A recent thread on Reddit asked veterans from all branches of the military to come forward with the greatest punishment they have ever witnessed or suffered through.
These are some of our absolute favorites, although many may be considered “hazing” and will never be seen again.
A service member was a total fuck-up, to put it gently. Couldn’t be on time, couldn’t show up dressed to standards, constantly forgot professional courtesies, so on. When he was on his last straw, his squad leader pulled him aside and more or less started yelling, then stopped himself.
“No. You know what? I’m done yelling at you. It doesn’t work. Stay right here; don’t go anywhere.” He stormed off into the company building. The phrase, “stay right here, don’t go anywhere” is typically the precursor to something horrible happening when said in anger. The squad leader eventually emerged carrying a small-ish potted tree which he hands to the service member.
“You will keep this tree alive. You will carry this with you where ever you go in uniform. You will take it to PT, you will take it to chow, you will take it to work. If anyone asks you why you’re carrying this fucking tree around, you will tell them, ‘It’s to replace the oxygen I stole from everyone else.’ ”
Probably the funniest punishment I’ve ever seen, and we’ll never see it again (because you’re not allowed to do that).
Sgt_Slate contributed this gem,
Marine Boot camp.
We had a guy that somehow got his watch through the indoc (They take all your crap when you first get there). Well the DIs found out he had it when they saw him wearing it one day, so they put him in the squad bay trashcan and put the lid on it. Every time they walked by and kicked it he’d pop out with his watch and yell, “SIR THE TIME ON DECK IS ZERO-NINE-FORTY-FIVE!” and then go back into his can like the freakin’ grouch from Sesame Street.
It was really, really hard not to laugh at that.
Rockyrikoko’s was short and sweet,
Having to apply suntan lotion to a shit ton of large rocks so they “don’t get sunburned”. Then, having to flip every rock and reapply as needed.
Theresidentjunkie had another winner,
One of my friends from my first base and I were swapping basic stories and I think he had the scariest. On the first day of third week they hadn’t performed up to standards, and the MTI told them he’d be staying late that night to try to fix them. The MTI calls his wife to let her know he’d miss dinner and would be home late, and she BLEW. THE FUCK. UP. She was screaming at the MTI about how he’s just using his job as an excuse, how he doesn’t even care about her, and while all this is going on the MTI is just pleading with her.
She hangs up on him, and the MTI looks at the flight with this expression of cold hate, and says he was going to his office for a minute to think of an appropriate way to punish the flight for their shit.
Basic Training is a lot of talk; the MTIs can PT you until your body gives out and scream at you, but they can’t actually hurt you. In that moment though, as the room waited for the MTI to come back, they weren’t so sure that would be the case. He was going to make them pay, and my friend said that was the only time in Basic he felt true fear.
It turns out, it was all an act. The MTI had had that genuinely happen during a previous flight, and it had terrified them into compliance so well he got his wife to pull it off every flight afterwards.
And last but not least, a story from skyy0731. It’s not a punishment, but it is pure gold,
Kinda related, So the Heavy is in front of us teaching us the nomenclature of the M-16. He is speaking in a semi normal voice instead of screaming. That was unnerving us. Man loved to scream.
“So you see this.” (points to barrel) “This is the barrel. THis is where the bullet comes out.”
“See this.” (points to the chamber) “This is the chamber. It’s like the pussy. It’s where the dick goes into.”
“See this.” (Points to bolt) “This is the bolt. This is the dick that jams into the pussy.”
WE’re all sitting cross legged watching, trying not to get our head ripped off as he goes through all the parts and pieces of the M-16. Then at the end he says he’s going to point at something, and we are to all yell out what it is.
(Points to Barrel)
(Points to pistol grip)
PISTOL GRIP SIR!
(Points to buttstock)
(Points to chamber)
The entire platoon in unison, with no prompting whatsover.
He stops and then just looks at us with his meanest face ever. But doesn’t say a word.
Now he had been fairly normal talking in a regular voice which scared us. Now he’s just staring at us saying nothing. And we are scared shitless.
Eventually he sets the rifle down. Looks up at us. Then turns to the left and walks out of the squad bay.
Okay, now we are terrified. What just happened. Did he go get more DI’s to kick our ass or what. We are still sitting there because nobody told us to move.
Couple of minutes later he walks back in with his smokey the bear hat off shaking his head.
Oh man, what is going to happen.
He gets back on the footlocker he used as a stage. Looks at us, and in a perfectly normal, no from the diaphragm voice, sounding like a human being says to us.
“The first thing they teach us in DI school is to NEVER laugh in front of the recruits. So I just had to go outside to laugh because you are the funniest motherfuckers ever”
We all start to laugh a little.
“SHUT THE FUCK UP. WE HAD OUR FUN ITS OVER NOW!”
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