September 7, 2011
Marine Corps nor any
other component of the Department of Defense has approved, endorsed, and/or
authorized this guide.
You are on a new journey to become a United States Marine Corps
Right now you most likely have
hundreds of questions, are experiencing anxiety or fear
of the unknown, and have a thirst
for more information.
You may be missing or soon will be
missing your son or daughter a lot, and this is
perfectly normal. You are not alone. You’re OK and your Marine Recruit is OK!
This guide is designed to help answer some of your questions,
relieve some of your anxiety, provide more information, prepare you for the
coming months, offer special tips, provide graduation trip tips, and provide
you additional valuable information resources.
This guide has information from multiple official United States
Marine Corps web sites, publications, recruiters, and from a
family who has recently been through 2 Marine Recruit boot camp experiences and
Your son or daughter must earn the title of United States
Marine. This requires your son or
daughter to first focus on the demanding 13 week boot camp training.
Recruit training is a strict training program that builds Marines
with the core values of the Marine Corps: honor, courage and commitment.
Your recruit will leave home as your son or daughter, and return
13 weeks later as a Marine.
Be proud, supportive and encouraging of your Marine Recruit son or
Formation, Morning Colors and Graduation Ceremonies
MARINE CORPS CORE VALUES
Every Marine is a rifleman and combat ready, willing and able to
stand shoulder-to-shoulder in battle. Every Marine also has a specific area of expertise that contributes to
the total force and mission readiness. Every Marine is committed to the Core
Values in service to the country.
MARINE CORP PT (Physical Training)
Physical fitness for a Marine means:
maintenance of a healthy body,
endurance to withstand the stress of prolonged activity and adverse
capacity to endure the discomforts that accompany fatigue and the maintenance
of combat effectiveness.
Marine Recruits start making physical fitness a major part of their
life, if they don’t already, once they enlist in the Marine Corps by attending
a weekly PT session at their Marine Corps Recruiting Sub-Station and train on
Marine Recruits attend every weekly PT session. They arrive early, bring a filled water
bottle with their name on it, and are ready to focus and work. They come with trimmed fingernails, clean
shaven face, appropriate haircut, and wear a Marine t-shirt (Poolie), dark colored
gym shorts and tennis shoes. And, it is extremely
important to have a positive attitude, respect, commitment, pay attention, work
hard, and follow orders.
A physically fit Marine Recruit and Marine will look better, feel
better and perform better. PFT (physical fitness training) is a major factor in
determining promotion eligibility, too.
BOOT CAMP (RECRUIT TRAINING PHASE I)
There are two facilities for recruit
training. They are called Marine Corps
Depot (MCRD). They are
. All female recruits attend
WHAT TO TAKE TO BOOT CAMP
Clothes your new Marine Recruit wears: tennis shoes, socks,
underwear, blue jeans, belt, eye glasses (if prescription) and plain
T-shirt. Wallet with driver’s license,
social security card, and $20 cash. NOTHING
DEPARTURE FOR BOOT CAMP
Families say good bye and wish good luck to their Marine Recruit at
their local Marine Corps Recruiting Sub-Station. The recruit travels by vehicle to the
before boarding a flight to Boot
Camp paid for by the Marine Corps. Families
do not know the flight information.
CAMP ARRIVAL TELEPHONE CALL
You may receive a phone call from your new Marine recruit once he
arrives at the MCRD SD. This call will
be the recruit reading a brief statement from a bank of phones and quickly
hanging up. No time for chatting.
The second phone call will be about 3-4 weeks before graduation to
check on flight plans, and this call will be limited to 2 minutes. Your Marine Recruit will need to know if they
need to book their round trip flight home for leave or if you have done it
already. It is suggested to discuss this
prior to your Marine Recruit departing for boot camp or in the first few
CAMP MAILING ADDRESS
Your recruit will mail
you a letter with their mailing address, and you should
receive the letter about 2 weeks after they leave for Boot Camp. You can contact your recruiter on Tuesday of
Boot Camp Week 2 to get the address.
All you have to do is
insert the Battalion Number, Company Name, Platoon
and Platoon Number in the +4 Zip Code.
Sample: Recruit Last Name, Full First Name + Middle Initial
Bn, X Company, Platoon XXXX
36001 Midway Avenue
Example: Recruit Taylor
Jr., Terrence L.
2nd BN, Golf CO, PLT 2155
36001 Midway Avenue
Your Marine Recruit will provide you the mailing address once they
if that is where they
will spend 13 weeks for Boot Camp.
“Some people wonder all their lives if they’ve made a
difference. The Marines don’t have that
Ronald Reagan, American 40th
president (1981-89), 1911-2004
COMPUTERS, E-MAIL, FACEBOOK
and WIRELESS PHONES
Marine Recruits and new
Marines do not have access to computers for E-mail or
Facebook until they begin their MOS (military occupation school)
training (Phase 3), and the bases have a library with computers for Marines to
use for research, training, and correspondence. Wireless phones are prohibited during boot camp,
but are permitted after boot camp when on weekend liberty.
