6 ways to distract a instructor during room inspections

Ruddy Cano Avatar

US Marine Corps (USMC) Gunnery Sergeant (GYSGT Christopher T. Balcazar, a Drill Master aboard Marine Corps Recruit Depot (MCRD) San Diego, California (CA), grades recruits from Lima/Company during their final drill.

Room inspections can be stressful when you have a nitpicky instructor, especially if you’re about to go on leave. Marines pay extra attention to detail. It is why our uniforms always look good and we maintain high state of readiness. This fact is true to the point that motivated NCOs can be sticklers to the point of absurdity. Maybe they’re trying to buy some time before formation, or they want everybody to reflect a positive image of their leadership. Regardless, they can kick rocks because we have liberty call. This is how you can distract your instructor during room inspections.

1. Place pin up posters inside your wall locker

This one never failed. I strategically placed pin ups inside my wall lockers and anything with a door. The key here is that they remain inside when secured. If they ask you to open something up, BAM! A talking point to metaphorically take a knee and run out the clock. Since the pin up posters are inside your personal space you can’t be reprimanded. Plausible deniability for the both of you.

2. Before the next room inspection, use unethical amounts of raw bleach

Clorox bleach is particularly useful during room inspections.
Your new best friend.

When I wanted them out quick, fast and in a hurry. I would mop the floor with straight bleach. I closed the doors and windows behind me as I waited outside my barracks room. Their response was like clockwork: one step in, ‘yeah this room is clean,’ about face and leave. Do it the morning of and NOT before you go to bed.

Thank you, staff sergeant, now GTFO of my room.

3. Get obnoxiously motivated

Marine room inspections
Marine drill instructors and a class officer at the Aviation Officer Candidate School conduct a personnel, locker and room inspection.

Oorah the sh*t outta them. Proper greeting of the day, snap to a attention so hard it creates a thunderclap. Walk like you’re on the parade deck on graduation day. Talk about Marine Corps everything or whatever service you’re in. Make them so uncomfortable they nope out immediately. If you get someone who is into drill, well, now they’re not inspecting anything are they? Service branch knowledge, drill, sharpness of uniform – there is no way this motivator doesn’t have his room inspection ready. They won’t even check for your girlfriend hiding in the bathroom. Perception is reality!

4. Leave ONE storage space unsecured

I used this one when I want to get caught red handed doing something good. If a service member leaves something unlocked, it is open season to be inspected. ‘Oh no, you found all my required reading, off duty tasks, and things I need to make myself competitive for promotion!’

This works great combined with tip number one.

5. Worried about a room inspection? Don’t be there

Straight up make all your appointments on inspection days. Dental, eye exams, whatever. I don’t care if you volunteered for a working party at the company office. In the insurance world this is called risk aversion. If you’re never there during inspections, you can’t be inspected. Sergeant can’t waste your time if you have no time to waste.

If you work in the infantry, you’re screwed, for personnel other than grunt, congratulations! Just go to work.

6. Be cool, calm and collected during the inspection

Sergeant before room inspections
US Marine Corps (USMC) Staff Sergeant (SSGT) Daniel L. Tompkins, a Drill Master aboard Marine Corps Recruit Depot (MCRD) San Diego, California (CA), grades recruits from Lima/Company during their final drill.

Worst case scenario, keep your room clean and organized. Use some charisma and talk to your sergeant. Build rapport and they’ll eventually start skipping your room altogether. If your room one day is not up to par, they’ll cut you some slack. It’s hard to not take it easy on people you actually like.