We all work with them. You would think in the national services we'd not have to deal with them. I'm talking about the people who fall through the cracks that we're trapped working with. The ones who are definitely not up to snuff. The humans who maybe nice but are definitely out of their depth; so we have to pick up the slack. How do they make it this far? One of life's eternal questions. But you know how to pick them out almost instantly.

Redditor u/Mr_Foreman wanted to hear from the soldiers who have shared training with some people they knew wouldn't workout by asking....

Military People of reddit, who was the "how the heck did he pass basic training" guy?

Cold History. 

Getting immunization needles, I over heard the nurse asking about medical family history.

"My family has a history of hypothermia..."

During field training with blank rounds, had two negligent discharges (ended up being charged for both), threw their rifle down and starting casing black magic on the rifle. reammachine



One of the kindest, sweetest, least aggressive people I know was in the Marines with me. Just a teddy bear. It's not so much that I don't know how he managed, although it was puzzling, and more that I have no idea why he wanted to. moms_new_boyfriend

The Redneck. 

Had a kid at my first squadron (Air Force) who was quite possibly one of the dumbest, least self-aware people I've ever met.

This kid either couldn't or wouldn't retain basic information, which was problematic given that he was in the Intelligence career field. At one point he was presenting a briefing about North Korea, and claimed with a straight face that the capitol city of North Korea was Bogota (for those keeping score, Bogota is the capitol of Colombia).

He tried very hard to project a redneck persona, and as part of this bought a massive bright red lifted truck with obnoxious "REDNECK" decal work. Anyone with half a brain could tell you he was struggling to pay for it on his measly E-3 barracks rat pay. Eventually he decided he didn't want to pay for the truck anymore, so he drove it into a lake one night and filed an insurance claim, then used the money to immediately buy a different vehicle.

This was quickly uncovered by the police, and he was kicked out of the Air Force.

To this day I have no earthly idea who thought this kid belonged in military intelligence, or how he got through intel school. Cheesy_Bobs

 It was unnerving to watch.

Had a girl who would hit herself in the face when she got upset. Like, full, hard slaps. It was unnerving to watch.

She's also hide candy and food from the mess deck and eat it alone in the head (bathroom).

Our racks (beds) were next to each other, separated by a thin piece of metal with small holes punched in it for air circulation.

One night I was reading a book and she asked me how I liked it. I asked her how she knew what I was reading and she said she was watching me through the holes in the partition.

This girl made it through the recruiter, MEPS (where they do a psych eval) AND boot camp! Clearly someone dropped the ball. beautnight

"Isn't that in Nebraska?"

There was this super nasty dude in our platoon that smelled terrible, and the squad leader figured out it's because he "washed" his clothes by putting them in the freezer overnight. He also got busted malingering by purposely not hydrating in the desert heat, passing out, and having to get IVs from the medics. He did it to get out of work. Eventually they did a home health and wellness check (off base) and found 12 dogs living in his two bedroom apartment and the floor thick as carpet with dog poop. Y'all he was was a 35 series. INTELLIGENCE.

Some scout from a cav company that I was attached to as intel support somehow always showed up when I was washing my feet (my feet got so gross in the desert and baby wipes didn't cut it). One day he got the courage to approach me from around a sand dune and asked where I'm from. I said, "Iowa." He said, "Isn't that in Nebraska?"

Also a woman I was in basic training with who had to have been on the spectrum. We had to teach her and coach her on how to shower, otherwise she just stood under the water for 30 seconds. She fell asleep while LIVE FIRING on the qualification range. A lot of us complained to our PG because we would wake up with her staring at us from the end of our bunks, crouched down like an animal. That's all I remember now. But she graduated. I wonder what happened to her? Hope she's okay. unroulyone

Hey Tom!


We had a guy called "Tom Sawyer" his list of offenses were shaving in the chow hall, pulling his molars out with pliers, cutting his toe nails and saving them above his wall locker. Spicyfrijoles

Total Loss. 

Army guy here. I went to basic with this one guy. OML. Let's start from the top: almost shot a Drill Sergeant, Got a staph infection and refused to get medicine, slept in is wall locker during toe the line (toe the line is when you stand right by your bunks quiet at the position of attention and wait for your Drill Sergeant). Would listen to the DS Explain what you would have to do and the DS would ask if there was any questions and not ask at that time but then 5 mins later ask him a dummy question. klubby2

Private 48...


First night of actual basic, after shark attack and all that b.s. we're all showering and getting ready for bed, I noticed a guy in the bunk across from me had already changed in to his PT's. I asked him if he was gonna shower and he said, "No, I put on 48-hour deodorant." The entire bay erupted into laughter and for the rest of basic, my guys name was private 48. troyg97

Past Basic. 

After Basic Training I was at tech school in a squadron that trains Air Traffic Controllers, Airfield Managers, Command Post, and Aerospace Control and Warning Systems. Had 3 people I wonder get past Basic.

  1. The person who tossed a whole unopened box of hot pockets into a microwave, set it for 5 mins, and left their door room.
  2. The person who got 2nd degree burns when they tried to iron their uniform while wearing it.
  3. The girl who would "hiccup" (sounded like she was trying to imitate a raptor from Jurassic Park) in formation, or whenever people weren't paying attention to her. The_Snarky_Wolf

Out of the blue....

