Category Archives: USMC History & Information

101 or 232 Reasons to Love Your Corps

I debated whether or not to include this video on this site because it’s more fun than informative, but I decided to post it because it does say a thing or two about the Espirit De Corps and there’s a certain amount of information that potential recruits can get from it. It’s fun, hope you enjoy.

The Marine Corps Times created their own list of reasons to love the Corps, a more updated version than the video. Some of the winners:

  • 1. Cpl. Jason Dunham. First Marine to receive the Medal of Honor since Vietnam. If jumping on a grenade to save a buddy isn’t worth the top of the list, nothing is.
  • 9. Lump-sum re-enlistment bonuses up to $80,000. Many of you would consider doing it for free.
  • 15. The Wounded Warrior Regiment.
  • 29. Recruiting in Texas is like hunting at the zoo.
  • 39. The transformation. Who you are when you join is not nearly as important as who you become.
  • 41. If you’ve been on liberty in Twentynine Palms, you’ve been on liberty in Yuma and Barstow, too.
  • 48. After decades of debate, there remains no resolution on whether sand fleas trump “The Reaper.”
  • 50. Cpl. Gareth Hawkins, lying on a stretcher after an IED shattered his leg, demanded re-enlistment before medical evacuation. And got it.
  • 76. Tax-free combat pay. Doing what you signed up for and not having to give Uncle Sam a dime back.
  • 77. Montford Point Marines. The first African-American Marines know a little something about honor, courage and commitment.
  • 84. The Crucible
  • 111. Tattoos #4. Reaction to the new policy: Conway says sleeves are going away, Marines run for the chair. Tattoo parlors never saw so much business.
  • 139. The honor, privilege and responsibility of leading, mentoring and caring for junior Marines.

USMC Book Reading List for Marine Recruits

There are few things better for preparing for the Marine Corps than educating yourself on the history and expectations of the USMC. It will partly help you in boot camp for USMC history testing and will perhaps clue you in to some of the items you’ll need to know, but it’s real benefit is getting you in the right frame of mind for your duties in the Corps.

The following is a partial reading list of books about boot camp and about Marine Corps history that may help you on your journey towards becoming a United States Marine.

Marine Corps Books & Boot Camp Reading List

Guidebook for Marines

The “Guidebook for Marines” is published by the Marine Corps Association and issued to new recruits. It covers Marine Corps values, history, law of war, drill, first aid, small arms, clothing and equipment, detailed weapons info, marksmanship, squad tactics and so much more. It’s a great head’s up for anyone getting ready to join the Corps and get a jump on learning a lot of the items you’ll need to know in boot camp.

The Only Easy Day Was Yesterday: Fighting the War on Terrorism

This is a series of stories and essays compiled by Andrew Anthony Bufalo. It’s by and about Marines fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan and includes stories about the global war on terror and profiles about Marines that you probably didn’t hear about in the news.

Chesty Puller’s Rules of Success

A book created by retired Marine Col. Bill Davis, it highlights 20 “self-imposed principles of action” of legendary Marine Chesty Puller. This is a great uplifting book, perfect forgetting you motivated.

The United States Marine Essential Subjects

Put out by the Department of Defense (DOD), the book covers Marine Corps history, Code of Conduct, close order drill, land navigation and much more. It includes helpful photos and illustrations; another great book for a soon-to-be Marine.

Marine Corps Recruit Attrition

The military and government agencies have done a number of specific studies and reports on Marine Corps Recruit attrition rates, including analysis of factors that increase or decrease the percentage of recruit attrition.

Recruit Attrition and the Training Unit Environment: 1981 report that compares attrition and performance of Marine Corps recruits who have and have not graduated high school. The conclusion was higher attrition occurred amongst recruits who did not graduate high school.

Trends in Attrition of High-Quality Military Recruits: A 1988 report that examines why attrition rates remained unchanged even after the military managed to recruit “higher quality” recruits.

Military Attrition: Better Screening of Enlisted Personnel Could Save Millions of Dollars: A 1997 report that lays out some statistics and arguments for better recruit screening processes

Emerging Issues In USMC Recruiting: Comparing Relative Attrition Risk Among Marine Corps Recruits: Published in 2006, this report examines Marine Corps boot camp attrition and documents recruit characteristics. It finds that the recruits with the lowest attrition rates are those that sign contracts as high school seniors, go to boot camp from June-September or October-January, are “high quality”, and meet weight-for-height retention standards.

