For three years, drill instructors will shape and create Marines. They will take a civilian and through intensive 13-week training turn them into part of America’s finest fighting force. This comes at a great cost to each drill instructor. The schedule they must maintain as well as staying physically fit and impeccable takes its toll. They are after all, human beings.
The only thing recruits see are how “mean” drill instructors are to them. They see the outstanding uniform standards, perfect drill skills and hear the screaming. They don’t see behind the scenes of what happens when a drill instructor goes home to his or her family. They don’t get to see them trying to catch a nap whenever they can, be it in a barber’s chair or in the drill instructor hut. All recruits see is that drill instructors are always “on.”
In fact, drill instructors keep to an excruciating schedule that would be difficult for any Marine to maintain. What’s harder is that this schedule is maintained on and off for a duration of three years. Long hours, late shift duties only to return early the next morning for more of the same. At no time will a recruit see or hear a drill instructor complain out loud. This is the job they volunteered for and they are aware of that. It doesn’t mean they don’t suffer many consequences from this choice but for many the pride and honor outweigh the hardships.
Very few recruits will ever stop to think about how tough the drill instructor’s job is because they are too focused on the pain of their own training. Even though it may not fee like it, recruits are the center of attention in boot camp. That is because drill instructors must ensure that recruits are safe and are learning what they need to in order to progress in training and ultimately graduate. The pain of recruit training is tough but the self discipline it takes to be a drill instructor is even tougher. These are men and women who must push down any pain they feel and continue on with their mission without letting on to recruits that anything is wrong.
There is a popular saying that Marines have for describing the process of forging through the pain and discomfort of a mission. It’ s called “suck it up.” Drill instructors are masters of sucking up the pain and pushing forward.
Source: Personal experience