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
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
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.
Marine Corps Martial Arts Program
Gen. James L. Jones, envisioned a program to enable every Marine to realize
their full potential as a warrior. Drawing upon our rich legacy of
leadership and heritage of innovation, the Marine Corps developed the Marine
Corps Martial Arts Program. It is a martial art whose roots reach back from
the boarding parties of the Continental Marines, extend through the Raiders
of World War II and include the modern complexities of the three-block war.
The Confidence Course is an 11-station obstacle course that helps recruits
build confidence as well as upper-body strength. Recruits will tackle this
course twice while aboard MCRD.
Combat Water Survival
Training in Combat Water Survival develops a recruit's confidence in the
water. All recruits must pass the minimum requirement level of Combat Water
Survival-4, which requires recruits to perform a variety of water survival
and swimming techniques. If a recruit meets the CWS-4 requirements, he may
upgrade to a higher level. All recruits train in the camouflage utility
uniform, but those upgrading may be required to train in full combat gear,
which includes a rifle, helmet, flak jacket and pack.
Basic Warrior Training
Basic Warrior Training introduces recruits to field living conditions. The
majority of a Marine's field training is conducted after recruit training at
the School of Infantry. During the 3-day Basic Warrior Training conducted
during boot camp, recruits will learn basic field skills like setting up a
tent, field sanitation and camouflage. It is also during this training that
recruits go through the gas chamber.
Field Training introduces recruits to field living and conditions. During
the 3-day field training evolution, recruits will learn basic field skills
from setting up a tent to field sanitation and camouflage. It is also during
this training that recruits go through the gas chamber.
Marksmanship training teaches recruits the fundamentals of marksmanship with
their M-16A2 service rifle. This training takes place over two weeks, the
first of which is called Snap-In Week. During this week, recruits are
introduced to the four shooting positions (standing, kneeling, sitting and
prone) and a Primary Marksmanship Instructor shows recruits how to fire, how
to adjust their sights, how to take into account the effects of the weather,
etc. Recruits also have the opportunity to fire on the Indoor Simulated
Marksmanship Training machine. During the second week of marksmanship
training, recruits actually fire a known-distance course with ranges of 200,
300 and 500 yards. Recruits prepare for rifle qualification on Friday of
Field Firing Range (FFR)
FFR is a portion of training devoted to firing weapons in a field condition.
During marksmanship training, recruits learn how to fire at a single target
while in a stationary position. During FFR recruits learn how to fire at
moving and multiple targets, while under low-light conditions and wearing
their field protective (gas) mask.
The field meet is a chance for recruits to have some fun and compete against
other platoons in their company in a variety of physical events, such as the
tug-of-war and relay races. This event also helps build teamwork and unit
The Crucible -- Recruit Training's Defining Moment
The Crucible is a test every recruit must go through to become a Marine. It
tests every recruit physically, mentally and morally and is the defining
moment in recruit training.
The Crucible is no walk in the park, unless your idea of a walk in the park
takes place over 54-hours and includes food and sleep deprivation and
approximately 40 miles of marching.
The entire Crucible event pits teams of recruits against a barrage of day
and night events requiring every recruit to work together solving problems,
overcoming obstacles and helping each other along.
The obstacles they face range from long marches, combat assault courses, the
problem-solving reaction course, and the team-building Warrior Stations.
Each Warrior Station is named for a Marine hero whose actions epitomize the
values we want recruits to espouse.
Bottom line -- The Crucible is a rite of passage that, through shared
sacrifice, recruits will never forget. With that memory and their Core
Values learned in recruit training, they can draw upon the experience to
face any challenge in their path.
The last two weeks of training are spent aboard MCRD and are filled with
final required events such as the Practical Examination, Physical Fitness
Test, Battalion Commanderís Inspection and Company Drill. This is also the
period in which the recruits begin to transition from the role of recruit to
Marine. The culmination of this is the presentation of the Eagle, Globe and
Anchor, signifying the new Marineís successful completion of recruit
Family Day & Graduation
Family Day and Graduation take place on the last two days while on MCRD.
Family Day occurs on Thursday and gives new Marines a chance to see their
family and friends for the first time during on-base liberty. Graduation is
conducted on Friday at the completion of the Transition Phase. It is a
formal ceremony and parade, attended by family and friends and executed on
the Shepard Field Parade Deck.