"GET OFF MY BUS. YOU HAVE TEN SECONDS TO GET YOUR THINGS, GET OFF MY BUS, AND GET ON THE FOOTPRINTS OUTSIDE." It was the middle of the night, we had just arrived by bus from the airport and we were scared to death. Welcome to Marine Corps Recruiting Depot, Parris Island, South Carolina. This is a brief overview of Parris Island as seen through the eyes of Recruit Smith, Platoon 1040, B Company.
Marine Corps boot camp is thirteen weeks of physical and mental anguish. There are three phases to the USMC boot camp each with it's own challenges. If you can make it through and survive, you will have earned the title Marine.
During the first two weeks you are with what is called an Initial Drill Instructor. His job is to get you used to life on Parris Island. The first two weeks is a whirlwind of activity where you receive everything you will need to guide you to graduation from boot camp. Your clothes, supplies, and rifle are issued to you. You learn the basic's of group marching as one and yes, your hair is completely shaved off. After the first two weeks, it's time to meet the Drill Instructors who will be with you morning, noon, and night for the next eleven weeks.
We stood at attention on a solid yellow line in front of our bunks as our Drill Instructors were introduced to us. This was a very intimidating experience. They looked mean and angry and shouted degrading and demoralizing slurs at us. Phase I had officially begun.
Phase I of boot camp focused on three main issues; Physical Training (PT), Drill, and Learning the History of the Marine Corps. This is the foundation for which the rest of boot camp is built on. Physical training is geared toward strength and conditioning. By the end of boot camp we will be able to run five miles without breaking a sweat. Drill is learning to perform as one. There are no individuals in the Marine Corps. It's all about being a team. On the battlefield you need to perform as a cohesive unit... [continues]
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