It takes about 4 days
for letters to reach the MCRD, and it can take a few days
for the mail to get sorted and delivered
to the drill instructor to deliver.
will be delivered as soon as possible based on training schedule.
letters in a plain white envelope with no scents, stickers or pictures on the
Send no care packages!
pictures inside with your letters – your Marine recruit loves to get pictures
from home of family, friends and events.
positive, encouraging, motivating and supportive in your letters, and let your
Marine Recruit know how proud you are of them.
family, friends, boy friends, girl friends, spouses, school teachers, co-workers
and classmates to send letters of encouragement, too.
expect to get a letter from your Marine Recruit regularly.
Recruits have up to an hour each night and 4 hours on Sunday for reading mail,
writing letters, doing laundry, studying, cleaning their gear and organizing
their locker for inspection.
you don’t receive a letter from your recruit, don’t worry. He or she is busy training and focusing. They are, however, encouraged to write.
is intentionally held when the Marine Recruits are at weapons training (2
weeks) and The Crucible (1 week).
The Marine Corps Recruit
is one of two birthplaces of
Marines. The other is Parris Island in
, and this
where women recruits
train. It is here where
young men and women
are transformed into
Marines. This shared, intense experience
creates bonds of
standards of conduct so strong that Marines will let nothing
stand in their way. Thus
the slogan “Semper Fi” (Always Faithful)!
Training is physically and mentally demanding, but morally as
well. It requires constant focus, and recruits
are instilled with the Marine Corps Core Values – Honor, Courage, and Commitment.
Every Marine says Boot Camp was the most difficult thing they ever
had to do in their entire life, and they often second guess their
decision. Encourage them!
covered in classroom training include Marine
Core Values, Code of Conduct, Code of Ethics, Marine customs,
Course: 11 station
obstacle course that builds strength and
Combat Water Survival: develops confidence in the water wearing the
Drill: this is the basic way in which platoons march (tallest to
shortest in rear)
to place staying in step.
Family Day and Graduation: take place the last 2 days of Boot Camp
time the recruit and family physically meet after 13 weeks
separation and contact only by mail. This is very, very emotional
families, and a remarkable difference in their new Marine is
(stance, posture, manners, respect, physical tone, dress,
habits, and more). This is a time to
pride. More details follow based on
Field Training: introduces recruits to field living and conditions
setting up a
tent, field sanitation, and camouflage.
Forming: period following recruit receiving where drill instructors
and basics are taught on march and wearing uniforms.
IST (Initial Strength Test): Minimum passing standards are:
Male Recruits Female Recruits
2 Pull Ups 12
second Flexed-Arm Hang
in 2 minutes 44 Crunches in 2
1.5 mile run
in 13:30 1.5 mile run in
fundamentals of marksmanship with M-16A2
rifle over 2 weeks at
distances of 200, 300 and 500 yards.
Marine Week: final week of training is a transitional period
preparing for final
requirement, Battalion Commander’s inspection, and
for graduation. This is where the
recruit is now a Marine
Instructors are referred to by their rank.
Martial Arts: basic self defense training.
Physical Fitness Test (Day 60): The minimum passing standards are:
Male Recruits Female Recruits
3 Pull Ups 15 second
in two minutes 50 Crunches in two
3.0 mile run
in 28:00 3.0 mile run in
Physical Training: “PT” involves progressive training building
courses, mile marches, and strength development. New recruits
on sit ups, pull ups, push ups, and mile runs at home.
Recruit Receiving: first stop when arriving at boot camp involving
issue (uniforms, toiletries and letter writing supplies),
screening, full medical screening, full optical screening,
strength test. Recruits pay for this
from their account.
The Crucible: this is the final test every recruit must go through
to become a
the end of boot camp testing them physically, mentally
over 54 hours including food and sleep deprivation and
48 miles of marching while facing 29 problem-solving exercises at
36 different stations. The recruits will
have 3 ready-to-eat (MREs) meals,
and will carry 45 pounds and their M16A2 service rifle.
DAY AND GRADUATION DAY
This is a special 2 day event. Thursday is Family Day and Friday is
You’ll need to travel on Wednesday
and Saturday. Go! Stand with your new Marine!
Upon the completion of the Graduation Day ceremony your new Marine
a copy of his/her orders for travel. The orders must be adhered to
Any travel costs during the 10-day leave after boot camp is the
new Marine’s responsibility.
Many families want to travel with their new Marine when leaving
the MCRD (Depot) after graduation. To
assure you are traveling on the same flight(s), parents and Marine Recruit have
to coordinate on dates, times, airlines, flights, and who is paying for the new
Marine’s airline ticket.
Parents may arrange for their new Marine to travel home with
them. If parents purchase the round trip
ticket, they must mail a hard copy of the travel plans to their Marine Recruit
at boot camp. Some new Marines reimburse
their parents for their air travel ticket, but that is a family decision.
Search around for the best deal to and from
Your return trip cannot depart
after 2:00 p.m.
time and the
airport is a 20
minute drive from the MCRD.
is the nearest airport for
(60 miles or about a 90 minute drive).
All times on airline tickets are the local airport times.
Make sure your Marine takes advantage of the USO facilities at the
airport when he/she checks in or is waiting to fly out.
