Impressions of Boot Camp

Discussion in 'The Corps' started by Jarhead, Apr 9, 2007.

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  1. So tell me, just for my information purposes, how does one join the Marines in the U.K.? i'm not just talking about the syllabus of training, but your impressions, a sort of history through your boot camp then training school.

    First a disclaimer: this is the 1988 version. My son when he went through had some differences between mine and his.

    For an example, here's mine:
    Roughly a month before to a year before you enter the DEP (Delayed Entry Program). You basically live at home while preparing for entry. Depending on your fitness level and time left before entry, you will have daily to monthly inspections where they work out, try to teach you the rudiments of drill, etc. All the Recruiters where blue trousers (with bloodstripes if they're NCO's - important later). The day before you go in, they all collect you and put you up in a hotel. The next morning, you are awakened at 0-dark-30 and taken to the MEPS (Military Entrance Processing Facility) where you take any final tests swear the oath and get your plane ticket.

    On the plane itself is like life leaving a corpse: Laughter and talk die as the plane flies further west. Even the most extroverted begins to look inward, with one major thought in his mind "What the **** have i just done?"

    At the airport, the flight attendant asks everyone to keep their seat, while a Drill Instructor steps on the plane and asks (ASKS! LOL) all the future Marines to please disembark. Once you are off the plane, you are put at the position of attention near where the busses will arrive and left there. A helpful Drill Instructor remains to keep an eye on you. Please note that all Marines you will see from this point on are wearing green trousers; a dichtomy most see as the difference between recruiting and the Fleet (as in Fleet Marine Force).

    When the busses arrive (how long you're kept waiting is dependent on when your flight arrives; sometimes the wait is around 7 hours), you are separated out into the busses and the drivers grin evilly at you (remember that at this point you have been awake for roughly 12 hours or more). They drive circles around the airport, until at a certain time, they head for MCRD San Diego. No Drill Instructor is on the bus, so there's some light talking. All talking stops, however when you pass the sign:

    MCRD San Diego
    Western Recruit Depot
    "Here Marines are made"

    The last part until you reach receiving barracks is (at least for me and a few other Marines) part of a disassociated world; you might as well be a ghost on the ceiling watching yourself than actually experiencing anything. When you get to a certain point, the bus comes to an abrupt halt, the door opens, and a Drill Instructor jumps on board. He explains a short bit of rules (such as saying "Sir" at the beginning and end of speaking to someone)in a rapid-fire motion, and then tells you to get off "HIS" bus and onto the yellow footprints. The footprints are close together, so the expression "assholes and elbows" is brought to mind. Various lines of the USMJ are read, such as striking a superior officer, etc.. Then you run in at a dash to the barber area where all your hair is shaved off in 20 sec. or less. The rest is just processing, from initial paperwork to initial gear issue. This goes on, in one form or another, for an entire week. During this time you learn to march, how to report, make your rack, etc. You are finally allowed to sleep after your third full day at MCRD.

    On Monday morning, you are marched over to your barracks and have your Drill Instructors greet you. Your Company Commander makes a greeting speech, and then leaves. When he leaves, the Drill Instructors go crazy. This is a calculated bit here to ensure that you are never comfortable, never safe... and this continues for the majority of your time in Boot Camp, although they do let up at the end of the cycle. Four weeks through, you go through Initial Drill, where you are tested to see how you've learned. After that, you are bussed to Camp Pendleton for Rifle Range training. This is two weeks at the range (the second week you shoot for score), and another 2 weeks in field training. The week after field training, you have a week for Mess and Maintenance; this is really (i found out later) to give the Drill Instructors a few days off. Most people work in the Chow hall, washing dishes, mowing lawns, etc. (this has now been removed, btw).

    Then the final three weeks begin, finished by Final Drill and graduation.
    (i'm trying to keep this from being exceedingly long).

    10 days of Boot Camp leave later, and I went back to Camp Pendleton. I was one of the first ones to go through MCT (i was in the second class), so i had to wait approximately 2 months for the rest of the class. It was definitely time for the real Fleet Marine Force, not Boot Camp - there was actual leave and liberty given out, instead of no contact with the outside world.

    The funny thing is, is that after all of this is said and done, you may have earned the title of Marine while in Boot Camp - but you're not really a Marine in your soul until a year and a half later - then its forever.

    Ok, would someone please educate me on the British Version of the above?
  2. Sounds about right; sounds about equivalent, although in the RM the beret is not awarded until after going through our version of MCT; thats a load off my mind.
  3. And our training is the longest in NATO forces at 32 weeks mate. Welcome onboard by the way, did a CAX with you guys in 1993 in the Mojave desert, good crack but kept my head down as there were far too many yanks around firing off their gats. :lol: :lol: you know "when the yanks fired we all kept our heads down" :lol: :lol:

