Sir, Yes Sir! Incredible Drill Sergeants 

March 21, 2023 | Scott Mazza

Sir, Yes Sir! Incredible Drill Sergeants 

Sometimes, we need someone to put us in line. And who better than the awe-inspiring—and terrifying—drill sergeants recruits meet at basic training and beyond? These men and women cut some hard bargains, but they did it in very memorable ways. Read on for Redditors’ stories about their most incredible drill sergeants.

1. Oscar The Suck-Up

This recruit was a squad leader and a general jerk to everyone. The Drill Instructor got sick of his suck-up stuff…and made him live in the trashcan next to the door for a few hours. When anyone (including other Drill Instructors) would walk by, he would have to pop out and get mad at whoever was getting too close to his trashcan.

One officer came in and turned beet red when he saw the kid. He had to run into the duty hut to keep from laughing.


2. A Nugget Of Wisdom

It was hard to not bust up while at attention when our instructor called our formation "20-piece Chicken McNobodies”.

Incredible Drill Sergeants Picryl

3. Watch Them Grow

My battle buddy and I were ordered to dig holes. When were about to the waist, my Drill Sergeant proceeded to turn on a hose. He started to fill the holes with water and told us to stay in the hole. Another DS walks by and asks him what he's doing. He says, " I'm watering my petunias".

Incredible Drill Sergeants Picryl

4. Follow The White Rabbit

A recruit, who was pretty much straight from New York City and had never seen wildlife before, interrupted the Chief to say, "Chief, there's a bunny rabbit behind you”. The Chief looked like his brain had actually shorted out, then responded, deadpan, "Is it armed?"

Incredible Drill Sergeants Pexels

5. A Lot Of Hot Air

My Navy boot camp instructor let out farts all the time. It got to the point where she would always do it at the quietest time just to beat us later for laughing. My favorite moment was when we were lining up for chow and she walks by and toots so hard the entire line heard it (80+ people).

As she hears people giggling, she whips around and screams, "WHO SAID THAT?!" All the grins were wiped immediately.

Incredible Drill Sergeants Flickr, MCRD Parris Island, SC

6. You Better Work For It

My Drill Sergeant put the whole "no such thing as a stupid question" thing perfectly. He told us, "There's no such thing as a stupid question, but some questions come with push-ups".

Incredible Drill Sergeants Flickr, @USArmy

7. Now, Kiss

I joined training with a guy from my hometown that I had gone to high school with, and we got assigned to the same flight. My Sergeant heard me call him by his first name and gave this whole speech about how "If you're so comfortable with each other, why don't you hold each other's hands!?"

We stood there and stared at him blankly for a minute, then he seriously made us hold hands for the rest of the day.

Incredible Drill Sergeants Pxhere

8. A Super Punishment

The two recruits that were caught dozing off during an instructional block were forced to stand up. Then one had to go to a corner wall and glue himself as close as possible to that wall and pretend to be Spiderman. Meanwhile his battle buddy had to go to another corner or squat down like Batman.

They would engage each other through web-slinging and grappling, in place.

Incredible Drill Sergeants Flickr, 25th Infantry Division

9. Express Yourself

This guy I went to basic with was told he couldn't trim his unibrow, and that if he did, he'd have to shave both eyebrows as that's what the dude did, shaved it all. Our drill instructor lost it laughing and then made the recruit report every morning to have his eyebrows sharpied on with a new expression every day

The best ones were when he was given two squares as eyebrows, or else a constant surprised look.

Incredible Drill Sergeants Flickr, Asim Bharwani

10. Sometimes We All Break

A Master Corporal was calling drill for us once and his voice cracked on the command. So he went from yelling in his normal kind of deep voice (he was a big dude) to a loud shrill dude-impersonating-a-woman kind of voice.

Everyone took a second to try to hold it together, but the other instructors for our platoon cracked and everyone just kind of laughed.

Incredible Drill Sergeants Pxhere

11. Following Orders To The Letter

The Drill Sergeants did this thing where they would yell "Freeze, Recruit, Freeze". We would then have to stop whatever we were doing.

As my bunkmate was running back from the showers wearing nothing but a towel, the Sergeant screamed "Freeze, Recruit, Freeze". It caused a total disaster. My bunkmate tried to freeze on one leg and then fell down, totally undressed. But because he was following orders, he then just lay there, with nothing on.