There is no room for late flights, missed connections, or late
arrival to the School of Infantry (SOI) or Military Combat Training (MCT). Therefore, when planning return travel for
SOI or MCT make sure to provide enough lag time in between when they arrive and
when they must report. You need to
provide ample lag time in case of inclement weather, cancelled flight(s), or
travel delays (especially during the winter months and around holidays). You never, never, ever want your Marine to
TSA security will
carefully check your new Marine’s driver license at the airport
Security checkpoint. Your
new Marine will have shaven hair at boot camp, and their driver’s license picture
most likely doesn’t look like them after boot camp. The new Marine may want to get a new driver’s
license with a current picture when home on leave. Marines should use their military ID for
check in, boarding passes, and security screening when possible.
It is suggested that parents and family travel light with a carry
on travel bag with 3 changes of clothes – Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Thus, no luggage to check! Travelling light leaves room for the souvenirs,
too! You can place the extra souvenirs
in your new Marine’s sea bag.
Search around for the best hotel deals near Parris Island (
) or in
and close to the
MCRD. The MCRD Graduation Guide your
recruit should mail you the second week of training will have a list of nearby
hotels. You can also check the MCRD web
site for nearby hotels or do a Google search on your computer for
are many hotels in
Be careful. You may find yourself somewhere you don't want to be. If you would
like my OPINION, my home phone number is (816) 436-7104. My e-mail address is email@example.com.
The MCRD Parris Island does have temporary quarters on base at the
Osprey Inn. Reservations can be made 15
days prior to the graduation date by calling 843-228-2744 and the current rate.
The MCRD San Diego does have temporary quarters on base in
Building 625 adjacent to Gate 4 and behind the Base Exchange. Rates are reasonable: $45-$75 per night. Call 619-524-4401 to make reservations 30
days in advance.
Reservations should be made at least 4 weeks in advance due to
We got the best deal for an intermediate car with air conditioning
from Thrifty Rent A Car with unlimited mileage. They have a free airport courtesy shuttle, and have a gas station next
door. Rental car courtesy shuttles are
across from the baggage claim area at the San Diego International airport.
The rental car permitted us the freedom to explore the area when
not on base, and to get to the airport after graduation without having to rely
on shuttles or expensive taxi cabs. The
rental car came in real handy as our recruit brought 2 large sea bags (large
duffle bags) weighing about 70 pounds each, duffle (gym) bag, and uniform
garment bag. They wear their uniform
home if traveling home on Friday. This
was more convenient than taxi cabs and shuttle buses.
If you fly to
you will need to
rent a car since they have no shuttles to
and the cost of a taxi would be prohibitive.
MCRD San Diego from the
with the parade
deck flag pole visible in the center.
ACCESS TO THE MCRD (THURSDAY
want to arrive early each day at the MCRD to avoid long lines at the gate.
vehicles must enter the MCRD San Diego through Gate #5 (
, exit off I-5) or the
Main Gate at the MCRD Parris Island (follow the signs).
vehicles, packages, handbags and luggage are subject to search at the gate
prior to being admitted on board the base by military police.
occupants of vehicles entering the base must be prepared to present a photo ID
(driver’s license, military ID or school ID) when entering the MCRD.
vehicle driver will need to show proof of vehicle registration and insurance.
of all vehicles must be restrained by a seat belt while entering and on the
MCRD, and the use of wireless phones while driving on the MCRD is prohibited.
speed limits on the MCRD roads are enforced.
is available around the perimeter of the parade deck.
with sticker must be displayed at all times in the driver’s side corner of the
front windshield. Your recruit will mail
this to parents during the second week of training. It is in the brochure. If you do not receive this, don’t worry! Tell the gate sentry that you are attending
Family Day and Graduation Day, and you did not receive a pass. They’ll let you in!
HELPFUL MCRD TIPS
the Marine recruit who decides who they mail their graduation packet to, and
the MCRD personnel cannot inform you of the mailing status of a Grad Packet or
is permitted on the MCRD in the courtyard by the ash trays only.
Do not walk on or across the asphalt parade deck or grass at any
time. Please walk around the perimeter
of the deck (Shepherd Field at MCRD San Diego).
your safety use the sidewalks. Do not walk in the street or on the
sun block and apply before sitting in the bleachers for liberty formation and
graduation especially in the summer months.
a digital camera and camcorder with fully charged batteries so that you can
capture the sights and lifetime memories.
4 bag (luggage) tags with you with your Marine’s name, home address, and phone
on them to place on their 4 bags for the airlines – saves time at the
airport. Put them on the bags before you
leave for the airport Saturday.
San Diego Museum Gift Shop (opens at 8 a.m.) has the best prices for souvenirs,
but the PX (opens at 9 a.m.) in the food court has a much bigger selection of
you have a question, ASK someone!
and enjoy your visit on board the MCRD!
comfortable walking shoes as you do a lot of walking.
is not a fashion show. So, dress
comfortable. Business casual is best.
families had T-shirts made and they wore
them on Thursday. They had on the back
of the T-shirt their Marine’s last name, Company, and Platoon number. Check out the EGA store on the
MarineParents.com web site.
your Marine Corps pride and preorder your recruit’s battalion and Company
T-shirts, jackets and such, and wear it on Family Day and Graduation Day from
the web site. Allow 3-4 weeks for
Casual. Be comfortable. Wear comfortable walking shoes!
