Joining the Marines?

So, you’re contemplating the idea of stepping into the realm of the Marines, huh?

Well, buckle up, because what I’m about to share should offer you more than just mere information or checkboxes to tick. You’re about to embark on a journey that’s as unique as the constellation of stars in the night sky. Each Marine’s story is woven from threads of purpose, woven from the echoes of generations past or dreams of the future. Perhaps it’s a legacy carried on from a father’s or uncle’s Marine service, or maybe it’s the exhilaration of battle that stirs your spirit, or quite simply, a quest for the ultimate challenge and a love for this land we call home. But here’s the thing, there’s no one-size-fits-all answer for this adventure that awaits you.

The Forge of Physical Prowess:
Picture this: You and your comrades-in-arms, sweating it out, forging strength and resilience that defy the boundaries of your imagination. You’ll test your body, pushing limits you never thought existed. I remember seeing other platoons nearing their graduation and thinking, “Lucky devils.” I wondered if I’d ever make it there. After intense physical training, marching on the parade deck, and the relentless back and forth from chow to classrooms, day’s end left us utterly depleted. I mean, completely spent. For those who undergo the San Diego boot camp, brace yourself for the rugged trials of “Mount Motherfucker,” a name that aptly describes the mountainous challenges ahead.

The Crucible of the Mind:
No playbook can brace you for the mental crucible that is Marine Corps boot camp. Think “Full Metal Jacket” in its first act – a glimpse into the veritable storm of drill instructor authority and impact. From the moment your boots touch the yellow footprints, your every move is orchestrated by the drill instructor’s symphony. You’ll be yelled at, demeaned, tested, bewildered, and subjected to head games so complex that only Marines could concoct them. When unrelenting physical strain and mental trials intertwine, they metamorphose you. They strip away the raw civilian and mold the essence of a Marine – resilient, toughened, unyielding.

The Labyrinth of Aptitude:
Contrary to what’s commonly believed, recruits spend hours diving deep into history, weaponry, first aid, chemical warfare, and the intricate threads of the chain of command. We take pride in immersing recruits in the legacy of those who walked before. From the dawn of the Continental Marines in the heart of Tun Tavern in 1775 to the battlefields spanning Montezuma to Tripoli, we trace our lineage. Aptitude tests are our compass, guiding some towards the next phase of learning or their duty post.

Marine boot camp is a crucible of multifaceted trials, some quantifiable, others lurking in the shadows. Qualifying with the M-16 rifle is a two-week odyssey – the first week devoted to mastering the weapon’s intricacies, the second dedicated to proving your proficiency. Failure to qualify, be it in marksmanship or other essential skills, might curtail your journey to becoming a Marine.

My Counsel:
Today, the internet brims with information that can prepare many young minds for boot camp. However, in the spirit of camaraderie, allow me to share these pearls of wisdom for those considering the Marine path.

Secure a Guaranteed MOS: Whether you’re destined for rifleman status (0311) or a huey helicopter crew chief (6174), weigh your options for the future. Think of the skills you can hone to bolster your post-service endeavors. My stroke of luck led me into aviation, catapulting me into an IT career post-service, all thanks to the Marine Corps.

Lace Up and Hit the Pavement: Shape up before you step onto the boot camp turf. It’ll prove to be a secret weapon you won’t fully grasp until you’re deep in the trenches. Focus on upper body strength and leg power – the journey’s physicality is conquerable. MCRD San Diego recruits, brace yourselves for the summiting of “Mount Motherfucker.”

Mentally Armor Up: Be ready for the psychological trials. Blend in, stand out by giving your all, project your voice, shun shortcuts, immerse in learning, stay laser-focused. Watch and rewatch the boot camp scenes of “Full Metal Jacket.” I was clueless but triumphed, and for MCRD Parris Island-bound recruits, the “sand fleas” await to test your mettle.

Study, Study, Study: The general orders, rank structure, chain of command, and the Marine Corps’ historical tapestry – dive into these. Know the legends – Chesty Puller, John LeJeune, Maj. A.A. Cunningham, Dan Daly, “Manila John” Basilone, Smedley Butler – their stories echo through our history. Learn the Marine Corps leadership traits (JJDIDTIEBUCKLE) inside out.

Equipped with this insider’s guide, you’ll step onto the path of the Marines with more than a heartbeat; you’ll have the rhythm of history and legacy coursing through your veins.

Semper Share:
Author: Cpl. Beddoe
Cpl, USMC 1981-1985 MCRDSD Plt 3042, Aug 28, 1981 Work hard. Be kind. Pay it forward. Twitter: @txdevildog
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kirya reagan
kirya reagan
2013/01/28 08:09

i want to join the marines

Cpl. James Westmoreland
Cpl. James Westmoreland
2012/04/25 22:06

Ooo-Rah!!! Aye Recruit, Carry On Recruit. I found your site by typing in “used to sleep to afternoon, growing up to an easy tune, my,my… how things have changed.” I have been trying to find that video for over a year.
I joined the Marines in 1985 on the DEP, and went in in July of 1986.
I went back to the island for the first return last week to see my best friend’s son graduate from bootcamp. I actually documented some time on the island in the old 3rd Batt. barracks. 3rd Batt is now mainside with a huge new set of Barracks. You can check out my trip on youtube. just look up prepperpastor channel, and they are on there.

Semper Fi Mac, and Good Night Chesty Puller, wherever you are!!!

2010/08/01 20:25

>SEMPER FI poolee from BROOKLYN going to boot in oct. Had to comment awesome!!! LOVE THE CORE

2010/06/24 23:49

>Those were the days…What about now. What did you do after boot camp. You were enlisted for 4 years but only mentioned boot camp. My son wants to join and your letter makes me think it could be possible however everything else I read says he'll be shipped to Afghanistan or Iraq immediately after boot camp. He has to end up alive in order to be a proud marine and the statistics are very low…

Dale Dickenson
Dale Dickenson
2009/11/04 23:41

>I was in the Marine Corps from 1986-1992. Six years. It is one of my proudest accomplishments, one that words cannot express.

My Dad had been in the Navy, and so was my Grandfather. No one had been a Marine. When I said I was thinking of it, my Mother laughed, and said I could not do it. She said I should join the Air Force. To this day, I think I joined the USMC to prove her wrong. She was SO PROUD when I graduated!!

I have moved on with my life, graduated from college, learned a profession, bought a house, am raising a family with my wife. I never forget the Corps. Hell, I hear the national anthem at a ball game, and see our flag with a Color Guard, I almost start crying the esprit de corps is so stong.

God Bless You Marines!

Semper Fi.

Corporal Dale Dickenson

2009/10/06 13:14

>My dad was in an old USMC training video, *Take Up the Challenge*, with those song lyrics ("Used to sleep til afternoon, growin' up to an easy tune…") He ultimately served 30 years (+ 8 months, X number of days, etc… ). Anyway, I just HAD to comment on the funniness of reading those all-too-familiar lyrics from my childhood here online 🙂

william winningham
william winningham
2009/06/05 03:19

>wow. i want to become a marine i sould be leaving for bootcamp in december thanks for the post ill take your words of encouragement with me