Incredible Drill Sergeants Flickr, manhhai

12. Better Than Turkish Delight, Anyway

During lunch, I was walking by where all the other Drill Sergeants eat. I'm stopped by a higher-up who asked if my Drill Sergeant cursed at us. I liked and answered no, as they technically aren't supposed to, but they still do. The higher-up then grabbed a banana off my plate and said if I wanted it back, I had to answer truthfully.

Food being a luxury (and I do love my bananas), I answered yes. He sent me on my way. Later that day in the day room, my Drill Sergeant comes busting in: "Which one of you sold me out for a freaking banana?!”

Incredible Drill Sergeants Pexels

13. Not Photogenic

My driver's license picture was an absolute disaster. Okay, you know how nobody has a good picture? I was afraid that I'd look weird if I kept my neutral expression, so I decided to look animated.

I ended up looking like—and this is the description given by a fellow recruit—an addict Jack Sparrow, freshly escaped from a loony bin. My Drill Sergeant took one look at it and darn near fell down laughing.

Incredible Drill Sergeants Flickr, Virginia Guard Public Affairs

14. Paying For It

Our Drill Instructor was away for a bit at dinner chow. Taking this as an opportunity, most of the platoon decided to get chocolate milk—a huge no-no when you’re in training. Of course, the Instructor knows all about it and doesn’t say anything. But he got his revenge.

We get back to the squad bay and he yells at us to get out our one-quart canteen of water. Drink it. Go fill it up. Drink it. Fill it up. Drink it. By the time we hit the fourth go-around, everyone was vomiting on the floor. I have never seen so much puke.

Incredible Drill Sergeants Flickr, West Point - The U.S. Military Academy

15. Bravery Doesn’t Always Work

My friend in air assault was fast roping down off towers in training, and there was one guy who was deathly afraid of height. He was just standing there, frozen with fear. The instructor yells something along the lines of “stop being a wussy and go”.

He proceeds to jump into the rope, lose his grip, and fall the entire way down while screaming “AIR ASSAULT” until he hit the ground. He broke his arm and had to go with the next class.

Incredible Drill Sergeants Flickr, West Point - The U.S. Military Academy

16. Context Is Everything

"Assume the position!" We were about to do punishment push-ups; I forget why. But we were this (male) drill sergeant’s first female 80 women shouted, "Yes Sir!" very... enthusiastically. And threw ourselves onto the deck. While smiling.

He was fair-skinned and blonde. The poor man turned a lovely shade of vermillion and then ran and locked himself in his office. No pushes were done because our female sergeant was laughing too hard and she had to leave the room as well.

From then on, she was the one who ordered us to do push-ups.

Incredible Drill Sergeants Picryl

17. Wrong Place, Wrong Time

My basic training was co-ed, with women on the ends of the barracks and men in the middle. One night, a woman was caught with a guy in the men's room. He was then chaptered out due to past behavioral problems— but she suffered a much worse fate, in a way.

The next day, my female drill sergeant calls all the women into a meeting, presumably to let them know what is and is not acceptable behavior. This woman we’re all really talking about then strolls in a couple minutes later than scheduled, picking at her teeth. She then said, "Excuse me, I've been eating nuts".

Incredible Drill Sergeants Flickr, Johnny Silvercloud

18. Okay Then

I had a guy say "okay" to my instructor (WAY too casual), so she had him stuff his head inside a locker in the front of the compartment, then had him yell "okay”. She walked all the way to the back and would yell at him "I can't hear you!"

Two minutes later, another guy did the same thing, so she put his head in a locker across from the first guy and they said "okay" and "okay back" for a good five minutes.

Incredible Drill Sergeants Picryl

19. Sometimes You Just Can’t Win

During weapons draw, a soldier messed up by forgetting to put on his headgear while getting back in formation. A Drill Sergeant stops him and makes him put on his headgear backward. Another Sergeant sees the soldier with his headgear on backward and gets in his face screaming about how jacked up he looks.

He then puts his Drill Sergeant hat on backward and says "Look at me! Don't I look like an idiot?" The soldier pauses, trying to decide how to answer the Sergeant. "Yeah, don’t answer that, recruit! Correct your headgear and give me 40".

Incredible Drill Sergeants Flickr, @USArmy

20. One For The Books

My drill sergeant didn't say this, but I did. It was the end of the day and I was cleaning up in my wall locker. I hear "Recruit". Slowly turning around, I say "What's up?" I was thinking it was my battle buddy. Nope. It was my Drill Sergeant and not a battle buddy, although they were around.

