Marine Corps Recruit Training
Marine recruit training happens at Parris Island, SC or San Diego, CA. Both USMC recruit depots are used for the training of enlisted Marines. Training is broken down into three phases.
Three Phases of Recruit Training
The first phase involves basic instruction and physical and mental challenges. This phase is often one of the toughest mentally for recruits because they are not yet familiar with the Corps or their fellow recruits; it’s a brand new world for most of them.
The second phase is rifle training. There is a doctrine in the Marines that “Every Marine is a Rifleman.” Every Marine, whether enlisted or officer, is trained in infantry combat abilities no matter what their military occupational specialty (MOS) will be.
The third phase is field training.
Recruit training culminates in a 54-hour “Crucible” that requires recruits to utilize the skills they’ve developed throughout the three phases of training.
When writing letters to your loved one, don’t address them as a Marine. That is a title that they will earn, a prideful moment at the end of training. Don’t send them gifts or anything except letters, as they will not be able to receive them. The three months of recruit training are 100% dedicated to making sure they are graduate boot camp with skills that may save their lives or the lives of their fellow Marines.
Tips for Parents of Marine Recruits
- Give your loved one letters of encouragement and remind them of how proud you are of them. There will be times when they’ll be doubting themselves and your letters can give them a major morale boost.
- Don’t send any gifts or supplies. They will not not receive them. The Marine Corps will supply them with everything they’ll need. Recruits can only receive letters.
- Do not address them as “Marine” in letters; that is a title earned at the end of boot camp.
- Do not wait for phone calls, that is rarely allowed. Similarly, don’t expect letters all the time as recruit life is very scheduled and hectic; they will usually be allowed brief time in the evenings and on Sundays, but those time blocks often need to be used for studying and preparing their uniforms and so on.
- Send them off with a family photo; they’ll be able to put it in their footlocker and will help remind them that you’re proud and supporting them.
- Don’t write about negative or stressful things in your letters. They’ll be going through a lot of stress already and should be able to focus on their training.
- Don’t be discouraged if their letters sound scared/frustrated at first. The earliest days of boot camp are typically when recruits are feeling the most unease and questioning if they made the right choice. Morale and pride develops at training progresses and they’ve made progress and start to view their fellow recruits as part of their team.