By Ron Mackay
Fleet Air Arm
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Additional info for British Carrier Aviation 1939-1945
A Marine is characterized as one who possesses the highest military virtues. He/she obeys orders, respects "At no time will you be physically or verbally abused by any Marine or recruit. If anyone should abuse or mistreat you, I expect you to report such incidents immediately to me or one of my drill instructors. Further, if you believe that I have mistreated you, I expect you to report it to the series commander. My drill instructors and I will be with you every day, everywhere you go. Throughout the 12 weeks of boot camp, recruits march and drill, march and drill, and then march and drill some more.
BUT? " "SIR, NO SIR! " "THEN WHY ARE YOU WASTING MY TIME?! Sweat dries! Blood clots! Bones heal! Suck it up! Be a Marine! MOVE IT!! GO! GO! " he screams, pointing at the obstacle course. " Welcome to boot camp. 31 Safely nestled just inside the mouth of Port Royal Sound in the muggy, southern coastal region of South Carolina, Parris Island is distinctly at odds with the nearby luxury resort of Hilton Head Island. While Hilton Head is inundated with golf courses, tennis courts, riding stables, bicycle trails, and marinas, Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island is swarming with "hats" (the nickname given to drill instructors) and is besieged with mosquitoes, alligators, sand fleas, and—at or near the same level of the food chain—"boots," "grapes," and "onion heads"—the lowly recruits who have yet to earn the proud title of Marine.
After a quick physical examination and some necessary paperwork, each male recruit gets a 30-second "cranial amputation," the infamous shaved scalp that erases his outward individuality. Until Training Day 48 (TD-48), all men will continue to get buzz cuts. After that time, they are permitted to sport a "high and tight" haircut—short on the sides with a wee bit of hair on top. Women are spared the "onion head," "bubblehead," and "grape" look, but they must keep their hair shorter 39 t h a n c o l l a r l e n g t h .
British Carrier Aviation 1939-1945 by Ron Mackay