My eyes got big like “Oh God, what did I just say?” He says, "What the heck did you just say?" So I was like "what's up...Drill Sergeant?" He almost lost his bearings and busted up laughing. It was the most awkward thing I saw on someone's face. He was trying to yell and laugh at the same time.

Later after graduation he came up to me and couldn't stop laughing about the incident still.

Incredible Drill Sergeants Pexels

21. A Sticky Situation

The Drill Sergeant caught a guy chewing gum. He made him put on his dress blues and fold up the aluminum gum wrapper and stick it to his hat in the way an officer would have worn. He wasn’t done yet. Then he had the rest of us stand at attention at the end of our bunks and had the gum chewer walk up and down the aisle, snapping crisp turns to face each of us, say "Salute me! I am an officer!"

He would then return our salute, do an about-face, and proceed to the next guy. There were about 100 of us in the barracks. It took about half an hour.

Incredible Drill Sergeants Picryl

22. Clean Freak

One thing I still remember was one day, me and some other recruits were mopping the squad bay and our drill instructor runs in. We were too surprised by his entrance to give him the proper greeting. We were about to get a lot more shocked.

He just comes up to us, looks at the mop bucket water, puts his hand in, and drinks some of the water. He then looks at us and says, "needs more soap" and then runs off, all within like a minute. Still laughing thinking about it.

Incredible Drill SergeantsFlickr, London looks

23. Forgetting Someone?

We were in trouble when this story takes place, and there were multiple instructors in our (male) dorm. Our instructor, who was a woman, was talking to me about how we messed up. I'm locked at attention, yes-ma'am-ing for my life.

Two instructors leave our dorm, a man and a woman, but not my instructor. Our door guard yells, "Lady leaving the dorm!" There was just one problem: That's only the right thing to say when ALL women have exited the dorm.

Our instructor stops mid-sentence to me and yells over my shoulder at the door guard: "I guess I'm wearing my boy pants today!”

Incredible Drill Sergeants Picryl

24. Off The Mark

Our Sergeant liked to take his Smoky Bear hat and tap recruits on the bridge of their nose while yelling at them that he wasn't touching them. I happened to fall in behind him walking down the bay.

He thought it would be a good idea to spin around and poke the brim of his hat into somebody's face. Well, he hit me square in the chest instead. I'm 6'6" tall. I can't even remember what he yelled exactly, but he was trying very hard not to laugh.

He then spun back around and went into his office with the assistant instructor. They started laughing so loud that we all heard it.

Incredible Drill SergeantsFlickr, West Point - The U.S. Military Academy

25. Dude, I Get It

One time, my ankles were hurting really bad (cankles in new boots, yay!) so I asked the Drill Sergeant if I could go to the infirmary.

He said yes.

I said, "Thanks, dude”.

He laughed and said, “You know I gotta make you do push-ups for that”. He did, but it was nice to see the human side for the first time.

Incredible Drill Sergeants Flickr, 143d ESC

26. A Twisty Situation

We were marching back from our mock physical training test and the tornado sirens began to go off. We look to our right, and we can’t believe our eyes. There’s a tornado forming just a couple football fields away, right in the middle of base.

Our Drill Sergeant, who was already irritated by our failure to line up in time, starts yelling "RUN, IDIOTS, RUN!!" Two whole divisions of about 180 people break formation and begin to run to our barracks for our lives.

At the time, it was one of the most terrifying experiences of my life, but in hindsight, it was actually pretty funny because the Sergeant caught a lot of flak from other Sergeants for doing that.

He explained to us later, 'What the heck was I supposed to do? Keep you idiots in rank? Am I supposed to tell you, oh no stay in formation! Keep marching! Heck no, I'm not trying to die in this place”.

Incredible Drill Sergeants Flickr, NOAA Photo Library

27. Oreo Formation

When I was in basic training, the three Drill Sergeants for my platoon were all Black, and we had a few tense incidents around that fact. The biggest offender was a horrible, overweight, underachieving guy, we'll call him Pierce.

Upon receiving punishment for one of his many screw-ups, Pierce let loose some awful words to the Black Drill Sergeants, and that was the last line. While Pierce and his unlucky battle buddy were doing an incredible amount of pushes in front of the whole platoon, the Drill Sergeants were throwing out some ideas to resolve his behavior. Their solution was glorious.

