How to Have a Great Valentine’s Day Without Your Military Spouse

Long distance relationships are hard, they’re even harder on holidays that are all about love. Grocery stores across the country quickly remind everyone that Valentine’s Day is coming and you must buy; candy, flowers, cookies, cupcakes, a card that sings, a giant teddy bear, and maybe some balloons to show your love for someone.


If you’re like me you don’t really care about receiving any of that, especially when you can’t even celebrate with your boyfriend/spouse because they’re in the Military. To a lot of people it’s just another day and, “If you love someone you should show them every day, not just one day out of the year.” Or you’re the hopeless romantic kind that absolutely loves Valentine’s Day and the romance of it all.

Regardless of how you feel about Valentine’s Day, you can still make it a great day without your significant other being there and here is how!

  1. Wake up and pick out your favorite outfit. Just because you’re alone on Valentine’s Day doesn’t mean you shouldn’t feel good about yourself!
  2. Make yourself a really great breakfast. If you’re like me you’ll go to the bakery and take full advantage of the heart-shaped donuts.
  3. Is it a nice day out? If it is take advantage of it. Go for a run, a hike, or a quick scenic drive filled with love songs during your lunch break. Plan a lunch date with some girlfriends, surround yourself with people that make you happy!
  4. After work stop by the grocery store to pick up a face-mask, some of your favorite comfort foods, and a good movie – this night is all about you!
  5. Before you go to bed, make a list of all of the things you love about your relationship with your military spouse/boyfriend. You’ll go to bed thinking positively about your relationship and happy!

At the end of the day remember, you do have someone out there that love’s you and would be there with balloons, flowers, candy, cookies, and a teddy bear if they could. Spend the day loving yourself and loving that you have a great relationship and you’ll find that Valentine’s Day on your own isn’t so bad.

Sandboxx is a mobile app that enables comms to exist throughout the military journey. The entire DOD organizational structure built into Sandboxx lets those in uniform and their families stay connected like never before possible. Sandboxx Letters continues the mission by give loved ones the ability to send physical mail to those in basic or on deployment. Learn more about how Sandboxx is revolutionizing the way our military community thrives at and download the app here,

SANDBOXX is a mobile app focused on connecting our military community.
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The Pre-Armstrong Workout for Pull-up Beginners

If doing full dead-hang pullups, or as a whole, the official Armstrong Pullup Program is too difficult for you, we recommend trying the following workout until your max set is 7-10 controlled, full dead-hang pullups. Best of luck!

The Pre-Armstrong Pullup Program Workout

The Pre-Armstrong Program for Beginners (click for jpg)
The Pre-Armstrong Program for Beginners (click for jpg)

When required, simply pick any bicep curl type exercises (barbell, dumbbell, alternating, exercise tube, kettlebells) or row exercise (machine row, barbell row, single arm bicep curl, etc). Whichever exercise your ability and equipment availability allows will work, just stick with only one or two exercises per requirement and ensure you continually challenge yourself with the weights and repetitions.

Pullup Substitutes

This workout makes use of pullup substitutes. Based on your own ability and the availability of equipment, consider any (or a combination) of the following exercises:

Exercise Tube Pull-downs

Exercise tubes are some of the most versatile of all workout equipment

Loop an exercise tube over your indoor pullup bar, door, or tall piece of furniture. Kneel down or back up to increase resistance. Simulate the pullup movement as much as possible.

5 things to write about when sending letters to basic training

sending mail to basic training

Basic training, recruit training, boot camp…whatever your service calls it…is a time of stress, long days, hard work, and very little comfort.  This is why mail call is so important.

Mail call is the connection to friends, family, loved ones, and the rest of the outside world.  When you get mail at basic training, you’re happier.  When you don’t get mail, even for a single day, you can feel pretty down.

We frequently get asked, “What should I write about when I send mail to my son/daughter/friend/etc. at basic training?”

Here are 5 things you can write about in letters to your new recruit.

And if you’re using the Sandboxx app to send your letter, we’ve even written down some ideas for pictures you can include.

