How to Prepare for Marine Corps Boot Camp

Boot camp is supposed to push you past what you believe your limits are, both mentally and physically. It’s supposed to teach you that you are much tougher and stronger than you believe you are, but that you absolutely rely on your fellow recruits and teammates to accomplish your mission and goals.

So what can you do to help you come prepared for the training of USMC boot camp?

Getting In Shape for Boot Camp

Without a doubt, you will be doing yourself a huge favor by getting yourself into the best shape as possible before you even arrive. You must pass a physical fitness test and certain weight & height requirements to even be accepted into training. If you are over or under weight, your recruiter can help you reach a specific target that can get you into boot camp. The truth of the matter is that no amount of physical training will make boot camp easy though. Drill instructors will push you to your limits, as they should. However, being in great shape before you even arrive will definitely help you keep up and excel during training.

Some good advice for leading up to boot camp would be to run at least 3 miles and “march” for at least up to 10 miles. When you first start boot camp, you won’t be running that far, but it won’t take long before you do. Concentrate on doing sit-ups (crunches) and pull-ups.

If you are overweight when you enter boot camp, don’t be surprised if your drill instructor assigns a “diet tray” to you. And if you arrive underweight, you can expect to be served double rations.

Things to Learn and Memorize Before Boot Camp

You’ll be spending countless hours practicing drill, so you can study and practice drill calls before you arrive. One easy thing you can do before boot camp is learn the Marine Corps ranks. You’ll need to learn that while at boot camp and it helps to know this stuff before you’re there. You don’t get a ton of free time to yourself, so the less you need to pack into studying the easier it is for you.

You’ll be told to learn the 11 General Orders for Sentry and will probably learn the Marine Rifle Creed. Recruits recite the rifle creed in the movie Full Metal Jacket, “This is my rifle. There are many like it but this one is mine…” You should also learn the Marine’s Hymn (particularly focus on the 1st verse).

In boot camp, you’ll have classes and tests on core values, Marine Corps history, the ins and outs of the M16A4 rifle and the Code of Conduct.

There’s definitely a lot that you can learn about the Marine Corps before you ship off for training and the less you have to work on while there, the easier your time will be and the better you will perform. It would even be helpful if you used some of your time to help your platoon members with the things you already know.

Swimming and Rappelling

You’ll have to pass a swim qualification test during boot camp after receiving some lessons. You’ll also have to rappel down a wall, so if you can’t swim or you have a height phobia, you can help yourself out a lot by working on those issues before you go to boot camp. There are no wavers; you have to pass both tests to be a Marine.

Drill Instructors will do everything in their power to give you the training in everything you need to know to complete boot camp. Sometimes recruits struggle on particular areas of training, like swimming, shooting, passing written tests, etc. Most of the time, recruits can get additional training and still complete boot camp, but it’s much easier to not be held back, prolonging your stay at boot camp and resulting in not graduating with your platoon.

122 thoughts on “How to Prepare for Marine Corps Boot Camp”

  1. I’m 14 years old and I have always wanted to become a marine but I struggle with pull ups and heights. What are some things that I can do?

  2. I’m 15.9 years old a sophomore in hischool and I want to be a marine i’m 5’7 or 5’8 not sure i weigh 119 I want to gain some weight any ideas? Also I run cross country, power lifting, and baseball what exercise exactly should I be doing to get ready for the marines?

  3. I’m a senior in High School who’s looking at joining the Best Of The Best! I recently took the ASVAB, but didn’t score for the requirements needed to get in… I been studying all different kinds of sources to prepare for the next one. I play almost sport you can think of, Wrestling is my number 1! The only thing i’m seeking help for, is to prepare for the ASVAB, just studying by myself doesn’t seem to kick in as much. I have a desire to join the Marines ever since I was born! I like to keep the family tradition going and will proceed to move on to accomplish that goal!

    Thanks! Tristan Maldonado

  4. I am 14 and want to be a sniper in the marines I can hit a bulls eye at 800 yards with a 10 22 cal. Any ideas on how to help me

    1. use a higher caliber when shooting because they have more recoil and are harder to get accurate with than lower ones. the marines use a 5.56 x 45 mm NATO round which is much bigger than a 10/22. stay in shape as well, they won’t a fatass sharphooter.