DAY and GRADUATION DAY TRIP CHECK LIST
Saving Money and Planning Your Trip 1st Week of Boot Camp
Your Recruit’s Boot Camp Mailing Address 2nd Week of Boot Camp
Your Recruiter for Your Recruit’s Address
Address and Start Writing Letters Daily/Weekly
Drive or Fly to Family Day/Graduation Day 3rd Week of Boot Camp
Marine and Graduation Items (optional) 5th Week of Boot Camp
Time Off Work 6th Week of Boot Camp
and Buy Airline Tickets 8th Week of
Hotel Reservation 8th Week of Boot Camp
Rental Car Reservation (If Needed) 8th Week of Boot Camp
for Care of Pets (If Any) 8th Week of Boot Camp
Copy of Recruit’s Airline Ticket to Your Recruit 9th Week of Boot Camp
Car Serviced (If Traveling By Car) 11th Week of Boot Camp
Mail Form Filed at Post Office (If Applicable) 12th Week of Boot Camp
Newspaper (If Applicable) 12th Week of Boot Camp
San Diego Platoon Photos (Friday night) 12th Week of Boot Camp
Itinerary and Contact Information with Family 12th Week of Boot Camp
to Get Cash for Trip (Monday) 13th Week of Boot Camp
Boarding Passes If Traveling by Plane (Tuesday) 13th Week of Boot Camp
(Tuesday) 13th Week of Boot Camp
Camera and Charger
Phone and Charger
License or State Approved Photo ID
Block and Sunglasses
and Credit Cards
Day and Graduation Day Itinerary/Schedules
(if received in mail from your Recruit)
Days’ Clothes and Toiletries
House (Tuesday) 13th Week of Boot Camp
Day (Wednesday) 13th Week of Boot Camp
Day at MCRD (Thursday) 13th Week of Boot Camp
Day at MCRD (Friday) 13th Week of Boot Camp
WEDNESDAY (YOUR TRAVEL DAY)
Travel day to
Once you arrive in
it gives you a chance to drive or walk
around, check out ocean, beaches, scenery, sights, and simply relax.
It is better to leave
early and arrive early than leave late and get delayed by
bad weather or other travel challenges possibly missing Family
Day. Think of it as a mini-vacation and
you have a little time to adjust and prepare for Family Day and Graduation Day!
Keep this in mind for all Marine events
Family Day Motivational Run
This will be your FIRST opportunity to try to see your new Marine
on Family Day.
The Moto Run on Thursday (Family Day) is at 7:00 a.m. at Parris
Island and at 10:30 a.m. at
The Marines will cordon off areas labeled with your new Marine’s
platoon number. For the best photos and
opportunities to see your new Marine up close, remain with your new Marine’s
They line up by platoon and height – tall in front (your left) and
short in back (your right). If your
Marine wears glasses, he/she will be wearing the Marine issued “coke bottle”
Ask your Marine Recruit are they in the front, middle or back when
marching and running as this will help you know where to try to stand and look
This is an ideal time for a video camera and to be early to be in
the front row!
5:00 a.m. Up,
Shower, Dress and Eat Breakfast
7:00 a.m. Depart
for MCRD (Use Gate #5)
MCRD Security Check Point
All individuals must show photo ID.
vehicles and bags will be thoroughly checked.
7:30 a.m. Watch
our new Marines practice graduation on the parade deck
is really impressive!
Stay off the parade deck!
8:30 a.m. Museum
Gift Shop and Visit with Other Parents
Buy souvenirs and secure them in your vehicle
9:00 a.m. Series
Chief Drill Instructor Welcome and Instructions
is in the courtyard outside the Museum.
10:00 a.m. Motivational (Moto) Run
Cheer ‘Em All On and Try to Find Your
Great opportunity for video!
11:30 a.m. Buy
your Marine’s platoon pictures (about $25)
Go to the tent at the food court.
12:00 p.m. Bleachers
by Parade Deck (Shepherd Field) for
Sit by Platoon, and they have platoon
Leave the front row for the disabled,
with infants in strollers and those in
with your new Marine (1:00 p.m.
Time for lots of hugs, love, tears and
Your new Marine must remain on the Depot.
1:30 p.m. Go
immediately to the Bay View Restaurant for lunch ($13 each)
Walk fast – quicker than the shuttle or
5:00 p.m. Free
time to explore base, visit, and call home to talk with family
Let your Marine call home to chat briefly
unable to attend
Some Marines like to post a family picture and status
update on their Facebook using dad or mom’s Smartphone!
Summer Graduation Uniform (Short Sleeves)
4:30 a.m. Up,
Shower, Dress and Eat Breakfast
5:30 a.m. Depart
MCRD Security Check Point at Main
All individuals must show photo ID.
