Basic training before hearing protection?


Owen Sparks
April 24, 2012, 11:04 PM
Anyone go through military basic training in the days before hearing protection?

Did it do any perminant damage to your hearing or are you going deff in your old age? My Dad was in the Airforce in WWII and was exposed to lots of loud noise, mostly airplane motors. He started to lose his hearing by the time he was around 70.

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April 25, 2012, 12:12 AM
Marine Corps basic training 1966. Outdoor range - no hearing protection. I'm 64 now and my hearing is fine, for my age.

April 25, 2012, 12:13 AM
Whatcha say, sonny?

Carne Frio
April 25, 2012, 12:17 AM
US Navy 1966-1970. We were advised to
use cigarette filters. I fired a over 1,000
rounds during that time and have normal
hearing for my age. The M2 was the loudest.

hang fire
April 25, 2012, 01:47 AM
Army in 1956, but working around screaming turbine engines did the damage to my ears,

April 25, 2012, 02:08 AM
Fort Ord in '57, no protection. Didn't bother me at the range or after that I know of. Deaf as a board now but I blame that on the noisy occupations in civilian life.

April 25, 2012, 09:22 AM
Enter the Army in 1965, was issued ear plugs in basic training.

Screaming machinery later in life ruined my hearing, I now wear hearing aids.

These new digital ones are very good.

loose noose
April 25, 2012, 10:06 AM
I was ambushed behind the Police Dept. in 1979 where as my partner shot right over my left ear returning fire. In fact it was so close I had powder burns on my ear and the back of my neck. Now I wear two digital hearing aids to kind of protect what hearing I have left. Needless to say I'm happy to still be alive. In 1966 going thru Marine Corps boot camp at SanDiego hearing protection was optional; but I can't recall whether or not I used hearing protection, and now I couldn't tell ya if it would have affected my hearing or not.;)

April 25, 2012, 10:45 AM
USMC Parris Island, 1980.

Ear plugs (foamies) were handed out, but generally not used (from my observation).

I believe that any real damage was done in the Fleet when I was an M60 gunner, and rarely used plugs.

OTOH, I have been around a lot of loud machinery in my career, so it's hard to say.

My hearing at 49 is not what it once was in either ear, but noticably worse in my right. Not hearing aid bad, but " what, honey?" bad.

April 25, 2012, 12:53 PM
Infantry and Artillery basic in 1953 with all the usual guns including 105mm howitzers. Was a mech after that on prop driven planes. No hearing protection whatever during that time. Right ear deader than canned tuna. constant uninterrupted ringing in both ears. Should have gotten disability 40-50 years ago.

April 25, 2012, 12:56 PM
I have had hearing loss and tinnitus in both ears 24/7 since serving in the military 40+ years ago.

You get used to it.

At the time, ear plugs were not issued, and were even frowned upon by the old NCO's.
We used cigarette butt filters when we could get away with it.

But I came off a 106mm Recoilless-Rifle range more then once with both ears bleeding.


April 25, 2012, 03:52 PM
The Air Force is always miles ahead on such things so we were provided earmuffs in 1969. No problem. Always wore them during subsequent firearms training. Still do. But lost about a 1/3 of my hearing over the years working around jets, despite wearing muffs. Also hissing and squealing and such. The VA has declined to help.

April 25, 2012, 04:35 PM
My army basic training, winter 1968, we were issued and used earplugs (they came in a plastic tube with a chain for the screw on lid - the tube mounted on your epaulets. A few years later in Vietnam earplugs were a distant memory. I wasn't a combat type but was exposed to some 175 fire (outgoing, of course). Those big guns could bounce you right out of your bed, even 100 yards away... I was diagnosed with a mild hearing loss in one ear on discharge but it was never noted in all my physicals during a 22 year career in law enforcement. Now that I'm getting older I wish I'd better protected my hearing....

April 25, 2012, 05:31 PM
Some people THINK their hearing is fine or fine for their age.
A sound chamber and an Audiologist can provide the real answers.

April 25, 2012, 05:55 PM
Basic training at Fort Dix in 1960. We were advised to use new cleaning patches in our ears. To those days, I have had some hearing loss from those M1's.

Mike Kerr
April 25, 2012, 06:27 PM
Army basic in 68. We were given foam ear plugs on a neck loop - came in a plastic case. IIRC their use was not rigidly enforced but encouraged on the range. After formal range training the encouragement became non existant. Most of my use was haphazard and only semi effective. I do remember one day during a suppresive fire exercise where I stopped and dug mine out of my fatigue jacket pocket.

Indoor range use in the last twenty years caused more problems than anything else until I learned to foam plug under my muffs (even electric ones). I have noticeable loss in my right ear - intermitent tinnitus - I can live with it.


April 25, 2012, 07:45 PM
BCT Fort Dix Summer of 1967. Issued little red molded plugs in a plastic container, I wore them with the chain through the top left button hole of my fatigue jacket. Across the Pond I would let the earwax build up until either melted in the heat or fell out on its own. Also do my blood curdling scream when I fired (or someone was firing at me) helped. Have worn double protection for the last 40 years, wear hearing protection when I use power tools or even the vacuum cleaner.

April 25, 2012, 08:27 PM
Army basic 64.......M14....ait...pistol n M60.....ears rang for a while. guess this accounts for the blank looks for a a lot of cute comments from fellow workers that were never in any thing! Irritating but I live with it.

Johnny, what unit at Polk.....I was in M Co of 5th that time...

April 25, 2012, 08:53 PM
Air Force - K9 from 1967 to 1971. I don't remember having / using anything.

April 25, 2012, 08:58 PM
I was up on the north end.......for basic then went to the middle for ait.
Didn't stay around post after basic...went to Alexandra when I had the chance!!!Lotta coeds....;)

Funny thing on OT, always wore ear plugs when match shooting.

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