1. Just say hi.

No need to overthink this one.  A post card, a single page of stationary, or better yet a Sandboxx letter, all have plenty of space to simply tell your recruit that you’re thinking of them.

Something like the following would work great:

“Hi Bobby!  Just wanted you to know I’m thinking of you.  Keep up the great work.  You rock!”

Sandboxx photo suggestion: a quick snapshot of you, the letter sender.  Selfies welcome.

button Get the Sandboxx app so you can send letters from your mobile device! 

2. Share some encouragement.

With all the stress of basic training, plus being away from loved ones and the comforts of home, it’s easy for a recruit to feel down.  Share some encouraging words to boost their spirits.  After all, we want them to succeed and to feel good about their accomplishments.

Try something like this:

“Hey Natalie, I know some days can be tough and you miss home a lot.  Just remember that I/we support you, and I know you can do it!”

Sandboxx photo suggestion: a funny or inspirational photo or meme.

encouraging mail to basic training or boot camp

3. Tell him/her that you’re proud of them.

This can go a long way.  Reading how proud you are of what they are doing will give them a ton of inner strength to keep on truckin’.   It doesn’t have to be flowery or over the top, just something genuine to let them know how proud you are.

Use this as a starting point:

“Thinking of you today.  Want you to know that I am very proud of you.  You’re doing something amazing.”

Sandboxx photo suggestion: something patriotic would work…the American flag, a bald eagle, etc.  Even better would be a selfie of you giving a big smile and a thumb’s up!

4. Sports scores, local news, family activities.

Your new service member is starving for information from the outside world.  So…send them some.

Here’s an example:

“Hey bud, I know you didn’t see it, but the Lions won the Super Bowl.  Never thought that would happen!  Also, they’re building a new high school gym here.  Gonna be nice.  Sam and I are taking a trip to see Chad this weekend.  We’ll send some pics.  Keep rockin’ it there at basic.  See you soon.”

Sandboxx photo suggestion: a picture of the winning goal, a photo of the new gym, or pics of the family or group of friends from the recent trip.

5. “Can’t wait for you to graduate!”

Graduation day for your recruit seems like a distant future event.  So, remind them of the light at the end of the tunnel.  If you know you’ll be there when they finish, tell them you can’t wait to see them in their fancy new uniform.  This will be a big help to keep your service member working hard to reach their goal.

Try this out:

“Hey girl, can’t believe it’s only a few weeks til you graduate.  Thank god, cuz we need to do a movie night.  Keep it up, you’re almost there.  See you soon!”

Sandboxx photo suggestion: a pic of your calendar with graduation date circled.

basic training graduation date

Letters to your recruit don’t need to be long.  They don’t need to be fancy.  Any mail from you will make a big impact.  Especially since your service member won’t really have access to text messages, Instagram, Facebook, etc. while at basic.

So keep those letters coming.

Want more tips on sending mail to basic training?  Check this out:

5 Tips When Writing to Someone at Boot Camp

My Dad’s Letters

Military life can be both miserable and rewarding.  The reward comes from working with great people on great teams accomplishing great missions.  The misery comes from austere locations, uncomfortable situations, and separation from loved ones.

One thing that makes every aspect of military life more bearable is the ability to keep in touch with friends and family.  But many times, the only way to connect is through the mail.

importance of military mail in basic training

When I was a recruit, going through my initial military training, I got mail just like everyone else did.  It was simultaneously the best and worst time of the day:

  • Best – because it was my connection to the outside world, the world that didn’t include drill instructors and smelly recruits;
  • Worst – because there was very little time to read and enjoy the stories, jokes, and gossip sent by friends and family.

basic training recruit training boot camp mail call

It was the same for everybody.  Mail was our escape.  It was our sanity check.  It gave us hope that there was life after recruit training.

For some, mail call brought snacks that they couldn’t keep.

For others, it meant envelopes soaked in perfume or really crafty, artistic packages…which invariably led to some ‘gentle’ ridicule from the instructors.

crafty military care package

Some got great news, like the birth of a child.

Others got horrible news, like the death of a parent.

