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Boot Camp Basics

How your 13 weeks are broken down in actual hours:

Instructional Time (The Crucible / Combat Water Survival / Weapons and Field Training): 279.5 hours
Core Values / Academics / Values Reinforcement: 41.5
Physical Fitness: 59
Close Order Drill: 54.5
Field Training: 31
Close Combat Training: 27
Conditioning Marches: 13
Administration: 60
Senior DI Time (nightly free time): 55.5
Movement Time: 60
Sleep: 479
Basic Daily Routine: 210
Chow: 179
Total: 1518 hours

Things you will be tested on:

MILITARY JUSTICE AND THE LAW OF WAR TASKS:
Explain the purpose of the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ).
Identify offenses punishable under UCMJ.
Explain the forms of punishment that may be imposed for violations of the UCMJ.
Explain the major differences among the three types of Courts-Martial.
Explain the rights of the accused before judicial and nonjudicial proceedings.
Explain the purpose of nonjudicial punishment (NJP).
Explain the procedures for Request Mast.
Explain the five types of discharges which may be awarded a Marine upon separation.
Explain the nine principles of the Law of War.

MARINE CORPS ORGANIZATION HISTORY CUSTOMS AND COURTESIES TASKS:
Explain the Marine Corps mission.
Identify significant events in Marine Corps History.
Identify the historical significance of Marine Corps uniform items.
Explain common terms, sayings, and quotations used in the Marine Corps.
Perform required military courtesies and honors.
Describe the three sizes of National Ensigns.
Explain the customs of the Marine Corps.
Identify the location of the Marine Divisions, Air Wings, and Force Service Support Groups (FSSG).
Describe the Marine Air-Ground Task Force (MAGTF) organizations.
Explain the three classifications of Marine Corps awards.

CLOSE ORDER DRILL TASKS:
Explain the purpose of Close Order Drill.
Participate in unit drill (Platoon Level).

MARINE CORPS UNIFORMS, CLOTHING, AND EQUIPMENT TASKS:
Mark individual clothing.
Maintain clothing and equipment.
Stand a personnel inspection.
Stand a clothing and equipment inspection.
Wear uniform.
Maintain a professional personal appearance.
Maintain standards for civilian attire.

MARINE CORPS GENERAL LEADERSHIP TASK:
Explain the objectives of leadership.

SUBSTANCE ABUSE TASKS:
Explain the Marine Corps policy on the use of illegal drugs.
Explain programs created to combat the use of illegal drugs.
Explain the Marine Corps policy on alcohol abuse.
Describe indicators of alcohol abuse.
Identify the medical hazards of tobacco use.

TROOPS INFORMATION TASKS:
Explain education programs.
Describe authorized absence procedures.
Describe agencies that provide assistance.
Describe the factors affecting career development.
Explain the Marine Corps policy on sexual harassment.
Explain the Marine Corps policy on equal opportunity.
Explain the Marine Corps position on fraternization.
Identify means of protection from sexually transmitted diseases (STD).
Describe Occupational Field (OCCFLD) and Military Occupational Specialty (MOS) structure.
Explain the issues concerning pregnancy and parenthood.

COMBAT LEADERSHIP TASKS:
Define the term combat.
Identify the nine elements usually encountered in a combat environment.
Identify the five stresses a Marine may expect to experience in combat.
Explain the characteristics that enable Marines to overcome fear.

MILITARY SECURITY AND INTERIOR GUARD TASKS:
Explain the duties of the interior guard.
Explain the eleven general orders.
Stand a sentry post.
Identify the organization of the interior guard.
Explain deadly force.
Describe the key characteristics of terrorism.
Describe measures of self-protection against terrorist attacks.

CODE OF CONDUCT TASKS:
Explain the six articles of the Code of Conduct.
Explain the rights of a prisoner of war (POW).
Explain the obligations of a POW.

INDIVIDUAL WEAPONS TASKS:
Perform weapons handling procedures with the M16A2 service rifle.
Perform preventive maintenance on the M16A2 service rifle.
Engage targets with the M16A2 service rifle at the sustained rate.
Zero the M16A2 service rifle.
Engage stationary targets with the M16A2 service rifle at known distances.
Engage targets of limited exposure (time) with the M16A2 service rifle.
Engage targets during low light and darkness with the M16A2 service rifle.
Engage targets with the Ml6A2 service rifle while wearing the field protective mask.
Engage multiple targets with the M16A2 service rifle.
Engage moving targets with the M16A2 service rifle.
Engage targets at unknown distances with the M16A2 service rifle.

TACTICAL MEASURES TASKS:
Prepare individual combat equipment for tactical operations.
Execute individual movement in a field environment.
React to indirect fire.
Assume field firing positions.
React to enemy direct fire.
Camouflage self and individual equipment.
Employ techniques of unaided night vision.
Cook a Meal, Ready-to-Eat (MRE).
Erect basic individual shelters.

NBC DEFENSE TASKS:
Maintain the M40 field protective mask.
Don the M40 field protective mask with hood.

FIRST AID AND FIELD SANITATION TASKS:
Apply basic first aid.
Perform basic first aid preventive measures.
Practice basic field sanitation.
Transport casualties using manual carries and improvised stretchers.