All vehicles and bags will be
7:00 a.m. Motivational
8:00 a.m. Marine
Corps Exchange Opens
Do your souvenir shopping
8:00 a.m. Museum
See the history of the Marine Corps
8:30 a.m. Visitor
and Family Check In at the
9:30 a.m. Battalion
new Marine must remain on the Depot
10:00 a.m. Barracks Open House
10:00 a.m. Observation of Events at
2:30 p.m. Final
Hugs as your Marine needs to return to their barracks
Winter Graduation Uniform (Long Sleeves)
The Platoon led by the Platoon Honor Man (dress
blues) prepares for the graduation ceremony
at 7:00 a.m.
time on Graduation Day after
off their sea bag, garment bag and duffle
bag in the platoon’s secured storage area near the bleachers.
6:00 a.m. Up,
Shower, Dress and Eat Breakfast
7:00 a.m. Depart
for MCRD (Use Gate #5)
MCRD Security Check: show
driver license and vehicle inspection
7:30 a.m. Watch
Marines place gear in secure area and march to briefing
the pictures on page 13)
7:45 a.m. Colors
At the west end of parade deck and very
8:30 a.m. Museum
Get your last minute souvenirs you may
9:30 a.m. Bleachers
Seating at Parade Deck for Graduation
Seating is by Platoon, and seats fill
early to get a good seat.
(1) program per family when they are distributed.
10:00 a.m. Graduation
11:30 a.m. Graduation
is over and you are out of there!
5:30 a.m. Up,
Shower, Dress and Eat Breakfast
6:30 a.m. Depart
Security Check: show driver license and vehicle inspection
7:45 a.m. Colors
In front of Barrow Hall and very
8:15 a.m. Bleachers
Seating at Depot’s Peatross Parade Deck
9:00 a.m. Graduation
10:30 a.m. Graduation is over and you are out of
Graduation Day Reviewing Parade
CONGRATULATIONS! Your son/daughter has earned the title
AFTER GRADUATION (
You should visit local attractions on
Friday afternoon after graduation. You
get discounted admission tickets at the
Ticket Office in the
MCRD on Family Day or Graduation Day. Marines in uniform and presenting
military ID get FREE admission to the USS
Midway Aircraft Museum (2 hour
tour) for themselves and their guests.
SOUVENIR IDEAS TO BUY FOR
FAMILY AND RELATIVES
Buy Challenge coins for your new Marine. Buy hats, hoodies, Marine
Band CDs, polo shirts, stuffed animals, sweatpants, sweatshirts, T-shirts, and
US Marine flag for family and relatives. If your Marine buys something, you will need to buy it for them as their
debit card won’t work in gift shop.
CHECKED BAGGAGE AT AIRPORT
new Marine will have 4 bags (2 sea bags, garment bag and gym
bag) to check at the airport.
have the checked bag fee waived by most airlines when they use their military
ID at the airline flight check in at the ticket counter.
bags must have a luggage tag and TSA security guidelines still apply.
Because no new Marine should stand alone
on Family Day and Graduation Day
there is a wonderful
organization that helps parents on limited incomes attend
their Marine Recruit’s
graduation with a grant. You may fill
out the application
after your Recruit has
successfully completed his or her 8th week of training, and
you must complete the
application on-line and fax supporting documentation.
Grants vary depending on available funds, and the average grant is
approximately $250. If you do not need
assistance, please consider making a
donation to help another family attend graduation. You can find the application
GRADUATION PHOTOS AND VIDEO
During boot camp recruits will have their
photos taken with their platoon as well
as individually in their dress blue uniform and these can
be purchased on Family
Day. A video of
graduation is also produced that includes footage from each
battalion. The MCRD San Diego short video appears
on-line a week prior to
graduation so you can see your Marine Recruit. The link is:
ONCE A MARINE. ALWAYS A MARINE.
MCRD PHONE DIRECTORY PARRIS ISLAND
Billeting (on base lodging for
graduation) 843-228-2744 619-524-4401
Graduation Information 800-826-7503 619-725-6400
Recruit Photo/Video Sales NA 619-296-3840
Office NA 619-725-6343
MCRD San Diego main flag pole at center of
parade deck before graduation.
This view is from the bleachers used by
families for liberty formation and graduation.
GRADUATION LEAVE (10 DAYS – DAY 1 IS THE SATURDAY
DAILY SCHEDULE AT HOME ON
new Marine should run 2 miles every morning, and do 15 minutes of exercises to
keep in shape. The drill instructors
tell you and the Marines this during Family Day!
new Marine should participate in the recruiting station’s weekly PT.
new Marine should keep the same schedule as at boot camp – get up early and go
to bed early. The 3 hour time difference
for MCRD San Diego graduates is a challenge.
new Marine should eat good foods. Fast
food and pop are OK as long as it is limited. Don’t be surprises, though, if your new Marine pigs out on pizza and
fast foods when home instead of mom’s home cooking!
new Marine should do something different each day: visit recruiter, visit high
school alma mater, visit former job, visit friends, visit former clubs, and be
recruiting new Marines.
new Marine should spend at least 1 hour each day with family for family time.
Some new Marines receive additional liberty after boot camp to
work as a recruiter’s assistant in the local recruiting office. You cannot request it. New Marines will know if they are a recruiter
assistant when they receive their orders the Wednesday before graduation. Recruiter assistant is 10 days and Marines
generally work 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. visiting high schools, malls, Lazer X, and other
places looking for recruits, and they do the weekly PT with the poolees!
