My 2 trips to goon squad were on the last Thursday and Friday of 1st BCT. My element leader told me Wednesday evening that for any error (bad marching, any question I answered incorrectly – like Checkpoints, cadets, all that stuff – poor uniform, failure to recite the Star Spangled Banner backwards, whatever), I would get goon squad. His rationale was, as he told me to my face, that being a non-pilot I did not belong in “his academy”. Having gotten rid of 2 of my 3 roommates the same way, I guess he figured he could get rid of me before 1st BCT ended. I had been in the room by myself for 8 days by then. Anyway, I made it to Thursday lunch without a screw-up. I made some mistake at lunch, SO, OFF I WENT TO GOON SQUAD in the afternoon. As I recall, there were three from my flight down there that day; we did all the running, team-pushups, squat-thrusts, more running, that seemed to be the usual experience. At some point coming up the ramp, I passed out and woke up in my room some time later.
The rest of the afternoon is kind of a blur – I do remember that I screwed up again at dinner, which led to an after dinner “SI” and loads of fun in the hall at the shower formation, along with lots of prodding to quit by the element leader. The next day was a repeat of the Thursday deal, maybe not quite so bad since I did not pass out at the end. Justice came the following morning during the SAMI. The Commandant did a walk through with the AOC and happened to drop into my room. He had one question, how long had I been by myself in the room. He left, and the reaming began just down the hall, in an ever-increasing volume from the Commandant. Apparently, 24 HOURS was the max for any Basic to be alone – maybe 48 on the outside. I had two guys starting to move in before the parade, John Leonnelli and Felix Grieder; they later did a RTB.