At one of my duty stations there was a girl that wasn't all there. One day, out of the blue, she decides to take the 3-wheel bike (the one with the large basket in between the two rear tires) and go for a spin. She hit a fence post, a parked car and a dumpster, all within 30 feet of her starting position. She eventually went to cook school. CarlosAVP

That's how he passed basic.

This guy was a student in aviation school while I was an instructor. He was a new Soldier attending his technical school after basic. Apparently he was on the autism spectrum but functioned well enough for the Army. He was great at physical tasks. That's how he passed basic. He was also very intelligent in the classroom study. If he was directly instructed he was fine. One day I found him in the hall between classrooms during a class session.

He had taken a restroom break but got sidetracked and was staring deeply into the ceiling fan. It took several attempts to get his attention. I had to touch his arm when he didn't respond to my approach or calling his name a few times. It happened a few times with other instructors until our supervisor addressed it with the division chief.

It was decided after several medical consultations and meetings with the Colonel that it wasn't safe to allow this student to proceed as a helicopter mechanic. It was ultimately a safety matter because he could get mesmerized by a spinning rotor on an airfield. Strangely I saw him later on a deployment to Afghanistan. He was reclassified as an artillery soldier. DustyShadow



Worked with a USAF major long ago who'd been in grade for eons because he couldn't give a briefing without scratching his testicles... only the Vietnam War was keeping him in the service. Eventually he went on an orientation tour of a Minuteman site and fell into a hole; when he got out of the hospital they retired him. shleppenwolf

Not Christian. 

At Basic, we had a guy who did a version of the Christian Bale deep batman voice for the entire time and never took off his eye protection—terrifying to be woken up by him for guard duty in the middle of the night. He would just loom over you and say your name while jabbing you violently with his hands. Apparently, his underwear eventually fused to his body because he didn't shower for weeks. The stench was miserable. From what I heard, he was put on suicide watch a couple of weeks after basic, but he passed basic. Lostinthelaw


Anyone who ever lost a weapon in the field, I've seen it happen a couple of times. You feel sorry them because of the consequences they have to face, but at the same time they totally deserve it for the hell they brought upon the whole unit lol. Koldkillr

You find officers like this too. 

You find officers like this too. Not lacking basic competencies, just common sense. We had a water leak at the Naval Medical Center and the department head (O6) simply kicked off her shoes so they wouldn't get wet. Part of the ceiling in the space had collapsed and the computer tower was sitting on the floor in the puddle along with her feet. It and the outlet was throwing sparks and you could see the blue light of arcing electricity inside the tower. Didn't stop working until the first IT3 got there to point it out. You could FEEL the electricity in that room. snub999

Honestly, it was me.

Honestly, it was me. Joined the Marines at 17 as an artilleryman, didn't know at the time that I had high functioning autism. I could follow instructions well enough, so I got through basic without any real trouble, but I just didn't have much common sense in my head at the time.

I didn't like to socialize and was very awkward beyond simple order-following things. I got messed with to no end, and wound up beating the snot out of myself from the stress during fleet week. Eventually we got deployed to Iraq as civil affairs, and I was put in administrative and office duties, and found I was especially good at office work.

In the end, it was a positive experience though. I was forced into having a lot more social interactions then I would have as a civilian, and I was able to work on things like that a lot more than I would have if I had not joined. I still had a lot of trouble after leaving the Marines because it was right at the start of the recession, but I would have been even worse off otherwise. onlysane1

damn rotter.

The lad who pooped himself and didn't want to let people know so threw his kit with an actual log inside the trousers into the group wash. damn rotter.

The two females and two males who got caught "fraternising" in the briefing room the night before pass out and somehow managed to not get Day 0'd for it.

The lad who tried to give himself a neck shave and buzzed a racing stripe 5 inches up the back of his head.

The lad who broke his nose trying to impress NCO's with a backflip.

The lad who was going for gunner who couldn't for the life of him figure out how to sling a rifle. Spent 5 hours practicing, crying and stuff. Couldn't hack it and after passing out eventually months after everyone else, got kicked out for drugs. _Haze_There

Go figure.


Sold equipment Including his gas mask, tac vest and helmet. Started fights with fellow recruits almost every week threatened to bring his gang to shoot us up. Still passed. Go figure.

EDIT: for those curious I don't think he ever passed his trade course, and I'm fairly certain he got kicked out or released before the year was up. 99043jjdf

The Fall.... 

We had one guy (in my basic training platoon) that was a walking safety hazard. Among other things, he managed to fall out of a first-floor window, got a quarter of the platoon's packs the squad's packs stolen during an exercise because he fell asleep watching them, fired his rifle on full auto into the damn camp (with training rounds, luckily) because "he thought he saw a wild pig rifling through our stuff" and, to cap it all off, put a live round between the drill instructor's feet at the firing range.

He passed basic with the rest of us (the only guy that failed, failed because he deserted halfway through), although he did get a mark in his file that he was unsuited for any rank with any kind of responsibility. Aibeit

0 Hits.


There was a guy next to me on the shooting range. We were suppose to fire a full mag at the target, 29 rounds. Well, when we were done his target had 0 hits, and mine had around 50. SentientDust


Do you have something to confess to George? Text "Secrets" or ":zipper_mouth_face:" to +1 (310) 299-9390 to talk to him about it.

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