Friday, August 5, 2011

Marines Bootcamp, a survival guide. Words of advice from a Marine Veteran.

Every year, thousands of young men and women decide to enlist into the military. While each service has a unique and challenging bootcamp, the United States Marine Corps is known for having the longest and most challenging basic training. Boot camp for Marine recruits is three months long, longer and harder than any other basic training in the U.S. armed forces.

Marine Corps boot camp is designed to break down your confidence and create a psychologically manipulative environment. This is done to strip you down of your "nasty civilian habits" and to reform you into the image of a Marine. You will basically get reprogrammed and updated to Marine Corps version 2.0. This is done in a systemic process consisting of three phases ending with a final challege called "The Crucible."

During the first 72 hours, the recruit is deprived of sleep and is thrown into an intense, high stress situation. Drill Instructors are screaming at you at high volume, standing inches away from your face. Grueling punishments are delivered for the slightest mistakes that a recruit makes but sometimes you are punished for the mistakes of others. Needless to say, there is a tremendous physical demand required of each and every recruit.

Typically, a recruit's day will start at 0530 hours with revellile. The lights are turned on in the recruit squadbays and as soon as the light comes on, you are expected to be standing, at the position of attention, in front of your bed. Recruits are then sent to PT for about an hour of running, aerobic, and strength training. The first run at Marine Corps boot camp is usually 1.5 mile long run. While this does not sound very long, it is physically demanding. The running in the Marine Corps requires the ability yell running songs while keeping up during 3-5 mile long runs. Every morning

In addition to running, a recruit will often run some sort of obstacle course that requires the ability to lift you body weight over a number of high bars and wall like obstacles. At the end of every obstacle, you can usually find a high rope to climb. Some of these obstacles are of high altitude. If you are afraid of heights, be prepared to confront your fear. I was afraid of heights, and I soon found myself fast roping out of helicopters.

Tips for surviving the boot camp experience.

Know your limits and respect the decision to join the Marines. Join the Marine Corps for the right reason. You should be prepared to kill and die for this country. This cannot be overstated. You must be willing to stay awake for days on end, rifle in hand, in the most dangerous places of the world. Are you prepared for what you may see while serving overseas? Can you handle violence and graphic images of death?

This service is for the true warriors that can live and perform in a warrior culture. If you doubt your ability to live up to this, look into other service oppurtunities.

No matter how bad it gets, nothing can stop the time. You haven't felt the soft touch of a woman in months (or the rough touch of a man, for you ladies), havent' showered in two months, and have been carrying one hundred pounds of bulky gear in 115 degree temperatures.

Cheer up Marine, no matter how bad your tour gets or how tough boot camp becomes, nothing can stop the ticking of the clock. Realizing this helped me pass the long boring days on ship and the grueling demands of combat service. When the going gets rough, think of what you are going to do when you get back. Stay positive, keep your mind in the present but your hope pointed towards the future. You will go through long days as a Marine but the sun does set on everyday, and time will pass.

Know you job and know it well. In boot camp this would translate into studying Marine Corps history, doing extra pull ups and push ups, and squaring away your uniform.

In the Fleet Marine Force, this involve completing your MCIs (Marine Corps Institute courses)studying your MOS (Military Occupational Specialty) and attending every training session you can.

Stay in touch. Be sure to stay in touch with friends and family. This will boost your morale and relieve you grandmother's worried mind.

Safety is paramount Think fast and move carefully. Fast is smooth and smooth is fast. Be careful in all your actions. Be aware of your surroundings. Keep your head on a swivel.

Good luck in your voyage. If you have a particular question about the Marine Corps, deployment, and etc leave a comment.

Semper Fi

1 comment:

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