This can all be very confusing when you are first going through this. Bootcamp is obviously the first stage to becoming a Marine. Wether you are a Wife, or Girlfriend going through this it can still be a bit overwhelming. Here is some information to help you get a better understanding of bootcamp and what is to come. For some more information regarding bootcamp be sure to visit our Resources page.
Marine Corps recruits are trained not only physically and mentally, but morally as well. Forming the bedrock of any Marine's character are the Core Values -- Honor, Courage and Commitment. By incorporating these values into recruit training, the Marine created is not just a basically trained, morally conscious Marine, but also a better American citizen who will return to society following his or her service to this country.
Taking Up The Challenge
It has been said time and time again by former Marines that Marine Corps recruit training was the most difficult thing they ever had to do in their entire lives. In order to train the world's most elite fighting force, it has to be that way. Upon arrival, a new recruit begins a virtually non-stop journey, the end of which results in the transformation of that recruit into a new Marine.
The first stop is at Recruit Receiving, where new recruits spend the first few days of their recruit training experience. Here they will receive their first haircut and their initial gear issue, which includes items like uniforms, toiletries and letter writing supplies. During this time recruits will also be given a full medical and dental screening, and take the Initial Strength Test. This test consists of a one and a half mile run, sit-ups and pull-ups to test recruits to see if they're in shape to begin training.
Forming is the period when recruits are taken to their training companies and they "meet" their drill instructors for the first time. During Forming's 3-5 days, recruits learn the basics: how to march, how to wear their uniform, how to secure their weapon, etc. This period of time allows recruits to adjust to the recruit training way of life before the first actual training day.
Drill is the basic way in which platoons march and move from place to place. At first, recruits will practice just staying in step with the rest of the platoon and the drill instructor. However, as training continues, the platoon becomes a well-oiled machine performing synchronous, complex drill movements. During recruit training, platoons will also compete in two drill competitions. Drill is mainly used to instill discipline, team pride and unit cohesion.
Physical Training, or "PT" as it is often called, comes in many forms aboard MCRD. Recruit training uses a progressive physical training program, which builds up recruits to Marine Corps standards. Recruits will experience Table PT, a period of training in which a drill instructor leads several platoons through a series of demanding exercises while he stands on a table. Recruits will also run, either individually or as a platoon or squad. Other PT consists of obstacle courses, circuit courses, or 3-, 5- or 10-mile conditioning marches.
Recruits will also exercise their minds through academics training in subjects ranging from Marine Corps history, Marine customs and courtesies, and basic lifesaving procedures. Recruits will also take an academic test while in recruit training.
The Corps' Core Values are Honor, Courage and Commitment. These values make up the bedrock of a Marine's character. During recruit training, recruits are taught these Core Values and the numerous others attached to them, such as integrity, discipline, teamwork, duty and esprit de Corps. Drill instructors, recruit training officers and Navy chaplains teach specific Core Values classes, but drill instructors also talk one-on-one with recruits after other training events to see what values were learned and how they affect the recruits. For example, a drill instructor might talk about overcoming fears after rappelling or not giving up after a long march.