FOR MCT/SOI (TRAINING PHASE II)
Your new Marine takes everything they brought home back with them. The new Marine can take a wireless phone to MCT
(military combat training) or SOI (school of infantry) with them. The new Marine cannot take a notebook
computer or iPad – they get locked up. The cover (hat) needs to be protected when packing it. Get things packed at least a day early so as
not to be last minute and forgetting something.
FLIGHT FOR MCT/SOI
If you have to rebook
your Marine’s return flight from leave, the airline change
fee can be waived if
they have their orders: officer signed by, phone, and date.
Parris Island Marines
will go to
) has shuttle service for about
and is serviced by Delta
Airlines and US Airways only.
ARRIVAL LODGING FOR MCT/SOI
will provide the Marines
one day early a place to sleep. It will
not be in the squad bay they will
assigned for MCT/SOI. Some Marines,
though, have opted to get a motel
at their own expense and take the
time) on report day to
or a taxi to
MCT (Military Combat Training) or SOI (
) TRAINING (PHASE II)
The second phase of Marine training fine
tunes and sharpens the freshly learned military skills and knowledge. The
Marine will be in either the Infantry Training Battalion or
Marine Combat Training Battalion. After this a 56 (ITB) or 29 (MCT) day training program your Marine reports to the
third phase training at the MOS school they selected to learn the trade they are expected to perform for the
Marine Corps. This could be a
third Marine base. Marines, don’t be late for your report date
and time per your orders!
Series Chief Drill Instructor addresses families
on Family Day
in the Courtyard before the Motivational
Run at MCRD
Once a Marine completes their MCT/SOI training (generally at
) they are scheduled to report to their MOS (
). This school will be 4 weeks to 52 weeks based
on the occupation they signed up for at the time of enlistment. This training most likely will be at a
different military installation, and they will arrange their own travel with
the assistance of their MCT/SOI training instructors per their orders. They can have their laptop computer now!
FLEET (JOB ASSIGNMENT at PDS: PERMANENT
Once your Marine completes their occupation training they will
receive orders for their fleet. This
, or Okinawa in
. They make their own travel arrangements with
the assistance of their MOS training instructors.
If and when your Marine receives deployment orders, they will
usually earn 10 days pre-deployment leave to visit family, secure all personal
items and make other arrangements (power of attorney, will, car payments, car
insurance payments, car storage and so on).
Your Marine will give you their FPO mailing address while on
Your Marine can receive mail and care packages while they are
deployed subject to the
United States Postal regulations, military regulations and
It is recommended to obtain from the post office the FREE Priority
Mail Large Flat Rate
box for shipping care packages, and the postage is $12.95 per flat
rate box. Every care package requires
the customs form 2976-A, and this can be obtained from the post office or
on-line at the United States Post Office web site. On-line is best!
Care packages take generally 2-4 weeks for delivery to deployed
military, and are subject to inspection by customs. Care package contents will vary from Marine
to Marine, and will vary based on the deployment type (base camp, forward
operating base or Naval ship).
Deployed Marines may have access periodically to a satellite phone
or pay phone (international calling card) to call home or to a computer to send
For security reasons the Marines are not to divulge their specific
location. So, don’t ask!
Wear RED ON FRIDAY to support our Marines. It’s a military thing!
OPERATIONAL SECURITY (OPSEC)
OPSEC is keeping potential adversaries from discovering critical
Department of Defense information. It
protects military operations – planned, in progress and those completed. Success depends on secrecy and surprise so
that the military can accomplish the mission more quickly and with less
risk. Enemies of freedom want this
information and they will seek any and all potential sources to get it.
Critical information even though it may not be secret includes:
information about the mission of assigned units.
concerning locations, dates and times of unit deployments.
transactions that occur in large numbers (examples: pay information, power of
attorney, wills or deployment information).
to trend in unit morale or personnel problems.
concerning security procedures.
Be careful on social media postings, chat rooms, message boards,
telephone, text messages and with e-mails. There may be times when your Marine cannot talk about the specifics of
his or her job, movement, locations, activities and so on. It is like “don’t ask” and “don’t tell”!
If anyone, especially a foreign national, persistently seeks
information, notify your Family Readiness Officer (FRO) and/or local Marine
recruiting office immediately.
When families take a Marine to the airport to catch a flight all
goodbyes are said prior to the TSA Security Checkpoint. However, when your Marine checks in at the
airport you can request at the airline ticket counter a military escort gate
pass from the airline. You will need to
show your photo ID in order to get the pass, and will need to show the ID when
you clear TSA security just like any ticketed flight passenger. This pass will enable you to escort your
Marine to the gate to wait until boarding the plane. This is not publicized, and we learned of it from a TSA
security guard! Do it! There’s no cost! It is fantastic!!!
DENTAL, HEALTH and OPTICAL
The military has an excellent health, dental,
medical and optical program for
Marines (and married Marine dependents).
If a message is required
to notify a recruit of an emergency situation (death or serious injury of a family member) at
any time during recruit training, please contact
your local American Red Cross to have an official message sent to MCRD. In order to process the message
quickly, please provide the recruit’s name,
security number, battalion, company, and platoon.