  5. Hi I’m 16 I’m a sophomore and I weigh 120 and I’m 5’9 I want to join infantry but in the end I have the skills and mindset to be a scout sniper I can already run the 3 miles and do the pull ups the crunches are what stop me that and the weights above water areas mostly with treading I’ve studied up on all this but a little advice would help.

  6. Hi I’m 14 soon to be 15 and have always wanted to join the Marines I want to be either 0311 or 0351. I wrestle and am in decent shape. Is there any advice on what to do to prepare for joining?

  7. I’m 12 I want to join ever science I could remember I’m 5’7 and 190Lb I bench 150 I play football,baseball,lacrosse,golf could I join at a earlyer age

  8. I’m A sophomore An I Want To Be A United State Marines I play Basketball An I ran track, cross country, an Football I do 44 sit up in 2 min I do 40 pushup An I do 20 pull up An I can run 1.5 Mike under 13:00 min I want to join wen I become a Senior that way I can go when I graduate Do I need To do Anything Else to be in shape.

    1. I can tell you right now, a good IST record going into bolt camp is 10-15 pullups, 85-95 situps in 2 minutes, and the 1.5 mile in 11:30 or less.
      I’m a Poole, and that’s what my recruiter has me do.

    2. Start doing pushups situps and pull ups every morning before school. And i mean every morning. You want to be able to do at least 60 sit-ups in 2 minutes. Pushups are drill sergeants favorites so id try doing 50-100 a day. Pullups really depends on your muscle to weight ratio so try for 30 by senior year. Your running times are good and you’ll excel at that just start running with weights in a backpack because ruck marches are rough.

    3. Get your situp count up. 44 in 2 minutes is way below par. Your recruiter will work on it with you though.
      My experience is being a current “poolee” and shipping to boot on June 15th

    4. I’ve been a poolee since December and have been to many events and a crap tone of pt. and your crunches in 2 minutes is horrible man. You need I think like a minimum of 80 to qualify. Your above perfect on your pull ups your rite where you need to be. You need to be getting your IST time in about 10 minutes. But keep up the work you’ll be more than ready if you keep it up when your a senior. But good luck to you and keep at it. RSS FT MYERS POOLEE

    5. YES! Don’t just stop at doing basketball, football, push-ups, sit ups. Go to the gym pack some meat on you! Eat often, 6 meals a day, all 6 portioned meals. depending on how tall you are lose more weight. Or, if you’re underweight gain more muscle and a bit more fat! Stay healthy. Don’t do anything to injure your feet, legs, ankles, nothing! Learn your 11 general orders!

  9. Hi I’m 13 and a girl two of my brothers are in the USMC its awesome I’ve been to PI twice and I’ve met DI’s my mile was 10:12 but that was in gym and i wasn’t trying to hard. i have a gym in my basement that i plan to use more often. I’ve wanted to join since i was 11 or 12 when my first brother enlisted. I’ve looked up many things about it but I’m still a little unsure about some things. If you can answer them please do to the best of your ability. -Thanks
    So about how many people are in a female platoon at one time?
    They get an hour of free time every night then four hours on Sunday and holidays correct?

    1. Sorry guys in case you didn’t know PI is Parris Island, SC. I use Marine terms like drill to my friends too lol!

  10. Im a senior in highschool now so the days keep counting down until I’m graduated and ready to ship. I’ve talked to my recruiter about many things on how to prepare and I was wondering if there is anything he might have not said that you may know.

    1. What has your recruiter told you so far! If you DEP in your recruiter is suppose to give you a study guide kit to help you learn general orders, rank structure and insignia, the marine corps hymn, the soldiers creed, marine corps values, and etc. I’d learn the meaning of the eagle globe and anchor. Know your basics about the government like who was the first president. Stuff like that. Maybe do some practice shooting so you’re not terrible. Build up stamina. Run a lot because you’re going to be doing it when you get in there and trust me you can’t train yourself for the type of training they give you down there. Your stamina is important though because you don’t want to be getting yelled at for falling behind. That’s the best advice I could give! Your recruiter should be giving the poolees knowledge tests as well.

