So you have made the decision to join the finest fighting in the world, the United States Marine Corps.
Male or female, this will be the hardest thing you have thus far faced in your life.
I have put together some basic information and suggestions to help you prepare for boot camp.
What I present here is a combination of information gleaned from Marine Corps websites, as well as what I have been told by my daughter, Lance Corporal Andrews.
My first suggestion is to become acquaint yourself with just what will be expected of you, and what better place to start with some official Marine Corps websites.
Regardless of where the Marine Corps sends you for your recruit training, I recommend check out all three of the following sites, as they will give you various levels of information regarding physical requirements, training schedules, etc.
If you live east of the Mississippi, or are a female, you will receive your boot camp training at MCRD Parris Island.
If you live west of the Mississippi, you will undergo recruit training at MCRD San Diego.
And if your goal is to become a Marine Officer, you will be assigned to Quantico Virginia.
Marine Corps Boot Camp will not be easy, but there are some things you should know before you ship out that may make your life easier.
Some of these may seem trivial, but at some point during you recruit training they may come in very handy.
There is a ton of Marine Corps resources out there, like I said earlier what I am presenting here is information from USMC sites, things I have learned from Marine Corps-focused forums, as well as what I have been told by LCpl Andrews, who is currently undergoing MOS training.
Learn the rank structure and their corresponding emblems:
Learn the lyrics to the Marine Corps Hymn:
From the halls of Montezuma To the shores of Tripoli ,
We fight our countrys battles In the air, on land, and sea.
First to fight for right and freedom, and to keep our honor clean,
We are proud to claim the title Of United States Marines.
Our flags unfurl’d to every breeze From dawn to setting sun,
We have fought in every clime and place where we could take a gun.
In the snow of far-off northern lands and in sunny tropic scenes,
You will find us always on the job – The United States Marines
Here’s health to you and to our Corps Which we are proud to serve,
In many a strife we’ve fought for life and never lost our nerve.
If the Army and the Navy ever gaze on Heaven’s scenes,
They will find the streets are guarded By United States Marines.
How did the Marine Corps come to be?
During the American Revolution, many important political discussions took place in the inns and taverns of Philadelphia, including the founding of the Marine Corps.
A committee of the Continental Congress met at Tun Tavern to draft a resolution calling for two battalions of Marines able to fight for independence at sea and on shore.
The resolution was approved on November 10, 1775, officially forming the Continental Marines.
As the first order of business, Samuel Nicholas became Commandant of the newly formed Marines. Tun Tavern’s owner and popular patriot, Robert Mullan, became his first captain and recruiter. They began gathering support and were ready for action by early 1776.
Each year, the Marine Corps marks November 10th with a celebration of the brave spirit which compelled these men and thousands since to defend our country as United States Marines.
You may find yourself asked: “Who was………….?”
Well, you can’t possibly know of the exploits of every legendary Marine, but among those you should be familiar with are:
Gunnery Sergeant John Basilone
A receipient of the Congressional Medal Of Honor, the nation’s highest military award, Basilone was recognized during World War II for holding 3,000 Japanese soldiers at bay for 72 hours during the battle of Guadalcanal with only 15 men.
Sergeant Major Daniel J. Daly
Maj. Gen John A. Lejeune called Daly “the outstanding Marine of all time.”
He is (to my knowledge) the only Marine to be awarded the Congressional Medal Of Honor twice, for acts above and beyond the call of duty on two seperate occasions.
Lieutenant General John A. Lejeune
Lejeune is best remembered as a wartime commander after being the first Marine General to command an Army division in combat during World War I.
He is also credited with saving the Marine Corps from budget cuts and consolidations following World War I and establishing Marine Corps institutions and traditions.
The Marine base located near Jacksonville, NC bears his name.
Lieutenant General Lewis B. “Chesty” Puller
Puller was one of the most famous Marine commanders in Corps history.
He was a battalion commander and regimental commander with the 1st Marine Division during World War II and the Korean War.
When surrounded by over 100,000 Chinese soldiers at the Korean-war battle of the Chosin Reservoir, Puller is believed to have said, “They’re on our right, they’re on our left, they’re in front of us, they’re behind us, good, they can’t get away from us this time.”
Puller is also one of the most decorated Marines in USMC history, he was the holder of an Army Distinguished Service Cross, 14 combat decorations, and is the only man in history to be awarded America’s second-highest military honor, the Navy Cross FIVE times!
The Marine Corps adopted Semper Fidelis as its official motto in 1883.
Translated from Latin, Semper Fidelis means “Always Faithful.”