PARENTS, DO …
(a lot) and mail letters to your Marine Recruit at boot camp.
your family, relatives and friends to write and mail letters.
positive, encouraging, upbeat and motivating in every letter.
your recruit know how proud you are of them and their decision.
your Family Day and Graduation Day trip early and make your reservations (lodging
and travel) no later than 8 weeks after your recruit leaves for boot camp. Research your travel, lodging, flight and
rental care options for the best deals.
at the airport 2 hours before your flight for check in and security.
the various Marine Corps web sites.
up for the MarineParents.com web site FREE e-mail newsletter.
proud Marine parent!
PARENTS, DO NOT …
Worry. Your son/daughter will be very well cared for
and will receive the best training in the world.
care packages to your recruit at boot camp.
Family Day or Graduation Day as it will be one of the proudest moments of your
to your Marine Recruit as “Marine” until Family Day. Your son or daughter has to earn the title
“Marine” by successfully completing the 13 week boot camp.
on the parade deck at the MCRD.
Each recruit will enroll in a direct
deposit program after they arrive at Boot
Camp where their weekly pay is deposited. They receive a VISA debit card to make their
purchases with (toiletries, uniforms, bus tickets, and airfare). They buy everything from a specific store at
boot camp that is not issued!
has the largest USO in the
. The Marine can take a shower, change clothes, store their gear while
they go get something to eat, and catch their bus to
from the USO. The bus ticket costs about
$15. Most major airports, though, have a
USO in the terminal for our military to use between flights. The USO facilities are made possible by
donations and contributions.
Each Marine will be afforded 30 days of paid vacation per year – 2.5
days earned each month. This is another
great benefit! Vacation is called LEAVE, and is subject to approval by
the Marine’s chain of command.
Graduation Day – One of the Proudest Days
of your Life
WEB SITES (INFORMATIONAL RESOURCES)
Save as your Favorites on your computer. Refer to them for lots of great information!
Read anything you can find about
recruit training and the Marine Corps.
Emergency contact assistance
Non-partisan and non-political organization of military mothers
Max Beerup is very informative,
knowledgeable and helpful!
By Gretchen Miller
(Pronounced “Luh-Jern” – not
Training after Boot Camp, MOS and Fleet
MCT/SOI Training after Boot Camp, MOS and
Corps Recruiting Depot (MCRD)
Corps Recruiting Depot (MCRD)
Toys for Tots Foundation
organization operated by Marine Reserves
A great resource for spouses of Marines
San Diego Recruit Grad Gear
Allow 3-4 weeks for order delivery
of the Marine Corps
organization supporting our deployed Heros
Layperson’s guide to overseas deployed military
mail and shipments
Official USMC Web Site with a Parents
Marine Corps Gear
Official Marine Corps Clothing and
Official Military Service Organization
with locations at major airports
Obtain the name, rank and contact number of your son or daughter’s
Marine recruiter from your son or daughter. Contact your recruiter to get your questions answered.
The Few. The Proud. The Marines.
Marine Recruits and families, we are
proud of you and
thank you for your sacrifices and serving
our Country with courage, honor and commitment!
These are terms that your Marine Recruit
begins using once at Boot Camp.
Corps Motivational Sayings
Semper Fi Short
for Semper Fidelis (Latin for “Always Faithful”)
Ooh Rah! Motivational statement in
acknowledgement or agreement
Forces America (processing center in
Forces Europe (processing center in
AP Armed Forces Pacific
(processing center in
Army Post Office
FOB Forward Operating Base
FPO Fleet Post Office
FRO Family Readiness Officer
MCT Military Combat Training
PDS Permanent Duty Station
Terms about the Depot
Corps Recruiting Depot (also called “The Depot”)
DI Drill Instructor
SDI Senior Drill Instructor
CO Commanding Officer
CG Commanding General
CMC Commandant of the Marine Corps
PFT Physical Fitness Test
PT Physical Training
Blouse Uniform Shirt
Cover Uniform Headgear (must always be
Guideon Platoon Flag
Head Bath Room
Ink Stick Pen
Lead Stick Pencil
Mess Hall Cafeteria or Dining Room
Moon Beam Flashlight
Barracks (where they sleep)
Weapon M16A2 (NEVER called it a gun!)
MARINE HYMN LYRICS
From the halls of Montezuma to the
We fight our country’s battles in
the air, on land and sea.
First to fight for right and
freedom, and to keep our honor clean.
We are proud to claim the title of
United States Marines.
Our flags unfurled to every breeze
from dawn to setting sun.
We have fought in every clime and
place where we could take a gun.
In the snow of far-off northern
lands and in sunny tropic scenes.
You will find us always on the job
the United States Marines.
MARINE RANKS (Non-Commissioned Ranks)
Private Private First Class Lance Corporal Corporal Sergeant Staff Sergeant
E-1 E-2 E-3 E-4 E-5 E-6
PVT PFC LCpl CPL Sgt SSgt
Gunnery Master First Master Gunnery Sergeant Sergeant
Sergeant Sergeant Sergeant Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps
E-7 E-8 E-8 E-9 E-9 E-9
GySgt Msgt 1SG MGySgt SgtMaj SgtMajMC
OF THE MARINE CORPS
You can now experience the
of the Marine Corps without
with the Virtual Experience!