Predictors of one-year attrition in female Marine Corps recruits: This 2009 study examines the demographic profiles and health-related predictors of female Marine recruit attrition.

C130 Cadence

C130 going down the strip
251 gonna take a little trip
Stand up buckle up shuffle to the door
Jump right out and count to four

If my chute dont open wide
I have another one by my side
If my reserve dont blossom round
Ill be the first one on the ground

Lo, right- left
lefty , right lea eft
lo, right left
lefty-right left

Soldier Soldier have you heard,
I’m gonna jump out a big iron bird,
Up in the morning in the drizzlin’ rain,
gonna pack my shoot and board the plane,
C-130 rollin’ down the strip,
US Marines on a one way trip,
Mission top secret, destination unknown,
I don’t even know if i’m comin home.
Jump up, hook up, shuffle to the door,
jump on out and count to four (or, jump on out and shout “MARINE CORPS”)
If that shoot don’t open wide,
I’ll be splattered on the country side,
unless i got a reserve by my side,
if that shoot should fail me too,
look out ground, i’m comin’ through,
If i land in your drop zone,
Box me up and ship me home,
If i die on a chinese hill,
take my gear or the commies will,
if i land in korean mud,
bury me with a case of bud,
bury me with speakers all around my toes,
so i can rock to axl rose,
bury me with speakers all around my head,
so i can rock to the grateful dead,
pin my medals all upon my chest,
tell my momma i did my best,
then bury me in the Leanin’ Rest

My Rifle Creed

Marine Corps recruits are taught the Rifleman’s Creed in boot camp. It’s that famous creed seen in the movie Full Metal Jacket that starts with, “This is my rifle, there are many like it but this one is mine…”. It was also in the film more recent film Jarhead. While recruits are taught the creed, they are not required to learn it complete boot camp.

The History of The Creed of a United States Marine

It’s not known exactly when the Rifleman’s Creed was written. It is most likely from around late 1941 or early 1942. The Rifle Creed was written by Major General William H. Rupertus after Pearl Harbor was attacked.

This is my rifle…

There are many like it, but this one is mine.

My rifle is my best friend. It is my life. I must master it as I must master my life.

My rifle, without me, is useless. Without my rifle, I am useless. I must fire my rifle true. I must shoot straighter than my enemy who is trying to kill me. I must shoot him before he shoots me. I will…

My rifle and myself know that what counts in this war is not the rounds we fire, the noise of our burst, nor the smoke we make. We know that it is the hits that count. We will hit…

My rifle is human, even as I, because it is my life. Thus, I will learn it as a brother. I will learn its weaknesses, its strength, its parts, its accessories, its sights and its barrel. I will ever guard it against the ravages of weather and damage as I will ever guard my legs, my arms, my eyes and my heart against damage. I will keep my rifle clean and ready. We will become part of each other. We will…

Before God, I swear this creed. My rifle and myself are the defenders of my country. We are the masters of our enemy. We are the saviors of my life.

So be it, until victory is America’s and there is no enemy, but peace!

Full Metal Jacket USMC Rifleman’s Creed Video

Watch a clip of the film “Full Metal Jacket” to see recruits recite the Creed of the United States Marine (aka, the Rifleman’s Creed).

Rank Structure

What Is the Marines Rank Structure?

Marines have three different rank structures: Enlisted, Warrant Officer and Officer ranks. Officers have the highest ranks, followed by the Warrant Officers and then the Enlisted Marines. The lowest ranked officer outranks the highest ranked Warrant Officer. The same situation applies the lowest ranked WO to the highest rank enlisted.

Enlisted Ranks

E-1 —- Private (Pvt)
E-2 —- Private First Class (PFC)
E-3 —- Lance Corporal (LCpl)
E-4 —- Corporal (Cpl)
E-5 —- Sergeant (Sgt)
E-6 —- Staff Sergeant (SSgt)
E-7 —- Gunnery Sergeant (GySgt)
E-8 —- Master Sergeant (MSgt)
E-8 —- First Sergeant (1stSgt)
E-9 —- Master Gunnery Sergeant (MGySgt)
E-9 —- Sergeant Major (SgtMaj)
E-9 —- Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps

Warrant Officer Rank Structure

W-1 —- Warrant Officer W-1 (WO-1)
W-2 —- Chief Warrant Officer 2 (CWO-2)
W-3 —- Chief Warrant Officer 3 (CWO-3)
W-4 —- Chief Warrant Officer 4 (CWO-4)
W-5 —- Chief Warrant Officer 5 (CWO-5)

