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Tips to Prepare for Marine Boot Camp

Parashar Joshi
Call of Uncle Sam to youngsters, gird up the will to serve the country. Marine boot camp is a thirteen-week training camp for aspiring US marines. It is known to be extremely demanding, both physically and mentally, and the recruits often find it very hard to cope with.
The United States Marine Boot Camps located at San Diego, California and Parris Island, South Carolina are world-famous for their super-strict and hard, disciplinarian approach. Almost all present and former marines agree on one common consensus - that the hardest phase of their career was probably the time spent at the boot camp.
Every year, thousands of aspiring marines enroll for the rigorous thirteen-week long camp, which promises to change their lives forever. Marine boot camps can either make or break a person; it all depends on his or her attitude.
Recruits have to undergo a comprehensive training program, which includes high-intensity physical drills, field skills, weapons training, marksmanship, combat skills, as well as written-theory tests. No wonder then, that preparing for the marine boot camp well in advance is of such tremendous importance.


It is almost suicidal to land up on those yellow footprints at the boot camp without any sort of preparation. If you want to graduate along with your platoon, and not risk getting dropped, it is wise to start gearing up along these guidelines.

Pay Serious Attention to Your Physical Fitness

Boot camp regulations for the Initial Strength Test are quite stringent and challenging. Male recruits are supposed to run a distance of 1.5 miles in a maximum of 13.3 minutes, and do a minimum of 2 pull-ups as well as 35 sit-ups within 2 minutes.
Females are required to hold a flexed-arm hang position for at least 12 seconds, complete 35 sit-ups in 2 minutes, and run the same distance as males within 15 minutes or less. Also, in the last week of the camp, recruits are required to march for a about 45 miles as part of a 54-hour long marathon exercise known as The Crucible.
Therefore, it is vital that you train yourself well in long-distance running, and increase your stamina as well as endurance on a daily basis. Using a stopwatch is advisable, as it helps to keep track of your performance. Additionally, start lifting a few weights, since a little bit of weight training will surely benefit you in the long run.

Develop the Right Attitude

Marine boot camps are notorious for their severe discipline and punishment policies. The training program is designed to psychologically break the recruits and imbibe the core marine values within them. Drill instructors are known to intimidate, punish, and yell at recruits regularly.
In such situations, one must remember that this is all part of a well-designed process to toughen the recruits and mold them into polished marines. Rather than adopting a negative approach or sulking, recruits should take the penalties as a challenge, and motivate themselves to do better thereafter.

Research Well

Boot camps are not just about physical drills, strength, and endurance. There is a great deal of theoretical knowledge and training involved, which recruits are expected to memorize accurately. It is advisable that one does a bit of background research on some of these topics, such as history of the Marine Corps, Code of Conduct, etc.
In addition to these guidelines, here are some boot camp-related tips:
  • Never ever question the drill instructor. Do so at your own peril.
  • Address seniors with the military code of conduct, speaking loudly and clearly.
  • Do not doze off during classes.
  • Drill instructors are known for their mind games. Anticipate them beforehand and you'll fare much better.
  • Above all, remain positive. Even with all its hardships, a boot camp is a well-designed preparatory process demanding high discipline, which would benefit you in your career as a marine. A few years down the line, you will look back on these experiences with a smile and feel proud of your career choice.