At the time in Army basic (probably still today), every soldier had an assigned battle buddy, someone to share accountability and responsibility with. My company took this very seriously. We happened to have two very driven, very athletic, very tall, and large Black recruits in the platoon as well.

The platoon also happened to have an odd number of recruits. There was a change in buddy assignments, and from that day until graduation, everywhere Pierce went, he was to be in "Oreo Formation", with each of the upstanding Black recruits on either side of him, sharing accountability for his actions.

They were colloquially referred to as "The Oreo" by even the leadership after a while. By graduation, Pierce had mostly turned around and was made into a person more worthy of wearing the uniform.

Incredible Drill Sergeants Flickr, NATO North Atlantic Treaty Organization

28. Getting Some

This was my husband's story from family day, back while we were just dating. Family Day was a weekend pass, as well as the only break to see families that a scout got during the four months of combined basic and AIT training.

I came in to see him by myself; most of the other trainees had either just their parents or parents plus the girlfriend. So after I left, he went back to the barracks. My husband is standing in formation and his Drill Sergeant asked, "So who got some over family day?"

A bunch of hands went up, not my husband’s though. The Drill Sergeant yelled back, "YEAH RIGHT”. He said something like, “I KNOW not a single one of you got any,” and then pointed at my husband. "He's the only one who got any, look at that stupid grin on his face!”

Incredible Drill Sergeants Pxhere

29. Good Movie, Though

We were lined up in four rows at the time, or "Elements”. One day, a lone soul lined up in his own element. The instructor came running around the corner staring at this guy. He got right up to his face and screamed,


"No...sir" he whimpered.


I had to use everything within me to not laugh.

Incredible Drill Sergeants Picryl

30. Soft And Fuzzy

One of the first days in basic training, a guy in my platoon was standing at attention while having his room inspected by the instructor.

It didn't matter how nice his room was, because there was a large piece of fluff on his shirt that

"Recruit! What is that on your shirt?! Is that a fluffy!?"

"Yes sergeant!"

"Why is there a fluffy on your shirt!?"

"I must have missed it sergeant!"

"Missed it? It is so huge, how did you miss such a big fluffy!?" She picks it off of him. "Hold out your hand" He holds out his hand and she places it in his palm. This is where it got bizarre.  "This is Mr. Fluffy. Find a home for him, like a pill bottle or something. From now on, whenever I want to see Mr. Fluffy, you must bring him to me”.

And so, for the rest of basic, every time the sergeant found a piece of fuzz she would yell out, "MR. FLUFFY!" and the recruit would have to march over to her and present Mr. Fluffy and she would formally hand him the new piece of fuzz to add to Mr. Fluffy.

There was heck to pay if he didn't have Mr. Fluffy with him at all times.

Incredible Drill Sergeants Flickr, sk

31. Eyes Off Me

This was in Officer Candidate School in Quantico, Virginia back in the 1980s. We were all Marine Option Naval Scholarship Midshipmen. We were shining our boots when a staff sergeant from another platoon walked through.

Delbert, a friend of mine, glanced up from his work and made a microsecond of eye contact with the Sergeant Instructor.

SI: "Midshipman, why are you looking at me?"

Delbert: Silence.

SI: "Midshipman, do you like me?"

At this point I am listening and thinking “Heck, I'm not sure there is a good answer to that question".

Delbert: "Uh, yes, Sergeant Instructor”.

SI: "Well liking leads to loving and loving leads to you-know-what. Do you want to sleep with me, Midshipman?"

Delbert: "NO, Sergeant Instructor!"

SI: "Then keep your darned eyeballs off of me!"

Incredible Drill Sergeants Wikimedia Commons

32. All In Good Fun?

It was the middle of the night, and we were awake and sneakily writing letters to our loved ones. Then, out of nowhere, our Sergeant, our brother flight’s Sergeant, and a random, older, Mexican man burst into the room. They proceeded to cause chaos. They literally flip the first bed, which has someone in it.

I just remember hearing a loud boom and turning to see my buddy flying through the air in slow motion. The Sergeants trashed everything, as you can imagine, while this Mexican guy stood in the corner the whole time.

After destroying our rooms and lockers, they demanded it all be fixed and cleaned by the time they returned in the morning, and the three of them left. As we cleaned, we all talked and questioned each other on who the heck the Mexican guy was.

Well, on our last day in Basic, we asked our Sergeant who he was. The response stunned us. He immediately starts laughing and says that they were at the bar and started talking to this random guy. The three of them drank a lot together and started talking about how the two of them were instructors.