PHYSICAL FITNESS TASK:
Maintain physical fitness.

COMBAT WATER SURVIVAL TASK:
Apply combat water survival skills.

BASIC CLOSE COMBAT SKILLS
Execute the basic warrior stance.
Execute punches.
Execute falls.

FIGHTING WITH THE RIFLE AND BAYONET
Execute bayonet techniques.

CLOSE COMBAT OFFENSIVE SKILLS
Execute strikes.
Execute chokes.
Execute throws.

CLOSE COMBAT DEFENSIVE SKILLS
Execute counters to strikes.
Execute counters to chokes and holds.
The minimum (core) graduation requirements are:
(1) Pass the physical fitness test and be within prescribed weight standards
(2) Qualify for Combat Water Survival at level 4 or higher
(3) Qualify with the service rifle
(4) Pass the battalion commander's inspection
(5) Pass the written tests
(6) Complete the Crucible

If you fail in any of the above areas, you are subject to be "recycled" (sent backwards in time to another platoon), or may possibly be discharged.

So your best bet is to sit back and read through our site. Use it as a study guide while you are awaiting boot camp. Trust us, you will be glad you did. Lets start off with the history of Marine Corps Boot Camp.

History of Marine Corps Recruit Training

For most of the Marine Corps’ history, there was no highly structured program of instruction for Marine recruits, such as we know today. Only in the last 90 years have there been centralized recruit depots with the mission of transforming civilians into basically trained Marines prepared to perform on the battlefield.

Early Marine recruit training was conducted at various posts and stations by noncommissioned officers who trained recruits in the “principles of military movements” and the use of the rifle. Commandant Franklin Wharton, who led the Corps from 1804 until his death in 1818, was the first to recognize the need for organized training and created a school for Marine recruits at the Marine Barracks in Washington where young men learned the basics of discipline, drill, the manual of arms and marksmanship.

The sea-going nature of the Marine Corps, however, coupled with the recurring shortages of money and men, kept the Marine Corps system for training recruits quite primitive throughout the 19th century. In 1911, however, Major General William P. Biddle, 11th Commandant of the Marine Corps, instituted some sweeping changes that would have profound and long-lasting effects on the training of Marines.

On assuming command of the Corps, Biddle made two months of recruit training mandatory and set up four recruit training depots – at Philadelphia, Norfolk (later at Port Royal, South Carolina), Puget Sound, Washington, and Mare Island, California. Mare Island became the sole west coast depot during the following year, and east coast recruit training was shifted to Parris Island, South Carolina, in 1915. The training program Biddle outlined included drill, physical exercise, personal combat, and intensive marksmanship qualification with the recently-adopted M1903 Springfield rifle.

General Biddle’s innovation met its first real test during World War I when the Corps expanded from about 15,000 to nearly 70,000 Marines in less than 18 months. During that period, the recruit training load expanded from 835 to a peak of 13,286. Living conditions at both depots were Spartan and the training was intense. Upon completion of recruit training, Marines received additional pre-embarkation training at Quantico, Virginia, and still more training after arriving in France.

During the summer of 1923, the west coast recruit depot was moved from Mare Island to San Diego, California. Training programs at the two recruit depots included three weeks of basic indoctrination, an equal period of time on the rifle range, and the final two weeks was occupied in bayonet drill, guard duty, drill and ceremonies.

During September 1939, shortly after the German invasion of Poland, expansion of the Corps from 18,000 to 25,000 Marines was authorized. The recruit syllabus was halved to four weeks to meet this goal, but the result was a decline in training standards and rifle qualification rates plummeting to new lows. From this experience came the realization that seven to eight weeks is the minimum amount of time required for adequate recruit training. The World War II recruit training formula did not vary greatly from World War I except in the overwhelming number of Marines to be trained --- nearly half a million men over a four year period. It was during the war, though, that a third recruit training facility was established at Montford Point, North Carolina, to train some 20,000 black Marines. Recruit training was fully integrated and Montford Point put to other use in 1949.

The outbreak of war in Korea saw recruit training spring into high gear once again as fresh replacements, only weeks beyond recruit training, performed creditable combat service at the demanding battles of Inchon, Seoul, and the Chosin Reservoir. After the war, the recruit syllabus returned to 10 weeks from the war-shortened 8-week schedule.

The period of active American involvement in Vietnam, from 1965 through 1970, saw recruit training reduced to nine weeks. Graduates moved directly from their depots to either Camp Lejeune or Camp Pendleton for additional infantry training, much as their World War II counterparts had done.

The past forty years have witnessed the continuing close scrutiny of the Marine Corps recruit training program. Concerted efforts have been made to eliminate the excesses that had crept into the system over the years while at the same time retaining those elements of the recruit training experience that have produced a highly trained and motivated fighting force. Officer supervision and special training units, along with other innovations for enhancing the effectiveness of recruiting training, were implemented during these decades. The goal, as articulated by Commandant of the Marine Corps General Randolph McCall Pate in 1956, has been “to preserve, protect, and improve the actual system of recruit training which has served us so well.”

Reference Section
History and Museums Division
December 2001

Please continue on with the following two pages for more tips as well as boot camp stories.

Boot Camp Stories/Tips
After Boot Camp

Prepare For Bootcamp


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