  4. No sleep, a lot of ironing, and moving from one embuggerance to another at 100mph to the shouts of 'Nod!'.

    I'm told it gets better.
  5. Nope
    In phase 2 you get to run absolutely everywhere mate. What week are you in?? I was a rubber so my training was a bit different but dont think i didnt have a hard time. :lol:
  6. The one thing i forgot until i went back for my son's graduation is that the sun hits the ground, and bounces up into your face. Most recruits graduating from MCRD San Diego look like they've been wandering around in the desert for a good long while with little water.
  7. I felt like that after 2 minutes in death valley mate. kinell it was hot work doing section attacks in that terrain.
  8. I don't wish to sound nitpicky but according to this: USMC basic training lasts 12 weeks as opposed to RMs 32 weeks. Similarly, your Crucible lasts 56hrs against RMs week of commando tests and a Final Exercise of eight days length (or 192hrs). No further continuation training is required, although after a year or so (ideally 18 months) in a Unit a marine is able to specialise e.g. driver, assault engineer, landing craft crew, etc. (In times of dire need a marine may be able to specialise sooner rather than later). Cheers, and welcome, by the way. Harry
  9. With all speaking, you are technically wrong Harry; the U.K. system does it all at once: once a Marine finishes the Commando system, he's ready to deploy (although i'm sure his mates won't find him so). In the USMC, a newly-graduated Marine has roughly 3 months left to go after graduating before going to his final unit and some have over a year.

    Then after about a sum total of around a year and a half in service, both models are exactly the same: locked, cocked and ready to rock.

    Just different paths, is all.

    Also too: USMC boot camp is literally one giant 12 week immersion into hell, with your Drill Instructors pushing you at every turn; there is no rest or respite until you are done. From what i've read, RM's get leave and even liberty during basic.
  10. for some idea of what i'm talking about, look up "ears, open. eyeballs, click." on

    Do you guys have a similar one i can look at?
  11. This isn't a video of RM training, but it is a video of the 3-day selection course that potential recruits have to go on in order to be selected for RM training. It was recorded by the children's TV programme "Blue Peter" which makes documentaries aimed at kids. part 1 part 2 part 3

    Similarly, here is an excellent video of "P Company", which is the selection course (2 weeks) for candidates who want to join the Army's Parachute Regiment. It was filmed in 1992 or so, so the filming appears a little dated, but it is very interesting nonetheless.

    Quick question for you; I understand the drill instructor in "Full Metal Jacket" was indeed a USMC drill instructor. But to what extent, in the film, is he acting? Is he being overly dramatic or fairly accurate?
  12. R. Lee Ermey is spot on in that film. The only thing thats different is the striking recruits; as i understand it, striking during Vietnam was instituted to help the Drill Instructors because they had less time to train their recruits. The Gunny even explains it somewhere (History channel had a program called the Sergeants - i think its there).

    Are the instructors in the RM roughly the same?
  13. Ok i watched the videos and at first i was saying "this ain't shit". then i realized that this is only the Prep course, not the real thing. Also, the Corporal was dealing with a TV show, not a real potential recruit.

    Things I liked:
    - the prevalence of water training and getting dirty. Thats good training right there.
    - the cardio was a necessary part.

    Things I didn't like:
    - They were too nice, and there was not enough intensity.
    Thats basically it. I'm not used to not having the Marine "bark" i'm used to. Even the recruiters have access to it when they need it.

    Here's some from my neck of the woods:
    - Here's one from first phase:
    - Here's one from second phase (probably the Crucible):
    - Here's one from (probably) third phase:
    Notice how even though its relatively gentle, notice that the threat still lurks.

    And here's a complete setup (including just for humor):

    Please note i'm not disparaging your training, just trying to show what i'm used to.
  14. In my experience of training a member of the training team only shouted when you really did **** up and you then knew that this was time to standby. I think that screaming and shouting at an individual isnt the way to get results mate, and RM training team members GET results.
    You are absolutely right regarding the TV programme depicting the PRMC which has basic fitness tests modelled on the USMC tests. This programme is shown on BBC1 at prime time for children returning from school, and is in its entirety aimed at children. Just a last point jarhead. Harry here actually took a troop or 2 through training at CTC i believe so he is both experienced in a training role, and on a war footing.
    Finally. There are a few USMC guys lurking around who have done and completed the AACC, i know of one personally who if i remember was a major. He was mincing around the endurance course showing some fellow yanks the ways of the brits still wearing his lid bless him. :lol:

  15. Week 9 - a very long old way to go...

    And if you've earnt your green lid then I don't care whether it was as a recruit, a reservist, or by doing the AACC: all respect to you.
  16. Good lad

    Keep it up young man and let us know how you get on.

  17. The purpose of the shouting isn't to get results; its to remove the flight portion of the fight or flight reflex. You can surprise a US Marine, but he'll either turn as cold as ice or come right back in your face.
  18. wet_blobby

    wet_blobby War Hero Moderator

    There isn't alot of screaming and shouting in the corps to be honest Jarhead, yes some drill instructors and PTI's can go abit OTT..but I suspect there taking the p1ss a bit, it's more a case of monkey see...monkey do...monkey fcuk up monkey then get special encouragement.

    The Guards are pretty much into all that screaming and shouting on the drill square bollox...
  19. LOL blobby... yeah once you get out of boot camp its exactly like that. ah well, its the same results in the end, right?

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