The Crucible is the 54-hour final exercise during the training process to become a U.S. Marine, culminating three months of boot camp. The Crucible is a rite of passage that can be prepared for physically but never mentally. This separates the men from the boys or in this case, the women from the girls.
The soundtrack from “Saving Private Ryan” can be heard loud and clear from the speakers on base at Parris Island, SC. The females who are training to be Marines are engaged in the Crucible, event one, where recruits are pushed to their absolute limit. They get very little sleep or food, but this is an event that breaks the recruits down and builds them back up.
The obstacles in the Crucible include long marches, combat assault courses, the leadership reaction course, and the team-building warrior stations, according to Recruit Parents.
Watch these female U.S. Marines endure the Crucible:
The Crucible takes place in week 11 of boot camp and recruits march in cadence about 40 miles, eating only two and a half Meals Ready-to-Eat and about three hours of sleep each night, Task & Purpose explained.
One Marine in the video shares his recollection of when he endured the Crucible. He said it took him twenty minutes just to get his socks off because of his feet cramping up. And after the tiny bit of sleep the recruits can have during the event, he said he would wake up and must put his clothes back on from the day before, wet from sweat and full of sand and endure another whole day of the Crucible.
Some of the obstacles in the Crucible haven’t been completed in years. One of the toughest is getting a weighty tire over a vertical 12-foot pole. A Marine said it is often easier for the females to complete that particular task because many have been in cheerleading when they were younger and know how to stack humans in a pyramid.
The final task in the Crucible is a nine-mile night march and if they can make it, they will be U.S. Marines. On the other side, there is a lot to look forward to, including a nice hot warriors’ breakfast which includes steak and real bacon, something they haven’t seen in three months.
Staff Sgt. Thomas Phillips, a drill instructor at Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island, South Carolina said, “Once the recruits think they are done and fall asleep, they are woken up at 2 o’clock and marching by 3 a.m., all the way back to that eagle, globe, and anchor event, where they are presented the symbol of their service and officially Marines. I’ve had kids, their feet are oozing they’ve had so many blisters. It’s so important to them that they finish that march, that they finish with their platoon.”