Now matter how you look at it, mail call was (and is) how recruits stayed connected with the important people and events in their lives.  And it was all the more important during the holidays.

The mail I got at basic left a lasting impact on me.

Specifically, in the letters from my dad I received something far more precious than anything I’d ever requested for a birthday or for Christmas.impact of father on son

Something more valuable than a lesson on how to throw or catch, more timeless than a lesson on fishing.

What my dad sent to me during my three months of boot camp was powerful, wonderful, mysterious.

In his letters to me my father wrote of how proud he was of the man I was becoming.  He told me how much he loved me.  He wrote about how confidently he believed that no matter what obstacles I faced in life, I could overcome and succeed.

Through his letters, my dad gave me permission to be strong, to win, to lead.  I became a better recruit, and ultimately a better warrior because of those letters.

father's impact on soldier through military mail

“My father gave me the greatest gift…he believed in me.”~Jim Valvano

Thanks for believing, Dad.  And thanks for writing.

Join the Sandboxx community here to make an impact on your service member.

U.S. Naval Academy Admissions: Tips for Success

tips for naval academy admissions

If you are considering applying to the U.S. Naval Academy (or any of the Service Academies, for that matter), you must realize that the competition is extremely stiff.

As an example, consider the class portrait for the USNA Class of 2020. More than 17,000 applications were submitted; but fewer than 1,400 appointments were offered. If you aren’t that good at math (which you should be, by the way, if you’re considering a Service Academy), that’s an appointment rate of around 8%. Which means that 92% of those who applied were turned away. Not great odds.

tips for naval academy admissions

However, there are ways you can make yourself more competitive. If your goal is to be offered an appointment to the U.S. Naval Academy (or any of the other Service Academies), here are four tips that can help you stand out as a candidate.

1. Do 3 Sports

To be admitted to the Naval Academy, you must be physically fit. As a midshipman, you will most likely be expected to participate in athletics of some kind. But beyond the athletic requirements of student life, the physical fitness standards required of commissioned officers (what you will be if you can survive four years “by the Bay”) exist to make sure you are ready to lead in combat.

One of the best ways to show that you have what it takes physically to succeed at USNA, and to eventually lead our troops, is to be involved in varsity athletics while you’re in high school. But don’t just stick to one sport. Do three. If you play football, consider playing baseball and basketball, as well.

If you are a tennis star, think about working to become a track and field star, or a swimming phenom.

Bottom line: if you can get varsity letters (or at least show that you have participated) in three organized sports, you will be more competitive as a candidate.

2. Everybody gets A’s: do more

Think you’re smart? I guarantee someone at the Naval Academy is smarter. I further guarantee that your straight-A transcript(s) from high school, JuCo, CommCo, or university will not make you stand out. All of the truly competitive candidates have straight A’s. So…

Do more than simply get A’s in your classes. Look at getting into Advanced Placement (AP) classes. Consider making room in your schedule for one or two college level classes. Are there academic competitions that you can participate in? Do it. Even better, do very well in those competitions so you can add those accomplishments to your USNA candidate application.

If you are a high school graduate already, keep getting those A’s. But be smart about which courses you enroll in. Can you get into the tough STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) courses? Can you use some of those high school AP classes as college credit, and then enroll in 200, 300, or higher level classes? If so, do it. Also, get involved with academic student groups, lecture clubs, etc.

Bottom line: A’s aren’t enough. You need to show that you seek out very challenging academics across many disciplines, and that you succeed in those challenges.

3. Be a Leader

Remember a few lines up when I wrote that you need to show you participated in multiple sports? Okay, add this to your to-do: get into leadership positions on those teams. In fact, seek out leadership positions in everything you do. In your sports, in your school clubs, at church, in your civic groups (which we’ll talk about next). Graduates of the Naval Academy will assume positions of great responsibility upon graduation. So, make it easy for the Admissions board to see that you are not only capable of being a leader, but that you aggressively seek out the challenge of leadership.

Bottom line: your competitors will be student government presidents, club presidents, team captains, and leaders of all sorts of other extracurricular activities. You must show the same on your application.