The guy mentioned how cool and funny it must be to be Sergeant. They looked at each other, then they looked at him and said, "Wanna see?" So the three of them hopped in a cab, smashed into the room in the middle of the night, and wrecked everything worse than I think I saw the whole time I was in Basic.

All because they were drinking with a Mexican guy and thought it'd be funny.

Incredible Drill Sergeants Picryl

33. Back To The Future

Oh, boy, have I got a story for you. So I was in the Air Force basic training. We had this kid, whose real name I cannot remember now, because our training instructor had a “special” name for him.

"HEY Marty McFly! Get over here!" Granted, the instructor had stupid nicknames for everyone. We all sort of chuckle or fight them off. This goes on for weeks and weeks. Well one day this kid is sort of having a bad day and he keeps messing things up.

The instructor loses his mind and says "GOD DARNIT MARTY MCFLY GET OVER HERE AND" blah blah blah. The kid snaps.


The instructor responds: "BECAUSE YOUR GLASSES ARE SO THICK YOU CAN SEE INTO THE FUTURE”. We all laughed our butts off. And then had to do push-ups.

Incredible Drill Sergeants Flickr, Washington National Guard

34. A Song Can Bring Us Together

This was the funniest moment of basic training to me. We're around halfway through at the time, and we're getting smoked in our platoon bay—that is, we had to do a ton of exercises. We’re in a smallish room, and there’s barely enough space for everyone doing push-ups.

It had concrete walls and windows, and it was wintertime. I can't even remember why we're being punished, but we've been forced to do exercise after exercise, and at the time we were doing push-ups. It's late at night, I think it was during what (should have been) our 30 minutes of free time to shower and get ready for lights out.


As she takes a breath in to continue yelling, one kid from the back of the room goes

"From the windooooowwwwsssss, to the walls!" She cried laughing on the spot. It was the only time any of our Sergeants cracked like that the entire cycle.

The combination of tiredness and laughing meant that half the platoon crashed into the floor. She walked out of the room laughing. She came back and just said, "Go to bed recruits”. Good times.

Incredible Drill Sergeants Flickr, U.S. Army Cyber Command

35. Like A Bolt Of Thunder

My dad joined the Navy and went to boot camp. He was the Yeoman, which is a guy in charge of administrative duties. His company commander was Black (my dad is white) and nicknamed him "yo-yo". Anyways, they have a camp-wide athletics event where all the companies compete for a fancy streamer to put on top of the company flag.

My dad signed up for the 100-meter sprint and the commander came over and said, "Yo-yo! What are ya doin?! We got plenty of Black kids in here for the sprint!" My dad replies, "Yes sir, but I'll have you know I finished 6th in 200-meter-high hurdles in California”.

Commander says "I don't care yo-yo. We got all the Black kids we need”. My dad finally says, "Okay sir, but if you let me do it you won't be disappointed”. And his commander lets him do it. The result shocked him. At the race, my dad lined up and every other contestant was Black. But it didn't really matter and as my dad blew past the finish line in first.

His commander runs up to him and yells "WOO YO-YO!!! You are the fastest white kid I ever seen!"

Incredible Drill Sergeants Picryl

36. I Get By With A Little Help From My Friends

We were all on the line on Parris Island and we had to take out our ink sticks (pens). One recruit in the entire platoon didn’t move. When the Drill Instructor asked why he didn’t move, the recruit said his ink stick was in his footlocker.

The Drill Instructor made the recruit walk over to his footlocker, bring it back to the line, and "shake it until an ink stick falls out”. The footlocker was closed, and he was just standing there shaking it for about eight minutes or so while the Instructor just kept yelling, "FASTER! I WANT AN INK STICK!"

The recruit directly across the line from the kid shaking the footlocker takes out an extra ink stick, waits for the Instructor to turn his head, and slid that thing across the deck, between the Drill Instructor’s legs.

By the grace of God, it landed perfectly under the footlocker. The Instructor didn’t notice. The next 15 seconds went along the lines of: "FASTER! FASTER! FASTER! FA—well, I’ll be darned”. As soon as he saw the ink stick, he walked away.

Incredible Drill SergeantsFlickr, U.S. Army IMCOM

37. Was The Taste Of The Rainbow Worth It?

One time in basic, we had this kid, and boy did he love candy. One day, he went to the nearby store and bought, then hid, a bag of skittles. Of course, locker searches for contraband come around and he's sweating.

