC at Quantico, VA in 1953 was the first Boot Camp to mix college graduates with enlisted Marines.

1 October I was assigned to Able Company at Marine Corps Schools. There were 40 "candidates" in the fourth Platoon including a dozen enlisted, mostly Sergeants with one gunny. A few were WWII veterans, but mostly Korean War Marines. We college volunteers were quickly "taken under their arms" and the process started. The DDL (drill) one sergeant decided to really put it to us since this would be their last chance before the successful would be commissioned. We ran the obstacle course backwards, locked inside wall lockers singing the USMC hymn, moved from top bunk to bottom bunks on the command, "air raid then flood". I had to fall out for morning chow in my pajamas when the DDL didn't like their looks, "smoking lamp was out" when smoking was over and anyone too late had to chew his cigarette butt, and more.

Upon being commissioned, our DDL ordered us to line up and he would render our first salute after which we gave him a dollar. That was a tradition welcomed by all of us who learned to really like him.

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