Gibbs and DiNozzo showered at his place after a 5-mile run at 5 A.M. Once dried up, Tony went back to the bed, while Gibbs started getting dressed. "Come back to bed, Boss," Tony said.
"You're due at 8th & I at 0900 and your cover story is full of holes," Gibbs said. He sat down at his videophone and called Abby. "Make the following adjustments to DiNozzo's SRB: change his rank to E-4, remove Drill Instructor ribbon, remove Bronze Star, remove Purple Heart, add gun sharpshooter badge..."
Tony got off the bed and close to Gibbs, and whispered in his ear: "You don't think I could be a Drill Instructor?"
"Make that gun expert badge," Gibbs said.
"My, we're in a lovey mood today," Abby said.
"But there can be no hint of this in the TV episodes, because they're airing on CBS."
"Got it, Gibbs," Abby giggled.
Harmon Rabb, from JAG, was on the other end of the line with Abby. "Don't ask, don't tell," he said smiling.
"You don't think I could be a Drill Instructor?", Tony asked again.
"Not for a minute, DiNozzo. McGee is going undercover to MCRD Parris Island as a recruit to find a cigarrette smuggler. He'll tell you all about Drill Instructors next week."
Cut to McGee at boot camp. "Why the hell is your rifle on burst? Do you want to kill me, fatso?", Sergeant Taylor yelled at McGee.
"No sir, I didn't mean to, you see, Drill Sergeant...", sputtered McGee.
"I? I!!?? Who the hell is I!? What the hell is a Drill Sergeant!?"
"Sir, this recruit only meant that in the--"
"Just answer the question, fatso, do you want to kill me?"
"Sir, no sir!"
"Recruit Gonzalez, will you unf--- Recruit McGee?"
"Sir, this recruit will do his best to unf--- Recruit McGee, sir!"
"Good, let's go to chow."
The recruit platoon proceeded to the mess hall, where McGee was served very small portions. "This is a steak?", McGee asked woefully. "I could floss my teeth with this. The mashed potatoes could fit in a thimble. I'll trade you my baby carrot for your steak," McGee offered to Gonzalez.
"This recruit will not compromise Recruit McGee's weight loss program," Gonzalez said.
"You can cut out the 'this recruit' talk, Mr. Company Honor Man." Smith said. "The Drill Instructors aren't here, we can relax a little."
"I won't get Company Honor Man with that attitude," Gonzalez replied.
"Listen, McGee," Smith said, "I will trade you my steak for a pack of cigarrettes, I don't care what the brand is."
"I don't have any cigarrettes. Do you know where I could get some?"
"Not here. I'll tell you at the free hour tonight."
McGee cleaned his plate and looked sadly at the very full plate of a recruit at another table. "How come he gets double portions?"
"Who? Clarke? Oh, he was only 90 pounds when he came to the Island," Smith explained. "Now he's up to a hundred. If he gets to 150, they'll cut him down to normal portions."
The platoon spent the afternoon practicing marching. McGee was first put in the middle of the column according to his height, but after only an hour the Drill Instructors decided to put him at the very rear of the platoon. Even all the way at the back, McGee could see that Gonzalez way up at the front had more snap and pop, more military bearing, than all the other recruits put together.
In the evening, Gonzalez helped McGee spit shine his boots. "What recruit platoon did you say you were transferred from?", Gonzalez asked.
"Um, platoon 47," McGee said.
"Well, here at platoon 138, it's not enough to do the minimum requirements. You have to go above and beyond," Gonzalez said.
"Wow, I can see my face reflected on my boots."
"You've made excellent progress," Gonzalez said.
"Well, I gotta go take a leak." McGee went to the restroom, after another recruit helped him figure out it was called the "head." As he stood at the urinal, McGee heard footsteps. "I take it you're not Jewish," Smith said. McGee had no idea what that meant. "Listen, I will smoke anything. Doesn't even have to be a cigarrette. I will smoke your--"
As McGee zipped up, they heard puking. They went to the toilets, where Clarke was vomitting. "Oh, I'm so fat," he cried.
"No you're not," McGee said. "I can see every bone in your hand. What do you see when you look in the mirror?"
Clarke stood up. "I see... I see you."
"I'm big boned," McGee said.
After lights out, McGee smelled smoke. He went up and down the squad bay, but couldn't locate the source of the smell. He went over to Smith's bunk, but Smith wasn't there. Smith was at a window, inhaling deeply. "Johnny cut me out," he sighed.
"Johnny Hanson, from platoon 94."
McGee decided then that in the morning, he'd call the NCIS office and get himself transferred to platoon 94. But he was sidetracked from that. In the morning, the whole recruit depot was abuzz with news that the President of the United States would be passing through right quick that morning. Everything had to be perfectly squared away.
"I will perform Inspection Arms for the President, and he will be so impressed, he will promote me to Sergeant on the spot," Gonzalez said eagerly. Platoon 138 lined up along a main road's sidewalk, with their rifles held perfectly straight.
Just then, Smith noticed something wrong with McGee's uniform. "Sir, this recruit requests permission to go back to the squad bay to retrieve cuticle scissors, sir!", Smith announced to a Drill Instructor.
"Recruit McGee has a loose thread in his uniform, sir," Smith answered.
Just then, a couple of agents dressed in black business suits and black sunglasses approached, and nodded negatively. "Don't worry about it," the Drill Instructor said. One of the agents muttered something else to the Drill Instructor. "But they don't have any bullets," the DI protested. "They won't even get bullets until the 10th week of training!" The agent insisted.
As the DI and the agent passed each recruit, they had to open their rifles, take out the bolt carrier assembly and surrender it to the agent. Recruit Gonzalez looked upset. Another DI came by, also followed by an agent. "Why not just take away their rifles altogether?", he asked. The agent muttered some more. "That's ridiculous!" The agent spoke again, still too softly to be heard by the recruits. "I love America too," the DI said sadly. This other DI passed by each recruit, having them open their rifles again and surrendering the charging handle assembly.
The President's convoy passed through the Island and left as quickly as it came.
At marching practice that afternoon, Recruit Gonzalez was competent. But no more.
Back at the NCIS office, Kate greeted McGee. "You caught the cigarrette smuggler undermining recruits' resolve to quit smoking. Why aren't you happier?"
"The recruits were asked to remove and surrender the bolts and charging handles from their rifles," McGee recalled. "For some of them, it was like they were asked to remove and surrender a piece of their souls."
"Sounds like Marines," Kate said sympathetically, and hugged McGee consolingly.
If this was an episode, the following text would scroll at the end: "Gonzalez graduated from MCRD Parris Island, but did not get Company Honor Man. At Infantry training, he was a thoroughly average trainee. He died in Iraq from a roadside bomb."