Another boot camp question

Rather than hijack my own thread
I’ll just start this one.

In the movie scene in full Metal Jacket the DI yells “what are you two doing in my head?”

Are recruits allowed to get up in the middle of the night to relieve themselves, or must they wait until reveille?

In Navy bootcamp in '85, there was no restriction. We got up to pee whenever we needed to.

A few details:

The day was nonstop; there was barely a few minutes of time for each meal, and we were given the time between 9 and 9:30 pm to write letters, chat, and such.
Hence, you were beat by 9:30 (taps), so you likely would sleep like a log until the lights came back on at 4:30am. (5:30 after the first four weeks. What bliss!).

Additionaly, you didn’t go to the head unseen: there was always a recruit on watch, just like the guy in the movie. The purpose of this watch was more to get recruits used to standing watch than anything else. They gave us an old beat up Springfield rifle to hold and that was that. No live rounds anywhere, the rifles probably didn’t even work.

Our company commanders didn’t sleep in the barracks. I assume they went home to their families at night.

I don’t recall the movie scene, but the head would usually be secured, early each morning, for cleaning and no one would be permitted to use it until after the daily inspection, which would probably done during the morning while the recruits are gone for classes. The head is also where people frequently go to seek some privacy, often to do things that are prohibited.

A related point about that privacy that A.R. Cane mentions: our head had stalls, but no doors. Fortunately, for the timid, the stalls were all on one wall, facing a blank block wall. It was common practice to clip one’s white pistol belt (a bootcamp accessary that had to be removed in order to drop trou) to the rail above where the door should have been. That made it easy for guys to see that stalls 5, 6, and 7 were occupied without having to go down and check out their mates in undignified positions.

There were a few places that did look like that head in FMJ, though. I remember during PT in one of the drill halls having to go to the head and being shocked when I walked into a room with all four walls lined with toilets and nothing else.

This was Navy. I always assumed that Marine and Army heads were completely without walls. Ugh.

When I went through BCT at Fort Knox way back in the 1979, the latrine was open 24 hours a day. When the cleaning detail was cleaning the head, they were required to leave one commode available while cleaning the rest of them. Obviously, once they were done cleaning the other commodes, they “reassigned” one of the clean ones as the available one and cleaned its predecessor.

Ah yes, the fun involved being on the barracks mid watch…Navy…0200 hours and some unknown Chief comes barging through the door…me throwing my rifle across my chest and screaming 'HALT! WHO GOES THERE?!And him demanding that I recite the 3rd. General Order.

I did a lot of push ups back then.

The General Orders…

It was that way in Reception Station, but after we actually got to Basic Training, there were stalls (Fort Leonard Wood, 1971).

There weren’t any time-of-day restrictions, either.

PS- The Army has latrines, not heads.

Slightly off topic, but I asked Chouinard Fan something similar, and he said that in the army, if you gotta go, you gotta go. I think they’re against the idea of people wetting themselves, although I assume you could also manage to annoy your CO into giving you bad detail if he though you were shirking.

Sorry for the hijack, but how much time is one given to get ready after waking up? Frankly, sometimes the process of using the toilet takes a while in the morning.

We had 5 minutes from wake up to get out of the rack, get dressed in our sweats, get out on the parade field, get in formation, and begin the day with calisthenics. There was no head call, unless you were very, very quick about it. After morning exercise, you had about 20 minutes or so to do the head thing, make your rack, pack your bag and form up for breakfast.

::comes into thread prepared to answer questions about installing XP on a Mac::

Hmm, guess I’ve been spending a lot of times on the Macintosh bulletin boards lately…never mind. As you were, soldier.

And I submit to both of ya, the Air Force has neither “latrines” nor “heads”: we’ve got “shitters” and “Cadillacs”. Thankfully, I speak Green, so I can sometimes translate for those who don’t know.

For the uninitiated, a “Cadillac” is a singlewide, prefabricated standalone trailer, which is transportable and serves as either a crapper, or in some cases can be assembled into multiple units for housing, office space, or whatnot. Usually though, the term is reserved for what you’d call a ‘latrine’, ‘head’, or ‘crapper’.

But usually, if you’re “going to the Cadillac”, you’re gonna be occupied for a few minutes.

Yup. “Cadillac”. I don’t know why, but that’s the way it is.