4. Be a Servant

This may sound like a contradiction to the previous tip, but you need to show the Admissions board that you are a selfless servant. The military isn’t called ‘the service’ because that’s a cool moniker. It’s called the service because many of the requirements placed on you will necessitate great sacrifice.

To show that you embody the ideal of service before self, get involved in civic groups. Volunteer. Seek positions of leadership at church, in your school’s holiday food drive, at your local YMCA or Boy’s & Girl’s Club. Do things that show you want to serve others, in order to improve their lives.

Bottom line: as a midshipman at the Naval Academy, you will be expected to display an attitude of service. And as an officer of these United States, a very special trust and confidence will be conferred on you by the American people. Make it a habit now to pursue the welfare of others before you seek your own comfort.


Jeremiah graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy with the Class of 2009, and went on to become a Marine Corps intelligence officer.  Prior to the Naval Academy, Jeremiah was a Marine Corps Sergeant.  He has deployments in the Pacific, and to Afghanistan.

Join the Sandboxx community here.

First Jump for a Marine

what jump school is like for marines


U.S. Army Airborne School, more commonly known as Jump School, takes place at Ft. Benning, GA.  This is where the majority of military parachutists earn their basic qualification.

The school’s basic jump course is three weeks long, and consists of three phases: Ground, Tower, and Jump.

During Ground Week, students learn the basics of the parachute landing fall (PLF), and how to identify and control (sort of) the direction of their descent.

Tower Week gives the students practice in mass exit (lots of people exiting an aircraft quickly), deploying the combat load, and getting used to the physical shock from the opening canopy.

Jump Week…is when the fun stuff happens: actually parachuting from an aircraft in flight.

marines at jump school army airborne

I had the opportunity to go to Jump School as a Marine Corps intelligence officer. I commanded a platoon of ‘radio reconnaissance’ Marines, and our mission required me to be a parachutist.  So off I went to earn my wings.

Here’s what I wrote after my first jump:

Here I am in the third and final week of training: Jump Week.  This week we’ll do five low-level static line aircraft exits.  Two of the jumps must be during the day, and two at night; two must be slick (just the main parachute and reserve), and two must be made with a combat load.  Today, we jumped slick.  Our remaining jumps include 1 day-slick and 1 day-combat; and 1 night-slick and 1 night-combat.

Then we’ll all be basic parachutists.


Up until now, I haven’t really been nervous.  As we boarded the aircraft, wearing our parachutes and reserves, our helmets, our ankle braces, and some anxious smiles of excitement…I still didn’t really feel nervous.  But I was paying attention to my mental, emotional, and even physical reactions to the whole experience.

It wasn’t until we were fully in flight, and the first team of jumpers exited, that my physiology changed.  Straining to turn and watch the first jumpers prepare to exit, anticipating the commands they received from the jump master, and then seeing them fling themselves out the door on the right side of the craft, I had a cold, hard realization.

I was about to jump out of an airplane!  I got nervous.

Honestly “nervous” isn’t the right word.  Fearful is more appropriate.  This is what I noticed:

  • my heart rate increased, but it felt like it dropped into my stomach;
  • my mouth became dry;
  • my perspective became slightly myopic, internal.

Yeah…those are some physiological effects of fear.

I wasn’t crippled by the fear, though.  It’s not like everyone else on that plane had no fear or anxiety.  We all did.  But we were still going to jump.

And no way, as a Marine, would I chicken out while a bunch of Army guys jumped!

jumping from a c-130

The C-130 Hercules we were on made a few passes over the drop zone, and vomited out wave after wave of jumpers.  Soon…it was our turn.  We focused on the Jumpmaster, anxiously waiting for his commands.

“Outboard personnel, stand up.”  Those seated against the skin of the C-130 stood up.

“Inboard personnel, stand up.”  Those of us seated on the cargo net in the middle stood up.

“Hook up.” We hooked up, and checked our lines and equipment.  I was the third jumper in the stick.

“One minute!”

