Google Maps Shows Marine Recruit Getting Smoked By His Drill Instructor

U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Benjamin E. Woodle/Flickr

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Russ Read Pentagon/Foreign Policy Reporter
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A Google Maps image has captured the dreadful feeling that every Marine recruit is familiar with — getting “smoked” by their drill instructor (DI).

The image, posted on Twitter by the Terminal Lance comic strip on Wednesday, shows a bird’s eye view of Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego. A drill instructor, wearing the iconic campaign hat (or cover) which designates their status, can be seen standing by a lone Marine recruit doing push-ups in a field. It is unclear what series of unfortunate events earned the recruit such special attention.

“Getting smoked” is a common term used across the military branches. According to Urban Dictionary, it is defined as “to be disciplined through extreme physical exercise or activity, conducted by a drill sergeant during basic training.” Officially, the method is referred to by DIs in the Marines as “incentive training.” Basically, if you’re getting smoked, it means you’ve messed up.

“Incentive training is kind of a tool for drill instructors,” Staff Sgt. Brian M. Akers told Lance Cpl. Brian Kester in a 2004 interview. “When you have 88 recruits in a squad bay and there are only three of you, that’s going to be your tool to train them.”

Here’s an example of DI’s implementing some incentive training with recruits at Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island, S.C.


Getting smoked is tough, but it is not done without purpose, according to Akers.

“There is a lot more to incentive training than just push, run and flutter kicks,” noted Akers. “You just don’t grab a recruit and say, ‘Get on the quarterdeck.’ You explain to the recruit why [they] are up here. Let the recruit know where he is deficient, and you are correcting the problem.”

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