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Drill Sergeants Share The Funniest Things They’ve Heard Recruits Say (24 Stories)

Drill Sergeants get a bad wrap for being hard-ass, cold, angry people but they’re just regular humans like you and me (except that they can definitely kick some ass).


Much like parenting a goofy toddler, you’ve got to keep a straight face and a stern demeanor even when your recruit says something absolutely hilarious.


Redditor u/Optimal-Wrangler2190 asked:

“Drill Sergeants, what’s the funniest thing a recruit has said?”

And, to everyone’s shock, there aren’t a ton of drill sergeants on Reddit but a few were willing to share some hilarious answers along with the some of these funny recruits themselves.

Enjoy the 25 funniest things recruits have said to drill sergeants, according to the people of Reddit.


“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 !!” –kcsapper


“Marching the troops back to the barracks after lunch, I noticed a recruit with a white stain on his hip pocket. I halted the platoon and got in the recruits face. Me: “recruit, that white stain on your shirt better be because you are excited for this afternoons training” Recruit “no Sgt. I am saving my snack for later” Me: “what snack are you saving?” Recruit “ice cream” –jeep_rider


“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…” –busdriverjoe


“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 fuck are you doing?’. Recruit screamed back,” throwing hand grenades drill sergeant.’ Without missing a beat, the DI screamed “out fucking standing.” and walked away.” –odomotto


“Context: in army basic training, anything said to a drill sergeant needs to end with their title. Yes, drill sergeant. No, drill sergeant. So, early into basic our drill sergeant was handing out rifles. He asks my battle buddy for his serial number. Battle buddy rattles it off. So the drill sergeant, not having heard his title given, asks him “who the fuck do you think you’re speaking to? A drill sergeant? An asshole? A dickhead?” My buddy, realizing he forgot the title and now fully flustered goes to say “apologies, drill sergeant,” but instead says “apologies, dickhead.” Both their eyes got wide at the same time in totally different ways. The private realized he may not survive what comes next. The drill sergeant is giddy with excitement that a private just called him a dickhead to his face. Exercise ensued.” –Fight_Me_Mr_Tusk


“Recruit W is climbing the Stairway To Heaven which is a very tall ladder like structure and when he reaches the top he calls out to the Drill Instructor below:

“Sir! Recruit W requests permission to speak to Drill Instructor Sgt B, Sir!” The DI, Sgt B gives him permission to speak.

“Sir, this recruit can see his house from here Sir!”

The DI, Sgt B lost his composure and had to laugh out loud, and Recruit W had to do some extra push ups and bend and thrusts when he got off the obstacle.” –FiredFox


“I feel bad for the guy but I gotta say it. His last name was Smellie. As in, “smelly”. So when I had him come into the class for the orientation/admin day the very first day, I ask everyone to stand up and give their rank, name, serial number. So when I heard “Private Smellie”, I lost it. I felt so bad for the guy.” –BlackIsTheSoul


“We had a strict rule to write official documents with a blue pen. It is a NATO standard and has its excuses but all in all, it’s one of those things. I had checked about 200 lines of weapons check-outs and in’s when at the bottom of the page (it has 50 on one side of the page) there was one entry in black. As you would imagine I found out who it was pretty quickly. Given the entry had his name and weapon number staring right at me.

This absolute piece of twig and sap looks at me with the most uncanny look when i confronted him about it. After a bit of friendly banter in-front of his whole room i ask: “So what is your excuse for using black ink?”.

“Sir, i’ve yet to get the formal safety and usage training for the blue pen, sir!”

He rewrote all 100 entries in blue pen that evening after being the only soldier to get training to use a blue pen instead of a black one. But man. That was a special moment where all the muscles in my face were fighting not to laugh.” –pikkmarg


“Fort Sill, OK 2002 (during my basic) DS is smoking us on the first day, playing “Who doesn’t want to be here? If you don’t want to be here, I don’t want you here. Just tell me and you can go home…” We’ve been in front-lean-and-rest for between 15 min – 2 years (give or take), when somebody raises their hand. DS was flustered for a second because I don’t think anyone had ever actually been dumb enough to raise their hand. He goes and gets down in Private’s face and is screaming at him. Finally he says “Why don’t you want to be here?” I’ll never forget the response: “Drill Sergeant, this is not what my recruiter led me to believe this would be like. ” Only time I saw the DS speechless.” –PhilKenSebin


“When I was in basic training, there was someone going through their locker in the middle of the night making hella noise. So one of the trainee’s sat up in bed and screamed “shut the fuck up!”. The person going through the locker was a drill instructor doing a random check. The trainee who told him to shut the fuck up got ripped a new one, but the instructor was probably dying laughing on the inside. I don’t know how they keep a straight face.” –its_sydward