The door was open.  I was ten feet from it.  I could feel the warm air coming in, and could smell the C-130’s exhaust.

My heart began to race; my breathing became more rapid.

“Thirty seconds!”

jumpmaster gives 30 second signal

My heart was pounding, and I made an effort to keep calm by controlling my breathing and, surprisingly, by looking outside.  We were 1250 feet up.  It didn’t look all that daunting, and gazing out at the treetops and fields actually soothed my nerves.

“Stand by!”  The number one jumper was standing at the door, facing out, ready to launch himself from the platform.

“Green Light! Go!”  

Jumper 1, a Marine Corporal stationed at MCAS Cherry Point, disappeared.  Jumper 2, an Army Second Lieutenant stationed at Ft. Benning, shuffled toward the Jumpmaster.  I shuffled forward, too, but kept back about an arm’s length.

Jumper 2 turned to his right and disappeared.

I made eye contact with the Jumpmaster, handed him my static line, and turned.  Step, kick…

WHOOSH!airborne jump exit

I left the aircraft and was met by a shocking wall of air from my right.

“One thousand.”  I was blown into a horizontal position.

“Two thousand.”  The force of the air tossed my helmet about my head.

“Three thousand.”  I realized my eyes were closed and opened them; I could see the first two jumpers in the air ahead of me.  My chin was tucked to my chest.  My hands clutched the sides of my reserve parachute.

“Four thousand, five thousand.”  I could feel the tug of the deploying parachute catching air.

“Six thousand.”  I reached up to grab my risers, the straps that connected the parachute to the harness on my body.  I looked up to inspect the canopy.  I needed to make sure it had fully deployed and that there were no rips, tears, holes, or broken suspension lines.


No damage and it was open, but it was twisted.  I grabbed the two risers and pulled them outward away from my head.  I began kicking my legs as if riding a very awkward bicycle.  I spun a couple times until the twist undid itself and the parachute opened fully.

Then…it felt like I was just hovering.

There wasn’t much noise.  All I could really hear was my breathing.  The descent was so smooth, I wasn’t sure I was even moving at all.  I looked around to ensure no other jumper was too close to me, and to get my bearings on where I was in relation to the drop zone.

I was floating straight down.

My landing was great; I executed a perfect PLF.  Then I quickly set to work putting the spent parachute into my aviator kit bag.

I was happy for an uneventful landing.  I could have been dragged by the parachute, landed in a bog, or caught a patch of weird air and dropped harder than expected.  Easy day for me, though.

I picked up my aviator kit bag with spent parachute inside, and headed for the rally point.


I had completed my first parachute jump.  And got paid to do it.  Not a bad day.


Jeremiah graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy with the Class of 2009, and went on to become a Marine Corps intelligence officer.  Prior to the Naval Academy, Jeremiah was a Marine Corps Sergeant.  He has deployments in the Pacific, and to Afghanistan.

Join the Sandboxx community here.

Funny Boot Camp Stories – Volume 3

funny boot camp basic training stories

Boot camp and basic training are high stress environments. That, combined with some genius/cruel Drill Instructors leads to pretty funny incidents.

Drill Instructors screaming

I Own Your Soul

When I was on Parris Island, we were drilling on the parade deck and this one recruit kept messing up. Our drill instructor stopped us, stalked up to the recruit, and started wearing. him. out. Gave him the classic DI: screaming in both ears, spit flying, smacking him in the face with his cover.

Eventually, the recruit broke down and silent tears started streaming down his face. The DI took his finger, wiped a tear from the recruits eye, and licked it, telling the recruit “Now I own your soul.”


The Battle of the Monitor and Merrimac

The first couple weeks of boot are full of medical and dental exams, and if you need a procedure, you get it done right there. Tons of guys had their wisdom teeth pulled, and we had one guy come back right before lights out with his mouth full of gauze and loopy from the drugs.

Our DI called us all to the center of the room, formed us up, and then told us to sit Indian style on the floor, and that Recruit Toothy was going to tell us a bedtime story.

