Active member
I haven't been able to grasp this concept:

As i understand it while i am in recruit training every first and last word out of my mouth will be sir. That part i got...
Now what i don't understand is NCO's for instance my recruiter is a SSGT and the other recruiters in the office are GySGT ("boss") and the other SSGT and i think a SGT that HATE it when you say sir too much. However commisioned officers you are required to say sir EVERY time. Now being from GA USA i was raised to say sir and mam no matter what. when my parents tell me or ask me to do something it is yes sir no sir yes mam no mam. so when i met my recruiter it just came natural to me and i have to catch myself every now and then and MAKE myself stop saying sir so much. Now i know about the rankings and commisioned officers are way on up there and that is probably why one says sir at all time to the CO's... But here is where it gets kinda confusing for me...
when a CO is around and a NCO says something or gives you any type of order even a suggestion you must say sir!?!?! despite what the NCO's preference is.

for the record: This is not an issue of whether or not i will do it but more of a need for clarification.

another thing that i have noticed is that when Marines that are "fresh" as in just walked across the parade deck a few weeks ago come home and join us in our poolee functions they all become experts on what you should do in RT. Now i have never been one to brag or what have you and yes i understand the RT is something that changes you for the rest of your life and i am sure i will be full of pride on the day that i walk across the Parade Deck but why is it that every time someone that left as a recruit and comes back as a Marine is suddenly an expert on every friggin thing that the Marines have to offer -- IE: weapons ammo knives hand to hand and every exercise known to man? it really irks me hear the new Marines tell other recruits what they should and should not do at MCRD. True they have been there and they have gone through the training but i don't think that qualifies them as an expert on the different strengths and weaknesses of every recruit. I may just be defensive on the subject because to me it is something that i want to accomplish on my own with the help of the men that i will be learning and working beside and i don't want some guy telling me that i am doing my pushups wrong and that when he was at MCRD he had a torn acl and water on his knees and he still made it thorough and blah blah blah... it just kills me.

Don't take offense to this Marines. I have nothing but love and respect for ALL of you. It just annoys me that so many ppl (i will say they are mostly the 17-18 year old Marines) can become the absolute expert on everything Marine in 13 weeks.
the arrogance of youth hey??
dont stress about it, they have gained this vast wealth of new, cool knowledge, which they want to show off, its only natural.
the really smart ones, know that they dont have to brag or offer opinions, thier actions do the talking
In recruit training you call every one Sir or Mam. From the General to a slick sleeve just graduated PVT plus the civilian employees. Easiest way to remember it is this. If they ain't a recruit they are Sir or Ma'm.

In the fleet your better off addressing everyone by their rank. As in



Yes Sgt.

Yes Staff Sergeant

Never use Sarge to a Sergeant. And although you may hear another SNCO address a Staff Sergeant as "Staff" you use Staff Sergeant. Or suffer :)

Gunnery Sergeants are addressed as Gunny with no problem.

1st Sgt's are always addressed as First Sergeant never Top.
Master Sgt's may be addressed as Top but some don't like it.
Master Gunnery Sgt's may be addressed as Master Gunny or Top depending on their preference.
Sgt. Majors. Are addressed as Sgt. Major or Sometimes Sgt. Major Sir.

All Officers Commissioned or Warrant are addressed as Sir. You may here at times an NCO or SNCO address a Warrant Officer as Gunner, a Lieutenant as L T or the CO as Skipper but don't you do it.

If the CO is present and a Sergeant Gives you an order you say.

Aye Aye Sergeant. Or Yes Sergeant. The Company Commander being present has no bearing on your response to the Sgt.

If the CO gives you an order you say Aye Aye Sir or Yes Sir. Just as you would recieving an order from any Officer.