Somehow, the drill sergeants miss the bag, and he looks a little better. But then it all went so wrong. As another recruit moves out of the way for his drill sergeant, he trips and knocks over the guy's locker. Skittles everywhere! It was a pretty big bag too.

You know what they did to him? They had him dig small holes for every skittle, and each morning he had to go outside early to water them in order to grow a rainbow.

Incredible Drill Sergeants Flickr , nataliej

38. The Most Fun I Never Want To Have Again

You never see drill instructors eat. Or sleep, for that matter. They were godlike humans who had supreme authority over us.

Anyways, at the end of USMC boot camp, you have "The Crucible," a series of team-building exercises, hikes, and good ol' fashioned bonding. After it's over and you are officially a "Marine," you have the warrior breakfast.

I sat down with my plate of food and gorged. I then look up to see the craziest drill instructor in my platoon, with his wild-eyed stare, sit down in a hurry, look at his food, look at me and say:

"First meal in the three months.”.

On a daily basis, drill instructors said some of the funniest stuff I will never hear again. Boot camp was the most fun I never want to have again. That's the best way I could explain it to a civilian.

Incredible Drill Sergeants Picryl

39. Cut Out For The Job

We had a Drill Sergeant Candidate shadowing a few of the other Drill Sergeants. Our first sergeant instructed him to yell at a desk until he came back. There were trainees at the desk, but he was not to engage with them. He was to yell at the desk itself.

This lasted an hour. It was glorious. And it hit a glorious peak. The crescendo of his insults was when he started negatively commenting on the type of wood the desk was made out of. "I bet you're not even oak. You're probably just pine. Stupid, worthless pine”.

He then inspected the desk more closely. "PLYWOOD!!!??? This guy brings PLYYYWOOD into MY training area??!!" He was insulting the lineage of a desk.

All of us were literally on the ground laughing by that point. To his immense credit, he never once broke a smile, laughed, or repeated an insult during the entire hour or so that this was going on. Funniest thing I have ever seen in my life.

Incredible Drill SergeantsFlickr, DVIDSHUB

40. You’re Not Getting Away With This

There were some people in my initial battery who wanted to "refuse to train”. Which essentially means that you give up and then you can kind of get out of it and be processed out. Well, apparently for some of these people it was taking too long, so they started talking about how they'd intentionally fail their Physical Training test, because it'd get them out faster.

As they're talking about this, one of our drill sergeants was standing around the corner and the rest of us are watching his face gradually get redder and redder. Eventually, we think he's about to pop out around the corner, but he just shakes his head and walks away and we're all left there dumbfounded. But it was far from over.

Flash forward to the next morning and we're getting ready for physical training. This drill sergeant walks in front of the formation and goes "We're going to have a little fun today. Mock Physical Training test”.

So, lo and behold these same recruits from yesterday all fail. There are a few other failures, but they were obviously trying. He then announces that anyone that had failed that day will no longer have any free time, but will be subjected to physical training up until bedtime unless we were going to chow or other training.

The look of pure horror on their faces was epic. They start whispering amongst each other and the drill sergeant goes, "Oh, and by the way, I feel good about this group. I think you guys can make it eventually. So that way, until you pass this test, I will continue to recycle you. So you may want to not waste my time”.

Needless to say, they either went back to refusing to train or passed that test the next time around. It was great.

Incredible Drill Sergeants Flickr, Fort Drum & 10th Mountain Division (LI)

41. If You Can’t Beat Em, Join Em

I was in Air Force Basic Training from November 2002 until the end of December.

One of the instructors in a different flight in my squadron would do this thing where he'd want his flight to do “Battle Cries”. We'd all be out in formations and this flight was all just screaming for no reason.

At one point a few weeks in, this happened. I was an element leader, and I was at the front of my formation. As these other guys were all yelling, my instructor and I locked eyes and smirked at each other.

He then shouted at me, "Trainee, come here!" I walked over and stood before him at attention.

He leaned into me and whispered, “I will ask you loudly to give me a battle cry”. But there was a twist. He then added, “I want the wimpiest, girliest shout you can muster”. I smiled and nodded.

"Trainee, let me hear your cry!"

"Uhhhhhahhhhooooo!" I shouted, letting my voice crack and waiver.

He nodded and smiled and I returned to my formation. The battle cries stopped the rest of the time I was in basic.

