Boot Camp: TV Guide Looks at the Drill Instructorsby David Bloomberg -- 07/10/2002
A couple weeks ago (4/21/01), TV Guide had a short feature on the Drill Instructors (D.I.s) from Boot Camp. It had some interesting information that may relate to the way they behave.
For example, it turns out that D.I. McSweeney (Leo) had the shortest stint and is the only one of the three that is not still a Marine. Yet he's the one who pushes the recruits the hardest, screams (and spits) the most, and throws the biggest tantrums. Perhaps not surprisingly, he's also the only one who has remained single.
On the flip side, he has seen active duty in both the Gulf War and Somalia, so if the recruits really were going to end up in the Marines, he might be a good person to have on your side. Of course, the "recruits" in this game aren't going to see actual combat, and will probably never understand what it was like for him to have bullets flying around sounding "like pissed off bumble bees," in his words.
D.I. Taylor (Annette) is a Gunnery Sergeant and has been on active duty for 17 years, though she has not seen actual combat. She has two children and is twice divorced. TV Guide gave her a 7 out of a possible 10 on the scream scale (McSweeney was given an 11).
D.I. Rosenbum (Tony), a Chief Warrant Officer, has been serving for 14 years. He is married and has two children. He saw combat duty in Desert Shield and Storm. While the recruits might not think the food at camp is all that great or that they get enough sleep, Rosenbum says it's a lot better on the show than at real boot camp. Also, real boot camp doesn't have a wrap party. TV Guide ranked him an 8 on the scream scale.
D.I. Francisco (Dave), is a Sergeant Major and has served for 20 years. He has received three Navy-Marine Corp Commendation Medals, two Navy-Marine Corp Achievement Medals, and two Combat Action Ribbons (though they don't say where that combat took place). He is also married and has two kids.
Francisco is the ranking D.I., and also the calmest. TV Guide gave him a scream ranking of only 3, and he recognizes that the "recruits" here "weren't coming to have a career. They were coming to play a game." Sometimes, it seems the other D.I.s have a tendency to forget this.
As Francisco told the magazine, in real boot camp you don't have side interviews and backstabbing and voting and all of that. But then in a real island survival situation (like Survivor is supposed to represent), you don't have reward challenges and packages from home, either. Boot Camp is a game, and the D.I.s are merely players - players who take it a bit too seriously at times, I think, but perhaps that's part of their role. If they are acting, they deserve Academy Awards. If they aren't, they need to chill out - especially McSweeney, who has to realize that he's not in the service anymore. Still, I'd love to see what the four of them are like away from the cameras and their duties. If the show is successful enough to be renewed for another series, perhaps some more of that side of them will show through.
Check out our Boot Camp page for our full list of articles about the show.