Good Read for those enlisting in the Corps. Sticky? Without doubt, Marine boot camp is more challenging -- both physically and mentally -- than the basic training programs of any of the other military services. Not only are these requirements much higher, but recruits are required to learn and adhere to the core values of Honor, Courage, and Commitment. Recruits arrive at boot camp. Gear is issued, and a battery of physical examinations is conducted to ensure safety. The Initial Strength Test (IST) is then administered. Later they will learn weapons handling from trained experts and complete the 11-obstacle Confidence Course. 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. During this time the recruits can receive letters but nothing else — so please do not send gifts or supplies. This is Recruit Training, so don't address letters with "Marine" or a rank, like "Private." This is a title they will earn after they successfully complete training. USMC Recruit TrainingMarine Corps Recruit Depot (MCRD) is one of the birthplaces of basically trained Marines. It is here where America's young men are transformed into Marines. We believe that Marines are forged in a furnace of shared hardship and tough training. This shared, intense experience creates bonds of comradeship and standards of conduct so strong that Marines will let nothing stand in their way. This belief will continue to be the basis upon which we make Marines. Holding on to the high character of the Marines of the past, we look for ways to inculcate the strong values that have become synonymous with the Marine Corps. Through MCRD’s challenging recruit training the Marine Corps is preparing its Marines for the 21st century. 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 at MCRD, a new recruit begins a virtually non-stop journey, the end of which results in the transformation of that recruit into a new Marine. Recruit ReceivingThe 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 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 2 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 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 unit cohesion. Physical Training 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 demonstrates 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 conditioning marches. Academic Training 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. window.google_render_ad(); Core Values 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. For more on core values, please visit Marine Corps Core Values. Confidence Course 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. Field Training 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 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 that week. 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. USMC Combat Gear Combat Knives Camel Bak Gear USMC Desert Boots Under Armour Tactical The Crucible "We have two missions in the Marine Corps -- to win battles and make Marines," said Col. Bob Hayes, assistant deputy chief of staff for operations and training at the recruit depot here. "The Crucible is one piece of that effort." The Crucible emphasizes trainee teamwork under stress. "Recruits get eight hours of sleep during the entire 54 hour exercise," said Sgt. Roger Summers, a Delta Company drill instructor in the 1st Recruit Training Battalion at Parris Island. "They get two-and-a-half MREs and they are responsible for rationing out the food to themselves. Then we put them through tough physical activities like road marches and night infiltration courses. They march about 40 miles in those 54 hours." It isn't long before the recruits are tired and hungry, Summers said, but as they keep going they realize they can call on reserves they never knew they had. "Some of these recruits do things they never thought they could do," he said. "Some of them come from middle-class homes where everything has been handed to them. Others come from poorer homes where nothing was ever expected of them. If they finish the Crucible, they have accomplished something." One recruit put it best. "I am going to finish this," he said. "And when I do, it will be the most positive thing I have done in my life." Delta Company begins the Crucible at 3 a.m. with a six-mile road march from their barracks to Page Airfield, the Crucible site. Once there, recruits -- and that's the only thing the drill instructors call the trainees -- place their gear in huts and prepare for the first of four four-hour events. Each event has a number of "warrior stations" that the team of recruits must work together to overcome or solve. Each station is named for a Marine hero and the drill instructor has a recruit read a brief explanation of how the hero's actions exemplify the Corps and its values. "I choose a different leader for each station. That way, all the recruits understand what it's like to be the leader and what they have to do to be a follower," Summers said. "For some of them, they want to run everything. They can't admit that a recruit who may not have been the sharpest in previous training has a good idea. Sometimes it's the quiet one who has the idea and no one will listen. "You see the team learn as they go along," he continued. "At the beginning, they just charge ahead without a plan and without asking if anyone has an idea. By the end of the Crucible you see them working together better, getting advice from all team members and solving more of the problems." One warrior station, for example, is built around an enemy-mined rope bridge that the recruits must cross with their gear and ammunition boxes. They have only a couple of short ropes and their personal gear to solve the problem. At another event, recruits run into firing positions and engage pop-up targets with 10 rounds in two magazines. Recruit teams battle each other with pugil sticks in yet another event. The recruits grab food and water when they can. After the first two events comes a five-mile night march. "The night march was the toughest thing we've done here," said 18-year-old Pfc. Josh Lunceford of Charleston, W.Va. "The whole company went on it and whoever led it set a real fast pace. You couldn't see very well and people were tripping over stuff, and everyone was tired." The recruits hit the rack for four hours of sleep, then begin another day and finish the final two events. "On the second day they are tired and hungry and it really starts to show," said Capt. John H. Rochford, Delta Company commander. "They start getting short with one another, but they realize after the first day they have to work together to finish. No one gets through the Crucible alone." At the end of the second day, the recruits go through a night infiltration course and then hit the rack for another four hours. When they get up, they face a nine-mile march and the end of the Crucible. The march begins at 4 a.m. and, at first, is done quietly. Recruits limp along, because no one wants to drop out this close to the end, Summers said. As the sun rises, the recruits cross DI Bridge. Once across, the drill instructors start Jody calls and the recruits join in. As they get closer to the main base, the Jody calls get louder until they reach the Parade Deck. The recruits form up around a half-size replica of the Marine Corps Memorial -- also known as the Iwo Jima Memorial. There, a significant transformation takes place. "We're not just giving them basic training, we're turning them into Marines," Rochford said. "There's more to being a Marine than knowing how to fire a weapon. There's a whole tradition behind it, and we want these recruits to measure up to the men and women who went before them." A color guard raises the flag on the memorial. The chaplain reads a prayer specifically written for the finish of the Crucible, and the company first sergeant addresses the recruits. Then the drill instructors present each of their recruits with the Marine Corps insignia -- the eagle, globe and anchor. He shakes their hands and calls them "Marine" for the first time. Many accept the honor with tears streaming down their faces. The Enlisted Oath I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same. That I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God.