  11. Hi im 13 years old and weigh 140, (im 5′ 7″). I can run a mile in 7:15; a 3 mile in ~25:00. I can do 17 pull ups without stoping, 70 push-ups without stoping, and 68 sit-ups in 2 mins. I have almost all B’s one C and 3 A’s. I am in 8th grade i do 10/11 grade math, literature, and science. I am a athletic student. I play soccer, basketball, and football. I can easily remember things, and am adaptable person. I am doing a program called running start which allows me to do college and high school at once however after high school there is a two year extra learning thing. After that i want to join the marines as an officer. is there anything you guys think I need to learn/do to get ready.

    Ohh ya and I work out everymorning for 1 hour 30 mins. minimum.

      1. preferably Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, all the submissions and takedowns come from BJJ. The takedowns are really Judo but BJJ steals the good shit from other martial arts and create a new version from it to call it our own.

    1. Get your grades to no Cs, join a JROTC or civil air patrol unit, make your run time as fast as possible and try to get to 20 pullups. Your 3 mile should get to around 18 or 19 min to be competitive.

    2. I ran my mile in 5:30 get it down just a few more. I ran my mile and a half in 7:45. Get your time down even more. The less the better. Get muscle on you. No matter, run everyday. I’m a 2nd degree black belt in American Karate. I’ve adapted boxing, and BJJ. in my arsenal. There’s always room for improvement.

  12. I am a Sophmore and I’m 16 and want to be a United States Marine I do basketball and soccer keeping me in alright shape and going to devote my summer to running and working out like I have been and I’m a pretty good shot with a rifle but if anybody would like to give about how many push ups and sit ups, I should do every night would be appreciated

    1. you need to be able to do at least 3 pull ups, 44 sit ups in 2 mintutes, and a 3 mile run in 28 minutes. Don’t aim for a minimum score though, you will have a shitty time at bootcamp. perfect scores are 20 pull ups, 100 sit ups in 2 minutes, and 3 mile run in 18 minutes. I’m basing all of these scores off of the IST or (initial strength test) by the way. You would also have to pass the PFT (personal fitness test) and the CFT (Combat Fitness test). IST is the more important one to worry about though.

    2. i myself am a recruit in the USMC, you should focus on pull ups, running and crunches mostly. You have some time until you graduate so if you started now you would be physically and mentally ready by the time you graduated. requirements are running a mile and a half in under 13 mins and 30 secs (strive for under 9 mins), 100 crunches in 2 mins and 20 pull ups (no time required). I do 100 push ups before bed and it has helped me in my training and will definitely do wonders for you too.

    3. 20 pull-ups 200 sit-ups in 2 minutes 3 miles in 15 minutes learn to swim extremely good with stuff that tries to pull you down like a motorcycle helmet with no holes swimming on your back take a life guard class, the insanity work out probably wouldn’t hurt either make sure to recruit before you go in practice holding up weights with your arms straight and extended, practice all gun firing stances with a broom to gain muscle memory, study the prac information before going in so that when you get in you can teach it to your platoon mates. learn to make a rack the marine corps way before going in as quickly as humanly possible

    4. I am a polie about to ship out in january. I would focus on running 1.5 miles a day try to do at least 100 push ups in sets of 25. Do a max set of crunches in 2 minutes or a hundred at a time if you can. Also if you can do max sets of pull ups. You will be tested on all but push ups on the ist( inital strenght test). If you want there are pt (physical training) days at santa rosa recruiting sation monday and wensday starting at 3.30 ending at 5.30. Feel free to stop by to work out with us and get a fell what the corps is like.

  13. I am a 12 year old from Diagonal, IA. and I have wanted to join the Corp since I was 4 years old I can four miles in 45 minutes. I am also the fastest middle schooler in Diagonal, Iowa. I have A’s and B’s nothing below. I have never shot a gun. I have airsoft and I participate in airsoft wars that last five hours. I am really good with me airsoft M4 and can win with the help of my teammates. But enough with that, but my parents won’t let me join unless I start getting my chores and ect. done. Recently I have just walked in the house and start cleaning. After my cleaning I do 150 push- ups and 250 sit- ups. I also have a diet because I am 135 pounds. It is of protein, fruits, vegetables, and grain. I will not eat any sugar unless I have to. I have no big medical issues just a very small asmaha problem. I participate in the following sports: archery, basketball, track, and baseball. I really need some advice to chores and mouthing. I really badly need help with that. So post any info for me here.

