Drill Instructor's Creed: (excerpt from Warrior Culture of the U.S. Marines, copyright 2001 Marion F. Sturkey)
Marine Corps boot camp training is, and always must remain, demanding. Its only objective is to prepare recruits for the Brotherhood, and for the hardships of combat.
On a moonlit Sunday night, 8 April 1956, A Drill Instructor at Parris Island took his Platoon 71 on a forced march. For hours they sloshed through the muck and mire of the swamps and salt marshes surrounding the base. The Drill Instructor, a 31 year old staff sergeant, a veteran of World War II and Korea with an exemplary record, felt his platoon needed more discipline. As he came to Ribbon Creek, the tidal stream between Horse Island and Parris Island, he shouted: "Anyone who can't swim will drown! Anyone who can swim will be eaten by the sharks!"
The Drill Instructor plunged into the creek, dutifully followed by his platoon. All safely struggled across to the other side. Then, after humping in circles through the ever-rising water of the salt marshes for a while, they returned to the creek. But, by this time the tide had come in. The current was swift, and Ribbon Creek was now seven feet deep. Heavily laden by their packs and rifles, six recruits drowned.
In the aftermath of the Ribbon Creek tragedy the Marine Corps took a hard look at all aspects of recruit training and boot camp. The rigid training and ironclad discipline remained, although forced night marches through Ribbon Creek came to a screeching halt. And, the Parris Island Boot published a new Drill Instructor's Creed on 31 August 1956.
These are my recruits. I will train them to the best of my ability. I will develop them into smartly disciplined, physically fit, basically trained Marines, thoroughly indoctrinated in love of Corps and country. I will demand of them, and demonstrate by my own example, the highest standards of personal conduct, morality, and professional skill.