USMC LIFESAVER: Gunnery Sgt. Matthew Dike

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By Lance Cpl. Samuel Fletcher, USMC

Gunnery Sgt. Matthew Dike, the lead instructor for the Senior Drill Instructor Course, poses for a photo Dec. 9 on Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island. The Senior Drill Instructor Course is required for all drill instructors to become senior drill instructors on Parris Island. Photo by Lance Cpl. Ryan Hageali, USMC.

On Dec. 15, 2020, Staff Sgt. Andy Archer with Mike Company, 3rd Recruit Training Battalion, saved a recruit’s life at the chow hall on Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island. Archer said while supervising his platoon at the chow hall, a recruit walked up to him visibly in distress. Archer realized the severity of the situation and acted quickly.

“We were at noon chow and I was watching the platoon like a normal day,” Archer said. “Out of nowhere a recruit walked up, and his face was red. I performed the Heimlich maneuver and after the third pump (I was able to dislodge the food). I looked at him and made sure he was alright. Once I realized he was OK, I told him to finish eating.”

Archer, like all drill instructors, are CPR certified at Drill Instructor School and must requalify every two years to ensure they are capable of providing life saving measures for recruits if needed. 

Above: Gunnery Sgt. Matthew Dike, the lead instructor for the Senior Drill Instructor Course, poses for a photo Dec. 9 on Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island. The Senior Drill Instructor Course is required for all drill instructors to become senior drill instructors on Parris Island. Photo by Lance Cpl. Ryan Hageali, USMC.