    1. get used to doing chores in bootcamp it will be crucial to get it done right and get it done fast with out complaining get used to getting your chore done then helping others do theirs quickly

  14. I’m a twelve year old and I have wanted to join the Marine Corp since I was 4. I have only A and Bs and I am 5’4 and I have an Uncle who served and I have always wanted to join the Marines so is there any advice for me.

    1. Start to workout every day. Start to eat healthy foods and try and sleep a good 8/9 hours and one more thing learn about the corp like the ranks and what not

  15. I am 14 years old and am trying to get into shape currently but i am worried my grades will not be good enough for the marines my math is averaging a D how much will this affect me?

    1. You still have a few years until you graduate high school. You need a high school diploma or a GED with 15 college credits. As long as you graduate high school you’ll be fine. Getting into NROTC to become a Marine officer is different. You’ll need high grades to get an NROTC scholarship

  16. Hello. I am 12 years old. I’ve been wanting to serve in the corps since I was 7. I have add highA’s all my life, do I am not worried about that I am small 5’2” and only 80 pounds. My stomach I am sad to say isn’t very much like a six pack. Is there any way to gain weight without the fat and to have lots of muscle? Thank you. God bless The United States of America, and ALL the Armed Forces, wherever they may be!!

    1. exercising every other day / learning a martial arts form /chopping wood / if you exercise right your body fat will go down and your muscle will build up but it is important to remain flexible so gymnastics is very important if you want to be stronger remember to also be a good person and exercise with others if you see some one struggling to exercise help them i would also suggest having a parent or loved one get a subscription to mens journal for the exercise and expertise the show for being healthy. keep away from sugary drinks/ processed foods fave a beans have more protein than meat, aloe juice keeps your blood flowing and healhty

  17. I’m taking my ASVAB this monday coming up, after I will be in the delayed entry program (DEP) to be a Marine. I’m 20 years old and am closer and closer everyday to heading to boot camp. My advice to all the young people looking to becoming a Marine is as follows:
    Your main focus should be graduating highschool and staying out of trouble. Try as hard as you can and avoid hanging out with any “bad” people as it will ruin your future career before it even starts. Also, start running, doing pullups, pushups, and situps on a daily basis. This will only make it easier on you for when you are ready to enlist. I was almost disqualified for being allergic to bees but then got an allergee test and found out i’m no longer allergic so I can still enlist. The last thing would be to buy a book like “ASVAB for dummies” and study study study until you can’t study any longer. Which there’s no such thing as studying too much. It will only improve your test scores and grant you more MOS’s so you can get the job you most desire while serving. OOHHH RAHHHH

  18. Im 14 and want to become a Marine but I need things like a new Marine Corps guidebook that includes the United States Marine Core Values does anybody know if there making a new guidebook that includes these things ??

  19. Im 16 sophomore. im wanting to be a marine but im not in shape. ivr never shot a gun either. i always think about joining but im scared. and im scared to tell my mom. what are some tips i can do to get in shape

    1. im 16 to and i want to join the Corps to and im in shape. just run every morning and workout alot and watch wat you eat. My dad is X-NAVY so he’s my motivater and he keeps me in shape. Just do the things and you will be fine.

    2. Don’t worry about never shooting a gun that’s the easiest part of boot camp from information i’ve recieved from my peers who have graduated from boot camp. Read my comment above yours for all the advice you will need and lastly, do not be afraid to tell your mom she may be scared for you but will respect you as a man/young adult.

    3. They will teach you how to fire a rifle and pistol. They have a whole week called grass week where you learn the mechanics of firing a rifle BEFORE you fire off a live round. You also might want to take advantage of the delayed entry program which you are eligible for after your junior year of high school. In the DEP, you sign the contract and spend up to a year with your fellow poolees preparing for boot camp

  20. Hello I’m Brian. I’m 16 and a sophomore in high school. I do not get very good grades at all, would I still be able to join? I’m looking to be in the USMC infantry. I also have a legal issue I’m taking care of for underage drinking, it is coming off my record as I’m attending a police program called “Reach”. That being said will that mishap effect me in my dream of becoming one

    1. Just don’t lie about it when you go through MEPS, and they will try to get a waiver for you. As for the grades, that shouldn’t be too much of a problem but do try to do well on your ASVAB’s. And don’t do any more stupid shit, that’ll prevent you real fast.