Officer Rank Structure

O-1 —- Second Lieutenant (2ndLt)
O-2 —- First Lieutenant (1stLt)
O-3 —- Captain (Capt)
O-4 —- Major (Maj)
O-5 —- Lieutenant Colonel (LtCol)
O-6 —- Colonel (Col)
O-7 —- Brigadier General (BGen)
O-8 —- Major General (MajGen)
O-9 —- Lieutenant General (LtGen)
O-10 —- General (Gen)

11 General Orders for Sentry

The 11 General Orders of a Sentry are the rules to follow when serving as a guard or on watch (sentry). Every branch of the military has these rules, but they are particularly detailed and stressed in the navy, Marines and Coast Guard. You as a recruit will be expected to memorize the General Orders. Your drill instructor will most likely call on you to recite a random order…so be able to respond word for word. Learn the USMC general orders before you ship out to boot camp.

Marine Corps General Orders

1. Take charge of this post and all government property in view.
2. Walk my post in a military manner, keeping always on the alert and observing everything that takes place within sight or hearing.
3. Report all violations of orders I am instructed to enforce.
4. To repeat all calls [from posts]more distant from the guardhouse than my own.
5. Quit my post only when properly relieved.
6. To receive, obey, and pass on to the sentry who relieves me, all orders from the Commanding Officer, Officer of the Day, Officers, and Non-Commissioned Officers of the guard only.
7. Talk to no one except in the line of duty.
8. Give the alarm in case of fire or disorder.
9. To call the Corporal of the Guard in any case not covered by instructions.
10. Salute all officers and all colors and standards not cased.
11. Be especially watchful at night and during the time for challenging, to challenge all persons on or near my post, and to allow no one to pass without proper authority

Marine Emblem

Marine Emblem

Marine Emblem: Eagle Globe and Anchor

The Marine Corps emblem is the Eagle, Globe and Anchor. The globe shows the western hemisphere. Usually, the Eagle, Globe and Anchor will show an eagle holding a ribbon that says the Marine Corps motto “Semper Fidelis”, meaning “Always Faithful” in its beak. However, pins worn on uniforms often have the eagle without the ribbon.

Meaning of the Eagle, Globe and Anchor

The globe signifies USMC service around the world. The Eagle represents America and the Anchor represents the naval traditions of the Corps, which date back to its founding in 1775 and its continued service under the Department of the Navy. It is also said that the emblem represents the three areas the Marines serve “On Land, In Air and Sea”.

Marine Corps Ranks

A Marine’s rank determines their status and power. Don’t confuse this with a Marine’s “grade”, which is more of a pay grade. Every branch of the military pays the same base rates for various ranks, but they do have different names for the ranks.

In the Marine Corps, the lowest enlisted rank is called “Private”. That’s the rank of all newly enlisted Marines entering boot camp. The “grade”, however, is called E1. In the army, an E1 is also called a private. In the navy, an E1 is called a seaman recruit, and so on. Some privates will move on to pay grade E2 upon graduating boot camp. The highest pay grades is E9.

There are three categories of rank. They are: enlisted personnel, Warrant Officers, and Commissioned Officers. All Commissioned Officers outrank all Warrant Officers and all Warrant Officers outrank all enlisted Marines. This means that a E9 Warrant Officer would be outranked by an E1 Commissioned Officer.

You can tell what a Marine’s rank is by the stripes and bars on their uniform. These stripes and bars are referred to as their “insignia”.

Marine Corps Ranks Structure

Parris Island History

A History of Parris Island Recruit Depot

Marines first landed on Parris Island in 1891 when First Sergeant Richard Donovan led a security detachment in the area. The town that Parris Island is now a part of, called Port Royal, was a Naval Station that his unit was attached to.

There are still some military structures and homes from that era standing. They formed the center of the Parris Island Historic District and include the commanding general’s home. All of these building in the Historic District are on the National Register of Historic Places.

It didn’t become an official Marine recruit depot for a good 20+ years. It wasn’t officially designated until 1915, but Marine training has continued ever since. Back then (prior to 1929), there were no roads leading into the island. Recruits had to take a ferry from the Port Royal docks to the Parris Island docks. In 1929, a bridge and a causeway were built over Archer Creek and provided Parris Island with a road connection.