Parris Island is the heart and soul of the Marine Corps. These 13 long, rigorous training weeks, is what transforms boys in to men, civilians in to recruits, and recruits into Marines. Here is where it all begins.
The Marines are said to be the best trained, most diciplined and most combat oriented branch out of all services. They are trained to fight and kill the nations enemies. It all starts on these yellow footprints. After arrival at Marine Corps Recruiting Depot Parris Island, South Carolina, will start their first week in processing. This is where the recruits will get all of their gear issued to them for training, finish any neccessary paperwork, go through all the medical, dental, and vision background. Then on the Friday of that week, the recruits take this IST (Initial Strength Test) to see if the recruits are physically ready for training. Once they pass the test, they meet their permanent drill instructors. Here is why they call it Black Friday. The first 2 weeks of actual training, the recruits spend most of it doing Physical Training.
The dicipline stays hard and so does the physical training. Everything done there is for a reason. The drill instructors try to push you to your physical and mental breaking points to weed out the quitters. The Marine Corps needs people who won’t quit and who be ready to fight. If you are told to do something and don’t do it, people can lose lives. Within the first month recruits also go through a lot of MCMAP (Marine Corps Martial Arts Program) training. One mind any weapon is their motto.
They are trained techniques and execute them over and over again to make sure they can use them quickly and correctly when needed.
The last part of the month is the Swim Qualifictaion. Marines are the soldiers of the sea. They are trained water survival techniques incase they encounter and enemy in the water or their ship sank and need to stay alive. ,
Month two starts, they continue their MCMAP and practcing drill is everywhere they go for hours a day. Drill is a good way for the recruits to learn teamwork and dicipline. They are tested on drill a few times during the course of boot camp. End of month comes, and it’s grass and firing week. Every Marine is a rifleman is another Marine Corps motto. For a whole week, the recruits are taught how to hold their weapon. They are taught different techniques and different prones to fire from.
Firing week comes. All the techniques they learned in grass week are used in firing week. They have to shoot at different distances from different prones. They are tested on it and if they don’t pass the test, they don’t graduate.
Month 3 starts with Basic Warrior Training.
The recruits are trained to fight with their weapons. They are training to walk in the woods day and night using stealth to make sure the enemy doesn’t see or hear them. The recruits learn several techniques to ensure they will stay alive during combat. The last week of training the recruits go through the last training exersice. The Crucible. It is a 54 hour test. They will have 4 hours of sleep and 2 meal rations throughout the exercise. Everything they have been taught during training, the hand-to-hand combat, the rifle marksmanship, the teamwork skills will all be used on this exercise. They will hike 55 miles with a 70lbs rucksack. When they hike back to the island, their senior drill instructor give them their Eagle, Globe, and Ancor at the Emblem Ceremony and call them Marines for the first time.
It is an emotional time for everybody there. Within the next few days, the new Marines turn in their rifle and non permenant gear. They see their family for the first time on family day.
They spend a few hours with the family and head back to the barracks. The next and final day is graduation day.
This is the day the Marines graduate bootcamp and leave the island. They leave with pride in themselves and look at themselves as a different person, a Marine. From this day forward, they will forever be a United States Marine. Semper Fidelis.
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