    2. all you have to do is keep your grades up to were you can pass. If you get out of high school with all f’s you can still join,from what I know it’s not like getting into college to were you have to get good grades to get in.
      I think that they would still let you even with the underage drinking thing,50/50 I don’t think that would stop you from getting in since it’s like a major problem. Just stay out of trouble AT ALL COST and talk to a marine recruiter.

      see you in the marines. sempier fidelis

  21. im 14 yrs old and want to join the corps and am in good shape i do track,crosscountry running, and wrestling. is it true you have to be good at math to be a sniper? i also need to put on more muscle. can you help me?

    1. I am 14 too. I am planing on joining the corps as well. It is true that you half to be good at math to be a sniper. You wouldn’t want to figure out how to shot a bad guy and accidentally hit the hostage because you forgot to carry a number on the strength of the wind. Now as far as muscling up I am a football player, golfer, bull rider, and marksman at gun competitions. I use a substance used by pro football players called advocare. My mom sellers it and it is completely leafless for sports people to use. Any way look it up and get some of the muscle builder and take some and frequently run and lift weights and you’ll be in the best shape of your life very soon. Hope this works for you as we’ll as its working for me. See you on the lines brother.

        1. Calculatitons count being exactly good I doubt it being a good sniper pactice shooting go shoot cans from 300 yards away just take the advice

  22. I’m 13 a girl and have wanted to become a marine forever I can run a mile in under 7 minutes and an in good shape I’m not particularly strong anything to help with that

    1. Read my last comment to zeek bucey…. Now the results may vary so you may want to dig into how it will effect you because I have no idea how it effects a girl… I am not sexist just stating facts. I don’t want to harm a potential platoon member

    2. Just being able to run one mile in under 7 minutes isn’t good enough. If I were you, start heading to you local gym and start getting some professional training, if you don’t have a workout in mind already. Also, start going on a specific diet, and I don’t mean starving yourself. Go for a high protein diet, something that’ll help you bulk and after working out it you won’t be sore. Once you get into High School, take an JROTC class and join Special Team (Boys’ Drill Team, Drum Corps, Raider, etc. instead of PE because it’ll benefit you a lot. This is based on my experience since I’m actually in the JROTC class and I’m in 4 Special Teams (Squad Drill, Drill Platoon, Raiders, Drum Corps). Make sure you work hard if you’re that committed in USMC. No BS.

    3. You’ll also need to do the flexed arm hang (though that may change to pull ups in the future) and crunches for the initial strength test. Difficulty increases with the physical fitness test and the combat fitness test.

    4. Hi! I am also a 13 year old girl who wants to join, but unlike you I’m not so good at running, but I am pretty strong. What I do is just do a variety stuff like lunges squats pull ups burpees push ups crunches and lift weights. For lifting weights start low and just gradually build up until you can do a lot. Do you have any tips on how to be better at running? I can run on a treadmill but when I run on the road I get so slow and unmotivated….

  23. Hi im a 16 year old sophomore in highschool I’m in good physical shape but I don’t ever shoot guns much at all, is it still possible to join with my little gun experience?

    1. I’m 15 looking to join through the Naval Academy. It won’t matter if you don’t shoot often, you can still get in as long as you can learn during basic. Many Marines throughout history have joined (or been drafted) without ever having fired a rifle. You’ll be fine.

    2. Yes… Just focus in tier things and that can be taught too you in basic… Although it will be much easer to practice as much as you can to help

    3. Yes, I’m going to be joining this summer, you’ll be surprised how few people have experience firing a weapon at all, most of the time you’ll find alot of inexperienced people, I’ve shot so I cn’t speak for myself, but you’re pretty much in good company.

    4. Actually no, anyone who said you have to be comfortable with shooting is wrong. My brother went to boot camp back in August 2012, he had very little experience with guns, and he shot Expert. And he’s never shot anything but a BB, revolver, and a 22 I think.

