first published on September 13, 2018 by Josh
So you’ve been in the Delayed Entry Program for several months, and you now find yourself sitting aboard the bus leading onto one the Marine Corps Recruit Depots. Everyone is dead silent on the bus, most likely with their heads down facing their knees, and all you can hear is the sounds of your bus rumbling towards its destination. The destination that will help you complete the transformation from Civilian to United States Marine. Regardless if you are going to be conducting training aboard Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego, or Marine Corps Recruit Depot Paris Island, here is what you can expect for your first 24 hours in recruit training.
In the second that your bus stops, and you hear the doors opening, a Drill Instructor will step aboard your bus. The first thing he is going to shout at everyone is to sit up and straight and look at him. This Drill Instructor is one of your receiving Drill Instructors, and the next thing he is going to do is place you on the Yellow Footprints that will start your transformation into a United States Marine. His primary task is to get you from the yellow footprints to your receiving squad bay. In total, this process will take about 4 to 6 hours and in that time frame you will conduct the contraband dump, hair cut, initial gear issue, and a minor amount of paperwork combined with a lot of standing at the position of attention waiting for the recruits in front of you to finish processing.
Once this first period of tasks ha been completed, you will be moved into your receiving squad bay. Here, you will be instructed on some fundamental tasks that will be required of you in order to survive at the Marine Corps Recruit Depot. Lacing your boots, making your rack, the tasks and duty of fire-watch, your general orders, and the basic steps of marching will all be given to you here. You will not have enough time to master these skills in the time allotted to you, your training platoon will be the place where repetitions happen.
Over the next few days in the receiving platoon you will attend several initial briefs to orient you on how the Recruit Depot works. You will also see a dentist for an initial screening, as well as attend a medical examination that begins with a series of shots intended to immunize you and keep you healthy throughout the duration of your tenure aboard the Recruit Depot. You will march everywhere with your receiving platoon at the cadence of your receiving Drill Instructor, and you will look like a bag of vomit for the duration. It will suck, but you are on the path to becoming a United States Marine at this point.
Before Friday morning, when you pickup with your training platoon and are introduced to the Marines who will be your Drill Instructors for the duration of recruit training, you will sit through what is known as the “Last Chance Brief.” This brief is the one and only time throughout the duration of Marine Corps Recruit Training that you will be given the opportunity to throw in the towel and quit. Once you have made it past this point in your training, the fastest way out is through completion of Marine Corps Boot Camp. If you fail to opt out of recruit training here, and later decide that you wish to quit, you will not be able to do so in a fashion that will cost you any less than at the very least a full year of misery, often longer.
To the future Marine Corps recruits here today, we wish you the best of luck. Semper Fidelis.