A Recruit Collapsed On The Floor And This Drill Instructor Performed One Move That Saved His Life


When I was in the military I lived by a rule that my father told me was told to him when he served; always be nice to the cooks and the medics.

It’s no secret that U.S. Marine Corps drill instructors have a profound impact on the lives of recruits… but sometimes, that influence can be literally life-saving.

Just days ago, Sgt. Quaylain Brown put his experience as a former Navy corpsman and nursing student to good use when a trainee under his supervision collapsed without warning.

Brown serves as a drill instructor at the Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island, one of the best known training locations for new members of the Corps.

 The drill instructor was overseeing incentive training — basically, exercise as motivation — when a nearby recruit named Callum Clougher dropped to his hands and knees.

According to the veterans news website Task and Purpose, Brown had deployed overseas previously as a member of the Navy. Even though he put his medical skills to use during that deployment, he hadn’t directly saved a life.

That changed on July 24, when Clougher started choking, grasping desperately as his throat and unable to breath.

 Brown rushed to the recruit and wrapped his arms around him. Using upward thrusts, the DI gave Clougher the Heimlich maneuver. The instructor’s simple but effective actions dislodged a foreign object from the recruit’s throat.


“I had gotten a local anesthetic (from a dental procedure)… so I couldn’t feel my face,” the recruit explained after the incident. He had reportedly been eating at the time. “That’s why I started choking, sir. … It was scary. … I started seeing black dots.”

 Saving a recruit from choking may not be as dramatic as storming a beach, but the DI’s fast actions earned him the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal.

“These recruits are entrusted to my care,” Brown said. “I’ve always wanted to influence the future of the Corps. It’s an honor.”

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