  24. Am a 16 yr old sophomore, I have wanted to enlist as a Marine for a long time, play football and run track, so I’m in great physical shape, also shoot my AR15 and 7mm mag pretty regularly and am a good shot. My problem is swimming, I’m not very good, if anyone can tell me what I could do to improve that would be much appreciated, I have taken swimming lessons, just not a fast swimmer. I lift weights daily and am strong for my size. I’m about 5’9 160, am supposed to be about 5’11, how much weight do I need to put on? I make all A’s except for math, that’s a C, I plan on enlisting after high school, what math will I need to know for ASVAB? I really want to go through sniper school and I’m a great shot with bolt action rifles and my dads m1a (m14) so is there a chance I can make it into sniper school even though I’m not very good at math? I am very self motivated and want to be the best I can be for the Marines, any helpful info would be great, thanks!

    1. The whole advanced is common sense I made an 85 for my military entrance score. Yes you will need math to calculate the trajectory of the bullet. You shoot open sights at 500 yards in bootcamp and they teach yo u that then. Andbthey teach u that then. You cantake swim lessons at a rec center for your swimming.

  25. My name is youngmarine sgt. Rust I been wanting to become a marine seen I was 4 years old. I went to bootcamp they did not push us hard as the real marines. It is really hard they do push ups and they love to make u run.

    1. It takes a lot to be a Marine. The best thing is to talk to a recruiter. Just to join, you have to pass an IST. This includes a 1.5 mile run, 44 crunches in two minutes (minimum) and pull ups for males or a flexed arm hang for females.

      You also can not have an disqualifying medical conditions or mental history. There are many other things that go into it though, including criminal history, tattoos etc.

      Not everything that is ‘bad’ will mean that you can’t get in. Many things can be overlooked with a waiver.

      The standard contract is 6 years. This is broken up into 4 years active duty and 2 years in the IRR (Independent Ready Reserve). You can keep enlisting every four years though and spend decades in the Corps.

  26. I am 14 and i have always wanted to become a marine and fight and or die for my country. are there any restrictions to health such as asthma? And are there any restrictions to muscle and joint pain?

    1. There are restrictions of physical problems yes. The best thing is to go to a recruiter in the area and talk to him about it. Some of your problems might be waiver-able or might be permanently disqualifying.

  27. Hey. I’m 18 and I am a month away from leaving for recruit training and becoming a communications marine. My mom was in the marines and I am a former CO of Marine Corps JROTC so I have knowledge on rank structure, history, general orders and a lot more. I have also been in leadership positions and my JROTC instructor was a former drill instructors. But the closer I get to leaving the more nervous I become, I know bootcamp isnt easy but I feel like I am prepared as you can get but it still may not be enough. So is there anything else I can do to help prepare for the challenge of recruit training?

    1. Boot camp is going to be Hell. Follow the orders of your DI( drill instructor), NEVER use first person when talking to them, don’t volunteer for anything( raising your hand when the DI asks who likes/enjoys such and such is “volunteering”), put out all you’ve got, and at the end of 13 weeks, you will have earned the title of Marine.

  28. am just going into my junior year in high school and I can say am not out of shape but can still use some help if there is anything to help me out with my problem lease and thank you and also any way to gain a little more wight thanks for all your help.

    1. You Joel need to go to the gym and lift weights to gain muscle weight. Eat double rations of GOOD FOOD as the article hath said. Trust me. Eating double rations at boot camp in 20 minutes is hard. Good luck kid!

  29. Hi, im 16 and my sophomore year is just ending. I’m kinda in shape but im not noticeably strong. My average grades are just high B’s and low A’s. I want to go to college and maybe do ROTC. Is that something you would recommend. What else can i do? Thank you for your help.

    1. NROTC (Navy ROTC. Includes Marine Corps) is extremely competitive for the Marines. Keep your grades up and get into to top physical shape. Also try to become the captain of as many groups or clubs as you can and do charity work.

  30. Thanks this was very helpfull but Im outa shape
    And need some advice on losing wait Im playing
    Football to help me get tougher and stronger I’m about 2 start doing extra push ups
    And crunches and running more is there anything else
    I can do to get in shape

    1. I have the same problem. I’ve signed up for advanced Physical Education (weightlifting) and am spending more and more time lifting at home. Just get out and run, hike and do what ever to loose weight and get in shape.