This new, interactive virtual environment was introduced in August 2011 and now serves as
the gateway for Marines, families and visitors from all around the world to see
the museum from the comfort of your home on your home desktop or laptop
computer (or from your public library).
Learn about the Marine Corps’ proud heritage, experience boot
camp, view historic footage, zoom in on special exhibits, listen to oral
recordings, and more!
Go to http://www.virtualusmcmuseum.com
BLUE STAR SERVICE FLAG
The Blue Star Service Flag has been a
symbol of American military service for more than
90 years. Families with members in the service may
display these flags. The flag itself is
a white field with a red border, and a blue star. The blue star symbolizes the family member on
active duty. If a serviceman dies, the
blue star is replaced by a gold star. A
single banner may have up to five stars on it signifying that up
to five separate family
members are on active duty. The flag may be purchased from Grunt.com.
Colors Ceremony – Graduation Day –
of Parade Deck – 7:45 a.m.
Show your American and Marine Pride – Attend the
Thank you Marine Recruiters and Drill
Instructors for taking
our boys and girls and making them Marines!
MARINE RECRUITS, REMEMBER TO …
Your Conditioning and Fitness
This Marine Recruit Parents Guide has been prepared by a Proud Dad
of 2 Marine Recruits (June 2008 and September 2009) based on personal
experiences and with the assistance of his cousin Retired Master Gunnery
Sergeant Doyt “Dutch” Akom, Jr. (30 year Boot Camp Drill Instructor at Parris
Island) with the intent of providing more information, insight, resources, suggestions
and tips for parents of new Marine Recruits.
My wife (Lori) and I were just like you a few years ago with our
first son going to become a Marine. We
had so many questions, and we sought as much information as we could. We wished, though, that we had a local family
or Indiana who could have given us tips and information to help reduce our
anxiety and help us through Boot Camp, Family Day and Graduation Day.
When our second son enlisted we felt very comfortable with the
path ahead. I continue to ask questions
and constantly do research to update this Marine Recruit Parents Guide.
My wife and I are very, very proud our 2 sons joined the U. S.
Marine Corps. We know this experience has
been challenging for them and our family, and continues as such.
We witnessed a remarkable difference in TJ and Chris when we saw
them at Family Day, and we are so pleased with their decision to become a
Marine. We asked each of them after Boot
Camp graduation if they had it all over to do again would they do it, and they
each said “YES”! In fact, TJ is now in
the re-enlistment process and is planning to serve as a Marine for 20
years. You, too, must be very proud of
your new Marine Recruit!
Your new Marine will leave you with such positive emotions beyond
words – not to mention tears of pride! You’ll
wonder how they are doing at boot camp since you can’t communicate by phone, e-mail
or Facebook with them. You will miss
them every day. You’ll cry when your
recruit departs for boot camp and when you first see and hug him or her at
Family Day liberty. It’s OK! You’re not alone! Over 20,000 families a year experience a son
or daughter going to Boot Camp to become a Marine.
Congratulations to your son or daughter for enlisting in
the U. S. Marine Corps!
Welcome to the best military service family in
our Country – the Marine Corps!
Enjoy your trip to Family Day and Graduation
Call, come see us and/or e-mail us if we can help, answer questions, or you want to visit to
share your experiences. We’d love to
help you and even have you in our home to see our pictures, share experiences
and answer your questions face to face.
will soon be the proud parent of a Few, Proud
Marine! Ooh Rah!
Terry L. Taylor, Sr.
DAD OF 2 MARINES
A special thank you to the following individuals for their assistance,
guidance, information and support of this Marine Recruit Parents Guide.
Retired Master Gunnery Sergeant Doyt Wayland
Akom, Jr. (Deceased 3/15/2011)
Bret Steward, Recruiting Station
Jeremy Reed, Cherry Point
Nathan Whitwood, Fort Wayne South Recruiting Substation
Duval, Fort Wayne South Recruiting Substation
Leibfried, Fort Wayne South Recruiting Substation
L Taylor Jr (my 1st Marine son),
Christopher J Taylor (my 2nd Marine son),
Max Beerup, USMC
Family Support, usmcgradsandiego.org
A special thank you to the United States Marine Corps and related
web sites for
providing invaluable information for parents of poolies, recruits
This Marine Recruit Parents Guide is dedicated to the Marines and
their families who unselfishly and voluntary serve our Country to protect our
freedom, the Wounded Warriors including LCpl Brandon Long for your inspiration,
and the Killed in Action Marines including CPL William H. Crouse IV for your
personal sacrifice. We are grateful for
your honor, courage, commitment, service and sacrifices. Semper Fidelis!
the United States Marine Corps nor any other component of the Department of
Defense has approved, endorsed, and/or authorized this guide. The information and schedules are subject to
change without notice by the Marine Corps and/or MCRD.
RESEARCHED, WRITTEN, EDITED, FUNDED,
PICTURES and PRINTED BY
Terry L Taylor Sr – Proud Dad of 2 Marines
“The Marines I have seen around the world
have the cleanest bodies, the filthiest minds, the highest morale, and the
lowest morals of any group of animals I have ever seen. Thank God for the
Eleanor Roosevelt, First Lady of the
United States of America