Incredible Drill Sergeants Pexels

42. You Had One Job

We had to man a fire watch post at the front of the squad bay. This is where a candidate would stand behind two stacked footlockers and greet sergeant instructors coming on deck with a short spiel. Stuff like good morning/evening, rank/name, x candidates accounted for, all is well.

One night about two weeks in, there were a lot of sergeant instructors walking past to go into the hut. The candidate who happened to have that shift kept messing it up. He just couldn't get it right. Suddenly, we heard the hut erupt in laughter. A few seconds later an instructor steps out and tells the candidate not to worry about getting the spiel right, he's got an easier one for him to remember.

He says he'll be using this line a lot more in his career anyway. The new spiel was: "Good evening, rank/name, welcome to McDonald’s, can I take your order?" He had to use that for the rest of the cycle.

Incredible Drill Sergeants Pexels

43. I Salute You

I have the best story for this. I was in basic training, and some dude was getting a reprimand from the course officer because he was a bag of fail. He got briefed by the Platoon Sergeant beforehand to march to the door, salute the officer, and wait to be instructed what to do.

But there was something they’d forgotten. This guy was as dumb as a brick…so he marches to the door and stands there looking stupid. The Sergeant waits a good long while, hoping this kid will clue in, and nothing happens. Finally, he yells at him "WELL, AREN'T YOU GOING TO PAY COMPLIMENTS TO THE OFFICER?!" It gets worse.

The numptie stammers for a bit and finally chirps out, "Um, uh, you're looking really nice today Sir”. Sergeant yells at him to get the heck out and slams the door. After it shuts, the entire course staff nearly loses it from laughter. It took an hour for us to stop laughing long enough to call him back and actually give him the reprimand.

I was on the floor with tears in my eyes. For YEARS afterward, anytime we would see that officer, we would stop him to tell him he was looking nice. It never stopped being funny.

Incredible Drill Sergeants Pexels

44. What’s In A Name?

It was bay inspection day. The company first sergeant and commander are going through each platoon's bay and checking everyone's stuff and casually grilling the recruits on the base's command tree.

Our company first sergeant goes to our platoon leader and asks him, “What position does Command Sergeant Major [name] hold in this base?” It's a (very easy) trick question: The answer is simply “Command Sergeant Major".

Anyways, the platoon leader hesitates before belting out something extremely stupid. He yells: "COMMAND SERGEANT MAJOR [insert name] IS THE STAR COMMANDER LEADER CHIEF OF FORT BENNING, FIRST SERGEANT”.

Everyone freezes. Even the Drill Sergeants don't breathe. The company first sergeant stares at this guy for like 20 seconds before muttering loudly, "You idiot”. He then shakes his head and leaves the bay.

The guy doesn't even punish him. Even the Drill Sergeant is laughing and calling him a fool. It was pretty excellent and everyone broke out laughing when they left.

Incredible Drill Sergeants Picryl

45. Caught Red-Handed

I was in the Air Force, so we have a Training Instructor. Everyone has duties assigned, such as manning the supply closet, aligning beds, laundry, etc. I got the worst assignment ever. See, I was the designated toilet cleaner.

After cleaning all of the toilets except one on one occasion, I used this moment to try to take a quick poop before cleaning the toilet. Big mistake. Suddenly I hear our brother flight's Training Instructor come storming through, yelling at everyone and everything, eventually making his way into the bathroom.

Being the idiot I was, I was too scared to leave the stall as I was terrified to flush the toilet and I wasn't done pooping. Besides that, this was the first time I'd had to poop for two weeks and it was a defining moment for me.

None of this mattered though, because suddenly I hear,  " HOWWW CAN WEEE BE CLEANING THE LATRINE...WHEN SOMEONE…IS TAKING A POOPIE!?"

Incredible Drill Sergeants Picryl

46. Instructor, Heal Thyself

During my basic training in Germany, we were marching in formation when we suddenly hear a thump. Turns out one of our comrades dropped his helmet. Of course, our instructor saw this and responds with, “A German helmet is only dropped once!” This is a pretty common phrase in Germany.

He commands the soldier to pick up his helmet and we carry on marching. About 30 seconds later, we hear the same sound again. So I turn around and ask myself how you can possibly fail the simple task of helmet retention (you basically just clip it to your carry rig), while already waiting to hear the instructor saying the same phrase again. But I was in for a surprise.

What do I see? Our instructor turning around, doing his personal walk of shame, and picking up his own helmet. Let's just say we weren't short on drinks we celebrated the end of basic.

