Marine Boot Camps

Marine boot camps are training camps for would-be marines. They are conducted at Parris Island, South Carolina and in San Diego, California. Courses are designed for training recruits in physical fitness, discipline, management skills, technical knowledge and general aptitude for marine life. The basic training program is a 13-week course, which is followed by an infantry training. This infantry training is conducted at Camp Geiger, North Carolina for Parris Island trainees and Camp Pendleton, California for San Diego trainees.

Training at a marine boot camp is not just physical, it is mental as well. Recruits are taught the basic moral values of marine life-Honor, Courage, Commitment. Recruits are not allowed to communicate with their family and friends, and they are taught the basics of marine life in the confines of the boot camp. It is a strenuous process, which culminates in the transformation of a raw recruit into a hardened marine.

The first step at a marine camp is Recruit Receiving. Recruits are instructed in their life at the camp, given their gear, toiletries and a haircut. Medical tests are performed, and recruits are made to do certain exercises like sit-ups, pull-ups, running, etc. to determine their physical capabilities. Forming follows this, when the recruits meet their instructors. Basic marching and discipline is taught at this stage. After this come the Drills, where marines are made to work together in moving from place to place. This is the time when recruits learn of the significance of synchronization in marine life.

Then comes a period of Physical Training, during which the instructor stands on a table and supervises the recruits as they perform exercises. Even marine courtesies, discipline, decision-making, etc. are grilled into the recruits’ minds at this stage.

The basic attraction of the marine boot camp is the Confidence Course, which is a 11-station obstacle course in water. Recruits have to score at least a Combat Water Survival score of four in order to progress beyond this stage. Basic Warrior Training follows, when the recruits have to pass the gas chamber test. Other survival skills are taught in this period.

But the most difficult period is the Crucible. This is a period when recruits are deprived of sleep and food and are made to march for as many as 40 miles, encountering obstacles along the way. During this period, recruits are expected to help each other along to survive. Many marines consider this period as the most unforgettable period of their lives.

After a final physical test and conclusive training, recruits are graduated to marines. Family and friends are invited to a ceremony at the Shepard Field Parade Deck as the fresh marines are awarded their posts in the US Marines.

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