    2. well you shold eat a little less so your body can digust more then do about 20 sit ups and crunches also do some cartio wich is running

  31. im thinking of joining the marines but the problem i have is swimming i never swimed before and you need to know how to in order to pass boot camp.what should i do to help me with this problem and do they help people with the same problem in boot camp

    1. I had the same problem 30 years ago when I shoved off for MCRD San Diego. I found that it wasn’t my inability to swim, but a fear of deep water in general that was preventing me from learning how. My recommendation is to get lessons before you shove off, because your drill-instructors will have very little compassion for your lack of water skills…TRUST ME!! Good luck and Semper Fi

    2. If you dont know how to swim, well you need to learn, because you don’t want to be pushed off of the diving board like my father!

    1. if u are trying to gain wait start gong to the gym and try to get into some kind of sport anyways after the gym drink a protein shake and or eat chicken breast to gain muscle.

  32. This is my complex list of questions/information, read mindfully.
    I am 20, I have a GED, plans on going to college to pick up some college units(maybe even some extra credits for kicks and boost), I am going to be married(to a Army Soldier mind you) and I have been interested for quite some time. I have learned the 1st verse to The Marine’s Hymn(I will learn the whole thing just because I have heart already and always no matter what). I, as well, have been doing my best to learn the 11 General Orders of Sentry, the “ins and outs” of the M16a4, Ranks, Code of Conduct, Marine Rifle Creed and even the simple needs to get a good score on the ASVAB.

    My questions are, do I still have a chance? And how (with all that I have and am) should I get there?

    Much appreciated – Stephanie Lusk

  33. im 26 n i want to join the marines but going thru divorce witch i hope it ends soon…also i have a 3yr old daughter that her mother has 80 percent custody…can i still join after my divorce n also is it true i need instead of my high school diploma i also need a associate degree?

  34. You can find study guides for the ASVAB at your local public library. There are also “ASVAB for Dummies” books you can buy at boostores like Borders. You can also GOOGLE search on-line for study guides you can order. One place has flashcards with practice ASVAB questions on them you can carry with you and study when you have the spare time.

    In general, the ASVAB test is comprised of math skills, reading comprehension, sentence structure/grammar, mechanical skills, etc. You can GOOGLE ASVAB test for sample questions and practice tests.

    Every military job requires a certain ASVAB score. It’s important you make the highest score possible. Studying and preparation will pay off.

  35. While you’re in highschool, it’s important to apply yourself and make the best grades you can. The more intelligent you are, the higher you’ll score on the ASVAB apptitude test. The ASVAB is used to determine which occupational field you are qualified for so the higher you score the more jobs will be open to you. For instance, with a low score you may be given a job as a cook or truck driver but you’ll need a high score if you want to be an intelligence specialist (intelligence specialists gather and analyze information about enemy forces).

    Besides making good grades, it’s important to take care of your body and stay in good physical condition. This means maintaining a healthy weight, normal blood pressure, normal blood glucose, and normal vision (you can wear glasses). Stay away from drugs, alcohol, and unsafe sex. To improve your physical conditioning, concentrate on aerobics/cardio (running), upper body strength (pullups/pushups), and core strength (crunches/situps). The USMC physical fitness test is comprised of 3 mile run, dead-hang pullups (females do a flexed-arm hang), and crunches.

    Other things to consider:
    Never get a tattoo (the USMC has a strict tattoo policy; can get one later)
    Don’t get your girlfriend pregnant (females don’t get pregnant; can’t be a single parent)
    Don’t get in trouble with the law (may affect your ability to get a security clearance)
    Stay in school (you must graduate highschool in enlist)

    Master Sergeant, U.S. Marine Corps (retired)

  36. Hi i’m 14 and a freshman i was hoping for some things to do to get me ready for boot camp because im outta shape and if some one can tell me the main points of the ASVAB that i can study before i take it i would appreciate that.

    1. If you are a freshman in high school it is a very good time to start preparing. This will definitely help you to excel in boot camp. Trust me everything in the marines is a competition! As for physical stuff, if you just start running long distances and doing the simple sit ups and pull ups you should be more than prepared by the time you go!! Of course it will do no harm to go to the gym and lift some weights among other things just to gain that extra muscle. When you go in you will use muscles that you didn’t even know you had. As a high school student you have probably noticed some people at your school using steriods and other things to help them gain muscle. Do not go into that!!!! As for the ASVAB it is not to difficult but, it could do oyou some good to buy yourself an ASVAB study book. It gives you practice test and shows you what the questions are like, you need to gain a plethora of word knowledge, mechanics, among the usual things such as math, problem solving, etc.. but if you are a freshman and are starting now you are going to do well. Good luck and keep your grades up!

