If you think we’ll be talking about this kind of peanut butter shot, think again. Nope, it’s not sweet.

To make sure our nation’s soldiers are well-equipped to accomplish their tasks and missions, we provide them with the necessary arsenals, protective gear, and training. Part of making sure they are prepared is by ensuring that they are healthy— the first two weeks of boot camp are spent doing medical evaluations and receiving different sorts of jabs left and right (literally, as injections are given simultaneously in both arms), one of which is the most dreaded, infamous peanut butter shot.  But that shot doesn’t go in your arm.


What is it?

BICILLIN® L-A. numerousvetswtf / Photo from americasbestpics.com


It is an injection of bicillin, a trading name for benzathine penicillin G. or simply penicillin, a long-acting one. As we may know, Penicillin is used to both prevent and treat bacterial infections such as pneumonia and other respiratory tract infections. This is to prepare our soldiers in extreme and harsh environments that they might be assigned in. Unless you have a penicillin allergy and can prove it, I’m afraid you can’t avoid being peanut buttered. It got the nickname “peanut butter” not because it looks like peanut butter(it’s a clear liquid), but because seems as thick as peanut butter and requires a HUGE needle. So, if you fancy being stabbed by an excruciatingly long needle on your rear cheek, then you’re in for a treat.


Why is it Dreadful?

Staff Sgt. Capricia Turner, a non-commissioned officer in charge of the Camp Atterbury Chapel, grimaces after receiving a flu shot administered by Sgt. Lenell Applewhite, immunization non-commissioned officer, for Camp Atterbury Medical Detachment, Sept. 27, in an effort to prevent the flu virus from infecting soldiers at Camp Atterbury. The senior non-commissioned officers lead by example, being the first to receive the flu vaccination. (Photo by Camp Atterbury Public Affairs, Sgt. William Hill)

Given the thick consistency of the peanut butter shot, it gets absorbed deeply and slowly by the muscles, creating a big, lumpy, red, angry lump on the ass. For the same reason, it’s not like a poke-and-go situation but rather takes forever for the injection to finish. Rumors have it that some army recruits passed out while being injected with one.

Administering the shot required the recruit to drop his skivvies and stand with all his weight on one leg and the injection was given to the buttocks muscle on the weightless side.  You were told not to tense up or it would hurt even more. This would be followed by a searing hot stab like a hornet sting and a hot burning sensation.  As you fight off the reflex to tense every muscle in your body(Good luck with that). The initial pain subsided pretty quickly and was replaced with a constant, nagging soreness the lingered for days.  Sitting down hurt like hell and you would see everyone leaning to the left in the mess halls or in classrooms trying to stay off their sore butt cheek.