The guys that are irkin you are Boots we all were once and you will be too. They like to think that Graduating makes them experts on the Corps to everyone on civvie street. I ,they and you will or have grown out of it
Once they get out of school and into their unit they will realize they ain't as "salty" as they'd like to believe.
12 years and a few mistakes as a young Pvt. and PFC kinda sear it into your memory :lol:
ok i think i can manage that. now what about PFC's when i graduate MCRD i will be a PFC. I HATE being called sir... don't know why i just do. when i leave Paris Island and head for my MOS training privates should not call me sir at ANY time... correct?
I wouldn't worry about anybody calling you sir as a PFC. Other than the Recruit you might encounter on your way off the Depot. As a Pvt. I never addressed the PFC's in my class at SOI or in my Unit in the fleet by anything but their last name.
Unless the Corps has changed I never recall addressing any PFC by his rank until I had a Fire Team and was trying to get a point across. ;)
Pvt's and PFC's are pretty much non entities and rate zero courtsey from anyone.
I have no prob with that... the way i see it the less you see and hear out of me the better i am doing my job.
at least while i am in RT
the_13th_redneck said:
I'm sure he learned it through much pain and suffering :lol:

Italian Guy said:
03USMC sounds like you've paid a lot of attention to that kind of stuff uh? I like that.

Yep. I qoute a Company 1st Sergeant H&S Co. 1st Marines to a young PFC who had just reported to him for a working party.

"Top? Top? :cen: in Top? A Top is a :cen: in toy that spins around on a flat surface :cen: stain!"

I am a First Sergeant in the United States Marine Corps!
at that point in time... it sucked to be you!!!

so what was your reaction/punishment? were there other's around that you "helped" teach the lesson to?
My punishment? I had to give "Top" 50 pushups. Thing is the Company Gunny was the one who told me "Go tell Top your here>"

Gunny watched my motivational PT session with something bordering sadistic glee in his eyes.

But hey he told Top it was his fault after I was done. :roll:
that sucks so bad.... so while everyone watched you do 50 push-ups was he talking or just staring? and what happens if you can't do 50 push-ups at one time?
No man it didn't suck. The Gunny and the 1st Sgt had their fun with the little PFC from the Line Company and I learned a lesson in military courtsey. It's a learning expierance.

Can't do 50? Well usually you end up owing them to whoever. Not a good thing. If you "owe" an NCO pushups then when they see you say in the the chowline then you might hear "You still owe me (x amount) pushups. Knock em out." :lol:
You are better off callin people by their rank and officers sir. If they want you to call them somethin else they will let ya know. The only one that you usually can get away with is Gunny.
Now I know this is a discussion about the Marines and I am Army but I understand what you're saying about the newbies just off the Island. I happened to have the opportunity to talk to one just recently after church. I like to speak with people in uniform whenever I can. I saw him with his Mom and walked over and shook his hand and talked to him a bit. I asked him what he's going to do next. He started talking about a school he was lined up for and then proceeded to tell me he was going to get a commission. I stopped him in mid sentence and said "You're getting commissioned after you complete school? Exactly what kind of school did you say that was?" He said "Oh no I meant an NCO which is an officer without a commission!". I said "before you go any further I suppose I ought to tell you that I spent 22 years in the Army and retired as a First Sergeant and I have a fair idea of what an NCO is.". Well his faced turned Marine Corps red an I told him it's alright, I bet he didn't run into too many Retired First Sergeants.
Anyway back to the subject at hand. I agree that the best advice is to address someone by their rank unless told to do otherwise. Unlike the Marines, in the Army the term "Top" is used exclusively for First Sergeants. It's the term for the "top sergeant" in a company. I always hated to be called "Sarge" though. Once you said that to me your a$$ was mine from then on, or at least until the next bonehead made the same mistake.
Oh, that's a key thing to remember throughout your military experience. Everyone takes their fair ration of sh#t at least until the next puke screws up and takes the heat off you. Trust me, there's always someone right behind you just chomping at the bit to screw up. It's almost a natural law of military nature. You've just got to wait him out, he'll show up pretty soon, trust me. :lol:
yeah so say i screw up and blurt out the wrong thing... should i set one of my idiot friends/enemies up to doing something similar or are things like that taboo/ gets mu a$$ into more dung?