Incredible Drill Sergeants Picryl

47. It’s A Conspiracy

One day, we were leaving the range. As the Drill Sergeants were inspecting everyone, I saw two of them get on this really meek dude. One of them planted used ammo in his thigh pocket, and the other one "found" it, then asked what the heck the recruit was doing with it.

They really had him going for a minute before laughing. So next, it was during another inspection. The Sergeant Major came up to me first for the inspection. At that point, she "found" a candy bar and zit cream in my locker and asked me why the heck I would have contraband during the inspection I knew was happening since the start of Basic.

I was mortified, but as she walked by, I realized what was going on. Our Commander and first sergeant were giggling. After the inspection, the Drill Sergeant who had slipped the ammo into that kid's pocket on the range came over and asked me what just happened.

I replied with, "Someone set me up, like what happened at the range that one time". He smiled and said, "I don't know what the HECK you’re talking about" and walked away.

Incredible Drill SergeantsPicryl

48. It’s Not What You Think

We were all sitting in the classroom cleaning our weapon when the Drill Sergeants rushed in and told us to form up outside NOW. We all bust our butts to get outside and line up, ready to go.

A couple minutes later, a Drill Sergeant comes out holding one of the rifles. Yep, one of our air wasters left his freaking piece inside the classroom.


The recruit identifies himself and he is called up and directed to order everyone else to do push-ups. A beautiful thing about the Army: You mess up and everyone else pays for it. So he’s up there about to smoke us, but instead, he’s just frozen. Eyes as big as saucers.



Drill Sergeant is angry and gets in his face and yells for a minute.

“NOW GET AT IT!” He concludes.

The recruit is still frozen…but the silence is broken.


The recruit lets out the longest and most cartoonish toot I’ve ever heard. We all do our best to stifle our laughter as we prepare for the circus that’s coming.

Drill sergeant says nothing though.

Then he cracks a smile.

“Get back inside. NOW!”

Incredible Drill Sergeants Pexels

49. May The Force Be With You

In Air Force training, you have to carry this stupid flashlight with you when marching that had this yellow cone on it. One guy on my flight got tired of holding it, so he decided to have his belt hold it like a Jedi would have done with his lightsaber. Yes, he ended up paying for it big time. 

The instructor sees this and tells him that he has to quickly “pull out your light saber and fight Darth Vader, he’s right behind you!”

He has him go at it with another trainee. Watching these two idiots have a “lightsaber” fight was the funniest thing I’ve seen, which must have been the same for my instructor too, since he walks away belly-laughing at “the two idiot Star Wars nerds”.

Incredible Drill Sergeants Flickr, Steve Marshall

50. You Win This Round

This is my father's story. It’s around 1980, in eastern Europe. Service was mandatory for all able-bodied men. My father spent 11 months as a comms operator. It’s lunchtime, everyone’s lined up in front of the canteen, and the sergeant is getting in his daily dose of shouting.

Now I must mention that the east was never really good at making long-lasting clothes, and the buttons on the uniforms had a tendency to fall off. It was mostly your own responsibility to sew them back, but most of the recruits used a quicker, flimsier method using matchsticks.

The sergeant stops in front of a smaller recruit, looks at his uniform, grabs the top button, gives it a pull, and it comes right off. "1-0!" Shouts the Sergeant. He then moves to the next button on the recruit’s coat. Yanks it right off. "2-0!" He shouts.

Then he grabs the next button, gives it a pull, and...nothing. Another try...still nothing. That one was still sewn on there. The recruit looks him in the eye and shouts "2-1!"

Incredible Drill Sergeants Pexels

51. Food Fight

Someone in basic threw their half-eaten schnitzel into the toilet and tried to flush it. It didn't flush, and he just left. So we are all in our rooms, then I hear my worst nightmare. It was our drill sergeant screaming at us to get out and line up.

We line up, and the sergeant was one of the super serious guys. He’s also super tall and made of pure muscle. He starts screaming at us telling us that we are pigs. At that point, no one knew what was going on.

Then, he started yelling "someone threw a schnitzel into the toilet," and as he finished, he started smiling. It was the first time in months that I saw the dude smile. Everyone started laughing hard.

He got angry again and started repeating himself. He starts laughing once he hits the schnitzel part again. We all laugh again. He just tells us we are dumb and someone better fish that piece of schnitzel out ASAP.

Incredible Drill Sergeants Picryl


Sources: Reddit,

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