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Video: Here’s what Marine boot camp is really like

New recruits at the Marine Corps Recruit Training Depot in Parris Island, South Carolina, begins their journey into becoming Marines. (Business Insider/YouTube)
October 14, 2020

Having the opportunity to join the United States Marine Corps is an honor that relatively few people experience. Men and women who make up the branch are subject to rigorous training from day one in order to be transformed into highly skilled service members.

Through 13 weeks of high-intensity training, recruits at the Marine Corps Recruit Training Depot in Parris Island, South Carolina, are transformed from everyday civilians to elite troops capable of defending America’s freedoms at a moment’s notice.

At the start of their training, the new recruits arrive at the depot and immediately leave their civilian life behind them. From the moment they step off the bus, they are lined up and welcomed by loud-mouthed drill sergeants who are not afraid to get in their face.

New recruits at the Marine Corps Recruit Training Depot in Parris Island, South Carolina, begins their journey into becoming Marines. (Business Insider/YouTube)

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Once the recruits step into the training facility, they are thrust into the chaotic process of haircuts, uniform and gear assignments, and medical evaluations. They are given the chance to make one final phone call to a loved one and can only dictate a short script before hanging up the phone.

After quickly being assimilated into the program, the recruits are subject to an initial strength test to ensure they have the proper baseline that will allow them to commence with training.

New recruits at the Marine Corps Recruit Training Depot in Parris Island, South Carolina, begins their journey into becoming Marines. (Business Insider/YouTube)

During the first few weeks of training, Marine Corps recruits learn the Core Values and are also introduced to the Martial Arts Program. Later on, the recruits negotiate the Bayonet Assault Course and Obstacle Course. Physical fitness is an integral part of Marine Corps training, and new fitness challenges are introduced each week.

By the end of week five, the recruits participate in additional swim qualifications and complete the initial Physical Fitness exams.

New recruits at the Marine Corps Recruit Training Depot in Parris Island, South Carolina, begins their journey into becoming Marines. (Business Insider/YouTube)

Halfway through their training, the recruits experience Grass Week where they are required to hike to a rifle range and begin learning the fundamentals of Marine Corps marksmanship. They study proper firing positions, learn the ins and outs of their weapons, and ultimately spend long hours practicing shooting.
After weapons training, the future Marines put everything they have learned thus far to the test. Assigned to working parties around the depot, the trainees patrol areas of the compound day and night to simulate real-world combat patrols. They work under the watchful eye of their series commander and undergo regular inspections.
After 13 grueling weeks, those who successfully completed training officially earn the Eagle, Globe and Anchor, and can now finally be called United States Marines. It is estimated that anywhere between 10 and 25 percent of Marine Corps recruits are unable to complete their training for various reasons.