  37. Gentlemen,

    I would like to commend all of you for your interest in the Marine Corps. Just a few pieces of advice:

    1. Recruit Training is NOT easy. It’s not designed to be. Unlike the other services, we require that you EARN the title of Marine. Remember, that all current and former Marines combined wouldn’t even come close to the total force of the Army. Hence “The Few, The Proud, The Marines”

    Kenny- No, officers can’t not hold the MOS 0317 (Scout Sniper) unless they previously were awarded it while being an enlisted Marine.

    Matt- Keep working!!! Talk to a recruiter and ask if you could come to their POOLE functions and do some of their PT with them. Remember, Perseverance pays off. The recruiters will be much more impressed (thus more likely to want to help) if they see initiative on your part.

    Dale- Research, Research, Research…. Ok, I’m sure you get the point. You need a first class PT score, you need to qualify Expert on the range a few times in a row. This is one of the “Holy Grail” type of MOS desires in the Marine Corps.

    Lastly, to all of you that are still in high school, middle school…etc. Focus on the things you need to focus on. You cannot enlist in the Marine Corps until you are 17, so enjoy your childhood!!! The best advice I can give you is to give your school work 100% effort. The Marine Corps values education! Get the best grades you can. It shows dedication and determination. You will need all of those smarts to get past the ASVAB!

    You can do just about anything as long as you put your mind to it. Stay away from the drugs, the alcohol, the tobacco and everything else illegal! Remember the Marine Corps Core Values: HONOR, COURAGE, COMMITMENT!

    Good Luck to all of you and Semper Fi-

    Retired Marine

  38. Great article here. I’m 23, about 6 ft tall, and 258lbs. I need to lose 30lbs before I can even enlist. Do you think that the process of me losing this 30lbs is going to help me in boot camp? I’m so out of shape and have been my whole life but I want to turn it around.

  39. I am 14 and have wanted to join the corps for a while and this helped me on what to do. I am a freshmen and i have 4 years to work on this. In the marines want to become a scout sniper and i would like to excel above my other soldiers while in boot camp dose anyone have any tips on what to do?

  40. im 17 and am very much gonna be a marine i rune 2 miles a day and do 100 push ups and sit ups a day should i do more and if so what else

  41. ,, Thanks a lot I’ve read quite a bit on here and it was all very helpful. I am 18 and I have decided to become a marine, next Friday is when I go in to take my physical and swear in. I believe the Marine Corps will help me in achieving my goal in hopes of one day working for the CIA. So I have chosen intelligence as my main interest, and with my scores of CL-114, GT-108, and EL-113 I’m really hoping I get placed in intelligence. I want to be the best of the best, I know I’m going to be great someday and I’m looking forward to the challenges ahead. What I really want to know is if there is anyway of knowing for sure where I am most likely to be placed?? And how often, and which 02xx’s if any get deployed with ground units??

  42. so lets say you pass as a marine and boot camp done how would u go forth in other area’s i just sighed my papers for the marines im 17 and i wanna go through ur sniper school witch i heard you have to be good at math but im really bad at math but lets say im a good shot where would that put me in the core

    1. Josh: id prob get you a designated marksman or maybe work on math some.

      Mike: no you cannot physically join the marines at 13. you can sign up early at 17 but other than that you HAVE to be 18.

      Sean R: just all around muscle work. youll use ever known muscle in bootcamp and some you thought where strong youll see are weak.

    1. No. you simply cannot. this is for adults and those at the prime of their life. youll have your time if your persistant. enjoy being a kid and free.

  43. besides crunches and running, are there any other physical things i should be doing to prepare myself if i decide to join? (i’m a bit outta shape!)

    1. Great to hear I hope this stuff helps future recruits out. I like that you’re not just interested in finding out how to make boot camp “easy” (because it simply isn’t…for anybody), but that you want to leave a mark and excel. Preparing as best you can will help that.

    2. I’m 15 too , I’m writing this over a year after you did so youre 16. I;m joining too and I’m attending a millitary academy for high school students over the summer and wanted some insight and this helped

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