None of us liked the man. A few of us probably hated him. During our first drill session, we learned that he knew all this and didn't give a damn. "You know why those barrels are cut?" he asked, referring to the MI rifles lying dismantled at our feet. "It's so none of you spend your first liberty shopping for a bullet with my name on it." As prone to sarcasm as our drill instructor usually was, he was deadly serious about this.
Those first weeks at Officer Candidate School (OCS) demanded more of our minds and bodies than most of us thought we could give, and the Marine gunnery sergeant responsible for our pain knew it. But he also knew the bitterness was temporary. With time, we would begin to understand why we were forced through such pain. And as our training neared its end and we reflected upon the change within ourselves, we would come to thank him.