He pulled up a chair for Toothy, and then told him to tell us the story of the battle of the Monitor and Merrimac. Toothy mumbled that he didn’t know the story, so the DI told him to just make it up, and for every fact that he got right, we’d get to sleep an extra 5 minutes in the morning.

What followed was like a live episode of Drunk History, minus any factual accuracy. As best as Toothy could recall, the Monitor was British, the Merrimack was “Old Ironsides”, and that in the end, “they shot the sh*t out of each other and everybody died. The end.”

We were all dying laughing, but the DI sat there stone faced. After Toothy was done, DI just stood up and said “That is exactly how it happened. Well done,” got up, turned off the lights, and walked out.


Hope Your DI Isn’t This Mean

We had a drill sergeant make a private carry a branch everywhere she went so it would replenish all the oxygen she was wasting.

We had a guy named Fitzwater, we called him “Fats-water”. We weren’t just calling him just cause he was fat (he was), he was a lazy piece of shit who was constantly pretending to be hurt to get out of work. Anyways, he got pissed at us one day and said “if anyone calls me fats-water again I’m going to tell drill sergeant!” Immediately the drill sergeant walks in and goes “hey what’s up fats-water?”

A mother of one of the other privates sent him a photo of a drill sergeant trashing a locker, with a letter saying “hope you’re drill sergeant isn’t as mean as this! :)” it turned out that it was a picture of our dill sergeant. He had posted on Facebook that ended up going viral, she was just looking up pictures of drill sergeants and it just happened to be him.


Thanks to the Veterans over at Reddit for sharing their boot camp stories.

Sandboxx is a mobile app that enables those in uniform and their families stay connected like never before possible. Servicemembers, veterans, reservists and recruits can use Sandboxx Units to stay in touch with all those they have or will serve with. Sandboxx Letters continues the mission by giving loved ones the ability to send physical mail to those in basic training, boot camp or on deployment. Join the Sandboxx community here.

Funny Boot Camp Stories – Volume 2

funny boot camp stories pine cone family

Boot camp and basic training are high stress environments. That, combined with some genius/cruel Drill Instructors leads to pretty funny incidents.

Pine Cone Family

Ah, yes, “The Pine Cone Incident.”

So, I was at Basic in Fort Benning, and we were zero’ing our weapons as a company. Zero’ing a weapon is when you ensure it shoots where you want it to by shooting a paper target repeatedly. Sounds easy enough.

Now, I am a terrible shot. I know this. Everyone knows this. However, I get even worse when I’m being screamed at. I spent hours on the line until, finally, there were only four of us cats who hadn’t gotten a “go” in the whole company. We had three more hours of range time, and if we failed to zero, we’d be “recycled.”

“Recycled” entails having to revert to another company earlier along in Basic Training. So, not only do you lose your buddies, but you catch a couple extra weeks of training with a unit that knows you’re a sh*tbird of some sort. So, a fate worse than death.

After another unsuccessful grouping, my drill sergeant, without a word, picked me up from the prone position and stood me up. He looked at me and said “Go find me a pine cone.”

Confused, I took four steps, scooped up a pine cone and took it back to him. I presented him my findings, and he responded “Private, that’s not my pine cone, go find me my f*cking pine cone!”

Keep in mind, this is a forest in Georgia, there’s a metric sh*t ton of pine cones. So I jog off and work on my “mission.” This entire time, my DS is shooting all my rounds off, genuinely enjoying himself. Every pine cone I bring to him is not his pine cone. This continued for about 15 minutes while the rest of the company, sitting in a clearing eating MREs, cheered me on.

Finally, I breathlessly run up and hand him another pine cone, about to jog off to grab another. He looks at me, then the pine cone, then me.

…. “STEVE!” he yells “You found Steve, private!”

I sh*t you not, I had never been more relieved in my entire life, until his face scrunched into a grimace.

“Wait, private, where’s his family? … WHO THE F*CK TAKES A PINE CONE AWAY FROM HIS FAMILY!?”

