Drill Sergeants Break Down The Funniest Thing A Recruit Has Ever Said
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Make no mistake about it: enlisting in any branch of the armed forces is going to be a challenge.

One of the toughest obstacles to overcome, some would say, is basic training, usually led by a drill sergeant/instructor, whose job it is is to whip a group of young recruits into a figurative, and sometimes literal, shape. While tough on the outside, usually a gruff exterior and a loud, imposing voice, their only goal is to make sure you're the best kind of soldier around.

Until you say something stupid.

Reddit user, u/Optimal-Wrangler2190, wanted to hear from those who screamed at others for a living when they asked:

Drill Sergeants of Reddit, what was the funniest thing a Recruit said?

Ask A Serious Question, Get A Silly Response

Turns out all recruits are not up to snuff yet. If your DI asks you a question you're only supposed to give them the answer they want.


Oh Boy...

I ordered the platoon to form up facing West. One troop asked, "Master corporal, our West or your West?" I just walked away angrily and let his peers sort him out. I came out of my office and they were facing East...


Why Would You Admit That!?

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 !!"


At Least He Was Honest?

Required to have creases in your uniform, and if you know anything about it you can sometimes f-ck it up and give a shirt two creases. Commonly referred to as 'railroad tracks'

On morning in formation for uniform inspection it was discovered someone had done this to their shirt. So in come the DIs. At one point one of them yelling asked "Recruit X are you a train conductor?"

And sure as sh-t, he was before he joined. So he answered sir yes sir. Everyone got awkward quiet for what felt like 5 min but I'm sure it was only 5 seconds. And then the group of them went on yelling at the next person in formation.


Speaking Through An Accent

Doing my basic RAF training and we had to do the declaration on leaving the live firing range. For those who don't know, you open your webbing pouches for inspection and shout "I have no live rounds, blanks, empty cases or pyrotechnics in my possession SGT!" This particular recruit on my flight had a thick Cornish farmers accent and wasn't the brightest. The DI goes down the line, gets to him and he bellows: "I have no live rounds..er..bullets or FIREWORKS in my possession SGT!"

The DI and about 40 recruits just collapsed...


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​Watch Out For All The Mountain Lions And Sasquatches, Too

Probably not the funniest but still, First week sleeping in the forest of Sweden. One comes up and ask if they are really supposed to sleep there because of the tics in the grass. I told him yes and to say goodnight to the wild boars for me (there are a f-ckton of boars on the exercise area) and the look in he's eyes was shock and scared.


Things Your Fellow Recruits Actually Said

Then there's times when you hear a fellow recruit say something so silly, so outlandishly wrong, that you can't help but wait for the DI to break.

Suffering For Fellow Recruit's Mistake

Not a DI, Just a recruit in the Canadian armed forces at the time. In Basic, we were cleaning rifles when Suddenly, Master Corporal decided to start a full on Gaz attack drill. We put our rifles together as fast as we could and put up our hazard suits. We ran for cover and then he had us all for up. He yelled at us for not being fast enough and looking confused. He then approached a recruit and asked him "Spell your name!!!" He proceeded to do so but he misspelled it. He looked at him for a sec and asked him. "Did you [misspell] your own name?" "Yes Mcpl" "You should've stayed in school"

We all proceded to laugh at it, then we did push ups for laughing.


I'm On A Master Quest!

During grenade training, we were told to shout "Grenade!" before throwing it over the wall and ducking for cover. This legend of a recruit took his stand at the pit, gripped the safety lever, pulled out the pin, then shouted "Pikachu, I choose you!" as he threw his grenade.

He tragically lost his weekend rights after that incident, but his tale will live on forever.


There As A Punishment Between Parents

I heard a recruit say this;

DS: Did your mother send you here to piss me off? You write home and tell her you're doing a good job.

Recruit: Sir, no, sir. My father sent me here to piss my mother off

DS spun on his heel and marched off with his head down and his hand over mouth.

Edit: for those of you picking the flysh-t out of pepper, in 1976 at the USCG training center Alameda boot camp, you were not allowed to begin a sentence without using Sir nor end it without using Sir. The DIs at this facility are not called Drill Instructors. This is where the story occurred. If you were asked what word you must use when speaking to a superior, the proper response was "Sir sir Sir". Sir yes sir was used when asked a yes or no question. Sir aye aye sir was used when given an order. Getting the that response wrong would get you at least 20 pushups. Maggots.


You Do What You Can To Survive, Sir!

Recruit fired all his blank ammo during "ambush response" training. He crawled in ditch to opposite where the aggressors were, and started throwing rocks at them. DI came running in middle of the road blowing his whistle and screaming "what the f-ck are you doing?'. Recruit screamed back," throwing hand grenades drill sergeant.' With out missing a beat, the DI screamed "out f-cking standing." and walked away.


Get Your Head In The Game, Socks!

I went through OCS a couple years back. Our RDC was a stickler for making sure that our socks were pulled all the way up during PT and would routinely yell at candidates to pull their socks up by yelling "MOTIVATE YOUR SOCKS." A couple days into OCS and we're doing PT and the RDC spots a girl with her socks bunched at her ankles. He rushes over and gets in her face and requests that she motivate her socks. She, being new, has no idea what this means yet. He yells it again and she started to panic. She looks down at her socks and yells at the top of her lungs "YOU CAN DO IT SOCKS!"

RDC does an about face and despite his best attempt he absolutely loses it while trying to make a hasty exit.


It's Not As Complicated As You Think

Remember, drill sergeants and all accompanying commanding officers are doing what they can to help you.

Remember that as you read this last one.

Stick With It...And Remember Your Insides From Your Outsides

In basic training environments, recruits are given a standard set of responses that they're supposed to stick to. They vary from service to service, but generally, the standard responses are some version of:

  • Yes
  • No
  • I'll do that right away
  • I'll find out

Part of the head game that's played during basic training is getting into the habit of only answering questions using your standard responses. With that last one, the point is to try and remove "I don't know" from a recruit's vocabulary and replace it with "I'll find out." It's a mental thing.

Unrelated to that entirely, people in the military wear hats. Your hat gets tucked into your pocket or stuffed into your pants/boot when you're inside, and as soon as you're outside- boom. Hat goes on. You always have your hat with you, just in case you go outside, because one of the first things you learn in the military is that people in the military wear their hats when they go outside. This concept is central to military identity, as silly as it may seem.

So- there was a situation where a recruit was holding a door open for his companymates to pass through. He was standing outside, holding the door open, but he wasn't wearing his hat. We were on a pretty tight schedule, he was a good kid, and I wasn't trying to make a scene- I walked over to him and in a hushed voice asked, "Recruit, are you inside or outside?". My intent was to prompt him to put his hat on- that was it. I was just trying to help a brother out.

He turned to face me and, at the top of his lungs shouted, "THIS RECRUIT WILL FIND OUT, SIR!"

I couldn't help myself.

"Oh? You're going to find out? You're going to find out? You're going to find out if you're inside or outside? You know what, take five seconds. Find out. Go ahead, look around. Gather as many facts as you can. Go go go go go go go go go go go. Zero five. Zero four. Zero three. Zero two. Zero one. You're done.

Recruit- have you reached a determination as to the description of your surroundings?"


"Well?! Speak freely!"


I then pulled his hat out of his pocket and placed it on top of his head. His eyes lit up with a "ohhhhhh" look. He got it.

I was trying to help him out, not yell at him.

After he graduated, I linked up with him to tell him that situation was probably my absolute favorite thing that's ever happened in any of the classes that had come through.


Not everyone is cut out for military service.

Turns out not everyone is cut out to be a DI, either, with answers like this.

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