U.S. Marines use an abbreviated verbal version, “Semper Fi,” to voice loyalty and commitment to their Marine comrades-in-arms.
As your time in the Corps goes on, you will hear the phrase:
“Semper Fi, Do Or Die, Hold ‘Em High At Eighth And I”
Semper Fi should be self-explanatory.
Do Or Die, well, there is no try in the Marine Corps
Eighth and I are the streets in Washington D.C. where the Marine Barracks is located.
The Marine Corps Core Values are:
Honor, Courage and Commitment.
(What I have to say about the Core Values of the USMC is a combination of my own beliefs, as well as things I have picked up while doing research about the Corps.)
Marines hold themselves to a higher standard.
The have an unvarying code of personal and moral integrity.
A Marine can always look you straight in the eye.
They do not lie, cheat or steal, and expect others to have the same ethical responsibilty.
This is more than phyisical bravery, it means that a Marine will follow his or her conscience.
A Marine will stand up for what is right, regardless of the consequences.
An old adage reflects another aspect of courage:
“Courage is being as scared as hell, but going in anyway.”
An unyielding dedication to country, Corps, and fellow Marines.
A Marine always strives to be the best at whatever she or he is doing.
The goal is excellence in all things.
It also means a life-long dedication to the Marine Corps, there is no such thing as a “former Marine” or “ex-Marine, hence the phrase, “Once a Marine, always a Marine.”
The Rifleman’s Creed:
This is my rifle.
There are many like it, but this one is mine. It is my life. I must master it as I must master my life. Without me my rifle is useless. Without my rifle, I am useless. I must fire my rifle true. I must shoot straighter than the enemy who is trying to kill me. I must shoot him before he shoots me. I will. My rifle and I know that what counts in war is not the rounds we fire, the noise of our burst, or the smoke we make. We know that it is the hits that count. We will hit.
My rifle is human, even as I am human, because it is my life. Thus, I will learn it as a brother. I will learn its weaknesses, its strengths, its parts, its accessories, its sights and its barrel. I will keep my rifle clean and ready, even as I am clean and ready. We will become part of each other.
Before God I swear this creed. My rifle and I 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.
One of the most important things a Marine recruit will be expected to shout out without missing a beat is the 11 General Orders For Sentries:
1. To take charge of this post and all government property in view.
2. To walk my post in a military manner, keeping always on then alert and observing everything that takes place within sight or hearing.
3. To 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. To quit my post only when properly relieved.
6. To receive, obey, and pass on the sentry who relieves me, all orders from the commanding officer, officer of the day, and officers and noncommissioned officers of the guard only.
7. To talk to no one except in line of duty.
8. To 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. To salute all officers and all colors and standards not cased.
11. To 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.
The Armed Forces Code Of Conduct:
Article I: I am an American, fighting in the armed forces which guard my country and our way of life. I am prepared to give my life in their defense.
Article II: I will never surrender of my own free will. If in command I will never surrender the members of my command while they still have the means to resist.
Article III: If I am captured, I will continue to resist by all means available. I will make every effort to escape and aid others to escape. I will accept neither parole nor special favors from the enemy.
Article IV: If I become a prisoner of war, I will keep faith with my fellow prisoners. I will give no information nor take part in any action which might be harmful to my comrades. If I am senior, I will take command. If not, I will obey the lawful orders of those appointed over me and will back them up in every way.
Article V: When questioned, should I become a prisoner of war, I am required to give name, rank, service, number, and date of birth. I will evade answering further questions to the utmost of my ability. I will make no oral or written statements disloyal to my country and its allies or harmful to their cause.
Article VI: I will never forget that I am an American, responsible for my actions, and dedicated to the principles which made my country free. I will trust in my God and in the United States of America.
MILITARY TIME CHART
CIVILIAN TIME MILITARY TIME
12:00 AM 0000
1:00 AM 0100
2:00 AM 0200
3:00 AM 0300
4:00 AM 0400
5:00 AM 0500
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9:00 AM 0900
10:00 AM 1000
11:00 AM 1100
12:00 PM 1200
1:00 PM 1300
2:00 PM 1400
3:00 PM 1500
4:00 PM 1600
5:00 PM 1700
6:00 PM 1800
7:00 PM 1900
8:00 PM 2000
9:00 PM 2100
10:00 PM 2200
11:00 PM 2300
This is just a small sampling of what you be expected to learn in Marine Corps Boot Camp.
The sites linked to at the beginning of this article will have information about physical requirements, training schedules, and much more.
If you still have questions, feel free to check the Mail Call link and drop me a line.
I enjoy hearing from young men and women who are considering the Marine Corps, as well as those currently serving.
In the meantime, Semper Fi!