PARRIS ISLAND, S.C. --
The Marine Corps is known for having some of the memorable recruiting ads out of any branch.
One of the more popular posters, which has been around for decades, is of a drill instructor yelling at a recruit with the words “We didn’t promise you a rose garden” across the bottom.
Although the drill instructor pictured in the poster can’t be found on the drill field anymore, he can still be found working on Parris Island.
“I really enjoyed the accomplishments of being a drill instructor,” said Charles “Chuck” Taliano, the manager of the museum gift shop and the former drill instructor who is on the poster. “The picture was taken in April of ’68, but it was taken for a different reason.”
The original purpose of the photo wasn’t for recruiting; it was for a book which was written about Marine Corps recruit training. Once the book was written, the Marine Corps decided to use that as the lead photo for their newest recruiting campaign. The slogan was taken from a popular country song of the time.
“There was also a television commercial that had some of the pictures taken for that book,” added Taliano, of Cleveland. “They had that song in the background as they showed the different photos that were taken of recruit training.”
According to Taliano, the photo was taken real fast. He had no idea that the photographer was going to take the photo or how important the photo would become to the Marine Corps and drill instructors for generations to come.
“I felt like the message was to the point,” said Sgt. Antonio Tyler, a drill instructor with Echo Company, 2nd Recruit Training Battalion. “As a drill instructor and a Marine, I feel that we have to earn everything that we get in the Marine Corps. You give away a rose, but you don’t give away an eagle, globe and anchor.”
Tyler, of South Hill, Va. said that he didn’t really understand what the poster meant as a civilian, but learned what it can stand for as a Marine.
“It didn’t mean a lot to me as a civilian, I just thought that I was going to get yelled at a lot,” Tyler said. “The picture is what really stood out to me then. I always tell my recruits everything is ‘earned, never given.’”
Taliano also tried to get in touch with the recruit who was in the poster, but has been unsuccessful. He thought he’d come close one day while at a poster signing, when a man said his company gunnery sergeant claimed to be that recruit and even had the poster hung in his office.
“I would like to find him one day, but there’s no real way of finding him,” Taliano added.
The recruiting poster has been around for more than 40 years, but still influences today’s young men and women who are thinking about joining the Marine Corps.
“I first saw the poster about a year ago at my recruiter’s office,” said Rct. Michael Mills, a recruit with platoon 2016, Gulf Company, 2nd Recruit Training Battalion. “I thought it was a unique poster because I saw the other services had posters that promise you things. This one tells you how it is.“