So, terrified, I spend around half an hour scavenging for appropriate sized pine cones, while he fires maniacally. Eventually, I hunt down his “wife” and his two “kids.” (At one point I brought “Steve’s estranged son, Dennis”, and I needed to do push-ups for causing Steve “emotional duress.”)

pine cone family

Anyway he lets me fire (after I prop up the family to “cheer me on”), I go prone, and I zero on the first iteration.

He picks me up again, cracks the only smile I ever saw from him, and says “It was all in your head, you dumb f*ck. Good job. Now go do push-ups till I’m tired.” He also had me write my congressman later that day to apologize for wasting taxpayer money on bullets.

Fort Benning, never again.


Barracks Streaking

Had a guy decide to run through the barracks naked while a Drill Sergeant walked in.

They put him on fire guard the entire night and made him waddle around the barracks on his knees while wearing only underwear. The best part is that he had two flashlights in his hands while doing this and put a blue lens in one and a red lens in the other. The entire night he waddled around while making a “WEE WOO WEE WOO WEE WOO” sound like a police siren.

I lost a lot of sleep, but it was worth it.


Pump and Dump

After the first breakfast there we headed back up to the compartment to get ready for the day. AROC yelled, “Port side 5 minute pump and dump.” I whispered to my bunk mate, “I need a little more romance than that.” Chief overheard me somehow and got up in my face. I had to follow him to the head. Then stand in front of the mirror point at the mirror and say, “You’re an idiot.” Then point back at myself and then say, “No, I’m an idiot.” Forced to keep that up for 30 minutes. Will never forget most of the stupid stuff I did or said at basic in the Navy.



Thanks to the Veterans over at Reddit for sharing their boot camp stories.

Sandboxx is a mobile app that enables those in uniform and their families stay connected like never before possible. Servicemembers, veterans, reservists and recruits can use Sandboxx Units to stay in touch with all those they have or will serve with. Sandboxx Letters continues the mission by giving loved ones the ability to send physical mail to those in basic training, boot camp or on deployment. Join the Sandboxx community here.

Funny Boot Camp Stories – Volume 1

funny boot camp basic training stories USAF USA USN USMC USCG

Boot camp and basic training are high stress environments. That, combined with some genius/cruel Drill Instructors leads to pretty funny incidents.

boot camp funny stories.jpg


One of the guys fell asleep during fire watch. One of the drill instructors ambushed him and told him that he was now dead. So then he had to go around being a spooky ghost . So he has to walk around with a sheet over his head booing and shaking everyone’s racks. It would have been hilarious if I wasn’t so damn tired.


Permission to adjust

I had the pleasure of witnessing this one myself. At the end of the chow line the MTIs have a table called the Snake Pit. The MTIs randomly pull out trainees and question them on stuff we’re supposed to know. One day, they pull out one poor sap from our brother flight. It went roughly as follows:

TI: “Trainee! What is the insignia of the full Colonel?”

Trainee: “The insignia of the Colonel is the bird sir.”

TI: “What type of bird exactly?!”

Trainee: “Permission to adjust sir?”

TI: “…. Adjust ….”

Trainee then proceeds to SET HIS TRAY ON THEIR TABLE, put is hands up in the “Egyptian” pose but with both hands outward, turns his head to the side and says “Like this sir.”

The onlooking TIs nearly choked on their food while the questioning TI stared at him dumbfoundedly for a few moments before yelling at him to “Get (his) sh*t off of (their) table and get the fuck out of (their) sight.”

Oh that was probably one of the best times I’ve seen a TI at a loss for words…


Double Mattress

In the barracks where I did my basic we had “cubicles” our bunks were separated by a half wall. My bed and the bed of the troop next to me were both against that half wall. Part of our layout for inspection was a specific set of gear on the bed.

One morning inspection our platoon Sgt decided that the bed layout of the troop next to me was utter shit so the Sgt flipped the mattress so hard it landed on my bunk covering my layout.

So after the Sgt finished reaming out the troop next to me he takes one look at my bunk and starts reaming me out because apparently I think I’m special and deserve two mattresses.


Thanks to the Veterans over at Reddit for sharing their boot camp stories.


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